Crystal's StorySite


A Christmas Carole

by Abby Rhodes


It was the weirdest thing I'd ever seen. There was this cloud of glowing particles moving quickly and slowly, all at the same time, mainly in red, white and green. It seemed to be a Christmas cloud, judging by the colors, and it was roughly the shape of a stout person.

Let me set the scene. I was standing looking in the window of my favorite lingerie shop, Secret Whispers. The owner, Chantelle Burroughs, had done a fabulous job on her windows this year. It was like a Santa's Cave decorated in nylon, chiffon, lace and satin and there were two dozen delicious pieces I wanted for myself. Mmm, maybe three dozen. The centerpiece was a scrumptious corset on the display model. It was in a dark, mysterious and sexy red, deep scarlet really, with black satin piping between each panel. It was trimmed in a delicate black lace with adorable panties to match. Naturally, Chantelle had included black stockings and black shoes to die for. Chantelle told me once that she had named her mannequin Julia and I was envious of Julia just then.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Simon Dupree, the last of my particular Dupree line and the despair of my parents. I'm not married and therefore there are no grandchildren and no-one to add to the next branch on the family tree. I'm thirty-four and I'm in good shape but more interested in little black numbers than children, although I had the distant hope that one day I'd meet someone I could swap clothes with.

I already own a lot of lingerie, along with dresses, separates and shoes, but I can always use more. Chantelle knows who wears the stuff I buy. I pretend it's for my girlfriend but I don't have one and Chantelle is too clever not to have joined up the dots. She's not just smart, she's pretty and sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't ask her out and just tell her about me and my obsessions, but I'm shy as well.

Sorry, the Cloud. I was inspecting a particularly nice creamy pale silk slip when the cloud started out as a reflection in the window glass. It seemed to be just behind me and to my left. I thought it was the reflection of Christmas lights across the road outside the pizza place, but, as I watched, the shape stared to take on a form and I turned to take a close look at it.

There were small colored lights inside the shape (they eventually turned out to be Christmas tree lights), and as I watched it was slowly changing, becoming more solid and assuming the form of a Santa, but a very unusual Santa. Most of the time you don't get the amount of green this Santa was showing me. It's usually just red and white, a beard, black boots and a sack, but this guy had greenery, holly I think, along with some sort of climbing thing like clematis that circled him several times and ended up dangling off his hat. Anyway, I decided he probably was Santa Claus.

"Er, hello?" I ventured.

"Simon de Moins Dupree?" he responded.

"Well, yes. I presume, given your general appearance and demeanor, that you would be Santa Claus? Possibly the Santa Claus?"

"Not quite, but a reasonable, if mistaken, assumption. I'm actually Beauregard Claus but please feel free to call me Mister Claus. I was told I'd find you here, looking at the lingerie in Chantelle's shop window and making wishes."

He didn't seem threatening, but who could have told him I was here? I'd only just decided five minutes back to walk home this way. He also shouldn't know about my secret life. It was my secret and not shared with anyone. My secret is Carole Roxanne Dupree.

Carole lived inside my head and was the alter-ego that surfaced when I pulled on panties, stockings and anything else feminine. She was the girl I wanted to be if I wasn't crippled with shyness.

"Of course I know about Carole, you idiot. In fact, assume I know everything about you both. Why do you think I'm here, for heaven's sake? My health? With snow about to start and my tree lights liable to short-circuit?"

It seemed he could read minds as well.

"I've no idea, Beau … Mister Claus. You haven't said anything that makes sense so far. Perhaps you could explain?"

"In the street? No way, Dupree." He pronounced it Dupré, to rhyme with way. Smart so-and-so.

"Take me back to your place, since it's only about 90 seconds away. Come on, boy, move it. My feet are starting to freeze."

I doubt I could have refused even it I wanted to. Something inevitable was happening and I was interested in seeing what it was. How did he know about Carole? How come he actually knew her by name?

Five minutes later I had brandies poured and the gas fire lit and Beauregard was dripping water from his boots onto my coffee table.

"Can I take your boots and put them in the hallway or closer to the fire?" I asked.

"They're fine thanks. Shut up and listen to me. I have to appear to cross-dressers all over the world tonight so I have to get to the point. I will show you your past, present and future, give you some options and hints, and let you draw your own conclusions."

"That has a familiar ring. Hasn't it been done before?"

"Not in a French Maid's outfit it hasn't." He gestured at me with his left pinkie and I found myself in the traditional costume. "Now, as I said, shut up. Follow me and we'll journey through the past first, because that's how it's done."

He waved his right index finger at me and in a flash we were standing side by side in the hallway of a large house. 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' was playing in the background and I knew where we were. This was my house, the house I was brought up in and where my parents still live, waiting for their grandchildren to come through the door so they can spoil them rotten.

"This is 1980," said my companion. "Have a look in the living room there, the one with all the lights, music and …. "

"I know where the living room is," I snapped, sharper than I intended. "This is my house. 1980 was the year I got that red bike, the one that was the next step up from the kiddie bike."

"That's right, you're eight years old. Have a look around. Can you see the kid looking at the parcels under the tree, touching and feeling them, trying to guess what's inside them? The bike is in the garage, by the way."

"That's me, Mister Claus. I presume the traditional invisibility applies in this situation?"

I moved in to the room to have a closer look at the heap of stuff my folks had got me.

"Actually, no. Everyone can see you and will point their fingers and laugh at you because you're dressed as a French Maid."

I reeled with horror and started to run out of the room.

"Gotcha," said Claus grabbing me by the arm.

"Trés amusing," I said. "That wasn't nice. I'm very shy you know."

"Yes, and that's the point. Watch what happens next."

I didn't want to watch. I knew what was going to happen and I didn't want to relive it. The boy slipped away from the room as his parents talked about themselves while watching 'It's a Wonderful Life'. For some reason I thought of this boy in the third person, even though he was me.

He climbed the stairs and went into his room and closed the door behind him. We followed by passing through the walls and watched as the little guy put his hand under his mattress and pulled out a camisole and matching panties. He'd taken them from my mother's dresser the week before and had hidden them under the mattress to see if their disappearance was remarked on, giving him the chance to put them back. She hadn't said anything so far, so he assumed she hadn't noticed.

The boy looked at his treasures and felt them, put the soft fabric to his face and closed his eyes. The lingerie set was a pale peach silk with fine embroidered lace and was the pick of my mother's underwear. I can still remember how wonderful it made me feel just holding them.

Inevitably, the kid took off his pajamas and put the lingerie on. Both items were a little too big but nonetheless stayed on because his mother was quite petite. And then there was the sound of footsteps on the stair landing and I went pale, just like the boy, who dived into bed and pulled the covers over him as the door opened and his mother came in.

"Simon? What are you doing? We were just going to open a couple of early presents. Come on, honey. Get out of bed and come downstairs."

She pulled back the covers to persuade him to go downstairs and found a small terrified child clad in her best camisole and panties.

"Simon? What the ... what the hell are you doing wearing my underwear? I wondered where it went. What is wrong with you, you little pervert?"

She went to the doorway and shouted. "Mark! MARK! Come up here and see what your son is doing."

We watched as the boy's humiliation multiplied by a thousand as his father came in and his mother pointed dramatically at the pitiful sight of her son curled up in a fetal position, now sobbing out loud.

"Take a look, Mark. This child is a pervert. My best underwear! God knows what he's done in them. I'll have to burn them. Get up, you little freak! Get up NOW."

The kid got out of bed and his mother literally tore her underwear off him. She stalked out of the room, heading for the fireplace, leaving the boy alone and naked with his father.

"I don't know what to say, Simon. I don't understand why you took your mother's things and felt the need to wear them. Unlike your mother, I understand that men and boys sometimes do that sort of thing but it isn't something we can tolerate in this house. I'm disappointed in you, to say the least. Put your pajamas on and get back into bed. Consider yourself grounded for the foreseeable future while I go and discuss this with your mother. Don't let me or her catch you doing this again or You Will Be Severely Punished. Do you understand?"

"Yes." Sobbing still.

"Good. I'll be calming your mother for a long time and I don't want to see you before morning."

He left and closed the door behind him.

Mister Claus and I watched as the boy put his pajamas on and climbed into bed again, still sobbing his heart out. From downstairs we could hear my mother screaming and ranting, and that's what I always remembered from that night, the terrible sounds of my mother and the constant repetition of the words 'pervert' and 'freak'.

I woke with a start, or at least came back to my senses, in my living room where Beauregard Claus was sitting opposite me holding a large snifter of brandy.

"Sorry you needed to relive that, Simon. It's essential that you remember where you started, although that mother of yours needed substantially more tolerance than that. Usually it's the father who goes off the rails but your father, unbeknownst to your mother, did something similar when he was about ten. He didn't get caught but it was a one-off episode. I'm sure he hoped this would be a one-off as well."

My eyes widened slightly. "He did? Listen, Mister Claus, Sir. I'm finding this French Maids costume quite stimulating and I'd like to take a look in the mirror. Could you excuse me for a moment?"

"No, I couldn't. We have things to do."

The world spun a little and I found myself sitting next to Beauregard on a very comfortable couch in what seemed to be a club of some sort. Many women milled around, talking, laughing and drinking.

"Reassure me, Mister Claus," I said. "They can't see us?"

"Only if I want them to, so shut up and listen."

"What if someone wants to sit on the couch?"

"The couch is a fourth dimensional construct that exists in its own world. The women you see will pass around us like a magnetised particle meeting its own opposite thingie. Didn't I ask you to shut up?"

"Sorry, Sir."

"If you examine these women closely you'll find that they aren't women at all. This is the New York branch of an exclusive club for those guys who like to present as women. A few transsexuals but mainly just girls having a good time at their annual Christmas party. I want you to take a very close look at them. There're all sorts of shapes and sizes and outfits, and one important factor needs to be got into your thick skull. They all dressed and made themselves up to look their best and some came knowing they didn't look all that convincing as women, but NONE-THE-LESS they left their houses and homes and came here to get rat-assed with their friends, who will support them through thick and thin because they have a common bond and a common lifestyle."

That NONE-THE-LESS was really loud.

"Is this some sort of a lesson in stepping out?" I asked. "Coming clean? Leaving the Closet?"

"Well done, Simon. Have a look at that lady dressed in the skirt and top covered with red sequins. She must be sixty and she's quite substantial but she's having the time of her life. No one apart from Stevie Wonder would identify her as a girl, but she doesn't care. She's happy in her skin and she knows what she is. That is, she acknowledges she's a cross-dresser and lives her life according to her own rules. That's one of the lessons we're covering tonight. Know what you are and the hell with everyone else. Tell me, Simon, how are your mother and father now?"

I watched the big girl wiggle her hips and take a glass of champagne off a tray carried by a passing waitress, dressed just like I was at that moment. It was reasonable to assume the waitress was a guy too and I noticed as I looked around there were a half dozen of them. They looked way sexy and I was envious.

"Painful subject," I replied. A glass of champagne appeared in my hand out of thin air and I took a sip. Mmm. Bollinger.

"It seems to me as if that one episode colored her whole attitude towards me. Although it was never mentioned again, it was like she was waiting to catch me out. She started coming into my room without knocking, tiptoeing across the landing and flinging my door open, making an excuse for being there. I'm sure she inventoried her entire wardrobe every day after that. It was obvious from little signs that she searched my room at least twice a week. I heard them arguing downstairs now and again and I confess that I was upset that she couldn't get past it. My father on the other hand, just treated me absolutely normally. Your explanation would cover that."

"Moving right along, Carole, you left home when you were eighteen and my informants tell me you proceeded to throw yourself into a world of not just nylon, satin and lace, but also really good clothes, like skirts and tops, ball gowns, big ball gowns, the best shoes and sensational wigs and make-up. Here, try this."

I found myself standing in a crowd holding a tray of champagne flutes. I glanced towards where the couch should be and Claus raised his glass and saluted me and turned to talk to the waitress now sitting where I had been a moment before.

Panic, but only for a moment. Hands reached out to take glasses from my tray and in less than thirty seconds I needed to get fresh supplies. I saw a waitress emerging from a doorway with a full tray and I found a serving area with fresh trays waiting to be changed for empty ones. I swapped my tray and the girl coming in behind me gave me a big smile and said, "Hi, honey. I don't remember you. What's your name, doll?"

"Er, Carole."

"Great to meet you, Carole. My word you look good. That costume really suits you. Isn't this the greatest party? So many dreams fulfilled at once. The costume, the girls, the lights, the music, the frocks. It's a sort of heaven. Hey, better get out there. The other girls will be running dry. See you later."

I hit the room again. It was obvious now that the waitresses were guests and not just waitresses and I found myself drawn into conversations with some spectacular girls.

This is important. Every single one of those girls told me how good I looked. I was amazed that the opinion was universal and I started to relax a little. I kept looking for a mirror, but every time I saw one the view seemed to be blocked by people, plants, curtains or something else. This was frustrating and obviously the work of Beauregard Claus.

Shortly thereafter I found myself sitting next to the aforesaid, who now had lipstick on his cheek.

"Nice girl, that. Said she'd been bad all year and was looking forward to a good spanking under the Christmas tree later tonight. Did you enjoy that, Carole?"

"Yes," I said. "Hugely."

"Excellent. Let's go."

The scene disappeared and we were standing inside someone's bedroom. It was a large bedroom with an enormous four-poster draped in white silk. The white spread was covered with delicate pillows and there was a wonderful white silk gown and robe lying on the bed, waiting for their owner to put them on. It was the most feminine room I'd ever seen.

The door opened and in came Chantelle Burroughs, dressed in a brilliant big dress. It was red satin with huge skirts below a nipped-in waist. Her cleavage would win prizes. In short, she was a delicious looking girl, but she was crying.

"Fuck that prick," she shouted. "What a pig, what an asshole." She hurled her clutch across the room. "Maybe I'm better off without him. How could someone dump me on Christmas Eve and for a barmaid? Fuck him." She threw her self on the bed and sobbed her heart out.

Beauregard spoke. "Carole, you hear a lot about barmaids and their alleged lack of morals and ethics. The incidence of moral shortcomings in barmaids is exactly the same as it is for secretaries, lawyers, accountants and housewives. It's just that barmaids have better make-up than some of the others and tend to come across men in difficult circumstances. That is, drinking to forget."

"Right," I said.

Chantelle stood up, unzipped her gown, and pulled it over her head. That left her in a large red multi-layered tulle petticoat and a red silk corset that I would have killed for. Gorgeous! She slipped off the petticoat and revealed fine red stockings and very high killer pumps. Red pumps, of course. I was riveted by this display. Chantelle looked just wonderful. I already knew she was a nice person from hundreds of retail transactions in her shop but undressed like this she was to die for. She hooked her thumbs into her panties as I appeared back in my apartment.

"That's not fair, Mister Claus."

"Yes it was. We aren't voyeurs, Carole, although Chantelle would make being a voyeur worthwhile."

"Are we matchmaking here? If we aren't, why did you take me to Chantelle's bedroom? I can't think of any other reason for that episode."

"Do I look the president of the Lonely Hearts Club?" He pointed his finger at me and we were standing on the edge of a ravine, the deepest, darkest, most sinister looking ravine in the entire world.

"Shit, sorry." He pointed again and we were standing outside Secret Whispers. His ring finger moved and champagne flutes appeared again.

"Have a sip, Carole. I have to take you through some possible futures and you need to be strong for some of the options. We've done the past and the present and if you haven't got some idea of where I've been heading you'd have to be dense, and I don't think you are. I think you're just shy. Follow me."

The series of episodes that followed were a mixture of scary, delightful, depressing and, worst of all, ordinary. As we went through them the explanations and implications came into my mind, presumably by some sort of Claus telepathy.

In one, I was old, still dressed in a negligee, but definitely alone. I looked sad and wistful, like I'd passed up opportunities that should have been grabbed. I was wrinkled and still quite trim, but there was little joy in my life. A Christmas tree that looked more like a small branch was sitting in a pot on the table with the lights that still worked twinkling on and off.

Then I was just Simon, having given up cross-dressing and become drab, married to a girl who looked like Nicole Kidman's prettier sister. I had four kids and the noise was incredible as they burrowed under the Christmas tree looking for more presents and demanding chocolate.

There was an unpleasant episode where I seemed to be someone's personal slave. I still had the costume on but I asked Claus to get me out of there.

Finally, there was scene where I was with a gorgeous girl who understood me and didn't care that I was a cross-dresser. I didn't get a close look at her, but going by earlier visits I assumed it was probably Chantelle.

"Anything appeal?" asked Claus as we materialised once more in my apartment.

"Before you answer, I have one last offer to make. I have the power and the written authority of my brother to make this offer. My brother's name is Sigmund Claus in case you thought I was referring to the jolly fat one who brings presents. Sigmund is the head of the family. Santa has to reapply for his job every year because they disestablish his position every Boxing day. You'd better hope that my other brother, Rory Claus, never gets the job because all you'll get for Christmas is squid rings.

"Now listen carefully, Carole. What if I said to you that I can separate Carole from Simon, create two people, a genuine girl called Carole and a genuine guy called Simon who, having been once the same person, would have a shared memory up to the point of separation but then be their own creatures."

"Would I, as Carole, look like I do now?"

"Yes. Go look in the mirror."

I went to my room and I looked fantastic in the French Maid's uniform. And I could be like this forever.

"You like?" asked Beauregard.

"Very much."

"There's a little catch attached to this offer, Carole. You'd be a genuine girl, but Simon would not be allowed to cross-dress. He'd be psychologically incapable of donning gay apparel. As in the Christmas carol, not in the, err, you know what I mean."

Wow! I thought hard about that. The pleasure in cross-dressing is in the act of cross-dressing and if you don't cross-dress you don't get the thrill of silk sliding over your body, of sheer stockings sliding up your legs, of your face being transformed in front of a mirror. For Carole that would become routine and Simon would never know the thrill again. Bummer!

"I reject your offer, fascinating though it is."

"Good decision. You're on your own now, Carole. By the way, we were at Chantelle's place yesterday and the store is still open. It's Christmas Eve again."

He disappeared in a whirl of red, green and white and shifting Christmas tree lights.

I'd had a fantastic time with Beauregard and it was up to me to do something about it. The party where I served drinks was the best and I found a card in the top of my stocking that gave me the address. But, having been specifically pointed in one direction, I decided Chantelle had to be my next call. I found, to my huge surprise, I was still dressed as a French maid and I mentally thanked Claus for his gift. I could have sworn I heard a distant 'You're welcome' float back through the ether.

I was reluctant to undress but when I had male clothing on and a coat to keep me warm I headed for Secret Whispers. I could see Chantelle behind the counter and I didn't hesitate. I walked inside, up to the counter, and said 'Hello'.

"Hello, Simon. Last minute shopping? Anything you'd like in particular?"

"Yes, I did have something in mind, Chantelle. I'd like to take you out sometime, for dinner or a movie."

She looked stunned. And stunningly beautiful.

"Why, I'd love to, Simon. I'm just closing. Why don't we find a place and have something to eat tonight? I don't have anything ready to eat at home."

"Sure," I said. "That would be nice."

"Just give me three minutes, Simon."

She put her head down and finished her paperwork. The café just down the street was only three-quarters full and we got a table immediately. I couldn't believe how fast this was moving. Later we went to a small bar and even later we wished each other a Merry Christmas as we kissed and parted, but only for the night.

In the tradition of good fairy tales and Christmas stories, this one has a happy ending. We swapped life stories over that first meal and drinks and Chantelle explained that she never had any doubt that I was into lace and silk but that indicated I probably had a softer, more feminine side, unlike Porky the Chauvinist Pig who'd dumped her the night before.

We started dating and in three weeks we'd become inseparable. I moved into her place three months later and we're still marvelously in love.

I'm in silk heaven.


Hugs, love and Merry Christmas to all,

Abby Rhodes

(For the more sensitive among readers, that bit about Rory Claus and the squid rings was only a literary device. There aren't enough squid rings available to give one to every child in the world in one night.)




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