Willow on Leather
“It is a beautiful evening, is it not,” the smaller of the two men said as they sat in the front of the grey transit van.
“It is indeed,” his taller friend said as he looked out of the windscreen. “I love these mid-summer evenings, so full of purpose and potential.”
“Indeed – but sadly, we must be about our business. Ready?”
The taller man nodded as he put a woollen cap over his head, and looked over. “Shall we?”
“I think we shall…”
Rachel Flint smiled as she smelt the contents of the casserole, and put it back into the oven. “Doing good, just a few more hours slow cooking,” she said to herself as she stood up, and dried her hands off. Rachel was in her early fifties, and was wearing a tight white roll neck sweater, the hem lying over an olive coloured knee length leather skirt, and her legs in a pair of knee length straight black leather boots.
“Where is that girl,” she said to herself as she walked into the dining room – and stopped, staring at the two men that were standing there. One was tall, around six foot seven, and the other a full foot shorter, but they were identically dressed – black leather jackets, pants and jumpers, dark shoes and leather gloves, and the black balaclavas which covered their heads, only allowing their eyes and mouths to be seen.
“Good evening,” the taller man said as he produced a small pistol, “would it be rude of me to ask you your name?”
“Deep breaths,” the smaller man said as he laid a small leather bag on the dining table, “relax, and tell us your name.”
“Rachel,” she finally said, “who are you?”
“Well,” the taller man said, “I am Mister Tall, and my friend here is Mister Small. As for why we are here, Rachel, I regret to say we are here to relieve you and your family of their valuables.”
“To…” Rachel stared at the two men, as she whispered “the Gentlemen Robbers?”
“Our fame precedes us once more,” Mister Small said as he pulled a chair away from the dining table. It was an old design, dark mahogany with a high back, and a willow weaved seat. “Then you will know, so long as you cooperate, no harm shall come to you.”
“So,” Mister Tall said with a smile, “please, take a seat, and we will make you comfortable.”
“But you said you were going to rob me…”
“And we will,” Mister Small said as he opened the bag, “but there is no reason why you need not be comfortable. Please, take a seat.”
Rachel nodded as she sat down, watching Mister Small as he took a length of white rope from the bag, and walked behind the chair, gently guiding her arms around the chair back before he started to bind her wrists together, taking the rope around and between her arms.
“So you’re going to leave me in this chair,” Rachel said as Mister Tall looked at the display cases.
“You are a cricketer?”
“I was, when I was younger – a good one,” she said as she shook her head, her dark hair keeping the bob it was cut in.
“So I see – be at ease, these are of no interest to me,” he said with a smile as Mister Small secured her bound wrists to the chair back, and then passed a longer length of rope around her waist, pulling her against the chair back before he started to wind it around the older woman, taking the rope between the spaces n the chair back so that she was firmly secured to that as well.
“I am going nowhere,” she said quietly, “will there be a mess?”
“Not necessarily,” Mister Tall said as he sat next to Rachel, “if you tell me where your valuables are, and the combinations to any safe. “We can be very careful if we so desire.”
“You know, I believe you can… Very well, there is a safe in the downstairs office over there, and my jewellery is in the bureau in the main bedroom. As for my daughter – I do not know.”
“This is your daughter,” Mister Small said as he tied the rope off, looking at a family portrait.”
“It’s an old picture,” Rachel said as she looked at the picture, the ten year old girl smiling in front of her parents. She twisted round, her skirt squeaking as it rubbed on the wooden seat, and sighed as she realised she was stuck there.
Mister Small knelt I front of her, taking her left ankle and putting it next to the chair leg before he used more of the rope to bind her ankle in place, and then repeating the process on the other side as Mister Tall looked in the leather bag, and took out a white scarf, rolling it into a tight band and tying a double knot in the middle.
“Thank you for your cooperation,” he said with a smile, “but now, with deep regret, we must ensure you remain silent while we are about our business. Please, open your mouth as wide as you can.”
“I guess I should say thank you,” Rachel whispered before she opened her mouth, tasting the silk as the knot pressed down on her tongue and she closed her lips over the band, Mister Tall tying it tightly round her head as the ends hung down her back.
“Remain calm, don’t struggle, and you will be just fine,” Mister Small said with a smile, Willow nodding as the two men left the room.
“You head upstairs,” Mister Tall said, “I will check the office.”
Mister Small nodded as he ascended the staircase, Mister Tall opening the door and smiling as he saw the safe sitting on the floor. Rachel could hear them moving round, but she was tied too tightly to the chair, the knot soaking up her saliva – and then she heard the front door open and close.
The brown haired girl slipped off her black leather jacket, and looked at herself in the hallway mirror. Her hair fell over the shoulders of her sleeveless black and white top, her black leather skirt coming to her knees as it flowed with each movement. She was also wearing dark tights, and a pair of tight black patent leather boots with a two inch stiletto heel.
“Mum? What’s for dinner,” she called out, but there was no reply, so she looked in the front room, and then in the office. As she stared at the open safe door, she whispered “no…” – and then her eyes opened wide as the leather gloved hand was pressed over her mouth.
“Good afternoon,” a deep male voice said “please, do not struggle or try to call for help – remain calm, and you will be just fine.”
“I am called Mister Tall. If I take my hand away, will you remain quiet, and tell me your name?”
The girl slowly nodded as Mister Tall took his hand away, the girl taking several deep breaths as she said “I’m Willow… Willow Flint…”
“Ah – the daughter of the house. You really should get a more up to date family photo taken – something to consider later. For now, may I ask why you are dress so fashionably for fifty years ago?”
“I work at a nostalgia shop – are you robbing us? Where is my mother?”
“Yes, and I will take you to her,” Mister Tall said with a smile, “as soon as I have taken steps to make sure you also cannot raise the alarm. Please, put your hands behind your back.”
“Will it hurt?” Willow asked as she slowly put her hands together behind her back.
“Not if you allow me to do it properly,” Mister Tall said, Willow turning her head and seeing his smile before she felt the cords forcing her wrists together, the masked ma taking them around and between her arms and securing them tightly together. She wriggled her fingers, but realised any knot was out of reach of her fingers as Mister Tall stood in front of her. She looked at him, dressed in black, and said “you look like someone out of a sixties crime programme.”
“It has been commented upon,” Mister Tall said quietly, “shall we?” Taking her arm, he guided her to the dining room, as Rachel looked over and said “Hhghhddnnn,,,”
“Mum? Are you all right,” Willow said as she looked at her mother, the damp knot between her lips getting larger as she struggled. Rachel nodded as Mister Tall said “I will make your daughter comfortable in the front room,” picking up the leather bag before he took Willow’s arm and walked her out of the room.
“Will she be all right,” Willow said as they walked into the front room, watching as Mister Tall carefully closed the curtains, and then turned the light on.
“So long as you behave and she does, yes,” Mister Tall said as he took a longer length of rope from the bag. “Now, remain still, while I secure your arms to your body.”
Willow nodded as he passed the rope around her under her chest, felling it tighten as her arms were forced against her body, and then as it was taken above her chest, several more passes following as the bands framed her chest.
“that’s – different,” she said as he tied the ropes off, and then used two smaller lengths to cinch the bands. “Almost – snug.”
“Some of the ladies we have visited have said similar things,” Mister Tall said with a smile. “I personally would not know, but I suspect a mixture of fear and excitement adds to it.”
“What are you, a psychologist?”
“Some of the time – in our line of work, we have many skills,” Mister Tall said with a smile, “we find it helps us in our work. Please, sit on the recliner.” He pointed to a black leather chaise longue, Willow nodding as she sat down and Mister Tall took two more lengths of rope from his bag. Kneeling down, he crossed Willow’s ankles, and began it bind them together, the rope going around and between her limbs as Willow watched.
“How long have you been doing this?”
“Long enough to know what I am doing,” Mister Tall said as he took the other length of rope, and bound Willow’s legs together below her knees, her tights lightening under the pressure as the rope pressed down.
“It’s almost beautiful,” she said as she looked in the doorway, and saw the smaller masked man standing there.
“Mister Small, may I introduce you to Willow Flint.”
“Ah, the daughter of the house – a pleasure. I am finished upstairs Mister Tall.”
“I have mot finished in the office yet – would you take care of that please,” Willow’s binder said, the smaller man nodding as he walked off, and Mister Tall stood up, walking to the bag and taking out a second white scarf.
“So I’m going to be quiet as well,” Willow said as she watched him roll the scarf into a tight band, and tie a double knot in the middle.
“With regret, you are,” Mister Tall said as he eased the knot into her mouth, Willow closing her teeth and lips over it as he tied the band securely round her head, and then helped her to lie on her side, her head resting on the arm of the seat as she twisted round.
“Thhhssehfhnneeshnd,” she mumbled as she looked up.
“Relax, remain still,” Mister Tall said as his partner came back in.
“Our work is done here, Mister Tall,” he said with a smile.
“Indeed – one more thing we need to do.”
Willow watched as the two men then left, and then returned, carrying he rmother in her chair as she looked over.
“You will be more comfortable in each other’s company,” Mister Tall said as they gently laid the seat down, Rachel nodding as they did so. “The Gentlemen Robbers bid you adieu – may we never meet again.”
The two women watched as Mister Small turned on the television, Vintage TV playing the music of the Sixties as they walked out…