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the tantalization room

Jackson Dyle was drawing in charcoal now, as was Treena. From their easels they concentrated on an accurate rendering of the eight wrinkles of the rear asterisk and the ring of brown skin.

They were looking, of course, at the spread anus of Tami Smithers, wide open to their gaze due to their subject’s posture on outpointed toes on two uneven pedestals set four feet apart, the left pedestal two feet higher than the right. Per instructions of course, her hands were on her butt cheeks, pulling them apart. Between the artists was the laptop. On the wall was the Tami Smithers web page, now up to gallery # 15, 322 pictures in all so far.

Facing the projected images, the naked girl’s face was an anguished mask of shame and extreme mortification. Anyone in the world could just enter “Tami Smithers” into a search engine and find these images. She could kick herself for having given Dyle her full name. If she had just called herself “Tami” it wouldn’t nearly be so bad. Then she would have been just one of dozens of anonymous Tami’s, she imagined, who had naked pictures on the internet.

The set of clothes had been hung from the track lighting not three feet from her face. They mocked her, taunted her, tantalized her. The urge to grab them was intense. She almost shook with the strain of suppressing it. Yet she knew she must resist. Otherwise Dyle would make good on his threat to call the police.

Nor could she just run, not with all the doors locked and Roberts lurking around. Him and his rifle.

So she stood there, spreading open up her most secret and shameful crevice to her tormentors, thinking of the rest of the Tami Smithers gallery, the spread pussy shots, the on all fours shots, the high kick shots -- she was amazingly limber and beautiful and well-toned, they kept telling her, as they commanded her into poses as bad as from Professor Brignon’s art class, only this time for a worldwide audience of millions. She had been asked to pull her nipples outward so hard that it hurt, mash her breasts together, hold her heel up behind her head, bend over backwards, stick her butt in the air, and say an upside down “hi” between her legs. Tami thought of all this and the images of her anus on the wall and the clothes within arm’s reach and closed her eyes and prayed. Please God, give me strength.

“Okay, darling, take a break,” Dyle said, wiping his hands on some nice clean cloth, cloth which Tami would have given anything to tie over her pussy with some string. He and Treena started putting away their things. “You can have the run of the house. Dinner is in half an hour. Oh hi, guys.”

As Tami came down from the pedestals, two amiable dobermans panted into the room. They eagerly hopped over to the naked teenager as Treena went over to take away the hanger of clothes. “This is Pablo and Georges,” Dyle said affably. “Don’t worry, they won’t bite. They just want to see what you smell like. Rub their bellies and they’ll be yours forever.”

Tami, covering herself with her hands, overcame her initial nervousness and watched as the two dogs sniffed her feet, her legs, and around her butt and hips. She loved dogs, animals in general. And recently it seemed they liked her too. Maybe it was her nakedness, but in the woods she had often approached birds and squirrels and on one occasion a woodchuck, and was surprised to see how close they would let her get. Even a squirrel, one of a skittish and suspicious race, had let her reach up to a tree branch and rub it on the head before running off. She was just another animal, apparently, and they somehow knew that she was not a predator but a plant-eater and posed no threat.

Dyle and Treena left with their equipment. The naked girl was alone in the bare room with Pablo and Georges. She smiled and dropped to her knees and scratched the tops of their heads and their necks. She was glad to be around friendly, affectionate creatures. After a couple of minutes, as if suddenly realizing they were late for an appointment, the dogs turned and trotted out of the room.

So Tami had “the run of the house”. Obviously they did not want her to have clothes, but in poking around the search for clothes was her first priority. There were three rooms upstairs that were locked. Probably the bedrooms of Dyle and Roberts and Treena, full of clothes and out of bounds for her. She poised at the top of the stairs, listening to talking and activity going on in the kitchen. She figured she had the right to eavesdrop. Yet the three of them were talking about classes at the college, the weather, trivial stuff in light of the humiliations they were contriving for her. Realizing they probably knew she was up there overhearing them, she padded away.

In the hallway she passed a window and saw the dogs running around on the lawn, happy and careless in the sun. She found another stairway that she followed down. These stairs seemed like they had never been finished, the wood was rough under her bare feet, the walls were concrete. Even odder, they bypassed the main floor and led directly to the basement. The naked girl, figuring she should find out as much as possible about these people, continued downward, feeling the cooler air envelope her. Finally she reached the bottom, a dank, cold concrete floor in a little bare room.

There was a door and she had to open it. And her eyes widened at the sight. This room had a cage, a big one taller than she was. It was open, and inside leather cuffs were attached to the bars. On the other side were devices she had never seen before. To the teenager the world of sadomasochism was weird and icky and unknown and creepy, and she could not identify these structures of wood and metal and leather, but they would have been turnoffs in any event and in her present naked predicament they were suddenly horrifying. Though there was no one to see her, she covered herself with her hands and felt the coldness of the air and the floor chilling her to the bone. With a flash she recognized that here was a wooden cross upon which a person could be spread-eagled and cuffed. And over there, that table with wheels at each end, was a rack, to be stretched out on! She imagined laid out on it, Dyle and Treena fondling every inch of her and taking pictures.

Was Dyle planning on putting her on these things? Keeping her in the cage? The naked teenage girl shut her eyes, clutched her hands closer to her breasts and pussy. She didn’t think he would actually cause physical damage to her. And he played these games with other people, apparently, and maybe didn’t have these things in mind for her. But the possibility was still terrifying. She absolutely had to get out of here.

Maybe there was an exit through the cellar. She decided to check all the doors. She found the room with the oil burner. There was a small window near the ceiling, above an oily, rusty tank. At this point it might be worth it to break it and slide through. But Dyle would hear the sound and she would have to remove all the shards first to avoid cutting herself to death.

She opened another door into darkness and this time her bare feet rested on clean tile. The walls were painted black and so was the ceiling. Very artsy. And -- hanging from the ceiling were clothes!

It was an unusual arrangement. The ceiling was very high. There was no light, Tami figured out that the clothes had all been dyed so that they glowed in the dark. Each article of clothing was suspended from a string, each in a different corner of the room. Sneakers. Socks. T-shirt. Sweatpants. And, in the middle, a sweatshirt. All hung in their ghostly greenish-white phosphorescence from white strings which seemed to disappear into the ceiling.

It was practically a reflex. The naked girl jumped up to grab the sweatshirt.

It retracted to the ceiling. It was now too high for her to reach, despite trying again, jumping as high as she could. What the hell was this? she wondered, her arms crossed in puzzlement, her toes tapping on the floor. She went over toward a corner and jumped for the pants. They shot up too. Turning around, she saw that with the same motion the sweatshirt had descended to where it was again reachable. Using a move from basketball, she jumped out and back -- only to see it retract up again.

Her eyes shot to the walls, flashed with anger. This was some kind of stupid trick, some exquisite torture, part of Dyle’s game. And they must be watching it! She felt positive there was a hidden camera somewhere in these black walls. A camera that could take pictures in the dark. And she realized how she must have looked, jumping up, breasts bouncing, every muscle straining, arms reaching.

Intensely shamed at the show she had just given, determined not to give Dyle any more satisfaction, Tami went for the door. And found it had locked behind her.

She stamped her foot, looking around, arms crossed to hide her breasts. “Let me out!!” she said. “LET ME OUT!!”

Nothing happened. “LET ME OUT!! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO LOCK ME UP DOWN HERE!!” Minutes went by. Still nothing.

Well, she was just going to wait this out. She couldn’t believe Dyle would just let her stay down here, not when he had announced dinner, not when he must know she wasn’t going to jump around any more for his perverted viewing pleasure. She knew she would hate the feel of cold concrete against her bare skin, but she sat back in a corner, bare butt on the cold tile floor, arms crossed over her breasts, legs together, knees up to hide her pussy.

She waited. She was under the cotton socks, clean and white and looking very big against the black background. She felt the coldness of the floor under her bare feet, shivered with the intense desire for shoes, socks, anything to make her feet warm and snuggly. Her toes flexed and squirmed. Those socks looked so close! She closed her eyes, refusing to go for the bait again.

Minutes went by. She got up and tried the door again. Still locked. Now she sat into the corner again. She tried to think of other things, but the socks loomed big and warm in her mind. They were so close --

She hated herself but she found herself lunging up again. The socks retracted. She landed on her feet and tried to act nonchalant, like a cat who has missed a pounce and looks around as if to say, “I meant to miss that bird!” Inside she was thinking furiously. These strings must be hand-operated somehow. The trick was to have reflexes quicker than Dyle’s. Or whoever was working them.

She lunged sideways up to the sneakers. Now to another side up to the sweatshirt again. Now over to the T-shirt. The next few seconds found the naked girl twirling and jumping and feinting like a power forward making her way to the basket to execute a back lay-up. Except that she had an increasing air of desperation and felt more and more ridiculous and pathetic. Meanwhile her breasts spun and bounced and jiggled in every direction and her beautifully-toned body twisted and stretched and rebounded enough to satisfy any voyeur.

Finally she squatted, drying her tearful eyes on pressed-together knees. This was degrading, more so because she was causing her own embarrassment. She studied her toes. She felt like someone she had read about in mythology, dying of thirst and tied to a tree, up to his neck in water, but every time he bent his head down to drink, the water receded. And then came up again when he raised his head.

As the tears got rubbed away and her vision cleared, she looked around. Now that her eyes were used to the blackness she saw little lines in the far wall. Another door! She knew it looked ridiculous but she duck-waddled over, not wanting to expose more of herself than was absolutely necessary. She reached up for the knob. It opened.

On the other side of the door, looking at another flight of stairs that led upwards, she took a long ragged breath. Using this door she could have walked out of that tantalization room at any time. And then, as it closed behind her, she heard it lock. She was glad to be out of that room with those unreachable clothes. With weary feet she ascended the dusty, rough concrete steps.

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