''Rita's Department Store Adventure'' (Revised) Parts 4-5

Jun 14, 2004




Alec Leamus and C. Lakewood

Part 4

Ms. Murgess was a generously proportioned woman, and, as they walked,
Hal wondered about her ethnic origins. Her face was striking, with
strong, angular features. She was almost as tall as him and had a lush
body type often typical of Greeks and Italians. Her blue pinstripe suit
was conservative, even a bit dowdy, though it could do little to hide her
bounty. Her dark hair was pulled back into a severe bun. Her makeup was
minimal. All of this seemed an attempt to disguise just how physically
attractive she was. And she was, indeed, attractive -- if you liked the
type. To Hal, a fan of old movies, she resembled a middle-aged
combination of Sophia Loren and Ruth Roman. (He had long thought of
himself as looking very much like Charles McGraw -- and Joe, of course,
was the spitting image of a young Claude Akins. But who was Stephanie?
Gail Russell in her prime, maybe, or Jenny Agutter, or a bit of both....)
Idly, he wondered if, under her starchy exterior, Ms. Murgess might
really be something in bed. In any case, he was in no hurry, so he set
a leisurely pace....

"I really must apologize for this inconvenience," Ms. Murgess began.
Her speech was polished and somewhat pedantic, which gave her an air of
authority -- and of condescension. "Most of our girls at Harrington are
troubled, but they are not essentially bad. I have only recently taken
this position, however, so my familiarity with the girls and their
behavior is strictly academic. I have perused most of their files, but
not all. I have been....”

A static-laced, intermittent gabbling tone interrupted her as Joe’s
transmission tried (and failed) to penetrate the cement block walls. It
was quite unintelligible, even after Hal made several adjustments, vainly
attempting to clear the channel. Frustrated, he finally decided he would
deal with Joe later and again led the way down the hall, followed closely
by Ms. Murgess (who had resumed droning on), and finally by her bearer,
silent Stan (Ted de Corsia, Hal decided).


Dressed in only a bra and towel, Stephanie was beginning to feel the
chill from the vinyl floor. She adjusted her makeshift skirt for the
third time and glanced over at Rita’s bowed head. Rita wiped her eyes
again and sniffed. Stephanie smiled. She had truly enjoyed her triumph,
and was luxuriating in the after-glow. For Rita, of course, it had been
beyond humiliation, and she had gone numb. However, as they neared the
security office, her tears began to subside. In the past, she often
found extraordinary clarity after the catharsis of a "good cry." And her
mind, which had earlier slowly regressed into a childish condition, was
now rapidly progessing, returning to its normal adult patterns and
rhythms. The recurring crackle-crinkle of her adult diaper echoed down
the long hall, keeping the beat for their journey. Stephanie's bare feet
slapping the floor provided counterpoint. Rita focused a tiny portion of
her brain on maintaining this cadence and, with the rest, silently began
to review the situation...and to plot her counterattack.

As they turned into the empty security office, Stephanie exhaled
gratefully. She had prepared a completely plausible explanation based
on Rita’s accident that would have accounted for her present attire and
their brief absence. She barely paused at Hal’s desk before again
snatching up the keys. Rita had stopped just inside the office, the
chair of her recent indignity mere inches away. She avoided looking at
it, though, and let her eyes wander across the floor. And her gaze
locked onto something small and innocuous under the chair -- something
that caused her eyes to glitter and her mind to churn. Her Plan came
together just as the sound of jangling keys in the background recalled
her to the here and now.

Stephanie casually beckoned to Rita, and they went on back to the holding
room. She unlocked the heavy door and held it open with her right hand.
Fearfully, Rita stepped back. Stephanie’s left hand abruptly grabbed
Rita’s wrist and pulled her toward the opening. Rita resisted...for a
moment. Then, swiftly, her free left hand shot out and yanked the towel
from Stephanie’s waist and tossed it into the holding room. The crisp
air tickled Stephanie's nude lower body, and she instinctively dove for
the garment. She cringed as the click of the door's lock sounded
ominously loud in the small room. Stephanie spun, only to see a blurred
image of Rita’s head disappear from the window.

Rita had no immediate thought of escape, for she was obsessed with her
newly-formed Vengeance Plan. Unable to stand up to Stephanie physically,
she now had a more subtle scheme in mind, one that she hoped would truly
humiliate the young salesgirl, in retribution for the ghastly ordeal she
had put Rita through. She ripped off and threw away the detestable
diaper, listened a moment for footsteps, and then leapt at the card under
the chair. It was a Harrington School photo ID -- for somebody named
"Heather Hammond" (whoever she might be) -- that had obviously fallen
from a pocket of the jumper during that beastly spanking. Intuitively,
she dived into the pockets of Stephanie’s jacket, which was still draped
over the back of the chair. A moment later, she emerged triumphant with
Stephanie’s store ID clutched in her hand.

She smiled at her luck that both IDs were cheap. The photos, cards, and
plastic envelopes were not fused together, but only pseudo-laminated,
just the overlapping plastic edges were actually heat-sealed. Cake.
In high school, not that many years ago, Rita had learned to operate a
laminator and then developed a thriving business faking IDs.

The so-called laminating machine was in plain sight, and Rita switched it
on. With scissors from Hal's desk, she carefully cut open the plastic
casing of each ID, so that the cards within could be removed. The
photos, held onto the cards just by static cling, popped right off with
little urging. She carefully trimmed Stephanie’s picture to match the
size of the other photo. (She was pleased to see that the backdrops
matched well enough -- and that the photographer's flat lighting had been
harsh enough to fade Stephanie's makeup to a suitable degree.) The rest
of the materials she needed, she found in a drawer near the machine.

She skilfully assembled the school card, Stephanie's photo, a new plastic
envelope, and a stiff paper wrapper to hold everything packaged together
properly. ("Like riding a bicycle...or fucking," she thought.) She
fidgeted briefly, until the red light on the machine went out, indicating
it was warmed up and ready to go. She inserted the package, waited a
moment, retrieved it, and removed the wrapper.

Satisfied with the seal, she fanned the card in the air and examined her
handiwork. Perfect. Her grin was positively evil.

Meanwhile, Stephanie resigned herself to the fact that unfortunately she
was trapped until Hal returned. So she wrapped the towel around her
waist and, for the fifth time, cursed loudly. She pushed her toweled
bottom back against the wall and slid down to the floor, resting her arms
on her knees. The empty holding room offered no comforts. Then, all at
once, Rita came back into view and stuck the bogus ID into the crevice of
the window frame.

"Who’s the schoolgirl now?" The reinforced glass window did little to
muffle the venom in her voice. She did not stay for an answer, but
immediately disappeared again. In passing, she glanced at the wall
clock: 10:20. She knew she had no time to indulge herself in the luxury
of gloating. As she hurried from the office, she tossed the keys onto
the desk. She turned left, simply wanting to get well away from that
damned changing room.


Joe had tried Hal again, but was answered only with static. Soon he
would have to go find him. There had been a huge error, and a barrage
of lawsuits was almost inevitable -- with him and Hal bound to be
collateral damage. His gut shut up.

Up to this point, he had been completely preoccupied with trying to
discover the identity of the girl in the BMW. But, as he stood there,
his eyes flickered over the other monitors, which he had been ignoring.
His attention was abruptly rivetted by number 6. The security holding
room was empty! And number 5 showed the security office itself was
deserted, too. More trouble.

He repeated the procedure for viewing ongoing surveillance and switched
the video tapes so that no recording time or footage would be lost.
Scanning backward through the tape, he nearly fell out of his chair. He
jogged it back repeatedly and watched it again and again and again. With
each showing, he felt his erection get even bigger. There was Stephanie,
beautifully dressed in her crisp business skirt and blouse, and there
was Rita, an adult woman dressed as a schoolgirl, and Stephanie was
spanking her! Vigorously! Bare bottom!

(Captivated by the scene on the tape, he failed to noticed what was being
played out live on the monitors behind him -- the return to the office,
Rita's coup, and the beginning of her craft project.)

Joe resisted his first impulse; beating off could wait. Taking a deep
breath, he ejected the tape and tucked it away beside the console. He
would get it later.

He wondered desperately where those two were now. And what the hell had
gotten into Steph? He knew she was a good and loyal employee, but this
was a clear violation of policy, and Joe’s sense of duty bound him to
report it. He was sweating and conflicted. Last year, they had dated a
few times, but she had broken it off, citing the store policy against
office romances. In actual fact, she had felt that a boyfriend in
security might be misconstrued and could even be considered suspicious.
He, on the other hand, had assumed it was mainly their differences in
age and education. But he was, after all, a part-time student at the
community college. And Steph seemed more mature than girls her own age
and was rather aloof with them, in fact, not mingling much at all with
her co-workers. True, she could be extremely stubborn (borderline
obsessive, really) about adherence to policy and protocol. And, in the
end, she did seem to want what almost every woman basically wants:
everything her own way. But...she was still so damned attractive....
He wiped his hand across his face.

Meanwhile, behind his back, monitors 5 and 6 were now showing,
respectively, Rita just finishing up her project and Stephanie moping,
half-naked, locked in the holding room. Still oblivious, though, Joe
stepped out into the hallway and tried Hal again. This time he got

"We’ve got a HUGE problem. You better come down to surveillance now!"

"Ten-four," Hal replied. He turned apologetically to Ms. Murgess.
"I’m sorry to have to leave you, but she’s just a few minutes down that
hallway, door on your left marked "Security." I’ll be there to help you
just as soon as I can."

Ms. Murgess frowned. "Your help is really quite unnecessary. I am very
experienced in handling hooligans such as Miss Hammond. And I do not
wish to be here all night."

"Uh, okay." Hal decided that, along with Sophia and Ruth, there was more
than a little Margaret Dumont in Ms. Murgess. "The keys are on my desk.
And there's also a release form for you to sign. I will try to be right
back, though, I promise." He gave her a wan smile and lumbered off to
answer Joe’s urgent call.

Three minutes later, Ms. Murgess reflexively checked her watch when she
entered the security office. It was 10:22:13. (She'd missed Rita by
two minutes.)

She took a moment to orient herself, but was certainly not one to
lollygag. Striding to the desk, she paused only long enough to read and
sign the release form and to pick up Hal's keys. She proceeded directly
to the holding room, where she plucked the Harrington ID from the door,
smiled enigmatically, and entered.

"Heather Hammond?" It was a rhetorical question, but it drew an
unexpected response.

"No...Stephanie Collins," Stephanie said. "Who are you?"

"Ms. Murgess -- here to take you back to Harrington. And I warn you, I
will not tolerate any trouble from you, whatsoever."

"Back to...to Harrington? But I'm not a Harrington girl -- I'm twenty
years old; I have an...a degree; I'm an employee of this store. Where
are the security guards? They'll vouch for me."

"They are off who-knows-where doing who-knows-what. It is late, Heather,
so let us have no more nonsense...."

Stephanie lost it. She squinted, red in the face, at Ms. Murgess.

"Listen here, you moronic blob, I'm no juvenile delinquent! Do I LOOK
like a juvenile? Does THIS look like it?" She gestured to her body with
both hands, then tore off her bra and flung it to the floor. "Do THESE?"

"I have all the proof I need. What I do NOT have is the time or the
inclination to bandy words with a vulgar little tramp...."

Stephanie lunged at her -- and missed.

Ms. Murgess, by virtue of her profession, was not inexperienced in the
art of rough-and-tumble, and she side-stepped gracefully. She could, in
fact, have subdued Stephanie almost as easily as Stephanie had handled
Rita. But, in this case, she didn't have to. "Stan!" she called.

All at once, Stephanie found herself in the firm grip of a big guy,
jowly and Italianate-looking, with plastered-back hair and a broken
nose. Irrationally, she wriggled some, but then the fight went out of
her, and she just hung there, limp.

When they emerged again into the front office, Ms. Murgess consulted one
of the large floor diagrams posted on the wall.

"There appears to be a women's locker room nearby," she said. "We turn
right from here and go back the way we came a short distance." She
cocked an eyebrow at Stephanie. "I am not going to march you into my
school in your present state -- grubby and half-na...and naked...." She
noted that the knot in the towel, never very secure, had just given up,
leaving the make-shift skirt on the office floor and Stephanie completely

She gathered up the carry-all that Stan had been lugging and led her
party off to find the means to get the so-called "Heather Hammond"
cleaned up and as presentable as possible.


Joe, meanwhle, had debated with himself whether he had time enough to go
out for a much-needed cigarette, had reluctantly decided against it, and
had gone back into the surveillance room, cursing the anti-smoking
crackpots (not for the first time). There, he was astonished to glance
at monitor 6 and find that the holding room was now holding...Stephanie!
He sat, ogling her, fascinated, while Ms. Murgess duly arrived on-camera.
He watched the pantomime, saw Steph's bra hit the floor and, eventually,
over on monitor 5, saw the towel do likewise. Then, just as things were
starting to get really good, the threesome went off-camera!

Joe always prided himself on his self-control, but he spent the next few
minutes wallowing in frustration as he tried -- and failed -- to find
them again. None of the monitors showed a trace of them....

Then Hal arrived.

Joe explained the situation as briefly as he could. Hal was stunned for
a moment, and then a sly look crept across his face.

"I've taught you a lot, Joe, but not everything." He reached behind the
blank monitor 13 and flipped a swich. The "broken" monitor flickered to
life, revealing the missing three, with crystal clarity. (Where Rita
was, however, was anybody's guess, though nobody seemed to be thinking
of her, at that moment.)

"Women's locker room...secret camera, motion-activated," Hal said, in
reply to Joe's unspoken question. "Great picture, huh? And we got
sound, too." He plugged a set of earphones into an unseen jack beneath
the monitor and offered Joe one of the earpieces.

They were just in time to hear Ms. Murgess say, "I am not a novice at
this, Heather. I have considerable experience -- which I have learned
from. For one thing, I always come prepared, as you will see. For
another, I have found that it is best to establish the proper
relationship from the very outset.... Proceed, Stan."

Stan, still expressionless, sat down, hauled Stephanie across his ample
lap, and began spanking her naked butt, methodically and remorselessly.

Ms. Murgess continued. "The Harrington get-their-attention spanking
usually lasts a brisk three minutes, but, since you claim to be so
unusually mature -- you do have an unusually mature bottom, at any rate
-- we'll just make it a brisk SIX minutes. And no need to worry about
Stan; he's more than equal to the task."

The next six minutes were punctuated only by the sound of Stan's hand
falling with metronomic precision...and by Stephanie's threats, protests,
pleas, and, finally, inarticulate blubbering.

When it was over, Ms. Murgess leaned down close to Stephanie's bleary,
tear-stained face. "Now, do we understand each other, Heather?"

"Y-yes, ma'am," Stephanie sobbed.

"Fine. Now it is time you washed up. I cannot guarantee your godliness,
but I can certainly enforce cleanliness. Now get into the shower." She
handed Stephanie a cake of yellow soap and a large, rough sponge. "And
do not dawdle."

She limped obediently into the shower, and Ms. Murgess turned on the
water. Stephanie shrieked and leaped aside (at least, as far as the
cramped cubicle would allow).

"It's freezing!" she howled.

"Nonsense. You have clearly been too pampered during your time as a
prefect. But that is over. You might just as well get used to being a
sub-minimus, because that is what you will be for a very long time. In
any case, however, you WILL shower, here and now, in cold water...or you
can get back over Stan's lap and THEN shower, in cold water, after
another six minutes...or nine...or.... So, what is it to be?"

"I'll shower now, ma'am."

Ms. Murgess smiled a self-satisfied smile.

("I don't deserve this, do I?" Stephanie thought. "Maybe a little bit,
for what I did to that Rita, but this is way too much. NO! I don't
deserve this crap. It's all that Rita's fault. She'll pay. These two
goons'll pay, too. They're so big and strong, though. I guess I'll
just have to knuckle under till I can prove my identity.... And then
their goddam asses are mine...all their asses!")

So, she dutifully scrubbed herself down while the other two looked on
(actually, "the other four," counting Hal and Joe).

Finally, "Very well, Heather, you are clean enough -- except between your
legs. Give your crotch an extra-good wash, now, for I am sure that it is
the filthiest thing about you, except for your mouth.... No, scrub it
more vigorously."

"B-but ma'am...this soap...it makes my...me itch a-and b-burn...."

"Never mind. Just do as you are told."

Stephanie obeyed, though she continued to whine.

"Please, ma'am.... Oh god, oh god.... Please...."

Her breathing became ragged, her gaze vacant, her whimpered words
gibberish, and her movements increasingly erratic. Her body began to
sag. Her entire consciousness seemed to be focussed on her crotch...and
what she was doing to it...when Ms. Murgess turned off the water and
dragged her from the shower stall. It was just not quite enough, and
Stephanie almost collapsed from sheer frustration.

"Now," Ms. Murgess proclaimed, flourishing a razor and a can of shaving
cream, "it is time to rid you of that nasty thicket between your legs.
It is both unsanitary and inappropriate."

"Oh god, I jus' wanna cum.... Please lemme cum...."

"Oh, it will be some time before you earn the privilege of an orgasm,
Heather -- quite some time. Meanwhile, you need a shave. Stan will hold
you down, but you will still be capable of some small movements. I do
advise you, however, not to move...not even to twitch...."

She did the job quickly and efficiently -- shaving not only Stephanie's
crotch, fore and aft, but also giving a once-over-lightly to her
arm-pits and legs. Everywhere she had shaved, she applied a thick green
goo and let it sit for a while. Throughout, Stephanie was quiet. Either
she had managed to retain some of her wits -- or she was just too
frazzled to resist any more.

Eventually, she was thrust back into the shower, and the green goo was
rinsed off. She emerged, wet and shiny...and very tender-looking.
After toweling her dry, they began dressing her in the Harrington school
uniform they had brought with them.

The problem was that everything was size "small" (just right for Rita),
and Stephanie, while no amazon, was certainly not a "small." The
knee-socks almost fit, but they were the only things that did.

The plain bra was so tight that it compressed her breasts and restricted
her breathing. It did allow her, however, to button up the short-sleeved
blouse, though the buttons strained to escape the buttonholes. The Peter
Pan collar and attached tie gripped her neck like a noose.

After a great deal of effort, they managed to squeeze her feet into the
school shoes, producing effects that would have interested the Spanish

The blue plaid jumper was supposed to be a fairly loose fit, so there was
enough leeway to accommodate her torso (barely) -- but the pleated skirt
part, which would have been very short on Rita, was at least four inches
shorter on Stephanie. In fact, the hem ended well above her now hairless

Gradually, though, in a series of compromises between the uniform and
her body (the former stretching and the latter compressing), the outfit
became more-or-less wearable -- all except the tiny cotton panties that
simply could not be made to encompass Stephanie's "unusually mature
bottom." And she could hardly be expected to parade around in public
with her naked crotch on display. But there was one solution: a
disposable diaper (of which Ms. Murgess always carried a supply, in
assorted sizes).

After arranging Stephanie's hair in pigtails, Ms. Murgess stepped back
and considered the overall effect. She sighed. "Well, it will just
have to do until we get you back to Harrington."

Thereupon, they left -- Stan and Ms. Murgess walking briskly, with a bit
of a swagger, and Stephanie plodding, with a definite waddle.

After half a minute, the motion-activated camera shut off, and the
monitor screen went black.

Hal and Joe sat for some time, each immersed in his own thoughts. At
last Hal stirred and glanced at the clock. It was 11:08. "I 'spect
we'd best go round up ever'body and sort this mess out...."

Joe stood up, awkwardly. "I gotta have a copy of that tape, Hal."


Part 5

Joe and Hal, having checked all the monitors and found nobody, left the
precious tapes securely locked in the surveillance room and proceeded to
conduct a rather haphazard sweep of the cavernous store. They had no
luck at all, until, precisely at 11:26, a door alarm went off like hell's

"Sounds like Door 4," Hal yelled over the tumult. "Must be that damn
Rita what's-her-name."

"Donovan," Joe shouted back.

"Whatever. You go after her. I got to get to a phone and call off the
cops with some bull shit story."

In point of fact, it wasn't Rita; Ms. Murgess was the one who set off the
alarm. She had been in the middle of delivering an "improving lecture,"
and, lost in her monologue, she pushed against the crush bar of Door 4
without thinking. In the ensuing pandemonium, she hesitated for only
half a heart-beat, then carried on through the doorway and, still
talking, bore off in what she imagined was the general direction of
where they'd parked the school van. Stan, nobody's fool, kept his mouth

Joe hurried over to Door 4 as fast as possible for a three-legged man,
but he was much too late to catch the guilty party.


So where was Rita? For over an hour, she had had been creeping about
the vast and dimly lit store in search of something to wear in place of
that insufferable uniform. She'd gotten all turned around in housewares
(it was like a maze), been distracted by a fine display of Waterford
crystal, and become thoroughly confused (but quite impressed in spite of
herself) in the oriental rug department. When she reached cosmetics,
she knew she was close, and celebrated by sampling the Chanel No.5. But
then she took a wrong turn and wound up in leather goods.

She was passing through the "Little Miss" department, with a sneer on
her lips, when the alarm went off. Startled into a tizzy, she grabbed
a t-shirt and a pair of shorts that looked like they might fit and
headed for an exit that wasn't going bananas at the moment.

Joe had just heaved a sigh of relief after re-setting the alarm on Door
4, when the after-hours silence was again shattered. This time it was
Door 7.

Rita had left the building.


Eventually, Hal and Joe straggled back to the security office, baffled.
Except for them, the store was clearly deserted.

"God knows where that Rita-damn-Donovan is now," Hal said, wearily.
"But those Harrington people must have taken Stephanie away with them,
back to the school -- though God knows why. Since I'm senior, I'd
better stay here and try to deal with any inquiries. You get out to
Harrington and retrieve Steph.... She'll prob'ly be really, really
appreciative, 'nudge-nudge, wink-wink.' Right?"

"I'd be happy to, but you know it's well after midnight now...."

"No sweat. Since there's a runaway, there'll be somebody in Admin all
night, and they won't want this thing to get any more out of hand than
we do.... So get goin', and I'll make sure to have your copies of the
tapes ready by the time you get back."

Joe managed a rueful grin and a mock salute on his way out the door.


After barrelling out Door 7, Rita had nipped around the side of the
store and hidden behind some dumpsters, where she changed clothes and
threw jumper, blouse, and so-called bra into the rubbish. ("And good
riddance!") The t-shirt was a little tight and the shorts very loose,
but tolerable.

She hurried across the almost vacant parking lot, which held only four
vehicles -- three in a cluster nearby: a dumpy Ford Tempo, a rusty Scout
(is there any other kind?), and a grey pickup with the vanity plate
"HEF," as well as, a distance away, a black van with some gold lettering
and a crest on the side.

She headed straight for the garishly lit convenience store that she
spotted about a block away. Regardless of what sort of twerp was behind
the counter, Rita was sure she could vamp him into calling her a cab,
and, after that, she'd soon be free of this dreadful affair.

But the instant she walked into the store, the Middle Eastern clerk began
gibbering excitedly and shooing her away. She was both frightened and
flabbergasted until, turning to go, she glimpsed her reflection in the
big glass front door. She was still wearing anklets and mary janes --
and those damn barrettes -- as well as pink short-shorts (riding very
low and threatening to slip past her narrow hips at any moment) and a
mustard yellow t-shirt with purple lettering that read "Lil' Princess."
One part of her brain suddenly understood why she was being treated as a
pre-teen out after curfew and loitering around a place with a liquor
license in jeopardy. The rest of her brain, however, was mulling over
"Lil'" and wondering why they'd put the apostrophe THERE. "Must have
been made by cheap foreign labor," she decided, as she swept from the
store. "So typical: tasteless AND ungrammatical!"

She hesitated in front of the convenience store, unsure what to do next,
but aware that the greasy clerk was continuing to stare at her. Then,
suddenly, she found herself "caught in the headlights," literally, of a
black van that seemed vaguely familiar. She couldn't go forward, and,
when she heard the clerk lock the door behind her, she knew there was
no retreat, either.

"Busted...again," she murmured, recognizing the van.

A woman, superficially attractive, but fundamentally bovine, descended
from the van and approached Rita, whose mind had just gone into

"It is way after curfew, little girl. Are you lost?" Ms. Murgess asked.

Wiping her nose on the back of her hand and raising her voice an octave
or so above normal, Rita replied, "My mom's real sick, an' I was gonna
get her a present...an' I took the bus all the way to that big store
down there -- Nelson's -- but it was closed...an' some big, mean girls
stole all my money I'd saved up...an' now I can't even get back home...."

"Oh, you poor, sweet little thing. You just come along with me. I am a
school teacher, and I will help you."

("Idiots," Rita thought. "I'm surrounded by idiots. Tell 'em the
absolute truth, and they refuse to believe any of it. Tell outrageous
lies, and they lap up every word. And my rotten so-called 'friends' --
petty, shallow, back-stabbing bitches and bastards -- they're really no
better, just different. I could have gotten out of this mess hours ago,
if I'd had one friend I could trust. God! If I could ever find one
person I could bond with...speak to truly, without saying a word....")

"I am afraid you will have to ride in the back of the van, dear. We
already have another girl back there, but you must not be afraid. Stan,
would you put Heather in restraints?"

("Heather?" Rita wondered to herself. "The notorious Heather Hammond?
The real one or...?")

When, at last, she scrambled into the back of the Black Mariah, the
question was answered.

"You treacherous little bitch," Stephanie spat, venomously.

Stephanie kept her voice down, so as not to antagonize Ms. Murgess any
further. But she spent the entire 30-minute trip holding forth on what
a loathesome worm Rita was, and explaining, in crude and graphic detail,
exactly how Rita was going be revenged upon the instant Stephanie was

Rita, deciding to take what she imagined was the "high road," made only
two remarks. Initially, she observed, "Nice uniform...but didn't they
have any 'plus-sizes'?" And later, after Stephanie's almost unbroken
tirade had begun winding down, she sniffed, "People who live in glass
houses, Heather...."


From the back of the closed van, Rita could see nothing of the school,
and almost nothing while being hustled from the van and through what
turned out to be the back door of the Administration building. There
might have been something to see between that point and Ms. Murgess's
office, near the front of the building, but Rita found it much more
amusing to watch Stephanie waddle along, in diaper and tight shoes, with
her hands cuffed behind her. At the same time, Rita's shorts seemed to
be getting even looser, and she had to hitch them up every few steps.

The office was about what Rita had expected: two walls covered with fake
wood paneling and the other two painted institutional green; grey metal
horizontal file; scrupulously neat grey metal desk; golf trophy; PC with
stuffed Garfield perched on top; framed diploma of some sort, but no
paintings, no prints, not even any photos.

After shackling Stephanie to one of the grey metal side chairs, Stan
actually spoke (his voice gravely, perhaps from lack of use),
"Inspection in half an hour?"

"Yes. You go ahead; I will be along presently," Ms. Murgess answered.
"I just want to type up a report and punishment order on our ungrateful,
runaway, former-prefect/present-and-future- sub-minimus, Heather

"Now, wait just a minute...." Stephanie began, but the woman cut her off
with a gesture. She rose from her desk and, from a white enameled wall
cabinet, she produced some sort of heavy wire device. "It is called a
'dental gag'; it is AMA approved." It had movable jaws that were opened
and closed by means of a handle on the side.

"Open wide," she said to "Heather." But when the latter clamped her
lips together and shook her head defiantly, she simply had her nostrils
pinched shut until she had to open her mouth to breathe. The gag was
then slipped into place between her upper and lower teeth, the handle
squeezed, and her mouth forced wide open -- and held that way.

"Safe and rather effective. You can still breathe and make some noise
(though articulate speech is, of course, impossible), but you should
find it somewhat humbling...and it makes you drool. But, I warn you,
you had better not dare slobber on my nice carpet, girl, or you will get
'extras' later."

She turned to Rita, and her expression softened. "You had better phone
your father now, dear, and let him know where you are. He will probably
be worried sick."

Rita dialled her home phone and, knowing that her machine didn't pick up
until after the sixth ring, hung up after five and a half. She shook her
head and looked about to cry.

"Never mind, sweetheart," Ms. Murgess said. "He is surely out looking
for you. Wait a few minutes and try again."

She booted up the PC and began typing briskly. From time to time, she
would pause, and look at Stephanie, and smile a secret smile. When she'd
finished and printed out the result (5 pages!), she tucked the print-out
into a manila folder, dropped it onto the middle of her otherwise sterile
desk, and pressed a button on the intercom. "Judy, please come in here
for a moment."

Almost immediately, there was a tapping on the door, which opened to
admit a sallow, slightly adenoidal young woman with a squint.

"Ah, Judy, I am afraid you will have to work tonight until I finish
Inspection. When the two new matrons check in, have them 'see to' our
young Miss Hammond; her papers are in this folder. Remind them that we
are not indulgent here. And this is Rita...Donovan. Her father may be
coming by for her. See that there's no problem."

"Yes'm," Judy said, and Rita could have sworn she practically curtseyed.

Ms. Murgess sighed and stretched. She extracted a clipboard from her
desk and got to her feet.

Rita looked terrifed. "P-please don't leave me alone with HER. She's
older'n me, an' bigger an' stronger, an' she was talkin' real mean to
me before...."

"Fear not, child," Ms. Murgess said. "I have to leave you both here for
a while, but she will be in restraints. And, as for the 'mean talking,'
the gag will take care of that."


Rita just had to get away and knew she'd have to make her escape attempt
soon, before The Murgess returned. It wasn't that she feared legal
ramifications. The department store wouldn't press a couple of trivial
misdemeanors very hard when she could nail them to the wall for more
than one felony. And she could get these Harrington idiots off her back
simply by proving her identity. Stephanie might cause some trouble, but
couldn't do much without admitting her own guilt. But all the above
would mean publicity...publicity of the most humiliating sort. People
would be LAUGHING at her! And nobody laughs at Rita Donovan...haven't
for a long time, at least...not since school....

Then she noticed Stephanie squirming in her chair. Of course, the diaper
was hot and itchy, but.... "Ah, does baby wanna go potty?" She grinned.
"Let me see if baby's had an accident...."

Much to Stephanie's dismay, Rita stuck her hand down the front of the

"No, not wet yet...but soon, I think.... And, what's this? Did babykins
lose all her pubic hair? Did The Murgess do that to you? How exquisite!
That must have been quite a sight. But that's neither here nor there.
You're going to wet your diaper soon, and I can't help that. And I can't
change you, even if I had a spare diaper handy, 'cause SHE might not

Rita looked around, hitched up her shorts, and crossed over to the
medicine cabinet. "But...yes! Some ointment will maybe help ward off
diaper rash, don't you think?" She chose a tube and squeezed out a
large blob of goo. She thrust her hand down the front of Stephanie's
diaper again and wiggled it around. "Ben-Gay," she said. After pulling
her hand out, she wiped her fingers on a tissue, to remove the slight
traces of burning ointment that remained.

Stephanie sat as if paralyzed, her eyes big and her breathing labored.
Instead of shrieks, all she could utter were tiny, strangled squeaks.
Having no other recourse, she tried to put out the fire in her crotch by
pissing herself. It did seem to help some, but not nearly enough.

Rita, meanwhile, was reading with great interest the "Punishment Order"
(form A101) that Ms. Murgess had typed up for "Heather Hammond."

"Wow-ow!" she said. She reassembled the file, then shook her head and
grimaced. "You ain't seen nothin' yet...."

Rita felt exhilarated.

Since Stephanie was beginning to find her shrieking voice, Rita waited
until she had paused to catch her breath, then blew her a kiss and darted
out of the office. She listened for a moment outside and was pleased to
find that they apparently were using the original heavy oak Edwardian
door. Hardly a sound penetrated it, and nothing could be heard five
feet away.

Satisfied, Rita hitched up her shorts and began making her stealthy way
toward the lighted area that was just ahead.


Rita was biding her time, lurking in the shadows of the lobby until she
might have a chance to get past Judy, guarding the desk and front door.
She knew she'd have to wait until someone was buzzed in who was
preoccupied, lead-footed, or just stupid -- and she figured her odds
around here were pretty good.

Then a beefy figure in an all-too-familiar uniform appeared at the door.
Joe flashed his badge, and was admitted.

"Bummer," Rita muttered to herself. Yet.... Rita had discovered a bold,
adventuresome streak in her personality that she enjoyed immensely. She
stepped out of the shadows, so that Joe could now see her -- but Judy
still could not -- and dramatically flung her arms wide, desperately
hoping he'd be shrewd enough to read her body language.

Joe immediately got a blank look on his face, and Rita could almost see
the wheels going around inside his head. She concentrated, trying to
will them to spin in the right direction. Her mental reflexes may have
been quicker than his, but he was no blockhead. He blinked and put on
an apologetic half-smile. "My name's Donovan," he said to Judy. "And
I've come for my little girl."

Rita beamed. Finally, here was someone who wasn't an idiot.

"Daddy!" she cried. Heedless of her shorts, she ran to him and hugged
him tight. She whispered, "Get me out of here right now, big boy, and
I promise I won't sue your ass."

Joe bent down to her. "Deal. But where's Steph?" he murmured.

"She'll keep; my offer won't, Daddy."


Moments later, they were outside and down the steps, trying to walk
casually toward the green-and-rust Scout parked nearby. Judy was
standing in the doorway behind them, smiling proudly.

"To tell you the truth, copper, your Stephanie IS inside there. They
think she's the infamous "Heather Hammond" -- who, I've decided, must be
the criminal fiend who started this whole thing by stealing my stuff to
begin with. But, since your Stephanie was such a bitch, I'll make it
worth your while to wait twenty-four hours before informing them of their

Joe frowned. "Well, in the first place, she's not MY Stephanie...not
any more. And, in the second place, I wouldn't do that for money."

"I wasn't offering...money," Rita purred and gripped his hand more

Joe considered, but not long. "You tired?"

"Not in the slightest. What do you have in mind?"

"Probably a lot like what you have in mind. But I want to make a stop
along the way to pick up a tape. I think you'll like it."