The Blue Moon Review
 



The Dispirited Mouse
by J. K. Mason

Tonight is Halloween in Chatland, and for my mouse pointer costume, I’ve chosen a clown face with frowning red lips. I click once and he smiles; double-click and he laughs; depress the left mouse button, and he smooches to a “smack smack smack...” from my speakers. With my mouse button pressed, I move the camera over Vonda’s bare breasts. They seem undeveloped, casting doubt on the twenty-one years alleged in her bio. We sit connected via private video-chat, trading capture images that have the grainy feel of an aerial photo, the vitality of a missing person poster. I lean forward and type, “Now rub them.”

She does.

I’m not a bad guy, really. I love Melissa, my girlfriend; we’ve been together nearly ten years (I’m twenty-five, she’s twenty-four), but Vonda isn’t real, not in any modern sense of the word. Sure, she does exist somewhere out there, but to me, her chat messages, her naked person on my monitor, are only animated bits of data, a digital fancy I enjoy in the privacy of my basement. I met her last week in the Chatland Singles Room, and when I displayed her bio, I saw the check mark in her Bondage and Discipline box, so I downloaded the “Intro to B&D Package” and sent her an invite for a private chat. There, I learned she was also new to Bondage and Discipline--with one interlude as a submissive--and looking to experiment. She knows me as “Marlow,” one of my recent online aliases.

The Intro Package includes three video-chat sessions, with detailed instructions for each. In this our second session, Vonda is wearing only dark sunglasses, a striking contrast to her blonde hair and nacreous skin.

Last night in session one--the “Get Acquainted Step”--we chatted naked for five minutes. She told me of her long-term relationship and current plans to marry; and with this revelation, for some reason my inhibitions faded. I told her things I would never tell anyone face to face: of my failure to get hard in my last attempt at sex with Melissa; of the day I went to lunch with my father three weeks before his imminent death, how he apologized for ruining our family, and how the tears of this distinguished man (whom I’d never seen cry) fell down into his “Be careful, the plate is hot” Mexican beans; and of the day in church last month when Melissa whispered, “I’m pregnant with our baby” and kissed me on the cheek--moments in life so personal, so secret. What is it about chat that does that?

Tonight we are playing a game called Just-Do-It. The rules: take turns just giving orders. Is that a game? Maybe not but it sure is fun, and according to the instructions, it’s required for session two.

“Just rub it, Marlow,” she types.

“Just rub what?” I type back.

“You know.”

I look at her on my screen--her blank expression, her sunglassed eyes. I want to see her lips move to the word, the hint of profanity in her face.

“Just say it, Vonda.”

She cocks her head and smiles. “Just rub your thing,” she types.

Melissa has no clue I’m doing this. I’ve toyed with the idea of telling her, sharing this digital adventure, but in the end decided against it. She’s from a happy family with strong marriages all around, big barbecues, a reunion every other damn year, it seems. Her father and uncles together own a chain of Pump-Your-Own gas stations, and at one time or another have employed about every kid who ever attended Victorville High (currently, I’m day manager at the Happy Jack--West--station). In three weeks I’ll marry Melissa and become yet another beer-drinking in-law, a standing fixture in the wax museum of her family get-togethers.

My cousin will host a bachelor party for me Friday in the basement of the Radisson. He'll have porno flicks, two kegs of Budweiser, and all our rowdy friends will be there, along with Melissa's loud brothers, several of her in-laws, maybe even her father. The grand finale will be a stripper (flown in from Idaho) sprouting naked from the cake at midnight. Everyone will lick her icing and the party will surge to a noisy, beer sloshing frenzy--akin, all of it, to my cousin's bachelor party, and to his older brother's, with maybe even the same girl from Idaho (Charity, I think her name was). So I'm not too thrilled; I mean, I've been to that rodeo.

What I am looking forward to is session three with Vonda. We’re still undecided as to who will play the dominant role, and according to the B&D instruction sheet, it needs to be decided by the end of tonight’s session or a Chatland Support Rep will intervene. I’m trying to take control, be the dominant one, but it’s not been working out. Since she has more experience, she’s saying I should play the submissive, at least for session three. I disagree.

“Open your legs and lean back,” I type.

“Say please,” she types.

“Please.”

“Say pretty please.”

“Do it, NOW!” I type.

She does it.

Three weeks ago I received a junk-mail message from the Chatland promotional Email-Bot. Attached was a picture of a woman whose predicament I found enticing. Heavy-set, not fat, but muscular and well toned, she was naked, tied facedown to a brass-frame bed. When I clicked on her, a whip noise cracked through my speakers and a red mark appeared on her ass. So I clicked on her again. Fifty or so clicks later, I was transported to Chatland, where the same woman--naked and lash marked--gave me a virtual tour. When she outlined the pricing plans, she said, “You don’t have to use your real name. Most members don’t.” More emails arrived over the next few days, more photos of the same woman performing increasingly salacious acts, so I thought, “What the heck, life is short,” and all that rigmarole. I signed up for a three-month membership under the name of Marlow Barstow.

“Now do as I say,” she types. “Pinch yourself.”

I pinch my nipple. “That hurts,” I type. “YOU pinch yourself.”

“No,” she types. “You will do as I command. Pinch yourself again, SLAVE!”

“Say please.”

“Just do it.”

I do it.

Chatland has many different offerings, and this is what vexes me: I’ve been spending way too much time in the Porno Wing. I started out just glancing through it, a few pictures now and then, but recently I’ve been lurking there like a sex pervert. I’ve never viewed porno this way--it’s never been so easy--and now, as my marriage to Melissa draws near, here I am viewing it five or ten hours a day.

How can I desire a woman other than my only love, my sweet Melissa? Beyond the intrigue of bondage and discipline, the allure of this new adventure, I’ve discovered something else: in a mysterious and satisfying way, Vonda personifies my private rebellion. For most of my life, Melissa and her relatives have controlled me. They know every damn person in Victorville (and most people in northern Utah, it seems), and if I don’t marry her now, I’ll suffer the problems that come with shaming a family as influential as hers. I can always move away, but that’s an option with its own hardships for an unskilled person like myself, so I won’t be doing that.

Last week she mentioned her nine sisters and three brothers (one dead). Then she winked and said, “I want us to have a close family too. Don’t you?”

Sadly, my passion for Melissa wanes.

* * *

Tonight the paddle meets the buttock: session three with Vonda. We’ve decided that since she has a bit more experience, she’ll be the dominant one. This morning I purchased the equipment on my B&D Supplies List--a ping-pong paddle, a length of rope, a blindfold, clothespins, and a candle.

According to the instructions, Vonda will sit at her PC; I’ll start on my hands and knees atop the bed, blindfolded and holding the paddle, my camera-most leg conspicuously bound to the bedpost. When she clicks her SPANK button, my speakers will beep; when I hear the beep, I’ll swat myself. For twenty bucks extra, we’ve opted for the real-time audio connection. The authenticity of hearing the slaps and grunts is well worth it, we both agreed. Vonda is wearing a black ski mask; that, and her sunken blue eyes fill my screen.

“Beep.”

“Smack”

“Beep.”

“Smack”

“Harder, Marlow!”

“Beep Beep.”

“Smack Smack.”

“Ouch,” I say into the mike. “That hurts.”

“Do it, slave! Do it faster!” she yells, with gusto.

“Beep Beep Beep Beep Beep Beep Beep.”

“This just isn’t working out,” I pull off my blindfold, untie my leg, and stand up. “I want to beep the paddle.”

“Sorry, but I don’t have a paddle,” she says. “It wasn’t on my list. All I’ve got is the ski mask and a page of jargon.”

“Well, it just doesn’t seem right. If this is the way it’s supposed to go, then I’m not liking it. It’s just not me.”

“Look, Marlow, your bio says you live nine hundred miles away. How about we meet somewhere in the middle?”

“Uh. You mean trade personal info?”

“Yeah. You reveal your town, I reveal mine, and we get a motel in between.”

“Then what?”

“You can spank ME.”

“Let’s do it.”

* * *

We’ve arranged to meet at the only motel in Proctor, a small town in northeastern Colorado. I’m driving on the freeway, accelerating through the darkest part of Wyoming. Low-hanging clouds obscure the benighted sky. Periodically, lightning winks on my horizon.

Various images flash through my mind: a somber man facedown on a table with a stocky woman in leather facemask behind him holding a flogging strap; a collared man on a leash, blindfolded and led by a stubby woman wearing shiny black leathers and brandishing a snake whip; a gagged girl, cuffed naked to a bed; and Vonda, with her sunglasses and pale plumpness, bent over a chair, me behind her in black ski mask swooshing the paddle. This last image--the feeling of power and control it summons--makes me push the gas pedal a bit more urgently. I decide I won’t tell her my real name, not right away. Lightning strikes the hill beside me, lingering, burning.

When I arrive in Proctor, my dash clock reads 11:47PM. The streets are dark, the houses asleep. Right away I see the Shady Rest, an older, two-level building with cement stairways and paisley metal railings. The office is a small addition at one end, its porch lit by dim yellow light. “Free TV and local calls,” remarks a hand-painted sign, waggling in the wind. From what I can tell, this is the only business in town, so whom would I call? A red-neon sign in the office window proclaims “VACANCY.”

I pull into the gravel lot. Two cars. One is parked beside the office; the other, a dented Monte Carlo, fronts the unit at the far end of the building. The curtains are open in that room, and a backlit woman peers out. I angle my car in her direction, crunching rocks. I see the plates on the Monte Carlo--South Dakota, Vonda’s. The room door cracks, she moves into the opening, and I see her face. I wave and beep my horn as I go past and turn onto the road leading back to the highway. I hear “Marlow!” yelled out.

“That’s not me,” I whisper, reaching over, pushing the automatic scroll button on my radio.

As I accelerate down the dark road, the blue-green station indicator rolls through the world of AM, pausing for distant stations, yielding ten seconds to each. I don’t recognize any songs, but with Melissa on my mind, they all sound pretty good.

_____

JK Mason's fiction can also be found in Whistling Shade and the Mississippi Review. He lives in Montana and is currently working on his second novel.

 


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