Boot Camp Blues
by Deputy Duffy

In northern Vermont there's an old school building that we had used once as the State Police Training Facility. Some vandals had trashed the place recently, and Deputy Johns and I were sent up there to play janitor. And I certainly wasn't happy about it. But then, in the debris of some vandalized wooden lockers, I found these papers -- letters from a girl to her sister.

It was kind of strange at first to read them, but it was also kind of titillating, too. It took some work and some research to reconstruct the whole story.

I found out that we had used the old school building for more than just a training facility. Seems that in the 80s (when I was still in school), the Corrections Department had used it, too. They had "Boot Camps" in the summer, back before they were all the rage and the celebrities even got into the act.

It had its detractors and they lasted only a couple of years. Some people apparently would rather have convicts rotting in cells, than out doing roadwork or cleaning up parks, which is what the boot campers did. Each session lasted two weeks and was segregated by sex, one session for males and one for females. The "campers" were mostly first time offenders and usually in the 18-20 age range. If you finished the two weeks, then your record was wiped clean. Or, you could quit at any time and just serve out your sentence.

The first of the letters was written shortly after the girl had arrived in camp. (I took the liberty to do some reader friendly editing.)

*****

Hi Sis,

I'm writing like you asked. They give us an hour at night to read and write. But I don't think they want us writing the truth, like I plan to do. So I found a little hiding place for this, but I'm still nervous. Anyways here goes. Oh, thanks for dropping me off. At least YOU were there for me. Wendy showed up a couple of minutes after you left. Can you believe it? She is still with that creep, Billy. I mean it was his stupid idea that got us into this mess in the first place. Anyways, Wendy joined me on the bus, and I had to fake a smile, as this wasn't the time to tell her how I really felt.

The bus slowly filled with women, most of who looked like trouble -- and smelled like it, too. Then this pretty blonde walked onto the bus. She was dressed in a sexy red dress and red high heeled shoes. I almost laughed at how out of place she looked, while I also wondered what she did to get sent here.

Looking around, I counted twelve of us. The bus ride was long and quiet, with no talking, of course. I guess we were all thinking about just what was in store for us. The pretty blonde, meanwhile, used the trip to make sure her makeup and hair was just perfect. I tell you sis, I wasn't looking forward to two weeks of people yelling and screaming at me. And two weeks of wearing those uniforms! I wondered if the blonde knew that for the next two weeks she would be wearing pink shorts and a small white T-shirt, instead of sexy dresses?

Finally the bus pulled up to the brick building. Our new home. We all walked up the front way single file, through the front door, down a corridor, and into what must have been the gym at one time (judging by the old basketball nets that were raised up to the ceiling). The sun was shining through some windows in the roof. It made the gym sweltering in no time.

Once inside, we were met by two guards, a male and a female, and they both started to bark out orders. We each had to find the plastic basket with our name on it. It was kind of chaotic, especially with all the yelling and screaming. I just knew it!

Finally we were all standing behind our baskets. We were in two rows of six, facing each other, a couple feet apart. I was kind of surprised (what were the odds) that Wendy was standing next to me, looking petrified. We were on the end of one line. Two guards were standing by the door we had come in through, and I noticed the back doors were chained shut. I felt trapped. Even though none of them carried guns, I was sure that their flashlights and nightsticks should be considered weapons, so they still had "power" behind their badges.

The two new guards were walking back and forth, snapping at us here and there about our stances -- hands by our sides, palms out, shoulders back, chest out, feet well apart. Basically they were doing a bad Louis Gossett Jr. impression from that Richard Gere movie that you're always watching. (Except they were white.)

I have to say, though, that they were pretty intimating, if only by their appearance. He was bald, shaved clean, with a few scars. Also, tall and really built, which he showed off in a white muscle shirt and tight black pants. Basically, he was mean-looking.

She was also tall, had to be a six-footer herself. She wore a tight white T-shirt tucked into her black pants. It showed that she was in shape. It also showed the outline of her nipples, which made me cringe, 'cause if I could see hers, then when we wore ours... I didn't want to think about it! Her too-short black hair was wet or slicked back. When she got in my face, I was surprised to smell perfume, as I was starting to wonder about her sexual preference.

She stepped back and told us to drop our handbags into our baskets. My heart began to race, as I had a bad feeling.

"Ok, you six on this side," she said, as she looked our way. "Remove all of your clothing and put it in the basket."

Gasps and moans quickly followed the order. I couldn't believe my ears, even though that's what I thought she might say. I knew we were going to relinquish our personal belongings after arrival -- that was in the forms that I had to sign at the courthouse. But never, sis, did I dream it would happen like this. I was looking around, dumbfounded, for a moment, and I guess most of the other girls were, too.

"I said, 'STRIP'!" She snatched her nightstick off her belt. The bald guard also pulled out his weapon. It was like a whip that a jockey would use. It also reminded me that HE was there.

"In front of him?" One of the girls on the far end moaned out, seemingly for me, or all of us.

"What, you don't think I've seen a pair of tits before?" He hissed, as he raced over in front of her. He punctuated his question with a whack on her thigh from his whip. She cried out, probably more from shock, than pain. I noticed the girl next to me was already down to her panties. She slid them off too, and I gasped as I realized just how naked they wanted us.

"At least we have one camper that knows how to follow orders," the female guard said, standing in front of the naked girl. She slid over to me. "What the fuck is your problem, are you deaf?"

"No ma'am," I managed.

"Then why ain't you naked?" Her face was inches from mine. "You too, honey pants," she said, glancing over to Wendy. We shared a roll of the eyes, before I kicked off my shoes and started disrobing. I'd dressed simply, because I knew I would be taking them off in front of someone. (Of course not a gym full of people.) First my sweatshirt (I left my bra at home 'cause I knew from the forms, they weren't allowed inside, anyways), then my jeans. I had the bad luck of being down to my panties when the bald guard moved over in front of me. He didn't even hide the fact that he watched as I peeled them down. Maybe he didn't have to.

With all my clothes in the basket, I was standing buck naked along with 5 other girls. I was using my hands to cover my body, and the others were doing the same. The guards seemed amused at our timid postures. With a bark, they ordered us to assume the stances that we had learned a couple minutes earlier. I'll tell you, sis, this stance was not meant to be done naked. I've never felt so exposed.

I was left looking at the blonde, standing across from me. She wore a look of dread on her face. She had to know that her line would be next. Before that happened, though, the guards moved in front of the first girl in my line. The female fished her shoes out of her basket, and examined them, and told her to put them on, saying something about the cold floor, which was strange, because it wasn't at all cold.

After she put on her shoes, they read her name off the basket and asked her why she was here. The female guard then put a metal dog-tag, like soldiers wear, around the girl's neck. Then they ordered her to turn around and put her hands on her knees. The female guard, meanwhile, changed her nightstick for a flashlight. I was listening to the instructions, but I didn't want to watch anymore, because I knew I was in line for the same humiliating treatment.

The next order, "Spread your cheeks," caused some gasps. Out of the corner of my eye, I found out what the flashlight was for, before they moved on to the next girl. My heart was pounding, as they dealt with the girl next to me. And then it would be my turn!

"Stay strong!" I kept telling myself, as I didn't want to lose it, before they even got to me. I wasn't really surprised to learn that the girl next to me was in for prostitution. Maybe that's why she knew the drill -- and didn't seem to mind stripping in front of strangers.

They moved over in front of me. It felt like my face was on fire. She pulled my shoes out of the basket, and I was thankful that I'd worn simple, open toed shoes that I could just step into. As she looked for my tag, she asked me about my crime. I had no simple way of saying it, so I just told her the truth -- about us stealing Davenport High's mascot for our senior week prank.

"No shit!" she gushed, finding my tag. "I read that in the paper. Didn't the thing die on yah?"

I just nodded my head, still embarrassed about it. "Man, isn't life a bitch?" she teased, as she applied my tag. It was now my turn to turn around and face the light. I cursed myself for letting Eddie talk me into shaving down there now, because I knew when I pulled my cheeks apart... Well, at least it sped up the process, but it was still the most humiliating thing I've ever had to do.

It was Wendy's turn next. I know you know how shy Wendy is. She had to be just dying. She always complained about the size of her breasts. I tried not to look, but I was burning with curiosity, since, as long as we'd been friends, I'd never seen her naked.

Well, she's right, sis. Her breasts are huge, and they're capped with big brown nipples. She even had to go through the extra step of holding her breasts up, by just the nipples, so they could check underneath them. I know I shouldn't have, but I felt a small twinge of delight come over me, when it was her turn to spread 'em, because if she hadn't talked me into stealing that damn mascot...

Finally they were finished with our row, and we had to pick up our baskets and pass them through a window, to the other female guard. She was on the other side, in some sort of storage room. And when I returned to my spot, I felt even more naked now, without my basket.

With the six of us back in our lewd positions, the guards turned their attention to the other six women. I don't know what they must have felt, watching us go through our strip-search; but I was about to find out, as it was now our turn to do the watching. The male guard only seemed interested in the pretty blonde (which didn't really surprise me), as she slid off her sexy red dress. She wore a small red strapless bra and matching panties. She glanced up and gave him a dirty look, which pissed him off.

He slid really close to her. "You eye-balling me?" He hissed.

"No, sir," she managed, her voice cracking.

"You got a problem with me in here?"

"It just doesn't seem right, sir," she said, probably for all of us.

"You questioning me?"

"No, sir."

"Liar! Drop and give me twenty."

"But... I'm in my bra and panties," she complained, before the bald man's whip came smacking down on her ass. From the distinctive sound, I figured she must have worn a thong. She let out a yelp, before she assumed the pushup position, and my assumption was confirmed. He made her count them off. She struggled to do ten. (The guard's foot on her back didn't help.)

"Get your ass up, and get your ass naked, and don't ever question me!"

So much for all that time on the makeup. Her mascara was already running down her cheeks, as her bra and panties made their way into the basket, leaving us all naked. I felt a twinge of envy, as I have to say that she had by far the best body here (and that includes me). But she still looked self-conscious. So there were a few girls who had to have been really mortified, to be in the shape they were in, and to be naked in a group setting like this. I owe Coach Debbie a big hug.

We watched as each of them went through the same process we'd been through. Only the blonde had shaved herself like me. (So at least I wasn't the only one.) When asked, she said she was in for traffic violations. (Huh, she had to go through all this 'cause she couldn't drive?) After they deposited their baskets in storage and got back into line, I was wondering what could possibly be next.

The male guard pulled the blonde to the center, and then he told a tall redhead to stand behind her. He turned to our line and told me to stand behind the redhead. The prostitute was next, and then another, and then finally Wendy. He ordered the rest of the girls to take seats on the wooden bleachers and wait there. It was so totally weird, sis! It was like he had just put us in order of how we looked in the nude. It had to be more than a coincidence. (At least he picked me ahead of Wendy.)

The female guard stood in front of the blonde and told us to follow her. The male guard followed Wendy. (She had to just love that!) We were led back out of the gym and into a small locker room. It smelled awful. At the far end of the room was an open doorway. When I left the house this morning, it was the part I was dreading the most -- the showers.

She had us file in as she turned on the spray. The floor was dirty, so I kept my shoes on. I noticed the others did too. The water came from a pipe overhead and not from the wall. There were three heads where water came out of, with a soap-on-a-rope hanging from each one, so we had to share. Get this... I was now showering side by side with a real life prostitute. We even had to face the female officer, who was a little bolder than Coach Debbie. She wasn't hiding the fact that she was watching our every move, while pacing back and forth just inside the shower area, reminding us that we weren't allowed to turn our backs on an officer. And the water was freezing -- or maybe it was that the gym had been so hot.

I don't know if the male was allowed in the shower area or not, but I noticed he was leaning against the doorway, smoking a cigarette. I guess we were his break-time entertainment, since we were still giving him an eye full. I bet Wendy wished she'd showered with the rest of the cheerleaders after practice now, because it was good experience for when we were called out of the showers and had to stand on some rubber mats and drip dry. The female guard only laughed when the blonde wisely asked for a towel. The question resulted in more pushups for Blondie, only this time without the bra and panties. She had to do twenty naked pushups on the mat. When she got up, her pretty pink nipples were all dirty, poor thing.

I don't even know why some of the girls were trying to hide their bodies at this point. Maybe it was the cold water. (I know my nipples were certainly standing erect.) Wendy was cowering in the back. (What a pussy!)

It was slowly coming to me that (even though this was the USA) they were doing what conquerors have done for centuries: strip their captives of their clothes and strip them of their pride. Well, I was already naked, but I was determined to keep my pride.

Little did I know that they were just getting started.

It was time to line up again. I was behind the redhead again. I found out her name was Felicia. It fit her (a pretty name, for a pretty girl). They made us line up so close that her wet hair was dripping onto my breasts and off my nipples.

Finally it was time to walk again. We went down the hall and into a small room that was probably used as a classroom at one time. We had to line up against the wall our right shoulder pressed to the wall. Looking around, all the chairs were pushed together into a pile in the back. Just a big wooden table stood in the center.

I suddenly heard a couple of girls, gasp. Looking to my left I saw why. There were windows that looked out onto the playing field and there were no curtains or blinds.  It reminded me that I was still naked. Anyone walking by could see... everything. I didn't want to think about it.

The male guard pulled on a cord, and a big white sheet fell over the blackboard. The female guard pulled something from a closet and set it up -- a fucking camera, on a tripod. The redhead looked over her shoulder in disbelief. I shared her feelings.

The blonde went first of course. The male guard, who I'll call Baldie from now on, wrote her name and number on a little blackboard, while making a lame joke that some of us probably couldn't read or write. The blonde held the blackboard under her chin for the first shot, and then Baldie grabbed it away. Then the female took another front shot of her. Then a side shot, a back shot and then the other side.

I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT!

They were going to be taking nude pictures of all of us, yet no one said a word. Watching the redhead go, I knew I was next. What could I say, sis? I really didn't want to pose for nude photos, but I didn't want to do nude pushups, either.

I was shaking when I shuffled my way up front. Then something happened that made me laugh. Baldie handed me the little blackboard, but he spelled my name wrong.

"Now, who can't write?" I said, and the girls all enjoyed a laugh. He got real red-faced and he changed it. After my photos, I was about to get back into line, but Baldie grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me over to the wooden table. Was he was mad! The veins in his forehead seemed to pulsate. He told me to reach over the table and grab the other side. At first I just looked at him like he was crazy. And then I thought maybe he was, so I got into position. It was a reach. My heels even came out of my shoes. Looking to my left, I saw that the photos had been put on hold. Some of the girls were watching, some not.

I knew what this position was for, but the first blow from his whip still startled me. (This also wasn't in the forms I filled out.) I tried not to make any noises, but it was hard, 'cause it stung like hell. This wasn't like one of mom's spankings. Blow after blow they came, until I finally screamed out. Thank god he stopped. I felt his hand resting on my ass. I snapped my head around. He just sneered, while he rubbed my sore ass cheek. As wrong as I felt about, it did help with the sting.

"Let that be a lesson to all of you," he hissed, as he pulled me off the table and pushed me towards the other girls. They finished up the photos as I tried to clear my eyes. Then all six of us were back against the wall. I was wondering what could possibly be next.

The female made a phone call, from this red phone on the wall. I couldn't hear her, but I knew she wasn't ordering a pizza. A couple of minutes of nervous anticipation were interrupted by two men in white coats and two women in white dresses walking into the room. I was a little puzzled. I was thinking that they certainly looked like two doctors and nurses. But why were they here? This was a classroom after all. I also remembered the whole naked thing again.

"Ok ladies," the female guard said, getting our attention. She introduced the doctors and nurses -- but I was too nervous to remember their names. I'm like most, I hate doctors. Also my first "big girl" exam was still fresh in my mind. "They're here to give you an exam, to make sure you're physically fit enough to take the two weeks here, and to document your health and appearance. Then after the two weeks, they will exam you again to document your condition, just to make sure that no harm has come to you in our care... Like that would ever happen."

Now, I figured that's what the photos were for, and probably why Baldie waited until after the photos to give me the spanking. I also figured it was like my school exam for cheerleading. Only this time in the nude.

I really didn't have time to think about it, because a nurse called me over to take my blood pressure. I was surprised to go first, this time. She sat me down on this chair that was like built for a third grader. I was not at all surprised that my BP was a little high. She gave me a manila folder (that I guessed had my records inside) and told me to go over to the next nurse. I noticed that Baldie was talking to the two doctors, next to the table, having a good ol' time.

The next nurse took my envelope and told me to step on this bathroom scale. I could have told her I was 115 pounds. Then I had to stand against this part of the wall that was marked off. Yep 5'4" tall. She wrote down her amazing findings and pointed me to the doctors. Even though it was only a couple of feet away, it seemed like the longest walk ever. Nurses were one thing but...

Baldie stepped back, and one of the doctors took my folder. He was a gray haired, near-sighted, pocket-protector-wearing, stethoscope-around his-neck, living, breathing stereotype. He took my folder and told me to lean against the desk. I could see the other girls following behind.

"Ah, blood pressures a little high," he said, before he followed with, "probably nerves." I tell yah sis, this guy wasn't just a doctor -- he was also a rocket scientist!

"Ok, any tattoos?" He asked, looking up from the folder. I told him no, but I don't think it was a question. He told me to drop my arms. (I had been trying shield my nudity.) I took a deep breath and did it. It was so weird. I mean, I know he's a doctor, but I just met him a minute ago and now his eyes were roaming over my naked body. The redhead was soon by my side and the other doctor (who was a fatty) was doing the same. I had to turn around, too. The whole tattoo search was pretty embarrassing.

He tapped me on the shoulder and told me to take a seat. I hopped onto the wooden teacher's table. It was a little strange. But the whole day was falling into that category. I was now facing the blonde who seemed in line to follow me. Baldie was standing by her side whispering into her ears, and, whatever he was saying, she didn't like it. The doctor used his stethoscope on me. It felt like my heart was racing, but he didn't say anything. He told me to lie down on my back. I did so dumbly. He must have read my face.

"I'm going to test your joints," he said, before he lifted my left knee up and the right followed in turn. He returned to the left only this time he raised my whole leg, straight up into the air. A cool rush of air let me know just how this exposed me. The right leg followed.  He told me to flip over and did some more lifting of my legs. It was so embarrassing to do these "tests" naked.

My arms were next. Still face down he had me do these swimming motions. Then he told me to flip over. I had to do more arm exercises, This was much worse, 'cause I knew what they were doing to my breasts. Finally he had me sit up on the edge of the table. I let out a gasp, when I saw the fat doctor feeling the redheads breast next to me. I didn't have much time to think about it, though, as I felt the doctor lifting my arm behind my head. When his hand started pressing my flesh, I knew that this wasn't going to be like my school exam as I'd hoped. He used his fingers and pressed this way and that way, but at least he stayed away from my nipples.

He had me lie back and fold my hands under my head. I thought the breast exam was over, but his hand came down on my breast again. This time he pressed harder and finished by pulling on my nipple. I winced. He asked me why.

I wanted to kick him in the balls and then ask him why it hurt!

He did the same thing to the other breast. He seemed to pull on my nipple extra hard this time, but I couldn't say anything, because Baldie was staring over his shoulder, idly snapping that whip.

The doctor worked his way down my stomach, poking and prodding, but stopping at my pubic mound. He told me to bring my feet up and put my heels together. I didn't understand, until I saw the redhead. I wanted to jump up and run, right there. But the doctor moved me into position. Heels together, knees spread apart and pressed down to the table. God, I wouldn't even let a lover put me into this position.

He was standing by my side with his back towards me, when he cleared his throat and said he was going to do a manual exam. I didn't know what that meant, but basically he spread my pussy open with his fingers, and then he slid his finger inside of me and pressed on my stomach. Baldie moved to my side and got a good look for himself at the doctor's fingering. When he said he was done (I know I made it sound like it was quick and easy, but it was far from it), I sighed.

That was a little premature.

I had to flip over onto my hands and knees. I found out why when I felt cool lotion on my asshole. I noticed a tear drop splash on the table, just as the doctor slid his finger into me, as hard as I tried not to. (I think I even cried when mom's doctor did it, only her finger wasn't as fat or neither did it plunge as deep.)

I felt something larger than a finger being pushed into me next, and I let out a squeal. The doctor laughed and told me it was only a thermometer. It was like a final insult. The redhead and I had to remain in this sexual position for four minutes with a thermometer sticking out of our butts and with everyone behind us watching. It was the longest four minutes of my life.

The doctor used a damp wipe to clean me off and then told me to hop off the table and stand with my hands by my side and wait quietly. He finished his statement by slapping my ass. When he did, it dawned on me that he never said a word about the condition of my ass. I mean it had to still be a little red.

When I got off the table and turned around, I noticed something kind of strange was going on between the two doctors. Then it hit me -- they were fighting over who was going to get the honor of examining the blonde. I'm not lying sis. They even threw fingers, and my guy won. The fat guy was pissed, 'cause he had to settle for the prostitute. I laughed inwardly. It was so pathetic and unprofessional. And, speaking of unprofessional, the two nurses were sitting on their asses, chatting away with the female guard. The trio weren't even watching the doctors.

The blonde took her place on the table, of course Baldie was by her side. I was standing by her head when it was her turn to lay back. Her wet long blonde hair tickled my skin, as it brushed by. Since she had watched me, she seemed to know what was coming and the exam moved along swiftly, that was, until the doctor got to her pussy. Her exam seemed much longer than mine was, so long that the other doctor already had the thermometer in the prostitute's bum. He joined the other doctor when the blonde turned over on her hands and knees. I knew she was embarrassed with all the attention and I was also embarrassed because I was standing by her head. Her face on a couple feet from my p... I wondered if she could, you know, smell my scent, 'cause I know I could.

When it was time for her thermometer, Baldie made a few crude jokes about it. I started to wonder if these were even real doctors or not, because I'm not sure they should have been laughing at them. They also had lust in their eyes.

A slap of the ass sent her jumping off the table and she quickly ducked behind me. I could hear her sniffling behind me when Wendy sat on the table. Even though I was mad at her, I still felt for her when it was time for her breast exam, because it seemed to take forever, and of course Baldie had some more crude jokes.

A sudden ear-piercing shriek shook my bones. It came from the girl, on the table, next to Wendy. She was pointing towards the window. It took me a couple of seconds to spot it, but there was a face pressed up against the window. The room filled with chaotic action. The female guard raced over to the phone again. The nurses rushed to the windows. Both girls jumped off the table. All the girls on my right side seemed to pile in behind me, while I was ducking behind the table.

Baldie just shook his head. "It's only Homeless Freddie," he said, with a chuckle.

I saw the face disappear from my view, and then I saw him racing away on a bicycle, a guard chasing behind. For an older man he was winning the chase. I also figured he must have been standing on the bike's seat to look in, but what I didn't know was how long he had been there. I shivered, as I wondered if he saw my exam.

Just when I didn't think it could get any worse... I mean, being seen nude by medical and prison personnel was one thing, but by an old homeless guy!

It took a couple of minutes for order to be restored. Wendy and the other girl were ordered to climb on the table, again. Then Wendy caught a huge break when her doctor seemed to forget where he left off and ordered her to her hands and knees. (Probably because that's where the other doctor had left off. But, because this one had spent so much time on her breasts, he was behind, again.)

I wanted to tell him that he missed a step, a very embarrassing step. I also would have loved to seen her face when he fingered her pussy, but, even so, the look on her face when he slid his finger up her ass was priceless.

Wendy's luck turned sour, however, when the doctor took her rectal temperature. He seemed to have trouble sliding it in, and keeping it in. It was also pretty gross, when he pulled it out. It also hit me, why this was so wrong that we all got to watch each other's exams. I think you can guess what was wrong, sis. The doctor called over a nurse and told her to prepare an enema. Wendy crashed down on the table, sobbing.

And that's where we left her.

While Baldie stayed behind with Wendy, the female led us down the hall into a small room that she teasingly said was our new home for the next two weeks. It was really nothing more than six cots, two on each side and two on the far wall, each one separated by tall skinny wooden lockers. I was glad that at least the windows were boarded up. When I found my cote with my name tapped to the foot-rail, I sat down. The room was eerily quiet. The female said something about someone being in shortly with our clothes and she'd collect our shoes. I didn't really believe the "shortly" part. But, honestly at this point, what the hell was the difference? I'd--we'd been naked for so long, anyways. The blonde quietly sat down on the cote next to me. When she looked up, I noticed her face was a mess, and I wondered if mine was too.

One thing I had no question about... I had just gone though the most humiliating experience of my life!

And I still had two weeks to go!

****

There was one more piece of paper, but it only described the camp's daily activities. And it broke off in mid-sentence.

The papers sat in my desk for days. I was burning for more. I must have read them four or five times, daily. It was time to do some further research before I went loony.

The first thing I wanted to know was the guards' names. Specifically, I wanted to know if I knew any of them personally. Unfortunately, they all turned out to be strangers. And they'd also all retired or moved away.

It was now time to try to find out who wrote this account; I had heard her voice through her writing, and now I needed to give that voice a face. I also wanted to know what happened. Why didn't -- or couldn't -- she finish it?

I was a man on a mission. There were some obvious clues in the writing that you didn't need to be Perry Mason to see. The first of which was the name of the high school whose mascot they stole. I also knew that one of them was named Wendy. So I went to the library. (Didn't the female guard say it was in the newspaper?) It wasn't that hard to find in the microfilmed newspaper files. (We may not have "The New York Times," but we do have a 153-year run of "The Davenport Advocate.") Since all four kids were over 18 at the time, I got their names -- including a "Wendy" and (ta-daa!) a "Heather."

Now that I had her name, it was time to find her. I enlisted the help from a person who, well, finds people for a living. (The old-timers called them "skip tracers.") He was quick in his search. He told me that she was in her late thirties and a single mother of three. He even gave me her current address -- in Connecticut.

I had a Saturday off, so I went for a drive. Hell, maybe I could even do some gambling at Foxwoods when I was down there. Sitting in front of Heather's small house, I really didn't know what I was going to do. I mean, some may call me a jerk, or worse, but embarrassing a single mother with three kids...

Eventually, I made up my mind (sort of) and walked up to the front door with what I hoped seemed like confidence. (Ok, let the name calling begin.) I wasn't really sure exactly what I was going to say, but, when she opened the door, my badge and some police blather got me inside. We spoke briefly (about some missing person I made up on the spot), and then I left, never showing her the papers. I wondered which of us was more confused at that point. I tried to put the pieces together on my long trip home. Something just didn't compute.

Back in Vermont, it was time to locate Wendy. She was a lot easier to find, since she lived in-state and (as I was surprised to find out) married to a career politician, who was even now planning to run for governor of our great state. I crashed a fundraiser in order to meet her. (I didn't pay.) And I did meet her briefly. She was attractive, but really overbearing. It turns out she was an outspoken (some said "rabid") supporter of the "nWo" -- the National Women's Organization. (It's funny how those initials can also stand for "New World Order." Coincidence?)

When I got back to my office I did a little more research on our computer. Things began falling into place.

I came to this conclusion: the papers hadn't been written by Heather, but by Wendy herself.

At first I was thrown off by the simple fact that Heather had a sister and Wendy didn't. But there were some telling clues.

Wendy went on to major in journalism in college. Heather majored in getting knocked up. Wendy wrote for her school's newspaper. Heather made the school's paper. (It was one of her professors who knocked her up.)

I'd also met both Heather and Wendy, and although they seemed about the same height and weight, Heather had by far the bigger boobs of the two. (I tend to notice that.)

Then there was the blackboard incident recounted in the journal. Heather has a simple last name, while Wendy's was a tongue twister.

The final clue hit me when I got my hands on a copy of their high school yearbook. Early in the story, the writer mentions that she can't believe Wendy is still going with Billy. Well, according to their yearbook, Wendy didn't go out with Billy -- Heather did.

The only explanation was that Wendy wrote the journal, hoping to expose the boot camp. She changed the names, in case the journal was found. (Real nice friend, eh?) She also used the simple fact that Heather had a sister and she didn't, to disguise the journal as a series of letters.

Armed with this knowledge, I began to wonder about the journal's accuracy. Now when I read it, I wondered how much of it was the writer's embellishment.

It was time for another trip to Connecticut. I called Heather on the phone this time. She was hesitant to meet me, but I used a little of the old Duffy charm to get her to meet. (Honesty compels me to admit that I had to pay for her babysitter and take her out to a nice restaurant, too.)

I made the long trip and checked into a motel. I knew I'd be drinking, and I hoped she would be, too. (Ok, not for the reason you're thinking.) I was simply hoping that alcohol would free up her lips. (Ah, that didn't sound any better.)

When she showed up at the restaurant I was a little taken back. She was wearing a cleavage-spilling red dress. Scanning upwards from there, I saw her face and hair were done up perfectly. (This was gonna be harder than I thought.)

After a couple of cocktails, a nice meal, and a bottle of wine, I let her know why I was really there... sort of.

I showed her an old picture of the bald guard (who had retired to a small island off South America) and told her I was doing an investigation on him -- a white lie, more or less. She was more than a little upset, and I had to grab her wrist to stop her from leaving. I guess she thought she was on a date, and, I must say, up to that point things were going well, too. I probably should have used that motel room and forgot all about the journal, but I was consumed.

It took some sweet talk and the offer of another bottle of wine to get her to stay. After a few minutes, I slipped my hand into my pocket and pressed the record button on my little tape recorder. From my other pocket I pulled out a copy of the journal and handed it to her. She glanced at it and quickly confirmed my suspicions by denying she'd written it. Then she read it over a couple of times. She laughed, at first, at the switching of the names.

But, later on, she crumpled up the papers and spat, "that little bitch!" (And that's why I brought along a copy this time.) "I even donated to her husband's election fund."

At first she didn't want to talk, period. She said it was in her past, and it was behind her, but I pressed on and showed her a picture of the guard again, and, honestly, I think the alcohol was working its magic, as well.

"Ok, I'll talk, but only if it helps put this asshole away," she sneered.

"It can't hurt," I said, double-checking my recorder. "So this is the first time that you've seen the journal?"

"Yeah."

"And she didn't tell you..."

"No, she didn't," she interrupted. "And it looks like she was trying to pin it on me."

"Yeah, it looked that way to me, too."

"Yeah, she always blamed me for... you know."

"Stealing that mascot."

"Yeah, it was a harmless prank."

"And then it died," I said, with an uncontrolled laugh. And then she flashed me a lethal look. "Anyway, moving on, did the story really unfold like that?"

"Like what?"

"I mean, was the journal accurate, except for the names thing?"

"I guess," she said, flipping through the crumpled papers. "Look, do we really need to go over all this?"

"It's important," I assured her. "Now did they really search you like that?"

She checked the account again. "Yeah, in the gym, like that... all of us... it was as embarrassing as she said it was."

"And then the showers?"

"Uh huh."

"And then the physicals?"

"Right, if that's what you want to call them."

"Did they happen like that?"

She flipped through the pages until she got to what I assumed was the appropriate part. "Yeah, I almost forgot about that homeless guy. She also seemed to remember what people said, word for word."

"But everything that the journal says happened to Wendy actually happened to you?"

"Yeah," she said with a nod. "Seems that way."

"So you actually got the enema?" I said, without thinking. I had to grab her wrist again to stop her getaway. It took some apologizing to get her back in her seat, and I quickly switched gears.

"Do you know why the journal stopped so abruptly?"

She shook her head several times, but it looked insincere. So I pressed on and asked her again.

"Look buddy... you come down here, wine and dine me, and then bring up all this shit that I've struggled to forget."

"But you know why?" I asked several times. It was so close I could taste it. Although, I felt a little bad for the small tear that rolled down her cheek.

"Alright, I'll tell yah, and then I'm out of here, and don't forget the money for the sitter," she said, wiping her face.

I put some cash on the table and she continued. "Ok, I'm pretty sure I know why they stopped," she said, as she crumpled up the papers again. "There was a little incident between her and the sexy blonde."

"Incident?"

"Yeah, even though we were good friends back then, she always made me feel a little uneasy. Letís just say I think she liked showering with the other girls more than she should have, even though she always had a boyfriend, if you know what I mean?"

I nodded. She had nailed my attention at "showering with the other girls."

"Well, I remember that she and the sexy blonde seemed to bond really quickly. And their bunks were only a foot or two apart. I think you can see where this is going."

I did, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity. "I'm confused," I said, scrunching my face, while trying not to chuckle.

"Ok, you're not the smartest cop in the world, are you?"

"I'm no Francis Poncherello," I said, with a fake laugh. (Ponch, was the good looking guy from the TV show, CHiPs.)

"Anyways," she groaned and went back to shuffling the papers.

"We had to wear these old pull-over shirts to bed, but they were sized for grade schoolers. It was like everything in the camp was designed to humiliate. Well, one night, I think it was like a week into the camp, I was awakened by the lights being turned on and the bald guy's screaming. When I cleared my eyes I saw that the blonde and Wendy were in the same cot, and Wendy was scrambling to put her shirt on, but the bald guy yanked it away from her. The female guard was also there, and when she pulled the blonde off the cot, I saw that her panties were wrapped around her ankles. Even though I was still groggy, I could put two and two together."

She looked up with a wise look. I just shrugged my shoulders.

"Oh yah, I think the guards slept at the school, too, 'cause they were always there. Anyways, I was surprised to see the bald guard move one of their cots to the center of the room, because I thought they were bolted down. I was also surprised to see the blonde take off her night shirt and Wendy slide off her panties, leaving them both buck naked. I thought they were following orders for a whipping, but they had other plans."

This time when she looked up at me, and I shrugged my shoulders, I meant it. "Who's 'they'?" I asked.

"The guards... they wanted them to... ah, perform."

"Perform?" I said, a little more excitedly then I wanted.

"Yeah, it had to be Baldies idea. At first, they refused, but then they were told to pack their bags. That's the way it was at camp, either you took their punishment, or you got naked when they told you too, or you left. Honestly I don't know what I would have done at that point. The female guard even made the rest of us gather around their cot." She dropped her face into a hand. "It was tough to watch."

"What did they do?"

"Fucking pig," she hissed, with a steely gaze.

Funny, if I had a nickel for every time someone called me that.

I cleared my throat. "Sorry, I didn't mean it like that. I meant did they actually do it... ah, do each other?"

She just nodded her head, while she looked at me with disgust. "What do you wanna hear... all the perverted details? How they sucked on each others breasts and then got into a side-by-side sixty nine and ate each other out... all while we watched. Is that what you wanted to hear?"

(A silly little song about a dog named bingo suddenly filled my head.)

"Well, after, Wendy left with the two guards, and Blondie moved her cot back. When I woke up the next morning, there was another girl sleeping in Wendy's cot. They separated the two of them, and that's why it stopped.

"And she couldn't get back to retrieve the journal?"

"No, apparently not," she said, rather tartly. "The other group was on the other side of the school. We never even saw them, or worked with them. So for the next week, I never saw Wendy at all. And it took years to renew our friendship."

"And you knew nothing of the journal?"

"I said I didn't!" she snapped. But after a four or five seconds she added, "Look, I knew she was writing something, and late one night I thought I even saw her hide something behind my locker, but I never knew what it was until you showed up here tonight with these pages, 'cause I never looked."

"Did anything ever happen to you?"

"Nothing like that. I kept my nose clean, and I didn't play Baldie's games."

"Games?"

"Yeah, you know, it was in the summer, it was hot, and it was hard work. So he let us know that if we wanted a day off, come see him in his air conditioned office. He wasn't too subtle. And I never did, so don't ask."

"And did Wendy?"

"Well one day it was real hot, and I noticed Blondie wasn't around. It was actually the day of the big scene. I remember teasing Wendy about her not being there, and I remember how mad she got. At the time I thought it was 'cause she hated Baldie so much. Although Baldie seemed to have a thing for her."

"Do you think it was a set up?"

"Welcome to the party... Yeah, to this day I think Blondie set her up. I mean, after that night Blondie never went out on work detail again, and Baldie finally got Wendy into his office."

"Are you sure?"

She just nodded her head, then paused and frowned. "Oh my god! This isn't about Baldie at all... or even me. No, this is about Wendy."

"What?" I blinked, a little confused.

"Yeah, you know the truth about her son and what it might do..."

"Unh," I shrugged. This was the first I'd heard about a son.

"To the election... I get it, someone paid you to dig up some dirt... or maybe you're planning to do some blackmailing. Yeah, you know she'd do just about anything to make sure no one ever found out about this shit."

Heather stood up, ripped the papers into pieces (another reason for the copies), tossed them into my face, and stormed off. (She grabbed the sitter money.)

I brooded for a couple of minutes, but was then interrupted by the pretty little waitress bringing the check over. I made some small talk with her before mentioning that I was staying at a local motel, with a wink. Smooth, eh? She answered by tossing a glass of water in my face. It was pretty daring, 'cause it could've gotten her fired. But it was a small glass, and all the ice had melted, and it was kind of refreshing...

But I left her a nickel tip.

Back at my motel room, I made a phone call. It seems like Heather had been right about Wendy's having a son. I overlooked him because he was now an 18-year-old college freshman, who had been raised by his grandmother, and who still used his mother's maiden name. I had his date of birth, and the math was easy. He was born in May the year after Wendy went to boot camp. Yep, about nine months later. I also figured Heather was probably right about Wendy being willing to do anything to keep this from getting out, especially now.

On the drive back to Vermont, my mind was a-buzz with possibilities. But I'm not really a blackmailer, and her husband was friendly enough with my father (the sheriff) to know he should stay out of our business. So he had my vote.

But after all I went through to dig up the information, it was really tough to do nothing with it... and now Wendy seemed like such an obnoxious bitch. I even found out that her husband was favored to win the election.

So I think I'll sit on the journal and my Heather tape a little while longer.

I mean -- I've never strip-searched a governor's wife... yet.

The End

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