Tie Me Up Before You Go-Go
“Please remember, cases like these are rare. So do sleep well, and don’t have nightmares.”
As the theme music to CrimeWatch UK played in the background, Pamela stood up and turned the television off. She and the two students she shared a flat with had been watching the popular police appeals program, while taking a break from their studies.
“Do you think those cases were as bad as they looked?” Yvette asked as she stretched her arms up.
“I don’t know – I guess they leave some details out, but they looked realistic,” Pamela answered as she made her way to the kitchen.
“I wonder what it would be like to be part of a robbery like that,” Hannah said as she stood up and followed Pamela, “it must have been exciting as well as terrifying.”
“Well, it makes a change from watching news about the miner’s strike and industrial unrest” Pamela said as she made three mugs of coffee. “Anyway, why would you want to be part of such an event? It would scare me to death to have a gun waved in my face.”
“Oh come on, Pamela,” Yvette said as she joined the two girls, “Live a little, won’t you? After all, we learn in psychology to face our fears, so if you’re afraid maybe that would do you some good.”
“Never mind that now”, Pamela smiled, “I meant to ask the two of you if you wanted to come down to my parent’s place this weekend. They’re away, so there would only be the au pair, and she won’t disturb us.”
“Sounds great,” Hannah answered, “but don’t you have a sports event Saturday morning?”
“You two can go down in advance, and I’ll join you for lunch. Then we can go out and have a good time that night. OK?”
The other two girls nodded in response.
“Great – let me phone Ingrid and let her know what’s going to happen.”
Pamela left her flatmates in the kitchen and went into the hallway, where the phone was hanging on the wall. She called Ingrid and let her know that she and two friends would be staying over the weekend. She then made one further call.
“Rob? It’s Pam. Can you meet me for lunch tomorrow – I need your help with a trick I want to play on Hannah and Yvette this weekend.
Great – see you in the union tomorrow”.
“Dare me to face my fears,” Pamela thought as she replaced the receiver, “You’ll see…”
On Saturday morning, Hannah and Yvette were driving into the countryside in Hannah’s Ford Fiesta. The sun was streaming through the windows as they looked over the rolling hills.
“I’d forgotten that Pam lived out here in the country,” Hannah said, “I wonder what we’ll end up doing.”
“So long as it’s relaxing, I don’t care,” Yvette said, “that last week was a bitch.” She was wearing dark sunglasses, and the wind blew through the window and into her blonde hair. She was wearing a white cotton blouse, a light blue straight linen skirt and white knee length leather boots, with tassels that were tied around the top of the boot and lay behind the leg.
“Tell me about it,” Hannah said as she took a drag on her cigarette, “I could do with a change of air.” She was dressed in a blue jumper with a brown and green block pattern on one side, skin tight blue leather jeans and brown leather boots that came just up over the ankle. “How much further is it to her house?”
“About a mile or so – that’s her village ahead.”
The two girls drove into the small village, and then turned through a gated entry in a wall and up the driveway to a large house set in its own grounds. As they came out of the car, the front door was opened by a tall Scandinavian girl, dressed in a white cap sleeve t-shirt and a check patterned pinafore dress. The tops of white ankle socks were peeking over the white sneakers she was wearing.
“You must be Yvette and Hannah – I am Ingrid. Please, do come in.”
The two women followed the au pair into the house, and into a spacious room looking out onto the garden.
“Miss Pamela says she will be here in a little while. In the meantime, please play some music and relax.”
Hannah threw herself into a leather armchair while Yvette selected the latest Frankie Goes to Hollywood LP and put it on the turntable.
Relax, don’t do it….
Meanwhile, Ingrid had gone into the kitchen to prepare some lunch, when a sound behind her caught her eye. Turning round, she saw a man dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, and wearing a stocking over his head. Before she had a chance to scream, her hands were grabbed from behind and she felt rope being wrapped around them. The man in front of her pulled a bandana from his pocket, and tied it into her mouth as a gag. Ingrid felt the waist ties from her pinafore dress pulled back and tied around her wrists, as she was sat down in a kitchen chair.
“Are you sure there’s no-one else in the house?” the first man said as he finished tying Ingrid’s ankles to the chair leg.
“No idea, but I know the owners are away,” the second man said as he tied the au pair’s chest to the back of the chair. He was wearing a blue denim shirt and jeans, but also had a stocking pulled over his head. “Why?”
“She was making three drinks, that’s why. Come on – we’d better make sure everything’s secure.”
When two tribes go to war….
“Is there nothing else there that we can play?” Hannah asked irritably. Frankie was not one of her favourite bands, even if Pamela loved them.
“There’s a Wham! Album here – how about we play that?”
Yvette swapped the albums over, and the sounds of George and Andrew came out of the speakers.
“I wonder where Ingrid is – perhaps I can go and find her,” Yvette said as she went over to the window and looked out.
“Relax, will you – it’s a beautiful day and there’s not a sound to be heard. Just enjoy the peace and quiet and music and the two masked men standing in the doorway….”
“What did you just say, Hannah?” Yvette turned round, and saw as her flatmate had done the two stocking masked men in the doorway.
“Don’t move, either of you. Just sit down with your hands on your head – NOW!!”
Yvette moved over to one of the armchairs, and sat down with her hands resting on her hair. Hannah just sat still, staring at the two men who had produced knives from somewhere.
“I said hands on your head, redhead, or else I start cutting your clothes. Is that what you want?”
Hannah shook and slowly placed her hands on her head.
The man who had been talking turned to his companion in the blue shirt. “See if you can find some rope or something,” he said and as he walked away he looked at the two women.
“You,” he said pointing at Hannah, “do you live here?”
“N… No, we’re just here waiting for our friend.”
“So there’s someone else to come?”
Hannah nodded, as Yvette started crying.
“Hush now – if you do as we tell you, you won’t get hurt. You’ll just have a tale to tell your friends.”
The other masked man came back with a ball of thick cord, a roll of medical tape and a pair of scissors.
“This will have to do – it’s all I can find for the moment.”
The man in the t-shirt took the ball of cord and cut a length off with the scissors.
“Watch the other one,” he said nodding towards Yvette. “You – get down on the floor and put your hands behind your back.”
Hannah slipped off the armchair, knelt on the floor and then laid down on her stomach, putting her hands behind her back as she did so. The man took her wrists, placed them together palm to palm and started to tie her wrists together.
“Why are you doing this to us?” Yvette sobbed out.
“We need money, and this house as plenty. You’re just in the way, so we need to stop you getting in ours while we find the dosh.” As he said this, the man tied off the cords around Hannah’s wrists, then cut another length off and passed it around her arms above her elbows, pulling it tightly so that her arms were held together.
“But why here?”
“Like I said, your bad luck. Right, you – roll over and bend your knees.” Rachel did as he asked, and he started to tie her ankles together over the brown leather of her short boots.
The man cut one last long length off the ball of cord, and then passed over the roll and scissors to his companion. “Here – start tying up the blonde and we can get going.” He then took the length he had cut off and began to tie Hannah’s legs together above her knees, the white cord showing up clearly over her jeans.
“Hands behind your back, Blondie” the masked man in the shirt said, and as Yvette put her hands behind her back he crossed them and started to tie her wrists together with a length of cord.
“We wouldn’t have got in the way – you didn’t have to do this,” Hannah said as he finished knotting the cord behind her legs.
“Oh yes we did, pet – now you be quiet.” The masked man took Hannah by the shoulders and dragged her across the polished wooden floor to the chair opposite Yvette, then helped her to sit up and rest against the chair.
Yvette winced as the cord cut through the cuff of her blouse sleeve into her skin when the robber tied it off. He then took the ball, and making a loop he passed it over her shoulders and began to wrap it around her waist to hold her wrists into the small of her back.
“Here, you tie her ankles,” he said as he cut a length of cord off and handed it to the first robber. Kneeling down, he crossed Yvette’s ankles and tied them together over the white leather.
Using a last length of cord to tie Yvette’s legs together above her knees, the men inspected the knots the other had tied.
“Right, ladies, let’s make sure your friend is surprised when she gets here.”
The t-shirt man took the roll of medical tape, and tore a strip off. Approaching Hannah, she started to cry out “Please, don’t gag me, we’ll be quiet I promise but please don’t mmmmphph”.
“Are you going to make a noise, Blondie?”
Yvette shook her head and sat still as she was gagged with the tape. As a second piece was smoothed into place, the two girls heard a car coming up the driveway.
Pamela stepped out of her car and looked at her home. She was wearing a “Relax” white t-shirt with “Don’t do it” written in big black letters on the back, black leggings and black suede mid-length boots. Looking round, she walked straight up to the front door and came in.
“Yvette, Hannah, are you there? Sorry I’m late, but….”
As Pamela walked into the room, the first sight she saw was her two flatmates bound and gagged, and trying to call out frantically to her. She then felt a rough hand clamp over her mouth, and a knife pressed against her throat.
“Do you live here?” a voice whispered in her ear, and she silently nodded.
“Right, you two don’t move, and we’ll have a little word with your friend here.”
Pamela was dragged out of the room, and the hand taken away from her mouth as her arms were held by the two men.
“Wow, Rob, you did a great job on those two. They are going to be so mad when they find out they’ve been tricked!”
The two men looked at each other, not sure if the girl was playing mind games with them or if she genuinely did not know what was happening there,
“I love the disguise as well – this is going to be great. You’d better tie me up before you get going. Take me up to my bedroom, so that I can be comfortable. It’s the second door on the left up the stairs.”
The two men looked at each other again, then frog marched Pamela up to her bedroom. As they entered, they pushed her down face first on her bed.
“Right – tie my wrists and ankles. There are some scarves in the drawer you can use.”
The man in the denim shirt looked in Pamela’s chest of drawers, and found a number of thin silk scarves. Taking a few out, he rolled one up and used it to tie Pamela’s crossed wrists together behind her back.
“Hey, not so tight – I want to be able to get free before they do!”
The phone began to ring on the bedside table, and after a few rings the answering machine started. Pamela listened as her ankles were crossed and tied together.
“Hi – we can’t come to the phone at the moment. Please leave a message.”
“Pam, it’s Rob. I’m sorry but I got held up in traffic, and I won’t be able to do that prank you asked me to carry out on the other two. Sorry and all that – I owe you a lunch I guess. I’ll talk to you later – bye for now.”
Pamela lay there open mouthed as she was turned over and she got a good look at the two men who had brought her into her room.
“You’re not…… oh my god, you’re really robbers, aren’t you?”
“Yes we are – so thank you for being so willing to be tied up. Now open your mouth.”
Pamela lay there, and as she opened her mouth to reply a balled up scarf was stuffed into her mouth, followed by lengths of tape over her mouth. She stared up at the stocking masks of the two men, which obscured their features so that she could not tell if she recognised them or not.
“Right – come on, let’s get this place searched.” The two men left the bound and struggling Pamela on the bed.
An hour or so later, the man in the shirt opened the door and looked at the sweating body of Pamela, damp stains under her armpits and on her chest.
“We’re going now – your friends are nice and secure downstairs, so good luck getting to them.”
In the kitchen, Ingrid had slowly been trying to free her wrists, and finally had succeeded in getting her wrists free from the dress cords that were holding them against her back. Reaching over with her wrists, she dragged a vegetable knife over and with some difficulty turned it over so that she could use it to cut the cord around her wrists.
Hannah and Yvette were struggling in the front room, as the radio the robbers had put on when they left drowned out the sounds of their screams and calls. The Stranglers had just finished “Golden Brown” when Yvette finally had the idea to slip onto the floor and scoot over to try and free Hannah from her bonds.
Working together, the two girls had finally managed to free the cords around their wrists when the door opened and Ingrid rushed in to offer any help that was needed.
A few hours later, the four girls were sitting in the front room, wearing nightwear and dressing gowns and drinking large mugs of coffee. The police had been and taken statements, and Pamela’s parents were on their way back.
“Next time I say it would be exciting to be in a robbery”, Hannah said in a shaky voice, “just shut me up, all right. Just shut me up.”
Pamela sat lost in thought. Perhaps she would be better not telling her friends what she had planned – the real thing had been much more terrifying, and she’d never watch that program in so dismissive a way again.