Kristen Chapter #10: What Dreams May Come

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Published on 23.02.06 11:25 Age: 14 yrs

Letters : 12556 Words : 2211

By: Nemo

Kristen dreams after talking to her mother about the offer she received at the party.

“Now, don’t tip your head back,” Kristen’s mother warned. She handed Kristen a damp washcloth.

The naked young woman sat upright on the edge of the bathtub, sobbing piteously. With one hand she pinched the fleshy part of her nose. She took the washcloth in the other hand, and wiped at the little spots of blood down her torso and on one thigh.

“I wanted to slap him, Mom,” Kristen choked. “I was doing so well—I was really proud that I was doing so well—and then that dirty old man made me feel like a whore.” Instead of slapping him, she had forced a stony smile and told the man that she would have to think over his offer. A few minutes later, the nosebleed started. She hadn’t had a nosebleed like this for at least a dozen years.

Her mother put a reassuring hand on Kristen’s shoulder. “Just about everyone in town thinks that man is a world-class asshole,” she said. Kristen laughed a little through her tears. She had never heard that kind of language from her mother.

The muffled voices of the guests could be heard through the closed bathroom door. Her mother spoke softly. “I don’t think he meant to make you feel bad. He doesn’t mean to upset people, but sometimes I think he’s not capable of understanding how he makes other people feel. It’s like he has a missing chromosome or something. Personally, I don’t like him, but I hate to judge anyone.”

Her mother’s soothing voice helped calm Kristen’s nerves. “Well, I don’t like him at all,” she muttered.

“You know,” her mother continued, “at his house he is the only person allowed to wear clothes. There’s a big closet off the entry foyer where his wife and kids keep all their clothes. His wife, his kids, and any guests all have to undress completely before they’re allowed to step through the door into the main part of the house. His own clothes are in closets and dressers in the main part of the house, and he usually stays dressed. His wife seems to be perfectly happy with this arrangement—I don’t understand it—and his kids have never known anything different. I don’t think the man has any idea why some people find the whole arrangement kind of disturbing.”

“How can they let someone like that join a nudist club?” Kristen asked.

“There are all kinds of people in the world,” her mother responded, “and there are all kinds of people in nudist clubs. You’re still young, Kristen. As you get older, you’re going to see more strange and wonderful things than you could ever imagine. Always remember, no matter how strange or offensive a person seems on the outside, on the inside there is always a real, live human being. You have to respect the human being on the inside.”

Kristen sniffled. She rubbed a finger under both nostrils. Her nosebleed seemed to have stopped. “Okay,” she said, “but I still don’t like that guy.”

Her mother smiled. “Like I said, I don’t like him either. But let me tell you one thing that might help you understand him just a little bit better. You’re not to repeat this to anyone, okay?”

Kristen nodded.

“He’s worried that his son is turning gay. I don’t know whether it’s true or not. I think maybe he’s just reading too much into the fact that Tommy and his housemates are pretty casual about nudity. If it is true, I doubt that there’s anything that could be done about it. But the father’s worried about it, and he knows that Tommy used to like you, and I think that’s why he came up with that whole bizarre scheme. I imagine he thinks that seeing you every day would straighten Tommy out.”

Kristen considered this new information for a long time. She had really liked Tommy—could he really be the son of that oafish man? She felt sad and confused by the thought that Tommy might be gay. Was that the secret reason that he had seemed interested in Kristen as a person, not just a pretty body? The idea that only a gay man could appreciate Kristen as a human being was a gloomy prospect.

She started to feel a bit more sympathetic toward Tommy’s father. The man was stupid and inconsiderate, but he didn’t really seem evil. Her mother’s annoying habit of looking for the good in everyone made it frustratingly difficult to work up a good satisfying hatred for anyone.

Finally, she stood up. “Okay,” she said, nodding. “I’m alright now.” Her entire body was trembling gently.

Her mother offered her a robe. “After all that, I suppose you’ll probably want to cover up now,” she said.

Kristen shook her head. “No, Mom, I’m fine.” A wry smile played across her lips. “I’ve been to the mountain top, and I’ve seen the promised land.” She opened the bathroom door.

After the nosebleed incident, the party took on a more subdued tone. The guests seemed to recognize that Kristen was not as cool and calm as she appeared to be, and everyone tried to avoid making her feel embarrassed. A few gag gifts were simply left on the dining room table, rather than being presented personally in the presence of the entire company.

Tommy’s father came back with his nodding wife in tow again. His face was beet red, and there were beads of sweat on his forehead. “I—I think I might have embarrassed you a little bit earlier,” he said, “and if I did, I want to apologize with all my heart. I never meant to do anything to make you unhappy.”

“It—it’s okay,” Kristen answered. “I—I think I’ve just got a case of nerves.”

“Well,” he said, “I just want to apologize again for any offense I may have given. And, uh, I don’t think you were really interested, but just in case you change your mind, I want you to know that the offer on the room still stands.” Awkwardly, he shook her hand. “Just in case you change your mind.” His wife stood at his side, her head still bobbing up and down.

Kristen blushed and nodded. Now she felt sorry for the man. Maybe she had inherited some of her mother’s charitable nature.

 It was past midnight when the last of the guests straggled out the door. Kristen breathed a sigh of relief. “You said this was going to be a small party,” she said to her parents. “I counted more than sixty people.”

Her father smiled proudly. “You have a lot of friends, Kristen. Don’t forget that. Some of those people have known you as long as we have, and I think they’re almost as proud of you as we are.”

Kristen picked through the gag gifts that had been left behind on the dining room table. There was a welcome mat that read “Abandon All Clothes Ye Who Enter Here.” It would be perfect for the doorstep of Tommy’s father’s house. There was a body stocking printed with the image of a nude female body, so that even when she was wearing it, she would look naked.

Kristen yawned. She had gotten up very early for her visit to Black Knife Beach—it seemed like a hundred years ago; could it really be the same day? Fatigue suddenly took its toll. She was sleepy and physically exhausted. She bid her parents good night and climbed the stairs to her room.

After making her bed each morning, Kristen always laid out her night clothes for the following night. Now she saw the clothes she had set out this morning, before her drive out to the beach. She couldn’t help but laugh. “What a difference a day makes,” she thought.

That morning, her mental image of nudists had come almost entirely from dirty jokes or those dumb cartoons where somebody is always trying to peek over the fence at a nudist camp. She had known that real nudists existed, but they were as remote from her experience as the stereotypical cartoon cannibals cooking up a missionary stew.

Today she had met nudists at the beach. She had learned that she had grown up surrounded by nudists. Her own parents were nudists. And now she had no doubt—she was a nudist, too.

She picked the night clothes up off the bed and put them back into her dresser drawer. She smiled sadly as she realized that she would probably never wear them again. As she pushed the drawer shut, she whispered, “I am a nudist.”

She was struck once again by one of the conveniences of nudist life: she didn’t need to take anything off to get ready for bed, and she didn’t need to put anything on. She pulled back the covers and climbed into bed.

She had never slept in the nude before—well, not any time that she could remember, anyway. She liked the sensation of the sheets against her skin. She remembered the feel of the sun and the wind at the beach and on the backyard patio. Wearing clothes, she had been denied so many pleasures. The demon that had plagued her today with shame and humiliation seemed to be sleeping now. Kristen smiled contentedly. “I am a nudist,” she repeated. “A full-blooded nudist. What a difference a day makes.” Exhausted, she quickly fell asleep.

Perhaps the demon really was sleeping. Perhaps the demon was simply waiting for her to fall asleep. Her sleep was fitful, troubled by a number of strange disconnected dreams.

She was naked, climbing and climbing a mountainside. The mountain stretched endlessly above her. She looked down, and there was no earth below—the mountainside stretched into the darkness of a bottomless pit. She kept climbing, and the jagged rocks scratched and cut her naked skin.

Another dream: she was back in her high school. She was walking the crowded hallway from one class to another. She was dressed normally, but everyone else—students, faculty, the janitor—everyone was naked. The girls and teachers were shocked at the sight of her clothing; the boys leered lustfully.

The dream changed suddenly, and Kristen stood fully clothed before a classroom full of nude students, all female. They all seemed to be terribly embarrassed about their nudity. Kristen herself seemed to be wearing some sort of school uniform, not her usual school clothes. There was a teacher in the room, also fully dressed. The teacher spoke sternly, and told the humiliated nude students, “Only Kristen gets to keep her clothes because only she is a proper young lady.” The naked girls all glowered at her with a mixture of hatred and envy.

Another dream: she was at the beach, surrounded by grotesque creatures who seemed to be a cross between pigs and orangutans. Kristen instinctively knew that these animals were the dreaded gawkers. They didn’t wear clothes, but they were all covered with thick black fur. They advanced slowly and clutched at her naked flesh.

Another dream: she was a student at a small college. She was at a crowded college function of some sort. Everything about the place seemed confused and hazy. There was obviously a great commotion going on, but she couldn’t tell what it was all about. The dean of the college stood up and announced to the large crowd that, after consultation with Kristen’s father, she would remain nude for her entire four years at school. Suddenly she was naked, and a spotlight shone on her.

Another dream: she was falling, falling, falling. Suddenly hundreds of hands reached out and caught her and set her down gently on the ground. She looked around, and her rescuers all had blank faces. Slowly a face formed on one of the rescuers—it was Beth. She smiled and said, “You’re going to fit right in here, Kristen. I told you that you would get used to it.”

Another dream: she stood at the front door of a strange house. The door stood wide open, but she couldn’t see anything inside. A welcome mat read “Abandon All Clothes Ye Who Enter Here,” and all the people from the party crowded around her, noisily urging her to enter the house. With a pounding heart, she stepped through the door. Darkness closed over her, and she finally slipped into a desperately needed deep slumber.

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