Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Housekeeper - Chapter 20 (Part 2 of 3)

The Housekeeper
By Karen Singer

Chapter 20 (Part 2 of 3)

Even though he was no longer hypnotized, Roger remained sound asleep on the couch since she had told him to sleep until she woke him up.  Remaining sound asleep, he was therefore totally oblivious to the sounds and commotion of the new bedroom furniture being delivered and the old furniture being hauled away.  Although not all of Roger’s bedroom furniture got carted off.  Janice had the men move his old dresser into his new room.  But that was all that she allowed to be put into there.  No bed… for now.  He would have to earn that privilege… eventually.  That is, if he recovered from her mistake, which she was still fairly certain that he would.
Janice allowed him to sleep through lunch.  And after lunch, she allowed him to stay asleep while she carefully used the new device that Susan Wu had given her to thoroughly check the house – and the cars – for hidden bugs or trackers of any kind.  Fortunately, she found none at all.  She also allowed Roger to remain asleep while she and Carol joyfully put the bedding on their new beds and helped each other stock their new dressers, putting everything where they wanted it to go.  It was several hours past lunchtime when Janice finally went into the living room to wake him up.  “Mr. Brinkley,” she called, gently nudging his arm to help jostle him awake. 
Roger’s brain fought to bring itself out of sleep as fast as it could… which still took a few moments.  “Yes,” his voice finally managed to get out… even as he was still waking up.  Janice gave him a moment to fully come awake.  “I’ve put some lunch in your bowl for you,” she said.  “Go and get something to eat.”  She noticed that he was moving to do as she said the moment she had finished saying it… which was good.  But the question was, how was his brain now?  She was hoping the meal she prepared for him and put into his bowl… along with the cup of coffee she would give him afterwards, would help to mend what hadn’t been functioning within him earlier.
Roger already had his head in his bowl and was chewing his food by the time his brain fully woke up.  He lifted his head a bit as he was chewing and looked into his bowl.  Cut up chicken, green beans, French fried potatoes, and… what were those small whitish things mixed in among it all.  He stuck his head closer and managed to get one of those white things onto his tongue and into his mouth.  He chewed it.  Apples!  Cut up apples!  Surprisingly, the entire thing tasted darn good when mixed all together.  His head went back down and he took another large bite of everything he could get into his mouth.  His head came up again so he could chew and swallow it.  Then he moved to the side to lick up some of the water in the bowl she had set next to his food bowl.  Then it was back to his lunch again.  The woman was an absolute nightmare!  But darn if she couldn’t cook!
But thinking of her as a nightmare again stimulated his thinking, and this time it dredged up another memory from last night.  This time he remembered the little talk they had been having just before she had hypnotized him and started all his training.  In one big rush, his mind conjured up images of what she had said she did to all her victims.  Bugs!  And her latest… a toad that now spent his life trying to catch flies with his tongue!  The very thought of it made him sick.  He tried to put those images out of his mind, but now that they were there, they refused to go away.  They were all he could think about as he continued to eat the rest of his food.
When he was done, he stood up and headed back out toward the living room… where he found Janice and Carol watching some home repair show on TV. 
“All done, Mr. Brinkley?” Janice asked as she got to her feet.
“Yes,” Roger replied. 
“Come,” Janice said, “let me pour you a cup of coffee.  I made a fresh pot just a little while ago.”  A moment later, as she was pouring the coffee for him, she said, “Why don’t you take this into your bedroom?  I’ve had your old dresser put in there for you.  You can put your things into it now.”
Roger was surprised to hear that he now had his old dresser back again.  And he quickly wondered about his bed as well.  Without saying any kind of thank you for the coffee, he took it and went straight back to his room… where he did indeed find his old dresser… but no bed at all.  He took a sip of the coffee and set the mug down on top of his dresser.  But before starting to put his things into it, he headed for the bathroom.  And in doing so, he passed the open door to Janice’s room – his old room.  He noted the brand new bed there among all the other very nice furniture in the room.  He briefly looked into Carol’s room and saw all new furniture there as well… including a brand new bed.  So why didn’t she move his old bed into his room?  The meaning of that wasn’t something he wanted to think about.

Janice gave him almost an hour.  Actually, she gave him until the next program on TV finished.  Then she went straight to his room to see what he was doing.  She found him still putting things into his dresser.  But the pile of clothes he had on the floor was now all but gone.  “Nearly done, Mr. Brinkley?” she asked as she came into the room.
Roger nodded.  “Yeah, just about.”
Janice noticed his coffee mug on the dresser and looked into it.  “I’ll pour you a fresh cup while you’re finishing up.  Come find me in the kitchen when you’re done.”
It was less than five minutes before Roger walked into the kitchen.  Janice had just poured him a fresh cup of coffee as well as one for herself.  She stood leaning against the counter, but she had set Roger’s cup on the table for him, in front of his usual seat… when he was allowed to sit at the table. 
“Have a seat, Mr. Brinkley,” she said.  She waited until he had sat down.  She glanced briefly out toward the living room where Carol was still watching TV before she turned her attention back to him.  “Feel free to drink some coffee if you like,” she said as she came over and sat down in her usual seat.  “We need to talk again.”
Roger was instantly worried about more training and nearly backed his chair away from the table so he could get up… and run!
“Don’t worry, Mr. Brinkley,” Janice told him as she noted the reaction on his face.  “We simply need to finish the little discussion we were having last night… before I so rudely… ripped the rug out from under you, so to speak.”
Roger’s fear didn’t dissipate at all!  Once again his mind drudged up those memories of what she had said she did to her past victims.  A toad?  Ugh!
“Before we begin,” Janice said, “please let me ask you a few simple questions.”  She saw the look on Roger’s face change slightly in anticipation, but he said nothing.  “Mr. Brinkley, how much is twelve plus eleven?”
Roger blinked in surprise.  “Twenty three,” he said, totally surprised that she should ask such a thing. 
Janice nodded, but inwardly she was breathing a sigh of relief.  “And how much is forty-two plus sixty-seven?”
Roger’s mind had to think for a moment to process the answer but it wasn’t long before he was able to say, “A hundred and nine.”
This time, Janice’s sigh of relief was audible.  She nodded and took the time to take a sip of her coffee. 
“What do those numbers have to do with anything?” Roger chanced asking.
“Nothing at all,” Janice replied.  “I was just checking, that’s all.”
Roger still didn’t know what that had been about.  He took another sip of his drink as he continued to watch her… warily.
Now that she was sure Roger was back to his old self, Janice was happy to move on.  Even though she knew that shortly, Roger was going to be anything but happy.  But the time had come, to discuss his future.  She was only glad that he was fully cognizant now so he could fully understand what she had to say. 
“Mr. Brinkley,” she began, “do you remember what I told you last night about… what I do with the men I come across?”
Roger nodded warily.  “You… brainwash them into thinking they’re… bugs… or a toad… or so you told me.”
Janice nodded.  “I do indeed,” she said with a small smile as she took another sip of her coffee.  “And as I told you last night, I’m very good at what I do.  But that brings me to the subject of you… and what I should do with you.”  She paused for a moment to study his face, she could easily see the uneasiness there.  She switched directions.  “Tell me, Mr. Brinkley, what do you think of my little idea of you wearing the women’s boots to all your jobs?  Do you think it will keep you in people’s minds enough to bring in more business?”
Roger blinked.  “I’m not overly happy about, to say the least,” he chanced replying. 
Janice nodded. “I’m sure that’s the case.  But none the less, you will be wearing those boots to your jobs… and eventually, you will be wearing other boots as well.  Although I intend to see to it that the heels on your boots continually get higher and higher as you become more accustomed to wearing them.”
Roger looked at her with a totally aghast expression on his face.  “That’s… crazy!” he said totally incredulously. 
Janice smiled.  She had thought that would be his reaction.  “Never the less, that is what’s going to happen.  Eventually, you should have an absolutely marvelous collection of women’s fashionable boots… that you will wear to all your jobs.  I have no doubt that eventually your boot collection will be the envy of many of the women you meet.”
Horrified, Roger didn’t know what to say.  The only word he could get out of his mouth was a rather horrified, “A boot… collection?”
Janice merely nodded and took another sip of her coffee.  But it was time now to get down to the part he was really not going to like.  “Of course, Mr. Brinkley, but I’m afraid those signature boots of yours are only going to be the tip of the iceberg.”
Now Roger became even more afraid.  What more could this demented woman want?
It was a moment before Janice continued as she chose her next words carefully.  “Mr. Brinkley, I told you last night about my previous victims for a reason.  I never… and I repeat… never… leave a man I have been working with… let us say, unchanged.  But you Mr. Brinkley, present me with an interesting problem.  You have nothing I want to steal from you, and I’m afraid that Carol and I have simply uprooted your life as a means of last resort to our greater end.  And from everything I’ve seen so far, for a man, you’re at least somewhat of a decent person.  So the question remains, what am I going to do with you?”
Roger could no longer remain silent.  “Why do you have to do anything with me?  Why can’t you simply let me be as I am and just leave?  You know with all that… conditioning in me that I won’t tell anyone about you and Carol.  Not only that, but with what you’ve done to blackmail me, anything I say would only land me in jail as well.”
Janice smiled.  His mind had indeed recovered.  And it was obviously just as strong as ever!  “A fair question, Mr. Brinkley.  But all I’ll say to that is that much of it has to do with my… and Carol’s… continuing protection.  Plus… I think that I simply feel better knowing I’ve eliminated one more stupid male mind from the planet.”  She saw the look of sudden horror on his face and she smiled.  “Like it or not, Mr. Brinkley, that’s the way it is, and that’s the way it’s going to continue to be.”
Roger could no longer delay asking.  “So… do you intend on eventually turning me into a bug as well?”
“No, Mr. Brinkley.  I have another direction for your life altogether.  Although to be honest, I actually have two very different directions for you… and I’m even going to allow you to choose which fate will be yours.”
Roger didn’t know what to think.  He knew he was definitely afraid!  Fearfully, he sat wide-eyed and waited for his doom to be spelled out.
“I guess,” Janice continued after a moment, “I got the idea from Carol and what she did with you while I was still in prison.  As you can probably guess, one of those possible fates for you is to spend the rest of your life as a dog.  And trust me, I’ve already made a lot of plans toward that end for you, so that you would really and truly get the full benefit of believing you are and always will be, nothing but a dog… for the rest of your life.”
Now that it had been said, Roger realized that being turned into a dog was a very obvious conclusion.  His eyes momentarily darted toward his purple dog bowl in the corner.  He couldn’t imagine spending the rest of his life living that way though.  His words were almost choked as he forced himself to ask, “And the other possibility?”
Janice smiled.  “That… is the solution I would really prefer for you,” she said.  “Of course, I do think that a dog would be very interesting as well.  I’ve never done a dog before, but I do think you would come out rather… interesting.”
“I don’t want to be a dog,” Roger managed to croak out.
“I’m sure you don’t,” Janice replied.  “But I’m afraid it’s either going to be that, or… something that will go much better with your new line of work… as well as your new marketing gimmick of wearing the high heeled boots.”
Roger was quickly confused, but whatever it was, it certainly sounded much better than being a dog.  He just didn’t know what that something was yet.  “And… what is that?” he asked cautiously.
“Mr. Brinkley, along with you collecting a very admirable boot collection to wear, I’d like to see other changes as well, including beautiful long hair and a rather sexy body to go with it.”
Roger’s head went spinning again.  “Sexy body?”
“Yes, Mr. Brinkley.  Instead of you becoming a canine for the rest of your life, you have the option to choose to become a beautiful, sexy woman instead.”
“A woman?” Roger asked, totally aghast.  But his mind wouldn’t let him stop there.  “What is it that you have against men?” he asked again.  “Why can’t I simply stay as I am?”
Janice shook her head.  She had been sure he would react this way.  “Those reasons are mine, Mr. Brinkley.  “You have no need of the answers.”
“But I don’t want to be a woman,” Roger said.
“I’m sure you don’t, Mr. Brinkley, but would you rather be a dog?”
“Definitely not!” Roger replied, totally horrified by the prospect.
“Never the less,” Janice said, “those are your only two choices.  You will either become a loving pet for someone for the rest of your life, or you will do everything possible to quickly change yourself into a beautiful and sexy woman for the rest of your life.  Those are your only choices, Mr. Brinkley.  Your only choices!”
Roger could only stare at her with wide-eyed horror.  “You’re really not giving me much of a choice, are you?”
“No, not really, Mr. Brinkley.  In fact, I’m so sure that you will eventually choose to be a woman instead of a dog, that I’ve already come up with another marketing idea for your business… and a new name for you a well I’m afraid.”
Still completely shocked, Roger could only ask, “What?”
Janice smiled.  “I’m not fond of the term ‘handyman’ very much.  I guess because of the ‘man’ part of it.  So I’ve changed that a bit.  Eventually, should you choose to go this way, your new name will become ‘Candy.’  And your business cards will all say… Candy girl, the handy girl.”  She beamed at the thought of her idea.  She really did like the little slogan for his new business title.
Roger’s mouth dropped.  Candy girl the handy girl?  She had to be kidding!  But he knew perfectly well that she wasn’t kidding in the least! 
“Have you finished your coffee yet?” Janice asked before he had a chance to say anything.
Almost unconsciously, Roger glanced at his cup, and took another large swallow to finish what was left.
“Very good, Mr. Brinkley,” Janice said as she got up from the table.  She noticed Carol standing in the doorway to the kitchen.  Carol was smiling broadly.  Janice turned her attention back toward Roger, who was still staring at her with a somewhat shocked and horrified look on his face.  Well, she supposed he would react like that.
“Mr. Brinkley,” she said as she grabbed his now empty cup from the table.  “Since I am at least fairly sure of which path you will decide to take… and… because I simply think it will be interesting… I’m going to give you just a small taste of what the other path will be like.”  She paused, but only momentarily.  “In hopes that it will further convince you of how much more desirable the path I’d rather you take will be.”
A small taste?  Roger was still too much in shock by everything she had just told him to know what to say.  But saying anything just then didn’t seem to matter as he heard her saying something… and his mind seemed to latch onto those words as if they were the most important thing in the entire world.
It’s time for Boots the dog.”
Roger had a sudden small vision of a filing cabinet drawer sliding open… and many other drawers closing at the same time.  But that vision was very brief as he quickly found himself out of his chair and down on the floor where he was furiously trying to remove the high heel shoes from his feet.  He had to get his clothes off!  All of them!  Everything he was wearing felt nothing but horrible against his body!  The shoes were quickly gone and thrown out of the way, the knee-hi hose he was wearing quickly followed.  With his only thought being that he had to get the clothes off, he quickly attacked his pants, unfastening his belt and sliding them down and off of his legs.  The frilly yellow panties he was wearing came off at the same time.  He started to unbutton his shirt, but he was so desperate to get it off that he finally grabbed the material and ripped the last few remaining buttons apart, throwing the horrible shirt out of the way as soon as he managed to get his arms out of it.  Now on his knees, his body bent down toward the floor as his arms fought with the bra fastenings behind his back.  Why was the thing so hard to unfasten?  He had to get the horrible thing off!  But eventually the bra with the balled up socks in it went the way of his shirt and he breathed a small sigh of relief… as his hands fused themselves into paws… and he found himself on all fours… and all other thoughts were suddenly erased from his mind. 
Total confusion – that’s all Boots knew.  His body stiff with uncertainty and fright, he stood where he was, staring around at everything.  Still trying to figure things out, he sniffed the air, turning his head this way and that, as if the odors around him would clear the confusion.  He had seen the tall… whatever they were.  They were making noises to each other, but he couldn’t understand the noises so he paid them little attention.  His eyes caught sight of the water bowl in the corner and he cautiously made his way over to it.  He sniffed at the water closely.  Then he sniffed at the empty bowl that was next to it… before going back to the water bowl and cautiously chancing a short drink.  But the drink didn’t clear his confusion any at all.
The tall things were making more noises, almost as if they expected him to be able to understand them.  He sat… noticing a flash of some type of grey wall at the edges of his vision.  He turned his head quickly to the side to see what it was… but he saw nothing.  Then one of the tall things said something that completely caught his attention because he understood it.  The thing had said “Boots.”  And he knew that was his name.  He got up… noticing that grey flash again, but again as he turned his head to see what it was, he found nothing.  He moved over closer to the tall thing that had spoken his name and looked up at it… wondering why it had spoken his name.  And as he looked up at… whatever the thing was, he remembered that he used to be one of those tall things too.  He used to make those same strange noises.  But he also knew that he wasn’t one of those tall things now.  He was a dog.  And he would always be a dog.  His brain didn’t bother thinking or worrying about that any further.  He was what he was.

1 comment:

sarah penguin said...

Poor Boots. :)