Secrets in Lace

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Shape-Shifter.

Mdf, (Wiki.)











Dusty Miller





What an amazing creature. The small, dull-colored Merlin that flew past had wide wings, but they were also short. The bird had a long tail, and at first I took it for a mourning dove, as the graceful, brown-gray shape flew silently overhead. It went diving down into the low trees of the park.

This was no dove. At the high speed it was gliding, wings extended, it must have come down from on high, and then pulled out, flat and level. It was one of those misty, half-lit days in November. I was out walking in sheer boredom. Most of the leaves were gone from the trees, although a few wine-colored ones trembled on the end of a maple branch to my left. Patches of color stood out in high contrast against the blue bottoms of the low clouds above.

Merlins have a mottled chest, yellow, naked lower legs, and a slate-colored back on the males. The long tail is barred with light and dark. They have golden-yellow eyes. This one was clearly a female. A ringing ki-ki-ki—ki—ki sound rang out around the little patch of forest. It had to be sitting on a branch less than fifty metres away.

Once in the trees, they’re all but invisible.

I wondered where it went. It was prowling for a meal, with its stealthy approach, down low, coming out of the mist, almost invisible against the dull sky. It must have been going over a hundred kilometres an hour, the perfect predator. Perhaps it had made a kill of some small songbird or a rodent, about all there is to eat for an animal like that around here.

I stepped off the graveled track, walking on the fringe of grass that ran between it and the flower gardens that line this part of the path. There’s an arboretum right behind my house. I’ve taken a lot of photos there. I didn’t have my camera this time.

Faint noises came out of a clump of cedars, ahead and off to my right. A thicket of shrubs with long, arching, trailing yellow stems covered in small red berries hid my approach.

Otherwise she would have heard my coming.

I caught a glimpse of something pale through the trees as something moved in there. There are sheltered places. People go there to get out of the rain, teenagers party after dark, kids played hide and seek in there in the good weather.

I was curious to see how close I could get, so I stayed on the grass and let my feet naturally fall into stalking mode. When I was very young, I dreamed of being a woodsman, just like in an old Zane Grey novel. I must have gotten pretty good at it, as she never heard me coming.

A girl stood in a glade. She was hurriedly dressing herself in a faded pair of jeans. Her back turned, she tucked in an old plaid bush shirt in, then fastened her belt. A pair of boots were on the ground beside her. 

She pulled a jacket from a small, dark green day pack, resting under some overhanging branches. With my heart pounding in my chest, I backed up suddenly, to say the least. Was she dressing in there?

But why? What had she been doing? I backtracked silently as far as I could get. I mean, I’m not a peeping Tom or anything like that, although the clear impression in my head was of a very beautiful young woman with long, blond hair, in her early twenties, about one-hundred-seventy centimetres tall. She was nicely built.

She didn’t look homeless, and I was pretty sure she hadn’t been having a pee in the bushes. So I stepped back on the path and began moving towards where she had been. There was a bit of a curve in the path, and as I came around the corner, there she was, standing in the middle of the trail, all properly dressed and with the pack-straps visible on her shoulders.

She faced me and stared right into my eyes. She must have known I was there.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to spy on you.”

“I know you.”

My heart almost stopped dead. Her voice was low, smooth, and surprising in its warmth. Her calm, green eyes regarded me in curiosity and recognition.

“Pardon me?”

“I know you. You’re the gentle one. I’ve seen you talk to the squirrels. And sometimes the little ones, the lovely little red birds, the ones that sit in the top of a pine-tree and sing, pipi-pipi-pipi-pip-pip-pip. You feed half the cats in the neighborhood. They like to come over and get a snack, or a drink of water, or a pat on the head.”

She regarded me with tolerant humor. I chuckled. This was a very strange conversation. Just a scruffy old man, I’m actually quite shy where stunningly attractive young women are concerned.

“Um, yeah, oh, well. I guess I like cats and stuff.”

I couldn’t think of anything else to say. Just as I was about to step around and keep going, she reached over and patted my arm near the shoulder.

“Why don’t you meet me here tomorrow, about one o’clock? You can watch me fly.”

I stood gaping. She smiled sweetly and then turned and walked off up the trail.

I watched her lithe, athletic form as she strode purposefully away. She took one last look back over her shoulder.

“Okay! I’ll be here.”

Demure yet mischievous, she smiled mysteriously. She turned a corner and disappeared. All around was silence, except for the low rumble of a jetliner cruising past above the dark, wet-looking clouds. Yeah, I’ll be here tomorrow.

She was one wild-looking girl, or shape-shifter, or whatever. I have nothing to lose, if you care to look at it that way.


END

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dusty Miller Now in Paperback.










Dusty Miller







Dusty Miller is thrilled to announce that the first of her stories are now available in paperback.

Passion is the novella trilogy Project: Passion collected into one handy and low-cost 4 x 7” paperback from Lulu.com.

Falling in Love is a collection of six short stories of love, romance and erotica. That book is also a pocket-book sized paperback, also from Lulu.

Both titles are listed at $4.99 but with the 15 % discount, the price is $4.24 + S & H.

***

In other news, Long Cool One Books designer J. Thornton is working on 5 x 8” trade paperback versions through Createspace. By using Createspace-assigned ISBN numbers, those books will be in all the expanded distribution channels, and ultimately linked to their ebook counterparts on all Amazon/Kindle outlets. J. says the 4 x 7s and the 5 x 8s must have different ISBNs, and this is true of ebooks and any other formats as well. So you learn something new every day around here…

I probably have enough short stories for a couple of more collections, and if I know anything at all, it's that we’re always working on something new. around here...

Bye.

Smooches.


END


Friday, July 25, 2014

Writing Is Like Sex.



























Dusty Miller




Writing is like sex. When it’s good, it’s great, and when it’s bad, it’s still kind of okay.

Now, the only trouble with oral sex is the view.

For that I need a blindfold and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Once an author has attained certain basic, minimum professional requirements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and style, you will never regret having written something.

You might regret what happens after that, and yet at the time, you needed to write something.

There is a huge emotional component to what we write.

We are giving somebody something that they need.

There’s more to it.

You needed to write that piece, no matter how other folks reacted to it. The most usual bad reaction is to simply ignore it.

In which case why write it.

Just like sex, with your writing, you can get yourself in an awful lot of trouble. Gate-keeping of the personal kind, (knowing when to spike a story or simply zip our cake-hole) i.e. not letting someone else decide for you, (by calling you out, sending the cops to your home, suing your ass off, etc.), well, it is a bit like wearing a condom or using the pill.

(Totally off the record, I fuckin’ hate commas outside the brackets.)

It’s an effort to avoid giving birth to some real trouble.

You wrote it, you published it…you started this fight, and you need to remember that.

If you don’t like fighting, don’t start it.

Sometimes it’s better if we keep our pants on, nudge-nudge, wink-wink. Say no more.

The most important part of the story, like the orgasm, is how it ends. Rarely in real life are we happily-ever-after, but there’s always another story, another book, another M-BILF.

(Mommy-Blogger I’d Like to Fuck.)*

*sorry, ladies, but the occasional male reads the blog too. And we must keep the bastards coming back, eh?

Incidentally, for you guys in them other countries, you are certainly welcome to  think of me while you masturbate. I get emails on that all the time. I’ll see if we can find a better pic for you!

Smooches.

Byeee!


END


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Germans in Bondage.


Raymond Spekking, (Wiki.)











Dusty Miller




Heinrich was not Stella’s favourite customer. He took so damned long to remove his thin, wire-rimmed spectacles. He was so fussy about his hat, his coat, and his shoes. The man was wound up so tight, and yet he seemed calm, placid, and urbane. A man who wouldn’t say shit if he had a mouthful. He always wanted to leave his socks on, but the feet were an essential part of her routine.

There were one or two customers who could turn her on, but Heinrich wasn’t one of them. This man had flaccid written all over him. There was still a kind of intimacy with him. They had to trust one another.

The one thing he did well was to take orders, oddly enough.

“Strip.”

“Oh, I don’t know.” There was someone else in the room, a new element for Heinrich.

Keep it fresh, was her mantra.

She whacked him a good one across the upper left thigh with her riding crop, all red leather and braiding. 

The butt end of it was a formidable tool in itself, and it was capable of doing some formidable things.

It was all paid for a hundred times over, but such things didn’t come cheap and it was well to appreciate them. It would have to be the finest whip that money could buy for one such as Heinrich.

He removed his tie.

His fingers flew down the shirt buttons. He stripped off his trousers and underwear. Going down on his knees, facing her, he looked up and then away again, licking his lips. Heinrich cowered before her, and yet those limpid, almost colourless blue orbs glistened in anticipation of the pleasure—and the terror of what might come next.

She’d once taken photos and threatened to send them to the newspaper, and here he was back again, practically salivating at the ringing of a bell.

“Down.” She pointed to her left as Kurt moved about in the background.

Heinrich had made a breakthrough. She sensed an eagerness to perform in front of others, perhaps to impress them with how malformed he was.

He wanted to prove that his life couldn’t be helped, that it was unchangeable and hey! Look at me, this is what I have to deal with.

This is who I am.

Please try and understand.

“Mine liebchen…” Protest was futile, as he well knew. “All I want is to talk this time, perhaps hear a friendly voice…”

All I want is a friend—someone who understands and doesn’t judge me. Someone who can keep a secret.

“Silence!”

Oh, yes, supposedly they were giving him a hard time at work. She would draw all of that out of him, in good time, but for now it was best to show him who was boss.

Having earned the spanking he so richly deserved, if only the world knew it, Heinrich was happily down on all fours. She allowed him to begin licking her toes, visible between the straps of her studded stilettos. Her own costume, very important, changed from day to day.

Today it was the corset, the stockings, the garter belt, all in black silk. She wore a mask and her hair was done up in a tall and silvery knot.

“Back. Back.” He scuttled around on all fours, wagging his ass end in imitation of a puppy.

This gave her an idea.

“Come with Momma.” She strutted over the big double doors of the wall closet.

She opened the door.

“Ah, yes. Here we are.” They were lucky.

Heinrich was about the right size.

“Here. Put this on.”

He panted and huffed and puffed around her ankles again. Heinrich had a very thin penis, and hadn’t been circumcised. It wasn’t all that long, it was just thin. He must be aware of its shortcomings, at some conscious and of course subconscious level. If you had seen one, you had pretty much seen them all. But his was unusually repellent. Men worshipped their penises.

She sighed, as this one could be so tiresome at times. He had no redeeming social values whatsoever. This one paid her special attentions, often bringing flowers, candy, or scent. It was like they were dating again, or she was expected to be his mistress of the moment. It was a substitute for expressing his emotional needs in another setting—at home with the wife for example.

“Up on your feet, Heinrich, for God’s sakes.”

She proffered the Snoopy outfit and Heinrich’s eyes lit up.

“Oh, thank you, Momma. Thank you!” It was his afternoon off, having given up Saturday mornings for the insurance brokerage that he worked for, in exchange for Wednesday afternoons.

This was so he could be with her. She had never worked weekends and never would. It was strictly normal business hours for Stella.

“Shut up.”

She’d have him in the box shortly, and this was one client who was going to learn to suck a cock if it killed him—although it probably wouldn’t, she decided.

Paybacks were a bitch, but she never would have gone into this business if her own private insurance disability claim hadn’t been denied. Stella had been a courier-driver. She was making a pretty good living when she was creamed going through an intersection by a drunk football-mother in a grey Mercedes utility vehicle.

Stella still suffered headaches, neck pain and vertigo from that little episode.

***

It was easier than shooting fish in a barrel, she thought.

God! If only she had known years ago, just exactly how fucked-up people were these days.

The sound came of Heinrich’s tail swishing happily inside of what was essentially a big phone booth constructed of cardboard and packing tape. Her neighbours, called in for the occasion, Herr Dollfuss and Herr Ostend, stuck their dinks in there, taking turns and having a smoke-break. It was music to her ears. In front of the customers, she always used the polite form of address.

“And how is your Madeleine doing, Mister Dollfuss?”

“Much better now, thank you.” He gave a quick wink.

It was all just a primitive kind of theatre.

It gave the necessary contrast to the shocking images and the dirty-talk.

Heinrich was technically a heterosexual, but he would do anything to please her. He paid handsomely for the privilege, they all did in fact.

Perhaps he would learn something about his inner nature while inside of that box.

She had never set out to become a social worker or psychiatrist. It was something that just happened.

Still, it had to be done right. There were certain aesthetic values to be maintained and when things went well, everybody went home happy—not least of which were the customers, sternly repressed in childhood and flagging in the libido, virtually every one of them. She had noted a certain commonality of age, upbringing, and circumstances in many of her people.

Heinrich, on the other hand, was just plain weird.

***

Her next client, Rolf, was into the rope bondage. This one preferred blindfolds, tickling with a feather and lots of talk. Dirty talk, but mostly just talk—Rolf had never tried to grab her, unlike Heinrich.

Like all the rest, he wanted more than permission. He wanted someone to tell him what to do and when he could do it. He had more than enough responsibilities. He couldn’t possibly handle even one more. In real life he was a small man with a fair amount of power. He worked for the federal social services board in some sort of regional capacity. He never saw the faces of those whom he served, and despised, and defrauded, and denied, and cut off, and sent back into the streets for a life of suffering, homelessness, and despair.

He was on hands and knees on the bed, in the corner of her studio. She held his penis with one hand and smacked him on the bottom with the fly-swatter in her other hand.

“So. How are things?”

“Oh, the usual. Mellie needs fifteen thousand Euros worth of orthodontics…”

Ah, yes, the usual story. The demands society placed on a certain class of people. And of course Rolf had just bought a Z-Class sedan. Twin-turbocharged, V-8. She knew all about it, and the penchant for four-wheel drive. Naturally it was black leather for the interior, black on black, and it had the right logo on it. 

It was a symbol of his impotence, something they never mentioned in the television advertisements.

It was all justified, as they lived in the hilly part of town. They had a vacation villa in the mountains, and they liked skiing in winter. Rolf had to get to work in the morning. It was a proper family. The wife took the kids to football practice and Rolf drove the boss around sometimes and important visitors from overseas.

Predictably, Rolf worried about his heart and his weight. He drank but didn’t smoke, saying it was a filthy habit. He was sleek and pudgy and took every pill the doctor suggested. He took his real life very seriously indeed. He had lost most of his hair by thirty-five and had a smooth, round, seamless face at forty. He was a little bit inclined to jowls.

Being rich was one thing, but to maintain a place in the upper middle-class, the bourgeoisie as the Marxists called it, was very expensive. There was always someone waiting to pounce. It was a tough row to hoe, but social mobility meant upwards, always upwards and onwards, to a certain type of mind-set. To fall back was personal tragedy, to go back unthinkable.

There was always someone or something nameless there to claw you down, to call you out and embarrass you in front of your friends, none of whom had anything more going for them than you did. All they had to show for it were fine houses, money, cars, clothes, and empty heads for the most part. They had their insecurities.

The purpose of this class (assuming one had to have a class structure at all) was aspirational, and many of her clients held impressive positions in business, industry and commerce. Everyone wanted to join this class, assuming they weren’t rich already. Everyone else was supposed to want to be them.

She knew it would never happen, not in her own case, and of course that settled the thing in her mind.

What she was doing was moral enough. Naturally they would disapprove, and so it was the thing to do…and now they were paying her bills for a change.

It was their kids, she thought. And their wives. The men were all over-achievers, pasty-faced and privileged, and in too many cases they were raising a generation of parasites and slugs. Too many of her clients told her stories, endless stories of drugs, rehab, recidivism…not them so much as their family members.

The younger generation…they just didn’t know how to work anymore. They didn’t seem to know what was right and wrong anymore…

How many times she had heard it.

They were always shocked of course, condemning their own children in the roundest moral terms. Then they made excuses for them, paid off their fines and their bad debts. They handed them the keys to another new car, a handful of crisp new bills for the dope dealers, and another new credit card in daddy’s name. And off they went to get into trouble again, saying they were sorry and that it would never happen again.

Their kids were always in trouble, or hanging around with trouble.

Trouble that would have had someone a little further down the social ladder behind bars doing hard time, and the truth was that the daddy knew it—mothers were usually in denial and would never get it. The kids never seemed to get it either, just how privileged they were. It’s not like they were determined to be bad people. 

They were sometimes insufferably nice people. By the second or third generation, they were simply failing to reproduce themselves, not with the same qualities their forefathers admittedly had enjoyed in such abundance.

The customers had no place to express their resentments, for the role of castrated alpha male could be so demanding. And yet they all had to act the role. It was a curiously straitened and foreshortened set of demands and ideals.

Live up to the ideal or be cast out…

Virtually every one of them cheated on their wives, who would of course never consent to divorce without a lengthy, expensive and ultimately bankrupting legal battle. The wives, pretended not to know and took the most obnoxious lovers. The wives would make an interesting case study, screwing milk-men and pool-boys and the guy who came in to spray for cockroaches.

She thought a lot of the males, and possibly some of the females, would try the child-brothels of Southeast Asia if only they had a legitimate business excuse to go there. There would of course be the danger of running into someone they knew in the worst possible circumstances.

Money did not buy happiness. The real question was what it did buy these days.

The correct answer was, that it bought everything else but happiness. People were willing to settle for that and a nice image. If they could get it.

She was only half listening to her clients lately and she thought of a vacation. It really would be nice. It was also presently unattainable.

“And how do you feel about all that?”

“Oh, well. Can’t have the girl going through life with crooked teeth now, can we?”

No. They would be relying on her beauty to bring an advantageous match, a match with another parasite, another social gadfly whose parents would be somebody.

No. They were sending her to the finest university—Halle, as she recalled. And it wouldn’t do to have a crooked-looking smile on a girl so otherwise pretty.

The daughter was studying rocket science, and while Rolf had just chuckled when he said it, she could tell he was ever so proud of her abilities. She had straight-As in school, of course.

Those attributes would never be put to the test, would they? And yet she would graduate with high scores, academic honours, probably. She would go around the rest of her life saying she was an astrophysicist and probably just work in a lab somewhere. She would be looking at things on screens. She would be taking orders from someone truly driven. Perhaps that was for the best.

Perhaps she would do some good, somewhere in the world.

Swisssub, (WIki.)
Stella’s practice was small, and of course there must be exceptions in the world. It was true that she didn’t know everything, but she was learning.

The odds of Rolf’s daughter working in that field for any period of time were nil. Research had to be paid for, and that required, first and foremost, ideas. But that world also took some politicking. It took a certain kind of patience—a certain kind of grit. It was asking for a lot, to go to the government or public institutions for half a billion Euros, a certain kind of gravitas that did not come out of a salon or a bottle or a mention in the society pages of a slick and glossy magazine.

***

Albert loved suspension. For some reason, that’s what did it for him. It was a sense of helplessness.

Many of them regressed into real babies under her direction, many of them having oral, anal, penile and vaginal-infantile fixations.

Orgasm was not always a requirement, in her work.  As often as not, she sent them home with instructions to masturbate in some unusual environment. Stella could care less if they got off or not—the fascination for her was trying to determine the underlying problem.

She was trying to figure out what they needed, and somehow to give it to them.

It was the least she could do for them. She had to hold back any other impulses, for to do too much, to go too far, to care too much, that would be to give up the power they had so firmly delegated to her.

It would be a kind of betrayal.

No, they really needed her.

Maybe that was it—they were tired of wielding power. So many of them might be doing it badly, and surely some of them had an actual conscience. Surely some of them must see the contradictions in their lives.

They would come back the next week and proudly proclaim their accomplishments.

Albert had masturbated in a park the previous weekend. He had waited until four in the morning, left the wife sleeping soundly in bed. He went there, sneaking through the back alleys, stripped down, and did the dirty deed.

He still had some of the bites and possibly a bit of a cold due to the chill of the night air, the damp and the lying on the bare dirt of a freshly-turned flower bed.

She had no remorse. Most of them cheated, she assumed, most of the time, and simply did it in bed or in a bathroom. Hell, even out in the garage or the garden shed was all it took. It gave them that sense of adventure. That sense of having bared, and dared, all.

To have an orgasm in such circumstances was to be supremely vulnerable, if only for a few moments.

Deep down inside it must really mean something to them. It was a compelling and novel experience to realize that you might get caught—and what the consequences might be.

It was a humanizing experience for anyone, this realization that they were capable of what they called sin. 

She had found that it really helped some of them.

Over the years many of them had drifted away, but every so often she would see a face or a name in the news and smile and nod quietly to herself.

Most of those ones seemed to be doing pretty well.

For all she knew, they had been cured, of something—whatever.

Albert hung face down in a sling, his feet and legs spread separately as she put brine shrimp all over his pecker and balls. She rubbed it on thoroughly. Making sure she had the chain-fall going in the correct direction, she carefully lowered him down. Soon his private parts were submerged in an aquarium full of the smallest goldfish she could find on short notice. There sure were a lot of them, though. The fish darted in and began pecking voraciously at his genitals. His body twitched and jerked and swung gently from side to side on the chains.

He was drooling in his pleasure. With the ball in his mouth and the twisted handkerchief over the eyes, she would have to watch him carefully for signs of respiratory distress.

A friend of hers had killed a man once, a habitual smoker. She left the room for a pee. The man had a sudden coughing fit. Hacking up a big gob of mucus into the nostrils, his bile foaming out around the ball, he had been in the final throes of dissolution when she returned. Stella was never alone with her clients, not under any circumstances, and her assistants had been well briefed.

Stella even had a pet doctor on call, and was grateful that he had never been needed.

With the limited help available, they had been unable to resuscitate the gentlemen.

Getting rid of the body was another story, but they had somehow managed it.

“Are you all right, my dear?”

“Hum-hum-humm…humph.”

“Ah, that’s a dear boy.”

Albert, at least, wasn’t a smoker.

***

Not all of Stella’s clients were men of course.

Annette was kinky.

She had explained that countless times. Stella’s job, as much as anything else, was to listen.

What Annette really was, was a bore. She seemed to need forgiveness. Stella gave it, and took it back, gave it and took it back. Hopefully Annette would catch on some day, but not so far.

“Oh, Mistress, what fun we are going to have tonight.”

“Shut up! For Christ’s sake!”

Annette simpered, difficult as that was with her chin on a narrow block at the top of a small saw-horse, chained there around the neck.

“Lick it.”

Stella, at her own age of forty-eight, tried to find something to like about Annette, but she was too thin.

She claimed she never ate, and in this one it wasn’t so hard to believe.

Annette licked the butt-end of the whip, staring up at her dominant other, worshipful eyes full of hope and longing and a kind of acid fermentation in the lower abdomen. The girl would be just aching for it by now, and yet she was still single—unmarried, and thirty-one years old.

“Oh, yes, I almost forgot.”

Her assistants stood fore and aft, for Annette was on all fours. People, men and women, loved that animal-like position. It was not that Stella hadn’t enjoyed it herself a time or two.

But the philosopher in her said it was evolution. People had evolved from lower animal forms, and that part was still pretty much wired into their brains.

The fact that it was sort of different probably helped too. It was not the bridal bed, it was most assuredly not the marital bed.

She nodded at Kurt, usually handy about the building somewhere, as he was a sculptor and was always waiting for grants.

He grabbed Annette’s feet and roughly yanked them apart.

The girl’s body was oiled to perfection. They had coloured and white lights, angled overhead just so on racks, and a pair of video cameras on tripods to catch all the action. Gunter, another temporary hire, stood nearby with a portable camera and a look of polite sympathy on his face.

Vincent, standing at Stella’s elbow, gave an inquiring twitch of the shoulder.

“Not yet.” Stella went around behind Annette, dropped the whip and selecting a black wooden paddle from a rack of tools on the wall.

She let Annette see it.
Raymond Spekking, (Wiki.)

The girl began to whimper. Stella had made certain promises, and had easily tricked Annette into being constrained.

The girl was ready though, if last week’s session in the box was any indication.

“Yes.” She stood on Annette’s left side and delivered seven ringing smacks across both buttocks.

A ruddy patch appeared on the second slap and the girl struggled against the wrist restraints at the sides of the heavy saw-horse and her legs were now chained with a spreader bar at the ankles.

Tears flowed, a cathartic that almost never failed.

The girl’s mouth opened and Vincent stepped in on a nod and took her by the back of the head and roughly shoved his cock in her mouth. She gobbled it up greedily, cameras rolling, and her left eye came round as it to seek Stella’s reaction.

Kurt knelt in between her legs, wearing a rubber glove on his right hand. He oiled up her rectum, as Annette gasped and moaned and squirmed, but there was no escape.

Kurt inserted his middle finger, carefully seeking the proper path, all the way up, as far as he could get it.

He added another dollop of oil and rolled that on in there as well. He looked up at Stella and gave her a wink.

Annette’s secret fantasy was about to be fulfilled.

With her domineering mother, and her employment as an accounting assistant, she spent three weeks out of every month poring over clients' books wearing an editor’s eye-shade and plain, flat, sensible shoes. Stella had seen her out and about during working hours and she looked like nothing so much as a small, skinny man in a woman’s business skirt and jacket.

About once a month, her immediate superior took her out to lunch. She never said no, but he would get a little drunk, paw her a bit and make an inappropriate suggestion. She never said yes, either. The fellow was thirty-five, a professed alcoholic with a wife and three kids.

The girl could tease, but never bring herself to that point where a person just lets go.

The secret longings Annette must have endured.

***

Marie was a heavy girl, and for whatever reason Stella liked her. An unashamed lesbian, the key thing here was to make Marie feel attractive, which she was in a smooth, round, bubbly way. She had just one experience in her youth, during college, and she was utterly convinced. Yet she had never had another experience. It was a way of avoiding men, and rejection in Stella’s opinion, not that there weren’t real lesbians in the world.

With Marie she was extremely sensuous, stroking her with feathers and crooning to the blindfolded girl, this week rigged in the machine. This was just a set of padded clamps, with a chin-rest, a belly-rest, and places to restrain hands, feet, and neck.

Stella lifted the blindfold.

Stella had her watch as she strapped on her dildo and harness. Turning the music up a little, she proceeded to bring the forty year-old, unmarried virgin to climax. While it really didn’t take long, Stella took her time and gave the girl her money’s worth of rather mechanical orgasms.

She had a way of squealing like a pig and making hoarse moans that were very tiresome, but it simply must be done—gotten through with, more like.

After a final hug and a barren kiss, she was finally persuaded to leave.

It had been a long day.

With no more clients, she paid off her assistants, who were eager enough to head to the beer garden around the corner and have a drink.

It was time to go home.

***

As soon as she opened the door, the stench from her father’s foot assaulted her nostrils. He spent his days in that armchair, with his pipe, his newspapers scattered round and the television going full blast on the same 24-hour news show. Every single day for the past eight years.

Repressing a sigh, she took the proper time to hang up her coat, take off her shoes and socks.

It was a kind of healing ritual.

“Daughter. My precious little one.”

“Hello, Father. Sorry I’m so late. I got held up at the office.”

Traffic was bad, I didn’t want to come home, and I almost took a train to Spain.

She ignored his pleas for the moment and went into the kitchen. Her long and pallid arm snaked into the refrigerator and pulled out the remains of the Moselle. It was a dry, tart little wine that didn’t cost much and wasn’t overly sweet.

She tipped it up and took a long, deep draught. Someday, she would like to live in an apartment that wasn’t at a sweltering forty degrees at all times and in all seasons.

“Whew.” She caught sight of her reflection in the kitchen window.

The world was dark this time of day, at this time of year.

“Oh, lord.” It wasn’t a prayer, exactly.

But if her father’s foot didn’t heal soon, and it sure looked like it wasn’t going to, then they would be in a pickle. The doctors would insist on amputation. He would refuse, and they would have a fine argument, and she would have to make the decision for him. He would hate her for months afterward and then finally one day he would be all right. Assuming he didn’t die before then.

She’d have to cut back on her hours to look after him, and his demands would only increase.

With a nod at the reflection, and another good slug of cold, wet wine, she firmly set it aside.

She pushed through her swinging, knotty pine bat-wing kitchen doors.

“All righty then. We’d better change that dressing and then see about getting you some supper.”

She had always known what her father’s problem was, of course.

He was a dependent. He’d been like that his entire life. First it was his own mother, and then her mother, and now it was her turn. There had never been any question of one of her brothers taking on the thankless job. It would be too much for them. Of this they had assured Stella.

The only question was, what was the cure? What was the cure for dependency?

Someday soon, perhaps not too long now, Stella would finally be free.

In the meantime, she had to cope.


END