By Karen Singer
He didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to wear the gold dress. He didn’t want to wear the gold high heels. He didn’t want to wear the makeup, or his bra with the breast forms, or the panties, or any of it. He’d had enough humiliation for one day – for a lifetime – two lifetimes! He stayed in his room, skipping dinner and only grabbing snacks from the mini-bar in the refrigerator.
What would it be like to wear such pretty shoes? The thought ran through his mind again. Why was he thinking that? Why had he suddenly remembered something that had happened so many years ago when he had been very young? And why would he suddenly remember something that had happened so long ago that he didn’t remember ever remembering before? But the thought refused to go away. What would it be like to wear pretty shoes? He thought of the new gold high heels he had just bought.
“Make sure you wear your pretty new shoes so you can get used to them,” Mandy had called teasingly from the elevator.
What could it hurt? He was alone in his room. There was nobody around. He found the bag with the shoes and pulled the box out. He laid it on the bed and opened it. Gold straps. A very high thin gold heel. Pretty shoes. There was nobody there with him. What could it hurt?
He removed the wedge shoes he was wearing and picked up one of the gold ones. He pulled it onto his left foot. His red toenails peeked back at him below the bottom strap. He quickly buckled it into place – and looked briefly at his hands with their long red nails. In just a few days he had gotten proficient at doing so many things he couldn’t do before with them. He hardly thought about it anymore. But he still couldn’t wait to get rid of them.
He looked back at his foot with the gold high heel on it. It no longer looked like his foot. He grabbed the other shoe and put that on too. Then he stood up and looked down at them. No, they were not his feet, they were feet that belonged to a beautiful woman somewhere else. Not his feet. Pretty shoes. What would it be like?
He cautiously took a step in them, testing them, feeling them. Then another step. The gold straps on his feet were almost mesmerizing. Pretty shoes. What would it be like?
He felt guilty. He didn’t want to wear them. Pretty shoes or not, it wasn’t right. He sat on the bed to remove them. Pretty shoes. But what could it hurt to leave them on for a little longer. Nobody was around. Nobody would know. He left them on and busied himself hanging up the new clothes he had bought and putting away the other things. Ellie had teased, “You wouldn’t want to trip and fall in them.” Ellie….
--- §§§§§§§§§§ ---
He didn’t want to go. There was no reason for him to go. Every way he looked at it, he saw nothing but trouble. He sat on the couch with his feet up to take the pressure off of his toes and tried to watch TV, but he kept zoning out and staring back at the shoes on his feet. Pretty shoes. It bothered him that he was wearing them. It bothered him that he wanted to wear them, but he had no intention of leaving the room wearing them – or just leaving the room for any reason at all.
And then the panic began to hit him again. The panic that told him he had to go out, he had to leave the room. As soon as he realized it, he took the shoes off, trying to fight it. The desire to go out again began to build. No, he wouldn’t give in. The itching began on his back. The panic in him grew and grew. He was breathing hard because of it. He laid on the bed and writhed against the itching and the panic, trying desperately to calm it. But he couldn’t. The damn witch was fighting him harder than ever, and there was only one salve that would work against the witch’s attack.
Propelled by the need to stop the itching and the panic, he nearly flew off the bed and into the bathroom. He looked at all the makeup that Mandy had made him buy, he knew nothing about any of it. Sticking with only what he knew, he did his makeup as quickly as he could. The itching calmed, somewhat, but the panic telling him he had to get out of the room was still in full force.
Wearing his new gold dress and gold shoes, his things once again in the purse he could hang over his shoulder, he cautiously opened his door and stepped out. The itching suddenly stopped, but the panic to get out only decreased slightly. The witch was still driving him.
Walking down the hallway to the elevators was not like walking around his room. It was far more difficult. Not just because he was wearing a shiny gold dress with a skirt that just barely covered his backside. It was difficult because the heels on his feet were difficult to walk in. More than once he worried that he had sprained an ankle as he took a step slightly wrong and his feet seemed to twist away from him.
There were people in the elevator when he got on it. He didn’t want to get in it, but the panic still driving him seemed to push him in. The people looked shocked to see him. He couldn’t blame them. The lobby was busier than usual too. It was obvious that he was garnering more looks and stares of amazement than usual. He wanted to run back to his room and hide, but the panic was still there, driving him relentlessly.
It was a long walk down to the club. A very uncomfortable walk in his heels. More uncomfortable because of the looks from everybody watching him. In the fancy gold dress, he stood out, and he knew it.
The sound of the music was muted, but still it reached his ears long before he got there. The bass seemed to permeate the very walls around him. The moment he walked through the doors into the club, the music nearly knocked him down. The volume was so loud it nearly took his breath away. Just the way he liked it. Just the way it should be…under other circumstances.
The club was packed. Wall to wall packed. People rubbing shoulders everywhere. Barely enough room for him to squeeze through as he headed for the bar. What was he doing there?
For the most part, the club was fairly dark. Most of the lighting coming from the special lighting effects that changed constantly with the loud music. He took refuge in the fact that between the lighting and the sheer volume of people, he was probably less noticed.
He had to wait in a crowd to get to the bar. He tried to draw as little attention to himself as possible, hoping to be noticed less. He looked around, was Ellie there? He was sure she was in the huge room somewhere. Probably having fun, he hoped.
The wait for the bar was unnervingly long. It grated on his nerves the longer he had to stand there, uncomfortably close to too many people. He was nearly at the bar when he felt a hand tapping on his shoulder. It startled him. He turned to see who it was. Some guy with an earring in one ear was grinning broadly at him. “They told me someone like you was staying in the hotel,” he yelled over the music, “but I didn’t think I’d actually see you here. I’m glad.”
Steve was shocked and confused. Glad? Why? “I’m here,” he yelled back. “Unfortunately.”
“Can I buy you a drink?” the guy asked.
Steve was shocked again. A guy wanting to buy him a drink? Then it dawned on him, the guy was gay.
In the back of Steve’s mind, Karen was doing summersaults with joy. A guy! Now, she could show Steve some real humiliation. And if she played her cards right, she’d finally get to experience sex like the girl she really was.
Steve tried to tell the guy to get lost, but what came out of his mouth instead was, “Sure.” He was shocked.
The guy edged closer to the bar and asked, “What’ll it be sweetie?”
Sweetie? Oh God, make this joker go away.
Karen thrilled to being called sweetie. “Your choice,” she said through Steve’s surprised lips as she began to stare longingly back at the guy through Steve’s equally surprised eyes.
“You got it!” the guy said excitedly as he stared back at Steve’s eyes.
Steve wanted to scream, he wanted to run, but he suddenly realized that he was no longer in control of any of his body. He could only watch and experience whatever the witch was forcing him to do. He had a really bad feeling about where all this might be leading.
He had to stand there for a few minutes until the guy finally turned around with two drinks in his hands. He handed one to Steve. He took a sip. He didn’t recognize what it was, but it was obviously very strong. Good! The stronger the better!
The guy put his arm around Steve and led him away from the bar toward one of the tall round tables in the room. “What’s your name, sweetie,” he asked.
Steve still wanted desperately to tell the guy to get lost, but instead his body moved closer to the guy and said, “Karen.”
“Mmmmm, Karen,” the guy replied. “I’m Phil.”
“Hi Phil,” Karen replied through Steve’s body.
Steve’s only thoughts were of panic and struggling to get out of the room. Struggles that were getting him nowhere because the witch had complete control of him.
“Love your dress,” Brad said, moving further into the small talk.
“Thank you,” Karen answered, looking down to admire it herself.
They talked for a few minutes together, Karen and Phil. Steve could only go along with what his body was doing, despite all his efforts to do otherwise.
But Karen had bigger ideas. Ideas that obviously Phil shared. Before Steve knew what was happening, Karen suddenly kissed Phil on the cheek and then looked shyly back as she sipped on her drink.
Phil was momentarily startled, but the look of a hungry wolf filled his eyes. He grabbed Karen and held her close, planting a long and powerful kiss right on Steve’s lips.
Steve was horrified. How could this be happening? How could the witch be making him do this? He couldn’t imagine anything more terrifying than what his body was trying to do.
The kiss ended and Karen looked back up at Phil again. The intention clearly written in her eyes…and someone tapped her on the shoulder. She turned and saw Ellie smiling at her. Ellie was with another guy.
“Glad to see you made it,” Ellie yelled over the music. “Looks like you’re having fun. Go for it!” Then she was gone. Karen and Steve watched her walking back toward the dance floor with her new guy. Ellie. Wonderful Ellie.
“Who was that?” Phil asked.
But Karen and Steve both ignored him, watching Ellie. Karen thought again about every moment of making love to her. It had been incredible. The feelings that had run through her entire body were more than she had ever imagined. She looked back at Phil. He was waiting for her to answer. She wanted to make love to Ellie again. Suddenly, despite everything that Susan had created in her, she realized that she no longer wanted to make love to a guy at all. Phil seemed course and smelly in comparison. Ellie was…wonderful.
Confused, she set her drink on the table and held up her hand to him. “Sorry, I gotta’ go.” Then as quickly as she could, Karen headed for the door.
Steve found himself nearly running in his heels to get out of the club. The thoughts coursing from some deep pocket of his brain were centered on Ellie and making love to her again. Only Ellie. The drive and panic that he had felt to leave his room and come to the club in the first place now drove him back to his own room. What had happened? What was going on?
He only knew he was very relieved by it, and he was very glad to finally get back behind his closed door where he sat on his bed in total confusion. He was confused because, while most of him was extremely happy to be out of that situation, something very deep inside of him…seemed to be crying.