Seventies Bound – Family Night In









A typical Friday night – or not….


4.55 pm


“It’s Friday, it’s five to five, and it’s CRACKERJACK!”




Doris smiled as she heard the sound of the television – ever Friday, her daughter and her family would come round for dinner before their father came home, and she had already collected the youngest from her school.  The sixty-year-old woman had greying dark hair, held back in a stiff perm from her face, and was wearing a pink V-necked sweater over a white top, a black and blue knee length tartan skirt and knee length black leather boots.


“I’m doing Crispy Pancakes, Ellie,” she called out, smiling as she heard her granddaughter call back “all right, gran.”  Ellie was eight years old and was still in the clothes she had worn to school – a long sleeved patterned jumper with a blue collar and cuffs, and brown corduroy pants, the legs of which were tucked into a pair of long tan coloured boots. She had long dark brown hair and was laughing at the sketches on the television show.


Doris put the tray with the pancakes and some over chips into the oven and sat down, sipping from her Maxwell House as she looked round the kitchen.  Sue would be here soon with the other girls, and then they could all have some supper before they left for home.


A few minutes later, Doris put a plate on a tray, the pancakes and chips on there, and carried it through to where Ellie was sitting.




“Yes, I had a bath this morning!”


As Ellie laughed and cut into the pancake, there was a knock on the front door.  “I wonder who that could be,” she said as she stood up and walked out, Ellie not noticing as she watched the screen.


As she opened the door, she said “Hello, can I help you,” and then walked back in as the visitors entered the house…



5.35 pm


Ellie sat still as her grandmother took the tray and put it on the coffee table, and then hugged her granddaughter.


“I’m scared as well,” she said quietly, “but we’re going to have to be brave together.  Now, do as the man says, and put your hands behind your back.”


“Okay, Gran,” Ellie said as she moved her hands behind her back, while one of the men knelt behind her with a length of white rope in his hands.  There were two of them – both wearing denim jackets and jeans, and with black balaclavas covering their heads so that only their eyes and mouths were visible.  She felt the man crossing her wrists, her eyes fixed on the gun the second man was holding in his hands.  It looked like a farmer’s gun, but the long part had been cut short.


“You know what you have to do if the phone rings,” he said as he looked at Doris.


“I do – please don’t hurt my family?”


“They do as we say, they don’t get hurt,” he snarled as Ellie felt her wrists being forced together, and then the rope between her arms.  The man tied the ends off, and then knelt in front of her, looking up and smiling as he used another length of rope to secure her ankles together, side by side.


“What do we do when Mummy gets here,” she said as she looked at Doris.


“We show her how brave we are,” Doris said with a smile as the man finished binding her ankles, and then stood up, Ellie looking at the television as Florence spoke to Dougal and Brian the snail.  She barely noticed as he came back and secured her legs together below her knees, and then used a longer rope to force her arms against her sides.


“Okay kid, purse your lips.”


Ellie looked at Doris, who nodded and said, “don’t worry – just stay here and you’ll be fine.”  She then felt the tug on the skin round her mouth as the man pressed a length of brown sticking plaster down over her lips, and then she pushed herself back into the seat.


“Mum?  Are you there?”


“Remember,” the man said as he stood behind her, Doris nodding as she said, “we’re in the living room Susan – are either of the girls with you?”


“Me gran,” a younger female voice said as the door opened and a fifteen-year-old girl walked in, her long dark hair over her shoulders.  She was wearing a patterned jersey over a dark blue polo neck sweater, a long light brown skirt, and dark brown leather boots – but the look of surprise in her eyes as Doris nodded, ad a gloved hand was pressed over her mouth as she was pulled to the side.


“Helen, what’s going on in there…”


“Get in here,” the man said as he pointed the gun at the middle-aged woman, her eyes wide behind her glasses.  Her white Arran cardigan was over a purple striped sweater that had a black jumper under that, a long light brown skirt like her daughters, and long tan leather boots with a wedge sole.


“Susan,” Doris said quietly, “don’t make a sound please.  You need to let me explain…”




6.55 pm


“And now, The Wonderful World of Disney…”


Helen looked at Ellie as her younger sister put her head against her arm and looked at her.




“Nhhh.” Helen replied through the Elastoplast that covered her own mouth.   Like her sister, her wrists had been taken behind her back and secured together with rope, and she had bands of rope holding her arms against her sides.  Her ankles had been crossed and bound tightly together, and a further band of rope held her legs together, over her skirt and above her knees.


“What are we going to do when Sharon gets here,” Susan whispered to her mother.  Doris now had her upper body bound in the same way as her granddaughters, but her legs were free, and she was still able to speak.


“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Doris said quietly as the masked man made her daughter stand up.


“It’s time – call your husband and tell him exactly what we told you to tell him.”


Susan looked at Helen and Ellie, before she walked with him into the hallway and picked up the telephone.  Dialling a number, she waited nervously…


“Steve?  Oh thank god, you haven’t left work yet.

“I need you to listen very carefully, Steve, and don’t react.  I am at Mother’s, and me, her and the girls – we have been taken hostage.  There are two masked and armed men here, and they want you to do something for them.


“No, we haven’t been harmed – but they say if you don’t cooperate, then we will be, so please, do what they say.


“Don’t leave work, and don’t call the police – if you do, then they will hurt us.  Just wait there, and you will get a visitor in one hour.  Do what he says, and then we will be set free.”


Susan listened, and then looked at the masked man.  “He wants to talk to you,” she said as she handed him the handset.


“Your wife is telling the truth – wait for instructions, do as you are told, and nobody needs to get hurt.  We are watching you, and we will know if you contact the police.


“Smart move – don’t call her again, we will call you,” he said before he put the phone down.  As he did so, the front door opened and a twenty-year-old young woman walked into Doris’ house.  She was wearing a white cardigan over a peach-coloured roll neck sweater, a long grey skirt, and burgundy red leather boots with a stacked heel.


“Sorry I’m late Mum – what’s for…”


“Slowly,” the masked man said as he held Susan’s arm in one hand, and the sawn-off shotgun in the other, “close the door, and put your hands on your head.  Don’t scream or raise the alarm   you would not like the consequences.”




“Do as he says Sharon,” Susan said quietly, “your gran and your sisters are already tied up, and I think we may be next – but we have to do as they say.”


Sharon looked at the masked man, and then slowly raised her hands after she had put her handbag down.  “Good – in there,” the armed man said as she walked into the front room, Helen and Ellie watching as the second intruder pulled her hands behind her bac and started to bind her wrists tightly together behind her back…


8.10 pm


“You shall have a fishie, on a little dishie,
You shall have a fishie, when the boat comes in…”


“The little one is out,” the man said as Ellie’s eyes closed, “take her and the gran upstairs – make sure they are both comfortable.”


“We’ll be all right,” Doris said as she stood up, the second man lifting the sleeping bound and gagged girl in his arms.


“I know,” Susan said as she wriggled in the armchair, her arms and legs tightly bound in the same way as her older daughters.  Helen and Sharon could only watch mutely as he carried Ellie up the stairs, Doris walking in front of him.


“Which room is yours,” he said as they got to the top of the stairs.


“That one,” Doris said as she nodded to an open door, the man carrying Ellie in and then laying heron the bed with her head on a pillow.  Doris leaned over and kissed her forehead before she walked and sat on the other side, crossing her ankles as the masked man knelt down and started to bind them together with rope.


“What do you want my son in law to do anyway?”


“Make a withdrawal from his firm,” the man said as Doris felt the rope on er ankles, the tension as she found herself unable to move them apart.  He then secured her legs together below her knees, before he helped her to lie on the bed facing him.


“Purse your lips, and then I’ll roll you over so that you can watch your granddaughter.”


“Thank you,” Doris said quietly before the brown sticking plaster was pressed down over her mouth, silencing her before she rolled over and looked at Ellie’s face, the young girl’s chest rising and falling in the bands of rope as she breathed in and out through her nose.  She felt her ankles been pulled back, and then found she could not move them at all. The leather squeaked as she tried to do so, before her eyes slowly closed…





“I hope so,” Susan said as she looked at Helen and Sharon.  Both of them now had the necks of their jumpers pulled up and covering the lower half of their faces, also covering the Elastoplast gags as they sat there.


The ringing telephone made their guard take Susan by the arm.  “Just do what we said,” he snarled as she was frogmarched into the hallway, and he put the receive to her head.




“They want the man of the house,” she said as he removed the receiver and listened himself.


“Good – call when you have secured him and left,” he said as he put the receiver down.  “Time to make sure you cannot move as well, lady…”




9.25 pm


“And now on BBC One, The Quest.”


“That’s rubbish,” the man said as he changed the channel to BBC Two.  “There we are – something educational.”


The theme music for Horizon started as the title of the program came up.


“Can man really be compared to other animals? Over 10,000 species live in some kind of society, so is man unique? Ants co-operate to form armies and provide social services for the rising generations; baboons experience sexual strife and jealousy; marmots, like humans, may either be good or bad parents. Some scientists, who now call themselves Sociobiologists, have proposed the controversial view that man's social life can only be understood by considering recent insights into the social life of all animals.
Horizon examines some of these contentious ideas: Are we fundamentally selfish? Why are close relatives so important to us? Can biology explain the avoidance of incest? Can war between nation states ever be compared to animal aggression? And underlying all these questions: To what extent do our genes determine our social life?”


“Ghhdqhshsnn,” Susan said as she twisted her legs, her boots rubbing together as she did so.  She was now gagged with sticking plaster as well, looking at her daughters as the two men stood watching them.


The telephone rang once, then a minute later three times more.  The armed man nodded as he went out, Susan, Helen and Sharon listening as the phone rang again.




“He is secured?


“Good – get out, we’ll meet you later.”


As  he  came back in, Helen and Sharon looked at each other – then grunted as s=they were made to lie face down on the floor, their ankles pulled back as their skirts fell down their legs, and then more rope used to secure them to their chest ropes.


The two men then made Susan jump over to the couch and lie on her stomach, her own legs tied to her chest ropes before she rolled onto her side.  She could see them pull the telephone wire out of the wall, and then leave them there as they walked out of the house, leaving them struggling to get free…

The Quest








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