I'm Engaged! ...To Death's Designated Thread Cutter
I open my eyes. Though I might as well have left them closed. There honestly isn't much difference. Or, well, any difference. Apart from the sensation of my eyelids opening and parting, the world of them parted and closed appears the same. Everything, black, dark.
As far as other sensations, there's my butt. I am definitely sitting even though I don't remember sitting. I could probably stand if I wanted to but decide not to try it just in case I'm meant to be hiding from some dangerous force or entity. Doubtful, but not in the way one might think. I doubt that standing and then sitting would create such a change in atmosphere so much that something that didn't notice me would somehow notice me. But it never bodes well to mess with the science and equilibrium of a situation. So I just stick to wiggling my butt on the presumed chair. It's cold and metallic on my skin.
Wait, my skin? Well, of course, that's where all the sense of feeling comes from. But here, skin should be written in ALL CAPS, as that seems to be all there is between me and the seat of the chair. And, while we're on the subject, my back is very cold as well. It is that same metallic-feeling cold. That must be the chair's back.
"Am I naked?" The sensation of vocalization can now be added into the mix, along with a sense of fear, and a sense of me feeling all around my body for a single piece of clothing. Nothing.
"Would you like something to cover yourself?"
"Ah!" I shriek, adding more to the sense of fear.
"Oh sorry sorry sorry. I'm sure it must be nerve wracking to be kept so literally in the dark without a scrap of clothing on your back and then to have a handsome husky voice entirely out of nowhere ask you a basic question. Sorry sorry. The answer is a yes, right?"
That sentence had ran on for so long I had almost forgotten what the initial point was. Something about his husky voice? It is husky. A very handsome and somewhat gravelly voice. It seems kinda forced to be honest, but how would I know? Now where was I? Or rather, where was he? Do I want some clothes on my body, right? Right.
"No, sorry," I say, trying to exude the absolute minimum amount of confidence.
"Sorry? You can't be sorry. Because I'm sorry. When two people are sorry nothing ever gets done."
I felt there was some wisdom in what he was saying, but I was entirely too stressed by all of whatever is going on to care.
"Uhm," I say, slowly using my hands to cover my breasts, not really knowing where to go from here.
"Look, if you're worried about me getting handsy with you, don't. I barely need to touch you for a second and I'll have clothes on ya."
His manner of speaking suddenly became a bit more casual, like he was laying back in his supposed chair and crossing his legs.
"What are those? D Cups?" He says.
I blush before I even realize it.
"Wait?" I say. "Can you actually see my--?"
"Think fast!" The male disembodied voice suddenly interjects. It was so sudden I couldn't think. I reach out both my hands to catch the supposed object he claims to be tossing my way and as I do so my breasts are suddenly cupped by what feel like two solid objects. The sensation vanishes immediately and I pull my hands back to cup my own breasts. I expect to feel the soft fleshy sensation of my own skin but am instead greeted by a feeling of...material? Is this...lace? I feel around a bit more just to be sure. I'm wearing a bra. Without considering the consequences I swing my arm around the general vicinity of where I'm sitting, hoping to catch the perpetrator who dared to cop a feel.
"Who was that?! Who did that?!"
"Oh, that was me."
"How did you get behind me so quickly?!"
"I've always been behind you."
I sit back down.
"Yes, though I imagine from your reaction that you must have thought I was in front of you the whole time. You see, over many years of...existing...I have learned to throw my voice, and likewise, my presence in any direction that
His voice seems to travel in all directions, eerily unaccompanied by noisy footsteps. It is as though he is teleporting but it must be as he says, and he is in fact behind me, or, at the very least, in a singular spot.
"So, you were behind me since I entered this room?"
"I am a bit outdated when it comes to modern english, but I do believe the word 'always' has maintained its original definition."
I feel a cold shudder crawl up my spine. I instinctively curl my body, lifting my feet so that they are situated on the chair's seat. My lips touch my knees as I tighten both my arms around them, preparing for an impending sense of danger. It arrives with the sound of his voice, and lingers over me.
"Ever since the day you were born I was there. And yet, somehow, not there. I am a silent force of unequaled devastation reviled and yet worshipped by mortals since time immemoriam."
"Don't tell me," I say, the hint of a shudder in my voice. "You are..."
"An old acquaintance." The voice whispers close to my ear. His breath is hot. If it were just a bit hotter, it would burn. "Nay, an old friend." Closer. Hotter. "Nay, an old bed mate." Closer. Hot. Wet...Wet? I feel the shiny sensation across my left cheek. What I assume to be his tongue, wet, fleshy, maneuverable, drags itself along my left cheek. More of that hot hot breath is left out. Yes, it is surely his tongue. A hoarse sound escapes my throat. I choke a little on my spit as tears rise up into my eyes.
"Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait" The voice says.
The disembodied male voice suddenly pulls his tongue(?) away from me, and then, in the midst of many "waits" I hear the sudden hurried tapping of feet and the flip of a lightswitch. My eyes are flooded with sudden illumination and I squeeze them tightly closed as I bow my head. When I open them, the cacophany of "waits" has stopped and my vision is greeted by a strange sight - that of a young blonde man kowtowed in front of me. His face is kissing the floor and his hands are outstretched. Atop his head is a rolling sea of curly blonde hair.
My eyes followed up from his head to the rest of his body. He was a dapper dan if there ever was one. A black overcoat and black pants with designs embroidered along the seems. It was like he was a combination of no-nonsense cowboy, elegant butler, and innocent young man. I half expected (for whatever reason, I guess it just seemed natural) for the man to have a top hat o--.
There at my feet was a top hat. It must have rolled off of his dome as he speedily bowed his entire form. I lean to pick it up, using my free hand to artfully conceal both breasts when--
"I AM SO SORRY!!"
Holy hell, I scream, though only within my own head. I quickly pull the black Abraham Lincoln-ish tophat up and instinctively push it to my chest. I briefly consider the possibility that this may further entice him to retrive it with the hat with haste, but such concerns fall away almost instantaneously as my ears become bombarded by a metric ton of 'sorrys.'
"Sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry..."
They just keep coming. Without lifting his head, he interrupts his own droning mantra with an explanation that only seems to make sense to him: "I didn't mean to make you cry. Honest. I wasn't trying to scare you. No, well, I was. Of course I was. But but...Uhhh. Look, I was just doing what it was saying in the book."
I still cannot help but feel slightly frightened by this strange situation, but oddly enough the strange man's (or boy perhaps) apparent supplication has made my tongue a little looser. I say:
"Uh, what book?"
And before he could respond, the door to the little room, which I had honestly and embarrassingly not noticed until this very moment, swings slowly open. Emphasis on the word slowly. Well, it isn't like it is opening too slowly, but it sounds like it is. After all, it is a large, almost 8 foot metal door that appears to creek on its hinges, giving the impression of being a reliable veteran of whatever place this is.
"Master," an old voice says, emerging from the newly opened entrance. "I believe it is about time we concluded this odd little farce."
The voice is old and withered, and yet its owner did not appear to be so.
The voice - a tired old british army vet of 80 years perhaps.
The appearance - maybe 30 years old. Similar attire to the bowing man ("Master" apparently) but with less fanciness or pinache in his clothing style. Immediately, he struck me as someone who cared about his appearance, but only to the degree that was necessary to maintain an air of dignity.
"Not now Garrot. Can't you see I'm apologizing to my guest? Now, where was I? Ah yes, my 523rd 'sorry.'"
Had he really gotten that far already?
"Yes, I am well aware. Even if I were not on the other side of the two-way mirror I am confident I would have heard your piteous cries even in the mortal rea--Ahem, across the hall."
It seemed like he was stifling himself. Like he was close to revealing some sort of vital information. Wait...two-way mirror? I turn my head sharply to the right. There was a large pane of glass that stretched from the wall behind me to the wall in front. It was reflective. If he had not said anything I might have assumed it was simply an ordinary one-sided mirror before realizing that was stupid and that it was probably for onlookers (whoever those might be) to watch interrogations (for whatever reason). Man, I am just really unobservant today. Is the manboy's curly blonde hair really that fascinating? I am still actively staring at it even as I scoot the chair in such a way that its back (and by proxy, my back) are facing toward the glass. Of course, I realize that as I do this I'm perhaps giving the new edition to this odd little play, Garrot apparently, a better look at my far less concealed side portions, but in the moment it doesn't matter to me. What most matters is blocking the site of whoever lies behind the glass. I find the thought of being looked on through a pane of glass like some kind of pornstar on a TV set to be even more degrading than just simply being leered at by two men in person.
"You don't have to worry madam. There is not a soul through that glass at this moment, and even if there were..."
He starts to walk towards me. I almost think that he is about to step on the back of his master, but instead he strattles him and stands a few inches from me.
"...there is not many of the sort around here who cares what lies beneath a woman's clothes."
I reflexively start to tighten my grip on the top hat. However, as I do so, the hat disappears from my grasp, exposing my breasts. When I looked up, the man was holding the hat in his hand.
"That includes me," he continues.
I still can't help but cover myself though. The man has an honest air about him surely, and his gaze did not linger upon my body in the least.
But the air of a man is not the man.
"Now then," he says. Placing the top hat upon manboy's or, more appropriately, his master's head, Garrot grabs him by the back of his collar and hoists him over his shoulder. The master faces the entrance, and the man faces me. There was not a hint of strain in the entire action. It was as though he had slung his own coat over his shoulder in preparation for a brisk walk outdoors.
He places his right hand, his free hand, over his heart and gives a slight bow. As he does so, I can still hear the faint sound of 'sorrys' emanating from the master's lips. I wonder what number he's on.
"My humblest apologies," Garrot says. "I am sure this has been nothing but a dreadful and stress-inducing experience for you. And, sigh, if I'll be honest, it has been for me as well."
"Rude," says the master before returning to his sea of sorrys.
"But you should take comfort in knowing that all this..." he gestures to the dimly lit room around him, "...is not the true order of things. Think of these last few minutes but as the odd whims of an odd master in a...fairly normal house."
"Okay," I say, not really sure how to respond to all that. I contemplate asking him further questions, but am abruptly stopped before I can even form a thought.
"Unfortunately," the man said. "Such miniscule information is as much as the master will allow at the moment. I trust that the knowledge that you are not in any danger should suffice for now."
He prepares to leave when, suddenly, out of the depths of some unknown place within myself rises something like courage and indignation. I stand up to meet it, arms firm at my side, bosom exposed.
"No! It will not suffice!" I say.
The man does not react. Unless you call standing still and staring at me a reaction.
"Is that so?" He says.
"It is so. For one thing, I DON'T know that I'm safe. Your word that I am doesn't mean anything. You're a stranger."
"That I am. My words cannot offer you any comfort at the moment. For that, we must become acquainted."
Something in the way he said that made me want to sit back down and cover myself. I'm fairly certain that he did not mean anything odd by that, and his inflection did not indicate anything irreverent, but I am very much on edge. Not so on edge, however, that I would back down.
I remain standing.
"...That is true."
"I have duties however. Things to attend to. Masters to discipline. If you'll excuse--"
"Then just give me something!" I interrupt.
I'm not even sure what I mean by that, but I can't back down now. I continue:
"Yes, just, something...to give me more of an assurance of my safety. After all, you should be able to do that." Though I know nothing about you. "Something for the troubles your master caused me."
The dangling master's 'sorry's became just a little louder and more intense. In response, Garrot shakes his wrist, the one holding the master by his clothing. This seems to calm the strange (so far faceless being) down.
"You would prefer," the Garrot says, "to have further compensation?"
That was a bit of an odd way to word it, but...
"Yes," I say.
"Well, you've convinced me. It shall be done."
He turns swiftly and starts to leave.
"Wh--wait. So then what--"
"Do not worry. As you wish shall be yours. Alright, good day, we shall meet later."
He turns once again to exit, his master in tow, his face still annoyingly concealed by his bowed head. He is halfway out the door when he turns to me once more.
"Oh, do not worry on when and where we shall meet next. Everything will work out to make it so."
He exits. What did he mean by that? What could he mean by that? I'm in this room. So next we meet would probably be IN THIS ROOM. I guess it's a bit presumptuous of me to assume that will automatically be the case, but I have yet to be shown proof telling me that we'll next meet on a veranda sipping cocktails.
I slump back into my seat and bow my head.
"What is going on?" I say aloud, in the slight hope that someone will hear me and answer my question. Maybe...
I lean my head back over the chair so that my face is toward the one-way mirror, upside down.
"Hey! Anyone back there?! What the hell is going on?! Where the hell am I?!
Nothing. No response. God, I hope I'm not in hell. I don't think I did anything deserving of hell, but what do I know? Nothing. I know nothing. Same as everyone else that ever existed on earth and that is existing now.
Well, it doesn't matter, I guess. At least, that's what I choose to tell myself. I do know that I must be dead. The fall from the cliff is my newest memory. That fall was unsurvivable. And even if that were not the case, I would be lucky to be breathing out of a tube while using a bell tied to my one functioning finger to order hot soup, let alone sitting and enjoying the full range of motion of my natural body.
And even if I had miraculously survived with narry a scrape or scar (a 0.0001 out of 100 chance) there is no way any of the events that just transpired would have transpired after. Unless I was kidnapped by a band of circus freaks skipping stones on the ocean a few seconds after my body smashed against the rocks. The thought makes me chuckle. Somehow that is more ridiculous than being confined in a small room by a mad man and his sane butler after death.
Everything is subjective.
My mind almost sinks itself entirely into thought when suddenly a realization hits me. Not about the specifics of where I am and how I got here, but a realization large enough, in this moment, to make my neck that I had bent backward straighten up at attention.
I had not heard the sound of the door shut.
It is a large metal door that very clearly creaks as it opens and as it closes. Of course, I don't know the exact noise that it makes when it shuts completely, but I can make a few general assumptions. It should be a loud metallic latching sound or something like that at least. Surely, such an action could not be quiet when every other aspect of the door was loud and obnoxious. Could it? No, it couldn't. I should have heard the door being shut. So why didn't I? I stand up and walk over to it.
I thought that perhaps I had become so distracted by my own thoughts that I just didn't hear the door shut or lock, or that maybe the door was just somehow shut quietly, but no, the door was simply left open.
I hesitate for a second, but inevitably reach my hand out to push the door open. It's a bit heavy, but not so heavy that I have to strain to open it all the way.
Light. That was the first thing I saw. Upon further inspection however, I found that the light had a source (duh, all light does). But this light's source was an enigma. Or, at least, a partial enigma.
This light was clearly coming from a series of windows. Tall oblong ones, each divided into 6 squares. They spilled cubes of light onto the floor. To say it must be daytime would be an understatement. I could not even see through the window at what lied beyond. Like the light came from light itself. Came from the very surface of the sun. The yellow rays greatly complimented the carpet. It was something of a maroon color with golden trim and golden embroidery. It shined and reflected the glow. Light sprang from more light.
To my right, a long hallway. To my left, the same. The carpet stretched throughout. Somehow this whole sight was unnerving. Beautiful...but unnerving. Like I'm being drawn in by one of those fish with the dangly lightbulb on its head before the jaws snap shut overtop of me.
My right hand still placed on the door, I pull it slightly in preparation of retreating back into the room and shutting it behind me, but when I pulled it I hear a small noise, like the tinking of metal against metal. I almost jump from the sudden noise but instead look around to the outer side of the door.
There, hanging by the door handle on a small metal hanger, was a yellow sundress. The sight of it immediately invoked within me an image of a young and free maiden frolicking without care in a field of flowers. Such dresses were only ever small in my mind. Only ever for toddlers, so it was odd seeing it full size, with a buxom front meant for accomodating my breasts.
In front of which, by the way, was a taped letter that had simply read:
I almost laughed. Cheeky butler-servant-person. Oddly though, or rather, dramatically, this did not end the card.
Bottom right, it said - "Over" with a curved arrow pointing to the other side.
I did as it commanded. It said:
"As an apology for your harsh treatment I hereto grant you the right to wander Threadbare Manor until you are called upon. Treat the home as your own and go as you please. Within reason. Of course, if it looks like you shouldn't enter somewhere then don't enter it.
Use common sense. And please please please please please mind the signs.
P.S. I hope I got the bust size right. Also, panties inside."
Sigh, I swear, if my breasts are mentioned one more time...Oh, I'll probably be flattered. And that's good there are panties. I was wondering if undergarments had been wholly forgotten, but I guess not. Of course, apparently there is no bra around, but I don't mind. The dress seems to be built to hold everything up.
I quickly slip on the panties, which, by the way, have a dreamy clowd pattern on them, and then put the dress on. Oddly enough, it was hard to slip the dress on. Not because it was complex or anything like that, but it was just very very light. Holding it and maneuvering it around my body brought to mind images of people attempting to lift heavy boxes only to find that the boxes are empty upon lifting them. Such people would then have to adjust their carrying method to accomodate carrying something so much lighter than they initially thought. Perhaps that is not the most apt metaphor for this situation but it was exactly what came to mind as I struggled to feel any kind of sense that I was carrying, well, anything at all. It was like I was holding a mass of pure spider silk in my hand. At one point I tried to pull on it to check and see if it was just some cheaply made thing that would crumble against the smallest resistance. It did not give way at all. It did not tear. Of course, I didn't put all my strength into it since I didn't want it to be severely and irreparably torn, but I still got the impression that this was something that was somehow both thin, light, and absurdly strong.
I also learned something else important about it that had somehow not occured to me before I put it on.
It zipped in the back.
"Stupid butler," I say aloud, trying in vain to reach the zipper. "Do you think I have noodles for arms?"
Well, the dress is already covering me up adequately. So, it's not like it ma--
The noise was so sudden I almost doubted that I heard it. Was this perhaps a magic dress that willed itself to zip if the wearer is pissed enough?
"There we go." That will look beautiful on you." A quiet voice utters from behind. I stand at attention. The sudden words seem to have stiffened my spine.
Slowly, in a frightened manner, I begin turning my head around in an effort to get a glimpse at whoever just spoke.
As my head turns, what feels like a small rope begins to curl around my throat. It slithers to the front, above my chest, and to the back of my neck.
Our eyes meet. Just our eyes. My vision is only focused on his eyes. The pupils are fascinating. They are dark rings with white in the middle. Like the moon slightly eclipsing a dark sun. Oddly enough, I didn't scream. Though I thought the situation more than called for it. Every fiber of my being remained on nothing but the eyes.
But then the eyes are gone. No, I do not mean that he disappeared. That would have actually been very cool. No, he simply turned away from my gaze. Like a robot. A full 180 degree rotation. And just started booking it down the hallway. Arms swinging, knees lifting high in the air. Perfect running form. So perfect it was creepy. Like a robot. I know I already said that, but it was really just so robotic.
I touch what I thought to be a rope that he had left around my neck. An apparent nuise. That wasn't what it was though. I ran my fingers along it until I ended up reaching around my head where I found that it was connected to my scalp.
It was my hair. Not a rope. It was my hair braided into a long ponytail.
But...how? How did he do that? I had always had trouble managing my hair. It was super long and required a lot of maintenance. I never had the skill and/or patience to braid it into anything unique despite my friends' insistence that I would look so much cuter if my hair were morphed into varying different shapes apart from a natural mane.
Top contender among these suggestions? Ponytail. Difficulty level - S. Pain in the ass level - SS+. And yet this guy took my hippy head and turned it into its perfect form in a matter of seconds...and without me even noticing.
What the hell?!
Before I knew it my hands were already cupping around my mouth in preparation to shout at the odd fleeing entity. I could have yelled any number of important, truly relevant, and plot progressing questions. Like "what is your name" perhaps. That would be smart. But instead I yelled, with an amount of passion so great it surprised even me:
"Can you do hair buns as well?!!"
I thought I was out of earshot by now and that, by proxy, the entity would be as well, but without slowing his pace or turning around, he yelled out a response and I heard him:
"No!! Only ponytails!!"
He then turned a corner and vanished from view.
"Shit," I whispered to myself for too many reasons than I felt like listing.
I balled up my fists and stomped my foot. I would have started running but I had caught a brief glimpse of how stunning I looked in the reflection of the entity's eyes and didn't want to mess up anything about my looks.
When did I get so vain?
So instead, I stomp angrily forward, entrenched in determination, but with a slow reserved pace. Somehow I feel elegant.