The few clouds helped keep the morning cooler. Even though the forecast was for rain later in the day, the outdoor cafe had most of the tables taken. A basket of pastries and two cups of coffee sat between Tia and Mattie. Dressed casually, they slouched slightly in the metal chairs pulled mostly to one side of the table and facing each other. They had known each other for several months and often met for coffee.
“Early forties I think,” Tia said, shrugging her shoulders. Mattie’s only foot gently rubbed the lower part of Tia’s left leg as it moved slowly up and down. Her shoe lay on the ground. The toes were of similar length and the nails painted a pale red. “I’ve talked to him a few times at the bar and he seems nice enough. A little shy I think … but he definitely is attracted to women like ‘you’.” Tia’s finger pointed towards Mattie’s missing left leg. Her left arm flexed at the elbow, the forearm stump bare, and the hook she often wore was at home in the bedroom. “He’s somehow connected with the program at the hospital.” She was referring to Martin’s team performing elective amputations.
“Do you think he wants to be like this?” Her hands brushed across her mid-thigh length black soft cotton skirt and over the stump. The foot continued to stroke Tia’s leg as it swung. “I think that’s something I need in a partner.”
“Babe,” Tia moaned softly, looking at the woman – late thirties, nice looking, little makeup, curly brown hair to her shoulders, average shape, medium sized breasts hanging free under the white blouse, some cleavage exposed, a nice leg – the barefoot still rubbing against her leg. “That’s getting me….” She was finding the touches along her leg unusually exciting.
“Oh, sorry. Guess I was digging it too.” She laughed. Her hand now rested where the fabric of the skirt fell past the end of the stump. Her fingers casually played. “I hear they’re doing quite a few amputations.”
“Yeah.” Tia nodded a few times. “The crowd at the bar seems to have more people missing something every week.” She giggled then appeared to thinking about something unpleasant. Mattie noticed and wrinkled her forehead as if asking what was going on. “Brian….” Tia shook her head a few times. “Lately, he’s pissing me off.” Brian was her live-in guy.
“I think he’s losing interest.”
“God, why? I know I wouldn’t.” She smiled and covered her lips with several fingers. “Sorry. Guess that slipped out.” She giggled.
“I didn’t know you….”
“Guys, gals, … just an orgasm junkie.” Mattie giggled again. Her gaze drifted for a moment, looking at people passing on the sidewalk. “Can I do anything?”
“Nah. I’m going to read him the riot act … probably toss his ass out the door.” She looked at her friend and groaned.
“So you can ‘do’ Mark?” She chuckled, and then added, “I bet you meet lots of hot guys at the bar.”
“Don’t think so darlin’. Yeah, there’re plenty of ‘guys’.” She made the word sound like something dreadful. She sighed then sipped the last of her coffee. “I need to sort out some feelings.” She patted the napkin across her lips.
“The end of a relationship is a good time to do that … reassess what is important, and all.”
“Guess you been down this road.”
“Let me know if I can help. If you need a place to stay, ah, to hide, I have an extra bedroom. Some guys go a little crazy at times like this.”
Bonnie had established a special e-mail account for people to respond to the new ad sprinkled around the Internet regarding the program for people with a need, or even a strong desire, to have an elective amputation. She and Susan had worked on the ad copy after the last status meeting. They also had made bets about the volume of initial responses.
“Overwhelming,” she said, standing in Susan’s office doorway. Her dark blue short sleeve blouse graced her upper body. The empty right sleeve extended a few inches past the end of her stump and moved as she animatedly waved her arms. She continued into the office and sat in the chair near the desk where Susan was pointing.
“Were either of us remotely close?”
“Hardly.” She laughed and looked at the way Susan’s skirt draped over the end of her stump. “Are you still happy with it?”
“What a silly question.” She smiled for a moment. “Tell me.”
“So, I checked my e-mail first thing – hundred twenty three. By the time I finished reading ten of them, it was up to hundred forty six.”
Susan opened her notebook and flipped though several pages. “I guessed fifty and you guessed forty-five. Not even close.”
“It’s going to take me a week to read though all of them. I have a canned reply thanking them for contacting us. I’m sending that along with Wanda’s questionnaire as an attachment.” Wanda was the legless psychologist that interviewed people before meeting Martin and then having surgery. He had established the program several months before after Robert had stopped performing a similar function in a less formal manner for a few years.
“Are they serious?”
“Yup. Just as serious as we were.”
“Oh my, guess Martin is going to be a busy surgeon.”
“Maybe we won’t get many more.” They both laughed.
Peggy lowered herself to the cement deck around the lap pool behind the house and undressed. With clothes now piled neatly beside the towel spread not far from the edge of the grass, she used her hands to lift herself slightly so she could swing her legless hips forward. Several swings later, she stopped by the edge for a moment, cupped a hand under a breast and played with the nipple, then dove headfirst into the water. With only the long powerful strokes of her arms, she swam twenty laps without stopping.
Curt sat on the top step and watched the last lap. His wheelchair parked beside hers. She stopped and sat on the lower step. “Good for you,” he said.
“Yeah, got to keep my girlish figure so you’ll….” Her hand roamed over the front of his swim trunks. “Hmmm.” Her fingers wrapped over the fabric and the erection underneath. “What ‘have’ you been thinking about?”
“About what a nice day it is,” he teased, and then laughed. She pulled the waistband down in front and pecked her lips over the swollen head. He pushed his elbows against the pool edge letting his legless hips float out from the step.
She pulled against the waistband until they slipped off. “I don’t know why you bother to wear these out here.” She tossed them in a high arc and they landed with a loud wet splash on the concrete. His naked hips continued to float and she supported them on one hand as she let the shaft begin to disappear between her lips. The warm flesh pleasured her mouth and her tongue teased it.
He watched a few passes of her lips. “Ah, I just came out for a moment.”
She pulled her mouth away and shot him an evil look. “Shush. I’ll be quick.” Her head bobbed five quick times and he filled her mouth. “There … goddamn it.” She slapped the erection with the flat of her hand then wiped at her mouth with the top of her wrist. She glared at him then dove into the water.
Tia sat on the couch and nervously licked and nibbled the end of her forearm stump. One leg crossed over the other. A foot swung slowly. The flip-flop quietly slapped her heal each time. As she shifted her hips, the upper part of her thigh exposed itself under the long dark blue t-shirt she often wore as a nightshirt. She had just taken a shower and had to leave for work soon. Brian had been home from work for a short time.
“What?” he said, shock sounding in his voice. He stood quickly and paced around the living room with his hands shoved deep in the pockets of the tattered blue jeans, one pants leg slightly ripped exposing the knee. “I don’t understand.” He stopped in front of her and scowled.
“I need something that you’re not giving me.” She sighed deeply, driving the bare breasts against the fabric.
“Like what?” he shouted, then slammed his fist into the wall leaving a small hole. “FUCK!” he screamed. He resumed his pacing.
“You need to leave,” she calmly told him.
“Where will I go? I’ve lived here since….” He paced for a few moments considering her words then stopped and stared intently. His arms angrily crossed his chest. The toe of one dusty black work boot tapped loudly on the carpet.
“Listen….” She uncrossed her legs then stood. She walked away from him then turned back quickly. The knuckles of her fist pressed tightly against her waist. “I’m going to stay at….” She cut herself short realizing she should not tell him where she was going to be. “It doesn’t matter, but you have two days to clear out.”
“Bitch.” He slammed the wall harder and a second hole appeared.
“Asshole. Do that again or steal any of my shit and I’ll call the cops. Believe you me, I know a few of them that will make you vanish from the face of the Earth.” She calmed herself for a moment. “Drop your door key in the mail slot when your things are out.”
“Bitch!” This time the anger and rage made the word roar from his mouth. The glass in the front door rattled as it slammed behind him. The next sound Tia heard was the screeching of tires on the driveway and down the street for nearly a block.
She walked to the window, pulled the curtain back just enough to make sure he was gone. He was, but she watched for a while. He didn’t return. She paced around a few times, sucking her stump like some comfort object.
The earpiece of the phone handset rested against her ear as she leaned against the wall of the kitchen balanced on one foot, the other pinned behind her hip. The long tangled coiled cord hung in a lazy arc before continuing up to the old black wall phone. “He’s gone. I think forever … I hope.” She listened for a moment as she pushed some errant pieces of hair out of her face with her stump. “Thanks.”
The back door closed behind Curt. Patty straightened the towel, even though it didn’t need it, before she lay on her stomach with her head turned to one side and resting on folded hands. She glanced at the pile of clothes still in the same place and felt the warm sun against her bare skin. She tried to relax and enjoy the gentle breeze. She closed her eyes, wiggled her hips without thighs, and adjusted herself a few times. She loved the sensations of not having legs and wiggled her hips again. The feeling washed over her and soon she drifted into a deep fantasy.
She was not sure how long it had been, but she heard the gate to the backyard click shut. Probably the pool cleaning service she thought. It was that day of the week.
“Excuse me,” the scratchy, deep, yet feminine, voice said. “I’m from the pool cleaning service.”
“Go ahead,” Patty said without looking. “If I’m in the way, just let me know.” The irritation with Chet’s waning interest in her, or sex with her, began to return. She’d seen him with Alexandra a few times recently, even some with her lover, Holly. ‘Young snatch … Twats,’ she thought angrily to herself.
“You’re just fine,” the voice said. The woman looked for a while and thought just how fine the legless woman on the towel looked. A few minutes later, she dragged the net on the long pole along the bottom of the pool to scoop a few lone leaves. “You should see some of the pools … this one is spotless.” She didn’t intend the comment for the other woman, just idle chatter to herself.
Patty sat then looked at the woman wearing a white polo shirt, khaki shorts, white socks, and white boat shoes. A few years older, Patty guessed, and continued to look. The woman had dark straight blond hair almost to her shoulders and a trace of a gut pressing against the shirt, not much, but just enough to be visible. A stocky woman with nice breasts, Patty concluded. “Thanks. You guys do a great job.” She looked again and leaned lightly to one side on one hand, a hip comfortably off the towel. “You’re new.”
“The regular guy quit. No one seems to last long there.” She shook the net a few times over a bucket until a few leaves and some other debris fell out then put the it on the concrete. She knelt by the edge and dipped a small set of tubes under the water. “Bet the chemistry is spot on.” It was just nervous talk to distract her from the naked woman so close – one missing both legs too. She squeezed some small bottles and colored drops fell into the water samples. The tubes hovered in front of her eyes. “Yup.” The woman sat down, her knees out to the side and ankles crossed slightly, and put the test kit back together. “Mind if I ask?”
Patty knew exactly what the question was about and thoughts filled her mind with the usual two possible answers – the truth and the reasonable fiction. “Not at all. Ask away.” She smiled and tried to appear willing to answer questions, any questions. She shifted slightly, but remained in about the same position as before, except now the free hand rested casually over one of the legless hips. Fingers casually played along one of the pale scars. The woman had given a slight gasp when Patty’s hand moved to the hip. Patty knew which story to tell.
“Nice day to lay around in the buff. Ya got a great place to do it in,” the woman said. She glanced towards the wooded area with tall trees on three sides of the yard then back at Patty. An attempt to ease into the conversation, Patty assumed. The woman balled her hand in a fist over her mouth and cleared her throat. “By the way, I’m Alice.”
“And I’m Patty. Nice to meet you.” Neither offered a hand and continued to simply watch each other. “Maybe I could break the ice by just….” She giggled. “By just offering that I wanted to be this way. If I guessed wrong about what you’re thinking, I apologize.”
“Nope.” Her head shook a few times more after the single word. “That’s wonderful.”
“So, is it something you’ve thought about for yourself?”
“Fifty, my last birthday. I’ve always been single … but I’ve lived with a few women.” Alice cleared her throat again. “I just relate better to them.” She became quiet for a long moment. “I’m no great shakes in the looks department.” There was a slight frown.
“Honey, you are lovely. Don’t sell yourself short.”
“That’s sweet of you. We all get older, add a little weight that won’t come off easily.” She groaned then slapped the inside of a thigh. There was a slight motion of the flesh. “I’ve tried to talk to women I’ve been with … they always leave when they find what I want. The last one too.”
“It used to not matter so much … back when I was a kid. The last ten years I’ve known it needs to be my left leg … most of it … not all. I’ve noticed a few amputees around since I moved here last month … never seen so many before.”
“It’s the water.” Patty laughed and sat upright facing Alice. She adjusted her breasts then clasped her hands over her stomach, her back straight.
“Give me several gallons then.” Alice joined in the laughter.
Tia returned from her job at Buffalo Pete’s at two-thirty in the morning and tiptoed barefoot through Mattie’s apartment towards the quest bedroom. Her shoes dangled from two fingertips. Light from the big lights around the parking lot filled the place and she easily made her way into the room.
“Hey sweetie,” Mattie said, sleep still clouding her voice, before Tia closed the room door. Her hand stroked Tia’s back lightly. “How was work?”
“Okay. Only one fight.” She giggled. “Cops busted the guy.” She tossed the shoes into the corner and dropped her purse along the wall.
Mattie continued to stroke her back then rubbed the nape of her neck with several fingertips. “I give a good massage.”
“Now, that sounds perfect. Let me ditch my hook.” She took a step then turned back and waved the hook in the air. “Arrg,” she said, trying to sound like a pirate. She laughed. “Rapin’ and pillagin’ ye matey.”
“Let me help. I’ve never been around one.” Mattie held the hook still at the end of Tia’s arm and pecked the lobe of one ear. Tia offered no resistance and she kissed it again before pulling it between her lips. A hand tugged at the blouse near the waistband of the skirt. Then she kissed on the cheek to test the boundaries. Her hand rested on the warm skin of the stomach.
Tia twisted around, her hook now touching the side of Mattie’s face. Her lips hovered near the ones begging. Her body grew warmer feeling the soft breath wash over her face. It happened and she didn’t know who moved first. Tongues slid in and out of mouths, gentle moans, chests touching, rubbing, staying close, all saying it was okay.
Mattie paused, pulled back slightly, and looked deeply into Tia’s face. “You don’t have to….” Their lips again played. Parts ground tight. Her hand gripped Tia’s hip, squeezed, and rubbed. They waltzed around a few times, kissing, not dancing. Crutches fell one at a time along the way.
This time, Tia pulled back, gasped. “Yeah-h I do,” she softly drawled. Lips reconnected and she guided her onto the bed.
Patty rolled her wheelchair into the sports bar. Several pairs of women watched. She thought they probably wanted her. It was that kind of place – men for men, women for women, some even for people of opposite genders. Everyone was looking for someone. There were times in bed with other women that she wondered how much of her preferred the soft touch of a woman. She glanced around and did not find Alice. She pushed a chair out of the way and parked at a table by a large screen TV not yet turned on.
The female server was young, lean, trim, and had more bare skin than covered. A small diamond stud graced one side of her nose. Both breasts almost fell out of the blouse as she bent over. A small red rose tattoo appeared in the cleavage. “Hi darlin’,” she said seductively, holding a pen to a notepad.
Patty watched the fake firm breasts for a while then looked again up at her face. “Whiskey on the rocks and a rum coke.”
“They’re available for enjoyment,” the woman kidded. “My old lady walked last week.” She lingered, looking at Patty more in lust than general interest, and then walked back to the bar. The tight fitting short skirt did little to hide the firm rounded hips swishing with each step.
Patty scanned the meager crowd. Four or five pairs of men watched ball games and cheering occasionally. She found it interesting that there were small clusters of women watching games just as intently as men were. Several groups of two men or two women were in deep passion, or nearly so. She watched one pair of women, who appeared to be her age and were wearing matching black sleeveless blouses. One woman was missing most of the left arm, the other missing all of the right. Their lips dabbed together and fingers strolled along stumps between bits of chatter.
“Gets my heart pounding,” Alice said, seeing what Patty was looking at. “Thanks for getting my first drink.” She wore a knee-length denim skirt, a white t-shirt not tucked in the waistband, and sandals. It looked like there probably was no bra and the breasts sagged some. Her hair was still damp as though she had just taken a shower.
The glasses clinked and they each sipped their drinks. Patty’s tongue cleared the light coating of whiskey from her lips. Her fingers rested over Alice’s hand for a while. “You’re most welcome.” She let her mind wander for before adding, “It’s kind of nice to have someone close to my age to talk to … ’bout this.”
“It feels a little … ‘wicked’.” Alice chuckled then sipped her drink. “I’ve always dreamed of having a friend, even just a causal friend, to discuss this with.” She glanced around then back towards Patty. Their eyes enjoyed each other for a while. She stroked the back of Patty’s hand a few times then left it resting on top of it. “Yeah,” she whispered. “Feels nice to hold hands … glad you don’t mind.”
“Why would I?”
“I don’t know. You’re married. You like men.”
Patty shook her head a few times while squeezing her hand then held it. “I think about it.” She paused and let her eyes drift over Alice’s face. “Last night … I thought about you with one leg.” She watched the woman’s smile grow. “I thought about a part of you your stump was next to.” She paused a moment, before whispering, “How you tasted.” She found her heart beating a little faster and a damping in her panties. Still whispering, but sultrier, “I thought about your nipples between my lips and….”