What If… The Coopers
There must be something about the quiet, peaceful small town Americana centre that is Riverdale that attracts visitors, both good and bad – so what happens when two erudite gentlemen visit one particular home…
The sun was shining down onto the clean sidewalks on this particular morning, as Alice Cooper was working in the kitchen of her home. Alice was in her early forties, her blonde hair cut short in a bob, and she was busy making sure everything was ready before she had her coffee.
She was about five foot eight in height, and was wearing a brown short sleeved blouse which was open at her neck, a white apron over her knee length grey skirt, and a pair of black mules on her feet. Smiling, she finally poured herself a coffee and took it into the front room, not noticing the grey panel van which was coming to halt outside the house…
“That’s Better,” Alice sighed as she took a sip from the cup and closed her eyes, savouring the aroma of the beans and the taste of the brew. The knock on the front door made her open her eyes, as she put her cup down and stood up. Brushing some lint from her apron, she said “I wonder who that could be” and went to the front door, smiling as she opened it and said “hello, what can I do for you?”
“Good afternoon, Ma’am,” one of the two men standing there as Alice looked at them. “I and my friend would appreciate it if you slowly walked back, and raised your hands so that we can see them.”
Alice slowly walked backwards, raising her hands in the air as she stared at the two men who came in. They were identically dressed – black roll neck sweaters under blazers, dark trousers, highly polished shoes and dark glasses covering their eyes. What they also both had were black leather gloves on their arms, the taller of the two men pointing a pistol at her as the smaller of the two closed the door. That was the most striking thing about the two men – the disparity in height between the two otherwise identical men.
“What… What’s going on,” Alice finally said as she looked at the men.
“Forgive the intrusion,” the taller of the two men said in a Southern accent, “but allow me to make the introductions. I am Mister Tall, and my friend here is Mister Small.”
“The pleasure is all mine Ma’am,” the smaller of the two men said as he looked at Alice. “You have a lovely home – would you be so good as to confirm you are Alice Cooper, the lady in charge of this fine abode?”
“Yes, I’m Alice – but I don’t understand, why are you holding me at gunpoint?”
“I understand your confusion Alice,” Mister Tall said with a smile, “but I assure you that there is a purpose for our visit, and so long as you do as we ask, then nobody is going to get hurt. I will, however, say that with regret it will be necessary to prevent you raising the alarm for a while – I assure you, we will make you as comfortable as possible.”
“What do you mean… Oh no, please, I won’t stop you from whatever you are doing…”
“I understand your concern,” Mister Small said with a smile, “but I assure you, if you do what we ask, it will not be too bad. Come – let us go into the kitchen.”
Alice nodded slowly as she watched Mister Small pull the telephone wire from the wall, before she walked in front of the two men, Mister Tall smiling as he pulled a chair away from the dining table and said “please, Alice, take a seat, and then slowly lower your hands behind the back of the chair.”
Alice nodded as she slowly sat herself down, watching Mister Small as he placed a canvas bag on the kitchen table, and drew out of it a length of black rope. Ge walked behind Alice and put her hands together, palm to palm, before doubling the rope over and wrapping it round her slim wrists, forcing them together as the rope went around and between her arms, and then was secured to the centre slat of the chair back.
“As I said, we will only inconvenience you for as long as is necessary, Alice,” Mister Tall said as Mister Small returned to the table and drew a longer length of black rope from the bag, coming behind the woman again and doubling it over before he passed it round her body and the chair back, taking the rope between the slats. She felt her body as it was forced against the chair back by the ropes, forming two bands that framed her chest as she was secured into place.
“Please, don’t do anything…”
“Alice,” Mister Small said as he pulled the ropes tighter, “Mister Tall and I are Gentlemen of our word. I promise you, beyond the necessity to secure you, no further harm will be caused to you by either of us.”
Alice looked at Mister Tall as he nodded, and said “I don’t know why I believe you, but I do – why won’t you tell me what it is you are after?”
“Well, your valuables I must say with regret,” Mister Tall replied, “and something that…” All three stopped and listened as they heard the front door open and close, Mister Small standing and placing a leather gloved hand over Alice’s mouth as they heard a woman say “Hey Mom – any coffee brewed?”
“I am going to take my hand away,” Mister Small whispered, “call her in here, and say nothing.”
Alice nodded as he removed her hand, and she said “in the kitchen Polly – come and join me.” She felt the hand on her shoulder as she looked to the doorway, the woman replying “sure” as she walked in, and then saw her mother with the man behind her.
“Mom? What’s going on?”
“Will you make the introductions, Alice,” she heard a man behind her say as Alice swallowed and said “this is my older daughter Polly. Polly, the man behind me is called Mister Small, and the one behind you calls himself Mister Tall.”
“A pleasure to meet you Polly,” she heard the Southern male voice say, “I can see the family resemblance – although I presume the colour of your hair is that of your father?”
Poll slowly nodded as she looked at her mother, tied to the kitchen chair. She had long red-brown hair, and was wearing a tight green jersey dress, with dark hose and matching green heels. A pair of green studs were in her earlobes.
“Polly, I need you to remain calm,” Alice said as she looked at her daughter. “If you do as they say, then we are not going to be hurt – but I am afraid you are going to be just like me.”
“Have they hurt you?”
“No,” Alice said as Mister Tall walked round, smiling at Polly as he took a second chair and set it next to Alice, “so sit down, and let them make sure you can’t get up.”
Polly slowly nodded as she walked over and sat down, Mister Small collecting two more lengths of rope and walking behind her as Mister Tall placed the gun he was holding next to the bag, and removed two more lengths of rope. Kneeling in front of Alice, he put her ankles side by side and doubled a length of rope over, before he wound it round and between her legs to secure them together and to the front slat that ran between the legs of the chair.
Alice watched as Mister Small wound the rope round Polly’s upper body, framing her chest as he did so and ensuring she was firmly held against the chair back, while Mister Tall used the second length of rope to bind her own lap to the chair seat, making sure it went either side of the rear leg joints.
“There – I trust it is not too uncomfortable,” he said as he secured the ends and then stood up.
“It feels – tight. Are you all right Polly?”
“I think so Mom – what do they want?”
“I have no idea,” Alice said quietly as Mister Tall secured her daughter’s ankles and waist in the same way as hers, and then stood up.
“Mister Small, would you keep watch please,” he said, the smaller man nodding as he went into the front room, before Mister Tall took from the canvas bag a wide roll of grey tape.
“I regret to say it is necessary to ensure you both stay silent,” he said as he looked at Alice and Polly, then tore a long strip from the roll. “Remain calm, breathe through your nose, and all will be well.”
“Can I say something?”
Mister Tall nodded as Alice said “I wanted to thank you for keeping your word.”
“Well, he did promise,” Alice said with a smile before she felt the taper tugging on the skin round her mouth as Mister Tall smoothed it into place with his gloved hands. Polly then watched him as he did the same to her, the tape covering her mouth and stopping her from saying very much as he smiled.
“there – now we wait…”
“Thanks, Archie,” Betty Cooper said as she jumped out of the car, waving at her friends as they drove off. The teenaged blonde had her hair back in the usual ponytail, and was wearing a blue vest top, brown shorts and brown sandals.
She smiled as she walked up the path to her front door and let herself in, calling out “Mom, I’m home” as she did so.
There was no reply, as she called out again “Mom? Areyouhummhhehtth…” Her words were muffled by the leather gloved hand that clamped over her mouth, as a soft male voice said in a Southern accent “I strongly advise you not to struggle little lady – your mom and sister are already here, and you will join them shortly. They are unharmed – I trust you wish to be as well?”
Betty slowly nodded as the voice said “Good, so if I take my hand away, are you going to scream or remain quiet?”
“Khhuhhtt,” Betty mumbled, the voice saying “good” as it was removed and she turned slowly round. He was the same height as her, and smiled as she said “who are you? Where are Mom and Polly?”
“Allow me to show you,” he said as he took her by the arm, the dark glasses over his eyes as they walked to the kitchen.
“Mom? Polly? Are you both all right?” She looked at the bound and gagged women, both of them nodding as a man stood behind them. He was identical to the one beside her – save for the fact he stood a foot taller.
“Ah good – we hoped your other daughter would come home,” the taller man said. “Mister Small, would you have young Betty here do what we require, and then make sure she is comfortable secured here with the rest of her family, while I investigate the possibilities in the upstairs rooms.”
“Of course,” Mister Small said as he took Betty back into the front room.
“What do you want me to do,” Betty whispered.
“I see your postal delivery agent coming down the street,” Mister Small said with a smile. “When he puts the delivery in your mailbox, you will wait a moment, then go out, fetch the mail, and bring it in here.”
“Well, and do it without raising the alarm,” Mister Small said with a smile as they both stood out of sight, watching from the window as the portly older man walked down the street in his khaki shirt and shorts. He stopped at the mailbox outside the Copper house, took several packages and letters, and placed them inside before he raised the flag and walked off.
“Allow him the pleasure of walking down the sidewalk,” Mister Small said quietly as Betty nodded, and then he said “just as we said – nice and naturally, go out and bring in the mail.”
Betty nodded as she opened the front door and walked out into the yard, looking nervously round as she retrieved the letters and packages, and then walked back in. As she did so, Mister Small closed the door, and said “if you would be so good as to hand them to me?”
As she did so, Betty watched as he selected a large, padded envelope and placed it to one side, before he said “now – if you come into the kitchen, we will make you secure as well.”
“Okay,” Betty said quietly as she was walked into the kitchen, and sat on a chair next to her older sister. Mister Small took several lengths of rope from the bag on the table, and then knelt behind the teenager as her arms were taken through the slats in the chair back, and her wrists were secured together before the rope was secured to the centre slat.
“Dhntbhshcdhrhd – thehhfnthrths,” Alice said as she looked over, Betty nodding as the rope was passed round her body, arms and the chair back so that she was held firmly in place, her upper arms against her sides as the two bands framed and stretched her vest top over her chest.
“this is – snug,” Betty giggled as the ropes were tied off, her mother and sister looking at her before Mister Small passed rope round the teenager’s slim waist, fixing her lap and waist to the chair as well. Mister Small then walked in front of her and knelt down, slipping her sandals off her feet before he secured her ankles together and to the spar of the chair.
“Now, if you would put your lips together?”
“I don’t have a choice, do I,” Betty said before she closed her mouth, Mister Small smoothing the grey tape over her mouth with his gloved hands before he put the roll back into the bag.
“Ah – excellent.”
All three women looked at Mister Tall walked back in, the package in one hand and a pillowcase in the other. He deposited both into the bag before he walked over and checked the ropes and knots.
“Well, we have what we came for,” he said with a smile, “May I say what a pleasure it has been to make your acquaintances, ladies.” As Mister Small picked up the bag, he made a low bow.
“The Gentlemen Robbers bid you a fond adieu, Ma’am, Ladies – may we never meet again.”
They watched the two men as they walked out of the kitchen, before Polly said “Shhwhtdhwhdhnh?”
Alice looked at her daughters as they both tried to struggle, and then shook their heads.