Fire & Brimstone.

Fire & Brimstone

Markus Brimstone put the finishing touches to his makeup then cleaned his lip brush. ‘Yes, perfect,’ he thought to himself as he saw his alter ego Marcia reflected in the mirror.

He had been cross-dressing for years, then he got himself a girlfriend and Marcia had to stay in her suitcase, which he kept in his car. He played with the long blonde wig, it wasn’t the best match to his brown hair, but gentlemen prefer blondes apparently, not that he was looking to pull one. No he just liked to dress up and watch a video or read a book or even do some housework–until Rebecca showed up, then Marcia became a case–a suitcase.

Once a month he had to attend business meetings at the company HQ, which meant staying at the same hotel for the same two nights. The company booked it and Markus duly attended, first of all just sleeping in a nightdress, then becoming more adventurous, he started wearing a few things and before long, this became his release for his little hobby.

‘Well,’ he argued, ‘what harm am I doing anyone?’ which was true, it wasn’t hurting anyone, although he wasn’t sure if Becca would like it, especially the competition, he reckoned Marcia was pretty good looking.

Of course, that was just his opinion which he conceded was seen through rose-coloured spectacles–the pair he wore for reading when dressed as Marcia–he was slightly short sighted.

He picked up his book, some chick-lit lite, which held his attention about as long as the film on Sky did. When he was dressed as such, he didn’t need to watch rubbish featuring Arnie flexing his muscles and crushing a whole planet between his biceps, he wanted something altogether more elegant, such as a bodice ripper or costume drama–where is Colin Firth when you need him.

“Oh, Mr Darcy, your shirt is all wet,” she gasped before falling onto the bed in a pretend swoon, lying there giggling to herself through the fibres of the displaced wig. Eventually she sat up and straightened out her coiffure, touched up her smudged lipstick and paced the room again.

It was eight o’clock on a Friday evening, it was dark and he was stuck in this room–all dressed up with nowhere to go. He looked gorgeous, or so he thought, so wouldn’t everybody. He’d practiced his voice using the record device on his mobile–they did everything these days except transport you like that thing in Star Trek. ‘Beam me up, Spotty,’ he’d end his practices, deliberately mispronouncing the name of the fictional starship engineer, using an accent that was as bogus as that of the actor who played the part.

He prowled round the room again. In a space roughly ten by twelve feet, you can’t go very far. He’d done the bit of playing out romantic roles in his head–he read far too much Mills & Boon–with him always being the heroine of course. That was boring unless he had someone to do it with, and at home he always had to do the male bit since Becca had been there. He didn’t regret or resent her presence–only insofar as she could wear makeup and lingerie and skirts any time she wanted–and she did occasionally. Like most real women, she only wore frillies when she felt in the mood, was trying to turn him on, or attract attention to herself–most of the time it was Sloggis and slacks–comfort and practicality over ornament.

He glanced at the bra and panties hanging over the shower, he only had a chance to wash them the next time he stayed at the hotel. He currently sported the red set, the black ones were dripping in the shower.

He stopped and admired himself in front of his full length mirror, once again. Yes, his pencil skirt was lovely, and fitted his padded derrier perfectly. The top a silky black one suggested his breasts were bursting with sensual pleasure for the right person, as they strained against his push up bra and the silkiness of the material–it’s amazing what they can do with silicone these days–mind you they like his hip enhancers were top of the range and pretty well matched to his skin tone. He’d got them from a place in Soho which specialised in tranny wear.

‘I’m bored,’ he declared to his reflection in the mirror, ‘here I am, tits the size of a small planet, parking my arse,’ he mused deliberately misquoting Dougie Adams. It was now ten past eight and he was still filled with ennui.

He peeped out the edge of the curtain, the odd pedestrian was walking past on the street and an occasional car entered or left the large car park and he wondered. Was he going to do something rash? The pressure was building.

He glanced at his three inch stiletto shoes, the black stockings disappearing into the red of the shoes. He had a red jacket and a scarf. Dare he? He played his fingers on his chin, dare he? He admired their painted ends, his nails carefully matching his lips. As a man, he had little interest in the greys and blues of his business suits–they were drabs–but as Marcia, he liked to wear good quality stuff. His skirt had cost almost as much as the suit he’d worn to the meeting. Marcia’s red jacket was nearly two hundred in the sale, her red bag was nearly three figures too. Good job, Becca didn’t see his bank statements.

He looked at the clock–two whole minutes had passed since he’d last looked. He checked against his Swatch, a red one contrasting nicely with the sleeve of his black top.

He sighed and played with his wig. He’d only ever been outside once before as Marcia. He did the classic tranny thing of mincing up to the postbox at nearly midnight to post a letter which wouldn’t be collected until the next evening anyway. But his heart was threatening to come through his chest and the adrenalin was engulfing his system and he felt so alive. That was two years ago, before Becca arrived.

He tried to talk himself out of such unnecessary risks. He had a good job, a good relationship why risk it for a ten minute walk round the block. What if he was read? What if he got attacked or propositioned? He could simply twist an ankle in those heels, after all, walking round the room was very different to a stroll round the block.

Marcia was however, countering his arguments with her own. He never took her anywhere, she lived in a case–being alive for a few hours every month–maybe he should try living in a suitcase in the boot of someone’s car. It wasn’t fair, she had just as much right to a life as Markus did.

He felt himself wavering, Marcia always won, especially about spending money. She had all the nice things, so why couldn’t she show them to the world just for a few moments. A few moments, was that too much to ask?

Once he walked from the hotel, he could wander round the block or up to the high street a little further and window shop–do things that normal women did–why couldn’t she do that? Markus felt ashamed for his security concern, but wasn’t he the realist? After all, she only existed in his mind.

That did it. Marcia pulled on her jacket, checked her hair and makeup for the umpteenth time, threw her car and room keys into her elegant bag and walked through the door wrapping her scarf around her neck with her leather gloved hand as she went.

The door shut quietly behind her, inside her Markus was clenching his buttocks and trying not to think of disaster. Taking small steps in the unfamiliar heels, rolling her padded bum, she walked away from the room and safety. The sound of her heart was almost as loud as the thump of her heels on the carpet. Shit–someone was coming towards her, eyes down, don’t make eye contact–damn, he’s good looking and they smiled at each other. She walked on knowing full well he’d paused to watch her bum. She wiggled it even more and heard him snort. That felt good–Marcia had interacted with someone other than Markus and her confidence soared.

She took the lift down from the third floor where she was staying, and walked–no, glided–through reception. Her shoes felt comfortable, her waist controlling girdle felt okay too–she felt great.

“Have a nice evening, madam,” said the doorman, and she smiled a thank you at him.

“Just getting some air,” she ventured, hoping her dry mouth wouldn’t sound too croaky.

“Lovely night for it,” he replied, so obviously Marcia sounded believable enough. She walked on her heels clicking a staccato across the car park. She checked her car was still there, it was. She had the keys in her bag, so if she liked, she could even go for a drive–but no, Marcia wanted to walk, to be seen before she went back to her room and toasted herself with something from the minibar.

The hotel was on a crossroads and she walked beyond, crossing at the pelican crossing, waiting for the green man to show even though nothing was coming. In those shoes she may not be able to run if she had to, so keep it simple, keep it safe.

She stepped awkwardly off the kerb and her ankle jolted slightly. She regained her balance–she was okay, just keep going. She walked on. It was good practice although her toes were finding these shoes pinched a bit more than Markus’s shoes did and there was a burning in the balls of her feet–but this just meant she was alive, feeling these sensations–she couldn’t do that in a bloody suit case.

By the time she reached the handful of shops that constituted the high street, her feet were becoming sore. She was regretting her folly? No way, a couple of blisters would soon heal and this was an adventure. Had Markus walked up here it would have been simply a low grade form of exercise–for her, this was the most exciting thing since–since putting a drawing pin on Mr Reynold’s seat while in year nine.

It moved when he pulled out the chair and it stuck in his shoe–so the best laid plans of schoolboys and women... Never mind that this was living. She stopped as much to rest her feet as to look in the ironmonger’s window. How could plastic washing up bowls be so interesting? With sore feet anything to rest them can become so.

She needed to sit down, if only she’d brought the car, she could have driven here saved her stroll for the part by the shops–too late now. There were some seats but they were occupied by a group of teenagers. Her sense of danger overcame her sore toes and she walked purposefully past them her heart threatening to pulp the silicone in her breast forms it was beating so fast. One of the teenagers wolf whistled at her and she didn’t know if she’d been read and he was being ironic or if he fancied her. Do teenagers do irony? She wasn’t sure and moved on a little hopefully to safety. She heard footsteps behind her, they were moving fast. Her blood pressure rocketed as she was sure they–the teenagers–were coming after her.

Just as they closed in on her, she stepped into the local pub and closed the door–the kids were just larking about and ran past the door without so much as a glance. Phew. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, she looked around and suddenly saw half a dozen pairs of eyes watching her. Oh shit and double shit.

“What can I get you my dear?” asked the landlord smiling.

She felt for her bag–did she have any money? ‘Oh God, I hope I put some in there,’ she thought to herself remembering there was twenty quid in the small zip up pocket for just such an emergency.

“A Bacardi and coke, please.” She said and no one screamed ‘Queer’ or ‘tranny’ so she advanced to the bar. She put her bag down on the bar as the landlord got her drink.

“Ice and lemon?” he asked and she nodded. Now her feet were hurting again as she dug about in her bag then relieved she fished out her purse and paid him the two pounds for the drink.

“Nice evening?” he sort of half stated and half interrogated her.

“Yes,” she replied in a breathy voice, which wasn’t so much contrived as her struggling for oxygen. Was this really happening? Was she being chatted up by the pub landlord. Her head was close to swimming with the high she felt. He thought she was a real woman–what could be more wonderful than that?

She picked up her drink and went over to a spare table and sat down to rest her feet. This was absolutely brilliant. She sipped her drink and looked with a sense of pride at the lipstick mark on the glass. It felt in keeping with the rest of her current world.

She slipped off her shoe and massaged her toes. They were sore but she hoped wouldn’t get much worse during the return journey. Having done the other foot as well, she let them stay out of the shoes while she finished her drink. She’d enjoyed it and decided to have another. She paid for it, returned to her table and sipped it, keeping her shoes on this time–her feet weren’t too bad.

Sirens wailed as a police car or ambulance rushed past the pub. It didn’t concern her, though she hoped that no one was badly hurt or sick. More sirens, probably a car smash somewhere up the road–the dual carriageway that led onto the motorway no doubt.

It didn’t concern her, the fire tender was probably going to the accident as well–have to cut someone out of a car–poor souls. She finished her drink and realised her bladder needed emptying. Shit–she’d have to go to the ladies. Another new experience.

She slowly made her way to the toilets, she’d seen the sign when she’d refreshed her drink. This was far more exciting than the day she’d driven inadvertently the wrong way up a one way street and had to reverse back all the way–something she hated doing–while a crowd of jeering bystanders watched. Then she remembered, that wasn’t her, that was Markus, so why was she feeling embarrassed?

She followed the door with the sign for women on it–at least she hadn’t walked into the gents. The loos were like the rest of the pub, okay if in need of a bit of a makeover decoration wise. Her heels clicked on the ceramic tiles. Inside the holy of holies, were a couple of washbasins with hand driers at either end, and some hand soap and hand cream on the counter.

Opposite was a tampax or sanitary towel machine. She quickly shoved in a pound and opted for the sanitary towels–a trophy from her big adventure. In the distance another siren wailed but she was unconcerned, she was so high she was in danger of catching her wig on a TV aerial. That made her chuckle to herself–a TV aerial, very good.

The outer door squeaked as someone else came through it and she almost dived into the nearest cubicle, shutting and bolting the door. She stood quietly as footsteps went across the floor and a door opened and shut, the sound of the bolt being shot was quite clear. In her excited state her hearing was keener than usual.

She could even hear someone–presumably another woman–undressing, then the characteristic sound of urination and tissue being plucked from the roll, more tissue noises and then clothing being adjusted. Finally the door was opened, footsteps to the sinks, water then the air driers. The footsteps eventually left. Marcia sighed with relief and began her ablution.

Relieved that she’d been alone in the loos since the other woman had left, she emerged and washed her hands, then held them under the air drier which made so much noise she didn’t hear the second visitor until it was too late.

Her natural reaction was to bolt either out of the loos or back into the cubicle, then a sense of doomed destiny settled upon her, whatever she did it would look suspicious, so just tough it out. What would a woman do? Check her makeup and hair. So that’s what she did. With remarkably steady hand, she withdrew her lipstick from her bag and touched up her already perfect lips.

To her horror the new intruder didn’t go to the loo she came to the washbasin and began scrubbing at a stain on her blouse. “Stupid man,” the newcomer cussed, trying to remove the slightly brown stain on the white material.

“Oh dear,” said Marcia, trying to sound sympathetic while clenching her buttocks which were feeling decidedly sweaty in the girdle.

“You don’t have a tissue, do you?” asked the woman and Marcia nodded, and opened her bag, remembering to drop her trophy into its voluminous interior. She fished about for a moment and pulled out the requested object. “Thanks, my stupid husband dripped beer all over me–and my best blouse, too.” It was obviously a catastrophe for her and Marcia felt she should stay there and offer solidarity to the oppressed and besmirched women of the world. Stain one of us and aren’t we all violated by it, or something like that. Markus wasn’t aware that Marcia was such an ardent feminist–mind you, neither was Marcia until that moment.

“Oh I do like your jacket,” said the woman looking Marcia up and down. “Very nice, where did you get it?”

“It’s Wallis, got it in Debenham’s sale.”

“Oh yes, they do some lovely stuff in there don’t they, sadly most of it is beyond my range–two kids and all that.”

“I like their stuff, but can only afford it in the sales. Is the stain coming out?”

“Oh, that’ll do,” said the woman, giving it one more swipe with the tissue, “ooh, it’s cold now,” she laughed as the wet bit touched her body. Marcia smiled back. “Oh well, back to grumpy,” shrugged the woman and exiting through the door held it open for Marcia to follow her. She didn’t need any bidding to escape the perilous place and she followed the woman back into the lounge bar.

Deciding she'd pushed her luck sufficiently and hoping that the gods of sore toes heard her prayers of, ‘get me back to the hotel safely, please;’ she walked towards the door replying ‘goodnight’ to the landlord’s parting greeting.

As she came back out onto the street, she felt the cooler air on her face and up her skirt. ‘Goodnight?’ she mused to herself as she strolled back towards the hotel, ‘Good–it’s been bloody brilliant–the best night ever.’ She strolled slowly trying not to aggravate her sore toes more than she had to, and she had plenty of time to get back. She glanced at her Swatch, it was only half past nine–the night was still young and were it not for sore toes, she’d be up for anything–well, some things anyway–she’d draw the line at certain things–unless he was Colin Firth, of course–that would be different. She sniggered at her silliness–it was girly silliness and it felt good.

Another fire engine hammered past the siren making her jump and shocking her out of her daydream. ‘Must be a big fire somewhere,’ she thought to herself.

The first touch of reality to enter her little pretend world of all things feminine, was the orange glow in the sky. She hadn’t noticed that before, then the traffic chaos. How come she hadn’t noticed how congested the road was–it was clear when she came out. She increased her pace, something near the hotel was on fire and it was a biggie.

By the time she got to the intersection, she could see what it was but go no further, the police were stopping anyone progressing beyond. “Sorry, madam, you can’t go down there.”

“But I have to, my hotel is down there.”

“Not the International, is it?” asked the copper.

“Yes, why?”

“I hope you didn’t leave anything valuable there ‘cos that’s what’s on fire. It’s totally gutted.”

Exactly the phrase that Marcia would have used to describe herself. Her laptop, her other clothes and shit, Markus’s clothes, were all in there. Was her car safe–at least then she’d be able to get home.

“What am I going to do?” she pleaded with the policeman?

“Dunno, darlin’, but I’m sure someone as pretty as you won’t be stuck for a bed for long.” Then he turned his attention to the crowd, “Hoy, you stay behind the tape.”

Marcia stood there, her feet beginning to hurt again, not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

The end.

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