Tales of the Season: Charlene's Story - Chapter 10

Synopsis:

Another BigCloset TopShelf story. There is a lot to learn on your first day with Jane Thompson...

Story:

Tales of the Season : Charlene's Story

By

Lisa Elizabeth

Chapter Ten

So Much to Learn... So Little Time!

'WHA-A-A-A... WHA-A-A-A... WHA-A-A-A...' Charlie woke with a start. "God! That has to be the world's most annoying alarm!" He looked around the room and remembered where he was. A deep sigh escaped his lips. At that moment he heard a click at the door and the door opened.

Jane Thompson walked into the room and stopped a few feet from the bed. "AH! Good morning Charles! I see you are awake. It is five minutes to eight. You have until eight to use the bathroom and present yourself for breakfast. Do not be late!" Jane then turned around and exited the room, closing the door behind her.

Charlie was surprised by the short visit from Jane Thompson. He finally looked at the clock and saw he only had four minutes to get to breakfast. He jumped out of bed ran to the bathroom, used the potty, brushed his teeth and looked at his face in the mirror. 'No time to clean the makeup off.' He ran out of the bathroom, grabbed the robe and put on the slippers. He then headed for the door and down the stairs. He was slightly out of breath as he entered the dining room and found Joan there fully dressed and made up. He took his place behind the chair just as Jane Thompson walked into the room.

"Good morning children! I see everyone has made it for breakfast this morning. Let's eat, we all have a very busy day ahead of us." Jane proceeded to sit and Joan and Charles did the same.

Marie brought out a wonderful breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon strips and fruit. Charlie was just about to start eating when Jane spoke.

"Charles, normally when you come down for a meal, I expect you to be fully dressed and with makeup on, ready to begin the day. Since it is your first morning and you are not used to the routine, I shall overlook it this morning. In the future you will be dressed and made up to the best of your ability for breakfast." Jane stated as she cut her eggs into bite sized pieces.

"Yes, Ms. Thompson, I didn't know..." Charlie tried to respond.

"There is no excuse other than you did not know and I remember telling you to arrive for breakfast in that robe and slippers. Which you did! Now, the only thing I can think of different is that you should not sleep with make up on in the future. I am certain that one look in the mirror will tell you why." Jane continued.

"I didn't have time, to properly cleanse my face, ma'am." Charlie mumbled.

"When you have something to say, speak up and say it clearly. It is very hard to understand a mumbled reply. So in the future when you wish to tell me something, just say it clearly, understood?" Jane raised an eyebrow.

"Yes ma'am. I said I didn't have time to properly clean my face this morning or I would have been late for breakfast." Charlie replied clearly.

"I understand that Charles, this morning is establishing the rules of the house and how life here happens on a daily basis. By the way, you need to take smaller bites and chew your food more thoroughly. As I was saying, this morning is the beginning of integrating you into this household and how things at the Thompson Academy run. We will begin as soon as breakfast is finished." Jane looked at Charles for acknowledgement and then turned her attention to Joan.

"Joan dear, how is that report coming along?" She asked.

Joan finished swallowing and dabbed her mouth with her napkin. "It is almost finished Aunt Jane. I thought I could work on it this morning, I might have it finished a little ahead of the deadline you set."

"I believe you have piano practice this morning, I do not recall hearing you practice the past couple of days. You will spend two hours this morning practicing after you clean up from breakfast. Is that clear?" Jane used her best 'command' voice towards Joan.

"Two hours! Why so long? Are you trying to make my report late? I only practice one hour every other day! Today I would have practiced anyway, but two hours?" Joan whined.

"That is no way to act with our new student present young lady. You will now practice three hours in the front room so I may hear you and make sure you are doing as I instructed." Was Jane's reply.

"THREE HOURS!! That's unfair! I have done EVERYTHING you have asked, obeyed every command and now you punish me for complaining about an extra hour of piano practice?" Joan yelled as she stood up from her chair and stared at Jane Thompson.

"We will have none of that tone young lady." Jane stared coldly at Joan.

"Hmph!" was the only sound as Joan dropped unceremoniously into her chair.

"Go up to your room, I will discuss this matter with you after I have Charles started with Marie." Jane instructed Joan.

Joan sat there, arms crossed with a big pout on her lips and not moving from her chair.

Charles watched as Jane Thompson took on the official 'Head Monstrous' appearance. The change was so dramatic he shrunk back in his chair.

Jane looked at Joan with a stare that could freeze water. She said only one word. "Now!"

"FINE!" Joan stood up, threw her napkin on the table and flew out of the dining room. Charles could hear her stomp her way up the stairs and the slamming of her room door. Which was evident to both Charles and Jane.

"I'm afraid that little tirade has caused me to lose my appetite! Charles, please finish your breakfast and then come to my study. I will tell Marie what has happened." With that comment Jane Thompson wiped her lips, placed her napkin on the table and excused herself from the table.

Charlie sat there reviewing what had just happened in front of him. 'God! Joan is in quite a bit of trouble, over piano practice! Maybe if I keep quiet and just sort of do what she wants, I won’t get yelled at too much today.' Charlie pondered the situation for a few more moments, then decided he better hurry and finish his breakfast. 'No sense in making the head bitch more upset than she already is!'

Charles finished his meal quickly. If Jane Thompson had been there he would have been admonished for taking too large a bite and not chewing his food sufficiently. But since she was not there, Charlie got away with it this time. He was just taking his last bite of fruit when Marie entered the dining room.

"Cherie, eating that fast will give you indigestion! Have you not been listening to Ms. Jane?" Marie asked.

"Ms. Marie! I...well...I really don't want to get yelled at today. I just thought if I hurried and went to the study sooner, Ms. Thompson might not yell at me for taking so long at breakfast." Was Charlie's reply.

Marie chuckled a little. "Ah, Mon Petite. You have a lot to learn about Ms. Jane, no? She is upset with Joan, but not with you! One of the things you will learn about her is that she is a very fair person. She will show no sign of being upset while you are with her, as she is not upset with you, yet! Eating too quickly and having digestive problems because of it will cause her to become upset with you. You must apply EVERYTHING you learn while you are here. Even the proper manners of eating when you are alone. Do you not see?"

Charlie looked at Marie for a moment. He really did like her, in a sort of 'favorite aunt' way. "I think I see a little. There has just been so much to learn in such a short time... "Charlie looked at his hands and then back to Marie. "Do you think I can learn enough by Friday to have Ms. Thompson decide to keep me here?"

Marie considered the student before her. "I believe that Ms. Jane will give you every opportunity to prove to her that you truly want to stay. If she thinks you are not trying, she will be very hard on you. If you try your best for the next two days, I believe you can convince her that you wish to stay here and not go back to Judge Ruth."

Charlie nodded his head. It was all up to him, he had made his bed and now he was going to have to sleep in it! "Well, if you will excuse me Ms. Marie, I need to see Ms. Thompson so we can start whatever training she has for me today." Charlie placed his napkin on the table, gently slid the chair out, excused himself , slid the chair back to the table and carefully walked out of the dining room toward Jane's study.

The walk down the hall towards Jane's study didn't seem quite as long today. Something Marie had said made Charlie think more about why he was here and just how Ms. Thompson was going to help him. The part about Ms. Thompson being a 'very fair person' had Charlie thinking that maybe the changes in him were not as impossible as he first believed. He approached the study door and knocked twice.

"Enter." Came the voice from inside. Charlie opened the door and proceeded directly to the chair in front of Jane's desk. "Please sit, Charles." was Jane's comment before he even arrived at the proffered chair.

"Today, what I have planned for you is a rather intense training program in how to make yourself 'pretty'. While you and I are chatting, Marie is upstairs arranging things for this mornings exercise." Jane paused for a response.

"Yes Ms. Thompson." came from a very quiet and demure Charles Hawkins.

Each of the outfits that you are to wear this morning will require a complete change of clothes all the way down to your panties. You will also completely remove all traces of makeup and start fresh with every clothing change unless Marie deems otherwise. Are these instructions clear, Charles?" Jane queried.

"Yes Ms. Jane. I am to completely change my clothes and makeup every time. Is there anything else?" Came Charlie's reply.

"Very good! Yes there is. You will report to me after every change for evaluation and comments on your progress. I believe in male terms you will be 'inspected' after each change. There is also a time limit involved. You are not very experienced yet so I will be lenient to start with. As you get better, the time allotment will get shorter. It is currently three minutes before nine. I expect you back here with your first outfit, properly made up no later than ten." Jane stood up and started for her door. "If you will follow me, Marie is waiting in your room to get you started. I will escort you there and then have that 'discussion' with Joan I promised her at breakfast."

Jane left the study and swept up the stairs, evidently a woman on a mission. Charlie had trouble staying with her since he was not very experienced at walking in two inch-heeled mules. They arrived at his room and Jane motioned him in, she then shut the door and left Charlie with Marie.

"So Cherie, we begin! What is your time limit?" Marie asked with a smile.

"I have until ten to present myself to Ms. Jane." Was the reply.

"Ah! I told you she was fair! You will make that in plenty of time! Now, into the bathroom and remove the makeup from your face. The bath is drawn so wash and check for stray hairs. Quickly, quickly! Shoo!" Marie talked as she waved both hands at Charlie to get going. "I will check on you in fifteen minutes! Try to keep your hair dry! It will make things easier."

"Yes ma'am." Was the reply as Charlie headed into the bathroom. He had a smile on his face and actually giggled a little as he closed the bathroom door to do as he was told. Charlie went back through the makeup removal process he had learned the previous night. A quick check of his face revealed no hair but to be safe Charlie shaved anyway. He found a shower cap next to the tub so he put it on, tucked in his hair and got into the tub. He was just about done washing when there was a knock on the bathroom door and Marie entered.

"These are your panties and bra for your first outfit. I will leave them here." She placed a couple of items on the vanity top. "Do not forget to use this lotion on your entire body before you dress. It helps to ease any irritation from shaving." Marie smiled and left the room.

Charlie finished, drained the tub and then rinsed off in the shower. He stepped out and dried off. The next step was different, he had never coated his entire body with lotion before. This took longer than he thought and he was just slipping on his panties when Marie knocked and opened the door again.

"Your fifteen minutes are up! Ah, Cherie, you must learn to move a little faster. Getting ready as a woman requires many more steps than as a boy, no? If we are to make your time limit with a little time to spare you must hurry! Finish up quickly and come out to the vanity." Marie admonished Charlie as gently as she could.

"Yes, Miss Marie, I'll be right there." Charlie said as the door closed. He fumbled with the bra, trying to figure out how to get his arms twisted around to hook the blasted thing together. "How do girls do this?"

Finally giving up, he let out a sigh and left the bathroom. "Miss Marie, I can't seem to figure out how to hook this together!" He said as he walked toward the vanity.

Marie smiled and said. "Let me show you a trick." She then showed him how to put the bra on backwards, hook it together and then turn it around and slip his arms into the straps. "You may eventually learn to twist your arms around to just hook it, but we do not have the time today to teach you such contortions! Now, the first outfit requires stockings, so you will need to put on this." Marie handed Charles a cream-colored garter belt. After some fumbling on Charlie's part he finally put the belt on correctly and even remembered to thread the straps through his panties.

He was handed cream-colored stockings, which he carefully slid on the way he had the previous day attaching them to the garter tabs. Marie showed him how to slip on the two-inch heeled pumps and then handed him a pure white petticoat.

Charlie stepped into the petticoat and asked Marie to tie it. She then surprised him when she handed him a second petticoat.

"This one you put on over your head so it lays on top of the first one. Notice it is just a little longer and will hang to the same level as the other." Marie instructed. She then held the petticoat up so Charlie could slip his arms and head through the bottom. After taking time to arrange the layers, Marie tied off the second petticoat. She then took a cream colored dress from the closet and had Charlie slip it over his head. It had a fitted bodice with short puffy sleeves. The skirt billowed out to cover all but the slightest fraction of the snow white petticoats. Around the neck, sleeves and hem was a matching cream colored lace. Charlie noticed that the dress, stockings and shoes all were just about a perfect color match. Marie zipped up the back, then tied a large bow in the back of the dress and motioned Charlie to the vanity.

Charlie took about three steps and realized that he would have to walk with the exaggerated hip motion that Joan had taught him. The extra petticoat caused the bottom one to bunch up between his legs. After shaking his tush, he resumed walking and remembered to sweep the petticoats so he could sit without wrinkling them.

"Very good, Cherie! I see you remembered some of what you were taught yesterday! I believe that from the way you shook your petticoats free, Joan had shown you a few things last night, no?" Marie complimented.

"Yes she did. She told me it was nice to have someone her own age here. She seems very nice!" Came Charlie's response.

"Now we do your makeup and then your hair! Watch closely Cherie, I will have you doing most of this before the morning is through." Marie said as she opened a small bottle. "This is a moisturizer. You ALWAYS use this first to seal your pores and to prevent the makeup from drying your skin."

Marie showed Charlie how to apply the lotion and then watched as he finished the job himself. The rest of the makeup was applied in a similar fashion, Marie would demonstrate and then have Charlie do the other half of his face. The only problem that Charlie had was his eyes watered when applying eyeliner. When all was finished, Marie showed Charlie how to remove the curlers that were still in his hair. She did the first two and Charlie did the rest, carefully placing them in the rack that Marie provided. When he was done, Marie took over to finish his hair.

Marie used a brush and tamed the mass of curls on Charlie's head into a beautiful wavy hairdo, that looked like it came from a television commercial. Every time Charlie would move his head the hair would bounce along with him. Marie finished his hair by taking small amounts from the side and placing a barrette above each ear. 'To keep the hair from mussing your makeup!' She had said.

"Voila! Take a quick look in the mirror, Cherie. Are you not pretty?" Marie was all smiles.

Charlie stood and looked in the full-length mirror on the closet door. There stood that girl again, you know, the one from last night. Only she looked younger! Charlie thought he looked about eleven, not thirteen.

"Miss Marie? I look younger somehow." Charlie turned to look at Marie.

"Oui! This is a younger look. The extra petticoat along with the hairstyle and makeup give the illusion of youth. They are just some of the feminine tricks you will learn. Now hurry and get to Ms. Jane's study! The sooner you get there the better!" Marie motioned towards the door.

Charlie stood, shook out his petticoats and headed out the door. He tried to walk so the petticoats wouldn't bunch. This slowed his pace quite a bit. There was also the problem of the stairs! With the extra petticoat, he couldn't see his feet, so he had to 'feel' his way down the stairs with a 'death grip' on the railing. Successfully negotiating the stairs and the hall, Charlie knocked on the study door.

"Come in!" Was the response. Charlie took a deep breath, put on a smile and opened the door.

"Ah Charles, you look lovely!" Jane Thompson told the be-skirted boy. Charlie had walked into the study, attempted a curtsey and then stood in the demure position Joan had shown him the night before. Jane rose from her desk and circled the boy looking at all the details. "A very nice first attempt, Charles. Marie has done a wonderful job of making you pretty. Now, this is how our inspections will work. I will write down the flaws in your appearance. I will then set a new time limit. You will return to your room for your next change, mindful of the constructive criticism I give you and return for your next review." Jane paused to walk back to her chair.

"You may sit." Jane watched as Charlie tried to sweep the skirt and petticoats and sit to avoid wrinkling them. "A very good try, Charles. The curtsey and the way you sweep your skirts are still a little rough but I am sure both will improve with practice. Your ability to walk in heels will also be part of your lessons. The makeup you have on is not applied properly over your right eye, the left one is acceptable. Your lipstick needs refreshing, I suspect you bite your lower lip when you are nervous. You will have to learn to control that habit." Jane went on for about two more minutes discovering flaws in his presentation.

"Let us set your next time limit, shall we? You arrived here ten minutes before the deadline so we can add two minutes to the next time. You had ten items that needed correction so we deduct one minute for every five items. So far you are even. You will not need another bath so we can deduct fifteen minutes from the required time. So, when we total it all up.....you have thirty-five minutes to complete your next change. It is now nine-fifty-five. I will expect your next knock prior to ten-thirty. Hand this to Marie, please, she will make the corrections I have listed. You may go!" Jane handed Charlie the list of 'faults'.

"Yes, Ms. Thompson.", came out of Charlie almost automatically. It actually surprised him.

"Charles?" Jane asked. Charlie looked startled when he looked back at Jane. "You need to hurry, you only have thirty-three minutes left!" Jane stated tapping her watch.

"Oh! I'm sorry...I ...I was just thinking....Umm....bye, Ms. Thompson." Charlie was shaken and stammering to himself all the way out the door and up the stairs.

The next change didn't go quite as well. The clothes were more age appropriate and only needed one petticoat, but the hairstyle and makeup took a little longer, especially since Marie insisted Charlie do more of it himself. He knocked on the study door six minutes late!

"Enter!" Came from inside the study. Charlie walked in carefully and took the required pose. The sigh that escaped Jane Thompson's lips could have been heard across the hall through the closed door! "You are six minutes late! You must try harder. No excuses! This exercise is designed to teach you many things, one of which is how to be on time!" Jane made a quick inspection, handed Charles the list and said, "You have thirty minutes to return. I would hurry, if I were you."

Charlie actually ran down the hall and up the stairs. He was breathing hard as he entered the bedroom, trying to undo the clasp and zipper on the dress as he walked. Marie was handed the note, nodded and went to get another set of clothes. This time a skirt and blouse combination. The lingerie and skirt were not a problem, the buttons on the blouse took a little figuring out, not only were they very tiny, but the blouse buttoned backwards from what Charlie was used to. Hair was easier, since it was swept back into a high ponytail and makeup was a bit more complicated to give a slightly older look. When Charlie checked the mirror he saw a sixteen or seventeen year old girl on her way to an office job somewhere. The lower one-inch heel allowed him to move a little quicker. He knocked on the study door only two minutes late.

"Closer, Charles, but still a little slow. I believe that I now know what your first school assignment will be, but we will discuss that after Friday." Jane smiled, stood and performed her inspection.

While Jane was writing, Charlie noticed a small speaker on Jane's desk that had piano music coming from it. 'Must be a walkie-talkie for listening to Joan.' he thought. 'She really seemed to come down hard on her this morning.' Just then, there was a noticeable mistake in the music.

Jane immediately picked up the device. "Joan? Please replay that passage ten times, you are still making the same mistake!" She said into the microphone. The response was quite a din! When Jane heard that, her eyes went ice cold. "I said to replay that section ten times young lady! You know I mean what I say!"

There was silence for a few seconds and then the piano began the piece again, with the same obvious mistake in it! Jane took a deep breath to calm herself, picked up the device and spoke clearly into it. "Ms. Carlson! I distinctly asked you to replay that passage correctly! Since you seem to have a problem with that , please move on to the piece from Chopin." She set the device back on her desk, made a note to herself and returned to look at Charles.

"This is a very good look for you. I think we shall use it in the future" Jane went on to tell Charles what needed to be 'touched up' a little to be perfect. In the middle of her talk she turned and looked at the listening device on her desk.

Charles followed her look and heard a very poor rendition of 'Chopsticks' coming from the little speaker. The look on Jane Thompson's face was permanently etched in Charlie's mind. She seemed to grow about six inches and the real 'Head Monstrous' came out in her look. She picked up the device one more time.

"Miss Carlson! I hear that you simply do not have your heart in performing the required exercises today. Please come into the hall and wait! I shall call for you shortly!" Jane placed the two-way device back on her desk. There was another audible din, followed by the slamming of the keyboard cover on the piano. Just as quickly her look softened when she addressed Charles. "Your next change is a bit more complicated so I will allow five extra minutes. You have thirty-five minutes from now. You may go!"

Startled for a moment, Charlie finally rose, curtseyed and said, "Yes, Ms. Thompson." When he left, he saw Joan sitting on the bench looking very dejected. He was going to say something when there was a voice behind him.

"Joan, come in please!" The voice of Jane Thompson was as stern as Charlie had ever heard. He gave Joan a worried look and scurried up the stairs to his next change. As he entered the bedroom, he was already unbuttoning the blouse and trying to get undressed as quickly as possible. He hung up the skirt and blouse, then went into the bathroom. There he finished undressing, placed the lingerie in the hamper and completely cleansed his face. Marie knocked and stuck in an arm to place a pair of black panties on the counter just inside the door.

"Just slip those on, we will do the rest out here." She stated as she closed the door.

Charlie finished cleaning his face and reached for the panties, when he picked them up he stopped short. They were a very tiny, very lacy thong style panty! Charlie looked at them for a few seconds, then cracked open the door. "Marie? Are you sure, these will fit? I mean, there isn't a lot of material there!" The question came out more like a whine.

Marie chuckled, "They will fit just fine, now hurry! We have a lot to do!"

Charlie looked at the panties one more time shaking his head. After slipping them on and a little judicious rearranging, he was just barely covered enough to be called 'decent'. He opened the door and left the safety of the bathroom.

As he entered the bedroom Marie was standing there holding an ominous looking garment. Charlie looked at her a little wary.

"This is a bustier! It will give you the proper support and shape for your dress. Now, turn around so we can get this on you." Marie motioned Charlie to turn around.

The bustier was wrapped around Charles and the front was hooked together. Marie then grabbed the laces in the back and started pulling them tight. Well, squeezing the life out of Charlie would be an overstatement, but it felt that tight!

"Does it have to be that tight, Marie? I can hardly breathe!" Charlie gasped.

"Be thankful it is only a bustier, Cherie! If it were a full corset you would have less room to breathe! Take small shallow breaths, it will take a moment for you to adjust to it." Marie responded.

While Charlie was 'adjusting' to the bustier, Marie gave him this little wisp of a garter belt. It was barely five ribbons and a clip! He managed to put it on and thread the straps through the thong. Now there was an experience! Trying to remain modest, while threading the straps properly through that thong!

Next came a pair of very sheer black stockings. By now the routine was getting old so he was able to slide them on and clip them quickly. A pair of black sandals with a three-inch heel completed his preparation before hair and makeup.

Marie had Charlie sit at the vanity, then came up behind him and said. "You need to be a bit more grown up for this next outfit. Let me slip these into the cups of the bustier." Marie reached around Charlie, lifted what 'breast' tissue he had and inserted these two cold lumps.

The surprised look on Charlie's face told Marie it was just the effect she was looking for. "So, Mon Petit, what do you think of being a little more grown up?"

"I... I... " Charlie stared in the mirror. "Marie!... I... I have...I have breasts! How?" Was the question along with a look of pure confusion.

"Not every girl is how should we say... 'enchanting'. So we have these little tricks to fill in where nature has left one wanting!" Was Marie's reply.

"But...but... It's amazing!" Was all Charlie could say as he felt 'his' breasts.

"You may admire yourself some other time Cherie, we must finish your hair and makeup and return you to Ms. Jane." Said Marie as she guided Charlie to sit at the vanity.

The makeup was a bit more dramatic, Charlie's eyes were blended from a mauve at the eyelash line to almost a white at his eyebrow. This served to really open up his eyes. A dark eyeliner and a liberal application of black mascara gave Charlie's eyes a more dramatic look. Marie made his blush a little more pronounced along with making his lips a deeper red.

Next she worked on his hair. She pulled it all up into a high ponytail, then slicked his bangs back and pinned them with bobbie pins so they would stay that way. Next she added some styling product and curled the ends of the ponytail various ways so it looked like a fountain spray from behind. Marie used a lot of hair spray to hold it all in place. The final touch was a silver tiara, placed and pinned to hide all the pins that held Charlie's bangs in place. The front part of the ponytail fell just behind it.

The image in the mirror held Charlie's attention. Marie tried calling his name but it didn't work. She finally had to touch his shoulder. "Cherie! Your dress." Was all she said.

The 'dress' was actually a floor length deep blue satin gown. Charlie stepped into it and Marie slid it up his body. The gown was strapless, so Marie took over and attached the sides of the gown to Charlie's bustier with little hooks. Then she reached back and zipped up the back.

The gown fit Charlie perfectly. Once again, Charlie was drawn to the mirror. It was so hard to believe that the girl in the mirror was him.

Marie broke the trance one final time. "A necklace and your wrap and you are ready!" She placed a silver heart shaped necklace on Charlie and then showed him how to wear a white crocheted shawl over his arms. The final touch was a small black purse with a long strap that Charlie placed over one shoulder.

"I look… beautiful, Marie! I would never in a million years..." Charlie just stopped in mid sentence, staring at the image in the mirror.

"Yes you do, Cherie. Now, on your way! Lift your skirt to get down the stairs, I will assist you." Marie said, as she guided Charlie out the door and towards the stairs. It took a lot longer to negotiate the steps. Trying to hold the skirt, look where you are placing your foot, trying to stand straight and shoes that were an inch higher than Charlie was used to. All of this combined made him very late for his next 'inspection'.

"Enter." The response was what Charlie was used to whenever he knocked on Jane Thompson's study door. He entered as carefully as he could and stood before the desk.

Jane looked up from her papers, a genuine smile crossed her lips. "You look lovely, Charles! That is definitely your color! However, you are seventeen minutes late! I did give you an extra five minutes, did I not?"

"Yes, Ms. Thompson. It's just much more difficult to walk down..." Charlie's excuse was cut off by the wave of Jane's hand.

"No excuses! I know that making yourself lovely takes time! One of the purposes of this exercise is to get you to do it quickly! A lady does not keep her escort waiting more than a few minutes, that is rude! So one of our goals is to get you ready quickly for whatever event is planned. Is this clear?" Jane's eyebrow did it's usual rise.

"Yes, Ms. Thompson." Seemed the only thing Charlie could say at the moment. There was a pause in the conversation and Charlie could hear the music coming from the monitor on Jane's desk. The music sounded dramatically different! It was still 'Chopsticks', but it sounded like it was being played on a small child's toy piano!

The piece was finished and Jane Thompson picked up the small communication device. "Very good 'Joanie'! Now I would like to hear that piece one more time followed by 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star', please." There was a soft 'Yes, Aunty Jane' from the device and the music started over again.

Jane returned her gaze to Charlie. "This will be your last change before lunch. Since you have been so late, I have written what I want you to wear for lunch. You have thirty minutes, do not be late! You may go."

Charlie stood, made a small curtsey and left the room. It was not in a hurried manner in which he returned to his room. Not that he wasn't trying to move quickly, but the dress just didn't allow it! Raising one's skirt and trying to find each step simply takes time!

Charlie entered the room and gave Marie the note, then turned around and asked Marie to unzip the gown. Once that was off and hung back in the closet, Charlie retreated to the bathroom for yet another 'strip and cleanse' of his lingerie and makeup.

"Wait, Cherie. Let me undo your hair, you will have to quickly shampoo and condition it for this outfit, leave it wet and in a turban." Marie noted as Charlie headed for the bathroom.

"I only have thirty minutes! I'm supposed to shower too?" Charlie squeaked.

"The faster you sit, the sooner you can clean your face and shower!" Was Marie's response.

Charlie let out a big sigh, but moved to the vanity and started removing the tiara. Marie watched as he placed it on the vanity and then removed the pins that held his hair in place. While he was doing that, Marie loosened the laces on the bustier. When he came to the ponytail he hesitated for a moment and finger-combed his bangs down over his forehead.

"Almost a shame to take it down, isn't it Marie? All the work you did and it only lasted what...twenty-five minutes?" Charlie looked at Marie and smiled.

"Yes! But the purpose of this exercise is to teach you many things. Only one of which is how much effort goes into being pretty! Do not tarry any longer, you are losing precious time!" Was her response.

"True!" Came Charlie's response as he stood and took off for the bathroom. He managed to remove most of the lingerie on the way there and cleansed his face in record time. The shower was very short, just enough time to remove the rubber band, shampoo and condition and get out! A quick wrap of a towel into a turban and there on the counter was another set of lingerie. He hadn't heard Marie enter to place it there this last time.

This was different. The bra and panties were cotton, not satin, nor very lacy. Both were in white, the first that color since this morning. Once dressed, Charlie was out the door.

"You are getting quicker, Cherie! You should be very close in time, your hair will take the longest." Marie said encouragingly.

She set about with a hair dryer and brush doing wondrous things to Charlie's hair. The rhythm of the brushing and the warm air combined in a hypnotic way to relax Charlie. Then she used a round brush like a curling iron, forming curls all over. Finally she brushed it all out made a low pigtail on each side and added a barrette to each pigtail.

"Now to get dressed and you are off!" Marie told him. She reached for a petticoat and Charlie stepped in, then a short blue dress, which buttoned up the back. A white apron was tied in a large bow. Charlie was handed white ankle sox with a wide lace ruffle around the top, which he put on and folded the top lace down as he had seen on other young girls. The final items were a pair of shiny ruby colored shoes, they looked like a 'Mary Jane' style shoe but had a two-inch heel. Charlie turned and looked in the mirror.

"Oh my!" he said as his hand went to his mouth. ‘I look like a blonde version of 'Dorothy' in 'The Wizard of Oz'. All I need is a basket and 'Toto'.

"Carry this in the crook of your right arm and hurry! You have two minutes to get to Jane's door." Marie handed Charlie a small basket with a little stuffed dog in it.

Charlie took the basket and headed out the door. He was in a hurry and really flew down the stairs. He pulled up short at the study door, took a deep breath and knocked.

"Enter!" Was the normal answer.

Charlie entered, curtseyed and waited to be asked to sit.

"I see you are ONLY a few seconds late! That IS some improvement! I believe that we shall relieve the boredom of all these changes by doing something different for the time we have before lunch." Was Jane's initial comment.

The 'different' was to be walking lessons! Charlie spent the next hour trying to make a complete circuit of the study with a dictionary perched on his head. After forty-five minutes Jane made a comment.

"Miss Hawkins! One would think you are not hungry! If you would like lunch then one complete circuit of the study must be accomplished, like so!"

Jane took the dictionary, placed on her own head and proceeded to complete the required route without a wriggle of the book. "You see, you need not move your shoulders, but allow your hips to sway instead. I am certain you have seen girls walk before, the goal is to teach you to do the same."

"Yes, ma'am." Charlie tried again, this time concentrating on keeping his shoulders still and swaying his hips. It was a slow walk but he made it all the way around without dropping the book!

"Very Good! Now, one more time while carrying your basket." Was Jane's command.

Charlie picked up the basket with the little dog in it and before he could stop himself asked, "Toto too?"

Jane gave a small smile, "Toto too!"

The absurdity of the exchange got to Charlie. He tried very hard to stifle a laugh, only to drop 'Mr. Webster' on the floor. That caused even more giggles and a few outright laughs to escape from Charlie's mouth.

"MISS Hawkins? Would you care to share what is so hilarious?" Jane asked.

Charlie tried very hard to gain control of himself. The giggles just kept coming, like on one of those TV Blooper shows. After what seemed forever, he was able to compose himself enough to talk.

"I am sorry Miss Jane, but the.. umm.. situation really is very funny. I mean we just did two lines from the movie and since I have arrived here I just don't see you as 'Glenda the Good Witch'." Came Charlie's reply.

"I see...", A small smile came to Jane's lips. "My function here is to teach you manners, politeness and other non-violent ways to deal with your emotions. To that end, I am very capable. Your opinion of me, most likely is not that of the 'Good Witch'. However, if you do not have a house to drop on me, as your shoes suggest you did to my apparent sibling, I suggest we return to the exercise at hand, so we may have lunch sometime this afternoon!"

Sobriety returned to Charlie very quickly. "Yes, Ms. Thompson." He proceeded to place the dictionary on his head, carry the basket and completed the required circuit of the study on the third try.

Notes:

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