It was the second time 14-year-old Katy had been alone in the house with her grandfather since his stroke. Somehow that gave her permission to grieve as never before. She cried off and on for a half hour.
Katy's grandma had been nice, but she had died when Katy was three, so she didn't remember her so well. But grandpa had been such a wonderful grandparent. Whenever Katy and her family arrived for a visit, he would give the brightest smile and the warmest hug, and he always had some interesting gift. He listened attentively to the stories she had to tell -- unlike her sister Joan and her mom and her dad, who got tired of them pretty soon or didn't pay attention. He took her and Joan to the zoo and the amusement park. His stories about his past were always interesting. And while her whole family was devout, there was something about grandpa's voice as he said grace that really spoke of a deep belief. And when grandpa looked at her, it just felt like pure warmth and pure love.
Grandpa was 73 years old and going strong when the stroke hit. That was four months ago. Katy's mom had explained what that meant, about his brain not working right. Katy's uncle Paul lived near grandpa, and he and Aunt Judy did most of the visiting. Katy's family had made the four-hour drive on two separate weekends. It had been so sad to see him in the hospital with tubes and machines all over.
As time went on, they gave up hope of him making a recovery. He'd need people to look after him for the rest of his life. The two sons wanted to keep him out of a nursing home if they could. So he'd gone home with Aunt Judy and Uncle Paul. But after two months the grown-ups all decided it was time for him to come live with Katy's family for a few months before switching back. So here he was.
The plan was not to leave grandpa alone for too long at a time. Both of Katy's parents worked. An aide came in during the mornings, but she was expensive. Katy had bible study after school on Tuesday and Thursday, while Joan had it the other days. So one or the other of them was free every afternoon and they had the weekday afternoons covered so the aide could go home. Between 3:30 and 5:30 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday grandpa was her responsibility.
The sad part was that he was so seriously disabled. He couldn't communicate and he couldn't move any of his muscles, except the reflexes of swallowing and breathing. His eyes would sometimes focus on something, but it was unpredictable. He certainly couldn't move his eyes to the left for "yes" and the right for "no". No one really knew what he was thinking or if his thoughts made any sense. He lay there on his bed, breathing and occasionally looking at something random, but he couldn't do anything.
And that's why Katy had been crying, thinking about this wonderful grandpa who was reduced to practically nothing.
There was one possible bridge across the chasm, however. There was a new experimental device. The doctors had implanted a few electrodes in grandpa's brain, and the signal they got out indicated how happy or sad grandpa was. It was hooked up to a red digital display, but it also made a simple beep that came every few seconds. The higher the pitch, the happier he was. When he heard the voice of one of his sons or granddaughters, the beep went up. If he was hungry and they gave him some food, the tone would go up. When he was full it would go down again so they knew to stop. A falling tone had told them that he really didn't like apple sauce. Although he had been a very devout man, hearing passages from the bible or churchy organ music made the tone fall. He didn't get anything out of being touched or having his hand held.
The first time they'd been alone together, she'd tried playing her newest violin piece. She was a little bit hurt to discover after just a few measures that the red numbers were falling dramatically. She tried singing and found that "America the Beautiful" got a modest rise. "Our God Our Help In Ages Past" got a falling tone so she quit that in a hurry. "Yesterday" by the Beatles did better than "America the Beautiful". "Brown-Eyed Girl" did even better, which amused Katy.
Last time she'd thought of it like a game, seeing what could make the tone go up. But this time as she was crying it struck her that it wasn't a game at all. This tone was the last bridge to grandpa, and it indicated his actually being sad or a little bit happy. She realized that his tone had gone down a little when she started crying, and she felt bad about that. But she couldn't help herself.
So here she was a half hour later. She'd had only occasional sniffles the last few minutes, so she felt she was done with crying. "It's OK, grandpa, I feel better now." The tone went up a little bit.
"Maybe I can read some more? You seem to like the sound of my voice. I brought 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears'." OK, she knew, it was a dumb kids' story, but that's what she wanted to read. Maybe grandpa would recognize it from his own childhood.
She seated herself in a chair right beside his bed, facing up towards the head. The tone went up at first but began to fall again. Her mom had told her she'd go crazy thinking she was a failure if the tone wasn't always high. She thought it was still up a little bit from its baseline, so she kept reading. She realized as she read that an old story like this was comforting when the world didn't make sense.
Suddenly his tone started going up way more than usual. Surely it wasn't the mention of porridge! She then realized that in her shifting around to get comfortable she had put her right foot up on the bed and given him a clear view right up her skirt! And that's exactly where his eyes were focused.
She quickly restored her modesty, and the tone fell again. What an embarrassing idea, that grandpa would be happy looking up her dress! Maybe it was a glitch in the equipment. She went back to reading, and his tone was definitely below average (the meter confirmed that, since they all knew 2.7 was average). Grandpa's eyes were still fixed on her midsection. She was intrigued. She couldn't resist, just as a tiny experiment, crossing her legs. The tone went up briefly. Then she opened her legs a bit while keeping the dress in place, and the tone went up. When she lifted the one leg to give him a clear view again, the tone went way up once more. When she restored her modesty, it fell.
Katy put the book down to think. As far as they could tell, grandpa couldn't understand language. Still, she had to talk to him. Maybe he got something out of tone of voice. "Grandpa!" she said. "Do you really like to see what I think you do?" There was no change in the tone.
Katy's family was part of a very strict religious community. They went to a special cooperative school so they wouldn't be corrupted by all the sinful people. They only watched religious TV. But Katy was aware of the outside world. When they took a trip in the car, she saw all kinds of billboards with half-naked people. In summer the people they saw inside the other cars wore shorts and T-shirts or sometimes just bathing suits, which looked like fun. But she wasn't quite sure what to think since she knew they were all going to hell.
Returning to the situation with grandpa, Katy had been taught from a very young age that it was very important not to let anyone see her chest or between her legs. She had to stay modest at all times. Now she paused to reflect on that prohibition and what it meant.
A couple years before, she'd been frightened to wake up with blood on her panties. Her mother had acted very uncomfortable as she brusquely explained that this was normal and she'd have to wear these special sanitary pads a few days every month. Fortunately her sister Joan was two years older and had been a little bit more helpful and whispered furtively to her about what she could expect in more practical terms, including cramps (yuck). She already knew that that part of her anatomy was shameful and she should only touch it to clean it. There were already two dirty things that came out down there, and now there was a third. There was also something about babies coming out down there, but that didn't make any sense. While occasionally women changed clothing in the same room, she must never let men or boys see that part of her. God would be angry. She also had got this feeling that actual bad things could happen if men or boys saw her down there, but she didn't know what.
She thought about letting grandpa look up her dress. It was wrong of her. But then grandpa was the holiest man she knew and it made him happy; surely he couldn't like something that God didn't. She knew she could get into big trouble if anyone found out, but grandpa could never tell, and no one else would be home for an hour. Even if he weren't such a devout man, grandpa certainly couldn't do bad things to her. Should she let him look or not? The bad parts didn't really seem to apply, but the good part of making grandpa happy was clear. It was very confusing.
She once again gave him a good clear view between her legs up to her panties, and the tone went up. She felt a thrill. Partly it was the thrill of the forbidden, but there was something else too. She found it exciting that someone would be happy looking at her panties. Not just 'someone', too. A male someone.
Even though letting a man see her panties was terrible, panties were also protection. One reason girls and women wore panties all the time was that if in a moment of disarray a man saw up there, far better he see panties than what was inside them! So maybe if you were trying to make your grandpa happy, it was better instead of worse?
"You want to see more, grandpa?" she asked, voice quavering. She pulled the dress up so it was scrunched around her middle and slowly pulled the panties down. The tone went higher than ever. "Oh, grandpa, this is so naughty of me! But it makes you happy. Why do you want to see my dirty girl parts?"
Katy looked at these same girl parts with new eyes, trying to think how they looked to grandpa -- or whatever was left of grandpa. There was some fine hair and a slit. When she put her fingers on either side of the slit and pulled out, the inner folds came into sight and then opened a little, and the tone of grandpa's happiness went up further. She'd never heard it this high before! Long ago, when she was feeling curious about her body, she'd gotten this far in looking down there and then suddenly stopped because she knew God was watching and it was wrong. But grandpa was a devout, God-fearing man. She figured if God spoke through anyone it would be through grandpa. Did God want her to play with her dirty parts? She felt around carefully with her fingers. This place where the blood and pee came out was complicated -- what was it for, anyway? She poked and prodded and to her surprise her little finger went inside her body an inch. Grandpa's tone edged a bit higher.
"What's it all about, grandpa? I know these parts are dirty and shameful. But you like seeing them and watching me play with them. Why all these secrets? Mommy said I'd know more when I got married, but that's a long time away! ... Yeah, I know, you can't answer... " She moved her hands to the side and spread her lips wide so he could see the whole thing, and his tone went up. "That's me, grandpa. That's my private girl parts." Sitting like that and exposing herself while grandpa's tone was so high was satisfying somehow. Like she'd finally told the whole truth.
But in another way it wasn't satisfying. She moved her fingers this way and that, touching here and there. Grandpa's tone went up a little. She was in no hurry. Some touches and motions felt kind of good. One felt really nice, and as she repeated the slow stroking motion with her fingers, grandpa's tone went higher still. Grandpa's face showed nothing, but his eyes looked straight at her dirty parts as she held them open to his view and rubbed her finger in a place that felt very good. Not just the parts but seeing her motion made him happy! It also felt really pleasurable and she didn't feel like stopping, and besides grandpa had a higher tone than ever. On and on she went, grandpa's tone high while she felt warm and luxurious and just plain good in a new sort of way. But after a while she realized her sister would be home soon. She noted how grandpa's tone dropped a lot as she made herself proper again and went back to reading Goldilocks.
In bed that night Katy couldn't stop thinking about what she'd done with grandpa. She'd always known that putting her hand down there was very naughty -- something she'd learned from her parents as a very young girl. But if doing that made grandpa happy, then could it be too terrible just because he wasn't watching? She slid her fingers inside the cloth and began playing. It felt good like it had that afternoon, and she found her hips squirming. After a while she pulled her hand out and started drifting off to sleep.
But a sudden thought made her come wide awake, heart pounding. Grandpa had his own dirty parts! She'd seen little boys from a distance, but not enough to satisfy her shameful curiosity. It would be terribly disrespectful to go exploring down there -- but he'd never tell anyone. And what if he didn't mind! If his tone went down she'd stop at once, of course. But what if it went up? She lay tossing and turning for another hour before she finally fell asleep.
Grandpa's eyes were closed when she walked in. But when she spoke they opened. "Hi, grandpa," she said. "Hope you're feeling well today. Or at least not too bad."
She remembered now with shame her plan to look inside his underwear. What had she been thinking? She'd brought a book: 'Where the Wild Things Are'. She started to read, but somehow all she could think of was her panties and how much grandpa liked looking down there. She brushed away a flush of embarrassment as she opened her legs to give him a clear view up between her legs. He was staring off into space, however, and his tone didn't change.
Keeping her legs in that position, she kept reading, but before long his tone shot up and she saw him looking between her legs. She smiled. She put the book down and kept things aligned so he'd have a good view. "It's so confusing, grandpa. I'm not supposed to let anyone see my panties, but I can't figure out what's wrong with it, unless God doesn't like it. But how could you like something that God doesn't like? One thing I know is it makes you happy."
She spread her legs wider and let the dress ride up, and his tone rose. "Are you a naughty man? No -- you're a good man. Maybe it's OK to expose myself to good men who've had strokes?" She pulled the panties down and off, scrunched the dress up, and held herself open for him to view. At each step his tone rose. "I rub my fingers like this, and it feels good, and you like it so much."
She rubbed in a leisurely fashion. As the pleasure continued and got richer, that idea of looking in grandpa's underpants sounded more intriguing again. Why not? If he didn't mind, that was...
"Grandpa, I don't know what a man looks like down there. I know it's all private, and I'll learn more when I get married, but..." She was getting all tingly from the feelings between her legs. "Let me know if you don't like it, OK? Well, of course you will. With the tone."
She shifted around to pull the sheet down, and his tone dropped at once. But maybe that was because he couldn't see between her legs any more. She sat beside his hips with her legs curled, knees pointing up towards grandpa's head. When she lifted her top leg, he had a line of sight up to her pantyless crotch. The tone went up, so all was well with her plan.
He wasn't wearing underpants, of course, but a diaper for grown-ups. She tugged gently, listening carefully to his tone, but it didn't change. The diaper came down ... And there it was, all his male stuff! She was repulsed and fascinated. There was a whole bunch of brown hair, and his penis, which was way bigger than anything she'd seen on a little boy. It was pointed down toward his toes. She peered at it all carefully. There was stuff underneath that she couldn't see well. His tone fell a bit, but she realized her legs had come together. She opened them to restore his view of her private parts, and the tone surged upwards again.
"You mind if I touch, grandpa?" she said. She reached in and touched the top of her penis. She half expected grandpa to come awake and tell her very sternly what a bad girl she was being. But of course he didn't. Then she stroked very gently along the top of the tube. After a few seconds, his tone started edging upward. So she stroked a little more confidently, still just brushing her finger along the surface of his penis. The tone edged upward, but something else happened too. The penis itself started swelling, getting thicker and longer. She wondered briefly if this was dangerous somehow, but his tone kept climbing, and she was so curious! The penis had a little cap on it, and she could see the spot where pee would come out -- she'd seen it coming out of little boys now and then. She tried touching the cap itself, very gently, and grandpa's tone went up more. As the penis grew, it now pulled away from his body and slid over to one side. Underneath, she could now see a hairy wrinkled sac. She gently touched that too, and grandpa's tone went up more. As she went back to gently stroking grandpa's penis, including the tip, it straightened and then pointed up towards his head. She couldn't touch the back any more; what used to be the underside was now on top and exposed. It was also very stiff! She lifted it at the base and the whole thing came up just like a rigid rod! That didn't make the tone change, but when she brushed her fingers lightly all over it it kept going up.
By now Katy was far more fascinated than repulsed. What the heck was this thing for?
She noted that grandpa's chest was cool to the touch and realized she was a little warm. She thought of something that might solve both problems at once. She pulled her dress up and over her head and laid it neatly across grandpa's top. Grandpa's tone had been going up and down during various parts of all this shifting around, but it was still higher than anything that didn't involve panties and underpants and the stuff inside. Now she noticed that his gaze had shifted. He wasn't looking between her legs any more; he was looking at her bra! Well, she had a hunch what might make his tone go up more. She reached behind to unfasten the bra and took it off. She gradually moved it out to the side, and wasn't surprised to see his gaze stay with her nipples and not follow the bra.
She was now totally naked except for her socks and shoes. Feeling a bit giddy, she quickly got rid of them too. "Here I am, grandpa! Naked! See me!" She got off the bed and danced at the foot of the bed. His tone stayed up and his eyes seemed to be tracking her crotch again. She felt tingly and excited and briefly remembered how very naughty all this was, but then remembered the high tone of grandpa's happiness. She imitated what she'd seen in a flash of video once on a laptop screen in someone's car: she turned around to show him her rear end and wiggled it -- brief rise in tone. She turned and shook her torso to make her breasts wiggle back and forth -- brief rise in tone. What else was sexy? She lifted one leg as if she was a dog peeing on the bedpost and gave him a good view of her girl parts -- more of a rise in tone. She sure had found a bunch of ways to make grandpa happy! His penis was still very stiff. She got sick of dancing around and flopped onto the bed down near his bottom parts and lifted the penis up from his body again. She tried wrapping her hand around it as best she could, which got a notable rise in tone. Flipping it back and forth did nothing, but she tried sliding her hand up and down and got quite the positive response!
"Oh, grandpa, what does it all mean?" she said, slowly sliding her hand up and down on this pole between grandpa's legs. "You get so happy when I do these things with naughty private parts." He didn't answer, of course. On a whim, she straddled his chest. But when she let her weight down on him, his tone dropped fast, so she took her weight off again. "Oops, sorry!" His tone returned to its high levels. She reached down to kiss his cheeks, one after the other, and that got a rise in tone. She felt very naughty as she leaned forward so her breasts dangled over his face. His tone rose strongly. "You like that? You like them?"
She lowered herself to slide her right nipple over his right cheek and then -- this felt especially thrilling somehow -- she brushed it back and forth across his lips, once again causing a notable rise in tone.
"What about my girl parts, grandpa? You want to see them up close?" With one knee on either side of his shoulders, she leaned forward so her crotch was just a foot from his face and wiggled it back and forth. "See?" she said, reaching in to spread her lips. She was sure that his tone was now higher than it had ever been, and she looked to check. Yes, 4.3.
She heard a car door slam and looked up in alarm. She realized with relief that it was across the street, but on checking the time she realized her sister might be home any minute. She raced around, restoring everything to just the way it had been before. Grandpa's tone fell precipitously. She also noticed as she pulled his diaper up that his penis had started shrinking. Would it still be different when her mother changed him next time? She sure hoped not!
Back in her room, Katy buried herself in homework. When her mother called her to supper and her father began the long dinner grace, she felt a wash of shame. Everything she had done was so terribly immodest and naughty and wrong. The fact it was fun and exciting was even more proof it was wrong -- wasn't it? Yet there was that tone, that record high tone, that meant she had made grandpa very, very happy.
In bed that night she didn't try very hard to keep her fingers out of her panties, and once they had been in there wiggling for a couple minutes, she hitched up her butt and pulled them down so she could spread her legs wide. She noticed she was wet where the blood came out, and quick put her fingers to her nose for a sniff. But it was not at all like blood. It had a strange, mysterious smell instead. She tried poking around there, and her finger slid up into her body like it had before, but it slid in easily on her wetness and went in even more! What the heck was that about? When she pushed it in and out rapidly it felt kind of good. Not as good as the spot a little higher up, though. She returned to that spot. The more she rubbed it, the better it felt. Images of grandpa's big, stiff penis danced in her head. After a while the feeling wasn't just good, it was kind of itchy, too. She didn't want to stop, and kept finding different pressures to make it feel even better. It was itchy and wonderful, and itchier and more wonderful, and suddenly the itchiness broke into pure pleasure as she rubbed and rubbed. And then after a minute she felt not just good but satisfied. She'd had enough.
What the heck was that? She realized that here in her bed in the dark there was no grandpa with a high tone to justify what she'd done, and her guilt surged once more. She hoped she hadn't damaged herself. She certainly hoped she hadn't offended God and risked her immortal soul. But even with those concerns in her mind, the last thing she remembered was feeling happy and satisfied as well as very sleepy.
Katy had always been a good girl. She knew what she was about to do was very, very bad. Maybe it wasn't quite so bad since it was part of her quest to make grandpa happy. But she didn't even really believe that herself.
She was in her friend Mary's bedroom looking up the Louisiana Purchase on Wikipedia. Mary had gone to the bathroom, and she quick typed in "sexual intercourse". She'd heard in hushed tones once that that was what married men and women did, but she didn't know what it was. When the article came up, she knew she only had a few seconds, so she just looked at the pictures. Was that what she thought it was? A penis, sticking into the woman down between her legs? She gulped with horror and fascination. By scrolling she looked briefly at several illustrations. She heard Mary flushing the toilet and quickly pressed the "Back" button on the browser.