Darker Times, Chapter Three

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Darker Times

 

Chapter Three

 

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. Where necessary, other than my own, names have been changed to protect actual identities.

Claire

 

Inside and Out

 

I was naïve to believe that there was anything I could do to protect myself inside. We were all subject to the same rules, the same inconsistent treatment, and the same vulnerabilities.

As the weeks rolled on, more and more women became aware of my submissive nature and would attempt to push themselves into the circle that was using (abusing) me on a regular basis.

At the start, it was only Marta and the small group of women that gravitated around Sue, their self-appointed leader. They had access to this new and fascinating bald girl, who was thrust into their midst.

Marta had taken real control, acting a bit like a pimp, the way she bartered away my affections, however contrived, to anyone willing to part with a pack of cigarettes, candy, or money.

She of course, as my cellmate, still had exclusivity at night. As such, it didn’t take very long for her to notice the still unhealed hole in my septum. Of course, somehow, she managed to get her hands on a steel ring, inserting it into my nose and loving the reaction everyone had.

Between the shaved head and the nose ring, which was not small by any stretch of the imagination, I was suddenly hard to ignore. I say shaved, because the barber had taken to simply clipping my scalp down to the skin with the lowest blade she had. It was simple and got me through to my next visit without too much noticeable regrowth.

The guards were not at all pleased about the nose ring and kept threatening to rip it out. I tried not to imagine what that might have felt like or looked like afterward.

Everyone had been stripped of all their jewelry when they arrived, but many had fashioned stuff in prison, and wore it in spite of the rule. I was the most blatant of those, the ring hanging well over my upper lip. The girls would often laugh when I flipped it up on my nose to eat.

Marta had been quite meticulous with the thing when she inserted it, the closure being nearly invisible. This also made it impossible to remove.

“How the hell did I end up with such a slut for a roomie?” Marta said, chuckling over her good fortune. I was her slut, there was no disputing that, and I did everything she told me to do.

That, unfortunately, included granting favors to a particularly bribable guard. It never went so far as him fucking me, but once a week I would blow him in our cell while Marta supervised. He seemed to get off on it, and if it kept the rest of the staff off our backs, Marta considered it a small price to pay. Of course, she wasn’t the one sucking his cock.

He’d come in just after lights out and expect me to strip out of my clothes. He especially loved seeing my infamous tattoo, and the way my nose ring rubbed along the top of his rigid penis. The guy always said he hated my shaved head, but he didn’t have any problem with grabbing it near the end, using my slick knob as a handle to face fuck me, brutally at times.

Marta never let me touch her until I had washed all the evidence of having pleased a man from my mouth, face, and hands but would ravish me afterward as if she had been turned on by the spectacle. To this day, his was the last cock I ever sucked.

Soon, my services were beginning to be more liberally distributed, if you will. Anyone who wanted me, and had the scratch, could have me, and in pretty much any capacity they wanted. Marta wasn’t fussy about it. Sue warned us both that things were getting out of hand.

Sure enough, a few days later, I was brought to the prison warden by a few of the guards who had seen and heard enough of my exploits. They did their best to try and remove the nose ring, but short of ripping through my septum, they failed.

“You’ve developed quite a reputation, Ms. Hoskins.” The warden sighed, flatly. “You’re here on narcotics charges, if I’m not mistaken?”

“Yes, Ma’am, eighteen months for possession of cocaine,” I admitted.

“And you’ve served, what, three of those months?” She mewled, discontented.

“This is a prison, Ms. Hoskins, not a brothel.” She stood and walked to a small counter and poured herself a glass of water. “I don’t care if you prostituted yourself out in the real world to pay for your habit, but in here, it just can’t be tolerated.”

The idea that she thought I was a prostitute was both demeaning and arousing. Had I fallen so far that people thought that of me? “No, Ma’am.”

She smiled, taking the seat back behind her desk. “I’m not naïve, Ms. Hoskins. I am well aware that when women are sequestered together that… well, things happen. But this rampant sexualization of an individual, namely yourself, just can’t be tolerated. I’m afraid I have no choice but to move you. You can finish up the duration of your sentence downstate.”

“But..”

“There will be no discussion, young lady. You’ll be on the first transport to Bedford Hills.” She signed something on her desk and rang for the guard. “Solitary until she’s moved.” She chortled, with which the guard led me away.

Solitary was just that. Fortunately, I was only in there for a few days, before being moved. Everything I did happened in that little room, from eating, washing, and sleeping. Having gotten used to the constant attention of the women in my block, I found that I was missing not only the physical closeness but the sexual part as well.

Before I was moved, a guy showed up with a set of bolt cutters and snipped the nose ring off. I was both glad and sorry to see it go. It was my last reminder of Albion and the women I had befriended there.

Bedford Hills was nothing like Albion. The women were tougher, and the place just had a more sinister feel about it. The thing is, I was pretty much left alone. Oh, people talked to me, and there were some sexual liaisons, but nothing like what had happened before.

The other difference was that I was housed alone. Maybe this was something that the warden from Albion had insisted upon and as such, I showered alone as well. This ‘alone time’ lent me the impetus to start writing again, and having managed to secure some journals and pens from the outside, I began writing down my experiences.

Rosalie had since learned of my incarceration and began to send me things by mail. We didn’t really write, per se, but I appreciated her generosity when her care packages arrived. It got me through the final few months of my stay.

I never really made any friends at Bedford, and the sexual encounters were nothing more than convenient. Most were with women who were obviously ‘gay for the stay’ and apart from a quick orgasm, were nothing to even mention.

I had allowed my hair to grow out, surprisingly, and even though the opportunity to have it barbered down was easily available, I simply chose not to.

I only ended up serving fourteen months of my sentence. When a lawyer showed up, announcing that I would have a release hearing in a week, I was certain Rose had something to do with it. And so, on March twenty-sixth, 1994, I was a free woman; no parole, just free. To be honest, I didn’t even know where to start.

I had a whopping two hundred eighty-seven dollars and some change in my pocket, the clothes that I vaguely remembered being stripped out of so long ago, and my ID. That was all. Apparently, they had followed me from Albion.

Of course, the only place I knew anyone was New York City, and being fairly close, I managed to find my way there. The first few people I found wanted nothing to do with me. Most were old customers of Rosalie’s and all but one were out of the scene.

I was beginning to lose hope when I ran into someone from school while assessing my poor fortune on a bench near Strawberry Fields.

“Claire? Claire Hoskins, is that you?” She asked, her face vaguely familiar but not bringing a name to mind. “I would hardly have recognized you without all those blonde curls of yours.” I imagine if we’d crossed paths a few months before, she would have walked right past. “I’m sorry…”

“Mary… Mary Wright.” She allowed, only slightly disappointed. “So, what are you doing these days?” She asked, supposing that I had excelled in my exploits as a writer.

“Well, not too much these days.” I stopped short of telling her I was fresh out of prison but did manage to impart that I was essentially homeless.

Hearing my abbreviated story seemed to spark some sort of empathy within her, as it was, and she invited me to stay with her until I could get on my feet. As the afternoon wore on, I began to remember snippets of her from my days at NYU. We had never been close, but I suppose I should have been grateful that she remembered me at all.

Mary was an attorney, and at the time worked in the district attorney’s office. She made enough to afford a nice apartment, and I was pleased by how accommodating she was once we were there. “You make yourself right at home, Claire. There’s a small bedroom in the loft. I know it’s not much but it’s a place to flop for now, right?”

“Mary.” I managed “You have no idea how grateful I…”

“Nonsense. I’m more than happy to help out an old friend.” She busied herself with something in the kitchen while I explored my new digs. She was right, it was very small, but considering my options, it may as well have been Gracie Mansion.

The next day, I went out and bought a few nicer outfits on the cheap and began my search for employment in earnest. To utter shock and horror, I found out that having a prison record greatly impeded any chance I had of securing employment.

Mary was more than patient with me, and finally, I ended up leveling with her about what the problem really was. I watched as her face grew long and sad, and at one point I thought she might actually cry. “You know, I have some connections at the Times. Let me see what I can do.” She suggested, brushing off my less-than-admirable past as though it hadn’t mattered a lick.

True to her word, Mary managed to get me an interview at The New York Times. To say I was nervous walking into such a venerable (at the time) institution was an understatement. The interview was for an entry-level position as an editorial assistant, but it was a big step up from the reporter position I had worked before, and been so lackluster with.

Mary must have had more than a little pull, because I got the job, even though the interview was shit, in my opinion. The thing was, unlike the last job, I was actually good at this. Even though the salary was nothing to write home about, it was enough to get me out of Mary’s hair. Had it not been for her confidence in my abilities, and her trust, lord knows where I might be today. I will be forever grateful to her, and we have remained close to this day.

 

Changing Times

 

Slowly, over the next year, I worked my way up the ladder at the Times, eventually securing a position as a news editor. Things were going along swimmingly until I caught wind of a rumor that one of the editors had a rather seedy past.

I just knew that they were referring to me. It had been a well-kept secret when I was hired, but I figured that my days in prison were eventually going to bite me in the ass. Of course, that was especially painful when I realized where the rumor had come from.

She had seen my name on a copy of the times, and rather than keep the thing to herself, saw an opportunity to make a few bucks. It couldn’t have been all that much. I was, after all, only a mid-level editor.

So, when I came in and saw the unopened envelope on my desk, I was certain it was my pink slip. What it was, in actuality, was a written statement from Marta Gonzalez, attesting to my perverted and dishonorable behavior.

“She has no proof,” I complained. “It’s all hearsay, her word against mine.” The senior editor looked at me over his desk and smiled.

“I know that.” He mused. “I do know, however, that you did do time there, Ms. Hoskins. I was the one that hired you, I’m sure you remember.”

“Yes, sir.” I managed.

“No, what I want from you is to squash this thing. Make it go away, and there’ll be no more talk of it. Fair?” He proposed.

“Yes, I’ll do that,” I assured him, whereupon he handed over everything he had on Marta. She was out, and living in Brooklyn. How convenient.

I left his office that day on a mission but had no idea what that mission may entail. What I did know was that my job depended on it.

The building wasn’t anything more than a run-down tenement, and I knew that going in there was taking my life in my hands. What would she do when she saw me? I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be old home days.

When she opened the door, I was amazed by how much she had changed. Gone was the short-haired, roughhewn girl I had shared a cell with. Here was an attractive Hispanic woman, her hair of moderate length and well dressed.

“Well, look what the cat dragged in.” She mewled, opening the door a little wider. “Lookin’ good, Crew.”

“I’m pretty sure you know why I’m here, Marta,” I advised, still unsure what her reaction might be to seeing me.

“What I told that man, it was the truth, Chica. Every word.” She promised, inviting me inside. Hesitantly, I crossed the threshold and entered her efficiency.

“What man was that?” I asked, taking the offered seat on the rather threadbare sofa.

“The guy from the newspaper, Uh, I have his shit right here.” She produced the card from a lower-level reporter under my supervision. Johnny Downes, what a scum bag. “You know him?”

“He works for me.” I seethed.

“Not for long, huh?” She chuckled.

“Marta, the thing is, the story is floating around the newspaper, and I need to squash it,” I suggested. “Can I convince you to recant your story?”

“Why would I do that?” She frowned. “He paid me for it.”

“I’ll pay you whatever he paid if you take it back, Marta.” I pleaded.

“Crewcut’s lookin’ a little shaggy, guera.” She ruffed my shoulder-length blonde curls, grinning. “Tell you what. You give me a grand and I get to take you to the barber’s ‘round the corner.” She popped her tongue off the roof of her mouth like she always did when she made a deal for my pussy in prison. “Then I tell ‘em I made it all up.”

“You call up Johnny and tell him it was all lies, and you have yourself a deal.” I shook her hand, realizing that it was not nearly enough. She pulled me in, enveloping my lips with her own.

As we pulled apart, I realized just how much I had missed that closeness, even though it had been a forced situation. Marta smiled. “Deal, Crew.”

Two days later I saw a very pissed-off Johnny Downes storming out of the Editors office, file box in hand, obviously having been fired for not checking his sources.

A few minutes later I was in that same office, being congratulated for my tenacity and gumption. “I’m not sure what you had to do to get that girl to pull her story, but I hope it was worth it.” He chuckled.

“You’ll be finding out soon enough, I think, sir,” I admitted, running a hand through my hair, bouncing it for perhaps the last time. I was just about to leave when he got my attention.

“You wouldn’t know anything about this, would you?” He asked, tossing a faded polaroid onto his desk. In the image, I could just make out the faded outline of a well-shaved vulva, the words “Crewcut Slut” emblazoned across it, boldly.

“Woah! That’s some tattoo.” I responded, feigning shock.

“Yeah. Not sure, but it did correspond to some of what was in Johnny Downes’ story. It just showed up on my desk this morning.” He stood walking to the large ceiling-to-floor windows that made up one wall of his office. “Now, I obviously can’t force you to prove this isn’t you.” He admitted. “Is it you?”

I had been an excellent editor and a loyal employee and if that wasn’t enough to keep my job, then I didn’t belong there. The story dead, and all credibility squashed, I saw no reason to lie. “It is, sir.”

“Thank you for not lying, Claire. I would have fired you if you had, you know.” He told me, shortly.

“So, what now?” I asked nervously.

“I have an employee with a rather provocative tattoo. Something tells me you’re not alone.” He chuckled. “Get outta here, Hoskins, we’ve got a newspaper to print, you know.”

“Thank you, sir.” I back out of his office, trying not to imagine him seeing my tattoo every time his eyes wandered to my crotch.

I felt as though every nerve in my body was on fire as I knocked on Marta’s door. In my purse, the agreed-upon sum, and a bit more to cover the charges, wherever we were going.

“Crewcut!” She grinned, pulling me roughly through her door, and closing it quickly. “You dressed nice for the occasion, Chica.” I rummaged in my purse and pulled out the banded wad of bills, knowing she would be forced to pay Johhny back, even though he had been fired. “Business before pleasure.” She grinned. “I taught you well, slut.” My pussy almost melted at the inference.

She took the money and disappeared into an adjacent room, before returning with a jacket over her shoulders. “Let’s go. Mustn’t keep the barber waiting.” She chortled, pulling me by arm down the stairs and out onto Bushwick Avenue.

I was really hoping that the place would be quiet, but being a Saturday morning, I knew I was dreaming. To be honest, my hair hadn’t been this long since college, and I was almost attached to the soft blonde waves that caressed my cheeks and neck.

“I haven’t been in here since I got outta the joint,” Marta said, grabbing a number from a tear-off pad and dragging me to the only open chairs in the place. The barbers worked on man after man, reducing their hair to various lengths. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t wet with the prospect of having the same done to my crowning glory.

My number finally called, I made my way up to the barber’s chair, his disapproving stare almost enough to chase me away. Then I felt Marta’s hand guide me into his chair. “Crewcut, Mac,” Marta called out, as she stepped back.

A chorus of ‘No’s’ and ‘What’s’ echoed through the place as the guy struggled to get the skinny crepe paper around my neck. I held up my hair, obligingly, affirming that this was indeed what I wanted.

“You sure, little lady? How ‘bout I give you a nice bob or somethin’?” He asked, politely.

“Whatever the lady wants.” I returned, glancing at Marta, who was supervising from the opposite wall.

“What. You wanna do this? Okay.” The guy gave in, lifting a set of clippers from the counter and checking the blade. He started to change the blade.

“Like she’s goin’ in the Marines, Mac.” Marta insisted.

“Awe, come on.” He mouthed, not quite silently. I saw him switch the blade back and knew it was a short one, the teeth almost microscopic.

“Awe, Jesus.” He mused as he brought the humming machines to my forehead. A collective breath from every guy in the place was heard as he peeled back the locks from my face. I caught Marta’s eyes in the mirror as we watched the first cascade of blonde curls tumble over the cape to the floor.

What I desperately wanted was her skilled tongue lapping at my clit as my hair fell away. I had to be content with my imagination as I watched my familiar white scalp emerge from under those lying strands.

“You want I should shave the back and sides?” He asked, to Marta this time, ignoring whatever I might want.

“High and tight, Mac, you know the drill,” Marta demanded. I nearly melted as the straight razor worked, paring my scalp to the skin and high up the back and sides. All that remained of my hair was now an oval crown that was more felt than seen.

“You’re one crazy broad.” The barber laughed, as I paid him, making sure to tip him handsomely for my tonsuring.

We stood outside Marta’s building, knowing that the deal was done, and I was free to go. The thing was, I didn’t want to go. I just stood there, looking at her, and hoping she would speak when I was too weak to.

“What’s the matter with you, Crew? We’re good.” She posed, running her fingers over my scalp and grinning. “They’re gonna love this at the paper.”

“You gave them the picture, didn’t you?” I asked.

“Oh, uh, yeah. I kinda felt like it wrapped it up. You know?”

“Almost got me fired,” I admitted, a shiver running down my spine.

“You tell ‘em it wasn’t you?” She asked, frowning.

“Actually… I wasn’t going to lie about that one.”  Smiling, and remembering the Editor’s reaction.

“I can’t believe, after all this, you told ‘em anyway.” Marta laughed.

I held out the faded polaroid, slipping it into her open palm. “So, you want the picture, or the real deal?”

 

This chapter will wrap up this series, which delved into my life as it was then. It wasn’t easy to tell, but to be fair, I feel better for having explained my quirky, somewhat warped sense of kink. I hope this explains why I write the way I do. My life from this point only improved, and although my fling with Marta was short-lived, we still keep in touch. It wasn’t long after this that I met my current partner, and my life would change forever. Accepting me with all my faults and flaws, she is my inspiration, my reason for living, and my one true love. Ti amo, amore mio.

Claire

2 responses to “Darker Times, Chapter Three

  1. Oh Claire…I just finished reading all three parts. Thank you for sharing your story with us. For trusting us. I know it couldn’t have been easy. Much respect to you.

  2. Thank you, AB. So glad you enjoyed the series. I set out on this rather revealing history without too much consideration for how people might perceive me afterward. It’s an eyeopener for some, to learn of my rather sordid past, but I hope that they can take it and see me in a new light.
    Claire

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