Whatever you may think of me, I always try to treat the families I visit with care and dignity. I know it can be upsetting for them, especially the mothers, but making it a game seems to keep things calm.
Which is why it can be so distressing to see the more violent members of my fraternity at work. Case in point – I had been looking to visit the owner of a jewellery shop in the Beeston area of Nottingham. He was a well know man, with a wife in her late thirties. She was a beautiful woman, with long brown hair, while their eleven year old daughter had her father’s light blonde hair colouring.
Anyway, this Thursday evening I knew the husband was at a conference so I parked outside the private school her daughter was attended and waited for a little while. She soon came out, wearing her school uniform – white blouse, red tie, red pullover and blazer with gold trim, pleated knee length grey skirt, white socks and shoes. She got into her mother’s car and they drove off, me following a few metres behind.
I stopped in the street as they parked in the driveway and walked to the house – the mother had on a long black coat, but I could see her dark tights and her high heeled strapped shoes as they walked to the door and into the house. As usual, I waited for a few minutes, but while I was checking my rucksack to ensure I had the supplies, something rather unusual happened.
A grey transit van pulled into the driveway, and I wondered if I was going to have to wait or come back. Before I drove off, however, I saw two men walk from the van to the front door. They were wearing black boiler suits and woolly hats, but as I watched them ring the doorbell, they both pulled the fats down and covered their heads. I caught a glimpse of the mother opening the door, and then they forced their way in.
I literally could not believe my eyes – somebody had beaten me to it, right under my very nose! Curiosity got the better of me, however, so I got out of the car, with my rucksack, and made my way up to the house. I didn’t try to get in the front door, instead making my way round to see if I could see anything at the back.
The rear of the house had a large set of glass patio doors, and through them I could see the mother, wearing a black sleeveless dress, pleading with one of the robbers as he used rope to bind her daughter’s arms behind her back. This was no game – I could see the fear in her eyes as her arms were tied in a box behind her back, and then more rope used to bind her arms at her elbows and around her shoulders.
As he tied her arms to her waist, the first man pushed a large cloth into the mother’s mouth, and forced a knotted white scarf between her lips, before he started to bind her just as cruelly as the young girl.
Now I was getting angry – there was no need for such violence, as the girl was gagged like her mother, and then they dragged the two women out of the room. I went back to the car, and sat for some time, wondering whether or not I should do the decent thing and call the police.
Before I could do that, I saw them come out of the house, carrying bags which they put into the van, and then drove off. They left the front door open, so I decided to see what they had done. Leaving the car, I walked up and into the house, pulling the stocking over my head.
It was quiet, but I could see a door in the hallway open. I made my way over, down the first couple of stairs, and looked down.
The mother and daughter were sat on the floor of the cellar, back to back, with yards of rope holding them together. They both had their ankles tied together, as well as their legs above and below their knees, and then their legs were bent, their ankles tied to their waist by a length of rope that went between their legs.
They both had their eyes closed and were quietly trying to comfort each other, so I left them to it and had a look round. The two men had certainly made a mess, upstairs and downstairs, but as I looked in the mother’s bedroom one thing in particular struck me – they had missed the obvious hiding places.
Oh sure – they had turned out the drawers, and there were jewellery boxes lying on the floor, but they had not searched the wardrobe, the boxes inside the wardrobe, or checked inside the drawers. When I did so, I found several more pieces of and sets of jewellery, which I pocketed for my own benefit.
They had also made a real mess of the daughter’s room, but again for a family like this, I figured there would be hiding places in her room, such as under the bed or in her bookcase – which for some reason they had not touched. That proved fruitful as well – such as the plastic storage box that had jumpers on the top, but underneath a set of pearl earrings and a matching necklace.
Walking back down the stairs, I thought of the mother and daughter in the basement, and I realised for once I had to play the part of rescuer as well as robber. I slipped the stocking off my head, checked outside that nobody was going past, and then went back to my car, depositing everything in the boot before I looked back to the house. Running my fingers through my hair, I walked back up to the house, pushed the door open and said “Hello – anyone at home?”
“DWWNHRRRR!” I heard someone shout out, so I went to the basement door, walked down and said “Hello?” I then saw them staring at me, struggling as I ran down and said “My god – who did this to you?”
I untied and removed the gags from both of them, as the mother said “Oh thank you, thank you – two men tied us up and forced us down here. Fiona, are you all right?”
“I’m all right mum,” the girl said as I started to untie them. “Thank you, whoever you are...”
Once I had them free, I called the police on my mobile phone, and then helped them upstairs, waiting with them until the police and a paramedic crew came to join us. They could not have been more grateful, as I told the police my story, and they both hugged me before I left.
Strange feeling – playing the hero, but it wasn’t the only time I did so.
I had been meeting one of the people whom I deal with for the items I take, when he said “By the way, you’re not planning to do anything in the Beaconsfield area this Saturday, are you?”
Well, I wasn’t but I asked him why he was concerned. “I heard something – the Black Hoods are planning to hit the house of a bank manager in the town, hold his family hostage, force him to open the vault. You know how they work...”
He didn’t need to say any more – the modus operandi of the gang was well known. They would take the family hostage, but after the target had done their bidding – and sometimes before – the females they held hostage were subjected to a rather humiliating binding, and sometimes assault.
“Point taken – any idea who and when?”
“Some guy named Cogsworth – eleven thirty in the morning is when they’re planning to take his wife and kids hostage.”
“Three daughters – nine, ten and twelve. Trust me; the police are going to be mad as hell on this one if they pull their usual stunts.” He downed his drink and headed off, leaving me fuming. I knew this gang knew what they would do, and I did not want that to happen to innocents like that...
Saturday morning, I was outside the house of the Cogsworth family – easily found if you know where to look – watching as the father drove out of the driveway and headed off down the road.
I then made my way up to the front door, and silently opened it, stepping inside and closing the door behind me. I could hear the television on in the front room, but I walked past that, and towards the kitchen.
Mrs Cogworth was standing at the sink, dressed in an olive green blouse with the sleeves rolled up, and an old faded denim skirt that reached almost to the floor, just about covering her black converse trainers. The bottom of a white top was visible under the green blouse, as she washed up some breakfast dishes.
Her muffled gasp as I hand gagged her told me I had taken her completely by surprise, as I whispered “No screaming please – I don’t want your daughters to know I am here yet. Just walk with me to the table, sit down, and I’ll tell you what’s going to happen.”
I felt her nod as I walked her back to the table, and let her sit down as I closed the kitchen door. She looked at me, in my black jacket and trousers, with the stocking over my face, and said “What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to play a little game with you and your daughters,” I said as I sat down with her. “I want you to tell them that this is a family game of Cops and Robbers, and I’m playing the robber. Then I’m going to tie you all up, take some of your things and then leave you to look after each other.”
“Oh god,” she said as she looked at me, “Please, don’t hurt them...”
“Believe me, it’s not my intention to hurt them or you.” I looked at the dark haired woman, her chest heaving, and said “What’s your name?”
“All right, Phyllis, have you heard of the Black Hoods?”
She visibly blanched and said “No, you’re not...”
“I’m not – but I have heard they are going to come here today. Get your daughters to play the game, allow me to take a few things, and I can fix things so they get the blame and ever bother another family again.”
“Oh god,” she whispered quietly, and then she said “You will make it as if it is a game.”
“I promise – and then everything will be all right.”
Phyllis nodded, and then said “Very well – but let me tell the girls my way.” I agreed, and so we went into the front room. Her nine year old daughter was lying in front of the television, watching a cartoon, when she turned and saw us.
“Julie,” Phyllis said quietly, “Would you please go upstairs and ask Millicent and Rose to come downstairs? I need to tell all three of you something.”
“All right, Mum,” Julie said as she stood up. She was wearing a pair of denim shorts, with a red belt around her waist, and a white t-shirt with “I”, a heart and a moustache on the front. I had seen Mrs Cogsworth had some facial hair on the upper lip, so I laughed as she ran off in her yellow slippers.
The next girl in was a little taller than Julie, with blonde hair instead of her younger sister’s black. She was bare foot, and wearing a pair of bell bottom jeans and a pink short sleeved top. “Sit down for me, Millicent,” Phyllis said, as the final girl came in.
She was as tall as her mother, with her blonde hair pulled back in a pigtail, and had on a peach coloured cardigan over a white vest with thin orange horizontal stripes. She was also wearing a pair of jeans, the legs of which were tucked into a pair of knee length black leather boots with a belt detail on the front.
“What is it Mum, I was going to...” she said before she saw me through her glasses, and stifled a scream. “It’s all right, Rose,” Phyllis quickly said, “I asked this man to come and play a game of Cops and Robbers with us.”
“Would you please draw the curtains,” I said to her as Julie came back in, “and then sit with your sisters, so that your mother can explain how the game works.”
She looked at her mother again, and then went to the curtains, drawing them to before she sat down.
“Girls,” Phyllis said as she looked at me, “this man has agreed to come and play the role of a robber, who wants to steal our things. He is going to make sure we cannot stop him, by tying us up, and then he will make sure we cannot speak for a while.”
“You mean he’s going to gag us?”
“That’s right, “I said, “but I won’t hurt you in any way. The point of the game is, after I have gone, to remain as still as possible until some more friends of your mother and father come and surprise you.”
“It’s just like being in a school play,” Phyllis added, “all right?”
I smiled as the girls nodded, and then I said “All right – a real robber will tell you all to sit with your hands on your heads, so do that for me please.”
All three did so, as I guided Phyllis’ hands behind her back, took a length of rope from my bag and then tied them tightly together, crossing them against the small of her back. Once I had them secured, I tied some more rope around her stomach and arms, locking them in place before I said “Sit down and watch while I take care of your daughters. Oldest first – Rose, stand up and put your hands behind your back.”
Phyllis sat herself in an armchair as the television played in the background, and I tied Rose’s wrists behind her back in the same way, making sure I held them firmly together and cinched the band by passing the rope between her wrists. Once I had tied her arms in place, I said “Julie, Millicent, would you please let your older sister lie down on this couch.”
They both got up, their hands still of their heads as they watched Rose lie down on her back, and then I bound her ankles together, the rope rubbing against the leather as I secured them. Finally I tied her legs together below her knees, and above the topes of her boots, passing the rope between her legs to secure it properly.
“I hope that’s not too uncomfortable,” I said as Rose rolled onto her side and looked at her mother. “It’s actually quite comfy,” she finally said, “but what are you going to do to the others?”
“Watch,” I said as I went into the kitchen, and fetched a char from the dining table. I positioned it in front of the television, between the seat Phyllis was in and the couch rose was lying on, and said “Millicent, sit in here please, and put your arms through the gaps in the chair back.”
Once she had done so, I crossed and tied her wrists together, then secured them to the chair back, before I tied some rope around her waist to fix her to the chair back. I then knelt in front of her and tied her ankles to the chair legs, as well as her legs below her knees, and then tied her arms to the chair back.
“This isn’t too bad,” she said as I knelt in front of Julie, put her hands together palm to palm and then tied them tightly together, before tying her arms to her tummy as I had her mother and sister.
“I want you to sit of front of the couch, Julie, and bend your legs for me,” I said as I looked at the young girl. She nodded and sat down, watching with the others as I tied her ankles tightly together, as well as her legs below her knees, and then tied her wrist to the rope on her legs.
“Right then,” I said as I looked in my watch, “I’m going to pretend to take some of your mum’s valuables now. Feel free to talk quietly amongst your selves.”
Before I left, I tied Phyllis’ ankles tightly together, and then her legs above her knees, lifting the hem of her skirt up as I did so. Smiling, I left them alone for a few minutes, and went upstairs.
I was as good as my word – there were a lot of very fine pieces of jewellery, but I left them there, and pocketed a few serviceable things as well as some cash. I also collected some scarves from Phyllis’ bedroom, and then made my way downstairs.
“Right,” I said as I came back in, to find them all where I had left them,”I need to make sure you all stay as still and as quiet as possible. Mum first – sit forward a bit please.”
As Phyllis moved forward, I took a length of rope and tied it around her upper arms, holding them in place, before I folded a small blue silk square and said “Open wide please.”
I nodded to show I had kept it, and then pushed the folded silk pad into her mouth, waiting until she closed it before I covered her mouth with a wide strip of the micropore tape. She grunted “Fnku” as I knelt next to Julie, and said “If you open your mouth, I’ll put this in your mouth, and then cover your lips with tape. It will help you to keep quiet for the game, all right?”
She nodded, then opened her mouth wide as I pushed the folded handkerchief in, and then smoothed the tape over her lips. Standing up, I put a folded black silk neck scarf into Millicent’s mouth, and then a folded red bandana into Rose’s, before tape gagging both of them.
Looking at my watch, I saw it was eleven am. “All right,” I said quietly, “the friends of mine I talked about will be coming in half an hour to surprise you. Your mum knows what to do when they come, so I want you to follow her lead, and to have fun, all right?”
All four of them nodded, Phyllis smiling under the tape as I took my leave of them.
The endgame of that little visit I did not discover until the next morning, when I bought a local paper.
Apparently, Police were given an anonymous tip-off that the notorious Black Hoods planned to hold the family of a local bank manager hostage. When they arrived at the house, they found the manager’s wife and his three daughters tightly bound and gagged, as well as the three members of the gang. Police sources indicated they claimed they had broken into the house, and found all four already secured, but the wife had told police the gang had done this to them, under the threat of serious assault.
The three gang members were in custody, charged with a string of violent robberies and assaults. One less blot on our landscape...
There was another time when I had to help out with a fun learning activity – this was when I was doing some shopping of my own for a birthday present, and I saw this woman with a nine year old girl coming into the shop and standing next to me.
“Will Daddy be back in time to see me,” the girl said as they looked at some Lego.
“Of course he will, Angel,” the mother said, “he flies back from his business trip on Monday, and the play is Wednesday.”
“Good – and we can herearse again later?”
“Of course we can,” the mum said as they walked on. I took a look at them – the girl had long blonde hair, with a red scarf tied over it. The scarf had white dots all over it. Her long green coat covered her clothing.
As for the mum, she had red hair cut in a fringe, going down to the shoulders of her coat. I could see the light purple flannel trousers under it, and the short grey boots the legs were tucked into.
Well, I thought I may as well take the opportunity, so I followed them to the bus stop, rode with them to a housing estate a mile or two outside town, and then watched as they got off the bus and went into a terraced house a few doors down. I got off at the next stop, and walked back, taking my time to look at the house before jumping on the bus back, and collecting my car.
When I returned an hour later, I took my rucksack and walked up to the door, pretending to push a leaflet through the door. Instead, I tried the handle, and finding it opening I slipped in, closing it noiselessly behind me.
I could hear them talking in one of the rooms, but as I got closer and put the stocking down over my head I realised they were actually herearsing some sort of play.
“Please, don’t leave me like this,” I heard the little girl say.
“Don’t worry, little one – your mummy will be joining you soon, and then you can be together.”
“But why did you tie me up?”
“To stop you raising the alarm.”
Well, I was intrigued, so I looked round the corner into the room. The little girl was sitting in a chair, with a length of rope holding her wrist together on her lap, and another one around her ankles. I could now see she was wearing a pink top with three buttons down from the neck, and her sleeves pushed up to her elbows, as well as a pair of yellow knee lengths pants.
Her mother was wearing along sleeved purple top, with the waist straps knotted behind her back, and was reading from some stapled together sheets of paper.
“That’s very good, Angel,” her mother said. “You’re going to be really good in the play.”
“I know,” Angel said as she swung her legs to and fro, “but I really wish he was her to play the part of the robber. Then you could be the mummy and we could really herearse the play.”
Now there was a cue if ever there was one, so I decided to walk in and say “Did I hear you say you needed someone to play a robber?”
The woman looked at me, with the stocking over my head, before I said “Don’t be alarmed – your dad is a friend of mine, and he called me to see if I could come and help you get ready. The door was open, and I did call out, but...”
I looked at the mother and said “Really – You’re Angel, and you’re Ellie, right?” I’d seen the name on an envelope in the hallway, and took a punt at it.
“That’s right,” Ellie said quietly, “so what are you going to do?”
“Well, your husband asked me to pretend to be a real robber, and while you read your lines I’ll make sure you really can’t move. But for me to do that, I need you,” I said as I looked at Ellie, “to go and get two pairs of socks for me – one for you and one for Angel here.”
“Please, mummy,” Angel said as she looked at Ellie. “All right,” she eventually said, “but can I have a word with you, please?”
I walked out of the room with her, before she turned and whispered “Who are you? My husband said nothing about this.”
“No, he didn’t,” I said as I showed her the butt of my pistol, “but just play along and make it a herearsal of the play, and everything will be just fine, understand?”
Ellie looked at my hand, and nodded, saying “Please, don’t hurt her...”
“Just come with me to get the socks,” I said as I took her arm, and we went upstairs, taking one pair of socks from her daughter’s room and one from hers. As we went downstairs, I said “Why don’t we untie your hands and feet, Angel, and you can have a drink before we start.”
Ellie did the necessary, as they both took a drink from the cups on the table, while I read the script.
“All right,” I said quietly, “Why don’t we take it from when the robber surprises you in the front room of your house? Angel, you play your part, your mother is Mum, and I play the robber. Ready?”
Angel nodded, and then screamed “WHO ARE YOU?”
Looking at the script, I say “Be quiet, both of you – do as I say and you won’t get hurt.”
Ellie then said “Oh god – please don’t hurt us...” as Angel hugged her.
“Just keep quiet, and you won’t get hurt. You,” I said as I pointed to Angel,” Come here and put your hands behind your back.”
As she walked over, I said “Put the socks over your hands as you do that.” I watched as she did so, before turning her to face her mum. Ellie said “Be brave” as I crossed Angel’s wrists behind her back, and then tied them together with rope from my bag, before fixing them to her body with rope around her waist.
“That’s tight – nice but tight,” she said before slipping back into role, and crying “Please don’t do this” as I sat her on the couch.
“I have to,” I said reading from the sheet, as I crossed her ankles and tied them together with the soft rope I had brought with me. “You’re better at this than mum,” Angel giggled as Ellie looked on.
“What are you going to do to us?”
“Just keep you out of the way while we rob the place – now, you’re going to go with my friend while I stay with your daughter – and no funny stuff!”
“All right,” Ellie said, and then she sat down. “At this point, I go off stage, and you talk to Angel.”
I looked at the script, and realised we had got to the point I heard them at earlier.
“Don’t cry, little girl – I promise you your mummy will be just fine.”
“Please, don’t leave me like this.”
“Don’t worry, little one – your mummy will be joining you soon, and then you can be together.”
“But why did you tie me up?”
“To stop you raising the alarm.”
I looked again at the script. “It says here Mum enters her hands already tied. Please, Ellie put the socks on your hands and your hands behind your back.”
“All right,” she whispered as she pulled the white socks over her own hands, and then I crossed and bound them behind her back as I had Angel. As well as the ropes around her waist, however, I also tied some rope around her upper body, above and below her chest, holding her arms tightly to her side.
“Why did you do that,” Angel said as I made Ellie sit next to her, crossed her ankles and tied them together.
“To make it realistic,” I said quietly. “Now, take it from the point your mum comes in.”
Ellie nodded, looked at the script and said “Are you all right, Angel”?
“My character’s name is May, mum!”
“Are you all right, MAY,” Ellie said as she looked at me.
“I’m scared, but he’s being nice to me,” Angel said as she watched me tie Ellie’s legs together below her knees. “He really wants us to stay out of the way, doesn’t he?”
“I promise you,” I said as I looked at the script, “just sit here and you’ll be fine. Now, sit forward May.”
Angel shuffled forward, and I saw in the script it called for her wrists to be tied to her mothers. I improvised, however, and tied her arms to her side by winding the rope around her elbows and tummy.
“That’s not in the script,” Angel said as I tied the ropes off.
“No – but you can cuddle into mummy if you want now,” I said as I helped her to sit back. “Now, I’m going to go and rob you – stay here and keep quiet.”
“We’ll be good,” Ellie said, and Angel nodded as well as I left them in the room. “Remember – I can hear you,” I shouted back, then listened to them as they said their lines. Ellie had the role of keeping Angie quiet, while Angie started to cry and ask her mummy what was going to happen.
I searched downstairs first, and then I heard Angie saying “IT’S YOUR LINE!!!”
“Sorry,” I said as I came back in to find them sitting next to each other. Looking at the script, I said “Good – you’re behaving yourself, but I need to look upstairs. Can I trust you to keep quiet?”
They both nodded, so I left them, looking as quickly as I could and finding some very nice items. When I went back down, I saw that Angel was lying with her head on Ellie’s lap.
“Right then,” I said as I looked at the script, “I need to make sure you cannot speak or call for help.” Looking at the script, I saw it called for a scarf to be tied over their mouths, but I needed them to be really quiet, so I took two scarves I had taken from Ellie’s room, rolled them into bands and tied knots in the middle, before saying “Time to gag you – mummy first.”
Ellie kissed her daughter, then opened her mouth and allowed me to ease the knot into her mouth, tying the scarf around her neck. Angel then said “Thank you” as I eased the knot into her mouth, and tied the scarf around her head.
“Now,” I said as I looked at the script, “just sit tight and I’ll call the police once I’m far enough away.” Ellie nodded as Angel rested her head on her mother’s lap again, while I got out of there.
And yes, I did call the police.
I don’t want you to get the impression that every visit I make goes smoothly – I’ve already told you of a few times when I have had to improvise and change my plans. One time in the US, however, was a little different.
I was in one of worst possible places to plan a visit – Washington DC. With the extra security presence, you would think it would not be possible to just walk up to a front door, go in and rob the place by holding the daughter hostage.
Wrong – so long as you don’t plan it, or look suspicious, it can be easier. I was there on business, but you know by now I take time off and look around, so in this case I was in a suburb when I saw them walking past.
The mother was in her early thirties, dark skinned with straight brown hair, and had a black leather jacket over a white top, white trousers and black shoes. Her ten year old daughter had curled brown hair, and was wearing a blue denim jacket over a similar top to her mother, beige trousers and sneakers.
Anyway, I followed them to their home, then went to a local hardware store to buy some supplies before returning. I walked to the back of the house, and let myself into the kitchen – just in time to see Mummy walk in, her jacket now off.
She was going to scream, so I pushed her up to the wall, and clamped my gloved hand over her mouth as I said “Don’t scream – you don’t want to scare your daughter, do you?
She stared at me, and then shook her head as I took my hand away. “Good – just do as I say and everything will be just fine. Where is your daughter?”
“Shhhhh She’s watching television,” she whispered. “What are you going to do?”
“Well,” I said as I took some rope from my jacket pocket, “Right now I’m going to tie your hands behind your back. Just keep quiet, keep calm and turn round.”
As she did so, and I tied her crossed wrists together, she looked over her shoulder and said “Please, my purse is on the table. Just take it and leave us alone.”
“I said to stay calm and keep quiet,” I whispered as I passed more rope around her waist and fixed her arms to her back. “Now, sit down, and tell me your name.”
“My name? It’s Amanda,” she said as she sat in a kitchen chair.
“And your daughter?”
“Toni – what are you going to do to us?”
“Well, Amanda,” I said as I sat, and smiled, “we’re going to tell Toni that you have invited me to come and play a game with both of you. If we make it a game, then it won’t be as scary for her.”
I looked at Amanda, and said “I beg your pardon?”
“No – I’m sorry, but I don’t want her to think she’s playing a tie-up game. I forbid her to play them, and I can’t change my mind now.”
“Don’t you want her to be calm when I tie her up?”
“You’re going to tie her up as well as me?”
“Well, I can;t leave one of you to raise the alarm, can I? Tellign ehr it is a game will make it easier for both of you.”
Amanda shook her head and said “I have firm rules for Toni, and I cannot be seen to be changing them. She’s asked to play these games before, but I have always said no. I believe it is wrong to tie someone up, even if it is a game.”
“I just tied your wrists – and I know you think that is wrong. Why make it scary for her?”
“It’s dangerous – I can’t...”
“Well then Amanda, I guess we have to make it real.” I stood up and opened my bag, taking out a large cloth. “Open your mouth, I need to tightly gag you so that you cannot stop me as I tie Toni up, without any mercy...”
Amanda looked at me as I said that, and then said “All right – all right, we’ll do it your way.”
“Excellent,” I said as I put the cloth back. “I will still gag you, but not yet. Now, stand up and walk with me to Toni – let’s start playing.”
She walked in front of me to the front room, where Toni was lying on the floor watching television.
“Toni? You know how you have asked me to play those games with you?”
“Yes, mum,” Toni said without turning round, “and you’ve always said no.”
“Well, I’m saying yes now – I’ve asked a friend to come round and help us both to play.”
Toni looked over at her mum and me, and then jumped up – not in fear, but in joy as she jumped around, said “THANK YOU!” and hugged her mother. Only then did she notice Amanda had her wrists tied.
“Wow – you’ve started already,” she said as she looked at me. “I’ve been reading stories on the net, looking at clips on YouTube, reading books – and I’ve dreamed of this for so long. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!”
“You’re welcome,” I said quietly. “Here’s the game – I’m going to be pretending to be a robber, who’s going to make sure you and your mummy cannot stop me robbing you.”
“Great – but make it really tight. I don’t want to be able to move or free myself.”
I nodded and said “All right – I started by tying your mum’s wrists behind her back. Amanda – I want you to go and lie on the recliner over there.”
As she did so, I said to Toni “I want you to hold these for me.” I opened my bag, and handed her two sponges, which she held in fists as I covered her wrists with a pair of socks and then taped the tops to her sleeves, and her wrist into silver balls.
“Oh that’s fantastic,” she said with a huge grin on her face, “no way I can untie the knots now.”
I then tied her wrists behind her back, and to her waist, before deciding that if Toni wanted the works, she would have the works. I tied her arms to her stomach, and then tied a band of rope around her upper arms and shoulders, using two small lengths of rope under her arms to tighten that band.
“How does that feel,” I said as Toni twisted round.
“Great – is mummy getting the extra ropes as well?”
“She is – sit in that chair,” I said as I pointed to an armchair, “and I will take care of her.”
“Does it hurt,” Amanda said to Toni as I sat her up, then tied her arms to her body, the rope above and below her chest.
“No – it’s really tight and comfy, mum. Do you feel it as well?”
Amanda looked at her body as I tightened the ropes and said “It’s not too uncomfortable.”
“It need not be,” I said as I tightened her chest ropes, and then knelt down, crossing her ankles and tying them tightly together with more rope, followed by her legs below her knees. Once her legs were secured, I asked her to lie on her stomach, and then taped over her hands so that they were covered as well.
Amanda rolled back over and watched as Toni had her ankles put side by side and tied together, as well as her legs below her knees.
“Now then,” I said as I looked at them, “if you both promise to keep quiet, I’ll leave you ungagged while I steal your valuables.”
“Thank you,” Amanda said as I left the, but not before hearing Toni say “See Mum – it’s not as bad as you feared, is it?”
“No, I guess not,” I heard Amanda said, and then I went up the stairs to start my search.
A short while later, I came down to find that Toni had, as I expected, hopped over to sit with her mother on the recliner, as the two of them talked.
“I need to keep you both quiet now,” I said as I opened my bag, “If you both open your mouths, I’ll make sure you cannot raise the alarm for a while.”
“Oh goodie – this is going to be fantastic,” Toni said as I pushed a hankie into her mouth, and then tied the belt from her bath robe into her mouth – having tied a knot in it first. I then took a roll of white medical tape from my bag, and wrapped it round her head to further silence her.
“All right,” I said to Toni, who nodded, her lisp under the tape grinning as I said to Amanda “your turn.”
“What happens after you gag me?”
“You start to try to escape before someone finds you,” I said as I held a folded blue scarf in my hand, “and don’t be afraid – Toni is enjoying this, aren’t you?”
Toni nodded as I pushed the scarf into Amanda’s mouth, used the belt from her bath robe on her, and taped around her head.
“All right then,” I said as I looked at them, then picked Toni up and sat her back in the chair, “have fun.”
Funny thing – a few weeks later I was checking an on-line story forum when a girl named Toni posted what had happened to her – and that her mum was now playing the games regularly with her.
Now, bear with me, because this one can get a little confusing. It started in Westfield out in Stratford, when I saw presumed where a mother with three kids – a nine year old and two ten year olds. It was late autumn, and they all had heavy coats on, but the names on the bags they were carrying made them pique my interest.
The mother had on a pair of bellbottom faded jeans and a green blouse, and looked in her late twenties or early thirties. She was only about five foot seven, with long brown hair. The younger kid had long red hair, and her jacket covered a white smock top, dark pants and short black furry boots.
As for the ten year olds, they looked like they could be twins – both wearing red jumpers, jeans and black shoes. The only difference was one had blue jeans and the other black, but they both had light brown long hair.
Still, I followed them to the tube station, with my rucksack, and then out to Grange Hill, where they got off and walked to a detached house. I allowed them enough time to get in and remove their coats, then made my way to the back door and let myself in.
“I’ll just get the drinks,” I heard the older woman say, and then she came into the kitchen – right into my arms, as I grabbed her, hand gagged her and said "Not a word – this is a robbery, so just do as I say, all right?”
She nodded, so I removed my hand and said “What’s your name?”
“All right Rhea,” I said as I pulled her hands behind her back, and used a plastic zip tie to secure them, “Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to go to your daughters, and tell them they’re going to play a game with you of robbers. They need to do what I say to play, understand?”
“I understand,” Rhea said quietly, “but only one of them is my daughter.”
“Well then, you tell all of them to play along,” I said as I pushed her in front on me, and into the room. As we went in, Rhea said “Girls, this man is going to play a game of robbers with us, all right?”
“Robbers? That sounds like a great game, Aunt Yvonne!”
Now that was confusing, as the woman I had tied was called Rhea. I looked at the ten year old, as Rhea said “So you don’t mind playing, Zoe?”
The girl in black jeans said “No Mum, it sounds fun – doesn’t it Yvonne?”
“Yeah – especially with my big sister playing.”
“Big sister?” I looked at Rhea, who was at least twenty years older, who shrugged as the other ten year old said “All right Aunt Rhea – what do we need to do to play?”
“Listen to the man, Anne – he’ll tell you,” she said as she looked at me, and I got the names straight in my head. “You’re Anne,” I said pointing to the ten year old in blue jeans, “You’re Zoe and you’re Yvonne? Right then – the game is that I’m going to be a big bad robber, and I need to keep all of you out of the way while pretend to rob the house. I’ll do that by making sure none of you can move, or talk, but I’ll make sure you get free later. All right?”
“Okay,” Yvonne said “As I’m their aunt, I should tie them up, and then you can tie me up.”
“Oh no,” Anne said quietly, “I’m older than you, and you’re my cousin, so you don’t have that right.”
“Yes it does – you are my niece, and you are my cousin, true, and Zoe is only my niece, so I get to...”
“Girls,” I said to stop the argument, “I’ll tell Zoe what to do, and she can tie both of you up while I tie your mother, sister, aunt – whatever, up. Then I will take care of Zoe, before I pretend to rob the place, all right?”
I made Rhea sir in a chair, before saying to Zoe “Right, I want you to start by putting these socks on the hands of Anne and Yvonne. You two,” I said as I handed two pairs of socks from my bag to Zoe, and then took out four sponge balls, “Hold one of these in each hand and hold them out.”
As they did so, I taped Yvonne’s hands into balls with duct tape, then allowed Zoe to pull the socks over them before she taped the top to her aunt’s arms. I then did the same for Anne, before telling them both to put their hands behind their backs.
“Are you all right, Yvonne,” Rhea said as she watched Zoe copying me, crossing the young girl’s wrists and tying them together, then to her waist.
“I’m fine, sis,” Yvonne said as she looked at her, “It feels quite nice actually.” Zoe swapped places with me, and then copied me as I tied Anne’s lower arms to her sides with my double figure of eight, then her upper arms around her shoulders.
Once Zoe had tied off the ropes, I invited Anne and Yvonne to sit on the floor, and allowed Zoe to tie their legs, at the ankles, and below the knees, before saying “there now – all nice and secure. You’re next Zoe – hold these sponges for me please.”
After a few minutes had passed, Zoe was sitting next to the other two girls, they three of them talking as I said 2Sit forward with your back to me, Rhea, and I’ll take care of you as well.”
“IT’s tight, but comfy, Aunt Rhea,” Zoe said as I taped up Rhea’s hands, then cut away the zip tie, pulled socks up over her hands and started to bind her with rope. The obvious difference with Rhea was that I wrapped rope around her arms and body, above and below her chest, instead of the other two bands of rope. When I had finished, she was sitting in the chair talking to the other three.
“Now,” I said as I looked in the bag, “I need to go and rob the house. Can I trust you all to keep quiet?”
“NO!” The three girls chorused in unison, so I took out four bandanas, and cleave gagged them all, before heading for the upstairs rooms.
As I searched them, however, I was still trying to wrap my mind round the family relations – and getting more and more curious to understand what was going on. So after I had pocketed some things, I went downstairs, and said “If I take the gags out for a moment, will you explain how you are related to each other for me?”
Rhea looked at the girls and nodded, before I eased the scarves from their mouths and left them hanging down from their necks. She licked her lips and said “Right – let me go first.
“Dad married my mother when they were young – 18 and 19 – and I was born a year later. Then came Brian, Colin and Dave, but Mum died giving birth to Dave. They’re all now married, with their own lives and kids, and live elsewhere.
“Dad then remarried, and had four more kids to Wendy, my step mum. Two girls and two boys – the boys are with Dad at a football match, and Pauline is at her grandmothers.”
“Which leaves me,” Yvonne said with a bright smile.
“Okay – that explains you two. What about Anne?”
“Well, Anne’s father is my brother, Brian. He has two kids – Anne’s brother and her. Steve is also at his grandmother with Pauline?”
“They have the same grandmother?”
“Yeah,” Anne said, “Mum is my great aunt Wendy’s sister.”
I just nodded – close families are one thing, but this was ridiculous!
“As for Zoe – I married young as well. Her brother Jimmy is at the same relative with his cousins.”
“So,” I said quietly, “Yvonne is your half sister, and Anne is your niece, but Zoe is your daughter?”
“Yeah,” Yvonne said, “and Zoe and Anne are my nieces, but Anne is also my cousin.”
“While Zoe is my cousin,” Anne said, “but not Yvonne’s. Which means she does not get to boss me around!”
“Okay, I get it now,” I said as I looked at them, “but it’s time to get back to the game. The wicked robber has to make sure all of you stay really quiet, before you are rescued.” I took four hankies from my back, put one in each of their mouths, and then tightened the cleave gags back on them.
As I wrapped tape round their heads, Rhea said “Hwlng?”
“You can start to try and escape when /I leave,” I said with a smile, “but if you are not free in one hour, you will be released.”
I made sure they were all quiet, checked the ropes and socks, and then left them to get on with it – while I bought some aspirin...