“What do you mean, you’re going to the game this afternoon?”
Sasha stared incredulously at her husband, who had just informed her of his plans for this afternoon.
“I told you last week that I’d be going with the boys this afternoon. Why, did you forget?”
“Oh, no, I didn’t forget – I never even knew because you never told me about this!! Who else is going with you?”
“John, Steve, Alex – the usual gang. Come on, love, it’s the derby today and you know how much I love watching United beat City. I’ve had to pay….”
“Pay? How much did they cost you? Dave, how much did……….”
Sasha was left standing in the room as Dave dashed out of the door with a call of “See you later.” Silently fuming, she threw herself into an armchair and thought about how her plans for today had just been ruined.
After some time had passed, she picked up her phone and dialled a local number.
“Hello, Mum? Dave has decided to go to the game this afternoon, which puts me in a bit of a quandary around the shopping for curtains. Can you pop round and come into town with me?
You can? Great – when can you be here?
All right – I’ll see you in about an hour. ‘Bye for now.”
Replacing the phone, Sasha poured herself a drink and sat back down. Dave knew that they had to go and pick out the curtains for the bedroom today, so that the decorating could be completed. Instead he’d swanned off to the game, and left her in the lurch. He loved Dave madly, but sometimes he could be so infuriating.
A sound from outside caught her ear – it sounded like one of the local cats had got into the bins again. Standing up, she smoothed down her brown corduroy skirt and checked her hair in the mirror. She then headed upstairs to find the fabric samples to show her mother.
Climbing to the top of the stairs, she was surprised to see that one of the bedroom doors was ajar – she was sure she had closed them all earlier that day.
“Probably Dave looking for something” she thought to herself as she opened the door to the room they kept their bric-a-brac in. Rummaging around in a drawer in a bureau there, she found the fabric swatch she was looking for and went back onto the landing.
“That’s funny,” she thought to herself, “now the other door is open.”
“Is there anyone there,” she called to herself as she went into the bedroom, only for a hand to be clamped over her mouth and an arm to grab her around the chest. Sasha struggled for a few minutes, and then fainted away.
Sasha opened her eyes, and realised she was back in the armchair in her living room. She shook her head as she tried to remember what had happened, and then she remembered the hand over her mouth. Sitting up suddenly, she tried to move her hands, but realised that something was holding them behind her back.
“Ah – good, you’ve woken up” a muffled voice said, and twisting her head around she saw a young man standing there with a City shirt, a City scarf around his lower face, and a glass of water in his hand.
“Please – don’t scream. I was really worried that you hurt yourself when you fainted after I grabbed you. Would you like a drink of water?” He offered Sasha the glass to her lips as he said this.
“What have you done to me?” Sasha shouted at him.
“Please, don’t shout, or I may be forced to do something about that,” the young man replied. “For the moment, I’ve tied your hands together behind your back, and I’m asking you now if you want a drink. Do you?”
Sasha nodded, and the young man held the glass to her lips as she took a drink. “What are you, some kind of burglar?” she asked.
“Some kind, yes. Your husband left the front door partially open when he went out in his United strip, and I sneaked in to see what I can get. You gave me a shock as well when you came upstairs, so I grabbed you to silence you and then you fainted.”
“So what happens now?” Sasha asked him. “You can’t leave me like this forever.”
“No, but equally I can’t leave you alone to raise the alarm – I do need to get away. Tell me, do you have any rope or washing line about the place?”
Sasha thought for a moment. “Are you really a City fan?”
“I have been all my life – why?”
“Because it would serve my husband right if this happened to me. What did you tie my hands with anyway?”
“Some cord I had in my pocket.”
“I think my husband needs to be taught a lesson he won’t forget, and I think you’re the perfect person to help me out. Are you up for it?”
The masked man nodded.
“There’s a new length of washing line under the sink in the kitchen. You do what you have to do, and take what you want – just don’t hurt me.”
“I promise, I would never hurt you even if you fought against me. Do you promise not to move until I get back?”
Sasha nodded, and the young man headed to the kitchen. She looked over her shoulder, and saw that her wrists had been crossed and tied together with cord as he said.
Settling back in the chair, she began to think about how she would look when she was tied up, and whether or not she would be gagged. She had closed her eyes to imagine what would happen in a few minutes when she was brought back to earth with a bump.
“SASHA!! What’s happened to you!!”
Standing in front of Sasha, with a look of surprise on her face, was her mother. She was wearing a black sweater, trousers and black ankle suedette boots, and carrying a handbag.
She in turn was looking at her daughter, who was sat in an armchair with her hands pulled behind her back, and was wearing a blue blouse, brown corduroy skirt and knee length leather boots.
“Well, Sasha, what’s going on? Why are your hands behind your back?”
“Well, Mum, you’re not going to believe this, but….”
“I found the – oh, I see you have company.”
Sasha’s mother turned to see the young masked man coming in from the kitchen, carrying a skein of cotton washing line, a pair of scissors and a look of surprise in his eyes.
“Actually, Mum,” Sasha said, “he’s robbing me – and helping me teach Dave a lesson. Sit down and I’ll tell you what happened.”
After Sasha had explained what had happened, her mother sat down and looked at both of them.
“So I’m expected to go along with this. So what do I do – go off into town and forget I saw this, and then find her later.”
“No, Mum,” Sasha replied, “I want Dave to find me like this, so that he can know exactly what happened after he rushed off without even checking the door. Insurance can take care of the rest.”
“There’s only one problem – I told Viv I was coming to meet you, and we’d meet her later. What happens if I show up without you?”
Sasha thought for a moment, and then looked at the masked intruder. “I guess you were disturbed in tying me up by my mother, and you had to tie her up as well.”
Her mother looked at her thunderstruck – then the more she thought about it, the more a small smile began to creep across her face.
“It would serve him right, wouldn’t it?” she said, and Sasha nodded.
“So I tie you both up, rob the place and leave you for your husband to find?” The masked youth said.
“That’s right,” Sasha said, and she crossed her ankles. “You can start by tying my ankles together so that I can’t move, and then you can start to tie my mother up.”
The young man cut a length of cord off the line, and lashed Sasha’s crossed ankles together, cinching the binding to prevent her from getting out.
“You must be out of your mind,” her mother said, but she stood up and turned her back to the intruder, crossing her wrists behind her.
The young man instead moved her arms together, so that her elbows rested in the palms of the opposite hand, and then used three lengths of cord to bind her wrists and arms together.
“Please, sit down,” the young man said, and as she sat down the man took her ankles, crossed them and lashed them together in the same way she had tied Sasha’s.
“Now, can I trust you both to sit quietly while I go and see what I can steal from you?” Both women nodded, and the masked intruder left them alone in the room.
“So, he just walked in off the street did he?”
“So he said – he surprised me upstairs, and I must have fainted for the next thing I knew I was downstairs and he was offering me a drink.”
“Well, I’ll say this for him – he knows how to tie a knot. I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere for a while.”
“Me neither – so, what did Viv have to say when you talked to her earlier?”
A half-hour or so later, the young man returned to the room to find the two women talking to each other, as if being bound hand and foot was the most natural thing in the world to them.
“Well, I’m glad to see you don’t feel too uncomfortable.”
“Oh no,” Sasha said, “In fact, we have a favour to ask of you.”
“Oh, and what is that?”
“We don’t think a real burglary would be left with the two of us able to free each other. Can you tie us so that we can’t help each other get free?”
The young man thought for a moment, “If that’s what you want, then yes, but I’d need more rope.”
“There’s another length where you found the first one. You might also want to find something to stop us calling out – if we’re not gagged, we can raise the alarm too easily.”
“All right – but before I go, I need to make sure your legs are more securely bound.”
With that, the masked man took the remaining length of washing line, cut it in half and used each piece to bind the legs of the women together above their knees. He then went towards the kitchen again.
“Are you all right, Mum?” Sasha asked.
“I’m fine dear – just curious to see what he’s going to do.”
“Well, if it teaches Dave a lesson, I guess it’s worth it.”
The young man came back in with the other length of cotton line. Using the scissors, he cut off two short and three long lengths.
“Do you think you can kneel down on the floor if I help you?” he asked Sasha.
“I think so,” she replied, and with him holding her arm she managed to kneel down on her bound legs.
“Now you,” the man said to her mother, and after a few minutes the two women were kneeling face to face.
The masked intruder took two of the longer lengths of rope, and bound the two women together around their chests – one length above their breasts, and one below. He then used the short lengths to cinch the bindings, drawing the two women close together. The final length was then used to bind them together around their waists, at the same time fixing Sasha’s hands in at the base of her back.
“There now – that should hold the two of you together so that you can’t get free. I have one last favour to ask of you – do you really want to upset your husband?”
This time it was Sasha’s mum who replied. “Yes we do – what do you have in mind?”
“Wait there – I’ll show you,” and with that the man left the room for a few minutes. When he returned, he dropped a number of objects on the floor, and both Sasha and her mother burst out laughing.
A few minutes later, the young man quietly closed the door on the two ladies, and let himself out. As he left, all he could hear from the room was muffled laughter and attempts at discussion.
Some hours passed before Dave returned to the house, after witnessing United beat City 2-0.
“Sasha? I met your mum’s friend Viv in town and she told me that the two of you were meant to meet her. What happened – the two of you start talking and forget the time?
Are you home, love – I want to tell you all about th……”
Dave opened the door of the front room, and the first thing he saw were cushions and books scattered across the floor. The second thing was a large City supporter’s club flag covering something on the floor.
Removing the flag, Dave was greeted by the sight of Sasha and her mother lying half on the floor, with their sides against the couch. He could see that they had both been bound hand and foot, and lashed together face to face with ropes, and that they had been gagged with clear tape. What really shook Dave, however, was the fact they had both been blindfolded with City scarves, and a placard was propped up against them with “City forever!!” written on it.
Both women turned at the sound of his voice and began mmphing at him to let them go.
It was some considerable time before Dave left his wife alone to go to a game with the lads again………….