She looked around. "I'm it?" she was hesitant, but she knew the answer.
They had been partying for quite a while near a peaceful, secluded lake. The sun was setting. A campfire was burning. The gently sloping ground near the fire was covered with blankets.
They'd had a great day swimming and hiking. There had been the requisite hot dogs and hamburgers. And beer. There had been lots of beer.
Some of the boys (at what age did they become men, she wondered) had taken their girl friends off into the woods and meadows that surrounded the lake for extended periods. They had returned with leaves matted in the girl's hair and grass stains. Later some of the unattached boys had gotten quite fresh with several of the girls. Beer, she'd thought, as she watched from a restroom window. She'd gone in to pee, but mostly to get away from the group. She really wasn't having much fun.
Cries from one of the girls, 'Stop that' and 'Don't' had made her look out the window. Carla didn't know any of them well. She'd just gone along on this picnic because, frankly, she didn't have anything else to do, being new in town.
Through the small window she watched as one of the guys held a girl tightly. "Let me see," he slurred as he tried to slide his hand under her knit top. She slapped him away any number of times. Apparently having heard the commotion two others had arrived. They began to join in with juvenile taunts while preventing the panicked girl from going anywhere. Helplessly she finally relented. In frustration she said, "Take your hands off me and I'll let you look. Look, that's all. Understand?" Even from the distance between her and the girl, she could hear her heavy, panicked breathing.
One held her by the hips restraining her from behind while looking over her shoulder waiting for the show. "OK," she said again, "just look. Don't touch," she told them with her hands on the hem of the short top.
She looked at them now apparently reveling in their anticipation. Quickly pulled her top up. She was almost in profile as Carla looked through the window. No bra, just bare skin would greet the boys. She saw her jerk the knit top up. Her breasts were jerked upward along with the top. They fell, but just as quickly as she had raised the top she pulled it down again denying any of them what they had demanded. "That's all," she said as she turned to leave them.
Carla could tell that the girl had shared in the flood of beer. She almost fell as she attempted a quick getaway. "Oh, no," it was a chorus of disappointed male voices. They easily cut off her escape. One held her arms high as she squealed and twisted to avoid what was now inevitable.
Her tan top complemented her dark skin as did her black shorts. She continued to struggle, but her giggles gave her away. Her top soon rested on her shoulders looking like the tan top of a turtleneck sweater, except there was no body only the neck. Like most of the girls today she wore no bra.
She stopped struggling. She had lost. She was being held shirtless, arms aloft. Now the boys had what they had demanded. She stopped giggling.
One touched her breast tentatively. She recoiled, but didn't scream. She only twisted about, back and forth. Her acquiescence to the first seemed to give the others permission to join in. Her breasts bounced evocatively as she twisted and squirmed trying to avoid them. Small cries of fear replaced her giggles when her top was pulled over her head and tossed around by the boys.
From where Carla stood watching, her nipples appeared just slightly lighter than the almost black circles they protruded from. The girl's cafe au lait skin glistened with sweat as the rays of the setting sun highlighted her bare top.
"Give me back my top," she begged trying to cover her breasts with one arm while reaching for the top with the other.
"You can have it back in class tomorrow," the boy holding it high retorted. "I'll see if the professor can guess whose it is. If he gets it right, you can have it back."
Dumb, thought Carla. What a jerk.
The girl gave up. Released, she turned and trotted covering herself to another of the remaining girls and got a towel to cover herself.
What a bunch, Carla thought again. Perhaps I'd better get going before this gets out of hand. She went into a stall. As she pulled her shorts down she looked at her legs and closely shaven pussy. She had nice skin, she thought. I wonder if any of them think I'm attractive. Her thinking was so clear that she wondered if she had said it aloud.
She left the stall and washed her hands. Catching sight of herself in the mirror, she wondered again. Am I attractive? Slowly, almost against her will she pulled her own top up. Yes, nice skin. Only a few blemishes here and there, and they weren't bad. She looked at her bra. It wasn't attractive, really. Just an old bra to wear someplace like this where it didn't make any difference. No one would see it.
She pulled her top down. She could see the white bra through the knit. Not much, but probably she was the only girl there wearing one. What would happen . . .? She took it off and put it in the large beach bag she was using as a purse. She looked in the mirror again. Could anyone tell. Would she show through the knit of the white top. If she looked, she could see her dark nipples. Better not.
She turned to put the bra back on as the door opened and two girls walked in. She nodded to them and walked out too embarrassed to be caught rearranging her clothing.
The sky flamed with reds and yellows as the sun continued its journey. Soon it would be dusk, then dark. A number of the couples had already left wanting to get home before dark. When she realized that the couple who had driven her out had left, several of the boys had volunteered to drive her home. She felt very uncomfortable.
She stood outside the restroom for a moment, then walked slowly toward the fire. She suddenly felt quite out of place, even lonely. The boys were talking among themselves and drinking more beer. She heard a car start, then the crunch of tires on the gravel of the parking area. Someone else had left.
She sat by the fire, alone. One of the guys sat beside her offering an open beer. "How do you like it here," he asked hopefully breaking the ice.
"It's nice," she said breathing in the clear mountain air.
"Actually I meant Colorado generally, your new job, the university, and all," he corrected.
"Oh," she exclaimed, embarrassed at misunderstanding his question. "I'm lonely." It slipped out. She tried to recover but he was already following up.
"That's too bad. I'm glad you came out on our little picnic or whatever this is," he said waving his hand across the landscape.
"I'll be OK," she said still embarrassed. With nothing more to say she sipped at the beer. She hadn't wanted a beer, but here it was giving her something to do rather than talk.
She stared at the lake. She hadn't looked at the boy who had given her the beer. She didn't even know which one it was. She was too embarrassed now to hazard a quick glance.
"I watched you swim. You're pretty good," he said still struggling to start a conversation.
"Thanks," she replied. Now she looked at him. Good looking, he had caught her eye earlier. She didn't know what to say further. Her look revealed none of the interest she had in him. She had never been outgoing. Making friends had always been a problem. Now that she wanted to make friends with this man, she didn't know how.
"Well, I think I'll be going," he said starting to get up. He moved slowly giving her a chance to maintain the conversation and keep him at the picnic. "I heard that you have a ride home. See you in class," he said in parting.
She looked back at the lake, but when she heard a car start and roll through the parking area, she began to panic. By saying nothing, she'd given up an opportunity to go home. She could have left, but she was stuck here with a bunch of boys that were none too sober.
She looked around at them. Five boys. Where were the girls?
She looked for the girls, but didn't see any. She stood quickly and went back to the restroom. It was empty. Was she the last girl?
She went back to the blankets spread around the campfire. "Where are the others," she asked. She hoped it was a nonchalant question, but she was beginning to get concerned.
"Honey, you're it," one replied.
"I'm 'it'? You mean the rest have left? Must be time to be going," she said hoping someone would jump up to take her home.
"Nah," he said. "Sit down."
Was that a command, she asked herself. It sure sounded like one. She hesitantly sat.
It got very quiet. They sat. While she sipped her beer, the boys gulped theirs.
A beer can arched toward a large and growing pile of empties.
A body rose in the dusk and left the area.
Someone joined the circle a few minutes later. Probably whomever had left had returned, she agreed with herself. Probably had to take a pee. That's right, she mentally corrected herself, girls pee, boys take a leak. He probably didn't even bother going to the restroom. Just used the woods.
He sat next to her. "Have a real drink," he said offering her a bottle.
"Thanks, I'm OK." She held up the unfinished beer.
He took the beer from her. It arched to the pile. "Have a real drink," he repeated more insistently.
"Just a little," she said not wanting to antagonize him. She made no move to take the bottle.
He thrust the bottle at her. "Aren't there any cups? I thought we brought some," she asked shying away from him as he pressed the bottle toward her.
She didn't want to drink from the bottle, who knew who had drunk from it. And she certainly didn't want to be seen as a girl who drank from the bottle. A sense of her earlier fear began again. She knew what boys thought of girls who drank from the bottle and she was the only girl here. She also knew what boys thought of a girl who stayed when all the other girls had left.
"You're a big girl. You can take it straight," he waved the bottle toward her. A snicker went up from the others.
"Just a little," she thought of the girl who eventually lost her top. She had given in 'just a little'.
She took the bottle and put the open top to her mouth. As she tipped it to take a tiny swallow, he pushed the bottle upward. Booze ran in a torrent down her throat. She coughed and gagged. It spilled from her mouth onto her top. It was cold on her chest as she kept coughing and gagging.
"That's a girl," he said to general applause.
She was afraid. Not wanting to antagonize him, she meekly said, "Sorry." She knew she should have castigated him for forcing the booze on her. She felt control slipping away.
He offered the bottle again. "Just one more. I won't do that again," he said with a laugh.
"Just one more," she repeated and drank from the bottle. It was just a tiny sip.
"That's not a drink," he insisted laughing. "Take a real drink."
She raised the bottle again and took a real slug. She liked booze, but this wasn't the time or place for her to be drinking.
"That's better, honey."
They don't know my name, she thought, too scared now to even begin to talk and make light conversation, conversation that might change the atmosphere and let her get out of here. She didn't realize she was still holding the bottle.
Another bottle was making the rounds among the remaining guys. Without thinking she took another swig from the bottle.
Dusk was deepening to night. The guys around the campfire were flickering images, almost strobe like. Moths circled the fire. Sparks occasionally flew from the fire winking out high above the flames. In the still air the smoke drifted upward adding only its fragrance to the setting.
It was quiet again.
"Let's play a game." It was the one next to her speaking.
An incredulous "What," came from the other side of the fire.
"Yeah, we're going to have a murder then try to figure out who done it," he said. "Honey," he began, then stopped abruptly. "Hey, what's your name," he asked turning to Carla.
"Carla," she said quietly. Nothing more, just 'Carla'. No information about herself.
"OK, Carla, you willing to be the victim," he asked laughing.
"What do I have to do," she asked audibly sucking in a breath.
"Get murdered," he said in a low voice hovering his head near hers looking down, trying to appear wild-eyed.
He was succeeding all too well in appearing demented, she thought. He was genuinely scary.
"OK, as long as you don't hurt me," she was clearly hesitant.
"Nah," he said. "We're not going to hurt you."
They talked about rules for the new game for quite some time agreeing on who would play what role and how they would investigate the murder. It sounded very confused and complicated to Carla who continued sipping on the bottle she still held.
"OK, time to murder you," he said using his wild-eyed persona again. "Lie flat on your back."
Not sure if this was a good thing or not, she lay back, her arms propping her off the ground.
"Nah, lay down. You're dead," he insisted.
She still didn't get the game, but she handed him the bottle and lay flat.
"Let me have your hands." He had moved to a point just behind her. She extended her arms above her head with increasing hesitation.
He was fast. Before she realized fully what was happening, he tied them together. Another tied her legs at the ankles.
"What are you doing?" She heard her voice slur.
"We're making you dead so we can solve the crime," he laughed.
She began to panic. The others were standing over her in a semicircle.
"OK, coroner, do your thing."
The one selected to be coroner knelt beside her. "She looks pretty dead," he smirked. Let me check further. He felt for a pulse first on her wrist then on her neck. "Nothing," he said. "I'll try one last thing." He bent over her face. As his face came frighteningly close to hers she turned her head away.
"You're dead, you can't do that," he complained. "Hold still." He enforced the command by holding her head upright. His lips met hers. She tried to move away, but he held her tightly.
He smirked again, "I think those must be reflexive muscle contractions. Let me tell you, she's really cold. She must be dead." His voice dripped with irony.
Carla could see why he felt that way. She hadn't been warm to anyone here and she certainly wasn't responsive when he kissed her. She had wanted to bite him, but she had simply given in 'a little' and let him do what he wanted.
"Let's see if I can figure out what killed her."
Carla lay flat on her back hands extended over her head, bound at the wrists. Her top had pulled up revealing her belly. Her dark hair, spread about on the blanket, framed a pretty oval face.
Her legs were held tightly together by the bindings at her ankles, but her shorts revealed shapely legs, clear olive skin. In this position her shorts were pulled tightly enough that there was an obvious crevice between her legs.
She made an erotic and vulnerable corpse.
He looked over her body. "Where should I start looking," he wondered aloud. He began the exam by pulling her top tight as though to examine her chest. "I can see something dark red through her shirt. Maybe she's been shot in the chest. I better take a look."
He moved the hem of her top slightly. He touched her navel as though it was a major clue. "She's got a real pretty belly button," he commented as professionally as his drunken state permitted. He continued to raise her top.
"No," she screamed, now in full panic. She brought her knees up, but they were immediately pulled down. Someone held her arms. She tried to thrash about.
"Right noisy cadaver," he commented not really reacting to the scream or her convulsions. "And I don't think she's wearing a bra." He pulled the top tight against her chest again. "If you look closely, you can see this nipple through the shirt." He pulled harder stretching the knit top in two directions. He was able to pull it sufficiently tight that he created an opening large enough to allow her nipple to pop through. Using his fingers he pulled her nipple all the way through so it was held in place as he let go of the shirt. He touched it again. "Wow," he said, "it's hard. She must have died happy."
She was twisting and protesting vehemently, but hey held her in place for his examination.
"I better look some more." He stretched the top over the other nipple. It, too, popped through. He played with them then allowed others to do the same. All the while she complained and pleaded. They were deaf to her.
By now they toyed with her nipples and felt her breasts at will. Their laughter and crude comments drowned out her cries of protest.
She had stopped struggling. Only the occasional, "Please don't," came from her. She was terrified. Her heart raced.
"I think we need to look further into this," he said to the circle of young men. They agreed excitedly.
He pulled the top up slowly revealing her breasts until he had completely uncovered them.
"Put my top down," she cried out struggling again to get free.
They held her tightly while they pulled her top until it cleared her head.
The "coroner" began to feel her breasts. "They're still warm," he breathed. "Wow, they're fantastic. You guys should try them." They needed no further invitation.
While the others either held her still or massaged her breasts and nipples, the coroner opened her shorts. A button, a short zipper and he opened them revealing unimaginative white cotton panties.
He stretched the waist band out an inch. "Man, these are ugly. Let's get them off her."
"Please don't, please don't," she said over and over knowing it would do no good. She no longer struggled. Like the girl she had observed earlier, she knew she had lost.
He pulled her shorts to her ankles where the rope prevented removing them.
He took hold of her panties commenting again about their ugliness, but adding, "She's much too pretty to have to wear anything this ugly." He pulled them slowly revealing her most private area teasingly. When she was revealed, the panties had joined her shorts just above the bindings holding her ankles together. The others had stopped feeling her breasts to watch. "Nice little bush," he said running a finger through her neatly trimmed bush.
"Please don't, please don't." She kept her plea going at almost a whisper. No one was listening.
They took off the bindings around her ankles and removed her shorts and panties. They did not tie them again. Instead they spread her legs. She lay almost motionless as they explored her body.
Her legs were spread widely. Because they had forced them open, she didn't dare close them. "Please don't," she continued.
She lay, naked, arms extended, wrists bound, legs spread. Her lovely face wet with tears that rolled from her eyes down the sides of her face wetting the blanket on which she lay. Soon they would begin to use her, she thought fearfully. She was helpless. Sobs filled her throat as she waited.
The coroner ran a finger along the slit defining her vulnerable opening. He worked the slit until it began to part. He continued until she opened widely enough for him to enter.
As his finger entered her, she said softly, "I'm a virgin. Don't do this to me. Please don't hurt me."
They held her arms. They held her legs. The coroner stood, letting his shorts fall. She looked at the bulge in his briefs. Her fate was never clearer. She wouldn't be a virgin at the end of the night.
His finger had been replaced by another. A voice said, "I can't feel anything." She winced as she felt the finger pushed here and there inside her. "I guess I wouldn't know what a virgin felt like."
"We can't let her leave here a virgin, that wouldn't be right. It's our responsibility to relieve her of that burden."