Magic Potion: RosevillebyPeggyBuxton©
It wasn't the first visit to Aunt Sandra's home; Jean's family often spent long weekends there. This visit would bring change, though Jean would not understand the full impact for another twenty years.
Unlike the other cousins, aunts, and uncles, Sandra had never married. Jean had never seen her with a man either. That first afternoon alone, it was a topic of conversation and Sandra explained she preferred to be with other women, though there was no one in her life now.
Jean explored the farmhouse. On the wall in Sandra's bedroom was a large, framed, tasteful black and white photograph of a nude lounging on a strange looking couch, a Victorian fainting couch she called it. The woman was missing most of both legs.
"A friend," she told her, standing close behind, so close Jean could feel Sandra's breath blow warmly over her neck.
"Yes. Isn't she lovely?"
Jean had seen few nude pictures, never of a woman missing both legs and what it looked like where the leg used to be. She was surprised that it was not ugly or more scared.
Sandra's hand rested lightly on her shoulder. "She wanted to be that way."
Those words, so casually said, stayed with Jean, always at the forefront of her thoughts. She had never learned more about the woman in the photograph. Sandra had been older and passed away from an inoperable cancer not long after the visit. The topic was too personal to discuss with anyone - in or out of her family. So, all she could do was wonder. That is, until she found a copy of 'Tales of Change'.
Roseville is a large university town, not like Chicago or New York, but large enough to provide anonymity if desired and to meet other like-minded people. It is progressive and liberal with a seemingly large gay and lesbian community, even a few transgendered people, mostly men now women. For the first time, Jean feels comfortable with her sexuality. There have even been a few relationships with other women, plus many short lust filled encounters.
Just past thirty now, the image of the woman in the photograph still holds a powerful grip over Jean, one that often grips even tighter at the worst possible moment. Usually resulting in a nasty argument with her current girlfriend then a hasty split. Never overtly because of the subject, nothing said like she wants to be legless, but under it all that is the problem.
After the last breakup, Jean swore to herself that she would take time to explore her feelings. A used lightweight titanium wheelchair, hand controls for her car, and evenings rolling around an office park away from town help more than she thought possible. They are also frustrating because it only to serves to remind her how impossible it is to be such a woman - without legs, without any thigh extending from her hip.
Shops owned by gay and lesbians line several blocks of Tenth Avenue near the university. 'Told Again' is a used bookshop between a clothing store and a cafe, each owned by lesbian women. Jean spends time in each, almost like an extension of her home. The bookstore has comfortable chairs to sit in and read. Women frequenting the store are friendly and she has met, even dated a few.
She usually spends an early lunch hour on Wednesdays reading then eating next door. One Saturday morning after stopping at the clothing store, she visits the bookshop to see what is new. A book lying crooked on the shelf of the lesbian romance section catches her attention. When she picks it up, she finds on the cover a picture of a lovely amputee woman missing a leg leaning sensually on her crutches. The rush she feels is overwhelming and she staggers to a chair nearby with the book dangling from her fingers. A customer inquires if she's okay and she waves the woman off as her breathing begins to return to normal.
She crosses her legs, letting the sandal fall off the foot swinging casually back and forth. The short skirt rides a little higher up her slim thigh as she adjusts her position and flips though the book. It is a series of short stories and she begins reading one.
'I had become addicted to the potion, its effects the elixir for my need to be missing my left leg. Every morning I would wake and inject my thigh, then wait a few moments until the short rounded stump appeared. For the next twelve hours, I would be in heaven walking about on my crutches, my single foot swinging gloriously between the large rubber tips. I knew I could leave it off forever, but the sting of the needle had become a part of my life.'
"Wow," she mumbles quietly. There is a note scribbled at the edge of the page with a link to a web page. She hurriedly reads more.
'Julie rolls back from the bathroom and crawls next to me and fondling my breasts, her hips often without legs as they are now, rub against me increasing my heart rate substantially.'
Jean rests the book in her lap and looks around feeling as though everyone knows what she is reading. The three women in the other chairs have their eyes buried in their own books, not seeming to know the world exists around them. Jean looks at the cover of each and finds only pictures of women kissing women. She looks towards the cashier, an older woman she has not seen before sitting on a tall stool staring off into some personal fantasy.
"How much?" Jean asks, laying the book down on the counter near the cash register.
"Four-fifty," the woman replies. Her fingers caress the cover, as if feeling the stump. There is a gentle sigh and she lets go.
"Have you read it?" Jean asks.
Jean takes her eyes from the woman's butch features with short gray hair, and looks around behind the counter noticing a pair of crutches, long aluminum crutches that people with broken legs or sprained ankles often use. The woman still sits on the stool and it is not obvious if they are her crutches or why she might need them if they are.
"Yes," the woman simply replies. After a long moment, "Have you read any of it?"
"A few pages, just now."
"I wish it wasn't fiction."
The woman looks around and finds no one waiting or near. "If it wasn't?"
"I'd buy some."
The woman takes the five ones and puts them the cash register, returning the change. She offers a warm smile. "Can I buy you some coffee?"
Jean nods as she puts the book into her purse. The woman leans down and picks up the crutches. For the first time, she realizes the woman is missing her left leg. The left pants leg of the man's khaki trousers wraps neatly around a hip appears to have no leg to get in the way. A man's denim work shirt with the top two buttons unfastened reveals nothing. A white running shoe is on the single foot.
"Connie!" she calls. "I'm taking a break. Cover the front, please."
"I'm Judy," she offers as the door closes behind them. Jean introduces herself and holds the door to the coffee shop for her.
"I don't find many interested in that book, but when I do I like to talk to them. Hope you don't mind."
"No-o," Jean drawls.
Jean carries the two coffees to a table by the window in the corner then sits across from her. The crutches lean against the wall.
"Hmmm, they have the best coffee." Judy sips again.
"I haven't noticed you before. I'm sure I would have." She chuckles.
"I never work the mornings, more of a night person. Sara was sick today."
"Oh, lucky me."
"So, you found the book interesting."
"Uh-huh. I guess I'm a little surprised an amputee would like the topic, you know, wanting to be an amputee." Jean chuckles nervously.
"Is that wrong?" Judy sips again.
"Yeah, I know. So many people feel their life is over when that happens. You said you wished the book wasn't fiction."
"I've always felt I should be missing my leg, or both legs actually."
Jean tells the story of her Aunt Sandra for the first time to anyone. Judy hangs on every detail, nodding often.
"That could have been my life story," she says when Jean finishes. "Then I stumbled upon that book, that wonderful book. It saved my life."
"Is it non-fiction?"
"I know it sounds like fiction, the author probably didn't want to be too forward and open. Most wouldn't appreciate the potion in the blue bottle. Not like you and me."
"Then is the web link written on one of the pages real?"
"Yes. I write it in each copy I put out. Not that I sell many copies, but maybe one a month go out the door."
"In our store, usually." She smiles. "I don't know what the interest is in the straight world, but I've asked some of my gay guy friends and they know a number of other men that are interested."
"Until now, I thought Sandra was the only one that had 'any' interest like this. I never knew if she wanted to be like the woman in the photograph, but she definitely found her erotic."
There is no way for Jim to miss the group of women amputees milling about in front of Sadie's Campground, more of a motel of cabins than a place to put a tent, as the jeep passes along the gravel road. Maybe he notices nothing else about them, but that there are women missing legs defiantly does not escape his attention. If there had not been three other guys in the jeep, he would have braked hard and checked out what was happening.
John rattles on about the fish he caught and Bob passes around a marijuana joint. Jim waves it off, wanting to stay straight enough to drive another two hours home. Mike sits in the front seat sipping a beer while John continues bragging for half the trip.
Growing up, Jim had known a boy with one leg. He'd had cancer, thought it was under control, and then died suddenly when it returned. He'd shown him his stump; even let him touch it all too briefly. The whole experience had colored his feelings greatly, and for reasons he still does not understand, left him with a great desire to be missing a leg.
He had fallen deeply in love with Joanne in college. Knowing there was little chance he'd lose a leg, or meet another amputee, he gave in and married her after graduation. A woman missing a leg started working in his office. Sue was married, but that did not stop him from lusting after her. His desire to be missing a leg grabbed him hard, shook him, and didn't let go.
Joanne could not help but notice changes in his behavior and begged him to explain what was going on. When he told her everything - the childhood amputee, the amputee woman, his need to be that way - she moved out. The brief affair with the woman was enough to convince him the next woman would have to be an amputee. Being with an amputee might help sooth the need to be one. He wisely never told Sue about his desire to be like her.
"You're quiet," Mike says to Jim.
Jim glances at Mike then ahead. "I'm just having great thoughts about the fishing trip." He works with Mike, his closest friend in the group.
"Yeah, we've got to do this again."
"I can't wait." All Jim wants to do is make a hard u-turn and drive back.
It is only three when he finishes the quick shower and hastily backs the jeep out the driveway. He remembers little about the trip, only that he is turning the engine off and getting out of the car.
"Anything for the night?" he asks the woman behind the counter.
"Have a special group until tomorrow and everything is taken."
"Shit," he mumbles.
He leans against the fender of the jeep hoping to see one of the amputees. He had tried to get information about the 'special group', but it seemed she sensed his interest.
"Hi," a woman's voice says.
He can only see her above the shoulders, but she is lovely and about his age. He watches her move until she comes from behind a car parked several places from his. She wears jeans, the right pants leg trimmed and sewn shut closer to the hip than the knee. A duffle bag hangs from her shoulder and swings a bit as she moves on her crutches.
"Need some help?"
"Sure. You here with the rest?"
She stops in front of him and he takes the bag. They both obviously give each other a through look. She's a little shorter, slender, curly brown hair, blue eyes, and nibbling her lower lip suggestively as she continues to look at his features.
"Never mind. I'm Jim."
"Lori, nice to meet you." She extends a hand with nice fingers and holds his hand longer than necessary.
"You handle those crutches quite well, has it been very long?"
"Not long enough." She groans and gives the trimmed pants leg a light brushing. "At last it's gone."
"Hmmm, a moment ago you said something about wishing to be with the 'group'."
"Maybe you don't know what this group is about. We all 'wanted' to be missing an arm or leg. Sorry, I thought you knew."
"Yeah, ah, me too, me too." The excitement is intense and he doesn't know what he is saying, the words just spill out without thought. "God-d, Lori, this is fantastic. Can we talk? I want to know more, I want to know you. Are you seeing anyone? Can we go out?"
She pats his chest and rubs her hand over it. "Slow down, I'm not going to vanish like an unfinished wet dream." She chuckles. She steps away and leans against the fender next to him. Her stump raises and lowers a few times and he watches it more than any other part of her.
"I like it too," she finally says. "No I'm not seeing anyone, but I'd like to be. Not that many men want to be with someone missing a leg. Those that do rarely understand a need to be this way."
"Heavens, I do. Goddamn, do I ever. All my life...."
"We seem to at least have that in common." She chuckles, crossing a hand casually over her stomach.
"How many are here?"
"Four, maybe five. I don't know any of them. Sadie was kind enough to let us have this gathering."
"Everyone 'wanted' to be an amputee...men and women?"
"Uh-huh. Too bad you have to be an amputee to come."
"Come, I'm about to just looking at you."
She laughs. "You're pretty hot yourself. Listen, I live in Roseville. It's nearby." She pulls a card from her hip pocket and hands it to him. "Call me. I'd love to get together."
He looks at the card, twisting it between his fingers then shoves it in his pocket. "I live there, on Ridgemont."
"How'd we miss each other? I live on Oakhurst, not far."
They look longingly at each other; her hand takes his. Soon the warm breath washes over his face and her lips press against his.
"Lori!" a woman calls, interrupting the kiss that threatens to become a short trip to the backseat. "Call me, please." She grabs the bag and hurries toward the woman wearing a knee-length denim skirt with one arm missing.
The drive home is on a cloud of fantasy.
Judy welcomes Lori and introduces her to the others. Mark and Dave are older and together for five years, both missing a leg. Susan is missing an arm, Janet both legs. Lori looks around the group, all but Janet sitting in large overstuffed chairs near the stone fireplace in the great room.
"All from the potion?" Lori asks as she settles in the last empty chair. Her crutches clatter to the floor.
They each tell a story to similar to hers of a significant encounter with an amputee during childhood, most brief, one lasting a few years, none sexual in any way though. They explain where they live, what they do for work. They all live within a few hundred miles. Only Judy lives in Roseville. She has known about the potion the longest, just over a year. Most found the book recently.
Lori studies Judy's appearance, stereotypical dyke, wondering whom she might know in Roseville. She has never known a lesbian or gay person, but she has thought about a woman's lips against her body. Characters in books that are lesbians have appealed to some primal urges, but she has never opted to explore. She gives Janet a long study next and tries to picture both of them in bed, her mind instead filling with thoughts of Jim.
"In the book," Janet suddenly begins. "Some keep the limb off forever, others a few hours."
"Me, forever," Mark says.
"I like missing different limbs, so I don't know if I will do that," Susan says.
"I have my left leg off permanently at the hip," Janet says, shifting on the cushion of the wheelchair. "The right one I usually have off, but I do love to walk on crutches."
All her life, Lori had felt alone with her feelings. Now she looks around and realizes she isn't as crazy as she thought. Warmth floods her. Flushed and excited, she wishes her lips were still against Jim's mouth.
"Others gay?" Mark asks.
Judy and Susan reply yes, Janet offers she is bi-sexual. Lori sheepishly says she has only been with men.
"Nothing like a hard cock," Mark teases, patting Dave on the thigh.
That prompts a discussion of sexual things for a while. Janet explains she has not been in a relationship since finding the book and potion. Judy has, Mark and Dave knew each other before finding the book but did know of the other's interest, and Susan knows of a few women in other countries. Lori briefly mentions a man she recently met without mentioning Jim's name or where he lives.
After a leisurely dinner and several bottles of wine, they meet by the pool. Stumps are nicely visible along with varying body shapes and sizes. Lori eagerly takes each in, feeling again the rush from being around others like her. Janet scoots on her bottom towards the edge of the pool using her hands. Her breasts threaten to fall from the skimpy top and the equally skimpy bottom pulls away as she moves. Almost everything is hanging out by the time she stops.
"Take it off," Susan encourages, unfastening her top. She is in her early twenties with wonderful breasts and delicious nipples. Her arm is off near the shoulder. Before it had been a longer stump, but she needed to inject again and has more off now.
Dave teasingly tugs at Marks trunks. His erection spills past the waistband. "More," Janet begs. Soon Dave's trunks join the growing piles of swimwear.
Lori feels her heat rise as the trunks come off. That they are gay does not matter, his cock is still lovely. "When in Rome...." she says, pulling at her bikini bottom, adding it to her top on the towel.
Alone at home, Jean reads more of the book, her mind in overdrive at the thoughts Judy had left with her. The loneliness of her feelings now washed away and the first order of potion placed that will not arrive for an eternity, she flips the page.
'My girlfriend injects my other thigh. Soon neither obstructs access to my pussy. She playfully pushes me backwards and I fall onto my back. I feel her lack of legs against me and the orgasm washes over me.'
She considers finding a woman that shares her interests, sexually and stump wise. It is something she has not allowed herself to think about, now it is everything.
The wheelchair has become dusty from lack of use for nearly a month. She sits beside it and lovingly wipes each part until it shines. It was a luxury she could not afford, but needed. The frustration of still having both legs made it difficult to enjoy.
Tonight for the first time in a month, she ventures out once again. The darkened office windows like mirrors offering tantalizing reflections of a woman in a wheelchair. She parks occasionally and stares, hoping no one is sitting at a desk on the other side wondering what is happening. She rolls up ramps, down slopes, and along smooth level sidewalks testing her desires. She rolls for hours, her hands become dirty, and her forearms covered in black soot as she pushes and stops.
The day crawls like sap in winter. All Jim thinks about is Lori and finding a way to be like her. There is no doubt he would if he could. He'd take a few weeks off to 'recover'. He'd tell others there was not an option, the infection had been sudden, and the amputation needed to save his life. Maybe he'd be away on vacation, a foreign country where such things happened with out the necessary medicine to prevent the need for such a radical surgery.