That was Then, This is Now – Hippie Chix
“Hey Gran – where are you?”
“I’m in the conservatory,” Zoe called out as she heard the voice of her sixteen year old granddaughter Clare, “is your mother there as well?”
“Nope – she had to go to work,” Clare called back, “can I get a drink?”
“In the fridge,” Zoe said as she sat back on the chair, looking at the screen of her laptop. For a woman in her mid-sixties, she still looked good, with her long light brown hair falling over the shoulders of the brown leather jacket she was wearing over a dusky pink top. The jacket was fastened with three buttons at the front, the gold design clearly visible, while over the legs of her faded blue jeans she was wearing a pair of thigh high burgundy red leather boots.
As she typed, she heard the footsteps on the wooden floor, and then looked up as Clare came into the rear room, the square heels of her own over the knee black leather boots sounding on the floor. She had long dark hair pulled back in a ponytail, and was wearing a black t-shirt with a sequined design, as well as denim hot pants over purple tights, the boots pulled up over them.
“Let me guess, your mother is in business dress, and is not happy with thew way you have dressed today?”
“How could you tell,” Clare giggled as she sat down, taking a drink from her bottle.
“Your mother is – not the free spirit I am, or you are,” Zoe said with a smile, “but I still love her, and I am sure you love her as well, despite everything. So school out for the summer?”
“Yeah – wish we could go to the festivals again this year, but…”
“I know – third time’s a charm,” Zoe said with a smile as she lowered the lid of her laptop. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun here as well. Come on – let’s put some music on.”
She stood up, her granddaughter following her as she made her way to the front room, and switched on the record player. She selected a black vinyl disc and put it on the turntable, the sound of Joni Mitchell filling the air.
“You need to get some CDs, gran,” Clare said with a smile.
“Nope – it sounds more real this way, the crackles, not as if it was a hospital corridor.”
Clare shook her head before she said “well, it sounds amazing any… Who are you?”
Zoe turned suddenly to see a middle aged man standing behind her, smiling as he said “Me? A lover of all things seventies – and you have a fine collection which I want some of lady.”
He was wearing a denim jacket and jeans, with a blue shirt underneath – and then he produced from the pocket of the jacket a gun with his free hand, both Zoe and Clare noticing for the first time the large canvas bag he was holding in his other gloved hand.
“Now, you two ladies are going to do exactly what I say, aren’t you?”
Zoe looked at Clare, before she said “don’t be afraid, Clare – I think we need to do what he says. What do you want us to do?”
The man looked round the room before he said “kid, kneel in front of the couch, and put your hands on your head. Your gran is going to pull the curtains closed over the widow, and then she’s going to kneel behind you.”
Clare slowly walked across the room and knelt, as Zoe walked over and pulled the curtains across, the sound of Joni continuing to fill the room as she knelt next to her granddaughter.
“I’m scared, Gran…”
“I know,” Zoe whispered as the man knelt behind her, and she saw him out the bag on the floor, open it and then remove a length of white rope from it. “I am as well, but it’s not the first time this has happened to me.”
“no,” Zoe said with a smile as he crossed her wrists behind her back, and she felt the rope rubbing on her skin as it was used to bind them together. “I was the same age as you that time…”
Clare watched as the man took the rope between her grandmother’s arms and tied the ends off out of reach of her long fingers, and then moved behind her with a second length. “What happened,” she said quietly as she felt her own hands being taken behind her back.
“Well, it was a very hot summer…”
“Mum? I’m going to meet some friends at the café.”
“All right Zoe,” Crystal said as she sat in the garden, the orange scarf with the ethnic print tied as a turban over her long brown hair. The mini dress she was wearing had the same design, the sleeves flowing out from her elbows and covering her hands, the plunging neckline revealing her alabaster smooth skin. The skirt came halfway down her thighs, her lower legs encased in a pair of knee length laced brown leather boots.
“What are you doing this afternoon,” her daughter asked as she looked out of the back door. She was wearing a green blouse with elbow length puffed sleeves, the ends tied together in front of her under her chest so that her belly was bare, and a pair of high waisted bellbottom pants made form lilac coloured cotton. A pair of gold strapped sandals were on her feet.
“Enjoy the sun,” Crystal said with a smile, “so go – have fun.”
Zoe shook her head, her chestnut permed hair moving over her shoulders as she did so, and walked towards the front door, picking up her purse and slinging it over her shoulder as she did so. Opening the front door, she smiled and went to step out – only to be pushed back in as a leather gloved hand covered her mouth, a man looking at her as he said “you’re not going to scream, are you?”
Zoe shook her head as a younger man walked in as well – both men were wearing blue boiler suits and balaclava masks, only their eyes and mouths showing. The younger man put down a black canvas bag, and then removed from his pocket a roll of brown sticking plaster.
“Keep that mouth shut,” the older man said, Zoe nodding as she watched the other intruder tear a strip of plaster free from the roll. The leather gloved hand was removed, but before she could say anything the material was pressed down over her mouth, the adhesive tugging on the skin as it was smoothed into place.
“Hrruhhh,” she mumbled, the plaster muffling any sounds as she was turned round, and her arms were pulled behind her back. She felt the roughness of the rope as it was passed round her arms, pulling her elbows together as she stared at the wall, As the ropes grew tighter round her arms, and then she felt the man take them down to secure her wrists together, she struggled bot to cry – and wondered what her mother was going to say.
“That her secured?”
She felt the final tug of the rope between her wrists, and then the pressure as it was tied off, and then saw how her chest had been pushed out, the material straining now to continue to cover her chest.
Zoe grunted as she was pulled back, and then pushed in front of the two men, back through the house and then into the garden as Crystal looked at the trio. Zoe sighed as she saw the lighted hand made cigarette in the ashtray, as Crystal looked at them.
“Oh man – what sort of friends were you meeting, Zoe?”
“Thrrnhtmhfhrhnddsmhmm,” Zoe mumbled as she heard the men laugh.
“Well, are we nice and relaxed,” the grey haired one said as Zoe was made to lie on a recliner next to her mother, the younger man putting the bag down before she saw him take out two lengths of brown rope. He handed one to the other man, before he wrapped the rope round her legs and forced them together below her knees.
She glanced over as the second intruder took her mother’s arms behind her back, Crystal giggling as she said “oh wow – kinky.” She could see how her own mother’s dress was stretched over her chest as her arms were bound, not noticing that her own legs were now been secured, the rope going round and between her legs at her ankles as the bottoms of her pant legs flared out under the tension of the bands.
It was the strangest feeling – the rough rope was under her fingertips, but the knot well out of reach, and glancing down at her legs she could see there was no way she was going to be going anywhere for a while. Her mother’s giggles were still audible – and they suddenly became muffled, and she saw thew strip of brown fabric over her mouth as the masked man secured her legs together with a second length of rope as well.
Crystal twisted round, wondering what was happening as the two men stood back. “Search the place,” he said as the second man walked off, and he picked up the cigarette, drawing it in as the tip glowed red.
“Good stuff – you take it girlie?”
Zoe shook her head as the man smiled. “I can understand that – but there are worse things out there. Now, you both just relax – we’ll be gone soon, and then you can have fun getting free.”
Zoe nodded as she twisted round 0 the rope was rubbing on her arms and against her back, but there was no give in it- and she realised it was probably bruising and marking her skin as well.
She had other concerns, however, as Crystal slowly closed her eyes. The masked man walked over and checked her pulse. “don’t worry, she’s asleep – and her breathing is fine,” he said with a grin as Zoe watched him.
“Typical,” she thought to herself as she looked down the long garden, the high fences cutting off the view of the houses on either side. The second man came back in and nodded, placing a pillow sack into his bag before he picked it up, and said “you’re cute – wish we could have some fun together.”
“No he doesn’t” the other man said before they both left, Zoe wondering how she was going to get free…
“wow,” Clare said as the masked man wrapped a doubled over length of rope round her body and pulled it tight, forcing her arms against her back as she flexed her fingers, “what happened?”
“we were found by my friends an hour or so later,” Zoe said as she wriggled round. Her own arms were now secured to her body, the bands of rope rubbing on her chest above and below. They had been tightened still further by small lengths of rope drawling the bands together between her arms and body – and as she looked at her sixteen year old daughter, she could see the same thing was been done to her, her t-shirt stretched over her chest,
“How… How are you feeling,” she asked as the man took smaller lengths of rope form the bag, and did the same thing to Clare.
“I should be scared, but I’m not really,” she said as the ropes were tightened, “not with you here as well Gran.”
“Okay – sit down and stretch your legs out.”
Both of them managed to sit with their backs against the couch, watching as he removed more ropes from the back, and crossed Clare’s ankles before he doubled one length over and passed it round her ankles. The young girl watched as he secured them, feeling the rope through the supple leather as the bands were added to, and then cinched with the rope between her legs. The man tied the ends off, and then repeated the process below her knees, the leather making a soft squeaking sound as the rope rubbed on the boots.
“It does sound funny, doesn’t it? I remember when my mother came to, she started struggling, and the boots made this amazing sound as if she was skidding along a linoleum covered floor.”
“I wish I had met her,” Clare said quietly as the man made his way over to Zoe, crossing her ankles and starting to bind them as Clare moved her legs from side to side.
“Yeah – you remind me a bit of her.”
“I’m nor smoking a joint!”
“In other ways,” Zoe said with a smile as the man secured her legs together below her knees, and then stood up, looking at them before he went back to his bag, and took out a wide roll of white tape. Tearing a long strip off, he said “keep your lips together.”
“Is this like sticking plaster Gran?”
“I think so – a little bit anyway. We can talk later,” she said as she watched the man press the white tape over Clare’s mouth, forming it to the shape of her chin before she turned to look at Zoe. The shape of her lips was clearly visible under the white strip, but as she tried to speak all she heard was” hmhhghddh…”
“Yeah – very like the brown fabric,” Zoe said quietly as she heard again the peeling and ripping sound, before the man pressed the material over her own mouth. It wasn’t as harsh, but it still tugged on the skin as it was smoothed into place, she nodded as the man left them sitting there, Clare putting her head on her grandmother’s shoulder as Zoe rubbed her cheek on her head.
“Dhtntwhrhrr, whrrhnthsthgfhr” she mumbled as she twisted round, Clare nodding as they looked to the door, wondering when the man would go, and they could try to free each other…