What If…  Betty and Veronica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What If…  Stories where characters and groups find themselves in places they have no right to be in.  Today, we ask the question – What If a group of silent home invaders visited a small town called Riverdale…

 

How did it begin?  Well, the gang were hanging out in Pop’s Chok’lit Shoppe that afternoon before Veronica and I got there.  It was a nice early spring day – school was out, and we were spending the days just hanging round doing not a lot – well, in my case, dreaming of a certain redhead, but then so was Ronnie…

 

I had my blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, and was wearing a burnt umber coloured t-shirt and blue jeans, patterned in two different colours of blue swirls.  A light brown belt round my waist, and brown shoes, and I was happy.  Not a care in the world, really – and then I saw Veronica coming the other way.

 

Her black hair was flicked up at the back, and her white top had a laced front, as well as a little black bow.  She was wearing short denim shorts, with a brown belt, and red knee length leather boots, and she had that half, smirk, half happy smile on her face that was her look when we met.

 

“Hey Betty,” she said, “nice jeans.”

 

“Like your shorts – let me guess, designer cut?”

 

Ronnie at least had the taste to nod in agreement, before we both walked in.  Most of the gang were there – Moose was lodged in a booth with his girlfriend Midge on the other side, talking quietly over what looked like some summer school assignment.  Dilton was sitting at the counter, scribbling on some paper, while Reggie was trying to chat up Wendy Wetherbee – more fool him.

 

I could also see Check and Nancy sharing a soda, and then there was Jughead – sitting at the counter, probably on his third or fourth hamburger of the day.  Ethel was sitting looking at him, her chin in her hand – that girl had it bad…

 

“There he is,” Veronica said as we both saw him sitting alone – Archie Andrews, the focus of our mutual attraction and rivalry.  Sipping on a soda, he didn’t really notice us until I coughed.

 

“Oh – hi girls,” he said with a smile, “what brings you here?”

 

“Did you forget you were meeting me to talk about the Under The Sea dance,” I said, and then I saw Veronica look at me.

 

“Meeting you - Archie was supposed to meet ME to look at my new Spring outfits!”

 

We both turned and looked at him, his face getting as red as his hair, before he said “well…  You see…”

 

“Huh.  Betty, want to come round tonight – girls’ night in, compare new outfits that others in the vicinity may NEVER get to see?”

 

“Sounds good” I said as we both turned and walked out – not knowing exactly was in store for us later…

 

 

 

It would have been about seven thirty when I walked up the drive to Ronnie’s house – only to see her parents coming out and walking to their car, dressed for the theatre by the look of things.

 

“She’s inside,” her father said as he looked back, “try not to get into too much trouble.”

 

“Who, me,” I said as I put my hand on my chest.  I was wearing my new outfit - a blue bolero jacket over a black crop top with a gold fern pattern, pink hot pants, and mid-calf black suede boots with white buttons on the front.

 

“No boys – that’s what she’s been told,” he said as he got into the car and they drove off.  I shrugged my shoulders and went in, closing the door and calling out “Ronnie?”

 

“Be down in a minute,” she called back, so I made my way into the main room and sat down – then stood up again as Veronica came in.  She was wearing a red backless dress, with a white band at her upper arm and the tope of the dress, and over the knee black leather boots, a wide belt hanging loosely round her waist.  Large red earrings completed the outfit, as she posed and said “not bad, right?”

 

“You know Reggie would come right for you wearing that?”

 

“Yeah – al the boys would, except Archie,” she said with a sigh.  “So – want to grab some sodas and play some records?”

 

“Sounds good,” I said as we went into the kitchen – not hearing the sound or seeing the lights outside…

 

 

 

“Yeah, I got the latest from them at the record shop today,” Veronica said as we came back into the room, I can…”

 

We both stopped and looked at the three people who had somehow got into the house. They were women – we could tell that much from the tight fit of the clothing – but it was the clothing that caught my eye.  All three were dressed in head to toe, form sitting, grey catsuits – even their gloves and the short boots they were wearing were grey.  The only thing about them was not grey was the masks over their faces – white, like those we use in drama workshops.

 

“Who are you?  GET OUT OF MY HOUSE,” Veronica shouted out – and then one of the women produced a pistol and aimed it directly at us, all three of them cocking their heads to the side as they did so.

 

“Look,” I said quietly, “we’re not going to stop you.  What do you want?”  I waited for them to reply, but they didn’t say a word – the one holding the gun looking at us as another one opened a large canvas bag that was on the floor, and took out two skeins of brown rope.  She handed one to the third woman, both of us watching as they unravelled them to reveal a very, very long length of rope, doubled over and with a small loop in the middle.

 

“Are you robbing us?”

 

The armed woman smiled, and then she stood with her arms to her sides, watching us the whole time.

 

“You…  You want us to stand with our arms by our sides?”

 

She nodded in reply to my question, and then I whispered to veronica “I don’t think we have a choice, do you?”

 

“With that gun in her hand?  Nope – why do we always end up in these situations?”

 

“What - tied up by armed robbers?  Isn’t this the first time?”

 

Veronica looked at me, and then said “yeah” as the other two masked women walked behind us, and pi felt the rope at the back of my neck as she draped the ends over my shoulders, the rope falling to the floor.  I glanced over and looked at Veronica, the look in her eyes questioning and fearful, before gloved hands reached round and started to wind the rope down my arms in a spiral – pulling them behind me as they did so.

 

“Say something, please,” Ronnie whispered as I looked over, and saw the ropes digging into her bare arms as her binder folded her forearms and tied them together with the rope.  The same thing was happening to me, but at least my jacket was protecting my arms – and then I felt them being pulled up behind me.

 

Looking over I saw the masked woman had fed the ropes through the loop at the back of Veronica’s neck and pulled them down again, ringing her arms up as she secured them even more tightly together.  I could see how this was making my jacket open up – and then the gloved hands started to take the remaining ropes around my upper body, forcing my arms against my sides and framing my chest.

 

Now I could feel them rubbing on my chest and my belly- an di realized just how tight they were, as I felt the abrasions.  Looking over, I saw Veronica was now staring straight ahead as he own chest was encircled in the brown rope, her arms fixed against her body, I could see the tightness of the bands in the way they sunk into her bare arms – never mind how they felt on me, as whoever this woman was worked behind me.

 

One length of rope – and they had secured my upper body so tightly all I could do was twist round.

 

The armed woman then pointed to both of us, and to the floor.

 

“You want us to sit down,” Veronica said between gasps, and as the woman nodded her two ‘friends” went back to the bag and took out two more lengths of rope.  As we walked over and slowly sat ourselves down, I had to stop myself from gasping as well.

 

“what’s wrong Betty – the ropes too tight,” Ronnie said as she looked at me, with genuine concern.

 

“I don’t know – yeah, they’re so tight I can barely move,” I whispered back as the two masked women doubled the new ropes over, and sat either side of us.  “But…”

 

“Yeah?”

 

I watched as the woman wrapped the rope round my legs, above my knees, and took the ends through the loop before she pulled it back,  “but it’s more than that, the way it’s making me feel…”

 

“As if Archie or the boys would come to the rescue?”

 

I looked over as Veronica nodded slowly.  “I’ve got the same feelings,” she said quietly as I watched the ropes around the tops of her boots, the woman taking the length around and between before he took the rope down and started to bind her ankles together in the same way.  “I don’t know why it makes me feel this way, but it does…”

 

I bit my lower lip as I saw the rope round my own ankles, the black suede getting lighter as she pulled the bands tighter, until we were both sat there, the length of rope leading off from between our ankles.  Ronnie tried to move her legs, but all that happened was a squeaking sound as she looked at me.

 

“Well, you got anything to say now,” she mumbled as she looked at the three women – but there was still no reply, Instead, we both watched as one of them reached back into the bag and took out two large bandanas, handing one to her partner before they rolled them up before our eyes, and tied a large double knot in the middle of them.

 

“Right – so we’re not going to be able to talk in a few minutes,” Veronica said as she wriggled round, the three women shaking their heads as they walked behind us.

 

“We don’t have a choice, do we?”

 

Ronnie shook her head as we both opened our mouths, and I felt the cotton knot pressing down on my tongue as it was pushed between my teeth.  They took the band round my head lifting my ponytail out of the way before it was secured at the base of my neck.

 

Ronnie looked at me, the scarf pulling the corners of her mouth back before we were both made to lie on our sides.  I felt the tension increase on the rope at my legs as my ankles were pulled back, and I realized the ends of the rope were being used to secure my ankles to the ropes round my chest.

 

Veronica grunted as the same thing was done to her, before we watched wo of the women leave the room, the third standing and watching us with her head cocked to the side.

 

“Htththlrth,” Veronica mumbled as we tried to twist round.  I could feel the way those rubs were rubbing on me, but I looked at her and said “hdhntnhh…”

 

“Therrrhbbhnnhsss…”

 

“Hndwhchntdhafhnghbhtht.” I mumbled as I realized I at least was stuck in this position.  “Ghthnheschsshrss?”

 

“Hnthbhskht - bhthhwdhwhhussthm?”

 

Veronica had a point – they way we were tied meant our hands were by our elbows, and all I could do in effect was wriggle my fingers, much less hold a pair of scissors.  I grunted and shook my head feeling the knot in my mouth get damper and heavier, as we looked at each other, unsure if there was anything we could do.

 

Eventually, the masked woman stood up, as her two friends came back in, putting bags which clinked into the larger bag before they stood up.  As they turned the room lights off, the room became semi-dark as we both watched them silently retreating, their faces the only thing we could see hanging in the gloom until they disappeared.

 

We heard some sort of vehicle door close, and then drive off as I looked at Veronica.

 

“Shhh, whtnhh?  Whnhruhrhrhntshom?”

 

“Nthhntillht,” Veronica said as she started to twist round, her boots squeaking as they rubbed together, and then she called out in frustration.  As I looked at her, I could see the way the scarf was getting darker at the corners of her mouth – the cloth was obviously doing the same to her as it was to me.

 

“Ronnie?  Betty?  You girls in there?”

 

We looked at each other, and then shouted “HNNHHRRHRSHEEE,” wriggling round as the light went on, and we saw Archie standing there with Jughead.

 

“What the…”  He knelt by us and removed the gags from our mouth, the wet mass landing on my chest as Veronica gasped.  “Call…  Call the police,” she said, “and for the love of Pete, find some scissors!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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