By Karen Singer
“Hi Monica,” Diane said as she walked into work and put her purse up. Monica was already working, putting additional packing tape on a large box. “Did you ever find out who flattened your tires?”
“No,” Monica replied. “But I’m still betting it was that twerp, Steve.”
Diane noted that Monica still seemed more than a bit upset. She could understand that. She’d probably feel the same way. “So what are you going to do?”
Monica sighed. “Nothing, I guess. But if I ever find out that it was him, then what I’ve put him through this week will seem like a picnic. He’ll be sorry he was ever born!”
Diane giggled again. “It was kind of fun though, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Monica replied as she looked up from her task and finally smiled.
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Steve phoned down to the shipping department as early as he could again. He was anxious to get the whole stupid business with Monica over with. As he made his way down, he silently prayed that after this, the two bitches would be done with him and he could put it all behind him – if they just wouldn’t tell anybody. He thought once again about what he had done to her car yesterday. As far as he was concerned, the only thing he had done wrong was that he should have let the air out of all her tires. The damn bitch!
As he opened the door to shipping, Monica was again waiting for him, but Monica had her arms folded across her chest and looked angry. Did she suspect him? It didn’t matter, he had been mentally preparing for that all morning. “Uh, hi Monica. Can we get this over with quickly again…please?” Sometimes you had to be polite with a bitch.
“We’ll see, Stevie. We’ll see,” Monica replied, before leading him once again back to a private area.
Steve noted that she did seem to be upset – hopefully about what happened to her tires yesterday. That thought pleased him.
Once again he stood in front of Monica preparing to take his pants down. Diane rushed in. “Am I too late?” she asked breathlessly.
“We’re just beginning,” Monica told her, never once taking her eyes off of Steve.
With an overly exaggerated sigh, Steve lowered his pants to his knees again.
“Yellow!” Diane exclaimed. “And here I was betting they would be pink again.”
Monica let out a little snicker. “I lost too. I was betting they’d be red. I see he still likes the fishnets.”
“I’ll bet he does,” Diane replied.
“Uh, can I go now?” Steve asked politely. “I’ve really got a lot of work to do.”
“Not until you answer something truthfully!” Monica replied as forcefully as she could.
Steve put a surprised look on his face.
“Did you let the air out of my tires yesterday?”
“Do what?” Steve asked – so innocently.
“You heard me! Did you do it?”
“Me? Somebody let the air out of your tires?”
“That’s what I said.”
“It wasn’t me,” Steve replied, acting completely mystified about it all. But inwardly, he was laughing.
Diane shook her head. “Even with his pants down around his knees, and we can see his frilly undies, I can’t tell if he’s lying.”
Monica looked disappointed. “Me either. But he’s still my prime suspect.”
“It wasn’t me!” Steve insisted.
“Shit!” Monica finally said as Steve began pulling his pants up once again.
“Look,” Steve said before he walked out. “Is this finished now? You aren’t going to tell anyone, are you?”
Monica looked at him. “Yeah,” she agreed, “we’re finished. But you better watch yourself, especially with us, or I will tell everyone I know! Got that?”
“Yeah,” Steve replied contritely, then he hurried past them, all the while thinking that he had pulled a good one over on the two bitches!
Diane turned to Monica. “So, are you really just going to let him go like that?”
“Yeah,” she answered. “I’m done with him.”
“And you’re not going to tell anyone?”
“Nope. Because as long as Stevie there knows I can, that’s one guy around here that’s going to be very polite to both of us from now on. At least he better be! Because if he doesn’t, I just might start telling people about him. And trust me, if I ever find out that he was the one who let the air out of my tires…there’ll be hell to pay!”
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That night, Steve threw all the hated underwear once again into his trash can and went to bed dreaming happily about what he had done to Monica. He dreamed soundly, but his body was doing other things.
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On Saturday, Steve was suddenly assaulted by light and sound, and a voice saying, “Smile….”
He opened his eyes and nearly died. What? Where was he? He was staring at a cute girl holding a cell phone and taking his picture with it. “What the f…?” He realized there were two other girls with their heads close to his. He had just had his picture taken with them.
He looked around. He was in a big place. A huge place. With lots of people. He was sitting next to a table with a food tray on it where it looked like someone had just eaten lunch.
“Now me!” the girl with the cell phone said excitedly as she and one of the girls next to him switched places.
“What’s going on?” he managed to get out. “Where am I?” It looked like he was in the food court of a large mall, but one he didn’t recognize.
“Smile!” the other girl now holding the cell phone said.
Steve looked around a bit more. “Who are you?”
“Come on, smile!” the girl who had taken the first picture said. “You let all the other girls get their picture with you.”
“Other girls?” Steve didn’t understand anything of what was happening.
But when he looked back at the girl who now held the cell phone, he heard her say, “Got it! But he wasn’t smiling.”
Smile? What was going on? Then he suddenly realized that he was sitting there wearing a bright pink dress. As he took further stock, the shocks continued to come. He jumped up quickly and nearly fell as one of his ankles twisted under him. He looked down. He had a pair of women’s heels strapped onto his feet. He could just see them past the “boobs” that were sticking way out of his chest. And there was a woman’s purse hung over his neck and shoulder. Then he noticed his hands. His fingernails where incredibly long and painted a bright red and also seemed to have some sort of shiny decorations glued onto the tips. As he held them up to look closer, he realized that he was wearing a heavy bracelet on one wrist and a woman’s watch on the other one. What? How? Not again! He looked around. There was no sign at all of any of his clothes, or any bags that might hold his regular clothes. The panic hit him worse.
The girls around him were still clustered together and laughing at him. “Get lost!” he yelled at them. Where were his things? Where was he? But the girls only moved back about a step and continued to giggle at him, as did a lot of other people he suddenly realized. The girl with the camera phone was taking more pictures.
He finally realized he had to get out of there. He couldn’t just stand there and let everybody laugh at him. He took a step in the unfamiliar heels. They were very awkward to walk in, but removing them just then would take time. He had to find somewhere where nobody could see him, and quickly. Where could he go? And more importantly, where were his clothes? He looked around desperately for a way out, and finally noticed the rest room sign. He made his way there as fast as the heels on his feet would allow.
“Hey!” some guy stopped him as he was about to enter the men’s room, “Are you sure you’re going in the right place?” Then the guy started laughing.
“Shut up!” Steve answered angrily as he pushed his way past.
The men’s room was uncomfortably crowded too. But he had to take stock and figure things out. He pulled the purse off his neck and set it on the counter by the sinks and tried to open it, but the task was made very difficult with the fingernails he now had. Finally though, he accomplished it and looked inside. The purse seemed to be filled with lots of things, especially makeup. But where was his wallet? He saw a set of keys and pulled them out. He recognized the keys themselves, they were definitely his, but they were on a very large and feminine key chain. He pulled a woman’s wallet out of the purse and looked inside. He was relieved to see his driver’s license and credit cards. At least he still had that much. But aside from a few dollars, there was nothing else.
He looked at his face in the mirror and got another shock – makeup – although he shouldn’t have been surprised. He turned on the water and tried to scrub at the lipstick on his lips, but it wasn’t coming off at all. What was he going to do? He looked up and saw all the guys in the room looking at him. A few of them were snickering, but most of them looked angrily at him. He figured he better get out of there quickly before any of those angry guys made things worse for him.
He grabbed the purse and headed back out into the mall. What mall was it? Where was he? He wanted to run but he could barely walk in the shoes on his feet. And where was his car? He had no idea at all. He began looking for an exit, but naturally the food court looked to be as far from an exit as he could get. The mall was packed with people and he was more than aware of every one of them looking at him.
He finally found a wing of the mall that seemed to lead outside. He turned down it and hurried toward the doors at the far end. Just inside the doors though, he noticed the mall directory placed where people could get their bearings and find the stores they wanted. He looked at the name of the mall. It was one he had never heard of. He hurried outside as fast as he was capable of going. Now, where was his car? The parking lot was huge. How was he going to find it? He did the only thing he could, he began walking up and down the long rows of cars, looking for his.
The longer he walked, the more the shoes on his feet hurt, and the more he thought about Monica. He was sure now that she had somehow done this to him. “The bitch!” he cursed over and over again. She was a witch! She had again used some kind of voodoo magic on him and done this to him. How, he didn’t know, but it had to be her for sure. Somehow she had found out that it was him that had let the air out of her tires and this was how she was getting back at him. Well, two could play at that game. But first, he had to get out of there. Where was his car?
It took him almost an hour to find it…an hour and lots of humiliating stares and laughter from far too many people. He should have known it would be as far away from the mall itself as possible. He fumbled with his purse and cursed the long fingernails that were stuck on his hands as he tried to get his keys out. He was ever so grateful to finally get into his car and hidden from the world. He was not grateful however that his car didn’t seem to contain any sign of his regular clothes. He got out and quickly checked his trunk. No clothes there either. He was stuck driving home the way he was – whichever way home was.
He pulled out of the mall and had to drive around for a while before he finally found a sign leading to the highway. Once on the highway, it was a few minutes later until he finally drove past a sign that told him where he was. He nearly died. He was almost three hours away from home. He glanced at his gas gauge. Naturally, he didn’t have nearly enough gas to get home. He’d have to make another humiliating stop to fill up somewhere along the way. He sighed. He really needed to get away somewhere where he could sort everything out and figure out what to do about it.
It was a long and humiliating drive home, and the entire way he thought of little else except how he was going to get his revenge on Monica for what she had just done to him.
The drive home was a long one, and it was late in the day when Steve finally got there. Before he opened the car door he looked around cautiously. There were a few people standing together in the parking lot and just talking. It didn’t look like they were going anywhere soon. “Shit!” he cursed. It had been bad enough being seen by so many people at the mall, then later when he had fumbled with his super long fingernails at the gas pump. But he somewhat knew these people. He had seen them around the apartments before. He was tempted to drive around for a while, hoping they’d be gone when he got back so nobody could see him when he got out of the car. But after the day he had just been through, and the long drive home afterwards, he just wanted to get to the safety of his own apartment and out of the things he was wearing. Besides, the heels still strapped to his feet were killing him.
He felt so stupid having to grab “his” purse before he got out of the car, but there was just no help for it. He had no choice. As quickly as he could, he opened his car door and headed for the stairs up to his apartment. He was mortified at how much noise the heels on his feet made against the concrete. He swore again. Why did women’s shoes have to be so noisy all the time? When he got to his door, he turned as he fumbled with his keys to see if any of the people in the parking lot had seen him. They were all looking at him with varying degrees of surprise. “Shit!” he said again as he finally opened his door and slipped inside. Safe and out of view at last!
He breathed a big sigh of relief and headed for his bedroom. His first order of business had to be to get those damn heels off his feet. His toes felt like they were on fire. But the long nails on his hands made doing anything difficult, including unbuckling the tiny buckles that held the shoes all too firmly to his feet. Once he got them off, he was finally able to breathe another big sigh of relief and rub his sore and very red toes – with their nails painted the same color as his fingernails. Why would women want to wear such shoes?
Next came the pink dress he was wearing. The tight belt around his waist was difficult enough to remove with his nails, but he had a bit of trouble figuring out how the dress itself was fastened on him. He finally realized that it was zipped up his back. Unzipping it was a nightmare. First he had to get the dress unhooked at the top, which was none too easy. Just trying to grab the tiny zipper pull with his overly long nails proved to be difficult. Then, when he was able to finally grab it, he couldn’t move it very far at all. His arms just didn’t stretch that far. He had to work hard just to get the zipper far enough down to finally slip the dress off.
But once that was done, he was faced with his next challenge. Unhooking the bra he was wearing so he could get rid of the weight of whatever was stuck in it. Like the dress, it proved to be a challenge, but eventually he got it off. There were some rubbery breast shaped inserts in it. They felt a bit weird and uncomfortably lifelike when he squeezed them.
Finally, completely undressed, he headed into his bathroom, where he discovered that every bit of body hair had somehow been shaved from his body. He shook his head. How had she done it? How had that witch been able to do so many impossible things to him without him knowing any of it? He’d find out if it was the last thing he ever did.
He tried and tried to pull the long false nails off his fingers, but no matter how he pulled and pried, they wouldn’t loosen up at all. How was he going to get the darn things off? He opened his medicine cabinet and took out the bottle of nail polish remover that was still there, but when he picked it up, he discovered that the bottle was completely empty. He angrily threw it across the room.
Despite scrubbing his face while he was in the shower, he got another small surprise when he looked in the mirror afterwards, his lipstick and eye makeup were still there. He washed them again and scrubbed hard, but very little came off. “Now what?” he practically screamed.
A little while later, dressed in his own clothes once again, but also sporting some very long and pretty fingernails, along with some all too visible lipstick and eye makeup, he opened the door to his apartment and quietly made his way to his car once again. Thankfully, it was fairly dark now and there was no one else around just then. Once again, left with no choice, he drove to the closest drug store he could find. He really didn’t want to get out of his car, he had already been through enough humiliation for several lifetimes, but he had to find something that would remove his nails and makeup. Dreading it more than ever, he went into the bright lights of the store.
Keeping his eyes down so as not to look at anybody directly, and hoping nobody would notice him as much, he quickly and desperately looked at the many shelves of women’s things. Where was the stuff for nails?
“May I help you?”
The voice was both manna from heaven and intense humiliation at the same time. He turned to see a cute salesgirl walking down the aisle toward him. He noticed her quick surprise as he faced her. Was she laughing at him? Not openly at least. But the closer she got, the more he realized that she did appear amused and she was still looking him over all too carefully. “Shit!” he exclaimed to himself for the thousandth time that day. “Um…” he said out loud as he searched for what to say. Finally, as he noticed how closely she seemed to be examining his face. He held up his fingers and asked, “How do I get these off?” There was more than a note of desperation in his voice.
But instead of laughing or even sounding like she was sorry for his obvious condition, the girl suddenly seemed to be envious of his nails. “Oooo,” she exclaimed as she looked at them. “They’re gorgeous.” He was about to say that he wasn’t exactly fond of them but she didn’t give him a chance. “Where did you get them? Are they acrylic? They must have cost you a fortune. I wish I could get some like that. I have the worst problems with my nails.”
Steve just wanted out of there with something to get his damn false nails off, and this girl was standing there talking to him about fingernails like he was another female. He wanted to scream. “Please,” he said. “I just want to get them off.”
“God, you’re kidding? If I had them I’d be doing everything I could to keep them!”
Steve was getting more and more exasperated. “In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not a girl. I don’t wear long fingernails.”
She looked at him surprised. “I’m sorry, I just assumed that…well, I mean, with your makeup and all…. By the way, did you know your lipstick is smeared a bit? You really should touch it up.”
He almost screamed, but he still needed help. “Please,” he repeated. “I just want to get it all off, and I can’t seem to do that.”
“Okay, okay,” she replied, sounding a bit put off. “Like I said, I’m sorry, I just assumed….” But she turned and led the way to another aisle. “I’m not really sure about getting the nails off,” she said. “Especially if they’re acrylic. You can try soaking them in nail polish remover and see if that will do it. If not, then…well, you may just have to cut them.” She reached out to the shelf and grabbed an extra-large bottle of polish remover and handed it to him.
Steve was about to ask why he should need so much, but he was more interested in getting out of there. “And how about the makeup?” he asked.
She led the way to another aisle. “You know,” she said as they walked, “you really should have bought some remover before you put it on.”
Steve had lots of nasty insulting things he wanted to say, but he just wanted to get home again, so he kept his mouth shut and bought whatever it was that she picked out for him. In the end, he wound up cutting the acrylic nails as far back as he could. It was the best he could do with them.
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By Monday morning, Steve was feeling a bit better. After having all day Sunday to recover his wits, he was still totally bewildered as to how any of it had happened, except that he was more convinced than ever that Monica was somehow responsible. The more he thought about it, the angrier he got. And the angrier he got, the more he searched for ways to get back at her. What he really wanted to do was to get his hands on her and beat her to a pulp. Would he be arrested for killing a real live actual witch? Unfortunately, he figured that was too much of a possibility, no matter how dangerous she was, or the fact that she really was a witch.
Late that afternoon, he had to meet with someone down on the lower floor of the building to discuss the company’s latest project. But to get there, he had to pass the shipping department. Just seeing the door fueled his anger all over again. After his meeting, he had to pass the shipping department again to head back to his desk, but this time, his anger got the best of him. Throwing caution to the wind, he went in. “Where’s Monica?” he demanded of the guy behind the counter.
The guy was more than a bit surprised at Steve’s attitude, but he called back over his shoulder, “Monica…you’ve got a visitor.”
Monica came out from the back, but before she could say anything, Steve started yelling. “You damn bitch! I should kill you. I don’t know how you did what you did, but I swear I’ll get even. You’re a witch! A damn witch! Just because you lost a little air in your tires doesn’t mean you can do what you did to me. I’ll get back at you, you bitch, you hear? I’ll get back at you, and you’ll wish you had never done what you did!” His threats made, he turned to leave.
Monica was shocked. She momentarily didn’t know what to say. But then something sank in. “Wait a minute!” she said firmly before Steve got out the door. “Are you telling me that you’re the one who let the air out of my tires?”
Steve paused for a moment, trying to remember what he had just said. Had he said that? He wasn’t sure. “I didn’t say that, you witch!” he yelled back. Then he began ranting all over again about what a bitch she was.
But the look on his face had told Monica otherwise. The anger she had felt at finding her tires flat flared up red hot in her again, especially since the jerk who had caused it was standing in front of her and was yelling at her over something she had no clue about. But she didn’t care about whatever it was he was ranting over. She immediately tuned out everything Steve was saying – or yelling at her about. Despite her hot anger, her mind turned icy cold. She would make this jerk pay for what he did – big time!
The minute Steve paused in his tirade to catch his breath she started speaking. “You’re going to make me pay? We’ll see about that. I’m going to make you wish you were never born!” And with that she turned on her heel and walked away, despite Steve yelling behind her.
“Goodness, what was that all about?” Diane asked as she got back to work.
Monica didn’t smile or even look at her as she got back to work. She just looked very angry and determined. “We now know for sure who let the air out of my tires.”
“And what was he talking about? What happened to him?”
Monica shrugged her shoulders, “No clue, and I really don’t care. The best I can guess is what we put him through last week.”
“And he’s just getting so upset about it now?”
“If he thinks he’s upset now, wait till I get through with him.”
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Steve mentally kicked himself as he went back upstairs to his desk, he shouldn’t have done what he did. But he was just so angry and frustrated. Did the witch know for sure that he was the one who had let the air out of her tires? He hoped not. One thing he was sure about though, was that he would get back at her for what she had done. She was going to get it, and she was going to get it good! He knew though that whatever he did to her, he was going to have to be very careful about it. He was really worried about that magic of hers…whatever it was. He mentally made it a point to make that the first thing to find out about. Once he could take care of that, she’d be helpless against him.
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As they were closing up the office for the evening, Diane asked Monica, “So, have you decided what you’re going to do about Stevie yet? Are you going to let everybody know about what he wore on your date?”
Monica shook her head. “No, not yet. I have something else in mind altogether.”
“I just hope you kill the little bastard.”
Monica smiled. “No, that’s not exactly what I had in mind, although by the time I’m done, he’s going to wish it was. As my daddy used to say, before you can skin a fish, first you have to hook it and real it in.”
“So what are you going to do?”
Monica just continued to smile wickedly as she turned off the lights. “Tomorrow, Diane. Tomorrow.”