After dinner was over, Cathy returned to the problem at hand, how to explain the Nudist Club concept to a group of people. Should they do it as an initiation? Like a sorority? She remembered her fiancée telling her about the hazing he went through as a plebe. They discussed strategies and methods over coffee.
They had most of the details worked out when Cathy said she needed to get home so she could finish grading some papers she needed to hand back the next day. June offered to drive her and Kim rode along.
"Just drop me at the school," Cathy said.
"But it's no trouble to take you all the way," June told her. "I'd be happy to, really."
"No, thank you. I had decided to walk home from school when you invited me to dinner. I need to keep that commitment to myself."
"I understand. We'll drop you just where we picked up. Enjoy your walk. I know this is a big change for you. Call me later if you need someone to talk to. The kids have each other to confide in."
"Why thanks! I appreciate your concern. You're right, of course, it's going to take some getting used to, but I think this is mostly something I'm going to have to work out in my head. I understand that the law says I'm allowed to be naked, and I even think I've grasped the reason why I need to do this, but something inside me still tells me it's wrong. That's the part I need to work on. I'm starting to suspect that may be just the tip of the iceberg, too."
When June pulled up in front of the school, Cathy hopped out and closed the door behind her to forestall any protracted goodbyes. She was having butterflies about walking through downtown in her birthday suit and she wanted to get started before she changed her mind. She waved to June and Kim and started off down the street, wearing only her shoes and carrying a small purse and a binder with her lesson plans in it.
Outside, alone on the sidewalk, Cathy started to become aware of something she had never been exposed to before. She described it for her own benefit as her 'micro-environment'. It was the effect that her immediate surroundings had on her naked skin. The small air movements around her legs as she walked. The warm air rising from a sidewalk grate. But for her sturdy shoes, it would have included the gritty feel of concrete on the soles of her feet.
"I never realized how much clothes insulate us from the world around us," she thought. "Being naked, I'm so much more aware of my surroundings. It's like my somatic radar has been uncovered and I can perceive things now that I couldn't before."
As she walked on toward her apartment, she became more involved with the potential for sensations that she wouldn't have thought about before. As she came close to a postbox, she could feel the big metal object as a physical presence, radiating away the heat that it had captured from sitting in the sun all day.
It was well past sunset and about half of the few streetlights that the city had been willing to fund were on. The rest looked to Cathy like they had burned out and needed to have their bulbs replaced. The effect was to cast a dim yellow-orange light over the empty streets and closed storefronts, creating deep shadows in the alleys and cross-streets. In point of fact, some of the streetlights had been shot out with an air-rifle to produce exactly that effect.
Some of the inhabitants of those shadows weren't very nice people. Two of them were prowling the alleys at that moment. Like unpaid and unwelcome watchmen, they were checking for unlocked doors and windows where a jimmy might be used to slip a latch or break a lock without making too much noise.
"Fuck!" Pete swore under his breath as another door failed to yield to his rattling. The swearing was a constant habit, one he had acquired during his first stay in the county juvenile facility that had been his home for five of his last 18 years. Another bad habit that he had picked up during the last year involved illegal drugs and this was the reason that he and his friend were out looking for anything he could steal and sell or trade to buy the drugs that his habit demanded.
His companion on this nocturnal foraging expedition was named Bung. Pete didn't know if Bung had a last name and frankly didn't care. The two had hooked up in the juvie home and quickly become inseparable. It would be more correct to say that Bung had become indispensable to Pete, since Bung's 6'6", 280 lb. size and indifference to pain, received or given, meant he was the last person you wanted to tangle with. Pete had cultivated Bung's friendship for the sole purpose of having a protector, an investment that had produced satisfactory returns on several memorable occasions. When Pete thought of his relationship with Bung, it was more in terms of having an over-sized guard dog that required regular feeding and occasional playtimes.
It would be misleading to say that Pete was the brains and Bung was the brawn of the team, since Pete's IQ didn't rise into the high double-digits. It was sufficient to Pete that he was several points above Bung and that Bung thought of him as the leader.
"Wanna break a window?" Bung asked. Bung liked smashing things, but never managed to foresee the consequences.
"No, dumbass! That'll bring the heat. There could be alarms and shit, or someone might hear and drop a dime on us. Just be cool. We'll find something. Don't I always come through for us?"
He didn't always come through, but Bung wasn't capable of citing chapter and verse on the times that he hadn't. Bung barely remembered yesterday. Anything prior to that, he just referred to as 'before'. Bung lived completely in the moment. If he wasn't sleepy or hungry or horny, he was happy. At the moment, he enjoyed being entertained by Pete's scurrying from one potential point of entry to another like a mouse after a bit of cheese it can smell, but can't locate.
The pair of thugs had almost reached the mouth of the alley when the clop of Cathy's leather-soled oxfords reached their ears. Alertly, Pete jumped behind the closest dumpster and pulled Bung into the shadows with him. Both peered cautiously around the edge of the metal container to see if the approaching footfalls belonged to a watchman on his rounds, or a potential mugging victim. Pete was experienced enough to know that the city police never pounded beats on foot, they just cruised by in their patrol cars and shone spotlights into suspicious shadows before driving on to the next block.
The sight of Cathy strolling past the alley entrance stunned both of them into immobility. The dim light from a streetlight a half-block away silhouetted her nubile form and highlighted her pale skin, making her loveliness as unmistakable as her nudity. She was out of sight before either Pete or Bung caught their breath.
"Did you see that?" Bung asked, not willing to admit to a possible hallucination without confirmation. Pete had humiliated him before for pointing out things that, because Pete hadn't seen them, didn't exist and were explained away as figments of an imagination that Bung utterly lacked.
Pete swallowed before answering, "Yeah, I saw it. But I don't fucking believe it." He slipped out of his hiding place and eased up to the concrete cornice of the building at the end of the alley. He slowly peered left and right, checking for signs of a trap before sticking his head out of the shadow far enough to see Cathy walking along the deserted sidewalk. He stared, transfixed, at her pert rear and the dimples in it as she walked along, oblivious to his presence. To Pete, she might as well have been carrying a sign saying, "Rape Me".
He was so fixated on the vision of such a blatantly available target of opportunity that he didn't hear Bung come up behind him. Pete went to back away into the alley to formulate a plan and backed into his compatriot, tripping over one size 17 sneaker in the process.
"Watch it, dumbass!" He said in as loud a whisper as he dared.
Bung ignored him. All his attention was on the girl. She was the prettiest, nakedest thing he'd ever seen and the sight made his blood begin to perk with hormones and his dick twitch with anticipation. The last sex that Bung had experienced was 'before' with a homeless woman who traded him a toothless blow-job for a half-bottle of sour wine. He had never been able to consummate anything like a normal sex act with a female because they always fought to escape like rabid weasels when they saw the monstrous size of his genitals. Bung's recollection of these previous experiences was as mercifully faulty as his memory of everything else, so he approached each new opportunity with an optimistic attitude that this one might turn out better.
It wasn't until Cathy was out of sight beyond a bus-stop shelter that Pete was able to get Bung's attention and drag his large pet into the shadows for a one-sided conference.
"Look, here's what we're gonna do," Pete said. "We gotta follow her and see if we can catch her before she gets to the next street. There's an eatin' place on the corner with an alley behind it and they got a row of these dumpsters in there."
Pete knew this because he and Bung had occasionally resorted to scavenging in those waste bins when better pickings were not available. He knew Bung would accept the information as news from out of the ether.
"We'll stay out of sight, see. Then we get as close as we can before we rush her. You grab her and make sure she don't scream and we'll drag her into the alley next to the eatin' place. Got it?"
Bung nodded. Pete thought it was even money that any of what he just said would be retained longer than 30 seconds, but it made him feel superior to be the one to lay out the plan of action.
.... There is more of this story ...