Millicent was a bit surprised when the cab came to a stop, not out on the main avenue, but back among the catacombs of alleyways that webbed the artsy fashion and museum districts. While she had not heard of this particular museum, she was familiar with a number of fellow designers who had contributed. After confirming, once again, with the cab driver that this was the correct address, she paid the driver and carrying her small bag she approached the wide steps leading up to a glass door painted completely black.
Completely immersed in the shadows from surrounding buildings, the entire street around her seemed lost in a perpetual twilight. Everything around her seemed damp, algae lined and very slippery so she stepped slowly and carefully up to the door. Not sure whether to knock or simply pull the door open, she tapped lightly and then grabbed the handle, pulling hard.
The door swung open and Millicent was immediately blinded by the bright light inside. Squinting and holding her bag up to shade her eyes she stepped inside and paused, waiting for her eyes to adjust to the light. In the distance she noticed some shadowy figures ambling about gazing up at some odd glass figures.
"Excuse me, may I help you?" a soft voice from behind her.
Whirling quickly, she found herself looking at a short man in a tuxedo. "Oh you startled me," she whispered.
"I am terribly sorry, I was merely wondering if you need help or direction?"
"I think I am in the right place, is this where I am?" she asked awkwardly showing him a crumpled piece of paper with the address.
"Yes, this is the museum," he said, taking the paper from her, crumpling it up and putting it in his pocket. "I am Donald, one of the patrons and guides. And what is your name?"
"Millicent, Millicent Fabor."
"Ah Ms. Fabor, we've been expecting you. Please come inside, may I help you with anything?"
"Well I have the item for display that a Mr. Ackson talked with me about."
"Oh yes, let me take you to Dr. Ackson's office. You'll notice our display areas on each side of us as we walk. Hopefully you'll have time to enjoy our displays."
She followed as Donald began walking into the building. The hallway was wide and bright with large rooms opening off on either side of it. The rooms were brightly lit with shiny white floors and walls. The glass figures were all partial or full torsos of women clad in different lingerie depending upon which room they were in.
Just before reaching Dr. Ackson's office she noticed a room with headless glass busts featuring a wide assortment of bras. She paused to take a closer look and saw bras that must have dated back to the early 1900's along side of the two huge metal cones that Madonna wore on one of the concert tours. Realizing that the bra she brought in the small bag would be displayed here, she felt a rush of pride flush through her body.
"Ah Millicent, I am so happy to finally meet you in person," said a very old, bald man stepping out of the office. "I'm Joseph Ackson, you can call me Joe, is it all right to call you Millicent?"
"Yes that's fine Mr... I mean Dr... ah Joe," she said smiling reaching out her hand.
"Please come into my office, have a seat over there. We are so glad you accepted our offer. Over the years we have been able to feature bits of some of the finest lingerie designers in the world here. Oh, where are my manners? Would you like a glass of wine."
Nodding, she noticed he already had a glass poured. She reached out, took the glass and replied, "I saw some of your display, but how is it I haven't heard of this place, I mean with such famous work here..."
"Ah, I must admit to you I am a bit of an eccentric, with perhaps too strong of an attraction to lingerie. We normally ask that our contributors sign a confidentiality agreement."
"But then who sees the exhibit if it is a secret?" Millicent asked, taking a sip of wine and then nodding her head to him in appreciation.
"We have a group of patrons whom, like me, are drawn to the art and artists of lingerie. It is a wealthy group so we can pay you the fee we discussed."
"So the figure you quoted is real?"
Smiling, he nodded.
"Ah, here is Justine with the paperwork. Like I said this first one is a confidentiality agreement," he said handing it to her.
Millicent looked over the document and confirmed it was a confidentiality agreement. She knew she should read it carefully but was so caught up in the moment that she quickly scribbled her name on the two copies and moved onto the next few sets of papers he handed her. Only vaguely listening as he described the documents, she quickly signed each of them and then finished her glass of wine.
Millicent then watched as Dr. Ackson... Joe opened her bag and held up the bra. "Oh very nice, the light laciness yet firm support and the color, what a stunning addition don't you think Justine."
"Yes Joe, a wonderful addition," Justine replied as she gathered up the papers, placed them on a shelf and pulled on a pair of latex gloves. She then lifted a syringe and held it up to the light, squeezing it slightly until a liquid spurt sparkled in the light.
"Now Millicent you've signed all the papers, we can get started now. You should be feeling very comfortable so I'd like to tell you of the rest of our display. We not only display wonderful bras from such wonderful designers, we have a special floor where we display even more."
"More?" Millicent mumbled.
"Yes, on this floor our patrons can view the bras, downstairs they can view the breasts of the designers."
"You mean all those women are here? They are here displaying their breasts for you?"
"Ah, I guess the wine has you a bit fuddled," Dr. Ackson said. "No we only have their breasts here."
Millicent felt a sharp stick in her arm and then felt a warm rush inside her arm. She closed her eyes as she felt her clothes being removed. Unable to move her arms or legs, she felt herself moved over to a hard bed. Suddenly she heard a zipping sound and then felt something being rubbed over her breasts.
She heard Justine say, "Doctor, the field would be so much more sterile if you refrained."
"You know I can't do that Justine," she heard the Doctor reply realizing it was a penis sliding over her breasts. She could feel his hands as they moved over his organ, faster and faster until she felt a warm flood of sticky liquid splash onto her right breast.
Millicent tried to lift her hand and murmur, "No, please stop..." but she couldn't.
"Please stop what Millicent? Millicent, it's your mother, are you awake?"
Millicent heard her own voice, "No please stop."
"Stop what Millicent?"
"Mother, what are you doing here?"
"We came as soon as we heard. We talked to the doctor and he said he got it all, you're going to be fine."
Feeling confused Millicent asked, "Where am I?"
"You're in the hospital dear, they operated on you for the cancer. The doctor said it went well, they got all the cancer."
"What did they do?" Millicent asked.
"It was serious darling, they said they had no choice. They had to take all of both of them."
She tried to reach up and grab her breasts but the pain was intense. She felt her mother grab her hands, "The doctor said you should move your arms for a while. They will have some physical therapy for you."
"They took my breasts?"
"Yes, the cancer was too advanced. They saved your life."
"They took my breasts," she sobbed.
"They had no choice, Dr. Ackson said you could have died."
"Dr. Ackson? Did you say Dr. Ackson?"
"Yes dear, wait, here is your nurse."
Millicent looked up to the olive skinned features of a dark haired woman. She looked familiar.
"Millicent, I'm Justine, your nurse. I have a shot for your pain."
"No," Millicent moaned.
"It's okay, I'm putting it in your IV, you won't feel a thing. You'll wake up in a few hours and won't remember any of this."
"Please stop," she moaned, "Please stop." She drifted to sleep before she could say it again.