This was another hot day at the beginning of August in southern Arizona. The bleak desert, interrupted by patches of dry brush and the occasional cactus, was almost blinding in the midday sun. Along the stretch of the empty interstate, in the hot silence, lone signs showing "Interstate Arizona 10" threw sharp shadows against the hot asphalt. There was a dot on the map along that interstate, a rest stop -- a little building behind an empty parking lot, another empty parking lot in on the other side for trucks, some bushes here and there and some gnarled pines to the rear attempting to shade some picnic tables. On the short trees occasional pine needles twitched with the slightest of breezes that were too mere to create a sound.
Crouching behind one of the bushes, her tanned, brightly sunned body visible to an attentive eye through the little branches, was the nude form of a teenage girl, a native of Rhode Island and a stranger to this country, utterly out of her element. Though nudity was well known to her, having been forced to go without a scrap of clothing for almost a year. She hated it, hated every second of it, and as she rested on her bare heels with her knees together and her crossed arms covering her breasts, she looked down the interstate, eagerly awaiting the next motorist to stop by who would see her plight and give her something to put on. ANYthing. It would take but a moment of awkwardness, the pleading, the cowering naked in front of him or her, then the quick reach into the back seat or trunk or suitcase -- surely anyone driving through here was on a long trip and packing extra clothes -- and at last, the putting on of a shirt and pants and shoes -- ANY kind of shoes! -- and then the hugging of herself and the prayer of thanks to God, a prayer she had been longing to make for months and months, through cold and snow and humiliations and grotesque exposures that would have driven a weaker girl crazy from the sustained intensity of shame.
She was free now. Caught streaking as a sorority initiation rite the first week of her freshman semester at Campbell - Frank College in Vermont, a prestigious but conservative school where she had gone on a gymnastics scholarship, to the delight of her proud working-class parents, she had frantically offered the excuse that nudism was her religion, aware that streaking was an expellable offense, mortified by the crushing disappointment that her parents would suffer if she were expelled. Whereupon the Dean, Percy Jorgon, assured by the college's sadistic lawyer, Henry Ross, that nudism was a protected religion under the United States Constitution, and having grown afraid of the possibility of civil rights lawsuits, decided not to penalize the girl. But the Dean put her on notice that she would be held to her "religion" and closely monitored, and anything less than total nudity at all times would be regarded as proof that the religion claim was just an excuse and she would be expelled.
Jorgon and Ross had thought that she would relent and put on clothes, whereupon they could expel her, much to the relief of the college benefactors who did not want a naked girl walking around on campus. But Jorgon and Ross did not realize how deeply the girl cared about her parents' feelings and what a life-changing disaster expulsion would be. Not having been from that background, they also far underestimated the prize that admission to a prestigious college represented to someone like this girl, the first of her family to go to a four-year college. Knowing she was her family's pride and joy, she kept perfect attendance in all her classes and perfect grades even though her major, mathematics, was not the easiest. And so she went through the whole academic year naked, even after the Dean and Ross, under increasing pressure from the benefactors, ratcheted up the pressure by having all her clothes and shoes taken away from her dorm room and intimidating her into declaring that modesty, as well, was against her religion -- and into "agreeing" to participate in an ever-escalating series of humiliations, posing for art classes, competing in gymnastics meets, working on the college grounds crew, submitting to orgasm experiments in Lab 6 at the nearby Chalfont Institute, all the time without the benefit of a scrap of covering. And yet through all that, she did not crack -- helped by her frequent prayers to a God she knew would protect and rescue her, and helped, ironically, by the company of an ever-growing circle of campus friends and by her loving boyfriend, none of whom knew her secret, all of whom admired her determination to live her "religion" with courage, dignity, kindness and what could only be called "modesty".
This, readers, is Tami Smithers.
If beauty radiates from within, with this unusual 19-year-old girl it found no impediment in making it to the surface -- through her beautiful face, her pretty green eyes which set off shoulder-length dark red unstyled hair lined with the streaks of gray which were the service stripes of her travails, and her slim, taut body, perfectly conditioned through her physical exertions, her skin evenly and deeply tanned, from her months of being exposed to the sun and the elements, to a copperish brown that almost glowed.
Now, as she saw the occasional truck barrel on past and waited for the next visitor to the rest stop, her thoughts wandered to the recent past. The night before, she had, finally, cracked. Intimidated into agreeing to help demonstrate sex devices for a Chalfont instructor on a cross-country tour, she had planned to quit and then take a bus and, using her bank card and credit card, put on clothes at the first stop and then find a job and quit college for a year or two, before continuing at another college with her clothes and dignity (and straight-A record) intact. But at the last minute, lured by the promise of a rented car which would have greatly eased her escape into a normal clothed life, she had been tricked into getting tied up and posing for an "art exhibit" which turned into a psychological torture chamber, complete with freezing air conditioning and images of clothing that drove her almost mad with longing. At the end of which Henry Ross himself showed up and, claiming he knew her plans to get into clothes, elicited the confession that he had tried to get for so long. Then after she confessed he nonchalantly noted that he had no tape recorder and therefore could not take a statement at that time!
The girl had ripped free of her bonds some time later, running half-crazed in the middle of the night down that rainy country road, hiding in the concrete tubes loaded on a parked truck, falling asleep in her exhaustion and mental fatigue, only to wake up a short time ago at this place. Bothered by mosquitos in the tubes, she had hopped out of the concrete tubes to behind this bush as the truck left, its driver oblivious of the extra cargo he had conveyed.
Tami Smithers, the naked girl, was now alone with her thoughts. She thought of Henry Ross. She had confessed -- but he had refused to accept her confession. Was he just being mean? Was he springing a trap for her to deny it -- while lying about not having a tape recorder? One thing was sure -- he was just bluffing when he said he knew her plan of escape. She hadn't told a soul about it. But maybe he had figured it out anyway.
The girl looked down and as her mind worked she flexed her tanned, bare toes, toughened by the months of walking barefoot over every surface, and felt the dry grass bristling underneath. She looked down at her pussy lips, which had been shaven so as to better demonstrate those sex devices, denied even the natural covering of pubic hair, and now exhibiting a tan as deep as the rest of her, right into the center crevice, the little tanned hood of the clit poking out above. Seeing her naked charms brought her mind back to what was important -- the here and now. She hated Henry Ross, wanted to get back at him somehow, but hatred was not going to get her out of this predicament. As for Campbell - Frank College and the scholarship, maybe she was already expelled, but that was a question for later. What was important now was getting some covering. And now that no one knew she was here, not even Henry Ross, she could ask for clothes without fear of any recrimination.
A few minutes went by, more trucks booming by at 80 mph, nobody stopping. The naked girl sighed and stood up. It might be a while before the next visitor. And she had to pee. She thought of peeing in the grass, something she had done recently, but decided to act as the normal, clothed person she would soon become, and use the facilities provided. Also, though she was hoarding the heat after the memory of that freezing art gallery, she had to admit that this sun was hot. In fact it was 112 degrees, the hottest she had ever experienced, naked or clothed, though the effect was less because of the dry air.
She was not looking forward to putting her bare feet onto a filthy, cigarette butt-laden floor, but fortunately the women's room was sparkling and immaculate. As she passed the mirrors over the sinks she tried not to look at herself, but she couldn't resist. She looked like a wild woman, her hair a mess, her nude body so brown and natural as if she had never worn clothes in her life. She had to admit the body was in fine shape; she just wished it was someone else's.
Though the toilet seat was clean, for some reason she found herself putting her feet on it and squatted on it, watching the stream of piss issue unimpeded past her shaved pussy lips. Still perched on top of the seat, she reached back and flushed. The flush was high-pressure and violent, and she twitched as she felt the occasional fleck of cold water hit inside her pussy lips and past the spread valley below and against her most sensitive sphincter.
She sat and thought, cradling her chin in her hand, her toes curled around the sides of the toilet seat. She liked the fact that her nakedness was hidden from view. During her naked life she was grateful for such --
The door creaked open. Then the clip clop of high heels. Two women! Now was her chance . . .
They sounded middle-aged. Perhaps on a business trip, the way they were talking. One got into a stall a couple of doors down. As the lady peed and then cleaned herself they kept talking. About a meeting they were going to, of some kind. The hiding naked girl heard the splash of water coming from sink faucets.
Why don't I just jump out now? Tami asked herself. Yet her bare feet stayed rooted to the toilet seat. This is going to be harder than I thought. A naked girl just jumping out of the stall and asking for clothes. What would they say?
It would certainly look odd. She imagined their first question would be if she was in trouble:
Had she been raped?
Looking down at the rippling clear water of the toilet, she thought of going to the bathroom at her old friend Charlene's house at that Christmas party. Half drunk with egg nog, she hadn't noticed that the door had popped open. She knew later that some vicious acquaintances from high school had taken pictures of her. Charlene had tried to stop them. Good old Charlene. Still on Tami's side, even though she was as startled by Tami's nudity as anyone else, still her good friend. Tami thought of the time Charlene had been raped back in high school. It was horrible and pitiful, seeing her shake and cry uncontrollably like that, even after Tami hugged her and made her tea and stayed with her far into the night.
No -- Tami decided she would not tell these women she had been raped. What she had been through was rough, but not like Charlene's ordeal. To make up a story about being raped was just something she could not do. It would be an insult to her old friend. Tami resolved to just say she was the victim of a sorority prank, which was true.
While she was thinking these thoughts the water stopped and there was the rubbing of paper towels. Time to make her move! Now! Go to it, Tam!! Still she hesitated. Her shyness and modesty were getting in the way, self-defeating as they were. In a moment the door creaked shut and the women were gone.
Tami found courage a minute later. She cleared her throat and rehearsed her words -- "Please do you have something for me to put on, the girls left me here like this as a sorority prank" -- and bolted out into the hot sun. Her bare shoulders slouched with disappointment as she saw the women's little sports car speed off the far end of the ramp and zip away into the shimmering desert heat. Too late.
She felt foolish, standing here naked in front of the rest rooms. She knew her vulnerability -- as a naked girl in the middle of nowhere she ran the risk of being raped for real. She saw a sliver of shade behind the building and decided to hide there and scope out stoppers-by until she found the right one.
After five minutes a fat, hairy, bearded man on a huge black motorcycle stopped by. He gunned the cycle loudly before shutting it off, then as he dismounted cleared his throat and spat, part of the spittle sticking to his beard. Well, this guy sure isn't the one, the naked girl mused as he lumbered into the men's room. In a minute he was gone.
The next arrival was a minivan from which emerged four nuns, dressed in normal modest clothing except for their whimples. Tami almost emerged, but something stopped her. Maybe it was her Catholic upbringing, not wanting to walk up to nuns in her present shameful state, even though it wasn't her fault. Later as they started up and left, Tami shook her head. Her shyness was making her too critical. The biker was definitely a bad bet, but the nuns should have been o.k. With this in mind she screwed up her courage. The next ones will be IT.
An elderly couple drove up in a white Cadillac.
This is IT! Here I go!!
They went into the bathrooms.
This is really really it!!
Realizing how ridiculous her hesitations were getting, Tami finally crept out. She caught the old couple as they were on their way back to the car, mincing up to them with one hand over her breasts and the other over her crotch.
"Could you please -- "
But after a quick glance at her they hurried up into the car and drove off very quickly as if they had not seen anything.
The naked girl stood there in the parking lot, crushed, still covering herself with her hands. They must have thought she was doing this as a joke. Or maybe they just didn't want to get involved. Cold as their brush-off was, she cringed in shame at what those old folks must be thinking of her.
Desolately she returned to her hiding place. Long minutes went by. She saw from the lengthening shadows that it was now mid-afternoon. All this crouching and hiding was making her leg muscles tired. Also, she had kinks in her back from sleeping in that concrete tube. She found herself getting drowsy. Wandering back to the trees, she found a hidden spot of grass and lay down on her stomach. Though the grass was dry and scratchy and poked against her breasts and tummy and pussy, she soon found herself drifting off to sleep, her evenly tanned form stretched out on the ground as she felt shadows caressing her taut butt cheeks along with the beginnings of gentle late afternoon breezes. . .
She thought it was a dream, but then it registered again, more clearly. "Hi there."
She raised her head up and rubbed her eyes and turned. There was a young man in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt and deck shoes, aviator sunglasses on top of his head, holding what looked like a bloody mary. He had a broad smile as if having just heard a good joke.
Tami twisted herself into a sitting position, then brought her knees up together and clutched her hand over her breasts, the other hand drifting down to her feet to hide any view of her private parts from below. "Oh I'm so glad -- I'm stuck here like this -- " Her awakening mind struggled without success to find the full sentences she had rehearsed. "Do you have something for me to put on? Please?"
The Unintentional Nudist XII: "Tami Smithers Was Here", Part 2
The naked girl and the young man looked at each other for a moment. Her eyes were earnest and pleading as she hugged herself tighter, keenly feeling the dry grass scratching her bare butt.
He sipped his bloody mary. "You seem like you enjoy being naked. . . Where are your clothes?"
Tami's throat was dry. She knew she should have expected this question. "I -- don't have any. They took them away. I mean the girls left me here. As a prank. A sorority prank."
"What sorority?" he asked curiously. "By the way, my name is Kip. Why don't you stand up?" He extended a hand.
If she wanted a favor from this guy she had to be nice. He wanted her to stand up. "It's o.k.," she said, refusing his hand as she pivoted up awkwardly. "I'm Tami," she added out of politeness. She wondered how to answer his question about the sorority. Indeed it was true; the last year of her life had initially resulted from a sorority prank, that stupid initiation dare that Wanda had foisted on her and those other freshman girls, to streak across campus at night, and then Tami got caught by campus security, etc. But for the life of her she just couldn't remember the name of the sorority.
Fortunately Kip didn't press the question. Instead he enjoyed the view. "You really are gorgeous, Tami," he said, taking another sip, looking her up and down. Tami blushed furiously, her hands still over her breasts and her crotch. She could hardly blame him -- she knew her body was something men liked to look at. Yet she could not bear showing him any of it. She looked down and was ashamed even of her bare feet, and put one foot over the toes of her other foot so that at least he would only see one. "I -- I don't want to be -- like this," she said. She returned to her most urgent request. "Can I have something to cover myself with? Please?"
"I think we have something," Kip said. "Come with me." He started to walk away. Seeing her hesitation, he said, "Well do you want clothes or don't you?" All of this is a good-natured, offhandish way. He seemed like a frat boy, one of those rich kids who never had to exert himself and would go on to some important job as a matter of course, and even at his age had the bearing of someone used to ordering people around and being in control.
Tami hobbled behind him and turned out of the little grove of trees and froze. There, sitting at a picnic table, were four other guys, obviously from the same frat. Behind them, in the parking lot, loomed an RV with a beer cooler in the open doorway.
"Well if it isn't sleeping beauty," one of the guys said. He sipped a beer. There was the smell of cooking and they were eating hot dogs and potato salad out of a big tin. "We wondered when you'd wake up."
"Got a nice tan?" another guy said, sipping a beer too.
"Nice shave too," another guy said.
Maybe it wasn't possible but Tami's blush deepened. So they had all seen her sleeping on the grass, maybe they had been talking about her for a while now. And her hand wasn't hiding the fact that she had a bare pussy. She shook off her mortification to get her urgent request out. "Do you have anything for me to put on?"
"I'm sure there's something in the R.V.," one of them said. "Have a seat. You hungry?"
"Have a hot dog," another said, with a smirk, finishing off a beer and putting it next to two empties. Tami noticed that the whole table was littered with empty bottles.
She had to admit she was hungry. She hadn't eaten since the previous afternoon. Seeing them make room for her, she maneuvered her butt onto the cool concrete bench, all the time keeping her hands crossed over her breasts and crotch. With her crotch out of sight below the table, she felt safe in using that hand to grab what was offered her, a hot dog in a bun with a line of mustard on it. She was hungrier than she thought. Her nostrils flared at the aroma. It was down her throat in three gulps. Someone snorted. Another hot dog was offered. She wolfed that one down too.
"You're quite a babe," Kip said. "You go around like that a lot, don't you?"
Tami slowly sipped the soda given to her and began to get a bad feeling about these guys. "Can you please get something for me to wear? Please?" No one moved; the guys just smiled and shrugged. She crouched over as if to hide herself more. Someone put a hand on her knee. She jerked it away. She tried to think fast. Cringing isn't working. I should "just say no".
"Excuse me," she said, standing up, putting her free hand over her crotch again. "I should go."
"Go where?" Kip said. He followed the naked girl as she started to walk away. Tami wanted to run but he had a point. Where exactly would she be going to? Behind her she heard the buzzing of voices at the table. "She goes around naked, man!" someone said -- in the tone of, "She must be asking for it!" She only caught a fragment of what another said, about "just some bitch from that hick town over there, out for thrills".
Tami walked away toward where she had been sleeping, hugging herself, wishing she could do something to cover the view Kip had of her bare backside. "If you're not going to give me something to wear, I'll ask somebody else," she told him, trying to sound strong and disguise the quiver in her voice. As she rounded a tree --
There were two of the other guys right in front of her, having dashed around to meet her. They advanced.
It turned out that the naked girl's first feel of clothing was not welcome -- she opened her mouth to shout when one of the guys stuffed part of a balled-up T-shirt into it -- Kip grabbed her arms from behind and locked them under his armpits -- No matter how loud she tried to scream it was only a muffled whimper through the fabric -- She kicked wildly but the two guys in front of her were very strong, each grabbing a leg -- She found herself being carried toward the open door of the RV -- The other two guys were waiting there with a hands which now grabbed her breasts and started mauling them -- she felt her nipples grabbed and pulled -- a rough finger searching in between her bare pussy lips -- she twisted wildly as her bare toes brushed against the door --
The Unintentional Nudist XII: "Tami Smithers Was Here", Part 3
She used her special training and it worked. It was a gymnast move that did it -- the leftward body twist that begins a dismount flip. It freed her legs and her feet came down, stubbing both big toes as they hit the pavement. The naked girl yanked her arms free of Kip and ran, pulling the T-shirt from her mouth and flinging it to the ground. She ran past the picnic table and past the little grove of trees. Past the edge of the grass and onto the bare sandy scrub. Past cactuses and tumbleweeds. She looked down at her bare feet as they flew and stomped and stumbled in panic over the stony sand. She straightened up and her arms got organized, winging alternately as she broke into a track team sprint. Run -- run -- run --
It was clouding up now, and as the sun went away the naked girl looked up saw a small town, just a few buildings, across the wide expanse of bleakness. How far was it? Hard to tell distances in this empty land. Still she had to get there and hide. As she got closer she saw an old wood building that looked like a barn. She decided to head for it. Minutes went by and with agonizing slowness she got closer. Run -- run -- run --
It came up on her fast, so fast she had to almost skid on her heels to keep from banging into it. It seemed to be an abandoned store of some kind. She scooted along to the side and hid behind it. Panting heavily, she peeked around the corner, afraid she would see Kip and his gang right behind her.
But no. They hadn't followed her, in fact looking at the distant rest stop, it was deserted. As she blinked back the tears of her heaving emotions and focused, she saw where the R.V. had been parked and the picnic table. They had made a hasty escape. There was no sign of them now. They'd even taken the red shirt. Of course. They didn't want to leave any evidence. They had done a very bad thing. They had tried to rape her.
Tami thought: I've just almost been raped. She squatted down and hugged her knees to herself to protect her from the world and began to cry. God, God, God, God . . . She thought of her friend Charlene. How horrible that must have been -- oh God, God, God, oh God, --
The naked teenage girl stayed there for a long time, crouched against the side of the building until her legs got tired, finally sitting her bare butt onto the rough stones with her legs straightened out in front of her, hugging her breasts, at times covering her pussy with her hand even though no one was there to see. She rubbed the dried tears from her face, aware that in doing so her dusty hands made her face dirty. Somewhere behind the thickening clouds, the sun set, and the gray light quickly faded. Still she stayed there, long after her sobbing had stopped, looking at the ground, looking at her bare pussy lips.
Now it was night. Tami sensed lights behind her. She got up, brushing away the little stones that had gotten embedded in her butt and the backs of her thighs. Peeking around the corner she saw another couple of buildings, an auto garage and what looked like a service station. They were both closed; the lights must have gone on automatically when dark came. Then she felt the first tiny raindrop on her left shoulder. Soon there was another.
Tami Smithers took a few steps forward, feeling the stony soil under her bare feet, the slight warm wind tickling her nipples and bare pussy skin, another couple of raindrops on her shoulders. She felt newly naked, newly and more thoroughly stripped. Before, she had her bank card and credit card, her driver's license, her ankle pouch, her backpack, and a place to stay. And a plan to escape. Now it was just her lonesome bare body in the middle of nowhere. All she had with her was her body, in the middle of this bleak wilderness.
And she was a target. Quiveringly, achingly vulnerable, a naked girl all alone without any identification, fair game for any rapist. It seemed the biggest danger was not the lack of belongings or shelter but her fellow human beings. She walked around the side of the building very gingerly, afraid of what she might find. The lights cast shadows on the buildings, the abandoned cars, the occasional scrub pine. The shadows moved and lurched and startled her. Hiding within every shadow, in every corner, was another assailant about to jump out and grab her, spread her legs, shove a finger or dick into her pussy or even her butthole --
"Oh God," she said again, hugging herself, thinking of what almost happened. She began to cry anew, crouching down, looking at her dusty toes spread on the sharp, dry, unforgiving rocky sand. She looked over at the service station and suddenly noticed a pay phone. I've got to call the police. Afraid to be seen, she ridiculously duck-waddled forward while clutching her knees, then cleared her throat and decided to brave it. Walking gingerly across the street, arms crossed over her breasts, she looked here and there. Only a few hours ago she was wishing for another person to show up, but now she was afraid of the whole human race and seeing another person was the last thing she wanted. Fortunately nobody was around. It seemed like this whole town was deserted at night. Good -- all she wanted to see was a police car.
She got to the phone, nervous because she was near a street light and could easily be seen, and set herself to dial 911. But then she realized calling would do no good. When they asked her where she was, what would she say? She didn't have the faintest clue, except it was somewhere in Arizona. A little town near a rest stop on an interstate. Oh God . . .
She wandered around the front of the service station, then decided she should get out of the light. She darted behind it and then walked along the brush, looking at each building from behind. She couldn't tell what they were, probably stores. The wooden building she had first hid behind turned out to be a warehouse for auto parts. Raindrops fell now and then. She was expecting real rain to start, but then figured in this dry land this was all they would get. Vague dull flashes appeared near the horizon with the sound of distant thunder. Fortunately the cloud cover kept it from getting cold, it was actually still quite warm.
She saw the flagpole from behind the building and coming around to the front her hunch was confirmed. A little post office. "Scrub Flats, Arizona 88314". And in the front, another pay phone. Unfortunately, right in the spotlight of an overhead light. Crouching behind a bush, she made sure doubly sure no one was around. This was easy; there was no movement or sound anywhere except for the faint rumble of thunder. She walked up to the phone and decided to act like she was wearing clothes. As she knew from past experience, it made her feel less ashamed to pretend she wasn't naked, whenever possible, such as when she was alone. She put her arms to her side and began dialing 911, aware that the harsh overhead light threw every naked curve and plane into sharp relief. She glanced down and saw the long conical shadows cast by her breasts down her concave tummy and her thighs, one of the shadows hiding her pussy and one bare foot.
After dialing 911 she waited. As she planned on what to say she relived her recent ordeal and her tears began again. Oh God. . . She felt shaky, crossed her free arm over her breasts . . .
Nothing but silence on the phone. Then a recorded voice, "The number you have dialed is not in service. Please check the number and dial again."
She couldn't believe it. This phone didn't take 911! She looked around the phone for information and then noticed a little sticker on the bottom part. "Police 555 - 1234". She quickly dialed it with shaking fingers. A recorded voice. "You must first deposit twenty-five cents for this call. You must first --"
"SHIT!!" she shouted tearfully, slamming down the receiver. Then checked around quickly to make sure no one had heard. Of course not -- those shadows aren't really moving, she told herself. No one is around to see my naked body, an invitation to rape -- still, she darted back behind the bush to hide. Where would a naked girl get a quarter? She jumped up again to check the coin return in the phone and looked quickly around on the ground. Nothing. Then she shot behind the bush again.
"Oh Rod, oh Mom, oh Dad," she found herself saying as she buried her face in her hands. If only they were here -- she badly needed someone to talk to --
Before she knew it she was up at the phone again, dialing "0" and then the number to make a collect call to her folks. In the middle of it she stopped and hung up, stifling her tears, her tummy jerking in and out as she swallowed them. No. It would upset her parents too much, hearing her distressed voice from a faraway place, crying for help from across the country. The same with Rod. It would feel so good to hear their voices, but it would upset them, and they would be all but powerless to help her. As her breathing calmed down the naked girl realized that it would be selfish of her to make such calls.
In the middle of these quickly spinning considerations she looked at the general store nearby. It had an ATM and there were clothes in the window. Then she looked at the post office. Suddenly she had a plan.
Fortunately this stupid phone company would let her make "800" calls without a quarter. The naked teenager had heard there was an "800" directory, 800-555-1212, and called it now. Cold and impersonal though the operator's voice was, she was glad to speak to another civilized person, someone who wasn't a rapist. She thought of the bank card first. They didn't have a number for her bank, the First Bank of Lowell, that local bank that Rebecca had taken her to last winter when she wanted to open her own account. Well that wasn't surprising. But there was a number for the credit card company. She furiously committed it to memory and dialed it as soon as she hung up.
She didn't remember her account number so she pushed "0" to speak to a customer service representative and listened to the Muzak. She turned around, knowing how starkly her nakedness showed under the bright light, and viewed her surroundings. There was a diner down the road, closed of course. Against a vague flash of lightning she could see low hills beyond. A cold raindrop hit the tip of her right nipple. Another glanced by her left butt cheek. Her big toe pivoted impatiently against the concrete.
"Excuse me, I've lost my card. Can you send me another?"
She gave her social security number as requested. "What's your mother's maiden name?"
A pause. "O.K. What address you want it sent to?"
She thought quickly. "I'm traveling. Can you send it to the post office at Scrub Flats, Arizona? 88314?"
Another pause. "Scrub Flats, Arizona 88314. It will arrive there in seven to ten business days."
No. NO. "Can't you send it before then? This is an emergency."
"You need an emergency credit card?"
"Long story. Pleeease?" She longed to tell the operator the true facts of her plight, but knew it would sound like a prank call.
Another pause. "Very well, I can send it overnight, but the charge will be posted to your account."
"That's fine, that's fine."
"It's now ten o'clock central daylight time. We can only send it for 1 p.m. delivery."
Tami gulped. This was probably the best she could do. "Okay. Thanks."
The naked teenager hung up and closed her eyes, looking up to the light as if it were divine. "Thank you God," she said out loud, her arms stretched out, then prayed silently as a couple of cold tiny raindrops hit her tanned forehead and then her left breast.
. . . .
She kept mumbling her thanks as she went back behind the buildings, once again hugging herself, watching where she put her feet. Things would be o.k. now. It would be awkward walking naked into a post office, but even during the day she doubted there'd be many people around. And with a credit card in hand, she could take out a cash advance at the ATM, buy clothes, and get going with her escape plan almost like it was before. She realized that, now she knew where she was, she could have contacted the police by dialing "0" and talking to the operator. But now that she was on her way to clothes, it seemed unnecessary. Anyway, she didn't want to recount her story, she wanted to put it behind her.
She went over a few other things in her increasingly sleepy mind. Getting a copy of her driver's license would take some time. Brian Cook and his crowd must have noticed her disappearance. Had they reported her to missing persons? No, they wouldn't dare, not after what they'd done to her. They were probably squirming at the thought she would report them to the police. That gave the naked girl a measure of satisfaction. And she had nothing more to fear from those jerks in the R.V., no doubt hundreds of miles away by now. Still, the trauma of that near-rape, and then the relief at knowing she would have her credit card again . . . It was all too much excitement for one day, and she found herself so sleepy she could barely stand. Fortunately the rain seemed to have stopped.
She staggered over to the diner and saw that by stepping on a crate in back she could make it to the roof, which had raised sides. As good a place to hide as any. And to get some sleep. Though the tar paper was a cruel bed for her naked skin, she curled up on her side and was in dreamland within minutes.
. . . .
She awoke with a jolt, the sun in her eyes. The clouds were drifting away and it was beginning to get hot. She had to stay as low as possible to stay out of sight behind the eaves, and winced as she scraped along on her breasts and belly to the side. As she saw the scene below, a couple of pickup trucks here and there, some people in cowboy hats walking around, she was alarmed to realize she had slept not only all night but far into the next day. The sun was already getting low. Was the post office still open? Shifting her thighs around, ignoring the scraping of gravel, she looked over and saw that it was still open.
Voices carried up from below. She poked her head up the least amount possible. A guy in jeans, snakeskin boots and work shirt was chatting with a woman of about 50 with cat's eyes glasses. His wristwatch glistened in the sunshine. With a slight move the glare went and Tami could see that it was 4 o'clock. Good, she had another hour.
She wanted to pick her moment carefully, a time when the minimum of people were around. Fortunately this town was as small as it seemed last night. Only a few buildings all by themselves, including the post office. A few old houses up about half a mile on a slope. She looked over to the interstate, which she judged to be a mile away. No signs to it in town. She had heard her sociology professor talk about towns like this. So close to the interstate, yet with no access to it, they just died away into little more than ghost towns. This town almost qualified as one. There were hardly more than five people out on the streets at any time.
The naked girl tried to comb her hair back with her spread fingers, then looked down at her naked body. The only thing worse than walking into the post office naked would be to be naked and dirty too, but though she was a little dusty and scratched up from rocks, it wasn't that bad. The one thing she desperately wanted -- aside from clothes, of course -- was food. All she had to eat the past two days was those two hot dogs from those frat jerks. She was starving, and the smell of fried chicken and pizza from the diner beneath her made it worse. After she got clothes, she would walk in and stuff herself!
Now a lone pickup truck drove away and there was no one on the street. The post office seemed to beckon. Now was the time. A timid bare foot reached down tentatively and found the crate on the side of the diner. Then the naked girl hopped down onto the asphalt and scurried quickly across the street and past the flagpole and pushed open the glass door.
The Unintentional Nudist XII: "Tami Smithers Was Here", Part 4
Tami dearly hoped there was nobody waiting. She was right. Not that the two clerks behind the windows didn't notice the naked girl. One, younger and nervous, seemed stunned and frozen to his spot, openmouthed. He regained enough composure to look over to the other, an older man with a sour expression who evidently was determined not to be surprised by anything. He looked at the naked teenage girl up and down with sturdy disapproval.
Tami, a good girl from a Catholic background, suddenly felt miserable and shameful, insolently walking naked into an office of the United States Government. She covered her breasts and pussy with her hands and looked down in shame, a shame that grew more fierce as she considered her dirty bare feet. How dare she show herself in here like this!! The older man didn't have to say it; voices inside her head were already scolding her. Glancing upward she saw the pickup window. It was absurd but in her precarious position she didn't dare just go up to the window, even though there was nobody else around. Instead she inched her bare toes to the yellow line five feet away and waited obediently, looking up gingerly, biting her lip, her hands absolutely frozen in front of her, hoping no one would come in to see her bare behind.
The younger man went over to whisper to the older man. He seemed to be pointing to something behind the counter. Both men's eyes shifted to Tami by and by as they conferred, making the naked girl feel even more of a spectacle on display. She feared that instead of attending to her they would arrest her for indecent exposure. Could postal officers make an arrest?
Finally the younger man took his position behind the pickup window and said, "Miss?" Tami approached, as deferential as a poor peasant making a plea to a stern monarch, and cleared her throat. Still covering herself with her hands, she said softly, "I think there's a letter waiting for me."
"Tami Smithers. Tami Blanche Smithers." She always hated that middle name.
The man, nervously checking something on the wall, turned and rummaged through a basket behind him. As he slowly went through the letters there Tami held her breath. She looked down and her toes squirmed against the floor. Hurry, hurry . . .
Her fears were realized. She heard the swing of the door and the sound of footsteps behind her. And then the gasp. "Oh Lord!" It was a female voice, an older female. Looking at the glass in front of her Tami saw the reflection of an older couple, a wrapped brown package in the lady's hand. She could make out their faces and they were plainly astonished.
The naked girl clenched her butt cheeks and pressed her legs tightly together in a pitiful attempt to minimize her rearward exposure. She closed her eyes and prayed, pressing her hands more closely against herself. Please God . . . help me through this . . .
"Here it is," the younger man finally said, bringing the letter forward. Tami could see that it was addressed to Tami Smithers, General Delivery, on the letterhead of the credit card company, express mail. The naked girl exhaled. Thank you God --
"May I see some I.D.?" the younger man said, without thinking. Right after he finished he seemed to stop short and look again at the naked girl, then looked up and down at what he could see of her nakedness above the counter.
Tami felt a chill, felt goosebumps rise on her bare butt. She pleaded with her eyes. "N - no. I lost it." She whispered, "And my clothes." Her eyes flashed with panic. "Please??" she whispered softly, partly glancing back at the older couple. "That's my replacement credit card. I need it to buy clothes."
The younger man looked over to the older man, obviously his boss, and held up the envelope. "Phil?" The older man, Phil, came over and looked at the envelope and the naked girl as if both were utterly worthless. "Let me handle this, Pete." Then he addressed the naked teenage girl in a low, raspy voice. "Miss, I don't know what you're pulling here, but you're not going to get this letter without an I.D. Do you have a driver's license?"
Tami stamped her foot in frustration. This was idiotic! "How would I have a driver's license?? Can't you see that I'm -- I'm --"
Phil exhaled in exasperation and asked the question again. "Do you have a driver's license, yes or no!"
Tami looked back at the older couple as if for support, but they were still shocked and from all appearances offended too. Maybe instead of an actual I.D., the postal clerks would accept some personal information. "My social security number is 555-2-7899!" She blurted it out but it had no effect on Phil. "My mother's maiden name is Campanella!" Her eyes getting wet with tears, she said, "Open it up and call them. They'll verify it." She stamped her foot. "Please!!"
Phil was unmoved. "Miss, you know it's a federal offense for me to open a letter not addressed to me."
"Then let ME open it." She quickly moved her hand, exposing a breast, to wipe a tear from her face, then moved it back. It looked ridiculous but she bent forward, trying to extend her hand to get the letter while still using it to cover her breasts.
"We can't give it to you without I.D. Even a girl like you should know that."
"NOOOOO!!" Tami crouched over, pressing her head down against her arms. Bare feet slapped on the cold floor as she stamped them. This just couldn't be happening!
She turned around to the older couple, half out of her mind with shame and frustration. The woman was wearing a sweater, obviously without need in light of the hot weather. Tami was going a little crazy now, a look reflected in her eyes as she approached her. "Please, could I have your sweater?" she said in a quick quivering voice, bent forward and covering herself. "I don't want to be naked, they stripped me, they forced me to be like this, PLEASE -- " -- she reached out for the woman's sweater and the woman seemed to be on the verge of giving the package to her husband so she could take it off and give it to the naked girl --
"ETHEL! Don't!!" Pete held up his hand, nervously checking behind the counter. "Don't give her anything! Trust me!"
Tami's teary eyes looked at Pete in amazement, then back at the older woman who had retaken her package and was shying away. "What's going on here!!" Tami backed away, looking at everyone in stark terror. "Why won't anyone give me any clothes!!" It seemed like a bad dream, everyone conspiring to keep her naked!! A town in the middle of nowhere, nobody knew who she was, yet they were continuing the torture of preventing her from wearing clothes!! She looked at the envelope still in Pete's sweaty hands, and wished she could break through the glass partition and grab it from him --
Phil took charge again. "Miss," he said in the official language of a lifelong civil servant, "I must inform you that you are indecently exposed. I would much appreciate it if you left the premises at once, or we will contact the authorities."
Tami had to get the hell out of here. Her automatic brain took over. Still clutching herself, she scurried out of the post office. Once outside, she minced around the perimeter of the building. She just HAD to get that letter. There was a back door that was open. She darted inside. Only after she had found refuge in a broom closet did she figure out what her automatic brain had planned.
It was risky, but she was going to stay in here until closing time and then get that letter!
The Unintentional Nudist XII: "Tami Smithers Was Here", Part 5
She was in a little dark closet, the door closed. She hugged herself, crouching against the corner, until the shaking passed. Long minutes went by. Then she heard voices, coming closer. She prayed no one would open the door and find her.
It was Phil and Pete, apparently the only two people working here, and now that it was five o'clock they were closing up for the night. There was the sound of packages being sorted, drawers being closed, locks being turned.
The voice of Pete was first. "We should call."
Phil: "No, we're NOT going to call."
"Aren't we going to get in trouble?"
"Look, we can't jump every time some stupid thing comes over the fax. I don't care what it says, that girl's just playing a prank."
Some more shuffling of paper. Pete: "She looked like she was in trouble."
"If she really was in trouble she would have called the police, not gone to the post office."
More shuffling. "That letter WAS addressed to her. She knew it was here."
"How do we know she was the addresses? What if she was someone else and she wanted to steal a credit card? Just have it sent here, take her clothes off in the car, walk in naked, and give that story." Yet more shuffling. "Next thing you know she's up on credit card theft and then we'll be in REAL trouble, my friend."
"That seems a lot of trouble to go to. And she looked so pitiful."
"Con artists are great schemers, and great actors. I've seen some in my time. That girl could have won an Oscar, but that's the way con artists are."
This conversation only made partial sense to Tami. Smart as she was, she was only 19, and had only vague ideas about credit card theft, or post office procedure. But she was forced to concede that based on what he knew maybe Phil was correct in refusing to give her the letter. She sighed. Everything was going against her. She would have to take the law into her own hands. Trespass onto federal property and steal the letter herself. It wasn't really stealing -- after all, the letter was for her, right?
She shifted uncomfortably in the closet as she heard the men finish up. It looked like they weren't going to come in here, which was a relief. Yet it was a tight fit, squatting in the tiny closet, next to brooms and buckets and pressed against shelves of cleaning stuff. It would have been more comfortable to sit cross-legged, but she was not going to put her bare butt on this dirty floor. As soon as Phil and Pete left, shutting the heavy back door, she stood up and stretched. Then waited until the sound of their cars faded away. Then waited some more just to be sure they weren't coming back for something they forgot.
As she slowly opened the door her mind worked quickly. She saw that the back door could be pushed open without a key and there didn't seem to be an alarm. She would get the letter and go out the door and then to the store down the road. But -- in her nighttime wanderings she hadn't checked when the store closed. Hopefully it wasn't at five o'clock. She dreaded the idea of going through another night without clothes (or food). But if she had to wait until morning, it would be worth it.
She felt odd, walking slowly through the back rooms, a naked burglar. It was another dimension of nakedness she hadn't experienced, being someplace she shouldn't be, and feeling even more out of place without clothes. She peeked out of windows from below, hoping to find one that gave a view of the store. She found one that did, and saw to her dismay that the store had indeed closed. Damn!
Well at least now she had time, she had all night. Her first desire was for food. In a small room with a table and some newspapers she found a little refrigerator, but all it had was a half-empty can of soda. She found the bathroom, which fortunately wasn't too disgusting, and drank from the sink. Then peed, and had a nice long poop. Realizing she had to flush the toilet, she was glad it wasn't too loud. Not that anyone would be nearby to hear it. Then, in a wild hope, she looked around for something to wear. Maybe there was a jacket or something hanging up. But no, nothing, except some vile rags in the broom closet which grossed her out just to touch.
It was now dark outside and hard to see. Certainly if she turned on a light it would be noticed from outside -- but there was probably nobody there. Her task would be impossible without it, so she boldly turned on the light in the room behind the counter. If she kept it on and didn't turn it off, maybe passers-by would think it was left on by accident by Pete or Phil.
Now for her task. She looked for the basket that Pete had rummaged through. It wasn't where she had seen it, obviously it had been put away somewhere. But where? There were drawers and shelves and pigeon-holes everywhere. There was a big canvas bag in a metal wheeled frame; she overturned it and, sitting her bare butt on the floor, legs straight out to the sides, she carefully picked through every letter. No luck. She put the letters back and set the canvas bag up the way it was, careful not to leave any trace that she was here.
Uh-oh. A surveillance camera up near the ceiling. Pointed right at her. It was stupid but her first reaction was to cover herself with her hands and dart out of the way. Looking at it from an angle she tried to figure out if it was running. There seemed to be a red light on it but it was unlit. In fact, the camera looked dusty and old. She looked around for masking tape or something to put over the lens, but after a short fruitless search decided it wasn't worth it. If the thing was on, she was already caught. But it looked off.
She kept an eye on the clock. As of midnight she had gone through every piece of mail that she could find. Shit! This is not going well. What if I can't find that credit card? Maybe she would have to go to the police after all. To calm herself she went to the back room and sat at the table, putting her face down. God, she was hungry. She read the newspapers there, hoping she could distract herself with some local news. Time. At least I have time. It was now one o'clock.
The letter must be in one of those locked cabinets. She calmly looked around for keys, opened every available drawer. It really would be a crime, but maybe if the couldn't find the letter she could find their cash drawer and steal a few dollars to buy clothes with. But there were no keys around. Pete and Phil must have taken them home with them. Wait, here was a key on a nail in the wall. It opened a little drawer that held nothing but some special stamps. She thought desperately of sticking stamps on her nipples and over her pussy to cover them, then looked at the canvas bag and wondered if it could be a strapless dress if she tore a hole in the bottom and turned it upside down. She thought of the filmy toilet paper in the bathroom and thought of wrapping it around her waist, or her feet.
Wait, wait. This is ridiculous. She sat cross-legged on the floor and contemplated the row of drawers in front of her, all locked. My letter must be in one of them. Or is it? How am I going to open them, by kicking them with my bare feet? The naked girl looked at her flexing toes and reached the sad conclusion that her burglary was for nought. The only thing to do is call the police, tell them her plight, maybe they could help her get the credit card, or at least put her life together. Certainly the first thing they would do is give her something to wear. Oh God, clothes . . .
She looked at the phone. No, she couldn't call the police from here, not while she was in the middle of committing burglary. She would have to call them from the pay phone outside. Wearily she stood up. Wanting to leave things exactly as she found them, she went to the pickup window station and moved a set of pigeon hole shelves she had been looking behind.
And was arrested by the sight of a single page fax that she hadn't noticed before, tacked up next to the window, the thing that Pete was evidently looking at when dealing with her yesterday afternoon. Right below the weekly sheet of the FBI's "ten most wanted".
The photo on the fax was not clear but it was definitely her face. And there was, on the letterhead of the Chalfont Institute:
"Attention! Urgent mental health advisory!
"Be on the lookout for a young woman who has escaped from our care. SHE HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO BE DANGEROUS TO HERSELF AND OTHERS. When decompensating she has been known to divest herself of clothing and shoes and enter public offices, asking for covering. Do NOT do as she says. She is psychopathic and our observations have shown that any attempt to give her clothing tends to trigger violent and uncontrollable response.
"This young woman will answer to the name Tami Smithers, but is resourceful and can claim other identities. She will appear as a roughly 20-year-old Caucasian female, red hair, green eyes. This bulletin is being sent to all post offices and law enforcement agencies as part of a nationwide effort. She was last seen in the Southern California area on August 1 but her present whereabouts are unknown. Report any sightings AT ONCE to the local authorities and to the number below so that medication and commitment can be arranged. Call below for further information. [Signed] LeGrand Fortescue, M.D."
The naked girl's eyes were wide open in horror and shock. She didn't recognize the name of this Dr. Fortescue but seeing the telephone number she recognized the area code and the exchange. Campbell - Frank College, in Vermont. Then the dark silence outside was split by a siren and the flashing of lights. The naked teenager took a quick look up at the camera and panicked, shooting out the back door, which locked behind her, and into the cold clear night.
The siren belonged to an ambulance answering a call from an elderly person living up on the hill. In a moment it was gone and the little town was once again silent and dark and motionless.
The Unintentional Nudist XII: "Tami Smithers Was Here", Part 6
As the two exquisitely tailored men looked out the great window to the valley below, even now a few yellow leaves dotting the beautiful Vermont countryside on this still, hot August morning, the one in the black three-piece suit, Henry Ross, spoke next.
"It says, she is mentally ill and dangerous, her modus operandi is to walk around naked, and to report her at once."
The man in the grey suit, Dean Jorgon, said, "Can I see it?"
"No, I don't have a copy. Deniability, you know."
The Dean wrinkled his chin. Then looked out the window and sighed, noticing the perfectly pruned row of trees on the campus green. "And you sent this out to where?"
"We faxed it to towns in southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, along the same interstate that's near Brian Cook's gallery. It is logical that she would begin to head east along that road."
"Quite a longshot, isn't it, thinking that faxing this to post offices and police departments would work?"
"It's not as unlikely as it seems. I think a naked girl would attract attention. It's very possible that people who see the fax would have heard about the naked girl, or vice versa. We might well get some calls, enough to begin our investigation."
"So whom do they contact?"
"The fax has a fictitious psychiatrist name out of Chalfont and a number that's connected to an answering machine in an empty office somewhere on campus."
Jorgon showed the trace of a smile. "You won't tell me where?"
"No." Ross, too, had a trace of a smile. "The answering machine has a neutral announcement. And caller I.D. just in case. If someone asks questions we can just stage a fake investigation into it and call it a prank by persons unknown." Now Ross turned to face Jorgon. "Percy, I think this is a good way to find her and flush her out. She's smart enough to know that a naked girl alone is in a lot of danger. The first thing she's going to do is go to the police or walk into a public building. And bingo."
"The police or whoever call us with their story and we finally catch her rejecting nudism?"
Jorgon's brow furrowed. "Henry, we're putting out a written communication calling her a nut. Isn't that libel?"
Ross shrugged dismissively. "I doubt very much she'll ever see the bulletin. Besides, her parents are probably too stupid and uneducated to know any of the right lawyers. And they'd have to sue in Arizona or wherever the fax was posted. Even if they were, uh, sophisticated, I doubt they have the dollars to bring a lawsuit out there."
Jorgon sighed again and his shoulders slumped. "So -- to go through this again -- she didn't crack, not even in the middle of that . . . exhibition."
"I'm not comfortable with these tactics, Henry."
"It's for her own good. She doesn't want nudism any more than we do." Ross tried hard to feign a tender tone. "Her being without clothing is very bad for her, besides being very bad for us."
Jorgon was deep in thought. "I offered her clothes. And she said no."
"She had every reason to think it was a trick."
"True." Another pause. "I'm getting very tired of this whole thing, Henry."
"This is our last ditch effort. I don't want to state the obvious, but the situation is out of our hands. You realize what's going to happen in September the minute she steps foot on campus."
The Dean smirked mordantly. "If it's a BARE foot, that is."
The two men looked out the window silently.
Finally Jorgon shook his head quickly as if shaking off a bad dream. He reached under his vest to adjust his belt and sat down behind his big oak desk. "That was some buffet at Brignon's book party last night."
Ross nodded. "I stuffed myself on that shrimp."
"Me, I filled up on the turkey." Jorgon rounded his finger under his white starched collar. "Goodness, it's hot in here. What happened to the air conditioning?"
Henry Ross shrugged amiably, pulled out a handkerchief to wipe the sweat from his own forehead, and looked out the window with an inscrutable expression.
. . . .
At the same moment this conversation was taking place, three time zones to the west a naked 19-year-old girl crouched and shivered on the dirty tar paper roof of a diner, watching the rising sun with hollowed-out eyes.
She had been unable to sleep through the freezing night. Besides being naked and cold and exhausted, she was dirty and hungry. She hadn't eaten in almost two days. Hugging her knees to her chest, looking down at her gritty, dirty toes, she tried to stop the shivering but just couldn't. In fact she was on the verge of hypothermia, the temperature having hovered around 45 degrees Fahrenheit all night.
She felt the urge to cry again but she had no more tears left in her -- just the dull sad sense that this really was the end. She went over her situation again in her fogged mind. She knew now that she had not been expelled from college -- not yet. But the choices before her were stark, as stark as her nudity. She could lurk through the world as a naked girl, alone and vulnerable in a world full of rapists, not being able to go to the police. Or she could run in crisis to the authorities, and then -- ? There was a nationwide manhunt for her. She would be medicated and committed to a mental hospital. Maybe never to come out. She remembered a dream she had once, about Henry Ross having her committed for the rest of her life, 60 years or more, naked and crazy.
She could call her parents, or Rod, but how could they help her? Not while she was way out here, thousands of miles away. And it would upset them. She loved them very much and didn't want to hurt them. She had to get back to them on her own. But how?
The diner had just opened. The naked girl's nostrils flared as she smelled the eggs and potatoes cooking below. In her misery she waddled forward a couple of steps, looking at people coming and going, clothed, warm, fed. And here she was up above, having to stay out of sight, naked and freezing and dirty and exhausted and hungry. Surely God couldn't have such a fate for her in mind, starving and freezing to death so horribly.
The naked girl looked up at the sun, her eyes exhausted reddened slits, and prayed in whispering tones that shook with her now violent shivering. "P - p - please God - d - d." She closed her eyes. "W - what p - pur - pose . . . Don't . . . want . . . t - to d - die. . ."
She kneeled there, eyes closed, as the shivering began to die away and the life started ebbing out of her.
It was the hoarse voice of a construction worker. Tami stiffly leaned forward to look. A tough-looking woman of about 40 came out to meet him, she wearing a hard hat too. "I see your diet went to hell again, Travis." Travis set down a bag of take-out on the wood crate below. "What's taking Bill so long?" They both went inside.
The aroma of scrambled eggs, coffee, and home fries wafted up to the hiding naked girl. Her eyes opened wide. Seeing she had only seconds to act, she jolted herself and her cold stiff bones into action. Tough, dirty bare feet hit the crate, and the bag disappeared upward.
Tami apologized to the construction worker in her heart, then quaked with relief as she silently opened the bag and grabbed the plastic fork and started wolfing down the omelet, the toast with margarine, the home fries with bell peppers and onions, the coffee. This guy was a big eater, had ordered a big meal. Life returned to her, she felt warm again. She heard the three workers come out and wonder what happened to Travis's lunch, looking around and around, seeing no one in the vicinity, finally after ten minutes concluding that a raccoon must have made off with it. Travis ordered another breakfast and the three were soon gone in their county pickup truck. By this time the naked girl was smiling and lying on her back, not minding the pebbles scraping her butt cheeks, rubbing her full tummy, feeling the caffeine do its work. Though the temperature had hardly risen much, she felt warm right down to her toes.
Tami looked over to the sun and saw that it was rising over a patch of cactus. Saguaro cactus, with fruit where flowers had been. She remembered from her wild plants course that saguaro fruit was edible!
"God, you have given me life again. I know my purpose now.
I will use all my wits and all my strength in Your loving protection.
I WILL find clothes and make it home safe to the people I love! I WILL!"