[continued from Borrowing Trouble]
Lara entered the kitchen through the back porch door. She heard the voices of her mother and sister, Kayla finished the conversation saying, “But, you know the good thing is when it is over all matters are officially closed. No permanent record and all parties are free to start over new and fresh.”
“Well, that might work at college and in New Town, sweetie,” Carla Finn told her eldest, “but I think it might not be as easy here in Middletown. Oh, and I expect you to abide by the same rule standard you had on campus, here at home.”
“No problems with that, Mom, and I am sorry about blowing up at Lara,” Kayla told her parent.
“Perhaps it was coming anyway, sweetie, with the new rules in effect it was better Lara get her first taste of them at home instead of at school or worse yet by a JPO with a heavy hand,” her mother replied.
“Oh, there is the girl of the hour,” Carla looked and saw her youngest in the next room, “I thought you and Todd were going out.”
Lara walked into the family room, “Todd told me to stay home, do my chores and homework and avoid trouble. I just wanted to say I am sorry for being a self centered thoughtless brat and I’ll get the laundry done, all of it, starting this evening, and be finished by Monday morning.”
“Don’t count on Sunday to get the chores finished. Remember, it is Grandma’s birthday celebration and she wants us to go to church with her and then attend the party for her at the senior center.” Carla reminded her youngest.
Her eyes flew open, “Mom, Gran can’t see me like this. Worse yet, her old lady friends can’t see me like this and icky old Mr. Jensen, his hands are bad enough when I have clothes on,” Lara was panicky.
“Lara, don’t be silly. Your grandmother changed you when you peed and pooped and bathed you until you were ten or eleven and you started taking showers instead of baths. What she doesn’t know about your naked body really does not exist now does it? If you are lucky the marker will wash off by then. If you aren’t then the party is come as you are, you HAVE read the rules haven’t you?” Her mother asked pointedly.
“Todd made me read them and also made me understand them; I think I’m good for now and if I have questions I’ll ask Kayla or you,” Lara sighed.
Two hours and three wash loads later, her mother called Lara to dinner.
“How is it going with the wash?” Carla asked civilly.
“Looks like we could use drier sheets and unless there is another bottle of laundry detergent in the garage, I won’t have enough of that to finish, either.” Lara replied honestly.
“Oh, I meant to get more of that when we were shopping last week. You remember I put the detergent back at the last moment as we were short on cash and needed food more than household supplies.” Her mom smiled and said, “After dinner just run to the store and pick up the few things we need. You can use my car.”
“Mom, I’m naked. I can’t go to the store like this, someone will see me,” Lara protested.
Kayla looked up at her younger sister and said, “Lara could I see you in the laundry room for a second,” she nodded to her mother who smiled and nodded in reply.
The two girls arrived in the laundry room and Kayla leaned on the front loading washer looking slightly up at the younger girl. “Lara you came close to real trouble with Mom. You say you read the rules, do you remember the part where it says no one under discipline may avoid a school, religious or family social function? Well that means Sunday you go with us even if the marker has not worn off. In addition, you must remember the part in the ordinance where it says you cannot refuse to perform ordinary activities like shopping or going to school just because you are naked and under discipline. If mom were to strictly enforce the rules your tail would have welts and your hair would be gone just because of your attitude.
“We are giving you room to learn the rules, society won’t be as lenient. When you get home from the store, I will share my college experiences with you. Oh, and don’t tell mom I told you, nail polish remover works great for marker on skin. You may need help for the one on your back, though; mom stuck it in an unreachable place.” Kayla then asked her sister if she would like company at the market. Lara agreed to this and Kayla told their mother that discipline rules were unclear as to whether a minor child under discipline may operate a motor vehicle. Carla agreed that Kayla should drive and Lara was to do the shopping.
When her mother bought her new Buick Enclave, Kayla inherited the older Pontiac Montana, all wheel drive minivan. The girls used that to go shopping. Kayla gave Lara the choice of riding shotgun in front or in the slightly more sheltered second row bench seat. Lara took shotgun.
“You know these seatbelts were not designed for nude bodies, sis, just look at the way the shoulder strap cuts into my chest under my left breast.” Lara told Kayla in perhaps the least guarded moment since her stripping.
“Yeah, that can be a real problem, Lara. I know a couple of sorority sisters who had some bad strawberry rashes until we learned that this stuff called moleskin, hey, it is not really skin from small burrowing rodents,” in reaction to the wrinkled nose on her sister, “It is real soft cotton stuff that doctors use to protect skin from pressure injuries. We can pick some up at the market while we are there. I’ll get that and the nail polish remover while you get the laundry supplies. We check out on different lines, okay?”
“Why all the secret agent stuff?” Lara asked.
“If you are caught buying acetone to remove your discipline marks, you can be caned and get your hair cut off, I’m trying to avoid you suffering worse penalties,” Kayla told her as they rolled into the lot and parked in a space as close to the store doors as possible.
“Lara, give your purse to me. If you see someone you know and try to hide behind it you will be subject to another round of discipline. Just take the money you need for the detergent and drier sheets.” Her sister advised.
Thankfully, for Lara the store was quiet. She knew the anti theft cameras would capture her every moment in the aisles and those images used if a case was brought against her for discipline violation. To avoid this she grasped the bar on the shopping cart with both hands and went about her shopping. “Wow,’ she thought, ‘I never noticed how cold the produce and meat areas were kept.’ The stiffness of her nipples might have been a reaction to her excitement; the goose bumps on the rest of her body suggested she was cold. She rounded the corner to the household cleaning aisle and braced for impact. Mrs. Kmetko, the neighbor across the street for whom she often babysat, was coming up the aisle she had to go down.
“Well, hello Lara, it is so good to see you this afternoon. I was going to call to see if you could sit for the girls from four o’clock on tomorrow. Mr. Kmetko and I have a business dinner to attend.” Then her eyes widened and she smiled. “It won’t matter if you are still under discipline. The girls were being total brats earlier and lost their clothes for the weekend as punishment.”
“Well, sure, Mrs. K. I will be happy to sit. I can use the extra cash and Todd has a ball game out of town.” Lara smiled back. The carts separated as the two shoppers went their own way, Lara found the ‘HE’ detergent, and drier sheets her mom liked. With two items, she used the express lane. “Oh, NO,” her mind screamed, the boy at the check out was ‘blotchy Bruce’ a victim of psoriatic acne he had few friends and was teased by almost everyone. Lara, had never taunted the boy, but had stood by in her clique as others had.
“Suck it up,” she told herself. “Hi, Bruce, I have not much in the cart today. we just kind of ran out of laundry stuff.” She put the bottle and carton onto the conveyor belt.
“Hey, Lara, that explains the outfit,” Bruce scanned her nude body with the adoration any teen-age boy would offer the girl he considered a goddess walking near him. “Just plain ran out of clothes, huh?”
Lara giggled. Actually, that is exactly what got her into this mess. “Uh, yeah, something like that.” She handed him the twenty-dollar bill and took her change and the bags from his hands. He noticed the D on her backside then.
“Lara, be careful, carry those bags low at your sides so the JPO can’t accuse you of covering up.” The boy called kindly from behind her.
She stopped, turned around, and leaned over the check out. The kiss she placed on the boy’s damaged cheek was short but memorable for both of them. “Thank you for caring and warning me, Bruce, you are a better friend to me than I have ever been to you.”
Carrying her bags at an appropriate low post, Lara exited the store and met her sister in the parking lot.
“What kept you? I thought you wanted to be in and out of the market as quickly as you could?” Kayla asked her younger sister.
“I bumped into Mrs. Kmetko. She wants me to sit for the girls tomorrow night. Guess what? The girls are under discipline! She doesn’t care if I sit naked. Guess she thinks it will show the girls no matter how old you get you can be punished.” Lara giggled.
“Uh, what was that at the check out? I saw you through the window?” Kayla asked.
“I gave Bruce a peck on the cheek for being a good friend and warning me not to cover up with the shopping bags outside the store.” Lara said.
“Well, okay then, let’s get your naked self back home before anyone else decides to,” Kayla did not finish. The police cars pulling into the lot with their lights flashing prevented her.
[continues soon in Legal Trouble]