The Perils of Luci
“And they really kept you like this for a whole week?”
“Oh yes – well, they let me get up to eat and go to the toilet, but otherwise that is exactly how I was kept.”
Lucinda sat down in the chair at her desk, and looked at her friend Tara. They were now back in university following the summer Tara had spent working for Lucinda’s father at his stable, and the incident with the horse thieves had passed into history. Despite that, the two had remained good friends, and had moved into a flat together on starting their second year.
During the remainder of that summer, that had not been much time for the two girls to talk about some of Lucinda’s experiences in the past, but now they had some time alone she had agreed to tell Tara about some of the things that had happened to her. At this particular moment, Tara was hearing about when Lucinda had been kidnapped in order to force her father to withdraw one of his horses from a race.
As well as telling her, Lucinda had also shown Tara how she was tied by the kidnappers. Tara was lying on the bed in Lucinda’s room, her wrists tied to the wrought iron headboard with ropes, and her ankles bound together and tied to the foot of the bed. Dressed as she was in a roll neck sweater and jeans, Lucinda had tied the ropes over the cloth so that Tara’s skin would not be marked, but she was still firmly bound.
Lucinda had told Tara how she had been snatched from school, blindfolded and gagged and taken to a house where she was held for a week. Eventually the police had freed her, but it had not been the most pleasant of times for her.
“So you can see why I don’t particularly like talking about that time.”
“Yeah, I can – sorry if this brought back bad memories. Can you let me go now?”
Lucinda stood up and quickly undid the ropes holding Tara’s wrist to the headboard. Tara sat herself up, rubbed her wrists and untied the rope around her ankles.
“What happened to the kidnappers in the end?”
“Still in prison as far as I’m aware. Here.” Lucinda handed Tara a glass of wine as she sat on the edge of the bed.
Taking a drink, Tara held the glass in both hands and looked at Lucinda.
“So, what happened the times you were robbed?”
Lucinda looked into the distance.
“I don’t remember that much about the first time – I was only eight at the time. The memory that won’t go away is of me sitting on my mother’s lap, tied up and unable either to talk or move off her lap. It’s all a bit of a blur after that.”
“You must have been scared.”
“Oh, I probably was – but the second time was even worse. That time we both had to get very close to other people in a way neither of us really liked.”
“A couple of years back, I went with a friend of mine and our mothers to France for a villa holiday. How were we to know a beautiful day like that would end up the way it did?”
“Be, have you seen that new bikini I brought with me?”
“It’s on the bed, Luc, where you left it.”
Tara stepped out of the shower, with a large white towel wrapped around her, and came into the bedroom of the villa. Her friend Beatrice, or Be as all her friends called her, was lying on one of the twin beds reading a book. She was already wearing a red bikini top, and very short blue denim shorts, and had strapped sandals on her feet.
Tara dropped the towel, and picked up the new green bikini she bought for the holiday. Pulling on the briefs, she picked up the top and fastened it before turning it round and tying the top behind her neck.
“Are you sure you can’t show any more skin, Luci?”
“Come on, Be – this is meant to be a holiday, not a history trip. I need to top up my tan.”
“Girls, could you come in here a minute please?”
Lucinda and Beatrice went into the main room of the villa, where their mothers were sat at the table making up a list for food they had to buy, Luci’s mother was wearing a blue and white strapped halter top and white shorts, while Be’s was wearing a cap sleeved black t-shirt and a blue denim mini skirt.
“Girls, we need to head into the village and collect some food and things for the next few days. Do you want to come with us, or have you something else you want to do?”
“If it’s all right, Mum, we’ll stay here,” Lucinda replied, “it’s too hot a day to be walking around the village anyway.”
“I don’t think you’d notice the heat with what you’re wearing, but fair enough. We’ll be back just as soon as we can.”
The two older women got up and headed towards the front door, with Lucinda’s mother picking up a set of car keys as they left. Beatrice watched from the window as they got into their car and drove off down the hill.
“Right, Luci – time to relax by the pool, I think!”
The two girls went out of the rear door, where a swimming pool was situated, and the water gleaming in the summer sun. Beatrice lay down on a sun lounger, put a pair of sunglasses on and began to read her book again.
Lucinda stood at the side of the pool and dived in. The cool water swept off her back as she swam a few lengths of the pool, before climbing out and lying on a lounger next to her friend.
“How long do you think they’re going to be?”
“Not sure, Luci depends on how involved they get with haggling with the locals. I wouldn’t worry, though – just lie back and enjoy the sunshine.”
It was after midday when the two girls heard the sound of the car returning to the villa, and car doors opening and closing. A few minutes later, Beatrice’s mother could be heard saying “Beatrice, Lucinda, would you come in for lunch please?”
Beatrice put her book down, stretched out and stood up. “Coming, Luci?” she asked her friend.
“I’ll be there in a few minutes – tell mum to keep some salad back for me.”
Beatrice walked up to the back door, as Lucinda lay under the hot sun to catch some more of the warmth.
Although she had her eyes closed, Lucinda sensed rather than saw that someone was standing beside her, but wasn’t sure who it was.
“Pardonez-moi, mademoiselle, but I must insist that you join the rest of your party in the house.”
Opening her eyes, Lucinda saw that the person standing over her was a young man, of above average height and thick curly dark hair, wearing a denim shirt and jeans. She also saw that he was carrying a pistol, and pointing it directly at her.
“Wh…. What’s going on?” she stammered.
“Please, come inside and don’t make, how do you say, a fuss about this,” the young man said, and he took Lucinda by the arm and forced her to stand up. Pushing Lucinda in front of him, the two people headed into the villa through the back door.
Entering the main room, Lucinda saw Beatrice and their mothers sitting on a couch, their hands on top of their heads and their fingers interlocked. Two other men were watching over them, armed with rifles and also dressed in denim shirts and jeans.
“Is this the last person staying here?” one of the men with the rifle asked Lucinda’s mother, and she quietly nodded.
“Sit down with your friends,” the young man said to Lucinda, “and put your hands on top of your head as well.”
Lucinda sat down, and Beatrice whispered “I’m sorry, Luci, but when I came in they grabbed me and stopped me calling out. I’m really sorry.”
“It’s all right, Be,” Lucinda replied, “let’s just see what they’re going to do.”
“Now, ladies, I must apologise for the fact that we arrived unexpectedly, and were forced to make our entry with you two,” the man with the rifle said to the assembled group, “but as you can probably see we are escaped prisoners, and gentleness and tact are not exactly our main issues right now.”
“What do you want from us?” Beatrice’s mother asked.
“We just need a bite to eat and a way to get away from here, and as we saw when you came back you are in a position to provide both. We would very much appreciate it if you two,” and he pointed at the two mothers, “would prepare some lunch for us. To help you to do this, my friend here,” as he pointed to the young man with the pistol” is going to take care of your lovely daughters. So long as you don’t try to escape or raise the alarm, you will be fine. If you do try, however, it will not go well for any of you. Do you understand?”
The four women looked at each other, realising that this was one situation they could do very little about, and silently nodded.
“Very good. Marcel – would you please take the two young mademoiselles into one of the bedrooms and make sure they are secure?”
“Natuellement, Gaston,” the young man replied, and he motioned to Lucinda and Beatrice to stand up. The two girls looked at their mothers, then stood and went in front of the man into one of the bedrooms in the villa. As they left, they heard the man with the rifle saying, “Eh bien, mesdames, avez-vouz les fromages?”
The young man closed the bedroom door, and the two girls turned to face him. They noticed that he had brought a small bag in with him, and from that he produced several coils of rope and a large knife. Putting the pistol down, he showed the two girls the knife before using it to cut one of the lengths of rope into four pieces of equal length.
“All right, please kneel on the bed over there facing each other, and I can start to make sure you won’t feel insecure. If you please?”
Lucinda and Beatrice looked at each other, then walked over to the double bed in the centre of the room and knelt on the side facing each other.
“Now, ladies, I want you to hug each other and hold each other close together, and I want you to do it now.”
Wondering what was going to happen, Beatrice and Lucinda moved on their knees towards the centre of the bed and put their arms around each other in a hug. The young man put the knife he was carrying, and taking one of the shorter lengths of rope he pulled Lucinda’s wrists together behind Beatrice’s back and began to tie them together. Cinching the rope so that her wrists were secure, he then walked around the bed, picked up another shorter length of rope and did the same to Beatrice’s wrists.
The two girls realised that, with their arms around each other and their wrists tied the way they were, it was going to be very difficult to separate themselves from each other. This was made more difficult over the next few minutes, as the young man wrapped a long length of rope around the chests and arms, pulling them together and forcing the two girls to rest their chins on each other’s shoulder.
“Now, I will help you both to lie down on your sides, and I want you both to stretch your legs out when you are lying down.”
The young man took the two ladies by the left side, and gently pushed them over until they fell over gently onto the mattress. He then placed a pillow under each of their heads, and returned to the pile of rope.
“Luci, I’m scared, what’s he going to do to us?”
“Just keep calm, Be, I think he’s only going to tie us up, I don’t think he’s planning to do anything else. At least, I hope he’s not.”
The young man returned to the bed with the two shorter lengths of rope. “Now, ladies, I would like you to relax and do as I tell you. Please, do not try to resist me, as it will only hurt you.”
After saying this, he took Lucinda’s leg which was against the mattress, and lifting Beatrice’s legs he moved it underneath. He then took Lucinda’s other leg, and lifting one of Beatrice’s legs he placed it between both of her friend’s legs. Crossing Lucinda’s ankles, he proceeded to wrap a shorter length of rope around them, both securing her ankles together and, as Lucinda realised; once Beatrice’s ankles were tied they would be linked together by the arms and the legs.
As the young man was tying Beatrice’s ankles in the same way, the bedroom door opened and the man who had spoken earlier looked in. “Your lunch is ready when you have finished in here.”
“Tres bien, Gaston,” he replied as he went back and picked up another length of rope, which he cut in half. Using each half, he tied the bound wrists of each girl to their own ankles, ensuring that they could not move apart or even attempt to stand up at the foot of the bed.
“Forgive me, mademoiselles, but I must leave you now. Please try not to struggle or panic, or you will hurt yourselves.”
As he left the room, the two girls could hear their mothers protesting about something, but it was difficult to hear exactly what the protest was about.
“Are they all right, Be?”
“I don’t know, Luci – we haven’t been hurt too much, but I do want to know what’s happened to them.”
“Can you move your hands at all?”
“No, let me try and move my legs…”
“Please, Be, don’t do that – it’s not the most comfortable thing I’ve ever experienced.”
“Sorry, Luci – I just want to try and get out!”
“I understand, but please stay calm – we’ll figure out how to get out of this.”
An hour or so later, the door opened again and the young man came back into the room. Checking the ropes around the two girls, he sat down and watched them as they tried to work their way free.
“My friends are just making sure your mothers are nice and secure as well,” he said. “Once they are done, we will be on our way in the car your mother was driving. You’ll have something to tell your friends about when you return to England.”
“You can’t just leave us here tied up,” Beatrice said, “how are you expecting us to get free? We’ll scream until someone hears us.”
“I’m sure someone will come and check here eventually,” the young man said as he stood up, “but as for the shouting and screaming, I’m afraid you may find that a little more difficult than you had thought.”
He reached into his pocket and brought out a roll of wide medical tape, and tore a strip off.
“Forgive me, mademoiselle, but it is necessary for your safety and ours.” As he said this, he smoothed the strip of tape over Beatrice’s lips, followed quickly by three more so that she was unable to open her mouth or speak. Lucinda realised that she was also going to be gagged, and gave no resistance as he placed the tape over her mouth.
“Marcel – ai-tu!”
“Oui, Gaston. Au revoir. Mademoiselles!”
The man waved at the two girls and walked out of the door. Through the opening, both girls could hear the three men leaving the house, and the sounds of a car driving away. They could also hear muffled calls from the doorway, and Lucinda realised that their mothers must also be bound and gagged somewhere in the villa.
The two girls tried to call out as well, but the tape was too tight across both their mouths for much noise to escape. They also tried to free their hands, but at first the ropes were too tight, and as they struggled they realised they were both rubbing each other in ways that may not be the most restful.
Lucinda and Beatrice stopped struggling against each other, and each girl concentrated on trying to free their wrists from the bindings. Looking over her friends shoulder, Lucinda could see the knots that held the ropes around their upper bodies together, and realised that if she could just get her hands free there was a chance she could get both of them free.
She also realised, however, that it would be necessary to get her hands freed from her ankles as well. The rope between them was proving to be a real problem, as neither girl could move without doing something to upset the other. The rope was also beginning to rub against the bare skin on their arms and chest, and the irritation was becoming greater and greater.
Looking around, however, Lucinda saw something that gave her hope – the man who had tied them up had left his knife on a bedside table. She tried to get Beatrice’s attention.
“Be? Lk ovr yr shlder.”
Beatrice twisted her head round as far as she could, but nothing was in her sightline.
“A knf – I cn c a knf!!”
Lucinda pushed herself against Beatrice in an attempt to get her to move with her, and after several attempts she finally got her friend to understand they had to move. Both girls inched towards the edge of the bed, but Lucinda still could not reach the knife without moving her ankles up as well – and she was not able to do that easily.
She decided to try and push herself up the bed, but forgot to indicate to Beatrice that she was intending to do this. As a result, when she moved, Beatrice felt a sharp pain as the ropes refused to give.
“MMMMP!! THT HRTS”
“Srry – Be, pls cm wf m”
The two girls slowly edged up the bed until Lucinda felt she could almost grab the knife.
“Be, cn yu bnd yr knes?”
Lucinda slowly bent her knees, and as Beatrice copied her they realised that not only was the rope between their wrists and ankles slackening, it was actually more comfortable for them as well. Both girls lay still as they adjusted to their new position, then Lucinda gingerly reached up to where the heft of the knife was over the edge of the table.
It took some time, and the sun was starting to set as Lucinda finally managed to grasp the handle, and bring the knife down onto the mattress. Turning the blade down to touch the rope between her own wrists and ankles, she slowly began to saw away at the connection.
From outside the room, the cries had become more muted, and the two girls hoped and prayed that their mothers were all right. Finally, after some effort, the rope parted and Lucinda was able to stretch her legs out fully. As Beatrice stretched her legs out, Lucinda began to try and twist her wrists around to free them, and discovered to her delight that there was some give in her wrists bindings.
Combining pulling her wrists apart with twisting and probing with her fingers, a half hour passed as Beatrice laid perfectly still waiting to see what will happen. Finally, with a grunt of triumph the ropes fell away from Lucinda’s wrists, and with some effort she managed to reach and begin to unpick the knots holding the two girls together around their chests.
As the ropes gave way, Lucinda pulled her arms from around Beatrice as her friend raised her arms, and the two girls were finally able to separate their bodies from each other. Lucinda reached up and pulled the tape from her mouth.
“Be - come here and let me get your hands free,” she said and she quickly released her friend from her wrists bindings.
Beatrice pulled the tape from her own mouth and called out “Mum – mum, are you all right?”
Muffled cries came back through the doorways as the two girls released their ankles and stretched out to get some feeling back into their legs and arms. Standing up, Lucinda walked warily over to the doorway and looked into the main room.
On a rug on the floor, she could see Beatrice’s mother lying on her side facing the door, with white tape over her mouth. Her hands were clearly tied behind her, and there were ropes around her chest, waist and legs, but the look of relief in her eyes was the thing that stood out. The thing Lucinda was wondering about, however, was where her mother was, although she thought in the gloom that she could see someone’s wrists tied together in front of the other woman’s waist.
The answer to that came quickly, as when she got closer Lucinda could see that Beatrice’s mother had her head resting against a pair of feet. As she looked still closer, she was astonished to see that her mother was tied to Beatrice’s, with her feet against the other woman’s head and visa versa. Both women had their wrists tied across the waist of the other, their chest tied to the other’s legs, and ropes from the wrists of one woman to the ankles of the other. A further length of rope was tied around their waists, holding them both in place. They had obviously also been struggling, as the halter top of Lucinda’s mother had come undone and was hanging loose.
The two women screamed at the girls through their gags, which were quickly removed before the two girls freed their mothers. By this time dusk had fallen, and Beatrice went to put on the lights while Lucinda called the local police station. The two older women sat up and hugged each other as Beatrice brought glasses of water through from the kitchen.
The table was covered with the remains of the lunch the three men had taken, and their purses had been taken as well as their car.
Tara sat amazed at the story. “So did they ever capture the men?”
“Apparently, the police caught up with them a couple of weeks later. They’re back in prison now, from what I heard.”
The two girls sat and drank their wine. “Does this sort of thing happen to you often?”
Lucinda laughed. “Thankfully, no, but it was different that time. It certainly had a lasting effect on Beatrice – it confirmed feelings she had had for some time, and she now shares a flat with her girlfriend in Knightsbridge. Perhaps we can go and visit them some time.”
“That would be nice – but hopefully it will be an uneventful visit!”