The Doll Collector
As Mandy looked at herself in the mirror, she smiled at the thought of what the evening would bring. The forty two year old was expecting an old friend for dinner, and hoped that she was going to bring the one item she had been looking for for years, the item that would make her collection complete.
Every girl has to have a hobby, even managers if successful investment funds, and for Mandy that hobby was collecting dolls – not porcelain ones, but...
Well, she was not afraid to admit it. She collected Barbie dolls – still in their packaging, and with the original clothing. And if Angie’s information was correct, she had tracked down a 1972 model which was amongst the rarest of the lot.
The older woman had short red-brown hair, cut and pulled back from her face, and was wearing a sleeveless halter neck top. It was black with a white floral print on it, and had white trim with a wrap round belt. The top hung over her blue jeans, the legs of which were tucked into a pair of long black socks. She had earlier been wearing a pair of knee length black suede boots, but had taken them off for the night.
“Dinner is cooking, time for me to go and get ready,” she said with a smile as she started to walk up the stairs – and then heard the sound of someone knocking on the front door.
“Can’t be Angie, it’s too early,” she thought to herself as she came back down and walked to the front door, opening it as she said “Yes, can I...”
As she stared at the people waiting outside, she walked slowly backwards, wondering what was going on as she looked at the woman in the growing twilight. She was dressed head to toe in grey – literally head to toe, the form fitting bodysuit covering her head as well, while she could see the soft grey gloves on her hands, and the grey short boots.
In fact, the only things about her that were not grey were the black handgun she was pointing towards Mandy, and the white featureless mask that covered her face, the only openings the ones at her eyes, and they were too thin for her to see anything of the armed intruders eyes.
“Wha... What’s going on,” she whispered, but the armed woman said nothing, instead cocking her head to one side as Mandy saw two more identically dressed women walk in behind her. One of them was carrying a large canvas holdall, the other a second handgun.
The first woman indicated the door to the front room of Mandy’s house, and as she walked in she wondered what was going on here. The masked woman carrying the bag placed it on the floor, and then stood with her arms to her sides, cocking her head as she looked at Mandy.
“You... You want me to stand like that?”
As the white faced woman nodded, Mandy gulped and stood upright, watching as the intruder opened the bag and took out a long, long length of brown rope. With terrifying speed, she doubled it and tied a knot in the middle, leaving a small loop as she walked behind Mandy. She could feel the knot at the back of her neck as the rope was draped over her shoulders.
“If you tell me what you want, I’ll gladly show you where it is...”
She looked at the other two, but they just stood still, heads cocked slightly to one side as she felt the woman behind her start to wind the two lengths of rope around her arms in spirals. As she did this, she pulled Mandy’s arms behind her, and within five minutes her arms were secured together behind her back, the ropes going around and between her wrists before they were fed through the loop at the base of her neck and pulled back down, raising her bounds wrists slightly.
Five minutes more, and the ropes were wrapped around her arms and upper body, framing her chest as her upper arms were forced tightly into her sides, the ropes rubbing on her bare flesh as she tried to move.
As she looked, the woman then took a piece of cloth from the bag, and rolled it into a wad. She then looked at Mandy, and pointed to the white lips on her own mask.
“Oh god,” Mandy whispered, “please, no...”
But the woman just nodded as she held the cloth in front of Mandy’s mouth. As she opened wide, the cloth was pushed in, pressing down her tongue as the edges stuck out from between her lips.
That was when she heard the knock on the front door...
Angie made her way along the street, smiling to herself as she looked round. Mandy was going to be pleased with what she had found, and that made her happy.
The Asian woman wore a white leather jacket over a taupe wool dress, the sleeves of her jacket covering her bare arms under the capped sleeves, and the cowled neck allowing the cool air around her throat. The dress came to her knees, her lower legs nestled in a matching pair of high heeled crumpled leather boots.
Walking up to Mandy’s door, she knocked and turned round, looking at the people walking by before she heard the door open.
“Hey Mandy,” she said as she turned round, “I got...”
She stared at the grey clad woman in front of her, the white featureless face staring blankly back as the head looked up and down, and then opened the door wide, all without saying a word. For a moment, Angie thought of turning and running, but the small gun pointing at her was proving most persuasive.
There was also another question in her mind – where was Mandy? As she stepped over the threshold, she saw another identically dressed woman step out of the front room, her arm extended as she indicated she should walk in.
Slowly, Angie walked in, gasping as she saw Mandy lying on her side on the long couch. She could see the ropes around her arms and upper body, as well as holding her legs together below her knees while a third woman in grey was taking brown rope down her legs and using it to secure her ankles together. She could also see the edges of the rolled up cloth that had been stuffed into her mouth, as Mandy said “Hmggddmsreeeengii...”
As Angie let her bag slip off her shoulder, it landed on the floor with a thud, as she stood staring at her friend. She wasn’t even aware until it was too late of the rope being draped over her own shoulders, and then wound tightly down her arms as they were pulled behind her back.
It was only as her own arms were secured together that she whispered “oh god – do you know who these people are?”
As she watched Mandy shake her head, she whispered “the China Doll Gang.”
Mandy’s eyes shot open as she remembered the stories she had heard, while Mandy felt the ropes pulling her arms tightly into her sides, the bands of rope forcing her chest up and put as the wool stretched, revealing between the knits and purls a glimpse of her white bra.
As she tried to move, Angie realised there was little if any chance to move round, before the grey clad Doll indicated she should sit on the ground in front of Mandy. It was difficult, but she managed to sit herself down, watching as the third doll doubled over another length of rope, and wrapped it around her legs below her knees.
She saw the two armed Dolls, one of them nodding to the other before she walked out of the room and made her way upstairs. Angie felt the rope forcing her knees together as it was wrapped around and between her legs, and then taken down and used to secure her ankles together.
The final Doll placed her gun on the low table, and then drew a thin blue chiffon scarf from the bag. She walked over to Mandy, and pulled the scarf between her lips, keeping the rolled up cloth in place as it was tied tightly round her head.
For Angie’s part, she watched the Doll roll a red bandana into a band and tie a knot in the middle, before she eased the cotton wad between her own lips, settling in behind her teeth and then pulling the ends tightly round her head. She made sure the band sat under Angie’s hoop earrings, and moved her long brown hair out of the way as he secured the ends together at the base of her neck.
The Doll then stood at the doorway, nodding as the other one left the room and walked to where Mandy’s office was located – and the safe which Mandy knew had the takings for the month inside...
It was the sound of a key turning in the lock that made both Mandy and Angie look at the masked Doll. The silent woman merely took the gun from the table, and put a gloved finger to her own porcelain lips before standing by the doorway.
“Mum,” a young female voice called out, “are you in?”
Both Mandy and Angie tried to move as they heard the door close, and then the footsteps. They stopped for a moment, and then came closer as they looked at the doorway.
“Are you in... “
“RNNNNN,” Mandy screamed at the twenty year old young woman standing in the doorway. She had shoulder length light brown hair, and was wearing a red sweater with beige shoulder pads, black leggings and knee length tan leather boots with a Doc Marten style sole and heel.
Before the young girl could move, she felt the gloved hand over her mouth, and saw from the corner of her eye the gun pointing at her. Mandy groaned as she watched her daughter Celia been frog marched backwards out of the room, and towards the staircase.
At the base of the stairs, Celia stared as a woman in grey, save for the white mask covering her face, came down and looked at her. The figure then beckoned with her finger as the gloved hand was removed from her mouth.
“Did you do that to my mother,” she whispered, watching as the figure slowly nodded, and then gestured again. Knowing she had no choice, Celia slowly walked up, the figure walking backwards in front of her until they reached the landing.
She was shocked to see a second, identically clad figure there, looking at her with her head cocked to one side before she opened the door to the spare bedroom. Celia felt the gentle pressure against her back as she was pushed in, and then made to stand with her arms by her sides, feeling the rope around her neck and in front of her body.
“Aren’t you going to speak,” Celia said, but the woman in front of her merely shook her head, as she felt the woman behind her pull her arms back, using the rope as it was wound down her arms to do so.
She then saw the first woman roll a black silk scarf into a band, and tie a knot in the middle, the scarf taut in her hands as she pressed the silk knot against her lips. Celia knew what she intended, as she slowly opened her mouth, tasting the faint hint of perfume on her tongue as she was gagged...
Mandy and Angie watched from the door as the two Dolls came down the stairs, one of them carrying a bag which jangled as it was placed in the larger canvas one.
The Doll then looked in Angie’s large bag, smiling as she took out the packaged Barbie doll. She looked at the package, and then at Mandy, before she carefully placed the box on top of a bureau. She then picked up the canvas bag, and looked at the two masked companions before they left without a word.
As they both heard the door close, Mandy wriggled round, getting herself into a seated position as Angie struggled on the floor, trying separately to find a way to free herself. She had no joy, however, instead watching as Mandy managed to get to her feet and started to jump towards the open doorway.
Mandy braced herself against the wall, before she hoped to the staircase and sat down, using her feet to push herself up the stairs one at a time. The one thing on her mind now was Celia, and what they had done to her...
As she reached the top of the stairs, she paused to listen, the faint moans and leather squeaks drawing her attention to the spare room. As she pushed herself along the ground, and backed into the room, she heard “Mmmmwhthppndd? Hwwrtheee?”
“Chnneedllls,” she mumbled as she turned herself round, and saw the hogtied Celia lying on the bed, the rope holding her arms and legs tightly in place.
Mandy nodded as she pushed herself over and onto the bed, trying to wipe her daughter’s cheeks with the fingers of one hand, hoping her husband would be home soon...