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The Needy People Mission wasn’t real crowded on Saturday mornings. That’s when most of the ladies were either at the beauty parlor or at home tending to the things that needed to be done with their husbands. It wasn’t real crowded other times either, because, well, there just weren’t that many people in Podash, that you’d really call needy. It just seemed like, if you were working and putting food on the table, then you were pretty well off. It just seemed like the good people of Podash could always find it in their hearts to keep on donating things to the Mission, even if there weren’t many takers. So, in a way, the Needy People Mission, had become something of a museum; things kept coming in faster then they ever went out. Not to add to this perplexing situation, it also seemed like a lot of the brand new things in the regular stores of Podash had also been around for a very long time. Taking that into account it shouldn’t surprise anyone, that you could find anything from a perfectly serviceable hand-cranked Victrola musical cylinder player to a complete Victorian woman’s walking ensemble. Flo hadn’t seen so many old things in one place since she and Glenn had visited the Agricultural Heritage Foundation Hall outside of Couver, and they had nowhere near this variety.

"My, my, just look at these things, Lillian! What a delightful place! Just look at this dress! My goodness. This dress must be one hundred years old, if it’s a day. My, my, isn’t this something. Can you imagine spending a nice summer’s day at the park, dressed in all of this? My, my, the ladies were certainly well covered, proper and formal in that day."

Lisa was desperate to find a change of clothes and get out of her wet school jumper. Flo, on the other hand had become distracted and was completely mesmerized by the plethora of treasures around her.

"Yoo Hoo! Over here!"

Flo looked up, searching for the source of the cheerful greeting. She tracked the repeated "Yoo Hoo"’s, to a slight, gray haired woman, half obscured behind a large mound of floral sheets and pillowcases.

"Hello! My goodness! This is such an amazing place! I’ve never seen so many wonderful and unusual things! And, these things are all for sale? My, this is so amazing! I could just wonder around here forever! Are you Mrs. Fenstermacher? I’m Floria Gloford. Did Bea get a hold of you last night? She said she would give you a ring, so you could be expecting us… Are you open?"

"Floria Gloford? You’re Glenn Gloford’s Misses, from over at the Hardware Store? Lawdy, Lawdy, Sure… Bea phoned me up. Been expecting you. Heavens yes, we’re open. Our hours are a little irregular that’s all, if no one’s coming in, then we’re not open… that’s all there is to it. That’s why it’s always best to call ahead. We just never have a crowd. So what is it? You need some things for your daughter? Lawdy, I know how that is, they just shoot up so fast, why you out and buy something and before you get home, they up and grow out of it. And we have a lot of things for you young mothers too! You can look a little nice now and then, without spending a lot of your hard money. Lawdy, Can’t be spending all your husbands hard earned pay on fancy brand new dresses all the time! Lot of young mothers, their sons and daughters, be coming in here to stretch the family budget."

"Mrs. Fenstermacher? I’m afraid this is not my daughter, this is my niece, Lillian. Lillian, say hello to nice Mrs. Fenstermacher."

"Pleased to meet you, Ma’am."

"Well hello, little girl. That’s so nice, and a little curtsy. It’s so nice to see the little girls with some proper manners. You go into the city and it’s just something terrible, terrible. Well, enough about me. What do we need today? Lawdy, she sure did shoot up tall, for a little girl!"

"Well, Yes, it’s for Lillian mostly. We bought new clothes for school over at Myra Anne’s, but just don’t have much of anything for weekends and the such."

"I just know what you mean. Come over this way, the both of you. I want to show you something."

Flo and the terribly exasperated Lily, followed Diane Fenstermacher through a labyrinth of out-dated kitchen appliances, dinette sets, floor lamps and around a corner into a small room, jammed floor to ceiling with all manner and kind of feminine apparel.

"Look at this, Mrs. Gloford! Is this just adorable!"

Flo was stunned, it was if all the unimaginable, mystical forces of the universe had converged at this very precise moment, reaching out, bringing her to this special place, to anoint and cloak her in the true vestments of virginal maternity. Lily groaned in her own desperation. Spotlighted in the center of the room, is the most ghastly, sickening sweetest little Mother and Daughter, matching ensemble, ever created from the Looms of God.

"OH! Mercy! This is just so precious!"

"Uh, Huh. I think it just has you and your little girl, written all over it. It’s just divine isn’t it! It’s like it’s just been waiting here, all of this time, just for you, isn’t it?"

"OH! MY! I love it!"

Lily wasn’t quite as impressed. It is one thing to have to go to some new school, wearing a uniform. I mean that’s degrading enough, but if that’s what the school dress code requires, well ok, then I guess the rest of the girls will be in their uniforms as well, like, she’d seen that at other schools, but this is a little much, doncha think? Unfortunately, standing here in wet panties, pretty well compromised her ability to object. Not as if her caustic, rebellious words, weren’t seething, bubbling and boiling beneath the surface. It’s just that, well, why would she want to say anything, or throw a tantrum that would bring any more unwanted attention to herself and her unfortunate predicament?

"OH! MY! Mrs. Fenstermacher! We HAVE to have it! Oh, Lillian, just look at this! We will look like the perfect, sweetest Aunt and Niece ever! Oh, my! Can we try this on right now! Oh, I can’t wait for Glenn to see us together! He will be so delighted!"

"Aunt Floooooooo!"

"Yes, Lillian. What is it? Oh, my, yes, how thoughtless of me! Mrs. Fenstermacher, it seems Dear Lillian has had a little accident. We will certainly have to tidy her up, before we try on these beautiful outfits."

"Aunt Flooooooooo!"

Flo gestured toward the large plastic bag, Lily had been attempting to hide, by holding it behind her wet bottom. The contents were slightly visible through the thin plastic. The puzzled look on Diane Fenstermacher’s face broke, as she understood the meaning of Flo’s words.

"Sure Honey, I understand. Sometimes the little darlings just get so excited, and well, it happens. Sometimes it just takes some of these little ones, a little longer to get potty trained, then others. Don’t you fret over it, none, Dear. We can change her right here if you have everything you need."

"Well, you are too kind, Mrs. Fenstermacher. That is very sweet of you."

"Aunt Flooooooooo!"

Flo and Diane, each took the thoroughly mortified Lily by the hand and lead her to a low table. Diane moved some clothing items to clear a working space, spread a towel on the surface and patted the table’s top.

"Can you hop up here, like a dear? That’s a good girl!"

"Well if Lily’s going to try on this outfit, She may as well get out of all of her things first."

"Aunt Flooooooooo!"

Lily sat on the edge of the table with her legs dangling over the side in only her brassiere, all of the rest of her clothing lie neatly folded on a chair, while the damp jumper, slip, girdle and panties had been placed into another plastic bag. At Diane’s direction, Lily slid her bum back a bit further on the top and lay down. Flo had been removing items, one by one from the Bower’s Drug Store purchases and placing them next to the girl.

"Where’s your powder? Lawdy, you can’t diaper a girl’s bottom without powder. Mrs. Gloford, my Goodness! I guess you haven’t done this in some time, she’ll get a terrible rash. Here, you let me do this and watch. I’ve diapered a bottom so many times, it’s just second nature."

In seconds, She had liberally coated Lily’s bottom with the white talcum powder. She grasped both of the girl’s ankles in one hand, hoisted them high above her head and slid the neatly folded, thick cotton beneath her pink bum, snuggling them up and pinning them securely around the utterly humiliated Lily’s waist. Like the seasoned pro she was, she unfurled a large pair of plastic panties, slid them fully over the large cotton mass, letting them snap into place.

"There. That should hold her! Well, Mrs. Gloford, it looks like she’ll need some new undies as well. How many changes do you think she’ll need?"

"Just a few, I’d imagine. We did pick up enough to go with her school clothes at Myra Anne’s.

"Lawdy, Dear, you know you can’t have too many under things, if the girl’s going to be having accidents. And of course, you have to keep them in panty girdles, so they get used to it. It saves from any problems later… and of course, almost goes without saying. It helps them to stay chaste. Bad enough, with all the pressures and temptations placed on a young girl, without them having to be worrying about some randy young rooster groping at their treasures."

Lily of course had no real recourse. She was sitting on a table in the middle of a store, wearing nothing but a diaper and her brassiere. Neither of the women seemed to listen to her, talk to her or even consider her opinion as a fellow participant, in her own future. Flo seemed to be absolutely bonkers over this matching Mother, Daughter dress-up idea. It was like she was suddenly tripping back into her childhood and wanted to turn Lily into a little baby dolly to play with. Diane Fenstermacher was of course, another, dyed in the wool, Podash Prophet and there was no stopping her. She was now rushing around, picking things from here and there, loading her arms with all manner of little girlie things, shrieking out, with her insipid "Yoo, Hoo"’s from time to time. It wasn’t making any sense to her, Flo knew she was eighteen years old, in her senior year of high school. Why was Flo doing this? Had she snapped? Was she off in some ultra-feminine, Mother Goose Land of Make Believe? Lily sighed in resignation.

Diane Fenstermacher returned, absolutely buried behind an armload of various articles of clothing and a huge beaming smile. With a lack of ceremony, she let the pile spill over the table and began to sort the items into smaller groups.

"Mrs. Gloford, here you go. This is for you. This will be perfect with that outfit. Why don’t you take your things off now, as well. And here’s a girdle for the girl. She can dress herself, can’t she?"

With a slight grimace on her face, Lily took the white panty girdle from Mrs. Fenstermacher. It was very similar to the one she had soiled and she would certainly not have any troubles getting into it, fat diaper or no fat diaper. As she lifted her leg, she looked over at the large, heavy garment that had been given to Flo. Lily was shocked! How could this possibly play any part in any of Flo’s misguided fairy tale adventures? If this appealed to Flo, then Lily was indeed doomed! Flo had removed her shapeless, old lady sack dress and was examining the most intimidating looking piece of hardware, masquerading as clothing, as she had ever seen. It appeared to be some kind of orthopedic back brace, of a heavily embroidered peach brocade or canvas like material, except that it was shiny like satin, with multiple straps and laces hanging from all over it. Was Auntie Flo having serious back problems, all of a sudden?

"My word, Mrs. Fenstermacher! Where ever did you find this!"

"Ahh, This is a beauty, isn’t it? This, my Dear, is The 1927 Spencer, Youthful Maiden Solidifier, Combinaire! My Dear, You simply do not find many like this around any more! Look at this fine craftsmanship. In this, you’ll look and feel like a true Princess!"

"My word, how does it go on?"

"Well, Dear. You just get yourself out of that brassiere and girdle, and I’ll show you. Good! Your panties as well, You won’t want those under this. Ok, now, It’s really pretty simple. You just slip into it like you would, if you were going to put on a jacket. It will wrap around your front like so… and the hook and eye closures will be on your left. Don’t worry about the lacing in the back, we’ll get to that after you have everything settled into place and the hook-n-eyes are all closed. Yes that’s right; just slip your arms through the armholes. Good! Now, can you manage with the hooks? That shouldn’t be very hard with these back laces all loosened up."

"My word! This is heavy! There certainly doesn’t seem to be much accommodation for my breasts!"

"Well, of course not, Dear! This is so much before your time isn’t it? Well, let me tell you, in 1926, the ideal shape for a proper woman was very svelte and tubular. These small structural pockets over your chest will flatten and redistribute your breasts, to present the look and appearance of the torso of a lithe young boy. Likewise the flesh of your derriere and pelvis will be compressed, controlled and flattened, providing you with a most thin and utterly straight figure. Lawdy, Mrs. Gloford! This will completely eliminate any of your "high spots" and just take years off your body! All fastened up now, are we? Fine, Mrs. Gloford, now you just turn around and let me work up these lacings!"

Lily watched in amazement. Her relatively simple white girdle had gone on with no problem, the mass of cotton diaper and plastic pants disappeared, now fairly compressed about her bottom and had done little more than add an inch or two to her girlish bum. The girdle’s compression about her waist, in fact, still allowed her an acceptable resemblance of feminine curves. Nothing really like the torturous restructuring that seemed imminent for her Aunt Flo. Why would she ever allow this to be done to her? Lily felt a twinge of sympathy toward her Aunt. Sure she had some weird ideas in her subservience to Uncle Glenn, and some of her ideas concerning dress were pretty odd. But, Aunt Flo had stood up for Lily, with Uncle Glenn and she did seem to genuinely care for her. This didn’t seem right; she shouldn’t have to be subjected to this device. Lily watched in fascination as the clearly demented Mrs. Fenstermacher moved behind her Aunt and began to take up the initial slack of the back laces.

"Uggh! Uggh! My! Uggh! Word! Uggh! I’ve! Uggh! Uggh! Never! Uggh! My! Uggh! Goodness! Uggh! Mrs! Uggh! Uggh! Heavens! Uggh! How! Uggh! Tight! Uggh! Must! Uggh! Uggh! Heavens! Uggh! How! Uggh! OH! Uggh! OH! Uggh! Uggh! AH! Uggh! AH! Uggh! Uggh!"

It was a fearful site! Poor Flo was trying to stand still, leaning forward at an odd angle, both of her arms stretched out before her, palms flat against the wall for support. Mrs. Fenstermacher yanked on the laces unmercifully, throwing all the weight of her small body into every exaggerated pull. Aunt Flo shuttered and cried out most distressingly as each harsh pull, jerked her entire body backward, momentarily lifting her hands away from the wall. She returned to the support of the wall each time to brace herself and then it would come again, the sudden, brutal snatch! It seemed as horrid as any medieval flogging. And through each methodical cycle, Aunt Flo’s young body was exceedingly crushed and forced into the rigid elliptical column!

"Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!"

"Go ahead Honey! Catch your breath. We’re closed. I’ll just tie off the laces and we’re done. My, my, Mrs. Gloford! You are something to see! Lawdy, I can’t remember the last time I saw a young woman lashed into a "Youthful Maiden"! Whew! That’s work! But let me tell you, well worth it! Can you fasten up your stockings?"

"Ah, Ah, don’t, ah, think, ah, ah, so, ah!"

"All right then, I’ll help you. Or better yet, the girl can do it. What was her name? Lillian. Yes, Lillian, come over here and fasten your Aunt’s stockings, and be straight and neat with her seams! I need to get the Camibocker!"

Lily snapped to attention and rushed to assist her Aunt. Reverently and carefully, she grasped the nylons lying bunched around Flo’s ankles and gently massaged them up her legs. There were eight large flat peach straps hanging below the bottom edge of the Combinaire. Delicately she began to attach the stocking tops to each, noting the odd difference between the more modern metal clasps that secured hers and this decidedly vintage fastening of small pearled buttons. Lily’s concentration was so focused on the alignment of seams, maintaining an equal space along each of the fastenings, that she was completely unprepared for the sudden discovery that she was staring directly into the tightly curled pubic hairs, nestled between her Aunt Flo’s legs. The musky smell gave her pause, she involuntarily licked her lips then raised her eyes to Flo’s face. Flo’s eyes were closed. She was still measuring and adjusting her breathing to the confines of her stringent foundation. Lily continued her gaze; there was just the barest remnant of the slightest indication that Flo had any breasts. Thick shoulder straps held the Combinaire in position to tightly encircle her chest, evenly at a height just below her armpits, indistinguishable from the hard cylindrical casing, enclosing her full body below. The flesh above her breasts bulged, slightly expanding and returning with each struggling breath. In comparison, there was a graver, severe compression along her waist before the foundation girdled her pelvis and derriere into the same absolute round column. Again, the flesh of her thighs bulged in escape, as it emerged from its prison. Her internal organs had to be under the most intense and abnormal strain. Flushing with embarrassment, Lily withdrew and shakily rose to her feet.

Mrs. Gloford, Here we go, I’m back. This Camibocker goes with your Combinaire. Let’s lift a leg into here."

The Camibocker turned out to be a garment similar to a romper. Flo continued her purchase of the wall for balance as she stiffly raised a leg to step into it.

"Ah, Ah, don’t, ah, think, ah, can reach."

"What’s her name? Right. Lillian, Now, Be a good girl and help your Auntie."

Egar to obey and willing to do nearly anything to avoid a similar fate, Lily immediately bent to retrieve the heavy pink satin garment at her Aunt Flo’s feet. Awkwardly she moved it around, trying to determine what she was so supposed to do, determined not to have to ask for instruction and appear ignorant. Straightening it out, she motioned for Flo to lift her other leg and step into the second pant leg. Once Flo was comfortably standing with each foot in their respective leg openings, Lily carefully lifted and guided it up her body, until the crotch set comfortably between her legs and the bodice covered her chest. There, a pair of wide straps at the back were flipped over Flo’s shoulders and buttoned at the top front. Although the shoulder straps were now secure and the garment seemed to be in place, it was quickly apparent that there was more to closing it up. A large flap hung open at Flo’s rear, clearly designed so that toiletry functions would not necessitate the need or inconvenience of disrobing. Gingerly, Lily lifted the loose panel into position and closed it over three buttons at the back of the waist, working her way around two more, on each side. The one piece satin Camibocker comprised a fairly straight forward, if body hugging camisole top that joined at the pelvic area into a fuller, looser pair of closed directoire knickers, covering the legs to an elasticized cuff, about three inches above the knee. The effect was to visually soften and provide feminineness to the outward appearance of the harsh Combinaire’s grip, but in practical terms, it did nothing to disguise the unnaturally forced ramrod, pipe straight posture. Clearly, within this device, locomotion could only be obtained at the slight rotation allowed at the thigh, hip joint.

Throughout this ordeal, Flo had remained stoic. Driven by the clear vision of both She and Lillian dressed in their wonderful matching outfits, promenading along the main street, proud, righteous, upstanding, the very essence of Podash Family Femininity. She stood tall and poised, her demeanor and resolve, fully restored.

"Mrs. Fenstermacher. I should think we are ready. Please bring the ensembles."

So, it had come to this. Lily was transfixed. Mrs. Fenstermacher was giddy, giggling to herself, making those "you who" noises to no one and happily undressing a pair of headless mannequins. Aunt Flo stood like Frankenstein’s monster, legs spread, arms held slightly akimbo from the sides of a stovepipe body, her eyes looked a little glassy and she was breathing in and out in choppy little pants. Lily could see her own life passing before her eyes. Screwing around in class, skipping school, busting curfews, the parties, the guys, drugs, shoplifting, whatever. The teachers, the cops, preachers, counselors, the probation twits, always telling her, she was going to burn in hell. And hell, what in hell is this? Hell is supposed to be horny devils with pointy tails, fire and brimstone… NOT flaming chiffon!!!!

It all became very serious, if becoming a real life Disney Fairy Princess can be considered serious. But, they were serious. Auntie Flo and Mrs. Fenstermacher were damn serious!

Diane Fenstermacher spent an extraordinary amount of time just on the petticoats. You would think that once the thing is around your waist, it’s pretty much there. But, noooooooo… she had to move it to the left, move it to the right, up a little, fluff it here, fluff it there, I mean, the thing is so damn fluffy anyway, who can tell? Lily looked pretty much like a ballerina, even after Mrs. Fenstermacher added the frilly pantaloons. Flo’s version, didn’t stick out quite as far and was longer, reaching to her knees, so she only looked like the square dance queen.

The dresses dropped over top of the petticoats. The skirt part of both, was a bright lemon yellow taffeta. The skirt hem of Flo’s dress aligned with the hem of her petti, so that as it trumpeted out from her waist, the interior appearing as a frothy white filling. The skirt hem of Lily’s, did not quite reach the edge of her petties, with its added width, so the effect was similar to an upside down chrysanthemum. The bodices of both were of sheer white chiffon with an attached, short white taffeta under-chemise. Aunt Flo’s was fitted at a high waist and buttoned up to the neck by a row of eighteen tiny pearl buttons. A three-inch wide, yellow taffeta belt circled her waist and closed in a large round pearled buckle. The collar was a multi-layered white, wide plattered sheer chiffon confection, which also sported a huge chiffon bow at her throat, nearly as wide as her shoulders. Over her shoulders, the chiffon billowed into a pair of large diaphanous, puffy balloons of immense volume. Each dwarfing her upper body, before darting back to her arms just below her elbows, into long, tight sheathe cuffs, which firmly clasped against the length of her lower arms in a row of twelve buttons. A small open, sleeveless bolero styled jacket of the same yellow taffeta completed the ensemble. The bolero closed at the neck, beneath the froth of bow and collars with a pair of pearl buttons and fell away in an arc, to display the front bodice.

Lily was equally attired. The waistline of her dress was decidedly higher, circling just below her breasts. As an added flair, long ties extended from the sides of the high waist, to be pulled behind and finished off in a large back bow. Lily’s dress also had the same wide multi-layered white chiffon collar and wide neck bow, the difference being that her bodice buttoned up the back. Another difference was apparent in that the equally huge bouffant shoulder sleeves, ended above her elbows, where they were fastened snuggly around her arms in shorter buttoned cuff bands. A matching lemon yellow bolero fastened at her throat and a pair of frilly white anklets completed the picture.

It was inconceivable to Lily that anyone would expect her to step outdoors, dressed in these outrageous, degrading doll clothes. If she had looked to be about eleven years old in her school uniform, she now appeared to be no more then three. Flo, for her part looked no better. Rooted where she stood, Lily quietly watched her Aunt Flo seemingly glide across the floor, the fresh bouncing fluffiness of her dress, the sensual roll of her hips, looked totally incongruous with the immobile harshness of her hard upright posture. She held her arms in a half-bent position, from her sides in a limp wrist rendition of the opening act of Swan Lake. She teetered next to Mrs. Fenstermacher, breathless with no consideration of discomfort and did seem entirely pleased with her new appearance.

"Lillian, Will you come here, please."

Despite her extreme annoyance and displeasure at having just been dressed up in what is most assuredly baby clothes, Lily wasted no time in responding to her Aunt’s request. She stood fitfully as her Aunt and Mrs. Fenstermacher selected item after item from the pile, holding the various garments up before her, gauging size and placing the acceptable pieces on a growing stack of dresses, skirts and blouses. Another forty-five minutes passed and soon Lily’s new wardrobe filled five large cardboard cartons. Aunt Flo and Mrs. Fenstermacher seemed to be slowing down. The up-side of course, being that Lily, already attired in the most outlandish dress in the entire world, would gladly wear anything else they came up with.

"Glenn! Yes. Yes! We’ve found so many delightful things. Yes. The Needy People Mission. Yes, we are. No. Well, that’s ok. It’s such a nice day, we could walk. Sure! That will be fine. Mrs. Fenstermacher. Yes. Of course. Ok then. Glenn… I love you! Bye!"

"Glenn has a customer and can’t get away right now, to pick us up. So I told him, that’s no problem, it’s such a lovely day we’ll just walk back to the store and leave these things here. Glenn will swing by a little later and pick up our boxes."

Flo replaced the telephone handset and turned to Lily.

"Lillian, What do you say to nice Mrs. Fenstermacher? She’s been so helpful, hasn’t she?"

"Yes, Ma’am. Thank you very much for these wonderful clothes." Lily choking on her words, managed to remember a slight curtsey.

"That’s ok Sweetie. Just seeing you here, looking so cute and pretty and all, is plenty thanks enough!"

OhMyGod! She can’t be serious! Come on! Aunt Flo and this Mrs. Fenstermacher had their fun, ok, enough is enough! They can’t seriously expect me to go out side like this! Walk down the street in broad daylight! Please! Come on, let me change back into my uniform, or at least any one of these other dumb dresses we got… anything, but this! ANYTHING!

"Well, Mrs. Fenstermacher, I just can’t thank you enough! You just don’t know how much I enjoyed to make your acquaintance today and discover this wonderful place. You can rest assured, we will have to return again and again. Thank you again, Mrs. Fenstermacher! You have a wonderful day! Bye, Bye! Come along now, Lillian."

Aunt Flo had a firm clasp on Lily’s hand, forcefully urging her along. Lily’s shaky legs started to move beneath her, propelling her along in hesitant steps, as if they had a mind of their own, her very own legs betrayed her opposition. Flo and Lily moved slowly, closer and closer to the door, past the sheets and pillow cases, past the dining room sets, past the over stuffed living room furniture, closer and closer. At long last, Flo reached the front door latch and swung it wide. Sunlight flooded the room. With a hand at Lily’s elbow, Flo thrust the mortified Lily out and onto the sidewalk. The two women stood on the blazing pavement, blinking momentarily in the bright light of day.

"Ah, What a wonderful day! Just makes you glad to be alive! Come along, Lillian!"

Flo with the extremely self-conscious Lily in tow, strode off in a leisurely but purposeful stride. The hideous Combinaire insured that her posture was brutally erect, forcing her step to conform to the gentle roll of her hips, which ensured that the poofy skirts swayed from side to side, in concert with each rotation. Lily, for her part, now gripped Flo’s hand in pure terror as she followed along beside her, her own skirts bouncing with every movement, like a ballerina’s tutu. The two females, each of now nearly indeterminable age, each attired in the most dizzying confections of brilliant yellow and white, seemingly floating about them in a fluffiness that defied gravity, minced along the main through fare of Podash, the unadulterated, pinnacle of sissy, prissy, feminine fashion. The spectacle was dazzling.

……………………………………..

It had been a busy week. No doubts about that. Myra Anne had kept me hopping at her store and Aunt Bea kept me hopping around the house. That was about it. No time for anything else beyond the routine. I’d get up before dawn, do my toiletries, dress, help Bea with the house chores, laundry, etc., then rush straight over to Horace and Myra Anne’s and help her with customers, clean and keep the place tidy and sometimes deliver items, when within walking distance of the store. When I was done at Myra Anne’s, I’d rush back to Bea’s and help with dinner, clean up and then start to get ready for bed. My days were completely filled and I was totally beat when my sleeping capped head could finally hit the pillow. I was still wearing slacks and the fat padded girdle all of the time, and of course the heavy sanitary pad, but I’d adjusted to that pretty well and was able to get around, about ninety percent of the time without an earth shattering orgasm. And so here it is, early Saturday afternoon, a beautiful sunny day and I’m scurrying down the street on a quick delivery, when I came upon them.

I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff, since I’ve come to Podash. And every morning, when I look in the mirror, I certainly look back at myself, looking a whole lot weirder then I have ever imagined I’d ever look. But, the fact is, I’m pretty used to it now. Hard to believe, yeah, but it’s true, somehow this whole crazy place, my appearance, my life, has become my new version of "normal". They caught my attention right away, these two, hell, they would catch anyone’s attention. Maybe two hundred yards ahead of me, coming my way, these two, what? Girls? They look like flowers, no, more like fairy princesses, two of them, they’re just billowing all over the place in organzas and chiffons and sparkling yellow satins. Anyway, they’re coming toward me and it’s freaking breathtaking! The taller one kind of glides along. From the waist down, her bell shaped skirt undulates wildly around her hips with each of her short steps, yet above her waist, her upper body seems almost foreign, uncompromisingly rigid, totally divorced of any movement, save the gentle swing of her wispy arms. Her head is held high, regal in stature. She is the most elegant, unabashedly feminine person I have ever seen.

The other, thin and gangly, now, clearly is the younger, an infantile facsimile of the first, seemingly hanging on to the other’s hand for dear life! Though somewhat even more reserved in her movements, nevertheless, her bouffant dress simply bounced about her! Actually, except for the unusual and stately, vertical rigidity of the older one’s torso, they both were immersed in a fluid gossamer and satin finery, that shimmered and swayed of it’s own volition. I half expected to see contrails of pixie dust flowing lightly behind them. Obviously, a mother and daughter couple, I could only wonder and marvel at what gay festivity engaged them. A christening? A wedding? A debutante’s introduction? If they were dressed, purely for a Saturday afternoon town stroll, I surely could not imagine the look of their Sunday Best!

Less then one hundred feet separated us, as I surreptitiously shifted my glance back again, toward the Mother. My God! It’s Flo! My God! And the girl! Why, that’s Lily… Lily Lolita! Well, no more! She looked to be a mere waif! Her former gloriously long, black hair is pruned into a childish little bob, covering just the top of her head, with just enough length to slightly tickle along the tops of her ears. She looked to be no more then three or five years old, well perhaps a gangly, slightly adult looking, five years old! If any male, now even looked upon her in lust, they would be risking an outright charge of pedophilia. And somehow, I just knew, not even the thoughts of a child molester could ever survive the wrath of the good citizens of Podash. Lily was as secure in the implied appearance of her juvenile innocence, as if she had been locked away in a chastity device of the hardest materials known or unknown to mankind!

"Flo! My word! I didn’t recognize you! My Goodness! You look so different! So… so… Utterly Divine!"

"Missy Joy! Missy Joy! My, my! This is wonderful! What a pleasant surprise this is! My, It seems as if I haven’t seen you in ages! How have you been?"

"Well… To tell you the truth, Flo. Between catering between Myra and Bea, I’ve been running myself about ragged. But, I guess, OK, actually, I’m ok. I’ve been so caught up in everything, and learning how things are done around here, I’ve hardly had a moment to get into any trouble! He, he! Do you remember the look on Myra Anne’s face, when she found out you were wearing pantyhose!"

"Well, yes, really, Missy! That really was very disgraceful and embarrassing. I should hope we all learned a good lesson from that one!"

"Hmmm, yes, well, Uh huh. And this must be Lily! And how is Little Missy Lily today?"

"Missy Joy! Really! Let us not be vindictive! It really does not become you! Lillian is making every effort to exercise self-discipline and self-control. I believe Lillian has truly turned a corner and now recognizes that her true purity and beauty, comes from within. Lillian is to be commended for her willingness to embrace the ideals of virtue! I know it’s been an eye opener for me as well. Oh, Missy Joy, It is for you as well! You know in your heart, that the ways of Podash are just and righteous. Oh, Missy, if only you will accept it. I wish you would let us all help you."

"Uh, huh."

"Well, Missy! Tell me! What of James? Is he returned?"

"Uh, no. Not yet."

"Oh Missy Joy, That is so sad. I do hope he shall re-join you soon. You must be dreadfully lonely!"

"Well, yeah, it is something of a new experience for me. Fortunately, I do have my little friend."

No sooner were the words out of my mouth, then I fired a quick glance toward Lily. Damn! I hadn’t meant to allude to this fat, honkin’ pad between my legs, let alone let on, that I might be horny enough to frigg myself to sleep every damn night! Damn it! Why’d I have to go and say that! Damn. Her eyebrow twitched. I knew she’d picked up on it, but she made no further acknowledgement. For a brief moment, I recognize a similarity in our respective plights. Here she is, a hot-to-trot babe, in the prime of her life, stuck in this whacked out, holy-roller, rival meeting town, everybody telling her when to eat, when to shit… pretty much like I was, when I got sucked into this burg. But then, really, screw her, let her take the heat, I have my own problems. She’s the one that kept calling me a fat ass pig. She can just eat shit and die, for all I care, really!

"Where were you going Missy?"

"Huh?" Flo was speaking, which kind of jerks my head back to the present. "Oh, uh, I was ah, making a delivery. I’ve been working over at Horace and Myra Anne’s Dry Goods Store. You know, helping out, doing stuff."

"Oh, you’re working now?"

"Yeah, I should probably get going too. You know, old Myra Anne keeps a sharp eye on the old clock. Gosh, Flo! It’s really so good to see you again. Where are you two going, all dressed up, all spiffy like this?"

"Oh, Lillian and I are just headed back to the store. We were over at the Needy People Mission, picking up a few things. Have you ever been there? It’s amazing, the things they have; it’s wonderful! And, it’s very reasonable. Have you ever met Diane Fenstermacher? She is such a Dear! She’ll just go out of her way to be helpful. You must stop in there sometime. Lillian and I picked up these sweet, matching outfits today. Doesn’t Lillian just look scrumptious! Just all sweet and full of sugar and everything nice! Maybe we can go together, sometime, wouldn’t that be a fun time?"

"I’ll say!"

"Well, Missy, I don’t want to be holding you up, from your appointed rounds. Tee, Hee! And Lillian and I must get back to the store and see Glenn. Oh. I’m so excited! I just know he’ll just die; when he sees us!"

"Okee, Dokey, Flo! I’ll catch up with you later. Bye!"

I watched in amazement as they continued on down the street. I wonder what she’s wearing under that get up. Flo’s moving a lot like Myra Anne now. Same kind of "packed" look and walk, must be the same kind of hard ass whatever, thing under all of that soft frilly exterior. And she seems to really be getting off on it! Dang! Dang, my ass too, if I don’t get a move on. Freaking Myra Anne doesn’t cut a lot of slack time into my chores or deliveries either. Damn! That’s all I need to do now, is piss her off. And the past day or so, has been kind of good so far! Damn! Don’t screw this up, Joy!

……………………………………..

"Missy Joy! So nice of you to join us! I do hope our simple requests haven’t intruded into your personal affairs."

Shit, fifteen friggin minutes, twenty, tops… and she’s in my shit! What a bitch! Myra Anne just stood there, stiff as a board, calm and collected. Yeah, like a Pit Bull Terrier!

"I had so hoped that you could conduct yourself as a chaste and free woman. Was that such a hard concept for you to grasp?"

"Yes Ma’am, I mean, no Ma’am!"

Hugh? What the hell is this? Some new twist? Free woman? Give me a break. I’ve been under constant surveillance and supervision since the second I arrived here! And Chaste! What the hell is that supposed to mean! She’s the one that’s making me wear this freaking salami up my crotch! Are we going to play this game again? Give me a freaking break! Oh damn it, damn it, damn it, She’s going to play with my head again! If she jumps in my shit and I piss myself again. SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!

"Missy Joy. You so disappoint me! Obviously, I’m going to have to reel you in a bit, am I not?"

"Yes Ma’am, I mean, no Ma’am!"

"I see. Well, We had so hoped that you could display some backbone, accept your responsibilities and attend to your chores and training. What simple task did you have to perform, that has proved so difficult?"

"Ah… Ah… was delivering ah… ah… was making ah… ah… delivery to Mrs. Broadhead. Ma’am."

"Yes, I see. And when did you expect to make that delivery? Today?"

"Ah, well, ah, yes Ma’am, I did deliver it, today."

"Today. Really? That was so very decent of you. I guess it doesn’t really matter when today, though, does it? I guess you think today means anytime you feel like it. Is that right? I guess you think that if it takes a normal person twenty five minutes to deliver a package, then you may take twice as long and no one should care at all. It hardly matters that poor, dear Mrs. Broadhead should extend her day to accommodate your delightful fancies. Is that correct?"

"Yes Ma’am, I mean, no Ma’am! That’s correct, ah… No Ma’am!"

Damn! I can just feel her twisting my pimple head down right down, into my shoulders. I’m getting freaking flustered. Damn it, damn it, hang in, Joy!

"Perhaps you need a little more domestication. A little more structure in your life. Something to help you remember your charge. Something to help you focus on your duties. Is that correct, Missy Joy?"

"Yes Ma’am, I mean, no Ma’am! That’s correct, ah… No, Yes… ah, I’m ah… yes, Ma’am!"

I have no idea what I have just said. No idea, if I was agreeing with her or what. These are just noises coming out of my stupid mouth now. Squeaky, stupid noises. No idea whatsoever, what I’m talking about! No idea at all! At this point, I’ll agree to anything. I’m freaking bobbing up and down, curtsying like one of those spring, doll things you see on idiot’s dashboards. Whatever! Domestication! What! Is she going to do, turn me into a freaking cow, now! Lord help me!

"Missy!"

"Ma’am"

"I will meet with you in the changing room. Please remove your outer wear only."

"Yes, Ma’am"

I threw a couple more "Yes, Um’s" at her, a half dozen curtsies and whatever else I could think of, as I backed away, turned and hustled my ass back to the changing area, as fast as I could waddle. I immediately slipped out of my sweater, slacks and blouse, folded them neatly and waited breathlessly for her to join me. I was there a while. I think she does this on purpose. She wants me to just wait here, not knowing what will happen next. If I still had fingernails, I would have chewed them to my knuckles, but I’d already cleared them away, my second day in Podash. I just stand here, in my fat lady girdle underwear, waiting for all hell to break loose. She wants me to think about it. She wants me to sweat. I know it!

"MISSY!"

"Yes, Ma’am!"

"Put this on!"

"Yes, Ma’am"

She’s handed me a white polyester slip and a gray polyester dress. I hang the dress on a hook and whip the slip over my head like a trained monkey. It’s pretty large and hangs on me like a sack, but I don’t really care, I don’t figure I’m getting dressed for a fashion show, anyway. As soon as it’s down and over my knees, I grab the dress. It’s completely open in the front and I slip it on like a coat. It closes with concealed snaps from the waist to the hem, which is below my knees and I fasten them up in a flash. The bodice buttons from waist to throat, with clear plastic buttons, again, I’m pretty damn quick about it. I fumble with yet another tabby, loopy, under the collar button closure and then flick at the collar to make sure it’s all nice and straight and flat. It’s a white lacey Peter-Pan type collar. I look at my arms, the short sleeves, end just above my elbows, with matching white lacey cuffs with a couple more small clear buttons. What the heck? She’s handed me an apron. A big, heavy, white cotton one. No time to think about it. I slip it over my head. There’s like a large bib part in the front that covers my chest and a pair of long pieces that obviously are meant to tie behind my waist. I whip the ends together into a bow, like a pro. The rest of it falls before me, just shy of the dress’s hem. This is a freaking maid’s uniform! And I don’t mean some freaking Frederick’s out of LaLaLand, sex fetish catalog, screw me honey, fantasy, either. This is an official, freaking Worchester Hotel, freaking rich people’s, indentured, freaking servant, maid uniform!

"Come!"

I’m supposed to follow her. I grab at my shoes and shove my foot into one, hopping, waddling, hopping, hopelessly stumbling to keep up, and trying to get my feet in to the shoes at the same time and not trip over the laces! She is in her office, dialing up the phone as I enter.

"Did we enjoy our little stroll? I believe you can count on picking up on your response time, if that is not too much trouble for you!" She is absolutely glaring daggers at me! Her attention suddenly turns to the phone. "Yes, hello! Betty Lou! Yes, It’s Myra Anne. Yes. Hello. Fine, thank you. Yes it is. Yes. Betty Lou, I have a request, yes, I know. Yes. Missy Joy. Yes. Missy needs accelerated domestic training. Yes, I know. Yes, that’s right, Missy. Yes, I agree, something from the "Eva Gabor" line should be good enough. Yes, "Petite Amber", that sounds fine. White? Yes, No, well, a silver gray, then. Excellent! She will be right there. Thank you, Betty Lou."

"Betty Lou’s. Now!"

I knew better then to screw around now. I turned on my heel, and was halfway out of her office.

"Cover your head!"

My scarf! Where the hell is my scarf? Right, in the cabinet with my purse. I nearly slid on my ass, in my rush to retrieve both. I jammed my purse under my arm, pulled my scarf over my bobble head and rushed out the door, knotting it tightly beneath my chin as I fled.

I could tell right away, the normally chipper Betty Lou was annoyed. There was none of that bubbly "Hi, Howya doing" chit, chat coming my way. She stood impatiently at her station, tapping her foot, pointing with a finger at the empty seat. I wasted no time climbing in, loosening my scarf as I sat back into the lush vinyl.

"Missy, Missy, Missy. When will you ever learn?"

I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing in this chair, but I am damn sure that no good will come of it. I am still bewildered and feeling like the last person on earth, after the ship has sailed, when she cracks the pink plastic out into space, lets the cape settle over me and tightens it with a vengeance about my neck.

I am facing the mirror this time, I’m not sure if this is by accident or by design. Whatever is about to happen, it will be fully before my eyes. With not so much as a how do you do, the devastating sound of her electric clipper ripped through my brain. I am freaking petrified! I mean sure! There’s really not that much hair left on my head, now, as it is… just my little lavender poodle pop top. But, Cripes! It’s mine! I’m really kind of attached to it now! It’s not so bad! Really! I like it! Come ON! Betty LOU! COME ON! BETTY LOU! LIGHTEN UP!

Man! She just slammed my head forward! My chin, jammed into my chest and the clippers were loosed to fly and devour my cranium! BBBRRRRAAAAAACCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK! That was it! Wham! Bang! Gone! A dozen deep furrows and it are over! My little fuzzy lavender hairs drift lazily about me, anointing my nose and settling ever so delicately on the pink plastic cape before me. I’m a hard-boiled egghead. I know it. It’s all gone. Chrome Dome! Cue Ball! It’s over! It was so fast, I didn’t even have a chance to freak! Betty Lou just ran that sucker over and over every bit of my scalp. She’d palm my head, feeling for survivors and hit it again. This was saturation bombing! This is scorched earth doctrine, laid squarely upon ground zero, my head! Now! I am Freaked! I am stunned! I am catatonic! There has been no pampering, coddling or handholding. No, mystery, no gentle gradual revelations of newly discovered, flowering, feminine identity. This is a certain swift, numbing brutality. This is defeminizing, dehumanizing, industrial, flat, cold and ugly.

"I’m going to leave whatever stubble that might still be up there, on the top, so we have a some grip on the surface."

Huh! Grip on the surface! What, on earth! My head! I’m BALD! She is brutally quick. Within less then three seconds of startled reflection on my part, Betty Lou has already picked up a green and white aerosol can, given a few shakes and lathered a smooth foamy cream over my neck and around my ears. I tried to remember, thinking back to the last time she had done this, then she had been so careful and meticulous, fretting over every hair and detail. Now I felt like just one in a long line of sheep. She was banging me out like a piece rate, factory worker. She pulled a cabinet drawer open and reached in for a disposable pink plastic razor. The cellophane wrapper torn away, she immediately pulled the blade down my neck in a dozen sharp, fast swipes. With no hesitation, the blade came to my temple and arced up and around my ear, the process repeated on my other side in the same efficient motions. It is unlikely that a military boot-camp inductee was ever so shorn in less time!

With no further ado, nor explanation, Betty Lou slipped a short, tight nylon skullcap over the top of my head. It feels like a stocking, why, it even has a freaking bumpy seam!

"Stay!"

Am I a dog! I turn my head slightly to follow her progress toward the back of the parlor. She is rummaging about in some upper cabinet, far in the back, searching for something. I can hear her mumbling to herself. She seems to be getting angrier by the minute, when suddenly she finds what she wants, briskly snaps the cabinet door closed and turns to return.

"These things retail at $29.00, so you can just imagine what I get them for. They bang them out by the thousands in China, cheap wigs really, just an engineered nylon, they don’t even try to make them look like real hair. I hate to even carry them in the shop, but sometimes they come in handy, like now."

With undisguised disgust, Betty Lou pulled what appeared to be a small, pale silver animal, still trapped in the net it died in, from the small pink and purple box. She threw the empty box on the counter top before me and began to extract the pathetic pelt from the black netting. I stared wide eyed at the very likeness of the legendary Eva Gabor herself, a shit-eating, phony, insincere smile gracing her face, gazing back up at me from the box top lid. Well, her hair didn’t exactly look fake in the picture. The box read, "Petite Amber", style E1070, color 60. That sounded pretty mechanical. Betty Lou shook the thing vigorously, I guess to make sure it was dead, then placed it on my head. With one hand holding the wig securely at the front of my forehead, she pulled it over the top and down the back with the other, covering the nylon skullcap. She then grabbed the top of my head with both hands, and shook me around, getting the thing centered and fully placed. She lifted the back of it off my neck briefly to adjust and tighten some fastener, then bent to my front and tugged back and forth at tabs, just slightly above the fronts of my ears, to get it all even, I guess. What a freaking mess!

"Missy Joy! Pay attention! I’m only going to show you this, once!"

Weilding a long multi-toothed pic, she began to dig into the wig’s haphazard collection of tight curls, lifting and separating them. Betty Lou feverishly worked the silver gray mop into a frenzy of individual, kinky, tightly massed bubble shape of curls. The thing just seemed to grow higher and rounder on my head!

"Ok. You got that?"

I looked freaking ludicrous! Betty Lou is pretty quick with a pic, but truthfully, this thing is pretty fool proof. It’s a cheap rug on my head and it looks it. A monkey can do this! She’s pulled some of the front curls down over my forehead, so I have a bit of vestigial bangs. She has the thing formed into an absolutely perfect ball shape, maybe two inches thick. Some of it covers the tops of my ears. Generally, around the sides and back the transition between wig and skin is so harsh and sharp, it just screams cheap wig. I look like a malnourished dandelion gone to seed!

What the heck! Betty Lou is standing behind me, staring intently at my face in the mirror. No! She is staring at my head! She is ever so delicately bringing that black hairnet back down over this wig. Carefully she lowers it, until the cheesy nylon hair is once again comfortably and fully secured within the confines of the net. The slight elastic band around the bottom of the net, closes in against my head, further exaggerating the artificial quality of the pretend hair do. No! I don’t believe it! I look exactly like some geriatric granny, just finished with her six-month phony head maintenance, good to go, until next time! What a joke! Plastic, freaking silver gray, soft ball, pretend hair under a freaking black hairnet. Can we put our hands together and give it up for ugly here!

"Ok Missy. That’s it. Up you go."

Betty Lou unsnapped the cape and lifted it away from me. I gripped both arms of the chair, did my little pre-rock and pulled myself up.

"Missy. Wait a minute. Where are your brows? Why aren’t you doing your brows and lipstick?"

"Ah… No good reason, I guess."

"Well just sit here a minute."

Betty Lou disappeared for a minute then reappeared with her little plastic brow templates. She didn’t waste any time, selected whichever one was on top, positioned it approximately where my brows had once been and penciled them in. A fast flip and the opposite side was filled in. She shuffled through some more drawers, before she uncovered and uncapped a half used lipstick. She mimicked, for me to make like kiss, kiss, which I did, shoving my pursed lips as far forward as I could. She slathered something called "Caribbean Coral" all over my lips and half the surrounding area, before handing me a tissue to blot. Almost as an after thought, she handed me the tube.

"Put that in your pocket. You do have a pocket, there is one along each side seam of your skirt. Do you have a cap? Didn’t Myra Anne give you a cap?"

"No, Ah, Yes, Ma’am. Thank you. No, Ma’am, I just wore this scarf over."

"Oh, Missy."

I can tell she’s getting tired. Saturday is her busiest day and she has probably been on her feet, non-stop since five o’clock this morning. Motioning again for me to get up, I do and follow her toward the front door, where she stops at a small cardboard display and tears one of the small packages off the face and hands it to me.

"Here, put this on."

"A plastic rain cap? Why do I need this? It’s not even raining, the sun is still shinning and I do have my scarf… Ma’am, and, ah, I’m under a hairnet?"

"That’s not the point. Put it on. Now go on, get yourself back to Myra Anne!"

I unfolded the frosted plastic, accordion head cover and carefully lowered it over my head, tying the end straps off, under my chin. Neither of us has much more to say to each other. Clearly, Betty Lou just wants to close up and go home. Me? I don’t know what I’m doing. I guess I’m expected back at Myra Anne’s. A prospect, I find markedly less then thrilling. Nonetheless, I can’t stay here. I smile meekly and headed for the door.

"Thank you, Betty Lou. Bye."

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