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  • Mood: Sunny Mood
  • Watching: NCIS


  • Mood: Sunny Mood
  • Watching: NCIS
Monday 9th November
The de Ros Mansion
4 pm

Katy Carter had been nervous before, but this was a whole new level of apprehension as she rang the doorbell, wondering what was going to happen next.  As she stood there, in her green jacket, white blouse and grey skirt, she was beginning to wonder what she had started.

“Oh – it’s Katherine Carter isn’t it,” Edith said as she opened the door, “what can I do for you?”

“My mother asked me to come and see Countess de Ros before I went home tonight,” she said quietly as she twisted round, “to collect some things?”

“Of course – come away in,” Edith said as she opened the door, “I will let her know you are here.”

As Katy walked in, she looked round the large hallway, taking in the decor as Edith disappeared through a door.

“If you will come this way,” Edith said as she returned, indicating the door she had come back through.  Katy nodded as she saw Diana sitting in a chair, wearing a roll neck sweater and grey pants.

"Hey Aunt Diana," she said as she followed the maid into the drawing room.

"Hello Katy, come sit down please.”  Diana indicated the other end of the long chair she was in, while watching the young girl sit down.  “Would you like a coke?"

"Oh please."

"Edith...for Miss Katherine please?”

“Yes, Madame,” Edith said as she went out of the room, closing the door behind her.

"She doesn't..."

"No she doesn't,” Diana said quietly, “and that is the one of the things I'm assessing tonight, how well I think you can keep a secret."

"Thank you." Katy smiled as Edith brought her drink in.  Taking a sip, she watched as Diana sat back.

"Ah my other guest," Diana looked up as the doorbell rang, "can you please go let her in Edith."

"Certainly Madame."  Katy watched as she left the room, and then held it open again.

"Hey Katy, Hi Diana," Anna spoke as she came in.

"Doc?" Katy's jaw dropped.

“A coke for Miss Anna please,” Diana said, “and then you may return to your duties.”

As Edith left the room again, Anna sat down and smiled at Katy.  “I hear you had a big day yesterday?  Winning the race and all that?”

“Yes – we didn’t get back until late last night,” Katy said, “I really struggled to get out of bed this morning.”

“How did the calendar shoot go, Anna?”

“Very well,” Doc said as Edith brought her the drink.  “Thank you Edith – I believe Abby is meeting with Luke today for an hour or two?”

“Yes – she will join us for dinner.”  Diana waited until Edith had left and closed the door, before Katy said “you have to be kidding me- you?”

“Me,” Doc said seriously, “Heather wants me to be a big sister to you, so I will be with you every step of this journey.”

“I know Juliette and the others talked to you yesterday,” Diana said, “but understand Katy – if I do not think tonight you are capable of doing what we need, you go no further.  Is that clear?”

Katy slowly nodded as she sipped her drink.

“Hey,” Anna said, “trust me – I felt just as you did when I found out, even if I found out in a slightly different way.”

“But...  Who else...”

“If I believe you have what is required, you find out tomorrow,” Diana said as she watched them finishing their drinks, “for now, will you follow me please?”

She stood up and led them back into the hallway, and out to the kitchen, where Edith was preparing a casserole.

"Edith,” Diana said as she selected a key from a rack, “I will be taking the girls down to the gun range, can you please buzz me when dinner is ready?"

"Yes Madame."

"A gun range?"

"I had it built in the summer Anna,” Diana said as they walked down the garden, “it's totally sound proofed, and while it may not be my farm, I think we can do some teaching here.”

"Wow!" Katy exhaled as Diana unlocked the huge door and opened it wide, the trio walking in to see a firing range inside, and various weapons in locked cabinets.

“Let us be honest, Katy,” Diana said, “We cannot teach you to shoot to the same standards as the others in a short time.  What is more, your mother wishes to take on that role if you progress.  What we have to do is see how you handle a weapon, and at least give you a chance to use one.”

Katy nodded slowly as Doc unlocked a cabinet, and took out a .45.  “Right – shall we begin?”

5 pm
Xavier International, New York

“So are you happy to do this for us,” Juliette said as she sat in Penny’s office.

"Well I’m happy to do it, but explain to me why I'm the one taking her out tomorrow night please Juliette."

"It's simple Penny,” Juliette said as she put her coffee cup down.  “You barely know Katy, I don't think you have any pre-conceived notions, you yourself got into the life very young and had to grow up early and can hopefully assess her readiness. But above all I trust your judgment of character."

"Well that's nice, but I'd have thought her mother?"

"Jan is far too close, we need unbiased opinions."

"Okay - then why Doc?"

"Protection shall we say, Anna is totally cool and she will watch Katy's back and make sure no harm comes to her.  Also she is the closest in age – if any of us can support her, its Doc."

"Alright that makes sense.  I’ll scope out a suitable target tonight."

“Good – now what of Susan’s problem?”

“She and Clint are having a coffee with Denice now over at Columbia, to talk about some things for the race team.  We’re looking at the photos and report from Tracy yesterday – this Rochelle was throwing her weight around.”  Penny smiled as she said “If I was honest, giving her ten minutes in the same room as me and Susan may teach her a thing or two.”

“If it were possible I agree,” Juliette said, “but this is one of those situations where we cannot be seen to be involved.  If we are going to help, it must be quietly unless our hand is forced.”

5 pm
The Coffee Shop near Columbia U

“I still can’t believe you’re asking me to help out,” Denice said as she sat with Susan and Clint.  Denice was wearing a grey jumper and skirt, while Susan was in her office outfit of jacket, skirt and blouse, and Clint was wearing his chauffer’s uniform.

“Can you get you anything,” Tracy said as she came over.

“Two coffees please, and an English tea,” Susan said, Tracy nodding before she went back to the counter.

“It makes sense to me,” Clint said, “Heather is amazing, but two pairs of eyes are better than one, and given Jeanne may have to take a back seat at some point next year for a few weeks,”

“Jeanne?  Why?”

“She’s pregnant,” Susan said, “she told us after the race yesterday.  So as I say, the more the merrier.”

“So when is the Florida race?”

“We’ll have the dates in due course,” Clint said, “but we’re getting together in our place on Saturday for a proper celebration.  Hopefully you and Erica can join us?”

“I think we can – we’re not spending a lot of time at home at the moment anyway...”

5 pm
The Richmond Mansion

"Do you have Katy's documents processed Lover?" Sandy asked as she poured herself a coffee.

"Yes,” Heather said as she looked up from her laptop, “I've established a new identity for her, the passport should be here first thing Wednesday and is genuine, I did her a New York State driving license, and also booked her into the hotel."

"You were busy."

"Who me?" Heather laughed.

"The kids do know now they are going to their father's for a couple of days?"

"They do, Sandy said she wished she could come with us, but when I explained we were going shopping for antiques she quickly changed her mind."

“Well, maybe next time,” Sandy said with a smile.  “I wonder how Katy is feeling right now?”

5.15 pm
The de Ros Mansion

Katy looked at Diana as Anna laid out some weapons, before saying "what was this place?"

"It was built as a nuclear fallout shelter Katy, as you can tell it stretches back under the house. I'd always intended doing something with it but never got round to it till this year."

"Well it's amazing - you have your own firing range here in the city." Katy shook her head.

"Now Katy,” Diana said quietly, “did you ever handle your mother's gun?"

“Well, she let me hold it a few times – she said it was important I wasn’t scared to see it – but she keeps it locked away, and I never handled it with actual bullets in it.”

“All right,” Diana said as she handed Katy the handgun, “show me how you held it.”

Slowly, Katy picked up the gun in both hands, one under the barrel and the other under the handle.  She then took it in one hand and aimed it down the range.

Diana and Doc exchanged a look, before the younger girl said, “Well, that looks good in films, but in real life I have to tell you Katy – you’d hurt yourself more than anyone else without training and practice.”

“None of which we have time for,” Diana said as she looked at Doc.  “Show her please Anna.”

“Here,” Doc said as she helped Katy to hold the gun in both hands, “are you left or right handed?”

“Right handed.”

“Okay, put the first finger of your right hand over the trigger, and just point it down the range, get used to the way it feels in your hand.”

Katy held the gun as she had been told, and looked down the range, her feet apart as she weighed the gun in her hand.  Diana looked at her, before saying “straighter back, Katy, and feet slightly further apart.”

As Katy adjusted her stance, Diana put a pair of ear protectors over her head, handing one to Doc before donning a third pair herself.  “Very well Katy, I want you to slowly pull the trigger towards yourself, and keep as still as you can,”

Nodding, Katy slowly pulled the trigger back, wondering what was going to happen.  She heard the bang, and struggled to keep her arms from shooting up as she wondered what had just happened.

“Well, you just fired your first shot,” Diana said as she removed her protectors, and pressed a button, bringing a white sheet forward.

“You...  You didn’t tell me it had ammo in it,” Katy whispered as she looked at Doc.

“First lesson I can teach you Katy – we are deadly serious in what we do, and we don’t practice with blanks.”

“Hmm,” Diana said as she looked at the target.  “For a first shot, it’s good – a little off target, a seven or eight, but pretty good.  For this week, however, we need to be sure you can use something else – wait here.”

As Diana turned, Doc looked at Katy and smiled.  “Not bad kiddo, not bad at all.”

“Thanks,” Katy said as she put the gun down and shook her arms, “but god that hurt.  How does Mom manage it?”

“Practice and strength,” Anna said with a smile.

"Doc,” Katy said as she turned round, “what does it feel like?"

"What armed robbery?"

"Yes, but also sex. Since I guessed about Mom I have been having the most incredible orgasms dreaming about crime."

"Been there, done that, have the tee shirt." Anna laughed. "I was like that before and at first."

"You were?"

"Yeah I had some mind-blowing orgasms as I dreamed and fantasized, but honestly it's not like the real thing."

"Robbery or sex?"

"Both." Doc giggled.


Anna looked at the teenager, and said "How close did you actually get yet, if you don't mind me asking?"

"I was stroking that boy’s cock the night of Pepsi's party,” Katy whispered, “and I've let George feel one of my beasts and suck on my tit."

"Was that before or since the party?"

"Since..." Katy looked at the expression on Anna's face. "Hey I promised no sex, I didn't say I wouldn't fool around a bit."

"KATY!" Anna shook her head.

"Well what's the purpose of having breasts like these," she glanced down at them, "if I don't let them weave their magic on men."

"You are just 13."

"And you were a prostitute at 15, personally I don't see much difference."

Doc stared at Katy, before she whispered "Who blabbed?"

"Peps told me...but I've never told anyone...PROMISE!"

Shaking her head, Anna said "Your sister has a big mouth."

"Now how the she one too?"

"No she isn't, and I know because she asked me to hack her adoption records."

"FUCK! How many other secrets are out there?"

“Maybe you will find out,” Diana said as she came back, holding a sawn off shotgun in her hand.  “Have you seen one of these before, Katy?”

“Only in films,” she said quietly.  

“All right – put those gloves on,” she said as she handed the young girl a pair, “and the lesson can begin.”

“This,” Doc said as Anna put her gloves on, “is our weapon of choice, for a very good reason – this will do damage to anything it is fired at.  Your mom will have told you guns are not toys, right?”

Katy nodded as Diana said “Well, we never treat them lightly, or use them without a reason.  These are lethal weapons, Katy – never forget that.”

“Just... Just how much damage can they do?”


As Diana set up a straw bale a distance away, Doc loaded a set of shot into the gun and closed it.  

“Ear protectors on Katy.”

As she slipped them on, she watched as Doc stood with her legs apart, the gun butt resting at her hip as she held it in both hands.  She looked over and smiled at Katy before she pulled the trigger, the bale exploding as the shot hit it.

“Oh my...”

“Now,” Diana said as she put her hand on Katy’s shoulder, “do you understand why your mother may have concerns?”

As she slowly nodded, Doc said “Good – I will set up a second bale, and you can fire the second bullet at it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Katy, if you are going to join us,” Diana said, “you need to do this.”

“Hey, look on the bright side – you haven’t spent the weekend at...”


“Sorry,” Doc said as Diana looked at her, and then handed the gun to Anna.

“Now,” Diana said, “normally we ask the others to shoot this the way they think you should, but you need to project that you do know.  So, feet slightly apart, one in front of the other, cradle the barrel in your left hand and your right on the trigger, and support the butt on your hip.”

As Katy did as she was told, Doc said, “Right – I want you to imagine that bale is someone you hate.  I don’t want names, I don’t want to know who it is – I just want you to imagine it.”

Nodding, Katy suddenly hardened her face, as she stared at the bale.

“Now,” Diana said, “pull the trigger.”

Katy’s eyes widened as the recoil hit her, and then she saw the straw flying into the air, the dust settling as she removed he rear protectors.

Diana and Doc looked at each other, before she nodded slowly and said “Good – now we do this again.”

6.30 pm

“Diana,” Doc said as she tapped her on the shoulder and looked at the wall.

“Ah – dinner is ready,” she said as she took the ear protectors off, and surveyed the range.  “Let’s go and eat – Abby should be home by now.  I have some questions to ask you Katy, and I expect honest answers...”

7 pm
The Huntingdown Apartment

“Now who could that be,” Juliette said as she went from the kitchen to the apartment door.

“Hi Ju,” her visitor said as she checked and opened the door.

“Hey Annie darling I wasn’t expecting you.” Juliette kissed her daughters lover.

“Well with Klaus out of town I thought you might appreciate some company.”

“I must admit I hated seeing him off at the airport this morning.” Juliette beckoned Annie into the drawing room. “So how did the weekend go? How did Judith react?”

“I’m not sure she understands really, but she thinks definitely she will have a little sister.”

“Oh dear, she’ll probably be so disappointed if it’s a boy.” Juliette went over to one of the tables. “So what is going to be your soft drink of choice?”

“Oh what horrible words…soft drinks…YUCK!” Annie sighed, “but I guess it’s going to be diet coke.”

“Alright I have a couple in the fridge, and I’ll remember to lay in a supply.”

“Thanks Juliette.”

“So what is this I hear that Ama had a surprise when she visited Los Angeles?”

“Indeed,” Annie said, “remember last summer, when I said I thought Cohen had the girl who came with Ama as one of his servants?”

“I vaguely...  Oh goddess, do you mean she met her?”

“Apparently – she was adopted by a couple in the LA area, and volunteered to help at the shelter Maddie set up.  When Ama and Maisha visited on Saturday, they recognised each other instantly.”

Juliette smiled.  “That is an amazing and touching story – I hope they will be keeping in touch?”

“Dom’s already invited them to spend Thanksgiving – and she’s invited her grandfather over as well.  I guess we’re cooking in the Village this year,” Annie said as she sipped her drink.  “So did you enjoy the race?”

“We did – have you spoken to any of the others yet?”

“No – but I know about Jeanne if that’s what you’re talking about.  We met at Helen’s clinic last week.”

“Actually,” Juliette said as she poured herself a glass, “I was thinking of Katy.”

“Yeah – Cari told me,” Annie said quietly.  “What are you going to do?”

“Well, provided Diana and Penny approve,” Juliette said, “I’m going to assign Jan, Katy and you to the Humphries home.  Controlling a twelve year old should be easier, and less chance of her realising Miss Lynx’s more – extreme actions on the first pass.”

Annie nodded as she sipped her drink.  “So have you heard from Diana yet?”

“Not yet – Katy is eating there, but as they say, no news is good news in that respect.  So what else is going on?”

“Was Erica all right today?”

“Fine – she seemed to really enjoy herself yesterday,” Juliette said, “but a friend of Susan and Penny has come over to watch them.”

“Good – I can keep an eye on her in school, and I imagine Abby and Ama will do so as well.”

7.30 pm
The de Ros Mansion

“This is delicious,” Katy said as she chewed on the casserole.

“Indeed – an excellent meal, Edith,” Diana said as she sat opposite Abby, Katy and Doc on each side.

“Thank you, Madame – if there is nothing else, I have dessert waiting in the icebox.”

“Of course – you are visiting your sister this evening, are you not Edith?”

“Indeed, Madame – if you will excuse me?”

Diana nodded as Edith left and closed the door, before she sipped her wine.  “Now then Katy,” she said as she looked at her, “I think you need to hear what I think from my own lips.”

Katy glanced over at Abby, who wiped her chin and said “well, you’ll find out soon enough Katy – I’m one as well.”

“Oh my...”

“Oh trust me,” Doc said, “if you make it through this week, this is just the beginning of the surprises.”

“As I was saying,” Diana continued as she sipped her wine, “I think you have potential, Katy, but we have no time to teach you more than how to hold and fire the weapon – which you have a talent for, I grant you.  The question in my mind, therefore, is can you keep a secret like this.”

“Well, she hasn’t told anyone about her sister,” Doc said, “although I will be having words with Pepsi on a similar matter.”

“Good,” Diana said quietly, “and you have not told others of what your mother is.  So let me ask you a very direct question.

“Yesterday you saw Caroline, Susan and Susan’s colleague Penny – what did you deduce?”

“Enough to know I can’t say anything about them either.”

Diana nodded as she looked at Abby.  Would you bring the dessert through darling?”

8.30 pm
The Huntingdown Apartment

“Here,” Juliette said as she handed Annie a coffee, “ready?”

“Let’s do this,” Annie said as she watched Juliette open her laptop, and hold her eye to her keyfob.

“Hey mom,” Carina said as she appeared in a window, “how’s the homestead?”

“Very quiet,” Juliette said as Jo appeared in a second screen, and Sandy and Heather appeared in a third.

“So when do we know if stage 2 is a go,” Jo said as she sipped her drink.

“Any second now - Well?" Juliette asked as she looked at her computer screen.

"Jan just came and collected her and Anna."

"So opinions please, and fill the rest of us in can you?"

“Well,” Diana said as she sat with Abby, “she reminds me a lot of Jo when we first brought her in.”

“Well that’s a comforting thought,” Jo said.  “What does it mean practically?”

“Well, we tried her with a handgun and the sawn off – she’s a natural, but needs practice to perfect it.”

“But could she look as if she knows what she’s doing?”

“Jan will kill me for saying this,” Diana said quietly, “but yes, I think she could.  I think we proceed to stage two.”

“So the litmus test?”

Diana nodded.  “Is Penny prepared?”

“Penny?  You turned it over to her?”

“I did love,” Juliette said to Carina, “I need an unbiased opinion of her capability.  Doc will be there as well.”

“And if she passes that?”

“Then Jan and I need a long chat with her – we meet at nine tomorrow for briefing.  Jo, can you dial in?”

“Gotcha,” Jo said, “Cari?”

“I’ll have to dial in as well – but I take it Katy and I would be on different teams?”

“Oh yes,” Juliette said, “she’s not ready for that yet, whatever happens...”

“So we decide tomorrow?”

“We do – until then ladies...”
O Canada! - part 1
In which young Katy Carter discovers life can never be the same again...
I had spent some considerable time researching this family – the man of the house was a well known journalist, who had written books and articles on the current political situation, which meant he and his family mixed with some very influential people.  His wife, Beatrice, was in her late thirties, with long dark brown hair, and they had three daughters – eleven year old Gillian, ten year old Sally and eight year old Hope.  

Home for them was a large detached house near Hertford, and it was outside the house I found myself on this particular Saturday.  Daddy was in the US on a lecture tour, so I knew if I was going to visit this place today, this was one of the occasions when I would have to make sure none of them could raise the alarm, and then alert the authorities myself.

I knew they liked to spend Saturdays at home – the privilege of rank meaning they could have food delivered and so on – so I was watching the delivery lorry as Beatrice supervised the unloading.  She was wearing a grey cardigan over a green and white striped t-shirt, jeans and burgundy red leather boots, the legs of her jeans tucked in so they came to just below her knee.  She also had a grey scarf with a brown pattern wrapped loosely around her neck, her long hair falling over the back of it.

So I watched and waited until the delivery lorry had left, and then a while longer to make sure they did not come back, checking the supplies I had brought as I did so.  Eventually, I got out of the car, putting my rucksack on, and went to the front door of the house.  As I slipped on my black leather gloves, I allowed myself a little smile, and then looked round before I pulled the stocking down over my head and tried the door handle.

The door opened out, so I slipped in and closed it noiselessly behind me, before walking down the corridor.  Stopping at one door, I could hear the television playing, and looked quietly inside.

All three girls were watching what looked to me like an episode of Totally Spies – but it was also obvious they were dressed for some sort of play time.  Gillian was wearing a pair of dusky pink pyjamas that had multicoloured spots on them, but the legs were tucked into a pair of long black leather boots with the cuffs turned down over her knees.  Sally had long blonde hair which was falling over a yellow vest top that had a black roundel on it, and a grey long sleeved tops and I presumed pants.  I presumed because she was also wearing a pair of long black leather adult boots, these coming up to the top of her legs.

Finally, Hope was wearing a pink summer dress, with puffed cap sleeves and a skirt that came down to her knees – and a pair of brown leather boots that went under the skirt.  Her light brown hair was in pigtails, but she like her sister was enthralled by the television program.

I was already getting an idea of how to handle this, but first I needed to have a quiet word with their mother, so I made my way down the corridor, and then looked in what was obviously a study.  Beatrice was sitting in there, looking at some papers, but as I came in and closed the door she looked up, saw me, and said “oh my god...”

“Shhh,” I said as I put my finger to my covered lips, and took the gun from my pocket, “we don’t want to scare the girls do we?  In fact, I want you to ask them if they would like to play a game with you and me – a game of Totally Spies.”

“A game...  You’re him aren’t you?  The Games Player?”

“That’s right,” I said quietly, “so please, don’t panic or raise the alarm.  I regret to say I will need to secure and silence all four of you, but we can do this in a way that will make it fun for the girls, and possibly for you.  Will you help me do that?”

“And if I don’t?”

“Then you have three very scared girls to try and help.  My way will be better – trust me.”

Beatrice looked at me, and said “All right – what do you want me to do?”

“Well, we’re going to go and talk to them now – you tell them this is part of their play day, and...”

When we walked into the room, all three girls turned and looked at their mother, and then at me.

“Girls,” Beatrice said, “You know how much you like Totally Spies?”

“Yeah, they’re cool,” Gillian said, “who are you?”

“Well – this man had been hired by me so that we can play a game of Totally Spies.  I’m going to pretend to be a scientist, who you have been assigned to guard, but he is going to kidnap me.  Your job is going to be to try and find me before he finds you.”

“And if he finds us,” Sally asked.

“Then he will hold you captive with me.  Would you like to play that game?”

The three girls looked at each other, and then nodded in agreement as a new episode started.  “All right then,” I said quietly, “here’s what we’re going to do.  I’m going to pretend that I’ve let off a sleeping gas canister in here, and you’re going to have the chance to watch this program before you come round, and have to find the scientist.  Don’t worry – I’ll make sure she’s safe.  Does that sound like a plan?”

The three girls looked at each other, before Hope said “will it hurt when you take us hostage?”

“No – you won’t be able to move for a while, but you’ll be with your mum.”

“All right then,” Gillian said, “we’ll do it.”

“Good,” I said with a smile, “because the gas was released a few minutes ago.  Enjoy your nap, spies.”

The three girls opened their eyes wide, and then pretended to fall asleep, their eyes closing as I took the arm of Beatrice.  “Let’s go to your bedroom,” I said quietly as we walked out of the room and up the staircase, finding the master bedroom and walking in.

“I need to make sure you are secure first,” I said quietly as I took off my rucksack and opened it, removing a length of soft white rope.  “Turn round, and put your hands behind your back please.”

“All right,” Beatrice said, watching over her shoulder as I crossed and secured her wrists together, and then started to bind her arms to her sides with rope above and below her chest.  As I pulled the bands tight, and then passed the rope under one arm, over and around the back of her neck, and then around the other arm, she tried moving before saying “This isn’t too bad.”

“As I said – secure, but not uncomfortable.  Now, please, sit on the bed and stretch your legs out.”

As Beatrice did this, I bound her ankles tightly together, the rope rubbing on her boots as it went round and between her legs, and then tied her legs together below her knees.

“Now, before the girls start to come and look for you,” I said quietly, “it will be helpful if you tell me where you keep your valuables, so I can steal them.  Then there will be no mess, and no sign this is a real burglary.”

Nodding, Beatrice directed me to her jewellery boxes, and I soon had them in my possession, putting everything back where it should be.  As I replaced the last box, I heard footsteps outside, and put my finger to my lips to indicate Beatrice should stay quiet while hiding by the door.

She watched as it slowly opened, and Hope came in, clutching a little doll as she did so.  “I found you,” she said with a smile, as Beatrice nodded and then said “Behind you...”

“Welcome,” I said as I put my hand over Hope’s mouth, “I hoped you would be the first spy to find her.  Now I need to make sure you don’t move just like her – all right?”

Hope nodded as I said “Good – now, be a brave girl, and put your hands behind your back.”

Her mother watched as I used some rope to tie Hope’s wrists together, and then passed some around her waist to make sure she could not move them away.  Some more rope around her arms and stomach locked them into place, before I picked her up and lay her next to her mother.

“Are you all right,” Hope said as I tied her ankles together, the rope pulling the soft leather firmly against her skin.

“Yes – but I’m sorry you got caught looking for me,” Beatrice said as she kissed her daughter’s forehead, watching as I tied the young girl’s legs together below her knees as well.

“I need to go and make sure the other two spies can’t find you,” I said quietly as I tied the final rope off, “but that means I need to stop you both raising the alarm.  I’m going to put something in your mouths, and then use some very special tape to make sure you can’t push it out.  So long as you both stay calm, you’ll be fine, all right?”

“I’ll go first,” Beatrice said, “so you can see what it is like.”

Hope nodded as I folded a white cloth, and pushed it into her mother’s mouth, watching as she closed her lips over it before I smoothed a wide strip of white tape over her lips, the material forming to the shape of her mouth and jaw.

“Sseetsfnn,” she said, Hope nodding as I folded a smaller cloth and put it into her mouth, and then sealed it with the white tape.  As she snuggled into her mother’s side, I said “Don’t move,” and left the room – first making sure I had the bedside phone with me.

Walking down the stairs, I heard Gillian say “Why has Hope not come back?”

“No idea,” Sally said, “I’ll go and look for her.  You stay here.”  I crouched down and watched as Sally came out, the heels of her boots clumping as she walked along the corridor – and then her muffled gasp as I grabbed her and put my gloved hand over her mouth completing the effect.

“Hello,” I said quietly, “now, be a good little spy, and open your mouth wide...”

“Did you find her, Sally,” Gillian said as she heard the room door open.

“No – I found her,” I said quietly, as Gillian turned round.  I had my hand on Sally’s shoulders, while the young girl was smiling, the shape of her lips evident under the white tape covering them.  Her hands were behind her back, and there was some rope round her waist to keep them where I had tied them.

Gillian slowly said “Where are the others?”

“I’ll take you to them – but first, kneel in front of the couch, and put your head on the cushions and your hands behind your back.”

“Tsllrrtttjllnn – mfn,” Sally said as she sat on the couch, watching as her sister did what I had asked, and I knelt behind her, crossing and securing her wrists before I made her raise her head, and tied not only rope around her waist, but also around her stomach and shoulders as well.

“The doctor and your fellow spy are upstairs,” I said as I made sure the ropes were snug and secure, “and I’m going to take you to them once I’m satisfied you can’t talk.  With that in mind, young lady, open your mouth.”

Gillian looked at Sally, who nodded before her mouth was opened, and a folded cloth pushed in, followed by the strip of micropore tape over her mouth.  “Tslrrt,” she mumbled as I walked round and tied Sally’s arms to her sides as well, and then said “Stand up, both of you – let’s go and join the others.”

“Hllgrrlsss,” Beatrice said as I escorted them in, “rullrrtt?”

Both girls nodded as I took some spare cushions, placed them on the floor and said “Lie down with your head on the pillows.”  Once they had done so, I secured the legs of both of them, at their ankles and below their knees, before I pulled Gillian’s ankles back and tied them to the rope around Sally’s tummy, and the other way round for Sally.

Hope looked at what I was doing, and mumbled “plssdntdtthhht.”

“It’s all right little one – I have something else in mind for you,” I said as I tied one end of a length of rope around her ankles, and then the other end to the rope below her mum’s knees.  As for Beatrice’s ankles, I tied them to the foot of the bed, before looking round.

“You all stay here while I go and talk to my masters,” I said quietly, closing the door on them before I left the house.  An hour later, I called the local police station to alert them to the situation at the house – the report in the papers later that week told me they had made more of a game of it after I had left, Beatrice saying she did it to keep the girls calm.

Not a problem for me to believe that...


One of the privileges of being rich, I suppose, is that you can employ staff to take care of house and home – and if you are rich and very busy, you get to employ someone like a nanny to look after the children as well.  That adds an extra dimension to my work from time to time – as witnessed when I visited the Beechwood residence.

Beechwood Pater is a high flyer in the city, and Beechwood Mater the lead presenter on a news magazine programme.   I’d spent my usual time carefully assessing them, and knew that an early evening might be the best time to go and play a little game with the family.  At that time of night, that meant the only ones at home should be their ten year old daughter, Charlotte, and the nanny, a woman called Callie Highgrove.  A graduate of a college, she was in her mid twenties, and a nice enough looking woman.

I watched from my car as they walked back from an after school club.  Little Charlotte was wearing a tweed blazer over a white jumper, which had a little black bow at the collar, and a knee length blue denim skirt.  Her legs were in a pair of white tights with coloured dots, and a white hat and brown flat shoes completed her outfit.

Callie was wearing a black coat over a long white blouse, which looked as if it was covered in multi coloured polka dots, black leggings and knee length tan leather boots.

As they went up to the front door of their house, I got out of the car and started to walk slowly up the road, watching as they went into the house, and Callie closed the door behind herself.  I walked quickly up, pulling my gloves on and the stocking down over my head, before I opened the front door and let myself in.

Callie was hanging the jackets up on a rack fixed to the wall, and looked at me, her eyes wide open as I put my finger to my covered lips, and showed her my handgun.  “Don’t say anything,” I whispered, “unless I ask, and then talk quietly, all right?”

She nodded as I then said “where’s Charlotte?”

“She’s in the kitchen – I’m about to cook her tea.”

“Good – we need to go and tell her this is a special game you’ve arranged, with her mum and dad’s permission.  I’m going to pretend to be a robber, who needs to keep both of you out of the way for a while.  Then you can cook her tea.”

“You won’t hurt her or me?”

“I promise,”  I said as I took her arm, “shall we?”

Callie nodded as we went through to the kitchen, Charlotte looking up with her mouth open as she saw me.

“Who are you,” she said, and then she listened as Callie explained what I had told her.

“All right – that sounds like fun,” she said as she put her pencil down.

“What are you doing?”


“Well, what I’m going to do first is make sure you stay in the chair, and I’m going to tie your legs together, like a real burglar would,” I said as I looked at her, “but your hands and arms will be free, and you can do your homework while Callie cooks your tea.”

“Will it hurt?”

“No – it just feels funny.  So, put your hands on your head please.”

As she did this, I took off my rucksack and found the rope, tying her waist to the chair back and then tying her ankles together, as well as her legs below her knees.  She looked at the white bands around her legs, swinging them up and down a little, before I pushed her chair in and she went back to work.

“Feel free to cook,” I whispered into Callie’s ear, “but don’t do anything to raise the alarm.”  She nodded and went to put the oven on, as I sat next to her charge.

An hour later, Charlotte was tucking into a plate of Spaghetti Bolognese, while both Callie and I watched.  

“This is delicious,” Charlotte said with a smile, “thank you Callie.”

“You’re welcome,” the nanny said, “now make sure you have a drink as well.”

“Once you’ve finished your tea,” I said with a smile, “we’re going to carry on the game.  The burglar is going to have to make sure you and Callie are kept safely out of the way, but we’ll put the television on so you don’t get bored.”

“That sounds good,” Charlotte said as she put another forkful of her meal into her mouth.

“I’m going to start to get Callie ready now, while you finish your dinner,” I said as I stood up, and took some rope from my rucksack.  Walking round behind Callie, I moved her arms behind her back, and started to bind her wrists together.

“I guess the washing up will need to wait, Charlotte,” Callie said with a smile as I took the rope between her arms to cinch the coils.

“That’s all right Callie – it’s part of the game,” Charlotte said as I tied the rope off, and then she said “I’ve had enough.”

“All right then – would you like me to make sure you can’t move your arms in the same way as Callie?”

“Yes please,” Charlotte said as she leaned forward, and I tied her wrists behind her back as well, before I untied her from the chair back.  Putting the rucksack on my back, I then lifted her in my arms, and said to Callie “stand up, and walk in front of us.”

We made our way through to the front room, where I sat Charlotte on the couch, and asked Callie to sit next to her while I pulled the curtains across the windows, before turning the light on.  “Now,” I said as I took the rucksack off, “I now need to make sure Callie’s legs are just like yours.”

“All right,” Callie said as I bound her ankles tightly together, Charlotte giggling as the rope squeaked on the leather, and taking it between her legs.  I bound them below her knees in the same way, before standing up and taking out more rope.

“The next thing I need to do is make sure your arms are fixed to your sides – watch,” I said as I wrapped the rope around Callie’s arms and chest, her blouse stretching as I took it above and below her chest, and then tied it off behind her back.

“That looks neat,” Charlotte said, “do the same to me.”

Which is exactly what I did, leaving both of them nice and snugly tied.

“Now, the bad burglar has to make sure you can’t call for help,” I said as I took out a roll of white tape, “so I want you to keep breathing normally, while I put some of this very special tape over your mouth.  IT won’t hurt, but it will keep your lips closed.”

Charlotte nodded as I tore a strip off, and smoothed it down over her mouth, and then stood so that she could not see the cloth I held in my hand.  Callie looked at it, at me, and then opened her mouth, allowing me to push it in and closing her lips over it before I covered them with tape as well.

“Weecnttlknnw,” Charlotte said, Callie nodding as I helped her to sit on the floor, her legs bent and tucked under as I tied her ankles to her chest ropes, and then helped Charlotte to lie down, her head on some pillows.

“Let me turn the television on now,” I said quietly as I put on a kid’s channel.  “You can both watch this while...”

That was when I heard the front door open and close, and a woman say “Are you in?”

I put my finger to my lips and stood behind the door, both Charlotte and Callie looking towards it as it opened inwards, and Mrs Beechwood appeared.  She had the same light brown hair as her daughter, and was wearing a white slip dress with a fern pattern over a long sleeved black jumper.  The dress had black shoulder straps and a matching belt, and came to just below her knees, covering the tops of her over the knee black suede boots.

“Hllmmwrplgngagmmm,” Charlotte said as she looked at them, and then felt my gloved hand over her mouth.

“That’s right,” I said quietly, “I came because you hired me to surprise your daughter with this game of pretend robbers.  Callie knew all about it, but she’s played along as well, haven’t you Callie?”

The nanny nodded, her eyes wide over her tape gag as she glanced at Charlotte.  Mrs Beechwood was quick to understand the situation, as she nodded and I took my hand away.

“I forgot this was today,” she said as I put my hand on her shoulder, “are you enjoying it so far darling?”

Her daughter nodded as she said “well, I’m going to play along as well.  The bad robber is going to take me upstairs, but I’ll make my way back down to you later.  Both of you watch and enjoy the television for now, all right?”

“I’ll be back in a little while to check on both of you,” I said as I escorted her out of the room, picking my bag up first, and said “Nicely handled” as I closed the door.

“This is a real robbery, isn’t it?”

“Yes it is- but your daughter does not need to know that yet.  For now, please, turn and put your hands behind your back.”

She stood still as I bound her wrists and arms, the band around her chest as the other two had theirs, and then she walked up the stairs in front of me, entering the master bedroom.

“All right,” I said as she sat on the bed, and I knelt down, rope in hand, “let’s keep this neat.   Where are your valuables hidden?”

Thirty minutes later, I closed the last drawer and said “Thank you for your cooperation, Mrs Beechwood.”

“Urwlcm,” she mumbled through the tape covering her lips and the folded scarf filling her mouth.  I had crossed and tied her ankles together, as well as securing her legs below her knees, and then laid her on her side, as she watched me rob her.

“I know you said you would make your way to your daughter, but do not do so for the next thirty minutes,” I said quietly.  “Good luck.”

She nodded as I went downstairs.  Charlotte had fallen asleep, gently snoring through her nose, as Callie looked at me.

“Take good care of her,” I said as I left them, and the house, disappearing into the gloom...


In these stories, as I look back over them, there have certainly been a wide range of situations – from the funny to the touching to the downright strange (hello Disney Princesses) but over the last three months there have been three very different versions of the love between a mother and a daughter, each of them with their own merits.  I thought I’d share them with you now – the case of Mommy Manager and that of Majorette Maggie will come later, but first let me tell you about a real mother and daughter workout.

It was December, in the Peak District, and there was a light gathering of snow on the ground as I pulled up outside the house on the outskirts of the town.  This was the home of the manager of a building firm, and as I watched he drove out of the driveway in his Bentley, obviously on his way to work.

I knew his wife Jennifer worked from home, as a copy writer for some well known science magazines, and they had a ten year old daughter called Yvette.  I’d spent some time researching the family, and knew they were all reasonably fit, but just how fit I was about to find out.

Leaving my car behind, I fastened my jacket up to my chin, and pulled on the gloves as I made my way up the path and around the side of the house.  I could see a light on in the large back windows – and although I did not need to pass them to get access, I took the opportunity to take a little look in.

Jennifer and Yvette were sitting on some exercise mats, obviously doing some form of exercise together.  Jennifer was wearing a black sports top, like a bra, and a pair of exercise pants made of some sort of Lycra, that went over her heels and covered half her feet.  The material had a psychedelic pattern of coloured swirls, while her long black hair hung loosely down her back.

Yvette was dressed identically, copying her mother with all the moves she made, and doing very well for her age.  Smiling, I slipped back to the rear door, and let myself in, closing the door quietly behind myself before I took a stocking from my jacket pocket and pulled it down over my head, walking past the room they were in and letting myself into the downstairs office.

A search of that room led to me finding a small safe, with a digital lock.  Smiling, I tried the date of birth of Jennifer, and the safe door swung open for me, giving me access to some jewels, coins and money.  As I closed it however, I heard Jennifer saying “let’s go and get a drink of water” and looked out to see them heading for the kitchen.

Putting my gains into my rucksack, I made my way back to the kitchen and saw them standing by the fridge, Yvette drinking from a glass as Jennifer drank from a bottle.  I stood back, pressing myself against the wall, and waited as they came back out, walking right past me.

So when I reached round and put my hand over Yvette’s mouth, holding her against me, her mother heard her muffled gasp and turned round to see me.

“Good morning, Jennifer,” I said quietly, “you remember that you arranged for me to come and play a game with you and Yvette here today?  The game of robbers?”

Her mother looked at me, and then at Yvette, before she hit her head and said “Oh yeah – I clean forgot.  Yvette, do you remember you were asking me what it would be like to be one of the girls in those stories you’ve been reading – the girl detective ones?”

Yvette nodded slowly as I removed my hand from her mouth.  “Yeah – is he pretending to be one of the bad guys?”

“That’s what I asked him to do – he’s going to pretend to be a bad guy who takes us hostage, and we need to try and get free.  I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but I wanted you to be surprised as well.  So, do you want to play?”

“Can we be together,” Yvette said as she turned and looked at me.

“Of course – but I’m going to make it very difficult for you and your mum to get free.  You both look as if you are very fit, however, so it won’t be too bad.  So, this bad man wants you both to put your hands on your heads, and walk up to mummy’s bedroom.”

“Let’s do that Yvette,” Jennifer said as she put her hands on her head, her daughter copying her as we went up the stairs.  When we entered the bedroom, I said “Yvette, you sit on the bed, and /I want your mother to lie face down on the bed.”

“Are you going to tie us up to stop us escaping,” Yvette said as she sat down, and I could see the excitement in her eyes.

“I am – I’ll do it to mummy, and then do it to you, all right?”

She watched as I moved Jennifer’s arms and put them behind her back, hands palm to palm, and then tied her wrists tightly together, the rope going around and between her arms.

“Are you good at yoga and gymnastics, Yvette?”

“Yeah,” she said, and then she watched as I tied her mother’s arms together at her elbows, making them touch.  Jennifer let out a little gasp as I did this, before I said “do you think toy can cope with this Yvette?”

Jennifer turned her head and watched as I bound her daughter’s wrists and elbows in the same way, Yvette giggling as I put the rope between her arms.

“That’s ticklish,” she said as I tied the ropes off, and then produced a roll of white tape from my rucksack.

“What’s that for,” Yvette said, and then she said “oh” as she watched me tape her mother’s hands together, making a single white glove.  Once I had done the same to her, I said “now I need to tie your ankles and legs.  Watch what I do to mummy first.”

I crossed and tied Jennifer’s ankles together, and then secured her legs below her knees, the white bands of rope snugly wrapped round the leggings.  I then did the same for Yvette, her giggles louder as I accidentally tickled the back of her legs.

“Are you all right, darling,” Jennifer said as I helped her to kneel, her daughter nodding as I did the same to her, before taking a long length of rope and tying it around Jennifer’s chest, forcing her arms against her back and framing her black top.

“That makes you look funny,” Yvette said, her mother nodding as I tied the rope off, and then used some to bind Yvette’s arms to her back as well, taking it above and below her top before tying it off.

Jennifer wriggled her body, as she said “I don’t think we’re going anywhere for a while, Yvette – what do you think?”

“I think the bad man has really captured us,” she said as I went to my rucksack, and took out two cloths and two strips of towel, with a knot tied in the middle of the strip.

“Now, I need to make sure neither of my captives can call for help,” I said with a smile, “so mummy opens her mouth first.”

Yvette watched as I pushed a folded cloth into her mother’s mouth, and Jennifer said “Lthhmddtdrlng.”  As I pushed the cloth gently in, she said “wbffsndfnnemmee.”

“Now, this makes sure that stays in place,” I said as I eased one of the knots into Jennifer’s mouth, and tied the strip round her head, trapping her long hair under the knot at the base of her neck.  Doing the same to Yvette, I then took the roll of white tape and wrapped a band around their heads, sealing the gags in place.

“Lie down next to each other,” I said, helping Jennifer to lie on her side and then pulling her ankles back, securing them to her chest ropes.  As I did so, Yvette wriggled up the bed and rested with her head against her mother’s chest, Jennifer resting her chin on her head.

Using more rope, I tied Yvette’s lower legs to her mother’s thighs, and tied a shirt length of rope from her ankles to the rope around Jennifer’s legs, before I said “now, the bad man needs to make sure you cannot see for a little while.  Both of you, close your eyes.”

As they did so, I pressed a length of white tape over their eyes, before I searched the upstairs rooms in the house.  That yielded a fair few pieces as well, but I then went back to the room and removed the blindfolds.

“All right so far,” I said as I stroked Yvette’s hair away from her face. The young girl nodding as her mother said “Fnkkuuu.”

“Now comes the fun part – see if you can escape and surprise me as I execute my evil plan downstairs,” I said, watching as both of them started to wriggle round before I made my way down and out of the house...


Majorette Maggie...  Many of you will not remember majorettes.  They were kind of like cheerleaders, but instead of pom poms and athletics, they were baton twirlers and usually formed a marching group, providing entertainment alongside bands at big events and so on.  My mum used to be one, back in the seventies.

Certainly the pictures I used to see of them had them in either military style uniforms, or in matching leotards and short skirts, as well as boots.  This been the seventies of course, the short skirts were short, and the boots were tight and often lace up – but I think you get the general picture.

Why do I bring this up?  Well, to understand why, I need to go to a previous visit I made to the US on business – to Wisconsin, in fact.  I was doing some work for a firm based on the outskirts of Milwaukee – nice little place, really a commuter town for the city, and one of the most famous of the people who lived there was Ronnie Jane, who was a newscaster on the local ABC affiliate.

The publicity photos of her has her smiling, her long brown hair set around her face, sitting on the news desk with her colleagues.  Well, I had looked into her – she lived alone, having divorced her husband some years ago, and had a thirteen year old daughter called Maggie.  I had found some photos of the two of them together at events – she looked a lot like her mother.

Well, I’ve told you before what happens on these visits – I start thinking things over, checking things out, and before long I had a plan for visiting Ronnie and Maggie, and helping myself to what she may have to offer.

The school holidays has just started in the US, so it was early on a June Friday that I pulled up outside the house she lived in – it was a large one storey home, standing alone in a quiet street.  Perfect for me to wait a few moments, then get out of the car and collect my rucksack from the boot, before I walked round the side of the house, where a line of trees gave me some cover.

Pausing a moment, I slipped on my gloves, and pulled a stocking down over my head, tucking it into the collar of the jumper I was wearing, before I snaked along the wall and peeked into the kitchen.  IT was empty, and the door was unlocked, so I let myself in and closed it quietly behind me.

I could hear movement in other rooms, and then Ronnie calling out “Maggie, you need to get a move on – we need to be on our way in a few minutes.”

“All right mom,” I heard her call back, as I made my way down the corridor and looked in what turned out to be the master bedroom.  Ronnie Jane was standing in front of a full length mirror, putting on a pair of earrings as she did so, and looking amazing.

She was wearing a sleeveless leather dress, with a round collar, that came to just above her knees, but the leather was in a shade that blended with her tanned skin, so that from a distance it might be difficult to see where the dress ended and her skin started.  There was no such problem with her legs – she had on a pair of knee length grey snakeskin boots, and each little movement she made something creaked.

Anyway, I was there for a reason, so I walked in, removing the fake pistol from my pocket, and closed the door.

“Are you ready,” she said as she turned round, and then stared at me, her mouth open.

“Good evening,” I said quietly, “please, no screams or shouting.  We don’t want to upset your daughter Maggie, now do we?”

“Oh my god,” she said quietly, “who are you?”

“Someone who likes to play games – I find it helps the people I visit relax, especially the younger girls.  So I need you to tell Maggie, when she comes in, that this is a game you’ve arranged, and to play with you.”

“And if I don’t?”

“Do you want her to be scared knowing this is a real robbery?”

Ronnie shook her head as I said “good – so follow my lead, and do exactly what I tell you, all right?”



“She – we’re expected at an event!”

That was when the door opened and Maggie came in – wearing a white military style jacket and skirt, with fake fur on the cuffs at the elbow and collar, a gold coloured belt, dark tights and over the knee white leather boots.  She also had a brown Russian style fur hat on her head, the strap under her chin.

“Ready, mom,” she said as she came in, and then said “what’s wrong?”

“Hello Maggie,” I said from behind as I put my hand over her mouth, “I want you to listen very carefully to what your mom’s going to say to you, all right?”


“Maggie,” Ronnie said quietly, “I just had a call from the station.  They want me to do a piece on what it is like to have someone rob you, and this man then appeared.  I’m sorry, but he’s been asked to act as a burglar, so that I can then file a report.”


“I know – but we can play this as a game instead.  I’ll call and make an apology for both of us, and there will be other games.  Please, Maggie, I know this is short notice, but it is important.”

I kept my hand over the thirteen year old’s mouth as she slowly nodded, and then I said “all right – my brief is to make this like a real robbery, so you both do as I say, all right?”

“All right,” Ronnie said as Maggie nodded again.

“Good – now,” I said as I took my hand away, “your mom needs to call and explain why you will not be there tonight.  Remember, Maggie is with me, so no tricks or hints to anyone – just say she’s been taken ill, and has to stay in bed.”

“I’ll do that,” she said as she walked to the telephone at the side of the bed.  As she dialled a number, I said to Maggie “Take your hat off please – you need to leave it safe somewhere.”

“You make a very convincing robber,” she said as she removed her hat and placed it on the dressing table, “even with the mask.”

“I like to play the part,” I said with a smile as Ronnie put the phone down.  “All right,” she said as she looked at us, “so what happens now?”

“I need to make sure neither of you can do anything to stop a burglar,” I said quietly as I slipped my rucksack off, “so I need you both to stand in front of me, and put your hands behind your back.”

“You’re going to tie us up?”

“I am,” I said in answer to Maggie’s question, “just like the real burglar would.”

Taking two lengths of rope out, I started with Ronnie, crossing her wrists behind her back and tying them tightly together, and making sure I took the rope between her arms as well.  As she looked over her shoulder, I took the second length of rope and tied her daughter’s wrists.

“Now, I said you were so ill you had to go to bed,” I said as I tied the ropes off, “so let’s make sure that is true.  Take us to your room, Maggie?”

We walked down the corridor, and as we went in I could see her baton on a small bookcase, as well as pictures of her in action on the wall.

“You like being a baton twirler then, Maggie?”

“I’m a Jefferson Junior High Majorette, mister robber sir,” she said as she looked at me.

“Well then, I need to make sure you cannot move your arms,” I said as I indicated to Ronnie she should sit in the desk by Maggie’s chair, “so stand very still for me.”

Ronnie watched as I tied her daughter’s arms to her side, taking the ropes around her stomach and above her chest, and then used smaller lengths of rope under her arms to make sure the bands were tight.  “This feels funny,” she said as I tied the ropes off.

“Just stay very still,” Ronnie said, “and you should be all right.”

“Now, I need you to sit n the bed for me Maggie,” I said, and as she did so I took two more lengths of rope out, one around her ankles and one around her legs below her knees.  Both lengths were tied over her white leather boots, which squeaked as the rope was pulled tightly over them.

“I’m not going anywhere now,” she said as she swung her legs up and down, so I took the opportunity to bind her mother’s arms to her side as well, her chest forced out under the soft leather as I pulled the bands tight.

“Now, the robber has to take your mum to make her show him where things are hidden,” I say as I tie the ropes off, “and that means he has to both keep you quiet, and make sure you can’t get away.”  From the bag, I take out a sponge ball and a roll of white micropore tape.

“Oh – that matches my outfit.”

“Yes it does,” I said quietly, “now, open your mouth as wide as possible – I’m going to put this in there first, to help you to stay quiet, and then put tape over your lips so that you can’t push it out.”

“What happens when you’ve finished with mom?”

“I’ll take you to be with her, all right?”

“All right,” she said as she let me push the sponge in, and then cover her lips with the tape.  Smiling, I helped her to lie on her side, and then tied her ankles to the foot of the bed with rope.

“Don’t move,” I said as I helped her mom to stand, and we left her wriggling happily on the bed.

Thirty minutes later, I came back in and said “Ready to join your mother?”

She nodded as I untied her ankles, and then took her back to the master bedroom.  Ronnie was lying on her side on the bed, her lips covered with a wide strip of flesh coloured sticking plaster, which held the sponge in her mouth and also blended with her skin and outfit.  I had bound her ankles and legs, and then pulled them back at 45 degrees, before tying them to her chest ropes.

I laid Maggie next to her on the king sized bed, and secured her ankles to her chest in the same way, using the rope that had been previously tied to the foot of the bed.

“Tsdfrrtngmmm,” Maggie mumbled as Ronnie tried to move her legs, the snakeskin boots creaking as she did so.


“Now, the robber has to get away – but a rescue crew will be coming.  Of course, you could both try to get away, that is you prerogative.  I look forward to seeing your report.”

I left them both there on the bed, Ronnie struggling as Maggie moved her legs to and fro...

A week later, she did indeed file a special report on the news – a very accurate one, it has to be said.  I know, because they discussed it on the fan board after that.  That was the night when – nah, that’s a story for later.


Garage bands are nothing new of course – I think most bands these days, if they’re not manufactured boy or girl band variety, start out in that way – but the one I met was a little different.

I had been looking into the possibility of visiting the home of Iris Wilson for some time – she was a prominent local business woman, very successful, attended all the right events.  Her husband was a barrister, and she had an eleven year old daughter called Melanie.

I had researched their home, their families, their lifestyle – Melanie liked to play the guitar, for example – and I had also learned the father was going to be away on this particular Saturday for the whole day.

So at about ten am, I was walking up the driveway of their detached house.  It had a large garage to the side, and I could see it was closed, even though there was a car parked outside.

That wasn’t a concern to me though, as I walked to the door.  I had on a blue windcheater and jeans, and because it was a cold day I’d put a woollen hat on my head – with the stocking underneath, so that I reached up and pulled the stocking down first, and then the hat, the balaclava meaning only my eyes and mouth showed under the stocking.

With my leather gloves on my hand, I was about to try and open the door when that was no longer a problem – the door opened inwards and Iris Wilson appeared, wearing a pastel coloured plaid wool jacket over a white top, tight burgundy pants and over the knee black leather boots.  She also had a necklace around her neck, and a very startled expression as I pushed her back in, my hand over her mouth as I held her against the wall.

“Good morning,” I said quietly, “do not struggle or make any loud noises, Mrs Wilson.  I know your daughter is at home, and you don’t want to scare her, do you?”

She looked at me, and then slowly shook her head as I kept her mouth covered.

“If I remove my hand, will you scream?”

She shook her head as I took my hand away, and said “good – turn round, and put your hands behind your back.”

“You’re going to rob us, aren’t you,” she said quietly as she looked over her shoulder, watching as I took a length of rope from my pocket and started to tie her wrists together.

“That’s right – and at some point we will talk to your daughter, but when it does happen, I need you to pretend this is a game that you have hired me to play with her, understand.”

“Oh,” she whispered quietly as I pulled the cord between her arms, “you’re him, aren’t you?”

“My reputation precedes me,” I said as I took her arm, “let’s go into your front room.”

She nodded as we walked into what was more like a large drawing room, and I slipped my rucksack off, looking round as I said “Very nice – now, stand still for a moment.”

“So what are you going to do,” Iris said as I opened the rucksack, took out a long length of rope, and then started to bind her arms to her side, taking it above and below her chest as the jacket was forced open.

“Well, I’m going to secure you first,” I said quietly, and then stopped as I heard the sound of something being banged.  Shaking my head, I finished binding her arms, tying the ropes off before I fed it under one arm, around the back of her neck and under the other arm, before tying it off.  “Once I have you secure, we can...  What is that noise?”

“Probably Mel,” she said as I sat her on a black leather lounger, and crossed her ankles, taking more rope and binding them tightly together, before I secured her legs below her knees.  Tying that rope off between her legs, I looked up and brushed her light brown hair away from her face, before I said, “now, why don’t you call her in?”

Well, this seemed to be a day when things I needed to happen happened, as the door to the room opened, Melanie running in as she said “Mum, can... Mum?”

“Hello dear,” Iris said as I stood up, “surprise.”

“Mum, what’s going on?”  I looked at Melanie as she stood there, wearing a grey tiger print fleece over a black top, grey tiger print pants and ballet shoes.  I also noted she was wearing odd ankle socks – her left one had yellow and black checks, her right black with pink bows.  She also had on a pair of large glasses, with her light brown hair falling down her head.

“Melanie,” Iris said quietly, “I had forgotten I had arranged a game for today.”

“On the same day as band practice,” Melanie said as she looked at me.

“Band practice?”

“Yes – we’re the OddSocks.”

“Well,” I said, thinking first, “your mum asked me to play the part of a kidnapper, who holds the band hostage and forces your manager to raise the ransom.”

“Wow – are you the manager mum?”

“Yes, I am,” Iris said as she smiled and nodded, “he’s already made sure I can’t warn you, but you walked in before he had finished.  Listen – do you think Sue and Bev will play along as well?”

“I’m sure they will,” Melanie said, before she said “Oh god – HELP, HLPPPPPP!”

I had stepped over and held her, my gloved hand over her mouth as I said “Be quiet, little one – now, come with me and don’t struggle.”

“Please, do as he says,” Iris said with a smile, Melanie nodding as I walked her over to stand in front of her mother, and then took some more rope, tying her wrists together so that her hands were palm to palm, and then tying some rope around her waist to hold them against her back.  I also took another length of rope, and tied her arms to her side, making sure I wrapped it around her stomach and her shoulders.

“Sit down for a minute,” I said as I took Melanie over to a chair, “I need to make sure your manager stays where she is.  Now, lie down.”

I took more rope as Iris managed to lie down and roll onto her stomach, before I pulled her ankles back, the leather squeaking as the rope stretched tighter, and then tied her ankles to the chest ropes.  Rolling her onto her side, I said “You are going to stay here while I collect the band together, then I’m going to leave you a ransom note.”

“Please, don’t hurt them,” she whispered as I took a sponge ball from my rucksack, as well as a roll of white tape.

“Time to be quiet,” I said, watching as she opened her mouth and let me push the sponge in, and then wrapped the tape around her head, lifting her hair out of the way to avoid trapping it.

“Now then,” I said quietly as I looked at Melanie, “stand up – where is the rest of the band?”

“In the recording studio,” she said as she smiled at her mother.

“Take me to them,” I said as I picked up my rucksack, and we set off, through the kitchen and into the garage.  The reason the car was outside was clear now, as I saw two girls about the same age as Melanie standing on front of microphones.

One had dark hair, and was wearing a long sleeveless dress with two shades of horizontal purple stripes.  She also had on odd ankles socks, and was holding a large grey toy microphone.

The other girl had her hair in a ponytail, and was wearing a black and white striped t-shirt, purple flecked pants and short brown leather boots.

“Hey, Mel,” she said as she looked round, “what happened to the oh my god who are you?”

“IT’s all right, Bev” Melanie said, “he’s an actor, hired by mum to pretend to be a kidnapper.  He’s going to pretend to kidnap us and hold us to ransom as a game – Mum’s the manager, and she’s already been taken hostage by him.  He’s tied my arms – do you want to play along as well.”

“Hey, we’re bandmates,” the other girl, obviously Sue, said, “of course we’ll play along.  What are you gonna do, mister kidnapper?”

“Make sure you two are like Melanie here,” I said as I put my rucksack down.  “All three of you, sit down facing the garage door.”

A few minutes later, I was tying the ropes off behind Sue, all three now with their arms and wrists secured.  I then took the white tape, and taped their hands together, to make sure they could not free each other, before I knelt in front of each of them in turn, and tied their ankles tightly together – removing Bev’s boots first, and noting with a smile she also had odd socks on.

“Where are you taking us, you fiend,” Melanie said as she watched me binding her legs together below her knees.

“Never you mind, you all need to behave and keep nice and quiet,” I said as I tied the ropes off, and then wound one more length round Sue’s legs, trapping her skirt against them as I made sure it was nice and tight.

“In fact,” I said as I picked up the white tape, and found three more sponges, “time to be quiet.  Open wide.”

“It’s all right – I saw him put one in Mu... our manager’s mouth,” Melanie said, so they allowed me to push one into each of their mouths, and then wrapped the white tape around their heads.

“Now, I can’t let you see where I take you,” I  said as I tore a strip off the roll, and stood in front of Melanie, “so close your eyes.”

“Lllrrtt,” she said as the others watched me remove her glasses, and then press the tape gently over her eyelids, and then let me do the same to them.  One by one, I picked them up and carried them through the house, up and into what looked like Melanie’s bedroom, where I laid them face down and then tied their ankles back to their chest ropes, so that they all lay hogtied and wriggling round.

“Now I need to deliver a message to your manager – stay put,” I said as I left the room, checking from time to time as I searched upstairs for valuables.  After a while, I went back down, Iris looking at me as I searched the main room.

“They’re in Melanie’s room, momma manager,” I said as she looked at me, and I released her from her hogtie.  “Good luck in getting to them.”

She nodded as I put my well gotten gains into my rucksack, and went back to my car, wondering how long it would take her to get to them...


I know Steve has met a few – shall we say, interesting families in the past, who like to dress up in certain ways, including ones who seem to think that when my gran was a young girl had the best fashions of all.

It’s debatable, but I remember one particular family when he talks about them.  This happened before I knew who Steve really was, and I was just beginning to find out how much I liked doing this.

As you know, I have a young niece, and she attends a local school in the infant part.  The school also has a junior school which means the kids attend up to the end of primary school, so the oldest there would be about thirteen.  The headmistress of the school is a woman called Denise Holmfirth, lovely lady, in her late thirties, with brown hair and a nice smile.

Her two daughters also attend the school.  Rebecca is eleven, and has long blonde hair, while nine year old Hayley has long brown hair.

Now, this was the end of the academic year, and the school was having an end of year seventies themed disco.  The other thing you have to bear in mind is the occupation of Denise’s husband – he owns a jewellery store.

So, I think you can understand why I was walking up to their house in the fading daylight, wearing a black leather jacket with the zip pulled up, pants and short boots, and then slipping around the side before I used a screwdriver and a lighter to get into the kitchen.

Once inside, I cooled the blade down in the sink, and put them away in the bag I was carrying, and made sure my gloves were nicely on before I made my way through and up the stairs, and started to search through the rooms, finding a lot of very nice pieces that I stored away in my bag.

Now, my intention was clear – to get in and get out before the family got back.  So you can imagine my surprise when I saw a set of car headlights through the bedroom curtains, and I moved them slightly to see who it was.

And yeah – my luck was out, as I saw Denise and her two girls get out of the car.  They were dressed in the style of the time – Denise was wearing a pink mini-dress that had a round neckline, and a peter pan collar, with white piping around the collar and the front of the dress.  There were also two lines of dark detail, and I could make out the same detail on the cuffs of the sleeves.  She was also wearing a pair of knee length white leather boots.

Rebecca and Hayley were wearing identical tops – they were pink, and long sleeved, with a round neck and a multicoloured psychedelic circle pattern on them.  On Rebecca, the length of the top meant it was like a smock, and she was also wearing a pair of black leggings and knee length leather boots.  She had a white and pink hat on, large peace sign earrings, and a peace sign around her neck on a long chain.

For Hayley, however, the top was long enough that it was a mini dress for her, and she also wore a pair of white tights and black Mary Jane shoes.

I watched as they walked into the house, and took out of my pocket a mask I had made from a pair of tights, having doubled them over and tied a knot in the top.  I pulled that down over my head, and started to think about the best way to get out without them seeing me.

Which I soon realised was going to be next to impossible, as I heard footsteps on the stairs.  I barely had time to hide behind the door before it opened and Denise came in, turning the light on as she saw the open drawers, and exclaimed “what th...”

Which was all she got the chance to say before I grabbed her from behind, hand gagging her as I held her by the waist and said “Don’t speak, don’t say a word – do exactly what I say, and keep calm.  The last thing you want to do is scare your daughters.”

I kept my voice low, as she stopped struggling and nodded.  “If I take my hand away, will you scream?”  She shook her head from side to side, as I said “Good – now, the bad news is I have to make sure neither you nor the girls downstairs can raise the alarm until I get a chance to get well away.”

“No – please, don’t tie us up...”

“I have no choice – but we can make it a game for the girls, if you agree to do as I say.”   I was thinking on my feet by this point – I usually brought something to secure anyone I found when I visited, but my rope was out of reach.  What was within reach of me was a roll of white electrical tape I had in my jacket pocket, so I said “Kneel by the bed, and put your hands behind your back.”

“What are you going to do,” she said as she knelt down, and I crossed her wrists behind her back, using the white tape to secure them tightly together.

“Stand up,” I said quietly, as I helped her to her feet and looked at her.  “We’re going to go downstairs now – tell me, what scenario would keep your girls quietest while I secure them?”

Denise thought for a second, and then said “we’ll pretend you’re robbing a fashion show, and we’re the model spies that tried to stop you.  They like programs like that.”

“All right,” I said as I looked at her, “we’ll go and do that, but first we need to stop in the bathroom.”

“The bathroom?  Why?”

“You’ll see...”

“Rebecca, Hayley – we have a problem.”

The two girls looked at their mother as we came into the room, Rebecca looking at me and shaking as he mother said “This is one of our neighbours – I asked her before we came home tonight if she would help with something to make up for the disco ending early.

“She’s offered to be a thief, who has robbed a fashion show, and we’ve all disturbed her, so she has to keep us in one place.  I know you’ve asked about playing games like this in the past – well, I’ve started to play, so will you both play with me?”

I watched them as they thought it over, before Hayley came over and looked at her mother’s wrists, taped behind her back.

“Cool,” she said, “do it to me.”  She crossed her own wrists behind her back, so I used the tape to secure them together as well.

Rebecca looked unsure, but when Hayley stuck her tongue out and said “what’s the matter scaredy-cat?” that was enough to get her to let me tape her wrists together as well.  I then wrapped the tape round their waists, to keep the hands secured, making it look as if they all had a white belt on.

“All right now,” I said as I looked at them, “all three of you, I’m going to use some more tape to keep you from walking round, so sit down side by side on the couch and I’ll take care of that.”

The three of them sat down, Hayley with her feet hanging off the end of the seat, as I took the white tape and made sure their ankles were tightly secured, side by side, and then their legs below their knees.  As they tried to move, the leather squeaking for both Rebecca and Denise, I walked behind them, and took out the roll of brown sticking plaster I had found in the bathroom.

“I need to make sure you can’t shout and scream now, so keep your lips together,” I said, using strips of the plaster to cover their mouths so that all they could do was mumble.  I then – well, I high tailed it out of there, before somebody else came home.

Crude, I know – but it worked then...
Playing with Mummy and Nanny
More tales of the Games Player for your amusement...
As the afternoon wore on, Fi explained a bit more of what was happening, before Natalie said “I wonder what it would be like to be...”

“to be what,” Joe said with a smile.

“Sorry, I love those old westerns, where the ranch owner’s daughter would be taken by the rustlers...”

Joe smiled at his granddaughter, before saying “Jeb, Hank, Curt – would you boys be up to taking the horses back for me?”

“Can do, boss,” one of the men said, “why?”

“Oh these little ladies may want to come back in the pickups – if you know what I mean.”

“Gotcha Boss,” he said with a smile.

“Natalie,” Heidi said as she looked at the other ranch hands playing out their ropes, “what have you managed to get us into now?”

“Nothing as far as I know YIPES!”

Natalie’s reaction was justified as she felt her arms pulled tightly into her side, the rope pulled by one of the ranch hands as he walked over and quickly wound it round her stomach and waist, forcing her arms into her sides.  Jannifer and Cindy had the same surprised look on their faces, as they were walked over to one of the pickup trucks, and made to lie down, the ropes wound down their legs and then used to secure their ankles together.

“Relax,” Fi said with a laugh, “these guys know what you’re doing, don’t you Jeb?”

“We sure do Miss Fi,” Jeb said as he captured Fi, Alice and Heidi grabbed in the same way before they were put in the back of the second pickup truck.

“Well, you had to ask,” Cindy said as she looked at Natalie, her friend nodding and smiling as the trucks set off across the grassland.

“Give me a few minutes before you bring them in boys,” Joe said as they pulled up outside the ranch house, the six girls wriggling round in the flatbed.  The ropes were wound tightly round them, and the knot was way out of reach of their fingers, so there was no way they could untie themselves – and they were having too much fun to unite each other.

After a few minutes, Joe came out and said “all right boys – bring them in and make them comfortable.”

“Hi grandma,” Heidi heard FI say as they were carried in, looking at Fiona as she sat at one end of the couch that went round three sides in front of the fire.  She had also been captured with a lasso of rope, her arms pinned to her sides and her denim skirt wrapped round her legs, the rope tied off around her ankles.  She also had a white cloth stuffed in her mouth – something that was soon added to each of the  girls as they were placed on the chairs.

“All right boys – have a good night,” Joe said as he showed them out, before looking at the captives.  “Now, you ladies just relax – I’ll wash up and then keep an eye on the evening meal.”

“Ubtrrr,” Fiona said, but Heidi could see the smile on her face as she started to wriggle round, the other girls joining in as they tried to free themselves.

Eventually, Fi managed to push the cloth out of her mouth, before she said “Sorry grandma – someone, without naming names, asked what it was like to be kidnapped by a cowboy.”

“hmmm,” Natalie said as she tried to look innocent.

“Ysssyyy,” Heidi said with a grin.

“All right,” Fiona said as she spat her gag out as well, “want to show them how you get out of this?”

The other girls watched as Fi wriggled her arms behind her, and then the rope seemed to fail away from her by magic.


“Trick knot,” Fi said with a smile as her grandmother managed to do the same.  “Want some help?”

The others nodded as Fiona and Fi released them, while Joe came back in.

“Dagnabbit, I keep forgetting you know that knot,” he said with a smile.  “Anyway, you ladies have been outside all day – you need to shower and put on some fresh clothes, or you will regret it.”

“Come on,” Fi said as she walked to her room, “I’ve really worked up an appetite.”

“Fi told us one time you introduced her to tie-up games,” Cindy said as they sat at the dinner table – the girls had washed themselves down, and changed into shorts and t-shirts.  “How did that happen?”

“Oh that old story,” Fiona said as she passed round plates with chilli and rice, “well, how old would you have been dear?”

“Eight – no, nine.  I was watching an old black and white serial on the television, one of those Roy Rogers things...”

“Knew it,” Natalie said as she winked at Alice.

“Well, Dale Arden was held hostage, and I asked Grandpa if he would do that to me.  And that, as they say, is how it started.”

"Don't you mean Dale Evans, Fi? Dale Arden is from the Flash Gordon things."

"And you know this because?"

"Because I'm a geek," Jannifer said with a laugh.

“As simple as that?”

“As simple as that – but what about you girls,” Fiona said as she looked at them.  As one, they looked at Heidi, who blushed and said “well, I guess it started when I was clearing the attic in our old house...”

“Well, that’s quite a story,” Joe said as he finished his meal, “but I’m real glad you girls have made Fi feel so special.  I know it’s hard for her up there, but you’ve been real good to her.”

“We’ve just been friends, that’s all,” Cindy said with a blush as she looked round the table.

“Well now,” Fiona said with a smile, “I reckon you ladies have had enough now, but I wonder if I could ask for a couple of you to help me with something.  Natalie and Alice, do you mind?”

“Of course not,” Nats said as she stood up, Alice joining her as they started to clear the table, while the other girls went into the front room with Joe.

“So how did you enjoy your first time on a horse,” Joe said as he sat down.

“Different – I’m not sure I could ever really learn to ride one,” Heidi said.  “How long have you lived here?”

“In this place?  We built it when the old farmhouse burnt down in ’65.  But I’ve lived on the ranch all my life – my great grandpappy established it, and we’ve kept cattle ever since.”

“I don’t understand why your mother would ever want to leave here,” Jannifer said as she looked at Fi.

“Me neither – she met Dad at college, and that was it.”

“Don’t be too harsh on her,” Joe said as he looked at his granddaughter, “she does love you, kid.  She just has a very funny way of showing it at times.”

“Do you think they need a hand in there?”

“No, you leave the ladies alone,” Joe said with a smile, “I’m sure Fiona’s keeping them busy.”

“There now – how does that feel, Alice?”

Alice nodded as Fiona tied the rope around her knee, firmly securing her left leg it the front leg of the chair.  Her ankle was already tied in place, as was the case with her right leg.  Ropes around her body were holding her arms tightly against her, helped by the fact her wrists and elbows had been secured together with rope behind her, and stretching her t-shirt over her chest.

Her upper body was not tied to the chair – a weight had been applied to make sure she stayed in place, the legs of that weight tied to the rear legs of the chair as she looked at Alice.  Natalie also had her upper body bound in the same way, as she wriggled a little.

“Joe told me about what you saw out with the herd today,” Fiona said as she checked all the knots again, “and how you reacted.  I’m not surprised – I remember the first time I saw that after arriving here, it scared the heck out of me as well.

“But it’s like you were told girls – out here, you soon discover that nature is what nature is, and you have to take it as it comes, no matter what others may think.  Am I right?”

Both Nats and Alice nodded, unable to really speak their thoughts because of the two sponges in their mouths, and the strips of grey tape covering their lips.

“So, I’m going to let you two little ladies have some quality time in here,” Fiona said as she looked at them, “and I’ll come and let you join the others in a little while.  Have fun.”

As Fiona went out and closed the door, Nats leaned over and pressed her tape covered mouth over Alice’s.

“They just wanted some time to themselves,” Fiona said in answer to her granddaughter’s question, “you just leave them alone now.”

The other girls looked at each other and nodded as Joe said “how about a game of cards?”

When Heidi woke the next morning, she rubbed her eyes and looked at Cindy, who was still sleeping peacefully in the bed.  Taking off her nightdress, and putting on the shorts and t-shirt from the previous night for the moment, she made her way to the kitchen to get a drink of water.

“Good morning, Heidi – you’re up before anyone else today.”

“Except you,” she said as she saw Fiona at the sink.  “What time is it?”

“Just after six – listen, I was going to feed the chickens and get the eggs for breakfast.  Want to give me a hand?”

“Sure – let me get some trainers on,” Heidi said, finding and putting them on her feet before she followed Fiona out into the yard.

“If you take that basket,” Fiona said as she handed Heidi a wicker basket with grain, “and scatter it over the ground where the chickens are, I can get in and find what they have given us today.”

Smiling, Heidi took a handful of grain and scattered it around, watching as several hens and one large cockerel came over and started to peck at the food.

“This must be very different to you,” Fiona said as she came out of the hen house.

“A little bit – Natalie’s Aunt has a farm, but she uses it more as a workshop and to grow vegetables, rather than keep animals.”

“Well, some people do that, but round here a trip to the supermarket to pick up some eggs or milk is a little bit more difficult,” Fiona said with a smile, “so we keep a few things here.”


“Come with me,” Fiona said as they made their way over to one of the barns.  As she went in, Heidi saw two cars side by side in little fenced off areas, chewing on hay.

“Meet Gert and Daisy,” Fiona said.  “I was out milking them before you got up.  Maybe one morning you girls can get up earlier and help me to with that?”

“I’d like to – can’t speak for the others though,” Heidi said as she patted the neck of Gert.

“Oh I think I can persuade at least two of them to,” Fiona said with a smile.  “Come on – the others will be waking up by now.”

“Oh that’s where you went to,” Cindy said as Heidi helped to carry the eggs back in.

“It’s actually quite nice out there,” Heidi said as she sat down.  “No sign of the others yet?”

“Not yet,” Fi said as she came in, “I’m sure they’ll come in when they smell the food.”

“Ten bucks say they don’t.”

“Done,” Fi said as she looked at her grandmother.  “Grandma, any chance of Heuvos Rancheros today?”

“Are you planning to go swimming later?”

“I was going to suggest that, yeah.”

“Then you need a good breakfast,” Fiona said as she found some onions and peppers, finely chopping them and throwing them into a pan with some garlic, chillies and bay leafs.

“Can you sort out the rest of the breakfast, Fi,” Fiona said, the girls helping as they found fruit juice and muffins, while she found some tortilla wraps and cheese, grating the cheese into a bowl.

After a few minutes, Fiona added some tinned tomatoes to the pan, and let it cook for a few more minutes, before adding eggs to the pan and putting a lid on.  Fi then laid the tortillas on the lid for a few minutes, before putting them on a plate and bringing to the table with the grated cheese, as her grandmother brought the pan over and laid it on a stand.

“That smells fantastic.”

Heidi looked over to see Alice, Natalie and Jannifer come in, before looking at Fi.

“I’ll pay you later,” she said as Fi put some cheese on a tortilla, spooned an egg on and then rolled it up before she started to eat it.

“This is the life,” Jannifer said as she sat in the back of the pickup truck, a red bandana tied round her neck as she sat in her blue swimsuit, a pair of denim shorts her only other clothing.

The other girls were also wearing swimsuits and shorts, Fi and Heidi wearing hats while the others had bandanas tied round their necks, the back protecting their skin as Luke drove them along the path.  A large wicker basket was on the bed of the pickup as well.

“I wonder what everyone else I doing at the moment,” Cindy said as she looked out across the grasslands.

“I called mom – she and Dorothy are heading up to see Heather today.”

“Aunt Heather?  Why?”

“No idea, Nats – they just are.”

“We’re nearly there,” Fi said as they saw a small group of trees appear on the horizon.

Ten minutes later, Luke stopped in what was effectively a small oasis – the trees surrounded a large watering hole, with a little jetty sticking out.  There was a small rock outcrop to one side, and the girls could see the stream flowing in one end and out the other.

“I’ll be back to collect you girls at about four,” Luke said as they got out, Cindy and Heidi carrying the basket, “have fun.”

“We will – and thanks again Luke,” Fi said as the truck drove off.

“So this is the famous little watering hole?  It’s a lot bigger than I thought it was when you described it, but...”

“But this is Texas – everything is bigger,” Fi said with a smile.  Opening the basket, she took the rug from the top and laid it out, before stripping off her shorts and saying “last one is has to pay the price.”

“And what’s the price,” Alice called out as she removed her shorts.

“Snooze and you’ll find out,” Cindy said as the girls ran to the water...
Heidi's Spring Break - part 3
More fun and games down San Antonio way...
STOP!  In the name of love
Before you break my heart.
STOP! In the name of love
Before you tear us apart.
Think it over,
Think it over...

The Daydreams were singing and dancing on the stage, entertaining the troops at the army camp with their act.  One of the best known girl groups in the country, the African American trio were coming to the end of a tour of bases, which was due to culminate in an appearance at the Wrigley Stadium before the big game on the 4th of July.

April, the lead singer, was wearing a red poncho designed like a Stop sign for the road, as well as grey tights and black knee length go-go boots.  Melody was slightly less garishly dressed, in a black leather slip dress with a large white arrow motif pointing down at the front, and white boots, while Coral had on a white coat with black and red trim on the collar and cuffs, the same design on her knee length boots.

As they finished their song, the assembled soldiers whooped and hollered, cheering the girls as they ran off and went into the dressing room.

“FINALLY,” April said as she pulled off the heavy poncho, and sat in her crop top and tights, “have they any idea how hot it is under that?”

“Tell me about it,” Coral said as she peeled her coat off, “I must have lost five pounds just walking out onto the stage.”

“Even this is sticking like crazy,” Melody added as she let the dress fall to the floor, and collapsed in the chair.  “At least at Wrigley we get to wear the dresses.”

“And we have a couple of days off to relax,” April said with a smile.  “I fancy heading to the mall tomorrow, you girls with me?”

“Only if we can go as ourselves,” Melody said as she removed the black wig, putting it on a stand as she shook her head.  “Who decided all Negro girl bands had to have black hair?”

“Same person who decided we couldn’t appear on American Bandstand,” Coral said.  “you know – racist misogynistic record company manager.”

“Amen to that sister,” April said.

The mall was playing music from Pet Sounds as the three girls walked round, nobody even taking a second look at them as stopped and looked in the windows.  April was wearing a white sleeveless top with a roll neck, a pleated blue mini skirt, and white stilettos, a blue scarf tied over her hair.  

Melody had on a short sleeved blue blouse and powder blue shorts, with matching heels and a folded blue scarf tied round her neck, while Coral was wearing a green top with the shoulders pulled down and matching Capri pants.

“What do you think of that particular dress,” Coral said as she pointed to a peach slip dress, the skirt barely coming down the mannequin’s legs.

“Nice – but no way we’d be able to wear it on stage, especially tomorrow,” April said with a smile.  “Let’s find a coffee shop.”

As they walked off, they didn’t see the two men watching from a distance, one of them heading to a pay phone as the other followed.

“Boss?  We found them – we’ll call when they can be picked up.”

“Excuse me – can I have an autograph?”

“sure,” April said as she took the young girl’s book and signed the blank page, and then passed it to the other two.  She smiled as the girl ran back to show her mother, before looking at her watch.

“Aw damn – we need to get back for rehearsals,” she said, finishing her coffee as she stood up.  “I’ll be back in a minute – nature calls.”

“We’ll meet you outside,” Melody said as she and Coral left money on the table, and headed out of the bar.  April disappeared through the door for a few minutes, returning and thanking the staff before she stepped outside.

“Now here have those two gone to,” she said as she looked round, but there was no sign of her bandmates.  As she looked from side to side, a young man walked up to her and said “excuse me, is your name April?”

“Yes that’s right – why?”

“Good,” he said as out of his pocket he produced a hand gun.  “Don’t make a fuss or do anything stupid, just walk slowly with me.  Your friends are waiting for you.”

“what the...”

“As Is aid,” the young man continued as he took April’s arm, and pressed the pistol against her back, “no fuss, act normally, and walk with me.”

April looked round, as she slowly walked towards the car park, unsure of what if anything she could do with the man holding her at gunpoint.  Eventually, they reached an old Mustang, which the man popped open the trunk lid of as they stood behind it.

“Get in,” he said as he took a roll of duct tape out, “and lie on your side.”

“What are you going to do,” April said as she somehow managed it fit in.

“Keep your quiet for one thing,” the man said as he taped her wrists together, and then down to her legs as he wrapped the tape around her thighs.  Securing her ankles, he then tore off several strips and pressed them over April’s mouth, before pressing one last strip over her eyes.

“Not a word,” he said as April heard the trunk slam shut, and then felt the car start up as it moved away, the road bumps making her jump as well as they moved along.  She knew this was a kidnapping, but why?  Who?  And for what?  Just money – or some crazed fan like that film they had all seen?”

“Get up,” the man said as April felt the tape cut away from her arms and legs, and she was forced to stand, taken by the arm and made to walk somewhere, her mouth and eyes still covered by the tape.

“Hmggddd – prrllll!”

“Grls,” she mumbled as she was made to sit on a chair, and she felt her arms been pulled behind her, rope pulling her wrists together as it rubbed on her bare skin.  Whoever was doing this was making it tight, as she felt the ropes around and between her arms, and then forced against what she presumed was the wooden chair back.

Someone else had started to tie her ankles together, and as she tried to move them her own upper body was pulled back against the chair, and what was probably more rope used to lash her into place.

“Hmmgfddd,” she then said as the tape was yanked away from her eyes, taking half her eyebrows with it, and she blinked as she looked round the room.

Melody was lying on her side on a bed, ropes holding her wrists behind her back and tied tightly round her upper body, legs and ankles, while silver tape covered her mouth.  Coral was sitting on the floor, her legs bent and tied to her body as she looked out over her own gag.

Looking to the side, she saw three young men standing there, grinning as they looked at their captives.

“We’ll bring you some food later,” the one who had nabbed April said as he looked at them, “have fun while you wait.”

They watched as the men walked out, and then looked at each other as they tried to get free...

“No tricks,” the man said as he untied April, and she rubbed her wrists before peeling the tape away from her mouth.  They had brought a folding table into the room, and placed a number of Chinese take-out boxes on there as well as bottles of water.  They could hear noises through the small windows high up near the ceiling, but not much more.

“Look,” Melody said as she rubbed her hands, “what the hell is this all about.  You snatch us two as soon as we leave the coffee shop, then snatch our friend, but why?”

April glanced up as she thought she heard a drum being hit, but said nothing as she looked back at the three men.

“We got our reasons – now eat.  Tomorrow’s a big day.”

“Yeah - 4th July, big game, big party, big performance by us...”

“Almost correct,” the man said as they left, and locked the door again behind them.  The three girls looked at each other, and then looked in the boxes.

“Well, it looks edible,” Coral said as she took a shrimp out, and bit into it.  “Who are these maniacs anyway?”

“I have no freaking idea,” Melody said as they started to eat, the sound of the drums coming from up above.  “Wherever we are, a band is playing.”

“I know,” April said, “but if we can’t figure out how to get out of here soon, or if they don’t let us go, we’re going to miss the game tomorrow.”

“Surely the record company are going to notice we didn’t make it to rehearsal?”

“You’d hope so, but you know that lot,” April said with a sigh.  “If it isn’t in front of them with a dollar sign...”

“Maybe we’ve been kidnapped for money?”

“Maybe,” Coral said, “but if that’s the case, wouldn’t they have taken a ransom photo?  Have you seen a flash bulb or heard a camera?”

The other two girls shook their heads as the high windows started to darken.  April looked round the room, noticing the pipes that ran along the wall near the floor, and an idea suddenly struck her.

“All right,” the man said as he and his partners opened the door, “time to make you three secure for the night.  Kneel down, hands behind your backs.”

“You don’t have to tie us up,” Melody said as they picked up the rope from before, “we can’t get out of the room, you could just...”

“Quiet,” the man said as once again all three girls had their wrists crossed behind their backs and tied together with ropes, and then their arms tied tightly to their sides.  They were then made to sit against the wall as their ankles were crossed, and secured, and then their legs bound below and above their knees.

“Sleep tight,” the man laughed as they then had strips of brown sticking plaster pressed firmly down over their mouths, making it difficult for them to talk as the men moved out.

But talking wasn’t what was on April’s mind.  Moving herself round, she waited as Melody moved as well before she managed to reach and ease her show off, and then sit slightly forward, grunting as she began to tap on the pipes with the shoe.  Three short hits, three long hits, three short hits...

“Think they got any sleep?”

“Who cares,” the leader said to the other two as he unlocked the cellar door, “just as long as they can’t make the show.  After that, they can...”

“Watch you as you stand trial for kidnapping,” the police officer said as the three men walked in, only to be cuffed and marched back out again.

“How the hell...”

“You know, for soldiers you’re really dumb,” Melody said as she stood with the other two, “pipes, heels, Morse code?”

“And to hold us in the bowels of Wrigley Stadium,” April added.  “It was the marching bands we heard, wasn’t it?”

“Well, you ladies are safe now,” the officer said as the would-be kidnappers were led away.  “Those three saw your show the other day, evidently.”

“Yeah, well,” Coral said, “the real kicker was they were trying to stop us from doing the really important stuff today.”

“Which was...”

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls,” the announcer said, “to lead us in the national anthem, please welcome The Daydreams!”

The crowd cheered as Melody, April and Coral walked out, wearing red shift dresses, white gloves and stiletto heels, and blue chiffon scarves, as they stood at the microphone and sang.

Oh say can you see,
By the dawn’s early night...


KP-Presents's Profile Picture
Kev Pickering
United Kingdom
Writer of "detective magazine" fiction which I publish with other works at The text boxes you see here contain extracts from some of my stories. Click on the link and look for the category mentioned in the description for the full text. For quick updates to my site, try my blog at

I am always open to story ideas or collaboration requests - :iconrequestsopen: :iconcollabsask:

Current Residence: UK
Favourite genre of music: Classic Rock, sixties female
MP3 player of choice: I don't own one
Favourite cartoon character: DangerMouse
Personal Quote: It's the quiet, unobivous ones you have to watch


Ta mate! Hope I can stay longer this time round ;)
Sat Nov 23, 2013, 4:45 AM


Jul 4, 2015
6:28 am
Jul 4, 2015
5:52 am
Jul 4, 2015
4:54 am
Jul 4, 2015
4:34 am
Jul 4, 2015
3:58 am


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MisterMistoffelees Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the Invasions fave, KP!  I'm honored!... :D
Fecius Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2015
Thanks for the fav, Kev Pickering. I shall never forget it, although perhaps I will some time later.
Brawled01 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015
What's the story that follows after playing with the family called, cause i can't seem to find it
KP-Presents Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015
That's probably because it kept slipping between the cracks, and needs to be written...
MisterMistoffelees Featured By Owner May 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
And thanks for the nest Invasions fave, too!... :D
MisterMistoffelees Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the Invasions fave, Mr. KP!... :D
Created-By-Caz Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the fave!
saebasan Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015
Two comments today.  First off, you are one darn prolific writer.  You are literally posting material here faster than I can read it.  Wow.

Second, do you by any chance maintain some sort of index or outline of your stories, in particular which ones go together and in which order?  I am one of those AR types that have to read things in order, from the beginning and just trying to figure out where to start is giving me headaches.  :)

Cheers and thanks for all the reading material!
KP-Presents Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015
Well thanks.

Now indices - hmmmm

Some of the stories are definitely following a sequence - and on my site at www.kppresents,com the likes of The Pussycat Bang, The Cat, Madame X, Heidi and others are in a reasonable order.  Other stories - easier if you ask me which ones...
MisterMistoffelees Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the Invasions fave, good sir!... :D
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