Alys in SoaplandbyCase21©
Based on a true fantasy
Alys was not a tourist in Japan. She was not a stranger stumbling down the rabbit hole into a land of bizarre customs and nonsensical sounds. No burbling jabberwocks bothered Alys: she spoke enough Japanese for small-talk, read enough kanji to skim a newspaper. She had her favourite brands and bands, her network of contacts in language schools and universities where she taught, her friends foreign and domestic. She had lived in Tokyo on and off for the past three years, and she was used to it by this time. It's true that she never quite fit in. Her porcelain-doll skin, light hair, and pale eyes, clear as still water reflecting the sky, still drew second glances at professional events. Whenever she spoke to strangers at parties, they exclaimed, "Nihongo ga o-jouzu desu ne!" That well-meant, backhanded compliment: "You're so good at Japanese!" So good, for someone who shouldn't be able to speak.
Alys could speak quite well, thank you. And yet. There was still one thing she could never manage to explain: her deepest, most unspeakable desire.
Alys wanted to be touched.
She didn't want a boyfriend. The thought simply didn't appeal to her. She wasn't even sure she wanted to have sex, so she didn't for the most part. But at the same time, something deep under her cold skin craved contact, the heat of friction, skin on skin. She wanted a purely sensual experience, now soft, now sharp, trembling on the edge of her endurance. She tried to give it to herself with her own strong, sensitive hands, but however good it felt there was always some element of surprise lacking. She didn't want to touch herself: she wanted to be touched, passive tense. She just didn't know where to find that, when all the usual options for finding partners, the bars and parties and hook-ups through friends, only made her feel colder than ever.
'Where is the looking-glass,' she often thought, 'that leads to my Wonderland?'
In fact, the door to Alys' Wonderland, with all the fascinations and humiliations it held, was mirrored, and that was what caught her attention. It was a cold day in late November, and Alys was passing through a residential street in Ikebukuro on her way to visit a friend. She had seen enough outrageous love hotels and seedy "Soapland" bath-house massage parlours by now to ignore even the strangest of them, but this one was strange in a different way. It was understated with an accent, like someone muttering to herself in her third language. There was dark mirrored glass in the heavily-framed door, so that Alys could see herself painted head-to-toe in dim tones as she looked from across the street. But the rest of the windows were papered over, making it hard to tell if the place was discreet or if it was actually closed down. And the sign wasn't in Japanese or in English. Instead it had a simple line-image of soap-bubble floating over a map. Soap + land. A soapland. But, somehow, not your usual soapland.
Intrigued, Alys drifted across the street. She looked around the shop-front for a sign with the hours, services, and prices. She would never really go to a soapland, she knew that. But she was curious, and the lack of hype around the place made her curiouser and curiouser...
The door opened. Two men came out, salarymen in identical suits, talking so fast they were fishtailing into each others' sentences. Still clearly excited about whatever had happened indoors, they brushed right past her in a gust of exclamations.
And then, they were gone.
But behind them: an open door.
Alys peered in. It was very dim. She took a step inside to see better. Two steps, three. Suddenly, she came face to face with...was it her reflection? It was a woman, pale and dressed in a long white coat just like she was. But this woman was like her negative image. She had the same long, straight hair as Alys, but dark and glossy as polished stone; the same directly-staring eyes, but deep as pools of ink. No, it wasn't a mirror, it was another woman, one of the Soapland girls in a white robe, looking at her without a bow, without a flicker. The other woman matched her gaze and posture so perfectly that Alys felt she herself was the reflection, and this woman the powerful, undeniable reality. A charge ran through her entire body. Her skin began to tingle as if she had been touched lightly on the back of her neck. And still their gazes were locked.
Without her even realizing it, Alys' silent voice began to hum.
"Aah...ano...?" she quavered, turning her gasp into the soft Japanese sound of questioning.
The woman tilted her glossy head very slightly. She was listening.
"Excuse me, but could you tell me about this Soapland, please? What is this place?" Alys finally managed in her most polite language.
At the sound of her voice, the sliding doors at the back of the reception area clapped open. A man in a dark jacket with a managerial air came bustling through. Seeing him, the soapland woman bowed deeply, said something in a low, liquid voice, and vanished around back. The man took one look at Alys, then installed himself deliberately behind his desk before giving her the most cursory of greetings.
"Sorry, but we don't allow gaijin here." He said curtly.
Alys was so affronted that she began to insist despite herself.
"Excuse me, but I can speak Japanese perfectly well. I can pay in yen. Why does it make a difference if I'm a foreigner?"
The manager only sniffed.
"We don't allow women here, either. Our girls aren't like that."
His voice held such contempt that Alys's cheeks began to burn. The man at the desk gave a patronizing smile.
"I must ask you to leave now. A lady shouldn't be in here."
"Well, good riddance!" Alys spat in English, unable to come up with a translation. She stalked out. The cold air hit her like a slap in the face, making her blink hard. In that moment, she felt someone seize her arm and pull her into the tight, dark crevice of an alleyway next to the shop.
It was Her.
"Do you want to learn about Soapland?" The woman with hair like stone asked. Alys was pinned by her eyes.
"Yes," she whispered.
"Then come back tonight after the shop closes at midnight. Come alone. Wear white. Understood?"
The woman's black fringe flicked like a fishtail as she turned, and with that she vanished right through the wall. Alys gaped. She felt where the woman had disappeared until her fingernails found the edge of an inset door, perfectly flush with the wall.
'What a strange building,' Alys thought. 'What a strange woman.'
And then it all hit her. Her stomach went watery with sudden fear. What had she just agreed to do? The very thought of coming back here in the dead of night on some unknown woman's say-so was insane. But at the same time, she knew she couldn't back down. She was driven by curiosity. And more: she was driven by her unspeakable desire. She knew she would come back at midnight.
The entire day, Alys could barely focus on anything else, so consumed was she by the prospect of what was to happen. She visited her friend in Ikebukuro, but the conversation that would have occupied her fully on a normal day seemed as dull and desultory as the wan sun behind clouds when compared to the activity humming through her nerves.
When she went home to change, Alys was shocked to discover that her little black panties were streaked with white traces: fluid evidence of her excitement. But when did she get that wet? Was it in the Soapland? Or was it in the alleyway, when the woman had gripped her arm, held her face to face so close their breasts were nearly touching, and made her promise to come?
"Yes," Alys whispered aloud to her mirror. "I said yes."
At that, she became intensely aware of the tender flesh between her legs. How hot and slippery it was! She could see her body squirming in the glass before her. She couldn't believe this. She didn't even know what was going to happen. It was...
What would happen to her next was just what she wanted, a surprise. She had only one clue about how to handle it: wear white. So, not taking any chances, Alys changed completely. She put on her white panties and bra, a white blouse, and a knee-length eyelet lace skirt with a cotton lining. It was too cold out for a short lace-and-cotton skirt, really, but that was the only all-white bottom she had. Luckily, she also had the long white wool coat she'd been wearing earlier. On her feet, she wore her ivory heels –a shade off, but the best she could manage. Dressed all in white, she felt she would stand out like a neon light in the darkness, especially skulking around a soapland in Ikebukuro alone after hours. But she had to know. And so she had to go out dressed like this, however self-conscious it made her feel. Taking a deep breath, Alys stepped out the door.
It was fifteen minutes after midnight when Alys found herself standing once again in front of the Soapland. She had arrived at the station on time, but she had trouble finding the place again, since the street seemed transformed after dark, split into a chequerboard of squares where lights shone and didn't shine. The Soapland was in a dark patch, its already-unassuming front melted away by shadows. It was only by spotting the flash of her own coat in the mirrored door that she finally found it again.
The front door, however, was locked. She couldn't see inside at all. She didn't dare to knock. She looked at her pocket watch, now reading 12:18, and fretted. Perhaps the woman got fed up with waiting and went home? Alys bit her lip, berating herself for not leaving earlier. Minutes passed, and still nothing happened. Head down, she stepped back from the door to go home. A few steps to the left—
"Mmmph!" she cried suddenly. Someone in the alley put an arm around her throat, a hand over her mouth, and dragged her almost off her feet into the shaft's narrow mouth. She felt her throat gripped tight from behind in a grasp powerful enough to set her head spinning. But she still had enough breath to smell, and the hand against her face was sweet as lavender, dark as musk. The body against hers was soft. A voice whispered hot and moist on her earlobe.
"Little Miss Customer, you are late."
The hand slipped off of her mouth.
"I'm sorry...I have no excuse..." Alys gasped her apology. Ducking her head in a reflexive bow, she could see a lock of long black hair spilt over her own shoulder, running like a river down a snowy hill.
"Perhaps you don't wish to learn about the Soapland after all?" The woman queried.
"Yes, yes, please, Miss, I do. I have to know."
The alleyway was so tight that the woman did not even have to let go of Alys to reach out one arm and touch the wall where it opened the hidden doorway. She put a hand on the back of Alys' neck and guided her into the darkness. As she drove Alys bodily forward, she spoke softly, saying,
"If you truly wish to know about this place, I will show you. But--" here she stopped and turned Alys around to face her "--you have to do exactly what I tell you. Normally I serve my guests and do what they wish, but this isn't a normal soapland visit. This is something special I'm doing after hours. And so, we do it my way. Is that clear?"
"Unn, yes, but..."
The woman's eyes bored into her. Alys' voice, to her shame, came out a tiny whimper as she asked,
"What...what are you going to do to me?"
"That you will find out, if you consent now. So?"
Alys stopped and weighed the moment. Her body ached with desire. She couldn't deny that she still wanted whatever it was this woman was offering. And so she nodded decisively.
"Yes, I agree to your terms. I can give you my seal if you need it."
"No, I'll take something more precious than that. I'll take your word. What is your name?"
"Arisu," The woman smiled as she gave Alys' name its Japanese inflection, the soft whispering 'u' at the end barely audible. "Arisu, a little White Pawn come to visit my Wonderland. Then I must be the White Queen."
Alys blinked, noticing for the first time in the dimness that the woman was still wearing her white robe, the uniform of this Soapland, apparently. But she had on over it an elaborate black-and-white check sash, and now even the material of the robe seemed to shine like wet silk.
"If you have any serious problems, call me Eiko and tell me. Otherwise, you may address me as 'Ojou-sama'...'My Lady,'" said the woman, adding the last in English. Her diction on the 'L' was good enough that Alys looked at her in surprise.
"Eyes down, pawn," the Lady snapped. Alys obeyed without a second thought. She stood completely still in the dark hallway with her head bowed, eyes down. When the Lady pulled off her jacket, she compliantly held her arms back. It took a few seconds before she recalled that since she hadn't brought a purse everything she had with her –watch, cash, phone, ID, Suica train pass– was in the pockets of that coat. She literally couldn't leave without it.
Her head jerked up again involuntarily, and she began to say "Wait—"
At that, the Lady pushed her head back down, hard enough that Alys' shoulders caved and she stumbled to her knees.
"You gave your word. We do this my way."
And so Alys let the woman take her coat away. It seemed she knelt in the dark hallway for an eternity, listening for her Lady's footsteps. But the woman must have been trained in walking quietly, because Alys didn't hear a thing until a hand took her by the hair at her nape and pulled her sharply up.
"Come along now."
"Ah! Yes, My Lady!" Alys yelped, eyes watering at the pain.
The woman let go of her hair and rubbed her fingers together.
"Your hair is oily. Did you not shower today, pawn?"
"No, not today, My Lady. I didn't have a chance."
The Lady made a disapproving sound.
"Unclean. You can't enter the Soapland baths like this."
Alys bowed her head in embarrassed agreement. She followed the Lady without another word.
Next they entered a room where Alys assumed the Lady took her clients. There were tatami mats covering the raised floor at the entrance, and a small shoe-cupboard where Alys placed her heels before stepping up barefooted into the room. But beyond that, the entire floor was tiled in waterproof black and white squares. A large bathtub was sunk into the floor, already full to the brim with steaming water. Along the wall were various shower attachments, massage tables, and bath stools. Alys looked around for a discreet place to change. She didn't see any.
"You undress here, where I can see you, pawn," the Lady said. "I want to make sure you've followed my instructions to the letter. Are you dressed all in white? Everything?"
Mortified, Alys nodded.
"Show me. Take off your skirt and blouse. Slowly."
A button at a time, Alys undid her frilled blouse-front. She started from the top, but got shy as she approached the middle, and skipped down to undo the buttons from the bottom up. The Lady seemed amused and let her do it. She seemed even more pleased, however, when Alys finally opened the middle buttons to show her unpadded white bra, with a modest little ribbon bow between the breasts.
"Such an innocent girl," the Lady murmured. She gestured for Alys to take the shirt fully off. Alys did, slipping it slowly over her shoulders. She folded it neatly, and put it in a basket indicated by the Lady.
"Next, your skirt," the Lady directed. Alys could not even spare herself and hide until the last minute this time: she had to pull the skirt directly down over her matching white panties, baring herself from the start. Looking down, she was horrified to see that the thin, silky fabric showed a damp stain, and had become semi-transparent where it tucked into her wet folds.
"You like doing this?" the Lady taunted, eyeing Alys' cleft pointedly.
"Answer me properly, pawn, in full sentences. Does it make you excited, to bare yourself like this to me?"
Alys blushed furiously. But still, she said,
"Yes, My Lady, it makes me so, so excited."
"How dirty. You do need to be cleaned up. Come over here."
Alys walked over, feeling the tiles smooth under her bare feet, a sensation that made her feel all the more naked.
"Stand here, facing the wall. Put your hands up by your head and don't move." The Lady commanded.
Alys did as she was told. Unable to help herself, she pressed her body to the wall, flexing gently against it. The cool touch of ceramics on her porcelain skin made her shiver. She waited for whatever was to come next. There were small sounds, tappings and slitherings, behind her, but nothing happened. She couldn't even tell how near or far the Lady was. How long had it been? Five minutes? Ten? The tension began to build. Alys grew more and more desperate to turn around and see what the situation was. What was the woman doing? What did this delay mean? What---?
At that moment, a jet of cold water hit Alys hard, squarely in the centre of her back. She cried out in surprise, squirming automatically to get away, pressing her belly against the now-dripping tile.
"Hold still!" the Lady snapped, and aimed the jet lower, trailing it down her spine and across the seat of her panties. The jet seemed to push against the fabric like a finger trying to force its way in. Even worse, Alys knew that the water must be making the white panties entirely transparent, revealing the curves and cleft of her ass. The Lady traced the jet of water along them as if confirming exactly what Alys was thinking. She played the water up Alys's back, against her bra, and soaked her long gold hair. Then, she spoke the words Alys dreaded yet needed to hear.
"Keep your hands up and turn around."
The jet lowered, water splashing noisily on the floor with a sound like mocking laughter. Alys turned, eyes closed, and braced herself.
The Lady's spray hit her full in the face, making her splutter. It trailed quickly down her throat to aim at each breast. The light lining in her bra did very little to protect Alys' sensitive nipples. Within moments they were hard, aching with the cold water –and, Alys had to admit, with a strange, painful yet appealing arousal. Half-opening her eyes, she could see them, pointed pink buds blossoming through white silk. She moaned in shame and pleasure. Hearing her, the Lady laughed and aimed lower. The water on her belly pricked and tickled so much that she almost doubled up. But she summoned her willpower and forced herself to stay standing straight, even to arch into the spray.
"Good, Arisu!" the Lady called. And with that, she directed the spray between Alys' legs. The pressure, already sharp on her belly, was overwhelming against her flushed, sensitive sex. Alys screamed despite herself and tried to close her legs, to twist her hips and escape the water's needles. Her hands clenched spasmodically.
"I can't--I can't take it!" she wailed.
And all of a sudden, the water stopped.
"That," said the Lady "is quite enough...for a first rinse."
Alys sagged, panting, against the wall.
"If you are tired, come sit. Your bath stool is prepared."
Relieved, Alys made her way over to the Lady. She had taken many a Japanese-style bath, and was familiar with the bath stool you sat on to wash before getting in. But this stool, it turned out, was not like any she'd ever seen. Instead of a solid seat, it had a wide gap down the middle, open nearly to the floor, so that while she could sit on the rims, it would leave her slit and ass completely bared.
"May I know what this is, My Lady?" Alys asked in her most deferential polite language.
"This is a 'sukebe isu,'" the Lady replied. "A 'pervert chair.' Perfectly suited for a perverse creature like yourself. Now, take off your panties and bra, and sit."