Crystal's StorySite


Lady Writer

by Abby Rhodes


Danielle and I slept very late. Overnight, thinking about Fifi, I'd decided to get some help in, like a cook/cleaner, so Fifi could do other things. At breakfast (if eating at one pm can be called breakfast) Fifi looked like she was on top of the world and full of optimism. Her eyes were sparkling and perfectly matched her pale blue double chiffon nightgown and peignoir.

When I said I wanted to get help in for her she refused the offer and quite sensibly asked, "Where would you get a cook and cleaner discreet enough to trust with all the family secrets? It would be difficult to say the least. You can't let your readers find out about your lifestyle and that's that. No, leave it to me in the meantime. I still enjoy working around the house and its one way I can repay your hospitality."

"All right," I said, "but as of right now I want to put you on a permanent allowance. You can't work for nothing forever and I can't pay you wages because you're a friend. Let me give you a decent amount of money every week so you can do things and buy pretty underwear."

She smiled. "Thank you, Anna. The ground rules are changing and I will soon have enough money to buy the entire contents of the nearest Victoria's Secret store but I have such enormous respect for your kindness and your talents as a writer that I feel privileged to be a guest here. I know guest isn't the right word, but because I feel so much better mentally all of a sudden, the original agreement we had, that I would stay until my wrist mends and I find somewhere else to stay, has to be either put into place or we have to make a new agreement."

I felt alarmed. Fifi leave? It couldn't happen.

"Fifi," I said, "If you leave I'm coming with you. Okay?"

She laughed. "It's one of the things I like about you, Anna. I've been thinking about leaving and I keep bursting into tears at the thought. Yet here you are determined to have me stay. I confess that I want to, and your idea of making me the formal paid help is a good one. There are one or two things I'd like to buy and I need a regular income for that at least until my bequest comes sailing up the driveway. I have another idea as well.

"As you know, the one thing I'm good at, apart from cooking and cleaning, is art. I have a half-formed idea that I could open a gallery of some sort in the village. There are a couple of empty places that might be suitable and there are some blossoming artists living around here. Aunt Blythe's estate means I can do very nearly whatever I like and a gallery is something I've thought about on and off for years."

"What a brilliant idea," Danielle chimed in. "You can continue living here! I'm with Anna, Fifi. I'd be distraught if you went and lived somewhere else."

"Thank you, Danielle." Fifi burst into tears and sobbed for a full minute. "I'm sorry," she said. "I just feel so grateful having you two around and I haven't quite recovered from last week."

"It's a great idea, Fifi," I said. "Go ahead and do it. If I can help, let me know. Tell me what you need and it's yours. I always wanted to hang around with an art dealer. Of course, literary agents are good too." Out of the corner of my eye I could see Danielle giving me a funny look.

"I'm pleased to hear that, Anna," said Danielle. "Writers on the other hand, can sometimes have strange urges. You are here to write, not hang around art galleries."

Fifi's news was great, but if she was going to run a gallery there was still the problem of the washing and cooking.


Having sorted out Fifi and with lunch finally finished, Danielle said to me, "You haven't told us what you did between college and your first book, Anna. I know what happened after your first novel was accepted, but what about before that?"

"I'm glad you asked, lover. It's the story of a struggling author, burning the midnight oil, too poor to eat and wearing three overcoats to keep warm in the winter.'

"Oh? I would have thought three peignoirs."

"Thank you for reminding me, Danielle. You're absolutely right of course. Can we move to the living room for this? I'll make coffee and we can relax and I can entertain you with some more of my life story."

"Get away from the coffee, Anna. I'll make it." Fifi stood up and headed for the coffee machine. My lack of talent in the kitchen was starting to be noticed.

Danielle and I moved to the big couch in the living room and were deep in a passionate kiss when Fifi came in with the coffee.

"Thank you, Fifi," I pulled the skirts of my favourite red satin gown and robe around me and settled down to tell the story.


"When I finally felt educated enough, I was on the street, sort of, but I had a degree and I knew I was a reasonable writer. I had written a huge number of short stories and essays and a couple of underwhelming longer stories and I knew I wanted to keep writing, so I went into the local newspaper in the village and talked to Josh Berrigan, who is still the editor, into taking me on as a reporter covering local events, fairs, social goings-on and stock reports. All the usual small town stuff. I moved back into the family home to live, that is, here.

"I need to back up a little, because if I don't you'll pester me later on. When Ellie finally finished college and abandoned me I found a place of my own off-campus and continued to dress as a girl except for classes or social events with other guys. I had the confidence to go out dressed and I already knew quite a few girls I'd met when I was out with Ellie, so trips to the mall, to movies and parties with those girls happened all the time. My parents subsidised me financially because with Ellie now away they only had one child to underwrite. It meant I could afford a place I didn't have to share with others.

"Once I finally found the rhythm of college I did quite well but for extra cash I waited tables at a local Italian restaurant and made a few dollars and good tips. Eventually I got bored and one night asked if I could have the night off to do something or other. I offered to get this fantastic replacement in for the night. Her name was Anna and I guaranteed they would hardly notice I was missing. The boss, Mario, who was also the cook, was a really nice guy. There were two of us waiting tables and the other waitress was an Italian girl called Gina who was related to Mario in some way or other and there was one other kitchen hand apart from Mario. It was only a twenty-four seat restaurant.

"This was a year or so after my episode with Pete and I was dating once in a while, as Ryan, but the job and study kept me reasonably busy and I didn't have too much free time to play around.

"I turned up as Anna and Mario explained what the set-up was. I'd taken a lot of trouble to alter my appearance, with an auburn wig and fairly heavy make-up, and Mario, Gina and Davie, the kitchen hand, didn't pick me. They were deeply gratified that Ryan had picked such a competent replacement and at the end of the evening broke out a bottle of wine and celebrated. You can guess what happened from there. Ryan had more nights off and in a few months he left town and Anna took over full time. Interestingly enough, Anna made twice what Ryan did in tips, and that was one of the factors that made me stay on with Mario until I had my degree. That and the fact I liked the white silk blouse and black pleated miniskirt that Gina and I wore as a uniform.

"I was sorry to leave that job but, as I said, I moved back home after I finished college. I thought long and hard about looking for work as Anna rather than Ryan, but there was more chance of Ryan getting a job, so I stuck with him for the time being. The important part of all of this was the writing. Dad was still on the road and I dressed up now and then, but only when Mom was out. After three months I couldn't stand wearing male clothes all the time so I went out and found a place of my own in the village. That was above the store where the gift shop is now. It sold second-hand stuff back then.

"I bought a car because I needed one for my newspaper job to get to breaking news, like a clogged sink or a flat tyre, and I started to go out dressed again, but very discreetly and mainly to places like the Club. In the evenings I worked on what became Solid Hit and while I waited to see if it was going to fly I continued at the paper.

"As soon as Solid Hit started to sell I did two things. I moved to a larger place just a few miles past where Beth and Suzanne live. That reminds me, Fifi; we had drinks and dinner with the girls last Saturday night. They want to see you sometime this week so they can pass on their sympathies.

"As I was saying, I had this larger place and more room to move about and enough privacy to dress up more. It was then that I started to be more Anna than Ryan. As you know, Danielle, Solid Hit did reasonably well for a first novel and it was essential to follow it up as quickly as possible so that neither I nor my readers lost momentum. Dead Shot sold more and I bought a new car and a new sound system and had my facial hair dealt with. I also quit my job at the newspaper, just in time to save my sanity. One more hog fair and I would have been carted off to the asylum in a screaming heap. With Steel Shine I finally got the big reviews and the Book Club selections and book tours. About then, my dad retired and I bought the family home.

"Deadbolt and Quick Kill got bigger and better and here I am, adored by the masses, and rightly so."

Danielle's fist gently hit my upper arm. "A little modesty please, Anna, or I'll invoke the spanking clause," she said.

"Spanking clause?" inquired Fifi.

"Part of the contract for erotic book publishing that entitles me to put Anna across my knee and spank her under certain circumstances."

Fifi laughed. "There's a whole new story in there. Danielle, sometimes I don't think you're as innocent as you appear."

"It comes from reading too many books. Erotic games form the basis for quite a few stories and spanking is one of the most common activities, along with mild bondage, like being handcuffed to the bed while your lover does things to you. Maybe I'll put a bondage clause in the next contract."

"I'd rather see a Santa clause," I said. "That's where you buy me presents all the time. Where was I? Ah yes, I was talking about my adoring public."


At that moment the doorbell rang. This was unusual because the security system was designed to keep everybody out unless the gates were opened from inside the house and the ring from the gates is quite different from the front doorbell. We figured out later we just plain forgot the gates were still open from when Danielle arrived. I also forgot to look through the security peephole to see who was there. I believe I was expecting an Avon lady or a UPS delivery. In any case I opened the door to find my parents standing there and the back end of a taxi disappearing down the driveway.

You have to picture this. I was still wearing this long red satin robe and gown, the robe wasn't tied but luckily the gown was fairly modest. I wasn't made up but my new hair and fine details like immaculate eyebrows meant I still didn't look like Ryan. My mother was in a black dress with gold jewellery sprinkled here and there and my Dad was in a t-shirt and jeans.

I was speechless. My mother saw who I was and smiled, but my father didn't seem to recognise me and asked if Ryan was in.

"He is," I said. "Come on in." Panic. I led the way through to the living room, tying my robe as I went, where Fifi was sitting in her pale blue cloud and Danielle was lying fetchingly on the couch wearing a pale buttermilk-coloured nightgown liberally decorated with ivory lace.

"Ah, this is Fifi and Danielle," I said. "I'm Anna. Ryan is upstairs. I'll just go and let him know you're here."

"Don't bother, Ryan," said Mom. "Your father knows; he just hasn't recognised you yet. Darling, Anna is actually Ryan. When I said he wasn't recognisable as Ryan when he dressed up I wasn't kidding. Close your mouth, Charles, it doesn't become you.

"I had to tell him, Anna. I was tired of hiding it from him and since your Uncle Arthur finally told him about his cross-dressing career and he didn't seem to mind, it seemed a good time to talk about you as well. Are you going to offer us a seat, Anna?"

"Of course, Mom. Here, sit on the couch."

Uncle Arthur!!!

Danielle had already stood up and was looking suitably charming and attractive. "I'll just put on a robe," she said, and left for the bedroom.

"I'd really like a cup of tea, Anna. It's been a long trip. Didn't you get my letter saying we were coming up to visit?"

"No, I didn't," I said. "Obviously."

"Well, never mind, we're here now. I wouldn't mind coffee instead of tea. I'm a little tired."

I looked at my father, who was staring at Fifi like he'd never seen a blonde angel in a cloud of pale blue chiffon before. As Fifi got up to make coffee his eyes were riveted on her. In other words, he was a normal male.

"Fifi is a guest, Dad. Danielle is here for the weekend and she and I have a thing going. We've been seeing each other for a little while. She's also my literary agent." Danielle walked back into the room covered up in the buttermilk satin and lace robe that matched her gown.

"That's better," she said. "I was feeling a little exposed." She gave my parents her best smile. My mother was inspecting her very closely after my announcement about our relationship. My father just smiled and kept glancing at the doorway Fifi had disappeared through.

We sat down on the couch across the coffee table and I asked what the visit was in honour of.

"Shopping, Anna. I miss New York. Miami has its malls and arcades, but you can't beat New York for proper shopping. My letter also said we would be staying overnight with you and going on to the city tomorrow morning. We're staying at the Plaza. I always wanted to stay at the Plaza but we couldn't afford to. Fortunately, your father recently sold his shares in some company or other for a zillion dollars and I'm going to indulge myself. Tell me more about yourself, Danielle. I'm sorry to be nosy, but I have to make the most of this opportunity to catch up with Anna and her activities, as well as with Ryan and his activities. God knows, he never visits us."

Danielle laughed. "I'm sorry, Mrs King. I haven't been hanging around with him long enough to make him do stuff like that, but in his defence he has been putting in extraordinary hours with his new novel."

"Call me Cynthia, Danielle. How do you cope – ah here's the coffee."

Fifi arrived with a tray covered in coffee things and my father leapt up to help.

"For God's sake sit down, Charles. She's a grown woman and quite capable of doing all that without any help from you." My mother was nothing if not forthright. Dad sat down and Fifi reached over and touched his arm and thanked him. He beamed at her.

"We have from now until we leave in the morning to catch up, Anna. That's about seventeen hours before I call a taxi if we don't go to bed, although I wouldn't mind a few hours sleep. We have a lot to catch up on."

"I'm driving into the city tomorrow morning," said Danielle. "I'd love to drop you off at The Plaza, or anywhere else."

"Wonderful, Danielle. Couldn't be better. Excellent, we can relax." I had a feeling that relaxing wasn't necessarily on the menu.


It's probably best to summarise the rest of that afternoon and evening. My mother took charge and controlled activities and questioning, particularly questioning. At interludes, Fifi, Danielle and I drifted off and dressed more appropriately for visitors. Danielle dressed in jeans and a white silk top I hadn't seen before and wanted for myself. Fifi as usual managed to find a dangerously short skirt and a form-fitting top that displayed her cleavage.

In deference to my father I dressed in a conservative black cashmere sweater and black trousers. I looked myself over in the mirror before I went back in and the black outfit with my new hair looked sensational. I wore a little gold jewellery and full war-paint because I wasn't going to appear underdressed. I was prepared to make sure my father was comfortable around me as Anna by not wearing anything outlandish, but I wasn't prepared to pretend I wasn't dressed as a woman.

My mother grilled Danielle about her family, her past and what she thought her future might be. She discussed Fifi's life and times as well and Fifi handled it all brilliantly. She was between projects and was opening a gallery in the village. Me? I was working on a new story, probably to be called Dead Right.

I watched Pop and he watched Fifi and Danielle. Sometimes he looked at me and he obviously approved of me. I don't think he was prepared for me to be so feminine.

Finally my mother returned to Uncle Arthur. I couldn't wait to hear this. All my questions about her tolerance of my cross-dressing might be about to be answered.

"As you know, Anna, your Uncle Arthur is my youngest brother. Of course he's only two years younger than me, but David was born between the two of us, so the three of us were very close in age. As the oldest they both looked up to me and I assumed the leadership role quite early. I suppose I enjoyed the sense of power I had over them. When I say suppose, there actually isn't much doubt about it. Unfortunately I possibly abused the power slightly because I continually forced them to do things they didn't want to do and I'm embarrassed to recall I made them eat things like mud pies and worm sandwiches.

"Like all kids we played at families and David played the husband and we were mother and father to our child who was always played by Arthur. Now this is where we see my influence setting Arthur on his future path.

"David and I were the perfect mother and father in these games, but Arthur had always been something of a disappointment to me in that I'd wanted a baby sister. Eventually, after asking my mother many times when I might expect such a baby sister, I was told there would be no more children and we three were it for the family. I brooded about that for a long time and the solution became obvious. Arthur should have been a little girl, the baby sister I wanted so much.

"After I made that decision our little family games changed. Sometimes I blush now when I think about it, but I made Arthur dress as a little girl. Arthur never objected and it didn't worry David either. We sat in the little playhouse, sat around the little table and drank cranberry juice out of a real china baby tea set and David and I would imitate our parents. I would cook and welcome him home and David would complain of fatigue and accept tea while his strength recovered. Arthur, bless him, played his role as our daughter Louise beautifully. I can still remember David clutching his forehead, I suppose he was five or so, and saying, 'I say Louise, can you keep the noise down darling. Daddy has a headache.'

She laughed out loud. "I wish my father could have seen David imitating him. David was a brilliant mimic and I didn't appreciate his talent at the time.

"To cut a long story short, David and I eventually stopped playing mothers and fathers but Arthur never stopped playing Louise. He kept up his role with my cast-offs and as he grew up he filched things from my mother as well. By the time he was through school he was past being my baby sister and well into being almost my twin.

"It must occur to you that he couldn't have done all this without coming to my parent's attention. My mother noticed very early on, almost as soon as I converted Arthur into Louise, and she said nothing for a long time. I can remember her speaking to him when he was about eight or nine, and I overheard her big 'Setting Arthur on the Right Path' speech. She told him that he really needed to wear boy's clothes all the time, not just to school and when he went out with his friends. She was afraid people would think he was strange. (Don't forget that many people in those days would have assumed he was gay.) Anyway, Arthur was adamant that he was going to keep dressing as a girl around the house and any other time he could. My mother responded by telling Arthur his father was concerned about him. What would people think?

"Arthur wasn't interested in what my father or anyone else thought. He was Louise and that was that. The conversation went on for some time without my mother having the slightest effect on Arthur's determination. For my part, I was interested in hearing about these negatives, even though there was no way I could have fully understood the implications of Arthur's cross-dressing.

"I also overheard my parents talking later the same night when my mother reported the results of her conversation. (Arthur 1, Mother 0). My father was worried but he conceded that Arthur was a loveable, intelligent child with good manners and perhaps it didn't matter provided Arthur could refrain from being Louise when there were visitors. Apparently Arthur made the concession and these days they call it a win-win solution.

"You can see the similarities between your generation and my generation, Anna. I could have stopped your sisters from dressing you up and taking you out, but I also couldn't see why I should. Like Arthur, you were a good kid and I couldn't see the harm in it. I suppose the only worry I had was the same as my father's, that you shouldn't dress up when we had visitors, but Ellie made such a good job of you that no-one ever recognised you, and, as you might recall, Charles failed to recognise you as well."

"I did?" said my father

"You certainly did, Charles. You just did it again when we walked in the front door. I confess I didn't recognise her for half a second either. Anna, you've grown more beautiful as you've got older. We saw Holly the other day and she's no slouch in the looks department but overall you look more feminine than she does. What do you think, Charles?"

"What can I say, Cynthia? I'm still bemused by the whole situation. When I spoke to Arthur last month, I thought that… Sorry, I should say first of all that Arthur came to visit us and I had no idea that the elegant and very fashionable woman who walked in to the house was Arthur. She introduced herself as Louise on the doorstep and I was stupefied when she told me she was my brother-in-law, Arthur. You probably haven't seen Arthur dressed up, Ryan, but Louise is a stunner. She sat me down while we waited for Cynthia to come home from the market and she told me her story. The punch-line was that she just couldn't be bothered pretending any more. By the time Cynthia got back I was quite calm and collected. I suppose it comes down to appearance. Arthur as Louise was gorgeous and you as Anna are even more gorgeous. What is there to discuss? And you're hanging around with these other women who are equally gorgeous." He smiled at Fifi, who smiled back in her charming way, then Danielle, who dimpled prettily at him.

"Calm down, Charles," came from my mother.

"Sorry, Cynthia. It's just that I haven't seen so many good-looking women in one room since the night we went to the Folies in Vegas. To answer your question, and I think I already have, Anna is beautiful, and I think it's because of your genes, Cynthia." (Nice one, Pop, I thought).

"Very likely, Charles. Anna, is there anywhere around here to eat? Is the Candle in the Wind still open? I'd like to take you all out to dinner. I'm getting hungry and we can talk while we eat."

"I'll see if we can get in," I said. I looked at Danielle and Fifi with raised eyebrows and they both nodded. I rang the Candle and we had a booking for five for seven o'clock.

My mother made Pop change into a shirt and jacket, but otherwise we went as we were. I got a moment alone with Danielle in the bedroom where I kissed her passionately and fondled her buttocks and she grinned at me and said, "Just like Uncle Arthur. Isn't it a small world? By the way, I like Cynthia."

We repaired our make-up and went into the village squeezed into Danielle's BMW. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. For me, having my Dad know I was also Anna tied off a huge loose end. Pop sat between Danielle and Fifi in the car and at the restaurant and thought all his Christmases had come at once. The girls flirted with him incessantly and he was pink with pleasure.

We were just finishing dessert when Beth and Suzanne came in, saw us and came over to commiserate with Fifi. While they talked and hugged I explained that Fifi's aunt had died the week before. Pop's face fell at this news but then he brightened as he met the two girls, who, as usual, were dressed to kill in cleavage-enhancing silk tops and chiffon skirts. He invited them to join us for champagne and we went home quite late. It was good to see the girls because I was leaving for Georgia in two days and wouldn't have had time to see them otherwise.


The next day, Danielle helped load my parents into the BMW for the trip to the city. My mother got me alone for a moment and said, "Danielle is lovely. Are you thinking of marrying her?"

"It's a little early," I said.

"Well, I just wondered who was going to wear the bridal gown."

A very interesting question.

"Maybe both of us," I said.

"Well in that case, would you mind if Uncle Arthur was a bridesmaid?"

I had no answer to that, but it made me laugh. I told her I'd promised Fifi she could be a bridesmaid, but maybe Uncle Arthur could be Matron of Honour or something.

I kissed Danielle for a long time because I wouldn't see her again for a fortnight unless she flew down to meet me in New Orleans like she was planning, and they all drove off leaving me and Fifi alone again.


There was one thing I didn't tell anyone about for a long time. That night I had a dream about Fifi. This was the new Fifi who had now become a complete woman. She reminded me of Spencer-Stanhope's 'Venus Rising' except she was standing on a low pedestal, softly and beautifully lit with her head tilted slightly to one side and looking down demurely. Her hands were clasped behind her back and the garment she was wearing – something very short and made from a fine white gauze or tulle - clung to her curves but concealed nothing.

She lifted her head and smiled at me and an electric shock hit me as her blue eyes engaged with mine. I felt like I was going to faint. The shock travelled through me all the way to my groin and suddenly I had the most powerful erection of all time, huge, hard and strong. Fifi descended slowly from her pedestal and came towards me, holding her arms out. I lifted my arms to meet hers and our fingers touched and an incredible heat ran through me. We moved closer and our lips touched and my erection slid inside her and we melted into one being. Colours swirled all around us and there was a sense of continuous movement and interchange of body parts as we mated thoroughly and completely, merged and fused as a single entity, for hours.


(This is the last episode of Lady Writer for this year. The end of November is nearly here and it's time to write about Christmas fairies, Christmas presents and the search for the lost lingerie mines of the Queen of Sheba. On the other hand, a Lady Writer Christmas Special could be on the drawing board. If it's good enough for TV to have Christmas Specials, it's good enough for TVs to have Christmas Specials.)




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