Chapter 1: Good News

Abby Winters was called into the principal’s office just as she was starting her afternoon class. She had received her teaching credentials for the elementary and junior high level less than a year ago. A substitute took over her class, as she walked to his office she thought to herself; what could have I done, the school year is only two months old?

When she entered the principal’s outer office, his secretary informed Abby to go right in. Mr. James Clark was sitting at his desk reading her file.

“Please take a seat and relax, your not in trouble. On the contrary I am quite satisfied with your work performance.”

“This concerns a new teacher transfer program. The school board has made an agreement with another state, one of our newer teachers will spend five years living and teaching in one of their smaller private villages, as they will send us one. In short, its about experiencing other cultures first hand. Your records show you spent some time in Europe after graduation. Do you speak the language?”

“Just enough to get from place to place; like to the airport, train, hotel, and get something to eat. A few times I got it wrong it was very embarrassing. Luckily most were kind and corrected me.”

“Well that’s a plus in your favor, here’s your contract, read it. You are to initial each page and sign the last. The mayor of this small village where you will be working sent us a brief history. The town is called Lakeside, its located in the South Western part of Florida. This community has seceded from the United States. They have their own government, laws, power-plant, using the 24 hour clock.

This small village was originally founded in Germany in 1195, a large number immigrated to the U.S. Settling in Pennsylvania in 1668, then about one thousand settled in Florida in 1895. A counsel was elected, deciding to use the laws and punishments of 1500 Europe. There are no prisons, but use corporal punishment as a deterrent, there are very few repeat offenders.

Here are your train tickets, they have a strict dress-code, I suggest you pack lightly, you will have to purchase the clothing required by their culture. If you wish, I’d be happy to drive you to the station tomorrow. Your train leaves exactly at 0600. Do you have any questions?”

“Not at the moment, is there anything else I need to know? I’d like to take you up on the offer for a ride. I wouldn’t want to disturb my parents that early. May I also say goodbye to my students, I think it would be better if I told them I was leaving.”

Mr. Clark agreed and to two educators talked and made arrangements for tomorrows trip to the train depot. He informed her what he found out talking to the mayor:-

“When you arrive at Sarasota, a representative will meet you. She will escort you to your new home, then on to meet the mayor and the principal. On the ride she will fill you in on the laws and customs of the village. Lakeside does have electricity, television, internet, and phones. There are no motor vehicles, but there is a trolley, electric carts, bikes, horses, and carriages; so it isn’t as backward as you could imagine.”

After their chat, Mr. Clark and Abby went back to her classroom. She told her students the news, telling them she will sent them some post cards and a letter when she gets settled. Her students were sorry to see her leave, but wished her luck.

Then Abby went to the car her parents lent her until she got on her feet. As she sat behind the wheel, she cried for twenty minutes, what would her father think of her going away on her second new adventure without his permission in her life.

After she composed herself she stopped at the bank to close out her account, then go home to pack and tell her parents the news. She parked the car in the driveway, her parents were not home yet, so she removed her clothes in her room.

Then packed one suitcase with her dress-suits, long skirts, blouses, summer dresses, several pairs of shoes and sandles, underwear, one bikini, and toiletries bag. She also packed her high school and college diplomas. In her pocket-book she put her wallet, passport, contract, teaching credentials, and the usual female comfort items. Then packed her laptop and with all teaching programs she had on CD or thumb drives, and history of Lakeside. She also laid a pair of jeans, wool shirt, jacket, and flats over her suitcase. On her first trip she discovered it more comfortable to not wear underwear of any kind when traveling long distances.

As soon as she was finished she heard her father bellowing; “Why are you home so early. Get your lazy ass down here and tell us why you got fired!!”

Abby put on a robe, taking her time walking down the stairs smiling. She saw her fathers mouth moving, but not hearing a word. When he finished his berating, Abby told him of what she thought of him, his beliefs, and his hypercritical church and of her transfer. She also told them she already had a friend transport her out of this stifling life. Then she made herself something to eat and a drink; as she walked to her room, she told them goodbye.

After Abby ate, she took a shower, then went to bed naked as she did every night since she was fourteen years old. Her alarm woke her at 0400, still naked she went to the bathroom, did her morning routine including brushing her teeth and hair. After getting dressed she brought her bags down and had a cup of coffee. She washed all the dishes she used. Before leaving she put the keys to the car and house on the table. At exactly 0505 Mr. Clark pulled up, she put her bags in the trunk and drove away.

“Thanks for the ride Mr. Clark, I could use a friend before leaving for parts unknown on my own for the first time.”

“Your welcome Abby, why don’t you call me Jim. Besides this will give us some time to talk, you may not remember, but I was your fourth grade teacher.”

“I knew you looked familiar when I came to work here; Mr. Clar-- I mean Jim, so why did you pick me to go to Lakeside, there are other more experienced teachers more deserving?”

“There is none more deserving then you my dear; you were my brightest student. When your parents came to see me; all your father did was put you down, when I asked your mom a question, he said according to our church women don’t have a right to talk without an adult males permission. So I made sure you received a good education to put you on track to get away from him. I over heard you talking to other girls, that you didn’t want to end up like your mom. I wasn’t going to tell you this, but your best friend Tammy is my favorite niece, she’s my sisters daughter. I knew you needed to get your head on straight after getting your creds. It was I that paid so both could get away and talk without that bully of a sperm donor breathing down your back.”

“You know about our friendship and how we spent our weekends sir, er-- Jim. But why me?”

“Yes Abby, the main reason I choose you is because of your comfort of nudism, it is very open there. Also you are a very intelligent young woman, surely you have realized that your father and his church just want you to be their slave. This appointment gives you the opportunity to run your own life on your terms and seek the ambition you have been dreaming about.”

Just as Jim finished talking, he pulled up to the depot. Taking her bags out of the trunk he put them in a bag cart. She surprised herself by giving her principal a big hug, kissing his cheek; goodbye. She felt him getting stiff against her body. He watched with a tear in his eye, as she rolled the cart through the sliding glass doors to her new life.

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