Timid, Chapter Two

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Timid

 

Chapter Two

 

By Shorngirl

 

Shock and Awe

 

“Oh, my God!” I screamed under my breath, my shock almost matching my unbridled arousal. As I stood in the full-length mirror, naked and feeling more vulnerable than I ever had in my entire life, I allowed my fingers to explore the hairlessness that was my face and head.

The overhead light reflected perfectly in the chrome surface of my scalp, my missing eyebrows more shockingly apparent in their absence. “I’m such a freak.” I sighed, looking away, finally.

“Freaky? Absolutely. You are all of that, sweet Penelope.” Samantha said, seductively as her fingers joined my own, pulling my hands to my side and kissing me passionately. Save for the lashes and the pubes, we were a matching set.

“Know any good wig shops?” I asked, half joking. I knew all too well that I would need to appear professional when I was forced to be in the office or take a Zoom call.

“Come with me.” Samantha eased, pulling me by my flaccid fingers, the adrenalin in my system having run its course. Once again in the hallway, we entered what looked a lot like a retail store. This woman never failed to impress.

All along one wall were wigs of every color and length. “Take your pick, Penelope.” She gestured, allowing me to peruse the three dozen or so wigs. I thought it might be nice to do something different, but having had my head shaved slick certainly qualified as that. I opted for an exact match to what once graced my naked skull.

The wig was not nearly as long as my real hair had been, but it was close. I slipped the elegant-looking hairpiece from its pedestal and examined it. “Are these…”

“They are all real human hair, Penelope. I wouldn’t dream of stocking anything but the best.” Samantha said, petulantly.

“I’m not sure I can afford…”

“This one is on the house, Penelope.” Samantha offered, easing the wig into place on my scalp, cinching it at the back so it held firmly in place.

I looked at myself in the mirror, admiring how lovely the wig looked. “How much would it have cost?” I asked. “Just curious.”

“You have excellent taste, my dear,” Samantha smirked. “That one is thirty-nine ninety-five.”

“Oh, well, that’s not too bad. I could…”

“That’s three thousand nine hundred and ninety-five dollars, Penelope.” Samantha pointed out.

“Oh, my God; and you’re giving it to me?” I asked, taken aback.

“I’m pretty sure you’re going to be making up to me.” Samantha insisted, slipping the wig from my head, the cold air suddenly rushing over its naked surface. I shivered, and that same arousal was back.

“That feels… so… weird.” I spluttered, my fingers finding my sex inadvertently.

“You’ll get used to it. I think you will love being a bald woman, almost as much as I do.” She ran a hand elegantly over her naked pate, the hairless surface tantalizingly hot.

“Do you have to shave?” I asked, presuming to know the answer.

“Heavens no. I had all this permanently removed years ago, Penelope.” Smiling, she brought my hand up to feel the naturally smooth surface. “Do you want me to do this for you?” She raised her hairless brows, the wrinkles on her forehead the only evidence of the expression.

I fought with the answer that hovered on my lips for a good ten seconds before my good sense lost out to passion. “I think I would.” My words barely audible for the breathless state I was in.

“Well, then, I will certainly keep that in mind. Perhaps I’ll just spring it on you when you’re least expecting it. Of course, being blonde, lasers will be ineffective. It’s going to have to be our friend the electrolysis needle.”

I imagined that insidious needle relieving me of my hair, one follicle at a time. “Won’t that take a long time to do?”

“Yes, it will. Of course, you would have to make some sacrifices.” Samantha warned.

“Um…What sacrifices?” I asked, timidly.

“Well, for one thing, you will have to move in with me. You are going to be down in the studio for much of your free time, for months and months my dear.” Samantha was serious. I think the look on my face said it all. I was shocked by her proposal; if that was indeed what it was. “You will be my slave, of course, but I think you already knew that.” He said, confidently.

“Y…Your…S…slave?” I stammered. I had started masturbating, my mind unaware of what my fingers were doing.

“Of course, Penelope. Look at yourself. I think you know you’re already most of the way there.” I looked at myself in the mirror, suddenly realizing how preposterous I appeared, my hand buried in my crotch. The motion of my hand brazenly obtuse, as my fingers fumbled through the only hair remaining on my body. The sight only spurred me to hasten my efforts, peaking slightly before Samantha pulled my fingers from my thatch. “Ah, ah, ahh, my pretty. Not without my permission.” I unconsciously brought my fingers to my nose, smelling myself, as I had always done at home.

“Sorry,” I muttered.

“Careful, my little one, or you may find yourself wearing a chastity belt. You wouldn’t want that, now would you?” She asked, again with a questioning look on her face.

“I’ll try to control myself.” I mewled.

“I’m going to have to take you back now, Penelope.” Samantha watched me carefully. “Does that make you sad?”

“Yes. It does, Samantha.” I muttered, knowing it to be true.

“Miss,” Samantha instructed, insistently. “It will be ‘Miss’, from now on, slave.”

 

A New Reality

 

I sat in the parking lot of my apartment building, thankful that it was still night, and that the streetlight above me had been out for close to a year. I remembered her words as she dropped me back at the tavern. She handed me the ornate wig box. “Only for work.” She had demanded, before relinquishing it to me.

“Yes, Miss.” I had promised. What kind of slave would I be if I allowed my weakness to betray her so soon after taking such a vow? I opened the door, cursing the dome light that lit the ground around my car. I quickly got out and closed the door, locking it with the FOB as I ran for the relative safety of my building.

My building was a standard setup. Six apartments, three floors. Sooner or later, someone was going to see me bald. I just hoped it would be later. Looking down at my watch, I was relieved that it was three in the morning. The chances of anyone being up were next to none.

I worked the key in the lock, and something made me turn to look at the door across the hall. I was paranoid, but I swore I saw a shadow move from the peephole and quiet footsteps moving away.

As soon as I had locked the door, my clothes were on the floor. My heart raced and my breath quickened with my anticipated orgasm. Surely Samantha hadn’t meant I couldn’t come when I was at home? Did she? As I quickly worked myself into a frenzy, I flopped down on the floor at the center of the living room, bucking against my hand. Just before I came., my cell phone rang. “Damn!”

Crawling over the braided rug, I dug my phone out of my purse, wondering who would call at so ungodly an hour. “Hello?”

“Just to be clear, slave, the rules are the rules. That means all of the time.” Samantha said, shortly. “You think I didn’t know you’d be masturbating?”

“Sorry, Miss,” I muttered, ashamed.

“Perhaps you will be in need of a chastity belt. Don’t make me into your keyholder as well as your Domme.” She demanded through the phone. “You may edge as much as you like, slave, but no orgasms. Is that clear?”

“Yes, Miss.” And with that, the line went dead.

For a few minutes, I just lay there, my heart still pounding from my previous efforts. All in vain. I tried to imagine myself wearing some steel contraption, sealing my sex away. To my amusement, the idea actually aroused me. I sighed, pulling myself from the floor, and flopping down at the computer.

Before I knew it, I was searching chastity belts and was amazed at the variety of styles available. Everything from the sleekest carbon fiber to the bulkiest carbon steel. I imagined anything Samantha would choose would be expensive and inescapable.

My dreams that night were wild, as you can imagine they would be. Every so often I would be startled awake by the strange sensation of my head against the satin coolness of my pillow. This was going to take some getting used to.

The next day was long, and I missed my morning orgasm; something I had been enjoying for most of my adult life. Edging was going to take some getting used to and left me feeling drained and frustrated. It was maddening to have this new ‘erogenous zone’ so exposed and still be unable to climax to my fingers rubbing it.

It was Saturday, a day when I would have come at least five times by noon. I suddenly realized what a wanton slut I really was. Despite my singular ways, I was most definitely a slave to my arousal.

I chuckled under my breath. Now I was a slave to someone else, someone who had already reached into my life and turned it upside-down entirely. Of course, that was when my phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Add me to your contacts, slave, so you may address me properly when I call.” And with that, she hung up. I quickly complied, simply adding her as “Miss”. A few seconds later it rang again.

“Hello, Miss.” I corrected.

“Slave. How are you managing with your new restrictions?” She asked.

“It’s been difficult, Miss,” I answered, truthfully.

“I’m sure it has. Well, Penelope, you are going to meet me at the tavern again. You will be there at four o’clock.” I could almost hear her snickering in the background.

“May I wear the wig, Miss?” I asked hopefully, squirming in my seat over the idea that I would have to show up as I was.

“Oh, do you work there? Have you picked up a second job?” She asked, knowingly.

“No, Miss. I was just hoping that…”

“The wig is for work, slave. You’re a bald girl now, Penelope. You best get used to the idea.” Samantha scolded, huffing into the phone. “No wig.”

“Yes, Miss.” I sighed, knowing how humiliated I would be. I looked over at the magnificent wig, perched on my bureau, knowing that that was where it would stay most of the time.

“Good. Four o’clock then.” She snipped, and quickly clicked off.

I must have stood inside my apartment door for a good ten minutes, dreading what I knew I had to do. A few feet away was all that remained of any dignity and comfort I still possessed, perched on its stand upon my dresser.

Determined, I pulled open the door and slammed it shut behind me, running down the stairs and out into the parking lot. For a moment I thought luck may just be on my side, but a moment before I reached the relative safety of my car, my neighbor pulled into the space across from me. I quickly unlocked the door and attempted to get in before he managed to get out of his car. I was only a few seconds slow.

“Hello there, Ms. Warnock. What on earth happened to you?” He asked, a grin slipping over his face as he drew up close to the side of my car. Not wanting to be outwardly rude, I rolled down the window.

“Howard, hi.” I managed. “I just felt it was time for a change.” Smiling uncomfortably as he gawked at my shiny new head. I started to roll up my window when he continued.

“My wife said something this morning, but I didn’t believe her, you know. Said she saw some baldheaded woman through the peephole going into your apartment in the wee hours. I never would have suspected it was you.” He chuckled. “You certainly do look… different.” Howard, stifling a giggle, turned and walked away.

Relieved that the humiliating encounter was finished, I quickly started my car, knowing full well that my condition would be common knowledge amongst the other residents of the complex before I returned. I knew it was inevitable, but hadn’t counted on it being so soon.

On the way to the tavern, I was distinctly conscious of the stares I was getting from other drivers. I did my best to ignore them, but found it increasingly difficult, especially since I was growing more and more aroused by the humiliation.

Remembering the curious stares I received as I walked into that tavern the night before, I wondered just how my new look would go over, and if any of them might recognize me as the waist-length blonde that had sauntered into their lair.

I checked the mirror, satisfied that my eyebrows hadn’t been smudged, and my makeup was equally untainted. Samantha hadn’t said anything about those, and I had at least taken advantage of that fact.

Pushing the door open, I was immediately met with many of the same faces that had greeted me the night before. Their interested stares were no longer ones of passing disinterest, but of curiosity and condescension. I looked for Samantha but didn’t see her. Walking to the opposite end of the bar, where we had been, I realized that I was ten minutes early.

“Didn’t you have hair last night?” The barmaid asked, remembering what I had been drinking and setting it down in front of me.

“Um… yeah, I did.” I managed. “Time for a change.”

“I like it.” She grinned. “I like it a lot.”

“Hands off, Delilah.” A familiar voice called out from behind me. Relieved, I turned to see Samantha, coiffed in the same luxurious wig she had worn the night before. Every time I saw her, I swore she was more attractive to me. “She’s mine.”

“Just lookin’, Sam.” She said, pouring the same for her, and disappearing to the opposite end of the bar.

“Very nice, Penelope. I was wondering if you might not have the nerve to do this.” She smiled. “I’m impressed.”

“Thank you, Miss.” I returned, conscious of the guy next to us, hearing how I addressed her.

“Tonight, you’ll follow me back to my place.” Seeing the look of bewilderment on my face, she finished. “I promise to keep it under the speed limit.”

“Thank you, Miss. I doubt my Prius could keep up.”

She chuckled, sipping from her cocktail. “You did well with your brows, and I don’t remember telling you not to.” She smiled. “In the future, when you’re with me, no brows, and no makeup.” She indicated the ladies’ room at the rear corner of the tavern. “Go wash it all off now. Be a good girl for me, Penelope.”

Only slightly daunted, I stood and walked back to the restroom, pleased to find it a single-stall affair, with a locking door. Pulling a generous quantity of paper towels from the dispenser I scrubbed my face with the harsh hand soap afforded me. In very short order, my face was blank and my brows naked. The alien creature staring back at me was a far cry from the well-manicured girl who had walked in, despite her lack of hair.

Taking a deep breath, I unlocked the door and walked out, hoping that the dim lighting in the tavern would be enough to make the changes less apparent than the harsh light of the washroom. Samantha smiled, running her hand over my hairless brows. “Much better.”

I quickly took a gulp of my drink, only succeeding in coughing afterward, the burn in my throat distracting me from the stares. “Thank you, Miss.”

 

Burning Things

 

We finished our drinks and filed out of the tavern, and I swore I could feel the eyes on the back of my bald head all the way out. The thing was, I was incredibly hot over the embarrassing situation, and that worried me, a lot. Following Samantha back to her country estate, this time driving her rather lofty H3, I grew more and more at ease. I realized that I longed to be alone with her.

Following her into that same side entrance, we bypassed the house and headed straight into her studios below via a separate stairway. I realized she had led us back to her depilation room once again. “You can set your purse on the counter, but the rest goes in there.” She pointed to a hinged hatch in the wall.

I quickly disrobed, folding everything as I had the night before, and setting my shoes on top. Naked, I walked to the hatch and swung it open. Inside, a chute seemed to disappear into blackness. I hesitated. “Miss, I…”

“Go on, drop them in.” She insisted.

With no other options, I let them go, watching everything disappear almost instantly. Turning back to her, I had a question on my lips, but she silenced me with a quick pat on my lips. “Incinerator.” She winked.

The knowledge that my clothes were, at that very moment, being burnt to cinders, sent a shiver through me. What was this woman doing? How on earth was I going to get home? “Miss, what will I…”

“Hush now, and climb up on the table.” She insisted, shortly, pulling off her wig in a single motion. Seeing her that way again, at least took the sting out of what had just happened

I did as she commanded, but was still feeling incredibly vulnerable. I lay there as she worked with another of the machines, confidently turning knobs and adjusting sliders. “I’m so glad that your pubic hair is considerably darker than your head hair was.” She mused. “I’m anxious to try out this new Amethyst laser.”

The thought of someone working so incredibly close to such a sensitive area immediately had me on edge. I was about to say something, anything, to try and convince her to simply shave me, or wax me, God forbid. I remembered at that moment, having gotten a Brazilian years before and the pain it had caused.

“Now, we will need to shave it first, so bear with me while I trim you up.” She held a small set of trimmers in her hand and set in to remove the only hair remaining on my body. Long strips of dirty blonde curls built up on the business end of the machine, only to fall away. In a minute, my pussy was bare.

She wasn’t finished, however. Using a safety razor, she began to take my pubis down to nothing, taking extra care around my delicate folds and anus. “Now, of course, this isn’t nearly as effective as electrolysis, but it will reduce the hair to a downy white fuzz which I can live with.”

And so, as she started spreading gel over half of my mons, I resigned myself to trust her. I had no thoughts of her hurting me deliberately, but the idea of burns down there was a frightening prospect.

The zaps were akin to someone snapping me with a rubber band at close range, and I couldn’t help but yelp a few times as the area she worked on came close to my clitoris. I could smell the faint tinge of burning hair and knew it was my own. It was at that moment I realized that I was utterly hairless.

Of course, there was one place she had never mentioned, and I was glad of it. To be honest, I was naïve to think that she wouldn’t eventually get around to them, but for now, I put it out of my mind.

“That’s all for now.” Samantha related, shutting down the machine, and wiping everything down. “Of course, we will need to repeat this process many, many, times.”

Without my clothes, I was led back upstairs, feeling more naked than I ever had in my entire life. The purse draped over my bare shoulder only served as a reminder of my condition. That was when I realized that we weren’t alone.

A woman dressed conservatively and sporting a neatly styled pixie, passed us in the hall, giving me an inquisitive look. She continued to a different part of the house, while we headed up a grand flight of stairs that wrapped sumptuously around the foyer.

“Who was that, Miss?” I asked, still looking over my shoulder to see where she had gone.

“My business manager.” She explained, holding out her hand for the only possession I still held. Begrudgingly, I handed my purse to her, which she promptly dropped over the banister, landing with a muffled thud on the floor below. I knew better than to try and stop her, but I had to fight the instinct to reach out and prevent it from falling. “Valerie is her name. She’ll deal with that.”

True to her word, no sooner had the bag hit the foyer floor, than the well-dressed woman appeared, snatching my purse and disappearing again. My heart was racing at how rapidly things were progressing. I felt stripped.

As we entered a large, ornate bedroom, I realized that this must be hers. There was a king-sized bed, with a flounced canopy and furniture that looked as if it might have been straight out of the palace at Versailles.

Despite everything that had happened, I couldn’t deny being hungry. My stomach growled angrily as Samantha settled into a vanity to check her perfectly applied makeup. “We’ll be eating in tonight, slave.” She said, off-handedly, while I stood awkwardly to her right.

Struggling with my situation, I had to say something. “Miss, may I ask a question?” I spoke reticently, still not entirely familiar with her tolerance.

“Yes, of course.”

“Miss, you have incinerated my clothes and taken my purse. How will I be getting home?” The question seemed a reasonable one, at least to me.

“That’s easy, slave. You won’t be.” She turned, looking me up and down, and then turning back to the mirror.

“But, Miss, I have to work tomorrow,” I begged, and it sounded like it, too.

“And so you shall, Penelope.” She chortled. “Why don’t you stop worrying your hairless little head about things that are out of your control.”

It was the first time I had truly felt frightened. What on earth was going on? I surprised myself with what might have been the last modicum of resolve I had remaining. “I want to leave, now!”

“Nonsense!” She spat, turning and silencing me with a quick tap of her backhand across my mouth. It wasn’t enough to hurt, not physically anyway. Still, I felt completely taken down, and tears began to course down my cheeks.

“Oh, my dear Penelope.” She sighed, holding out her arms to take me in. I fell to my knees, allowing her to wrap them about my shoulders. “That pesky cunt of yours has gotten you into it this time, hasn’t it?”

The fact that she understood my dilemma, that she knew how much my constant state of arousal drove my being, was almost a relief. The fact that she knew this, was also terrifying. Every last drop of resistance seemed to fade at that moment.

“Sorry, Miss. It has.” I sobbed.

 

Geography

 

After I had my cry out, we settled in downstairs for a delicious meal. I soon learned that Valerie wasn’t the only person in the house. There was a cook and several personal attendants that also catered to Samantha’s needs. Obtusely, I was the only one not wearing clothes.

I did my best not to let the idea fester in my mind, as I sat there utterly hairless and naked amongst a room scattered with staff. Of course, Samantha and Valerie were dressed impeccably for the meal, while I sat conspicuously on a towel so as not to soil the upholstery. That fact alone drove the need for the protection, to my embarrassment.

“So, Penelope. Do you enjoy being naked?” Valerie asked, her accent decidedly British.

“I’m getting used to it, I think,” I said, garnering a smirk from Samantha, who knew all too well how humiliating this was for me, and how much that titillated my overwrought sex drive.

“You would best do, young lady.” Valerie didn’t elaborate, but she didn’t have to.

I awoke the next morning to find myself alone. The bed was empty next to me, although I had to admit to feeling utterly satiated from the previous night of wanton debauchery. I had been a complete slut, cow-towing to Samantha’s every demand. Even though it made me feel dirty and ashamed just then, in the moment it was thrilling and lit my senses on fire.

Going in search of her, I thought I heard Samantha’s voice from down the long passage. Skirting the banister which looked down over the foyer, I spotted her speaking with Valerie at the entrance to another room.

“Ah, the dead have awakened.” Samantha chuckled, and I wasn’t certain if I was supposed to be privy to the statement.

“Do come see your new arrangements.” Valerie beckoned.

New arrangements? I had no idea what she was talking about until I met them and saw what was stacked inside the spacious room. Every single thing I owned was haphazardly placed about the large Edwardian room, from my desk and computers to boxes of personal things and mementos. “What on earth?” I gasped.

“I’ve taken the liberty of moving you in, Penelope.” Samantha dictated, sweeping her arm across my belongings. She regarded the bewildered look on my face as if she was too familiar with my emotions in that moment. Then, she was far away, ignoring me as if her mind was elsewhere.

 

“You don’t know how lucky you are, an urchin such as yourself.” Gretchen seethed, looking down at the girl she had just rescued from the street. She would have died, to be sure, she thought. “Now, let’s get you cleaned up.”

         Sam remembered all too well, the exotic aroma of the old house, and the furniture which seemed to be from another time altogether. She shivered as the older woman stripped her, discarding her clothing as she went.

         She remembered being cold and embarrassed, as the bath was run in front of her. The woman’s eyes were a cold icy blue, looking out from beneath salt and pepper brows. Sam’s skin was white, but the soil which had accumulated over the weeks she had been on the run, tinged it almost grey in the bright overhead lamp.

         “You are disgusting.” The woman chided, guiding her into the almost too-hot water. Sam struggled with it, slowly lowering her body in, until the woman grew impatient and forced her down, eliciting a yelp.

         Sam struggled as the scrub brush grated against her sensitive skin, raising a pink hue from its freshly cleaned surface. She swore a layer of flesh had been removed, that was how vigorously the woman had worked the harsh tool over her.

         Her nipples tingled from the attention, but not pleasantly, standing out from her pruned areolae. That was when she saw the scissors. “Wait, please, not my hair.” Sam had cried.

         She remembered the day she ran from her father’s house; how long and pristine her raven locks had been. Now they hung lank and disgusting from her scalp, like so many matted ropes of yarn, soaked and lifeless. It wasn’t her fault, but this woman seemed bent on making her suffer.

         “It has to go, girl.” The woman insisted, driving the open blades into the strands, close to her head and closing them mercilessly. Tears rolled down her cheeks as the water around her slowly filled with her severed hair.

         Never had she worn her hair short, but as she felt the cruel blades ride close to her head, she knew that she would be left with a tattered crop that would be boyish and ugly. “Why must you cut it so short?” Sam asked through her sobs.

         “You must earn the privilege of having such long hair.” The woman instructed. “We will start from scratch, a scalp clear of the filth of the street and the vermin that infest it.”

         As Sam stood from the tub, three-foot-long threads of black clung to her snow-white skin like a perverted web. The ice-cold water the woman sprayed over her was a shock, but it rid her of those remnants.

         The mirror before her was an enemy now, where once it had been a fond admirer. Damp tufts of jet-black hair stood out haphazardly from her scalp. The lovely face that had attracted so many, as well as the unwanted attentions of her father, looked mournful and gaunt absent the blanket of ebony that had once caressed it. But, her ordeal was not at an end.

         Still naked and cold, the water drying from the air which coursed over her exposed body, Sam had to bear the agony of the woman paring all that remained with the dreadful hand-operated clippers. They pinched as the blades closed over one another, pulling at the microscopic stubble it left in its wake.

         Sam knew she would never forget that sound; the spring compressing and releasing, the unforgiving blades sliding over the other, click-shaw, click-shaw, click-shaw. The memory was so real she heard it right in the room in which they stood.

 

“Isn’t that right, Samantha?” Valerie asked, the vacant look in her benefactor’s eyes all too familiar. She knew where she was. All that she had said was never heard, so Valerie thought it wisest to leave well enough alone.

“When your work is done, we will unpack your belongings and sort through what you will be allowed to keep,” Samantha ordered, a little too robotically. I wondered just what had been going through her mind. Whatever it was, pained her, of that there was no doubt. I glanced over at my computer, awaiting my arrival, the set alarm about to summon me to the screen, just as it had done every day for the past three years.

It felt odd to chat with my fellow employees and service customers while naked and shaved utterly hairless. The webbed material of the chair felt familiar against my nude buttocks, but that was where the familiarity ended. I was trying to lose myself in my work, but each time I would glance around, the strange circumstances in which I found myself overtook me.

“We’re going to Zoom in three minutes to discuss the plans from the meeting Friday.” The team leader informed us when we would normally have logged off for the day. Frantically I looked around the room, but the wig was nowhere to be found.

I opened box after box, growing more desperate with each passing second. Looking back at the screen, I saw the countdown for the meeting in the lower right corner and knew I was out of time. What the hell was I going to do?

I looked out in the hallway, hopelessly wishing Samantha would be there. I heard the clicking of the timer and had to get back to the screen. This was it, everyone was going to see me naked and bald. At the last moment, I opened the top drawer of my desk, finding everything in its place, including a roll of duct tape. With only seconds to spare, I tore off a tab and secured it squarely over the camera.

“Okay, everyone. Let’s go over the numbers one more…” The voice paused. “Ms. Warnock, are you with us? I see a frame but no image.”

“I’m here. Sorry, there’s… something up with my… camera.” I spluttered nervously.

“Well, while you work that out, we can discuss the new computers we will be purchasing for our work-from-home associates.” Again, I flew into the boxes, knowing that the wig and at least a shirt had to be somewhere amongst them. I swore I must have searched through every box before Samantha suddenly appeared in the doorway.

Frantically I showed her the monitor, where an obvious video meeting was taking place, the screen above my name conspicuously blank. She smiled, knowingly, and disappeared once again.

“How are we doing, Penelope? You are making the previous point beautifully, here, but I would appreciate being able to see you.” My boss insisted.

“Almost there,” I explained, breathless.

“Then we’ll wait.”

A second later, Samantha walked in holding out a black t-shirt, the wig nowhere to be seen. I quickly threw on the t-shirt and grabbed demonstratively at my skin-tight skull. She shook her head, lips pursed, and it was suddenly obvious what she was asking of me. My heart sinking, as though it might just run out of my ass, I sat down at the computer and reached up, forcefully tearing the tape away from the camera.

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