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Uncle Arthurs Wardrobe
by Dave Hicks
Id never known my uncle Arthur very well. Id only met him a few times when I was growing up. I remembered him as a rather pleasant man, who lived alone and grew thousands of orchids. He didnt seem to have a job or work for a living. Apart from a card at Christmas, I had very little contact with him over the years.
My father once commented; his brother had made all his money on questionable property deals during the big war. Unlike my father, uncle Arthur hadnt had to fight in the war. I dont think my father thought much of him because of that. I know the war had affected my father in some bad way. As kids, my sisters and I always knew if my father had bad dreams during the night. Wed hear him cry out and then my mothers voice gently trying to calm him.
When I received news my uncle had died, it didnt make much of an impression on me, at the time. It was only later, when I was notified as a beneficiary of his will, I began to take some interest in his life. Both my parents were dead by then. I asked my aunt Sara about him. She was his last remaining relative. She just smiled at my questions and said; he was quite mad when it came to certain things but hed always been a good brother to her. Hed helped out with money a few times, over the years. She wouldnt tell me much more.
When I asked around, no one knew how hed died. Hed simply vanished. A police report mentioned; a neighbour had been the last to see him. Hed entered his house early one evening, giving her a friendly wave. A casual business associate had briefly talked to him by phone a few hours later. As his mailbox began to overflow and his bills went unpaid, people started to wonder. Eventually, the police broke in and found nothing suspicious. No body in the freezer, blood on the carpet or a note saying he was ending it all. Everything was tidy and nothing was missing. Uncle Arthur had simply vanished from the surface of the planet. The authorities placed his name on their missing persons list and promptly forgot all about him. After the prescribed length of time, he was declared dead and his property disposed of, according to his will.
I didnt know anyone at the reading of the will. They were a handful of older people who ignored me. Uncle Arthurs will seemed perfectly normal. All his furniture was to be sold, except for one item - an old wooden bedroom wardrobe. Everyone was bequeathed either cash or property of some kind. I received the house and the wardrobe. I spent the rest of the week moving what little I owned from the apartment into the house.
I couldnt understand why my uncle insisted I have the wardrobe. It didnt look like much to me. It was a heavy two door piece of furniture, constructed of dark solid wood, eight feet high, standing on four short ornately carved legs. Perhaps it couldve been considered almost stylish a hundred years ago.
When I first opened it, I hoped perhaps something of value was inside - but no. It was completely bare. It didnt match anything else in the bedroom - but I couldnt think of anywhere else to put it. I couldnt understand why my uncle would bequeath it to me. It made no sense. I doubted it was of any real value. It occurred to me at one stage; perhaps it concealed a secret compartment, of some kind. After a long and careful search, I found nothing. It was what it appeared to be an old solid wooden wardrobe, worse for wear over the years, with its original varnish starting to go a patchy white in a few places. Nothing more.
Since Id moved into the house, Claire had spent more time with me. I had a suspicion; she was planning moving in with me, sometime in the future. I didnt want that to happen - I was content to live on my own. Id known Claire for quite a long time. I suppose you could say we had a relationship of sorts, although Id never done much to encourage it.
"David, I need your help," Claire announced brightly, as she entered my house, carrying an armful of clothing. "It wont take too long."
She dumped the clothing on a lounge chair and went to my kitchen to make herself a cup of coffee.
"What sort of help?" I asked her, when she returned holding a cup.
"These clothes," she explained, pointing to the chair on which they were draped. "The hems have got to come up. Fashion has changed again."
"So?" I asked.
"So," she repeated. "I need you to put them on. Its the only way I can get the hems straight."
"I dont know if I like that idea," I told her doubtfully. "I have a vision of one of my big butch drinking buddies arriving - just when Im standing on the coffee table wearing one of your cocktail dress. Id never be able to show my face at the bar again. Not after that."
"Rubbish, David," she replied, finishing her coffee. "Well just lock the door. That way, no one can see you. Anyway, I dont even own a cocktail dress. Maybe youll buy me one, sometime."
She picked up the clothing and headed up the stairs to my bedroom. I followed, not really believing I could change her mind. She hung her clothes in the old wardrobe uncle Arthur had given me. Apart from a few pairs of shoes, it was empty.
"Ill be back," she informed me briskly, as she headed for the door.
"What about the clothes?" I asked.
"Cant do it today," she informed me. "Ive got too much else to do this morning. They wont hurt being where they are for the next few days. Will they?"
"No," I replied unsurely. "I dont suppose so."
She stopped at the front door and turned to me.
"None of your big butch drinking friends are likely to go poking inside your wardrobe - are they?"
"Then its not a problem - is it?" she laughed, as she left, not waiting for my reply.
But it was a problem. That night, I lay in bed thinking - looking at the wardrobe in the semi darkness. There were womens clothes hanging up in my bedroom, just a few feet from the end of my bed. Although Claire was larger than me, I could just try on just one of her dresses for a second and no one would ever know. Not even Claire would ever know what Id done - if I were careful to put the dress back, just the way Id found it. How would it feel to wear one of Claires dresses, I wondered. Would it feel nice or would I be so embarrassed, I wouldnt enjoy it at all. What does it feel like to wear that sort of clothing all the time? What do women feel when they get dressed like that? Is it nice? All the clothes would be gone in a few days and my chance to find out would be lost. Would I feel guilty if I did?
In the end, I gave in. I opened the doors and removed the first thing I touched. It was floor length dress of deep blue silky material and a mid-length white coat. Nervously, I removed them from the hanger, pulled the dress over my head and let it settle on my naked body. I ran my hands over the dress, smoothing it to conform to the lines of my body and feeling the texture of the material against my skin. I put on the coat and looked at myself in full-length mirror of my other wardrobe.
I looked like me in one of Claires dresses. For some unknown reason, I felt a little disappointed, in a way I couldnt define. Perhaps Id expected more.
As I sat on the bed, there was a blinding flash of white light.
I walked around the centre of the city for a while, looking at the shops. Its something I rarely did, although I rather enjoyed it. I was an overweight, elderly woman with a large bosom. I knew people tended to stare at me - sometimes make comments among themselves.
In the display window of a clothing store, I saw a floor length dress of deep blue silky material. Covering it was a long white knitted coat that came to below the hip. I thought how attractive it looked and how much I wouldve liked to be able to wear something like that. Of course, I couldnt. It was designed for someone much more slender than I could ever be.
I sat on a bench, from where I could still see the dress and coat, in the store window. I thought about how large my body was - large enough for me to feel the need to wear a girdle, whenever Im in public. I glanced down at the great bosom I had, that needed a strong and restrictive bra to support it. I started to feel a little sad and sorry for myself.
Eventually, I looked at my watch and realized it was getting late. I rose from the bench and made my way back to my parked car. Id had enough of town. Seeing so many slim young people compared to me had made me a little disheartened.
I arrived home and went to my bedroom. I placed the items Id purchased on the bed and changed my clothes. I removed my dress, slip, stockings, shoes and confining girdle. I stood looking at my body in the mirror for a minute. I felt fat and a little unattractive. I knew it was the blue and white outfit Id seen in the store window that had started me to think this way about myself. I put on one of the loose cotton dresses I normally wear about the house, went to the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee.
The house was quiet, as I sat at the table. Almost without prompting, a few tears began to trickle down my cheeks. Generally I wasnt an unhappy woman. Although I lived alone, I had a lot to be grateful for. I had a beautiful home. I was free of any financial worry and I enjoyed good health. I didnt have that many friends but those I did have; were true and trusted. I much preferred living on my own - most of the time. Im not attracted to men, in any way. I liked being a woman - but there are times when I regretted being so large. Mostly because of the weight of my breasts. I dont mind being overweight all that much. In a way, I felt more feminine than those anorexic models I saw in some of the magazines Id bought on various occasions.
I returned to the bedroom. From the shopping bag Id placed on the bed, I took the items Id purchased that morning and placed them in various drawers and cupboards. I put the empty bag away, on the floor of the ancient wooden wardrobe.
As I sat on the bed, there was a sudden brilliant flash of white light.
I was in shock. My body felt cold and was shaking slightly. Strongly motivated by fear, I rose from the bed, took Claires clothes from the wardrobe and carried them downstairs. I returned to the bedroom and lay on the bed.
It had been so real. Id been a woman. I remembered every detail of my experience so clearly. Then another shock struck me. I remembered looking at my watch in the shopping area of that unknown city. The date it displayed was one hundred years into the future.
Claire arrived early next morning.
"Ready to get started, I see," she announced cheerfully, noticing her clothing draped over a chair.
"No way," I replied, from where I sat. "I wont do it."
"Why not? No ones going to see you. Weve been through all that before."
"Its not that," I replied. "I just dont want to wear your clothes."
She sat in a lounge chair opposite and looked at me.
"But I need you to help me get the hems straight," she said.
"I still wont do it."
"I didnt know you had a hang up about this sort of thing," she remarked. "Theyre just pieces of cloth - thats all they are."
I didnt reply. She waited a few moments then rose from her chair.
"Okay," she said, with a hint of anger, picking up her clothes. "Dont help me."
"Im sorry," I said, not knowing what else to say. "I cant do it."
"You couldve told me yesterday," she responded, as she moved towards the doorway. "I was counting on you and you let me down, David."
"I cant do it, Claire," I replied. "I really cant."
"Fine," she said, as she left. "Only, dont come to me when you need me to do something for you. Maybe I wont feel like doing it for you either."
I thought of getting rid of the wardrobe. I couldnt explain what happened and that worried me. Then a thought occurred to me perhaps it wasnt the wardrobe at all. Maybe it was Claires uniform that caused my experience. I had to resolve the question.
I went to a nearby second hand clothing store and bought a dress I thought would fit me. I figured; anything would do as long as it was a dress. I picked a white uniform with a collar and short sleaves. The sort of dress a nurse or receptionist might wear. When I returned home, I went to my bedroom and removed my normal clothes. Anxiously is slowly pulled the dress over my head, until it sat around me.
I removed the dress and hung it in the wardrobe, closing the door firmly. I sat on the bed and stared at the wardrobe, not knowing what to do next.
I then rose from the bed, opened the wardrobe door and removed the dress. I inspected it carefully to see if it had changed in some way. It was the same dress Id bought.
I put it on again and immediately, there was an intense flash of pure white light before me.
I looked up from my book to the clock on the wall. It was almost time for me to begin my rounds. I took a small torch from the shelf before me and gently touched the forearm of my college who sat next to me. She nodded but continued to read the newspaper before her. I rose from my chair and walked to the end of the darkened, silent corridor.
My shoulders and back were aching from the weight of my massive bosom. I looked forward to when I could get out of my girdle. Having an overweight body and enormous breasts are mandatory for nurses. Fortunately, my shift would be over in an hour and Id be able to go home and get some rest. The night had been quite busy with one of our patients becoming rather disturbed and restless. It could be difficult for our patients at times, being forced to become a placid, obedient and highly domesticated women for the rest of their lives. Its a big change for them.
Im the Shift Sister for the ward. The night shift only has two other nurses on duty under my supervision. Kathy was assigned the psychological conditioning section where reorientation and programming takes place. And Jan, in the physical conversion section, where the patients are pumped full of Bio-plast and female hormones, after having their genitals refashioned.
I entered the first room and checked the condition of the patient. She was asleep. I repeated the procedure until Id verified the condition of all the patients in my care. I returned to the nurses station and completed the reports for each patient that shift. Kathy put away her paper and unlocked the door to the medication room. She performed an audit on the medications held and signed off the drug register. When she returned, I left the nurses station and sat outside for a few minutes, in the small garden adjoining the ward, to have an illegal cigarette.
When I returned, Kathy had made a cup of coffee for us both. After Id finished my coffee, Kathy washed the cups. I spent the next quarter of an hour, making sure the rest of the ward was in order, in preparation for the shift handover.
Daylight was breaking as the first of the day staff arrived. It was April, the Shift Sister for the morning. She made herself coffee and sat with me to discuss the patients condition and progress. The next nurse who arrived is Anne. She was assigned to the physical conversion section. After a few quick words with April, she went to relieve Jan. After bidding me goodbye, Jan and Kathy left to go home.
Id finished my shift now. I handed over the ward keys to April, signed the security register and left the building. Its a twenty-minute drive to my home. I looked forward to getting out of my restrictive underwear into something more comfortable.
My situation was a little different from most nurses. I was male before becoming a hospital sister, so my adjustment to having a large female body had been more difficult than for most. Its very uncommon for men to become nurses. However, I didnt regret my decision to enter the medical caring profession. Nursing is all Id ever wanted to do. If at times, holding a patient closely to my large bosom can provide them with some measure of comfort and reassurance, then I felt it was worth the inconvenience of having obstructive and heavy breasts.
My maid Joy greeted me as I arrived home. I bought Joy from a friend who didnt want her and intended to dispose of her. As a nurse, I had the knowledge to reprogram Joy and alter her body to any shape I wanted. Joy was the type of anthro that could easily be changed. Id given her small, firm, cone shaped breasts. I see enough of large breasts at work each day.
I went to my bedroom and removed my uniform. Joy helped me unlace my girdle. The girdle I wore was part of my work uniform and every nurse was required to wear one. It covered me from just above my knees to my waist and because of its firmness; it took a little getting used to initially. Even after all my time as a nurse, I still found wearing it uncomfortable at times - especially towards the end of a busy shift. Joy placed my uniform in the old wooden wardrobe.
Tiredly, I sat on the edge of the bed. Without warning, there was a blinding flash of white light.
I was convinced the wardrobe had caused my experiences. Later that night, when I thought no one would be about to see me, I wrapped the white uniform and the two pair of shoes Id placed in the wardrobe previously, in a thick paper bag and dropped them into a large trash container at the end of the street. The wardrobe was now as empty as the day it had arrived.
When I returned home, I sat in the lounge room and tried to make sense of what had happened to me. I could easily recall the date Id written on the hospital forms during my shift as a nurse. It had been two hundred years into the future.
After an appropriate delay, Claire decided to forgive me.
"I realized, you have this hang-up about wearing womens clothing," shed decided.
"I should have asked you first," she smiled. "I just assumed you would do it for me."
"Thats okay," I replied. "Im the one with the problem, not you."
"Are we really good friends again, David?" she asked sweetly.
"Sure we are, Claire."
The problem of what to do about the wardrobe hadnt gone away. If anything, it now played on my mind even more. The memories of being those women were still so fresh in my mind.
After a few days, I opened the doors of the wardrobe and looked inside. Lying on the floor was a parasol. As I sat on the bed, once again there was a flash of intense white light.
I sat on a wooden bench in a bank, as if waiting to see the manager. I was still holding the parasol. Everyone around me were wearing clothes of a hundred years ago.
I noticed an attractive slim woman about my age, with a lovely figure, leaving a teller booth. She saw me, seemed to pause for a second, then walked towards me, smiling. She sat beside me.
"Im so glad weve finally met at last," she said, placing a hand briefly over her heart. "Ive been waiting such a long time, hoping this would happen."
"Im sorry," I replied uncertainly, not knowing what else to say to her.
"Im Daphne," she smiled. "Youre David, arent you?"
"Yes," I answered. "Yes I am."
Her eyes were the deepest shade of blue. She sat patiently, giving me time to say something.
"I dont know whats happening," I told her. "Have you mistaken me for someone you know?"
"I know you so well, David," she smiled. "But this is the first time weve ever met. Youre holding my parasol."
She took the parasol from me.
"We should go now," she smiled, rising from the bench. "We dont want the clothes your wearing attracting too much attention. They really dont belong in my time in history. My carriage is waiting just outside."
Without knowing why, I stood beside her.
"Where are we going," I asked.
"To my home," she answered. "Its a much more comfortable place for us to get to know each other than in the foyer of a bank, dont you think?"
She placed her arm through mine and guided me towards the main doors. Once outside, I opened the door of the horse drawn carriage outside and she stepped up into it, beckoning me to join her.
"Its not far to my home," she said, tapping the roof of the carriage to inform the driver we were ready.
We said nothing to each other during the journey to her house.
When the carriage stopped, we were parked at the front steps of a rather large elegant house. A maid opened the door.
"Come with me, David," she smiled. "I have something to show you that will answer some of the mystery."
We climbed a marble staircase and entered a bedroom. Immediately I recognized the wooden wardrobe. Even then it looked old.
"Ive arranged for my daughter to have it when I die," she smiled. "That way, when she has children, I can be sure you will get it - eventually."
We went downstairs to a sitting room. The maid served us tea. As I looked around the room, it seemed a little familiar, in some way.
"You must have a thousand questions," Daphne smiled patiently.
"Do you know what the wardrobe does?"
"Yes," she smiled.
I waited for her to continue.
"It takes you forwards and backwards in time," she explained.
"But the other times," I replied, "I was someone else. This time - Im still me."
She laughed at my confusion, but not unkindly.
"Youve always been you," she explained. "Im you, in a past life. Youre me, in a future one. Youre the person I will be next - after I die."
I didnt reply. My surprise at what shed said, had robbed me of anything to say.
"How is Claire?" she asked, with a cheeky grin.
"You even know about Claire?"
"Of course," she smiled. "Ive been you - on quite a few occasions. You live in such a busy and confusing age. I think television and take away foods are such wonderful ideas. Especially hamburgers."
"Ill try to eat more of them, in the future."
"Thankyou," she laughed.
"Tell me how the wardrobe works," I asked her. "Where did it come from?"
"I dont really understand it myself," she answered. "I do know it only works for us. It has no effect on anyone else. If you take something from the wardrobe, it will take you to another of your lives. But only for a short time but that varies a little each time. If you get inside the wardrobe and close the doors when you open the doors again, youve moved there for good. Or at least until you can find the wardrobe again. It just seems to know where and when you want to be. I know it must be very old."
"Why arent I in your body this time?"
"I dont know. Perhaps it thought it was better this way."
"Why did uncle Arthur disappear. Did he use the wardrobe?"
"Again, I dont know. Im sorry."
She took the parasol from where it lay on a table next to her and offered it to me.
"Take this with you," Daphne suggested, with a smile. "Perhaps youd like to visit me again, sometime."
I took the parasol from her but before I could say another word, there was a burst of light before me.
I took a sheet of paper from my writing desk and made out my will. I gave everything to Claire. The only stipulation I made was; she must promise to keep the wardrobe in her family.
I removed all my clothing, stepped naked into the wardrobe and closed the doors. I stood in the absolute darkness and waited for something to happen. Nothing did. Feeling disappointed, I opened the doors.
I was standing in a spacious bedroom Id never seen before. I ran my hands over my bare firm shapely breasts. I was a very attractive woman.
One entire wall of the bedroom was a single window. Through the window I could see the blue and white speckled sphere of the planet Earth, floating in the blackness of space, surrounded by stars.
The wardrobe wasnt there but Daphnes parasol lay on the floor in its place. I picked the parasol up and placed it on the bed. I guessed Id have to start looking for the wardrobe now. Perhaps I should try to locate the descendants of a nurse, who lived one hundred years ago. That seemed like a good place to start.
No doubt, Davids name had joined uncle Arthurs, on the missing persons list - three hundred years ago.
© 2002 by Dave Hicks. 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.