(Copyright held by the author, March 1998)
This is an original story. Do not repost, reproduce or place in public archives without the author's explicit permission. Please do not edit or change anything in it, including this tag.
It was the night of The Storm. It hit in March of '93, and the National Weather Service - with their zany, madcap sense of humor - dubbed it the "White Hurricane." I'd been on Aer Lingus out of Shannon, headed for JFK and counting the hours till I was back on terra firma. I was not thrilled to hear that all three New York airports were socked in, and we were diverting to Boston. The good part was that I could take trusty Amtrak back to town. A longer journey, to be sure - but frankly, I wished there was some way to get across the Atlantic by rail; I do not like flying.
By the time we got into Logan, I was in the Twilight Zone that results from a long transAtlantic flight filled with Savory Airline Food and the complimentary beverages (three Jack Daniels) served in business class, topped by a couple of cups of Delicious Airline Coffee. I took the T directly to Back Bay station and flashed that Little Green Homerun Hitter for a first class on the next train to Penn Station. With my carry-on in one hand and my attaché case in the other, I barely made it. The snow was starting to swirl gently as we pulled out of the station; by the time we passed through Providence, it was a pelting blizzard, and when we reached Croton, we were rocketing along at all of five miles an hour. The only way I knew it was Croton was from the announcement; the station signs were not visible - across the nine-foot-wide platform.
An excruciating start-and-stop hour later - and three hours behind the Amtrak schedule - I was muttering and groaning and making my way through the elysian environs of Pennsylvania Station. The PA kept informing us that there would be no more trains in or out of that terminal for the night. The cops were not clearing folks out of the waiting areas as they normally did; most of these people were simply stranded; not the usual homeless "riffraff" who didn't have the right to shelter.
The escalator to street level deposited me in the midst of a chaotic Seventh Avenue scene. Even the blizzard - excuse me: "White Hurricane" - had not swept Seventh and 32nd clear of the eternal crush of cabs jockeying for travel-weary customers... or the hustlers who were all too willing to help secure a cab for the uninitiated.
That was where I saw her. Everyone was wearing goose-down parkas, everyone was carrying bags - in her case, one uselessly wheeled bag, a backpack and a briefcase - and everyone was looking frazzled. But she stood out because of her hair. It was so blonde it was nearly white. And she wore it in two braids that reached halfway down her back.
As I watched, two homeboys danced up to her and, with unnaturally wide smiles, gestured to her bags and the cab-less street. I saw her head shake. One of them reached for her bag. She tried to pull it back. A tug of war began, and the other hustler began keeping lookout.
I straightened and stepped forward, eyes fixed on the lookout. He saw me coming, said something to his partner, and they split, vanishing into the mob. I reached her side and said, "Excuse me - are you alright?"
She turned her face toward me, and I was drowning in the biggest, bluest eyes I had ever seen. "Are you a policeman?" Heavily accented. Great lips, too. Her mouth was small, and her lips were full, the lower one protruding just the tiniest bit. Her face was a bit on the round side. I guessed she was 18 or 19 - my favorite niece's age.
"No, just another weary traveler. Can I help you? Do you want me to get you a cop?"
That won a wan smile. "No, thank you - just a hotel room."
I pointed across the street. She shook her head. "Everything is full. I came from Philadelphia to take my flight back to Geneva but - " She shrugged and smiled: What can you do?
"And you're just going to stand here on Seventh Avenue all night?"
She had a lovely laugh. "No - just until I can figure out what to do."
"The police are letting stranded folks stay in the waiting rooms inside."
Her eyelids flickered, and she blushed and finally whispered, "I - I am not used to crowds. They frighten me."
"You're in a crowd here. Inside you'd at least be warm."
"I was in there for a little while, but all those strangers in that small space... I felt like I was suffocating."
"You'll freeze out here."
"I do not mind the cold," she said. "I'm quite accustomed to it." She paused, looking uncertain. "I don't suppose you could put me up till morning... Of course not," she gushed, blushing. "How terrible of me to even suggest - " Her pale-complected cheeks showed bright color. She was either a damned good actress or the genuine article.
"How brave of you. This is New York. I am a New Yorker. Like all men in New York, I am a crazed ax-murderer and rapist. Besides, I live alone."
She searched my face for some sign that I was kidding.
"You can stay with me," I added, deadpan.
"As long as it does not interfere with your Mob dealings," she said somberly.
"Or my white slavery ring."
"But what about the drug orgies?"
"I'll sleep in the closet so I don't interfere," she promised.
"But my gay lover already has the closet."
"Oh, well, then - in the shower."
"Ahhh - good. It's settled."
"My name is Heidi."
"Somehow, I'd already guessed that. Shall we go?"
She shook her head and smiled, hefting her bags and turning the cart-cum-sled. I introduced myself and offered to take one of her bags.
"Thank you, no. I can... handle them. Is it far?"
"Yes and no. We can walk there from here, but it'll be slow going in the snow."
"Lead on, rescuer."
We set off across Seventh Avenue in the blowing, thickening snow of the blizzard (sorry - "White Hurricane"). Along the way we talked. She was a student. She'd been in the Philadelphia and State College areas checking campuses. She was going to major in biophysics. She was Swiss. She had two brothers, one older and one younger. Her father was a banker. (Big surprise.) Her mother had been an Olympic skier.
She was going to be 19 in a month.
In ordinary weather, it was a 15-minute walk from Penn Station to my apartment; that night, it took us almost three times as long to navigate the slippery streets. Fortunately, the frequently malfunctioning elevator in my building was working.
In the harsh fluorescent light of the elevator cab, I studied her face while she studied the little notices taped on the wall by fellow tenants and the ubiquitous takeout menus dropped by numerous delivery men.
Fluorescent light is unforgiving. It magnifies every pore and gives the healthiest complexion a sickly hue; not her face. I couldn't find a pore or line or imperfection in her flesh, and her skin still seemed to glow. And her hair was even paler than it had seemed under the Halogen street lamps in the snow.
The elevator shuddered to a halt, and the door wheezed open. I led her down the short hallway to my door. It took a few seconds for me to find my keys and fumble the locks open. I pushed the door wide, reached in to flick on the lights and made a grand gesture. "Madam, my humble abode." I hoped my cleaning lady had been there during my absence. I followed Heidi into my apartment and locked the door behind us.
"This is very nice," she said simply. "I like it here."
"Thanks. Give me your coat and get out of your - boots?" Which is what she was wearing: hiking boots. Logical for a kid her age in the Northeast in winter.
"Of course." She unfastened the coat as I slipped out of my impractical and totally ruined shoes. Under the coat she wore a leather vest, and black turtleneck sweater and jeans. I was careful not to gape, drool or let my eyes bug out. She was stacked. Above her narrow hips was a waist that I could probably have encircled with both hands; after a dozen plates of ice cream, it might have grown to 19 inches. Her breasts were not huge, but they were disproportionately large and appeared to be perfect, jutting with the proud grace and defiance of her youth.
I hung her coat and mine on hooks on the outside of the foyer closet door and slid the drip mat under them. When I turned back to her, she was bent at the waist, knees straight, and unfastening her boots. Her jeans were tight to begin with; now they were taut over the flesh of her lean, round buttocks. The stitching in the crease of her jeans had pulled up tightly between her legs, and the split of her labia was clear through the fabric. Tired as I was, I was far from dead, and my dick was reminding me of that by stiffening.
When she'd pulled the boots off and straightened, she'd lost a good two inches of her height. The top of her platinum hair was at my shoulder height. I took the boots from her and put them on the drip tray. "That feels so good!" she said, and gave a little shiver. "They are so heavy. Might I make use of your facility?"
"My - ? Oh. Sure. Through there." I pointed. She smiled, excused herself and scurried toward the bathroom. I left her bags where they sat and took mine into my bedroom. I figured I had time, so I quickly stripped and changed into jeans and an old zip-front sweatshirt. It was not the height of fashion, but it was comfortable.
I padded, barefoot, into the kitchen. Still no Heidi. I went into the kitchen and put up some water for tea. Heidi appeared in the doorway. "Would it be an imposition if I used your shower?"
.... There is more of this story ...