Hannah felt her heel sink into the soft ground, glanced down at her shoes. She wasn’t dressed for hiking through the woods. Jonathan was forging ahead, leaving her behind, alone, in the dark.
She called out to him. “Hey wait up.”
He stopped and turned to her. “Hold on.” He came back for her, and took her arm, helping her over the rough ground.
“Thanks,” she said, forcing a smile.
He gestured into the darkness. “It’s not much further.”
She couldn’t hear any sound of a party, she couldn’t hear anything but the wind in the trees. It was biting cold. Too cold to enjoy being out, even wrapped up as she was. It would snow soon and everyone would go into full winter mode. That would be fine, just as long as it didn’t start snowing tonight...
Hannah stuffed her hands into her coat pockets to keep them warm. “I thought we were going to Jade’s party. I told her we’d be there. She’s going to be so mad with me.”
Jonathan made a bored noise in the back of his throat. “Oh, come on? This is going to be way more fun than that. We see her, like, every day.”
“But this is different. If I miss her Halloween party she’ll never let me forget about it. You have no idea how mean she can be when she thinks she’s been wronged.”
“Hannah, Hannah, Hannah, we’re always doing things with your friends. Don’t you think it’s only fair we do something with mine? Once in a while?”
That wasn’t true, but if she tried to contradict him, he’d sulk all night. It was easier to let him have it his way. “I expect it will be alright. Well. Maybe if you’d told me about this, in advance it wouldn’t have been a problem... But now?”
She glanced down at her phone, but there was still no service. It seemed like they’d driven for hours to get here, though it couldn’t really have been that long.
All Jonathan’s friends were German, and half of them gave her the creeps. The other half were simply a bit dull. Neither group really liked her. She stopped herself from sighing. Another year and her course would be over, she’d be able to go home, back to Sydney. Jonathan would go back to Vancouver. Would they stay together past that? Right now, she doubted it. If she had any guts she probably would have broken up with him already. There were reasons not to. If she did, with courses in common, she’d still have to see him all the time. It would be super-awkward. He wasn’t that bad. Most of the time.
They came out of the trees. The moon broke through the clouds, illuminating the scene, and all of a sudden, below them was a modern building of glass, steel and concrete. So out of place that she gasped. It was insane, right here, in the middle of some nameless bleak country forest, was something like a resort hotel. From her vantage point, she could see tennis courts, and a swimming pool under glass that must have cost millions.
Yet not a single light was on. If not for the moonlight it would be absolute darkness out there. What was going on?
Dry leaves were heaped in the corners, twigs and branches were strewn across the driveways and courtyards, the glass was soiled with a thick layer of rain-grime. Doors stood open.
Jonathan squeezed her hand, and pointed out towards the scene. “Look, there... the rear tennis court?”
She blinked. She’d thought it was a shadow at first, but it was a hole... A great, gaping hole in the middle of the tennis courts. Concrete debris was spread all around. Some of it had flown for hundreds of meters. In some places shrapnel had flown through the mirrored glass walls of the main building, exposing concrete and steel beneath.
Hannah shook her head. “What the? Why? What is this place?”
“This fancy hotel was supposed to be some kind of secret. Not on any maps, not on the satellite images. Then something happened, and whoever owned it, left. The hole in the tennis courts goes down and down, down like forever. It’s as if there’s no bottom to it.”
“I get it. I do. You’re right. This is super spooky. To be honest, I am creeped the fuck out. Is there an actual party or not?”
Jonathan laughed. “Of course. It’s inside the main building. The elevators don’t work, but there are stairs. Soundproof, and everything. Cool huh?”
“I’m reserving judgement.”
“Want to go look into the hole?”
“You’re kidding me? What if there are devils climbing up out of it?”
He laughed. “May as well. Once in a lifetime experience and all that.”
“What? Looking into a black hole in the middle of a dark night? Of course, I won’t see anything. Couldn’t we have just driven straight down the driveway and skipped all this walking. Uphill no less?”
“Nope. Because there are locked gates on the main entrance, and a fence on either side.”
It made sense. They’d slipped through a hole in a mesh fence earlier, but she hadn’t given it that much thought at the time. She’d been too cold, and too worried about getting mud all over her shoes.
“Shit. I need to pee,” she said. “You go on ahead. I’ll catch up.”
It would be better if she did it out here, alone, rather than endure whatever nasty setup they had for the party. The chances of them having a sufficient number of clean portable toilets was practically zero. Probably most of the people at this party would be men, and they never thought about such things.
Jonathan didn’t even answer, didn’t look back. Perhaps he hadn’t heard her. Either way, he was bounding down the hill without her. Leaving her behind... again.
She turned and slipped back into the tree-cover.
It was such a pain, getting her tights down, and hitching up her skirt without falling over. At least she had wipes in her bag.
When she was finished, she headed back towards the edge of the trees, towards the building.
Except she couldn’t find it. She must have got turned around somewhere. In amongst the trees it was dark. She could barely see her hand in front of her face. Out here, in the middle of nowhere, there were no streetlights, no glow from the city reflected in the clouds. Out here it was dark like the middle ages.
“Shit. I’m lost,” she cursed aloud. In the fucking woods. In the middle of the night. In the middle of winter. I bet Jonathan doesn’t even notice I’m missing all night, and when he does he’ll think I’ve gone home with somebody else.
She took a deep breath and pulled out her phone. Still no signal, but she could use the light to trace her way back. If she kept calm and was careful, she would find the path she’d kicked up through the pine needles.
Something pale was caught in the moonlight. It wasn’t a tree.
Hannah took a sharp gasp of breath, held it frozen. She sighed with relief, it was just another person. Another woman. What were the chances? Of course, there would be other partygoers, wouldn’t there?
“Hey?” she called out. The figure in the distance had blonde hair, a bright pink dress made of something shiny. Rubber? She stood out like a sore thumb.
The only question was how had she not noticed this person earlier? It was dark, in a forest. It wasn’t that strange, was it?
The figure took a step closer. Yes, definitely a woman, a young woman. She smiled, and gestured, beckoning. Creepy. Was this some kind of Halloween prank?
Hannah took a few steps forward and halted.
The woman tipped her head and beckoned again. Why didn’t she speak?
“Hey. What’s going on? Are you pranking me?”
“Sorry, not at all,” the woman answered. Her voice was soft, but clear, carrying easily in the quiet darkness.
“What are you doing?”
“Take a look at this.”
The woman pointed to something on the ground by her feet.
Hannah picked her way over to where the woman was standing.
In front of her was a metal case of some kind. No. It was a locker, a wrecked locker that could have come from a gym changing room. It looked as if somebody had crushed it with a giant sledgehammer. It lay on its back, the door loose, half broken off. It had almost vanished under pine needles.
“Must have been thrown out in the explosion,” the woman said.
“It flew a long way. What kind of explosion does that?”
The woman laughed quietly. “Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?” She grabbed the door handle, rattled it, and with some creaking and groaning, pulled the door open. It flipped open, then the hinges gave way and it fell off entirely.
Hannah shone her phone-light into the interior.
Inside, the locker was filled with black slime.
She turned to run, then stopped herself, turned back again.
The woman was gone. A few silver bubbles drifted past. The sensation of unreality made Hannah’s gut twist. Was she seeing things?
Where had she gone? She must have been freaked out by Hannah’s scream. She couldn’t have vanished. She had to be close by.
Hannah’s breath came in gasps. She shone the light into the locker again. She’d been mistaken. It wasn’t full of slime at all, just gleaming black rubber. Loads of it. There was part of a zip. It looked like some kind of fancy rubber clothing.
Resting on top of the rubber was a mess of jagged glass pieces. She stepped closer, looking more carefully. No, it wasn’t glass, it was some kind of plastic. Some kind of clear plastic box had shattered with the impact. Nestled amongst the fragments, like a nest in the mess of black rubber clothing, was an equally black rubber ball, about the size of a grapefruit.
On closer inspection, it was obvious that the ball had been enclosed inside the clear plastic box, but the box must have broken in the fall. The ball however, was undamaged.
On impulse, she picked it up. It was smooth, and cold, amazingly soft against her skin.
The ball was soft, but also cold, heavy, and solid in equal measure. She brushed a few small pieces of broken plastic off it. It was soft only up to a point, yielding on the surface but solid underneath. Maybe it opened up somehow? Or it had electronics inside, like one of those little round robots? Whatever it was, it had been in a special box. It had to be worth something, and it was perfectly intact and unmarked.
She didn’t have her gloves and didn’t want to keep her hand out of her pocket, so she dropped it into her bag.
Something moved behind her, footfalls, brushing through the needles. She turned, expecting the woman.
Instead, it was Jonathan, still some way off. She waited for him to come over.
“I saw your light. Good thinking. Did you get lost or something?”
“No. No... Why would you think that? I just saw this. What do you think?”
“Wow. You just opened this? Was it locked?”
“It kind of fell open.”
Jonathan raised an eyebrow, disbelieving. “Either way, what’s this stuff in it?”
“I think it’s clothes. Rubber or something?”
“And some broken plastic. Wonder what that was.”
He reached in, pulled on the rubber, hauling it out. With an odd kind of slopping noise, it flopped out of the locker. Jonathan turned it over and around in his hands.
“Some kind of catsuit. Not ripped either. So pretty.”
“You’re kidding right.”
This was exactly what she’d dreaded. He was off on this rubber thing again. Over, and over, he’d tried to get her into rubber outfits. Kept telling her it was normal in Germany. Like fuck it was!
She’d finally agreed to it, as long as he was wearing it too, but apparently the deal only went one way. He wasn’t interested in wearing rubber at all, just looking at her in it. That was probably around the time she’d started to seriously think about finishing with him. But she hadn’t. And here they were. Was this whole party thing something to do with it?
“You’re not getting me into that. You can wear it, if you want to.”
“Oh, Hannah, Hannah, Hannah. I never even mentioned it. Honestly. Always jumping down my throat. Guilty without trial, and I didn’t say a word.”
“You were thinking it. You’re so predictable. I know what you’re going to say before you even say it.”
“I was just going to say that the party’s fucked. A bunch of drunk Russians have crashed it, and everyone is leaving.”
“Really? Drunk Russians?”
“For real. I’m not making this up.”
They both fell silent. The sound of several people approaching was clear enough. Then whispering, in Russian.
“Shit. There really are Russians,” she whispered.
“I know. Come on, let’s keep away from them. Those fuckers would rape both of us the mood they’re in.”
He grabbed her hand and almost pulled her off her feet.
She stumbled after him through the trees, heading down hill. The sound of voices was still loud behind them. Were they calling out? Whatever they were saying, she had no idea. She didn’t speak a word of Russian.
The trees began to thin, and Jonathan dragged her out of the forest and onto a road.
She wrenched her hand away from his. “What was all that about?”
She took in the scene, not a road, it was the driveway into the underground parking for the building. Twenty metres away was an opening, four cars wide, leading into pitch blackness. There were electric roller doors, but they were stuck in the up position.
“We need to hide. I wasn’t joking about those guys.”
“They’re just drunks.”
“They’ll kick the shit out of me, and what do you think they’ll do to you? There aren’t any cops out here, nobody to stop them doing anything they want. Get it? Best case we both end up giving them blow jobs.”
She shook her head. “Such a dramatist.”
Despite her dismissal, she followed him into the darkness of the garage at a jog. He might have a point, but it was better not to overthink that kind of thing. She didn’t want to end up paralysed with fear.
“Won’t they think to follow us in here? We should hide somewhere else. Somewhere smarter,” she said.
“Shut up, they’ll hear you,” he whispered. “You got a better idea?”
She shook her head.
They traced their way by touch, fingers trailing along the wall until Jonathan walked smack into a barrier. They were in absolute darkness, not even a glimmer of moonlight made its way down here. He pulled out his phone and turned the light on, low.
“They’ll see it,” she whispered, her voice a hiss.
He got his bearings and turned the light off again.
By feel they went through a doorway, and she pushed the door closed behind them.
“Could we get locked in here?” she asked.
He turned his phone light back on, illuminating a long corridor in front of them. “No. Doors were all on electronic locks, and with the power off, they all unlock. Fire safety rules.”
“Something tells me that the weirdos that made this place didn’t care much about fire safety rules.”
“I’ve explored in here before, and never found a locked door, ok?”
They followed the corridor to the end, there was another door, and then a stairwell.
They climbed the stairs, and after more twists and turns, emerged into a lobby.
“I know where we are,” Jonathan said. He cast the light from his phone about, showing her the situation.
At one time, it had been a thickly carpeted, wood panelled reception. There was a fancy curved counter, and signs of where chairs and pot-plants had once stood. The front doors were wide open, allowing dirt and leaves to blow in and collect. The carpet was covered in twigs, pine-needles and animal droppings.
Computer monitors sat, useless on the counter-top, cables hanging out of their backs. A decade ago, they would have been the cutting edge; screens that seemed to be made from a single slab of unadorned black glass, hanging from elegantly curved supports, as if defying gravity.
Screens though, were almost a bygone now, except on a phone, where it was convenient to be able to touch the display.
“This place must have been pretty up-market before they abandoned it,” she said.
“Yeah. They cleared out in a hurry. They left carpets, some big pieces of furniture, but nothing else. Every single computer, every data-store, every bed, and every chair, gone. Me and the guys, we’ve searched all over this place, looking for loot, and got nothing. They were thorough. It’s weird that they left the screens and took the chairs.”
He rustled the soft rubber of the suit from the locker. She hadn’t even noticed he was carrying it. He’d balled it up and tucked it under his arm.
“This is the first time I found a clue to what went on here. What do you think? Some kind of retreat for rubber fiends?”
“For all I know. But why would they need that pit?”
“It’s not a pit, it’s a hole. Something down there blew up. Outwards. Exploded. Shot lumps of concrete up into the air.”
“But it still goes down, right? So basically, it’s a pit.”
“Yeah. There have to be levels deep underground, but we haven’t been able to find any way down to them. Some guys abseiled down into the pit, but they ran out of rope.”
“Let’s get back to the car, ok? Before those guys come around here.”
He turned his phone-light off. “I’ll just check the coast is clear. Those shoes of yours aren’t great for running.”
“Sorry. I’d take them off, but it’s freezing cold.”
Jonathan crouched down, and scuttled out through the double doors. The moon was lost behind clouds again, and it was almost as dark outside as in.
She glanced down at her phone screen. No signal obviously. It was only nine. If they drove back now they could still make it to Jade’s.
Something clicked behind her, and she spun to face the noise.
One of the wooden panels in the wall had swung open, a kind of secret door. It must have been open before, and she’d just missed it. It wouldn’t hurt to look, would it?
She walked around behind the counter, and peered through the crack of the door. There was only darkness behind. She pulled the door open, slipped through and closed it behind her. It clicked shut. She turned on her phone light, illuminating a short corridor, lined with doors, all ajar.
“Is there somebody there?” Came a woman’s voice from somewhere down the corridor. Hannah thought of the woman from before, but this voice was different, deeper, older.
“Hello?” Hannah called, as loudly as she dared.
“Oh. It’s you.”
A woman stepped out into the corridor. She was tall, and the heels of her immaculate patent pumps made her even taller. She had dark hair, put up in a fancy bun, glasses, a beige silk blouse, and a tight leather skirt that hugged her thighs.
“Sorry. Sorry. I didn’t want to be here, but these guys chased us and ... they were drunk.”
“Of course. Don’t worry. You’re in exactly the right place.”
“I don’t understand. Who are you? You might have me confused with somebody else?”
The woman nodded. “That’s possible. It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re multitasking, and ...” oh, I’m Dehlia by the way. We probably haven’t met yet. We will.”
“We’re meeting now.”
“Oh yes. Of course, that’s obvious, but this isn’t really a meeting you see?”
“Where did you come from? You’re not here for the party, are you?”
“No. I was... Will be... It’s complicated.”
“And you’re not with the Russians?”
“If you mean those centipede cultists, you really mustn’t let them catch you. They’re always up to things on Halloween. It is Halloween, isn’t it?”
“Yes. Why would you ask?”
“I wasn’t sure this was the right day, or year, or shard. Anyway, you’ve got the sphere, haven’t you?”
“The...” Hannah frowned. Should she answer? “How do you know? Yes. I’ve got it.”
“Body heat activates it. Make sure you’re the one to start it up. Don’t let your boyfriend start it first. But I don’t know why I’m telling you this, you won’t do that anyway. And don’t let him know about the door behind you. Keep that just between us, please? You can come back and explore by yourself. Later.”
Hannah nodded, twisted to check the door behind her was still closed.
When she turned back, the woman was gone. A handful of silvery bubbles drifted up and popped.
Am I on drugs?
She slipped back through the door, closing it behind her once she was back out in the reception area. It was invisible once closed, and she couldn’t see how to open it again, though there had to be a way.
She was still thinking about it, and where the woman had vanished to, when Jonathan came back in.
“I think we’re safe,” he said.
Hannah stopped herself from glancing back at the hidden panel. “I’m not so sure about that.”
* * * * *
Later, back in the warmth of her flat, Hannah shrugged off her coat. Underneath was the sexy witch costume she’d put on for Jade’s party.
Jonathan slumped onto her sofa and spread himself out.
She glanced back at him over her shoulder as she put the kettle on. “We can still get to Jade’s. It’s early,” she said.
“That was a total loss. I’m sorry. You were right. I should have listened. That’s the last time I go to a party in the middle of nowhere.”
Hannah smacked herself on the side of the head. “Am I hearing right? Did you just apologize?”
“Yeah. Don’t make a big thing of it. I’ve been there loads of times, looking for stuff. Never found anything. Never got chased by drunk Russians either.”
“Are you sure you didn’t do something to piss them off?”
Jonathan pursed his lips. “Definitely not.”
Hannah spooned instant coffee into two mugs. “This comes back to your rubber fixation doesn’t it? You and your buddies, you heard some rumour that place was something to do with rubber, didn’t you? That’s why you go there?”
Jonathan laughed. “I guess you got me there. And this time, I scored something. Some of the others found things too. Really fancy stuff. High end products.”
He leaned over and picked up the suit he’d rescued from the locker.
“It’s amazing. Feels like rubber, but not like rubber, you know what I mean?”
Hannah checked the kettle to avoid facing him. “Not really.”
“It’s no use for me though. This is definitely a woman’s suit.” He held it up to show her.
Much as she would have liked to deny it, he was right. The hips and waist were a dead giveaway. Also, the legs looked a bit short for a man.
“So, you want to reconsider your outfit for Jade’s? Go in this?”
“You’d look fucking amazing.”
“I think I’ll pass. We already had this conversation. I don’t exist just for your visual entertainment, and I’m sure not going to dress up to please you if you won’t do anything for me.”
She clicked the kettle off before it boiled and regretted her words. She had worn the witch costume after all. It was a pity he hadn’t complimented her on it a bit more.
He chuckled. “It’s not like you want to look at me in rubber though, is it? Be honest.”
“I guess... Probably not, but it’s the principle of the thing. If you want to play dress-up, then you go first, and maybe if I like where it ends up, I’ll feel like joining in. But we already went over this, didn’t we?”
“I know but...” His words faded out into a sigh and he slumped back into the sofa’s embrace.
Hannah poured milk into the coffee.
“I found something else. I’m going to try it as soon as I’ve got my coffee. Who knows? It might be a big secret about that place?”
She handed him his mug, and put hers down next to the armchair.
“You stole my sofa again, you louse.”
“Guilty,” Jonathan said, kicking back, and looking partly pleased with himself. “But what were you saying? Found something?”
Hannah took the sphere out of her bag. In the light, she could see it was glossy, mirror smooth, and mostly black, marbled through with red. She hadn’t noticed the red out in the dark.
She clasped it between her hands. It was still ice-cold, and seemed to suck the heat right out of her. She pulled it in against her chest, warming it between her breasts.
“Let me see,” Jonathan said.
“No. Just wait a minute. I found it, I’m going to play with it.”
He sat up, leaned forward to get a closer look. “Marbled red? I’ve never seen anything like that before. It’s too big to be a gag. Is it soft?”
“Gag? What are you talking about? What freaky stuff are you into Jon?”
“Nothing. Just speculating. What do you think it is?”
The sphere seemed to be softening. She held it up in front of her face, staring at it, looking for some clue. “I have no idea at all. Maybe it’s just a ball.”
Her fingers sank into the sphere, then stuck, as if it were more solid deeper in.
She tried to pull them free, but they wouldn’t come.
“Shit. I’m stuck.”
Hannah pulled as hard as she dared, but her hands wouldn’t come out of the sphere. Even though it felt softer, and stickier, like plunging her hands into melting toffee, she still couldn’t pull loose.
She grimaced. “Help me get this thing off.”
Jonathan stood up, held his hands up uselessly. “How exactly?”
“I don’t know. Pull my wrists apart or something? You’re stronger than me.”
“I don’t want to hurt you.”
“I don’t care. I’ll let you know if it hurts. If you hear me screaming, that’s a clue.”
She swallowed, fighting back the fear. She had to be imagining it. There was no way that the sphere could be melting, spreading up her wrists.
Jonathan reached in to grab her arms, and she twisted away at the last moment. “No. Wait! It’s doing something. Don’t touch it.”
He shook his head. “Make your mind up.”
It really was starting to ooze up her wrists.
“Look. Look what it’s doing. It’s moving.” She twisted back so that Jonathan could see.
“Shit. You’re right. It’s crawling up your arm. Down your arm. Moving. Anyway.”
“How do I make it stop?”
“You’re asking me.”
“You’re the rubber expert.”
“Rubber doesn’t move by itself. This thing... No... Can’t be...”
Hannah stared at her arms, it was half-way to her elbows now, coating her skin in glistening blackness. There was no sign of the red now. It was as if she’d plunged her arms deep into thick black treacle.
“Can’t be what?” she said.
There was no question about it, she could see it moving, slow but relentless, creeping, spreading, already well on its way to reaching her elbows.
Jonathan didn’t answer her. The blackness reached the crinkly skin on her elbows, covering it.
“Can’t be what?” she asked again.
Jonathan shook his head, shook it again. “No. No. There’s this urban myth that Hanley-Muller made a liquid rubber, and when you touch it, it spreads over you, swallows you up. Once it’s on, you can never get it off. It makes you crazy for sex, for orgasms, but you can’t get them, only it can make your orgasm. Gradually, it trains you to obey it. The victims become assassins for Hanley-Muller.”
“I don’t like this story much,” Hannah said, her voice wavering.
“Just an urban myth. Supposedly started when people saw Nilma’s bodyguards in what look like black rubber outfits. But that’s just their reactive camouflage when it’s turned off.”
“Nilma doesn’t wear rubber or weird shit like that anyway. It can’t be true, right?”
“How could a thing like that ever be true or real? It’s just internet conspiracy crap. There are a million stories about Nilma and twice as many about Hanley-Muller”
Hannah bit her lower lip. The blackness was almost at her armpits. What would happen when it reached the fabric of her dress? She still couldn’t pull her hands apart.
“Do you think... Do you think it’s going to cover me?”
“I don’t think it’s big enough.”
“It’s moving faster now,” she said, her voice a tiny croak.
It oozed up underneath the cap-sleeves of her dress.
She let out a small yelp of surprise. “Ooer, it’s sort of tingly.”
“I can’t explain any more than that,” she said.
Jonathan shrugged back at her.
She bit her lip, hissed in a breath. “I’m trying really hard not to panic. But I don’t think it’s working. I think I’m panicking.”
“I don’t know what to do,” he said.
They both stood in silence for a few minutes. It seemed like hours.
Her arms were completely covered, and the treacle-like blackness was moving underneath her dress, spreading across her chest, meeting up with itself.
It reached her nipples, and the tingle was even stronger, a little thrill that almost took her mind off the horror of it. It was going to swallow her up like the thing in the stories, and brainwash her into a slave to Hanley-Muller. That place, the buildings, the pit, it had to be them ... Hanley-Muller.
If there was a crazy story, a bio-weapon gone wrong, a mad robot, a drug that did something impossible, it was always them. Jonathan had a point. They were the name people hung every crazy conspiracy theory and crank story on.
Nothing was ever proved. It was all a lie, a lie. If this ball was spreading over her, it didn’t make the stories true. It could just be a sick sex toy. If it didn’t drop off after a while, the hospital would know how to remove it. They’d have seen it before. Wouldn’t they?
It was closing up along her back now, and it sent little tingles and shivers down her spine.
“It’s just like the story. It feels good.” She blinked back tears. “I don’t want to be an H-M puppet.”
“I guess if we’d thought earlier, we could have cut your arms off. Even that’s not an option now, is it?”
“You fucking arsehole. You are not helping.”
“Just stay calm ok... It’s probably fine. Didn’t you say it feels good?”
“Woah, it’s on my belly. So ticklish.”
“It’s coming up around your neck.”
“Mirror. Mirror. I need a mirror.” She made a dash for the bedroom, where the wardrobe had a full-length mirror.
Jonathan hurried after her.
“What are you doing? If you can’t help, just stay away from me,” she said.
“What do you expect me to do?”
She let out a shriek. Her breaths came in gasps. “It’s on my... On my... You know?”
Turning to see herself reflected, she could see the darkness flowing up to fill the cleavage revealed by her dress.
It was moving faster now, and it was only a moment before she felt it around her neck, oozing up, touching beneath her ears. It was hard to concentrate. At the same time, it was closing over her bottom, touching intimate places, like a thousand tiny tickling insect feet.
As suddenly as they had become stuck, her hands came apart. Glancing down at her palms, the ball was gone. The entire thing had flowed onto her, and now it was on the move. Her hands looked as if she was wearing shiny black gloves that fit with skin-tight perfection.
She had to see. She reached back behind her head and felt for the zip of her dress. Her fingers weren’t numb, her senses weren’t dulled as they would have been if she were wearing gloves, instead the fabric of her dress took on a new texture, rough, as if her senses were magnified. She found the tiny tag of the zipper and pulled it down.
With her other hand, she reached around the small of her back, found the zip again, and pulled it all down further. It hitched half-way, as it always did, then she eased it past the sticking point, and all the way down.
She slipped the dress off her shoulders and gasped. The black rubber had covered almost her entire body. She kicked the dress away as the shiny coating flowed over her feet, obvious beneath the black fishnets of her costume.
The only thing left uncovered was her head, and it was already up around the bottom of her ears. The sensation of tightness, the pressure of it squeezing in on her body was unmistakable now. It felt as if it were getting tighter, and more restrictive.
Moving slowly again, the black stuff oozed, thick as treacle, up into, and then over her hair. It covered her ears, tickling her lobes, and then it was in them, almost unnoticeable, like warm water from the shower, apart from the change in sound as it blocked them up.
The pounding of the blood in her head was suddenly loud. She cursed, and her words sounded faint and far away, as if she were wearing ear-plugs. What was happening to her hair?
In the mirror, the only thing uncovered was her face. She clawed at the coating where it crept over her chin, edging towards her mouth. Her fingers caught at it, lifted it up. It came away from her skin, but it was too hard to stretch, it slipped off her fingers, stinging her chin as it snapped back into place.
“Has it stopped?” Jonathan’s words were almost inaudible.
“I don’t think so. Shit. Help me Jon. Get me out of this. Call an ambulance or something.”
“What would I tell them? Help, my girlfriend is stuck in a rubber suit?”
“I don’t care. Just get it off me.”
Tears had made her face hot and wet. She couldn’t remember when they’d started flowing freely. Her hands were shaking too badly for her to do anything else.
With a teasing slowness, she watched the reflection of her face disappear beneath the glistening black coating. Only her eyes and mouth remained. It oozed up inside her nose, pressing, hardening, expanding, forcing itself deep into her nostrils.
She fumbled as her nose with her hand, but there was nothing she could do to stop it, as it inserted itself deep into her breathing passages, her nose blocked, useless.
Unexpectedly, the blocked sensation cleared, and she could breathe through her nose again. Her breaths came with a quiet whistling sound, and a heavy scent of rubber that she hadn’t smelled before, like chocolate.
“Shit, my hair,” she said. “Oh god. Oh god. What’s it going to do? Where’s it going to stop?”
It flowed over her lips, and into her open mouth, and it kept flowing.
She managed the beginning of a scream, and then it was stifled. In the mirror, the rubber over her lips was bright, gleaming red. It had flowed inside her mouth, covering her teeth, forming a hard ring behind them.
Inexorably, it forced her mouth open, and she could see more bright-red rubber inside. Her tongue was free to move, covered in more red rubber, in a mouth lined entirely in rubber, forced wide open, impossible to close.
She tried to speak, tried to push air out through her mouth, but it was impossible. Her mouth was sealed off at the throat.
Her jaw was stretched to its limit, but no further, uncomfortable, but not painful, but she couldn’t close her mouth, and it gaped, an intensely bright red opening in her face, more like a hole than a mouth.
The rubber flowed down over her eyes, sealing them shut. That sex-doll O of a mouth was the last thing she saw.
Plunged into darkness, unable to speak, and deafened by the sound of her own breathing, her own heart, her blood thundered in her ears.
It seemed like Jonathan’s voice was far away. “Fuck. What happened? Is this for real?”
The rubber shifted again, making small adjustments around her toes and fingers, tightening around her face, and crushing her waist. It moved over her sex again, like before, setting her mind racing with the crazy sensation like an army of ants marching over her most sensitive parts. It was pushing itself inside her, opening her up. The stretch was like being penetrated by a cock, though not as warm.
She turned around, lost, and dizzy, her hands out, groping for landmarks. She was in front of her wardrobe, and Jonathan had been behind her. Her fingers found him, closer than she’d expected, his body hot through the rough, scratchy fabric of his shirt.
“Hannah? Are you alright in there? Can you breathe?”
She found his arms and gripped onto them, the feeling of the rubber moving inside her made her want to scream. Her mind was a roaring screech of panic, every fear and possibility running through it at once.
At least Jonathan was something solid to hang onto. She’d be even more screwed if she’d ended up like this alone.
“Can you breathe?” he asked again.
She nodded. She could breathe alright, if only through her nose, and every breath had the heavy chocolate scent of rubber in it, sweet and disorienting. Her head would be spinning, even if she wasn’t blind and nearly deaf.
The suit tightened around her chest, squeezing and lifting her breasts, making her nipples tingle and shiver with delight.
She pressed her head against Jonathan’s chest. It felt as if his shirt was made of sack-cloth.
Her jaw ached. She put a hand to her mouth, pressed her fingers inside the opening, exploring. Her tongue explored back. Her tongue, like the rest of her, was covered in rubber. She reached into her mouth as far as she dared, thrusting her fingers to the back of her throat. Rubber all the way. There was no temptation to gag, just a pleasant tingle, as if she could tickle herself.
“It’s like you’re completely sealed in there, like an all-over condom,” Jonathan said.
She took her hand from her mouth, and explored her sex the same way. What would Jonathan be thinking?
Her fingers slid easily up inside herself, the rubber smooth and frictionless. Once again, it was rubber all the way, and it felt good. As she stretched herself, and the rubber shifted over her skin, it was little an electric tingle, that ant crawling sensation, plus the thrill of sex, a big sensation and a little one, and somehow, she could feel both at once.
Something pressed into her mouth, something thick, strong and forceful. It had to be Jonathan’s fingers. What the hell was he doing? But she couldn’t stop him, she couldn’t close her mouth, all she could do was try and push the invaders out with her tongue, but it was useless. His fingers were in her mouth, exploring.
Her knees buckled, even this was a hundred times better than her own touch, a thousand times better. His fingers felt rough, and every movement they made sent little shocks through her, like an ice-cube teasing her nipples.
He pressed, harder, exploring to the back of her throat, and she couldn’t hold herself up. She fell to her knees.
“How’s that? Did you feel something?”
“Was it good?”
She wanted to lie, to deny it, but the sensation was so good. It was enough to make her forget the overwhelming terror of her situation, at least for the moment she was feeling it.
“Fuck. I’m so hard, I can’t believe it. You look so amazingly sexy.”
Jonathan’s warm fingers felt good. What about Jonathans’ cock? It would be like a molten rod.
“I know it makes no sense, but maybe this suit would come off if I fucked you? Afterwards.”
He was right, it made no sense, but she was prepared to try anything, and maybe he knew it and was preying on her desperation?
But there was no doubt it would feel fantastic. The suit seemed to amplify every little sensation, made everything that touched her erotic, magnified the response of her erogenous zones.
“Did you just nod?”
She nodded again.
“Alright? You’re ok for me to put it in your mouth?”
Her hands found his zipper, felt the hot bulge of his cock beneath. She opened up his pants and reached inside for his cock. He was so hard and stiff that there was no way to get it out from inside his underwear. She unfastened the button on his jeans and pulled them down, then pulled down his boxers, freeing his iron hard, burning hot cock. He’d never been this big or hard before. The sight of her had aroused him in a way she’d never done before.
The heat of it warmed her face from a distance. She used her hand to help him put it in. It was like sucking on a pillar of lava. Her mouth burned, not with pain, but pleasure, a weird feeling that set her breasts and sex aflame in sympathy. It was like he was inside her, in her sex, pumping into her, but he was only in her mouth.
He pushed forward and forced himself down her throat. She could still breathe through her nose somehow. Her knees spread wider, though she didn’t want them to, and her bottom settled on the floor, between her feet.
She put a hand on each breast, kneaded, then pinched her nipples. Her mind was a blank. The fear, the panic, the desperation, the awful imagining of being stuck like this, helpless, blind, unable to eat, or drink, or speak, until she died of dehydration, or starvation, all seemed so distant, so ridiculous. How could something that felt so good be frightening? It couldn’t, it was that simple.
She wasn’t so much enjoying the situation, as edged, approaching, but never receiving an orgasm. The pleasure went on and on the whole time he pumped in and out of her face, but it wasn’t enough.
At last he pulled out. She couldn’t’ hold herself upright, and slumped backwards, arching her sex up towards him. She wanted him inside. If it had been that good in her mouth, she had to know what it was like for real.
But it seemed he must have cum, and when she reached up and groped for his cock, he was gone. She was alone, in the dark, aching to be filled.
Her limbs felt weak. She tried to raise herself upright, but she couldn’t seem even to reach a kneeling position.
“That was fantastic,” he said.
She couldn’t tell where he was. Her hearing was muffled and uncertain. Was he speaking loudly but far away? Was he talking softly right by her ear?
A hand grabbed her breast, and she pressed back against it with her remaining strength. It kneaded her flesh, then rubbed at her nipple. So good. She would have purred with delight, but she was forced to be silent.
“Did you like it?”
She nodded, weakly. Was it enough? Could he see?
She nodded again.
“The way you’re moving... are you still horny?”
She nodded. She was desperate for some real relief. She needed something inside her. Something hot and hard.
“Alright. Alright. Give me a while. I’m spent, but this is like a fantasy. It is a fantasy. I can’t believe it’s really happening. I’m going to be ready again in no time. You’re so damn sexy I can’t bear it.”
She lay still, mind calm. Empty. She needed to get her strength back too. Soon, she’d be strong enough to sit up. Soon. In the meantime, the strength of what she’d felt, like an orgasm, yet not, had blown away all her fears and doubts.
Everything would be fine. There was nothing to fear from the suit. Nothing at all. It had been made for her pleasure. Even now, it was protecting her. If Jonathan called all his friends, and had every single one of them fuck her, maybe three at a time, it would be fine. They would never touch her skin, she’d never taste their fluids, she’d never see their faces, and they would never see hers.
She could be anyone inside this suit. And if she met one of them on the street, days, or weeks later, they might look at her, but they’d never know for sure if it was her they’d fucked, and she wouldn’t know them either. She wouldn’t catch their STDs, would never really be touched by them. She’d been wrong to panic. Inside the suit was the safest place she could be.
Was this the programming that Jonathan had mentioned? She didn’t want to be programmed, didn’t want to become a slave to sex. The idea was repellent. And yet... it was hard to think of anything else but getting some kind of release, and the sensations ... so good.
She rubbed at her crotch with her rubber-gloved hand, but felt nothing. Nothing at all. She pushed her fingers inside herself. Still nothing. She could probably force her whole hand inside. Probably. She tried, desperate. All it did was make her hand hurt.
She wanted to scream, or weep with frustration, but the only noise she could make was a kind of moaning in the back of her throat.
The unfairness of it filled her with rage. Why did Jonathan get what he wanted? Why was she the one trapped and helpless? Why was she the one who had to be the sex slave?
Then his voice...
“Here,” he said, guiding her hand. She grasped something warm. His erect penis, stiffening at her touch. It felt bigger than she remembered. That would be perfect.
She guided the stiff hot rod inside her, filled with trepidation, terrified of the possibility that she might feel nothing.
It felt incredible. Hot, hard, pulsing. She grabbed his ass and pulled him into her.
“Hey, hey, calm down.”
She ignored his words. She had no intention of calming down. She wanted that cock pumping in and out of her. Without thinking she pushed him forward and down, straddling him.
“Ok. Wow,” he said. “I guess you’re pretty worked up. This is ... great.”
She rode him to climax, mindlessly. The entire experience a blur. Finally, she came, an orgasm so fierce it was as if she’d blacked out.
When her brain started working again, she realised something had changed.
She could see.
“What?” she said.
She could speak.
She looked down. She was naked, and rather sweaty. Beneath her was a beautiful masculine figure made of glistening black rubber. It had to be Jonathan. Yet it wasn’t quite like him. The tightness of the suit made him seem more muscular. Was it really him? It seemed unlikely anyone else had snuck in and put on the suit.
How had he ended up in it? One minute it was on her, and now it was on him? So strange.
He lay limp beneath her. She was still sitting on him, his rubberized cock still hard and hot in her vagina. She could ride him again if she wanted. It was tempting, but she was satisfied and there was no need.
“Jonathan? Are you alright?”
He couldn’t answer verbally. The suit covered his face with a smooth featureless mask. There weren’t even any nose holes. Yet, from the rise and fall of his chest, she could tell he was still breathing.
He stirred, raising his head a little. Was that a yes, or a no?
He raised a hand. A hand? More like a flipper. Unlike her experience, the rubber had sealed his fingers together, thumb glued against the palm, fingers fused by the rubber.
She stood up, her own breaths still coming in gasps. Her legs were still like jelly, but she managed to stay upright. His cock and balls stood out from the suit, hard, and gleaming, bright red. They looked massive. Was he really that big before? Definitely not. How on earth had she managed to fit that monster inside her? It was like something from a porno clip on the internet.
She had to get him out of it somehow. But sex? No way. Maybe if she fucked him again, she’d end up back in the suit. She couldn’t risk it. Not yet.
She knelt next to him and put her hand to his cheek.
“I’m here... I’m here... Don’t panic. We’ll get you out... Somehow.”
Nice words. But how?
The rubber was warm to the touch, heated by his body.
Without fully understanding it, she knew she could make the suit come off him, if she visualised it clearly. Or instead of doing that, she could alter his situation just a little, just ... enough.
The rubber flowed away from his face, still covering his head, but exposing his eyes, nose, and mouth. It was just as she’d pictured it in her head.
He gasped for air like a fish.
“Shit. Shit. I thought I would suffocate, but I could breathe. I could breathe, but it was hard. Thank fuck I can breathe, and talk, and see.”
“Yeah,” she said.
“The suit. It’s on me now. What’s going on?”
“Yes... I guess it is.”
“Hannah. You’ve got to get me out of this thing. Shit ... my cock, it feels like my balls could burst. I think if I cum it will be a fountain. Shit. Shit. I need to cum. Fuck me again. Please.”
“Hmmm,” she said, and imagined the rubber covering his face again.
Jonathan was silenced.
If she visualised it clearly enough, she could probably get him out of the suit completely. But there was no rush. After all, when she’d been stuck in it, his first thought wasn’t to get her out, it was to take advantage and fuck her like a sex doll.
So, it might teach him a little lesson to treat him the same way. Besides, that awesome new cock of his was very tempting. She might go again in a while. In the meantime, he could wait. It’s not like he could go anywhere by himself – blind, half-deaf, and without the use of his hands – it was unlikely he’d try to go anywhere, and if he did, he probably wouldn’t even be able to open the door, assuming he could find it.
Rubber felt nice. Why hadn’t she appreciated how good it was before?
She pulled out the suit that Jonathan had tried to talk her into wearing earlier. This was also from the locker, but it looked like an ordinary rubber suit. Nothing weird or alive about it. It was made for a woman, no doubt about that. The hips were wide, and there was space for breasts.
The rubber material was smooth and cool in her hands. She was already naked, so getting into the suit was a natural next step.
She was surprised at first, how hard it was to pull the tight suit over her body. Once she got her arms in it started to slide more easily over her sweaty skin, and she settled it all into place. There was no zipper, but there was something similar, made from flexible black rubbery stuff that blended almost seamlessly into the suit. The closure went through her crotch and up her front. It was easy to close it up to her neck and adjust the opening so that her crotch was still exposed.
Once she was happy with the feel of it, she settled back down onto Jonathan’s huge throbbing cock. It felt so right to be filled up. Why hadn’t she enjoyed it this much before? Probably his cock just wasn’t big enough. It was definitely bigger now. Somehow.
She would ride him once or twice more, then probably she’d be exhausted and ready to sleep. She could keep her new rubber dolly next to her in the bed. Maybe she’d let him out in the morning. If he was good and promised to behave.
* * * * *
A week later, she was standing in line at the supermarket checkout with her basket of shopping.
A woman’s voice came from behind her, “Hello. Sorry I didn’t catch up with you earlier. Or is this earlier?”
Hannah turned. It was... She didn’t recognize her at first, but then it clicked. It was the woman from Halloween. Not the second one, but the first one. The blonde.
She was wearing the same pink rubber dress as before. It looked a little out of place here, but nobody seemed to notice it except her.
The woman smiled. “I think I’m getting worse with time. And space. Never mind. How’s your new toy working out?”
Hannah took a moment to process the question.
“Oh. It’s perfect. But how do you know?”
“I’m all the Dehlia’s, and they’re all me, so of course I know. And your suit ... it’s made from me, in a way. A tiny, tiny little bit of me. So, you can always trust it to look after you. If you’re ever in danger, you can wear it. It will keep you safe. Maybe not from yourself, but I can’t do too much, or you wouldn’t be you any longer, would you? But other people won’t be able to hurt you. That might prove important one day.” She paused, still smiling blandly.
“Thanks. I guess. What... what is this all about? Is it Hanley-Muller? What do they want?”
“I like you Hannah. You’re a lot of fun. Hanley-Muller? No, it’s not them. That belongs to Nilma in the here and now. I’m just doing my own thing. I like to help people with potential.”
“Sorry, but who are you?”
“You can call me Dehlia. I suppose you could think of me as the Hanley in Hanley-Muller, but that would be wrong. I’m just Dehlia these days.”
“Oh... About the suit-”
Dehlia pressed her finger to Hannah’s lips. “You’ll know what to do with it. Or at least some versions of you will. The balance of probabilities is in your favor. I shouldn’t say more. That’s not how this works.”
“You could let him go of course. But wouldn’t it be more fun to train him a little more?”
The comment made her consider how she had him under control now. The suit was withdrawn from his body except his cock and balls, which were sealed away, smoothed over as if gone completely. He was unable to touch them or get himself off without her help and permission. It was surprising how obedient that had made him. He had become very polite and compliant. Whenever she wanted some fun, she would transform his cock from almost nothing into a magnificent giant erection, and he'd stay nice and hard for as long as she wanted.
He actually seemed quite grateful now that she thought about it. So why hurry to let him go? He had complained at first, but he seemed to be getting used to being more submissive.
When Hannah’s thoughts returned to the present, Dehlia was gone. Surely, she’d only been daydreaming for a moment? She looked around, but there was no trace of a blonde woman in a rather conspicuous pink rubber dress.
The only oddity was a few large silvery soap bubbles that floated up drifted away, perhaps blown by some small child?
She looked around for the child, but like Dehlia, there was no trace.
Dehlia Hanley? Impossible. She was probably just being pranked. Besides, she hadn’t even been clear about which suit. Never mind. If it was true, she’d work it out somehow.