Halfway House

Lawrence has recently been taken out of foster care due to him turning 16 years of age, and has been residing in a residential housing scheme for the last five months. It's a kind of 'halfway house' which helps youngsters make the transition between foster care and living by their own means. The halfway house provides a stable and secure living environment and helps its residents to find work or a suitable college course and assists in finding permanent accommodation outside of the welfare system. Lawrence's current halfway house is called Elm Tree House and is more geared towards residents with mental health and disability issues, but it was the only one in the area which had an available place so that's where Lawrence ended up. It's not a bad place by any means and like most of these types of residential housing schemes, the aim is to get their residents to eventually move out and learn to live an independent life.


Having only attained five GCSEs in high school, Lawrence is struggling to find a job and has no real interest in further education. There's plenty of advice and support for people like Lawrence, both within the halfway house and from outside agencies. One regular visitor is a lady called Gwen who's an Agency Liaison Officer, which basically means she's the go between for a number of housing schemes and social welfare agencies. Lawrence has had several meetings with Gwen and those she liaises with. He missed one opportunity of getting into a new halfway house that better suited his needs because they were looking for someone with a bit more 'vibrancy' and 'energy' (whatever that means). Gwen told him not to feel too disappointed and was confident that she'd find him something better than his current housing sooner rather than later. Then, a couple of weeks later, Gwen brings in a lady called Vera to meet with Lawrence. Vera works at another halfway house in the suburbs which is (according to Gwen) more suited to Lawrence's needs. “What you need is an environment that will help you come out of yourself, give you some self pride and proper goals... achievable goals.” Gwen told him. “I understand you're very creative... you got an A in Art didn't you?”

“Yeah...” Lawrence half-heartedly replied. “...but with a D in Maths and a U in English, a GCSE in Art isn't much use.”

“You need to turn that pessimism in to optimism young man... focus and what you can do, not what you can't.” Vera said. She and Gwen had a lot of paperwork charting Lawrence's history within the welfare system. Vera leafed through to his education welfare records. “Tell me about school, how did you get on there?” she asked. Lawrence shrugged and said it was OK, before adding that he didn't turn up much. “I can see!” Vera replied, pointing out that he had 83 unauthorised absences in year eleven and 65 in year ten. “Often left the grounds part way through the day...” she read. “...easily led astray, victim of bullying, lacked concentration in academic classes...”

“But he is very creative.” Gwen interjected. “He often attended the after school art class didn't you.”

“Yeah but only because I'd get picked on on the way home.” Lawrence replied.

“I'm sure that wasn't the only reason.” Gwen smiled. “You should see his sketch books.” she said.

“Oh there's no need.” Vera replied in a friendly tone. “I'm sure they're very good.” she added. She explained to the boy how the halfway house she's proposing is more focussed on underachieving and under educated youths, and that it'll give him the life skills and self confidence he's lacking. “Of course you have to be willing to participate... you can't just wonder off if you don't like it, but we can look at other options if you're not happy there.”

It all sounded OK and after a bit of form filling his transfer was arranged for the very next day. Lawrence packed his bags and waited for Vera to collect him. As he waited he got chatting to another resident called Sharon who was sorry to see him go. “I know you're not a 'crip' like the rest of us...” she said, using a term to describe her disability that Lawrence would never use. “...but it's been nice having you around.”

Lawrence thanked her and said that he hoped he wouldn't be there for too long. “I wanna get my own place and stand on my own two...” he stopped himself and glanced nervously and her crooked feet. “Sorry.” he said.

Sharon told him not be silly and assured him that he's perfectly capable of standing on his own two feet and living a normal life. Again Lawrence thanked her and confessed to feeling a bit nervous about the transfer. “I'll come and visit... make sure you're settling in.” Sharon suggested before asking where the new halfway house is.

Lawrence routed the transfer form out of his pocket. “Ash Leigh... Buckley New Road.” he read. “It's on the other side of town.” he added, knowing that it's probably too far for her to pay a visit.

“I'll get the bus.” she said. “Look I'd better go in... can't stand out here talking all day on these.” she grinned, looking down at her crooked legs and crutches.

Lawrence bid her farewell and waited alone for ten or twenty minutes until Vera arrived. “All set?” she asked, taking his bags. Lawrence smiled and nodded, said his final goodbyes to the staff at Elm Tree House and followed Vera to her car. They drove through the town centre, through the suburbs, out the other end and eventually down a long narrow lane to a large detached house. Its setting is more rural than Lawrence expected and suspects that it's not on any bus route. Vera tells him that the place looks a bit deserted because the others are all on an excursion. “So it'll be just us two for now.” she said as she took his bags out of the car.

He suspected nothing untoward as he entered the house and was shown around the main reception room, dining area and large kitchen before being taking upstairs to one of the rooms. Vera suggested he takes a bath before they do anything else, claiming that when the others get back he won't have the opportunity as they'll all be clambering for it after their excursion. He feigned interest and asked about the excursion. “Oh just an excursion...” Vera said as she turned on the bath taps and poured what seemed to be half a box of bath salts into the tub. “...it's good to get out and about.” she smiled.

Lawrence sensed that she was being deliberately vague, but still suspected nothing suspicious about Vera or the place she'd brought him to. Then after a few minutes soaking in the hot soapy water, Lawrence found himself screaming in excruciating pain. He leaps out of the water and in his naked state, bangs on the bathroom door yelling for help. Vera unlocks the door and finds him scrunched up on the floor, writhing in agony. She stands him up and says, “Move your hands... lets have a good look at you.” Lawrence reluctantly moves his hands. Vera gently touches his smarting skin and tells him that he needs a few more minutes in the bath.

“What?!” he gasps, his skin still smarting. “I'm not getting back in there! It's full of acid or something.”

“Nonsense!” Vera states before single handedly putting him back into the bath and holding him there. “Just relax!” she says as he yelps and writhes in the water. “It's perfectly harmless... even if it does sting a little.”

In strained tones, he asks her what she's doing as the solution engulfs him from the neck down. She doesn't reply. She simply holds him in the water and holds his gaze before dragging him out after a couple of excruciating minutes. Once out of the water, he gasps in pain and she gently touches his smarting skin. “That's better.” she says. “Rinse yourself off in the shower.”

The relief the warm clean water brings him is nothing short of heaven. The stinging sensation almost immediately subsides, but it's replaced with a new sensation as he runs a hand over his forearm. “What?” he gasps as he feels not a single hair. He looks and sees, he checks elsewhere and finds nothing but smooth hairless skin all over his body. He senses Vera's presence behind him and as he begins to turn he begins to say “What have you done to me?” ...but mid sentence, he sees her outstretched hands in such close proximity that can't see what they hold, and not a nano second later he feels a collar click into position and lock around his neck. A pair of instinctive hands immediately grab at the collar and try in vain to force it apart as he's tugged out of the shower and out of the bathroom. “What are you doing you crazy bitch!” he yelps. His naked body is still damp and dripping as he's pulled along the corridor, dragged down the stairs and pulled on his side into a room.

“This is where you'll be staying... if you're good.” Vera says.

“And if I'm not?” Lawrence growls from his vantage point at her feet.

“If not, you'll be staying outside in the kennel.” Vera told him. “Now stand.” she instructed.

Lawrence was already halfway to his feet when the instruction came so he didn't stand through obedience, but he did stand. He nervously glances around the room; a small cage sits in one corner, a toilet and basin is in the other. Just as his eyes pan around to see a clinical looking desk and what appears to be a range of cosmetics neatly arranged on its surface, he is instructed to sit. His eyes pan down to the stool and widen to the size of saucers as he realises that it's no normal stool. “You must be joking!” he says as his jaw begins to drop.

“You can either sit and start your training, or you can be taken to the kennel and we'll try again tomorrow.” Vera replied.

There's no way that Lawrence would willingly sit on a stool like that and he tells her as much, adding a torrent of obscenities for good measure. As a result of his outburst, Lawrence finds himself being wrestled to the ground, rolled onto his belly and with her full weight on his back, Vera swiftly straps a ball gag around his head. He writhes and growls as she drags him out of the house, across the yard towards a small barred cage with flat tin roof. He tries to kick and punch her as she bundles him into the kennel, but in the few seconds it takes for Vera to barge him in and slam it shut, he didn't land a single blow. He growls at her through the ball gag as she tells him that he'll more than likely be a bit more willing tomorrow, “...but if you're going to act like an animal, I'll treat you like one.” she said before walking back to the house.

After trying to force the kennel's gate open and trying with all his might to push its caged walls apart, he tries to force its corrugated tin roof upwards, but it's pointless. He takes a breather and looks around. It's twilight and he knows there's nothing but open countryside for at least a few miles in any direction. Even if he could shout he probably wouldn't be heard by anyone but Vera. He tries again to force the collar open, then the gag but finding what can only be a small padlock on the back of his head, he knows his gag is secure. A length of heavy duty chain hangs limply from his collar and he follows it link by link to where it's padlocked to one of the half inch steel bars that surround him. He looks down at his body; naked, hairless and peppered with a variety of small cuts, grazes and blossoming bruises. He sighs and grunts through his gag as he tries to fathom what's going on and why he didn't see this coming. He looks around the kennel and wonders how he's expected to sleep in such a small space. Lawrence isn't tall, being a modest 5'5”, but with little more than 3' x 4' of floor space and barely 4' of headroom, this confined cage is far too small for comfort. It's four walls are made from welded steel bars running both vertically and horizontally. Each ½” bar is approximately 3” apart and without a hacksaw or some big bolt croppers, he's not getting out of it. Lockjaw feels like it's beginning to kick in as the twilight fades. He's soon plunged into darkness, the only light he sees is coming from what he believed was a bona fide halfway house across the gravel covered yard. The wind picks up and he shudders. With no solid walls, no clothes nor a blanket, he's completely exposed save for the tin roof above his head. He huddles himself up, wrapping his arms around his shins and clutching his knees close to his chin. As the temperature continues to drop, he fears that he might not survive the night.

He's woken shortly before dawn by a crescendo of birdsong. It's cold, but not cold enough to put him out of this new found misery. He rubs his jaw which has been held open for god knows how many hours, before trying and failing to find a weakness in the four caged walls and corrugated tin roof of his abode. He soothes his skin that bears a clear imprint of the metal mesh floor that he'd slept on. He recalls the events of the previous day; leaving Elm Tree House and being driven by Vera to this place, being told that the 'others' are out on an excursion, hence it being empty, being shown to a room and being told to have a bath. He should have suspected something, he thinks; an empty house in a remote rural setting, no sign outside, no reception desk, no staff nor residents. In hindsight he now realises that the clues are there as he looks towards the house... but hindsight, as always comes far too late. “I bet there's no 'others' either.” he tells himself. “Just me and that crazy bitch!”. In all honesty though, Lawrence suspected nothing until Vera put him back in the bath, which he now understands had one purpose and one purpose only... to remove every last strand of hair from his body. “But why?” he thinks as he recalls her telling him not to wash his hair in the bathwater and instructing him not to even get it or his face wet. “I should have suspected something then.” he told himself. “But what?”

Dawn turns to daylight and after a few hours, his head turns to the sound of Vera's feet crunching across the gravel. Lawrence growls defiantly when she asks him if he slept well, then begins to yelp in horror as she sprays him and his kennel with a powerful cold hose. He had no choice but to excrete in the corner and it was that that Vera sprayed before turning the hose on him. She leaves him alone, telling him that she'll be back after lunch. The sun rises high in the sky as the hours slowly tick by. Vera does return. She places a plastic dog bowl on the gravel outside the kennel before unlocking the door and letting it swing open. Without saying a word, she walks back to the house as Lawrence timidly crawls out of the cage. The first thing he tries to do is straighten his back and legs and with a little effort, he eventually manages to stand. He may be free from the confines of the kennel, but he's not free from the collar which is firmly attached to the kennel, and in turn, the kennel is firmly attached to the ground. “This ain't no dog kennel.” he thinks as he tries to budge it and realises that it's simply far too sturdy. His eyes turn to the bowl on the gravel. It appears to be filled with porridge and looks edible enough, but his mouth is filled with a ball gag. He's tempted to launch the bowl and its contents across the yard in defiance, but if that's the only meal he's going to get today, he'd better leave it be. He sits. His stomach churns, yearning to be filled but all he can do is stare at it.

When he sees Vera exit the house and approach him, he stands. His eyes glance to the item in her hand; a length of plastic tubing with a large funnel attached to one end. Vera tells him that he can either feed himself, or she can feed him “...using this. It won't be pleasant but it will mean you'll eat.” she says. She raises a hand to his ball gag, removes the ball and thus turns it into a ring gag. She explains that the tube will go down his throat and the food will be forced down the funnel, before giving him the option of feeding himself. Desperate to have the ball gag removed, he nods and she produces a small syringe. Vera tells him that he's made the right decision “...but before your gag comes off, you need some of this.” she says, holding the syringe aloft. Lawrence gulps and is fully aware that he's absolutely no idea what the injection is as he nods to accept it. “Now stay very still... and if you lash out, you'll go back in your kennel and we'll try again tomorrow.” she says. “Do you understand?”

Lawrence nods once more before raising his chin and allowing her to plunge the syringe into his neck, not once, but twice, on either side of his windpipe. Vera tells him to turn and he turns. “Keep this up and you'll be out of here in no time.” she says as she removed the small padlock the keeps his gag secure before stepping back, well out of his reach. He looks at her with the gag still intact. She tells him he can do the rest himself and he franticly fiddles with the straps and buckles before finally unfastening them and pulling it off. Just as it took a few moments for him to straighten his back, it takes a little while for his muscles to work properly and enable him to close his jaw. As it begins to move, he tries to say “You bitch!” or something similar, but nothing comes out. He tries to cough and clear his throat, but nothing. He speaks but all he hears is the almost silent sound of his breath being expelled. “What have you done?” he mouths. His fingers slip beneath the hefty metal collar and come to rest on his windpipe. He fixes his eyes on Vera's, moves his lips and silently says "I can't speak."

“Eat.” Vera repleis before turning and leaving.

He shovels the porridge into his mouth using his hands, desperate to fill his stomach. It's a meagre portion and he puts his dignity aside before licking the bowl clean then tossing it towards the house. Naked. Ashamed. Chained. He sits himself down, leans up against the kennel and waits. The lack of body hair is entirely apparent as the wind caresses his body... but that's the least of his worries. He stands and tries to spy a road, a path, a car or a person but in this desolate place, there's nothing and no one except Vera. He sits and waits. Vera appears after a while and he stands, ready to defend himself if need be. She says nothing as she approaches and he silently speaks at her. Let me go. What are you doing? Why are you doing this? What is this place? These are all the things he tries and fails to say as she picks up the empty dog bowl and returns it to the house. Frustrated, he tries to clear his throat and make even the slightest sound but he can't. “What's the point?” he thinks. “Even if I could shout there's no one but Vera to hear me.” He slumps against the kennel and tries to think of a plan, but all he can really think about is how he could have avoided this.

He recalled the meetings with Vera and how she suggested a more suitable halfway house. She gave him options, advice, choices, pamphlets... seemingly everything but the slightest hint that she might be planning something sinister. It all seemed so above board and he racked his brain for the slightest thing that might have given her away, or that he could have done different; chose a different halfway house for instance... but he figures no matter which he opted for, he'd have ended up here. “I could have just stayed at Elm Tree House.” he said to himself. “It wasn't a bad place.” he thought.

As the sun begins to set, Vera returns and asks him if he's ready to try again. He gulps and nods. If she takes him into the house then she'll have to release the chain, and that's when he can try to over power her and make a run for it. It was a good idea. Possibly futile as she's already easily over powered him. But it's not one he'll get to try as she doesn't release him. She returns to the house and comes back carrying the stool. “Sit.” she says as she places it on the gravel.

Lawrence looks at the stool and the look on her face. She's not joking. She really does expect him to willingly sit on a stool with a sizeable butt plug firmly attached to the centre of its seat, but he can't. He wont. He kicks the stool towards her and ignores the pain it causes. He sneers at her. She raises an eyebrow, picks up the stool, tells him to get in 'his' kennel before taking the stool indoors. She returns a moment later. Lawrence stands proud and defiant, but he's never been so scared in all his life. His naked hairless body is spattered in grazes and bruises from being dragged down the stairs and across the gravel. “Get in your kennel.” Vera says for the second time, only this time she's wielding what looks suspiciously like a cattle prod. Lawrence gulps as she activates it. He wastes no time bundling his slight frame through the small entrance. He silently screams as she prods it on his thigh, forcing him to the back of the small cage. She slams the door shut and locks it. “Forecast for rain tonight.” she tells him in a trivial tone of voice.

“Fuck you!” he'd tried to yell as she turned her back and walked away. He cursed himself as tears began to stream down his cheeks. He cries himself to sleep as the twilight envelops his draughty abode.

The clanging of the rain on the low tin roof wakes him abruptly. He huddles himself up, shivering as the driving rain cascades noisily around him. The rain keeps him awake all night but ebbs soon after sunrise. Lawrence wakes mid-morning and after defecating in the corner of his tiny caged kennel, he endures the hose. He tries and fails to speak and fears that the injections she'd given him will render him mute for life. Again a bowl of porridge is placed on the gravel and he's released from the confines of the kennel. He eats the meagre portion and again licks the bowl clean, but doesn't toss it to one side this time. He knows he's going to be offered the stool again and wonders which is worst; the stool or the kennel. At sundown the stool is brought to him and as he reluctantly prepares to impale himself on it, Vera advises him to lubricate it first. He mouths something and she says, “You've got a tongue haven't you?” Swallowing his pride, Lawrence gathers some saliva, spits it onto his fingers and begins to smear it around the plug. “I said you've got a tongue!” Vera barks. Lawrence gives her a look that might kill before he kneels over the stool and prepares to apply some saliva to the sizeable plug using only his mouth... but something inside him won't let him do it... he can't. He looks up at her defiantly before standing. He turns to his kennel, crouches and shuffles inside.

He spends four nights in the kennel before he succumbs and puts himself on the stool. Once seated, Vera produces a pair of handcuffs and asks for his wrists. He offers them freely and she cuffs them together before raising them above his head and securing them to the back of his heavy metal collar. “Where's all this obedience come from I wonder?” she says as if talking to a naughty puppy. “Are you thinking, I'll just go along with it until I get a chance to escape...?” she asked. He blinked but otherwise didn't respond. “That's exactly what I'd do if I were in your shoes.” she said, before grabbing his foot and wrestling a high heeled sandal onto it, one that has an ankle strap with a substantial metal clasp. She clips it shut and a small tell-tale keyhole in the clasp suggests that Lawrence won't be able to remove this shoe himself. He struggled less as his right foot was forced into the other sandal and it's strap is secured and locked around his ankle. With his feet perched on 4” heels, the stool felt far more uncomfortable and awkward than ever, but it didn't feel that way for long. Vera raised her foot to his chest and pushed him backwards, sending him crashing on to his back. He wriggled and writhed, screamed without making a sound as the gravel cut into his back. His legs flailed, unsure where they should be due to him still being attached to the stool. With his hands cuffed behind his neck, there's nothing he can do except calm himself. “It's best that you don't struggle.” Vera said as she knelt over him. He brain was too full of adrenalin for him to fully comprehend what came next. It hurt. It hurt a lot and then it hurt again. The stool was unceremoniously pulled from his anus and the handcuffs were released from his collar. It was only as he struggled to his knees that he realised what had caused such intense pain. Tickles of blood ran down towards his belly and the pair of silver bells that dangle from his nipples tinkle with every movement. With the shoes strapped to his feet, he doesn't bother trying to stand. He settles on his knees and looks up at his captor. She smiles and menacing smile. “You've done well today... but I don't think you're ready to be house trained yet.”

Meanwhile, Lawrence's friend Sharon visits the halfway house he'd supposedly been transferred to. In spite of her obvious hardships, she's a determined soul and when she says she'll do something, she'll do it. After getting the bus to Buckley New Road and walking the 200 yards on her crutches to the building with the large Ash Leigh sign, she's surprised to find an old people's home and not a halfway house. Regardless, she goes in and checks with the Ash Leigh staff, asking if they've got a young lad called Lawrence with them and if there's a halfway house also called Ash Leigh nearby. It's a 'no' on both counts so she returns to Elm Tree House and checks with the staff there. She tells them that Lawrence told her where he was going to and that she'd seen it written on his transfer form “Ash Leigh on Buckley New Road!” she says. “But I've just been there and it's an old people's home... and they wouldn't have transferred him to an old people’s home!” she exclaims. “Something fishy's going on.” she suspects.

The staff agree that he wouldn't have been sent to an old people's home, “...not for another 50 years anyway.” they jovially add before suggesting that maybe she or Lawrence are in error. They check his transfer details and assure her that all the paperwork is in order, but since details such as the address is confidential, they can't check it and even if they could, they wouldn't be allowed to reveal it to another resident. Sharon reiterates that she knows what the address was as she's seen it on his transfer form, and restates that it's not a halfway house but an old people's home. “Like we said Sharon... either Lawrence got it wrong or you remember it wrong.” the staff reiterate. “Wherever he is, I'm sure he's coming on leaps and bounds and you've got nothing to worry about” they insist. Sharon still thinks it's weird that the address on his transfer form turned out to be a home for the elderly, and she's certain she remembers it correctly. But then again, who knows? Sharon settles in her room and like the staff, she assumes that wherever Lawrence is, he'll probably be fine.

After the sacrifice and shame of willingly putting himself on the stool and accepting the handcuffs, Lawrence feels utterly disheartened as he crawls back inside his kennel. Only this time he crawled in to the sound of two tiny tinkling bells. He folds himself into the corner as the entrance slams shut. Vera walks away as Lawrence gently touches one of his throbbing nipples and the heavy gauge ring that pierces it... it hurts. He's tempted to rip the piercings out but fears the pain it would cause and leaves them well alone. His attention shifts to his footwear; a series of thick black leather straps encircle each foot, the vertiginous stiletto heels and stiff sole force his toes upwards and the ankle cuff with a metal clasp and a tiny little keyhole ensure that they can't be removed without a key. He can't imagine being able to stand in them, let alone walk... but he can imagine that he'll probably have to wear them for some considerable time.

After another chilly windy naked night in his cage, Lawrence faces the hose before being released from the confines of the steel kennel. The sandals force him onto his knees, effectively rendering him lame, but after a few minutes the gravel proves too sharp so he forces himself to stand using the kennel as support. He looks down at himself; hairless and naked save for the shoes on his feet, the collar around his neck and the two tiny bells hanging from his nipples. He tries to make a sound, manipulating his windpipe to clear his throat but to no avail. His bruises have faded to a custard yellow and his cuts and grazes are also healing, but his body aches from head to toe since he hasn't had a proper night's sleep in almost a week. He hasn't had a proper meal in that time either, surviving off a single small bowl of porridge a day. The feeling of hunger is perpetual, as is the breeze that constantly licks his naked body. Vera brings him a bowl of porridge when the sun is high in the sky. He eats and licks the bowl clean before sucking every morsel of food from his fingers. Once finished, Vera takes the bowl and leaves him alone until the sun begins to sink. Then she returns and asks him if he's ready to begin his training. Lawrence hangs his head, gulps and nods.

Lawrence's bells tinkle as he's led across the gravel. They can't weigh very much but it's enough to tug on his nipples just enough to make them hurt as the tiny tinkling bells swing to and fro. He's unsteady on his feet as each foot is strapped into a high heeled sandal, but Vera shows patience and lets him move at his own pace. This is the point he anticipated making a run for it, being led between the kennel and the house... but he's not running anywhere in his stiletto heels. He feels steadier on his feet once inside the house since its floor is flat and level. He's taken into the room he was dragged to on his first day here and told to sit. He doesn't want to but knows what the alternative is, so he reluctantly kneels over the stool, lubricates its plug with his saliva before slowly lowering himself onto it. “That wasn't so hard was it?” Vera says once he's settled. Lawrence doesn't reply.

Lawrence just sits, silent and still, casting his eyes nervously across the items on the table in front of him... each is familiar yet all are new to him. He can his darkened reflection in a flat screen monitor on the wall. Vera leans over and switches it on to reveal a typical YouTube playlist page titled 'beginners make-up tips'. She taps on the screen and the first video begins to play. “Watch and learn.” she tells him, before leaving him alone. He doesn't pay much attention to the video. It plays as he scans around the room. If he is sleeping in here tonight, he expects he'll be sleeping in the small cage in the corner as there's no bed. Other than the cage, the toilet and the washbasin, there's nothing else but the the table he's sat at and the stool he's sat on. He turns back to the video and watches as base layers and foundation is explained. With his body stripped of hair and stilettos strapped to his feet, he's starting to work out what's happening to him. The video ends and the next one automatically plays. He reaches out and touches the screen which allows him to stop, pause, rewind and skip the videos. He tries to access something other than Youtube, since it's clearly a large touch-screen tablet with internet access, but the device has restricted access which he'll have to try to somehow bypass. He tries to access the settings, tries to guess the password but it could be anything.

He gives up when Vera returns and informs him that he won't be able to access anything other than his training videos. Lawrence suspects she's monitoring him from another room. She reiterates that he should watch the videos, “...and when you're feeling confident...” she says, moving a few of the cosmetics closer to him, “...you can start practising.” she adds as she presses a button on the monitor which activates its built-in camera and effectively turns it into a mirror. The button toggles it between mirror and screen mode. Vera returns it to screen mode and skips back to the first video, taps the screen to play it, then leaves Lawrence alone again. “She honestly expects me to just sit here and practice putting on make up!” he thinks. “She can't do this!” he defiantly tells himself... but he knows full well that she can, and she is.

No more than two minutes pass when Vera is forced to return. “And there was me thinking you'd learnt to be obedient.” she sighed as she looked at the cosmetic items he'd swept aside and thrown to the floor. If he could speak, he'd have told her to go and fuck herself, but instead he tried and failed to yell 'let me go!' as she dragged him off his stool, out of the house and back to the kennel. It didn't take too much effort to get him inside, since she had her cattle prod to encourage him. After a cold drizzly night, Lawrence awoke at dawn and waited. He waited and waited, but no one came. As the sun got higher and his stomach churned with hunger, he began trying to force the cage open but knew full well his efforts were futile. Being sprayed with the cold hose was unpleasant but at least it removed his faeces from the corner of the tiny space... but so far today there's been no hose, no bowl of porridge and no opportunity to stretch his legs or straighten his back. As the sun began to sink the hunger became unbearable. It felt as if his stomach was trying to digest itself. Vera came to him at twilight was some water and said that she hopes he's learnt something today. “Maybe you'll show me a little more obedience tomorrow.”

After some forty hours in the kennel, it seems to take an age for Lawrence to straighten his back after being hosed and released. He aches and writhes on the gravel before slowly rising to his feet. He is led back to the house, back to the room and back to the stool. Shame floods through him as he settles himself up on it. Vera turns on the screen and plays the first video. Lawrence watches but his mind is racing. He knows he's got to get out of here, the only question is how. The second video begins to play which is a beginners guide to eye liner. The third is about eye shadow, the fourth mascara, the fifth and sixth concentrate on the eyebrows, the seventh on highlights and blusher and the final video is about applying lipstick... then the first begins to play again. All the items he'd defiantly thrown on the floor the day before yesterday are neatly arranged in front of him. Part of him wants to repeat the same act but a bigger part tells him to comply. After watching the three minute guide to applying a base layer and foundation, he stops the video and switches the screen to 'mirror' mode.

With nervous hands, he finds the item he needs and begins to apply it. “Why is she forcing me to do this?” he asks himself as his skin tone becomes even and free of blemishes. His heart sinks as he finds the eye liner, then watches the next video in the play list. It looks simple enough but in practice it's incredibly hard to draw a line so close to one's own eye. Vera enters and tells him that practise will make perfect. She passes him a pack of make-up wipes and tells him to remove the disastrous attempt at applying his eye liner and to start again. Lawrence tries and fails, tries and fails and tries and fails again. Each attempt looks as bad, if not worse, than the last and Vera accuses him of not even trying to do it properly. He looks up at her with pleaful eyes, as if insisting that he is trying his best. She checks the time on her wristwatch and tells him he's got an hour. “If I don't see an improvement, you'll be sleeping outside again.” she states.

Lawrence gulps and glances at the cage in the corner. Apart from the fact it's indoors, it doesn't look much better or bigger than the kennel. He hangs his head before turning to face the screen once more. This simple act is filled with shame and humiliation as he carefully rotates himself on the plug and feels it shift inside him. He cleans his face with make-up wipes before re-applying his base coat and foundation, then trying again to apply his eye liner properly. After numerous attempts, Lawrence sees little or no improvement but Vera thinks otherwise. “It's not what I'd call a good job but it's certainly getting better.” she tells him. “Now clean it off... then you can eat.” she says, placing a bowl of porridge on the floor by the cage.

Lawrence removes his eye liner and foundation before cautiously lifting himself off the stool. It hurts more lifting himself off it than it does lowering himself onto it, and the plug on which he'd been perched now has the tell tale signs of where it's been. Starving, he gets on his knees and shovels the porridge in his mouth using his fingers before licking the bowl clean to get every last scrap of the measly portion inside him. Vera returns and suggests he cleans his stool before getting on it again “It won't taste very nice like that.” she bluntly adds. He uses kitchen towels to wipe the plug clean and drops them into a waste paper basket. Then he tries his best not to gag or vomit as he smears his saliva around it using only his lips and tongue, before going through the shameful act of lowering himself onto it.

He spends the next few hours trying and failing to apply his eye-liner as well as is demonstrated in the video. Vera tells him he's definitely getting the hang of it but Lawrence can't see it himself. All he sees is a pair of uneven dark rings around his eyes, making him look like he's been punched or something. Vera tells him he's done enough for today and suggests he cleans his face and his stool. Then she opens the small cage and he crawls inside, curling himself up before it's locked shut. “You've done well today.” she says as she prepares to leave. “Keep it up... if you know what's good for you.”

Being confined to the cage indoors is a relative luxury compared to the kennel out in the yard... but in the tiny confines of his cage, it's far from comfortable. His body frequently seizes and every movement causes the bells that hang from his nipples to swing, tinkle and throb. His feet have been locked to the shape of his high heeled sandals for days now and he wants nothing more than to flex his toes and arch his feet. He awakes after the best night's sleep he's had since he arrived, but it was still a very long way from a 'good' night's sleep. Vera releases him from the cage and he enjoys the luxury of defecating in a proper toilet rather than in the corner of his cage. He also has the luxury of brushing his teeth and washing his hands and face rather than being sprayed with a high power hose... then he is told to sit. “I hope you cleaned it properly.” Vera grins as he kneels over the stool and prepares to lubricate it.

He conjures enough saliva to allow it to go in easily and retches as he begins to apply it using only his mouth, lips and tongue. Then he stands and carefully lowers himself down. The worst part is when it's going in but once he's settled he can almost forget about it... almost. The presence of the plug in his anus makes him constantly feel like he's about to shit, doubly so whenever he moves. He spends the morning in front of the screen practising applying his eye liner. Vera regularly checks his progress which means he has to carefully turn to face her, then turn back to face the screen without raising himself off the stool. “I'll never get the hang of this!” he curses as once again he flinches and blinks and makes a mess of his make up. “It'd be easier if I didn't have these on!” he presumes as one hand always follows the other due to the pair of cuffs that link his wrists together. The task is now proving more frustrating than humiliating and he hasn't even tried applying the eye-shadow or mascara yet!

Lawrence spends three long days trying to get the knack of doing a single narrow line on each of his four eyelids. He does notice an improvement and Vera suggests he moves on to the eye-shadow tutorial. Whilst far easier than the eye liner he still manages to fuck it up, which means removing it and starting all over again with foundation and eye liner first. He is permitted to take a break once every hour or two which means lifting himself off his stool, stretching his legs and walking around his room for a while. Even after so many days, he's still very shaky on his feet which have been strapped inside his shoes for a good week... but he is becoming accustomed to them. Just as he's becoming accustomed to being naked, hairless and handcuffed. He cleans the plug until it's spotless before wetting it with spit and lowering himself down. This is something he'll never get used to, but once settled, he begins applying his make-up again with foundation, eye liner and eye shadow. It still looks like he has two black eyes, but the more he applies his eye make-up and the better he gets, the less it looks like an injury. After progressing onto mascara and learning to get it right, the next lesson is grooming, or preening as Vera calls it. The video tutorial demonstrates how to pluck and shape one's eyebrows and just as the previous tutorials had, the video made it look far easier than it is. Not only did the removal of each hair sting and smart, he struggles to get his eyebrows evenly matched. He's left with two very slender eyebrows by the time Vera is satisfied with them, which he learns to define further using an eye brow pencil. Vera leaves him to practise but monitors him from another room. She returns when she sees him using the eye brow pencil on the table top rather than on his eyebrows and sees that he's written 'will I be able to speak again?'. He looks up at her with pleading eyes, fully expecting to be sent out to his kennel... but he needs answers whatever the consequence. He tries to clear his throat, tries to make a sound other than a grunt or squeak but he can't.

Vera doesn't say anything at first. She takes a sheet of kitchen roll and wipes the table top clean. Then as she turns to him and says, “It's best that you're seen and not heard.” Lawrence hangs his head as she leaves, then he turns to the screen and looks at himself; his skin is flawless, like that of a porcelain doll. His eyes are deep and smoky, his eyelashes long and lush and his eyebrows are slender and perfectly defined. Only his lips look like his own as he's yet to progress onto the final tutorial. “Maybe it doesn't end there?” he ponders as he looks down at himself. He can barely recall what it felt like to wear clothes, although he longs to do just that. But that thought leads him to wondering what he'll be allowed to wear, if he's ever allowed clothing again.

As a reward for his continued obedience, Vera allows him an hour or so out of his vertiginous heels. This comes as a great relief but it's painful at first. He finds himself walking on the balls of his feet as putting his heels down feels like he's over stretching his calf muscles. Before donning his shoes again, Vera gives him another lesson; trimming, filing and finally painting his toenails. He makes a mess at first but eventually gets it right, then he puts his feet back into his high heels sandals and clips the clasp shut, knowing that they won't come off until Vera allows it. It's only as he takes his first steps after some respite from wearing his shoes that he realises just how accustomed he's become to the support that his high heeled shoes provide.

As the days pass, Lawrence completely looses track of time. He's no idea if it's Tuesday or Saturday, not that it matters since he spends his days repeatedly applying, removing and re-applying his make up. When he arrived his hair was already too long and highly unkempt but with a proper wash and condition, and a bit of a trim it's starting to meet with Vera's approval. “It's such a lovely shade of brown.” she says as she instructs him how he should brush it. But that didn't stop her from deciding that he should go blonde. He thought wearing make-up made him barely recognisable but the first time he saw himself with blonde hair, he really did feel like he was looking at someone else! However just as Lawrence had got used to seeing himself wearing make up more often than not, he soon got used to being blonde and struggled to recall how he looked as a brunette. Then he cursed himself for thinking about himself using feminine terms such as 'brunette' and spent a moment reminding himself who he is and what he is. Lawrence faces his feminised reflection ans tells himself that what he sees is nothing more than a cosmetic mask that can be easily removed. “When I get out of here...” he begins to think before fantasising of returning to a normal life; sleeping in a bed instead of a cage, sitting on a chair that doesn't fill his anus, enjoying the cosy comfort that clothes provide, not having to paint his face over and over again not having a metal collar and chain hanging around his neck. Lawrence anticipates that one day things will be normal again, but whether that day will come sooner of later, he has no idea. In the meantime, he knows that has little choice but to conform to Vera's demands... otherwise he risks a cold and lonely death in that kennel outside.

He does feel a little guilty for trying so hard to get his make-up to meet with Vera's approval, and he'd be ashamed to admit it but he did feel a little twinge of pride when Vera described it as 'flawless'. Having mastered the technique he begins to learn the difference between the various styles in which make-up can be applied; natural, dramatic, glamour, sultry, sassy and so on. Vera begins to request a style and Lawrence sits at his dressing table and tries his very best to deliver. If she's happy she'll tell him to remove it and try a different style, if not, he's told to remove it and try the same style again until she's satisfied. He learns to manicure and paint his nails, however Vera insists they remain relatively short as she doesn't want him wielding a weapon of any shape or form.

After a few weeks of being confined to his room, Vera decides to allow him a little more range. With his chain in one hands and the cattle prod in the other, she leads him around the ground floor of the house before leading him up the staircase and back down again. “I'm impressed." Vera tells him. "You've really taken to wearing heels." she says in a complimentary tone. "However it's one thing walking in heels...” Vera added, “...but you need to be elegant.”

Lawrence gulps and looks at her meekly. He's not sure how to be more elegant but he will try his best. He nods and feels ashamed of just how obedient he's become, but he knows he's had little choice. Vera opens the front door and leads him outside. Instinctively he covers his genitals but is instructed not to. He gulps and relaxes his arms as he carefully descends the few steps and steps onto the gravel. Worried that he'll stumble and fall onto the uneven and gritty surface, he glances across the yard towards the kennel he's spent so many nights in, and fears that she might be leading him there. Instead she walks him around the the side of the large detached house to a large well kept garden. Vera doesn't rush him but she does encourage him to try to walk elegantly with his back straight and head high. Fearful of displeasing her, Lawrence does his best to comply to Vera's wishes.

When Lawrence was confined to the kennel he'd become hardened to the elements, but after a few weeks indoors he's softened somewhat. Vera leads him along a winding garden path and his naked and hairless body is soon peppered with goose pimples, causing him to huddle his arms around himself when the wind picks up. “You're not cold are you?” Vera asks him. Unable to verbally respond, Lawrence replies with a simple nod. “Maybe you need a night in your kennel to harden you up.” she suggests, causing Lawrence to stop and abruptly shake his head as he mouths the word 'no'. Vera says nothing. She continues walking and he has no choice but to follow.

Maybe his silent response was a little too abrupt as instead of leading him back inside when they reach the front of the house, she leads him across the gravel towards the dreaded kennel. Instinct kicks in and Lawrence grabs his collar and chain and tries to pull himself free. Vera turns and with a look of determination on her face, she launches the cattle prod at him and sends him crashing to the ground. He knows he's not a big guy but he's not that little either. He can barely believe how she so easily drags him and bundles his flailing body into the kennel before slamming it shut. “It was going to be one night for saying 'no' to me.” Vera says as Lawrence snarls at her through the bars. “But after that little outburst, let's make it three.”

Lawrence silently curses his captor as she leaves him outside in the kennel where he began. Then he cursed himself but struggled to fathom why. Was it because he didn't put up enough of a fight to begin with or because he's since decided to play along and obey her? He doesn't know, but what he does know is he'd rather be in there than out here. For all he knows it could be September by now and with no clothing, no blanket and no shelter other than a tin roof... he fears that he could die if he spends the entire night in the caged kennel. Then he has his darkest thought and considers if that might be the best outcome. He's so cold that he barely sleeps although he does get maybe an hour after sunrise, but that is abruptly interrupted when he's woken with the hose. He knows he's being punished because he's neither fed nor let out of the kennel that day. All he gets is a drink of water at sundown before spending another naked night outdoors.

The next day he's already awake when Vera gives him his morning blast with the hose. That's a little better than being woken with it, but not much. She also lets him out of the kennel but he's still firmly attached to it via his collar and chain. It's an overcast day and by mid-morning it turns to drizzle, so he wisely sits in the kennel to take advantage of it's roof. His bowl of porridge is delivered mid afternoon which he eats in a matter of seconds. He's been so hungry and putting even the small portion in his stomach is a gift greatly received. So much so that Lawrence barely noticed the large wooden trestle that Vera had brought from the garage and placed on the gravel by his kennel. He did notice her wielding what appears to be a large pair of bolt croppers as she approached though. “Out.” she instructs.

He's reluctant partly due to the drizzle but mostly due to his fear of what she's going to do to him next. Lawrence does as he's told and crawls out of the kennel, his little bells tinkling as he does so. Vera tells him to face the trestle and lean against it. He nervously does as asked. Vera steps to his front, looks him in the eye as she takes hold of the short length of chain that binds his wrists together. First she lifts his hands a little, then she pulls them toward her before lowering them down to the ground and bending him over the trestle. “This isn't going to be good.” he thinks as he's put in a most compromising position. Vera drives a long steel peg through one of the chain links and deep into the ground. She adds three further pegs to make sure his handcuffs are firmly pinned to the ground before stepping behind him and spreading his legs apart. Now he's getting really worried and begins to wriggle and writhe his way out of such a vulnerable position... but he's not going anywhere and he knows it. He feels an all too familiar sensation as Vera slowly and steadily pushes a plug into his anus. He struggles and grunts, wriggles and whimpers as it slides inside him, but eventually calms himself, if only to stop the bells that dangle from his nipples from tinkling and tugging. Then he feels a pain that far exceeds having his nipples pierced.... it far exceeds any pain he's ever known but its swift. In spite of them being tight shut, floods of tears stream from his eyes. He peels them apart as his whole body shudders. It takes a moment for his vision to clear and when it does he sees something that he can scarcely comprehend. A rage ensues and he tries and fails to wriggle and force himself free. He growls and grunts and screams as the seriousness of the situation dawns on him. He doesn't want it to be true but he knows it is... that bloody fleshy lump on the gravel is his scrotum and a steady trickle of blood drips from where it once hung. He can't help but struggle and growl as Vera tends to the wound. She advises him to stay still because she needs to stitch him, otherwise he'll bleed out. “Maybe it would be better if I did!” he thinks as he gradually calms himself down.

Vera cleans the wound, stitches him up and applies a lint patch, then leaves him bound over the trestle. Lawrence plans his escape and plots her gruesome death. He's cursed her for many things but this eclipses them all... she's pure evil. She must be! She's even left his testicles on the gravel as a constant reminder of what he's lost. He spends the rest of the day bound over the trestle in the yard. The drizzle comes and goes, sometimes turning to rain but the weather is the very least of his problems. As the daylight drops and darkness approaches, Vera returns to check his wound, change the lint and release him. She doesn't even need the cattle prod to get him into his kennel, but it's a painful crawl through its entrance. She locks it shut and he curls up on his side. “All being well, we'll continue your training in the morning.” Vera says. Lawrence offers a single grunt in response before whimpering himself to sleep.

After his third night in the kennel, Lawrence was spared the hose. Vera releases him from the kennel and leads him across the gravel. She notices him glance at his discarded gonads which lay exactly where they fell. “You won't miss those.” she says. “You never needed them anyway.” she added as she led him toward the house.

He was led into his room where Vera inspects his stitches before removing the plug from his anus. After the excruciating pain of being castrated, he didn't even realise he was still wearing the plug so it's removal came as a bit of a shock. Vera unceremoniously removed it and sat him on the toilet before applying a clean patch of lint to his wound. Lawrence knew there was no way he'd get back what she'd taken from him and he hated every bit of her for doing what she's done, but he felt like he was in a dream world... he lacked the will to do anything other than what he was told to do. He's tried to defy her and fight back but that's just made things worse. If he hadn't lashed out when she was putting him in the kennel he might not have lost his balls... he doesn't know what he's going to do but he does know that he's not going to risk losing anything else.

He knew that something was missing as he lowered himself onto the stool and actually settling on its seat was a sore, tender affair. Vera gave him something for the pain which he washed down with a glass of water. Then she turned on the screen, put it in mirror mode and suggested he tends to himself. He wasn't prepared for what he saw. He looks like a vagrant or crack addict with his blonde hair looking like it's been dragged through a bush and what's left of the make-up he'd applied three days previously smeared around his eyes. He Brushes the knots out of his hair and removes his make-up before before starting from the beginning and applying a base layer of foundation. He makes a mess of his eye liner because his hands are far too shaky. His eyes drop to his his hairless groin and his limp penis. A solitary tear drops onto his hairless lap as he considers the emptiness beneath it. He fears where it might end as he considers how far he's come since leaving Elm Tree House. He wonders how long it's been since this ordeal... three weeks, four, five or six? Maybe more.

Lawrence casts his mind back to when he first met Vera. She was one of many people who Gwen brought to Elm Tree House and he began to suspect that Gwen might be in on it. Maybe all the people that she brought to meet the residents are just like Vera; all looking for a waif and stray to use and abuse. A halfway house for kids coming out of foster care is an ideal place to find them and Lawrence can't imagine anyone going out of their way to find him or the others he'd seen being transferred to alternate homes. He wonders if the entire staff of Elm Tree House are part of it before dismissing that thought... but he can't help but wonder about Gwen and the people she brings. Maybe they're her customers and people like Lawrence are the product she provides. People like him with no family and few friends, no ties, no strings could easily disappear and no one would bat an eyelid.

The routine remains the same for the next few weeks. Lawrence sleeps indoors in the small cage in the corner of his room, he spends his days applying and re-applying his make-up and is occasionally led around the house and garden. It could be as long as two months since Lawrence has worn anything more than his collar and high heels sandals. He does his damnedest not to let it show that he's chilly when he's walked around the garden and tries his very best not to silently scream 'fuck you!' when Vera compliments him on how elegantly he's learned to walk in high heels. He longs to defy her at very least in some small way, but more than anything else, he fears the consequences and wisely remains completely and totally obedient. His wound is checked daily and according Vera it's healing well... but as far as Lawrence is concerned, it's a wound that will never heal. He makes sure he doesn't piss her off and tries his very best to apply his make-up properly, and in return for his continued obedience, she gives him a new collar and leash to wear. It's neither heavy nor cumbersome like the one he's become accustomed to. Instead, his new metal collar is covered with soft white leather and decorated with diamant√© rhinestones, much like the collar a cat or small dog might wear. “That's much nicer.” Vera says after she's ensured it's locked and secure. Obediently, Lawrence nods. It does feel much better than the chunky metal one he's worn for so long. However in spite of his obedience, deep in the back of his mind he's still looking for an opportunity to escape from Vera's domain. All he has to do is bide his time and the opportunity will arise. And if he doesn't have the backbone to kill the bitch himself, he'll make sure she spends the rest of her life in prison for what she's done. “And that Gwen too!” he thinks, before wondering if she really could be behind his abduction.

His chain of thought is broken when Vera enters his room. She tells him to stand so she can have a good look at him and he prises himself off the stool. Even in his four inch heels she's still a little taller than him and her gaze alone can strike the fear of God into him. She looks him up and down as she walks around him and tells him that he's coming on exceptionally well. “It's hard to believe you're the same boy I found in that halfway house.” she says. Lawrence has a million and one questions he'd ask if he could. But even if she hadn't rendered him mute, he's fairly certain that she wouldn't provide any answers. Her outstretched finger points towards one of the bells that hangs from his nipple. She flicks it to make it tinkle and smiles before placing her palm over his left pectoral. “It's hard to tell if they've started growing or not at this stage.” she says, causing Lawrence's jaw to drop open. Vera notices his reaction and says. “You didn't think I'd take your balls and not give you something in return did you?”

Lawrence manages to emit a barely audible croak which could be interpreted as either yes or no. But other than that he stands silent and still in front of her. “Down.” Vera says. Lawrence knows exactly what he's expected to do on hearing certain words. Words such as sit, stand, eat and down, they're all self explanatory really. He slowly, gracefully and obediently lowers himself to his knees before looking up at her...


Meanwhile, back at Elm Tree House, Sharon sees Gwen in the corridor and asks if she's seen or heard how Lawrence has been getting on at his new halfway house. Gwen says she hasn't seen him but is certain he's getting on well. “I'm sure I'd have been contacted if he wasn't happy or if there'd been any problems.” she assured. “Now if you'll excuse us Sharon, we've got a meeting with one of your new house mates.” Gwen smiled. Sharon shuffled aside and let Gwen and her colleague continue. She watched as they sauntered down the corridor and overheard Gwen saying, “I'm sure this one's exactly what you're looking for... but if not there's plenty of other homes we can try.” Gwen's colleague said something about the process being easier if their files had photographs. Gwen agreed and said, “Yes but the right temperament is equally important.”

5 comments:

  1. awesome cant wait to read what happens next

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    1. Glad you like it... although I don't have any plans for a sequel (whilst acknowledging that it's left wide open for one)

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  2. Thanks for the story. I do enjoy your site.

    Jennifer

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  3. Wow P.J. - you certainly have shown a new side to your personality. Are you Lawrence or Vera in this scenario?
    On another subject - why don't you invite advertising. You could make good money with the readership
    you must have.

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    1. First question... not telling :)
      Second question... it's an adult blog so can't monetise it the 'normal' way, but mostly because I don't really like blogs with adverts. They both annoy and distract me :)

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