Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Housekeeper - Chapter 44

The Housekeeper
By Karen Singer

Chapter 44

Roger arrived at Rebecca Adkins’ daughter’s house extra early… as he had pre-arranged the day before.  He was hoping to completely finish the job for her today.  But that was only one of the major things on his mind as he knocked on her door.  The other major thing was his new boots.  He was glad when the door was opened quickly and he was able to slip inside.  But getting inside put his new boots on direct display to both her and her husband.  And he was barely through the door before they were noticed.
“New boots, Mr. Brinkley?” she asked the moment he got through the door.
Roger looked down at his feet.  “Yeah,” he replied. 
“They’re… very… nice,” she finally finished.  “Interesting, but very nice.”
Roger wasn’t sure how to reply to that so he just said, “Thanks,” and changed the subject.  “Hopefully, I should be able to finish up today.”
“That would be so good!” she exclaimed.  “Then I can get on with finishing the decorating.  It’s been awfully tiresome having my house in such a mess for so long.”
“I’m sure it has,” Roger agreed.  “If I wasn’t still teaching school, it would have been done a long time ago.  But… well, right now, finishing with my classes has to come first.”
Fifteen minutes later, Roger’s clothes were covered by his painter’s coveralls and his boots were covered by the plastic bags.  It was hot and a bit cumbersome to work in, but he felt the trade-off was worth the effort – no clean up to his clothes, and especially to his boots.  And there was no way that any of it even came close to how uncomfortable that damn corset was that Carol was tying him into every night.  That thing was simply a nightmare! 

Agent Ted Jacobs stared at his personal copy of the Janice Stokley file.  He was stuck.  Badly stuck.  But this wasn’t the first time he had been in this situation on this case.  He needed way to get more information.  He needed a lead!  But from where?  All of Brinkley’s friends had turned out to be no help at all… and from what they had told him, Brinkley himself was a total flake!  He wasn’t sure if he was surprised by that bit of news or not.  But no matter, flake or not, he had no doubt that Brinkley knew more than he was telling… or had told when they had met with him at the high school. 
Maybe it was time to visit with Brinkley again.  Push him a bit harder.  Yeah, as far as he could see, that might be his best bet for now. 
With nothing better to do, he opened the file folder and started at the beginning, carefully going through every scrap of paper and every note he had ever made.  The answer was in there somewhere – it had to be!  She was connected to all three banks that had been robbed.  The first had been robbed by her own husband!  If that wasn’t a big red flag then he didn’t know what was.  But her husband was now lying flat in a special hospital from a brain aneurism.  All but dead.  No use to anyone at all. 
The second bank had been in Mobile.  They were pretty sure that the bank had been robbed by one of the managers, but right afterwards, the guy had gone off the deep end and had been in a mental institute ever since.   Totally non-communicative.  Almost as if he didn’t understand what was being said to him anymore. Jacobs remembered visiting with him a couple of times.  It had been creepy the way the guy had looked at him… and didn’t appear to even see him. 
And then there was the bank president from Birmingham.  And he was another nut case now.  Jacobs remembered visiting the mental institute that he was in too.  And while the first guy had been creepy, this one was even worse!  Jacobs would never forget the way the guy had just kind of crouched on top of his bed, never moving a muscle… except for his eyes… his eyes that would dart from spot to spot around the room as if watching for something.  His arms had been bent up at the elbows and his wrists bent down, his fingers all closed together as if his hands were giant pincers.  And as far as anyone could tell, he never noticed anyone speaking to him – ever!  And he certainly never said anything at all.  But just before he walked out, he had seen those weird pincer-like hands suddenly dart out at lightning speed as if catching something in midair.  He had watched in horror as he had quickly brought a fly up to his mouth and ate it!  No, there was no way that guy was connected with the real world anymore!  And to tell the truth, the guy had reminded Jacobs of nothing but a giant praying mantis!  It had to be the ultimate in creepy!
Three bank robberies, three mental institutes, and the last two perpetrators were so far off the deep end that they couldn’t even be totally connected with humanity anymore!  He had no doubt that there was a pattern there, but it was impossible to prove anything.  As far as he knew, neither one had said a single word to anyone since the banks had been robbed.  Guilty… but no way to convict them or get a confession out of them. 
And either way, how was Janice involved in the second two cases?  She had worked for both banks, but that was the extent of her connection to both cases.  As far as they were able to discern, she wasn’t strongly connected to either guy.  Yet she had been there, working at the banks, just as she had when her husband had robbed his bank… and in all three cases, the perpetrators were now unable to communicate – anything at all!  Totally maddening!
There wasn’t one shred of proof against Janice Stokley at all!  But Jacob’s gut told him that Janice was at the bottom of all of it.  He just hadn’t been able to prove it yet.  But he would!  That was one thing he knew for sure, someday he would!  It was only a matter of time… and finding all that damn money of course!  It was all out there somewhere.  But where?  Millions and millions of dollars… just sitting there unused!  Oh how he’d like to get his hands on that money!  It would change everything!
He looked again at the information on the two nutso guys.  It had been a while now since he had called either of the looney bins where they were now permanent residents.  It couldn’t hurt to make a few more follow-up calls… just to see if there had been any improvements since the last time.  He made a note for himself to phone the institutes first thing Monday morning… and also to figure out when he could go out to talk with Roger Brinkley again!  The damn guy was nutso too… just in a different way.  But he had no doubt at all that Roger Brinkley knew more than what he had told them last time. 

Roger stood in the doorway and carefully looked over the room he had just finished painting.  It looked good and he felt nothing but satisfied – and ready to get out of the extra protective clothing he was wearing.  With the weather starting to turn warmer, yet still with too much rain, it was becoming hot and humid and he had been sweating for the last few hours.  His new boots had his feet hurting more than a bit as well, but pressing on as he had done was worth it.  He was done now… except for moving some of the furniture back into place.  He pulled the plastic coverings off of his boots and gratefully peeled out of the coveralls he was wearing.  The cooler air felt good, even though his new boots with their higher heels were now fully on display. 
Most of the furniture and decorations that had been in the bedroom had been moved out of it.  Roger wasn’t going to worry about moving any of that back in again.  But there were also a few of the bigger pieces that had been set in the middle of the room where he had draped a protective tarp over them while he had been painting.  Since he had moved those pieces to where they were before he started painting, he decided he should at least get them somewhat back into place. 
Bracing himself as best he could in his new boots, he started shoving at the bottom of one of the dressers.  It was very heavy – even with much of the clothing that had been in it removed.  His old boots had been bad enough to do that kind of work in, but his new boots were making the job all that much more difficult.  He had even less traction in them to push with… and that didn’t even take into consideration the fact that after standing and working in the boots all day, his toes were totally killing him!  It was only through sheer perseverance that he managed to move the heavy dresser, somewhat back to where it belonged.
He noticed right away after moving it, that his back ached a little bit.  For that kind of work, he knew he should have been wearing his back brace – that he all too often did without.  But that thought reminded him all too well of his “new” back brace that Janice had said he would be wearing to work in all too soon – his stupid corset!  Right now, he was more than glad to put up with the little bit of aching in his back from the heavy lifting.  His corset would be ten times worse!  And of course, he knew that as soon as he got home in a little while, Carol would be lacing him into it right away.  The damn thing was just simply – uncomfortable!  Not to mention, a nuisance too!
Bracing what little of his feet that he could, he put his back to work on moving the other dresser.  He needed to get the job done and get out of there before Janice made him eat his dinner from his dog bowl on the floor again!

While Janice ate, she did her best to look Roger over while they all sat at the dinner table together, without it being obvious as to what she was doing.  As usual now, he was dressed completely as Candy… even though it was in some rather plain looking work jeans.  His top that he had been working in all day wasn’t too bad, although it looked like he had been sweating in it a bit.  But she was sure that the kind of work that he did would cause him to sweat somewhat… even though summer wasn’t even here yet. 
As soon as he had gotten home today, he had hurried to his room where he had donned his wig and done his makeup.  Sometime during that period, Carol had evidently been in to see him too since she could tell that his corset was once again in place.  The corset seemed to improve his figure… some, but it would look much better if Roger had bothered to change the small bra he had been wearing all day for the larger ones he wore at all other times now. 
But that thought made her pause.  Why did he need those smaller bras anymore?  As far as she was concerned – he didn’t!  “Candy,” she said, “I’d like you to do me a favor after dinner please.”
Roger looked up.  Warily he asked, “What’s that?”
“Please remove that too-small brazier that you are wearing and put one of your normal ones on instead.”
Roger looked at her for only a moment before nodding his head.  “No problem,” he replied.
Janice turned to her daughter next.  “Carol dear, as soon as Candy here had changed his bra, would you be so kind as to get it from him… along with all the other ones that he has with the smaller cup size.  I can’t see where he needs them anymore.  They can all go into the trash now.”
Carol only laughed. “Glad to, Momma!”
Roger felt like dying!

Susan heard that same faint whimper coming out of Ben-ben again that she had heard from him many times on the way home in the car.  It seemed like every time the “dog” fell asleep, or every time he was ignored for a while, he went into that whimper mode.  And Susan had no doubt what the “dog’s” problem was.  Janice had made him feel nothing but remorse over what Halifax had done to Leila.  So except for the times when someone was actively paying attention to the now dumb animal, he would always feel that remorse.  Obviously, that was another bit of conditioning that Janice had put into him that seemed to be working perfectly.  She was still totally amazed at how much like a real dog the former “man” now behaved.
Ben-ben had caused something of minor disturbance among the estate staff the moment they arrived.  Susan had explained to several of them exactly what was going on – to the huge amazement of all of them.  And at the same time, she had explained that from now on, Ben-ben was nothing but a dog and therefore would be treated as nothing but a dog – from now on!  And she didn’t want to catch anyone acting any differently towards the… animal! 
Watching the “dog” sniffing the tire of the car right after they had gotten home… and then peeing on it while she was still explaining about him to the first batch of the staff, had pretty much cemented his status into their minds.  From what she could see, the staff was now looking on Ben-ben with more than a bit of humor.  All the better!
Since then, Ben-ben had spent most of the remainder of the day in her office with her.  She had taken him out on his leash once to walk him… and had one of her staff walk him two other times, as well as feed him his dinner – that she specified would be nothing but dog food for the former… “man.”  She had no doubt that the staff was getting quite a kick out of Ben-ben. 
She heard that soft whimper again.  She pushed her desk chair back away from her desk a bit and leaned back.  It was getting late and she’d had a very long day.  Janice’s insistence on the early morning hour hadn’t helped matters any at all.  But thinking about Janice and when they had met that morning caused her to also remember that one phone call from Janice the week before.  Janice had called her – while in the middle of multiple orgasms! 
Her eyes fell on Ben-ben who was curled up on the rug right in front of her sofa.  He was sound asleep and whimpering – as usual.  Curious, she called, “Ben-ben.”  She watched as the “dog” immediately lifted his head and looked around.  “Ben-ben… come!” she commanded.  She was still amazed at the way Halifax… now Ben-ben… acted so much like a real dog.  She pushed her chair back further as he came around the side of her desk to see her… his tongue out slightly and panting happily since he was getting attention again.  She petted his head as he sat down in front of her.  So amazingly like a real dog! 
But her curiosity about that something else was all too much on her mind.  She got up from her seat and removed her slacks and her panties… and pulled her blouse up out of the way.  She sat down again as the dog seemed to watch her very intently.  All it took was a single command from her and Ben-ben’s tongue was hard at work in the very place that she wanted it to be.  And all she could think was that Janice had been right – Ben-ben had a very remarkable tongue!

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Housekeeper - Chapter 43 Part 2 of 2

The Housekeeper
By Karen Singer

Chapter 43 Part 2 of 2

Her alarm woke her at five in the morning… and the buzzing caused Ben-ben to growl slightly and bark once.  “Quiet!” she ordered.  She was awake, but she felt like she had barely been asleep.  With a sigh, she forced herself out of bed.  She decided against a shower.  She not only didn’t have time, she was afraid some noise from outside might make Ben-ben bark and wake up anyone in the adjoining rooms.  She counted herself lucky that she hadn’t heard any noises before from those rooms that might cause him to bark.
With a quick glance at Ben-ben, who was now on his feet and watching her intently, she worked on getting cleaned up and dressed.  A few minutes later, she was making sure that everything was packed away carefully, ready to put back into the car.  From the same bag that held all the dog supplies, she pulled out the new leash she had gotten along with the dog collar.  She attached it to Ben-ben’s collar.  “Stay!” she told the dog.  She watched as he sat… somewhat like a dog.
Satisfied, she let the leash drop to the floor and grabbed several of her bags.  She opened the door and glanced outside.  The parking area was very faintly lit by some lights from several sources.  At five thirty in the morning, as she had hoped, nobody was around.  There were only a few other cars on that side of the building.  None of which were all that close to hers.  That explained why she hadn’t heard any noises from other motel guests. 
She carried the bags to the car and put them in.  It had been a lot easier when Halifax had been able to handle that chore yesterday.  He would never be capable of doing such a thing again though.  She considered the trade-off worth it.  Halifax was better off in the state he was now in… and would remain in for the rest of his life.  It was only a little of what he deserved. 
When she turned back to the room to start getting the next load, she saw Ben-ben at the doorway, looking out and sniffing the air intently.  She hurried back to the room and shooed the dog back toward the bed where he couldn’t be seen.  “Stay!” she ordered again.  Stupid dog.  He should have stayed!  She found his toy duck and threw it at him.  Hopefully, that would keep him busy.
She grabbed the last of her bags and quickly loaded them in the car, glancing occasionally at the door to make sure Ben-ben was still inside.  Fortunately, this time there was no sign of him.  When she went back inside, Ben-ben was happily chewing on his duck.  She grabbed his leash and started to grab the duck as well.  She thought better of the duck though and held it out until the dumb dog took it in his mouth.  “Okay, Ben-ben, let’s go.”  With that, she led him out to the car and held the back door open for him to climb into.  She was glad to see that he managed to get into the car with little difficulty.  Throwing the end of the leash in with him, she closed the door.  Two minutes later, she was driving out of the motel parking lot on her way to meet Susan.
Since they had met last time in Chattanooga, Susan had suggested they meet there again, although not at the Choo-Choo restaurant… not to turn over someone... or something… like Ben-ben.  Susan hadn’t been all that happy about meeting Janice at six in the morning.  In fact, Janice had suggested an hour earlier.  Six o’clock had been a compromise for both of them.   After a bit of discussion, they decided to meet at the Tennessee Welcome Center rest area off of the Interstate.  Susan could get to Chattanooga easily and could have a car take her wherever she needed to go, and Janice could get there easily from Atlanta.  Plus, with Ben-ben now being a dog, Janice had suggested that the grassy rest area might be a good idea.  Surprisingly, Janice found that she wasn’t all that worried about anyone else at the rest area seeing Ben-ben.  No doubt, if anyone saw him, they would just consider it one of those dominance submission things that you read about.  And the early hour would probably lend itself to that interpretation as well.
It wasn’t a long drive from the motel to the rest area.  Less than twenty minutes.  Janice was actually there well before six o’clock.  It was still mostly dark when she got there, but the sky was brightening rapidly.  She noticed quite a number of large trucks parked in the back parking lot.  Their drivers either still sleeping or just now preparing to depart.  She noticed two trucks leaving the rest area further away near the exit.
Driving slowly and carefully, searching for an out of the way area to meet Susan, she happened to notice the signs pointing to the dog walking area.  Perfect!  Even if there were other people there, Janice still considered it perfect… although she was relieved to find nobody else around when she got there. 
Parking the car, she opened the back door and grabbed Ben-ben’s leash.  The dog climbed carefully out of the car and began sniffing the air all around.  She pulled on the leash and led him to the grassy area.  She started to walk him on the leash, but with nobody else around, she decided to throw caution to the wind.  She went back to the car and grabbed his stuffed duck.  Then she led him over to a picnic table just to the side of the area.  She unclipped Ben-ben’s leash… and threw the duck.  “Fetch!” she ordered.
Presented with one of his pre-programmed commands, Ben-ben happily barked and ran off after the duck.  A few moments later, he returned with the duck in his mouth.  He waited until Janice took the duck from him… and waited until she threw it again.  Play times like this were one of the few things he was programmed to enjoy, and Ben-ben was definitely enjoying himself. 
Janice was enjoying herself too.  It wasn’t often she got to really see the results of her labors.  More often, she gave the command to turn someone into something and then left immediately.  More than once she had given those commands over the telephone.  And once she had pre-programmed the man to simply go into that mode a short time after he had stolen the money and put it where she told him to.  So this was a new experience for Janice, and she found that she rather enjoyed playing with Ben-ben this way.  But the reason she was enjoying it so much though, was because it was obvious to anyone who looked, that Ben-ben was in reality, nothing more than a stupid man.  A stupid man who was completely in her control… and behaving… stupidly.  Ben-ben.  According to Susan, it meant fool in Chinese.  Well, Ben-ben was certainly acting like a fool now!
Another large truck started to leave, traveling along the road at the back of the welcome center that led back out to the interstate highway.  But that road also bordered the dog walking area.  Janice saw the truck slow… and stop.  She saw the driver roll down his window so he could see better.  As she threw the duck again and Ben-ben ran off to fetch it, the truck sounded two honks on its loud horn.  She saw the driver shake his head before turning back to the road and finally departing.  Janice only felt a bit of remorse over the fact that Ben-ben found no humiliation in the situation at all.  Maybe that was a mistake.  Oh well, too late now.
A few minutes later, a large black limousine pulled up and parked along the curb just past Janice’s SUV.  But the limousine was flanked front and rear by two large SUVs.  Janice had to grab Ben-ben’s collar as he started barking at the cars that pulled up.  She attached his leash as she saw men getting out of both the front and rear cars.  The way they went about quickly looking around for any kind of threat scared Janice a bit and she stayed where she was, holding tight to Ben-ben’s leash as he continued to bark occasionally.  It wasn’t until the men declared the area to be safe before they let Susan get out of the car. 
Susan had seen Ben-ben playing with the duck as her entourage had gotten half-way through the rest area.  She had seen the truck in the distance stopped so the driver could see better, and she had heard his horn before he pulled away.  She marveled at how callous and open with the situation that Janice seemed to be.  Totally unafraid.  She continued to study Ben-ben closely as she waited for her men to declare the area safe for her to leave the confines of her car.  Once the okay had been given though, she hurried over toward Janice… and Halifax… who was now without a doubt, totally Ben-ben.  She couldn’t help but marvel at the way he was behaving.  “He’s… amazing!” she declared for lack of anything better to say.
Janice was pleased by Susan’s remark.  “I think he did come out pretty good, if I do say myself,” she declared.
Ben-ben, seeing the new tall thing coming at him, and seeming to be very happy to see him, sat and started panting happily up at her with his tongue hanging slightly out of his mouth.  He was especially happy when the tall thing bent down and cupped his head in her hands to see him better, then she petted his head a little bit before standing up.  He wondered if this new tall thing would play with him.  Searching around quickly, he had just enough slack in his leash to get to his duck and pick it up.  He turned with it in his mouth toward the new tall thing that seemed to like him so much.
Susan was surprised, “You want to play?” she asked the man-turned-dog.  She took the stuffed duck from the “animal” and threw it.  Ben-ben started to run after it, but his leash was still attached and he didn’t get far.
“Wait a minute,” Janice exclaimed as she pulled the stupid dog to a stop.  A moment later, she unclipped the leash and watched as Ben-ben ran after the duck.
Susan was thrilled as Ben-ben retrieved the stupid dog toy and brought it back to her to throw again… which she did.  She couldn’t believe how much like a real dog he was behaving!  She got a further shock as after Ben-ben retrieved the duck this time, he paused near a bush, sniffed it, and lifted his leg to relieve himself.  “Well, I guess that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about with him for a while,” she said to Janice.
Janice was still very pleased at the way Ben-ben was behaving, especially when he went back to sniff the area he had just peed on.  Yuck!  But it was also so perfectly dog-like.  “That reminds me,” she said as Ben-ben now hurried back toward Susan, I have Joseph Halifax’s passport in the car.  Do you need it?”
Susan considered the question.  “No, not really, but I’ll take it anyway since you have it.  It’s always possible we can find a use for it later.”
Now that Ben-ben was back again with the duck, Janice clipped the leash back onto his collar and handed the leash to Susan.  “He’s all yours.”
Susan smiled broadly.