Sometime in the near future, the inequality between the uber-rich and the proletariat becomes too much for society to bear. Hence, in order to satisfy the masses without giving up their wealth, they are forced, in what some may call barbaric fashion, to sacrifice their first-born daughters for a period of one year. This practice, reviled by some, and admired by most, came to be known as The Stripping.
Chelsea Manning, Designate
Every year before this one, Chelsea’s birthdays had been a reason for celebration. At seventeen, and only a day away from her eighteenth birthday, she knew all too well that there would be no parties to honor her coming of age.
“It’s only a year, Chelsea.” Her brother had said, trying his best to console her. Charles was a full year older than her, but being male, was ineligible for the stripping.
“It’s only a year? You know as well as I do, what they do to us.” Chelsea grumbled. “You’ve seen ‘strips’ being led down the street on a leash.” It was the derogatory name given to young women that had undergone the stripping.
Chelsea knew that her placement would be local. That was to ensure the most degrading and humiliating experience possible. It would have been one thing to be shipped off to some city hundreds of miles away. That would have been almost bearable.
Chelsea’s closest friend had turned eighteen six weeks before, and even though she did her best to avert her vision, she couldn’t help but look. Amanda stood on a street corner, the obligatory carbon fiber collar about her neck. A young black man held her leash, seeming to enjoy her embarrassment.
The collar Amanda wore was the least of her troubles. As most strips were, she had been divested of her hair, which had once been her pride and joy. Chelsea tried not to imagine what that must have been like for her, all those red curls falling to the floor of the intake center.
Then, as a final insult to her sensibilities, Amanda was naked. It was the law. The worst part was the utter humiliation Amanda must have felt as their eyes met, Chelsea driving her previous year’s birthday present, still clothed in the latest fashion while her friend stood so completely exposed, a few feet from her car.
Many recipients of strips, took pity on them, allowing them to grow their hair back after their placement. Amanda had not been so lucky. Her head had been as smooth and hairless as it must have been the day she was stripped. Chelsea prayed that her owner would be lenient with her.
She looked in the mirror, admiring her waist-length hair, the silvery blonde locks having been catered to and pampered her entire life. Chelsea tried not to think about the inevitable treatment she would undergo in less than twenty-four hours.
Intake and Placement
What little sleep Chelsea had managed was sporadic, interrupted by her dreams; nightmares if you will. Her shoulder was jostled by her mother, who looked down on her in her bed. The sad, almost panicked look on her face, all too telling.
“It’s time, Cici.” Her mother sighed. The name had been one she had had to put up with since childhood, but now the endearment only brought tears to her eyes.
“I was hoping this day would never come.” Chelsea sobbed, rising to sit on the edge of her bed. She looked out the window, the sun streaming through as if oblivious to her plight.
“I set the box on your vanity. I hate this as much as you do, but we need to be there at eight.” Her mother urged, walking out of her daughter’s room to hide her obvious grief.
Chelsea slowly removed her nightgown and stared at herself in the full-length mirror at the one end of her spacious bedroom. Naked, she tried to imagine herself like this, for an entire year. Strips were never the same after that. Her tender milky flesh would soon be thickened and tanned, from constant exposure to the elements. Her face, denied any emollients or protection, would age a full five years over her twelve months as a strip.
In a way, she was grateful she lived in a warm climate. At least she wouldn’t freeze as the northern strips did. The downside was the sun. Her breasts, unprotected from the harmful rays, would burn at first. After that, they’d toughen up, but they would never again look as they did now. Chelsea tried not to think about her hair. She knew it was doomed, but she couldn’t help running a brush through one final time.
Some girls had their hair cut off ahead of time, in order to lessen the shock of the whole thing. She had thought about it, even being prompted by her mother to at least cut it into a pixie. Chelsea was going to hang onto her luscious mane until the very end.
She opened the box, knowing full well what lay inside. The one-piece garment was nothing more than a paper jumpsuit, in an almost fluorescent yellow. It was so thin that it felt as though she was already naked. “God, I look like a giant highlighter.” She pulled her hair out from under the suit, allowing it to cascade down her back.
Barefoot, she trod down the stairs of her parent’s hilltop mansion. Even though northern strips were allowed a simple sandal, she would put up with being barefoot in exchange for the cold.
“You are going to lend me your Porsche while you’re gone, right Cici?” Her younger sister suggested. She had just turned sixteen, looking as worry-free as any second-born daughter should. The thought of her sister driving her most prized possession irked her, but she dutifully nodded her head. “See you in a year, or maybe sooner.” She grinned, knowing how humiliating that thought was to her older sister.
The intake center looked quiet. After all, how many affluent young women shared their eighteenth birthday with her in their relatively small city. She looked over at her mother, who was unable to turn.
“You know I cannot come in. They won’t allow it.” Her mother sighed, through her thin lips.
“Goodbye, mother.” Chelsea leaned across the console and kissed her on the cheek, before quickly extricating herself from the passenger seat. The pavement of the parking lot was already hot against her feet, as she made her way to the glass entryway.
The sign over the door caught her attention for a moment, ADFD Program Intake. Chelsea remembered learning what those letters meant in school. Most kids simply forgot the meaning as soon as they learned it, more useless information that they would never use. Chelsea knew who she was, so the Asset Determined Firstborn Daughter Program became annealed into her mind like a brand.
A long hallway culminated in what looked like a lopsided sports arena. Opposite her, in a myriad of seats, sat hundreds of potential recipients. Most were black, but there was a scattering of races amongst them. Just as there was an income threshold for the designate, so there was for the recipient.
Chelsea stepped forward nervously. She was not entirely alone. Seven other girls were unfortunate enough to share her birthday and qualify for designation. She looked amongst them for anyone she knew but failed to recognize a face.
“Step forward,” A rather harsh-looking woman ordered, looking directly at Chelsea. She reached up and tore the identification tag from the suit, a section large enough to expose Chelsea’s left breast fell open as a result. She attempted to hold the paper scrap up but was quickly reprimanded. “Hand at your side, strip.”
The paper once again fell away, to the delight of a few onlookers who voiced their approval. “Sorry.” Chelsea offered.
The woman simply shook her head, pointing to one of several wooden crates placed at the edge of a small stage. “Stand by your crate and wait for your processor.”
As Chelsea stepped closer to the crowd, accompanied by her birthday twins, the muttering and jeering began in earnest. All manner of lewd comments were shouted from the crowd as they waited to see if they would be so lucky as to own one of them for a year.
Then, as if on a clock, seven men stepped onto the stage from the sides, one positioning himself directly behind Chelsea. Each carried what she feared more than anything else. On each of their belts, was a holder, and in that holder was a set of cordless hair clippers.
“Ladies and Gentlemen. I present the designees for Friday, August twelfth, 2026. From your left they are, Adeline Marks, Brooke Flint, Chelsea Manning…” but the other’s names fell on her deaf ears, having heard her own name. Suddenly, the reality of what was about to occur shocked her starkly upright.
Chelsea felt a slight tug on the collar of her yellow jumpsuit, the fingers of her processor gripping the paper tightly. As if on cue, the crowd started to count down, as though they had done it a hundred times, and perhaps some of them had. “Five…four…three…two…one!”
Chelsea felt a slight tension at her shoulders and neck as the flimsy paper suit, tore away from her body, leaving her utterly naked. The crowd went wild as their bodies were exposed, eight wealthy girls, stripped completely naked before them. Chelsea’s first instinct was to cover her privates, but fought that urge, keeping her hands glued to her sides. Two hands on her shoulders pressed Chelsea onto the crate, the rough wood digging into her sensitive bottom.
“Now, let’s get these ‘strips’ ready for that lucky ticket-winner.” The emcee announced. “Remember folks, all the hair shaved off today, will be given away in the consolation lottery. With locks as pampered as these, they ought to be worth some serious change.”
Chelsea felt her hair being gathered into a single ponytail, cinched painfully by a device passed down the line of processors. There was a quick ‘zzzzip..tink’ as the machine served its purpose. She could feel the skin on her forehead and cheeks pulled tightly by her hair.
The pain only increased as a cord pulled upward on the tethered bundle, forcing her neck to bend down to relieve the tension. Then the clippers were turned on, almost in unison, the chorus of buzzing on either side of her making her lightheaded. This was it.
Chelsea felt the vibration against the top of her forehead, held there almost tauntingly as the crowd counted down once again. She hardly heard them this time, the whirring of the blades poised so menacingly at her hairline a total distraction.
Then it was happening. Chelsea felt the blades slide back over her head effortlessly. The efficiency of the processor was almost frightening, as row after row of her treasured blonde locks were shaved from her scalp. To her surprise, it didn’t feel all that awful. In fact, the vibration of the clippers against her head was almost arousing.
So, she guessed it should not have been a surprise that she very nearly came as the blonde ponytail shot upward into the air, suspended precipitously by the cord. She was bald; naked and bald in front of hundreds of cheering onlookers, and her sex was slicker than a ripe banana peel.
Chelsea looked to her left and her right, observing the others, weeping over their situation, their hands running ashamedly over their shiny domes. Was she really the only one not crying?
It was incredibly humiliating when she was forced to stand and spread her legs for the same thing to be performed on her pubic hair, but even the processor smiled when he realized how sopping wet she was. He couldn’t help but run his fingers through Chelsea’s drooling pussy lips, as he worked his clippers over the soft downy curls.
When the moment of truth came for her, she had witnessed three of the others be handed off to their new owners, balling over their fate. Then it was Chelsea’s turn to be shocked, for the winner of her lottery, was a woman.
… To be continued.