It’s been a long time coming, but I have finally added a new chapter to “The Tomboy”. I also made some minor alterations to the earlier chapters (fixing incorrect tenses, fixing typos, re-wording sentences for effect, etc.). As such, I decided to simply start it as an all-new thread here on the forums.
Chapter 11 isn’t the longest chapter, nor the most eventful chapter, but it bridges the earlier story to some very important things that will occur down the road. I hope you enjoy it.
“Are you still going to our gig tonight, Laney?”, asked Mikey, as they bounded through the mostly-glass doors of Franklin High School. Mikey’s real name was Michelle, but she hated that name with a burning passion. It was too girly for a metal-head tomboy like her.
“Of course. Knowing that I’ll be going to it is the only thing that got me through this hellish week,” replied the auburn-haired Laney, flinging her backpack over her shoulder. Mikey laughed, knowing exactly how she felt. Her week had been nightmarish too, what with the end-of-the-year tests and all.
The two girls walked toward the parking lot amidst the throngs of other students scrambling to get off school grounds like ants escaping an anthill that had just been demolished. Mikey reached her car first and yelled out, “See you tonight,” to Laney who was making her way toward her own vehicle.
Mikey always enjoyed the ride home from school. With her windows rolled down and her brutal music cranked up, it was the perfect way for her to unwind. She cruised down Main Street, getting a kick out of the looks passers-by and pedestrians gave her. She was quite a sight to behold. The music blaring from her car was ferocious and intense, which contrasted her natural beauty. Oh, sure, her hair was dyed black and she had all the expected piercings, but even that couldn’t disguise the fact that she had angelic facial features and was a small, petite young woman… hardly the stereotypical vision of the brute-like female metal-head.
Mikey’s drive was short lived, however. As her ragged, decrepit house came into view, she sighed exaggeratedly. She hated the ramshackle abode. Its paint was almost non-existent, the roof sagged, the plumbing was abysmal and the lawn was perpetually unmowed. The interior was equally awful. The carpets were matted and stained, the walls were riddled with holes, and the entire place carried this odd musty odor that sent her sinuses into an outrage.
She entered the front door and found that her parents were gone. No big surprise there. Now that she thought about it, she hadn’t seen them in a couple of days. They had a tendency to stay in their own little world; a world that didn’t often include Mikey. They were deeply entrenched in the “party” lifestyle and typically came home inebriated or stoned out of their gourds. They more or less left her to her own devices, which suited her just fine. After all, she had a level head and usually made good decisions when it came down to brass tacks. She was perfectly able to run her own life. Hell, she did a better job of it than her parents did, that’s for sure. They couldn’t even stay sober for a weekend, much less maintain a stable household.
Mikey had just enough time to take a shower, get dressed and grab a quick meal before loading her guitar, half-stack and pedal board into her car and heading to the club. She always made it a point to show up early, especially when it was a venue she hadn’t played before. It gave her a chance to get a feel for the place.
After her shower, she selected her attire for the evening. Settling on camouflage pants, vintage combat boots, a spiked gauntlet and a “Morbid Angel” t-shirt, she looked every bit the part of the quintessential bad-ass metal chick. She wasted no time in preparing a meal, loading up and driving to the club, a run-down juice bar called The Pond. It was a stupid name, but Mikey was impressed with the interior décor upon entering. It was far roomier than it looked from the outside. The walls were covered in graffiti art and the entire establishment was quite dimly lit, aside from a blacklight. Nice ambience. Only a small smattering of customers was present due to the early hour.
She brought in only her guitar and pedal board and she approached the bar to find out where the club owners wanted her band to place their gear. The man at the bar was a swarthy-looking fellow in psychedelic hippie clothes. His medium brown hair was a bit disheveled and his relatively long beard looked as if it had never been introduced to a comb. In truth, it probably hadn’t.
“Hey, man,” she said, trying to get his attention. He turned to face her. “I’m Mikey from The Unnamable. Where should we put our stuff?”
He spoke thickly, as if he had to force the words out through a glob of goop. "Oh, hey. Yeah, you can set your shit right through that door over there. He pointed toward a wooden door near the stage.
“Much appreciated,” she stated nodding to him before she charged off to the door. The room behind the door was rather small and cramped, but it would suffice. She placed her guitar and board on a table and brought in her amp. By the time she finished, she heard footsteps approaching the door. To her surprise, it was Damon, the lead vocalist of her band, who was carrying their PA and one of the boxes filled with cords and the like.
“How long have you been here?,” he asked with a wry smile that could barely be seen beneath his long, thick locks of hair that covered most of his face. He was a sturdy man in his early twenties, who had a lantern-jaw and piercing blue eyes… when his mane managed to stray away from them, that is.
"I just got here a few minutes ago, " she said, getting up to help him unload the band’s equipment. “Where’s everybody else?”
He chuckled. “They’re on their way. Ronnie wanted to stop in and get some food before he came, so he’ll be a little later than Snake and Mason.”
The two band mates walked outside to get more of their gear. Damon remarked, “I see you finally bought that gauntlet you’ve been talking about.”
“Yeah. It’s pretty fucking cool, huh?”
Damon nodded slightly, “It is. It’s cool for on-stage use, anyway.”
She screwed up her face and inquired, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing,” he stated plainly, “It’s just that I don’t think it would kill you to dress like a girl when you’re not on stage.”
Mikey found herself frowning, “That’s not who I am. You know that. I’ve never been into dresses and make-up and shit. Never was, never will be.”
Before the conversation could’ve gone further, they spotted Snake and Mason pulling into the parking area in the back. They got out and simultaneously stretched. VW bugs just aren’t meant to fit two burly guys in them. Snake was the taller of the two and had wavy dishwater blonde hair that spilled down to his mid-back. He had a tattoo of intertwining snakes covering most of his body. His face had been spared such a fate, however. Mason had a shaved head and a barrel-chest, looking something akin to a late nineteenth century prizefighter.
After a quick greeting of high fives and handshakes, the band members proceeded to bring their gear inside. The opening band was setting up on stage when Ronnie showed up. But Ronnie was hardly as jovial as the others. In fact, he looked downright concerned. He approached Mikey and said, “Hey, you might want to give your uncle a call. I bumped into him at the burger joint. He’s been looking for you. Said it was urgent.”
“Uncle Jeff?”, she scoffed, “He was probably wanting me to set him up with Laney again, the fuckin’ perv.”
“I don’t think so, Mikey. He sounded really freaked the fuck out,” Ronnie said, shaking his head.
“I’ll give him a call after our set, okay?” she said in an effort to drop it.
“Alright, but I think something’s seriously wrong.”
The opening act was a deathcore band called “Over the Abyss”. Mikey wasn’t all that impressed, noting that they sounded like every other Whitechapel knock-off out there. They were talented, but they could use a dash of originality. The band in question played a half hour set before relinquishing the stage to the Unnamable.
The crowd was somewhat small, but still very active and vocal. Laney wasn’t in attendance, which surprised Mikey. But she had more pressing matters on her mind. As she strapped on her guitar, she couldn’t help but wonder why her uncle was looking for her. She tried pushing it to the back of her brain, though, so she could concentrate on her performance.
The Unnamable ripped into their first number with a vengeance. The crowd immediately took to their old school death metal stylings, initiating a mosh pit almost immediately. With the fans in a frenzy, the band put even more effort into it. Nothing drives a band onward like a mass of rampaging fans swirling in a mosh pit in front of them.
The rest of the set went just as swimmingly. Judging by the crowd’s uproarious reaction, it was a safe bet that the proprietors would ask them to return at some point. The fans were still cheering as the band exited the stage area. After their equipment was loaded into their respective vehicles, Mikey stepped out of the club’s back door to call her uncle, using Damon’s cell phone.
“Hey, Jeff. I heard you were looking for me,” she asked tentatively.
“Where the hell have you been? I’ve been hunting you down for hours.” His frustration was evident, but equally evident was how panicked he was.
“Look, Mikey, you know I ain’t too good with shit like this, but, uh, y’know, well… Amy and Joe were killed in a fire this afternoon. I’m sorry, kiddo. I really am.”
Mikey felt suddenly hollow, much as if she was floating above her body. It was all too surreal. “What the fuck are you talking about?!”, she belted out. “Mom and dad are dead??”
There was a slight pause before Jeff spoke. “Yeah. They were in a meth lab or some shit and, well, it went up in flames and they didn’t get out. The police said they were likely passed out when the fire started.”
Mikey instinctively thought of self-preservation, something she’d soon feel guilt over. “What the fuck am I supposed to do now?”
“Beats the shit out of me. I don’t know anything about this stuff, y’know? I mean, you’re sixteen, right? Can’t you live on your own at sixteen these days?”
The reality of the situation began to sink in. Her hard-ass routine started to crack a little, as she wiped away a stray tear that rolled down her delicate cheek. “I can’t go live in no orphanage and I can’t stay with you because of your felonies and shit. I have no other relatives that I know of. I am so fucked! SO fucked!”
The rest of the night was a blur to her. Her band mates were all very sympathetic to her plight and offered her any assistance they could. She felt terrible because she harbored such resentment for her parents. They barely acknowledged her existence, being gone for days at a time and saying very little to her when they were home. Still, they were her parents and she just couldn’t help but love them.
The following day, she was awakened by a social services worker knocking at the door. The woman was pleasant, but Mikey wasn’t a fool. She knew that this was just another case to her. Once the lady dealt with this one, she’d forget all about it and be on to the next case, leaving Mikey to live with her parents’ deaths.
The social worker explained that she was still too young to live on her own and that they have found a relative who was willing to take her in. It was her cousin Mesa and her husband, Mark. She barely knew them, to tell the truth, and Mesa was only in her mid-twenties. The idea of having someone so young in charge of her was annoying, but at least she lived in the same city. It would prevent her from having to uproot from her school, friends and band. So, in that way, she figured she was fortunate.
Within a few hours, Mesa arrived. The caseworker stood outside and spoke with her for some time, while Mikey packed the rest of her belongings. She couldn’t hear much of their conversation, but she gathered enough information to learn that they were all going to be going to the social services office to sign paperwork and such.
Mikey was nervous to see Mesa for the first time in many years. The last time she saw her, she was six years old and Mesa was a teenager. Her memory of Mesa was vague, but she recalled that she was very much into wearing fashionable clothes and acting girly. Perhaps she’s changed. Or perhaps not.
Mikey had just finished packing her belongings when Mesa knocked on her bedroom door. She knew who it was right off the bat due to the knock being extraordinarily dainty and timid.
Zipping her final suitcase, she said, “Door’s unlocked. Come on in.”
Some things never change and judging by her appearance, Mesa’s sense of style was one of them. She was wearing a breezy white cotton summer dress, nude hosiery and simple white heels. Her luscious blonde hair seemed to cascade down her back like a waterfall and her eyes were sky blue. She was certainly as beautiful as Mikey remembered, though she found her clothing to be utterly appalling in every way. She just couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that anyone would willingly dress that way. Dresses would be inconvenient, hosiery would be hot and itchy, and heels would be nothing short of torturous. Comfort was all that mattered to Mikey.
Mesa stepped partly into her room. “Hello, Michelle. How are you holding up?” She stepped the rest of the way into the room, moving closer to Mesa, hoping to seem more sincere by placing her hand on her shoulder.
“I don’t know. Okay, I guess,” said Mikey, shrugging. “It’s just a lot to process.”
Given the gravity of the situation, Mikey overlooked being called “Michelle”. Still, it made her cringe and grit her teeth a little.
“I understand, sweetie. I’m really sorry about what happened. Uncle Joe was a good man. He just had more than his share of demons.”
“Yeah, I know,” Mikey muttered. “All too well.”
Mesa nodded. “Everything’s going to be okay now, though. You’re going to come live with Mark and I. It’ll be great, I promise. Mark even took a few days off work so he could get your room ready.”
“I haven’t seen either of you since you were teenagers dating each other. I hate to sound like a bitch, but why haven’t you two ever bothered coming around until now?”
Mesa looked forlornly toward the floor. “It’s complicated.”
“How complicated could it be? You could have stopped by or sent a birthday card or, hell, even picked up the phone. I guess I’m just confused as to why you couldn’t have managed that?”
“Look,” Mesa said calmly, “Your parents didn’t like Mark. In fact, they hated him. They said he was a bad influence or something. He was pretty wild back then. But he was practically just a kid at that point. He grew up, became responsible and has been a great husband. Joe and Amy refused to accept the fact that he had changed and never gave him a chance.”
“Oh,” Mikey said, feeling bad for acting so suspicious. “To be fair, I guess I could’ve contacted you too, huh?”
“It’s not your fault, sweetie. The important thing is that we can make up for lost time now.”
Somehow, Mikey felt slightly better. Maybe this arrangement would work out after all. Within a half hour, Mikey’s belongings were loaded into Mesa’s white mini-van and they were on the road, heading toward her new home.
“Mesa?”, she asked, “Do you have a cell phone I could use real quick?”
“Sure, it’s in my purse. Feel free to get it out.”
After a minimal amount of digging, she found the phone and called Laney’s number. She was worried about her friend, given that she failed to show up to last night’s show. That just wasn’t like her.
Laney’s mother answered the phone in her usual hateful tone, which only became more hateful when she heard who was on the other end of the line. She didn’t like Mikey and seldom made any pretenses about it. “What do you want?”, she asked impatiently.
“Is Laney around?”, Mikey asked, trying to be polite.
“She’s around but she can’t come to the phone. I grounded her last night. She knows she’s not allowed to go to those devil-music concerts and yet I caught her sneaking out to attend one. It was one of your band’s shows, wasn’t it?” The way she emphasized “wasn’t it?” made her sound like the grand inquisitor or something.
“Yep,” she replied drolly.
“Well, she doesn’t need so-called friends like you leading her to devil worship, so you need to leave her alone and forget you ever knew her.”
At that point, Mikey’s temper flared. “I’m an atheist, you closed-minded old bitch. There’s a big difference between an atheist and a devil worshipper, for fuck’s sake!” Laney’s mother responded simply by hanging up on her. She could tell that Mesa was taken aback by her anger and the language she used. Things became uncomfortably quiet for the remainder of the ride.
Mesa and Mark’s house was located on the northern edge of the city, near one of the more affluent neighborhoods. The house itself was quite nice, though not necessarily as nice as some of the surrounding houses. It was a white two-storied structure with steep roofs and a wrap-around porch. Behind the house was a moderate sized patch of woods with a shed nearby. A white truck with “Mark Wallman Construction” on the side was parked in front.
Mesa pulled into the driveway, stopped the van and got out. Mikey began to feel nervous. Not so much as a word had been spoken since the incident with Laney’s mother, leading the girl’s imagination to drift in virtually every direction. Was Mesa angry or just shocked? Was she going to just let it drop or was she going to make a big production out of it? This was when reality fully sunk in – her life was never going to be the same again. That thought scared her immensely.
Mikey grabbed two boxes and followed Mesa into the house.
“Let me show you where your temporary room will be. You can put your things in there for the time being.”
“Okay, no problem,” stated Mikey, glad that the silence had finally been broken. Still, Mesa’s voice had a certain chill to it. Or maybe Mikey was just being paranoid.
Mesa opened a door just off the living room and directed her through it.
She placed her two boxes in the room and glanced around for a moment. The room had obviously been used for storage, with boxes and unused furniture piled up in an orderly fashion throughout. About a third of the room was actually habitable. A small cot rested against the north wall, with two dressers and a nightstand not far from it. It was claustrophobic, but still significantly better than her old room. After a handful of trips to and from the van, she was at last moved in. She then unpacked her necessities, but decided to do so sparingly, since this was only going to be her temporary dwelling.
Mikey stepped out into the living room, where Mesa was sitting on the sofa, reading a romance novel of some sort. She was astonished at how her cousin was so prim and proper about everything, including the manner in which she sat. Her back was perfectly straight and her legs were daintily crossed. As with Mesa’s clothes, she simply couldn’t fathom this display of “proper behavior”.
“So, uh, I got everything done in there,” stammered Mikey. She was one of those people who was confident and self-assured while in their own element, but when they are forced to be outside of their element, they are awkward and unsure. She longed to be back in her environment where she could be comfortable, but that was a thing of the past. She realized that she would have to adapt to her new surroundings.
Mesa placed the book neatly on the table, smiled narrowly and offered her a seat. Mikey complied and wondered what was going on. After an uncomfortable silence, Mesa spoke up.
“We have to discuss your behavior on the phone earlier.” Oh, shit. She knew this was coming. It didn’t make the moment any less excruciating though. Mikey hadn’t been told what to do by her parents in years. She was used to doing as she pleased and saying whatever she felt like saying. Now, here she is, preparing herself for the inevitable lecture.
Mikey offered only silence, partly because she didn’t know what to say and partly because she was strangely intimidated by the situation.
“You can’t go around talking to people that way any longer. It’s just not done in this family. Mark doesn’t like it when women use profanity and act in a way that is unbecoming of a lady.”
Mikey gave her a look that was easy to read. Her expression clearly asked, “Are you kidding me??” Mesa caught on immediately.
“I know this is going to be a tough transition for you and we’re going to give you a little leeway at first, but you have to understand that Mark is the head of the household. What he says goes, for both you and I.”
Mikey’s mouth was now gaping open in horror. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“You’ve GOT to be kidding me,” Mikey blurted out, half without thinking.
“No, sweetie. I’m not kidding you. Mark is extremely old fashioned and believes firmly that the man is the king of the castle, for want of a better expression.”
“And this doesn’t bother you??”, Mikey asked incredulously.
“I’ll admit that it did at first, but I got used to it over time, just as you will.”
Mikey looked panicked. “I can’t do this, Mesa. I’m sorry, but I’m a rabid feminist. This goes against everything I believe in. Everything!”
Mesa looked genuinely apologetic, yet she remained adamant. “Honey, you don’t have a choice in the matter. We have custody of you and you’ll have to abide by Mark’s rules to the letter. Believe me, you don’t want to make him angry.”
“So, what was all that garbage about Mark maturing and becoming this great, amazing, fabulous husband? It sounds like he’s a damn tyrant! You’re married to Hitler!”
With Mikey’s loud words, Mesa began nervously looking around, hoping that Mark didn’t hear what was being said.
“You have to lower your voice. Mark’s upstairs working on your room. If he overheard what you said, he’d be furious.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
Mesa paused. “He IS a great husband. He provides for me and treats me well as long as I do as he says. If I abide by his rules, I want for nothing. You can have everything you could ever want too… if you just stop with this feminism nonsense.”
Mikey retorted, “You don’t believe in equality between men and women?”
Casting her gaze slightly downward, Mesa said, “I used to. But I’ve seen that women are not the equals of men. They’re stronger, smarter and more rational than we are. They were made to be dominant over women. It’s just the way we were created.”
“This is insane! Seriously, Mesa, this is batshit crazy! I don’t give a damn what the papers say, I’m getting the fuck out of this loony bin! I refuse to be a part of this sick shit!”
With that, she bounded to her feet and charged into the room with her belongings. Frantically, she snatched her essentials and shoved them into a duffle bag. She knew she had to be deft about it or else she’d risk getting caught. She figured that she had a good thirty seconds before Mesa could get upstairs and inform Mark about what was transpiring, plus another thirty seconds for him to get downstairs. Knowing that she probably forgot something crucial, she darted for the door and flung it back open, only to find Mark’s imposing figure blocking her way.
“Going somewhere?”, he asked sternly.
Mikey’s heart leapt out of her chest. Mark was a big man - far larger than she remembered. He had short, slightly wavy hair, dark eyes and a face that seemed to be chiseled from granite and peppered with stubble. He had the look of a real blue-collar working man.
She quickly found her nerve and said, “Anywhere that’s away from here.” The venom in her voice was anything but subtle.
“You’re not going anywhere. Now, put down that duffle bag and come with me into the living room where we can discuss some things.”
“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen,” she stated as she slipped past him. He spun around with the speed of a panther and grabbed her arm firmly.
"I said you’re not going anywhere, little girl… and I meant it " His voice wasn’t raised, but the look in his eyes told her that he was dead serious.
She tugged at his grip, but it was of no use. His hands were like vice grips and no matter how hard she yanked, she was unable to free herself. Mark led her to the sofa and made her sit down. He nestled in beside her in case she tried to bolt for the front door, which was likely a wise decision, since the thought crossed her mind.
“Now,” he asked, “what seems to be the problem?”
“Do you even have to ask?”, she responded, still with a large dose of venom in her words. “Your psychotic, chauvinistic bullshit is too much for me. Like I told Mesa, I’m a feminist. I won’t stand for this male superiority shit.”
“First of all, watch your tongue, Michelle. Second of all…”
Before he could continue, she interrupted. “Stop calling me that fucking name!!”
Mark remained calm. “I will not stop calling you ‘Michelle’. It’s your name and that’s what you’ll go by. ‘Mikey’ is a boy’s name. The last time I checked, you’re not a boy.”
Her fury was apparent in her body language. She was so angry she was trembling. Her jaw was clenched as tight as the security at Fort Knox and her eyes were burning right through Mark.
“Like I was saying… second of all, you’re now a member of this family, and this family is based on patriarchy. In other words, my word is law. I’ll listen to reason, but I will not sacrifice the integrity of the family by allowing you to behave like a mannerless heathen. You WILL abide by the rules I impose and that’s final. This is a new life for you. That can be a very positive thing if you’d just stop fighting it.”
Glaring at him, Mikey said, “I liked my old life just fine.”
Mark took a deep breath. “Well, your old life was unhealthy. You were dressing like a guy, playing guitar in some sort of vile Satan worshiping band, running around at all hours of the night and doing who-knows-what with boys, or even girls for all I know. It’s a sad existence and I’m glad that we have the opportunity to put an end to it all. Maybe you’ll be able to move on to have a productive adult life.”
Mesa took this chance to pipe up by reassuringly placing her hand on Mikey’s knee. “He’s right, honey. You can achieve so much in life.”
“Like what, being barefoot and pregnant while getting bossed around by a man?! Thanks, but no thanks!”
Mark had to reassess his strategy and attempt to be a little less abrasive. He very much wanted to keep his cool in this situation. Otherwise, Mikey would never come around to his way of thinking. As the old adage goes, you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. He had to be stern but rational in order to get through to her.
After pausing a moment, Mark explained, “It’s not like that. Mesa has plenty of choices and opportunities. I give her a lot of free rein. Yes, she has rules that she has to abide by, but I take care of her in return for her obedience. She doesn’t have to work or worry about bills. I do all that for her. It’s a trade-off – how things used to be in the old days before women’s lib messed society up. Nowadays, women don’t know how to be women and men don’t know how to be men. Society has made it so that the world is almost genderless.”
Mikey tried calming down too. She wasn’t happy about the situation – and she still wasn’t going to stand for it – but since Mark had stopped acting irate, she figured she could do so too. After all, she didn’t want it to be said that she couldn’t act like a rational adult.
“You’re entitled to your beliefs. As much as I disagree with them, you’re still entitled to them. But I’m also entitled to my beliefs as well. I wish you would understand that.”
“I agree with you. However, as long as you’re in my custody, you’ll have to keep those beliefs to yourself and live by mine. I think if you’d give it a chance, you’d find out how fulfilling being a proper woman can be.”
“No, Mark, I wouldn’t find it fulfilling at all. My feminist beliefs run very deep; something that can’t just be thrown aside like a blanket. They course through my very veins.”
Mark couldn’t help but smile a little. “Don’t you think that’s getting a tad overdramatic?”
“No, I don’t,” she replied quickly, irritated that he found it to be humorous. “It may be a joke to you, but it’s not to me. Just like your beliefs aren’t a joke to you.”
“I never said it was a joke. I just think you were slathering it on a bit thick. Your way of life goes against nature. Can’t you see that? In the days of the Neanderthal, the men were the ones who ruled the roost and the women were at their mercy. They didn’t have any previous societal rules to go by. They just did what was natural.”
This time, it was Mikey’s turn to smile. “Now who’s being overdramatic?”
Mark let out a laugh, which served to possibly break some of the tension. After all, he figured he probably was laying it on too thick. Mikey followed suit and chuckled as well. Poor Mesa wasn’t sure what to make of the scene unfolding before her and wasn’t certain how to react. A nervous chuckle escaped her lips.
“Why don’t we all go out for supper tonight and get to know each other more? I think it’ll make everyone feel better.”
Mikey looked suspicious. “What’s the catch?”
“There is no catch. We just get dressed up and go to a nice restaurant.”
“And therein lies the catch,” Mikey said with a sigh.
“It’s not a catch,” Marks assured her, “I wanted to go to a nice restaurant… and you can’t just wear ratty old jeans and a demonic-looking t-shirt to a place like that.”
“Even if I was inclined to agree,” Mikey said, feeling proud of her slyness, “I don’t even own any dressy clothes.” She thought she had him now.
Mark leaned forward. “I didn’t figure you did… which is why I was going to have Mesa take you shopping for some new clothes. It’s not even noon yet. That should be plenty of time to pick out a new wardrobe.”
“Whoah, wait a second here,” Mikey said, losing some of her cool, “I didn’t agree to a new wardrobe! I already have clothes. I’ll agree to get one outfit that’s kind of dressy – a pantsuit or something – but I’m not replacing my wardrobe with a bunch of girly-girl crap!”
She stood up abruptly and in a huff. Mark got to his feet as well.
“I’ve tried to be reasonable about all this, but you’re really testing my patience. Please settle down and stop yelling.” He placed his hand on her shoulder to show her that he’s not being hostile.
“Get your fucking hand off me, Mark!” she bellowed as she slapped it away. Okay, he thought, no more mister nice guy. The one thing he would not stand for was a woman laying her hands on him in a forceful way.
He grabbed her around the waist and pulled her closer to him. He sat back down on the sofa and wrestled her over his knees, stomach-first. She fought it like a rabid pitbull, but despite her big attitude, she was just too small and weak to prevent herself from ending up in the most humiliating position she had ever been in. Even after she was in position, she struggled against him, wriggling in an attempt to free herself. This couldn’t be happening, she told herself as she continued to thrash about.
He pulled down her shredded blue jeans and her boxer shorts so that her bare bottom was completely exposed. God, the humiliation was agonizing. Surely, he wouldn’t spank her like an errant child. Would he?
She received the answer to that within a few seconds, as his palm began repeatedly crashing down on her behind, one blow after another. Mikey was always able to handle pain better than most people, but even still, this punishment was putting her tolerance to the test. She was resolved, however, not to cry or beg. She wanted to maintain at least a shred of her dignity.
The pain became more and more excruciating with each passing swat. She was sure her butt looked like raw hamburger meet by that point and it was only going to get worse. He showed no sign of stopping, relentlessly spanking her now-aching posterior like some kind of untiring machine.
Even Mesa was cringing, though she knew better than to interfere. She was aware that being attacked by a female in any way was one of his “hot buttons”.
Meanwhile, Mikey tried even more desperately to escape from Mark’s lap, as the pain intensified exponentially by the second. It was futile, to be certain, but she simply couldn’t give up. She knew she was on the verge of tears and the last thing she wanted to do was give him the pleasure of making her bawl like a baby. She had already begun making involuntary yelping noises every time his hand made contact with her. Try as she might, she couldn’t prevent that.
“You will never lay your hands on me again, do you hear me, Michelle??” he barked as he continued his assault. Mesa had to look away, hoping that Mikey would relent.
“Stop. Calling. Me. That. Name!”, she yelled, fighting the pain as best she could.
This just made him more intent on making her give in. The power of his swats increased, making the agony unbearable. His strikes sped up as well.
He responded, “It’s your name and you will respond to it, won’t you?”
“NEVER!” she yelled, still battling the pain and keeping the tears at bay.
She didn’t think he could possible spank her any harder than he already was, but she was wrong. Woefully wrong, no less. Harder and harder came the swats, and at a faster rate too.
“Won’t you??”, he demanded, while carrying on with the punishment. “What is your name??”
“Mikey,” she yelled, more out of pain than anger.
“What is your name??”
The loud smacks seemed to ricochet in Mikey’s head. Over and over, he asked her her name, only to be told “Mikey”. He had Mesa get his thin leather strap from the bedroom and she, of course, complied. The spanking paused only long enough for Mark to take the strap from his dutiful wife and they continued immediately thereafter.
Mikey had thought the pain from his hand was insurmountable, but the strikes from the strap were beyond harrowing. Every lick felt as if it was cutting into her soft flesh.
“What is your name??” His voice was becoming more menacing to her each time he asked that infernal question.
“Mikey”, her now-raspy voice belted out.
More swats ensued. Her tears were welling up. Please don’t come out, she begged inwardly. She didn’t want to cry. If he was to continue much longer, she would be unable to hold it back. She was either going to have to answer his question or lose her battle with her tears. This was no easy choice. How much longer could she hang on? How much more could she take?
“What is your name??”
No answer. More swats.
"What is your name, little girl??
Still no answer. She felt something awful rising in her throat. It was the worst thing she had ever felt. It was the taste of defeat.
“Michellllllllle! My name is Michellllllle!”
At long last, the spanking ceased. Mikey’s, or should I say “Michelle’s”, tear ducts betrayed her and she burst into a round of sobbing, heaving tears. Still draped over his lap, she cried uncontrollably, a tiny bit of drool escaping her mouth and snot running from her nose. This was the worst of it all. She had at least hoped to only lose the battle on one front by keeping herself from crying. But that was not to be. Now, she was reduced to a blubbering little girl lying limply across her antagonist’s knees. What could possibly be more humiliating? Somehow, she knew that she would find out very soon.
What happened next was lost to Mikey. She had just been humiliated far more thoroughly than she ever thought possible. She recalls herself being helped up from Mark’s lap, her legs feeling like rubber, Mark noting that at she had peed a little at some point during the spanking, Mesa helping her into another pair of jeans and finally being led out to the mini-van. She has vague recollections of Mesa talking to her during the ride, though she couldn’t remember anything she said – just lips moving with no sound coming out. Her mind was racing with a million thoughts and a rush of unfathomable feelings. None of this seemed real to her, like some kind of grotesque nightmare that she couldn’t wake up from. If only it was just a dream. But she knew it wasn’t.
When she finally snapped back to reality and once again became aware of her surroundings, Mesa was pulling into the parking lot of a department store. The sign said, “Volaire’s” and judging by its design and the building itself, it was an upscale place. The structure looked very old but immaculately maintained. Mikey knew very little about architecture, but it was obvious to her that it looked like something out of the 1920s or '30s.
Mesa pulled into a parking spot quite far from the door. The store was apparently packed with throngs of customers, which didn’t make Mikey happy at all; all the more people to witness her ultimate undoing. She thought about running from the van and making a break for it. However, her legs still felt as if they were made of wet noodles, making such an effort futile.
Mesa disembarked from the vehicle and came around to the passenger side, offering to help Mikey get out. She knew the young girl was still very sore and rubbery, having been spanked by Mark in much the same way early on in their relationship. To her surprise, she accepted the offer and let her help.
As Mikey moved, the pain from her backside hit her all at once with the force of a diesel truck. Up until then, her numbness to it all blocked out the agony. But that was then. Now, the throbbing pain shot through her body and she had to make an effort not to walk funny. In fact, even despite her best attempt, she still walked with a certain amount of stiffness. She didn’t know which was worse, the physical pain or the humiliation of having been spanked, made to refer to herself as her birth name, cry and even urinate in her pants.
Mesa straightened up Mikey’s clothes as best she could and tried to quickly fix her hair so it wasn’t quite as disheveled. Again, to her amazement, the girl didn’t resist. She just stood there, looking like a zombie.
Once she thought Mikey was at least presentable, she put one hand on each shoulder and looked her in the eye. “I know you don’t want to do this, but please don’t fight me on it. I want you and I to be great friends… and I think we WILL be in due time. Nobody’s going to think any less of you for dressing and acting like a lady.”
No longer feeling as feisty as she did a couple of hours earlier, Mikey simply said, “I’ll think less of me.”
“Well, you shouldn’t, you know. You’re a rare beauty. There should be no shame in letting that beauty shine. There’s a whole new world for you to explore, Michelle, so why not do exactly that?”
Mikey scrunched up her face upon hearing that name, something that didn’t go unnoticed by Mesa.
“You’re going to have to get used to hearing and even saying your name, sweetie. It’ll be hard at first, but the sooner you become accustomed to it, the better off you’ll be. Okay?”
Reluctantly and sadly, Mikey nodded, looking directly away from Mesa. She didn’t want to nod, but her body just reacted without her brain’s permission.
“Now, let’s go find you some clothes.”
Mesa took Mikey by the hand and began walking toward the door. To Mikey, that door may as well have been the gaping, toothy maw of some disgusting demon creature, waiting to chew her up. It felt as if she was marching to her doom. Worse still, the embarrassment of having her hand held like a child was intolerable. Yet she didn’t fight it, nor could she even if she wanted to. That spanking took a lot out of her, both physically and emotionally.
As they entered the department store, Mikey looked all around. She had never been in a place even remotely as fancy as this before. Hell, she was more accustomed to thrift shops, Salvation Army stores or, if she was lucky, Wal-Mart. This was a big leap from all those. She was way out of her element and, with the way she was dressed, stuck out like a sore thumb.
It was conclusive that this was not Mesa’s first foray into Volaire’s. She walked with purpose, artfully making her way through the many shoppers to the escalators with Mikey in tow. Upon reaching the third floor, they headed directly to the left. The young girl noticed a hanging sign that indicated that they were in the young ladies section. “Wonderful,” she thought sarcastically, “Just where I always wanted to be.”
Practically dragging Mikey behind her, Mesa descended on the clothing racks and tables like a vulture on a carcass. She was clearly having more fun than her younger cousin, sifting through outfit after outfit, chattering away in an effort to get Mikey more excited about this endeavor. She tried to pay a little attention, but after a few minutes, her eyes started to glaze over – hems, cuts, pleats, necklines, blah, blah, blah. It was gibberish to her. Moreover, she didn’t care to learn about it.
After ten minutes or so, Mesa realized that she wasn’t really listening to her and that she hadn’t helped her pick out anything. She stopped looking through the clothes, turned to her and patiently asked, “Mikey, why aren’t you listening? I’m trying to explain some things to you, but you’re just staring off into space.”
Mikey gave her a “duh” look, as she figured Mesa would’ve figured that she’d be disinterested. “This is isn’t my thing, that’s all. I know about death metal, horror movies and H.P. Lovecraft, not dresses, skirts and prissy stuff.”
Mesa looked baffled. “H.P. what-craft?”
“My favorite author.”, Mikey stated matter-of-factly.
“Oh,” replied Mesa, “Well, whatever the case is, you’re going to have to learn this stuff. Mark is very strict about how women dress and I don’t want you to be clueless about this ‘prissy’ stuff when it comes time for you to know about it.”
“What’s he going to do? Give me a written exam?” Her spirit was starting to come back, at least to a certain degree.
“Very funny,” Mesa said with a half-smile, not entirely unappreciative of the dry humor in her statement. “I know you hate all this right now. I can’t make you like it; I know that. But please help me out with this. If I go home without any outfits for you, I’ll be the one in trouble.”
Mikey hated guilt trips, mainly because they worked on her so well. And Mesa had been cool to her so far. After all, she wasn’t going to blame her for Mark’s actions. That wouldn’t be fair at all.
She sighed deeply. “Fine. Just grab whatever you want. Just try to get stuff that’s not super girly.”
Mesa smiled, genuinely appreciative of her cousin’s kind gesture. It was a step; a small step, but it was good enough for now. The fact that she agreed to own feminine clothing at all was something worth being happy about.
“I’ll see what I can do,” she replied with a chipper, upbeat tone of voice. With that, she spun around and continued on her quest for clothes with great enthusiasm. Over the course of the next hour, Mikey followed her around as she periodically draped a seemingly random article of clothing across her arm. While she was unable to make out exactly what she was accruing, she could see that it was all far more colorful than the attire she was used to. She had a thing for anything black… and she couldn’t detect even a single black article in Mesa’s possession.
After Mesa had finished with the shopping in this section of the store, she brought the clothes up to one of this floor’s counters and purchased them. The store kept the bags so that they could continue shopping unfettered. The price she paid for the clothes was extravagant, to say the least. Judging by their house, she knew Mark and Mesa must have a good amount of money, but this still took her off guard.
As they made their way to the next section, Mesa said, “You’ll find that I only purchased you skirts and dresses, because Mark doesn’t like women to wear pants or jeans.”
“What’s wrong with jeans?”
“He says that women who wear them are trying to overstep their bounds and be like men.”
Mikey rolled her eyes. “That figures. What do you think?”
“I think he’s right. I’ve never understood why women wear pants, even before I met Mark. Honestly, skirts and dresses are more comfortable. You’ll see.”
Mikey wondered where else they could possibly be going in this god-awful den of ultra-femininity. Her internal queries were answered when she saw that they were approaching an entire section dedicated to under things.
Mesa looked as if a notion came to her. “Why don’t you help me pick out some lingerie for you?” The word “lingerie” echoed around her head for a moment. What an awful, frilly word that was. Lingerie. She couldn’t even stand the sound of it. In fact, it made her skin crawl.
“Why would I want to do that?”
Mesa nudged her playfully with her elbow. “Because, silly, lingerie shopping is the best way for two girls to bond.”
Mikey couldn’t help but let out a quick gust of sarcasm, dryly remarking “Well, where does a ‘Sex and the City’ marathon fit into all this?”
Laughter erupted from Mesa, which was not what Mikey expected in the least. She figured she’d be agitated by the comment and lunge into some speech about how she needs to adapt and all that garbage. Maybe she’d grow to like Mesa after all. In spite of this conclusion, she still wasn’t delighted about lingerie shopping. This just had too many frills and lace for her taste.
“So, what do you say?”, asked Mesa after her laughing subsided, “How about helping me pick you out some cute under-things?”
“I don’t do ‘cute’,” she smirked, “but I suppose I can try to run damage control and help get some things that aren’t entirely hideous.”
“That’s the spirit,” exclaimed Mesa, thrilled about the prospect of the two of them actually collaborating on this shopping spree. Mikey was still miserable, but she had to admit that she was happy to see her cousin so exuberant. Normally, she has a special brand of distaste for overly bubbly individuals, yet she couldn’t help but like this one.
They combed the aisles, looking for totally different things. Mikey was seeking anything that was plain and functional. Mesa, on the other hand, was on the prowl for very feminine or cutesy articles. She allowed her to pick out some rather bare bones nightgowns, bras and underwear, but she herself picked out a handful of less practical items that were more ‘girly’ in nature – pantyhose, teddies, lace bras and so forth. She kept those hidden beneath the ones Mikey selected, as she didn’t want to spoil the good vibe that was beginning to develop.
After paying for this batch of clothing, she once again had the attendants hold onto the shopping bags.
“We have two more sections to hit before we leave. Luckily, they are very close to one another. First, we’ll look for some shoes.”
“Shoes?”, Mikey asked, “What’s wrong with my shoes?”
“Well, don’t you think those ratty old tennis shoes would look ugly with the pretty skirts and dresses?”
“Uggh! Don’t remind me.”
Mesa smiled, jokingly pushing her forward. “C’mon, grumpy, let’s go get you some shoes.”
They look over the selection and Mikey quickly picks out some nice sneakers. “These aren’t too bad.”
“No go, kiddo. Mark expects women to wear heels most of the time, though he does allow certain sandals and flats from time to time.”
“You’re kidding, right?” asked Mikey, knowing good and well that she wasn’t kidding – wishful thinking is all it was.
“No, I’m quite serious. Don’t worry, though, we’ll start you off with low heels like the ones I’m wearing and work your way up. It’s not bad. At first, your feet will feel like they’re going to positively fall off, but that doesn’t last long. You get used to them quickly. Plus, I’ll teach you how to walk in them properly, which takes a lot of the pain out of the equation.”
“I don’t want to walk in those… things. There’s nothing wrong with walking flat-footed. It’s how humans were designed to walk. The only reason high heels exist is because somewhere a long time ago, some knuckle-dragging chauvinist dipwad decided that he needed to keep his woman hobbled and unable to run away from him. So, he invented an infernal, uncomfortable shoe that we all know as high heels.”
“For your information, missy, it’s believed that heels were invented by a woman.”
Mikey gave her a disbelieving look. “Yeah, right. Why would a woman willingly let herself be made to be uncomfortable? It just doesn’t add up.”
“Well, I can’t speak for the woman who created them, but I can tell you why I do it.”
“This should be enlightening,” joked Mikey.
“You were kind of right when you said that men like their women in heels in order to put them in a submissive state. Not all men, mind you, but I’d wager that the majority of them do, whether it’s a conscious thing or not. Guys’ brains are wired to be the dominant party in a relationship. That’s how they’re most comfortable. By ruling over their women, they gain a sense of completeness… and if they’re content, then their women can reap the benefits of that. A satisfied alpha male is usually willing to do almost anything for his woman. And, well, I like that. I like to feel protected and safe and ‘taken care of’. And if all I have to is obey my man in order to get that, then I figure it’s a small price to pay.”
“Good god,” Mikey retorted, “That almost made sense to me. Almost. But there’s one small hitch.”
“I prefer the company of women to men, if you take my meaning.”
Mesa was stunned by this admission. Frankly, she wasn’t sure what to say. She was never particularly homophobic, but Mark was certainly against such things. This was going to complicate matters, and the last thing this whole situation needed was more complications.
“I, ummm, wouldn’t tell Mark that. He’s conservative in that way; in almost every way, actually.”
“It’s none of his business anyway. The only reason I brought it up to you is because… well, I’m hot for your body.”
The flummoxed expression on Mesa’s face said it all. She was speechless and her jaw was practically lying on the floor. Her cousin just told her that she was attracted to her sexually. How was she supposed to react?
“Relax,” grinned Mikey after savoring her expression, “I’m just yankin’ your chain. I’m not into incest.”
Mesa’s look of horror gradually turned to a slightly frustrated smile and she smacked the aggravator in the stomach. They both laughed. In spite of everything that had happened, Mikey and Mesa just had a real, honest-to-goodness bonding moment. Mesa knew it and maybe somewhere deep inside, Mikey did too. Either way, Mesa wasn’t going to ruin the moment by mentioning it. No, she was just going to bask in it privately.
With that, they went back to shopping. Mikey picked out some simple sandals that weren’t too girly, but still girly enough to meet Mark’s expectations. Mesa picked out a pair of flats and three pairs of heels, ranging from two inches to four inches. She figured that would suffice for now; she could always get her higher ones later on. Mikey grumbled a little, but didn’t outright protest.
The last section they visited was the one beneath the sign that read, “Hygiene, Beauty and Health”. Mikey wasn’t fooled by the fancy wording; she knew perfectly well that Mesa intended to buy make-up, a notion that didn’t please her one bit. She always made wisecracks about girls who wore make-up, often calling them “painted ladies” and “gussied-up hussies”. And now, by the looks of it, she was destined to join their ranks. She wanted to protest, but she knew she had to pick her battles wisely and in all likelihood, Mark wouldn’t make her wear anything too noticeable. So, she went along with Mesa, who busied herself selecting make-up and checking Mikey’s skin tone so that she could get exactly the right shades.
“Would you mind going over to that last aisle and picking out some soap and shampoo for yourself?”
Mikey complied. Once she was out of sight, Mesa hurried over to a nearby aisle and did the last thing that Mark had ordered her to do. Browsing through the selection quickly, she snatched a small package of adult diapers. She knew that if Mikey saw her, she would immediately ask questions and everything would blow up in a big hurry. To that end, she covered the package with their other purchases.
Within fifteen minutes, Mikey and Mesa were back in the mini-van, all their purchases having been loaded by a helpful store employee.
“Let’s get home,” said Mesa as she turned the air conditioner on full blast, “We have to get ready for our evening out.”
“I was kind of hoping that Mark would still be too mad and not want to go.”
“Perish the thought,” she said, looking over at her, “When Mark gets an idea in his head, nothing or nobody can stop him. He’s a very stubborn man.”
Mikey slumped in her seat, her dismay being more than a little evident. “That’s what I was afraid of.”