“So, what are we doing?” asked Theresa, one of my sister’s friends.
“Just waiting, I guess,” said my sister Victoria. “Janie said she was on her way with some announcement. She said not to make any plans for today and tomorrow. I don’t have any plans anyway. Our parents are out of town and I was told to babysit my little brother.”
Sitting in front of the TV playing a video game, I said, “I’m sixteen. I really don’t need a babysitter.”
Victoria shrugged and said, “I’m sorry, Mike. That’s what Mom and Dad said. You know how they are.”
I frowned and said, “Yeah. How did they get to be so old-school anyway?” With modern communications and the high-speed maglev monorail system, you could literally be anywhere in the country in just hours or less.
There was a knock on front door. My sister got up from the couch she was sharing with Theresa and said, “I bet that’s Janie now.”
As soon as Victoria opened the door, a grinning Janie burst through it.
“Guess what, guys? This is so cool!” announced Janie from the middle of our living room. “I just won a free weekend pass for four at Girl Park in Houston. We can be there in an hour.”
Victoria said, “Oh wow. That is cool. I’ve heard that park is wonderful. It’s the most advanced yet. Maybe we can go next weekend after Sarah gets back from her trip.”
Janie shook her head. She said, “No. We have to use it this weekend. We don’t have to have four people. Just the three of us could go.”
Victoria frowned and said, “I can’t this weekend. I have to babysit.”
Her eyes pleading, Janie said, “Oh come on! Today and tomorrow free! I’ve been wanting to go there since it opened, but the cost is sky-high.”
I turned from my video game and said, “Sis. I don’t need a baby sitter. Please go. I’ll be fine.”
Victoria bit her lower lip as she looked from me to her friend Janie. “I don’t know. My parents would kill me if I left Mike here alone.”
Theresa said, “Isn’t he sixteen? He’s old enough to be by himself for a weekend. I was thirteen when I was left alone for a weekend.”
With a tinge of anger in her voice, my sister said, “You weren’t likely to burn the house down. Mike can get wild.”
“Oh horse shit!” I yelled. “I promise to sit right here with my games and not invite any friends over. And besides, that fire last year was an accident.”
Janie waved her free pass in the air and said, “Well, bring your little brother along. That way you’re still watching him and your house is safe.”
Theresa said, “They don’t allow boys at Girl Park do they? It’s called Girl Park for a reason.”
Janie said, “Legally they can’t turn boys away, but they have some restrictions and warnings about boys using the park. There’s nothing of interest for a boy there. It’s the only holo-park of its kind in the world.” Ever since Dream Park opened twenty years ago, holographic parks have been popping up, each one raising the level of immersion and technology.
I said, “I definitely don’t want to go if that’s the case. I’ve read it has the highest immersion level of any holographic park, but it doesn’t sound like it’d have anything interesting for me.”
Victoria said, “Well, you and Theresa go. Looks like I’m stuck with my little brat brother.”
“You’re going to miss out?” cried Janie. “This is literally a once in a lifetime deal. That park is too damned expensive for mere mortals like us. I did mention this pass is free, right? The whole weekend. The weekend we’re standing here wasting!” She handed my sister a brochure. “Just look at all the fantasies they provide. Over five hundred pre-programmed fantasies to experience. And they allow custom ones as well! You can’t pass this up!”
Victoria walked over to the TV and shut it off. She said, “Come on, brat. You’re going to Girl Park, like it or not.”
I reached up and turned the TV back on. “I’m not going!”
The maglev ride to Houston was quick. Less than an hour. Faster and safer than flying used to be. The domestic airline industry was almost non-existent anymore. We hopped onto the elevated shuttle train to the park from the maglev terminal.
“Look!” shouted Janie. “There it is!” She was pointing out of the window at a large castle looking building.
“It’s a fairy castle,” said Theresa flatly. “Is this just going to be some girly-girl magic fantasy place?”
Janie shook her head and said, “Oh no. Everything’s based on your age so it will only provide age appropriate fantasies.” She looked over at me and said, “Sorry Mike. No wild night of sex with a dozen gorgeous men for you.”
I frowned and said, “Ah crap. I was all ready to scratch that off my bucket list.”
Janie continued, “So yeah. There are adult themed fantasies as well as groups. It should be a blast.”
A few minutes later, we were descending a long staircase down to the gaping maw of the castle. There were lines forming in front of the ticket booths in the middle of the castle entrance. The lines moved fairly quickly.
The woman in the ticket booth smiled at us when the four of us arrived in front of her. She said, “Welcome to Girl Park, ladies. The park where your deepest, most secret fantasies can come true. Well, at least virtually.” Her smile faded a bit when she noticed me. “Oh, you’re a boy, aren’t you? Are you sure you want to enter this park?”
Victoria piped up and said, “Oh course he’s sure. He needs to be added to our group.”
The woman in the booth nodded her head and said, “Not a problem. He’ll need to sign an additional waver. You all have to sign a waiver to get inside. I also suggest getting an insurance policy on him. It’s only ten dollars extra.”
Janie said, “Why do we need to sign waivers?”
The ticket girl said, “A formality. It’s to indemnify the park against guests who decide they were injured at the park. It’s all virtual, but there are real things that happen. For him, it’s to indemnify us against any psychological damage.”
“Sounds like a fun place,” I said.
Looking at me, the ticket woman said, “We do get a few boys here. Some want to, some are brought by their sisters or mothers for various reasons. We have additional rules for boys. If you disrupt the simulations by trying to act like a boy, you will be sent to a virtual holding room where you have to wait until the rest of your party is done. We used to put disruptive guys in a special simulation where they were little baby girls and all they could do was crawl around and poop in their frilly little diapers and get changed by the virtual mommy. Then we started having some men being deliberately disruptive just so they could get that simulation.”
Victoria laughed and the other two girls snickered.
The ticket woman continued, “There are individual changing rooms after you pass the entrance. You each will be assigned your own changing room. The door will be biometrically keyed to your thumbprint. You can safely leave your stuff there. You must be wearing these special bra and panty sets. There’s a skull cap as well. Just tuck your hair up inside it. Don’t worry. We throw these away after each guest uses them. You put your clothes in the lockers provided. Once you have changed, you follow the arrows to the group chamber you’ll be using.” She looked at me with a grin and said, “Don’t worry. Nobody will see you in your bra and panties.”
Janie said, “Sounds great. We want individual as well as a group for all four of us.”
Victoria said, “And can get a sub group with just me and my brother included?”
“Not a problem,” said the ticket girl. “You’re not planning something weird with your brother, are you?” She smiled when she said that.
My sister laughed and said, “Maybe.”
The ticket girl then handed us each a package containing a bra and panty set and said, “You’re all set. Enjoy your visit to Girl Park!”
I said, “Do I have to wear a bra and panties?”
The ticket girl nodded and said, “The simulations won’t work without it. Those items have special circuitry in them. In the park, you’re a girl, so it doesn’t really matter, does it? And don’t worry. When you eventually have to pee through them, you won’t get electrocuted, or damage them or anything like that.”
As we walked towards the changing room area, Janie said, “This is going to be great. Victoria, why don’t you and Mike do something together at first so y’all can get used to using the controls. Theresa and I will pair up for the first simulation. Before we leave there’re some group simulations I want to try with all of us.”
Victoria said, “Sounds good. Come on Mike. I already know what I want to do first.” My sister and I moved over to a corner of the holo-chamber. There are large and small areas of the park for various simulations where there are physical sets built. Other simulations just appear before your eyes. I have no idea how the technology works.
Janie held up her hand as she was reading a set of rules the ticket girl had given her and shouted, “Oh wait. We all have to have girl names. We can use our own or make up a name. Mike needs a name. Every time he uses a non-girl name in a simulation, he gets points knocked off. Eventually he’ll get kicked out.”
Victoria looked at me and said, “Before they knew you were a boy, Mom had decided on Mallory if you were a girl. So for this weekend, you’re now Mallory.”
“This just keeps getting better and better,” I groaned.
As Victoria said, “Simulation number one hundred seventeen. Activate.” I watched a gray mass surround Janie and Theresa as their simulation started.
My vision blurred for a moment and I felt disoriented. Suddenly, Victoria and I were standing on the field of a football stadium. I looked over at her and she looked a few years younger than her actual nineteen. She was wearing a black, short cheerleader uniform, her long hair tied with a large white ribbon. I looked down, and ah crap. I was dressed the same way. I could feel my long pony-tail swishing against the back of my neck and below my shoulders. I touched my hair and also felt large hoop pierced earrings. I had breasts. I could feel them. They were real…virtually real anyway. I didn’t bother to check what else might be different about me as there were tons of other people around me. I knew they weren’t real, but you couldn’t tell. Sometimes real people could share your simulation if you were both doing the same thing. But I think these were all virtual. But there was no way to tell this was anything but reality.
“Cheerleaders?” I said. “Really, sis?”
The other cheerleaders were forming up to do a cheer.
Victoria laughed and said, “Yes! I always wanted to be one and I wanted to see what it was like! Sub-title on!” Suddenly the words to the cheer they were chanting appeared in the air in front of me.
“I can’t cheer!” I squealed. “They’ll laugh at me.”
“Come on, Mike. Have fun. Loosen up. Those simulated girls and everyone here won’t care if you mess up. We’re here for fun,” said Victoria as she picked up her pom-poms from the ground and started waving them in sync with the other cheerleaders. She was laughing as she stumbled through the words of the cheer.
I picked up my pom-poms and looked around. It seemed so weird to be down on the field, looking up into the stands and the stadium lights glaring. The band was playing to back up the cheer. I hesitantly started to say the words hanging in front of me. The chill Friday night air swirling around my legs. The feel of my breasts and the bounce of my pony-tail as I started trying to follow the moves all contributed to an odd sense of euphoria. I think it was being fed into me by the simulation, but I was really starting to get into it. Yelling these cheers with the other girls and my sister, jumping around in these short dresses was fun.
When we were through with the first round of cheers, Victoria, out of breath and grinning broadly said, “You should see yourself, Mallory. You’re really cute. A real heart breaker.”
I rolled my eyes and said, “Just what I’ve always wanted to hear. But you, you look like a younger you. And your hair is longer.” I’d never admit this, but my sister was quite pretty. She never had problems getting dates when she was in high school. But since she’s trying to take college seriously, time for dates has dwindled for her. The way she was smiling and laughing, I’d say she probably hasn’t had much fun in a while.
As the evening went on, I had to admit that I was having fun. I was giggling right along with Victoria. The other cheerleaders were telling me what a great job I was doing. I was trying to live the fantasy because I could see how much it meant to my sister.
During the halftime while the band performed on the field, we were mingling at the table where we could grab a water bottle.
Victoria said, “Thanks, Mallory for being such a good sport with this. I so wanted to be a cheerleader in high school and I was so disappointed when I didn’t pass the try-outs.” She looked around the stadium, grinning. “I love this. It’s exactly how I imagined it.”
She surprised me with a hug and I said, “I’m glad you’re happy, sis. I can tell you’re having a great time.”
With a laugh, Victoria said, “You make a great sister. I want to try another feature before this simulation ends. For some reason it’s not the default.” She looked thoughtful for a moment, and then said, “Full Immersion, on!”
The view in front of me flickered for a moment and suddenly, I was only vaguely aware that I was in a simulation. The girl standing next to me was Stephanie, my best friend through school. We were both juniors and had been through school together since kindergarten. Another girl next to me was Victoria, a really nice girl who’d become one of my best buds. I looked around at all the sights and sounds and just grinned. I so loved being a cheerleader!
The halftime ended and we ran out onto the field to hold up the banner for our team to run through at the start of next half. It was a bit cold on the field, but none of us minded. I got to hold one of the poles that held the banner while the rest made a line on either side of banner to form a path for the team to run though.
We quickly moved the torn banner and the poles off the field and then ran down our side of the stadium chanting our cheers. I looked up into the stands. Some people were watching us; some were talking to the person next to them and not watching anything while most were watching the game. I only felt a passing tinge of disappointment that most in the stand weren’t cheering with us.
The game went into overtime and we were all getting worn out. Finally our team managed to squeak by to victory. All of us started yelling and screaming in a frenzy. This victory would send our team to the finals. I hugged Stephanie as we jumped up and down. As the team came off the field, I watched Victoria run out to meet the team captain. They didn’t kiss, though I could tell she wanted to. The school had rules about stuff like that. They walked over towards us, holding hands as the team and we cheerleaders lined up in front of the band to sing the school’s fight song. I was on Cloud Nine.
We finally started to disperse to head to our homes. I watched Victoria walk hand in hand with the team captain, she resting her head on his arm. They made an odd pair as he was so much taller than her.
I came off the field and into the concession area of the stadium. The crowd was really thinning out. I looked around quickly. Finally I saw him. He was walking towards me, smiling. It was Paul. My Paul. He was my ride home. My heart just melted as I watched him approach me.
“You were great out there, Mallory!” said Paul with a grin. “I bet they make you squad captain next year!” As he stepped up in front of me, he took my hands and then leaned in to kiss me. A tingle flowed through me as his lips touched mine. Paul had been my boyfriend since before the summer break. I’d never been with a boy so long before. He was incredibly cute and so nice! He was perfect. He always knew the right words to say, and would somehow know when I was sad and give me a call.
I laughed and said, “Thanks. I think coach was thinking of making Victoria squad captain. That’s okay. Did you watch any of the game?”
Paul grinned and said, “Was there a game? I only saw you.”
“I love you, Paul,” I said sincerely. And we kissed again.
He smiled that killer smile of his. He said, “Want to go to Rosa’s before I take you home? We have time before your curfew.”
I giggled and said, “I’d love to!”
We started walking, hand in hand towards Paul’s car. I was in heaven.
There was a blur and suddenly, Victoria and I were standing in a blank, gray room together. We were both covered in sweat as we stood there in our Girl Park bra and panties.
Victoria let out a whoop and said, “Holy shit! What a ride! That was incredible!”
I just stood there stunned. I know it was virtual, but I’d kissed a guy. And I liked it. Well, as far as being immersed in the simulation forced me to like it. I knew I don’t dare tell Victoria about that. I said, “It was incredible alright. It seemed very real. Especially after you turned full immersion on.”
Giggling like a school girl, Victoria said, “Oh yeah. That was wonderful. I’m using full immersion for the next six simulations. I’m putting us both on random sims. You’re on your own for the next six simulations, sis.”
“Hey, don’t call me sis! I’m not a girl, you know,” I protested.
Victoria’s face reddened a bit. She said, “Sorry. But I have to admit, I like you better as a girl. Hang on, here we go!” She read from the sheet she was holding and said, “Six random simulations, full immersion, single experience. Activate!”
My vision blurred again and I found myself standing in an obvious girl’s bedroom. Boy band posters cluttered the walls. There was a table, I guess what they call a vanity with a big mirror and cosmetics scattered across its surface. The closet was open, displaying lots of girl clothes and shoes. I had breasts again. I assumed other parts as well that I really didn’t want to think about.
I turned my head and felt something wobbling back and forth from my ears. Stands of hair tickled the back of my neck and the sides of my face. I was wearing a short dress with a rather poofy skirt. I walked over to the mirror and take a look. I was stunned by what I saw.
I was gorgeous. I was wearing a very pretty and very pink prom dress. My hair was swept up in an elegant style. Matching strappy three inch high heel sandals, sparkling dangling earrings, perfect makeup and nails completed the look. I just stood there and ogled at myself. If I liked girls, I’d be totally in love with myself. Aloud, I said, “Did I just think ‘IF I liked girls?’”
In front of me in a large red font the words “1 point deducted. 99 Remain” appeared.
A woman’s voice from downstairs…my mom…called, “Mallory, honey! Paul is here to take you to Prom!”
I have to admit I felt a thrill when I heard Paul’s name. He’s been my boyfriend for almost a year now. I couldn’t believe we’d been together for so long. Tonight he was my date for the Junior/Senior Prom.
“I’m coming!” I shouted as I picked up my clutch bag lying on my bed. I opened it and saw that the condom was still there. Just in case.
I started towards the door to my room when I forced myself to stop. I thought to myself, I have no desire to go on a prom date with a boy! And why the same boy and context from the last simulation. I thought it was supposed to be random.
The words “1 point deducted. 98 Remain” glowed in front of me.
I didn’t say anything out loud. And then I remembered the skull cap. Wow…they can scan thoughts, at least to some degree. I need to be more careful.
I started towards the door again when I remembered the condom in my purse. I stopped again and thought there was no way in hell was I having sex with a guy!
“1 point deducted. 97 Remain” floated in front of me. I wanted to scream.
It was then I remembered that I’m under eighteen. The simulation won’t allow me to have sex with anyone. The condom just makes it seem more real. I was safe. Safe from sex at least. I checked my appearance in the mirror one last time before going out the door. I suddenly thought as I passed through the door was how can I walk so easily in these shoes? Oddly, I got no point deductions for that.
As I descended the stairs, I heard my mom gasp. She had her video camera and was recording me coming down the stairs. I saw Paul standing beside my dad. Paul looked absolutely gorgeous in his tux.
“You’re so beautiful!” said Mom as she began to cry.
Dad grinned and said, “You look very lovely, Mallory.” He was holding up a video camera.
Paul spread his arms and said, “What can I say? You’re gorgeous, Mallory.” In one hand he held a small box with a wrist corsage inside. Dad frowned. He didn’t like Paul much.
As I stood in front of Paul, drinking him in, I said, “Thank you. You’re looking very handsome!” I wanted to kiss him so bad. But not in front of Dad and I’d just mess up my make-up anyway.
Paul grinned and held out the box he was holding. “This is for you,” he said as he opened it. He slid the wrist corsage onto my hand. It was beautiful. Pink carnations that matched my dress. I smiled at him as I sniffed at the real flowers.
Paul took my hand and said, “Shall we go?”
Dad said, “Have her back by midnight, son.”
Paul smiled nervously and said, “Yes sir. I’ll take good care of her.”
I waved to Mom and Dad as Paul led me to the door.
Mom said, “Have a good time, honey!” Dad just scowled at Paul.
Paul helped me into his car and made sure my dress was all inside before he closed the door. He then ran around to the driver’s side and climbed in.
As he started the engine, Paul said, “Your dad doesn’t like me much, does he?”
I laughed and said, “It’s not you. He doesn’t trust any boy with me.”
Paul looked me up and down for a moment and said, “Well, I can really say I blame him for that.” He put the car in gear and off we went to the prom.
I’ve literally been waiting all year for this night. I had my dress picked out before Christmas. My Dad hated paying for it. I have to admit it was kind of expensive, but to me it was so worth it. Even though we were dating, it was still a thrill to have Paul ask me to the prom. Of course, there was no one else I wanted to go to prom with.
We parked at the school and joined the other over-dressed kids heading into the gymnasium. Before we even got to the gym’s door, we could hear the DJ and his music blaring. The gym was all decorated in black and white (our school colors, the same as my cheerleader uniform) paper cut outs and balloons. It was full of people, some dancing, others milling around in groups.
Holding my hand, Paul led me into the gym. We headed straight to the snack table. “I’m starved,” said Paul.
“Hey Mallory!” shouted Stephanie, my best friend as her boyfriend led her to the dance floor. I smiled and waved at her. She was wearing a shimmering and very short red dress. She looked beautiful.
Paul let go of my hand so he could pick up a plate and start piling little blocks of cheese and various small cuts of meat. I just stood there next to him and just picked at some of the cheese blocks. I was just too excited to be hungry.
A boy and his date, who I didn’t recognize stepped up to Paul and said, “Hey dude! Glad you could make it. Wow, that’s one hot date you’ve got there.”
The guy’s date wrinkled up her face and punched him in the shoulder.
Paul grinned at him and said, “Thanks, dude.”
The guy rubbed his shoulder and said, “Well, I think we’re going to dance.” He then dragged his date towards the dance floor. She was still frowning at him.
Paul laughed and said, “Even though Aaron isn’t very smart, I have to agree with him on my date.” He flashed me a smile while he stuffed his mouth with the snack food.
After a few minutes of mingling and greeting friends and some complete strangers, I said, “Can we dance now?”
Paul grinned as he set his now empty plate on a nearby table. He said, “Sure, babe! Let’s dance.”
As soon as we got onto the floor, the song being played ended. I looked at Paul with a frustrated expression. He laughed. But then, the DJ started playing a slow song that you could more easily slow dance to.
Paul took my hand and slid his arm around my waist as I put my hand on his shoulder and smiled at him. He said, “Now this is more like it!”
This was perfect. Paul and I slow dancing beneath the sparkling disco ball suspended from the ceiling, laser lights painting patterns on the ceiling and walls. Paul was oddly quiet as we danced. He just kept looking deeply into my eyes. He pulled me close to him and it became very apparent just how excited Paul was.
“I love you, baby,” said Paul with a rather serious expression.
I smiled at him and said, “I love you too, Paul.” I rested my head on his shoulder as we danced, oblivious to the others around us. I relished every second dancing with Paul. I’ve never felt so happy. So serene. This was the most perfect night.
I looked up at Paul and he smiled at me. He then bent down and kissed me as we danced. It was a long, smoldering kiss. We’ve kissed many times before, but there was something really hot about this kiss. I’m surprised I didn’t melt into a gooey puddle on the dance floor.
After a few more dances, Paul took my hand again and led me back outside the gym. He said, “It’s getting a bit stuffy in there. I need some fresh air.” We walked several yards from the gym’s entrance.
I slid both arms around Paul’s neck and just stared at him for a moment, smiling. He bent his head down and kissed me. This time even longer and with more passion than inside the gym. Breathing became difficult as we continued to kiss. Paul wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me closer. My panties felt damp.
Paul kissed down my neck as he squeezed a breast through my dress. It was obvious what Paul wanted. The tingle I felt as he kissed my neck made me realize that I was ready to let him take my virginity. I wanted him.
Paul then pulled away, shaking his head. He said, “I wish we had more time. But I promised your Dad I’d have you back home by midnight. And I think he wanted you in one piece.”
I smiled weakly at him and nodded and looked down at the grass. After such an intense build up of emotions, I suddenly felt so deflated. My nipples were hard. My panties were wet. I was so ready to move our relationship to that next level. And now Paul was leading me back to his car.
I checked my make-up when we got into his car. My lipstick was a total mess. I took a tissue from my purse and just finished wiping it off. Dad would kill me…and Paul if he saw it smeared like that. We rode in silence back to my house. He walked me to my door.
Taking both my hands, Paul said, “I had a great time tonight, Mallory.”
I smiled and looked down at my feet for a moment. I said, “Me too.” I looked up into his eyes. I couldn’t help but think God, he’s gorgeous!
Paul suddenly put his arms around me and drew me close. He kissed me hard and passionately. The kiss just went on and on. When he pulled away, he left me breathless.
I touched his face and said, “I love you, Paul.”
He smiled and said, “I love you too, Mallory.” He kissed me.
My vision blurred again.
“Marry me, Princess Mallory!”
“What?” I said, blinking in the subdued light. I was in a room made of stone and lit with torches as well as daylight streaming through tall windows in the stone. Ornate wall hangings decorated the room. A man held my arm. He was a rather handsome man with rugged good looks. But I sensed evilness about him. He was dressed in black armor.
Long strands of blonde hair cascaded around my shoulders and down my back. I looked down and I was dressed in an ornate and very pretty princess dress.
“With you at my side, our houses combined, there will be nothing to stop me from ascending the throne!” the man holding my arm said. “If you want your father to live, marry me now, Mallory!”
In a panic, I looked around the room. There was a priest standing next to the table the man and I were standing in front of. Several soldiers guarded the entryways.
I shouted, “I will never marry you! I love Sir John!”
The man tightened his grip on my arm as he sneered, “Sir John is dead! Consent to marry me or your father joins him in hell!” I tugged uselessly at his grip.
There was a cry from behind the man and one of the soldiers fell. The other soldiers suddenly stood alert. Framed in the entryway, his armor gleaming stood all of Sir John’s six foot form.
Laughing, Sir John said, “News of my death have been greatly exaggerated Prince Farnsworth!” One of the soldiers attacked and Sir John cut him down in mere moments. The last two soldiers hesitated.
Prince Farnsworth shouted to the two remaining soldiers, “Kill him!”
After a few seconds of clanging swords and shouts, the last two soldiers lay on floor, their blood staining the stone flagging.
“Let the girl go,” said Sir John as he leveled his sword towards Prince Farnsworth.
Prince Farnsworth spun around and drew a knife and quickly brought it up to my neck. He shouted, “Drop your weapon, John. I swear I will slit her throat. If I can’t marry her, then no one will!”
I was terrified. I looked at the sharp knife the evil prince held against my neck. I knew he was serious. I watched Sir John hesitate and start to lower his sword. I saw the sneer crawl across Prince Farnsworth’s face. I’d rather die than marry him, but I didn’t want to die either. He started to move us towards an exit. I knew I had to act.
His hand bobbled up and down as we walked. I saw my opportunity and I took it. I bit Prince Farnsworth’s hand. I bit it hard enough to draw blood and caused him to let go of me and drop the knife. As soon as I was free of his grip, I ran quickly to one side of the room.
Sir John shouted, “Good girl!” as he raised his sword.
Stunned momentarily, Prince Farnsworth hesitated only a second before drawing his own weapon from its scabbard. To me he shouted, “You stupid girl! You’ll pay for this! You could have been my queen!”
Sir John stepped closer to the prince and said, “Defend yourself!”
Prince Farnsworth lunged towards Sir John in a rage. John parried the prince’s thrust and swung his sword towards the prince’s head. Farnsworth blocked the blow and back up as he brought his sword back up.
I watched in horror as the two men battled. They were fighting over me. I was going to be the spoils that went to the victor. Sir John already held my heart. He just had to defeat the evil prince!
Finally, one last blow with his sword sent Farnsworth’s sword flying leaving him defenseless.
“Surrender, Prince!” said John as he pointed his sword at Farnsworth’s chest.
Farnsworth shouted, “Never!” and lunged for the knife lying on the floor.
With one, final mighty swing, Prince Farnsworth’s evil life came to an end.
With tears streaming from my eyes, I ran up to Sir John. He took me in his arms and I looked up into his eyes. I said, “I love you!”
He grinned that hero’s grin of his and said, “I love you too, Princess Mallory. Will you marry me?”
I laughed and shouted, “Yes!”
He bent down and kissed me passionately.
My vision blurred. Okay, I get it. All these simulations end with a kiss.
I was in a meadow, sitting on the ground picking yellow wildflowers. I seemed to be around twelve years old and wearing a pretty red and white dress. Down the hill from me was our farm house, nestled in the trees at the edge of the clearing. Next to that was the barn and then some storage buildings. It was a small farm where we grew just a few crops and raised pigs and chickens. We had one farm hand to help Dad out.
It was a gorgeous day. A few puffy white clouds floating in the deep blue sky. A gentle cool breeze fluttered my hair and rustled the flowers. Around me was the sound of birds, insects and the wind through the surrounding pine trees.
“Mallory!” called my Mom from the farm house. “Mallory! Time for lunch, honey!” I looked down the hillside and saw Mom standing on the backyard porch, hands cupped over her mouth.
I stood up and smiled at her and waved. “Coming!” I shouted as I began to run down the gentle sloping hillside.
When I reached her, Mom brushed the back of my dress. She said, “You got your dress dirty! And you wore your good shoes!”
I lifted the handful of yellow wildflowers and said, “These are for you, Mommy.”
Mom took the flowers and smelled them. She said, “Thank you, honey! Now come inside. Lunch is ready.”
There was a ham sandwich and tall glass of cold milk waiting on the table for me. As I sat down, I saw Mom take a glass from the cabinet, fill it with water and place the stems of the flowers in the glass.
Mom busied herself with something in the kitchen. Over her shoulder she said, “When you’re done, go change into some jeans and go help your father.”
“Yes ma’am,” I said as I took a drink of milk.
It didn’t take long to finish with lunch and I ran upstairs to change. On the dresser in my room was a large mirror. I stopped a moment to look at myself. Again I saw a very pretty young girl, probably around twelve or so. My hair was long, but in pigtails.
The window was open, allowing a cool breeze to blow in. I went to the window and looked out. I loved what I saw! The edge of a forest behind our farmhouse, a few trees dotting the land before the house and around the barn stretching out before me was a stark contrast with the urban, close in apartments where I lived in the real world. I wished I could stay here. Even if it meant being a dumb girl.
“1 Point deducted. 96 Remain,” floated in front of me. It sure was picky.
I looked in the closet and there were many more dresses and other clothes, I pulled out a pair of jeans and a plaid button shirt. I glanced in the mirror before putting the shirt on. I saw budding breasts pushing into my training bra. I should probably ask Mom about getting a bigger bra.
I paused looking at myself in the mirror. For the first time, I had a chance to really examine myself as a girl. I just stared at myself in nothing but a bra and panties. I had to look. There was nothing boyish about being curious about my body.
I unsnapped the bra and laid it on my bed. I stepped closer to the mirror and looked at the two small mounds on my chest. I touched them. Felt my finger brush around them. I looked down at my panties, fitting tightly around my crotch. I started to tug on them. I closed my eyes. Dare I look?
In a sudden decision, I quickly pulled the panties down to my ankles. I then looked and stared in disbelief. How was it possible? I had a vagina. It had to be just an illusion. I hesitantly reached down to it. Oh my God. It was really a vagina.
I wasn’t trying to do anything other than explore. I found a hole and then I found…oh my God! Oh…oh…that must be the clitoris! I was shocked by the thought that floated through my mind…I could get used to having a vagina!
I shook my head and said aloud, “Are you crazy?”
“1 Point deducted. 95 Remain” appeared in front of me.
Aloud I said, “Give me a break! Even girls play with themselves!”
“1 Point deducted. 94 Remain”
Frowning, I pulled my panties up. It took a moment or two, but I figured out how to put the bra back on. I then quickly dressed and hurried downstairs.
Dad was in the barn, working on something. I said, “Hey Dad. Do you want me to help with something?”
Dad turned and smiled at me. He said, “Sure sweet pea. If you’d just feed the chickens for now, that’d be a big help.”
I smiled back at Dad and said, “Sure!”
There was a large bag of feed near the barn door. Inside was a large red bowl. I picked up the bowl and then scooped up the chicken feed and then hurried over to the large fenced area where we kept the chickens.
We had a lot of chickens and I was going to need to get more than one bowl full. But I sprinkled the feed on the ground and watched the chickens start to peck at it. I said, “Here chickie-chicks! Come get your lunch!”
When I was done with that chore, I went back into the barn. Dad said, “Hey, sweet pea. You need to take your horse out for a run. I saddled her for you while you were busy with the chickens.”
“Thanks Daddy!” I said with a grin. I ran out to the stable to get Petunia. I opened the gate to her stall and led her outside. I mounted her and gently kicked her flanks to get her started. I led her back up to the meadow with the wildflowers. The meadow stretched a long way beyond our farm. I tapped my heels into her flanks and made a kissing sound to get Petunia up into a cantor. The last time I let her gallop, I fell off and broke my leg.
I knew where I wanted to go. There was a stream down aways from the farm that fed into the meadow. Following the stream led back up into mountains. Dad didn’t really like me going back there, but it was remote. Only I was ever there and it was just too beautiful to stay away for long.
The stream ended at some rocky cliffs cutting into the mountain side. A small waterfall, less than a hundred feet high fell straight down into a small pond at the head of the stream. The water was always ice cold as it came from the snow that stayed on the mountain top year round.
I tied Petunia’s reins to a tree, took off my boots and rolled up my pants legs. I then sat on a rock and dipped my feet into the cold water. It felt great! I just sat there, listening to the water crash into the pond and watched the dragonflies skim over the pond. I could just barely see big white clouds through the break in the trees over the pond and stream. I loved to come here when I needed to be alone to just think or daydream. This was my favorite place on Earth.
It was getting on towards evening when I entered the house after putting Petunia back in her stall and removing her saddle and giving her a good brushing. Mom looked over at me as I entered through the back door.
“Mallory, honey,” said Mom. “Go change into some clean clothes and wash up. You can help me get dinner ready.”
“Yes ma’am,” I said as I hurried up the stairs. My clothes were a bit sweaty so I quickly changed into one of the many dresses in my closet. And then I hurried back down.
Mom said, “Go ahead and peel those potatoes, honey. We’re going to have mashed potatoes with dinner tonight.”
I hummed a little tune as I peeled and then cut the potatoes. I carefully dropped them into boiling water. While waiting for the potatoes to cook, I set the table.
Dinner was great, of course. Brisket, green beans, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob and ice tea to wash it all down. I got to say grace. I listened to Dad talk to Mom about things that needed to be done around the farm. I smiled as I ate my dinner and listened to Dad talk. I looked back and forth between Mom and Dad. I really don’t think I could ask for a better life.
Wearing my nightie, I climbed into bed after saying my prayers. Mom had brushed my hair and it was all silky around my shoulders.
“Good night, Mom,” I said as I snuggled into the sheets.
Mom bent over me and kissed my forehead. “Good night, honey. Sweet dreams.”
My vision blurred.
I was staring at a huge, packed audience in a theater of some kind. Not a movie theater, but one with a stage and curtains and props and an orchestra pit. With an orchestra playing in it. I was wearing some kind of strange, white dress where the arms were made to look like wings. I ran off the stage.
A guy with headphones on, holding a clipboard with what looked like a script looked shocked. He said, “What are you doing, Mallory? This is your big scene! Get back out there!”
I shook my head and said, “I don’t know what to do! There must be a thousand people out there!”
Frowning, the man said, “Two thousand. And they all paid to see you dance. Now get out there, girl. Just remember how we rehearsed it the past few weeks!”
There was a mirror back stage. I took a quick look at myself. I couldn’t tell my age. Still a teen a think. But my hair was pulled up into a stupid little knob on the top of my head and I was wearing some pretty intense blue eye shadow and overly long false eyelashes, too much blush and dark pink lipstick. My earrings were just diamond looking studs. I looked down at my feet and saw ballet shoes. I’m a ballet dancer? I know nothing about ballet!
The man looked sternly at me and said, “Go! Don’t blow your big chance!”
I took a deep breath. I remembered what Victoria said in the cheerleader simulation. It doesn’t matter what I do. They’re not really going to notice me doing it wrong. I closed my eyes and counted to ten. Then I ran back out onto the stage and received a thunderous applause.
I smiled nervously and noticed the other dancers on the stage for the first time. I finally recognized the orchestra was playing “Swan Lake.” Come on, girl, I thought to myself. Nobody here is real and they’re programmed to like you. Prove it to yourself.
So I started bunny hopping around the stage. I got applause. None of the other dancers gave me a funny look. I started moon-walking like that weird guy in those last century music videos. Nobody noticed or cared. I grabbed my crotch and struck a pose…
“2 Points deducted. 92 Remain.”
I guessed that was going a bit too far.
I tried following the movements of the other dancers. I ran around the stage, flapping my arms like the wings of a bird. A male dancer appeared to dance with me. I really tried to dance with him. He picked me up and turned me a few times while holding me over his head as if I only weighed five pounds.
From up close, I could see, under the light fabric of his shirt that he was wonderfully muscled. His very tight pants did nothing to hide the massive bulge in his crotch. I had no idea such hot guys performed ballet. Maybe I should start going to ballets! Why am I thinking these things?
The music built to a crescendo. I pranced about the stage like an idiot on stupid pills. The gorgeous hunk picked me up a few more times. The music stopped along with all the dancers, except for me. I then stopped feeling a big embarrassed. The audience rose to their feet in thunderous applause and cheers. The other dancers bowed so I did too. A curtain came down in front of me. The audience was still cheering. I heard them chanting my name.
The male dancer came up from behind me. I turned and smiled at him when he said, “Mallory.”
He caressed my shoulders with his strong hands. He said, “That was perfect, Mallory. You danced wonderfully. A beautiful and talented girl like you is going to go far! Just listen to that crowd!”
I wanted to laugh because he was so serious and my dancing ability was so non-existent. I said, “Thank you. You were great too.” I let my hand slide down his muscled chest, the shimmering fabric of his tunic so smooth.
He lifted my chin and gave me a long slow kiss.
My vision blurred. Something’s wrong. I don’t mind these kisses anymore.
I stood in the large, ballroom. It wasn’t crowded, but there were quite a few people here. All of them were wearing beautiful gowns or tuxes. The ballroom was gorgeous, with flowers, plants and even a central fountain and waterfall. There was an orchestra playing slow dancing music. Tables with people dining were off to one side. Everything was so elegant.
The walls were mirrored which made the place seem even larger. I looked at myself. Holy shit was I awesomely beautiful! I was stunned at how I looked. I was wearing a long, beautiful black evening dress and black high heeled strappy sandals. The gown had a slit up the skirt revealing black stockings. Without seeing them, I knew I was wearing black, silky, and lacy panties. Diamond earrings dangled from my ears. Around my neck was a beautiful diamond necklace and on my wrists were diamond bracelets. My make-up was perfect with smoky-alluring eyes, the eyeliner perfectly framing my eyes. My lips pouted with a lovely shade of red lipstick that matched my nail color.
I was drop dead gorgeous and even if I say so myself, easily the most beautiful woman in the room.
“May I have this dance?” I turned to face a voice from my side. I couldn’t believe it. It was that Paul character again. And again he was totally gorgeous.
I smiled at him and said, “I’d love to!”
He smiled at me and took my hand and led me to the dance floor. He wasted no time in sliding his arm around my waist. I put my hand on his shoulder and we began to dance. After that prom simulation, I had this slow dancing down.
“Thank you for the dance. My name is Paul, by the way,” said Paul.
I said, “Oh, you’re very welcome, Paul. My name is Mallory.”
“So nice to meet you, Mallory. Such a lovely name,” Paul said. “You were absolutely stunning when you entered the room. I said to myself, I have to dance with that beautiful woman.”
I smiled at him and said, “I’m glad you did.” I looked deeply into his intense blue eyes. I didn’t even try to fight my attraction to him. He was gorgeous. He was perfect. He was mine…
He held me close and occasionally spinning me around. He even lifted me over his head a few times, depending on the music being played. He was a wonderful dancer. He was unbelievably charming. I know I’m gushing, but mere words can’t describe how beautiful he is.
I was falling madly in love with him and it didn’t even bother me to admit that.
A tingle went down my spine when he softly kissed my neck. And kissed my neck again.
He stopped dancing, held my hand and said, “Oh, you must simply see this!” Taking a firm hold of my hand, Paul led me through tall glass doors to a small veranda. Vines and flowers covered the ornate stone railing. In the brilliant night sky hung a bright full moon, illuminating us and shimmering off the pond that stretched below us. The sight took my breath away.
“Oh, Paul! This is so beautiful!” I said, feeling faint.
“This evening is yours, Mallory,” smiled Paul. “All this is for you.” He kissed me and then we started dancing again, my head on his shoulder.
We danced for what seemed forever. He finally stopped and looked down into my eyes. I never wanted to be with a man so bad in my life. I just looked up at him, trying to drink in every detail of his gorgeous face.
He kissed me. Not just a kiss. A long, smoldering kiss that stoked the fire of desire in my heart. He held me close and kissed me deeply. I put my arms around his neck and kissed him with all my heart. I was in love. I wanted to stay here in his arms forever.
My vision blurred. I wanted to cry.
I stood there in my park bra and panties and the silly skull cap. My sister and her two friends were also standing in the gray room, of course wearing the same thing. Everyone was covered in sweat.
Janie said, “Well, we only have time for one more simulation since SOMEBODY seems to have over extended theirs.” She frowned in my direction.
“What?” I said. “I thought we’re supposed to have fun?”
Victoria said, “Don’t worry about her, Mallory. I think we all over extended one or two simulations. To be honest, I’m just totally blown away by all this. It’s just fantastic!”
Janie looked at me and said, “I’m surprised you didn’t use up all your points already. So, did you have a favorite simulation?”
“No,” I lied. “I was a girl in each one.” I knew I shouldn’t have asked this, but it fell out of my mouth anyway. “But, I thought these sims were completely random. The same guy appeared in three of mine.”
Victoria smiled and said, “Yeah. The same guy appeared in four of mine. He was dreamy.”
Janie looked at me again and grinned. She said, “For reals? That means you liked him. It says right here in the guidebook, that the system detects your reaction to the generated characters. It repeats characters that you have strong feelings about. That’s funny. You’re in love with a computer generated guy!”
“I am not!” I lied again. “Don’t be ridiculous!”
Theresa said, “It’s no big deal, Mallory. We all fell in love. It’s part of it.”
“Well, I didn’t,” I said feeling indignant. “And why are you guys calling me Mallory here?”
Theresa said, “Sorry. I thought we were all girls here. You are wearing a bra and panties after all.”
I frowned and said, “I have to.”
Janie said, “Okay girls. Enough of that. The group simulation I picked for us is rather long. That’s why we’ll be out of sim time after this. It’ll be fun. It’s a zombie apocalypse simulation. We’ll each get a male companion to tag along with us. For every zombie we kill, we each get a point. We lose a point if one of us gets killed or our companion gets killed or if we shoot a non-zombie. You do respawn if killed. Five minute penalty. A highest point wins. Oh, be careful girls. Companions do not respawn.”
Victoria laughed and said, “Let’s do it!”
“I might be good at this!” I exclaimed.
Janie said, “Simulation number four hundred seventy-five. Group twenty-three. Activate!”
My vision blurred.
We were standing on the rubble of a once great city. Abandoned cars dotted the streets in front of us. Tall, burned out buildings stood all around us. Looking at the other girls, it looked like we were at some Steam Punk convention.
I was wearing a short, tight, black leather miniskirt, a leather biker jacket that was very scuffed up, torn fishnet stockings, knee high lace up high heeled boots with four inch heels. My hair was tied back in a loose pony-tail. I could tell I was wearing enormous hoop pierced earrings. On my nails was black polish. I had goggles on top of my head. I had no idea what my make-up looked like, but it was probably like the other, heavy black eye make-up and just lip gloss. We were all carrying assault rifles.
It took a second to get myself stable on the uneven ground while wearing these boots. I’m glad I’d gotten used to walking in heels in the other sims.
The male companions stood next to each one of us. They were dressed similar in lots of leather, more practical boots and helmets. Victoria was holding hands with her companion, who wielded a shotgun. I turned to look at my companion and my heart leaped into my throat.
“Paul!” I exclaimed.
“Hey, Mallory,” he said. “I think we’re in for a rough day.”
Janie turned around and said, “You’re boyfriend’s name is Paul? Wow, he’s a cutie all right. No wonder you love him.” She studied me for a moment and then frowned. She said, “Look at Mallory, guys. It’s not fair. She’s beautiful. More so than the rest of us! It’s not fair some dumb guy is prettier than us!”
“1 point deducted. 99 Remain.” The words in red floated around us.
“What’s that?” asked Janie. “Is that yours, Mallory?”
I laughed and said, “No. That’s for you!” Victoria and Theresa both laughed. Janie looked annoyed.
Pointing at her companion, Victoria said, “Everyone, this is Allen.”
Theresa said, “Oh yeah. Guys meet Larry.”
Janie said, “And my man’s name is Matt.”
Looking apprehensive, Paul said, “We better get moving, Mallory. We want to reach Sanctuary before nightfall.”
Victoria’s companion Allen, who was also gorgeous said, “Yeah. We don’t want to be out here after dark.”
Janie said, “Lock and load, girls!”
About ten zombies suddenly came moaning and snarling around a corner and headed quickly towards us. My sister and Janie both panicked with Victoria slipping on the rubble and falling on her backside. Paul and the other males raised their weapons. Theresa just stood there.
I grinned and ran towards the zombies. I set my assault rifle on single fire and at almost point blank range lifted the rifle and quickly shot each zombie in the head.
Paul said, “That’s some shooting, honey.”
Janie said, “Wow. We have a regular Rambo with us.”
Laughing, I said, “You have no idea how many zombie apocalypse games I’ve played.”
Victoria was helped up by Allen and as she dusted herself off she said, “Does it get harder as we go along?”
Looking worried, Janie said, “Yes.”
“Shit,” said my sister.
“Cool,” I said. “Let’s go!”
We moved cautiously forward. We found that certain streets were blocked off, forcing us to follow a pre-set path. Sometimes we were offered a choice between various streets or going through buildings. Zombies would pop up from any direction.
I stuck close to Paul and not just because he was a crack shot.
We crested a hill of rubble and suddenly there were fifty or more zombies flooding the area around us. We stood on the top of the hill, our backs to each other and unloaded on the zombies. Even with all that, some zombies got frightenly close to us. Zombie blood and brains were flying everywhere.
Victoria screamed as a zombie grabbed her foot. She fell trying to back up. Just as the zombie was about to take a bite of her ankle, Allen popped a round into the zombie’s skull.
Zombies lay twitching right at our feet. I slid a fresh magazine to my rifle when Paul turned to me and put his arm around me and kissed me hard. He said, “You were wonderful, honey!”
Still holding my weapon, I slid my arm around his neck and kissed him back, just as hard. I said, “Thank you, baby.”
Victoria just stared at me and blinked.
Janie said, “Do you guys need a room?”
Grinning, Paul kissed me again and said, “No. We’re fine.”
Allen kissed Victoria and said, “I think we’re all grateful to still be alive after that.”
Theresa looked expectantly at Larry. But he just stood there, looking at the carnage. She shrugged and said, “Let’s go.”
To Victoria, Janie said, “It’s not fair that your stupid little brother got such a hot boyfriend!”
“1 Point deducted. 98 Remain.”
Janie looked up at the sky, threw her arms in the air and shouted, “Oh, knock it off!”
Victoria and I laughed.
Paul said, “Brother?”
I kissed him and said, “Don’t worry about it. It’s a joke.”
Victoria grinned at me and said, “Janie, are you sure we don’t have time for a wedding simulation after this?”
Frowning I said, “Now that’s crazy! I’m not getting married!”
Victoria laughed hard and said, “Funny. I didn’t mention anyone’s name! Guilty conscience!”
I must have turned several shades of red.
Paul said, “Maybe there’s a priest at Sanctuary.”
The other three girls stopped in their tracks and laughed.
Needless to say, darkness fell early. We were only halfway through the city when the sun went down.
Floating in front of us, words formed, “Point values double. Death penalty doubles.”
Theresa said, “Looks like it gets harder.”
“Bring it on!” I said.
We crept silently through the wrecked city’s streets. For ten minutes and a block and a half there were no encounters. This only made us worry more.
Larry turned around and shouted, “Oh my God! Behind us!”
We all spun around and a group of almost twenty zombies were almost within arm’s reach of us!
Allen shouted, “Run! Get some distance!”
A zombie grabbed Paul’s arm as the others started to run ahead. I popped a round into the zombie’s head. Paul spun around and punched a zombie that was about to bite my shoulder. As the zombie fell, Paul grabbed my arm and pulled me away. We both broke out into a run. I noticed the rest of our group hadn’t run very far before stopping.
As we caught up with the others, we saw that another large group of zombies were blocking the path. In the dark, I couldn’t tell how many. Zombie faces were being lit up by the constant gun fire.
Victoria cried out, “We’re about to be surrounded!”
Allen said, “Into that building! We can use the stairwell to choke their advance and they can’t get behind us.”
We all continued to shoot as we ran to the indicated building. It was once a multi-story department store. It now had a gaping hole in the side opening up the second and third floors. There were glass doors in the middle of the glassed in front of the store. Fortunately, the door was unlocked. We rushed inside.
Paul found a metal rod from a display and slid it though the door handles just as the zombies arrived and started pushing on the door and the large glass windows.
Janie said, “Now what do we do? We can’t just stay here!”
The storefront windows began to crack under the pressure of now almost a hundred zombies pushing against it. I could hear their moans and growls through the glass.
Paul said, “That won’t hold them long. And there’s no good defensive position here. Maybe there’s a back door?”
Allen came huffing up to us. He said, “I just checked. The back doors are chained shut. We have no way to cut through that heavy chain.”
Theresa said, “Shit! We’re all going to die here!”
The windows started to break. A zombie stumbled through.
Allen shouted, “Up the stairwell!”
We all ran to the stairwell door. It hung on one hinge. There was no way to lock it. We all ran up the stairs to the second floor. Down below we heard the shattering of glass. Moments later we saw the first zombie coming up the stairwell.
Janie shouted, “Theresa, you and Larry look for a fire escape or something while we hold them off!”
Theresa said, “Let’s go, Larry. There has to be another way out of here!”
I stood on the first landing of the stairwell, my rifle set on full auto, bringing down wave after wave of zombies. There was always a new magazine clipped on my belt. Paul joined me at my side and started firing. The doorway soon became choked with dead zombies that it became next to impossible for any more to get in.
Paul and I both looked up the stairwell when we heard shouts above us. We ran up the stairs.
The rest were standing there as Theresa and Larry ran back to them.
Theresa shouted, “This floor is full of zombies! They’re on their way here!”
Janie cried, “You mean there’s no way out of here?”
Theresa said, “There is a fire escape. But there are several dozen zombies between us and it.”
The zombies in the stair well were starting to push the dead zombies out of the way. Victoria and Allen started picking off the random zombie that made it through.
Paul said, “We have to make a stand. They have to come down this hallway. We’ll just pick them off as they do.”
Seconds later, the first wave of growling zombies started pouring through the hall. Victoria and Allen were having to shoot more and more.
I shouted, “Look! I saw this in an old movie once. It’ll work. Theresa, Janie and I will kneel in a row across the hall. Paul, Larry and Matt will stand behind us. We’ll just keep shooting until they stop.”
We arranged ourselves just as the wave of zombies closed in. We opened fire and the volley of bullets just cut the ranks of zombies in two.
I shouted, “Keep firing! Only stop to reload!”
Victoria shouted, “There’s getting to be too many in the stairwell.”
For ten of the most horrorific minutes of my life we blazed away at the never ending waves of zombies. Finally, no more came down the hall and we stopped firing. Victoria and Allen were still shooting in the stairwell. The pile of dead zombies came all the way up to our feet.
Paul said, “Get out of the stairwell. This door will close. It’s a steel fire door so it should hold them. At least for a while.”
We shut the stairwell door and heard a satisfying click as soon as my sister and her man emerged.
Larry was in the room next to us. The room had part of the wall missing and he was looking down. He shouted, “Holy shit! Look at this!”
A pounding started on the stairwell door.
We went into the room with Larry to look out of the gaping hole in the building and gasped. Stretched below us was an army of zombies. Hundreds. Maybe thousands all gathering at the base of the building. All trying to get through the front doors.
Janie started crying. “We’re all going to die here!”
Allen came running up from behind us. He said, “There’s not a zombie in sight below the fire escape. If we’re quiet, we can get down to the street without that mob out there noticing.”
Theresa said, “Let’s get the hell out of here!”
We all turned to head down the hall. I saw Larry slip on some rubble. He screamed as he fell from the gaping hole to the ground below.
Theresa shouted, “No!” and rushed to the edge of the flooring. I ran beside her and looked down.
Larry had survived the fall, but dozens of zombies were now tearing his flesh off and eating him alive.
Theresa turned away with disgust. Shaking her head, she said, “Stupid Larry!”
Victoria looked at us curiously as we rejoined the group in the hall. She said, “What happened? Where’s Larry? We heard a scream.”
I said, “He slipped and fell out the hole.”
Theresa said, “He’s dead.”
The stairwell door began to creak from the pressure behind it. It wasn’t going to hold long.
Janie said, “I’m sorry, honey. But we need to go.”
We all sprinted down the hall to the fire escape. The window that opened onto it slid open quietly. It was hard to be silent stepping onto the old and rusting fire escape, but we all managed to hurry down it with attracting the attention of more zombies.
When we got to the alley below the fire escape, I said, “Guys listen. Knives only for a few blocks. No shooting. We can’t afford to have that zombie army come after us.”
Nodding, everyone slung their rifles over their shoulders and pulled their knives. We cautiously ran to the street and looked up and down. Breathing a sigh of relief, we hurried down the street.
After a few minutes of running, we stopped at an intersection where we could view any approaching zombies, to take a rest. Janie and Matt sat on the trunk of an abandoned car. Paul and I just sat on the curb.
Matt looked back at the car he was sitting on and said, “I wonder if these cars work? That’d make getting out of here faster.”
Janie playfully whacked him in the back of his head and said, “Now you suggest that!”
Shrugging, Matt said, “Sorry. I just thought of it. I’m going to see if this car still runs.” He walked around to the driver’s side of the car and opened the door.
As soon as the door opened, a zombie lunged from the car and took a bite of Matt’s neck. His blood splattered everywhere. He fell, making a gurgling noise with the zombie on top of him.
Janie jumped up and said, “Oh my God! No! No!” She ran up to the zombie before any of us could react and thrust her knife into the skull of the zombie. She shouted, “Fuck you, asshole!” She then collapsed next to Matt and began crying uncontrollably.
I knelt next to her and put a comforting arm around her. I said, “I’m really sorry, Janie. But there’s no reason to be this upset. He’s not real, after all.”
Her eyes flashing, she spun to face me. She snarled, “Not real? He’s real to me! He was in every one of my fantasies. He was the perfect man. And now he’s laying there broken! How would you feel if your boyfriend just died in front of you? He’s real enough to you! You love him! Well, I loved Matt.” She began sobbing.
In a soothing voice, Victoria said, “Janie, I know this is upsetting, but he’s not gone forever. Just for this simulation. You’ll see him again if you ever come back to the park.”
At that moment, Matt’s eyes popped open and with speed you just don’t associate with zombies, he grabbed Janie’s arm and pulled her towards him. Janie screamed.
Just was he was about to bite her hand, I thrust my knife into his brain and he went limp.
Victoria and I gently pulled Janie away from what was left of Matt. She was crying and shaking.
In front of us the words floated, “No respawn from this point. Ammo no longer unlimited.”
“We must be getting close to the end,” I said. “I bet it’s going to get harder.”
Theresa fell to her knees. With a cry, she said, “Harder? Oh my God!”
Janie stood up and leaned against the car, looking exhausted. She said, “That’s it. I’m ending this simulation.”
I jumped up and shouted, “No! I want to finish it!”
Scowling, Janie said, “This isn’t fun anymore. This is a nightmare! I’m so done!”
I said, “Please don’t!”
Janie looked coldly at me. She said, “Simul…”
A second zombie popped from the car and bit into Janie’s juggler vein. Her eyes went wild as her blood spurted from her neck and she collapsed on the ground. Victoria ran up and with her knife, and killed the zombie. Looking sad for a moment, she stood over Janie’s body, knife raised. She hesitated quite a while. Allen walked up and ran his knife in Janie’s skull.
Allen said, “We probably should go. And somebody close that car door!”
Paul helped me up and said, “Are you okay, honey?”
I looked down at Janie and Matt and said, “I’m fine. Let’s just go. I don’t think the end is that far away.”
I noticed we now each had six magazines attached to our belts. That’s all we were going to get unless we find some scattered around.
I looked at all of us standing there. We were all dirty and scratched up. We looked like we’d been through hell. I couldn’t believe this was a simulation for girls! Apparently Janie wasn’t expecting something as dark and sinister as this sim when she picked it.
We walked along the middle of the street. We didn’t want to get caught by a zombie jumping from a door way or broken window. A few zombies came at us, but we quickly took them out with knives. The city buildings got smaller as we went along until finally, the street we were on led into a forest.
Victoria said, “Oh great. It’s night and we have to enter a forest.”
Theresa said, “We just stay on the road, right?”
Paul said, “It’d be crazy to enter the forest in the dark.”
The road was choked with abandoned cars. Inside a few were zombies clawing at the windows trying to get out. Thankfully, the sun was starting to come up.
As we continued on, we heard a growing sound of moaning and growls. We slowed our approach. In the dim light we could see a large group of zombies mingling around the cars. They were moving as a group towards the city. There had to be over fifty of them.
I said, “We have to go into the woods. With our limited ammo, we’d never get past that group.”
Allen said, “You’re probably right. Okay, just don’t get separated.”
We quietly changed our direction to enter the forest. Talk about creepy. There were strange sounds from all directions as we stirred up various animals. I really hoped we wouldn’t have to fight off bears or wolves as well as zombies.
Encountering only a few zombies, we reached a clearing around a farm house. There was also a barn and a few other small structures. And then beyond that, was a wall of zombies heading for us!
Victoria shouted, “Oh my God, they’re coming up behind us too!”
I turned and sure enough, zombies were closing in from all sides.
Theresa said, “Let’s try to make it to the farm house!” She broke into a run. We all started to run to the farm house.
Paul and I would stop and turn to take out a few of the closest zombies. There were just too many. The farm house was a trap, but I couldn’t see anywhere else to go. Theresa was the first to reach the front door of the house. She turned the door knob.
“It’s not locked! Thank God!” she said as she opened the door. Several zombies spilled through the open door and attacked her. We were still too far away to take a shot and not risk hitting her. Screaming, she went down with a pile of zombies on top of her. She was gone.
Victoria shouted, “You fucking bastards!” She fired her weapon on full auto into the mob of zombies. Allen joined her as they both emptied a magazine into them.
The four of us rushed to the house. Paul pushed me back and said, “Stay here. Let me check the house before we enter.”
“We don’t have time!” I shouted, pointing at the approaching zombies. “We have to chance it.”
Paul nodded and we all ran into the house. There was a zombie in the living room and another in the kitchen. We took care of those quickly.
Paul said, “Barricade the front and back doors!”
Victoria said, “Those things were bending a steel door! These are wood!”
Allen said, “Honey, we have to try. If we can thin their numbers a bit, we can make a run for it.”
We broke the windows and started shooting at the zombies approaching. We used careful shots, not just spray and pray. Our ammo was running out quickly.
After about fifteen minutes of constant shooting, Victoria began to cry. “It’s hopeless! They won’t stop coming! Janie was right. We should just end this nightmare!”
Taking a few more shots, I said, “I want to finish this!”
Victoria looked at me curiously. She said, “How are you so calm, sis? You’re actually enjoying this!”
I smiled at my sister and said, “You’re in my world now, Victoria. It’s like the best first person shooter I’ve ever played!”
Allen came up from behind us and said, “It’s clear out the back. It’s only a few yards to the forest. Maybe we can make it without being seen.”
Paul took a few more shots and said, “Let’s go for it.”
Checking again to see that it was clear, we quietly opened the back door just as we heard the front door smash open. We then sprinted towards the forest. We made it undetected.
We ran like fools through the forest, which is not a good idea. Victoria was in front and suddenly I saw her disappear from view as she screamed.
“Victoria!” I shouted as I ran to where I last saw her. I came up to the edge of a small ravine. Below me was Victoria. Her leg was at an unnatural position. We all quickly climbed to the bottom of the ravine.
“I think my leg is broken,” she said through sobs.
“We can’t stay here,” I said. “Those zombies will follow us. Especially if they heard that scream.”
Victoria scowled at me. “Well, I’m sorry. I’ll try to break my leg more quietly next time.”
“That’d be great,” I said.
Allen said to Paul, “Can you help me lift her up? There’s an easier climb out of here a few yards up.” Paul took one of Victoria’s shoulders as Allen took the other and carefully lifted her to one good foot.
I said, “This is going to slow us down. Why don’t you just stay here sis and distract the zombies?”
“Fuck you,” said my sweet sister. I laughed.
As we climbed out of the ravine, dragging my sister, a row of zombies had gathered at the edge. They started stupidly falling into the ravine and landing in broken, twisted heaps. They were still alive, but they couldn’t follow us.
I said, “The zombies aren’t any smarter than you, sis.”
Victoria said, “Will you stop? Please?”
We reached the edge of the forest after a few more minutes of walking. There was a wide clearing stretching before us.
I shouted, “Look! It’s a wall! That’s the goal!”
Allen said, “But look at all those zombies in between! We’ll never make it.”
I looked at the distance between us and he wall. I could see people on the wall. When we got close enough, I’m sure they’d start shooting to help us.
I said, “Yes we will. The zombies aren’t in large groups. They’ll be easy pickings. The people on the wall will mostly likely start giving us support fire when we’re close enough.”
Victoria said with a cry, “Leave me here. You can’t run carrying me.”
“I’ll stay here with you, love,” said Allen sounding all heroic.
“Nobody’s staying behind,” I said. “We’re all going to make it. Everyone give me what ammo you have left. Paul, you and Allen carry my sister. I’ll take care of the zombies.”
Paul left Allen supporting Victoria for a moment. He placed both hands on my shoulders and said, “You’re the bravest girl I’ve ever known.” He then kissed me, long and hard.
A little breathless after Paul’s kiss, I said, “Let’s do this.”
Victoria started hobbling along, supported by Allen and Paul. I ran ahead and cleared the path. This was fun! I had enjoyed my other experiences at the park, especially the ballroom with Paul, which I’ll never admit to. But this was like actually getting to live one of my video games.
I didn’t get too far ahead of the others. Zombies were coming up from behind us as well as all around. Carefully aimed shots took them out, one by one. As we neared the wall, the people on it started firing at the zombies around us.
As we got closer, the gate in the wall opened up and several men ran out to help carry Victoria into the compound beyond.
As soon as the gate closed behind us, the words “VICTORY!” appeared in red letters before our eyes. Victoria and I grinned at each other. Allen kissed her with a deep passion.
Paul walked up to me and said, “You did it, Mallory. You got us here.” He then bent his head towards me and kissed me hard.
My vision didn’t blur. Instead there was a fade out, a second of darkness and then a fade in, indicating passing of time.
When I could see again, I saw my sister all clean and pretty, her hair longer than it was. She was wearing a simple white shift dress and sitting in a canvass chair. She also was holding a baby which was sucking on her breast that was exposed by a flap in her dress. There was a whole row of women nursing babies under a large canvass awning providing shade.
“What’s with the baby?” I asked.
Victoria grinned and said, “I’m a mommy. We’re helping to re-populate the world! You too it seems.” She then giggled.
That’s when I became aware that I was wearing a similar dress and sitting in a canvass chair. A baby was nursing on my breast.
“Holy shit!” I exclaimed. “I…I’m a mommy! This is insane!”
My sister laughed and said, “Bet you never dreamed you’d have a baby! He’s cute. He looks like his father.”
I said, “This means Paul and I had to a…”
Victoria nodded. She just said, “MmmHmm!” She grinned at me.
Grinning back at my sister, I said, “Wow. I can’t believe I have a baby!”
Victoria studied me for a moment and said, “It suits you. I think you’d be a good mother.”
Watching my baby nurse, I said, “Thanks.”
“Can I ask you a sort of personal question?” asked Victoria.
“You can ask…” I said.
“Where does Paul come from? I mean, I know he’s not real, but I do love Allen. He’s basically a combination of everything I want in a man. He’s basically my ideal. I can tell you really do love Paul whether you admit it or not. Until now, I didn’t think you had a notion of an ideal man.”
I laughed and watched my baby nurse some more. Finally I said, “Don’t ever tell anyone this.”
Victoria said, “Hey, we’re sisters now. Your secrets are safe with me.”
I smiled nervously and said, “Back in the seventh grade, there was a boy I had a crush on. Don’t look at me that way. No, it’s not a gay thing. I didn’t want to date him. But I was desperate for him to be my best friend for some reason. I looked it up later and found it’s actually common to have same sex crushes. Most out grow them. Paul reminds me so much of that boy.”
Victoria smiled knowingly. “So you do have an idea of what your perfect man is! It’s easy to see how the girl Mallory would fall in love with someone you already had a crush on. Don’t worry, I won’t repeat it.”
“Thanks,” I said. “I haven’t even thought of him after that year.”
I saw Victoria look up at someone and I turned to see Paul and Allen standing behind me.
Paul said, “Mallory, we’re going to do a perimeter check. We’ll be gone for a few hours.”
I said, “Just be careful, my love.” He bent down and kissed me briefly. Allen kissed Victoria and they both walked away.
“My love?” asked Victoria with a grin.
“So? He’s the father of my baby!” I said.
We both laughed.
My vision blurred…
We were all standing in our Park underwear, all looking tired and numb. Victoria and I were dripping with sweat. Both Janie and Theresa looked at us with annoyance.
Janie said, “Took you long enough. Did you finish the sim?”
“I won!” I said beaming.
Janie said, “That was such a shitty idea. If I ever come back, I’m never doing that again. I’ll spend my whole time on that beach sim.”
Victoria said, “I liked that first sim I tried the best. The one where I got to be a high school cheerleader.”
Theresa took on a faraway look and said, “Oh, I just loved the back-packing sim. Larry and I had some really good times.”
They all looked at me as I stood there in silence.
Janie said, “Well? What was your favorite?”
“The zombie one, of course!” I lied.
Janie frowned and said, “That figures.”
Victoria said, “Anyway, it was a totally wonderful experience! I’m just completely blown away.”
Pointing at her neck, Janie said, “Did you know I actually felt that zombie sinking his teeth into my neck? That hurt.”
“That’s so cool!” I said.
Sounding tired, Janie said, “Let’s go. Maybe we can catch the eight o’clock train.”
On the way out, we were each handed a video disc of each of our adventures. I declared that nobody was ever going to see mine!
“Are you sure you want to enter Girl Park?” asked the woman in the ticket booth.
Before I could answer, Victoria said, “He’s sure. It’s what he wanted for his birthday. We were here two years ago.”
Nodding the woman said, “Oh. Well then, you know what these are for.” She handed me the package with the bra, panties and skull cap. “You know what you’re getting into then. We actually get a good percentage of boys returning. And here’s your three hour pass.”
Victoria had managed to raise enough money for one three hour pass to Girl Park. Mom and Dad contributed, a few aunts and uncles and even some of her friends contributed over the last two years. Dad didn’t really like the idea but he relented since this was what I really wanted for my eighteenth birthday.
Victoria and I had grown a lot closer after our experience at Girl Park. In spirit at least, we became sisters. Every now and then I’d get an urge to dress up as a girl and she’d indulge me. After Dad found my make-up and some panties in my room, we had to start storing everything in Victoria’s room. I don’t know what we’ll do next month when she finally moves out for an out of state college.
“Are you sure you don’t want to go too?” I asked. “I don’t mind taking a ninety minute pass so you can get one too.”
Victoria smiled and gave me a hug. “Thanks for offering, sis. I appreciate it. But after I met Julian, I have a real life man of my dreams.”
“You don’t have to have a fantasy with the man of your dreams,” I said with a pout. “They have hundreds of fantasies. In fact, they’ve added three hundred more since we were last here.”
She laughed and said, “This is your birthday present, Mallory. Not mine.” When we were alone, Victoria would call me by my girl name. I never questioned it.
I gave her a hug and smiled. I said, “Thank you so much. It means a lot!”
Victoria made a shooing motion and said, “Get! Go have some fun, girl!”
I waved and walked off towards the designated room.
I stood in the middle of the ballroom. I was wearing a beautiful dark blue floor length sequined gown with matching four inch heeled strappy sandals. My hair was long and flowing and danced about my shoulders. Dangly diamond earrings bounced playfully against my neck. Around my neck I wore a dazzling diamond necklace. My eye shadow was dark and smoky. My lips and nails were a dark pink.
I stood there a moment, looking expectantly around the room. Suddenly, from behind me, I heard a familiar voice. My heart leapt into my throat.
“Mallory?”, asked Paul. “Is that you?”
I turned to face him. I couldn’t help but smile. I don’t care what others may think. He was the most gorgeous sight I’ve ever seen. He was older and his features had matured a bit. He looked around nineteen. I just drank him in. I said, “Yes, Paul. It’s me. It’s been a long time.”
He took my hand and kissed my fingers. He said, “It has been a long time, sweetheart. I’ve missed you.” He pulled me close to him.
“I’ve missed you too, my darling. I think of you every day,” I said sincerely.
Placing his hand on my waist, we began to dance. His blue eyes drilled into my very soul. He said, “I never would have believed it possible if you weren’t standing here in front of me. But you are even more beautiful than before.” I felt a thrill shoot down my spine.
I said, “Thank you.” I looked shyly away.
He lifted my chin back up and looked at me and smiled. He then bent down and kissed me softly. I just melted.
We danced for what seemed forever. I lost all track of time. In fact, it was almost as if time was standing still.
Suddenly, Paul stopped and just looked deeply into my eyes. He ran his fingers gently through my hair. He said, “Maybe we should go somewhere a bit more…private.”
I smiled up at him and said, “I think so too…”
He took my hand and led me from the ballroom.
Maybe I really should get one of those vaginas…
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