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Copyright Oggbashan April 2007
The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
This is a work of fiction. The events described here are imaginary; the settings and characters are fictitious and are not intended to represent specific places or living persons.
I am getting married in our local Parish Church. It will be a small intimate low key and low cost ceremony because neither I nor my bridegroom George have any money.
We both work for wildlife conservation projects. He is a warden at a local Country Park and I am an education officer for a Bird society. Neither job is well-paid but we are doing things we enjoy. We have been friends for some years and that friendship changed into love over the last few months. We might have got around to marrying in a year or two but we were deterred by the cost.
That changed when we saw an advertisement for a joint wardenship of a country park based around an old Bishop’s Palace. The advert suggested that it would be suitable for a married couple; that a house would be provided and one of the conditions was that they would prefer applicants to be communicant members of the Church of England. We are, but we were single. We applied, implying that we intended to marry soon. After a joint interview, we were accepted, on condition that we were married in a Church of England church before we took up the posts. We had to start work in the middle of September.
We made an appointment to see our Vicar as soon as we could. He understood that we were short of money and told us just how little the necessary parts of the marriage could be. If we didn’t have a choir, nor special flowers, nor the fancy trimmings, we could afford it. We would start our new jobs broke, but that wasn’t an unusual state of affairs. We frequently spent what little money we had on things that our bosses wouldn’t or couldn’t pay for.
George could borrow a suit. Our friend Alan has a beautiful old Model T Ford in glistening black and he was prepared to drive me, my father and my single bridesmaid to the church and drive us away afterwards. Helen, my bridesmaid, has a suitable dress and she doesn’t have to match anyone else. My father and mother have suitable clothes. The one essential that was missing was a wedding dress for me. We looked in charity shops but even there the prices were beyond us. We put an advert on the free site for getting rid of and acquiring things for nothing. There were a few responses, but the wrong size. I couldn’t afford to pay for alterations, nor was I competent to do them myself. I was worrying myself sick when Rosemary rang.
I knew Rosemary as a distant acquaintance, a friend of mutual friends. I didn’t know much about her personally. I had heard that she was slightly weird but without any details.
Rosemary told me that she had a wedding dress in my size with all the accessories, hooped petticoat, veil, shoes, etc. It was slightly old-fashioned with long sleeves instead of the current trend for sleeveless and shoulder less styles. Would I like to come over and have a look? She could lend everything to me if I wanted. However she wanted it to be a secret between us. No one must know if she lent me the dress. She was very insistent that the loan must be anonymous. I was puzzled but I agreed that I wouldn’t tell anyone.
We made an appointment for seven o’clock that evening. Despite my agreement with Rosemary I decided that I had to tell George. He wasn’t anyone. He would shortly be my other half. I wasn’t sure whether I would be breaking my word to her but George was hunting around for a dress for me. If I didn’t tell him he would keep looking, and perhaps he should. Rosemary’s dress might not fit. I wasn’t going to start into my married life by keeping secrets from George.
I had misgivings but I rang George and told him. I knew that he would be at a community meeting about some recent vandalism around the town. The Country Park had also suffered tagging.
“Be careful, Elaine,” George said. “Rosemary can be very odd. How are you getting there?”
“I’ll go by bus. It’s not far. If it takes a long time I can always walk back.”
“I’ll pick you up at nine o’clock if you haven’t rung me before. I’m not wholly happy about you being alone with her. I don’t like this secret business.”
“There shouldn’t be any need, George, but if you want to collect me, I won’t object. If she lends me everything I won’t be able carry that much on a bus, and I certainly couldn’t walk with it. You would have to come with the car sometime.”
“OK. Nine o’clock. One last thing. Don’t tell Rosemary I’m collecting you at nine.”
“Please, Elaine, just trust me on this. I’d prefer that Rosemary didn’t know that I’m coming.”
“OK. It seems odd, but if that’s what you want, I’ll keep quiet. I’ll ring you if I leave before nine, OK?”
“Yes. Be careful, please.”
Why? What was wrong with Rosemary offering to lend me a wedding dress? As far as I knew she had never married, gaziantep escort so there was some mystery about why she should have a wedding dress. Perhaps she had been jilted at the altar? That might possibly explain her weirdness.
It was a hot summer evening as I waited for the bus. I was wearing a very light summer dress. If George hadn’t been coming to collect me I might have taken a cardigan or coat, but all I needed was a small purse.
Inside the bus was hot despite all the windows being open. I cooled down a little during the long walk from the bus stop closest to Rosemary’s remote and isolated house.
At seven o’clock exactly I reached Rosemary’s house. Her front garden was a mess with earth on the drive and the tracks of a digger leading beside and behind the house. As is usual in our area I walked round to the back door. Rosemary was in the kitchen.
“Hello, Rosemary,” I said, “Why the earthworks? Improving the garden?”
“Oh that,” Rosemary shrugged. “I’m covering over an old air raid shelter and making it the base for a rockery. I’ve hired the digger for a couple of days…”
“You’re doing it yourself?” I was incredulous. Rosemary doesn’t look like a qualified digger pilot.
“Yes. It’s one of the things I learned during my Gap year. I went to Africa with a well-digging charity and they trained all of us to use diggers. Didn’t George tell you? He was there too.”
“I didn’t know what George did in his Gap year. That was long before I met him.”
Why hadn’t George mentioned that he knew Rosemary from way back? I had the impression that he didn’t know her very well.
I followed Rosemary into the living room. She told me to sit down while she fetched the dress.
“Like a coffee? This will take some time.”
“Yes, thank you, Rosemary. A coffee would be nice.”
While she was gone I looked around the room. Apart from the usual furniture and a television there was a free standing floor length mirror.
There were several shelves of books. I stood up and walked over to them. There were dozens of romance novels, obviously well read, and tucked in at the end of a shelf, facing the wall, was a framed photograph. I pulled it out and turned it round. It was a photo of George taken with a telescopic lens from a distance. He was smiling broadly over a woman’s shoulder. I looked carefully. It was my shoulder.
I put the photo back and moved to the other book shelves. Here the books were non-fiction, mainly coffee table books on exotic places such as Macchu Picchu and the must-see places of the world. I was reading the titles when Rosemary returned with the coffee.
I sat down with the mug while Rosemary went to get the wedding dress. I sipped the coffee. It had an odd but not unpleasant flavour. I hadn’t had anything to drink since leaving work and I had nearly finished the coffee as Rosemary returned carrying a massive dress bag over her arm. As she laid the bag carefully over an armchair it was obviously heavy.
“I’ll get everything else. You need the underthings first.” She stopped. “You’ve nearly finished your coffee. Like a refill? There’s plenty in the pot.”
“Yes please. I should have had a break at work but I was too busy.”
I finished the coffee and handed the empty mug to Rosemary. She came back with a full one and then disappeared upstairs. The second cup of coffee seemed even odder than the first. I tried to work out what was different. Was it the water, or the brand of coffee? I was still thirsty and I had drunk the whole of the second cup before Rosemary returned with a large suitcase. She put it down next to the dress bag.
“Sorry, Rosemary,” I said. “I need the loo before we start. Where is it?”
“Through there, first door on the left. Be careful, Elaine. There’s a step.”
Be careful? Why? The step was obvious. I stood up. For a second I seemed dizzy. I shook my head and walked towards the toilet.
When I had finished and stood up, I had another brief dizzy spell. Rosemary’s warning now seemed suspicious. Had she put something in the coffee? I remembered George’s warning too. As I walked back into the room I glanced at the clock, then my watch. The clock was half an hour slow. My watch read half-past seven. I hadn’t realised we had taken so long to get the dress and suitcase downstairs. Why hadn’t Rosemary brought them down before I arrived?
I sat down very carefully.
“Elaine?” Rosemary seemed a long way away. “You didn’t tell anyone about coming here?”
I shook my head. I know it was a lie, but I didn’t want to say a lie.
“I don’t want people to know this was MY wedding dress,” Rosemary continued. “I thought I was engaged but he didn’t think he was. He kept lying to me even after I had booked the wedding and bought the dress. It would be embarrassing for me if it was known this was my unused wedding dress. So no one knows, do they?”
“No one knows, except you’ve just told me.”
That wasn’t a lie. George didn’t know it was Rosemary’s unused wedding dress.
“And you won’t tell anyone.”
That was weird. It wasn’t a question. It was a escort gaziantep statement. I was beginning to understand what George meant about Rosemary’s behaviour.
“We don’t want anyone to see a naked Elaine,” Rosemary said.
She closed the curtains across the front window. They were floor length and heavy. They didn’t quite meet high up and a ray of sunlight was close to the clock. Despite the hot sunshine outside the room was very dark until she turned a few dim wall lights on.
That was an order, not a request. I should have resented her tone. I didn’t. I stood.
“Take your dress off.”
I unbuttoned the front of my lightweight summer dress and lifted it off over my head. I turned to lay it over the chair I had been sitting on. As I turned I had another dizzy spell.
“That bra won’t do, take it off.”
I had started to turn back. I unclipped the back of my bra and put it over the dress.
Rosemary had opened the suitcase. It seemed to be full of white material but surely the wedding dress was in the dress bag? She pulled out a long line strapless bra and roughly threw it around me before closing the front zip. She pushed and pulled my breasts around until they were firmly held in place. The bra pushed them up and out. I’d never had such a prominent bust and cleavage. I was impressed as I looked down. As Rosemary went back to the suitcase I adjusted my breasts to be comfortable.
As I did, I wondered. Why a strapless bra? Rosemary had said that the wedding dress was long-sleeved. Surely my own bra would have been suitable.
“Step into this.”
It was another terse order. Rosemary was holding open the top of a white petticoat. As I stepped into it I thought it was surprisingly narrow for a wedding petticoat. She pulled it up my legs and kept pulling beyond my waist. The upper part had a significant stretch material from just below my breasts until just above my pussy. It clung like a second skin. If it hadn’t had a long slit at the back it would have hobbled me to a very short step if I could have walked at all.
She held out a pair of long satin gloves. I could put the first one on by myself but she had to ease my hand and fingers into the second one. I had pulled the first one up to a few inches above my elbow. Rosemary tugged both higher until they were almost at my armpit. They felt odd. I held one gloved hand up to my face as Rosemary was adjusting the other glove. The thumb and fingers of the glove were sewn together. Why didn’t I think that was odd? I seemed to be accepting everything Rosemary did without question.
I looked down as Rosemary adjusted the second glove. There was a satin strap around each wrist with an inconspicuous white buckle. She tightened them. There were similar buckled straps above the elbows. She fastened those too. There was no way I could have taken those gloves off without help.
She went back to the suitcase and pulled out a full length white satin slip. The shoulder straps were wide. She lowered it over my head, feeding my gloved arms through the armholes. The shoulders were almost too wide, like short cap sleeves. When she zipped up the back of the slip, the zip almost reached my neck, and the bodice of the slip was skin tight around me. She fiddled behind my back. Was she attaching my long gloves to the slips’ cap sleeves? She was. From neck to the floor I was sheathed in white satin and I couldn’t remove a single item of that clothing.
I stood like a statue as Rosemary threw a massive net petticoat over my head. It had at least six boned hoops and stood out in a bell shape. She pulled on the waist draw cord and tied it with a hard knot. She picked up a pair of scissors and cut off the spare cord. She wriggled the whole hooped petticoat around me so the knot was in the small of my back.
Rosemary unzipped the dress bag and pulled out the wedding dress. As she had said, it had sleeves. There seemed to be too much of it for my figure. The skirt looked far too long and there was a very long train in the same material as the skirt.
She struggled to lift the dress over my head. It was obviously heavy. She pulled and pushed me around as she adjusted the skirt. I hadn’t allowed for the large hooped petticoat. Although the skirt was long, it was spread wide. If I had been wearing bridal heels it might just have cleared the ground, or an inch or two might have brushed the floor.
Rosemary turned me so that she could pull out the train behind me. It was attached at the waist, with the seam extending from either side of me. As she spread it out it was eight or nine feet behind me and nearly as wide at its widest, even wider than the hoop-expanded skirt.
“Hands in the sleeves, please, Elaine.”
That was better. It was a request not the terse orders Rosemary had been using. I lifted my hands. In those gloves I couldn’t help much as Rosemary slid my satin covered arms into the sleeves. I had expected lace sleeves. They weren’t. They were slim satin with a zip in the seams.
The whole dress was heavy satin, possibly a double layer gaziantep escort bayan of satin. Rosemary closed the zip at the back of the bodice, hidden behind a line of non-functioning buttons. The high neckline concealed almost the whole of my neck.
I turned my head to look into the mirror. I was in a wonderful dress but I didn’t feel like me. My head seemed to have been Photoshopped onto an enormous dress. I was beginning to get uncomfortably warm. The dress was meant for a winter wedding, not high summer.
“You need the veil to get the full effect,” Rosemary said.
The veil was large. Rosemary threw it over my head. At the front it dropped just above the hem of the dress. At the back it reached almost to the end of the long train. It was a heavy veil material. All I could see in the mirror was the draped shape of my head. It could have been any woman inside that dress. I was relieved when Rosemary lifted the front of the veil and threw it back. It was still resting on my shoulders but I could see.
“There’s an odd but useful feature in the skirt,” she said. “You won’t need a purse because there are pockets in the side seams. Put your hands in them. I’ll help.”
She held the right pocket open. I slid my gloved hand in. There was an initial resistance.
“Now your left, Elaine.”
Both hands were in the pockets. I was leaning forwards slightly.
“The odd part is the depth. See how far in you have to reach.”
“Go on. Slide your hands down.”
That was an order again. I slid both hands downwards. I felt a constriction but my hands passed it.
“Further. You haven’t got to the bottom yet. Further!”
I was bent almost double. Rosemary’s fingers reached around my right arm which was in that pocket well beyond the buckle on my upper arm. Something tightened at the mouth of the pocket. She moved quickly to the other side and that pocket tightened too.
“Try to pull your hands out, Elaine.”
I couldn’t. The skirt flapped and billowed as I tried to slide my arms out. I couldn’t get any leverage and the two buckles on each glove seemed to be caught on something.
“Oh dear,” Rosemary said. “Your hands must be snagged somewhere. Keep still. I’ll have a look under the skirt and see what the problem is.”
She ducked under the train and the back of the skirt, right inside the hooped petticoat. I couldn’t understand what she could do from in there. The hoops would be in her way. I heard a zip being closed. Rosemary had zipped up the slit in the narrow petticoat around my legs. My legs were clamped tightly together with my ankles painfully jammed side by side.
Rosemary emerged from under the dress.
“That’s almost it, Elaine. Just a couple more touches and you are ready.”
I tried to scream as she tried to force a large white ball gag into my mouth. I shook my head frantically.
“Open wide, Elaine!”
Despite myself I opened my mouth. The ball gag went in and she strapped in around my head under the veil.
She produced a white hood and turned it around so I could see the front. It had a realistic photograph of a smiling Rosemary with small holes for the eyes and nostrils. She opened the laced back and fitted it to my head. She laced it tight including through loops sewn on the inside of the dress’s high neck. There was no way I could shake that hood off. My face was really hot now I was completely covered.
How could I kneel? That tight slip made movement impossible. Rosemary seemed to realise that. She helped me to a kneeling position, facing the mirror. I almost looked like a kneeling Rosemary because the picture on the hood was so realistic. The lips were pouting, pushed out by the ball gag underneath. The white hood looked odd with no hair. In the mirror could see Rosemary bringing an elaborately prepared wig in her hair colour. It was dressed as a bride might look with her hair up for her wedding day. It stuck to the hood as if it had been coated with superglue.
“I had this wig made because I had short hair when I came back from Africa. I wanted to look like a proper bride.”
Rosemary stood back to examine her handiwork. She rearranged the veil on my head as it might be when lifted back at the altar.
“Well, Elaine,” she said, “you look better than I expected. You could almost be me kneeling patiently at the altar waiting for my groom. But I never did. I didn’t get to the altar. I never wore that dress except for several fittings. Of course it didn’t have some of the changes I’ve made for you.”
She moved forward and adjusted the veil slightly again.
“All this has been recorded by several video cameras. I just want a few still pictures of you as you are now.”
She picked up a digital camera and moved around me taking pictures of my predicament.
“How did I do it? Your coffee had Rohy-whatever , you know, the date-rape drug. After two cups of it you would accept anything I told you to do and not be startled by whatever happened. Now I’ll tell you why. My bridegroom was supposed to be George. Your George. I kept expecting him to propose. He never did. He ignored my hints, my pleas, my begging. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t. Then you came along and it was obvious he wanted you, not me. He’s not going to get you. I bought this dress for him. I was going to wear it when he married me. Now you are wearing it but he’s not going to marry you.”
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