A piano. A pianist. And a con man. Dangerous company.






Please don’t read any further if you’re expecting a happy ending. Otherwise, here’s what happened:


The expensive and very sophisticated security system was no deterrent. Either someone had switched it off at the control centre or they had equally high tech equipment to negate its effect. Had there been any witnesses they might have said the men had oriental features and complexions. But no one came forward. No one ever did. No one had seen or heard anything. Everyone knew on which side his or her bread was buttered.


Janet was awake when they came into the bedroom. She gave a startled yelp.  But before she could make any more silly noises, they taped up her mouth and handcuffed her wrists behind her back. It took not time at all.


Then they woke David, who, having had a few drinks before going to bed, had slept through the opening gambit. They wound gaffer tape around his head completely blocking his mouth. But they made sure he could breath. Then they taped him to a large teak couch in the stupendous lounge overlooking the shipping lanes below.


With a man on either side of her holding her wrists, they took Janet over to one of the pianos. They placed her fingers on the rim. The third man smashed the heavy lid down on them. He continued to pushed it up and down many times. Over and over again. Until her hands looked like balls of dripping mincemeat at the ends of her arms.


Then they left.


Someone eventually tipped off the authorities, but no one knew who. When they broke into the apartment, David was still taped to the couch. Janet was walking around in some kind of delirium. Possibly a coma. Her mouth was still taped up, because she was unable to use her hands. She had been helpless for almost a week. Both she and David were horribly dehydrated and on the edge of starvation. Blood trails led to the front door. And to the fridge. And to the taps in the kitchen and bathrooms. And to the telephone where she’d tried to use her nose to punch out the emergency number. Because her hands were completely smashed and totally beyond use. They smelled dreadful. Like putrefying meat. Which is what they were.


David was completely unharmed. But, as they untied him, he was not thinking about Janet’s ordeal. Or the excruciating pain she’d been through. Or the condition of both her hands.


No, David’s thoughts were concentrated on himself. Because he knew that this was only the beginning. He knew they’d be back. His punishment had only just started. They would have much more in store for someone who’d fucked one of their own for money.






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