Spearfish Lake Tales
Contemporary Mainstream Books and Serials Online
It really took four or five people to handle the buckets following a show and sell CDs at the same time, and the previous weekend Emily had made a deal with a woman in a nearby jewelry booth to come over and help with the CD sales for a few minutes following the show; sometimes one of the womanís friends helped out with the buckets. Like Scott and Sonja, Hannah and Andy had not been to a renfaire before, but soon picked up on a lot of what was going on, especially some of the exotic costumes. Since one of the fun parts of a renfaire is the sheer "dress-up" thrill, there were a lot of costumes, some wild. The costume atmosphere often draws people interested in costuming who are decidedly not renaissance buffs Ė hence the number of harem-girl outfits to be found.
There was a two-hour break while a juggling act played on the stage between the second show and the third one. Dayna found a quiet spot to sit in a chair and pull herself back together around a Coke and a good sweet lunch that would give her a sugar high to take her through the next show. With nothing much to do, she suggested that Andy and Hannah wander around and check the place out, getting back in time for the next show.
The time for the show rolled around, and there was no sign of Andy and Hannah. Well, if they were late, they were late, and werenít needed until the end anyway, she thought. She got up on the stage and prepared to launch into her opening number, the one sheíd use to build attention before introductions, took a look around, and almost dropped the guitar in surprise.
Andy and Hannah werenít late; they were right out there by the side of the stage where they were supposed to be Ė but there had been some costume changing for Andy. Instead of the nondescript brown smock and baggy pants, he was now dressed in a sultanís outfit Ė baggy pants still, but now with a wide waist scarf, bare-chested with a dark green vest and a yellow turban, looking right out of A Thousand and One Nights, and carrying, of all things, a short whip. There were some changes to Hannah, too; she was still wearing the harem-girl outfit, but some accessories had been added: a pair of medieval handcuffs and a wide leather collar with a chain leash, which Andy held as she knelt beside him, head downcast like a good slave. The costumes were good, but the body language Ė wow, sultan and slave girl, no doubt. Where the hell did they come up with that?
Dayna didnít have time to chase that thought right then Ė there was a show to put on, after all Ė so she launched into the exuberant Wanda the Wanderer that she used for an opening. The show went well Ė she was getting the hang of it, now, and the audience participation gags went off particularly well. Only a couple of times did she steal her eyes away to check out the Bakers Ė Hannah hadnít moved an inch from the high kneeling position she was in, while the sultan looked on imperiously, arms crossed.
It got wilder after the show. The woman from the jewelry booth came over to help with the CDs, and the womanís friend took a bucket to help work the crowd. Andy didnít; he merely pointed at the bucket with the whip; Hannah picked it up, and knelt in front of the people leaving, head down, begging like an organ-grinderís monkey, saying things like, "Oh, thank you for your donation, kind sir. My master will appreciate it." They didnít break character a bit, and it drew a crowd of their own. Dayna was busy autographing CDs and bullshitting with the purchasers, but every now and then she stole a glance away. Sheíd put on a good performance, but Andy and Hannah were putting on a pretty good one of their own.
It didnít stop there. As the crowd finally died down, Andy touched Hannah lightly on the shoulder with his whip. She rose gracefully to her feet, bucket in both hands, and he led Hannah by leash over to where Dayna was finishing up with the last of the CD sales. Hannah dropped to her knees, eyes downcast, held the bucket out to Dayna, and said, "MíLady, my master wishes to present to you the tokens of esteem from your grateful supporters."
This was weird even for a renfaire, but Dayna did her best to keep a straight face. "Please convey my gratitude to your master for allowing me your service," she replied, managing to avoid a giggle in saying it.
"You are most kind, MíLady," Andy replied. "Is there any further service we may be to you at this time?"
"No, I think Iím OK," Dayna replied, dropping some of the formality. "I think it went pretty good, all in all."
"I believe it went very well," Andy agreed stiffly, staying right in character. "If we may have your leave, I think I shall reward my slave for her good service, and return for the final show."
"Your slave did well," Dayna said, slipping back into character since she could see Hannah and Andy were still in it. "Please extend your gratitude in my behalf."
"Very well," he said stiffly. "Slave, would you care for a glass of lemonade?"
"Only if my master deems me worthy of," she said, eyes still downcast.
"I believe you were adequate," he said, sounding slightly grumpy. "Rise, slave, and let us be off."
Hannah gracefully rose to her feet, and he led her off, with Dayna and the woman from the booth just shaking their heads. "I have seen some people get into character around this place," the woman said. "But hooooo-ly shit!"
"Thatís about how I see it," Dayna nodded. "And would you believe this is the first time theyíve been to a renfaire?"
"No, I wouldnít," the woman said. "But if it is, they are the damndest actors I ever saw."
"Could be," Dayna shook her head. "Hey, I really ought to sit down and rest, but can I stuff my guitar in your booth for a few minutes? I want to cruise a bit."
"You want to follow and see if they stay in character? Tell me how it turns out, would you?"
Dayna followed them at a distance for the next half hour, until she knew she really had to be resting up for the last show, but as far as she could tell, Andy and Hannah never broke character, as he led her around by the chain leash. She didnít get close enough to hear much conversation, but body language said a lot Ė as did the reaction of the people around. Strange, very strange.
Nor did they break character during the last show, or while they helped Dayna pick up the few things they needed to take back to the RV Ė or even on the way back to the RV. Once they got back, Andy had Hannah kneel again; he removed her handcuffs, then the collar and leash. "Rise, my love," he said, now with a grin in his voice. Again, Hannah got to her feet, gave him a big smile Ė the first break from a very serious, respectful demeanor in hours Ė put her arms around him, kissed him, and said, "Thank you, Master. That was most enjoyable."
"I thought so, too," Andy grinned. "I thought it was even better than last week."
"I believe youíre right, sir," she smiled.
"That is one hell of an act the two of you have," Dayna said, shaking her head. "But did I just hear you say that you did something like that last week?"
"Oh, yes," Andy laughed. "The context was a little different, though."
"All right, now youíve got me curious," Dayna said. "How was it different?"
"Have you ever been to Fantasy Fest in Key West?" Hannah laughed.
"No," Dayna said. "Sandy and I were in Key West once and found that it was full of buskers, and everybody had their own pitch staked out, so we turned around and left. What the heck is this Fantasy Fest?"
"I donít know how to describe it without using the word Ďweird,í" Andy laughed. "Youíve got a lot of people running around in the most outrageous costumes, or the lack of them."
"There are any number of women only wearing paint on their breasts," Hannah giggled.
"And Andy had you handcuffed, and was leading you around on a leash?" Dayna frowned, hardly able to believe it, even after the performance this afternoon Ė but somehow understanding from the giggle that Hannah had been one of those topless women!
"It wasnít the first time weíve done it," Andy explained. "In fact, I was holding onto Hannahís leash the first time I danced with her."
"Deedle-deedle, deedle-deedle, we are now entering the Twilight Zone. I canít believe you do stuff like that." Dayna said, especially amused that a couple who seemed so straitlaced could enjoy being that outrageous.
"Oh, yes, when the opportunity arises," Hannah smiled. "When my master and I walked in there this morning and saw all the odd costumes and odd people, we couldnít help but realize that opportunity had knocked, so we bought the sultan costume. I thought it went off terrifically."
"You get the wildest reactions from people," Andy shook his head. "It really is habit forming. I doubt this will be our last renfaire. I think perhaps tomorrow My Love and I shall seek a harem costume of our own, so we donít have to depend on borrowing something from you in the future when you might not be around."
"Interesting hobby you have there," Dayna grinned.
"Oh, we enjoy it," Hannah snickered.
"We probably wouldnít have done it here," Andy grinned, "except for the fact I knew youíd keep your cool, after that deal you pulled on Vicky at her twenty-first birthday."
"Oh, yes," Dayna laughed. "That was a scream. Hannah, I suppose that Andy told you about that?"
"Oh, yes," Hannah grinned. "It sounded like it was most fun."
* * *
Things seemed perfectly normal to Dayna the next morning as the three got dressed in costumes for the dayís work, but then, just before they were set to head for the stage, Andy asked Hannah, "Are you ready, my love?"
"Certainly my hero," she replied, and sank to her knees in front of him, hands held at chest level, eyes looking down. Quite ceremoniously he handcuffed her again, and fastened the collar around her neck.
"Rise, my slave," he ordered.
"Yes, Master," she replied courteously, getting gracefully to her feet. From that moment on, they were in character, both of them, master and slave. Dayna had a little trouble believing the completeness of the transformation that came over them but reasoned that the two of them enjoyed putting people on, so the little ceremony must have been for her benefit. If so, it was effective; it was hard to believe of Andy, from having known him from school, and it wasnít easy to believe of Hannah, who had proved herself to be a bright, competent, liberated business executive. But then, Dayna had seen people indulging in even screwier fantasies around renfaires, so didnít think about it very much.
The two stayed rigidly in character all day; they did take off for a while over the long midday break, and returned with Hannah in a different harem-girl outfit, this one rather more exotic and daring than Sandyís old one. Dayna had hung around renfaires long enough to take one look and see that it hadnít come off of a bargain rack; there were some serious bucks tied up in those clothes.
Along in the afternoon, Dayna decided to have a little fun of her own. "Earlier this summer," she told the crowd, "I had a serious illness, and almost died from it. I havenít recovered fully, and the only reason Iím able to be here today is that a series of my friends have come down here each week to baby me. Iíd like you to give a round of applause for my babysitters this weekend, King Shahriyar and Scheherazade."
The audience gave a nice hand, and Andy acknowledged it with a deep bow, while Hannah knelt impassively at his side, eyes downward. Even with something like that, they didnít break character! And they didnít break character until they were back at the RV that evening, when once again Andy had Hannah kneel in front of him so he could ceremoniously remove her collar and chains. It was like someone had thrown a switch Ė they were back to normal again, at least as normal as this slightly odd couple could be. There was a kiss, a hug, and some warm laughter that had obviously been bottled up behind those stern façades all day.
"That was even better," Hannah grinned as she held her husband in her arms. "But Dayna, what was that you called us?"
"King Shahriyar and Scheherazade," Dayna grinned. "Scheherazade was the woman in Arabian Nights who told stories to the king each night to keep from being executed. You two really put me in mind of them."
"Hadnít thought about that," Andy nodded. "We might have to work on that one a bit. Thanks, Dayna."
* * *
They were busier than normal that Sunday evening, since that had been the closing day of this renfaire, and the move to Louisiana lay ahead. Dayna found out the reason that Hannah and Andy had been scheduled for this week included more than availability: he was a farm boy, used to driving heavy machinery, and his parents had a motor home so he knew the drill. After a month in one spot, things had become a bit settled, and there was more tearing down than Dayna and Sandy had become used to. They got started on it that evening, since it would be a full dayís drive to make the jump in one day.
In spite of the low light and a serious case of the yawns, they got started on the final loading early the next morning. Dayna was packing up her guitar when she heard Hannah say to Andy, "Would you care for some coffee, my master?" It wasnít the first time sheíd heard Hannah call him by that title outside of the context of their costumes, but up till now sheíd just written it off as a hangover of the experience. But now, in the half-awake of dawn, she wasnít quite so sure.
She became even less sure not long afterward, when Hannah said to him, "My hero, I am having some trouble with the clasp on this necklace. Could you help me please?" Dayna was paying attention to something else, but out of the corner of her eye saw Hannah sink to her knees, head bowed forward, while Andy fastened the necklace. She stood up, gave him a little kiss, and said, "Thank you, Master." Dayna didnít say anything, but the gears in her head were grinding awfully hard.
They started off with Andy driving the RV southward as Dayna and Hannah followed him in Emilyís car. Although sheíd only known Hannah a few days, and while there were some things about her that seemed decidedly strange Ė well, Andy, too Ė she was a warm and personable woman when she wasnít being Scheherazade, with a fine sense of humor, and yes, there was no doubt she was a sharp cookie. There were a lot of stories told over the next few hours.
At one point, the stories strayed to Vickyís birthday party, and Sandyís that had preceded it. "Sandy and I used to pull stuff like that on each other once in a while, just for kicks," Dayna grinned. "One time, out in California, we were camped for a month next to a couple who were into Japanese-style rope bondage. I was pretty surprised to find out itís something of an art form. Thereís all sorts of classic names for various ties, like thereís a way you get tied up suspended called a katori, and a way you have your arms tied behind your back thatís called a taka . . . uh, taka something or other."
"Takatekote," Hannah prompted without thinking.
"Yeah, thatís it," Dayna said. "Well one time, I tied Sandy into a katori and hung her from a highway exit sign . . . " her voice trailed off for a moment as she realized the gears that had been grinding in her head for days had just snapped into place. Bondage stuff can be pretty esoteric as it is, and the people who did shibari Ė Japanese rope bondage Ė were considered pretty esoteric by the bondage freaks, or at least that was what Dayna and Sandy had been told. Yet Hannah knew what a takatekote was . . . that about had to mean . . . "You know what shibari is then, I take it?"
Hannah blushed for a moment, took a deep breath, and said, "Oh, yes, Andy and I have done some work with it."
"OK, Hannah," Dayna smiled. "It makes sense, now. You two are dominant/submissive, arenít you?"
Hannah reached for words for a second, then said, "Master will be angry with me that I slipped up and you figured it out. We try to keep it a secret, but itís been hard when weíve had to switch in and out of King Shahriyar and Scheherazade."
"How angry is he going to be?" Dayna said, realizing sheíd just stuck her big mouth in someplace where it really didnít belong.
"I donít know," Hannah said sadly. "After all, he slipped up some, too. Because of that, he might not whip me when we get home."
"Oh yes," Hannah smiled. "Itís difficult to get the required privacy away from home, so we decided to save it until we got back home. The last few days have been so exciting! Iíve been in ecstasy every time he touches me with the whip. Iíve been hardly able to wait to get home."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Dayna said incredulously. "You mean being whipped turns you on?"
"You wonít tell anyone, will you?" she said with a pleading look. "Masterís family doesnít know about that part of our lives, and it would be difficult if they found out."
"Hannah," Dayna sighed. "I wonít tell, because I know how that works. You know Emily, the girl who organized people coming down to help me do these shows? Sheís a dear friend, and I could not have done this without her help, but sheís a gossip, always has been and always will be. As much of a friend as she is, and as much as I owe her, Iíve never dared hint to her that Sandy and I lived together as lesbians for over five years. In fact, youíre the first person connected with Bradford Iíve ever admitted it to, and for the same reason Ė it would be hard if that knowledge got out."
"According to Master, it has been suspected by others that the two of you were lesbians, but there was no proof," Hannah admitted.
"Under the circumstances, I guess thatís not surprising," Dayna sighed. "Actually, Sandy and I were only lesbians with each other. We both still liked sex with men, and we got a fair amount of it, so I guess youíd have to call us bisexuals. Now that sheís gone, I donít know what I am anymore."
"You still miss her, donít you?"
"Desperately," Dayna said. "But Iím learning to live without her even though I donít like it one damn bit. How would you feel if Andy disappeared from your life without warning?"
"Devastated," Hannah admitted, obviously unhappy with the mere thought. "Master would be . . . very . . . difficult to replace."
"I can see that," Dayna nodded. "Iíve been able to pick up that the two of you have a pretty unique and complicated relationship. Tell me, are the two of you more Andy and Hannah, or King Shahriyar and Scheherazade?"
"Rather closer to the latter, if we are alone," Hannah admitted. "Although this weekend is the first time that Master has been willing to call me ĎSlave,í so it is a role to a degree. Normally, he will not use that word nor allow me to use it about myself, so it made the weekend extra special."
"I have to admit," Dayna smiled, "while I didnít know Andy very well in school, itís very difficult for me to think of a woman like you calling him ĎMaster,í and him whipping you."
"It was hardly less difficult for him," Hannah smiled. "I am a natural submissive and enjoy it. Master is not a natural dominant, any more than most other men would be. It was very difficult to get him to understand that he would have to be my master if he wished me to love him. However, he loved me enough to make some considerable changes in his life in order to be the man I could love. If he went to that extent to make me happy, how could I not love him for it?"
"Even if he whips you?" Dayna said, still not believing her ears.
"Especially when he whips me," Hannah smiled. "Master does not like to whip me, in fact, does so very much against his will, because deep down inside he doesnít want to cause me pain, at least that level of it. But he knows that I crave it, so once in a while, on special occasions, he will swallow his distaste and whip me because he knows it makes me happy. How could I not love him for that? I feel his love with every lash he lays upon my back."
"But . . . how could you enjoy being whipped?"
"I donít know," Hannah smiled. "I just do. Iíll admit that the first time a woman told me she loved being whipped, I found the concept unbelievable. But she clearly craved it. Finally, in order to try and understand, I asked her and her boyfriend to demonstrate. I was astonished to discover it was the most erotic experience I could ever have dreamed. I did not understand it then or now, but have just come to enjoy it when I can." She let out a sigh. "That was before I was seriously dating Andy. We started dating shortly afterward, at that Halloween party we told you about. It was some time before I realized he had the potential to be my master, and it was very difficult bringing him to the point where I could offer him my collar. But when I did, I did so wholeheartedly, as I have every day since."
"Every day . . . " Dayna said in awe. " . . . . That thing with the necklace, right?"
"Correct," Hannah smiled. "Itís symbolism between us most days, but we do it every day. I donít know what would happen if some day my master refused to accept my offer for him to collar me, and Iím sure he equally dreads the day when I might refuse to offer him my collar."
Dayna just sat there, trying to integrate this flood of information, but one question seemed to float on top of the waters. "You said you had to take Andy as a normal guy, and train him to be your master, right?"
"Thatís essentially true," Hannah nodded. "I had help from friends, but the majority of the work fell on me."
"And you have to manipulate him to get him to whip you, right?"
"Yes, thatís true," Hannah sighed.
"Then answer me this: just who the hell is the dominant, anyway?"
"Oh, my, that is an interesting question, isnít it?" Hannah laughed. "About the best I can answer you is to say that there really isnít such a thing as a pure dominant or a pure submissive. I have dominant tendencies, Iím sure, and many of them come out at work, although I try to be quite fair, if firm as a supervisor. But as the Apostle Paul said, ĎThe man is the head of the woman the way Christ is the head of the church.í I take that to mean that the man is the master of the household, and part of that comes from the way I was raised. I am a rather liberated woman at work, because society expects me to be that way. At home, Iím not liberated in the slightest, because I expect me to be that way. To get much deeper than that doesnít make sense because it doesnít have to make sense. It just is."
"Yeah . . . " Dayna replied thoughtfully. "I suppose thatís kind of a safe statement to make about the way things were between Sandy and me. It didnít have to make sense; it was there."
"Iíll be the first to admit that Andyís and my arrangement is rather odd," Hannah said. "Even though youíre the first person besides the close friends of ours who helped us through the process I have admitted it to. But you see why we wouldnít want it to become common knowledge."
"Partly because itís politically incorrect, and partly because you canít explain it to someone who doesnít know what youíre talking about, anyway." Dayna laughed. "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Hannah, if it works for you Iím on your side."
"Thanks, Dayna," Hannah said. "Itís very difficult to believe that there are people who would understand."
"Actually, there are probably more than you believe. There are renfaires with a lot of Gor freaks running around; thatís a science fiction series if youíre not familiar with it, and the way men treat women in it is something like King Shahriyar and Scheherazade but without the respect on the manís part."
"Oh, that sounds neat!" Hannah laughed. "There are so few places where we can be as we wish to be in public. Weíll have to check it out!"
"Iíll bet you will," Dayna grinned. "And as far as your master being angry with you for letting all this slip, donít worry about it. After all, heís just a man; we women ought to be able to handle him."
"How do you plan to do that?" Hannah frowned.
"The biggest thing is for me to come clean about being a lesbian, so thereíll be an even exchange of confidences and reasons to keep it quiet. And Iíll tell him that if the two of you want to be King Shahriyar and Scheherazade or something close to it the rest of the time youíre here, itís fine with me. If we approach him rationally, that should do the job."
"It might," she said. "Iím far more at ease telling you about us since you told me about you and Sandy."
"It ought to do the job," Dayna agreed with a laugh. "But if that fails, there is a fall-back position."
"Thereís something evil in that laugh that makes me want to know what youíre talking about."
"Hannah, you may be a submissive but Iím not. My tastes donít run quite that way, but I suspect that given a chance to develop it I could be a pretty serious dominant. I am, or at least was, a lesbian, and heíll know that. Weíll just tell him that if he wonít chain you to a post and whip you, I will."