I wake to half-cast light that’s wobbling and strange, as if I’m viewing the sun from underwater. For a moment, I almost imagine I am back home, in the crisp, clear lagoons of my Everlys Isles. After a long, hot day of hauling up nets full of wriggling crabs and shrimp, my friends and I would take turns diving deep down into the salty blasts of the sea from our boats. It was always a refreshing reprieve before making the long, hot trek into the village to sell our catches.
But no… I am not there. I am here. Wherever I’ve been taken after I was stolen early one morning while out catching fish. I was dragged into a portal ship, and the only thing I remember when they took me off it after an indistinguishable amount of time aboard was an injection in my arm. I wonder if that’s why things still appear hazy to me now, as if I’ve just slept a very long time. Whoever took me off the portal ship that brought me here—their faces are a blur as well.
As a ten-year-old girl, I had come to my Everlys Isles by a much larger portal ship with fifteen other children from the BOT program, all of us female. The government meant for us to live in an institution on the isolated island, which was built as a very large underground bunker to protect us from hurricanes, but within a few years most of us were out on our own. On the portal ship that brought me to whatever this place may be, I was all alone in a four by eight foot space. The hours and days dragged on forever, and I was sure I would go insane with madness before getting to wherever I was going.
I am here now. With sharp recognition, my new reality begins to set in. Where am I? As my eyes adjust to the half-light, I make out an expansive sheath of glass on the opposite side of the wall, though there seems no way to know if it’s very early in the morning or in the night. I’m in a bed; a mountainous soft bed, with pillows as silky as the waters of the Everlys lagoons, and blankets warm like sand from the sun. Its comfort is almost an insult, a sudden slap in the face—why offer such luxuries to a stolen person?
I bolt up suddenly with a small gasp, struggling to remember everything I can before the world went black from the injection. When they opened the portal ship and stared at me, blinking as if I were some strange, foreign creature from another land. Them. Who was them? But struggle as I may to picture their faces, all I can conjure up are two, fuzzy dreamlike images. Whatever injection I was given has robbed me of any memory I might have had when the portal ship door finally opened.
My first response to being here is that I have to get out of here, now. Finding out where I am and how I have come to be here might give me clues on how to escape. I throw off the blankets; they’re heavy and tucked in all around me, so that I have to fight to get them off. Then I almost fall flat on my face getting out of bed. It’s so tall, like being up in a tree. I hadn’t expected it to be so high, and now I am on my hands and knees, the breath almost knocked out of me. At least the carpet is plush, and nearly as thick as the bedspreads I had been buried beneath.
When I get back to my feet, I suddenly feel weary. This room is inexplicably oversized, with extremely large furniture to match. On the Everlys Isles, I had lived in a simple hut on the beach, but I regularly saw furniture in the inns in the village where I sold my fresh catches of seafood. And I remember it from my days as a little girl in the Capitol. It hadn’t been like this though, so high and opulent and grand, as if made for some type of species other than humans. A larger type of species.
I take cautious steps to the door on the other side of the room, as if I’m in danger of falling on my face again at any moment. But I get to the door unscathed, only when I try the knob in my hand, it doesn’t budge. Locked, of course. Next I go to the window, taking slow, unsure steps as I pass each piece of furniture. Chairs that would take step stools to get up on, a round wooden table that comes up to my chest, an ottoman more like a bed. There’s an unlit fireplace in a nook in a corner, so large I could walk right inside it.
Instead, I go to the window that stretches across one whole wall of the room and take in the splendorous view. Wherever I am, I’m very high up in the air, with a periwinkle landscape set out before me, velvety and deep in the dim light. I can just make out the outline of flat moorlands that give way to a forest of strange, jagged trees that cover an expansive mountainside like a million small needlelike pricks in the far distance. After a few minutes, I realize the world is actually brightening. So it is morning, not night. The sun is very weak and distant in the sky, melting over the world like a runny egg yolk, which is a powdery white so translucent it reflects back an ethereal cerulean blue.
Snow! With a deep inhale of air, I realize I am looking at snow. Something I have only heard about before, and seen images of on screens and pictures. It’s so clean and white, and though it terrifies me with its strangeness there’s also something magical about it.
I press my hands to the window of the glass as if trying to get closer to it, and then end up stepping back quickly, startled. The glass is so frigid, it radiates all throughout me like plunging into the deepest, coldest sea waters during the dead of night. In the Everlys Isles, the daytime temperature always remains around ninety degrees, though when I was a small girl in the Capitol, it sometimes dipped as low as sixty. I remember the uncomfortable bite from the chill in the air, cutting through the sweater my mother made me wear.
But freezing cold like this is truly foreign to me, and I suddenly feel my heartbeat quickening and my palms sweating in fear. Even if I do manage to escape this gigantic room, what chance would I have surviving these conditions? A million questions race through my mind. Would that beautiful white snow actually feel torturous against my skin? Could I even breathe air so chilled, or would I be frozen solid myself upon exposure? And most important, where the hell am I?
The last question I have already asked myself a million times on the portal ship, only then it was where the hell are they taking me? My biggest fear? Human experimentation, the reason I was sent to live on the Everlys Isles when I was ten years old in the first place. After the Bombs obliterated most of what was seven continents into dozens of tiny destitute islands, wiping out resources and poisoning the food and water supply, human trafficking became pervasive and prevalent.
The government was searching for a cure, as most of the population began suffering horrible deaths from consuming the tainted food. For those who didn’t die right away, it was only a matter of time. Some survived years eating the food, though all died within no more than twenty-five years. The government began offering rewards for any research that could help prolong the lifetime of humanity, and that’s when people started disappearing. Some right from their beds in the middle of the night, others on their way to work in the morning, or their way home from a bar late at night.
This was the world I was born into twenty years ago. By this time, the government had realized their mistake. By offering rewards to find a cure from eating the tainted food, they were actually only killing off the population faster. People were being abducted into research labs by the tens of thousands, their bodies riddled with the results of whatever experiments that had been performed on them found piled in alleys or thrown in rivers and oceans.
So the government started the Back on Track program in an effort to make sure there would be humans left to save. BOT selected children to travel to the most remote islands of the world, where it was discovered the food and water sources were slightly less tainted and might allow people to live just a little bit longer. Security measures were set in place to assure only tourists and not poachers could come by portal ship to these often tropical places, only as the world slipped more into chaos, funding for this grew low.
I was five when my parents entered my name into the lottery. There were many requirements for entering the BOT program, though the first and foremost was that I didn’t drop dead upon suckling from my mother’s breasts as an infant, the way many other babies did. I then had to pass a series of tests, both physical and intellectual, to prove I was a human worth saving. The plan was to send as many kids as they could to these remote islands, to protect them from human poaching, and so that they could then retrieve us again one day once the world was back on track. Hence the name of the program.
It took five years before my name was drawn, with my parents waiting on bated breath while I was too young to fully understand what was happening. It was hard leaving them, but we all knew it was for me to achieve a better life. So I was ten years old when I boarded the portal ship with the other girls, all of us between the ages of eight and twelve, though we were only one of several shipfuls to come and live on the Everlys. The government separated the sexes by islands, to prevent unnecessary breeding. I grew up in an institution, cared for by government workers, but though we waited to hear good news from the Capitol, it instead seemed like things were only getting worse.
More and more people were dying and disappearing. Females began vanishing at a disproportionately alarming rate compared to males, and no one could be quite sure where they were going. At first, we only heard word of this happening in the Capitol, along with a few other islands closer to the Northelfrey. We thought we were safe, so far away from all of it on the Everlys. And then one day not more than eighteen months ago, Meribell never came home from fishing. But she was a weak swimmer, a small slip of a girl at eighteen years old. We came to the conclusion she was washed out to sea but then, not long later, it happened to Sable.
Sable. Beautiful, long-legged, blue-eyed, dark-haired Sable, only a few years older than me. She arrived at the institution just a month or so after me, and became my first friend just when my loneliness from missing my parents threatened to eat me alive. I was bullied often by the other girls for crying over my parents. Many of them had already been orphans for several years. But Sable quickly became my protector, almost as if she enjoyed pummeling my tormentors into the ground. She was in trouble often with the institution workers, but she never cared and was one of the first one of us to run away, quickly becoming pregnant by a tourist. She gave birth to a son, Finn, nine months later, and raised him herself in her hut, though we all took over his care after she was gone.
The rumors are still unclear and hazy, though the most popular ones are that these women are being abducted as sex slaves into the Northelfrey. It’s an idea I scarcely let myself entertain on the small portal ship that delivered me here. While being a sex slave certainly is in no way ideal, one has to wonder if it’s better than being a human guinea pig. Some of the experiments done in the research labs were so grotesque, bodies were found with the skin turned black and falling off, facial features distorted, or limbs bloated to several times their regular size.
The Northelfrey. A society at the very top of the world. When the Bombs went off nearly five decades ago now, all the world’s wealthiest people flocked there, the bulk of them being men. It was said they had technology so advanced they had figured out how to live in the snowy tundra without freezing to death, as it was the only place where the food and water supply remained completely untainted by the poisons of the Bombs. And they weren’t sharing. They built up defenses so strong, even the largest government militaries couldn’t penetrate their safe havens. And so they stayed up there, thriving while the rest of the world imploded in on itself.
With cautious hope blooming inside me, I realize this has to be where I am now. The Northelfrey. All at once, I try to remember everything I’ve ever heard about the distant land, particularly regarding the women they were supposedly stealing to accompany them up in their vast, frozen wilderness. But the Northelfrey is as secretive as it is remote, and the rumors I’ve heard might be only half-truths at best. That they stole women to be their personal pets, that they still possessed technology that had all but gone extinct for the rest of the islands after the Bombs, that they were trying to take over the world…
Just then, I hear a noise, and nearly jump six feet into the air in frightened surprise. The door. The lock clicking, opening. My eyes dart quickly around the room, as if searching for a place to hide where I won’t be seen by whoever might be trying to come in. But it’s too late. The door is swung open, and a youngish woman appears, pushing a tea tray full of platters and wearing a chipper smile on her round, dollish face.
“Well, good morning, dear heart,” she says, her voice bright like the sun in the Everlys. Not the weak wisps bleeding pitifully through the clouds here. “I see the effects of the drugs must have worn off!”
She speaks with a strange accent, and as if we are good friends. But I can only take several steps backwards from her, my whole body beginning to tremble.
“Who are you?” I demand, wishing I had some kind of weapon to brandish at her, like the fishing spears I was fond of using back on the Everlys. “Where have I been taken?” I try to keep my voice from wobbling, but it’s impossible with how terrified I am. “If you think I’m going to undergo any kind of crazy experiments, I’ll… I’ll…”
“Oh, no, no, no, no, no, love.” I’m not sure what it is I think I’m going to threaten, before the woman interrupts me in a soothing voice, as if I am a child afraid of monsters under the bed. “It is nothing so dreadful as that. Why, no, quite the contrary! You’re here to be one of Mr. Ezra’s new pampers! Why, how lucky you are to be here with us now in the Northelfrey!”
Had this woman actually just called being abducted and thrown into a portal ship for a maddening length of time, not to mention being taken from all my friends ‘lucky’? Even if I am in the Northelfrey, the only place in the world where supposedly the food and water supply aren’t tainted, I have been brought here by force as a prisoner.
I was crabbing early in the morning, as I often did, when they got me. I noticed a strange net in place of my own, and I was pretty pissed off. The other girls and I all had our own territories for fishing, and invading another’s space was cause for a fight. I swam out to rip the net away, and soon found myself wrapped in it instead. The portal ship appeared seemingly out of nowhere, bobbing on the tide like a shark fin, and I was dragged inside by the electronic net, sopping wet and tangled, screaming for help.
“You mean I’ve been stolen to be a sex slave…” I stammer, as the woman goes about setting the large, high tables with some of the things from the tray.
“Bite your tongue, young lady!” she snaps at me, throwing me a look of chastisement. But the harsh glare only lasts a moment before melting back into the placid smile she had worn before. “We don’t use such naughty words in these pampers’ chambers, or else you’re likely to get a good mouth-soaping.”
She bustles about lifting the covers off the platters she’s set down on the tables, plumes of steam rising into the air. “Pamper,” I repeat the word she’s used twice now, feeling extremely overwhelmed by everything that’s happening around me. “What’s that? And why is everything in this place so unnecessarily large. I nearly killed myself getting out of bed this morning.”
“It will all be discussed soon at your orientation,” the woman explains in a neat, clipped voice. “Just as soon as you’ve gotten some breakfast in you, and a nice dress over your slip.”
Slip? For the first time, I realize what I’m wearing isn’t the same as the bikini I had on in the portal ship. Of course, I’d soon grown uncomfortable in the tight straps of the top part around my shoulders, and spent most of the long voyage in only the bottoms. The portal ship had been temperature controlled, so at least I never felt any cold, and there had been a small blanket on the sleeping pallet I often wrapped myself in for comfort.
Now I’m in a short white cotton dress sort of thing, thin and sleeveless, with a pair of very small panties clad tight across my ass, with tiny circles of embroidery all along the edges. I thought I had been a bit itchy, though hadn’t paid much attention to until it now. If I wasn’t already in such a mortifying predicament, I might be more embarrassed at being caught dead in such attire. Quickly, I rip the panties off and ball them up in my fists, before hurling them to the corner of the room
“Where am I?” I roar, outraged. How horrifying to think someone had dressed me while I’d been passed out from the drugs! “I want my own clothes! I want to get out of here!”
The woman frowns slightly at my outburst, though mostly she seems unfazed. Walking briskly, she hurries over to retrieve my flung panties. “You naughty little pamper,” she tsks the whole time as her black polished Mary Jane shoes pad across the thick carpet. “Now, if you won’t eat and are so intent on making such a fuss, then you can skip breakfast and I can take you right over to the orientation at once.”
I balk at being giving such a choice. I’m not really hungry, and I feel like I’m very well justified in making any type of ‘fuss’ I want, but the orientation seems intimidating and something I want to hold off on attending for as long as possible.
I don’t bother to give a verbal response, just slowly start making my way over to the table where she’s laid out some dishes and cups. “Ah-ah-ah,” she stops me just as I am about to hoist myself up into the large wooden hard-backed chair. “Back into your panties first, my love.”
She holds them out to me, still rumpled in a ball of cottony fluff, and I take them slowly, tentatively. “They’re too small…” I start in on a feeble protest, which is quickly interrupted.
“They’re just the size Mr. Ezra prefers,” the woman quips quickly. This near her, I regard her more closely. She has rich brown hair the same shade as coconuts, plaited neatly into two braids that fall down the front of her chest, with a thick tuft of bangs over her soft hazel eyes. She wears a simple black dress and a white apron, with a matching bonnet on her head. “Now quickly slip into them, and then sit down for your breakfast.”
I do as she says, the decorative elastic that curves around the plumpest part of my butt cheeks biting irritatingly into my skin. I then do my best to scramble up into the big chair with as much dignity as I can, which isn’t easy to do considering my slip rides up, displaying the whole of my too-small-panty-clad behind.
When I’m finally seated, the woman begins bustling about filling my dishes and cups with different items from her tray. I can’t help but think how ridiculous we both must look, trying to maneuver around the oversized furniture. I notice even the cups and bowls seem bigger than normal. It’s almost as if we are the wrong size of dolls for a toy dollhouse.
“What is wrong with everything in this place?” I huff, examining my reflection in the back of one of the long, wide metal spoons. My face stares back at me, distortedly narrow in the rounded mirror, pale from so long on the portal ship, though my eyes still reflect back the same dark brown, while my hair falls in ivory blonde waves over my shoulders. “Everything is too large.”
Again, I only get an amicable smile. “That will all be explained at the orientation, my dear,” she repeats in an annoyingly saccharine tone. “Now tell me, what shall I call you? My own name is Lucie McKee. I’m the housekeeper here at Ezra Estate, though honestly I’m more often like a nanny! You may call me that if you like, Nanny Lucie…”
Ezra. That’s been the second time she’s used that name, speaking the word as if I should know what it means. I’m disinclined to give her my own name—Rarity Clearwater—and so I mumble out my nickname instead. “I’m called Rari, by my friends…” Of course, I haven’t been known by my last name since I left the Capitol for the Everlys as a small child, where I was known as Rarity 342 in the institution.
“Well, we’re all friends here at Ezra Estate, so I will call you Rari.”
She speaks in such a warm, affectionate way, it’s as if I’m tricked into being momentarily consoled. Even though I know there’s no possible way I will ever be friends with this woman, at least I can humor her for the time being.
“So this is the food that supposedly does not kill everyone that eats it within two and half decades.” I speak unenthusiastically, spooning up a tiny amount of the glop that has been plopped down in the bowl before me.
“Oh, yes,” Nanny Lucie beams proudly as if she created the untainted food herself. “And lovely, nutritious food it is too.”
She goes about filling a tall glass with a thick orange substance, a second with something frothy and white, and then a smaller ceramic cup from a steaming metal pot. Tea, or coffee perhaps. I never drink the beverage myself, but witnessed it served often before at the inns in the village on the Everlys Isles, where I sold my fresh-caught shrimp and crabs.
In addition to the beige goo, I am also given a plate of some sort of very dried-out-looking bread, a dab of glistening grease smeared across it, as well as some sort of oily patties that look very much like fresh piles of bird dung. The only food I recognize is eggs, though a much paler yellow than the ones I would harvest from the seabirds on the Everlys Isles.
“Lovely?” I challenge. “I don’t even know what any of it is.”
On the portal ship coming here, I had been sustained with Squaremeal, a hard brown block of grains I had also been fed in the institution and in the Capitol as a small girl. After the institution lost funding and all the workers died, it left us girls, what was left of us anyway and most of us teenagers by then, to fend for ourselves. That’s when I discovered the joys of a diet harvested fresh from the land. In addition to the pink shrimps and bright red crabs I sold to the tourists, there were many other kinds of fresh fish that were equally delicious, even if they didn’t sell quite so well in the market. There was also creamy coconut meat from the trees, along with sweet juicy oranges and plantains we roasted over an open fire until they were savory and crisp.
“Oh, why, there’s a bit of toast and sausages, eggs, and orange juice of course,” Lucie explains, pointing out each object as she speaks. “One needs their daily dose of vitamin C in this chilly climate. And then we have cocoa to warm you, and your porridge and milk of course. Eat up now. Mr. Ezra likes to make sure his little pampers are getting their nutritional needs attended to each and every day. And after, you may go ahead to the closet and pick out a nice dress to put on over your slip. Stockings and shoes too! I’ll be back in fifteen minutes, and I’ll expect you to be all ready for the orientation. I must go now, and serve the other pampers their breakfasts as well.”
Not long later, she leaves me alone at the preposterously large table with the different pieces of warm, beige foods. I try a tiny amount of everything, but don’t find much to my liking. Even the so-called orange juice only tastes slightly like the sweet nectar that used to run down my fingers as I peeled and devoured the real thing back home on the Everlys. Annoyed, I push the dishes aside and leap down from the table to locate the closet where I was meant to find the clothes Lucie McKee wanted me to wear. Though perhaps it was really Mr. Ezra’s will to have me dressed in stockings and a dress—whoever the hell he might be!
I notice a door on the other side of the room, near a sculpted bureau with many fines things set upon it. Everything is rather old-fashioned, like a child’s room in a storybook I might have read as a very little girl in the Capitol, except there aren’t any toys. The rocking chair and ottoman is set before the unlit fireplace, with the breakfast table and chair across from it on the opposite side of the room. I notice now that there’s a ledge around the ridiculously high bed that might have prevented me from falling on my face earlier this morning if I had known enough to step onto it. There’s a lamp on the nightstand, and I notice now a drawer, which I can’t seem to stop myself from pulling open.
Inside, a few small fancy glass containers of what appear to be lotions and balms, along with a wooden hairbrush. Just like everything else in this place, the hairbrush seems two or three sizes too large for a human, though I can’t be sure what size the containers might have been if they weren’t in this place. I unscrew the cap off one to reveal a pink cream that smells of roses, smooth and untouched. I seem to be in a trance as I rub the tip of my finger across the velvety substance, as silky and inviting as the warm waters of the Everlys lagoons.
A noise outside the door brings me quickly back to reality, and I rush to shove the balm away before getting back to my original task. I almost expect the second door to the room to be locked as the first had been, but no. The handle turns easily and the door pushes open. At once, a light washes over the darkness before me, revealing a space no smaller than my hut back home in the Everlys, though the similarities stop there.
The cozy enclosure is plushly carpeted, the lights casting soft hues in pinks and oranges like a sunset. Everything looks so delicate and ethereal, as if I’ve been sucked into some cumulus clouds in the sky. The walls of the room seem to be also hung with cushions or rugs, and it takes me several moments to realize that what I’m seeing is actually clothes. Dresses in every material and shade, some with bright patterns on them, others with trim of lace, embroidery, or silk. I’ve never seen so many garments before in my life. As a girl in the institution I owned no more than two outfits at a time, and once I was out on my own I spent my life in bikinis, often going topless on the more remote parts of the island. After all, it was mostly just us girls anyway, not counting the tourists, who only came somewhat infrequently to the isles, due to hurricane seasons and far travel distances.
Staring at all the colors and fabrics around me has me hypnotized, and I’m not sure how much time passes before I realize I’m supposed to be putting on one of these dresses. I go through them slowly, overwhelmed, until they all seem to become one giant rainbow-like blur. Finally I pick out a basic plain blue dress, and to slip it over my head brings back a rush of memories. I remember my parents, helping me dress each morning before taking me out on daily errands and chores. A feeling of safety wraps around me, as my arms slip easily through the sleeves and I smooth the front down my chest. The dress ends just over my knees, leaving my legs and feet bare. Stockings. The housekeeper/nanny said something about stockings.
I notice some drawers built into the wall, and I go about pulling them open. The first, more panties like the ones I am wearing—all of them white, though some without the uncomfortable embroidery. The second drawer, more slips, and finally the third—the stockings, all of them white like the panties, folded and lined up neatly. They’re so soft against my legs and feet, warm and plush, like walking around tucked into bed. I find the shoes next, Mary Janes similar to the ones Lucie herself had been wearing, black and made out of some kind of leather. I’m surprised at how perfectly they fit, as if somehow my feet had been measured beforehand and the shoes made just for me.
The only article of clothing I find undesirable are the stupid, too-tight embroidered panties. The longer I wear them, the more they seem to make me itch and squirm in discomfort. No matter which way I try to adjust them, I still feel them there biting into my hips and thighs, riding into my butt crack and irritating my skin just enough to be unpleasant. There’s a mirror hung on the inside of the closet door, and I take a few minutes to examine my reflection—something I haven’t done in a very long time. Mirrors are rare on the Everlys, especially one big enough to see more than a small amount of one’s face.
It’s almost a treat to see the entirety of my body reflecting from the glass. Unfortunately, I wish I were wearing slightly more flattering clothes. The blue dress, though far from hideous, seems out of character to me, as if I’m suddenly playing the part of another person altogether. And that’s when I think, well, maybe I am.
Since I can barely stand the sight of the pale, nearly unfamiliar-looking woman in the strange blue dress, I turn around and lift up the skirt. This gives me a chance to study the white panties in an attempt to decipher just what is so alluring about them. Of course, I suppose it isn’t necessarily the panties that are arousing, rather so what’s inside them.
Despite I’m not even sure how long eating only meager rations on the portal ship, my ass still remains plump and full, the sight of this exaggerated by the small piece of tight fabric. I notice my ever-present tan lines are now gone though, as the rest of my skin has seemingly taken on the color that my ass usually is beneath my bikini bottom. The sight is almost startling, as if I’ve lost something I at one point held very dear.
To make absolutely certain the bikini bottom-shaped imprint is gone, I begin removing the horrible panties. This time, instead of throwing them on the floor in the midst of a tantrum, I tuck them neatly away into the drawer with the others like them. Relief washes over my ass and pussy to be freed from such tight constraints, the cold against my skin both soothing and invigorating. I even let out a little sigh, and then run my fingers between my soft nether-lips in a comforting way.
I enjoy the feel of myself so much, as well as the titillating sight of my reflection acting in such a lascivious way, I begin fondling myself with zeal. Considering there are no boys in the Everlys, self-pleasure is something I’m well-versed in. Though there were other girls on the Isles who found enjoyment in each other, I always preferred the privacy of my hut to massage and fondle my most intimate parts. Of course, I’m not in my hut now, and find myself unable to relax as much as I’d like. Quickly, I let my dress fall back down over my legs, smoothing it down the front.
I’m just walking out of the closet as Lucie enters the room once more. Still pushing the tea tray, she wheels it next to the table of mostly untouched food, frowning slightly. “Why, you’ve hardly eaten more than a few nibbles,” she observes, sighing in apparent disapproval. “Well, no matter, you’ll soon learn, and your dress does look lovely on you, my dear. Come along now, I’ll clean this stuff up later. It’s time to get you to your orientation.”
Swallowing a large gulp of air into my chest, my heart beating loud in my ears, I follow her out of the room.