Coffee Morning







“I have to admit, this is a nice neighbourhood,” the taller of the two men said as they looked out through the windscreen of the transit van.


“Indeed – I feel this is going to be a very pleasant morning,” the smaller of the two men said, “So shall we make a move?”


“Indeed – I think it is the right thing to do…”



Gloria smiled as she poured the coffee from her machine into the china pot, and then placed it on the tray along with the china cups, the sugar bowl, and the cream jug.  Carefully, she picked up the tray and carried it through to the front room, hearing the slight swish from her legs as they rubbed together, the leather pants moving as if they were a second skin.


The lower half of her black trousers were tucked into a pair of knee length leather boots, while on her upper body she was wearing a long sleeved smock top with a black and white leopard skin print.  Her long dark hair was but into a bob that framed her face, her smile genuine as she laid the tray down on the coffee table.


“Ah good – they’re here,” she said as she heard the ring of the door bell, and she walked quickly to the front door, opening it as she said “come in, I’ve…”


“Very kind of you to invite us,” the taller of the two masked men said as they walked in.  They were dressed identically – black leather jackets over sweaters, pants, shoes, gloves – and the black balaclava that covered their faces, leaving only their eyes and mouth visible.  Gloria stared at them, wondering who they were, especially given the disparity in height between them.


And then she noticed the gun in the hand of the taller of the two gentlemen, and she whispered “oh no…”


“Oh yes – and we apologise for the shock this situation is doubtless causing you to experience,” the tall masked man said.  “Perhaps introductions will help – I am Mister Tall, and this is my associate Mister Small.  May I assume you are Gloria Stenden, the owner of this house?”


“Yes – but who…”


“Ah, explanations in good time,” Mister Tall said with a smile, as he sniffed.  “Fresh coffee – are you expecting guests?”


“Yes, but – oh no, you’re the Gentlemen Robbers?”


“Our reputation precedes us yet again,” Mister Small said with a smile as he took Gloria’s arm.  “Please, have a seat, and if you would be so good as to raise your legs and put your feet on the coffee table, for a moment, we will explain what is going to happen.”


“What?  Oh, of course,” Gloria said as she sat and placed her feet where Mister Small had asked, watching as he opened the bag he was carrying, removed a length of white cord and doubled it over, then crossed her ankles before he wrapped the rope around them and started to bind them together.


“As I was saying,” Mister Tall continued as his partner worked, “we are indeed the Gentlemen Robbers, and as such we are going to rob you.  But it need not be an unpleasant experience, for you or your soon to arrive guests.  So we will ensure moving from your seat is a little more difficult, and then you may enjoy your coffee and – oh dear, are the cakes still in the kitchen?”


As Gloria nodded, Mister Tall said “excuse me a moment” and left, as Mister Small took the rope between her legs and pulled it tighter, then secured the ends behind them.  He then produced a second length of rope, and proceeded to bind Gloria’s legs together below her knees, the rope rubbing lightly on the leather as he did so.


“I should be terrified – but I’m not.  Why?”


“You recognise we mean you no harm or ill will?”  As he spoke, Mister Small’s gloved hands stroked her legs as he took the rope between them, making the binding even tighter before he secured the ends as well.


As he did this, Mister Tall brought in a cake stand, and placed it next to the jug as the doorbell rang.  “Please, excuse me once more, and I will bring your first guest in,” he said as he left the room.


“I hope you have the coffee ready, Glo…  You’re not Gloria.”


“Indeed I am not – please, come this way, and you will see her.  I must ask you to remain calm, and not try to raise the alarm.


Gloria sighed as she saw her friend Audrey come into the front room, her eyes wide behind her large glasses.  Audrey had short cut strawberry blonde hair, and was wearing a black top with elbow length sleeves, a white abstract pattern printed on it, and a black lace waistcoat.  Her black satin cargo pants went down to cover the top of her black ankle boots.


“Gloria – are you being robbed?”


“Right now, she is about to serve you some coffee,” the tall masked man with Gloria said.  “May I know your name?”




“Well, Audrey, if you will sit down, my friend Mister Small will ensure your legs are as tightly and comfortably secured as Gloria has hers, and then you may proceed with coffee and chat.”


“Very polite, isn’t he?”


“We aim to be,” Mister Small said as Audrey sat down, putting her feet on the coffee able and crossing her ankles while he started to bind them together, while at the same time Gloria slowly lowered her own legs.  Mister Tall had been right – it was tight, but comfortable, as she picked up the coffee pot and started to pour the brown liquid into a cup.


“You’re very calm about all this, Audrey,” she said as Mister Small finished securing her friend’s ankles, and then started to bind her legs together below her knees.


“Well, it’s not like this is the first time this has happened to me,” Audrey said as she watched the masked man at work, “and they are been very polite about it.  So these are the Gentlemen Robbers?”


“Yeah – but when did it happen to you before?”


“Oh it was when I was ten years old – my mother and I were robbed at home.  We were both wearing those long corduroy dresses that were the fashion at the time – brown ones, if I remember correctly, over roll neck sweaters, and we both had brown leather boots on.”


 “Would it be impolite to ask what happened,” Mister Small said as he secured the second length of rope, Audrey twisting her legs round before she lowered them and accepted the coffee cup from Gloria.


“No – the men made us go up to my mother’s bedroom, and then they tied our wrists together in front of us, and rope round our arms and bodies.  We then had to lie next to each other, and my mother kept talking to me while they secured our ankles and then tied rope round our legs over the skirts of our dresses.  They then then put brown sticking plaster over our mouths, and left us on the bed while they robbed us.”


“What happened then,” Gloria said as Audrey took a sip from her cup.


“I fell asleep, until my father came home.  I just felt safe with my mother – and somehow, I have that same sense I am going to be safe with this.  Although I suspect before these young gentlemen leave, our hands may be a little more secure.”


Gloria nodded as Mister Small walked to the door.  “I will ensure the security systems are disabled,” he said as Audrey looked at Mister Tall.


“Have a cake, Audrey?”


“Thank you – where is Simone anyway?”


The doorbell made them both look as Mister Tall said “excuse me once again” and left the room.


“Good morning – you must be Simone.  Gloria and Audrey are in the front room – please, come through and join them.”


“What do you mean, they are in the – oh dear lord this is a robbery isn’t it?”


“It is, Simone,” Gloria said as she looked at the latest arrival, “but we are having coffee, so please be seated.  You’re going to have your legs secured as well, I suspect."


Simone slowly nodded as she looked at her friends.  She was wearing a light pink hooded top, with a matching scarf wrapped loosely round her neck, grey pants and black mid-calf leather boots.  As she sat, she put her hand through her greying black hair, and said “well, when in Rome…”


“An excellent attitude to have for the moment Simone – if you would be so good as to cross your ankles and raise your feet onto the coffee table for a few moments, I will ensure you are as secure as Gloria and Audrey.”


“Well, I cannot fault the way he talks,” Simone said as she watched Mister Tall take a length of cord from the bag, “I may as well have some coffee then.”


“Audrey was telling me about the time she and her mother were robbed – what, mid-seventies?”


“Yes, that’s right,” Audrey said as Gloria passed a cup of coffee to Simone, while Mister Tall pulled the rope round her ankles, “has this ever happened to you?”


“It has – although it wasn’t quite as convivial an atmosphere,” Simone said as she sipped her coffee, watching as the masked man wound the rope around and between her ankles.


“What happened to you?”


“Have you heard of the China Doll Gang?”


“I have indeed,” Audrey said quietly, “was that what happened when Charles was on that business trip?”


“It was – I was doing my workout when this gloved hand went over my mouth, and I saw them.”


“Is it true they never speak,” Gloria whispered as she handed Simone a cake.


“Well, it was for me – and the way they look, all in grey with those masks, it just added to the feeling of helplessness.  I was in my grey leotard with my lime green body stocking under it – the one I used to wear for those Pilates classes you got me to go to.”


“I know the one – so what did they do,” Gloria said as Mister Tall went on to binding Simone’s legs below her knees.


Well, they had the longest rope I had ever seen – they draped it over my shoulders, and then started to wind it round them as they pulled them back.  By the time they had finished, my arms were so secured I could not move them at all.”


“I understand they are very skilled,” Mister Tall said with a smile as he took the rope between Simone’s legs.


“Well, they were fast.  They then made me lie on the floor, bound my ankles and legs, pulled my ankles back and tied them to my arms, and finally put a cloth in my mouth.  They just left me there for the cleaner to find the next morning.”


“Well, be assured, although we will be leaving all three of you as secured, and as silenced, it will note for a while,” Mister Tall said as he stood up and Simone saw a smaller masked man come in.


“The security system is disabled – the safe awaits your attention Mister Tall.”

“Excellent – if you do not mind keeping these fine ladies company while I am at work?”


“Of course not,” Mister Small said with a smile as he sat down, “so what is the topic of conversation?”


“Past encounters with compatriots and predecessors of our good selves.”


“Indeed?  Tell me more?”





It was certainly the strangest hour the three friends has spent for some time, before Mister Small said “with some regret, ladies, the time has come to ensure you cannot raise the alarm upon our departure.  If you would leave your cups on the coffee table, and then each of you hand me your mobile phones and handbags?”


“Well, there goes that idea,” Simone said with a smile as she handed her handbag over, Audrey doing the same as Gloria handed her mobile phone over.


“I thank you ladies,” Mister Small said as he stood up and deposited the handbags on the other side of the room, before looking in his bag and taking out more lengths of white rope.  “Simone, let us start with you.  Please lean slightly forward, and put your hands behind your back.”


“And what are you going to do to make sure we are entertained when you leave us helpless,” Audrey said, Gloria raising an eyebrow as Simone shook her head.  She felt the masked man crossing her wrists behind her back, and then the rope on her barre wrists as he secured them in the same way as her ankles.


“Well, I could not help but notice your excellent choice of musicals on CD,” Mister Small said as he wound the rope around and between Simone’s wrists, and then tied the ends together out of reach of her long fingers, “if you will select something you all wish to listen to, then I will with great pleasure ensure that is what you listen to.”


“What do you think – Help,” Gloria said as Mister Small took a longer length of rope, doubling it over before he wrapped it round Simone’s arms and body and forced them into her sides.


“You do know how old I am young man?”


“Be assured, beyond wishing to make sure you cannot raise the alarm or move your arms, I have no other wish for doing this,” Mister Small said with a smile as he took the rope around her body above her chest, the bands tightening before he secured the ropes behind her back.






“Well, I’m not going to apologise,” Simone said as she tried to move, Mister Small taking two more lengths of rope from the bag as he said “if you would be so kind, Audrey?”


“Why not – it could be interesting,” the blonde said as she put her hands behind her back.  “Seriously though Gloria – what about the Les Mis concert version?”


“Ah, the one with Michael Ball as Javert?  An excellent choice,” Mister Tall said as he came in, Mister Small securing Audrey’s wrists together before he began to wind the rope round her arms and upper body.  “My thanks for your cooperation, Gloria – be assured, there is a minimum of mess in the upper rooms.”


“A minimum of mess?”


“Yes – sadly some of your papers are on the floor, but I have tidied them as best I could.  How are we doing Mister Small?”


“I will be finished momentarily,” the smaller of the two men said as he pulled the ropes tighter round Audrey’s body, Mister Tall nodding as he took more ropes from the bag and walked behind Gloria.


“If you would be so kind?”


“I have a choice,” Gloria laughed as she leaned forward and put her hands behind her back, watching Audrey and Simone as Mister Small secured the last rope, and then collected the coffee cups on the tray.


“Is my china on the list as well?”


“Oh no – but we need to ensure it is safely placed in the dishwasher and the program started.”


“You’re joking!”


“Oh no – Mister Small is very particular about making sure things are properly dealt with,” Mister Tall said as he pulled the rope between Gloria’s wrists, the captive woman flexing her fingers as Mister Small picked up the tray and carried it out of the room.


“Well, I never imagined being robbed would be like this – oh.”  Gloria let out a gasp as the rope was pulled tightly round her body, below her chest, and then taken round above her chest as her top was stretched over her breasts.


“Yeah – strange feeling isn’t it,” Simone said, “but it’s not as bad as with those women – actually, don’t think me strange, but it feels – nice?”


“So I’m not the only one?”


Simone shook her head as she looked at Audrey, and Gloria had to admit – she wasn’t going to be able to move, but her legs felt fine, and it did feel good like this.


“There now,” Mister Tall said as she heard the dishwasher start.  “The time has come to ensure you all are unable to raise the alarm – even while listening to the excellent choice in music.”  Going back to the bag, he took out a clear plastic bag and removed three silk squares, all black, folding them into pads as he said “one of these will go into your mouth – it will feel strange at first, but that will pass.  Just sit still, and you’ll all be safe and quiet.”


“Thank you.”


“For what,” Mister Tall said as he looked at Gloria.


“For – being you, I guess.”


“IT is my pleasure – now please, open your mouth.”


Gloria nodded as she felt the soft touch of the material on her tongue, Mister Tall gently pushing the folded scarf in as she closed her lips over it, then watched as both Audrey and Simone received the same treatment.  The masked man then took a wide roll of white tape from the bag, tore a long strip off, and smoothed it onto her mouth, the material sticking to the contours of her mouth and chin as he did so.


She watched as he did the same to Audrey, the shape of her lips visible underneath, and then to Simone as Mister Small came into the room, wiping down the table with a cloth before he picked up the bag.


“I think our work is concluded – ah, one thing.”  Putting the bag down, he went to the CD player and put a disk in, the women watching as Mister Tall nodded.


“Indeed – the Gentlemen Robbers bid you adieu, ladies,” he said as Mister Small picked up the bag again, “may we never meet again.”


The three women watched as they left the house, the front door closing as the music started to play.


“Look down, look down
Don't look 'me in the eye
Look down, look down
You're here until you die


“The sun is strong
It's hot as hell below

Look down, look down
there's twenty years to go.


“I've done no wrong
Sweet Jesus, here my prayer


“Look down, look down
Sweet Jesus doesn't care


“I know she'll wait
I know that she'll be true


“Look down, look down
They've all forgotten you


“When I get free
You won't see me
'Ere for dust


“Look down, look down
Don't look 'me in the eye.


“How long, O Lord
Before you let me die?


“Look down, look down
You'll always be a slave
Look down, look down
You're standing in your grave.”


“Chldbewhrsss,” Gloria said, the other two nodding as they twisted in their seats, failing to find any give in the ropes as the music continued.







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