Not Going Out
The cool March air was making Honey feel a little cold – but not too much, as she walked to the house at the end of the street. She was going to spend the evening in town with her friends Emma and Tara, and to her mind this was a night to be warm and meet boys.
Honey was eighteen, and was wearing a white and pale pink sleeveless jerkin with white fur lining, over a black v-necked jumper. Her stone washed denim jeans were tucked into a pair of brown suede boots.
Walking briskly up the pathway, she was about to ring the doorbell when the front door opened and Emma’s parents came out. “We’ll be back late – try to be home before we are,” her mother called back into the house as they walked to the car.
“I will – is that you Honey?”
“Yeah it’s me,” Honey said as she came in and closed the door. Emma was sitting in the front room, pulling her black high heeled suede boots on over the legs of her faded blue jeans. She also wore a black cowl necked jumper, the diamond pattern on the front revealing glimpses of her t-shirt underneath.
“Tara not here yet?”
“Give her time – you know what she’s like,” Emma said as she stood up. “Drink?”
“I’d love one,” she said as they walked into the kitchen, not seeing the grey van that pulled up outside in the rapidly dimming light.
“Cheers,” Emma said as she raised a glass, and Honey returned the greeting.
“That’s better,” she said as she sipped the beer. “So where do you fancy going tonight?”
“I don’t know – too may tweenagers in there. How about the boat?”
“That’s a possibility,” Emma said as she rubbed her finger, “let me think about it.”
“While you do that,” Honey said as she put her glass down, “I’m going to use your smallest room.” She left the kitchen and headed up the stairs, just as the doorbell rang. Emma walked quickly to it and threw it open, saying “Ready to par….”
She stepped back, the three women – if indeed they were women – following her in as one of them closed the door with her grey gloved hand…
Honey washed her hands and dried them on the towel, flushing the toilet before she walked out of the room. “Was that Tara,” she called out as she came down the stairs, but there was no reply. She could hear Emma in the front room, so she walked in and said “Was that…”
The two women turned in perfect unison and looked at Honey as she stood in the doorway, looking at Emma as she drew the curtains across the windows. Honey then turned her head back to look at the two women in front of her.
At least, she believed they were women – they certainly had the body shape, but their grey bodysuits covered their bodies from head to foot, while their grey gloves and trainers completed the outfit. The only part of their bodies was the face – the expressionless, white masked faces that looked at Honey, their heads cocked to one side.
“Oh my god,” she whispered as she saw the pistol nestled in the hand of one of them, and the large duffel bag in the hand of the other.
“Honey, for the love of God don’t try and fight them,” Emma pleaded as she stood by the window, her hands on her brown shoulder length hair. “Just do what they tell you to do.”
“Who are they,” Honey said as she stood back, only to feel a small metal disc press against her back. Slowly turning, she saw another woman, dressed in exactly the same way, look at her with her white face before she used her hand to indicate Honey should go into the room.
“Look,” Honey said as she raised her hands, “Just tell us what you want, and we’ll tell you where it is.”
“They won’t do that,” Emma said tearfully, “they won’t say anything to you.”
“What on earth makes you think that, Emma,” Honey said as she looked at her friend.
“Because I’ve heard of them – they’re the China Doll Gang.”
Honey slowly looked at the three women, as they nodded their heads twice. The one with the duffel bag then put it on the white leather couch, opening it to produce several large coils of brown rope.
“You’re going to tie us up, aren’t you,” Emma said, the Doll in front of her nodding once again before she indicated that Emma should stand in front of Honey.
“OH god – nothing like this has happened to me before,” Honey said as one of the Dolls stood to the side of them, her head tilted to one side as the other two unravelled the longest length of rope Honey had ever seen, doubling it over and making a small loop in the centre.
“What are they doing,” Honey asked quietly as they stood behind the two girls and draped the rope over their shoulders, the small loop placed at the base of their necks.
“I think we’re about to find out,” Emma whispered as she felt the rope wind down her arms, the Doll pulling them behind her as she did so. She could see the same thing happening to Honey, as their arms were forced behind their backs and bound in a box tie, the rope then going through the loop as their forearms were forced up their backs.
“Fuck, that’s tight,” Honey said as the Doll behind Emma looked at her, her head to the side.
“It looks it,” Emma said as the Dolls then wrapped the rope around their upper arms and chest, creating a rope harness on both girls that held their arms firmly in place, as well as forced their chests out.
“You don’t think they’re…”
The Doll to her side looked at both the captives, and then shook her head slowly, before motioning to Emma.
“You want me to take you upstairs?”
The Doll nodded and motioned with the gun in her hand, Emma looking back at Honey before she was marched out of the room. The two Dolls with Honey then pointed to the floor.
“You want me to sit down,” Honey said as she looked at them, seeing them both nod before she sat on the floor. She watched as one of the Dolls took a second length of rope and tied her legs tightly together below her knees, making sure the rope went between her legs, and then fed it down, using the remaining lengths to secure her ankles tightly together.
“Now what,” Honey said as she twisted her legs round. In answer, one of the Dolls reached into the bag and took out two items – a square of folded cotton, and a brown bandana, rolled and with a knot tied in the middle.
“Stupid question,” Honey said, but she knew not to argue, and she opened her mouth, allowing the Doll to push the cloth in and then pull the cotton know between her teeth, securing the band around her head.
She watched as they began to search the front room, but before they could get very far the front doorbell rang.
In the master bedroom, Emma looked at the Doll with her, a gloved finger against the mouth of the mask as she pointed the gun directly at her head.
Downstairs, the two Dolls looked at each other, and then one stood by the doorway, a gun pointing at Honey as the other went to open the door.
“Hi Em, sorry I’m – eeek!”
Honey groaned as she heard her friend Tara dragged into the house, the front door closing as the second Doll walked out. “What’s with the suits and the masks,” she heard Tara say making her call out “Tsaarbrreeeeddeet.”
“Oh… OH…. Oh my god, that’s tight,” she heard Tara say, before the two Dolls escorted her into the front room. Tara was wearing a long sleeved black cotton top with a ruffed front, black chinos with a metal studded waistband, and knee length patent black leather boots with a three inch heel.
“OH shit – this is a real robbery, isn’t it,” she said as she looked at Honey, sitting on the floor and struggling in the ropes. The Dolls had already bound her arms and chest – within five minutes of the door bell ringing – so that the brown rope sat around and between her breasts.
One of the Dolls indicated to Tara to sit next to her friend, and as the blonde haired girl sat down she said “Where’s Emma?
“Pstrsssmwhr,” Honey mumbled through her gag, watching as the Doll started to bind her friend’s legs.
Emma watched from the bed as the Doll systematically searched through every drawer, shelf and crevice of her parent’s room. She had already had to watch as they found every piece of her jewellery, and now they were helping themselves to everything her mother and father owned as well.
She was in no position to argue with them either – the Doll had folded one of her own silk scarves up and pushed it into her mouth, and then used one of her own black and white bandanas to create a knotted cleave gag, the material sitting behind her teeth.
“Plssdnttkktthm,” she said as the Doll held up a pair of pearl earrings with a sterling silver setting. The silent raider just looked at her, her head to one side, before they joined the rest of the items she had found into the velvet sack, Emma starting to cry at what was happening.
Eventually, the Doll turned and looked at Emma, before she picked up the extra length of rope she had brought up. The nineteen year old looked at her as the Doll walked to the side of the bed, and rolled Emma away from her onto her side, the rope around her knees tightening as her ankles were pulled back and tied to her chest ropes.
The Doll checked all the ropes, Emma’s fingers waving uselessly from her hands, and then walked out of the room, leaving her alone with only the bedside lamp illuminating the room.
Walking down the stairs, the Doll went into the front room and looked at Honey and Tara. Honey’s jerkin had opened slightly, but only as much as the ropes would allow, while Tara was twisting her legs, the rope and the leather making a loud squeaking sound as they rubbed against each other. She now had a red bandana tied into her mouth, the knot visible between her lips.
The other two Dolls looked at the new arrival, before they moved the two captives so that they were lying on their sides, facing each other as the Dolls bound their ankles to their chest harnesses as well.
The three women then left a sheet of paper on the coffee table, and left as quietly as they had arrived, Emma and Honey looking at each other as the only sound was the street traffic outside, and the squeaks as they moved around.
“Swththdweddnw,” Tara said as she looked at Honey. Her friend thought for a moment, before she said “Ltmmsssurhnds.”
Tara nodded and rolled over onto her other side, as Honey looked at the way her wrists were tied to her forearms. The rope had the most intricate of knots, and she could see no way of untying them with her mouth the way it was.
“Whtrudng,” Tara said as she felt Honey’s lips against her fingers, looking over her shoulder to see her friend nudging her gagged mouth against her fingers.
Tara looked at Honey, and then nodded, as she tried to ease one of her fingers under the cotton band tied tightly around Honey’s head.
In her parent’s bedroom, Emma was rolling from side to side, trying desperately to find some sort of slack in the ropes holding her fast. The sweat was pouring down her face, and she could feel the dampness in the cotton scarf against her lips. Her mouth felt dry, and she desperately wanted to be somewhere else.
Eventually, she lay on her side, panting through the gag as her eye fell on the thin metal blade of a nail file on the bedside table…
“MHmmmdddyssss oh God that’s better,” Honey finally said as Tara managed to ease the bandana from her mouth, and she spat out the folded cloth from her mouth. Tara then rolled onto her back, staying as still as she could while Honey used her teeth to pull the knotted scarf from her mouth, and she pushed the cloth from her mouth.
“How… How long did that take,” she said as she looked at Honey. The young girl looked at the clock on the wall.
“Too… Too long – it’s ten o’clock already,” Honey said as she looked at Tara. “Look, there’s no way I can get those knots untied – but my mobile is in my bag, in the kitchen.”
“Too far,” Tara said, “my bag is outside. With any luck, they won’t have found it. But I can’t get to it like this – do you think you can at least release my ankles from my chest?”
She rolled onto her other side, Honey looking at the knots before she wriggled down and started to pick at the one at her ankles with her teeth. It took another twenty minutes, but eventually Tara stretched her legs out and got herself into a seated position.
“Wait there,” she said to Honey, as she wriggled into the hallway on her bottom her leather boots squeaking and the rope hitting the hard wooden floor. She could see her large black handbag against the wall, and moved towards it, turning herself round and tipping the contents onto the floor.
She looked up the stairs to see Emma sitting on the top stair, her bound ankles tow steps down.
“Hopefully, the police,” Tara said as she found her phone, pressed the button on the side and then pressed on the screen.
“Hello? Police please – there’s been a robbery, and all three of us are tied up.”
It was after midnight by the time the police left, and the three friends were sat round the kitchen table, Emma’s parents upstairs surveying the damage.
“That was not an experience I want to go through again,” Tara said as she rubbed her wrists.
“Tell me about it,” Emma said quietly.
“That note they left,” Honey said quietly, “what was written on it?”
“Do you really want to know?”
The other two girls nodded as Emma sipped her drink. “It said Thank you for your co-operation. The China Doll Gang.”
“That was it?”
“That was it,” Emma said to Tara, as they looked into their mugs. “Not much for taking all our valuables, was it?”
“No – but we’re unharmed. We can be grateful for that at least.”
Emma looked at Honey, and then nodded in agreement as they thought about the night…