Heart Strings Ch. 03byMissLisaJones©
The next morning, still feeling blissed and joyful, I got up and made us both breakfast. We were both a little concerned about Mbeke; would there be any fallout? As we ate our breakfast together, I could feel Sandra's other fears return. At least we had shared a wonderful night together. I could stand anything after that.
At least I thought I could.
We weren't early birds, and we weren't exactly eager to get to work, so it was nigh on nine thirty by the time we arrived. As soon as we entered the office I could feel the undercurrents, the hidden glances, the whispering. I knew the office was a hotbed of gossip but did everybody really know? Sandra and I were just about to go our separate ways when the supervisor came up and, in front of everybody, told us that we were required in Mr Ferguson's office. Mortified, Sandra and I followed the supervisor through the office and up to the second floor where he worked. Mr Ferguson's secretary asked us to wait while she announced us, and, again, I felt I could see a smirk on her face. After a moment or two, we were shown into the office. He was sitting at his desk, obviously not pleased.
"Ah, Sandra Phillips and Julie Snodgrass. It would seem we have a disciplinary issue. I came in this morning to find that one of the cleaners has laid a complaint against you, a very serious complaint. It would seem that you think that Amalgamated Holdings, rather than being an insurance firm, is some sort of bordello. Is that right?"
"I can explain...." I blurted out.
"Can you indeed?" Mr Ferguson looked straight at me and I could tell he was enjoying this. "I find it hard to understand how anybody could possibly explain this." He turned his computer screen so that we could see some CCTV footage, footage of the office.
"Perhaps you were unaware that we monitor the office using CCTV. It's been quite useful in a number of discipline cases. Especially ones where the guilty party tries to deny their actions. Shall we have a look?"
He clicked his mouse and the picture started to move. It was grey and it was blurry, and the picture jerked rather than flowed, but it was clear that it was our office and the time stamp on the bottom showed it was from last night. After a moment or two I saw myself get up and go over to Sandra's desk, talk for a moment and then kneel down. Mr Ferguson clicked his mouse again and the picture stopped.
"At this point," Mr Ferguson explained, "the security guard monitoring the system, who, for once, was not fast asleep, decided to have a closer look. He is, of course, able to control the cameras remotely for both zoom and direction. Shall we continue?"
And there it was. He restarted the video. The camera zoomed in and every detail of my exhibition was right there on the screen. Mr Ferguson clicked again and the picture went full screen so as to wring every last drop of humiliation from the footage. Sandra and I hung our heads in shame but we couldn't stop it. Mr Ferguson was going to run it all the way to the end.
"Well, Miss Snodgrass, do you still feel you have an acceptable explanation? I find it hard to see how that could be anything other than what it seems."
Of course I didn't. What could I say? I tried to cover for Sandra but Mr Ferguson was having none of it. He had seen her hitch up her skirt and, as far as he was concerned, she had egged me on and was equally guilty. Although he was taking a high moral line it was easy to see that he was loving every second and I could imagine him having a quick wank over the video as soon as we were gone. The long and short of it was that we were both sacked. He was not going to let us slink away quietly. He had a security guard accompany us back to the office and stand over us as we collected our personal belongings. As I tidied out my desk I could sense that every eye in the place was upon me.
"Is it true?" Maureen asked in a stage whisper. "They're saying you and Sandra were caught shagging in the office, that it was caught on CCTV. Is it true? I guess it must be if they're sacking you."
How had she known? I glanced about me and it was clear that the whole office knew. I wished the ground would just open up and swallow me. If Sandra had been a bloke I might, just, have got away with it but now I was branded as the office pervert. I didn't need telepathy to tell what was on their minds; as I was led towards the door I could hear the whispering behind me.
I couldn't talk to Sandra until we were out of the office. When, finally, we were on the street outside I turned to speak to her.
"I'm so sorry," I began.
"Go away!" Sandra shouted at me. "Go away and stay away! Don't come round, leave me alone, go away!"
"But last night...."
"Forget last night, forget everything, forget me!"
Sandra seemed terrified, terrified of me. Mentally as well as verbally she was pushing me away. I could understand why she would be cross with me but this was different, this was terror. I felt her command me to stand still and, whilst I was rooted to the spot, she was off, running away from me. As she left the link faded and I felt in my heart that I would never see her again.
A few minutes later I was free and able to return home. I was waiting at the bus stop when my mobile went. It was Fran, one of my closest friends, or so I thought.
"I've just had Maureen on the phone," she started. "Is it true? I've been hearing all sorts of rumours about you, flowers at work and all, but this one takes the biscuit. She says you were caught on CCTV having sex in the office and, what's more, it was with another woman."
"Well, sort of true," I replied.
"What do you mean, 'sort of true'?"
"Well, yes, it's true but... Fran... Fran...." the phone was dead. I tried ringing her back but she wouldn't talk to me. I was still trying when my phone rang and, with awful inevitability, I saw the name 'mum' on the screen.
"Julie, darling," she said when I answered, "I've just had your friend, Maureen, on the phone with the most extraordinary story. She said you'd been sacked. Some completely dreadful nonsense about... about you and some other girl in the office. Please tell me it's not true."
"Oh, mum!" I sobbed, "I wish I could, I wish I could."
"Are you telling me...?"
"I'm so sorry, mum, really I am."
And then she really started in on me. All the usual ingredients were there. The 'I'm not a prude but...', the 'we didn't bring you up to behave like this', the 'I can't imagine what your father will say', her all time favourite, 'heaven help us if the neighbours get wind of this', with a side order of 'your father is up for Captain of the golf team; this could ruin his chances' and, the inevitable finale 'you never think of anyone but yourself, the shame you bring down on me, on all of us; you're a disgrace to the family'. And then, like Fran, she slammed the phone down.
For a while I just stood there. My life was in tatters. Nothing made sense any more. Alone, so very, very, alone, with neither friends nor family to turn to, I returned to my flat to weep.
Lost in my depression I spent most of the day watching daytime TV. The moronic brain pap was a noise in the background as I contemplated my ruin. Around five o'clock, feeling exhausted and dejected, I decided I needed a long, hot soak in the bath with plenty of candles just to escape for a moment or two. I stripped off my work clothes and put on a dressing gown, poured myself a large glass of wine and was just starting on the bath when I heard, as clear as a bell, Sandra telling me to come to her flat. What's more, I was to hurry, there was no time to lose and, in particular, I was to take a taxi rather than wait for the bus.
My heart leapt! Sandra! I stopped what I was doing and tried to listen out for more but all I was getting was silence. Still, if she needed me there was only one possible answer. I threw on an old pair of jeans and a tee shirt and phoned the local taxi company. As I waited for them to arrive, I checked my purse. Now that I was unemployed I was going to have to watch the pennies and the extravagance of a taxi ride right across town was more than I could really afford. Still, needs must when the devil drives.
Half an hour later and fifteen pounds poorer I arrived at her front door. In retrospect I should have noticed the continuing lack of any link between Sandra and myself. This close I definitely should have felt her presence. Instead I was feeling nothing and hadn't since I had heard the call. As it was I was so nervous that I wasn't in the mood to notice anything so just went up to the door and knocked. After a few moments the door swung open and...
"Maureen, what on earth are you doing here?" I exclaimed. "Where's Sandra? Is she OK? Oh, no..."
I felt myself being physically dragged into the flat. I bounced off the wall scattering the pictures that hung there, slammed into the door frame, jarring my shoulder, and fell clumsily into the lounge. I stumbled forward, barked my shin on the coffee table and crashed onto the floor. When I looked up I saw Sandra, huddled in a corner nursing her left arm, which hung awkwardly. There was a look of sheer abject horror in her eyes and I could sense that she was trying to tell me something but I couldn't hear what. She glanced up and right and, when I followed her gaze I saw Mrs Bates sat in an armchair, holding not one marionette but two.
"That's better, now we're all together, now we have both our dear little love birds," Mrs Bates laughed but there was no joy in her voice and, on hearing her speak, I felt sick with fear.
"What have you done to Sandra?" I asked, horrified. "Why is she lying like that? What have you done to her arm?"
"Poor little Sandra, poor little lovesick Sandra," Mrs Bates continued. "She was refusing to call you and needed a little persuasion. I'm afraid Maureen was a trifle rough with her. She hasn't quite mastered control, yet, have you?"
Maureen stood at the door but, when I looked at her, somehow she didn't seem right. Her eyes were wild. There was something of the cornered animal about them and, when she replied to Mrs Bates, her 'yes' was guttural.
"But why? What do you want with us? Why me? Why Sandra? What on earth is going on?"
"Why you? Because, my dear, you were handed to me on a plate. Young Maureen came to me at a psychic fair just after Christmas with just the tiniest piece of venom. It seems that you'd upset her and she was out for revenge. Such a tiny, insignificant spark but, with a little bit of nurturing, I grew that venom into something far nastier. I've taught her to hate you with all her soul, well, what's left of it. It seems that you stole her boyfriend. Isn't that right?"
"My Billy, I'd been after him for months, and then, at the Christmas party, you swan up to him and he's all over you like a rash. I might as well not have been there." Maureen was foaming at the mouth. I'd always thought that was one of those expressions but there were, quite literally, little flecks of foam at the corners of her lips.
Desperately I cast my mind back to the office Christmas party. It hadn't just been us girls from Insurance Sales but there were many from other departments. There had, indeed, been this guy that had made a clumsy drunken pass at me but to say that I had stolen him, that was twisting the truth.
"It wasn't like that," I protested.
"It was! It was, you bitch!" Maureen snarled. "Don't you lie to me!"
"Calm down, Maureen," Mrs Bates ordered. "You'll have your fun in a moment."
Maureen settled back but I could see that she was still seething.
"Oh, the details don't matter now," Mrs Bates turned back to me. "She was bitter and that's all that mattered. All I needed was that little spark and I could fan the flames into what you see now, something I could feed on."
"Feed on?" Now I really was confused.
"Yes, dear, feed on." And with that Mrs Bates shifted. It was like one of those pictures you can see two ways. One moment she was a little old lady, the next she was something very different and not at all human.
"Pain and suffering is meat and drink to me," she continued. "I need it to survive in this world of yours. I've been hungry for a while but tonight I'm preparing a feast, a feast at which you and your suffering are going to the main course. Why you? Because you were there, that's all. With a little guidance Maureen, or what's left of her, has turned into a monster that hates you so much she's going to torture you to death and I'm going to sup on every drop of your fear, your pain, your despair. But it's oh so much better than that. How much spicier the dish when you add in a dash of hopeless love as well. How wonderfully serendipitous that, right after Maureen comes to me wanting revenge, so Sandra comes to me wanting love. That's all she wanted, just a way to make you notice her but I was able to give her so much more, wasn't I?"
From her heap on the floor Sandra made the mewing noises I had come to associate with being muted, with having my lips glued together. Mrs Bates must have done the same to her. No wonder she had been so silent.
"Poor little Sandra, innocent little Sandra. Her despair as she watches you die, knowing that her love for you was the instrument that brought it about, that will be the icing on the cake. I shall surely dine well tonight. For without her you would have been a sorry feast. Sandra was gullible and easy and, by using her hunger for you, by giving it shape, by giving it form, by giving her needs she'd never even dreamed of, by controlling her I could control you. My two little puppets, the both of you." Mrs Bates held up the two marionettes. "What fun Maureen and I have had making you both dance to my tunes. All the time you thought it was Sandra who was controlling you it was me, messing with your head, making you debase yourself further and further until I had you grovelling on the floor before her, drinking her pee! My how you pathetic you were! Give her her due, Maureen was the one that thought that one up."
"I didn't, I didn't!" Maureen protested.
"Oh, yes, you did, my dear," Mrs Bates replied. "Look at me, Maureen, look at me."
Even I felt my eyes dragged towards Mrs Bates. Her gaze, her glare, was almost unbearable.
"I just wanted to get my own back," Maureen protested feebly.
"Of course you did, that's all you wanted and that is what you are going to get. You know I only give you what you want and now, because it's what I want, why don't you show me how you make our dear little Julie drink pee?"
"Drink pee! I want to kill her!" Maureen snarled.
"And so you shall. But first you must hurt and humiliate her. Come along, do as you're told."
She passed Maureen one of the marionettes and, after the briefest battle of wills, Maureen took it. With her manipulating the strings, I felt myself dragged to my hands and knees. Unable to stop myself I crawled across the floor and reached out to push the hem of Sandra's dress up, up from her knees, up to her waist, exposing her panties. As soon as my hands touched her legs, the link was opened and all her pain, both physical and emotional, came rushing through. I could feel every bruise in her body and now knew beyond doubt that her left arm was broken. It would appear she had taken quite some time to be persuaded to call me. And how she was suffering. As well as the physical pain I could also feel her shame, her guilt, her misery that she should be responsible for putting me through this.
No more able to control my actions than the marionette in Maureen's hands, I rolled her on to her back and felt the excruciating pain from her arm as I did so.
"One moment, Maureen, I want to hear her beg," Mrs Bates turned to me. "I could make you want this," for a moment I felt the same craving to drink that I had felt before and, if I hadn't been held back I would have been powerless to resist the urge. "But that doesn't truly satisfy. You've got to want to do it without any help, you've got to want it so bad you'll beg, beg to be allowed to drink from her."
"I'll never do that!" I cried out. Instantly I felt a wrenching pain in my leg but it was Sandra's leg that writhed beneath my hand. Mrs Bates was holding the marionette which controlled Sandra and was using it to cause her pain, knowing full well I could feel it too. Again she twisted the leg of the marionette and I felt as if Sandra's leg was being wrenched off at the hip. Her long scream of agony echoed in my mind.
"Shall we try that again?" Mrs Bates asked, "or do I need to play with Sandra some more before you change your mind?"
Immediately I heard, as clear as day, Sandra say in my head 'don't do it, don't surrender' but this was quickly followed by another twist of her leg and a scream of pain transmitted via the same channels. I just dithered.
"Oh, how priceless!" Mrs Bates exclaimed. "Sandra loves you so much she'll take all the pain I can give rather than see you humiliated. How sweet, how noble, how delicious! Let's see how strong her love really is, how much more she can take before she breaks."
Another mentally transmitted scream ripped through me. There was no doubt in my mind just how far Mrs Bates could push this.
"OK, OK, I'll do it!" I shouted out.
"I don't call that begging. Let's try again."
"Please, please, Mrs Bates, I'll do it, I'll drink her pee. Please don't hurt her any more." Tears were welling up in my eyes at the thought of what Sandra was going through. "Please, please, I'll do anything you want."
"That's not what I asked for," Mrs Bates insisted.
I quickly thought back over what she had demanded.
"Please, Mrs Bates, please may I be allowed to drink her pee? I want to, I need to, please, Mrs Bates, please let me," I begged.
"That's better, but first we need to get rid of those panties. Maureen, see if you can find a pair of scissors."
Maureen went into the kitchen and I could hear her rummaging in the drawers.
"I couldn't find scissors," Maureen said when she returned, "found this."
Maureen was holding Sandra's carving knife, twelve inches of high carbon steel. Mrs Bates nodded and she threw it on the floor between Sandra's legs. Then she returned to the marionette and I felt myself forced to pick up the knife and use it to shred Sandra's panties. I don't know whether Maureen was being deliberately clumsy or whether her control was poor but I ended up cutting not just the panties but Sandra as well. With the panties in shreds I dropped the knife on the floor beside us.
I felt my head being pushed forward but, maybe six inches from Sandra's naked groin, the pushing stopped.
"One moment, Maureen, let her do it, let her do it unaided," Mrs Bates ordered.
I could feel Sandra urging me not to but I knew that if I didn't then she, and I, were in for more pain and, effectively, I had no choice. So it was that I, unforced, lowered my face the last few inches. Now I had my mouth over her groin Sandra refused to pee, I could feel her resisting, feel her defiance but there was a sudden pressure on her lower tummy and, however much she fought it, in the end she had no choice.
As the urine fountained from her I tried my best, for both our sakes, but it was hopeless. My face was drenched, my hair was drenched, my tee shirt and bra beneath were drenched. I never knew that one person could have so much urine in her but maybe that was all part of Mrs Bates' doings. When the fountain turned to a trickle and finally died away completely I was sobbing in heartfelt humiliation and, although she never made a sound, I could hear Sandra sobbing too.
"What a dirty, dirty little girl!" Mrs Bates exclaimed. "What a mess you've made, Look at it, all over the floor. Mop it up at once. You know what to use, the same as last time."
I remembered mopping Sandra's bathroom floor with my discarded clothes. Of course, Mrs Bates knew all about it and, now, I was to do the same again. Maureen tweaked the strings of the marionette and I took off my tee shirt and started to mop. I was barely finished when I felt the same pressure on my lower tummy that Sandra had felt and, uncontrollably, I knelt there and peed myself, the dampness flowing from me until that my jeans were also sodden. Of course, this led to more puddling and, under Mrs Bates' direction, Maureen returned to the marionette strings and I took off my jeans and underwear and used them to mop as well.