Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Exposure

Exposure I know her fears, the irrational terrors that lie deep within her third heart. Today I will exploit them to the full to test her will, to see if the steel is hardened enough so she can survive her ultimate test. She only knows that she is to meet me and to expect a night to pass before she returns to the real world. Today is a game day. I have told her to meet me on the bridge over the motorway at 8:30 in the evening. I will collect her at 9:00. She does not know that I will be deliberately late, leaving her alone and vulnerable standing in the middle of nowhere. Just a thin summer dress will cover her otherwise naked body, in flat court shoes, no makeup and with her hair tied back in a ponytail, open and inviting attention, vulnerable. I park up a little way from where she is waiting and where I can overlook the motorway bridge. I take the binoculars from the passenger seat and watch her. It is quite bright but the sun is almost on the horizon. I almost feel sorry for her but this is for her own good and sometimes one has to be cruel to be kind. I can see her on the bridge her hands clasped across the front of her. The drivers in the passing vehicles are watching her standing there all on her own for no apparent reason. Every now and then a trucker will sound his horn at her in appreciation. A car slows and pulls up. Katherine doesn’t know what car I will be driving. She hurries towards it. But recoils shaking her head furiously as she realises that it’s not me and the driver probably makes some lewd proposition. The car pulls away. Kathy is caught between a rock and a hard place she doesn’t want to stand by the roadside in case another car stops, but behind her over the pa****t below is the freeway which is abnormally full this evening. Some carefully placed road works have f***ed quite a few extra vehicles this way. That’s the thing about the scene. If you’re in it you get to know lots of people on the same wavelength who will help each other out. I watch for a while longer. She is almost frozen to the spot, just enduring the awful feeling of openness, not agoraphobia but the feeling that everybody is watching her. Silly really, but then what irrational fear isn’t? Time to go. Driving towards the bridge she is still there. As I approach I indicate and start to slow down. Her body language is torn between hope it’s me and fears in case it’s another John looking for a score. If she only knew this was just the start, another John would be considered preferable if it got her out of the rest of tonight’s events. I pull up a few meters short of her position and wait for her to come to me. She can’t see me through the tinted semi-silvered windows. Confused, upset and shaking slightly she comes to the passenger door. I don’t open it, she still can’t see in. She gathers what little nerve she has left and opens the door. Looking in she sees it’s me and virtually jumps in; slamming the door behind her. She sits as low in the seat as possible, a scrunched up little girl scared half witless. But she could have run and didn’t. I feel pride in my jewel. It’s easy to face something that doesn’t frighten you. But to face a terror however irrational takes courage. And my Kathy has never lacked courage. I pull away heading to The Show. Kathy has recovered her composure a little, her breathing is calmer and a little less ragged now the adrenaline has subsided to a trickle rather than a flood. She looks at me. “Where are we going?” she asks. “To a Jewellery show.” As an answer it is absolutely accurate but it conveys no useful information. Kathy accepts that I’ll tell her when it suits me, if I tell her at all. “Kathy. Take your dress and shoes off and put them in the glove compartment. Put on the collar and lead that are in there. Pick up the crop as well please; it’s on the back seat.” She meekly complies. The fine black leather collar fits perfectly. The name tag has an inscription on it. I don’t think she noticed what it s

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