A Different Reality: Part 2

Part 1

 

Chapter 3

He stood at the back of the room in the doorway and surveyed the scene before him. Standing in the centre of the room, with her back to him, was the Miss Updike. Her long, ebony sausage curls cascaded down her back and onto her shoulders, bobbing about with every movement, while her waist had never looked finer, the harsh lacing regime of the academy causing it to dive down into an elegant, narrow stem. The sky-blue evening dress that she wore was exquisite and the blue ribbons and pearls in her hair merely complimented it. He strode into the room and, when he was just behind her shoulder and could smell her perfume, announced in a quiet voice, “Miss Suzanna, how delightful to see you again!” She spun around, and her visage faced his. Casting his eye over her snow-white skin, her large, dark eyes and her inviting rosebud lips, he felt that she truly had become the vision of feminine perfection. Her lips though, when they parted, merely uttered one accusatory word, “You!” before she slumped into a faint and he caught her in his arms.


The acrid smell of the salts revived her, and she found herself lying on the couch being fanned by two maids. She glanced about her and her eyes fixed on the male who had addressed her moments before. There was no doubt about it: it was he. She knew him. Seeing her revitalised, the doctor smiled and said, “Miss Suzanna, it is so good to have you back again. Seeing me seems to have given you a shock and yet it is only a month since I went away. But then I forget; Doctor Lowe explained that you are suffering from a bout of amnesia. I must have surprised you, please, let me apologise.”

“Doctor Potter has been most concerned about you,” added Madam Rossiter. “And you should thank him; he caught you as you fell.”

“That is not Doctor Potter,” said Suzie, defiant. “He is Dave Potter. I know him.”

“Of course, you do, and my first name is David,” replied the doctor. “I have been a friend of this institution for many years. We have met many times.”

“No, not here! You’re lying! They’re all lying! I know you from there, the other place. We met there; you were a client of our company. You wanted to date me; we did go out, but you were dull and sexist, so I dumped you.”

“Oh dear,” declared Doctor Lowe mournfully, “the delusions have returned!”


The following morning, she was summoned to Madam Rossiter’s office and her gag removed. The two doctors were sitting there, and they were eager to talk about her “delusions”.

“Tell me about this other life that you imagine you lived,” said Doctor Lowe.

“I’m not imagining it; I did live it. He knows; he was there!” She would have pointed at Doctor Potter at this point but, of course, trammelled as her arms were inside her ballooning gigot sleeves, she could not.

Potter smiled as if sympathetic and then said, “Tell me, Miss Suzanna, what role did I play in this other life?”

“You know full well which role.”

“Yes, yes, but please, for the benefit of Doctor Lowe here, please explain it to us.”

“I was… I am an HR manager at Dovegate Financial Services. Dave Potter here is one of our clients. He came to the company for an event we held to encourage clients to invest in one of our new products. We shared some glasses of champagne together and he asked me out on a date. We dated a few times but did not gel. To be honest, I found you a bit sexist and dull, so I broke it off, as you well know Mr. Potter!”

“Hmm… this is very interesting,” said Lowe. “It seems, David, that our patient here has included you in her fantasy world, but it is some sort of mirror image of the real Doctor Potter.” Suzie would have objected to this, but her maid, who was standing behind her, had replaced her gag. “Yes indeed, in her hyper-liberated fantasy world, you are sexist and misogynistic whereas in reality, you are the most liberal man I’ve come across. Why, you even advocate married women being allowed to speak with males other than their husbands or fathers. Remarkable! But which psychological processes are causing this, do you think?”

“I’m unsure Obadiah, but I believe that Miss Suzanna’s case requires some extra attention. If she does not mind, I should like to talk with her further.”

“Miss Suzanna has no objections whatsoever,” replied Lowe, not consulting her at all.


From that day, Doctor David Potter became a regular feature in her life and, to be honest, she welcomed it. She would be taken out of those interminably boring sessions on wifely deportment, or relaxation times spent staring into space, and walked to his office where her gag would be removed, and he would talk to her about her other life (as he termed it), taking notes all the time. At first all she could talk about was that how he knew anyway since he was part of it and it was probably him that had brought her here (wherever here was) but, with time, she cooled and began to talk about it as if it were another time and place. He seemed especially interested in whether anyone else from her present reality had also inhabited her past and, since no one else had, why she was focussing on him. In all honesty, she did not know. He had been there then, and he was there now and that was all there was to it. He would smile as if full of psychological wisdom and she would be reminded of how patronising the old Dave Potter could be in the other life, again one of the reasons why she’d dumped him. This Dave Potter though, whilst undoubtedly a misogynist and patronising, was different. After all, everyone was misogynistic in this world and everybody patronised her or just plain ignored her, seeing her more as a pretty doll or feminine accessory to the room than a living breathing human being. This Dave Potter at least acknowledged her humanity and for that, she warmed to him, even if his presence confused her at the core of her being.


A couple of weeks after their first meeting – or at least, their first meeting in this stage of this reality – Doctor Potter suggested that he and Miss Suzanna take a walk in the grounds. Her maid smiled at this as if something special was implied but Suzie merely groaned behind her gag. Walking was a trial in the boots that she was forced to wear. As the weeks passed, the heels slowly got higher and she was now perched almost on tiptoe, teetering on fifteen-centimetre heels. Worse still, her maid had shown her the end goal: a pair of boots called en-pointe which forced the wearer to walk on their toes like a ballet dancer. They looked terrifying.

Not only were the boots a trial, but her costume made her feel vulnerable in other ways. Unable to use her arms for balance, she was petrified of falling over and so required a maid to hold her at all times, whilst the slight physical exertion coupled with her excruciatingly tight corset meant that within seconds she was panting for air and her breasts surged up and down embarrassingly. And then, to top it all (literally) whenever she left the building, she was required to wear a ridiculous bonnet with a long rim that caused her vision to be like looking through a tunnel except that, at the end of this tunnel, a thick veil was hung which reduced everything to a whitey-grey blur.

Taking hold of one of her faux arms in one hand and putting his other firmly around her waist, Doctor Potter guided Suzie out of the building and along the treacherous gravel paths that surrounded the lawns. Several times they had to stop for her to regain her breath but then, at the summer house in the shrubbery, he helped her to sit and then, much to her surprise and pleasure, flipped back the veil to give her a better view of her surroundings.

“Miss Suzanna,” he began, “I’ve brought you out here today because I want to have a special chat out of the earshot of both Madam Rossiter and Doctor Lowe. No, do not fear, I do not wish to say anything improper; but what I will say is rather eccentric. Do you know much of the world of science, Miss Suzanna?”

Suzie, who had got a double A* in her GCSE Science exams in that other reality, nodded her head.

“Excellent. Then do you know anything of dark matter?”

This time she had to shake her head.

“Well that is not to be a matter for surprise since this is a complicated subject indeed and women’s minds can easily be confused… or at least that is what my colleague Doctor Lowe insists. But to continue, dark matter is matter that exists, but we cannot detect it. Scientists know that it exists because they have done some incredibly complicated equations which prove that it is there, but it is just not detectable. Now, and you need not worry your pretty little head about this too much – and may I say how radiant you are looking this morning, Miss Suzanna? – this dark matter has caused much debate, conjecture and theorising amongst the scientific community and one theory that has come to the fore is that of parallel universes; that is to say that here, now, there is another universe that exists but we are just unaware of it. Now many – including Doctor Lowe – pooh pooh this theory, but I for one think it has merits and that is why your particular case intrigues me. You tell me that you believe this other life you have lived to be real and I believe you, but how can it have been? Unless that is, you were living in a parallel universe as this other Suzanna Lowe and then somehow, you crossed over to this reality. Does that make sense to you?”

Suzie nodded enthusiastically. This meant that she was not lying. It was an explanation that bore out her witness!

“Of course, there are many issues with the theory, namely how come you managed to cross over when no one else seems to have been able to do so and what has happened to the Miss Suzanna Updike who lived here – is she now in your other reality? And why did I appear in both worlds and what is it that is drawing us together? Many questions indeed. Anyway, I have a proposal to make. I am going to offer to Doctor Lowe and Madam Rossiter that you move into my house in order that I may explore those questions further. Do not fear, your training will not be affected and there shall be no improper behaviour, but how does that sound to you?”

In the old reality, that parallel universe in which she had once lived, Suzie would have been horrified by the thought of moving in with the patronising and sexist Dave Potter. But in this reality, the silent, restrained and modest Lady of Leisure Suzanna Updike merely nodded her assent with joy.

 

Chapter 4

Life changed considerably for Suzie when she moved to Doctor Potter’s house and, generally, it was for the better. Before she left the academy though, she had an unpleasant surprise. The morning before she moved out, after her morning bathing and toilette, she found herself being fitted with a strange new device. It was like a pair of underpants except that it was made out of metal and had a grille at the front through which liquids could pass through. Her maid explained that it was a chastity belt and would help ensure her womanly purity should the good doctor – who was a single man after all – be unable to control himself when confronted by her immense beauty. The inherent sexism in it all appalled her a little, but she had to admit that, trammelled as she was, she would be unable to resist any male advances, welcome or otherwise.

The chastity belt though, created problems of its own. For some reason, inside it there were a series of rubber nubs that caressed her sex continually, causing her desire to rise yet not providing any relief. To be honest, ever since she had woken up that awful morning in her sleeping sack, she had longed to touch her womanly parts and relieve her pent-up longing – being corseted and restrained only seemed to heighten it – but this brought things to an entirely new level.

Dave Potter’s house was a large dwelling some distance across town from the academy. Suzie couldn’t say how far exactly as the veil and bonnet that she’d worn for the journey had effectively blindfolded her, but she had not been in the taxi for long. In it she had her own room that was well-appointed and, most pleasingly, her regime was relaxed somewhat. Although her arms were almost continually restrained, Potter encouraged conversation at mealtimes and would often invite her to sit in the garden with him wearing not a bonnet with a veil, but instead a sunhat which was far less restrictive. Furthermore, every evening, as part of her treatment, he allowed her to have her arms freed and she would write a diary talking of her experiences in that other reality and how she felt about this new reality that she found herself in. In this she would talk about her memories from that other existence, perhaps in a parallel universe, perhaps merely in her head, and how they made living her current life more difficult. Every day Potter would read these entries and he declared that they were undoubtedly helping her to come to terms with the mental and psychological issues that she was battling. He also, patiently and slowly, explained to her, that while these delusions may seem superficially pleasing to her, in the long term she would always be happier in her current lifestyle as medical research had proved that women’s brains are wired up differently to those of menfolk and that they are patently unsuited to taking on positions of responsibility and power.

However, along with these positive developments, there were also some that were less welcome. One came on the orders of Madam Rossiter who said that there was a new fashion in arm restraint that was becoming popular and she thought that Miss Suzanna would benefit from achieving it. This was called reverse prayer and it involved having her hands palm-to-palm together as if in prayer but behind her back, brushing her neck. This position was said to improve both posture and piety, but it was awfully difficult to achieve since, once the palm-to-palm aspect had been managed, the elbows were then slowly – and painfully – drawn together. It transpired that Suzie spent much of her time restrained in this fashion – six hours per day – and she was glad indeed when her aching arms were released and laced back into their gigot sleeves.

The other change was more disconcerting than negative. After a week of treatment, Doctor Potter suggested that, in order to help her adapt to her new reality better and separate the two realities in her mind, she adopt a new name and be Suzanna no longer, but instead someone else. She could not object as she was firmly gagged and her arms locked into the agonising reverse prayer formation at the time, but the good doctor decreed that she would now be called Claudine after the character in the Colette novels (whom she’d never heard of) and so Claudine she was and to celebrate, she embroidered herself a new gag panel with Claudine Updike emblazoned upon it, surrounded by pink roses. Which was all well and good except that now the old, independent Suzie seemed even more of a distant figure, separate from the pampered feminine accessory that she had now become.

But life was not bad, and, despite his patronising airs, Claudine found herself strangely attracted to Dave Potter in a way that the old Suzie Updike never had been. Perhaps because he was the only man she ever saw, perhaps because her sex was constantly being titillated by the chastity belt or perhaps because there was some genuine attraction she could not say, but she found herself waking up in her sleeping sack after dreaming passionate and improper dreams about him whilst, as he sat talking to her in the garden, she imagined them both undressing and engaging in wild and wanton sex.

Nor too was the attraction purely one-way for about a month after her arrival in his house, a month where the tell-tale glances and subtle comments had grown daily in number, the two were out in the garden as evening was beginning and the sky had turned orange and Doctor Potter remarked on how beautiful it all was, before then adding that it was not so beautiful as her and, before she knew it, he had leaned over, removed her gag and was kissing her passionately, a kiss which she returned.


The following morning, dressed in her reverse-prayer configuration and securely gagged, she was led to Doctor Potter’s office. He saw her as she entered and bade her sit before sending the maid away. “It looks as if you are praying for forgiveness,” he said smiling weakly and indicating her restrained arms. She did not reply as she could not, so he continued: “Last night we transgressed grossly, both of us, though particularly me. You are a woman and thus weak of mind and body, but I was in a position of responsibility and I should not have done that. I am sorry. Unfortunately, though, sorry is not enough. Having transgressed thus, it is now inappropriate for you to stay under my roof. I am not to be trusted and you are a temptation too great for any man to resist. So, you must return to the academy.”

At these words she shook her head, but the doctor did not seem to notice. Instead, he continued: “However, there is another option. My feelings for you which I expressed so inappropriately yesterday evening were genuine and I think… nay, hope, that the fact that you responded so eagerly, that they are reciprocated. Therefore, I have a question to ask: Claudine Updike, will you marry me? That way we can sate those feelings legally and correctly whilst living together more fully and not being wrenched apart by the conventions of this world?”

Marry Dave Potter, the very man whom she had rejected in another world not so long ago. And yet, what better option did she have? Who else had shown her any understanding? And whoever she chose, she would still be treated as a lady of leisure, a pretty feminine accessory with no purpose in life beyond reflecting her spouse’s wealth and trumpeting her dependence and helplessness?


Claudine Updike did return to the academy that evening, but it was so that she could be prepared for her wedding in a month’s time rather than in disgrace for her transgressions. The other students as well as her maid and Madam Rossiter who overjoyed for her and started planning her gown and giving her wifely instructions on everything from after-dinner conversation (when possible) to affairs of the night (husbands appreciate it if you wake them every morning by sucking on their tool. An accomplished wife can achieve the waking and the eruption of seed simultaneously).

Even exhortations to perform oral sex however, were nothing compared to the shock of what Madam Rossiter had to announce the following day.

“Your fiancé has provided me with his list of modifications. Now, I appreciate that this is what sent you over the edge last time, but these are far less severe, rather mild in my opinion.”

Claudine hadn’t got a clue what she was referring to, but during their free conversation that evening, Petronella explained: “All men specify modifications that they want performing on their spouses before marriage. It is so that they can personalise us, make us unique and partially designed by them. It is a great honour!”

A great honour it may have been, but that evening as she lay sweating in her sleeping sack, Claudine’s mind tossed over the implications of what she had been told. She was to have her body, her very being, physically altered for the pleasure of a man. Her breasts, which she had never regarded as being overly small, were to be pumped full of silicon or something purely to please her fiancé and she, the owner of those breasts, had no say in the matter. As she lay there in the clammy darkness, the old Suzie reasserted herself over the new Claudine and she resisted both mentally and physically, tossing and writhing, fighting to get out. But the strong leather of the sack held firm as it was designed to do and, eventually, sometime in the dark hours, she passed away exhausted and drenched in sweat, all resistance having proved futile.

The following day when she was dressed in her finest outdoor gown incorporating the reverse-prayer configuration (declared de rigueur up until her wedding by Madam Rossiter) and taken to the hospital. There, she was shown into a consulting room and a male doctor explained her forthcoming modifications to her. More humiliating than that, without asking her, he reached forward, opened up her dress and then loosened the top of her stays, taking out her breasts, squeezing and fondling them mos inappropriately. Claudine would have resisted but her costume trammelled her completely and she was still exhausted from the exertions of the night and so she just sat passively and listened like a dutiful maiden should do. The doctor explained that 300cc implants were to be added to each breast, taking out examples of said implants and demonstrating what her new, huge tits would look like. And, as if this were not bad enough, he then proceeded to state that her lips would also be collagen enhanced. Finally, the doctor noted with surprise that no work was being done on her bottom, but then ended with the humiliating line, “Although it is excessively large without work, so I suppose none is necessary.” An hour later she was put under anaesthesia and her world went black. When she awoke, her lips were plumped and puffy whilst her breasts had been replaced by two heavy, large spherical balls of flesh that defied gravity. Everyone pronounced them to be great improvements although she was far from sure. When she saw herself in the mirror, the old Suzie from that other world seemed further away than ever, unrecognisable almost, and in her place a beautiful doll with unnatural proportions named Claudine stood looking back. She shivered.

Following that day Claudine’s life became a bleary whirl of wedding preparations. She was measured and remeasured for her gown and her corseting regime intensified in order for her to achieve the seemingly impossible measurement of 45cm for her wedding day. This led to her feeling continually weak and on the verge of fainting or, as Madam Rossiter termed it, “delightfully fragile and feminine”. Coupled with the strictures of her costume, she was also subjected to endless lessons on the duty of being a wife. Since she would be living as a Lady of Leisure and thus unable to cook and clean for her husband (who could afford maids to do such things), her lessons consisted solely of making conversation with him (which largely seemed to be how to praise him and caress his ego continually) and how to satisfy him sexually which the emphasis being purely on the latter. Madam Rossiter explained that there were two kinds of wife: a pleasure wife and a breeding wife, the former existing solely to bring her husband sexual pleasure and the latter to bear his children. “Most men keep their spouses as pleasure wives during their youthful years, before then allowing them to graduate on to the honour of breeding,” she explained, “although some older gentlemen with heirs already may marry a younger wife purely to give them pleasure in their old age. But whatever the case, pleasure or breeding, what you need to understand is that your bedtime performance is now central to your entire existance.”

Now Claudine was a virgin as all unmarried girls should be, but, perversely, the Suzie of her delusions, was quite sexually experienced and, somehow, these false memories kept crowding in during the lessons which, coupled with the titillating effect of her chastity belt and the fact that the same belt ensured she could gain son relief, made her feel constantly aroused and horny. Oral sex, as promised, was a major factor from the beginning, with it being made clear that this form of satisfaction would be one that she would be providing regularly for her husband. Most embarrassingly, Madam Rossiter had Cecille, one of the maids, brought into the lessons and stripped down to her underwear, before having a replica of a male tool strapped around her. Claudine then had to kneel in front of the passive maid and suck on this faux member, while Madame Rossiter critiqued her performance. It was highly embarrassing, and shame-making and she felt like curling up and dying the first time it took place. Equally embarrassing was that, at the end of every meal, in honour of the fact that she was soon to be married, she was forced to drink a small cup of “spouse’s port”, a salty, sticky liquid which Claudine recognised from her days as Suzie as being male semen. She had to imbue this in front of the others, swallowing every last drop and then licking out the cup, after everything else and no liquid was allowed afterwards so that the delicious tastes of the meals were always eradicated by the disgusting salty semen which stayed in her mouth for hours afterwards. It was horrible, but what made it worse was how the other students kept asking her what it was like and Petronella was even so bold as to whisper to her to keep a little on her tongue and then later, when they were relaxing, she would kiss her deeply so that she too could receive a harbinger of the “joys awaiting her with marriage”.

The French kissing was another aspect of her training and, to be honest, was the most pleasant of all. In her heart of hearts, Claudine – well, Suzie – had always quite liked women as much as men, and now, as part of her training to satisfy Doctor Potter after marriage, she was made to practise her kissing techniques with the other students. Every afternoon, their gags were removed, and she was made to lean into Petronella, Henrietta or Clarissa (Carmelita had got married and left while Claudine had been at the good doctor’s home and these two newcomers were her fellow students now) and let their tongues explore each other’s mouths. It was a heavenly feeling, particularly with the young Clarissa whom Claudine found she was developing a bit of a crush on, but alas, while it aroused and excited her, her restrained arms and locked away sex meant that no release was possible and so she went to bed every night her head filled with visions of lesbian lust and no way of alleviating it. It was like being taken to the swimming pool every day but never being allowed to dive in.

But diving she soon would be, for the days ticked by and, a month after she returned to Madam Rossiter’s, Claudine found herself released from her sleeping sack at the ungodly hour of five. She was thoroughly showered and shaved down below before then beginning the slow process of dressing her for her nuptials. The stays could not be laced down to the agonising size of 45cm in one go and so it was done in stages, each one causing her to faint right away. Whilst that was happening, her feet were laced into beautiful but precariously white-leather, knee-high en-pointe boots while her arms were twisted into the now too-familiar reverse prayer configuration. Eventually, her enormous new breasts surging up and down for air, her tottering about, shifting her weight from one tortured set of toes to the other, the vast white gown was lowered over her, her curls reset for a final time and then veil after veil pulled down over her face until finally, blinded completely and entirely helpless, she was led away to church to become Mrs. David Potter.

Epilogue

Six months later

Dave Potter watches on the video screen as his wife is prepared for their nightly congress. He outlined to her on their first day that he wishes to use her as a pleasure wife first before letting her become a breeding wife as he is in no rush to have children and they should both enjoy their youth whilst they still have it. Certainly, he is enjoying it, although for her, he is less certain.

He instructed the maid that he wished to use her bottom this evening. Her wonderfully large and peachy buttocks were what very first attracted him to her at that party at Dovegate Financial Services almost a year earlier. He’d always had a thing for a bubble butt and Suzie Updike had one to die for. He’d sworn then that he would have her and had been most put out when she’d rejected him.

Dave had been an aficionado of the Lady of Leisure ideal for almost ten years, after having read stories about it on the internet. He’d assumed them to all be fiction but then had received an anonymous email one day talking about an exclusive secret society of rich men that aims to make the ideal a reality. The email included links to pictures and videos of ladies living – or being forced to live – the Lady of Leisure ideal. He was curious and wished to learn more and so replied. Around a week later a meeting was set up with William Mogg, one of the elders of the society who explained more. He stated that they had been formed some ten years before after several gentlemen had declared – and explored – their fantasies over brandy one evening. Initial test subjects (Romanian apparently) had been procured from the black market and, after some success, the Society for the Advancement of the Lady of Leisure Ideal had been established. They had then purchased a large swathe of land on New Zealand’s South Island and there they had proceeded to gather their ladies of leisure in a utopian community named Deportment. Dave had joined the society straightaway but had visited Deportment frequently but had never seriously considered forcing one of his own girlfriends into the Lady of Leisure ideal. But then when Suzie Updike had rejected him then he knew that it was time for his fantasies to be realised.

He’d invented the alternative reality/ amnesia thing out of a sense of playful cruelty, even though it wasn’t easy to achieve (erasing that ankle tattoo had taken an expert several weeks). He knew that she would be suffering, doubting her own sanity and longing for what she had lost yet could never prove had existed, but then that was only right and proper. After all, she had rejected him and so deserved to suffer. He’d watched with glee as the haughty HR ice queen had been reduced to an ornamental doll and then lavished every moment when she lived in his house and he pumped all her food full of strong aphrodisiacs and yet allowed her no sexual release. It was little wonder that she’d agreed to marriage with a man she had recently hated and sentenced herself to a lifetime as a restrained Victorian doll. Then he had let his imagination run wild. He’d fallen in love with Suzie Updike but now he could create something even better, an idealised version of her with a prettier name, more kissable lips and far, far, far superior breasts that acted as his pillow on all those nights when he wasn’t using her magnificent buttocks for the same purpose. Indeed, the only thing that had not needed altering at all was that wonderful arse but even that he improved, ordering it to be filled permanently with a little ivory plug decorated with a diamond on the end that twinkled at him whenever he gazed upon it. Indeed, the only time it was ever removed was when that arse was being prepared to be plundered… like now.

Dave knew that she hated the anal sex; that she found it humiliating and unsatisfying. But he also knew that she had come to accept that she was merely his accessory these days with no mind of her own and no say over her life. She had reached a kind of impasse now, an acceptance and resignation and so Dave was thinking about upping the ante, perhaps leaving a photograph from that other reality lying around or making a comment that could hint that he knew the truth too. That would bring back the mental torment and doubts. If done carefully, it could be exquisite.

He watched as the maid supported her wonderfully corseted waist of 45cm by stacking pillows beneath it so that her beautiful bottom was on full display whilst her breasts ballooned below her, squashing themselves against the bed. The camera also picked up her groans, made from behind her mouth gagged with the words ‘Property of Doctor David Potter’ that she herself had embroidered straight after their marriage. It was a delightful scene and he was ready to make the most of it. He got up from his seat and made his way happily to the marital bedchamber.

FINIS

Copyright © 2019, Dave Potter

4 thoughts on “A Different Reality: Part 2

  1. Wow, this kind of improvement was exactly what I meant. The latter half is full and mysteries are revealed properly. Well done!

    Like

  2. Again, a most excellently written (mystery)story – with the author as scheming protagonist to boot! Great stuff!

    Like

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