Melissa slid a stick of bright pink bubble gum into her mouth and began chewing pensively. She was leaning up against the lockers, one foot braced against them, thrusting her knee out at a lazy, yet imposing angle that showed off her smooth, tan thigh. If there had been anyone in front of her, it would have shown off her white, cotton panties, too.
She pulled her cell phone out of her sweater pocket and checked the time again. 2:56. Claire would come bouncing along at any moment. The thing about girls like Claire, Melissa reflected, was that they could be relied upon to do as they were told.
What Melissa did have to worry about was Jenny. Sometimes when she’d poached a babysitting job from Melissa—like today—the little brat would get everything she needed from her locker during study hall, then just slip out when the bell rang. “I just like to be on time. It’s kind of my thing. And those poor parents just work so hard!”
Yeah. It was really stressful for Mrs. Ruprecht to take a break from daytime TV and oggling the pool boy to get her nails done. Melissa blew a slow, vindictive bubble and took a great deal of satisfaction in its deflating demise.
Jenny. That two-faced little bitch. Well, if they didn’t get her today, they’d get her tomorrow and then it would be over forever.
Just then, at 2:59, Claire jiggled into view, a little winded and glowing, carrying a large shopping bag covered with a towel to hide its contents. “I, like, ran. I totally had to tell Mr. Schwartz I was on the rag, too!”
Melissa gave a humorless smile. “Perv probably liked hearing that. Jen should be along any minute now.”
The bell rang and students began pouring out of their classrooms, jostling to their lockers to collect books and binders. Claire smiled and waved enthusiastically at the boys who slowed to look her up and down, then blushed and hurried on as they caught Melissa’s mocking eye. It wasn’t long before Jenny appeared, her uniform skirt swishing about her knees and her butter blond hair held back from her Neutrogena fresh face by a thin, pink ribbon tied in a sweetheart bow at the crown of her head.
Every girl in the school wore her uniform differently. Most girls got lost in their uniforms, their stick thin bodies lost in the folds of tartan and thickly knit sweaters. Some girls looked dumpy, straining at the fabric in a way that suggested it was about to burst, launching buttons with enough force to lodge them in the stuccoed walls.
Claire also strained against her blouse and sweater, but only in the chest and in a way that made her classmates and a few of the less scrupulous teachers sweat. Skirts seemed shorter on her. Sweaters seemed more clingy. When Claire’s knee socks fell down, there was always a line to get behind her and watch her bend to pull them back up.
Melissa inhabited her uniform coolly. It fit perfectly, accenting her form, but not revealing it. Her sweater looked soft, but impenetrable. Her skirt rode high, but never blew up in a gust the way Claire’s did. He shoes were never scuffed and her socks never fell down. Julie Wineman claimed she’d once seen her gluing them on after gym, the way Japanese girls supposedly did.
Jenny also had a very distinctive way of wearing her uniform, that managed to get her quite a bit of attention, which was one of the many reasons Melissa despised her former friend. From far away it looked innocent enough. She didn’t have to leave too many buttons undone the way Claire did and she didn’t come off as unyielding the way Melissa did. Instead she seemed unattainable in that charming and innocent way that made boys want to defile her and girls suspect that she really knew how many under-the-desk erections she was responsible for, though she would have blushed and seductively bitten her lip had anyone told her. It was something in the way her skirt swished when she walked, the way she bent at the waist to pick up a dropped pencil, the way her gold, heart-shaped locket glinted from its resting place on her breasts.
“Hey Melissa,” said Jenny, smiling. “Hi Claire. What’s up?”
Melissa grinned like a crocodile. “Oh, not much. See, I thought I had a babysitting job after school, but it seems Mrs. Ruprecht changed her mind at the last minute.”
Jenny opened her locker and began redistributing her books. “Oh. That’s…too bad. You know, Stephanie and Johnny are such great kids.”
Melissa stared fixedly at the side of Jen’s face. “Yeah. She actually sounded a little cold when she called. She said something about expecting a sitter to do more than just collect five dollars an hour to ignore her kids and not, what was it, enrich their developing minds.”
“Well,” said Jenny, turning to face her, “That really is what a sitter should be doing, don’t you think? But I’ve really gotta run. I’ll catch up with you guys later.”
Melissa slammed the locker door and Claire strode around to the other side of the backstabbing Jenny. “You have somewhere to be? Because we don’t.”
“You’re coming with us.”
Melissa hadn’t asked how Claire had managed to get the key to the boiler room because she didn’t care so long as it was in her hand before 3:00 pm, but if she had, she would have been surprised to know that all her nubile friend had to do was slip one of a dozen copies off a ring in the office and, when Mrs. Gunderson had hazily asked what she wanted it for, promised to be careful and bring it back later.
Now the two girls were pushing the third down a narrow, railed flight of metal stairs. Instead of growing frightened and helpless as she might have if there were anyone else around, Jenny was getting pissed.
“Don’t fucking push me, Claire!”
“Shut up and get down the stairs or she really will push you,” threatened Melissa.
Claire giggled. “Yeah!”
Once at the bottom, Claire drew out a length of rope out of the shopping bag and began to tie Jenny’s wrists to the banister with surprising skill, picked up from numerous after school experiments with Josh La Rue. Meanwhile, Melissa was taking other things out of the bag and began to arrange them in a corner. There was a big, thick, pink blanket; an oversized baby bottle; a purple terrycloth bib with “BABY” embroidered on it; a snow white bonnet; mits; booties; and a thick disposable diaper that had been decorated with Winnie the Pooh stickers—all big enough to fit a girl of Jenny’s size.
It wasn’t until she was firmly tied that Jenny noticed what Melissa was doing and by then Claire was cutting off her clothes. Too scared of the big, shiny shears to squirm, Jenny was reduced to obscenities. “That the fuck are you crazy bitches doing?!”
Claire, of course, giggled.
Melissa sauntered over, dangling the bonnet by its strings. “You know, Jenny, you think you have the world on a string and you can just spin it around and play with it and no one will ever question you or even notice.” She clapped the bonnet on over the bound girl’s summer blond hair and tied it in place before taking told of her chin. “But I’m sick of you calling parents and stealing my business. And today maybe it’s just a few dollars from a babysitting gig, but tomorrow it will be a guy, or a role, or an award, or maybe even my little lapdog Claire. But I’m not the type of girl to just sit by and let that happen, because there are a dozen little puppeteer sluts like you in this school, but none of them have been stupid enough to not realize that I was watching them.” Claire had fetched the bib and handed it to Melissa who tied it tightly around Jenny’s neck. “So I’m afraid I have to make an example of you.”
Jenny’s eyes had been steadily widening throughout the monologue and were now the size of saucers. “What are you going to do?”
Melissa shifted her weight slowly and held out her hand. “Claire, give me the camera.”
Claire handed it over, practically squirming with glee, and then stood back, as if to better take in the scene. Melissa didn’t waste any time, but began snapping pictures happily.
“Oh, come on, Jen. How about a smile!”
“Oh, now that’s not nice,” Melissa cooed, the camera still snapping away. “Claire, maybe you need to dress the baby. She’s being awfully naughty.”
Claire eagerly slipped the mitts and booties onto Jenny’s hands and feet and gave her cheek a pinch. “She’s really cute, huh, ‘Lissa?”
“She’s going to get even cuter.” Melissa smiled. “Now, little Jen Jen, what do babies wear on their bottoms?”
“You’re a psychotic bitch, Melissa Hewitt!”
Melissa’s smile evaporated and she handed the camera to Claire, who was shuffling from foot to foot, clearly enjoying the dramatic humiliation.
Melissa strode over to her infantilized captive and grabbed her hair. “If the baby is going to use big girl language, she’s going to be spanked. You really should know better, Jen Jen. What if your Mommy or Daddy heard you talking like that?”
Melissa roughly turned Jenny away from the camera and the girl shrieked as her hands were twisted against the rope. Then, as Claire took over her archival duties, Melissa began to spank Jenny fast and hard.
“You are going to stop cussing RIGHT NOW. That’s no way for a baby to talk, and you’re definitely a baby, Jenny. You’re just a big, immature brat who thinks she can have whatever she wants, but I’m going to teach you better. I am in charge here. Not you. NEVER you.”
Jenny squirmed and whimpered as her bottom went from milky white to pink and then, in hand-shaped spots, to red. Though the spanking only lasted a few minutes, it left both spanker and spankee exhausted. When Melissa felt she’d worn both her arm and Jenny’s bottom out, she stopped. Jenny spun back to face the camera as she was released.
“Now,” said Melissa, taking the camera back from the momentarily sobered Claire, “What do babies wear on their bottoms?”
Jenny sobbed, “Diapers.”
“That’s right. Claire, would you?”
Claire took the diaper and scurried to tape it around Jenny’s waist. It was a little awkward in the standing position, but Claire made it work by roughly twisting Jenny this way and that and slapping her thighs to force her to cooperate.
As Melissa watched, she noticed that Jenny had grown a bit smaller. She still shone like a new penny, but she had lost the imposing aura that only seemed to be visible to other females who were in direct competition with her. She was beginning to break. Melissa smiled. If this worked out the way she hoped, there were a few other girls who would likely find their way into the boiler room.
“Mmm. That’s nice,” said Melissa when Claire had finished. “But pick your head up. We want to see that pretty face.” Trembling, Jenny raised her head and looked at the camera. “Now smile, baby.”
Jenny glanced at Claire, who was resting her hands on her hips and shifting her weight from side to side, and complied, giving a shy, but very pretty little smile.
“Aw, that was a nice one. Wasn’t that a nice one, Claire?”
“Yeah, that was really cute.”
“You always did have such a pretty smile, Jen Jen. I think that will be the one I make flyers of if you piss me off again.” Jenny shivered. “But you’re not going to do that, are you baby?” Melissa and Claire laughed. Jenny’s diaper crinkled as she twisted from side to side, trying to find an angle that didn’t show too much off to the camera.
“You can give her the bottle now.”
Claire pressed the bottle to Jenny’s lips and gave her breast a friendly caress. Jenny was surprised to find that, humiliated as she was, her nipple was hard. She told herself it was just because there was a draft. “There’s nothing in it,” said Jenny after a few sucks.
Melissa lowered the camera. “I suppose next time we’ll have to bring some milk for the baby.” She exchanged a confused glance with Claire and then went back to snapping pictures.