I Wanna Hold Your Hand
“Hoots Mon, there’s a moose, loose, aboot this hoos...”
Agnes McLeod listened to the sounds of the radio as she dried her long brown hair off. It was the last night of term at St Blazius, and her friends from the Upper Sixth had decided to dress up for a night on the town. As the daughter of the chair of Scottish Steel, she had decided to go for a traditional style of dress, but modded up a little as she would put it.
So she had put on a long sleeved blouse, the top two buttons left open to attract the young men, and a knee length tartan kilt in the colours of the Black Watch, a matching bonnet perched to one side on her head. The outfit was completed by a pair of black and white leather kitten heels.
“My you are going to paint the town red,” her roommate said as she returned from the shower back, a towel round her body as she rubbed her blonde hair with another.
“I know - I just feel as if I’m coming to the next stage,” Agnes said as she looked at Chloe. “We’re eighteen, we’re liberated women - and school will soon be a memory.”
“So you’re looking forward to St Andrews?”
“If the results are good enough - I’ll see you in the common room.”
Chloe nodded as she watched the young woman run out of the room, then opened her wardrobe and took out her dress. “Oh this is going to stun them,” she said as she looked at herself in the mirror, and then put the dress on the bed.
“Och aye - you look fantastic,” Frankie Burges said as Agnes came in. She was sitting in the leather armchair, the hem of her psychedelic print dress rising just above her knees, and her feet in taupe sandals. The skirt was sleeveless, with a square yoke collar, but fitted her body like a glove.
“Thanks,” Agnes said as she sat down, looking at the brown haired school friend. She had a white Alice band holding her hair back as she stood up and smoothed her dress down. “Where’s Carol?”
“Right here,” Carol Hardcastle said as she walked in, the heels of her white go-go boots clipping on the floor. “Does your mother know you dress like that,” Agnes said as she saw Carol’s purple and yellow print minidress, the round collar showing a silver locket under it.
“Our beloved headmistress has retired for the night,” Carol said as she came in, the tops of her boots hugging her legs, “but wait until you get a sight of your roommate.”
“What do you - oh my,” Agnes said as Chloe came in. She was wearing a silver metallic minidress with tight over the knee black leather boots, and smiled at the reaction she was getting from the others.
“That’s exactly how I want the boys to react tonight,” Chloe said as she sat down. “So when are we heading to the dance hall?”
“We just need Babs to join us, and we’ll be on our way.”
They looked at the doorway to see Barbara Bingham, Babs to them all, standing in the doorway. She was wearing a red minidress, sleeveless with a thin white trim and buttons arranged as if it was a great-jacket from a military uniform, and brown leather laced knee length boots that had a two inch heel.
“Right then - five girls ready to hit the town - let’s go and show them how we like to par-TAY at St Blazius School for Young Ladies!”
The five of them ran out of the room, leaving a quiet and peace behind them that was not set to last...
The music was blaring out as The Diggers played their covers of the current hit tunes, the five girls dancing in a group as the boys stood at the side and looked at them.
“Have you seen the way he’s eyeing you up,” Frankie said as she danced with her hands in front of her, her legs moving to the beat. “I think he really likes you.”
“What, the barrow lad?” Agnes shook her head as she moved, and said “No chance - Daddy and Mummy would have a fit.”
“I thought Daddy and Mummy worked their way out of the East End of Glasgow.”
“They did - that’s why they’d have the fit,” Agnes said as she looked round. “I need a drink - who wants to come with me?”
“I’ll come,” Chloe said as they walked to the bar, her bottom catching admiring glances as they made their way over.
“You do know half the boys are ogling you,” Agnes said as she waited for the two bottles of Coca Cola she had ordered.
“Let them - I want to be a model, so this is going to be a good start. I want to live the life of luxury.”
“You already do, Lady Chloe Anderson - and you live it to the full.”
“How true,” Chloe said as she raised her bottle. “To the future.”
“To the... Owch.” Agnes put her hand to the back of her neck and rubbed it for a second. “I think I was just bitten!”
“Let me have a look,” Chloe said as Agnes put her head forward. She could see a little red welt, but no sign of anything else.
“Whatefer it wsss,” Agnes said as she sagged a little into Chloe’s arms, “Iflll a bitfnnneee...”
“Come on,” Chloe said as she put Agnes’ arm over her neck, “Let’s get you outside for some fresh air.”
“Now where are they going,” Frankie said as she watched Chloe and Agnes head for the door, two boys following them out. “Come on.”
“Come on what?”
“Come in,” she said as she grabbed the arm of Carol and dragged her towards the door. As they approached, they saw the two boys walk out, and followed behind them.
“Where did they go,” Carol said as they looked up and down the street, empty save for the dark van parked on the corner.
“Let’s look down there,” Frankie said, and as they approached the van they heard voices. Turning the corner, they caught a glimpse of a silver dress and a black boot covered leg as it disappeared into the back of the van.
“HEY!” Frankie shouted as she ran over, only to be grabbed by one of the two young men who had left before them.
“Looks like we got a couple on nosy friends,” he said as Carol was pulled to Frankie’s side by the other man. The two girls looked at each other as two more men climbed out of the back of the van.
“Oh well - the more the merrier,” one of them said as he held out two blindfolds. “Get them in the back and let’s get the hell out of here. We can’t leave them anyway - they’ve seen us.”
Frankie and Carol tried to break free, to run away, but the men were too strong as the blindfolds were put over their heads, and they were forced into the back of the van. They felt their wrist and ankles been secured with some sort of rough rope, and then something smoothed over their mouths that pulled at their skin, before they felt a jolt as the van moved...
Babs looked out of the door as the black van drove past, calling out “Hey - where did you go?” She looked at the van for a moment, before heading back into the nightclub.
“Can I use your phone please,” she said to the hatcheck girl, “It’s an emergency...”
“This was meant to be a simple snatch”
“Yeah, yeah - but then the girlfriend fought back, we had to drag her in, and then her friends came along...”
“Well, we’ll send the ransom demand to McLeod, and I’m sure Lord Birkenknoll will pay handsomely for the return of his daughter.”
“Yeah - but what about these two?”
Frankie reached as much as she could with her hands, and found Carol’s fingers, gripping them tightly as she mewled into whatever was covering her mouth. The van was bumping along the road, but the really scary thing was there was no other sound from the other two.
“They’re having a little nap,” the voice said, “and if you don’t want to join them, you need to stay silent.” Frankie nodded and whimpered, wondering what was going to happen to them as the van came to a sudden stop.
“What the - who are the others?” she heard a woman say.
“Sorry Ma - these two stumbled over us, and this one was with Miss McLeod. I think you’ll like her though.”
Frankie felt the van move, and then her legs kicked by someone, before the female voice said “Yeah - we can use her. Take those two into the cellar, then take these two into a room until we can decide what to do with them.”
“You got it, Ma,” Carol heard them say as she was lifted up and thrown over someone’s shoulder, a hand slapping her bottom as the voice said 2Now you behave yourself, or Ma may have to punish you.” She felt herself being carried, and then dropped on some sort of mattress. After a few minutes, she heard an “Oooommm” as someone was dropped next to her.
“Smmm,” she heard Frankie say as the man called out “Don’t make a move.” They both turned their heads and heard the door close, then a key turning, before they started to rub their heads to try and remove their blindfolds.
Frankie managed to dislodge hers first, to see Carol lying on her side in front of her, her hair band gone as the cloth over her head pushed it back. She had a wide strip of brown sticking plaster pressed down over her mouth, and Frankie could see the bands of rough brown rope around Carol’s booted ankles. Her arms were pulled behind her back, and Frankie correctly guessed more of the same rough rope was holding her wrists together.
“Shwwdwgttfths,” Carol said as she finally dislodged her blindfold, and looked at her friend. Frankie looked round - they were on a double bed, the bare mattress slightly stained, and the walls were painted a dull brown. There was no other furniture, nothing that they could use except their own hands.
“Rllfr,” Frankie said, and she rolled over onto her side, looking over her shoulder and down to her red painted nails. Carol looked, nodded, and then turned onto her own side, shuffling back so that Frankie could start to pick at the knot that held the rope tightly round her own wrists.
It seemed to take an eternity, but eventually Frankie managed to loosen the cords enough for Carol to shake a wrist free. Sitting herself up, she reached up and yanked the tap away from her mouth, stifling the urge to shout out before she looked at Frankie. “Your turn,” she said as her friend rolled over, and allowed Carol to untie her wrists.
“Want me to pull that off,” Carol said, but Frankie shook her head, instead choosing to untie her legs before she gently pulled the plaster away from her mouth.
“Where do you think we are,” he said as they stood up and looked round the room. The only window was boarded up, and they had to be careful to make sure the bare floorboards did not creak as they walked.
“Do you think you can get this door open,” Frankie said as Carol looked at the lock.
“Possibly - if I can get the key out,” she said as she peered in. “Got a couple of hairpins I can borrow?”
Frankie reached up and pulled two hairpins out, her brown hair falling from the beehive it had been in as Carol worked on the lock. They both held their breath at the soft clink as the key fell outside, then heard the tumblers click and turn before Carol put her hand on the door handle and turned it.
“You heard me, McLeod,” they heard the female voice from earlier say “We want fifty thousand, small denomination notes, or you don’t see your little girl again. We’ll be in touch.”
The sound of a phone slamming down filled the air, before she said “Get me a beer.” The two girls looked over the banister to see four young men sitting down, one of them handing a grey haired woman in a black blouse, lurid red leather miniskirt and waistcoat, and red boots a bottle of beer.
“Let’s party boys,” she said as she took a long drink, “with her and her ladyship, we should net a cool 100 thousand.”
“Great,” Frankie whispered, “professional kidnappers. Where do you think the others are?”
“They said they were going in the basement,” Carol whispered back, “so I think all we can do is wait for them to do something helpful - like pass out or get dead drunk.”
Frankie nodded, watching as they slowly made their way through the crate of bottles. She could see the clock from her vantage point - it had showed twelve when they got out of the room, but it was nearer to three before the last of the men closed his eyes, the empty bottle rolling from his hands onto the floor.
“Let’s go,” Frankie said as she nudged Carol awake, and they slowly crept down the staircase, trying to avoid the bottles and rubbish as they crept across the room and towards a door at the far side. Slowly opening it, they found a staircase, and so they made their way down, Frankie pulling on a cord at the bottom to turn on a light.
“FRNKEKEKEECRLLLL” Agnes moaned out from the chair she was tied to, the white rope around her waist, chest and lap. Her legs were tied together at the ankles and knees, and then secured by her ankles to the front leg, while a white cloth covered her mouth.
“Shhh - they’re asleep upstairs,” Frankie said as she walked behind Agnes and untied the ends of the cloth, dropping it over her neck to reveal a large cloth stuffed into her mouth. As she eased it out, Carol went to look after Chloe.
The fourth girl was lying on a single bed, her wrist tied to the iron headboard with ropes while her ankles were bound apart to the foot of the bed. A blue towel was tied between her teeth, the drool dripping off it as Carol eased it out of her friend’s mouth.
“Thanks,” she croaked as Carol untied her, and Agnes was freed by Frankie. “We need to...” Her talking was stopped by a noise at the top of the stairs. They stopped, listening to the grumbles and snores, before silence fell once more over the house.
“So what are we going to do now?”
“Well,” Frankie said as she helped Agnes to stand up, “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting out of here. Who’s’ with me?”
“Hell yeah,” Carol said as they slowly made their way back up the staircase, the four of them creeping across the floor as the men and the one they called “Ma” were snoring gently in their chairs.
“Well, here goes nothing,” Carol said as she slowly pulled down the handle on the front door, watching as it swung in...
“And where do you think you girls are going?”
The four of them turned to see Ma looking at them, her arms crossed as two of the men got up behind her.
“Carol - RUN!” Frankie screamed as she pushed her friend out of the door, then said “OW!” as one of the men grabbed her, pulling her to the side as he slammed the door shut.
“I don’t know how you got out of that room,” Ma said to Frankie as she walked up to her, and pulled her head down by yanking on her dress, “but you’re gonna regret it - you and your friends too.”
“Please, don’t hurt us,” Frankie pleaded as the men walked forward.
“Too late dearie - it’s time to...”
“POLICE- NOBODY MOVE!”
The front door was broken down as a squad of policemen poured in, over powering the kidnappers as the three young girls stepped back.
“Hey - I thought you might want a hand to get out.”
“BABS!” Frankie ran over and embraced her friend, before saying “Where’s Carol?”
“Talking to Dad outside - it helps to have the Chief Constable a phone call away,” Babs said as she looked at them. “Are you all right - and what happened anyway?”
“They were only going to kidnap Agnes,” Chloe said, “they fired some sort of dart at her at the dance hall. I carried her out, so they grabbed me as well, trussed us up, gagged us, and then made us watch as our two best friends stumbled into the van as well.”
“I saw the van leave,” Babs said as the gang was frogmarched out, “and called Dad with the registration. Next thing I know, he comes and picks me up, brings me here and - wallop.”
“Some last night, eh,” Frankie said as they walked outside to join Carol. “Are you lot all right,” Chief Constable Bingham said as he looked at them.
“They’re fine Daddy - just take us back to the school please.”
“Well, if you’re sure,” he said as he signalled to a constable. “Take them back to St Blazius - and Barbara?”
“I’ll see you later to bring you home.”
“Yes, Daddy,” Barbara said as she shook her head. “Well, what are we going to do with the rest of the night?”
“I don’t know,” Frankie said as they walked to the car, “How about a game of truth or dare?”