by Arthur Saxon
"Hurricane Reginald is on its way," said Greg Barron, walking into his bedroom. "It's losing its power, but the weathermen reckon it'll still pack a powerful wallop when it gets here on Saturday."
But Sophie Caldwell was not thinking about the weather. She was wrinkling her nose up in disgust as she held up the outfit her boyfriend had picked out for her. "You expect me to wear that?" she asked incredulously.
"Why not?" Greg responded defensively. "When else would you wear it except to go out of an evening?"
"I wouldn't! That's the point! I'd look like a slut, and I certainly don't want to project that impression, thank you very much."
"Do you think your sister looks like a slut when she wears similar things?" Greg inquired.
"Quite frankly, yes! Although I'd never say so to her face of course."
"Well I think she looks great," muttered Greg rebelliously. "I think it's very commendable that she isn't afraid to show a bit of leg and a bit of cleavage. This isn't the Victorian age, you know."
"Nor is it the sixties," replied Sophie sharply. "That skirt's a ridiculous length and few women these days would be seen dead in it."
"What rot!" retorted Greg. "If you go out to a night-club, you'll see plenty of skirts like this … and shorter! Your sister…"
"My sister," snapped Sophie, "has problems. But if you think she's so great, why don't you dump me and go out with her?"
This shut Greg up, as it usually did. Secretly Greg did indeed harbour a deep longing for Sophie's sister, but he knew the attraction was not mutual. Besides, of the two girls, Sophie was actually better looking, and also had more in common with him. Sophie loved classical music; Greg played second violin in his local orchestra. He also played the organ at his church, which Sophie attended. Both of them had had a strict religious upbringing (though Greg was not nearly so puritanical in outlook as Sophie). Most importantly perhaps, both of them were passionate about animals - Greg was a practising veterinarian, and Sophie worked part time as a volunteer at an Animal Rescue centre.
Greg loved Sophie, but sometimes his patience was worn rather thin by her propensity for changing the television channel if the programme looked like it was getting 'too racy'. He was also often frustrated by her unadventurousness in bed. She had held on to her virginity so long that their first time together had been a magical experience, but months of all-too-similar evenings in bed with her had taken their toll - Greg was bored.
He had tried all kinds of things. He had suggested other positions - Sophie was dead against that. He had tried to encourage her to dress sexily - but her preference was for jeans and long-sleeved woolly sweaters. He had once tried to fondle her in public, and she had almost bitten his head off in her fierce rebuke. He had bought her a vibrator for her last birthday (as well as a book he knew she wanted), and she had barely spoken to him for the rest of the day.
He really did love her, but unless something radical changed in their relationship he was not sure how long he could stick around. "Look sweetheart," he said gently, "we need to talk about our relationship. It's…"
Sophie stopped folding clothes and looked at him expectantly. "Yes?" she said, and pursed her lips as she awaited his explanation.
"Our sex life … it's … dull!" Greg shrugged and, ignoring the frown on Sophie's face, persisted. "You won't try anything new, you seem to see sex as a necessary evil or something … and you never show an inch of skin even though you've got a beautiful body… It's driving me nuts!"
"You set far too much store on sex, young man," said Sophie disapprovingly, and she resumed folding her clothes.
"And you set far too little store on it!" exclaimed Greg. "Sex is a big part of any relationship, and it's got to be fulfilling for both partners otherwise the relationship just can't work! Pretty soon you'll find I just won't be able to get it up one of these nights - and it'll be because there's never any variety in what we do in bed!"
"I don't see myself getting 'fulfilled'," observed Sophie. "But it's not important to me, because I know that relationships are founded on more than just sex."
"You're not fulfilled," said Greg, getting ever more worked up, "because you never want me to go down on you! I'm sorry my screwing technique doesn't seem to do the trick, but I would try other methods if I could!"
"Mouths are for mouths, genitals are for genitals," said Sophie. "And don't be crude. 'Screwing' indeed!"
"Somehow I don't think you're taking me seriously here!" exclaimed Greg. "Our relationship is in crisis, and you scold me for bad language?"
Sophie stopped folding her clothes and sighed. "I'm sorry Greg," she said. "But I guess you and I just have different attitudes to sex. I don't enjoy it - I admit that. But I don't feel I'm missing anything special - my life is just fine the way it is. Now answer me this: have I ever refused you sex?"
"Yes!" Greg threw up his hands. "That time in the woods, for a start."
"I meant at night, when we're in bed."
"No, but that's part of the problem - we only ever do it in one place. Even the sitting room floor … or something … would be nice. Different. A breath of fresh air!"
Sophie shook her head. "I don't understand how having sex in a different room would help."
"No," said Greg bitterly. "You don't understand… That's the problem. I know you think I'm some kind of pervert, but I'm not - I'm just an ordinary man with sexual needs. Look, perhaps we can go to a marriage guidance counsellor or something…"
"We're not married."
"Well we're living together - it's practically the same thing. See, now you're splitting hairs!" Greg took a deep breath, trying to keep calm. "We need to see somebody, Sophie … get some help … or our relationship will collapse."
Sophie feared this more than she was letting on. She had seen this coming, of course, though she had pretended not to. She had thought herself quite a good lover, allowing Greg to 'do his business' every night, or at least whenever he was in the mood. But lately he had been in the mood less and less, and although part of her welcomed this trend, another part worried that he was losing interest in her. From listening to her colleagues' chatter, she had realised that she was unusual in disliking sex, but she had put this thought to the back of her mind and hoped that Greg would remain happy with the status quo.
Was there something wrong with her? Her principles were those of her mother, she knew - but her mother's dominance over her timid father was not something she aspired to herself. Perhaps going to see a counsellor would help … but the idea was abhorrent. Maybe she could try to change … maybe it wouldn't be so bad … if the curtains were properly closed and if they put the inflatable mattress on the floor, maybe she could consent to having sex in the sitting room…
For she did love Greg. He was the nicest man she had ever met, and she was longing for him to ask her to marry him. She figured he would, eventually … but that was looking increasingly unlikely in the light of his current frustration. Yet if she made some small concessions, perhaps she could hang on to him. He had, after all, given up several things for her - his smoking and his unhealthy obsession with masturbation being the main bad habits she'd helped him break - so it was probably only fair that she make some kind of effort to allay his concerns about their relationship.
She picked up the short dress that her wayward sister had given her two years ago. "If I wear this," she said, "will it really make that much of a difference to how you feel?"
Greg's eyes widened. "Yes, absolutely!" he said. "You see it's not just the sex itself - it's the attitude, the approach to life… And if you wear that dress it will tell me that you're willing to make sacrifices to make our relationship work, which will mean a lot to me."
Sophie nodded. "Very well," she said, "I'll wear it."
Wordlessly Greg took her into his arms and hugged her tightly. Sophie hugged him back for a full minute before they drew apart.
"Want to see me in it?" she asked playfully, and Greg nodded with enthusiasm.
She took off her jeans, sweater and t-shirt, and donned the dress. It was skin-tight and stretchy, hugging her contours and showing off a good deal more cleavage than she had ever shown before. Her stomach seemed to be flipping over and over as she imagined herself outside, in public, showing so much of her chest. It was quite frightening. And it was so short! It did not even reach mid-thigh - she felt practically naked.
Bravely, she gave Greg a twirl, and said "How do I look?"
"Wonderful!" exclaimed Greg, clapping his hands. "You look amazing … perfect … sexy and beautiful. I'll be so proud to go out with you tonight, when you're wearing that!"
Sophie smiled, her stomach still skipping at the prospect of leaving the house in this outfit. "What time do you want to leave?" she asked.
Greg looked at his watch. "In about twenty minutes," he said. Then he regarded her bottom with narrowed eyes. "You have a bit of a visible panty-line thing going there," he observed.
Sophie walked over to the full-length mirror and turned around. "Oh, yes," she agreed, her expression troubled. "Well I'm not sure what I can do about that…"
"If you had any thongs, I'd suggest you wear one," remarked Greg.
"Yes, but I don't," said Sophie shortly.
"That leaves only one option, really," said Greg. "You'll have to go without panties."
"Gregory Valentine!" exclaimed Sophie in dismay. "How could you even suggest such a thing?"
Greg's eyebrows warred for control over his forehead. "Why not?" he responded, somewhat aggrieved. "The skirt's not so short that anyone would be seeing your panties anyway, so what would it matter if you weren't wearing any?"
"It's the principle of the thing!" replied Sophie hotly. "I'm not the kind of girl who goes around without underwear!"
Greg remained unflapped. "A few minutes ago," he said, "you weren't the kind of girl who'd wear a dress like that. But what kind of girl are you talking about? A girl who doesn't wear underwear is not by definition a slut, you know. Sometimes it's sheer practicality. I'd be making the same suggestion if that was a skin-tight ankle-length dress."
"That's as may be," said Sophie, struggling to control her temper, "but I'll keep my panties on, thank you very much. I'll live with the panty-line."
Greg sighed but did not argue.
Twenty minutes later they were getting into the car. Sophie was glad it was nearly dark, for she was none too keen on the idea of her neighbours seeing her in this dress. She was relieved when she was safely in the car with the door closed. The drive to the pub took a quarter of an hour, and Sophie fidgeted nervously all the way. Greg, noticing her discomfort, soothed her with words of encouragement, and held her hand when he was not changing gears.
Sophie still had stomach butterflies when they pulled into the pub car park, but she was feeling a little better thanks to Greg's reassuring tone and comforting words. This was a very big step for her, and it was entirely possible that the experience would be so awful that she would never contemplate repeating it, but if that was to be the case, she did not want such a failure to be her fault. She would do everything she could to play her part well - she would not defeat herself in her own head before she'd even given the experience a chance. Perhaps it would not be too horrible.
On an impulse, she lifted her bottom off the seat, reached up under her dress, and began to pull her panties down. Startled, Greg asked her what she was doing.
"What does it look like?" she said. "I'm fixing my panty-line." She tucked them under the seat.
They got out of the car, Sophie shivering as a cold breeze announced its presence against her bare pussy. Nervously she clung to Greg's arm as they walked into the pub, where a rather larger crowd than usual was gathered.
"Hullo," said Greg in puzzlement. "Looks like there's some kind of event going on here." He spotted one of his darts friends and tapped him on the shoulder. "Hey Steve, what's going on?"
"Hypnotist," replied Steve laconically. "You're just in time for the start of the show."
"Cool!" exclaimed Greg. "Sweetie look - there's a hypnotist here!"
Sophie rolled her eyes. "Oh yes? Looks like we came on the wrong night."
"The right night, you mean," said Greg. "What's the matter? Aren't you interested in seeing him practise his art?"
Sophie snorted in derision. "Art? He'll be a charlatan like all the rest. Hypnotism's just a big con. Only the truly weak-minded are really affected, and even then the suggestive power of the hypnotist's words are down purely and simply to psychology."
"That's a pretty sceptical view!" Greg frowned a little. "Well I'm interested in seeing him at work, even if you're not." He began to push his way towards the front, with Sophie in tow.
A number of seats had been laid out in front of a makeshift platform, and most were occupied. However, Greg and Sophie managed to find a pair of seats next to each other in the front row, and they sat down just as the hypnotist made his way on to the platform. Sophie, rather conscious of how short her skirt was, pulled it down as far as she could towards her knees. This did very little good - when she let go the hem sprang immediately back to mid-thigh.
"Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen," began the hypnotist in a thick North of England accent. "My name's 'Erbert. 'Erbert the 'Ypnotist. Kind thanks to all of you that turned up - donations to the 'Ypnotists Benevolence Fund will be gratefully received after the show. Right then, I need a volunteer, a gentleman per'aps, yes sir, you'll do very nicely. What's your name sir? Roger? Well we won't 'old that against you. Give the young man a nice round of applause ladies and gentlemen, won't you? Okay then young Roger, sit yourself down, there you go. Not an epileptic are you? That's good - sorry but I 'ave to ask. Now if you would be good enough to stare at this 'ere rotating card, don't worry if yer eyes go buggy, that's the general idea… Now then ladies and gents, Roger will shortly be entering a trance-like state, much as me wife does once a week in bed, or twice if I'm lucky. Still watching the card Roger? Good lad. Yer eyelids getting a bit droopy there? Don't worry about that - if you 'ave to close 'em, go ahead. You can feel yourself becoming sleepy there, can't you? Sleepier, and sleepier … your eyes are growing weary … I'll count to three, and on 'three' your eyes will close. One … two … three. There … that's it. Now Roger, the only thing you will 'ear from now on is the sound of me voice. Any other sounds you 'ear, or think you 'ear, will be coming from far away and you'll pay no 'eed to 'em. Nod once if you understand."
Roger nodded slowly.
"When I count to three, Roger, you'll find you can open your eyes. You'll try to get up. But you'll find yourself unable to lift yourself out of the chair. It will feel like someone's superglued you to the chair. You won't panic - you'll just keep trying unsuccessfully to pull your trousers free from the chair. Then, when I say 'sleep', you'll fall asleep again. One … two … three."
Immediately Roger opened his eyes and started to get up. A look of bewilderment crossed his face and he looked down at his legs. Frowning, he braced his hands against the chair and pushed hard, attempting to free his legs. The crowd roared with laughter but Roger did not appear to hear them.
"He's obviously a plant," whispered Sophie to Greg. "I've never seen anything so stupid."
"Lighten up, will you?" said Greg crossly. "I think it's genuine - and quite funny!"
Roger struggled valiantly with the chair for another few seconds before Herbert said 'Sleep', and once more he fell into a trance. Sophie clicked her tongue in disapproval.
"Now then Roger, this time when I count to three, you'll open your eyes and find that you 'ave an itch. It'll start on your left arm, then it'll move across your body, getting itchier all the time. You'll realise that there's some kind of bug under your clothes, per'aps a flea. So you'll go looking for it. When I tell you to 'sleep' again, the itching will stop and you'll fall asleep. One, two, three."
Roger woke up and began to scratch his left arm absent-mindedly. Then he started to scratch his chest, then his stomach, then his side, and then his back. Grimacing in frustration, he untucked his shirt and began rooting around underneath his clothing for the non-existent flea until Herbert, laughing along with the crowd, finally said 'Sleep'.
"All right Roger, when I count to three you'll wake up, and you'll remember nothing since you first sat down in this chair. One, two, three."
Roger opened his eyes, and continued sitting in the chair while the crowd applauded.
"Thanks very much Roger - you can go back to your seat now," said Herbert with a smile.
"Huh?" said Roger. "I thought you were going to hypnotise me."
The crowd howled with laughter. Bewildered, Roger got up and made his way back to his seat.
"Oh my God, that was so lame!" Sophie said loudly, wrinkled her nose in disgust. "So fake! Roger was so obviously in on it from the start."
"Give it a rest, will you?" hissed Greg, as the hypnotist glanced their way with a brief look of annoyance.
"Next volunteer please?" Herbert now announced. "A young lady this time?"
When no hands were raised, Greg nudged Sophie. "Why don't you volunteer?" he suggested. "If he's a fake you'll show him up."
"All right - I will!" Sophie stuck her hand in the air.
"Ah, the young sceptic at the front," said Herbert. "That's grand. 'Ow old are you Miss?"
"Not that it's any of your business, but I'm twenty-four," said Sophie.
"Sit yourself down there. Actually it is my business - I can't 'ypnotise anyone under twenty-one. What's your name?"
"Well Sophie, I take it you don't think I can 'ypnotise you, that right?"
"Quite frankly, no - I think you're a fraud," Sophie replied boldly.
"Is that so? Well it's impossible to 'ypnotise someone against their will - or very 'ard, anyway - so if yer goin' to fight it, I won't even bother tryin'."
"I won't fight," said Sophie with a shrug. "I won't have to."
"Okay, then if you could just stare at this card 'ere for a few moments…" He held a device with a rotating card in front of Sophie's face, about ten inches away from her eyes and a little above her line of sight. As she watched the spiral pattern go round and round, Sophie thought with amusement that this was going to be very embarrassing for Herbert - he obviously really thought he could hypnotise her. Nevertheless, the effort of both raising and converging her eyes made them somewhat tired after only a couple of minutes, and when Herbert told her that her eyelids were beginning to feel heavy, she had to concede that he was right. Pretty soon she was having to blink every few seconds, though she tried to keep focused on the card - she wanted to show Herbert up as a charlatan, but she knew that to do so she would have to pretend she was going along with it. If he thought that she was fighting against it, he would immediately cease his attempt to hypnotise her.
As Herbert's northern accent droned on, Sophie found it increasingly difficult to pay attention to both the card and his words. By the time she realised that she was no longer looking at the card but the inside of her own eyelids it was, of course, too late to do anything about it.
Greg chuckled to himself as he watched. Sophie certainly did look as if she was now in a trance. This would teach her to scoff at hypnotism! He found he was rather looking forward to seeing Sophie make a bit of a fool of herself - she was normally very prim and proper.
"You can 'ear nothing but me voice, Sophie," Herbert was saying. "Any other sounds you think you 'ear are just coming from the television in the other room. Now, when I count to three you'll open your eyes and suddenly realise that you're not as fit as you'd like to be. In fact you'll decide to start exercising at once. You'll jog on the spot, do star-jumps, stretching exercises … anything that comes to mind. If your dress starts riding up, you won't bother pulling it down as you're alone in the room and nobody can see you. You'll carry on exercising until I say 'sleep', whereupon you'll sit down in the chair and fall asleep. One … two … three."
Greg sat rooted to the spot, staring in shock as Sophie got to her feet and began jogging on the spot. Her hem immediately began to climb, and pretty soon Greg began to catch glimpses of her pubic hair as her knees kicked up to the horizontal. He wondered if he should call a halt to the proceedings - the crowd had gone utterly quiet and all the men were staring fixedly at Sophie's crotch - Sophie would be outraged if she knew what they were seeing!
Sophie now began touching her toes, and this caused the dress to climb still higher. By the time she began her star-jumps, the hem was on a level with her hips and her pussy was fully exposed. Greg squirmed in his seat, torn between his desire to protect his girlfriend and, well, his desire. Delaying his intervention a little longer and a little longer, he barely blinked as Sophie's dress parted company with her bottom entirely, the hem now gathered around her waist.
"Sleep," said Herbert, and Sophie immediately sat on the chair and closed her eyes, still breathing heavily from her exertions. "Now, when I count to three, you will realise you're now 'ot and sweaty after yer exercise. You'll take your clothes off, step into the shower (which you'll see just to the left of your chair), and you'll turn on the tap. You'll immediately feel warm water cascading over you, and you'll start to wash yourself. Whenever you 'ear this noise …" and here Herbert made a noise that sounded like a cork popping out of a wine bottle, "… you'll remember that there's an automatic soap dispenser attached to the wall, and you'll cup your 'ands beneath it to get some soap. 'Owever, next time you 'ear that sound you'll forget that you've already 'ad some soap out of it."
Now Herbert winked at the crowd, who stared back in expectant awe. Herbert walked off the platform, stepped behind the bar for a moment, and emerged pulling a makeshift 'shower' cubicle. It was really just a tough plastic square base with three transparent plastic walls about six-and-a-half feet high, and a ceiling to hold them in place. A non-functioning shower-head and tap were fixed to one of the walls. Herbert set this contraption next to Sophie's chair, and said "One, two, three."
Greg began to rise from his chair, transfixed by the sight of his beloved yet normally prudish Sophie beginning to disrobe in front of a room full of strangers. He stood up straight and opened his mouth to tell the hypnotist to stop Sophie from going any further, but he was unceremoniously shoved back into his seat by a man in the row behind. "Do you mind?" the man said irritably. "I'm trying to see!"
Stunned, Greg watched as Sophie pulled her dress up over her head and tossed it to one side, oblivious to the wolf-whistles and cheers that erupted from the crowd. She kicked off her shoes, then unclasped her bra, slipped it from her shoulders, and cast it aside. Now completely naked, she stepped into the 'shower', and turned on the tap. Instantly she reacted as if she had been hit by a spray of warm water, and she turned herself around slowly under the shower head, running her hands through her long auburn hair to get it wet. It didn't get even remotely damp, of course, but the power of the hypnotic delusion was so great that she did not notice this.
With her back to the shower head, Sophie was facing the audience, so the onlookers were treated to a full-frontal view of her shapely breasts and neatly-trimmed pussy. The noise was deafening, yet still Sophie heard nothing, until Herbert made a popping sound with his mouth. Immediately, Sophie blinked her eyes, screwing them up against the imaginary falling water, and put out her hands underneath a bottomless but currently empty dispenser that was affixed to one of the transparent walls. On the other side of the wall Herbert, with a knowing grin at the audience, unscrewed the lid of a bottle of salad cream. He shoved the opened bottle through a hole in the wall and into the dispenser, turned it upside down, and shook it. The contents of the bottle emptied into Sophie's cupped hands, and straight away she began applying it to her body as if it were soap.
She rubbed the salad cream into her breasts, over her arms, down her belly, and even massaged it into her pussy as she rubbed briefly between her legs. Then, covered in streaks of the pale yellow liquid, she began to give her legs a similar treatment. The audience whooped and cheered. Greg cringed into his seat, his thoughts see-sawing from arousal to terror at the thought of what Sophie would do when she snapped out of the trance. Could he stop this? Should he? If he broke the trance now, the consequences could be terrible. If, on the other hand, he waited until the end of the show, Herbert would ensure that Sophie remembered nothing about this little adventure.
Herbert made a popping sound again. Instantly Sophie stuck her hands back under the dispenser. This time Herbert was ready with an opened can of baked beans. Once its contents had been emptied into her hands, Sophie applied the beans liberally to her breasts, belly, pussy, legs and bottom (though sadly the audience did not get to see much of the last of these).
Another popping sound, and this time it was chocolate syrup. Sophie was by now coated in a thick and sticky covering made up of several messy foodstuffs, but somehow this escaped her attention. A jar of honey was the next item on the menu, and it was followed by a tin of creamed rice, a can of spaghetti hoops in tomato sauce, and a large tin of reddish-purple cherry pie filling. The last time Herbert made his popping sound, he filled Sophie's hands with a mountain of whipped cream which he sprayed from a can.
Finally, Herbert said "Sleep!" and Sophie's eyes closed. She swayed slightly on the spot, though she did not fall. "When I count to three," said Herbert, "you'll step out of the shower and realise you're dry. You'll put on yer bra, yer dress and yer shoes, and you'll go back to the chair next to the shower. You won't notice that yer body's sticky - you'll feel perfectly clean and refreshed. Yer 'ands will feel a bit damp so you'll wipe them thoroughly on yer dress."
A flash of light caught Greg's eye, and he turned to look behind him. There, in the seat just behind the one next to his, Greg saw one of his friends, Stan, who was a regular at this pub. Stan was holding a small digital camera and was staring wide-eyed at Sophie's naked, messy body.
"Hey!" exclaimed Greg. "Have you been taking pictures of my girlfriend?"
Stan nodded. "S-sorry," he said. "Am I n-not supposed to?"
Greg considered this, then shrugged. "Just keep them to yourself, will you?"
"Okay," said Stan. "G-good idea. Then n-nobody else b-but us two w…w…w-will kn-know w…w-what happened here."
Greg frowned. "Sarcastic bugger," he muttered.
Sophie was now putting on her bra, not noticing that Herbert had filled both cups with mounds of whipped cream. It splurged over the top of her bra as she pulled the garment taut and fastened it. Then she picked up her dress and pulled it over her head. Pulling it down to a respectable position, she stepped into her shoes, then wiped her hands on her bottom. Sitting down in the chair, she closed her eyes when Herbert said "Sleep" again.
"Now," said Herbert, once he had dragged the 'shower stall' off the platform and returned to Sophie's side. "When I count to three, you'll wake up. You still won't feel any stickiness, you'll feel clean, and you'll be convinced you weren't even 'ypnotised at all. When you get 'ome, you'll 'ave a shower and wash yer clothes, though you still won't notice that they're messy. One, two, three."
Sophie opened her eyes, just as Herbert put the rotating card back in front of her face.
"Nope," sighed Herbert. "I suppose some people are just immune to 'ypnotism. Shame really. Never mind. Well Sophie, you can go back to yer seat. Thanks for trying."
Sophie smirked as she rejoined Greg. "See?" she said. "Charlatan. If he doesn't have a plant, he's screwed."
Greg, rather red in the face, cleared his throat. "Well," he said, "it could be that you're just particularly strong-minded."
There was a choking noise from behind Sophie, and Greg turned to see Stan trying not to laugh. He glared at his friend, then turned back to Sophie. "Well, shall we go?" he suggested. "It's a bit more crowded in here than I would have liked, and this hypnotism show isn't proving that interesting."
"Okay." Sophie nodded. "Well, did I do my duty at least? Wearing this dress I mean?"
"Oh yes," said Greg heavily. "You certainly did your duty. Come on."
As they got to their feet, Greg noticed Stan flicking through the photos he'd taken on his camera. The screen was too small for Greg to see the photos properly, but he made a mental note to get a look at those pictures sometime…
As a matter of fact, Stan had taken more than thirty photos, and he had big plans for them. He looked up briefly and waved as Greg escorted Sophie out of the room, then returned to poring through his treasures. Who would have thought that Greg's holy-rolling girlfriend would ever put on such a show? These photos were as precious to Stan as gemstones, each one of them capable of fuelling a week's worth of night-time fantasies.
The hypnotist wrapped up his act, and the crowd dispersed. Stan headed straight home to his one-bedroom flat, and switched on his computer. With more than a little anxiety (what if the data had got corrupted somehow?) he plugged the camera in and uploaded the pictures. When the first one appeared on his monitor, he permitted himself to relax.
Each and every photo was saved into a new folder which he called 'Hypno Show'. Then he used some photo-editing software to shrink them down to a reasonable size, and emailed them one after the other to Voyeur Central, a website that showcased voyeur and exhibitionism pictures sent in by its readers. Stan was a regular contributor.
Stan spent the rest of the evening in front of the television before dragging himself to his feet and slumping off to bed at one o'clock in the morning. He did not have to be at work until nine thirty, and it was only a five minute drive from where he lived, so he generally did not get up until nearly nine.
The following morning, as he walked into the Logistics office block, he encountered his boss, Bob.
"Ah Stan," said Bob, smiling in greeting. "I just had a call from Emma, wanting to know when she should come across. I told her you'd call her."
"Th-thanks," said Stan. "I'll g-give her a t-tinkle in a bit."
Bob nodded. "Let me know before the end of the day how you think she's doing. I'm keen to get the right person for the job."
"I'm sure she'll be f-fine," said Stan. "She's g-got more b-brains than m-most, and she's m-motivated to learn."
Bob smiled. "Well, that's good. This is really overdue, of course. When's your holiday again?"
"N-next W… N-next W… Next W…W…W-Wednesday."
"And you're off for how long exactly?"
"Two w… Two w…w…"
"Two weeks?" suggested Bob helpfully.
"…And three d-days," said Stan, nodding.
He entered his office, switched on his computer, and took off his coat. As the machine booted up, he picked up his phone and dialled Emma's number.
"Hello Emma?" he said. "I'm ready for you to come over if you're free. Okay - I'll see you in a couple of minutes. You know where to find me? Ah, well if you leave your building, turn right, walk down the road for about a hundred yards until you get to the crossroads, then turn right again, it's the first building on the left. Go in through the main entrance - my office is the second door on the left."
Putting down his phone, he sighed at the prospect of trying to train the young woman with whom so far he had only communicated by phone and email. Emma was a temp, albeit a very smart and capable one, and had been with the company for a mere fortnight - not really long enough to have seen much of the site or its personnel.
A couple of minutes later there was a knock on his office door. "C-come in!" he said.
A young woman opened the door, leaned in and said "Hi - are you Stan?" She was slim and moderately attractive, with shoulder-length wavy brown hair. Her cream-coloured sweater clung tightly to her body, and Stan was not at all sure that she was wearing a bra underneath it. Her skirt was provocatively short and her legs were bare - this is what he noticed first of all, though he immediately raised his eyes so as not to appear to be staring.
"Yes," he said. "Hi Emma. "T-take a seat." He gestured to a chair.
Emma entered, closed the door behind her and sat down. Stan's eyes were glued to her skirt as she crossed her legs - he hoped to catch a glimpse of panties. But in this he was disappointed, and he averted his eyes quickly before she noticed where his gaze was directed.
"Okay," he began. "How f-familiar are you w…w…with the m-mainframe?"
Emma stared at him in surprise and a little shock. "Um," she said. "Uh sorry - you have a stutter?"
Stan grimaced. "Yeah," he said.
"Oh - I'm sorry," said Emma. "I didn't realise - I mean I've spoken to you several times and I've not noticed before…"
"I d-don't st-stutter on the ph-phone," Stan told her. "If I c-can't see the p-person I'm t-talking to, I'm f-fine."
"Wow - that's … interesting." Emma smiled. "Actually it's kind of cute - I like it."
This was not a reaction Stan got often, and he raised a sceptical eyebrow. "Th-thanks," he said.
"Anyway I'm sorry - you were asking if I was familiar with the mainframe. Well, I'm getting to know the customer service side of it, but I dare say that won't be much use to me when I'm covering your desk."
"Actually," said Stan, "you'll use qu-quite a lot of the s-same sc…screens. The m-main d-difference is the f…f…freight aspect."
"I see," said Emma, nodding. "I assume that when the CSRs put orders on the mainframe, they appear somehow on your screen?"
"P-precisely," agreed Stan. "Here - I've g-got a shortcut to it." He turned to his screen and double-clicked an icon on his desktop, which loaded up a small black window with a list of numbers. He then turned back to Emma, who was just uncrossing her legs so she could scoot forward to have a closer look. This time he caught a glimpse of white panties, and he rejoiced internally.
Emma dragged her chair forward towards the desk, then slid her bottom forwards on her seat to get even closer. This caused her skirt to ride up her thighs until it was barely covering her panties. Stan's jaw dropped, but he forced himself to continue with his commentary and looked back at the screen.
"Um, th-this is a list of orders f-for w…w…w… for w…which f-freight has n-not yet b-been booked," he explained, as beads of perspiration appeared on his brow. He glanced down at Emma's skirt again - he could just see her panties if he leaned sideways over the desk a bit…
"Um," he continued, shaking himself, "you have to m-move the c-cursor to s-select an order, then hit Enter to b-bring up the f-freight d-details. Here, as you c-can see, th-this one's f-freight record is b-blank."
Emma nodded, and Stan continued to talk her through the rest of the freight booking process. As they closed off the first order, he said, "and th-that's it. The order w…w…w…W…" He sighed. "The order g-gets t-transf-ferred over the W…W…WAN link to the haulier w… I selected, and if there's a p-problem w…w…w…with the t-time I've allocated, th-they'll call me and let me kn-know." He let out a deep breath.
Emma was struggling not to laugh at his speech difficulties. "Okay, that's pretty straightforward," she said. "So the order now appears on the loading timetable for the despatch date you've chosen?"
Stan nodded. "If you n-need to ch-change the t-time, you can d-do it either through the t-timetable itself, or you c-can access it through the f-freight m-maintenance p…p…program. N-now, in c-case there's a qu-query, you can run off a f-freight history for any g-given order, like this…" He demonstrated, and the printer whirred into action. "If you c-could j-just get that for me," he said, pointing at it.
Emma stood up to retrieve the printout. When she returned to her chair, she sat down at the very back of the seat, then crossed her legs, affording Stan a long look at her panties. When he glanced up at her face, she was engrossed in the information on the sheet of paper, so he allowed himself another look at her legs. Her skirt was riding so high that, with her right leg crossed over her left, he could see practically all of her right leg up to her hip. Was she really unaware of what she was showing? Stan began to equate the customer service office with his concept of Heaven - he would give anything to spend all day in there if this was how Emma habitually comported herself.
"Okay," he said, "as you c-can see, the history g-gives you the n-name of the user who m-made each change to the f-freight record. P-provides a useful audit t-trail you see. N-now, I'll j-just show you the f-freight costs f-file…" He double-clicked on another program, and a new window appeared.
Emma uncrossed her legs and slid forward on her seat again to get a closer look, and when Stan glanced back at her he was stunned to see that her skirt was now bunched up around her hips, her panties in full view even from directly above. Surely she was aware of this! Yet he did not dare comment, for still a lingering element of doubt remained, and he did not want to get himself sued for sexual harassment.
"Um, s-so this is the f-file," he said lamely. "C-click here to add a n-new f-freight cost. It asks you for the haulier c-code, the c-country code, the p-postcode, the s-source s-site, and the f-freight cost in p-pounds. F-for d-destinations w…w… in the UK, we use j-just the f-first half of the p-postcode. Otherwise it's the f-five f-figure area c-code." He gestured to a filing cabinet standing against the far wall of the office. "The p-processing of the f-freight records d-depends on the c-correct format of the c-customer addresses. I k-keep a copy of the c-customer address list in there," he said. "I'm n-not the person who enters those addresses, so I run it off once a m-month, j-just to ch-check it. Any errors in f-format p-people make tend to stick out like a s-sore thumb."
"Can I have a look at the address list?" asked Emma.
"Sure," Stan agreed.
Emma pushed her chair back and stood up. Her hemline was more than an inch above the level of her crotch, and when she turned around Stan was treated to the beautiful sight of the bare lower half of her buttocks - it now appeared that Emma was wearing a thong. Apparently oblivious to the fact that a large proportion of her bottom was on display, Emma crossed the office and began to read the labels on the drawers of the cabinet.
"Which drawer's the file in?" she asked.
"The b…b…bottom one," replied Stan, trying not to sound smug.
Emma dropped into a crouch to open the drawer, and her skirt sprang up over her bottom, revealing the top of her thong where it dipped in the middle of her back. Stan gaped, his heart pounding at an unhealthy rate. How he wished he'd brought his camera to work! He knew that when Emma stood up (assuming she did not fix her skirt in the process) she would be displaying virtually all of her thong, front and back.
Having found the report she was after, Emma closed the drawer, stood up and turned back around to face Stan. As she crossed the office towards him, reading the report, she absent-mindedly scratched at her pussy through the front of her thong with her free hand. Her skirt was now gathered around her waist, and still she showed no sign of being aware of this fact. She sat back down, but this time she did not cross her legs - in fact she left her knees about eight inches apart while she continued to idly rub her pussy.
By now Stan was ninety-nine percent convinced that Emma was fully aware of what she was doing, but he still did not dare say anything, partly because of the one percent element of doubt, but mostly because he was afraid that if he drew attention to her actions, she might stop. So he merely continued to stare at Emma's panties while she looked through the report. Finally, she looked up, and Stan's eyes snapped up to meet hers.
"Anyway," he said, "I t-tend to m-make minor adjustments to the c-customer address list w…w…w…where necessary. N-not that you'll have to d-do any of that," he added, "b-but if a f-freight record f-fails to show up a cost, the address list is a g-good place to st-start to f-find w…w…w…w…what's wrong."
"I see," said Emma. "Now, as I understand it you also monitor the hauliers' performance?"
"Yes that's right," said Stan. He opened a spreadsheet he had designed for this purpose. "I run off a report each w…w…w…"
"Week?" suggested Emma.
"Yes, thanks. And I p-plug the f-f-figures into this t-table. This g-gives me the graph w…w…which I print off and st-stick on the w…w…w…wall."
"Do you keep the old ones?" asked Emma.
"Yes, they're f-filed in the c-cabinet."
"May I see?"
Stan nodded. "Third drawer d-down."
Emma got to her feet again and walked over to the cabinet, Stan's eyes glued to her bottom all the way. She opened the drawer containing the performance graphs and bent over it, giving Stan an unparalleled view of her bottom and the thin strip of material nestling between her buttocks. When she finally stood up, she turned around, her expression quizzical.
"Is it me or is it pretty hot in here?" she said.
"Um, sorry," said Stan, "I k-keep the heater on higher than n-necessary, p-perhaps, but n-normally I leave the d-door open and it c-can get d-draughty. I c-can turn it d-down."
"Oh you don't need to turn it down on my account," said Emma, waving a hand dismissively. "But would you mind if I take my jumper off?"
"Sure," he replied in a fit of generosity. He hoped she might be wearing a nice skimpy top underneath.
Emma pulled her jumper up over her head, and Stan almost fell off his chair as her naked breasts came into view. She was wearing nothing under the jumper! His sharp intake of breath unfortunately took in a small amount of saliva, and he burst out into a fit of coughing.
Emma, who was nonchalantly draping her sweater over the back of her chair, looked on in concern. "You okay?" she inquired.
"Yup," he croaked, staring through watering eyes as Emma, now naked apart from a pair of shoes, a thong, and a skirt that was bunched into a narrow band a couple of inches higher than the top of the thong, took her seat once again.
Once he had recovered, Stan could keep his silence no longer. "Aren't you afraid s-someone m-might come in?" he asked.
"Whatever do you mean?" asked Emma innocently.
"C-come on," said Stan, "you're n-nearly n-naked. I'm n-not complaining, of course, b-but my boss could w…w…w…"
"Walk in at any moment?" suggested Emma.
"Well you know," said Emma, "I'm just a temp - I haven't got much to lose. But perhaps you're worried for your own sake…?"
Stan nodded reluctantly. "A b-bit," he said. "B-but I'm enjoying myself f-far too m-much to complain or ask you to st-stop." He grinned.
Emma laughed. "Well that's good," she said. "Then perhaps you won't mind if I take off the thong? It's a bit itchy - I must have washed my whites with the biological powder by mistake at the weekend."
With a nervous glance at the door, Stan responded "No I d-don't mind."
Emma smiled, then stood up and took off not only her thong, but also the skirt. "That's better," she said with a sigh. She sat down again, this time leaving her knees more than a foot apart. "Now, I presume you keep figures to show the historical trend…?"
Stan was a little thrown by this. "Um, yes," he replied, clicking on the tab for the next worksheet. "Each w…w…week I c-copy the f-figures into this table, p-pasting the values obviously, and I b-build up this g-graph. I k-keep a separate w…w…w…w…workbook for each year."
Emma nodded and leaned back in her chair. Spreading her legs even wider, she reached her right hand between her thighs and began to rub her clitoris with one finger. "So what mainframe report do you run off to get these figures?"
Stan, his cheeks burning bright red at the sight before him, stammered more than ever as he replied, "It's on the f-f-freight m-menu. Option th-th-thirteen - haulier p-p-performance report." Then, unable to take his eyes off Emma's clitoral ministrations, he said, "Emma, I'm t-t-terribly g-grateful to you f-for m-making this a v-very enjoyable d-day for me, b-but I must c-confess I'm p-p-puzzled w…w…w…w…w…why you're d-doing it."
Emma smiled as she raised her left leg and rested it on the desk. Her right leg she lifted up and placed it on the back of Stan's chair. He could now see her vaginal opening, and he stared in awe as she slid one of her fingers right inside. "I just love to do this kind of thing," she confessed with a mischievous grin. "I wouldn't do this in front of just anyone, of course - but I noticed you watching my skirt and figured you would appreciate it."
"W…w…w…well, th-thanks again," said Stan. "This is w… brilliant. I j-just w…w…w…w…wish I had my d-digital c-camera here."
Emma chuckled. "Why, so you could post pictures of me on the internet?"
Stan gasped. "How d-did you know I p-post pictures?"
Emma's eyebrows shot up and she stared at him, temporarily ceasing her masturbation. "I was joking!" she said. "You mean you actually do that?"
Stan's face fell as he realised he had just made a terrible mistake. "Um, n-no, n-not really, not often…" he struggled.
But Emma laughed in delight. "You perv!" she exclaimed. "Well you know, I wouldn't mind actually. Maybe you could bring a camera in tomorrow."
Stan looked like a condemned man who'd just been granted a last-minute reprieve. "Really?" he gasped. "You're s-serious?"
Emma shrugged. "Sure, why not? Where do you send them anyway?"
"A s-site called V-Voyeur Central."
"Ooh, sounds like something I should be a part of," smiled Emma. "Have you posted anything there recently?"
"Yeah," said Stan. "Last n-night in f-fact. I'd sh-show you but the I.T. department m-monitor our s-surfing activities."
"Allegedly," remarked Emma. "Oh come on - take a chance. I'm betting they just check through people's history files every once in a while, and if you clear yours out as soon as you've left the site, nobody will be any the wiser."
Stan shook his head doubtfully. "I'm n-not sure I'm p-prepared to take that risk," he said.
"What, you think they'll fire you? When your job's inadequately covered as it is?"
Stan had to admit that this made sense. With the recent staff lay-offs, the remaining employees were spread very thinly, and there was nobody who could take over from him if he left. "Oh okay," he said, "I'll ch-chance it." He opened Internet Explorer and his home page began to appear. He clicked in the Address field and typed "voyeurcentral".
But Emma was interested by what was currently on the screen. She stopped masturbating and leaned forward. "Hey, what's all that?" she asked.
"Oh, j-just some st-stuff I've written," said Stan, blushing. "It's n-nothing."
"What kind of stuff?" asked Emma, intrigued.
"B-bits and p-pieces," said Stan noncommittally. Then he shrugged and elaborated: "some p-poems, a sh-short story or two and a th-thesis on abiogenesis."
"On ay-bio-what?" asked Emma.
"Abiogenesis," said Stan. "It's the th-theory of how life evolved from n-non-living c-chemicals. B-but I w…w…w…w. I w…w… fuck! I w…won't b-bore you w…w…w…w-with the d-details. Excuse my F-French."
Emma shook her head. "Hey I don't mind - I love to hear people talk about things they are passionate about. Anything to give me a broader education. Um - you really have a problem with the letter 'W', don't you?"
Stan sighed. "Yup," he said. "'W' is the w…w…w… the pits."
"Can I read one of your poems?" Emma asked.
Stan blushed again. "Oh really, th-they're not that s-special."
"You," said Emma, "are too hard on yourself. Come on - there must be at least one you're particularly proud of."
"W…w…well … okay," conceded Stan. He clicked on the link to his poetry page, paged down a couple of times, then slid his chair back from the desk so that Emma could move in.
Emma got up from her chair and leaned over the desk, her bottom inches away from Stan's face. She spread her feet apart, and Stan found himself looking straight at her anus and vagina. He was tempted to reach out and touch, but he resisted the impulse, afraid that she might turn against him as a consequence. Instead, he simply contented himself with staring, eyes unblinking, at Emma's most intimate parts.
"That," said Emma, standing up and turning around, "was amazing! You have an incredible talent there, Stan."
"Th-thanks," said Stan awkwardly.
"You should really get something published," continued Emma. "You deserve some recognition."
"Actually I d-did, once. I g-got an article on pseudogenes p-published in a popular science m-magazine a c-couple of years ago. As f-for my p-poetry, oh I d-don't know. I s-suppose I'll have a go, one of these d-days."
Emma stared at him appraisingly. "You need to get some self-confidence," she told him. "Why didn't you touch me when I was waving my arse in your face?"
"Um, I w…was w…w…w…w…"
"…that you m-might react b-badly. Yes."
Emma sat down in her chair. "I suppose it must be hard to get taken seriously sometimes," she said, "with your stutter. Do you find that?"
"All the t-time," replied Stan, rolling his eyes. "I'm a p-published author (k-kind of), b-but do they c-call me St-Stan the Writer? No," he continued with resignation. "I'm St-Stan the St-Stutterer, or St-Stuttering St-Stan on occasion."
"That's so unfair," said Emma sympathetically. "If they had half your brains, they'd realise…"
But she got no further, for at that moment the door opened. Emma's arms flew to her chest to cover her breasts. Stan's stomach plunged to his shoes and he turned, fearing it might be his boss.
It was not, however. It was Connie Fields, a petite brunette who worked in the same office as Emma. Her mouth gaped in shock as she took in the sight of Emma's nude body. "What the hell?" she said.
"Oh for heaven's sake, come in and close the door," said Emma.
Connie quickly did so. "What are you doing?" she demanded.
"It's hot in here," explained Emma.
"But Emma! I mean … really!"
"Couldn't you have called?" asked Emma politely.
"I tried … Stan, your phone's on 'Send' - I just got your voicemail. So I had to come across you see. Emma, Walter's been on for you - he wants to know whether Sam's given you an answer or not. I think you'd better call him."
Emma frowned. "I told him I wouldn't have a definite date until tomorrow. Very well - I'll call him from here."
"Okay," said Connie. She continued to stare at Emma.
"Was there anything else?" asked Emma.
"You'd better get some clothes on," said Connie. "Anybody could walk in here at any time. Anybody!"
"Thanks Connie," said Emma. "I'll bear that in mind."
Connie shook her head in disbelief as she walked out of Stan's office. What was Emma playing at? Was there something going on between her and Stan? But they'd only just met! Should she tell somebody? She didn't want to get Emma into trouble, but … what the heck was the girl doing??
Rather flustered, she hurried back to her own building. On reaching her desk, which was at one end of a small open-plan office, she sat down and busied herself with her work. One of her colleagues, Jill Hughes, looked at her strangely.
"Are you okay?" she asked. "You look like you've just seen a ghost."
"Oh, no, I'm fine," replied Connie, but for several minutes she found it almost impossible to concentrate on her work.
Later that day, Emma returned to the office, by now fully dressed, and she gave Connie a look as if to say 'You didn't tell anyone, did you?'. Shortly afterwards, Jill left the office to go to the toilet, and Connie hissed at Emma, "Well? What was all that about?"
"All what?" Emma asked innocently, but her smile was playful.
"You know what. Are you trying to get yourself sacked?"
"I like to take off my clothes and live a little dangerously sometimes," explained Emma with a smile. "Reaction against my upbringing. Sometimes I get into trouble, but mostly I just have a lot of fun."
Connie struggled to get her head around this. "You just took off your clothes … for kicks? Jeez!"
Emma smiled but said nothing more. Then Jill came back and Connie was unable to continue the conversation. Trying to take her mind off the matter, she began to browse the Web as it was a slow afternoon. Her home page was set to a site for local news, and she idly glanced through the headlines, which included "Man Saves Duck from Drowning", "Tropical Storm Reginald Set to Strike Mainland on Saturday", "'Horny' Hypnotist Arrested" and "Fire in Town House Kills Eight". She opened the article about the storm and read that it had decreased in strength and was not likely to cause major damage once it arrived in the British Isles. Most of its fury had been spent in its journey from the Caribbean across the Atlantic.
At five o'clock, Connie bade goodbye to Emma and Jill, and went home. She was greeted as usual in the hall by her hyperactive Springer spaniel, Panda. She scratched the dog's head and then walked into the kitchen. Her husband, Mike, was there and he was busy cooking dinner.
"Hi," he said, giving her a kiss.
"Hi," she responded with a smile. "Had a good day?"
"Not especially," he replied. "I couldn't find my debit card - I think I must have left it in a shop yesterday. The bank's going to send me a new one straight away, but it's a real pain in the meantime. Anyway, how about you - how was your day?"
"Interesting," replied Connie. "I walked into Stan's office today and Emma was in there, completely naked!"
Mike stopped stirring his cheese sauce and stared at her. "You're kidding! Is this Emma the new temp? What was her surname - Caldwell?"
"Yes that's her … I didn't know where to look! It was so embarrassing!"
Mike chuckled. "So what was her story?"
Connie shrugged. "I've no idea. She said she just likes taking her clothes off, but I think maybe there's something going on between her and Stan."
Mike snorted. "She must be desperate then," he said.
"Oh don't be cruel. He can't help his stutter."
"Well he seems pretty much like a weirdo to me. Anyway could you take over stirring a minute? I need to go to the loo."
Mike was just on his way out of the kitchen when he paused. "By the way," he said, "I'm taking the car in for a service tomorrow morning - what are your plans?"
Connie pursed her lips. "Well I was going to check out the market," she said. "I guess I'll have to wait until next week now."
"You could always take the bus," suggested Mike.
"Yeah, I s'pose." Connie sighed.
"Just make sure it's not a double-decker. That hurricane's going to hit tomorrow morning, they reckon."
"Yeah but they've demoted it to a 'tropical storm' now - they think it'll be a bit of an anticlimax."
"Oh?" Mike raised his eyebrows. "Well, be careful anyway. Strong winds are strong winds."
Connie nodded, and Mike left the room. As she stirred the simmering sauce, her thoughts turned once again to the moment she had opened the door to Stan's office and seen Emma naked. A shiver ran down her spine - such overt sexual confidence was a rather alien concept to Connie.
Later that evening, Connie had a bath while Mike surfed the internet. As she emerged from the bathroom, a towel wrapped around her, Mike called her into his study.
"What's up?" she asked as she entered, towelling her hair dry.
"You've got to see this," said Mike, with an amused expression on his face. "The latest contri at Voyeur Central - it's called 'Hypno Show'. Allegedly this girl, a real prude, was hypnotised into stripping and covering herself with all kinds of messy stuff. Set-up if you ask me, but still … rather erotic."
Connie pursed her lips in mild disapproval, but nevertheless looked over her husband's shoulder as he paged down slowly through the pictures. "Very nice," she remarked without enthusiasm. "Poor girl - if it's genuine then I feel sorry for her."
"I'm sure it's a set-up," Mike assured her.
"Well, I'm going to read in bed for a few minutes," said Connie. "Will you be coming to bed soon?"
"Um, sure - I have to write a few emails first, but it shouldn't take me more than half an hour."
Connie nodded and left the room. She got into bed with a novel and read for the best part of an hour before Mike walked in, disrobed, and climbed into bed. They cuddled for a while in the dark, but the sound five minutes later of Mike's measured breathing told Connie that he had fallen asleep.
As she lay next to him, Connie still could not get the mental image of Emma's naked body out of her mind. What must it be like to be that bold? Now that she thought about it, Emma's clothing was always provocative. On occasion she had noticed that Emma's skirt was in need of pulling down, but she had assumed this rather inappropriate exposure of flesh was unintentional. Now, however, she began to wonder whether it might have been deliberate - was Emma playing a constant game of Dare with herself? If she was not careful, Emma was likely to end up with a page all to herself at Voyeur Central… Eventually, with the matter still unresolved, Connie drifted off into an uneasy sleep.
The following morning, she awoke before Mike and looked at the clock. It was nearly eight o'clock. Yawning, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed and got up. She would have a quick shower, she decided, and then grab some breakfast. Taking off her pyjamas, she left the bedroom, closing the door behind her (she didn't want Panda charging in and waking Mike unnecessarily), then walked into the bathroom and switched on the light.
Ping! The light flashed on for a fraction of a second, then went out. Connie cursed and left the room to fetch a new lightbulb. As she reached the foot of the stairs, her eye was caught by a small fuzzy white patch visible through the frosted glass of the front door. The post had arrived. At that moment Panda dashed through from the kitchen, wagging his tail, and Connie briefly petted him. It occurred to her that one of the letters might well be the results for an exam she had recently taken, and she decided to retrieve the post before taking her shower. Pulling the two front door keys from their hook on the wall, she picked out the key for the inner door, which she unlocked before replacing the keys on the hook. Then she opened the door a crack and looked out.
She could see nobody outside - not on the pavement nor further down the road in either direction. No cars were visible and the curtains in the windows of the houses opposite were all closed. So, her heart beating rapidly at this incredibly bold (for her) act, she opened the door a little further, then stepped through into the glass-fronted porch. Reaching down, she picked up the three letters lying on the floor, then she stood up and prepared to retreat back into the hall.
But a sudden 'click', accompanied by a scuffling sound, told her that she was in trouble even before she whirled around in a panic. The inner door of the porch had just closed, and there was no handle on this side! On the other side of the door, Panda continued to bound about for a moment, oblivious to the consequences of his exuberance, before heading back into the kitchen in the absence of his mistress.
Connie froze in shock. She was locked into the porch! She could not get outside, since she had not unlocked the outer door - and she could therefore not even use the doorbell to attract Mike's attention. Frantically looking down the road, Connie spied a car coming her way. In the other direction, a man walking his dog was approaching at a slower rate.
Turning back to the inner door, Connie began pounding on it in the hope of awaking Mike. But it seemed a slim hope - he was a terribly heavy sleeper and she had even closed the bedroom door. Sure enough, by the time the car had passed, honking its horn, and the man walking his dog had arrived, stopped and begun staring at her, Connie realised that she was not going to be able to rouse Mike. There was nothing she could do.
The man with the dog grinned at her. Connie shrank into a huddled, miserable ball in the corner of the porch and hugged her knees. A minute later, the man resumed walking and disappeared from view. Connie returned to hammering on the inner door and shouting for Mike. When she next looked back out into the road, a new shock awaited her.
Four teenaged boys, one of them clutching a football, were staring at her with a mixture of astonishment and delight. One of them hurriedly pulled a mobile phone out of his pocket and dialled into it. Seconds later he was speaking with someone on the other end of the line, and all the while he was staring at Connie…
Connie waved at the boys crossly in an attempt to shoo them away, but they paid her gestures no attention. Fifteen minutes later they were still there, sitting on her garden wall, staring at her with lascivious grins on their faces. One of them was eating a packet of crisps. Then the work of the mobile phone bore its first fruit - three other boys arrived and began staring, goggle-eyed, at Connie. Two minutes later another boy turned up, and then other couple after that.
One of them finally climbed over the wall and jogged up to the porch. Connie tried to shrink away from him, but her back was against the inner door as it was. The boy began to rub himself up against the glass obscenely, while leering at Connie. The other boys on the wall thought this was terribly funny, and pretty soon several of them were gathered around the front of the porch. They were so close now that Connie could hear their lecherous comments.
"Fucking fit isn't she?" said one. "Can you see her tits from there?"
"Nah," said another, "but I can kind of see her quim - mmm, I'd love to get my dick in that cunt."
"No way man, you'd have to find it first…"
"What, his dick or her cunt?"
There was much laughter at this.
"Anyone got a sledgehammer we can use on this glass? I figure she's gagging for it really."
"Think she'll do all of us?"
Connie burst into tears.
"Shit man, look what you've done."
"What I've done? Hey, I wasn't the one who said I'd love to get my dick in her."
"Think we should help her or something?"
"Nah man, I think we'd better just get out of here."
The teenagers drifted off, though they cast lingering glances back at her as they departed from her eyeshot. At that moment, the inner door of the porch opened.
"What on Earth are you doing out here?" demanded Mike.
"Oh Mike!" Connie wailed, and dashed back past him into the house.
A long shower and a breakfast later, Connie had calmed down somewhat. "I feel so stupid!" she moaned. "I figured I'd just be in the porch for a second … I hadn't bargained on Panda shutting me out."
"Never mind baby," said Mike. "I'm sure you'll look back at this little incident in years to come and find it funny."
"Maybe," responded Connie, "but I certainly don't find it funny at the moment, so that thought isn't very comforting."
"I'm sorry," said Mike. "I'm just not quite sure what to say."
Connie sighed. "It doesn't matter," she said. "Anyway what time are you leaving?"
"As soon as possible. In about five minutes probably. I just need to shave and brush my teeth." He swigged down the last of his tea and got up from the breakfast table.
Once Mike had left, Connie got herself ready for going out. She put on a knee-length summer dress over her bra and panties, applied some make-up, and then left the house to catch the bus. Rummaging through her purse, she cursed as she realised she was short on cash - she only had a pound or so in loose change. She hoped this would be enough for a return ticket to the centre of town.
The bus appeared at the end of the road, and Connie, who had been watching for it through the living room window, quickly ran out of the house, locked the door, and hurried to the pavement, where she flagged the bus down and boarded it. The ticket cost one pound sixty - she did not have enough. Fortunately this was not a major problem - she could just afford a single and once she had got into town she would be able to obtain some more money from a cashpoint machine. As the bus wound its way through the suburban streets, Connie noticed trees were swaying in increasingly strong winds - Reginald had apparently arrived.
When she arrived in the middle of town, Connie stepped out on to the pavement, and almost immediately had to clutch her dress, which began to whip about and billow up around her waist. Blushing crimson, she hurried down the pavement towards the bank, battling to keep her dress under control. She was not entirely successful - several times, though she did not realise it, her dress flipped up at the back to reveal her white panties to anyone behind her who chanced to look in her direction.
She popped her card into the cashpoint machine. Nothing happened for a moment, then a message appeared which said: "Your card has been reported missing and has therefore been retained. Please contact your local branch."
Connie stared at the message in disbelief. Then she recalled what Mike had said about his card going missing. Had the bank stopped both their cards? Or had she perhaps picked up Mike's by mistake? At any rate, so much for her shopping trip! Angrily, she turned back towards the bus stop. And then she came to an abrupt halt as she realised with horror that she only had a single ticket. She would have to walk home.
But in this dress? Already she was fed up with trying to keep her hem from flying up to her waist - how was she going to manage on a walk that would take her nearly half an hour? The wind seemed to be getting even stronger - trying to keep her panties covered could soon prove well nigh impossible. What had she been thinking when she put this dress on?
And then she had a sudden thought. Rummaging in her purse, she uttered an exclamation of triumph as she pulled out her cheque book. She hardly ever used it, much preferring her debit card, but now it could very well prove a life-saver. She could go shopping after all!
Her look of elation faded quickly as she realised that, in using both hands to look through her purse, she had been neglecting her skirt. Looking down in panic, she gasped as she saw her dress folded and plastered to her waist by the wind, her panties on view for all to see. And, when she looked up anxiously, it did rather seem as if she had quite a large audience. Many people, mostly men, were staring at her with more than a passing interest. She quickly pulled her dress down and held it there while she walked quickly down the pavement.
Soon she came to the market. It was not in a happy state. Some of the stall-holders were already packing their goods away, unable to cope with the rising wind. Lighter items were been blown from their places and carried out of reach of the vendors fighting a losing battle to achieve a degree of stock control. A rack of clothes was blown over and crashed into a neighbouring stall - a heated argument ensued.
Realising time was pressing, Connie hurried into the market and looked around for something she could wear. Spotting a clothes stall at the edge of the market, she hurried straight to it. It was selling, amongst other things, jeans and t-shirts.
"Hi," said Connie to the stressed-looking stall-keeper.
"Hullo," he replied. "You'll have to hurry Miss, I'm about to clear out of here." He stared anxiously at his racks, which were being strongly buffeted by the wind. Fortunately the stall next to his, which was suffering even more badly, was providing a small degree of cover.
"I just need a pair of jeans and a t-shirt," said Connie. "Perhaps a jumper too - this wind's quite cold isn't it?"
"Sure, fine, just pick out what you want," said the stall-keeper distractedly. He was eyeing the other stall nervously - its vendor had given up the struggle against the weather and was beginning to pack up.
Spots of rain began to fall as Connie tried to choose her clothes. She was not used to having to clothes-shop in such a rush. "Um, that t-shirt," she said at length, "and, er, those jeans. But I'll need to try them on - I find it very hard to get jeans that fit me."
The stall-keeper laughed hollowly. "Well, there's no changing room here," he said. "Though I dare say you could put the jeans on under your dress. How are you paying?"
"Cheque," replied Connie, and she produced it.
"You got a cheque guarantee card?" asked the stall-keeper automatically.
"Um, no," confessed Connie. "The machine just ate it."
The vendor whistled between his teeth. "Then it's tough luck Miss - a cheque's no good to me without a card."
"Oh," said Connie, disappointed. "Do you think any of the other stalls will accept a cheque?"
"Without a card? Not a chance," said the man. "Sorry." He grimaced and looked skyward as the rain got a little heavier.
Connie felt herself become increasingly desperate. "Look, isn't there any way? I have to walk home, but I can't do so in this dress - it's blowing all over the place!"
"So I see," the vendor remarked, as Connie's panties briefly came into view. He let out a heavy sigh. "Tell you what Miss - seeing as I'm feeling especially generous today, I'll let you have a t-shirt and one of my cheapest pairs of jeans in exchange for that dress, and your underwear. It's not, after all, a very expensive dress."
Connie's mouth opened in surprise. "What?" she exclaimed. "What do you want my underwear for? Surely you can't be meaning to sell them on…?"
"Just as a souvenir," said the vendor with a grin. "Look, I'm going to make a loss on this deal, so you have to make it worth my while somehow. I'm not asking you to do anything obscene. Now do you want the clothes or not?"
Connie glanced around. She could no longer see any other stalls selling clothes. And the rain was beginning to soak her dress. "Um," she said, "well all right. But I'm not going to change right in front of you."
The vendor indicated behind him. "There's a doorway just behind me here," he said. "It's quite deep - you'll be able to fit into it all right. Can you see that bit of corrugated plastic over there? If you fetch it, I'll prop it up across the doorway for you. Then you'll have a bit of privacy."
Connie did not like this idea one little bit. But her dress was becoming unmanageable now - it was exhausting trying to keep it down and she was sure that everyone for miles around must have seen her panties by now. "All right," she said resignedly, and hurried to fetch the plastic sheet.
The doorway, as the vendor had said, was fairly deep. The door was inset from the outer wall by at least eighteen inches, which allowed Connie enough room (just) to get changed. Together they positioned the sheet of plastic so that it was covering the doorway. As the plastic was leaning against the wall, its bottom was about a foot away from the wall, leaving a gap through which clothes could be passed.
"I'm not giving you the clothes just yet," said the stall-keeper. "That door leads into the mall, and I'm not having you escaping through it with my wares when you've not paid for them."
"So what do you suggest?" demanded Connie from the other side of the plastic.
"You'll have to take off your clothes first and pass them out to me," said the man, unruffled. "I'll then pass you your t-shirt and jeans. Hell's bells!"
"What?" inquired Connie.
There was no reply for several seconds. Then the man's voice returned. "Sorry," he said. "Had to go rescue … oh shit, there goes another one! This is no good - I'm going to have to pack up."
The sheet of plastic suddenly blew over. Connie shrieked and retrieved it hurriedly, her dress quickly becoming like a second skin as it became drenched in the now very heavy rain. The stall-keeper helped her put it back up, leaning a little more this time so it would be more stable. Connie was once more concealed from his view.
"It's no good!" exclaimed the man. "I'm losing stock here! I'm getting out."
"No! Wait!" squealed Connie. Taking her courage in both hands, she undid her dress and pulled it up over her head. Then she dropped it as the plastic sheet began to lift away from the wall. Grabbing hold of both sides, she managed to hold it in place. Then she stooped and picked up her dress with one hand. "Here you go!" she said, passing it out through the gap. It was tugged out of her hand. Then she swallowed nervously as she realised she would now have to remove her underwear. She pulled her panties down and stepped out of them, then unclasped her bra and took it off. She was now naked apart from her shoes.
"Here you are!" she said, passing her undergarments out through the gap. They, too, were whisked out of her hands. "Now the jeans if you pleeeeaaaaghhh!" Her request dissolved into a shriek as she was obliged to grab the plastic sheet again. She held on for dear life - if it fell over, everyone around would see her naked.
"Hurry up!" she insisted. "This sheet isn't going to stick around here much longer!"
But no jeans were passed through the gap, and no t-shirt either. Standing there naked, holding on tightly to the corrugated plastic, Connie began to feel worried. She attempted to poke her head around the edge of the plastic, but found she could not do this without letting go of the plastic with one hand. And if she let go, even with only one hand, she was not confident of keeping the sheet in place.
But after another minute, she figured she did not have a choice. Holding on with her right hand as tightly as she could, she let go with her left and peered around the right-hand side of the plastic sheet. Then she gasped in horror. The stall was gone. So was the vendor. "Nooo!" she screamed in terror and panic. Why had he left, after taking her clothes? What kind of person would do that? Unless… Her heart sank as she realised it had probably been the wind itself snatching her clothes from her hand, not the stall-keeper. He had, apparently, been as good as his word when he had said he was 'getting out'.
With a great clattering sound, the plastic sheet was ripped out of her hand and carried several yards away. The few people remaining in the area stared, stunned, at the naked woman who had suddenly been exposed to their eyes. But they did not stare for long - everybody in sight was now running for cover as the rain became torrential. Connie quickly turned and tried the door which the man had said led through to the mall. Perhaps she could find some refuge there. But the door turned out to be locked. In despair, Connie looked around at the now deserted market place, wondering where she could take refuge. No obvious solutions presented themselves, however. Shops across the road were busy closing and boarding up their windows. And she did not dare go and knock on some stranger's house - what if it turned out to be a complete psycho? She whimpered in distress - whatever was she to do?
Clutching her purse, Connie dashed out into the rain. She reached the pavement, paused, and ran across the road. On the other side was a fence, beyond which a disused railway line led in the rough direction of her house. She knew that it passed her local convenience store, and her tentative plan was to follow it until she got as close to home as possible, then dash the remaining couple of hundred yards to her house. Down in the cutting she was not likely to meet anybody, so to her mind it was a better option than trying to run the gauntlet of the suburban streets.
She managed to climb over the barbed-wire fence without injury, but as she hurried down the fern-covered slope into the cutting, Connie's left foot got caught in a rabbit hole and she tripped forward. Her shoe was wrenched off and she felt a sharp pain in her ankle. Tumbling head over heels, she crashed down through the bracken for what seemed like ages and finally ended up in a bruised, shaken heap at the foot of the slope.
One of her shoes was gone. The other now had a broken strap. Sighing wearily, Connie removed it and threw it away. She got to her feet and winced as she put her weight on her bare left foot. It was not broken, perhaps not even sprained, but it was uncomfortable to walk on and she was obliged to limp along at a much slower pace than she would have liked.
The bottom of the cutting was already awash with rainwater in places. Connie skirted around a few big puddles; paddled through others that stretched from one side to the other. It was raining harder than she could remember it ever raining in her experience. The water drummed into her skin like a thousand cold fingers giving her an unwanted massage. Rainwater ran in rivulets down her face, over her breasts, down her belly and into her sodden pubic hair. Her chilled nipples stood out like bullets. She was by now feeling thoroughly miserable.
Twenty minutes later she was tired out, having hobbled along with her weight largely on her right foot. Shivering with cold, she sat down for a brief rest, putting her purse down beside her. Panting from her exertion, she looked around in attempt to ascertain how far she had come. She did not recognise the houses she could see, but the sight of a church steeple poking over the tops of nearer roofs led her to guess that she had come about a mile. She was less than halfway home.
A shout made her freeze. She turned on to her hands and knees and crawled up the slope a few yards, hoping to hide herself in the bracken. Only here the ferns were interspersed with brambles, and she sustained a few cuts. Finally however, she was reasonably well hidden. Where had the shout come from? Had somebody seen her?
Five minutes later she decided the shout must have had nothing to do with her. She was about to get up when she spotted something nosing around in the cutting below. She could not see it too well, but it looked rather like a dog. Then she caught a better sight of it - it was a fox, very bedraggled and rather thin-looking. Connie stayed where she was, watching the animal with interest … until it grabbed something in its jaws and began to trot away.
Connie gasped as she realised what the object was - it was her purse, which she had left at the foot of the slope! "Hey!" she yelled, jumping to her feet and charging down through the bracken. Her leg caught on a bramble and she yelped as she felt it cut into her flesh.
The fox bounded off down the cutting before turning aside and disappearing into the undergrowth. Connie by now had reached the foot of the slope, but she knew it was hopeless to try to follow the creature. Her spirits, which had been low enough already, sank even further. She had lost her house keys, her cheque book and the small amount of change that she still had left over from the bus fare.
Completely naked, and with no means even of getting into her house once she reached it, Connie fought back an urge to break down and cry. It would do no good anyway. Perhaps she could take refuge in her neighbours' house - if they were in. She sighed and continued limping along the base of the cutting.
Half an hour later she decided she was probably fairly near to the convenience store. Unfortunately, by now the ferns had given way to thickets of brambles and nettles - there was no way she could climb up just here. Continuing on, she saw that the banks of the cutting began to slowly descend up ahead as the surrounding terrain dipped into a marshy nature reserve.
Footsore and weary, Connie finally reached a gate at the point where the disused railway ended and a stretch of farmland began. A gate on the right-hand side of the track led into the nature reserve which bordered the farm, and Connie climbed over it. On the far side she began to follow a muddy path which, she hoped, would lead her back in the general direction of her house.
It may well have done, but now that she was out of the cutting Connie found herself at the mercy of the wind, which was so strong she could hardly walk against it. What made matters worse was that her feet kept slipping on the infirm terrain. Several times she fell over, and soon she was plastered from head to toe in dark brown mud. At one point a particularly strong gust of wind caught her off balance and carried her, arms pinwheeling madly, off the edge of the track. She slipped and slithered down a muddy slope into a deep, steep-sided ditch, at the bottom of which she sank twelve inches deep into the thin, watery mud.
Connie was momentarily stunned, but uninjured. She picked herself up, dripping mud from every body part, and attempted to climb out of the hole. This proved, however, trickier than she would have thought. The sides of the pit were slippery, and she could get no purchase on them. After several abortive attempts, she sat down in dismay, sinking waist deep, her bottom and pussy squelching into the thicker mud at the bottom. She was trapped! Naked, helpless, and shivering with cold in a six-foot-deep muddy ditch, who knew how long it would be before she was rescued?
As it turned out, about three quarters of an hour. The sound of a car engine roused Connie from her fit of depression, and she stood up and began jumping up and down, waving her arms frantically. She no longer cared about being seen naked - she just wanted to get out of this hole.
The car - a powerful 4x4 - stopped just next to the edge of the ditch. A door slammed, and a woman's head appeared. "Hello!" she shouted over the noise of the wind.
"H-Hi!" said Connie, shivering. "Could you get me out of here please?"
"Hang on a moment," said the woman, and she disappeared. A few seconds later she returned with a rope, one end of which she threw down. "Hold on to that," the woman instructed, "and I'll back the car up."
Connie held on tightly as she heard the car's engine rev, then she felt the rope pull taut and, slowly, she was lifted off her feet. Clinging on for dear life, she was dragged up the edge of the ditch on her stomach, sliding through the mud until she reached the top. Once out of the pit, she stood up and stumbled towards the car's passenger door.
"Just a moment," her rescuer called out. "I have a blanket in the back."
The blanket was retrieved and Connie wrapped it around her before getting into the car. Once inside, with the doors shut, she turned to her saviour. "Thank you so much," she said. "I was getting desperate."
"I'm sure you were," said the woman, starting the car along the path again. "Just how did you get into that predicament?"
Connie rolled her eyes. "It's a long story," she said with a heavy sigh. She turned to face her saviour, and her brow furrowed. "Do I know you from somewhere?" she inquired.
The woman looked at her in surprise. "I don't think so," she said. "My name's Sophie."
"I'm Connie," said Connie. "What brings you out here on a day like this?"
"I'm looking for a missing horse," replied Sophie. "I work at an Animal Rescue centre - as you can imagine we've been inundated with calls today."
Connie nodded. "Well, thanks for rescuing this animal, at any rate. You wouldn't believe the day I've had. First I got locked in my porch this morning without a stitch on…"
Sophie raised an eyebrow. "So this kind of thing happens to you a lot?"
"Well no! Not before today at any rate. And now, twice in one day, I find myself without clothing in a very awkward situation. Not to mention the fact that I've lost my house keys as well…"
"Ah, I was about to ask you where you wanted me to take you," said Sophie. "So you can't even get into your house?"
"No," said Connie ruefully. "But hopefully my neighbours will be in, and they can look after me until my husband gets home."
"Okay," said Sophie. She was silent for a moment, then she said, "So tell me - please, I'm itching to know - how on Earth did you end up in that ditch with no clothes on?"
Connie sighed, and explained. Sophie listened, but at the end her expression showed she thought this all sounded very far-fetched. "Good grief," she said. "You stripped naked in the market and gave away all your clothes with nothing but a piece of plastic sheeting to hide you? That was … well, pretty stupid if you ask me."
Connie went rather red in the face. "Well, I was desperate!" she said. "Of course, in hindsight it sounds stupid…"
"I can't believe anyone would do that," continued Sophie, shaking her head. "I'd never let myself get into a situation like that - never!"
Connie looked sharply across at Sophie, then gasped in recognition. "Oh really?" she said. "You haven't been hypnotised recently, have you, by any chance?"
Sophie's eyes widened and she looked quickly at Connie. "No - whatever makes you say that?"
Connie chuckled. "No reason," she said.
Sophie frowned. "Go on," she prompted. "I want to hear this."
Connie shrugged. "I suggest you check out a web site called Voyeur Central," she said, with a trace of amusement. "That's all."
"I doubt there's anything at all there that I would be remotely interested in," said Sophie through all but clenched teeth.
"Suit yourself." Connie said nothing more but continued to smile to herself, which began to annoy Sophie no end, though she also kept her silence.
They emerged from the nature reserve and Connie directed Sophie to her house. When they pulled up outside, Connie said, "Okay, I'll just go and see if my neighbours are in." She opened the passenger door.
"Leave the blanket," said Sophie sharply.
Connie glanced back and saw a look of barely disguised hostility in Sophie's face. She decided against arguing the matter, and left the blanket behind as she got out of the car. She shut the door and, putting one arm over her breasts and the other hand over her pussy, she dashed towards her neighbours' front gate. Then she turned in alarm as she heard Sophie's 4x4 rev up and speed away down the road.
Her heart pounding in fear, she ran up to the door of her neighbours' house and pushed the doorbell. Looking around, she saw faces in windows across the street staring at her. Further down the road, the teenaged lads who had seen her in the porch that morning were coming her way. Her heart sank as seconds ticked by with no sign of life from within the house.
And then a dark shadow appeared, and the front door opened. Connie let out a huge sigh of relief as her elderly neighbour stepped aside to let her in. "Oh thank God!" she exclaimed. "I'm so glad you're in, Mr Evans!"
Mr Evans, his eyes flitting from her breasts to her pussy, cleared his throat. "So am I, Connie," he said fervently. "So am I."
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