Dream or Nightmare?
Mouse woke up, and no one was sitting on her. She was used to the layering over her ears and heard well, but there were no unusual noises in the house. Mouse carefully got out of bed, removed her hoods, and looked about. Nothing, and it was daylight.
Mouse put on her ugg-boots and flitted through the house, checking everything. Nothing missing, nothing out of place, not even her collection of semi-valuable dolls. What about the money in the airlock? Mouse ran down, and there it was inside the airlock, untouched. Well, you did need the code to access the airlock. How did the burglar get in?
All her windows were solid shop front glass, unopenable. The rear emergency exit would make a hell of a noise if opened. It was not an airlock. Mouse checked it, and it was still sealed. Then she remembered the basement door. She ran to the kitchen and saw it ajar. Mouse could not go down without protective clothing and check what was open. Darn, the burglar could come back anytime.
Mouse was worried. This was her sanctuary, and since Orson Iso Labs and Adrianna set up her home for her, no one had ever entered until last night. Mouse felt vulnerable. Mouse ran up the stairs and almost tripped on her nightgown. She put on the high-heeled Elsa boots, then got her mobile and dialed Adrianna’s number.
Mouse was on her white-call list no matter what time of day and night, and Adrianna answered immediately. Mouse told her what happened and what she suspected. Adrianna promised to come over with a crew to seal the basement windows, apologizing profusely for the lab’s omission to seal the basement. Her recorded statement meant the Orson Iso Labs would carry the cost. Mouse was relieved that Adrianna was so considerate of her needs but could not thank her over the phone as she would like. Mouse thanked her professionally and called her insurance, and overstated the damage. They were not friendly but confirmed they would cover 95% of the lab’s costs. Mouse sat and caught her breath.
Mouse was still disquieted, so she went around and looked at her collection of dolls. She did not feel like a princess, or starlight, ballerina, or spy squad this morning. Those were her usual go-to when she needed a perk-up. Business and Classical Barbie not, and not any Witch Barbie. How about the Halloween Haunt Barbie? Perfect and very easy, and Mouse would indulge herself today.
After showering, Mouse put on a black latex base layer. The weather report said that it was a moderate day so that Mouse could overdo it a little. She put on two pairs of black winter tights then felt like she needed the support of a corset which she usually wore anyway. Next came a black woven wool catsuit, then her thick winter black latex catsuit with hood. Mouse turned the heating down. Orange-brown high-heeled boots and it was time to put on the barrier crème. Mouse noted the time.
Mouse washed her hands, put on a skin-colored latex hood, then a second, then the chestnut brown wig. The coats inverted cuffs were black, so Mouse drew on a pair of orange latex gloves. She put on the black choker with the Spessartite garnet and looked at herself in the mirror. Yes, she would not wear black latex openly, but this outfit was just right with the black lining and her mood.
Mouse put on the coatdress, buttoned-up from her hips up to close to her neck, and finished the outfit off with a thick black rubber belt which she could take off when it got too much. She just needed it today.
When Mouse left for the store, Adrianna called to confirm that they could go in. Mouse gave Adrianna the access codes and thanked her again. Along the way, Mouse heard a wolf whistle. She looked around but then called herself a fool. But then someone called out, “Yes, it was for you, Mouse. Thank you.”
Mouse stopped and looked up. It George mocking her from his window.” Mouse blushed and walked on, expecting the man to laugh at his excellent joke, making fun of her. By the time she turned the corner, though, no laughter but a wolf whistle.
By the time Mouse opened the shop, cleaned up after yesterday, prepared the Nespresso machines, arrange the eclectic collection of reading chairs, the shop was full of customers again, unexpectedly. Then she found out why. The pictures of Elsa and the children from yesterday were trending on Twitter and Facebook.
Mouse was run off her feet for a while, and then she had an unexpected helper. A shy woman about her age started helping Mouse with little things. Clean up and washing the coffee mugs, putting books away, even answering some questions. In a rare quiet moment, Mouse went to her and thanked her. She was timid and blushed.
In the afternoon, Mouse had to get to the bank with today’s and yesterday’s takings. She had no choice and approached the young lady and offered, “Hi, I am Mouse. Sorry I did not introduce myself before.”
The girl stuttered and introduced, “I, I am Cath, Cathenne, but everyone calls me just Cat.”
Mouse shook hands with the girl, who had a firm grip. Everything about her was in contrast to her shyness and blushing. She was athletically built, with a nice waist, a stunning face, oh-so-huge green eyes, and cute breasts. Poorly dressed, torn jeans, sneakers, Mouse would have thought that she was a model hiding her stunning beauty.
Mouse asked, “Cat, I am sorry to ask, but would you mind the store for me so that I can get to the bank. My previous assistant quit suddenly, and I have to pay money into the bank so that her severance cheque is covered.”
Cat looked at Mouse with wide-open eyes and confirmed, “M, me, me mind your store? What if something happens and it is my fault.”
Mouse understood Cat’s apprehension and said, “As long as you stay safe, it will not matter. If someone comes in and steals something, let them be. Just be here if someone asks a question or something, and anyway, there is nothing of value here.” Cat nodded.
When Mouse returned, the place was spotlessly cleaned, and everything was prepared for the next day. Mouse looked around, and there was nothing to do. Oh.
Cat came from the kitchen and saw her and apologized, “Sor, sorry. I was just a way for a few minutes. Sorry.”
Mouse was lost for words, and seeing Cat stand there, toes in, knees together, head hung, she could not help herself. Mouse went to Cat and gently embraced her, confirming, “You are a marvel, Cat, and I do not think that you could do anything that I would not like.”
Cat, neither pulling away nor returning the embrace, said, “But I do that all the time, things that people do not like. What if I do or did something like that.”
Mouse was not stupid or unintuitive. Cat was hiding something, but Mouse did not feel that she was dangerous. There was more to Cat than meets the eyes, but again, she did not feel wrong. Mouse offered, “Then we will deal with it. I do not have any friends and don’t know how to behave, so excuse me when I do the wrong thing.”
Cat asked, “Why not?”
Mouse asked jokingly, “Do you have a spare few days?”
Cat answered, “Y, yes, yes I do.”
Mouse wondered, “You don’t need to work or study or anything like that.”
Cat replied, “Oh, I am a trust fund brat. My parents haven’t bothered with me since I was thirteen. I can do pretty much what I want,” she paused for a moment, then hung her head and asked, “Could, could, I, I work for you, you? I would pay you!”
“You pay me?” exclaimed Mouse.
Cat spoke, “We, well, the money I have but nothing to do and no, no, well, friends. You said you did not have any, any friends, and I just thought,” she left the rest unsaid.
Mouse replied, “We can’t have any of that Cat. I will pay you what I usually pay when I can, and I would love you to help me.”
Cat replied, “Pay, pay me? I have never earned any money in my life.”
Mouse went to the cash register and had to empty it, but there was enough left for a full day’s pay. She put it in an envelope and handed it to Cat, explaining, “I remember my first pay envelope in this store. Madam Gravina owned it and employed me as her mascot in my Barbie outfits. When she died, she willed the shop and the house I live in. She was wonderful, but I still remember my first pay envelope the most and the Barbie outfit I wore that day, Purple Spy Barbie.”
Cat argued, “I, I can’t really take that, that from you.”
Mouse countered, “It would be an immense honor to be the person to hand you you’re first earned money and pass on the kindness madam showed me, even if in a small way. Please, take it.” Cat did and held it to her chest.
Mouse suggested, “It is close to closing time, but I would like to invite you to a cup of coffee. I have a few Peruvian Organic Coffee Capsules stashed away. Will you join me, please?” Cat nodded.
Mouse made the coffee’s, they sat and chatted about this and that, book-related. Cat was well-read in Sci-fi, fantasy but not so in Barbie. She asked if she could borrow a few books. Mouse chose a few of those that would suit an adult reader. While Cat looked through the books, Mouse realized that she was comfortable with Cat despite everything.
Cat asked a question about Starlight Barbie. Mouse sat back and felt her coatdress fall away, exposing her legs all the way up. Cat looked briefly at her legs, then at Mouse. Mouse answered the question, not feeling embarrassed showing her latex legs so openly. They chatted a while when Mouse felt her face starting to burn. It was well past closing time. Cat saw her distress and offered to close the shop. Mouse hesitated but thanked her, gave her the keys, and rushed off home.