Hobson's Choice

bythrillerauthor©

© 2003 by Thrillerauthor

The expression "Hobson's Choice" is named after the keeper of a livery stable in seventeenth century England who required customers to accept the next horse available. Hence "Hobson's choice" means no choice at all.


* * *

"Young man, do you have anything to say for yourself before the Court pronounces your sentence?" The judge, a gaunt man with a hawk like face and bony hands protruding from his black robe, glowered down at the youthful defendant trembling before him.

"I just want to say how sorry I am."

"It's a little late for that, isn't it? An under-aged girl is pregnant with an unwanted child because you raped her, and you're sorry. You're about to find out what sorry really means."

Andrew Hobson glanced nervously around the courtroom for support. His lawyer, Ellen Marshall, looked down at her papers, while his mother sat in the first row with a stricken look on her face. The parents of the victim were across the aisle, fixing him with evil stares. He turned back to face the judge.

"From your record, it is clear that although you are a highly successful jockey, you are also an incorrigible womanizer. Aggravated rape, even by a man without any prior convictions, requires the sternest possible punishment. I therefore sentence you to life in prison, without possibility of parole."

Hobson's mind reeled as he tried to absorb what he had just heard. A lifetime in prison, where his slight physique and boyish face would guarantee that he would become the plaything of hardened criminals. "Your Honor, please don't do this to me," he cried.

"There is an alternative," the judge said.

"Anything, your Honor!"

"Under a new law recently signed by the governor, judges have wide leeway in fashioning sentences utilizing the latest medical technology. After reading the report of the court-appointed psychiatrist who examined you, the Court is prepared to order that you be surgically altered into a woman."

Hobson opened his mouth to protest, but he was too shocked to speak.

"Here is what will happen to you. First, you will be administered a massive dose of hormones, which will flood your body with estrogen and eliminate your production of testosterone. Next, your penis and testicles will be removed, and although the Court is not required to do this, you will be given a vagina. And to show you that I am not without mercy, at the urging of your psychiatrist, I will also authorize breast implants for you. You are a pretty boy, and you will make a lovely girl."

Pandemonium broke out in the courtroom. "Your honor," Hobson stammered.

"The choice is yours, Mr. Hobson."

He turned his lawyer. "Can't I appeal?"

"No, you pleaded guilty and threw yourself on the mercy of the Court."

"Some mercy! What should I do?"

Ellen Marshall, a well dressed woman in her late thirties, rose to address the judge. "Your Honor, if my client elects to undergo the surgical alternative, how long will he…I mean she, remain incarcerated?"

"The balance of the defendant's sentence will be suspended upon the completion of the procedure."

"Take it, Andrew!" she whispered. "You'll be able to ride again." Hobson looked back at his mother, who was sobbing into her handkerchief. She looked up and nodded her head, a look of indescribable sadness on her worn out face.

Hobson closed his eyes as he weighed the alternatives. Life in prison, or a lifetime as…a woman. From racing silks to silk and lace…from chasing skirts to wearing skirts…from stud to filly….

If he said no, he'd be a woman anyway, only in a men's prison. Either way, he was fucked. "Okay," he heard himself sigh.

The judge brought down his gavel. "Next case!"

Hobson was hustled out of the courtroom to the shouts of the girl's parents and the cries of his mother. "Cut his balls off!" and "My baby!" rang in his ears as he was whisked into a waiting police car and driven the short distance to a state hospital, used for inmates requiring surgery during their penitentiary stays. He expected to be placed in a holding cell, while the inevitable paperwork caught up with him, and was surprised when a doctor in a white coat met him at the emergency room entrance and escorted him into an examination room with two armed guards in tow. The doctor instructed the guards to wait just outside, and ordered Andrew to strip down to his shorts.

Andrew had dressed in his best suit and tie for his sentencing, and he morosely took them off and threw them on the floor, never to be worn again. The doctor was all business as he scanned Andrew's file. "All of the necessary paperwork has been attended to. Nothing like a court order to cut through the red tape. The new protocol for SRS in these circumstances calls for initiating transition and scheduling surgery as quickly as possible. No point in prolonging the inevitable. Pull down your shorts and bend over, please." While Andrew was staring at the floor, the doctor produced a hypodermic syringe with a long needle, and before Andrew could react, he inserted the needle into one of his ass cheeks.

"Ouch! What's that?"

"Hormones. Be still for a moment, please." The doctor pushed the plunger all the way down, flooding Andrew's body with a cocktail of estrogen, progestin, and an anti-androgen to eliminate his production of testosterone.

"Doctor, can I ask I question?" Andrew asked after he stood back up.

"Yes."

"Is the surgery reversible?"

The doctor chuckled. "I'm good, but I'm not that good. We're going to have to skin your penis to create a lining for your vagina, and after we amputate what's left, we'll try to make a nice little clitoris out of the stump. Your scrotum will be needed for your new labia. Does any of that sound reversible to you?"

Andrew started to shake uncontrollably. "I've changed my mind. Call the judge! I'll do life in prison."

"Sorry, young man," the doctor said brusquely. "You've just been chemically castrated. There's no turning back now."

Andrew cried out in despair. "No! I don't want to be a girl!"

"You should have thought about that before you made your decision. Perhaps the next time a young man is about to rape a girl, he'll think twice after he learns about you."

"Oh, God! Please, no!"

"The serum should take about an hour to work its way through your system. Say goodbye to your manhood." The doctor left him. Andrew stood shaking in his shorts, gripped by an ague of fear. There was a tap on the door, and an attractive blonde nurse in a white uniform entered. She stood a good six inches taller than Andrew. Seeing the ashen expression on his face, she said, "I see the doctor's bedside manner hasn't improved. Step on the scale, please." Still shaking, Andrew complied, and she played with the weights and measures. "Five feet five inches, one hundred and ten pounds," she said as she wrote it down on her clipboard.

Andrew tried to avoid eye contact with her, wondering how much she knew about his situation, until she handed him a glass jar. "Mr. Hobson," she said gently, "you have the opportunity to leave a sperm deposit, if you wish, in case you ever want to have children." When he looked at her, her eyes had the saddest expression. "I know this must be difficult for you. Let me know when you're through." Before he could respond, she went out into the hall and closed the door quietly behind herself.

Andrew stared at the jar and started to sob. How could he have let this happen to himself? In a trance, he pulled down his shorts and started to stroke his penis, but it wouldn't respond. The knowledge of what was about to happen to him, and the hideous words of the doctor, rang in his ears. After a few minutes, the nurse popped her head back in the door.

When she saw the size of Andrew's flaccid penis, she gasped. Although he had a jockey's physique, he was incredibly well hung, and his small stature only accentuated the size of his member. "What a shame," she said under her breath.

"Do you know what's going to happen to me?"

"Yes, I do. I think it's terrible, but I suppose you made the right decision."

"I don't want this to happen! I'm a guy, not a girl. Please, can't you help me?"

She locked the door and took his penis in her hands. "I can't change what's about to happen to you, but I can help you enjoy your last moments as a man." Andrew was speechless as she dropped to her knees and took him into her mouth. In spite of the fear and torment, his body responded immediately, and he felt himself getting bigger and harder as she sucked on him. When he was almost ready, she twisted open the lid of the specimen container and deftly whipped him out of her mouth, stroking him with her delicate fingers as he started to ejaculate into the jar. After months of forced abstinence in a holding cell, his body erupted in spite of his terror, and she stared in amazement as he gushed into it, filling it to overflowing with gobs of hot semen.

Andrew gritted his teeth as the waves of pleasure began to subside, overwhelmed by the knowledge that they would be his last. Finally, he fell back against the wall, utterly spent. "This could make the Guinness Book of World Records," she said. Then she screwed the lid back on the jar, unlocked the door, and left him alone.

They came for him a few minutes later. Andrew had to be restrained by two orderlies and one of the guards before he was strapped down, screaming, to a gurney and wheeled into an operating room. He struggled ferociously until they finally put him under.

The next few weeks were spent in a haze of drugs and pain, punctuated by a recurring nightmare in which Andrew, chained to a mountain, writhed in agony as a hawk with the face of the judge gnawed on his testicles, again and again. But each time he woke up and looked down at himself, they weren't there.

* * *

Gradually, as the pain subsided and the drugs tapered off, Andrew began to come to terms with his new body. The first time he urinated without a bedpan, sitting down on the toilet in his private bathroom, he wept bitter tears at the realization of his loss. Even the surprising pleasure he experienced as he soaped off his new breasts during his first shower was not enough to shake him out of a profound depression.

One day, his lawyer came to visit. His stitches were completely healed, and he was bored out of his mind, having had no companionship other than the nurses and doctors who attended him. Day after day, he had lolled in bed, watching television and flipping through the women's magazines which seemed to have been placed in his room to taunt him. The only thing he had to look forward to was his daily session with a physical therapist and trainer, who forced him to stretch and tone his new physique. The leotard which his trainer insisted that he wear was his only women's garment, and he was sitting on the edge of his bed when his lawyer arrived.

"Hello Andrew," she said as she took in the changes to her client. The hormones were filling him out nicely. In his leotard, there was no question that Andrew Hobson had a woman's body, but his face was unchanged. Even with his long stringy hair, grown down almost to his shoulders now, he looked decidedly unfeminine.

Andrew sat up with a start. "What are you doing here," he said self-consciously, ashamed at what had become.

"We have a court appearance tomorrow. The judge has ordered that you return for a hearing to confirm your compliance with the terms of your sentencing."

"What does that mean?"

"It means that if he is satisfied with the results, you will be a free man…I mean woman."

He jumped off the bed. "God, I can't believe it. You mean I'm really going to get out of here?"

"That depends, Andrew, on whether he determines that you have accepted the conditions he imposed. Right now, I'd say that's an open question."

"What the fuck are you talking about? Look at me, for Christ's sake. I'm a fucking broad. Can't you see that?"

His lawyer held her ground. "Andrew, you're going to have to do something with yourself if we're going to get you out of here. That's why I came. We have less than twenty-four hours to make you presentable as a woman. And I'm going to need some help to pull it off."

Andrew sat back down on the bed. "What are you saying? Do I have to put on a fucking dress?"

"Well of course, but that's the least of it. When you walk into that courtroom tomorrow, you are going to have to look, and act, like a contrite young woman."

"This is bullshit."

"Would you rather stay in here, or maybe end up with the general population? I wonder if they'd put you in a men's or a woman's prison…."

"All right, all right, I'll do whatever you say."

"I knew you'd see it my way." She punched a number into her cell phone. "Janet, come on over. And you'd better call for reinforcements. We've got our work cut out for us."

* * *

At eight o'clock the next morning, Andrew woke up with foreboding. If yesterday afternoon was any indication, he was in for the most humiliating experience of his life.

For hours, he had been subjected to one indignity after another. Having his hair shampooed, conditioned and styled into a fluffy shag. Watching as his fingernails, which had grown long during his convalescence, were shaped and polished into feminine ovals. Being measured for his new wardrobe. Hours of instruction on how to sit, stand and talk like a woman. Makeup lessons. And finally, after his ears were pierced when he wasn't looking, the shock of having his entire body lathered with a disgusting goo that removed every trace of his body hair when he rinsed himself off in the shower.

When they finally left him, he was a mental wreck, collapsing in exhaustion and crying himself to sleep. And now, after a restless night in which his terrifying dreams about the judge had returned, he was about to face him, stripped of his manhood, on public display like a carnival attraction.

It would only be for a few minutes, Ellen Marshall had assured him, and then he would be free to start his life over. As he stood in the hot shower, he realized that it was not the court appearance that concerned him. It was the realization that he was going to have to spend the rest of his life in this strange new body, cut off from everything he had ever known and loved.

The only thing that had sustained him during his agonizing weeks in the hospital was the prospect that he might be able to ride again. Although he had treated women jockeys with undisguised contempt during his spectacular racing career, he desperately hoped to become one now, to reclaim some shred of his former life. If playing Susie Sunshine for the judge could make that happen, he'd better damn well put up with it.

After he toweled himself off and removed his shower cap, he inspected his new figure in the full-length mirror on the bathroom door. Stripped of his body hair, with a girlish hairdo and manicured nails, for the first time he began to think of himself as a woman. He turned sideways, amazed at how his pert breasts made his flat abs look even smaller, and he grudgingly admired his emerging hips and his well-turned legs. If he were still a man, he would have wanted to fuck this body. Now, all he felt was an emptiness in the pit of his stomach, and a hopeless longing for the man he used to be.

With a sigh, he picked up a brush and went to work on his hair. Then he dumped his new supply of cosmetics onto the vanity and began to fumble through them. Moisturizer first, then a liquid foundation…his beard had never amounted to much, and after his balls were cut off and his body drenched with female hormones, it went away altogether. He smoothed the makeup over his pretty face with a sponge, and went to work on his eyes. Eye liner, eye shadow, mascara…it took him a few tries before he got it right. "Less is best," Ellen Marshall and her assistants had drummed into him yesterday, and he remembered that as he brushed his cheeks with blush and applied a coat of lipstick to his pouting mouth. When he was finished, he had to admit to himself that the girl looking back at him in the mirror was cute. Maybe not beautiful, certainly not sexy, but definitely cute, with startled eyes and a slightly bewildered expression.

Andrew was in a daze as he walked over to the pile of lingerie on the foot of his bed. For the first time in his life, he put on a pair of women's panties, noticing with remorse how they hugged his flat front while they caressed his curving ass. The bra presented technical difficulties, as he struggled with the snaps on the back before he remembered a tip from Janet, Ellen Marshall's ditzy assistant. Janet had instructed him on how to turn it around and fasten it first before tucking his arms under the straps, and it worked. He had to admit that his breasts felt snug and secure in their new home, and he was able to stand up straight, feeling back in balance for the first time since his operation.

A slip and a pair of nude pantyhose were next. Andrew shimmied into his slip, shivering as the silky fabric cascaded down his smooth skin. He looked down at the sight of his legs draped in white satin, feeling very sorry for himself as he tried to get used to the unfamiliar confinement of a skirt. The lacy hem tugged at his knees as he walked over to the small closet and took his dress off its hanger.

His dress…it was beige with pink flowers, and he had objected bitterly when Janet returned with it after heading off to a nearby mall. "Why did you have to get something so girly?" he had protested.

"Because you're a girl now, a size six to be exact," she had smirked as she cut off the price tags. Utterly defeated, he had resigned himself to wearing it just for today, and now he had no choice. With a deep sigh, he gathered it up and dropped it over his head. He managed to get his arms into the short sleeves, and he was struggling with the zipper in the back when he heard a knock on his door. The guard stationed outside opened it to admit Ellen and Janet.

"Look at you!" Janet exclaimed. "Aren't you precious?"

"Shut the fuck up and help me with this fucking zipper," Andrew snarled.

"That's not very ladylike," Janet said as she zipped him up and fastened the clasp behind his neck. Andrew ignored her as he picked up his new shoes and tried to put them on. Janet had thrown caution to the wind and selected a pair of taupe pumps with 3" heels, and the women watched as he struggled to wedge his feet into them.

"They'll go on much better after you put on your nylons," Janet observed.

"Fuck that. I'm not wearing 'em."

"Put on your stockings, young lady!" his lawyer said with mock gravity.

"No. I hate them." Although it was completely irrational, Andrew desperately wanted to avoid this final badge of femininity.

"Spoken like a true woman," Janet teased him. "Seriously, Andrew, they'll make your shoes fit better, and complete the look."

Andrew hung his head as he hiked up his dress and slip and sat down on the foot of the bed. The women watched in amusement as he grappled with the delicate nylons, trying in vain to keep them from twisting as he tugged them up his legs. Finally Janet came to his rescue, and he sat in abject dejection as she straightened them out and instructed him how to ease them on. Finally he had them up to his waist, and they looked on in approval as he did a deep-knee bend and pulled them snug. When he stepped into his pumps, they fit perfectly.

Janet fussed with his dress and slip while Ellen fastened a thin gold necklace around his neck. When they were finished, he sulked as they stepped back to admire their handiwork. "Oh, my God!" Janet said. "He's so cute!"

"She's so cute," Ellen corrected her. "When we go into that courtroom in about an hour, Andrew is going to have to look, and act, like a woman. I think the appearance aspect has been taken care of. Come over to the mirror and get a good look at yourself, Andrew."

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