To say that I struggle with my writing is an understatement. I battle. I fight. I wrestle my characters to the ground.
It’s a hobby, thank god. If I did this for a living, I’d go nuts. Sometimes I think I’m already half way there.
For a living, I work mostly with people who consistently disappoint me. Cindy. Mark. Barbara. They’re always letting me down. But I’ll tell you more about that later. First, I wanted to tell you about my stories, and the way I have to armwrestle with my characters over every little thing.
It’s my own damned fault, of course. In a way, it’s a little flattering. If I were writing characters without any substance, I’d never have this problem. As it is, I spend all sorts of time getting to know my characters before I even decide on the plot of the story. I imagine them in different settings, doing normal everyday things, and I get to know their little character flaws.
Denise was the one who gave me my education on character flaws. I’ll tell you more about her later too.
What she taught me, though, can’t wait. You see, she taught me to look at people in terms of their strengths, but especially in terms of their weaknesses. Insecurity is a big one.
That was Becky’s weakness. No matter how successful she became, she somehow just couldn’t believe that she was entitled. In some small way, she was always afraid that she would lose it all. I could see it in the way she saved her money. She was almost compulsive about it.
Sorry I’m throwing so many names at you at once. I’ll try to slow it down a bit. It’s just that when I talk about my writing, I always get a little ahead of myself.
The truth is, her name wasn’t really Becky. When I first imagined her, she was firmly a Rebecca, and steadfastly refused to bend towards my will. She just didn’t much like the shortened version of her name.
And it shouldn’t have surprised me, because she was so intent on projecting a professional image.
Which goes back to her insecurity. I had a lot of trouble convincing her to spend a little money and change her image. She was worried about money... a lot.
But like Denise taught me, these insecurities run deep, and can affect a person in an unexpected way. And she should know. She was the psychiatrist. At the top of her field, really.
So I decided that Rebecca’s insecurities, instead of being an unattractive quality, could be used to make her see things my way. I didn’t figure it was too much of a stretch to make Becky begin to worry that she couldn’t continue to be successful unless she dressed up a bit. You know... used her attractiveness to her advantage.
It worked, of course. As soon as I had her worried that one of her female co-workers would be promoted ahead of her, she withdrew some money from her bank account and bought some clothing to draw more attention.
Myself being the master of this fictional universe, I was happy to reward Becky with increased sales, and more attention from her male co-workers. This is actually the part of the story I always like best. Sure, it’s fun to later see my character betrayed by the fates. I love to see them sink to deeper levels of depravity and immorality.
But the part I always like best is that first little concession they make to their fatal character flaw, before it takes control. This is where I have to work hard to keep the character doing what I want her to, against all of her good sense. This is where I make the changes that later come back to add the heat of humiliation to the sex.
Well, that’s what I write, after all. I write about sex, and power, and character flaws, and they all fit together so nicely that it’s hard to know which topic caught my imagination first.
Becky. Not Rebecca, I told her. I made her think about it a lot. It was the way it sounded. Becky Suedel rolled off of the tongue so much more nicely than Rebecca. It was a good professional name. People would remember her more easily. It would be a good career move.
She hated it so much. She thought it was diminutive (her words, not mine).
In truth, I don’t think anyone would have thought anything about it, if she didn’t react to it so much. But she did. She hated the way her secretary said it. She cursed herself for ever telling the young woman, “call me Becky. " And people noticed the way she hated the new name, and they probably thought she was a little silly for taking it... not because it was a silly name, mind you. I still like it a lot better. They just thought she was silly for telling people to call her a name that she didn’t much like.
I wasn’t quite ready to start her descent yet, and she still had some fight in her. She resisted my taste in clothing. She fought the way I made her flirt with her boss. She resented the way that I made her lease a more expensive car, to keep up her image.
It all worked to her advantage of course. I gave her a promotion and a big raise, just to muscle her along the way to her downfall.
The problem is, and Denise would be the first to agree with me on this, success isn’t enough to conquer insecurity. Sometimes, it just makes things worse. Kind of a stupid little paradox, isn’t it ?
When the promotion to sales manager came, poor Becky was filled with doubts about her abilities. She was sure that she would fall victim to the Peter principal. You know, the one that says that people rise to the level of their own incompetence. It’s so goddamned true, too. The people I work with in real life prove it to me all of the time. Cindy, Mark, Barbara... but I digress...
In reality, Becky was quite capable of handling the sales in her department, but she worried a lot about it, especially since she had spent so much money upgrading her image that she really needed to hold onto this raise just to keep pace.
That’s when I gave her a secret weapon over the other department managers. I gave her a way to motivate her sales staff that they couldn’t compete with.
When Becky first thought about it, she was ashamed that it even occurred to her. When she started doing it, and it was working, she felt even worse. Shame is one of my favourite tools from my big ol’ toolbox. I love to watch it twist around unexpectedly on my characters. Every time I made her think about it, I gave her a little sexual rush that made her hands tremble.
I think that’s when the people around the office began to look at her differently. I mean, the guys had always given her a fair share of attention, but these days, with thoughts of the secret weapon simmering in her head, she found herself reacting to their flirtations.
A little blush. A little dance in her stomach.
It was almost more than she could take. I was patient, of course. I could go on this way for weeks, giving her daydreams. Fuelling her insecurity. Making her spend money upgrading her image faster than she could earn it. I could see her anxiety growing.
Then, in a scene that I had anticipated since near the beginning, she allowed herself a moment of weakness. You see, at the end of every week, the company rewarded the top salesperson in each department with a bonus cheque. It was Becky’s job to use the bonus as a motivational tool.
It was important to make a big deal out of it. Becky would take the top salesperson out for a casual lunch. She would buy him wine, and talk about his hobbies, and flirt with him a bit. It was this last tactic that was giving her the butterflies. The guys liked the idea of going out for a nice lunch with a beautiful woman, who just happened to be his boss, and seeing her fall all over herself to make him feel like a winner. It worked like magic.
Sometimes, she would bend forward a bit, and let one of the guys see down her blouse a bit. I made sure that she wore a sexy bra on those days. It always made her blush when she noticed his attention, but she stayed in position a moment longer anyhow, just to make sure he got a good look.
She didn’t want to think about how far she would go with this game. It seemed to go further every time. A little more cleavage. A little more wine. A hand on her ass as he walked her back to the car. Alan Johnson bending her over the desk in her office, and fucking her from behind.
And it was as natural as all that. Yeah, I guess it’s all a little contrived, but I hope you can forgive me. It’s a sex story, after all, and I really wanted to get to the juicy parts. Then I could go on to write the emotional aftermath of this lapse of judgements. Shame. Humiliation. Anxiety.
But I wouldn’t let her step backwards. Not a bit. That wouldn’t do. After she had finally allowed her naughty thoughts to come to reality, and unleashed her secret weapon to improve sales in her department, things really heated up. What had begun with a single indiscretion, and Alan Johnson pumping his semen into her while she squealed her approval, repeated itself in various forms each week.
Fred Brauer, a frequent winner of the weekly prize, liked to sit back in Becky’s big leather chair, and let her do the work. He liked to play with her tits while she bounced, and hold her by the hips to control her pace when he was ready to cum.
It was a horrible idea, of course. Anyone rational would know that. Becky knew it too. She hated the impulses that had guided into this position, and the insecurities about her abilities that kept her from calling an end to it.
The fact was, sales had never been better. The whole staff was motivated. Becky was getting attention from upper management because her department was showing such a dramatic improvement. If she could just keep it up for a while longer, she would definitely be given another promotion.
And a raise, she hoped. She needed the money.
Then she could leave all of this humiliation behind.
But it was hard to walk through the office anymore. There was an energy in the place, and Becky was the centre of it. Everyone wanted to win top sales, and Becky was the prize. It was hard to keep any semblance of authority.
Eventually, most everyone won the prize. It was just a matter of one good week. Tom. Stephen. Paul. Amy. Yes, even Amy. If you’ll recall, she’s the female employee who I had given Becky such insecurity about before she got her promotion.
I don’t mind going into the details on that one. Becky spent the whole morning dreading the coming lunch. She added up the numbers a second and a third time, hoping that the results would change. The unofficial tally around the office had Fred and Amy pretty close to tied. Everyone was just waiting for Becky to come out and invite one of them to lunch.
When it turned out to be Amy, I don’t have to tell you that it got everyone talking.
“ Let me drive, " was Amy’s only reaction. She made Becky fish out the keys for the Lexus right in front of everyone. It was humiliating, considering the long standing rivalry between the two women.
Now, I’ll admit, it seems like Amy is being a little aggressive about this. A real woman might feel weird about it, or refuse to go along with it. She might be a little nervous about the lesbian sex.
I’ll remind you, this is a sex story, and at this point, all I want to see is the exchange of power between the characters, and the utter humiliation of Becky. If I needed to nudge Amy away from some of her natural aversions to achieve this end, I’ll chalk it up to dramatic license.
“ I want to see you flirt with me the way you do with the other guys, " Amy told her boss. " I want you to show me all the moves that earned you a promotion. ”
With a flush of shame, Becky went through the motions. She bent forward and let the saleswoman look down her blouse. She applied her lipstick slowly, the way all the guys liked. She swallowed her wine a little too anxiously, perhaps hoping that a little buzz would help her through the inevitable scene back at the office.
As it turned out, Amy didn’t wait long enough to get back to the office. The spectacle of seeing her boss humiliate herself at the dinner table made Amy anxious to close the deal.
A few minutes later, Becky was on her knees in the restaurant washroom, thanking god that the door had a lock on it, and watching Amy empty her bladder before demanding the sexual relief she was entitled to. When she was done peeing, she simply slid forward on the toilet seat, allowing Becky to contend with the glistening droplets of piss that stood in the way of her task.
Amy enjoyed the feeling of a female tongue buried in her crotch, but mostly, she seemed to enjoy hurling verbal abuse at her boss, who was now brought down to the same level as the toilet bowl she was resting her chin against.
She played against all of Becky’s insecurities. I’ll admit to a role in that. I fed the words to her while the first hints of orgasm floated through her belly.
“ Useless cunt... you don’t deserve your job... the only thing you’re competent at is getting fucked in the ass by Stephen Underwood... I always knew that you were a worthless whore...”
God, I love those little details. Even if they don’t flow quite naturally from the story, I get a kick out of them. There was an expression I heard once, " The devil’s in the details. ”
And Becky is learning all of the fine details of sexual humiliation. Just last week, Becky had time to take in all of the fine details, when Philip Frost finally took his turn in the manager’s office. It was an absurd scene. Inspired by scenes from his favourite porno movies, Philip had decided that, after letting Becky suck his cock for a while, he wanted to cum on her face.
So Becky was treated to the glory of watching a middle aged man contort his face while he stood above her, jerking himself off for the grand finale. While she waited for his body to catch up with his intentions, she had time to notice all of the little imperfections of this man. She saw the red impressions his glasses had left on the bridge of his nose. She picked out a stain on the portion of his shirt that was usually tucked in.
She smelled onion on his hands, no doubt from the burger he had eaten at lunch.
And, seeing this scene, she would normally be amused by how pathetic Philip looked, grunting with impatience to cum. Despite his arousal, he was having some trouble coming to an orgasm. Maybe it was nerves. It would have been very amusing indeed, if she weren’t the stupid whore who was holding her tongue out to the tip of his prick, and massaging her breasts to give him an arousing little show.
Becky was thoroughly not aroused by this man. I mean, I gave her a little tingle of arousal in response to the degradation of it all, but mostly, I just made her reflect again on why she was doing this. I made her think about the reason why she was humouring this man, and grovelling at the level of his cock, pretending to be hungry for the feeling of his sperm on her face.
Every week there was another reason why she needed the extra money. There was the fitness club membership. There was the surprisingly expensive hairdresser she had chosen to go to. And, of course, there would soon be payments for the breast implants that she was getting. Yes, it was all quite expensive, keeping up the image of success that would keep her in line for a promotion.
I haven’t decided what to do when stories about her antics reach upper management. Maybe Mr. Riley, who breeds Labrador Retrievers, will have a few ideas. I don’t know. I have some time before I go that far with it.
Call it a work in progress. One of several. Too many, really.
My real life goes on. Another work in progress, and sometimes even more incredible than the stories I spin.
For instance, the other day, while I was having coffee, and doing a bit of daydreaming, my sister walked right over to my table.
What makes this odd, I guess, is that my sister has been dead for nearly ten years.
It was one of those little episodes that made me wish that Denise was still around to give me her perspective. She always told me not to be so concerned about when reality doesn’t seem to quite add up. When I had first started seeing her, something like this would have really rattled me. I would have spent weeks trying to figure out the inconsistency. Denise would have told me about the frailties of the human mind, and not to worry about it so much. I’m sure of it.
So, on the advice of my former psychoanalyst, I took the appearance of my dead sister with a grain of salt.
“ How’re things, Jay ? " she asked me.
“ Um... fine, " I told her. " Say Anne, didn’t you die a while back ?”
“ I guess that would explain a few things. ”
She was so nonchalant about it, that I wouldn’t have felt right making a fuss. It would have been impolite or something.
I suppose that I should explain a bit of it to you, though, since you don’t know the story. When I was a kid, and my fantasy life was a little less disciplined than it is right now, I used to think about my sister a lot. I don’t suppose there’s anything abnormal about it. She had the room right next to mine, and was only a couple of years older than me, and she was pretty cute too.
Anyhow, I guess I must have been reading some stories on the internet. That’s where I got some of my early ideas. That’s where I became a little obsessed with bondage. Hell, it was like a smorgasbord for me back then, and bondage was just my favourite cuisine at the time. Chicken a la Parker !
My fantasies about Anne went that direction. Strangely enough, I think I had some intuition that these kinky fantasies weren’t all fiction. I mean, Anne developed a taste for gothic attire soon afterwards, and began hanging out with friends who all seemed to be looking for the next big thrill.
When I was in my room jerking off at night, I knew that Anne was sneaking out her bedroom window. I could almost picture every moment of her evening as she joined up with her new friends, and began to experiment with tying each other up, and spanking each other, and forced sex acts.
It was all pretty coincidental, really. When I imagined that she was being anally raped by her new friends at night, I could see Anne having difficulty walking the next day. When I imagined that she spent the night being whipped until her back was raw, I could hear her cursing the sting of the water in the shower the next morning. It was a weird symmetry between my fantasies, and Anne’s reality that made me feel almost guilty when I saw her suffering from a lack of sleep, and a battered body.
But I didn’t slow down, and neither did she. I began writing my fantasies down. I began drawing pictures. The more extreme my appetites, it seemed, the deeper my sister delved into her night time activities.
Then, when she went too far with a game of asphyxiation, I knew before the morning came that she wouldn’t be coming home.
That’s was when my parents sent me to see Denise. They found my writings, and my pictures, and all of the bondage-related pornography that I had collected on my computer. They made the assumption that Anne had been telling me about her lifestyle, and making me write the details down as a journal for her. They were concerned about me. I tried to convince them that it was all a coincidence, but they wouldn’t believe me.
They thought I was involved. And on the face of it, I guess it really seemed that way. The stories, I later found out, exactly mirrored the accounts of her friends. The pictures were crude, but they captured scenes that had actually happened to my sister.
How did I feel ?
And this was why I was sent to see Denise in Portland.
It was a long weekly trip from the coast to see my psychiatrist. Ironically, it was the boredom of this bus trip that provided me with occasion to refine the fantasies that had caused me so much trouble. I had banned Anne from my fantasies. In fact, my new rule was that I would not create stories about anyone I knew.
So I just picked random strangers and built up a life around them. Like I remember one day the bus stalled as we were leaving town, and I spent a good half hour watching a family packing up a u-haul truck with their belongings. The parents were having troubles with their teen-aged daughter, who was obviously sulking about the move.
Although I never saw the girl again after that day, she was a frequent subject of my weekly bus fantasies. I kept her image in my mind effortlessly, and I built a background story slowly. There was no need to rush. There was always next week.
I guess you could say that I met Raven around the same time as I met Denise.
I’ll tell you more about Raven in a minute, because she became a frequent topic of my weekly analysis sessions with Denise. But first, I guess I should finish telling you about the visit I had with my dead sister. You see, this is my problem with writing (and why I’ve never felt confidence in posting my stuff online); I lack structure. I sort of let the stories ramble along at their own pace, according to the moods of my characters, and how quickly I can bend them to my will. I jump around too much.
Anyhow, I don’t know why my dead sister came back to visit me almost ten years after the events I’ve just described. It probably has something to do with Denise leaving me. I began thinking about Anne a lot more. I stirred something I shouldn’t have, and in a way, I guess you could say that I brought her memory back to life.
The girl who visited me in the coffee shop the other day wasn’t exactly like my sister of course. She was more like how I imagined my sister would have turned out if she had survived her experimentations with bondage. She was a little older now. She dressed differently. She smoked. Nonetheless, I could tell it was her.
“ So what have you been doing ? ”
“ Quite a lot, really, for a person in my condition. I was sort of living another life, until a few weeks ago. Then I began to have day dreams, and remembered who I was. ”
“ Have you considered that maybe you’re wrong ? Maybe the life that you were living is the right one. ”
She shrugged. It was a typical response for my older sister.
“ So what are you going to do now ?”
“ I think we both know what I’ll be doing. I have some catching up to do. ”
“ I guess. Just...”
Anne cocked her head, a little amused by my reluctance to speak openly.
“ ... just, be a little more careful this time, okay ?”
“ Yeah. ”
And that was it. A little afternoon resurrection, and my whole day was blown.
Which, of course, brought me back to thinking about how Denise was gone from my life, and how much it had thrown me off. I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far writing without telling you about her.
As much as I dreaded those weekly sessions at first, I soon came to a realization that I could learn a lot from a psychiatrist with her kind of insight into the human soul. She pretty much told me straight out that she didn’t much care about the stories I had written about my sister.
“ You obviously picked up the clues about what was happening in her life, and were able to draw a picture of her weaknesses. ”
Actually, the pictures I had drawn of my sister had shown her in heavy bondage, with hot wax and clothespins on her body. And they weren’t really even that good. But that wasn’t what she had meant. Denise talked a lot about intuition.
“ People block out intuition as a valid source of information. We’re constantly getting information from our world, and filtering it out according to our own biases. You’re just a lot better at sorting it all out than most people. I don’t think it’s anything to be concerned about. ”
Even though she was convinced that the stories I had written were harmless, she kept up with the sessions. It made my parents feel better to be able to do something about it.
Instead, she used the sessions to educate me about the strengths and weaknesses of the human mind. It was a subject of great interest for her. She was always making examples of her other patients, many of whom she knew she would never be able to help, but gave her just another angle to look at the frailties of human motivations. Week by week, she shared her conclusions with me.
Denise changed a lot in the time that I knew her. Early on, she had written a paper about some obscure psychological phenomena that I couldn’t have been bothered to understand. Three years later, she reversed her opinion entirely, causing a stir in the psychiatric community because her original conclusion had been so well supported.
A few times a year, she changed her image. Sometimes, the changes were subtle. Other times, the changes were intentionally shocking.
She moved her offices twice, and she was always talking about moving to another state, or dropping her psychiatry practice entirely.
I think that with all of her analytical powers focused on other people, she missed the weakness that was a part of her own personality. Denise was always looking for a new start. She never wanted to stay in one place. Denise was always reinventing herself.
It was this need for change that prevented her from advancing in her field, despite being an incredibly talented doctor.
But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. It was years before I drew these conclusions. In the meantime, I was learning her craft, and she showed a great interest in mine.
“ What have you written about Raven this week ?” many of our sessions would begin. I would still be absorbing the effect of the doctor’s new dredd-locks, or a new addition to her facial jewellery, or a redesign of her office, when I began updating her on the story.
As you remember, Raven was a girl I saw in passing as she was moving away from Astoria. She had been fighting with her parents about the move. In the following weeks, I filled in the details. She was upset because she had been doing so well in the local high school. Everyone had been impressed by her talents.
Raven was an artistic girl. She had taken up photography and drawing at a young age. I have no hesitance in saying that she showed much more talent that I had ever done in my own works.
In Astoria, growing up in a community where west-coast artistic ideals were highly valued, no one doubted that she could find her place in the local galleries, and would be able to make a living off of her talents too. Unfortunately, her father was less able to find a living here, and accepted a position at a department store in a city south of Portland.
For the first few weeks of imagining Raven, on my long bus trip to the city, I was satisfied to fantasize about her in an almost passive sort of way. She was a pretty girl. In fact, she was just the kind of girl I would normally have had a crush on. So, at least to start, I was happy just to think about what she would look like changing her clothes in the locker room. Sometimes, I would embarrass her by giving her a moment of inappropriate sexual arousal (a subject which, as a teen aged boy, I knew a lot about), but that was about it. Otherwise, I just watched as her new life unfolded, and I learned about why she was so miserable moving away from Astoria.
“ Is she just afraid, or is there something else ?” Denise knew exactly the right questions to ask.
Well, yes, Raven was afraid of change, but it was much more. She was afraid of anonymity. The hallways here were filled with unfamiliar faces. They didn’t know about her. They didn’t know how talented she was. Or worse. Maybe they wouldn’t care. The years of work she had put into building her own personal brand name were thrown away. They were wasted on these people. Here, they cared about gangster rap, and hip-hop attire, and more traditionally, the high school football team.
It was a culture shock.
“ But why does that concern her so much ? Surely there are still art classes. She can still pursue her photography. ”
That’s not the point. No one cares anymore. It used to make her the centre of the universe. Now, she was a dark cold moon, waiting for a moment of sun on her face. I’m not making this stuff up. These were the heavenly and melodramatic terms that Raven painted the world in.
“ That’s her weakness ?”
Yes. Her need. Her weakness. She needed to be looked at again. To be warm again.
“ And what’s she going to do about it ?”
Well, I guess that was more my idea than hers. I don’t know if Raven ever would have allowed herself to drift into the orbit of those, the brightest stars in the social constellation. Maybe she would have just allowed herself to be miserable. But I played with her weakness a little bit, and drew her towards the football team. Denise agreed with me that it was a natural move for a girl so driven by a need to be noticed.
Raven hated football, of course. It was so bloody heartland America, Lord’s Prayer, Betty Crocker... it was the kind of thing she would have made a loud point of ignoring in her previous life. But Denise was right. With just a few weeks of toying with her weaknesses, I had her watching the players’ girlfriends, jealous of the attention they commanded in social circles. She began to slowly reconcile herself with the idea that she might, maybe, just perhaps be able to date one of the players, if he were intelligent or sensitive enough.
In the end, she couldn’t find intelligence of sensitivity, so she settled for silent dignity. Will McKenzie was quiet enough that Raven could at least pretend that there was “more to him”... a side to him that no one else knew about.
But you know me. You’ve seen how my stories work. After this first little concession to her flawed character, you know that I’m going to lead Raven into some sick story line. It was just a matter of time.
Denise was interested in the details. She told me not to be embarrassed by my fantasies. A lot of people keep these dirty little secret stories in their minds, and never let them out. I was just being honest about it. In a way, coming to terms with my fantasy life was even therapeutic. With Denise’s reassurance, I was setting aside my guilt over my sister’s death.
In the coming weeks and months, amongst our other discussions, Denise listened to the way that Raven was adjusting to this new source of celestial light in her social life. Little by little, I nudged her along the way to becoming something new. She enjoyed the jealous attention of the other girls at school. She enjoyed the thrill of exhibitionism when Will had her pinned against her locker for a groping session between classes.
I didn’t make her give up her artwork, but it sort of fell away on its own against her new popularity. She was always going to parties. She was hanging out with the other girlfriends and cheerleaders. She was too busy shopping. Then, of course, there were the football games.
Here was a plot twist that was already developing its way through my imagination all on its own. I had very little to do with it until later, when I saw its potential. At first, it was just a little thing. The coaching staff treated these boys like real athletes, giving them freedoms that would be denied to other students. For instance, it had long been accepted that the boys could invite their girlfriends along in the team bus when going out to road games. And, so long as the boys were ready to play when they arrived, the coaching staff was willing to let the boys and girls some unsupervised time to enjoy each others company along the way.
The first time Raven was invited, it was like being asked to join a secret society. Once inside, she saw for the first time the freedom that was given to this social elite. Beer coolers were brought along for after the game. The boys wrestled and shoved each other, and generally showed off their testosterone. The girls went further than Raven would have ever guessed. They flashed their tits. They made out with two or three guys at a time. One girl was even treating her boyfriend to a pre-game blow job at the back of the bus. He head was covered with the boy’s jacket, but everyone knew what was going on. Her face went red when everyone gave her a round of applause, but she seemed to enjoy being the centre of attention for the rest of the ride.
I reviewed this scene in my own imagination, and in Raven’s night time fantasies too. Denise loved it. “It’s right on point. You’ve given this girl just the kind of environment where her weaknesses will work against her every moral sensibility. She needs to be the centre of attention. She needs it more than any other girl on that bus. But for her to get the attention she needs, Raven will have to decide if she can compete with these girls on a level where they, due to a lack of brains of morality, have a natural advantage. ”
And, while I would never have put it quite that way, I knew exactly what Denise was saying. Raven was used to being smarter and more talented than the people surrounding her. Here, on the other hand, her only defence against obscurity was a willingness to become a part of the machine that was high-school football, a sport which had always struck her as a little less interesting than watching grass grow.
I worked with her. I held her hand. When necessary, I gave her a little push. In fact, as far as the dynamics in that bus went, I was helping all of the characters along. I urged them all to push it a little further. I convinced the coaching staff to turn a blind eye to the heavy drinking, and drugs, and to the more obvious sex acts that were appearing each week.
After a victory , the boys were full of a manic energy, and the girlfriends were more than willing to help them celebrate. Raven went cautiously with the flow, letting the boys see her body, letting them touch her, letting them kiss her. She drank with them, and danced to their music. But she was never the centre of attention. There was always some girl who was willing to go a little further. In the end, Raven would find herself in bed at night with feverish thoughts in her imagination, urging her to take the spotlight. She wanted it so badly.
It made sense, I told her. Why would she be there, watching their game, letting them see her body, keeping her boyfriend sexually satisfied... why would she be doing all of this, just to be “one of the girls” ? It wasn’t enough. She wanted to be more than that. She wanted to be the girl everyone was talking about the next day. She wanted to be the envy of all the other girls in school. She wanted to be noticed.
Of course, she knew what it would take. She would have to be willing to have sex with one of the team openly, with everyone else watching. Maybe she would have to have sex with more than one of them. The thought was almost more than she could take. It gave her such a shameful arousal, to think about lowering herself into that position. Guys would be watching her every move... the way her pussy accepted another cock... the way that cum glistened between her thighs.
When the next game arrived, however, she chickened out a bit. Will was making out with her near the back of the bus, and she was really horny, but she couldn’t make herself do it. She pushed him away before things went too far, and spent the rest of the trip just watching the scene around her, and cursing herself for being such a prude.
It wasn’t that big a deal, she told herself. A lot of these girls had dated more than one of these players. She wasn’t sexually repressed. So what was she worried about ? And in the meantime, while she sat anonymously at the back of the bus, the other girls were making out with their boyfriends, and showing off their panties, and sucking up all of the attention greedily.
She stewed about it at the game too. If she wasn’t willing to make herself the centre of attention, what was the point in even trying. She might as well have stayed in art class.
So I gave her just the plot twist she needed. You see, up until this point, I had always felt it would be much more fun to see the boys celebrate a victory, so I nudged them along. I made the opposing players miss the ball. I gave the team a few openings that they wouldn’t have otherwise come upon.
But tonight, I decided to give them a little taste of defeat. It was a shock to the crowd, many of whom had driven the two hours to see their team take another road game.
Raven was surprised by how much it changed the mood of everyone. Suddenly, the girls she was hanging out with were looking for other rides home. The team disappeared to the locker room to take their lumps from the coaching staff. The celestial lights of her football team were dimmed, and it gave Raven a taste of the same sort of panic she had known that day when I first saw her packing her boxes into a truck to leave Astoria.
It was the perfect reminder. When the boys emerged to go back to the bus, Raven had already decided what to do. No matter what it took, people would be talking about her the next day. She wouldn’t allow herself to be pulled down into darkness again.
“ Why don’t you grab a ride with us, " one of the other girlfriends offered. " The boys are a real drag to be around after a loss. ”
“ No, I’m sticking by the team. ”
Team loyalty was as good an excuse as any to get onto the bus. As she soon learned, however, she would be the only one. All of the other girls had kept away.
The bus, usually bright with the reading lights, and loud with music, had taken on an entirely different mood this night. As it pulled away from the high school, the boys turned off their lights, and slumped into their chairs to nurse their self-pity.
Whatever it takes, Raven reminded herself. She grabbed a beer to steady her nerves, and offered one to Will. He drank silently.
And he stayed silent, until Raven dropped between the seats and began to kiss his belly while pulling his cock free for a blow job.
A few of the other boys were watching her, she knew. It was a good start. Before this night was done, she wanted to give them all a show they wouldn’t forget.
“ Oh, fuck, that’s it...” the usually silent football player began to chant, as Raven forced back her gag reflex and allowed his cock into her throat.
“ Man, the bitch is deep throating him, " one of the other boys nudged his buddy awake.
The bitch. Raven didn’t much like the way he referred to her, but at least he was noticing.
By the time Will jerked his hips up from the bus seat, and filled her throat, half the team must have been watching, and Raven was feeling exactly like she had expected to in her feverish fantasies. She felt like a total whore, but the attention felt good. It felt right.
It felt even better when one of the other guys grabbed her ass and said, " I wouldn’t mind a little piece of that. ”
In the dim light of the bus, Raven unsnapped her jeans, and allowed the guy to slide his hand in to feel the softness of her panties and smooth flesh. Another pair of hands emerged from the darkness to help her out of her sweater.
It was working. Everyone was watching. And although the mood on the bus hadn’t changed much, Raven could feel the focus shift in her direction. It wasn’t about losing a football game. It was about some slutty bitch who was letting the guys undress her and put their hands down her panties.
“ This whore is totally wet for it...” through her nerves, Raven hadn’t noticed.
“ Hey, McKenzie... you mind if I give her some ?”
Will shrugged. It was another surge of humiliation of Raven. It didn’t matter what she wanted. She was just some dumb girl who was begging for it. They only had to ask permission from her boyfriend.
She was pulled onto the lap of one of the guys. It was one of the receivers, but Raven couldn’t remember his name. He pulled her panties aside, and entered her roughly, and much more quickly than she had expected. She bit her lip to stifle her cry of discomfort.
“ Mmmn, yeah... pump it into me...” she played along with the script. Hell, I’ve never been much good at dialogue, and Raven wasn’t in one of her more poetic moods.
She was absorbed in the sensations of the moment. The thrill. The adrenaline. She was definitely the centre of the universe right now. There was the smell of sweat, and beer, and dirt. The team was cheering the receiver along as he pumped her from below. The taste of semen was fresh in her mouth.
Her kiss was refused. That wasn’t what she was there for. The player held her tightly by her hair as he put on a show for his friends. Someone pulled off her bra roughly, exposing her smallish tits and hard nipples to the approval of the team.
“ Take it, you cunt, " the boy demanded, as he emptied himself into her body. When he was done, he tossed her into the aisle like a used tissue.
This is beginning not to feel right, Raven told me. I already knew, of course. You should have thought about that before you allowed it to get this far. You aren’t going to back out now.
Not that the boys would really even have let her. Her knees were forced down onto the hardness of the floor, and one of the boys took position behind her. Another boy fed his cock between her lips. They didn’t bother to ask her boyfriend this time. It was just understood. She belonged to the team right now.
But it wasn’t the exciting, playful kind of sex play she had witnessed on previous rides home. This was something more primal. More brutal. This was a group of teen aged boys, their bodies battered from the game, pouring the pain of their injuries and of defeat into the body of some stupid slut. It was an act to regain their manhood by pounding their frustrations into her mouth and pussy.
Raven began to protest, too late already, she knew. There were too many hands. Too many voices. When she tried to pull away from the rough treatment, she was reward with a hard slap on the ass or across the back of her head.
She tried to hold still, and wait for it to end, but there was always another cock and always another set of hands to dig its fingernails into her abused tits. By the time one of the boys decided to fuck her asshole, she was too exhausted to put up much of a fight. Raven squealed and tried to squirm away, which only seemed to amuse the boys further.
It was impossible to say how long she stayed there, on the carpeted aisle at the back of the bus, now soiled with spilled beer and spilled semen. After a while, the bus came to a stop, and Raven began to hope that they had finally reached the parking lot of the school. But it was too dark here. Much too dark.
The bus was just pulled over to the side of the road, while the boys finished abusing her body. One of them fucked her from behind so forcefully that her head was forced underneath the back bench seats of the bus. And that’s where she stayed until the entire team was finished, and even the coaching staff had taken their turns.
This wasn’t how she had imagined it at all. All of the lights were dimmed when the bus pulled back onto this deserted stretch of road. From where she was collapsed, her face beneath the seats, she could barely make out any light at all.
But she was certainly the talk of the school the next day. In fact, she was treated sort of like a mascot. And the next time the boys lost a road game, no one else even offered her a ride home.
The team’s record sure got worse from that point in the season. But I digress.
Anyhow, I kept it going like that for a long while, but it eventually lost interest. Once the conflict was gone, it always does. I found new characters, and new conflicts, and kept going on to Denise every week, so that we could share our findings.
Unfortunately, everything eventually comes to an end. I told you that Denise was always looking to reinvent herself. The nine years that she remained in Portland were filled with hints that she wanted to move on. Last month, I think I knew it was inevitable.
Something changed. It may have begun when there was a media report of a high school sex scandal from a nearby city. Denise asked me about it a couple of times, but I had conscientiously avoided the details in the major newspapers. Apparently, it involved the football team, and went back several years... and yes, I though the parallels were a little odd, but as I said, I avoided the details. I don’t need those kinds of questions in my life.
Denise tried to let it go, I think. She wanted to believe the things she had always said, about intuition, and the frailties of the human mind. But something had definitely changed.
She gave me one bit of advice before she left on vacation.
“ Maybe I’ve brought you in the wrong direction, " she admitted. " I mean, I know that people have weaknesses. And you’ve been looking at fundamentally strong people with character flaws, and seeing how it leads to their destruction. ”
She paused. She looked... I don’t know, apprehensive.
“ And maybe... maybe you could try looking at it differently some time. Not all at once, I guess. I mean, you still have a lot of stories happening... but maybe you could find someone with a fundamental weakness, and see how it can lead to a new strength. I don’t know. ”
That was the last bit of analysis she gave me before going to the Thousand Islands for a vacation. She sent me a post card from Gananoque.
And I know that I told you that I’ve tried not to let people I know enter into my fantasy life, but when Denise left, I guess I couldn’t help myself. I was curious about where life would lead her. I knew that she was trying to reinvent herself one more time. That was her weakness.
So, when she was in Gananoque, seeing the islands, I guess she decided to go out to a bar one night, and find a man to spend the night with. She chose the kind of man she would never have considered in Portland. He lived in a remote area of the lakes region of Ontario.
In my mind, he was a crude man. He was a trucker sometimes. Other times of the year, he grew pot in the remote hills, where the Provincial Police wouldn’t be looking for it. He lived in a cabin, and raised chickens. He joked with his buddies about the “proper place for a woman”, but only at home did Denise know how little he was joking.
But it was as extreme a change as she could manage. No one would believe how differently she was living, in the remote hills of Ontario. She could barely believe it herself. Maybe one day, she would reinvent herself again. But for now, it was raising chickens, and chopping wood, and hoping to get pregnant so that her boyfriend would lay off the rough treatment for a while.
I don’t know. That’s just how I fancy it. I’ll just say that her colleagues were more surprised by her disappearance than I was. I didn’t even bother to rebook my appointments.
So that’s what’s brought me here. I miss Denise, and I have to say that things are falling apart a little. Like I told you before, I’ve been a little careless with my thoughts, and that’s what led to my delusion that my sister came to visit me over a coffee. Over the last month, a lot of things have been happening, and that’s what’s inspired me to write down my thoughts like this... a sort of self-review.
I’m just a lot less disciplined in my thinking than I’ve tried to be over the past few years. It could become a problem for me.
And I’d like to stop myself, but I guess I just can’t be fulfilled with my life the way it is. I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I’m not happy with the people I work with. Cindy, Mark and Barbara are their names. We all work at city hall together.
I never would have guessed either. I never would have thought that I would come out of high school, and get a paperwork job. Licensing. Fees. Useless stuff.
But as useless as it is, I try to make sure it gets done right. There’s where my frustration with my co-workers comes in. They’re just undisciplined. Barbara runs the office. She has a weakness for food. Since I’ve known her, it’s become a lot worse. She hides chocolate boxes around the office. I don’t know. It’s almost a sexual thing, the way she sucks out those cream fillings. I’ll bet she was pretty attractive in her day, but she’s really packing it on now.
Mark has his own compulsions. He joked to me one day about dressing up like a girl for Halloween. Now there was an image I could have done without. Then, not too much later, I began to notice little changes. He was spending a lot of time in the washroom. One time, he came out with some eyeliner still on. Other times, I thought I could see the outline of a bra under his dress shirt. I think he’s even trying to lose weight to fit into women’s clothing.
Cindy. Poor little Cindy. I’m afraid that she might be pregnant again. It’s a pattern I’ve seen four times in the five years that I’ve known her. She complains about being a young mother. She had one in her teens too, making for a total of five. Nonetheless, as if by impulse she can’t control, she goes down to Seaside on the weekends, and parties until she passes out. Then, it’s like she never even thought about the idea that she might become pregnant again. It’s sad. That’s all.
I know I’m sounding pretty critical here. I mean, who the hell am I to be talking, with my head as screwed up as it is ? I wouldn’t care so much if they could keep their minds on their work for a while. But all three of them sit around and waste time, just thinking about the next time they can indulge their weaknesses. For a guy with my intuitive abilities, it can be rather distracting.
So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take a little time off and get the fuck out of town.
As I said, ever since Denise left, my mind has been in turmoil, and so I guess I just needed to clear my head a little, and see if I could sort some things out.
I drove down to Newport. I don’t know what led me in that direction, but I guess it all worked out okay. I mean, I met a new character for my fantasy life, and this one is a little different.
Yes, you have reason to be suspicious. All of my other fantasies have thrown these poor women into situations that are pretty sick, really. Poor unwilling Becky. My older sister, Anne. Raven, who I haven’t thought about for a while, but is sure to creep back into my imagination if I let myself get undisciplined. I can’t help but think that Denise would have been better off with a happier ending too.
But this one is different. Maybe I listened to Denise’s last bit of advice. I stopped looking for a hidden weakness, and maybe I was a little overanxious to look for a hidden strength.
The girl I saw was working in a souvenir shop at Bayside, a real tourist trap. Actually, it was more of a T-shirt shop. It sold all of these T-shirts with sarcastic slogans that didn’t have much to do with the Oregon Coast, but the tourists stopped to chuckle at anyhow.
Rachel caught my eye because she didn’t seem amused at all. And maybe I would have just chalked that up to retail fatigue, but there was something else in her manner. She just didn’t seem to care. It was a look I’d only ever seen on older people. Detached. Like her life was already over.
It nearly was. Or so my imagination goes.
I tried my best not to force a story line onto her. I watched her in my mind while she watched herself in the mirror. She brought the blades so close to her wrists, and she wasn’t just playing around either. She was going to split the vein lengthwise, so that the bleeding wouldn’t stop when she passed out.
I wasn’t causing this, I tried to convince myself. Had I just imagined this kind of grief into her ? No. It was there already. This was just a coincidence. My visit to Newport was just timed badly.
But I couldn’t let her do it, could I ? Not the way I had allowed things to go too far with my sister.
So I tried to find something inside of her that would be strong enough to stop the blade.
And there it was: Fearless.
Fearless. Like someone with nothing left to lose. If it didn’t matter if she lived or died, then why not live for a while entirely without fear. Without remorse. Borrow some time from death, and do everything she never had the courage to do. To pick a fight with bullies, and never worry about getting a bloody nose. What did it matter ? She was nearly dead now anyway. There would be no reason not to tell her everyone exactly what she thought of them. To go and see places that she’d never been.
I found it in her somewhere, and I gave it to her as a gift. Next thing I knew, she was laughing, and I was too. It was a nice moment.
But when I returned to work, the old malaise came back. All of the fantasies were returning to my head. That’s when my sister came to visit me. And Cindy, Mark and Barbara seemed worse than ever.
I’ve been trying to distract myself by thinking about Rachel. Over the course of a couple of days, she had become more assertive than I could ever have imagined.
This is a definite departure from my other fantasies, which, although enjoyable, have become a little stagnant. Maybe I’m taking a page from Denise’s book, and reinventing myself... or at least my fantasy life to some extent. And it’s really refreshing. Instead of seeing my characters giving everything up for a moment of weakness (which is a bit of a pessimistic view anyhow), I’m seeing Rachel take a lifetime of strength from a moment of weakness.
She has broken off ties with her family. Just like that. She quit her job, but not before getting a generous severance package by threatening her boss with sexual harassment charges. She has spent the last few nights with different guys, but not worrying herself about a relationship... she’s just taking what pleasure she wants, and moving on.
She has become, in just over a week, the exact kind of person I can respect. Not like the weaklings I seem to have subconsciously surrounded myself with.
Rachel is sort of a symbol of order in the chaos. She’s taking control of her life, fearlessly.
I can’t help but think that people like Mark and Cindy and Barbara really could use someone like her around the office... you know, just to keep things disciplined. Under control. Truthfully, I could probably use someone like her around too. Maybe that’s why I’ve dreamed her up.
But hell, what are the odds of that happening ? Someone like her wouldn’t want to come up to Astoria and get a job in city hall. Would she ?
Still... I can’t help but imagine...