The St Monica’s Ladies Circle Tupperware Party
Some years before a trip to a country house, the Ladies Circle of St Monica’s church had a Tupperware party with a difference – this record was found in a recent search of the parish records…
“I am so glad you could come Coral,” Audrey Mason said as she showed her friend into the front room of the refectory. The vicar’s wife was wearing a stylish black sweater and stirrup pants, a pair of stiletto heels on her feet, and a gold pendant hanging round her neck.
“Well, it is for a good cause,” Coral James said as she removed her jacket. She had her red-brown hair styled like Audrey, and was wearing a white knee length dress with red trim on the wrap front and elbow length flared sleeves. “Besides, it is also a socially safe event – to see Tupperware been sold. I take it the other ladies are coming?”
“Of course,” Audrey said as she heard the knock on the front door, “if you will excuse me a moment?” Coral nodded as she went to the door, coming back with Rebecca and Mabel Moore. Rebecca was wearing a short sleeved chocolate brown mini dress, and knee length matching leather boots, while Mabel had on a pale blue top, jeans and black shoes.
“That cake smells good,” Mabel said as she sat down, “is the saleswoman here yet?”
“Not yet – let me go and get the coffee,” Audrey said as Coral and Rebecca sat down. “So have you settled into your new home,” Coral said with a smile as she crossed her legs.
“Just about, and it’s good of all of you to make us welcome,” Rebecca said as Audrey carried a tray with a large pot of coffee in, and then went to the door. She came back with Suzanne Cole, Rebecca looking at her and saying “That is a new look for you.”
“I felt it was time,” Suzanne said as she sat down, crossing her legs as her white go-go boots gleamed in the light. She was wearing a brown wrap effect mini dress, with her hair dyed chestnut brown and cut into a stylish bob. “I think it takes a few years off.”
“It certainly does,” Coral said as there was another knock on the door. When Audrey returned, it was with the current leader of the Ladies Circle, Nicola Adams. Her white jacket and short skirt was over a pink jumper, her hair neatly curled, and her white shoes with a small heel.
“Well, I see we’re all here – let’s have a chat about some church matters,” she said as she sat in front of the coffee table, Audrey joining her as she poured the coffee into cups and handed them round…
“I think that’s everything,” Nicola said as she looked at the other five women, “so…”
The knock on the door was clear, as Audrey stood up, and said “I’ll go and let the representative in – can you clear the coffee away Rebecca?”
“I’ll help you,” Mabel said as she stood up, taking the tray of cups as Rebecca picked up the coffee pot, and carried them out of the room, heading to the kitchen as Audrey went the other way. As they went in, Mabel put the trays down and started to run some water into the sink, adding the Fairy liquid as she said “might as well wash the cups while they are setting up in there.”
“Good idea,” Rebecca said as she put the pot next to the tray, “you are glad we moved here, aren’t you?” She laughed as Mabel smiled and nodded, washing the first cup as she said “well, it is closer to town for work – and the village atmosphere is relaxing after our work day.”
Rebecca nodded as she dried the first cup, and hung it on a wall hook. “After a day in that office, ‘I certainly need the break… Did you hear that?”
“It sounded like…” As Rebecca and Mabel turned, they looked at the person who had walked into the room, and slowly raised their hands.
“Where are you taking them?”
“None of your business, lady,” the stocking masked man said as two others took Suzanne and Coral out of the room. The group of men had forced their way in when Audrey opened the door, using the sight of a sawn off shotgun to keep her quiet as they had forced her into the front room. All five looked at them in their dark suits, roll neck sweaters, shoes, gloves and masks.
“Don’t make a move, don’t make a sound,” the man with the gun had said as the other three went round, taking the wrists of the other three women behind their backs and securing them together with lengths of brown rope as Audrey watched. “Do as you’re told, everyone gets to go home tonight.”
“I don’t understand, why are you doing this,” Audrey said as she looked at the armed man, while one of the other men came over and pulled her arms behind her back.
“You don’t need to know, you just need to do as you’re told – that way, your husband gets to preach a happy sermon on Sunday,” he said with a smile. “Now, is there anyone else in the house?” Audrey swallowed and said “in the kitchen – two others.” He’d nodded to one of the other men, who walked out of the room, and then he said to the other two “take them to a bedroom upstairs – make sure they don’t come back out.”
Coral looked at Audrey, then at Suzanne was they were taken by the arm and walked out of the room, heading up the stairs as the armed man looked at Audrey and Nicola. “As for you two ladies, I need to make sure you both stay in here. Sit down, next to each other, and don’t move.”
“All right, just don’t hurt us,” Nicola said quietly as she and Audrey sat on the couch, wondering what he was going to do as he put the gun down, and then reached into his jacket pocket, taking out two more lengths of brown rope as he sat down and crossed Audrey’s ankles.
“Nice contrast, black and white,” he said with a smile as he wound the rope around and between Audrey’s ankles, securing them together before he tied the ends off, and then moved between them to start to bind Nicola’s ankles.
“Well, if we’re going nowhere, then you can tell us why you are doing this,” Nicola said as she felt the rough rope rubbing on her bare ankles. He looked at her, and then smiled as he pulled the rope between her legs, saying nothing…
“What on earth is going on,” Rebecca said as she felt the man tying the rope off between her wrists, and then securing them to the centre spar of the wooden chair. She glanced over at Mabel, who already had her wrists secured behind the chair back and to the wooden spar, her eyes wide as the masked man walked in front of them.
“Not something you really need to know about,” the man said as he knelt in front of Rebecca and looked up, the stocking distorting his face as he produced another length of brown cord form his jacket pocket, and crossed her booted ankles before he started to bind them tightly together. He took the cord around and between her ankles, and then pulled them to the side and secured them to the front leg of the chair.
“I thought we moved to the country to get away from crime,” Mabel laughed as the man moved over and started to bind her ankles together. “And instead, crime follows us.”
“Yeah – like a bad penny,” Rebecca said as she watched him binding her sister’s ankles together, and then securing them to the front leg of her chair. The two girls wriggled round, as he walked to the sink and picked up a dish towel, rolling it into a band.
“I hope that’s a clean one,” Mabel said as she watched him roll it up, “I hate the taste of a used dish towel.”
“Sounds as if you have experience,” the man said as he walked behind the young woman, “so you know what to do?”
“It’s an occupational hazard,” Mabel said as she opened her mouth, allowing him to pull the rolled up cotton band between her lips and tie it round her head. Rebecca looked at her as Mabel closed her lips over it, and said “tight?”
“Hlhhchhpp,” Mable mumbled as she nodded, and then watched as he took a second towel and used it to gag her sister. It wasn’t exactly the first time this had happened to them – probably not the last, but they were watching, they were taking notes, they had heard of this group.
And when they had gone, they would report their findings…
“Lie face down on the bed.”
“You ever bene in this sort of situation before,” Coral said as she and Suzanne walked over to the large double bed.
“Nope, can’t say I have, and right now I’m trying no tot shake,” Suzanne whispered back as they sat on either side of the bed, then lay down and rolled onto their stomachs as the two mean walked over to where they were, taking a length of brown rope from their pockets before they bent the legs of the two women and crossed their ankles.
Suzanne looked over her shoulder as her captor wrapped the rough rope round her ankles and pulled it tight, the leather rubbing as he wound the rope around and between her legs, then tied the knot before he pulled them further back and secured her ankles to her wrists. She grunted as he did this, then looked over at Coral as she was hogtied in the same way.
“They said they had to make sure we were going nowhere,” Suzanne said as she rolled over and looked at the group leader.
“And I guess we’re not – wish it wasn’t so tight though,” Coral said, and then she began to laugh. “Sorry, sorry – it’s just I saw this is The Persuaders last week.”
“I know – very Tony Curtis,” Suzanne laughed as the two masked men looked at each other. “Then you are going to love this,” he said as he opened his jacket, and peeled away from the inside a length of brown sticking plaster.”
“They’re going to gag us – why do I find this funny,” Coral said as she looked at Suzanne.
“I have no idea – fear?”
“Yeah – feartthttshhttt,” Coral said as the plaster was smoothed over her mouth and chin, Suzanne nodding as a second strip was smoothed down over her own mouth. She could feel the adhesive pulling on the skin round her mouth, and as she looked over she saw Coral trying to move her mouth, the shape of her lips clear.
“Swhhthphhnsnshhh?” she said as she started to twist round, the rope rubbing on her ankles as her boots squeaked.
“This is not a robbery?”
“Not of you,” the masked man said as he looked at Audrey, “we just need to use this for the next stage – and I think we will be on our way soon.”
As the masked man glanced out of the window, he saw a Ford pulling up outside the house next door, a grey haired woman getting out and locking the car as she walked to the door, her silver sable coat over a dark jacket and skirt, a white blouse underneath.
“What do you mhnnnn…” Audrey was taken by surprise as he pushed a rolled up cloth into her mouth, the edges sticking out as she glanced at Nicola. Her friend also had the edges of a cloth sticking out of her mouth, as she twisted round on the couch.
“Everyone else taken care of?”
He looked at the other three men who had come in, all of them nodding as he said “good – target has arrived. You two, collect and knock when she is secure.”
Two of the men nodded as they left the room, the tow captives wondering what had happened to the others as the third man picked up the sawn off shotgun, watching them as their leader looked out of the window.
A half hour later, there was a knock on the door, the two men looking at each other before they left. Audrey listened as the front door opened and closed, and then started to struggle, trying to get herself free.
Rebecca and Mabel looked at each other as the door opened and closed, and then the two of them started to try to move the chairs, heading in different directions as the wooden fete scraped on the linoleum floor. After what seemed like an age, Rebecca manged to get to the work surface, looking over her shoulder as she opened a drawer, and took out a vegetable knife.
Mabel shook her head as Rebecca started to rub the blade of the knife on the rope round her wrists, hoping it would not take too long as there was a knock on the front door.
“Hello? I’m sorry I’m late, but I hope you…”
The woman in the Macintosh stared at Mabel, as she called out “Chlltthrphhllssss…”