On the surface, Judith was a plain girl. She wore wire-framed spectacles that were more obviously functional than decorative, a blouse and knee-length skirt that hid rather than flaunted her beauty, and her hair was pulled back in severe plaits that robbed it of any hint of flirtatious pride.
But underneath, although nobody knew it, was hidden Superslut. Like Judith, she was a first year Biochemistry student at Exeter University, but one who would indulge in any act of sexual and lascivious debauchery wherever and whenever the opportunity occurred. A girl who just didn't know how to say no. A girl with which any man could easily have his wicked way. And a girl who would gladly go to any extreme. She would take a man's cock in her mouth, her cunt or her arse. She would let spunk dribble down her chin and chest. She would let a man, any man, any combination of men, fuck her until there was no more spunk to spare.
Except, of course, that 'Superslut' was an alter ego that Judith had yet to unleash on the world. In fact, it was an alter ego that existed only in Judith's mind. One she carried around with her all the time, but just not had the courage to bring to life. For, in truth, Judith was still a virgin. Indeed, she had never been kissed. She was so far from being Superslut that she wondered whether this secret side of her would ever see the light of day.
It hadn't been easy for Judith to become aware of the sluttish side of character, if it could even be said to really exist. The requirements of her faith—or at least the faith she'd been born with and had lived with all her life—ensured that. It occupied all her spare time when she was not studying and, in the process, struggled to reconcile the book of Genesis—and, in particular, the first few chapters—with scientific doctrine. Everything she was taught pointed her in a direction contrary to the exact and literal word of the Gospel.
Her religious duties were demanding. She had her thrice-weekly attendance with the congregation at the Exeter Kingdom Hall near the city centre. She had the obligation to spread the good word in the form of The Watchtower magazine—a duty she observed as rarely as she could get away with, having endured a lifetime of doorstep rejection accompanying her mother in the streets of Middlesbrough. She had tedious biblical texts to memorise: never the ones where there was much of the sex and violence—of which the Bible had plenty—but ones that served to reinforce the arcane dogma of a faith she was beginning to question. Indeed, now she lived hundreds of miles from her home, the grip of her faith was steadily weakening. She even wondered whether hawking copies of The Watchtower and the drawn-out doorstep debates were really the proof of faith that guaranteed her a future seat in paradise.
However, Judith was as frightened of revealing herself as an agnostic almost as much as she was of bringing to life her alter ego, Superslut. She feared her mother's reaction. She was frightened of the disgrace of disfellowship and the shame it would bring to her family.
On the other hand, here she was, far from home, surrounded by people her own age that her mother would characterise as jezebels, idolaters and heathens, and she could do whatever she damned well liked.
All the same, the pressure to conform to her faith was overwhelming. It came from the congregation at the Exeter Kingdom Hall, the tiny University Jehovah's Witness Society (JWSoc) and almost every other day from the letters she received from her mother. How could she tell her mother, who she loved so dearly, that rather than being horrified by the sight of bared flesh, the temptation it presented, and the opportunity to download obscene images off the internet, she found it all very exciting?
It had been a revelation to her, far more so than anything written by St John, to view not only images of naked figures, which she'd already seen in art galleries, but sexual acts that often went far beyond what was necessary to go forth and multiply. Even what she had seen on television in the students' lounge hadn't prepared her for the acts of gross depravity she had seen on the internet. And contrary to her mother's expectation that Judith would unerringly reject such foulness and hedonism, she had developed an appetite for it. And her alter ego of Superslut fully intended to satisfy that appetite.
If only she had the courage to actually do something about it.
In the meantime she had her religious duties to observe. At least they kept her busy when she wasn't studying.
"Yes, I'll accompany you," she told Linus after the JWSoc meeting.
It had been another excruciating debate, led by Naomi, which once again attempted to elucidate the meaning of the 'imminence' of the Great Tribulation and inevitably resolved itself in metaphor and wishful thinking. How could something as critical as the end of the world be so dull? But when faced with Linus' request that someone accompany him to propagate the word of the Lord and distribute copies of The Watchtower, Judith jumped at the opportunity. After all, Linus was by far the most attractive man in the society. In fact, with the exception of Aaron, who was a wheelchair-bound mess of neuroses, Linus was the only man in the Jehovah's Witness Society. Perhaps he would be the one who would bring Superslut into the world?
In most circles, Linus would not be thought much of a catch. Amongst the half-dozen or so Jehovah's Witnesses at the university, he was pretty much all there was. He dressed so conservatively that he resembled an actor for a period drama. Judith could think of no one else on campus who wore a tie. He was tall, gangling and acne-ridden. He took his religion absurdly seriously, although not noticeably more so than Naomi, Miriam, Bethany or the other women who made up the majority of the campus congregation.
Linus probably expected Bethany to be the one to volunteer for the duty. She was a fat woman whose choice of clothes was not only conservative but ill-fitting and whose dedication to the most tedious aspects of faith must surely put her amongst the lucky anointed. It had already been commented that Judith was lacklustre in her commitment, so he probably assumed she had volunteered to recompense.
The following afternoon, Judith and Linus spent several hours trailing around the streets of Exeter where they knocked on front doors and, with a cheeriness of disposition and a huge weight of magazines, pamphlets and bibles, sought to impart the good news of Christ's coming and the imminent Great Tribulation. However, the good people of Exeter were as indifferent, uninterested or even hostile as those of Middlesbrough. The only ones who gave them any time at all, and to which Judith and Linus kept engaged with resigned desperation, were very old people, who were dreadfully lonely and hardly bothered at all that the faith of the Jehovah's Witnesses was any different to any other protestant faith. One old lady was convinced that they were answerable to the Pope who she reminded them many times had once been a member of the Hitler Youth.
"Is that why you dress like you do?" she asked. "Is it because the Pope is a Nazi?"
Linus shook his head at Judith as they made their way back to the students' lodgings where he lived and which wasn't too far from where Judith lodged.
"No one ever said the road to salvation was easy!" he joked.
This, in fact, was the first joke he'd made all afternoon in the dispiriting and daunting procession of streets and doorsteps. Most of his conversation had been with the people they were petitioning and focused on his incredulity at the evolution heresy, his horror at the practice of abortion, and, more topically, his rejection of war, for whatever purpose, even in the heathen Middle East. Nevertheless, Judith grabbed at this small evidence of levity as a good sign. Perhaps the desire she had rehearsed in her mind as she watched Linus proselytise on the equally heathen streets of Exeter would be realised. Today would be the day her secret alter ego would be unleashed.
"Are you going to invite me in for coffee?" she asked boldly when it was more than obvious that he wasn't going to do anything of the sort.
"Coffee!" said Linus aghast. "I take no drugs of any kind."
"Not even decaffeinated?" wondered Judith, who had developed quite a taste for coffee since leaving Middlesbrough.
"I have some herbal tea-bags," Linus assented.
"That sounds nice," said Judith, already more forward than the average woman in her congregation, although far short of the forwardness of Superslut. "I'm sure it'll be very tasty."
Although Linus had agreed to invite Judith to his small student bedroom for a cup of camomile tea, he was noticeably nervous. Judith wondered whether Bethany or Naomi had ever got this far, but she knew that even had they done so it was unlikely that they had thoughts as lascivious as the ones Judith was entertaining.
It was more than apparent that Linus' sole intention was to dispense herbal tea and discuss the outcome of their door-to-door witnessing. It was an effort for Judith to direct the conversation to other matters, by asking him about his home in Sutton and his degree in Computer Science. Even when discussing such subjects, however, Linus had the irritating habit of finding a religious perspective, not least of all in the sinfulness of the students who, instead of studying the intricacies of object-oriented analysis and design, would spend hours playing computer games.
"These games are of the foulest kind you can imagine!" Linus said. "They are libidinous, violent and blasphemous. Yes, even blasphemous by the liberal values of the Church of England or the Church of Rome, for they feature goblins, trolls and demons which by rights should stay imprisoned in Hell."
Judith knew exactly what these games were like, although she'd never played them. But the images of semi-clad heroines battling it out against demons with guns and grenade-launchers made her feel strangely excited.
"Do you want to make love to me?" she suddenly asked in a low barely audible voice.
Where had that come from? Clearly, her alter ego was not as well-concealed as Judith thought. But the truth was that she wasn't really at all upset that Superslut had sprung out of the shadows. Maybe it would facilitate the release of passion she so craved.
Linus was shocked. In fact, he went very visibly pale. His acne-scars stood out blue and grey against his unhealthy white skin.
"What did you say?"
Judith repeated herself, surprised at her uncharacteristic boldness. "Do you want to fuck... make love to me?"
Linus froze on his chair and stared down at his hands clasped in his lap. This was a tense moment that went on for rather longer than Judith had ever imagined possible. When would he look up and, true to the form of all men, which her mother, the internet and the Bible had assured her were driven by desire and lust rather than reason, say "Yes. Yes. Yes!" And then they could fling themselves on the bed and Linus would fuck her just like all those porn stars did on the internet. Perhaps Linus had a penis as big as they did. She would love to find out.
Linus eventually raised his head and looked at Judith sadly and even pityingly.
"I shall pretend I haven't heard you," he said slowly and evenly. "I shall tell no one in the congregation or in JWSoc, as I have no wish to see you marked or reproved. You have committed the foul and unspeakable sin of lust, for which you cannot be forgiven, but the Lord is strong within me and I believe he would see this as a test of the strength of my faith. You are surrounded by heathens and atheists, so it is only natural that you should fall into error. Please go now and I shall make no future reference to this transgression."
Judith was ashamed and embarrassed as she made her unaccompanied way out of Linus' student dwellings and from there through the streets of Exeter. There was a part of her that regretted her lasciviousness and presumptuousness, but the loudest voice in her head was one which celebrated Superslut and was more concerned about the failure of her blatant solicitation than at the fact it had been done at all.
Judith was sure a gulf was opening between her and the other Jehovah's Witnesses at the university, and this incident would serve only to make that gulf larger. However, the greatest cause for this was less her sluttishness—which to his credit Linus did keep a secret—but the fact that Judith didn't really enjoy spending much time with her co-believers and made the unforgivable error of befriending students who were not Jehovah's Witnesses. Indeed, there was one who was not even within the bounds of the Christian faith.
In truth, Judith had few enough friends at university and this was less a result of shyness but more because her conservative appearance made most students feel uncomfortable. Furthermore, she didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't party, didn't play sports, and didn't have any knowledge of popular culture. However, she was an amiable enough girl and, unlike the other members of JWSoc, didn't proselytise or indeed make any reference to her religion. None of them, of course, knew that she was also Superslut, who'd gladly take any cock in her mouth and would wade in buckets of spunk if only she had the opportunity.
Kulthoom was a Muslim. An Indian Muslim, at that, but scarcely a girl who paraded her religion. Indeed, she was one of those students who Judith's mother would most unreservedly describe as a jezebel. She displayed more of her brown skin than even the average female student and frequently sprinkled her conversation with profanities and even obscenities. Neither attribute would endear her to Judith's congregation. In fact, she would be considered utterly unsuitable as a friend for Judith by her mother and even her father, who so rarely expressed any opinion of his own.
"Why so glum?" asked Kulthoom, after a seminar on enzymes where Judith had been even more reserved than usual.
Judith wasn't prepared for this question and had no answer ready. She certainly didn't expect to suddenly burst into tears within full sight of a couple of the boys from her seminar.
"Oh, Judith," said Kulthoom with sympathy. "Come along. Let's find somewhere to sit and talk. You're not pregnant or something, are you?"
"Pregnant?" gasped Judith, wondering all of a sudden whether it was after all true that you could get pregnant from sitting on toilet seats. "No. No. It's nothing."
"Well, it's clearly not nothing, Judith," Kulthoom continued. "I'm sorry about mentioning pregnancy. It's just a couple of friends... Well, it happens... I just wondered... I know you're not the sort of girl who'd get pregnant."
"More's the pity!" exclaimed Judith bitterly and firmly, and her tears gushed out with less constraint, accompanied by throaty gulps. Where had this come from? Superslut would never have such inexplicable emotions. So, why did Judith?
Kulthoom sighed. "You're frustrated by not having a boyfriend, aren't you?" she asked sympathetically.
Judith nodded. "I never meet any boys. I can never get to know them. I'm going to die a spinster."
"Don't be silly!" said Kulthoom. "Finding boys is easy. But not when you dress the way you do. Nor when you never go out anywhere."
"What can I do?" Judith sniffed miserably.
Kulthoom directed Judith to a seat and sat next to her. "Well, by not feeling sorry for yourself for a start. Look, I'm going to a club this Saturday. You fancy going? There's a good chance that Eddie Halliwell will be DJing. But, even if he isn't, it'll be banging."
"A night club. Where there'll be dancing and stuff. It's mostly techno and trance. It'll be good."
"And there'll be loads of boys there."
"Really?" said Judith, visibly cheering up.
"Yeah. You fancy it?"
"Erm... Yes. Perhaps."
"You'll need to put on better clothes, though," Kulthoom remarked. "They won't let you in dressed like some kind of fifties throwback."
"What sort of clothes?" asked a visibly alarmed Judith. "All my clothes are like this."
"Fuck's sake!" said Kulthoom, suddenly exasperated. "I only wondered if you wanted to come with me to the club. Do you really have nothing else to wear?"
Judith nodded sadly.
"Okay! Okay! I can go shopping with you as well. Get you some decent clothes to wear. We'll have to go to the arcade. When's a good time for you?"
It was the first time that Judith had ever entered any of the clothes shops that Kulthoom took her to, but they were shops where she was sure Superslut would be comfortable. She almost hoped that Kulthoom would take her into Ann Summers to look at erotic lingerie, but that was a step too far. Anyway, the ones they did go into sold clothes that were far more revealing than any Judith had worn in her life. At first she was very reluctant to try on the clothes in the little changing rooms, but Kulthoom insisted. She also persuaded Judith to unplait her hair so she didn't look quite so odd, even though her clumsy clothes did cause a few eyebrows to be raised when they entered the clothes shops.
In actual fact, Judith didn't choose any of the clothes she bought. It was Kulthoom who decided what Judith should buy and none of these were remotely like any clothes Judith had ever worn before, but, as Judith secretly noted, were certainly suitable for Superslut. They were slightly more revealing than the clothes Kulthoom wore on campus, but were not by any means outrageous. These were a short-cropped tee-shirt, a short denim skirt, a garish plastic handbag and small bootees with more heel than Judith usually wore, but not so much as to make dancing an improbability.
"So, let's look at you, girl!" said Kulthoom standing outside the changing rooms in front of the mirror. Judith nervously and awkwardly strode back and forth in her new clothes, actually rather liking the image she saw of herself. Superslut was poised and ready to spring into action. Her arms were bare, her midriff was bare, and her legs were bare from the ankles to very nearly the top of the thigh. If her mother could see her now... Or any of the Exeter Kingdom Hall... Or any Jehovah's Witness...
"I don't think anyone would recognise you," commented Kulthoom, unconsciously echoing Judith's thoughts. "You look totally different. Yeah, I think we'll be able to do the business. The boys at the club won't know what's hit them."