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A Change For The Better

by Amelia Allyrw

 

THE WEDDING (CHAPTER ONE)

John Crombie looked across the breakfast table at his daughter, Mandi in vexed amusement. he was amused at her vivacity and in the eagerness she was demolishing the morning meal, but vexed as she would not or could not accept his arguments for marrying Helene. "But Mandi, you need a woman around that you can talk to and confide in. Lord, knows I wasn't much help when you started your - well, your monthlies. Helene says she's eager to help you learn how to match clothes and apply make up and do all the things that women do."

John was a widower. His wife had died about five years ago, since then he had been trying with limited success to raise his daughter who was now thirteen years old. He had been referring to the time Mandi had began menstruating.

At the time, she was to embarrassed to tell him. When he finally happened to notice some blood, he panicked. He did not have the slightest idea to tell her what to do. He knew women menstruated, but what they did about it was a mystery to him. Also, he thought it only happened to adult women, not twelve or thirteen year old girls. However like all young girls, she had friends who were knowledgeable and finally a trip to the family doctor got them sorted out.

As a result of this incident, John was worried. What other things about a thirteen year old girl approaching womanhood should he know and prepare for? He needed a woman about the house to advise and guide Mandi through her formative years. Helene seemed like the perfect woman to do it

Helene was quite beautiful. She was always perfectly dressed for every occasion. Her make up was always properly applied and matched to fit her wardrobe. Her hair was light brown, long and lustrous. It was always perfectly groomed, never a hair out of place. John could never remember her ever being less than formally perfect. There was no doubt that she could teach Mandi the finer points of clothing choice, make up and hair styling for every occasion.

She was about John's age, in the early thirties. He had been going out with her for the last couple of years on a more or less casual basis. They had not gotten real close, although Helene had cast broad hints that she was amenable to the idea and wouldn't mind becoming Mrs. John Crombie. John had hesitated, not so much for himself, but because Mandi had objected. She claimed that Helene was to cold and remote. That she was to 'bossy'.

The discussion (argument?) terminated because Mandi had to leave for school. John lingered a bit, his work day started a bit later. Trying to evaluate the positives and negatives of marrying Helene.

Mandi claimed that she was cold and bossy. well, Helene was reserved and seemed quite positive in her opinions, but in her and John's more intimate moments, she seemed in no way cold. As far as being bossy, John though the word should be "strict". Helene was quite religious and a devout follower of the T.V. Evangelist, Reverend Pat Niece. She was active in the church and quite friednly with the Reverend. She had explained that they had several personla contacts to discuss many of the church problems. She was quite outspoken in her affirmation of the some times extreme beliefs promoted by the Reverend Niece. John was sure that much of her strict attitude was caused by these beliefs. He felt that eventually he would convince her to develop a common sense approach that would convince her of the stupidity of these extreme dogmas espoused by the ministry.

By marrying Helene, Mandi would be exposed to a Christian religion. John accepted the precepts of Christianity but was not fanatic about it. He could not quite believe that god espoused the fanaticism, intolerance and the worship of money that many churches seemed to believe in. It seemed to him that the more wealthy or important in secular ways a person was, the more deference was given him/her by the church officials. Did this mean that wealth was interpreted as holiness?

As far as finance was concerned, John was a member of middle management in an advertisement concern. He and the finance company owned the home where he and Mandi lived. He had just recently paid off the last of the bills relating to his wife's death and was now able to put some money aside for Mandi's college. On the other hand, Helene was wealthy, but she claimed that she would not flaunt her wealth. They would more or less live in a life style in line with his salary. In fact she implied that a goodly amount of her wealth went to support the Reverend Niece's ministry and actually, she lived quite modestly.

Relatives? John had none. His previous wife's parents, Mandi's grandparents had retired to Florida. Although they had doted on their daughter, John's wife, they seemed to evince little or no interest in their grand daughter, seemingly blaming her for their daughter's death. Helene, except for a sister John had never met, was also alone, so relatives did not seem to present a problem. All in all, John decided that there were more pluses for marrying Helene than minuses. Another thing, not so obvious, was sex. Helene would not indulge in pre marital sex, claiming she was saving herself for marriage. From the indications during their necking sessions, he had no doubt that she would be good in bed.

This is not to say that John thought all about this in the few moments after Mandi's departure. It had been working in the back of his mind for weeks. It had just come to fruition after his discussion her.

* * *

That evening on his date with Helene, he broached the subject of marriage. John was rather surprised that Helene didn't jump at the idea. On their last few dates, she had cast broad hints that marriage would be a solution to many of their mutual problems.

"John," She said, "You spoil Mandi. You let her do just about any thing she wants to do. She needs guidance. She runs around wearing revealing shorts. Even at her young age, she flaunts her body to every boy about. If we marry, I must insist that she learn to behave like a well bred lady. It would continually be a sore point with us to allow her to continue as she does."

He thought abut it for a moment. Mandi did wear shorts during the warm weather, but he really paid no attention as all of the other young girls and even most of the boys did also. He had considered it more or less normal for young persons of her age. When he commented about it seeming to be a more or less normal type of clothing these days. Helene answered, "I don't mean for sports or certain occasions. Why even I wear shorts while playing tennis. I mean going shopping and wandering about town exposing herself to every lecherous male, practically inviting rape."

John had never thought about it that way. Here was additional proof that he needed a perceptive woman about the house to establish rules and guidelines for a growing girl. So he acquiesced stating that he had never thought much about it and was glad that Helene was so aware and would take the time to train his daughter. After mulling over the idea for a few days he agreed. It appeared that her grandparents were not interested in her and if they married, Helene would be the logical choice to be her guardian in the event that he should become unable to maintain the responsibility.

Then Helene stated she wanted it understood about their financial arrangements. She was quite wealthy, but lived rather modestly. They would continue to do so. She always wanted to travel and would finance the trips. He would quit his job and she would remit him a salary equal to his current pay. She would also guarantee money for Mandi's college. However, other than that, she would control the money and if, heaven forbid, they would eventually separate, he would get no monetary settlement.

At first, John was quite upset about the proposed arrangement. Actually, finances had never really entered his mind. He knew she was well off, but had never thought of the extent of her wealth nor assumed that he would share in it. Their dates were always well within his budget and he just kind of assumed they would live on his salary. The idea of quitting and living on an allowance from her had never entered his mind.

This took more than one meeting before John could be convinced of the logic of the arrangement. However, over a period of time, he was assured that he would not be a paid gigolo, but actually earn his keep. It would be his responsibility to maintain the house, hire and fire domestic help, keep records and perform other chores, including financial responsibility for her investments. Helene pointed that she was presently paying more than his salary to have done by strangers.. Eventually, reluctantly he finally agreed to the arrangement.

* * * * *

So over Mandi's tearful objections, they were married. Upon their marriage, John resigned from his position and in effect, went to work for his new bride. His first task was to take a world cruise for their honeymoon. The cruise was to last for six months. During this time, Mandi was enrolled in a boarding school run by the Reverend Pat Niece. She wasn't happy about it, but had no choice. Despite the unspoken promises John had read in Helene's eyes and in her actions while they were courting, he was disappointed in the marriage. On their wedding night, she disrobed in the bathroom and came to bed wearing a long shapeless gown. Their lovemaking left a lot to be desired by John. She did not refuse him sex, but neither did she encourage it.

She would accept nothing but the traditional missionary position. She refused foreplay and resisted his hands from exploring her body. Her hands, she kept always tightly to her side. She lay there while he entered her, making no attempt to assist him. John would have gotten as much, maybe more enjoyment by masturbating.

 

THE HONEYMOON (CHAPTER TWO)

John enjoyed the trip as far as seeing unusual sights, meeting people with strange customs, eating exotic foods and drinking rare vintages. However much of the luster of the trip was offset by his relationship with Helene. Oh there were no arguments or harsh words, but their sexual encounters grew less frequent. John may have received physical release from the acts but emotionally, it left him frustrated.

Too, Helene began making small demands. Nothing big or significant enough for John to object to or make a point about, just enough to be a nuisance and often enough to be obvious to spectators. It generally was limited to "John, I'm cold, get my wrap." or she would say, "I just don't feel like breakfast, would you please bring me something?" If John would object, or mention getting room service, she would reply by asking him if it was to much of a favor, making him the guilty party.

Then too, there were little criticisms, his tie was not straight, or his shoes were scuffed. She would point out his sloppy behavior like leaving clothes laying about the stateroom.

Little by little over the course of the cruise, Helene established the dominant role in the relationship. Not that John really minded, normally he was rather easy going and had a tendency to leave unimportant things (to him) slide. He did not like arguments and since most of the points of difference were not significant, it was easier to give in. Then too, Helene was very subtle about establishing command, but by the time they returned home, Helene was indubitably the boss without John even being aware of of it.

When they married, John had naturally assumed they would live in town, his house. Somehow it didn't turn out that way. They settled in Helene's estate in the country. "- Just for a little while until things get straightened out." Meanwhile, John encountered problems with Mandi. She was not happy having to live away from home. She didn't like the strict school she was forced to attend. She was required to adopt a dress code more applicable to the 1890's rather than current times. They wouldn't give her the courses she wanted. When she complained, she was curtly informed. "Those courses weren't proper for girls. Girls should be taking domestic or homemaking courses." She was not allowed to wear shorts or blue jeans. She couldn't go out. She couldn't talk to boys. She couldn't talk to any of her friends outside of school. She was miserable and didn't hesitate to inform her father.

When John mentioned this to Helene, she very logically pointed out that there was no school near the estate. Besides, if she left, she would miss a year of schooling. So John, reluctantly, and in spite of Mandi's tearful appeals, agreed that she would have to remain where she was at, at least until the school year was over.

In spite of John's unease, they took up residence in the country estate, without Mandi. Per agreement, John began keeping track of Helene's personal finances and operating her property, including maintaining the personnel that served on the estate. For the most part, the work was nominal. Outside of making large and continual contributions to Reverend Niece's ministry, regular monthly payments for utilities, salaries and other normal bills, expenditures were rather nil.

One item John noted in his new duties. A short time after he began handling her money, Helen began requesting several checks for significant amounts of money. The checks to be made out to cash. When he queried her about it, she replied that it was for anonymous religious donations. John thought it rather odd, but figured that it was her money and she could spend it any way she wished. The only other unusual item was a meager monthly payment to Anne Bates. When he asked Helene about it, she dismissed it as nothing much. She stated that it was a payment to her sister that her father requested she make. She would volunteer no more.

John accepted the statement, but his curiosity was piqued. Except for this payment, all of Helene's transactions were logical and straight forward. For the moment, John dismissed the thought. However, it stuck in his mind. He would review the cancelled checks when balancing the monthly bank statement. He noted that the checks made out to Anne Bates were subsequently endorsed to various charities. Apparently she donated the money without retaining any. This only excited his curiosity further.

Unexpectedly he had an opportunity to sate his curiosity in the matter. Helene had to go to town to talk with her lawyers. John accompanied her to town and while she went to see them, he had a few hours of free time. He went to the address where the checks were mailed. It was a modest apartment building. Going to the proper apartment, he rang the bell. In a few moments, he heard footsteps approaching and the door was opened. He gasped in amazement. The woman who answered the door could have been a younger sister to his wife Helene. The difference was that instead of Helene's cool detached beauty and imperious mein, she exhibited a warm and vivacious appearance, not nearly as formal or composed as Helene.

Upon her questioning gaze, John introduced himself. "My name is John Crombie. My wife Helene has been sending monthly checks to an Anne Bates. Are you her?"

Instead of a noncommittal answer, the woman gushed out, "You're Helene's husband!? I heard that she got married again? Oh you poor man, come in!" Rather hesitantly, John entered. Apparently this was Helene's sister, but why should she express pity for him because he was married to Helene? And what did she know about Helene that caused her to express that pity, even before she knew how long they had been married and how their marriage was progressing? According to Helene, they saw very little of each other and had practically no contact with each other for years.

After he entered the living room which he noted was comfortably, if economically furnished, he turned toward her and challenged, "What do you know about Helene and why do you feel sorry for me for being her husband.?"

"I know Helene, that's why. If you married her for her money, you'll get nothing but disappointments, definitely, no money. If you married her for love, its even worse. in addition to the disappointments, you'll also get heartbreaks and disillusionment. That is, if you are lucky."

"Helene told me you were her sister, but how do you know all these things?" She said that since the death of your father, you had very little contact with each other."

"That may be true, but we both know what each other has been doing all these years. So I guess it was you that had been sending me Helene's idea of my share of our father's estate every month?"

John's jaw dropped in astonishment, "Helene told me that you had little to do with each other and for practical purposes, each of you were ignorant of each others action. I also got the impression that you lived a good distance away and had little to do with each other."

"As you can see, she's wrong on one count. I'm here and not far away although we have little to do with each other. But we have a good idea of what goes on with each other. Did she ever mention that I was supposed to share equally in father's estate?"

John, still a bit stunned by Anne's denouncement, asked, "How do I know you're telling the truth? Helene told me that she received the bulk of the estate but was required to give you an allowance. If you do have a half share of the estate, how come you're living here - like this?" His hand swept about the modest apartment. "Its simple, Helene cheated me out of my share, unfair, but legal."

"Cheated you unfairly? How?" "Actually, Helene and I are half sisters. Helene's mother divorced dad and ran off leaving her with him. Later he married my mother and I was born. Unfortunately mother died when I was quite young. By that time, dad was doing pretty well in business and was quite well off. He was able to hire some pretty good nurses to take care of Helene and I when we were younger.

"Later, when we were older, he apparently got involved with some kind of business enemies. Anyway, he put all his investments and money in Helene's name to protect them. Before he could get it back or divide it equally between us, he suffered a stroke. On his death bed, he called Helene and me to him and stated that we were to share equally."

Unfortunately, I was still a minor at the time. Helene, who by then was involved with the Reverend Niece's T.V. Ministry, went through some legal finagling and got herself appointed as my guardian and kept control of the money. She doled me out a pittance as an allowance.

"So far," Commented John, "That sounds logical, but how come you didn't get your share when you reached your majority? I don't know how old you are, but you do look a bit over twenty one."

Anne laughed, "Oh yes, I'm over twenty one. Actually, I am four years younger than Helene. Well, as it happened, just before my twenty first birthday, I started getting attacks. During these attacks my equilibrium was disturbed and walking was difficult. Also my speech became slurred, almost incoherent. I'd stammer and stagger, mumble and stumble. That was the kind of state I was in when I went to court at my majority. It didn't take the judge but a few moments to find me incompetent and so Helene continued to remain as my guardian."

"I was committed to a sanitarium that the Reverend sponsored. I'd get well until I tried to get out or get a new hearing. Then the attacks would begin again. In any event, I was kept practically a prisoner."

"After a couple of years, I got the message. I made an agreement with Helene. If she would let me out, I wouldn't press any claim for my money. So here I am, she sends me a pittance every month, which I refuse to accept, as you well know. I have a job and support myself."

"You're obviously fine now. If what you say is true, can't you go back to court and get some relief?"

Anne smiled sadly, "Its not that easy. I'm still a ward of Helene. She can commit me back to the sanitarium any time she pleases. All I have to do is indicate that I might contest the court ruling and I'm back in the sanitarium, somehow it then happens that I am again without control of speech or movement. This way, at least, I have some semblance of independence." Anne concluded hopelessly.

"well, can't you --?"

"Can't I what?" demanded Anne, "Run away? Hide? See a lawyer? Believe me, Mr Crombie, I've tried everything I know. But I have no resources and Helene has a fortune at her disposal. Not only that, but because of her contributions, she has the full ministry of the Reverend Niece's to help spy on me. I've schemed, planned and plotted. This is the best I can do. At least, this way, I can live my life outside of an institution." "This is very interesting, and if what you say is true, I can see where you would be upset. But why should you call me a poor man when you discovered I was Helene's husband?" asked John.

"Because I know Helene, that's why. I've seen her in action. For instance, who decided that you two should marry?"

"Well, I asked Helene to marry me."

"I didn't ask who did the asking. I meant whose IDEA?"

John considered for a moment. "I guess Helene brought it up originally. She started making comments about how well we got along and how compatible we were.

"Who decided on the honeymoon? Who decided where you would live. Who decided that you should take care of her accounts and living arrangements?" Then she added with a sly smile, "Who decides on how you conduct your sex life?" John looked definitely uncomfortable. "Well, I guess Helene made most of the decisions. But they were the logical ones and I agreed to them. She wanted to take a trip around the world and I thought it would be a good idea. We decided to live at her estate in the country because it was larger and more secluded. She agreed that later we would move back into the city where I could get my daughter Mandi out of boarding school and she could stay at home and attend the local school. As for me taking over her business arrangements, it was quite plain Helene doesn't have the slightest idea as how to manage money. Someone had to put her accounts in order."

"Bullshit!!" Interrupted Anne. "Helene has a mind like a steel trap. I'm willing to bet that the mess you found was all froth and the basic records were in fine shape."

John thought for amoment and had to agree with the truth of the statement. "But you must remember, I also have the responsibility for maintaining the house including making sure that adequate domestic help is available to perform the household chores."

"Big deal!" John winced slightly at the truth of the statement.

Anne smiled broadly and looked at him. "I didn't hear you say anything about the conduct of your sex life?"

"Our sex life is none of your business." John replied, haughtily.

"That answers THAT question." Retorted Anne.

Then, more seriously, Anne said, "John, you seem to be a decent sort. Please watch yourself about Helene. Its her style to gradually weave a web and before you know it, you will be completely in her power."

"I think you're wrong about Helene. I have found her to be sweet and accommodating. In fact, one of the reasons I married her was to give my young daughter a mother and a feminine role model."

"You mentioned a daughter before in boarding school. How come you don't have her living with you and Helene?"

"There was no school near the estate, so while we went on our honeymoon we enrolled her in the Reverend Niece's boarding school for girls. As soon as we get back to the city, we'll take her out."

"Oh, the poor unfortunate girl!" Anne whispered almost inaudibly. Suddenly John looked at his watch. "I have to go. I'm supposed to meet Helene shortly. If I hurry, I'll barely have time to make it." Promising to keep in touch, he left.

 

THE AWAKENING (CHAPTER THREE)

John returned to the lawyer's office to pick up Helene. He noted that she seemed quite satisfied with herself, looking like the cat that ate the canary. It may have been his imagination, but it seemed she acted a bit disdainful of him. She had adopted a rather superior attitude and acted even more arrogant than she had previously.

On their drive back to the estate, John mentioned that he had met Anne Bates. He watched Helene's reaction out of the corner of his eye as he was driving. Helene stiffened slightly a moment and then visibly relaxed and smiled. "You finally met the family skeleton. Poor Anne, she's not all there. I guess she told you about how I'm cheating her out of her inheritance."

"Well, she did mention something like that." Admitted John.

"You see, we're half sisters. Mother and Dad were divorced. Daddy then married Anne's mother who it turned out was mentally unstable and finally died of some kind of brain ailment. I guess Anne inherited some of that instability. "She occasionally suffers attacks of physical disability where she can hardly walk or talk. Also she suffers from paranoia, believing that I am responsible for her attacks and that I am out to cheat her out of her inheritance."

"She did mention something like that." John Admitted.

"Anyway, Daddy recognized her instability and turned her part of the inheritance over to me as guardian and made me promise that I'd look out for her. So far, I've spent a young fortune trying to cure her of those attacks." "Right now, she's in a state of more or less remission. At least she can function normally, although she still suffers from her paranoia. The doctors and the psychiatrists have determined that she can do better supporting herself with little or no help from me. I do send her a pittance every month, which I understand she turns over to some charity. It seems to give her a feeling of independence." Helen looked at John who nodded in verification.

John considered the conflicting stories told by both women. Helene's seemed the most reasonable. Besides, she was his wife, why shouldn't he trust her? Then upon consideration, Anne's story seemed rather far fetched. It would take the collaboration of several people to maintain the control that Anne claimed Helene exercised.

Then too, a sharp lawyer, with a nose for a fat fee could substantiate Anne's claim if it were in any way true. For the moment, John felt that until he got more evidence, he would have to believe Helene's story.

He turned and said, "I heard her little tale. It sounded rather wild and far fetched. Perhaps we can help the poor woman further."

"Oh John, I guess I really knew you would understand, but I was so embarrassed about it I just couldn't bring myself to mention her unfortunate situation to you."

The rest of the trip was rather uneventful. They arrived home and settled into their usual routine. The only untoward incident that John noted but could not explain was that it seemed that Helene began eyeing him in a rather calculating manner and she began to be a mite preemptive in her relations with him. There was no significant change in their sexual relations. She still did not respond to his lovemaking, but also made no attempt to dissuade, although she did seem a bit more reluctant to acquiese.

As the days wore on, John kept getting letters from Mandi, pleading to let her come home, she described the unfair and strict discipline she had to suffer, in many cases this discipline was inflicted, even to the point of cruelty. When he broached the subject to Helene, she pooh, poohed the suggestion, claiming that it was just the fanciful ravings of a spoiled, self centered teen-ager. At first, John more or less went along with Helene's objections. He was a bit reluctant to start an argument with his still relatively new bride.

It was also about this time that there began a significant change in Helene's attitude. The preemptive manner that originally, John had barely noted, began to grow into actual arrogance. She began giving him orders that would be demeaning, and at times, downright humiliating. When the arrogance first became apparent, John ignored it, and tried to go along, convinced that it was only because Helene was having difficulty in getting used to married life.

He also noted that she began treating the domestic help even more rudely than her previous practice. She had always been rather curt and demanding of them, complaining about every trivial incident and berating them unmercifully for minor errors. When John would remonstrate with her, pleading that she be more curteous and civil toward them, she would turn on him, claiming that he was taking sides against her and that no one was showing the proper respect toward her as was her due.

It was getting to the point that they could no longer retain any help. After only a few days of Helene's brow beating, they would quit. As part of his job, it was John's responsibility to contact the employment agencies for replacements. It finally got to the point where the agencies would not send any help, claiming that Helene's bad temper had became so notorious among the potential employee's they would not even consider working for her.

It was under this circumstance that John finally got fed up with the situation and stated that he was not going to take anymore of this shit. He was going to get Mandi and move back to the city. If Helene wanted to come with him and act more civilized, she was welcome, otherwise to hell with their marriage. That was when Helene dropped her bombshell. "If you think you're going to take your brat and leave me, you have another think coming. I've got enough evidence on you to put you in jail for at least ten years. Not only that but I'll acquire full guardianship of Mandi until she reaches age twenty one."

At John's astounded denial, Helene laughed harshly, went over to a desk and returned with a piece of paper. Handing it to John, she said, "Here is a list of money that you stole from me and deposited in your so-called 'secret' bank account. I've had my lawyers check on this and they verified the evidence and turned it over to the District Attorney. All I have to do is sign a complaint and you're in jail." Also, if you remember, you signed over guardianship of Mandi to me if something should happen to you. - Well, if worse comes to worst, something not nice will happen to you." She then handed him the sheet of paper. John looked at it. He immediately noted that it contained a list of the checks that he had made out to cash at Helene's request. "Why this is a list of the checks that you asked me to make out for you. Surely you remember asking for them."

I ever saw those checks in my life. "Helene flatly lied. "I discovered them strictly by accident. Not only that but they were deposited in a secret bank account in your name."

"Why Helene, you know that's not true. I never took a dime of your money and you know it. What kind of stunt are you trying to pull?"

"I'm not trying to pull any 'stunts'. You have been stealing from me and now that I caught you, you're trying to lie out of it. When I discovered that you were stealing from me, I went to my lawyer. They advised me to turn the evidence over to the District Attorney and have you arrested and tried for grand larceny, embezzlement and half a dozen other crimes. They said that so far as they could determine, legally, you are as guilty as sin and would be lucky to get away with at least ten years in jail."

"I then went to the Reverend Niece, showed him the evidence and related what the lawyers had told me. The Reverend was appalled that you would take advantage of a loving and trusting wife. However, he stated that I should show Christian charity and give you an opportunity to repent your misdeeds. He stated that I should forgive you if you made proper penance."

John listened to Helene's words with amazement. "Convicted? Jail? Repent? Do penance?" Hell!! He wasn't guilty of anything. If she thought that she could get away with anything like that, she was as nutty as a fruitcake.

"Screw you! If you think I'm going to fall for that shit, you're crazy!" Helene smiled and stated in a conversational tone, "The lawyers and the Reverend thought you might take that attitude. Therefore, before you make any more rash statements, I suggest you contact your own lawyer and see what he says."

I'll do that little thing. Then you and I will split so fast your head will spin!" With these words, John stormed out the door, slamming it behind him, however he was able to hear Helene's little laugh of triumph.

"I'll be damned if I give in to Helene that easy. If she thinks I'm going to 'repent and do penance', she's nuts, I'd rather go to jail.

The upshot of John's encounter with his lawyer was all negative. Helene had an iron clad case against him for fraud and embezzlement. Not only that, but with John's conviction and jail sentence, she would have sole guardianship rights over his daughter, Mandi.

John would have defied Helene to do her damnedest for himself, but in no way would he permit her to get her clutches on his daughter. So he ate crow. He acquiesced. He agreed to do penance. In this case, penance meant accepting Helene's domination. - And from that day, for him, life became hell.

He was relegated to performing all the domestic functions. They could no longer obtain maids due to Helen's arrogant behavior. It was bad enough having to do the house cleaning and the cooking. But Helene seemed take delight in making him perform as her personal maid.

In fact, she even had professional instructors come in and give John lessons in hair care and make up so that he could prepare Helen's hair, nails and apply her make up for her. She seemed to realize that this was especially galling and humiliating to him and went out of her way to require him to perform these chores, all the while vocally deriding him on his fallen state.

It was at this time he discovered that relations between Helene and the Reverend Pat Niece was a bit closer than minister and flock. Quite a bit closer, oft times to the point of sharing the same bed.

When John discovered this, he asked Helene why she even considered marrying him. Her answer was simple and to the point. "Pat (Reverend Niece) is married and well into public life. It would not be auspicious if he spent considerable time with a single woman. However, a woman with a devoted husband could associate with him and no one would question our relationship."

"Yes, but why me? I'm not particular religious and definitely not interested in the brand of propoganda your paramour preaches."

"That was one of the main reasons you were 'selected'. We, Pat and I deliberatly selected someone outside the church to emphasize your independence.." "We finally chose you over several other possible men because you seemed rather trusting and more apt to accept my innocence and story. More so than most sophisticated men who would be more suspicious of people. Another and more significant reason, was your vulnerability."

"What do you mean, my vulnerability?"

"Why I knew I could entrap you with no difficulty. However to prevent your still defying me, I got guardianship of your daughter and I will exercise it in the event that you became, shall we say 'rebellious'. I felt no matter how you felt personally, you would not endanger your daughter."

"Bitch!!" Burst out John.

Instead of the outburst angering Helene, she tittered, "Naughty, naughty. For that you may wash my car and when the Reverend Niece arrives, you can wash his car also. While you are doing that, we will have a conference in the bedroom."

All John could do was to swallow his anger and comply

 

SUBJUGATION (CHAPTER FOUR)

This sort of treatment went on for months. Helene kept finding more ways to degrade John and went out of her way to exercise her domination and make him aware of his lowly state. At the same time she also required him to accompany her to various functions where they posed as the perfect and devoted couple. Fortunately for John, these functions, although well publicised were quite rare. Helene did not have any close or intimate friends. She enjoyed impressing people but made sure she kept her distance from them, considering them her 'inferiors' Even when she had guests and John was required to act as maid and wear the silly cap and apron she remained quite formal and distant from them.

Therefore it was quite a surprise when Helene announced that they would attend a party and actually socialize. He was even more surprised when she announced that it would be a 'turnabout' party.

"What in the hell is a turnabout party?"

"A turnabout party is when husband and wife go as each other. I go as the husband and you go as my wife."

"What happened. I thought your church teaches that it is an abomination for men and women to wear each other's clothing? Besides, you are always so proper and formal, won't you feel a bit out of character?"

"It is a sin if wearing the wrong clothes is done for sexual or carnal reasons, or to try and act as something they are not. However the Reverend feels it is permissable to stretch the rules a bit for amusement. I don't think much of having to wear men's clothing but the party has political overtones that may prove to be of benefit later on. Besides, I think it may be enjoyable for me to show you off as my dutiful and obedient mate."

It was probably for the latter reason, as Helene seemed obsessed to have John act and appear as feminine as possible and to act the devoted and obedient wife to Helene's masterful and dominant husband. When he asked her about it, she laughingly told him that, in effect, it was his debut.

John did not quite understand. "What do you mean, my 'debut'." He demanded.

"Why, I want people to see that you have accepted your guilt and that you are willing to humble yourself to me while doing penance for not accepting the Minister's teachings when you married me."

She then added with a malicious smile, "Of course what you are really doing penance for, will remain our little secret, won't it."

John could only bow his head and accept it. He had no choice, he would have to face the public humiliation that Helene had planned for him.

A couple of weeks before the party, Helene insisted that John try on one of her dresses to see how her clothes fit him. To his surprise, they fit quite well. Of course he wasn't as well endowed in the chest area and it was a bit tight in the waist. Helene looked at him rather critically and seemed quite satisfied. She announced that a padded bra, a crash diet and if necessary, a waist nipper would give him almost a perfect fit.

This surprised John. He had realized that they were near the same height, but had always assumed that he was bulkier than Helene and would in no way fit into her clothes. It took him quite a while for him to realize that masculine clothing tended to give the impression of mass while feminine clothing was designed to emphasize slimness.

Helene, of course, had no trouble in wearing his clothing. A tight bandeau effectively hid the swelling breast area, especially while wearing a suitcoat. At first John was worried that Helene would make him wear feminine clothes during the day while he was performing his domestic chores, but after a moment's hesitation, she relented. However she did insist that he practice taking short feminine steps and learn to talk in a soft feminine manner. Under Helene's strict tutelage, he finally did learn an acceptable form of walk and if his voice was not strictly feminine, at least did not cause someone to laugh aloud when he tried to talk like a woman.

* * * * *

A few days before the party, the Reverend Niece came by to visit them. Now, the Reverend, in his T.V. appearances preached loud and vociferously about the evils of of the demon rum, but had no inhibitions about taking a nip or three in private, claiming it helped him relax. He also claimed that God told him that he had a strong will and it was permissable for him to take a nip now and then because he could handle his drinking. He was strong, not like most people, subject to the temptations of Satan.

In any event, he and Helene were really doing a good job of 'relaxing'. Suddenly Helene announced, "I think that John and I ought to try out our roles tonight to see if we are adequate. The Reverend held out his glass and announced, "I'll drink to that!"

The next thing John knew, he was forced into a gray plaid wool skirt and sheer polyester blouse. Not only that, he was forced to wear it over a slip, panties and an expensive, well padded bra that Helene had specially made for him. Since the crash diet had not sufficiently reduced his waist enough, Helene insisted that he also wear a waist nipper. This not only narrowed the waist but seemed to adequately accent the swelling of the hips and buttocks.

She then insisted that John apply full make up and wear one of her many wigs. Since she always insisted on appearing perfectly groomed, she had several in her own hair color to wear if she thought her own hair was not perfectly coiffed.

Finally dressed, made up, and wigged, she forced him into the den where the Reverend was still 'relaxing'. Holding John's arm up, she announced, "Meet the new Helene!" The Reverend stood up, circled John, looking him over intently, occasionally giving a wolf whistle of approval.

"Can I give her a kiss?"

"Never mind! I've heard of your prediliction for boys and you can indulge in those passions when I'm not around. But I'll be damned if I am going to let this become a family matter."

"Now, both of you behave, while I go in and dress."

John took a seat and accepted a glass of white wine that Pat Niece had pressed upon him. He sat there primly keeping his knees together, trying to avoid the lecherous looks that the preacher was casting his way.

In a few moments Helene reappeared, wearing one of his suits. She had removed her makeup and looked acceptably masculine. Taking a healthy slug of her drink, she announced. "Helene, over there needs a new pair of panty hose for the party. We're going into town where she can buy them. I think she needs a little practice in front of strangers to make sure that she knows how to act feminine enough.

She then tossed John a purse. "Here's your purse. I have your car keys and wallet, let's go. Oh yes, To make it more realistic, wear my wedding and engagement rings for you to wear, let me have yours." With much hesitation on his part, the exchange was made

John tried to point out that it was raining very hard. That there was a severe weather forecast and additional thundershowers anticipated for the rest of the evening. This would make driving difficult, if not hazardous.

However, Helene claimed that he was just trying to find some excuse for not going in the public femininely attired. He was quickly outvoted. In addition he received a few subtle threats from Helene about what could happen if he refused to go. He had little choice but agree to go along with them.

Helene, wearing one of John's suits, complete with tie and suitcoat. She and the Reverend, both with fresh drinks, climbed in the front seat. John, acutely aware of the preacher's stare, tried to control his skirt as he got in the back. Off they went.

Helene, who was driving started out with a rush and squealing of tires, began speeding down the road. The minister sitting alongside her urging her on, while John in the back seat pleaded with her to slow down. With grim amusement he realized that he was acting the stereotyped woman back seat driver complaining about reckless driving. Nonetheless, the fear that he was feeling was real. The rain was coming down in sheets, rendering visibility to practically zero. Lightning was flashing perilously close and there was a loud and constant roll of thunder that dinned the air.

Helene and the Reverend, busy drinking their 'relaxation' seemed to have no conception of their danger. Helene was pushing the car down the winding road that would be unacceptable even under normal circumstances, now it was practically suicidal.

As they rounded a curve at a high rate of speed, a flash of lightning illuminated a fallen tree directly in their path. Helene screamed, the Reverend yelled and John ducked his head, covering it with his arms.

The car careened, John felt it bump as it hit the tree and then slide off the road. After that things grew a bit incoherent. He felt the car lurch. Quickly releasing his safety belt and throwing open the car door, he jumped out and felt himself sliding down the hill, rain beating down, soaking him, the ground and rocks beneath him causing bruises and scratches as he slid. Half conscious, he saw the car sliding below him suddenly go up in a burst of flames. Mercifully, he lost consciousness.

* * * * *

He awoke in the back of an ambulance. He looked out the window and noted several police cars about, their bubble lights illuminating the area in an eerie pulsating glow. Occasionally, he could hear voices of people, trying to get near the still burning car and bursts of sound from the two way radios in the patrol cars.

He then became aware of a para-medic examining him, a look of concern on his face. When he saw John open his eyes and looking about, he said, "Mrs Crombie, are you all right? It was a nasty accident and it appears that you were the only survivor. I'm afraid your husband John and the Reverend Niece didn't make it. They were pretty well messed up by the crash and subsequent fire. In fact the only way we could identify your husband John was by his half burnt wallet and his wedding band. I'm sorry I have to tell you this bad news"

John, still disoriented from the shock of the wreck and his subsequent beating from rolling down the hill was not quite fully aware of what he was being told. "What was the man trying to tell him? What did he mean, his husband John? He was John, or was he?"

The man called him Mrs. Crombie. Mrs Crombie was Helene, his wife. He didn't understand what was going on. If only he could get home and get some sleep, he would feel better and maybe remember what had happened. Right now, he just wanted to be left alone.

His introspection was interrupted. "Mrs. Crombie, are you all right?" Perhaps we should take you to the hospital and keep you under observation for a while.

"No!" His refusal was quick and adamant. "I want to go home, please take me."

The man was reluctant, but after an examination that disclosed no serious injuries other than the cuts and bruises, which he treated, agreed he could go home. He gave John a sedative to take when he arrived home. He also gave strict instructions that he contact his own doctor, or call the hospital if any serious problems should arrive.

John couldn't wait to get home alone and get some sleep. Everything was still confused. Why was he being called Mrs. Crombie and told his husband John was dead? Who was he? Why was he wearing these odd clothes? What happened to his shirt and pants? Perhaps after a night's sleep he would feel better, if only these people would leave him alone for a while.

He decided that until he could sort out his own thoughts, he would not answer any questions.

A police officer drove him home. By then John realized that he was femininely dressed and every one took him to be a woman. He was not sure why, but determined not to reveal his true identity until his memory improved.

No one seemed to doubt that he was a woman. The officer who drove him home, soliticiously assisted him to the door. He offered further help which John politely declined. Alone at last, John practically collapsed. Taking the sedative, he removed his wig, which miraculously had remained in place during his ordeal, and his outer clothes and fell into bed and blessed sleep.

 

A NEW HELENE (CHAPTER FIVE)

When he awoke the next morning, the sun was bright in the sky and the bedroom, even with the shades drawn, was filled with a sunny glow. There seemed to be no trace of the awful storm that devastated the area the night before. As he lay there, memories of the previous night began returning to him. By now he was quite clear and the events of the previous evening were deeply imprinted in his mind.

He noted that he was still clad in the panties, hose and padded bra he had worn the previous night. Still to tired to try and divest them, he went to the closet and selected one of Helene's robes. He then went out to get the morning paper.

The local news was filled with results of the storm. One of the more prominent articles dealt with the wreck where it was reported that The Reverend Pat Niece and John Crombie were killed and Mrs Crombie, while suffering severe cuts and bruises, was released after being given emergency medication. The article continued telling about how the car had exploded and burned. The two men were so disfigured from the wreck, explosion and fire that they could only be identified by traces of their clothing and remnants of their wallets as well as identifiable pieces of jewelry they were wearing.

While reading the articles, it penetrated John's consciousness that, so far as the world was concerned, he was Helene Crombie and John Crombie was dead.

Just as he finished reading the article, the phone rang.

For, the moment, not wishing to commit himself until he was able to digest the fact that he was believed to be Helene. He answered it, using the soft modulated voice that Helene had insisted he use. After the greeting, a female voice introduced herself as Ms. Blake from the law firm that had been representing Helene in her business transactions. "You don't know me, but I'm taking over the accounts that were previously handled by Mr. Dale who is now retired. Yours was among them. In checking over your files,I noted that you had turned over some documentation to the District Attorney, regarding some shall we say, 'indiscretions' your husband had committed. I was wondering since your unfortunate accident last night where you lost your husband, whether you would wish to withdraw these charges before they get widely publicised. We have recovered the money and I see no gain in causing a lot of noteriety at this time and under these circustances."

John was quickly reminded by these words of the circumstances that caused him to be in this condition. He quickly agreed that all charges against John Crombie be dropped and no further action be taken against him or his estate be made.

The attorney then notified John that he would handle all the details of the accident freeing Mrs. Crombie (John) of any worries in that regard. The conversation then concluded, with the attorney stating that when circumstances grew a bit more calm, she was eager to meet her personally and discuss her accounts.

John, as Helene, replied in kind, stating that as soon as she fully recovered from the accident, she would be glad to meet her and discuss any matters that were pertinent. He also requested that the funeral rites be as simple and informal as possible, stating that John would have wanted it that way.

Hanging up the phone, John thought about his situation. When he first woke this morning and remembered the circumstances of the accident, he was tempted to announce that a mistake had been made. He now realized that it wasn't as simple as that. As John Crombie, he would still be liable for the fraud and embezzlemment charges for which Helene had framed him. In addition, there would be implications of foul play that resulted in the death of Helene and Pat Niece. Even if this couldn't be proved, the suspicion would remain and a long jail term would be virtually certain. - And what would happen to Mandi?

There didin't seem to be much alternative but to remain as Helene. But could he do it? He sat down at Helene's dressing table and examined himself critically. He had just about the same facial shape and complexion as Helene, but there the resemblance stopped. His features were not the same, but with the proper make up some of this difference could be minimized. Fortunately Helene had no close friends or confidantes. Although she was active in the church, most of her connections were involved directly with the minister. Also, as it now turned out, there were no servants and apparently Helene's legal counsel had not met her personally. Also for the immediate future, his face was heavily scratched and bruised and he could wear a heavy black veil, effectively hiding his face. After that, -well, who knows. First things first.

Now who could he trust? Mandi of course. he wasn't quite sure how she would react to him impersonating a woman, but it was infinitely superior to any alternatives that he could think of at the moment. Any one else? Unfortunately, since his marriage to Helene and move to the country, he had lost practically all contact with his friends, and even so. he had never really been that close to anyone after the death of his first wife, Mandi's mother. He had no family. his mind searched frantically, reviewing and discarding names until he remembered Anne Bates.

He had not thought much about her since Helene had pulled her stunt in trapping him, but on thinking back, he realized that there may have been more truth than poetry in her claim that Helene was cheating her from her inheritance. Particularly, since he discovered how Helene operated. Besides, he had to trust someone who was familiar with Helene's past and to help him maintain the masquerade until he could somehow regain,if not his own, at least a male identity again.

Suiting action to the thought, he dialed her number, Fortunately, she was at home. He introduced himself as Dr. Evans, Helene's physician. Had she heard about the accident that involved her sister and her husband as well as the Reverend Niece? Yes, she didn't care much about the preacher, but she thought that between her sister and her husband, the wrong one got killed.

"That's what I'd like to talk to you about. It's extremely important that you come over and see her. There are many important things that have to be discussed."

"If its so important, how come she can't talk on the phone or come and see me?"

"She can't talk to you because she is under heavy sedation. As for visiting you, I'm afraid it would be to dangerous for me go wandering about by myself right now."

"What in the world are you talking about?" Demanded Anne. "First you say my sister can't talk because she is sedated, the you say you can't get out because its to dangerous. I just don't understand."

"Oops!" John's hope of maintaining a masquerade fell by ten points. He couldn't try a feminine voice, claiming to be Helene, Anne, knowing her, would recognize the falseness of it immediately. He couldn't tell her that he was John. As far as Anne knew, he was dead and he didn't want to say anything that would contradict that impression over the phone. He had tried to act as Helene's physician and even blew that.

"Please Miss Bates, its extremely important that you come. It not only involves yourself and your sister, but it also concerns Mr. Crombie's daughter, Mandi as well. I promise that no harm will come to you and that everything will be explained when you arrive."

"Well, all right. If I have to, I must. But its a long drive and I have to get ready. I imagine it will be an hour or so before I get there. "Fine, I'll be waiting for you."

John had no sooner finished the call, when the phone rang again. "Hello." He answered still using his modulated voice.

"This is Sergeant Jones of the Police. Is Mrs Crombie there?" "What did you wish to talk to her about?"

The sergeant stated that her attorney Ms. Blake was handling the details of the accident, but he would like to get her statement about the wreck, at least those she could remember and also identify some of the articles they recovered from the vehicle and the surrounding area. He added that he realized that she was upset, but it was necessary, and that he would be as brief and gentle as possible. Could he come immediately?

John, With a bit of trepidition, as he realized that he was committing himself, answered that he was Mrs. Crombie and in addition to the lacerations he received from the accident, he had apparently developed a cold and his voice was not normal. however if the sergeant would be brief, it would be permissible to come immediately.

While waiting for the sergeant to appear, John tried to think. What in the hell does a woman who has just been in an accident and been widowed, wear to meet a police sergeant. Especially a woman who is hurting, bruised and has a cold!

A dress? To formal. Slacks and blouse? She is sick and not about to run about or clean house. He went up to the closet and searched through it. He then selected a long robe with a cowl to it. Making sure that he was freshly shaven, he added a bit of powder to make his face appear a bit paler. He put on the robe over the lingerie he was still wearing, slipped a pair of slippers on and brushing out the wig, replaced it on his head. Pulling the cowl over his head, and with a box of kleenex, ensconced himself on the sofa. With beating heart, he waited for the meeting with the sergeant.

The meeting was anticlimactic. The sergeant was slow and gentle, seemingly concerned not to upset Mrs. Crombie with the gory details. John with a husky voice, his face constantly covered with Kleenex wiping his nose, successfully answered the questions regarding the accident, He discreetly omitted any comments about the drinking. He also identified the wedding ring that they found, showing the sergeant the feminine version of it that he was wearing. He also identified the remains of the wallet still containing a burnt and almost unidentifiable driving license as John's. This seemed to satisfy the sergeant about officially identifying the body as John Crombie.

He breathed a huge sigh of relief as the sergeant left and was slightly elated over his successful impersonation but realized that he had now committed himself as being Mrs Helene Crombie and woe betide him if he were caught.

 

COMMITTED (CHAPTER SIX)

About an hour after the sergeant left, the doorbell rang again. John went to answer it, still clad in the robe. It was Anne. She took one look at him and exclaimed, "You're not Helene! Who are you?" She started to step back, but John grabbed her arm, pulled her inside, shut and locked the door.

Releasing her, he swept back the cowl and removed the wig. She looked at him in amazement, "You - You're - John! -John Crombie!" she said in a weak voice, staring at him.

"Yes, and I'm in a mess and need all the help I can get. You're the only one I can turn to." He then went on to explain the details of his involvement and how he wound up with Helene's identity.

Once the details were explained, Anne took it with surprising calmness, "I've seen Helene at work destroying people and anything mean she can do to further her own ends doesn't surprise me. As for me helping you, count me in. I'd do anything to foil any of Helene's nefarious plans."

She then thought a moment, then said, "We have to think things over and have a rational explanation. I don't believe many people will think it unusual if we have a "reconciliation". After all families do have a tendency to come together during an emergency. I can get leave from my job. So temporarily at least, I'll move in with you, that is if you have room."

John averred that there was plenty of room, there may not be much help about to assist them, but there were several spare bedrooms in the large house.

Anne dismissed the apology with a wave of her hand. "Its not important about lack of help. Right now, we have to think of how you can carry this off."

John began bewailing his fate. "I guess I should have said something just after the accident. But at the moment I was stunned and really didn't know what I was doing. The next morning when I became aware of the circumstances, I began thinking of the charges Helene had pending against me and what would happen to Mandi that I was afraid to say anything. Now I don't know what I will do."

Anne cut him off. "you did right. All we have to do is to get you through the next few days. After that we'll worry about what to do on a permanent basis."

Anne thought a moment and finally said, "Knowing the way Helene thinks, she would never miss an opportunity to get new clothes and dress for any occasion, including funeral services. We'll go into town, get you a set of widow's weeds including a black hat with a heavy veil. With the scratches on your face and kind of limping from the bruises, no one would ever recognize you. If you have to talk, you can claim you still have the cold you caught from the exposure and your voice is still not normal. That will get you by for the next few days. Hopefully, by then, you'll be able to make some plans on how to get by permanently. Right now, first things first."

"You mean to say I have to dress as a woman and go shopping for female clothes?"

"Just that. Now let's go select something my chic sister would wear to her dear husband's last rites."

"I don't know all of Helene's clothing, but I think she has some black dresses. Why do I have to go buy new ones.?"

"If I know my sister, she kept her distance from everyone, but she was a fashion plate that doted on being admired from afar. If there was an opportunity for her to get a new outfit, she did. For you to remain consistent with Helene's behavior, its a new dress. Besides, you need the practice on being a woman. If anyone would overlook a few gaffes, its a salesclerk anticipating a good commission by selling an expensive outfit. If you're going to maintain this masquerade, you better start learning in front of strangers rather than people who have met Helene." Acceding to Anne's logic, John led Anne to the closet where Helene kept her clothes. "There's her clothes, you find something appropriate for me while I go shave and get ready." "Where does Helene keep her lingerie?"

"Her what?"

"Her lingerie, you know, her underwear."

"Oh, in that bureau over there." Answered John with a grimace of distaste as he went into the bath. He knew full well what Anne's intention were for him in that regard.

He returned a short time later, his face smooth and clear. Anne had laid out a black dress on the bed and was busy digging into Helene's lingerie, finally coming up with a pair of black panties, bra and slip. She tossed them on the bed and began searching through the hosiery, finally selecting a pair of sheer smoky hose and black combination garter belt and waist nipper. "Well, there's your outfit. From what you told me, I guess you can apply your own make up."

Rather shamefacedly, John admitted he could.

"Well, get going. Incidentally, from this moment forward, you are not only going to have to sound like a woman, but also sound like Helene. You can probably get by the next few days because you are still overcome by grief and the exposure. Eventually that won't work so the sooner you start practicing, the better off you will be."

Reluctantly accepting his fate, He slipped on the dainty lingerie. In spite of his antipathy toward having to pretend to be someone he wasn't and the idea of having to wear women's clothes, he couldn't help having an erotic twinge as the frothy lace and sheer fabric teased his delicate and tender skin.

Completing the make up, he was inspected by Anne. "Not bad. Not good either, but you look good enough to go shopping. After today, you'll have a hat with a heavy black veil that should carry you through your period of mourning.

She continued her inspection. "Uh oh, Helene had pierced ears. We'll have to get yours pierced while we're out and your nails are a mess. Its a good thing it was dark last night and no one noticed. Do you know whether the sergeant who interviewed you today might have noticed?"

"No, I thought of it at the last moment and kept my hands under the robe."

"We'll also have to get you some long artificial nails while we are out, meanwhile, we'll just fix these as best we can. Thank goodness, the shoes I picked out for you are not open toed."

"You can wear Helene's shoes can't you?"

Trying them on, John admitted that he could, but they felt a bit tight on him.

"Oh, its probably because you are not accustomed to women's pointed toe. You'll get used to them." She dismissed the complaint.

Anne patiently filed, shaped and painted John's nails. While they were drying, she took one of Helene's wigs, placed it on John's head and began brushing it out.

"Thank goodness that dress I picked out for you has a zip back. You can step into it without having to pull it over your head and mess up your hair."

Deciding the nails were dry enough, she assisted John into the dress, zipping up the back. He slipped on the shoes and stood for Anne's final inspection. "Not bad, you should pass. Since you're in mourning, no jewelry. Be sure to try and imitate Helene's mannerisms as much as you can remember. Well, I guess we can go."

John looked in the mirror at himself impeccably dressed and groomed. He hoped he looked and would act feminine enough to pass. Yesterday, under Helene's duress and dressed, discovery would have meant feeling foolish and ridiculous. Now his very freedom depended upon his acting ability.

He compared his own feminine appearance, with the skirt of the dress hanging decorously below his knees, perfectly made up face (except for the scratches), groomed hair, sheer hose and dress shoes to Anne's rather neat but casual attire of slacks, blouse and sandals. "How come I can't wear slacks? I see lots of women wearing them and I'd feel a lot more comfortable in pants than I do in this outfit?" "Have you ever seen Helene wearing slacks?"

John admitted that he never saw Helene other than being perfectly dressed and never wearing pants.

"You are going to have to remain in character. Every time you wear something, say something, do something, you're going to have to ask yourself, "Is this the way Helene would do it?" Responded Anne. They drove into town in Anne's little car, passing the spot where the accident happened. The fallen tree and car had been removed, but there were a few cars parked about and people gawking at the spot. John shuddered and turned his head. Nothing was said abut the incident. They finally arrived in town and went directly to a large and exclusive department store. Anne suddenly asked, "Do you have any money?"

"Oh I have a few dollars, but I don't see any problem. I have Helene's credit cards and I am authorized to use them."

"Hmmm. Its quite possible that Helene made purchases here recently and some of the clerks may recognize her. If so, you'll be questioned if you try to use them. I'll use mine if necessary and you can repay me."

With this agreement they entered the store. Now if John were by himself, he would have picked out one or two items. If they fit, he'd have bought them. Not so with Anne. She made him try on several different dresses. He would have to model and pirouette in front of her and a mirror before any selection was made.

At first John was uneasy and embarrassed dressing and undressing and trying on all sorts of clothes. The dressing rooms may have been designed to furnish privacy while changing. They were individual changing cubicles with draw drapes to prevent any one from seeing. However, in coming and going to his individual cubicle, he passed several that either the drapes were not sufficiently closed or in many cases, neglected altogether where he saw several women in various stages of dress and undress. Also, the booths were not soundproof and John heard several unladylike comments, some of which made him blush. Up until that moment, he had thought he had heard everything while serving a short hitch in the navy.

However under Anne's critical eye and appropriate comments, he noted that minute differences in style and fabric would have significant effects in appearance while he was wearing it. One dress made a singular impression on him. He thought it quite attractive, but when he tried it on, something seemed to be lacking, although he couldn't pinpoint what was missing. He discarded it. Later on he saw another woman trying it on. She appeared to be similar to him in size and body measurements. On her the dress looked devastatingly lovely. It may have been her mannerisms carriage or walk. But it made John realize that if a dress didn't feel right FOR HIM, discard it and try something else.

John learned from this experience. One of the primary rules for women shoppers was, try, try, try until you find something that is YOU. He then realized that he should not be daunted by sales clerks or clothes that were ALMOST right.

From that moment forward, he began to enjoy the shopping experience and tried on various garments until he even stretched Anne's patience. With Anne's approval, he purchased two outfits, both black. One was a shiny black satin, although modestly long, had a seductive side slit that would occasionally expose a long expanse of leg. It had three quarter length sleeves. The sleeves fit rather tightly on the forearms, but bloused out at the shoulders. It had a hint of a daring show of cleavage, but actually was quite modest.

The second was quite sober. It was full black linen, high neck, long sleeves and a full skirt that ended somewhere between the ankles and knees. In spite of its modest appearance, perhaps because of it, it accented his femininity and was quite attractive.

The next step was a millinery where hats and veils were selected. By now, strange as it seems, John was quite interested in finding something attractive and would appear as feminine as possible. However, vanity must take a backseat to realism. After agonizing a bit, he finally selected a couple of chapeaus that would match the dresses he purchased and had heavy veils that would effectively hide his face. John thought that they were through, but Anne guided him to the lingerie department and together (he, rather reluctantly) selected panties, bras and slips to wear with the outfits he had purchased. As an afterthought and with a smiling leer at John, Anne selected a long black diaphanous gown and negligee set for him.

 

JOHN'S FINAL RITES (SEVEN)

Arriving back at the house, there was a message on the answering machine from Ms. Blake. She stated that all funeral arrangements had been made. John's body would be laid out at Mr. Odell's funeral home in the morning, closed casket of course. The final rites and cremation would take place the following day. One of the Deacons from the Reverend Niece's ministry would officiate. The message ended with the note that if there were to be any changes, please notify her.

They had no sooner listened to the message when the door bell rang. John went to answer it and noted that it was a strange man and with him, his heart leaped, was Mandi.

Opening the door, the man stated, "I'm from the Niece's Boarding school for Girls. With the notice of Reverend Niece's untimely death, we are closing the school. Our records indicate tht Mandi Crombie's parent/guardian resides at this address. I am to release her to a responsible person."

"I don't want to come here!" Mandi burst out. "My daddy's dead and my wicked stepmother killed him. I don't want to have to stay here with her."

John looked down, Mandi with a tear stained face was vehemently objecting to have to come here.

He then said to the man. "Thank you, this is the right place, we'll take care of her." Mandi, looked at him, not recognizing this strange woman who accepted responsibility for her.

The man who escorted her could care less who took over the responsibility for her. All he wanted was to get rid of her and get out. Which he did quickly.

As the man left, Mandi demanded, "Who are you? Your voice sounds funny. Where's the wicked stepmother who killed my daddy?" She looked from Anne to John.

It was Anne who broke the silence. "Come in child. We can't talk here on the door step." She then led Mandi into the den, John bringing up the rear. Once inside, she seated Mandi on a sofa and said, "This woman, -er, person, has something to tell you."

Mandi looked from Anne to John, still not recognizing him in unfamiliar clothing, wig and wearing make up. "Who are you? Where's my wicked stepmother and when can I see my daddy's --" Her voice broke and tears began flowing as she ended up almost inaudibly, "--my daddy's body?"

"Mandi." Said John in his normal voice.

She looked at him in startled amazement, her eyes widened. She opened her mouth, but no words came out.

John reached up and removed the wig. "Don't you recognize me?" She looked again, more perceptively now that the wig was removed. She suddenly jumped up, threw her arms about him, hugging him. "Daddy, is it really you?" It should be noted by now that John's mascara was beginning to run as he hugged her back, kissing the top of her head. Mandi suddenly stepped back, looking at him fully dressed in feminine garb. "They said you were dead! Why are you dressed like that? Where is Helene?

So John related the whole story about how Helene originally talked him into being assigned Mandi's guardian, then tricking him so that he would appear to be guilty of stealing her money and how he was forced to exchange clothes with Helene. Finally the mistake in identity resulted from the wreck. Helene wearing his clothes and identification was killed and burned beyond recognition while he escaped with a case of mistaken identity,

"I had to, you see." Concluded John. "If I told them the truth, I would be tried for stealing her money. Then the fact that she died and I lived would make it appear to a lot of people, including the authorities that I deliberately caused the wreck. I really didn't have a chance." He stopped, looked at his daughter, hoping for her approval and acceptance.

Mandi, clad in her school uniform of a long shapeless skirt that hung down to her ankles, the bulky Middy blouse buttoned to the collar, a big kerchief tied about her neck. No make up and her hair hanging straight down her back. (the school frowned upon make up and hair styling). Her legs and feet were covered with long white stockings and her flat shoes with a 'T' strap and 'Very' low heels, studied him. John, with bated breath, waited for an answer.

Finally her face broke into a whimsical smile, "Do I call you Mommy now."

John breathed a sigh of relief, Mandi accepted him in feminine garb. "No darling, I think Helene, or maybe Auntie Helene would be more proper. And remember, it must be for all the time. One forgetful remark and then its all over for me - and for you too."

"I understand Helene, or maybe I better say Auntie Helene. Maybe you had better put your wig back on. We don't want anyone seeing you out of uniform. I uderstand the need for secrecy. As long as we can be together, I'll do anything." She shuddered. "I don't want to go back to that awful place again."

"Don't worry young lady, from now on you are going to stay with me." John then introduced Anne to Mandi and explained how she had helped him prepare for his role of being Helene.

After the drama of the reunion had run its course and everyone more less calmed down, Anne announced that Helene's nails still needed to be fixed. It was very important that John maintain Helen's appearance of always being very proper and formally feminine .

Mandi insisted that she do the manicure, claiming that it was about time that she and her 'Auntie' Helene got to know each other. John laughingly agreed claiming that it was about time she began showing the proper affection and respect to her new stepmother. Anne looked rather disappointed but said nothing.

It was late before Mandi and John ran out of things to say to each other. during this time, they also took time to explain to Anne and made a point to include her in the conversation. While they were talking, Mandi did an excellent job of applying and shaping the artificial fingernails. Finally paintint them, and the toenails a deep dark red to match the black outfit she would be wearing during the period of mourning.

When they finally did prepare to retire, Mandi insisted on seeing John in his feminine night gown. At first he demurred, but was finally overruled. Blushing and embarrassed, he modeled the gown and negligee that Anne insisted that he purchase during their shopping spree.

He felt a bit better after listening to the oohs and ahs of admiration of the outfit and the way it fit him. He also received a lot of very much needed advice which he reluctantly accepted. His reluctance was caused by the growing realization that he had embarked upon a course that would be difficult, if not impossible, for him to reverse. He did not look forward to living the life of a woman, but at the moment, could see no alternative.

* * * * *

John successfully carried off the impersonation through his final rites. Before the ceremony, he applied heavy make up, at the same time embellishing the bruises and scratches that marked his face. That, along with the heavy veil made his face unrecognizable, even to anyone who would be facing him. Under the tutelage of Anne and Mandi, he dressed conservative and tasteful, commensurate as a widow who had just lost both her husband and spiritual mentor.

To further mask his identity, he exaggerated the limp from the bumps and bruises caused by the wreck. He also talked as little as possible and then in a husky whisper, blaming it on the cold he caught while suffering from exposure after the wreck.

In any event, no one seemed to doubt his identity, although several people came up and offered their condolences. A few even embraced him to show their sympathy. His new attorney, Ms. Blake appeared at the rites. She introduced herself to Helene and Anne. John was quite impressed with her appearance and bearing. She appeared to be in her late twenties or early thirties. She was quite attractive and bore herself like a queen, making John acutely aware of the necessity for him to maintain a feminine appearance and mannerisms. She expressed her sympathy, adding that she hoped they could get together shortly to determine any changes that might be necessary because of his changed marital circumstances.

John, answering as Helene, stated that for the moment, she could think of no significant change that needed to be made immediately. although she did indicate that later, after she had a chance to think things out, there may be some extensive changes. She also expressed her gratitude for withdrawing all criminal charges against John Crombie. The attorney brushed off the gratitude, stating that it was no big deal and that nothing could be gained by continuing to press the charges except a lot of unwelcome noteriety. She then stated that there would probably be an inquest in a few days and that Helene would be required to testify. She assured Helene that it was just a formality. It was just a legal routine to certify that the deaths were accidental.

The assurances didn't ring very well with John. He had successfully coped with the funeral because people had considered him so upset from the results of the accident and stricken by grief that they would forgive a few little inconsistencies in his mannerisms or poise. Also he had been kind of protected from the crowd by Mandi, Anne and various officials in charge of the rituals.

From what the lawyer indicated, he probably would not be badgered or questioned closely. However he would have to testify in front of the court and the crowd. Any mistake or error would be magnified.

Later he commented to Mandi and Anne that if he could get by all of these public displays, he could get a job as a female impersonator. It may have been sort of a gallow humor to John about having to live on a razor's edge in a fish bowl. To Mandi it was a challenge. She had lost her father once and was determined for it never to happen again. If the only way she could keep him with her was for him to live to live as a woman, so be it. He would be the loveliest, most delicate feminine woman she could instill in him.

There wasn't much anyone could do during the funeral ceremonies. As Helene, (John) was almost constantly required to be about, however, the whole routine was over in less than two days and they were able to retreat into the privacy of the estate.

At that point, Mandi and Anne began the job of feminizing John in earnest. Now Helene had required John learn to walk and talk in a sort of feminine manner and John had complied. Then, he was a reluctant and antagonistic pupil, doing just enough to get by. Now it was different. This time his very freedom depended on it. He had to succeed.

Under the tutelage of Anne and Mandi, he not only tried to learn to walk and talk as a woman, but to have a walk and mannerism that were identified to Helene. He also tried to educate his voice, although it could be considered barely passable in feminine accent and speech mode, there was no way he could resemble her in tone, pitch and timbre. Naturally his facial features bore only a superficial appearance even under the best of circumstances.

They practiced assiduously for the few days before the inquest. It was one thing to attend a funeral, gaining sympathy from every one who would overlook a few miscues by a distraught widow bereaved by the loss of her husband. Although, she would still gain some sympathy at the inquest, she would still be forced to appear as a central figure while on the witness stand and subject to a more critical audience.

The night before the inquest, a council of war was held by the two women, (well one adult woman and one knowledgeable teenager) and John. It was decided that Helene would still wear his widow's weed, including the heavy veil. She would still display the bruises and scratches on his face as well. Also the cold affecting her voice had still not healed. --And hope for the best.

There was one thing about the impersonation that John did not anticipate. He discovered that he began enjoying his role as a woman. He delighted in the feel of sheer silk and nylon against the newly shaven skin of his body and limbs. The feeling of the taut restraining sheer stockings or pantyhose was almost ectasy. Even the waist nipper, bra and expensive pads that Helene had procured began to feel like a natural part of his body and he positively felt naked without them. The dresses, even the modestly styled widow's weeds felt so much lighter, comfortable and non-restrictive than the bulky baggy feeling of the male clothes he had been used to. Finally, the click-click of the high heels on a hard floor began sounding like music to his ears.

He would never admit to Anne or Mandi, or even his conscious self that now he had this additional incentive to make the impersonation work. He had not yet thought through all the aspects of make up. So far he had been required to embellish the few, by now, almost invisible bruises and scratches he had received from the wreck as he applied the conventional make up. He did think that the application of eye shadow, mascara and eye liner made his eyes look more lustrous and expressive and the cheek blusher and lip coloring added vivacity to his features. This preoccupation of his femininizing unwittingly assisted him in his impersonation. He was constantly aware of his clothing, make up, hair arrangement and jewelry as well as being constantly assailed by the musky smell of the perfume he wore. Because of this preoccupation, he very seldom forgot to maintain his feminine appearance as best he could.

John, accompanied by Anne, went to the courthouse on the day of the inquest hearing. They successfully negotiated their way through the throng of spectators, the curious and the representatives of the news media. They eventually took their seats in the courtroom.

The presiding judge appeared and the inquest started. The first few witnesses were the police officers who arrived at the scene shortly after the accident. They testified that they examined the wreck of the car and found two bodies burnt and mutilated beyond recognition. Their only means of identification were traces of driver's licenses in their half burned wallets,and jewelry they wore. Later they did positively identify Reverend Niece by dental records. John Crombie's head was crushed and his body badly burned, not permitting any method of physical identification. Subsequently, Mrs Crombie, who escaped with severe scratches and bruises, confirmed that Mr. Crombie and Reverend Niece were in the car. This was considered sufficient evidence for positive I.D.

Next was the paramedic. He testified that he saw the two mutilated bodies and confirmed that visual identification of them were impossible. He also stated that they found Mrs. Combie in a comatose state. She had apparently been thrown from the car and suffered severe cuts and bruises from the accident. He stated that Mrs Crombie recovered her senses and although a bit dazed, was in full possession of her faculties and corroborated the identification of the two men. There were other witnesses who gave statements regarding the road and weather conditions at the time of the accident.

Finally Mrs Crombie was called to the witness stand. John arose, limped up the the stand, exaggerating the severity of his bruises. Sitting on the witness, his face hidden by the heavy veil and a hankie he constantly used to dab at his eyes (hiding his face). He described in a throaty whisper, spoken in a low almost indistinct manner, the events leading up to the accident.

He omitted all references to the excessive drinking, but stated he thought 'John' was driving a bit fast for the condition of the road. He then deprecated his opinion by stating that Reverend Niece chided him for back seat driving. He also stated that he was always nervous riding in the back seat of a car and may have been overly concerned.

He managed to win sympathy from the crowd and the attorneys by continually dabbing at his eyes to wipe away the tears and how he bravely testified in spite of the bad cold that was ruining his voice. His testimony was almost completed and he began breathing easier as he sensed the concerned attitude of the crowd until some woman jumped up and shouted, "Jezebel!"

It was Mrs Niece. She followed up the outburst with a string of vituperation, claiming that Helene had seduced her husband and when she tired of him instigated the accident to get rid of him.

It was all a figment of the poor woman's imagination of course and most of the crowd realized it. However, since the Reverend was a noted T.V. Minister, the news media personnel picked it up. Suddenly there were stroboscopic flashes all over the courtroom as pictures were being taken and John was suddenly surrounded by a swarm of newspersons shouting questions at him. He was bewildered by the pandemonium and looked about in a panic.

Finally, Ms. Blake appeared through the shouting throng. Taking his arm, she began leading him through the noisy mob. She led him out of the courtroom down the steps and ensconced him into a waiting automobile. She got into the car and began driving off. He started to call for Anne, but Ms. Blake dismissed him. "Nobody wants to talk to her. She'll get out O.K.. We'll meet her at home."

As they drove along, Ms. Blake asked him what his future plans were. "I don't know," Answered John. "So much has happened in the last few days, I'd just like to get away and kind of catch my breath so to speak. Then today, that, that! Woman! Accusing me of stealing her husband. Why I had to fight him off!" John added unnecessarily with a bit of venom.

Until that moment, John had not considered a vacation, but at the moment, he didn't want to get trapped into talking to a lawyer, even a new one until he could get his bearings. Then as he mentioned it, the idea seemed more and more exciting. Anything to get away for a few days and not have to pretend to be someone he wasn't in front of a bunch of strangers.

Ms. Blake nodded understandably. "I agree the poor woman must have been overly distraught. However, once the sensationalism has died down, people will forget about you."

"But I really rescued you to discuss another matter. You remember, I called you about quashing the charges against John Crombie?"

"Oh yes, I appreciate your concern in that matter. I must thank you for it."

"Thank you. Anyway, I began looking deeper into the charges and the evidence. In my search, I found several anomalies that will need some explaining. However, it is not pressing. you go ahead and take some time to recover from your loss. When you feel better I would like to discuss this and some related subjects with you."

"What do you mean?" Warning flags began waving at the back of his mind.

"Oh nothing." Then she interrupted herself.

"We're at home, I'll let you out. We can talk later." John exited from the car and Ms. Blake drove off. John clad in his widow's weeds watched her go, a nagging worry at the back of his mind.

His attention was distracted as he saw Anne drive up. When she saw him, she leaped from the car and ran to him. "What happened to you? Suddenly those newspeople were surrounding you, shouting questions, taking pictures and in general acting like a bunch of maniacs. I was pushed to one side and then you were gone. What happened?"

"Oh, I was swamped, but Ms. Blake, the attorney, got me and took me home. She did quite it adroitly and efficiently too. She seems rather experienced that way.

 

They were entering the house as they were talking. Mandi heard the last part of the conversation about wanting to get away.

"Oh Daddy! Oops! I mean Auntie Helene. I heard the last part about wanting to get away. I just noticed an ad in the "Crazy But True" newsmagazine and maybe it will help you."

"That rag!" Expostulated Anne, referring to the sensational stories the magazine carried.

"I know its awful," Mandi replied, "But I was looking through the classified ads and ran across this ad. It may be just what you need to - well, to help you be what you are."

John looked at the ad, it read;

"Wanted male T.V.s. Learn how to be the perfect female

maid and wear feminine clothing and make up. Discipline

and punishment meted out for disobedience or failing to

learn properly. Must be eager to accept B/D.

Madame 'W' (one above X). Box xxxx. This magazine.

"See!" Exclaimed Mandi. "This Madame W, whoever she is, will teach you how to act more natural as a -well as a lady." She was still a bit uncomfortable seeing her father acting the part of a woman.

"Mandi," Said John gently. "Do you know what a male T.V. and B/D means?" "Why male is a man and every one knows that T.V. means television. I thought it meant that they would train male actors to be lady maids on T.V. shows and B/D meant something about the training program."

"Its not quite what they mean. It means - well its - ." John reddened and looked at Anne grinning at him. "Oh Anne, you explain it."

John watched as Anne led Mandi off and began talking to her. He could see Mandi's eyes open wide, her eyebrows arch sharply and watch her lips move to say, "I didn't know!" Meanwhile his mind was wandering, suddenly he stopped. Maybe the ad itself is a dead end, but it reminded him. Long ago, while he was working, they got a contract for a series of commercials for a group of night clubs. One of them featured female impersonators. He had to write the ads so that every one knew what was featured without specifically saying so in the ads.

He pulled the phone book and began scanning through it. Satisfied, he dialed a number. After a few moments it was answered. he said, "I'm interested in an audition, but I'm a bit rusty. Do you know of someone who could give me a refresher course and make an assessment of my improvement and ultimate chance of being accepted?"

John listened a moment and began writing a name and address on a piece of paper. Then thanking the person on the other end of the line, hung up.

"What was that?" Asked Anne

"That ad Mandi found gave me an idea. There are all sorts of Madame Ws or A. B. C. or whatever who will train transvestites for a price. I see nothing wrong with anything some one else wants to do as long as its fair and aboveboard and no one gets cheated." "But I was interested in a professional instructor who actually gives instruction in feminine training."

"Well, can't we do that dad- I mean Aunt Helene. We're girls and can show you how to act."

"Yes, up to a point, but I think a professional who is aware of little points that you and I don't even think about. Besides, most of these professionals have contact with doctors who specialize in doing alterations to enhance a feminine appearance. I may need a bit of touch up to more nearly complete my resemblance."

"Strangely enough, the person I contacted recommended Madam W, apparently she does professional training in addition to some of her more kinky ways."

John then began dialing the number he had just received. after waiting a few moments, he said. "Hello, is this Madam W? My name is Eric Martin. I'm interested in some instructions about appearing and passing as a woman."

After listening a few moments, he replied, "No I am not interested in bondage of discipline. I just want some pointers from a professional on how to dress, act and pass in female guise."

He listened a while and then concluded. "Fine, I have the address and I'll be there in the morning. Incidentally I will be wearing feminine clothing and it is imperative that I do so at all times. Goodby."

Hanging up the phone, John looked at the two girls and said. "The Madam has agreed to evaluate me and give me some idea as to what needs be done, my chance of success and most important - to her, is how much it will cost and how I will pay it.

 

THE ALTERATION (CHAPTER EIGHT)

The next day, dressed and made up as best he could, John driven by Anne, went into town to keep his appointment. The address turned out to be an average house in a middle class neighborhood. Nothing to distinguish it from its neighbors. Anne left, promising to pick him up after he called.

Pulling into the short driveway, John got out and approached the door and rang the bell. He could hear the sound of chimes in answer to ring. In a few more moments he heard the sound of approaching footsteps. The door opened and John found himself facing an attractive woman who appeared to be about his own age. There was nothing unusual about her. She seemed a bit taller than average, about five feet, eleven inches and had a seductive body to match. She was modestly garbed in slacks and blouse, on her feet she wore a pair of low heeled sandals and wore very little make up.

As she opened the door, John looked quite uncomfortable and said, "Oh, excuse me. I was looking for Madam W. Is this the right address?" The woman in no way fit his idea of a mistress who specialized in training T. V. males.

The woman smiled at him and said, "I am Madam W. Were you possibly expecting someone in a skimpy outfit and brandishing a whip?"

Quite embarrassed, he had to admit that her present appearance did not match his conception of what he was expecting.

Her smile grew into laughter. "Oh I do dress up a bit when I have an engagement to treat 'clients' in bondage and discipline. However, I do not do that here. I have a place a bit more ornate and have all sorts of facilities to impress and overwhelm the clients."

She then continued, "After you called, I contacted Mr -- (the night club manager that John had contacted). Both he and you stated that you were not concerned in that phase. From what I understand, you just want someone to give you instructions improving your feminine appearance, bearing and actions. In that case, I see no reason to impress or dominate you."

While she was saying this, she beckoned John into the house and led him into a comfortable and well furnished den. Seating him on a sofa and setting in a chair facing him, she suddenly changed her demeanor. "All right, Your name is NOT Eric Martin and you don't appear to be a transexual wanting to be a woman. Who are you and what do you actually want?"

John stammered a bit, ignoring the question about his identity, he said. "You're right. I got caught cross wise in a gambling debt and then got mixed up with some loan sharks. I felt tht the only way I could get out of their clutches was to change identities."

The woman looked at him and said, "I don't believe that either, but for the moment, we will accept it. Stand in front of me, slowly turn around and walk to the end of the room and return."

John did as instructed. Finally again standing in front of the Madam. This time she looked closely at him, pressing and massaging the artificial breasts in a clinical manner. She examined his features, even to the point of placing her finger under his chin raising his head and examining his throat, checking his Adam's apple.

Completing her perusal, she stepped back and said, "You seem quite adept at applying make up and I think I can train you to walk, talk and look like a woman. But there are certain factors that will need outside assistance. First you will need depilatory treatments for the permanent removal of your facial hair, and I would also recommend body hair. Sooner or later, you will need some alteration of your facial features. Your eyebrows, jawline, chin and nose should be be corrected to remove the heavy masculine appearance. I presume that you intend to maintain a feminine persona for an extended period?" The last was asked as a question, but it appeared that the Madam anticipated what the answer would be.

John replied to the effect that he wasn't sure how long he would have to maintain a feminine appearance, but would go on the basis that it would be indefinite. The Madam looked at him a long time, appearing to be deep in thought, suddenly she lashed out. "All right Mr. Eric Martin who is trying to escape from loan sharks. I don't believe a bit of that shit!"

"Do you know what I think? I think there was an auto wreck where the wife dressed in her husband's clothes died, but because of so much damage she couldn't be identified. The husband, dressed in his wife's clothes escaped, but for some reason or other, had to maintain the illusion. I don't know or care why, except for one thing. Was it really an accident?"

Shaken by the accusation, John didn't even try to deny it. "By trickery, she forced me into her clothes and dressed in mine. She and the Reverend were drinking pretty heavily then they insisted we go out. She wanted to see if I could pass in her clothes. Well, we went out and had a wreck. I had nothing to do with the accident. you must believe me. And how did you guess it was me?" John finished up.

"Oh I have sources that you would never believe. I had heard plenty of rumors about the Reverend Niece running around with a married woman. Then I heard about the wreck and him and some wife's husband dying in an auto wreck. Then some guy wearing female mourning clothes appears at my door wanting lessons on being a woman. Its obvious."

"Now what," Said John miserably, " I guess you're going to turn me over to the law.

"I am not! I know personally about the Reverend Niece and what a louse he was. If you got suckered as a result of his actions, I feel sorry for you. No, I am going to do what we agreed. I am going to teach you how to be a woman. Not only that, but I know a doctor that is willing to help you. But its going to cost."

The Madam then continued, "Do you have any pictures of your wife? Any you have would help a lot. I would prefer to have a face or bust where I can examine her features and also a full length photo showing her body."

"I think I may be able to do better than that." Answered John. "We have vidoe tapes of some of Reverend Niece's functions. Helene is shown in some of them. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, there may be few shots of her where she is talking and we have her voice on record also." "Great! Not only will we know what she looks and sounds like, it will help us in copying her mannerisms and movements."

After the first flush of elation when mentioning videos of Helene were available and the Madam's enthusiastic response, John realized that he was in over his head. The woman had penetrated his disguise with almost ridiculous ease. If this was an example of his ability to carry on a charade of posing as his wife, he wouldn't last a day once he was past the mourning period and had to appear as Helene in every day life.

He realized that he had no choice but to accept the woman's terms and hope that she and the doctor she recommended to do the physical alteration were relatively honest and would carry out their part of the bargain.

He hesitated a bit, considering all the possibilities and what if any alternatives he had. So far as he could determine, there were none. He had to trust his new mentor. "All right, what do where do we go from here?"

"Why, we will start tomorrow with your training. You bring those tapes containing pictures of your wife. I'll get copies made of them and take some Polariod pictures of your face and appearance to the doctor. After she studies them, I'll give you a package price which will include all changes in your appearance, habits and mannerisms that will be done by me and the doctor." John agreed. The next morning he appeared with the tapes. Madam W then took a series of pictures of him, both facial and full length. "I'll pass these on to Doctor W. That's not her initials, of course, but we may as well keep initials as simple as possible."

She then began studying the tapes of Helene , comparing her actions and behaviors as compared to those John was doing. It wasn't but a a few moments later when she began giving John instructions and the training began. For John, it was a long, difficult and intensive.

For instance, he would be instructed to walk in a certain manner. Then he would be shown tapes of Helene and compare them to tapes that the Madam made of him supposedly doing the same walk. The Madam would point out the differences and make suggestions as to how he could eliminate them. For the next few days he made daily visits to the Madam's and practice various actions. First to learn to do them in a feminine manner. Then to do them in the same fashion as Helene.

It wasn't long before John was about ready to give up. It seemed like the harder he practiced, the worse the resemblance. The Madam was not quite as pessimistic. "Helene took almost thirty five years to learn and practice actions peculiar to her. You took almost the same amount of time to learn YOUR actions. Now, you want to change everything you learned to be just like everything she learned in less than a week. It just don't work that way."

"Yes, but --."

"Yeah, but baloney! You are making progress! It may not be apparent to you, but I can see little signs that you are picking up certain traits and mannerisms. Its just a matter of time, dedication and work."

She then changed the subject. "The doctor has examined the photos of you and the videos of your wife and believes that she can help you. She instructed me to start giving you a series of electrolysis treatment to permanently remove your facial and body hair. If you are serious about assuming the persona of youur wife for an indefinite period,it is important that your skin be smooth and clear. Meanwhile as you are taking those treatments, you will continue your lessons with me.

At first, John objected vehemently, but the Madam would accept no compromises. Eventually he agreed to her terms. So the practice continued and the depilatory treatments began.

After only about a week, John could begin to see some resemblance between his actions and Helene's and began to get a bit encouraged. A day or so later, the Madam stated. "In a day or so, we will be visiting the doctor. Be prepared for an extended stay because she will wish to begin immediately. I would advise you to put your affairs in order to be gone for at least three weeks and possibly as long as a month."

That evening John related to Anne and Mandi of Madam W's proposal and the need for him to be gone for an extended period of time. He asked Anne if she would stay with Mandi for the period while he was gone.

Anne hesitated a moment, then said, "Of course I will. I'll stay here as long as you need me." She had a rather odd look in her eyes as she said it. John was so grateful to have someone he could trust with Mandi that he didn't notice the look. Also he was busy thinking of what the doctor would do to him when the time came.

His day dreaming was interrupted, "You mean they're going to make you look like, a WOMAN?" Asked Mandi, her eyes opened in wonder.

"It looks that way Sweeetie. Will you miss seeing my ugly old face?" "No. Yes. I don't know. I guess I'm used to you the way you are and you may as well go all the way. Anyway, I love you and I'd rather have you looking the way you have to look as to not have you at all."

That evening upon retiring, John thought about his relations with Anne. They had been together for weeks and she had helped him in just about every way possible. Not only that, but she was a very attractive person. Yet during that whole period, John had no feeling of sexual desire toward her.

Affection, yes. Gratitude, yes. Even love, but more like to a sister. Anne acted like she felt the same way. No intimation that she was sexually attracted to him.

John idly wondered about it, but decided that since they were relatives in a way and the tragedy and its aftermath had an inhibited effect on sexual attraction. Yet, subconsciously, he knew that was not the real reason. It was something else.

It was only a few days later when the Madam told him to be at her house at eight in the morning. They had an appointment with the doctor and she would take him to see her. John was rather surprised. He thought that they would visit the doctor's office, he would be briefed as to what would be done and then he would check into a hospital. He was quickly informed that it wasn't going to be that way.

The next morning at the appointed time Anne drove him to Madam W's house and left him. The Madam invited him in. Without further ado, she handed him a pair of opaque glasses and ordered him to put them on. When he did, he discovered he was effectively blindfolded. He started to object, but she immediately shushed him. "The doctor is a well known specialist in her field. She is aware of you and the events leading up to your - well, your predicament and feels that you deserve assistance. She is also realizes the legal implications of your case and what might happen if she was implicated in your, - shall we say, 'alteration'." She then continued, "When the operation is completed, you will very closely resemble you ex-wife in appearance. You will be returned here. We will part and that will be the end of our arrangement."

John agreed, placed his hat and veil over the blinded eyes. Madam W, taking him by the arm, guided him out to the car, set him in and off they went. --To where?

They drove for quite a while, taking many twists and turns. John got the feeling that many of the twistings were designed to confuse his sense of direction. If that was the intent, it succeeded admirably. After traveling but a few moments, John did not have the slightest idea as to where they were.

Where they were going or where they come from.

Finally they stopped. Madam W escorting him up a short flight of stairs and into a building. Apparently they walked down a long hall. John could hear the echo of the tap-tap of his high heel bouncing back from the walls. They finally entered a room. The sound of his heels muffled by a thick carpet. He was guided a bit more, seated in a chair and the glasses removed.

 

(continued)

 

 

 

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2002 by Amelia Allyrw. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, compilation design) may printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without express written consent of the copyright holder.