Darker Times, Chapter One

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Darker Times

Chapter One

 

By Shorngirl

 

         Things in my life weren’t always as rosy as they are now. My twenties were my rebellious phase, and I delved into things that were both frightening and exhilarating. I owe the flavor of my writing to these times, in part, and I thought it was time that I shared a bit of it. This isn’t easy for me, but as my readers, I felt I owed you the truth, however embarrassing and humiliating that truth might be. There are no embellishments, nor artistic license taken. My partner has fought me on this, saying that I am baring my soul to strangers. My argument is that although we may not know one another in flesh, you know me all too well through my writing. These chapters are as faithful an account as I can manage, both from memory and a few journals that I kept of those tumultuous times.

Claire

 

Graduation

 

College was a trying time for me. I never really melded with the other writers, either at the school publications nor the writing clubs that I frequented. In part, I knew it was because I was different from most of them. I think I may have been one of ten or so self-proclaimed lesbians at the school at the time; but then it was the nineties, and not everyone was out, so the number may have been greater.

Graduation was bittersweet, as it sometimes is. I was now expected to go out and earn a living with what I had learned. The thing was, A Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in literature didn’t open too many doors. I ended up working for a newspaper, as a column writer, and not a very good one to be fair.

I seemed to be picked on frequently by this one severely terse editor, let’s just call her Aimee. She was a stickler for grammatical correctness and syntax, and I was constantly called to the floor over one error or another.

“I have no idea why this newspaper insists on hiring rookies like you straight out of college,” I remember her saying on more than one occasion. “It makes my job hell.”

I would assure her that I would strive to improve, but one thing led to another, and she eventually got me fired. Already living paycheck to paycheck I was in dire straits. Drowning my sorrows at one of the only gay bars in the city, I was debating heading back home, tail between my legs.

Of course, fate played her hand, and I met Rosalie. Seeing how downtrodden I was, and at least in her eyes, attractive, she offered to put me up until I could get back on my feet.

So, I moved what few possessions I had into her apartment, taking up space in a small guest bedroom. The few rules she had were to do with cleanliness, and I was a dreadfully dirty girl. With my stringy blonde hair grazing my shoulders and clothes that I insisted upon wearing day after day, I was not the picture of personal hygiene.

“You know, I really like you, Claire, I do. The thing is, you’re dirty.” She insisted, on only the second day there. “Why don’t you go hop in the shower, and I’ll throw your clothes in the wash.” She smirked. “At least then we’re starting with a clean slate.” I’ll never forget those words.

Insulted, I rebutted her comment. “Are you saying I smell?”

“Please don’t take this the wrong way, Claire, but… you stink.” Her words cut me to the quick. To be fair, the last week or so had been rough, and I hadn’t paid attention to myself in that regard. Rather than make a scene with someone who had, out of the goodness of her heart, taken me in, I relented.

The shower felt good, and I realized as I washed that she wasn’t wrong. I really had let myself go. When I finally emerged, clean and fresh, I was met by Rose, as I ended up calling her, robe in hand. “There, that wasn’t so hard, right?” Shrugging on the white terry cloth, I followed her back to the living room. “I fully expect you to take one of those, every day, Claire.”

I nodded, knowing how reasonable the request was, but still finding it a bit demeaning. “I will, thanks.”

“I know we barely know one another, but I did want to share something with you.” She crooked a finger, “Come.” She brought me down a few flights of stairs to a section of the basement that was split between the two apartments. Unlocking the padlocked door, she pointed inside. “Not sure what you’re into, but….”

Now, I’d read about BDSM and dungeons and the sort of play that type was into, but I never imagined seeing it first-hand. I turned and looked at her, standing in the doorway, and it struck me. She was a dominatrix.

“I only do girls, and get paid handsomely for my services.” She explained, sharply. “If you like, you could be my muse.” I think my mouth hung open a bit at the offer, but as a somewhat naïve girl, I had no idea what that might entail.

“Um… This is interesting and all, Rose, but… I never imagined myself…”

“Oh, I think you’d make a perfect little sub.” She declared. “Give it some thought.” And with that, she shooed me out and relocked the door.

Over the next few days, and fruitless searches for a job, I was unsuccessful in flushing the images of the basement dungeon out of my mind. That, and Rosalie’s subtle prods to take her up on her offer. Finally, after a week, I posed the obvious question. “What will I need to do?”

“Well, not to put too fine a point on it, you would become my personal servant; slave if you will.” Rose wasn’t bashful in her descriptions, laying out what my responsibilities would be, as well as what she wanted to change about me.

“Would I be paid?” I asked, presumedly.

“No, in fact, you would give up what little you have. In return, you would be well looked after, fed, clothed, and housed.” She mused, sipping her glass of wine while I sat, hands folded in my lap on the sofa across from her. For a person in my position, it was at least a roof over my head and a bit like returning to childhood. That idea frightened me, a lot. For someone to have that much control over my life, was daunting.

I hadn’t had to answer to anyone since I left for college, over four years earlier. Something about the idea intrigued me though. For an instant, I lost my mind, nodding in her direction. “Okay.”

“Wonderful!” She exclaimed. “Now, I want you to grab the large box that I placed in my office and bring it here.”

I made a point of avoiding her office, as it was one of the places she had labeled out of bounds. I pushed open the door to find a three-by-three-foot cardboard box. To my surprise, it was already labeled ‘Claire Hoskins’ on the side. How could she have known I would succumb to her wishes?

I carried the empty box into the living room, setting in the middle of the floor. My first task as her ‘servant’ I supposed. Pleased with myself, I sat, my eyes curiously drawn to the name inscribed on the side.

“Oh, Claire, I knew you would come. It was only a matter of time.” She smiled and then ordered me to place everything I owned into the box. There was room to spare. “Now those.” She insisted, pointing to the clothes I was wearing.

Embarrassed, I slowly shucked out of them, right down to my underwear and socks. Once I was naked, she taped up the box and had me carry it back into the basement, completely naked. “What if your neighbor sees me?” I asked, predictably.

“Well, it’s quite a unique arrangement, Claire. She’s one of my best customers.” Reaching the bottom of the stairs, she unlocked the other half of the basement, presumably belonging to her neighbor, and had me place the box on a convenient shelf. “There.” She said as she relocked the door. “You’re completely mine now, Claire. How does that make you feel?”

“Scared…” I stammered. “…excited.”

“Perfect. Now, we’ll just wander over here.” Rose unlocked the dungeon and took me inside for the first time as her ‘muse’. She was very explicit as she described each piece of apparatus, and what it was used for. She stopped short of demonstrating things, but my imagination was vivid enough to understand what it was like to be under her power.

It felt odd to be naked, while she was fully clothed. I understood what humiliation was, and knew that it was this which caused the tight feeling in my loins. It was the first time I regretted having given myself to her. Despite my arousal, I knew that I was too naïve to understand what lay ahead.

The following day, I was handed a pair of plain grey coveralls and some well-worn black shoes. I remembered the toes were scuffed, and they were just a little too tight. Leaving the house like that was my first lesson in obedience, and even though I felt ridiculous, she enforced the idea that this was how she wanted others to see me.

The first stop on the list of things to do that day was a barbershop. I felt my throat dry up almost at once as we entered, the vaguely familiar atmosphere returning to me from my childhood memories. The last time I’d been in one of these places was back when I played for a local baseball team and participated in their end-of-season ritual. I wondered if the same fate awaited me.

An older man climbed from his chair, folding the newspaper he was reading and depositing it on an available chair. “Can I help you?” He asked, confused.

“Yes. My charge here, her name is Claire, she needs a haircut.” He seemed to smile, although it never reached his eyes.

“I cut men’s hair in here, Madam.” He announced.

“That’s alright, hair’s hair, and she needs a crewcut,” Rose instructed, pushing me ahead of her, and towards the open swivel chair.

“A crewcut?” He smirked, looking me up and down. “Is that really what you want, young lady?”

Rose saved me the trouble of responding. “I’ll be paying for it, and Claire is more than agreeable with the change. Isn’t that right?” She glared in my direction. There was nothing I could do but nod. I’d been through this before, the only difference being that it was my choice the last time. Now it was being foisted upon me by my new…, well I really hadn’t had the opportunity to address her since, my submission. Was she expecting me to call her Mistress? I wasn’t about to test it, not there in front of this well-seasoned barber.

“Okay.” He shrugged, shouldering the cape and turning the chair in my direction, invitingly. “It’s just a shame, is all.” The guy said as he held my hair up to fasten the cape around my neck.

“Well, it has to go, so get on with it,” Rose said, decidedly, having a seat in one of five chairs wooden chairs that lined the opposite wall. I looked back at her in the mirror, her long dark hair a trophy that I was certain she treasured. Was that why she was cutting mine off?

I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it. I heard the clippers fire up, and they were the sort that ran at some lower speed. I swore I could hear the blades gnashing across one another. I sat facing the mirror that cast my reflection back to me, the rather shocked young blonde that was about to lose her hair, again.

I vaguely remembered the sensation from back then, with the boys cheering me on. Now, it was only me and the clippers as they carved a two-inch wide trail over the top of my head. I wondered just what sort of crewcut this was supposed to be, that started with the clippers running straight down the middle. Come to find out, a short one. A very short one indeed.

It only took the guy a few minutes to clear my head of its golden fleece, leaving behind a stubbled burr of a cut, that only vaguely resembled the rough-and-tumble tomboy I’d been with the team. That same tingle of arousal was back, as I turned my head from side to side, my ears on display, and my longish neck looking even more distinct.

The barber pushed my head down, not forcefully, but with enough insistence that I didn’t resist. With my chin almost pressed into my chest, I felt the blades again, the sound slightly different, and the sensation certainly so. I couldn’t imagine there being enough hair to see as it fall but as the clumps of what remained fell over my shoulders and into my lap, I knew that he was shaving me close.

Finished with the back he pushed my head to the left, shearing the right side with the same blade. Satisfied with that, my head was pressed in the other direction. When at last the clippers were shut off, my head was allowed to center itself, and I got my first look at the new me.

Whatever blade the barber had used, took everything off, the stubble so fine that it was practically invisible. Of course, my blonde hair, true to the roots, meant that it was to be felt, rather than seen.

Rose seemed pleased with the new look, smiling, and trying to get my attention. For a brief second, our eyes met, and there was that moment of complete understanding. She had done this to me, the smug look she imparted left no doubt of her position on that.

I sat, dumb, as the barber blended the sides into the top, leaving me what the boys back home would call a knob cut.

Without being asked, the barber slipped a straight razor from his pocket and sharpened on the strop that hung from the arm of the chair. I watched, fascinated as the dangerous blade worked up and down on the leather, knowing its honed edge was for me.

Using his thumb, the barber spread a sparing amount of lather around my ears and up the back of my neck. I squirmed in the chair as the blades carved a jet-white frame around my ears, a good half-inch wide. The back was even more drastic, and I could feel the blade slice into the microscopic stubble just below the bone that now stood out so prominently on the back of my skull.

A few dustings of masculine-smelling powder, and I was declared done. While I stood to the side, my fingertips exploring my new nakedness, Rose paid the man, explaining that I would be returning once a week for the same cut.

Walking out of the shop, I was expecting the shocked stares from passersby, but I soon discovered that the way I was dressed, I looked nothing like a woman. No one gave me a second glance, and I began to feel even smaller than when Rosalie had stared me down in the mirror.

The rest of the morning was a blur of shopping, all for her. I was only there to carry the packages as we walked. The only place I remembered was the last place we stopped. Oh, do I ever remember that place, to this very day.

It was none other than a tattoo parlor, and even though I objected strongly to the idea that I would be permanently marked, Rose would have none of it. I set down the packages and started to leave when she reminded me of my predicament. I had nothing, no clothes, no job and if I left, no place to live.

Feeling defeated, I slumped into the chair, while Rosalie described exactly what she wanted inscribed into my skin. Then it became obvious why she had insisted upon me shaving my pubic hair that morning. I tried not to watch as the young man carved the words into my mound, words that would haunt me, get me in trouble, and arouse me every time I’d see them. I supposed I should have been relieved that it would never be seen except by those with an intimate knowledge of my body.

The thing was, I was too smart to think that this wouldn’t follow me for the rest of my life. And, as fate would have it, it served to feed a fetish that has been a driving force in my life and my writing. Of course, Rose wasn’t satisfied with my acceptance of her mark. She had me recite it out loud as I examined my shame in the small mirror the tattooist supplied.

 

Crewcut

Slut

 

I stand naked before you, my readers, on the other side of the monitor, those words still adorning my flesh, because not a truer mark could ever displace them. Rose knew me better than I knew myself.

Still your Crewcut Slut,

Claire

4 responses to “Darker Times, Chapter One

  1. Clare,
    I been a fan going back to the days of The Hair Story Archive. You just keep getting better with age.

    p.s. – There’s a few of your old stories on The Archive, or 1hss that you haven’t republished here. I’m sure everyone would love to see them here.
    Maxx

  2. Thank you, Maxx. Yeah, some of those stories were stored on an old windows system that has long since bit the dust. I salvaged what I could from the drive before it too died. That’s going back a bit, and dates me too, ouch. Anyway, I’ll have to take a look at The Archive. I don’t think 1Hss is viable anymore. Names would be helpful, if you can post those. Needless to say, I’ve written a few and some of them escape my memory. Hope you enjoy this little foray into my early life, and some of the things that shaped who I am as a writer.
    Claire

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