Author Topic: Adventures in Pandemicland  (Read 12824 times)

Offline m1090y

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Adventures in Pandemicland
« on: 16. August 2020, 10:02:34 AM »
I keep thinking there must be pandemic-specific plots or situations that could be told.  I thought if I started it out, maybe others can't help coming up with a scene or short story for this thread.  I'm posting it in the General Section for starters to try to interest more people is making the number of posts to qualify for the Stories Section.  A thread like this allows many people to all collaborate in order to create a mixture of stories, short stories, or perhaps just scenes.  The rules are that the content, other than conforming to forum purpose and rules, must leverage off the pandemic situation, like being shut in at home, wearing masks, weird work conditions and all that.  For example in the stories section, my story, "Locked Down for Saint Patrick's Day" created a corona-like virus that started to destroy people's bites.  (It's story 42 in the 'Exhibitions' thread).  The treatment was...  You guessed it!  I'm contributing the first scene on the subject of masks.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #1 on: 16. August 2020, 10:04:58 AM »
Adventures in Pandemicland, Scene 1.  We Now Have a Plethora of Mask Styles

It used to be that a mask was what your orthodontist or assistant wore and smiled at you while they harnessed up your own smile, however during the Pandemic, mankind's habit of turning things you have to wear into fashion statements ran full speed.  I had a mask with a smile on it.  I had a mask that was black to match some of my outfits.  I had one with flowers on it.  I had disposable ones and washable ones.  I had warm ones and light, breezy ones.  I lived with my Mom, even though I was finished high school and working in a meat packing plant.  Mom lost Dad last year and I was the only daughter she had.  My older brother had moved to the other side of the world and now could not come to visit.

Dad had had more insurance than it took to replace his earnings so my Mom did not have to work any more and he even stipulated in his will that if I wanted to get the long awaited correction to my deep, overbite, then I was to have a sum to pay for that.  Installation happened just before the pandemic caused us to have to stay at home or work from home, and I got fitted with headgear.

I had to get used to it the first week and then could manage all night by the following weekend.  Mum was sitting in the living room with me Sunday evening as we binge-watched some derivation from the 'Friday-The-Thirteenth' movie that was a series of half hour episodes.  I felt for the mother who was in the girl's body and had to figure out how to strap on the headgear after dinner.  The girl, who was now the Mom, laughed at the girl as she walked around in front of the older lady strapped up and very embarrassed, saying, "Mom, I think in about five minutes you are going to whip it off and ask yourself how you could ever have suggested I follow the ortho's instructions so carefully."

My own mother looked at me and said, "Your orthodontist is more practical with his instructions than the girl's in the TV show, but I think there's no reason why you could not wear it now."  I think maybe my orthodontist had mentioned that it if I decided to wear it more, it would certainly get a better result and to do it more quickly as well.  I got up and went to my bedroom to retrieve my own headgear and to do exactly what the girl on the TV had just done.  And it was not like Mom would ask me to wear it all day because I was lucky enough to be deemed an essential worker, as the public needed to be able to buy the meat we packed in the meat packing plant, so I still had to go to work, even if the shifts got all messed up for periodic plant sanitization procedures.  As I sat back on the couch to watch the next scene in the show, Mom looked over at me with a warm smile that faked an appreciation for the pleasant appearance of a new garment I had just put on.

The next morning, after wearing the headgear all evening and all night, I awoke to the relief that my teeth were not hurting unbearably.  They just felt a little tender and of course I felt the pressure on the back teeth from the headgear.  I went into the kitchen and found Mom was already up and sitting on the couch, reading the newspaper she had brought in from the porch.  I said to Mom, "My mouth is feeling rather tender this morning.  I think I will skip breakfast and just have a glass of orange juice."

Mom smiled and said, "Yes, well it's only your second full night in that headgear, so I'm not surprised you are tender.  There's a straw in the cutlery drawer you can use to drink from so you don't have to remove your headgear just yet."  I popped the straw into a glass and filled the glass with orange juice while I thought that Dad would be looking down on me thinking that I was not taking the legacy he had left me in the slightest way lightly.  As I sat down beside Mom, she said, "Look, they have a door crasher sale on baking goods at the grocery store.  You know how popular baking has become since the stay-at-home order was put in place.  You're on afternoons this week, right?  You could go to the store with me and help me bring home a load of baking supplies.  I could make your favorite muffins.  They would be easy on your tender teeth."  I agreed.  An excuse to go out for something other than work sounded inviting, and grocery shopping was one of the few other legitimate reasons to be out.

After I finished my orange juice, Mom rose, getting ready to leave for the store.  I reached for my headgear strap to disconnect it and Mom said, "Oh, dear, you won't have to remove it.  Remember, they made masks mandatory now.  The headgear will be all covered up.  You'll be late getting home tonight and will miss some time wearing it."  Yes, I would.  But making up the lost time in advance while shopping?  I got my mask from beside the door and put it on.  It was the standard disposable type the orthodontist always used.  We'd dispose of them after a grocery trip as the media was telling us that everyone, even if perhaps thinking they may be developing some symptoms, would have to get their groceries, so this was a higher risk place to go.  I put it on and felt covered.  I went to the mirror on the wall by the front door and looked at myself.  There were two silver ends of the face bow and the silver connections from the strap, both bulging out by my ears and the strap did not go back that far to cover them.  I took it off and opened the drawer in the stand under the mirror where we kept other masks.  I had a 'fashon' mask.  It was all black and seemed to go back farther toward the ears where it hooked around them.  I put that on.  It almost covered the entire face bow.  Just the hook at the end popped out around the mask material.  The problem was the fabric.  It was stretchy and clinged to the face.  When I looked at my face, although the face bow was covered, you could see its outline all the way back from the corners of my mouth to the ends where they stuck out from behind the mask.  I took it off and tried another.  This last one was thicker material and not stretchy.  It not only covered the face bow but did not highlight its outline around my cheeks.  Moving my head from side to side to see the area around the ears better, I noticed that the strap to the headgear around my neck was not covered in the least.  I turned to Mom with a look on my face that said this was still not acceptable.  She said to me, "Well that's easy to fix.  Get that ear saver that you use to secure your mask at work that goes around your neck.  I will make an elastic strip out of that black stretchy cord we have in my sewing kit to make a more discrete replacement for your headgear strap."

Ten minutes later she handed me back my ear saver with two black stretchy cords coming away from it and I removed my neck strap and installed this one.  I then put my face mask back on and connected it to the ear saver.  There were now three straps going to either side of the ear saver strip that went around the neck.  The face mask attached to this instead of the ears and one could hardly notice a third cord of the same black color going up to the face mask and disappearing under it.  The material was thick enough that it did not show the impressions of the whiskers of the face bow, so it was seemingly now hidden in the front and faking as an ear saver for the face mask in the back.

To say I felt confident leaving the house in my headgear would be overstating it.  I knew the headgear could not currently be seen, but I was still nervous just of the fact that it was on under the face mask.  We had only just left the house for the car when the nosy old lady, widow Parker, came out of her front door across the street, obviously having been watching out her living room window at the street when we left and had quickly put a mask on.  She marched right down her walk to the road and said from the other side of the street, "What a beautiful morning.  You wouldn't happen to be going to the grocery store, would you?"

Mum said, "Yes, we are, do you need something?"

Widow Parker said, "Well, my son has reminded me I should not go there and to just let him do my shopping because I'm high risk, but it's not that I need something.  I'm just curious to know if the smith boy from down the street is still working there.  I'm concerned he got laid off."  This lady stuck her nose into everybody's business and now was going to have to ask others to do it for her.  Mom agreed, although not that willingly, and we were about to move on when the widow Parker continued, looking at me, "And are you getting to use your inheritance to get your teeth straightened?  I do hope that is working out.  You're so good looking.  It's a pity to let your crooked teeth detract from that."

I didn't like the way she was so blunt at making offensive statements like that, but we tried to be civil with her for fear of having her recount every last statement we made to her out of context so as to make us look bad when she gossiped with others in the neighbourhood.  I said, "Yes, it's getting started."  She simply expressed pleasure at my answer and let us continue to get into the car.

Checking out of the grocery store we managed to spot the 'Smith boy' working cash.  Ethan Smith was a tall, slim but well built, very dark skinned hunk not much older than I and in the past I had sometimes joined a longer line-up just to get to be checked out by him.  Today I would simply take another line as I was too self-conscious to face him in my headgear, even if he could not actually see it.  We were in the line up next to his and would be facing away from him as the cashier rung through our purchases.  Just as we got to be next in line, holding back six feet from the belt to load groceries on until the order in front of us was complete, Ethan had no customers and called over to us that he would take the next customer in our line.  Mom marched quickly over to him and I pushed our cart in front of his belt as Mum started loading everything on.  I held back.  When everything was loaded, Mum would push the cart through and start bagging our purchases, while I handed the cashier our coupons and paid for the order.

I had to stand in front of this hunk, feeling my face bow at my lower lip and not feeling confident that none of my headgear could be detected by him, while we exchanged pleasantries and I gave him the coupons one by one to deduct and then to pay for our order.  He said to me, "You make that fashion mask look quite fetching, and your ear protector makes it look way more comfortable than the junk the store gives us."  I smiled, which he probably only made out as a few wrinkles around the eyes, as well as a single giggle, while he continued, "So anything new going on in the neighborhood?"

I said, "Well, I've only talked to the 'nosy Parker' and she said she was concerned as to whether you got laid off because of the pandemic and to look out for you."

He laughed and said, "No.  Tell her 'hi' and that my hours increased.  They have more staff doing cleaning and sanitization."  And then he changed the subject as he was finishing up, "Last time you were in you said you were getting braces.  How's that working out?  Maybe I will bump into you outside sometime and it will be safe for you to show me."

I was so glad it would be wrong to lift my mask.  If I bumped into him outside, I would likely be going to or from work and would not be wearing my headgear and it would be okay for me to flash just the normal steel braces to him.  I answered him as I was paying, "Yeah, the pain is starting to be tolerable.  Maybe you'll pass me going to work.  I'm on afternoons this week."

I guess I enjoyed our interaction but was glad it was over as we left the store, as I certainly did not want to be that close to him, separated by a plastic shield of course, while wearing headgear, in case he started suggesting I could drop the mask and smile at him for a moment.

Getting back home, Mom parked the car and carried the groceries inside as the widow Parker was coming out and she beckoned me to come to her porch.  She stood there and I was about nine feet away, asking, "So did you see the Smith boy?"

I smiled underneath my mask and behind my headgear and said, "Yes, and he said 'hi' and told me to tell you that his hours increased because of all the sanitization the staff are having to do."

She seemed glad of the 'intel' on the Smith boy and went on to probe, "So, I'm very curious to see what kind of braces you got.  Can you drop your mask for a second and give me a cheesy smile so I can see?"  Is it possible to actually forget you have headgear and don't want to drop your mask even for a second, when you are being interrogated by the widow Parker?  I may have been way more interested in getting this over with and getting home than focusing on NOT doing what she asked.  I slipped the mask down under my chin and smiled.  It was then that I realized the error.  I whipped it back up quickly with a little yelp saying she wasn't supposed to see that.  She took in a breath and announced, "Oh my dear, you poor thing.  I'm surprised they use that on adults.  And they make you wear it all day?"

I was turning red and was suddenly quite humiliated, so just grunted 'uh-huh' and then turned to leave.  I heard her calling after me that she was so sorry I had to get it.  Back home, mask off but ear saver still applying traction to my face bow, I helped Mom put away all the supplies while she asked me if I updated the widow Parker on Ethan.  I said, "Yeah, I did, but then I forgot and when she asked if I would drop my mask so she could see my new braces, I lowered my mask and she saw the headgear.  It was very humiliating!"

Mum took in a breath and said, "But honey, it is worst than that:  The widow Parker is going to take great pleasure in making sure everyone else on the street knows of your getting headgear, in detail!"

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #2 on: 20. August 2020, 11:23:24 AM »
I wonder if some people have an idea but have not had the time to write something out in the way of a scene or short story?

One could always share an idea.  Here's one that occurred to me that I may not get time to do anything with:


A patient has one of those wide-type orthodontic face masks, and maybe J-hooks as well, perhaps connected to an interlandi headgear.  There are problems properly wearing a pandemic face mask over top of all that and so either the ortho or someone else in the story has to design a custom face mask.  Would it go over top or underneath the orthodontic hardware?

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #3 on: 21. August 2020, 14:45:44 PM »
Well, I'm going to be off-grid for a week, so perhaps there will be some new ideas in this thread when I return.  In the meantime, here is another one from me.

Adventures in Pandemicland, Scene 2.  Stop it Coming Out at Night

I thought it was just going to be for me to get used to the headgear, but the timing of the pandemic meant that getting used to the headgear might be a quarter of a year.  I had taken reading week from University in order to get the hardest part of my orthodontic treatment underway.  I had fixed braces since the semester began and had already seen my teeth shift nicely almost into alignment.  But the bite correction was the challenging part and I had opted to use headgear to do that.  The orthodontist had explained to me that headgear was so hard to get results with in University students because it was so hard for the student to get in the habit of wearing it for the prescribed hours, or even EVERY night for that matter.  He suggested that one way to start off a patient was to have them wear the headgear around the clock, only taking the strap off and putting it back on until the initial pain subsided.  I objected to this, saying that although it was reading week and I was home from University to get this part of the treatment started, I would need to be able to take it off a few times during the week to visit friends and to go out once or twice.  He said that was okay.  I therefore assumed that wearing it around the clock must be something I would have to promise to do for the first couple of days.

Doctor Knightfix  said he would use a solution that would be used to keep the face-bow in round the clock, with my agreement, and then after a few days I could come back and he would show me how to make it only do that when I slept.  This sounded more palatable, so I asked him to go ahead.  He fitted the face-bow to my molars, making a few adjustments, but for some reason, continually moving the face-bow out of my sight when making adjustments.  Finally it was sitting in my mouth.  He connected a strap around my neck after adjusting it.  He said he used an unusual model.  It was black like my hair and instead of having the white strips with the holes in it like I had seen on all the YouTube videos I had studied, it had black elastic with silver pieces on the ends that hooked onto ends of the outside bars of the face-bow.  He told me he would show me how to take it out and put it back in when I returned in a couple of days.

There was something that confused me.  How did he expect me to get home?  When I asked him, Doctor Knightfix smiled and said, "You see, you are five seconds into your treatment with it and you already want to take it out.  No.  It stays in until you return and you cannot take it out.  It is permanently attached to your braces at present.  However," his face straightened and he suggested, "I will give you a facemask like so many people are wearing these days to protect against the virus from Asia.  I have one that goes from ear to ear and if you let your hair down, your headgear will be completely covered."  He got up and left me in the chair, feeling suddenly like I had made a huge mistake in agreeing to this.  I grasped the face-bow by my cheeks and began to pull on it, but it was indeed securely fastened to my braces.  There was no give at all.  I was not so worried about just sitting at home studying and reading.  It was getting there, as well as perhaps wanting to have a friend over for a break, or if I had to answer the door.  Doctor Knightfix came back in at that point, carrying a black mask with silver trim.  It was really quite stylish.  He said to me, "I had these custom made.  The decorative silver trim is supposed to confuse an observer if you accidentally move it enough to expose the face-bow."  He put the facemask on me, connecting its elastics strap to the hooks on the headgear strap to use it as an ear reliever and then I let my hair down.  He examined me and proclaimed, "There, you certainly don't look like any patient of mine now."  He handed me a little glossy book that was entitled, 'how to manage fixed-in headgear', saying, "This booklet contains all sorts of helpful tips you'll need over the next couple of days from eating to bathing in fixed headgear.  Now remember, the purpose of fixing it in is for you to show yourself that you can:  wear it when you are awake; wear it when you are eating and drinking; wear it when you are asleep, and wear it if you have company, go visiting or outdoors.  When it gets too painful, as it will every couple of hours over the next few days, simply remove the strap for a couple of hours.  Make an appointment for a few days from now as you leave so it fits in with your social obligation later this week and we'll end the fixed-in phase of your headgear treatment then."

As I walked home, I became more aware of the number of people wearing facemasks.  At one point, I was standing, waiting for the crosswalk signal to change, when a guy joined me.  He looked about my age and he smiled at me and said, "I really have to get me a mask.   They say this virus thing could get really bad any time now.  But yours looks really cool, not like those blue and white ones that the dental assistant always wears.  Where did you get it?"

I stammered a little as I tried to come up with an answer for him.  I finally said, "My dentist had them custom made.  I guess you have to be a patient to be able to get one."  The guy groaned and the light changed.  As we started to walk, he asked me if I felt it really worked.  I said, "Yeah, I think it does."   I meant that it did work in keeping him from seeing that I had orthodontic headgear on under it, but he would have assumed I was referring to it preventing me from exhaling any virus that I might be spreading.

When I got home, I was suddenly glad that my parents were away visiting Mum's parents.  They would not return until I had got this fixed-in headgear un-fixed and I would only be wearing it at night.  They would likely not even see it as I would only be wearing it up in my loft where I slept.  I removed my mask and put my things away, sitting down to read the booklet on how to tolerate this fixed-in headgear for a couple of days.  Brushing teeth and flossing would be quite the adventure, but they had given me floss strips with stiff ends for threading.  Bathing would not be an issue as I had showered before going to my appointment and would not do so again until after the next one.  I had prepared for eating by shopping for ingredients for smoothies.  I put it aside, wanting to turn my attention to something far less relevant.  What did I look like?  It didn't really matter because I was not going to be seen in it, but still, I was curious.  Going into the bathroom, I got a bit of a shock.  This huge-feeling steel structure invading my mouth did in fact look hideous, but it certainly looked much smaller than it felt.  I studied my mouth.  The thickest part of the thing was right at my lips where the bar that went inside my mouth joined the bar around my face.  It sat just below my top teeth so if I smiled, one could see the steel of the braces, which I was now accustomed to seeing in the mirror, but now below it was quite a lot more steel.  When I closed my mouth, it held my lower lip down a little and my upper one had to move down further to meet it.  I watched myself put my hair up into a ponytail and found that the strap looked quite large against my neck.  Yes, hair had to be down when I made the return trip to un-fix the face-bow in a couple of days.  But what if it was a windy day?

I muddled through the rest of that day, studying, reading and doing some chores around the house.  I had to remove the strap for a couple of hours three times that day, especially in the evening before going to bed, as it could get pretty sore during the night and I wanted to sleep as long as possible before being woken up in pain.  In fact it had to be removed halfway through the night and was off when I awoke in the morning.  Although getting boring faster than I had anticipated, studying and reading and doing chores consumed the day and I decided to take the evening off and watch TV.  I'm glad I stopped channel surfing when I encountered the local news.  The lead story was on the virus we had been hearing had been starting to spread.  They announced that citizens were required to stay at home and all businesses but essential services were required to close.  They further announced that we were not allowed to go visiting or have visitors in our homes, nor gather outside more than a few people.  We could go to the hospital if our life was in danger, or go out once a week to buy groceries.  I had stocked up prior to starting my headgear treatment so would be fine for over a week.  The only problem for me would be not visiting friends.  I now started to have visions of me going stark raving mad from having no other human contact in the foreseeable future.  And then the news included the impact on schools and Universities.  All closed!  I would not be going back.

I watched a comedy show after the news.  There was nothing I had to do any time soon because of the pandemic lock-down order.  I just had to continue with my studying, although for how much longer than reading week, who knew.  I was able to keep the strap on for part of the night and then again most of the next morning.  I was living off smoothies and a few other soft things I could eat while the face-bow formed a barricade against chewing with the thick bars running back to my molars from the front of my mouth.  My studies were going well, maybe better than expected.  Having headgear fixed in to force one to bear with it around the clock also discouraged distractions like having friends over or going out visiting, not that the stay-at-home order didn't compound that.  The one thing you were allowed to go out for other than groceries was a walk around the block for exercise.  Headgear was turning me into a sort of studying couch potato.

I woke up the next morning having only taken the strap off for about two hours during the night.  I was encouraged by my progress at building up the hours per day of strap wear.  Waking up the next morning and having breakfast, I reviewed the orthodontic progress in my mind.  I was wearing headgear and my mouth got used to having it always there.  The molars were used to the constant force on them and I was not in much pain, simply finding the teeth were tender if I attempted to chew anything.  It was easy to imagine that if I had been taking the face-bow out frequently, I would have found it quite annoying every time I put it back in.  I would have made all these excuses to take it out for things like eating, drinking, washing, showering and maybe even for a difficult section in my studying.  Yes, this fixing it in for the time you were getting used to it certainly seemed to be effective.  And today I would graduate to the stage where I could remove it when I needed to.

I recalled seeing a news item about procedures at a medical clinic where patients needed to arrive just in time for their appointment and then wait in their car until exactly the minute of the appointment, then go to the door and wait for a nurse to direct them in, whereupon they would be made to sanitize and be escorted to a freshly sanitized examination room for the doctor.  I called my orthodontist's office with the expectation of being told of some similar protocol on account of the pandemic.  What I got was a recording explaining that the office had to close, as orthodontics was not considered an essential service.  The government had determined that patients would suspend all adjustments until afterwards.  Installation and removals could easily be delayed.  Presumably treatment time would be dragged out by a similar period of time.  But what was I going to do?  My appointment was to get my face-bow un-fixed so that I could begin to take it out when I needed to!  Would I have to have my face now fixed in for the weeks or months that the stay-at-home order was in place?

I hung up the phone after listening to the entire message.  I paced around the house thinking of everything this would mean.  Actually I hadn't completely thought out what an extended period of being confined to the home would mean.  My parents would not be coming home.  My friends could not visit.  And worst of all, I would be trapped in my headgear all this time!

The phone rang.  It was my parents.  Mum and Dad were each on a different handset.  Mum asked a lot of questions about how I was getting on.  I had to hold the phone carefully so that the face-bow did not bang into it near the microphone.  I explained that studying was going quite well, but that I was rather scared of the prospects of the stay-at-home order.  I then got a sudden panic as I realized that if I could not get my headgear off, I would be wearing it around my parents ALL the time when they returned.  Dad then started to explain that they were not allowed to return home and would be shut in with my grandma.  They didn't have much else to talk about, obviously rather upset themselves about not being able to return home.

I was starting to feel claustrophobic.  It was not just the staying at home, but also the being trapped in the headgear, hiding in the home also to hide myself from the world.  I had to fight back!  I got the mask that I wore home two days prior and fitted it to my face over my fixed-in headgear.  I went to the bathroom and let my hair down out of its ponytail and brushed it neatly down over my shoulders.  I dashed outside and just breathed, standing on the front doorstep.  See!  I wasn't locked in, not into the house, anyway.  I continued down to the road and headed in the direction of the local park.  When I got there, all the swings were tied together with caution tape and a sign declared the park was closed.  I walked around the grassy area, around the few trees to one side of the park.  I noticed the small wild animals hanging around and heard the birds chirping.  These guys were carrying on with life as normal, unaware of the pandemic going on.  I wandered slowly amongst the trees and contemplated things.  Maybe I could arrange with a friend to meet me here and we could talk.  The news said that we all should wear masks.  I could always claim I had a risk factor.  Maybe I could say I had a slight asthma problem and that I understood that made me a little more susceptible to the virus and so I would be keeping my mask on every second I was out.  Yes, I should try this.  I wanted so badly to see my friends I left at home when I went to University.

When I got home I felt refreshed but when I removed the mask and caught a glance of myself in the mirror, I was reminded of the face-bow, that, unlike the mask, wasn't just worn when I was told to, but was forcibly fixed to me so I could not remove it.  My phone buzzed and it was a text from one of the good friends I had wanted to see right after my headgear was un-fixed.  I mentioned the idea of the park.  She seemed to like that idea but offered that if I wanted to visit in her back yard, it was quite private because of all the trees and hedges and so on around the outside.  I longed to do that.  We were allowed to meet outside if we kept our distance, and in her back yard, we would not need to wear masks if we kept at least six feet apart at all times.  I thought for quite some time about her text.  If I was trapped in this headgear for this long, I would eventually have to have someone see it.  Surely this could not go on indefinitely where I hid at home and wore a mask the rest of the time.  Masks weren't completely mandatory outside and my walks would be much more enjoyable if I were mask free, even more enjoyable if I were headgear free, but that seemed an unattainable situation right now.  I texted her back and with several long texts, I recounted the story of my braces and then my fixed-in headgear and the closing of the orthodontist's office due to the pandemic.

My friend explained that her little brother had one in junior high and she remembered his reluctance to wear it and the battles with the parents.  She begged me to come over to her place and promised not to make me feel uncomfortable.  It was not a problem to walk over there and to text her when I arrived, whereupon she told me to come through the gate around the side of the house and meet her on the deck.  I sat there in my mask, not quite ready to remove it.  Jo was out a moment later and found she could not hold in a laugh.  She tried to suppress it and said, "I promised not to laugh at your headgear, but that mask!  It's huge!  It covers all the way back and a little around the ears.  Where did you get it?"

She was not wearing a mask as was okay if we kept apart and stayed outside.  Now I felt uncomfortable in my mask.  I answered her, "The mask was supplied by the orthodontist as it more completely covers the face-bow all the way to the ends of the outside bars."

Jo went serious and said, "Oh.  That was nice of him.  So now the hard part.  You can remove the mask here and I promised I would not make you feel uncomfortable."  I hesitated and then realized I had to do this.  I reached for the place where the mask attached to the orthodontist's specially designed combination headgear strap and ear reliever.  I unhooked the straps of the mask and slowly lowered it to my lap.  Jo smiled slightly, but nervously, and then ventured, "Well that does not look nearly as bad as on my little brother.  In fact it kind of looks cool on you.  And I like your hair down like that."  She paused in thought as I smiled, not knowing what to say.  She added, "So how are you getting on with it?  And what's the idea of fixing it permanently.  Do you have some special problem or something?"

I explained the theory behind fixing it in for the first couple of days and she understood, citing her brother's case as an example of not getting fully used to it.  We talked a little about my treatment, then about my coping with staying at home and finally about college life.

Suddenly there was a face at the patio door but I could not see who it was because of glare on the window.  Before I could get my mask back on, the door slid open and Jo's brother, Josh rushed out.  Having a best friend's little brothers see me in my headgear was exactly the kind of confrontation I had dreaded most.  Josh said in an excited voice, "My headgear never came close to being that hot.  You really rock it.  I looked such a dork!"  I thanked him and relaxed my arm down from where I had momentarily tried to shield myself from him seeing it, which he had done before I could raise my arm.

Jo said to me, "If we were allowed to get any closer, maybe Josh would be able to figure out how it is fixed in and maybe release it."  She then recounted to him how I had explained the two days of getting used to it and the pandemic closing down the ortho office.

Josh thought about it quickly and said, "Well if I wore a mask and Jo held a shield of plastic between us, I could look in and see what I could do."  And with that he was gone.  He soon came out with a flimsy sheet of plastic from the junk pile in the basement and got a rake from the shed and duct-taped the plastic to the end of the rake.  He instructed Jo, "Now you hold this rake at the very end of its handle and hang the plastic just in front of the headgear and then I will stand right in front of it and reach around."  He handed Jo the rake and then ran back inside saying he needed to wash his hands for twenty seconds.

I stood up and Jo positioned the shield in front of me when Josh came back out, having to leave the sliding door open because he could not touch it and he stood right up close to the shield.  He reached his clean hands around and I opened my mouth halfway.  He pulled back my cheek and got me to tip my head up.  He said, "Yes, I figured as much.  That is the same kind of face-bow I had.  It locked at night so it could not come out and injure me.  I can't see, though, how they've fixed it in other than to engage the night locks.  Have you tried unclipping the night locks?"

He let go of my cheek and I answered, "Night locks?  They never told me anything about the face-bow.  They said when I returned, they would show me how to take it out and put it back in."

Josh laughed and put his fingers back in my mouth.  He plucked at something with his fingernail on each side and then took his hands away and said, "Okay, try to get it out now."  He backed away and Jo put the rake and shield down at the side of the deck.  I reached around to my whiskers and unhooked the little black stretchy cords coming from the ear reliever, putting the ear reliever on the facemask which I had put on the arm of the deck chair.  I then reached up to the face-bow and put my fingers on the outside bars near my cheeks.  I started to put pressure outwards on it and it budged and stopped.  I then wiggled it from side to side and it did finally come out.  I lay it on the arm of the deck chair to the applause of the other two.

I was free of the headgear!  Looking at it and feeling the freedom at my mouth and around my neck, I asked Josh, "So now how do I get it back in tonight?"

Josh asked me to wait a sec and he ran back into the house.  A moment later he had washed his hands and had a mirror on a stand, probably from Jo's bedroom and he put it on the ledge at the top of the railing around the deck.  He said, "Look into the mirror and try to get the ends of the inside bars into the tunnels on your back teeth.  Then reconnect your neck strap."  I tried this with the other two standing well back.  I got one side in but could not get the other side in and Josh called over that you usually have to squeeze it so it will line up.  I did this and soon had it in.  There.  The face-bow was back in my mouth and between the lips as usual.  This now felt normal again, although very embarrassing to have in front of the other two.  Josh then said, "Those clips can be put on the bars behind the tunnels to keep it in if you are sleeping.  I usually clipped mine on because the clips sometimes irritated my cheeks."  I tried but could not get the first one to clip on.  Josh saw this and said, "So how about we put the shield back in front of you.  You hold the mirror and watch as I clip it on."  Jo positioned the shield as I turned to face it and I held the mirror in my hand.  Josh stood up quite close to me and again reached his hands around the shield and into my mouth.  I watched what he did and he made it look easy.  I dictated to myself, 'push it up; push it in; and help it to spring down.'  When he had one side in, I tried it on the other as Josh watched.  He did not step away.  I stood there for a moment waiting for him to step back as we had completed re-installing my face-bow.  He said to me very quietly, "I wish for some reason you were our boarder.  Then I'd be able to be this close to you without a shield or mask.  Do you have any idea how hot you are?  My sister's going to make me go away any minute, I'm sure."  As he stepped back and the shield was taken away, I dipped my gaze and found another part of Josh was trying to talk to me.  Damn the pandemic and social distancing!

When Jo started to coax Josh into leaving, I suggested it was nice to be out of shut-in and being with people, and maybe it was okay for him to stay.  I practiced taking my face-bow out again but after a while, Josh commented that if there had been a pandemic with a stay-at-home order when he had headgear, perhaps he would have worn it a lot when shut in and sped up his treatment.  As it had been, he often wore it when he played video games in his room.  I found I had it back in again and Josh commented on the strap, admiring its dual purpose.

On the walk back home that day, I got thinking about the fixed-in arrangement.  Wouldn't you think the orthodontist would have phoned or emailed me about how to end the fixed-in phase?  He could have sent pictures over Email.  It wasn't fixed-in at all.  The patient just had not been shown how to operate the locks to remove it.  It would have been a cool trick if it weren't for the pandemic!

Offline duncombec

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #4 on: 22. August 2020, 02:42:59 AM »
Adventures in Pandemicland, Scene 3.  The Twins

I remember now how I laughed when my brother first suggested it. Braces? At 25? Surely he had to be joking. We both needed them as children, both started with a removable plate, both decided we didn't want to graduate to fixed braces... I mean, that's the sort of thing near-identical twins did, right? It wouldn't be the done thing for one of us to have had braces and pearly white teeth and the other not. I say near identical because there were one or two things about us that were different, but unless you knew us both well and we happened to be standing next to each other, we thought that we were more or less identical. An inch on height here, a crooked eyebrow there, that sort of thing.

When you're an identical twin, it's hard not to do the same things. Even though we went to different universities and started out with different careers, there were still similarities. We both started working out. We both got a tattoo. We even both had the same haircut, even though we were going to different barbers. He joined the military, I just liked the look. When he came out, that's when he had the idea. Although I laughed to start with, it did seem to be the one part of us that wasn't quite right. We were working out, eating well, and then we smiled and the good work we were putting into our bodies came unstuck. I tried everything I could to get out of it, but nothing seemed to work. I tried age, he found some newspaper article about how adult braces were increasing. I cited cost, and our parents offered to pay, especially as the local office was doing a "buy one, get one half price" offer. I suggested our image, and my brother had an answer for that as well. Eventually, I agreed. After all, it was what identical twins did.

We started on the same day. Can you imagine the funny looks we got in the waiting room? Already having a good five years, if not ten, on most of the patients, we walked in and you got two of us, except to most people we were one. We both sat there, arms the size of most of these kids' legs, looking thoroughly menacing yet also totally out of place. It was almost a relief to be called in and have them start looking at our teeth.

It seemed our teeth weren't quite identical. Sure, they looked fairly similar to outsiders, but my crowding was caused by my wisdom teeth pushing my teeth forward, he didn't even have any wisdom teeth (a skeletal deficiency, it seems), yet his teeth had grown as though they did. For once, something different. Well, until they whipped them out, of course, which took place a few days later. I felt like I was in a daze as I was driven back home (by my brother, of course), with my mouth full of cotton wool and my head still in the clouds. One thing they had managed to find different about us, and it has been taken away. Surgically. Typical.

The braces soon went on. It wasn't as though we had much of a choice as to what they offered. The orthodontist we chose was a no-nonsense sort of guy, and it seemed he didn't go in for all those "clear aligners and ceramic braces and stuff". Now I understood why we looked so out of place, because teenagers get metalwork and adults go for something more aesthetically pleasing. We were going to get a tingrin, and that was final. Our treatment plans sounded decidedly boring. Metal brackets, elastics, couple of years, probably a bit longer than 2 as we were adults, and then retainers.

Being who we were, we decided we needed a way for people to tell us apart with our newfound hardware, so he opted for a teal-green sort of colour, and I had navy blue. It was my favourite colour, and I guess there is always a bit of inner teenager in all of us. Surprisingly, his green didn't look too bad - certainly not like as though he had forgotten to clean his teeth after eating. We didn't change it up very much, and by a few months in even the orthodontist's assistants didn't bother asking any more. Sean got blue, and Steve got green. Then they fitted us with elastics. The square box at the front, around our canines, was an absolute killer, but the two that stretched back from the canines to the lower molars were fine. Again, to make sure we didn't get confused, they were different colours. I decided I should just get on with it and had blue elastics, whilst Steve preferred the normal latex type. I wore mine pretty much as I should, despite the difficulties, and as far as I knew, I thought Steve was as well. His teeth seemed to be moving slower than mine, but I guessed that was because his molars didn't have extraction holes to slip into easily, or however it was braces worked.

A few months ago, we thought it would be funny, and confuse everyone, if we swapped over. We told the assistants straight away, and they agreed that it would be pretty cool. So, I left with green colours (but still with my blue elastics), and Steve left with blue colours (but still with his latex elastics). Everyone had a chortle, and learned that for that month, they had to tell us apart by the colour of our elastics, not by the colour of our ligatures. Deciding to carry on a theme, as our next appointment rolled around, we decided that we'd see how well the ortho staff remembered, and swap elastics as well. So I now had Steve's green ligatures and Steve's latex elastics, and vice-versa.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary to begin with, and there was a low partition between the chairs, so you couldn't really see what was going on next door. Steve and I had no idea what the other was getting until we saw each other. The ortho came and checked us both, then called his assistants over. They came back and got to work. I noticed my appointment seemed to be taking longer than Steve's this time, as his assistant had already rolled back before I was done. Things felt weird. They took a bracket off, and then placed a different sort of part on my teeth. It was like the bands they'd used on our molars for anchorage. Well, I say a bracket, I should really say a bracket each side, but they managed to put the two replacements on at once. I guessed it was something like a friend had worn at school, a little arch across the top of my mouth to keep the molars the same width apart as they moved them around. Then there was something else, that he kept taking out and putting in. I couldn't really feel what it was. Eventually, though, they left it in.

The ortho came over and checked us both, and after telling Steve he was good to go with more of the same, he started telling me about the changes to my braces. He seemed concerned that my teeth weren't moving as they perhaps should, and considered that I had a tongue thrust, especially as I'd said I wore my elastics all the time. He'd there for fitted something called a tongue crib behind my front teeth to stop my tongue from pushing on them. To help the molars move back, he'd decided I needed the 'big daddy' of all appliances, headgear. At this point, Steve was laughing so much he was nearly crying at the thought of me having the most obvious orthodontic appliance going. I was just shocked, too shocked to realise what he was saying. I was wearing my elastics all the time, so maybe my tongue did press against my teeth. Maybe my teeth looked to have moved more, but they were somehow moving incorrectly. I was shocked, he was happy, and after the very embarrassing lesson in how to use headgear at the practice mirror, we drove home. Steve was still laughing his head off so much I thought I had better drive, and just threw the paperwork they gave me on the back seat. I didn't have any spare elastics now, as they thought the headgear for 16 hours a day would be enough to get used to. It was just me and headgear, and an inability to say my own name. "My name ith Thawn". Steve made me say it at least three times before I threatened to punch him. I couldn't say his either, Thethve, with also made him laugh.

My parents showed little inquisitive interest. As far as they were concerned, everything was necessary. If my teeth weren't moving and I needed headgear, so be it. It was only later that evening, when I finally started to look through the paperwork we were given, that I realised something wasn't right. I just got this feeling. In amongst the usual pre-printed leaflets there was a plain white envelope which seemed to contain a letter from the ortho. I opened the envelope and took the letter out. Immediately I realised what it was. "THETHVE!" He came rushing in, laughing at my lisp, still. I handed the letter to him. "You were thuposthed to geth this, not me!" It was quite clearly there in black and white. "Dear Steve."

There was nothing we could do that evening, so I just had to deal with it as best I could and phone them the next day. That was a Saturday, so it was their emergency line only. The ortho himself answered, and when I explained the situation, you could have heard a pin drop. Neither he nor the assistants had used our names. He hadn't said Steve or Sean at any point. Indeed, his first question was "but you had green braces... and latex elastics... and..." He asked me to hold, and then got our records. Sure enough, there it was, the fact that we'd swapped colours last time. "But... the elastics..." I laboriously explained that for a joke, we'd swapped. It seemed like the joke was on us now. He apologised profusely, but said he couldn't see me today, or indeed on Monday, as he was fully booked. He could see me first thing Tuesday morning, and he'd take out the tongue crib. My elastics were working really well. I wasn't too happy about having an extra 72 hours in it, but needs must, I suppose. He apologised again, and I counted down the hours until Tuesday. Somehow, even though he knew he might be for it next time, Steve still found it funny. So much so, our parents had to tell him to act his age more than once over the course of the weekend.

Except Tuesday never came. It did, of course, the world didn't end, but it didn't come with an orthodontist's appointment. On Monday night, we entered 'lockdown'. "The virus", which had been slowly spreading around the world, had case numbers that were doubling almost by the day. All non-essential businesses had to close, people had to work from home, all sorts of things were restricted. I started to get very nervous indeed.

I rang the orthodontist first thing the following morning. He confirmed my worst fears. As well as numerous braces going on, braces coming off, and other adjustments that really needed to be made, he couldn't see me to take off the tongue crib. I could remove the headgear, of course, but I only had a few days worth of elastics left, and I'd still be left with the tongue crib. He thought for a moment, and ultimately came to the conclusion it would be better for me to wear it. The tongue crib wouldn't do any harm to my teeth, just make my tongue uncomfortable. The headgear... that could be more problematic, but not terribly so. If I didn't wear it 24/7 or anything like that, and checked in once a month with a video call once they had worked out how to do that (and bought the kit, given the entire world was now trying to buy webcams and fancy software), they could do their best to make sure I didn't end up "over correcting", whatever that was (although I could guess). Of course, Steve found this funny.

I haven't over-corrected yet, and I have to say, there is part of me that will miss the headgear when we eventually get back to have an appointment. The tongue crib I would happily remove myself if I knew how, and when it comes off I have an unceasing desire to crush it beneath my feet so it can never see the light of day again. But the headgear? My headgear? Maybe I might just ask if it would help if I kept it a little longer... after all... once Steve gets his fitted we'll have to look the same, won't we?

This pretty much came out of my head in one go after a stroke of inspiration earlier today. Strictly speaking, some of the orthodontia might not match the diagnosis, and there is questionable record-keeping on the part of the orthodontist, but hopefully this doesn't detract too much!

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #5 on: 27. August 2020, 16:26:31 PM »
This is part of a larger story, but it also fits here. This can be read without reading the rest of the story.

I still have to finish part two of this one, so be patient. If you are interested, this is chapter 7 of  The Ride-Share Driver - The Epidemic

Adventures in Pandemicland, Scene 4 - Part 1


I have been playing with the controls to the camera and the screen since I got in and found out that the driver and his assistant were watching me. I didn't let on that I knew that they could see me. Instead, I pretended that I was using the camera and screen as a mirror to examine my face and makeup, and of course, my orthodontic jewelry.

With all the restrictions in place because of the epidemic, I haven’t been able to get out and display my smile. At work, even with the face shields that we wear, I still can’t get close enough to anyone to let them completely see what I have in my mouth. The bars are all closed and they have no idea when they can open, so one place that I used to get enjoyment is no longer available to me. Restaurants aren’t much better. The fast-food places are all encouraging us to use the drive-through windows and the few that are allowing people inside are just doing take-out orders.

The grocery stores used to be my favourite place to flash my smile at people, but the aisles are all one-directional now and I can’t smile at people as we pass each other. It was so much fun to watch their reaction to seeing all the metal of the Herbst appliance. Now, any time that I get at all close to anyone, they just glare at me before they turn around and hurry in the other direction.

Today, at work, it was such a thrill to be serving the nice couple with all their orthodontic jewelry, especially when I saw that the guy had jewelry like mine. I did my best to make sure that he got to look at my mouth whenever I got near him. Unfortunately, there were just too few chances, but I did my best. I liked what the girl was displaying, but her smile was less interesting to me, even if her brackets were the large type.

I was glad when I checked the ride-share app and found that a new driver had become available. Lately, it has been hard getting rides after work, mainly because there just aren’t very many vehicles out there that have been altered to meet the new laws. Most people just aren’t willing to put the shields around the driver’s area.

The bad thing was that it was listed as a premium ride and I just don’t have that kind of money to spend on a ride home. I looked at the picture of the ride and saw that it was a limo. The details say that the passenger area is completely isolated from the driver’s area and that there is a video intercom for communication. I was just about to see if there are any other rides available when I saw the picture of the driver. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t place him, and then it clicked. He was the good-looking guy from the restaurant. In the picture, he wasn’t smiling and he was in uniform, which is why I didn’t recognize him right away.

I looked at the price of the ride and decided to spend the money anyway. I figure this may be one of the only times that I get to ride in a limo, and since I have a couple of stops to make anyway, it would be nice to do it in style. I clicked on the link to request a ride and waited for the confirmation to arrive. When it does, the cost has changed. It is considerably lower than it was originally.

My night had just improved. I would get to see the cute guy again and maybe I would get a chance to flash my smile at him, this time under better conditions. There was enough time to get changed out of my uniform and make myself more presentable. Fortunately, I would have to wear a mask until I have left the restaurant. The good part about wearing the mask is that it would cover my face-bow. I enjoy wearing the mask only because of the thrill I get when I remove it and anyone that is close to me gets a sudden surprise view of the face-bow protruding from my mouth.

I was just fastening the neckstrap to my face-bow when the ride-share app alerted me that my ride was here. I hurried outside and was surprised to see that it was the girl waiting for me, not the cute-looking guy. I just kind of ignored her, barely listening to her explanation of the intercom.

I played with the touch-screen for a while and found that it worked very much like my cell-phone. I fluff up my hair a little and check to make sure that the neckstrap is covered. The first stop is the bank and it is only a short ride, so I don’t bother to take off my mask. When we arrive, the door is opened for me by the girl and she follows me to the bank door, then waits outside while I am at the ATM.

When we walk back to the car, I can tell that she is looking closely at my face, as if she can tell that there is something unusual about it. I smile behind the mask, enjoying the sense of anticipation that I am feeling.

The next stop is a grocery store. It is open quite late and has curbside delivery, so I ordered everything earlier so that I could pick it up on my way home. I fiddle with the touch-screen, splitting it so that I can see their reaction to me taking off my mask in half the screen, as well as seeing the same thing that they are seeing in the other half.

I still don’t let on that I know that they are watching me and act as if I am using the screen as a video mirror. There is an icon at the bottom of the screen that says ‘Intercom’, so I touch it and say, “Hello? Can you hear me? Did I press the right button?”

I have to really struggle to maintain a straight face as I see her talking. I don’t remember her smile being this interesting in the restaurant, and I definitely would have remembered her having jewelry like this in her mouth.

“Would it be okay if I stayed in here at the next stop? Everything has already been ordered and paid for, all that has to be done is to have it brought out to me.”

When she replies that it would be okay and asks if there is anything else, I pretend that I don’t know that they are watching and shake my head. Then my fun begins. I giggle and say, “Oops. No, that’s all. I guess I have to talk since you can’t see me?”

Then I reach up and remove my mask. From the corner of my eye, I watch their reaction to the face-bow that is exposed and enjoy what I see. I zoom the camera in a little so that I can check out my teeth then zoom out a little and check my lipstick and the rest of the makeup on my face. My lipstick is a little messy, so I take my time fixing it, making sure that I open and close my mouth quite a few times. When I see that we are getting near the store, I call the number to let them know to bring out the order.

While we are waiting, I play with the screen and see a button for 'video intercom', so I touch that and the border around the second window changes colour. I look at the second window this time when I ask if it would be okay if we make another stop. Since I have the camera zoomed in on my mouth and lower face, I know where he is looking, so I run my tongue over my lower teeth until it reaches the pistons of my Herbst and pushes my cheek out, exposing more of my face-bow. I adjust the position of my head until I am showing as much of the hardware in my mouth as I can.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #6 on: 30. August 2020, 12:46:55 PM »
Wow, two great story ideas leveraging on the pandemic:  Being fitted with headgear as part of a miss-identification of the patient and then not being able to get it corrected;  and people who have not qualified for the story section have missed out on all the story segments from multiple authors in The Ride-Share Driver -- it's a great advert for that section of the forum.  Thanks.

Offline Miketehcat

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #7 on: 03. September 2020, 17:48:22 PM »
I love the story about being fitted with the tongue crib. The idea that you could be fitted with an unnecessary appliance, and then have to put up with at the start of the pandemic for however long - it's a really cool topic! Thanks for writing and posting.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #8 on: 10. September 2020, 19:49:08 PM »
This is part two of scene 4 of adventures in panemic land and the continuation of The Ride-Share Driver - The Epidemic - Chapter 8


I pick up my cell phone and send a text to an ‘anonymous’ number. The number that I use is forwarded to another number that changes frequently and is almost impossible to trace. The reply takes only a few minutes to come. I now have the address of an after-hours marketplace.

I smile at the camera, knowing that they both can see me, and ask, “How would you like to join me in an unscheduled stop? I think that you both will enjoy it, and I can make it worth your time.”

They both look at each other and I get a better look at their mouths, this time from the side. My concentration is on her mouth first. I don't remember her having bands on her teeth before, and I definitely would have taken notice of such an unusual look.

I would like to be able to zoom in a little on her mouth, but I don’t have access to the controls of their camera. One of them mutes the audio and all I can do is watch as they talk to each other. I do get quite a few good glimpses into their mouths, since they are facing each other and the camera picks their mouths from the side.

I concentrate on her mouth, checking out all the spectacular metal-work on her teeth. There are definitely metal bands on her teeth and the brackets welded to them look bigger than the style that is used nowadays. When she tilts her head back and opens her mouth more, the light from the screen between them glints off of the bands on the inside of her teeth. I am confused by how I could miss such a marvellous display of orthodontic jewellery when she was at the restaurant, but there is absolutely no way that she could have had braces this elaborate installed in such a short time.

When he replies to her comment, I get a look into his mouth as well. His smile is interesting, but not as interesting as her mouth. I do like how the larger brackets and heavier pistons look. They do make a nice couple, especially with their unusual and similar orthodontic enhancements. They seem to come to an agreement and the sound comes back on.

"We don't want to stay too long, but we will escort you as you ask. If you give me the location, we can enter the change in travel directions now."

While I am giving her the new location, I am paying attention to her mouth. I am a bit envious of her smile. All the metal that she has on display is fascinating and I wish that it had been possible to get the same thing, but every orthodontist that I saw used the more modern styles of self-ligating brackets, and the few that did have the older style that used ligatures to hold in the archwires, only had the small type of bracket available.

Even a search of the internet had failed to turn up any place that even mentioned anything this intricate other than some old stories from some old dial-up website and a couple of very poor quality pictures. While I have been daydreaming, we have arrived at an industrial park with a guard at the gate. From having been to other weekend markets, I knew that security is tight and nobody gets in unless they have an entry code. Fortunately, I had received one before we arrived.

I roll down my window and flash the guard a face-bow enhanced smile as I show him the code on my phone. I get one in return, though his smile is visible through a mask that has a plastic window sewn into it that shows his lip piercings. His uniform looks authentic, but it is hard to tell if it is real. The people who come to these markets are not your typical people. Some of them are quite well off, others live on the fringe of society. The one thing they all have in common is their enjoyment of the unusual.

The reason for the security guard at the gate is that not everything sold, traded or provided was legal, especially now that the epidemic was so much of a concern. After verifying my code, he hands me a sheet with the rules, returns to the gate and lets us in. From the street, it looks as if nobody is around, but when we reach the middle of the complex, there are quite a few vehicles parked around the edge of the parking lot. One side is parking for the people shopping here, the rest is lined with busses, vans, trucks and semis.

Before we get out, I ask my escorts, "Do you have masks that you can wear? They won't let us shop without them."

They both nod and hold up plain cloth masks similar to what I was wearing when they picked me up. It is a shame that they have to cover up their smiles, but I intend to change that very soon. If what the guard at the gate is wearing is an indication of what I expect to find for sale, then very soon we wiĺl all have new masks to wear.

I carefully place my mask over my face-bow, making sure that my driver can see what I am doing on his screen. It is turning out to be quite a thrill having the ability to let my exhibitionist side out in such a safe and yet intimate way. Out in public, I could never let people get this up close and detailed a look at the orthodontic jewellery that I have.

It isn't long before my door opens and I step out into the company of my two escorts. It is a bit of a letdown not being able to see their enhanced smiles behind the masks, and more of a downer that I can't show mine off. At least there is a good chance that I can change that soon.

They trail behind me as we begin to wander around, looking at all the stuff that people have, some on tables, others in the back of their vans and pickups. There are a few converted school buses that have been set up as mobile stores and it is there that I head first. I recognise a couple of the buses by the way that they are painted, and one of them is the one that I was hoping would be here.

The lady who owns it makes custom jeweĺery and I asked her to make me a set of earrings that  go with my braces. I gave her a few ideas of what I might like and she said she would see what she could do. When I knock on the door, she looks through the window, and seeing who it is, smiles and opens the door. She is wearing one of the masks that has the plastic window in it.

"Come in, come in. I have something for you to look at. I think that it is just what you asked for." She reaches under the built-in counter and takes out a cloth-lined box. Inside is a set of stud earrings that look just like the brackets that the guy has on his teeth, including a section of heavy archwire and a bright silver ligature. “I also made a second pair, something that you might find interesting.” Then she lifts a piece of cloth and uncovers another pair of earrings, this set a wide small hoop style that would fit snug to the earlobe. This set is made in the shape of a molar band, including the bracket and headgear tube, again with a heavy square section of archwire and this time a black ligature on the bracket. The studs are done in silver, the hoops in gold.

"The ligatures are removable, so you can change them to match your outfit. I got the ligatures from one of the other merchants. He makes things that use them."

When the girl sees the hoop earrings, I hear her inhale sharply.

“I think that we have a little more browsing to do, so could you hold onto those for me for a little while yet. I have a feeling that you will be selling both sets,” I say, smiling behind my facemask. “Where did you get the facemask? I’ve seen a few people with them so far and want to get myself a couple.”

After she explains which bus to look for, we head in that direction.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #9 on: 15. September 2020, 14:04:25 PM »
I had an idea for this thread:  You have all these people living in a rooming house, but they have to quarantine because of returning from travel outside the country just as the pandemic starts.  It is about a half dozen chapters long.

The Rooming House During Quarantine, Chapter 1

People living in a rooming house often get to know each other a little better than people living in separate apartments, and people living in quarantine get to know each other better still.  The rooming house had proven an attractive residence for people who spent much of their time on the road, returning mostly to accommodate long weekends or spells between projects or assignments.  It was a converted old house with locks on all the bedroom doors.  The large living room had multiple couches in it and the basement had laundry equipment that charged for each load.  There were extra fire escapes from rooms on the second floor, and the driveway or parking lot took up most of the side yard.  Much of the basement had been renovated into bedrooms so that there was a total of eight in the house.

On the fateful day when the country's borders' closing had been announced, there was just time for everyone to return to the rooming house, or in the case of the three university students, to return to their homes abroad.  As the remaining five residents returned to the rooming house, they were required to remain in quarantine for fourteen days.  One by one, they arrived home.  Geraldine  had been living there the longest and was home most often, so the others had agreed that she would kind of organize the place.  She had welcomed new residents and shown them around, pointing out all the rules that were in place to see that they lived comfortably together in the house.  She had been the only one there that fateful day.  She had contacted the local health department for an explanation as to how quarantine would work in a rooming house.  She was told that it was not practical for residents to remain in their bedrooms for two weeks as they would have to use one of the communal bathrooms and go to the front door to receive delivered groceries, not to mention cooking their meals in the shared kitchen.  She was told that unfortunately, they would have to operate as one family unit for the purposes of quarantine.  She documented the results of this conversation and posted a note on the front door, putting a copy in each resident's mail box.

Chris  was a university graduate, whose PhD in business had put him into such debt that even having a job at the university did not leave much money for rent and the rooming house had to suffice.  He found himself on a speaking tour, talking about the results of his research, and so did not have to live out of a rooming house bedroom more than a couple of days a week, the rest being hotel rooms paid for by the university who had organized and funded the speaking tour.  Although in his late twenties, he was still in braces, even if the ceramic ones, as he had volunteered to be a research subject in the university's orthodontics department because he got paid for wearing the braces for them.  Although the research involved testing non-stainable donuts, he would also get his teeth straightened as part of participating in the study.  His bite, although not terribly bad, would not, as he only required braces on the top teeth in order to test the donuts.  When he arrived home he found the note and added it to the information given to him upon arrival at the airport.  He was not allowed to stop and get groceries on the way from the airport to the house.

Geraldine found him in the kitchen going through his non-perishable food supplies in his cupboard for something to eat.  She said, "Chris, welcome home.  It's just you and I right now.  I'm glad I'm going to have your cheery smile around while we quarantine."  She had always made references to his mildly sparkly smile after learning that he was just testing ligatures, rather than really getting a perfect smile from braces.  She kind of teased him about it.

He said, "Well, if this lot stains, then you might have a lot more than sparkle for a while.  They say that after quarantine, we'll find many businesses have been forced to close down while this epidemic passes.  Our research department is no exception.  I got an Email today telling me my next appointment for ligature change was cancelled until further notice."  Chris finally settled on a half stale box of breakfast cereal and a cup of tea.

Geraldine offered, "We weren't allowed to stop by the grocery store on the way home.  I was going to put together an order.  I was also going to order breakfast for home delivery tomorrow morning while I wait for the groceries.  Would you like to add to my orders?  Is there any special food you have to get to try to stain your braces?"

Chris laughed and said, "If they have cancelled my next appointment, I think maybe I will hold off on foods that stain until I have an appointment again."  He always had his appointments right after a speaking tour stop when he returned home for the weekend and would eat his worst staining meal between delivering his talk and his appointment.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #10 on: 16. September 2020, 09:09:16 AM »
The Rooming House During Quarantine, Chapter 2

Andy, short for Andrea,  returned the next day.  She had accepted a job across the border and she rented a full apartment there, however in order to continue to qualify for the health benefits of the country of her citizenship, she was required to maintain a residence here and to return to the country for a minimum number of nights each year.  The rooming house was an economical way to meet this requirement.  Now, however, with borders closing, she was required to return home to the rooming house until the pandemic was over.  Her employer was arranging for her to work remotely, half time, but for the following week, she would have little to do and would be in quarantine, unable to go out of the rooming house.

Andy not only brought home her laptop from work, she had also brought home a glimmering smile of steel.  She was getting her bite fixed.  Unlike when she was little, her over-jet was now considered something that should be treated.  She'd got the braces right after her last return from the rooming house back across the border to work.  That was almost a month ago.  The day before yesterday, her follow-up appointment had seen the addition of headgear to her braces, and her expander had started to be activated a week before that.  Getting used to the headgear in addition to the expander was going to take a number of one and then two hour sessions for the next week.  She had felt it would be easy to accommodate this requirement with the headgear, before she got the order to return to the rooming house.  Before that, she would wear it a couple of hours before leaving to for work in the morning as well as a couple of hours when she got home, and all in the privacy of her apartment.  Now she would be confined to the rooming house and the headgear would confine her to her room.  Residents of the rooming house spent quite a bit of their leisure time in the common areas of the house when they where home.  Andy foresaw herself just sitting on the edge of her bed, headgear constricting the movement of her head and neck, watching the clock for the two hours to be up.  But that would be after dinner, a time when the group all buzzed around the kitchen together.

Kent  was part of a pipeline crew.  His employer erected temporary housing at the job site.  The rooming house was where he stayed for those weeks he had extended leave while they moved the job site further down the pipeline.  He ran into Andy right after getting his luggage into his room and was heading to the kitchen for something to eat.  He had brought home some left over food supplies from his room on the pipeline project and would prepare that now.  Seeing Andy, he said cheerfully, "Oh, Andy, what a babe fer a fella's tired eyes.  Yuh know we ain't got no dames on the friggen crew.  You's a refreshin sight as always."  Kent had not normally seen her as quite so attractive in the past when she was home.  She smiled in pleasant surprise at his comment.  Seeing the shine from her smile he then went on to remark, "Oh, and dat grill.  You're really forken out for that, ain't you!"

Andrea then covered up her teeth in a strained posture of the lips with the smile almost wiped from her face and said, "Yeah, I have to get the bite fixed."  And then, trying to change the subject, asked, "So how was your last stint on the pipeline?  I guess you got sent home like the rest of us, as they could not continue work because of the stay-at-home order."

Kent laughed, "Yeah, right, like we's not already in quarantine!  They had some kind of concern about our supplies comin in.  They ain't sure how to sanitize large sections of pipe.  So now I am quarantined here where there is way more chance of encounterin the virus.  Oh well, the dogh continues and I don't have ta work for it."  He smiled.  Then he commented on the previous sight of her braces again, "But that's some cool equipment on your smile.  How's it fixin' your bite?"

Andy answered with a snicker before she could think, "Oh, it's the headgear that fixes it."

Kent cut in quickly, "Oh, dynamite.  So you really have some cool artillery, then.  So when do we see it?"

She straightened her face, realizing she had not meant to mention it, and clarified, "I will be wearing it in my room at night, except for a bunch of spells I have to hide in my room with it during short periods during the day."

Kent got a look of disappointment on his face and suggested, "Look, with the bunch of us are all quarantined in here for now, you can't go being that private about things.  Just pretend we are all close family and get on with it."

Andy was finished her dishes at this point and was on her way, telling Kent it was good to see him again.  It was getting about time for the next period she was supposed to wear the headgear, so needed to get settled in her room.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #11 on: 17. September 2020, 13:28:51 PM »
The Rooming House During Quarantine, Chapter 3

Devin  was the last of the residents to rush home because of the pandemic and the closing of the borders.  She worked as a kind of property manager for the second homes in the sunny island areas for the rich and famous.  She had the most perfect teeth imaginable.  Her smile, which got pointed at millionaires and almost billionaires as a normal course of her job, was beautiful, professional and dazzling.  In fact Andy had looked at her own smile after meeting Devin for the first time and wondered how possible it would be for her to have such a smile.  Now, in getting her defective bite fixed, perhaps she was to have such a smile also.

Devin passed Andy on her way out of the bathroom and noticed her silver smile, commenting with a big smile, "Good for you with the smile.  It's worth a lot in the end.  Don't hesitate on any of the extra stuff they try to use on you.  It's all worth it in the end!"  Andy made a sigh and some mumbled comment about it depending on the extras.  Devin clarified, "This smile required a twin block, then the braces and combination pull headgear and later an interlandi, plus an expander and elastics.  And then the retainer had problems and they added high-pull headgear to that.  But that is what it took for me to get clients so I could take care of the resorts of the rich and famous."

Once Devin had eaten and returned to her room, Geraldine decided that everyone was back and settled and now it was time for a house meeting.  She went around to each of the bedrooms, knocked on the door and called through it that there was a house meeting in five minutes.  Soon after she had settled in her room, Andy had found it was time for her next two hour session with her headgear and was wearing it at that moment.  She thought of what Devin had said.  She recalled how Kent seemed to think she should wear it in front of her housemates just like they were close family.  She was not sure she would in fact have worn it in front of her family back home.  But Devin seemed to have described a lot worse than a cervical pull headgear.  'It would be worth it in the end.'  This statement from Devin repeated itself a couple of times in Andy's head and she tried to work up the courage to leave her room wearing it.

Geraldine got herself ready in the main lounge.  Andy was the first to arrive.  Sitting down on a couch, she waited for the others to arrive while Geraldine organized things on her laptop for the meeting.  When she looked up she exclaimed, "Holy Fuck!  Andy, you're really doing the full brace thing!  Oh, you poor thing.  Do you have to wear that all the time?"

At that point Devin came in and said, "Andy, good for you."

Andy answered Geraldine, "For now it is short periods until it doesn't hurt so much, but then it's nights."

Devin suggested, "Even if they did not say it, wearing it a lot more than that gets much better results.  You should try for a lot more while we are in quarantine.  Trust me.  It's worth it in the end."  She smiled big as if that smile would back up her point, but both the other two noticed something surprising.  Devin was wearing a retainer.  She added, once confirming they had seen it, "And Andy, I wore my retainer just to show you I can walk the walk as well as talk the talk.  I wear it most nights but decided to wear it to the meeting to impress upon you that this stuff is worth it."

Kent then entered the room and after seeing Andy, decided to sit on the same couch as her, but not uncomfortably close.  He said, "Wow!  Very nice," saying no more than that but continuing to smile and to look at her.

When Chris appeared, he looked a couple of times at Andy but said nothing.  He took a seat elsewhere in the room and prepared for the meeting.  Geraldine started by confirming that everyone had returned home under government urging and was now quarantining for fourteen days.  She said that she had spoken to the local supermarket that did home delivery.  The arrangement was that they would all place orders at about the same time that evening and then the house would only get charged once for delivery, yet each order would be individually packaged and charged.  She went on to talk about some of the sanitation rules of the house and how if anyone started to experience any symptoms, they should notify her by phone or email and then confine themselves to their room.

She then pulled out a case of beer and said, "This is on me.  I wanted our quarantine to get off to a good start, so I got this, by home delivery this morning, and they are now cold."  She started to hand each of them a beer, but when she got to Andy, she said, "Will you be okay drinking with that on?"  She was referring to her headgear as well as to draw everyone's attention to the oral-limiting steel emerging from the depths of her mouth.

Devin jumped in, "Oh, Andy, don't worry.  Drinking beer from a bottle is no problem with headgear on.  Just pucker your lips around the front of the face bow and then hold the bottle up to it and drink."

As the last two got their beers, their eyes seemed to study Andy as much as to look at their own bottle as they removed the cap and took a drink.  Kent actually moved closer, leaning his head right in close to Andy to study this and then said, "Cool!  There was nothing ever as cool as that when we got to have drinks Friday and Saturday nights at the pipeline job."

Andy put back two beers rather quickly from nerves as she got quite humiliated by all the comments about how she coped with her headgear.  As they each got their third and last beer from the case, Andy and Kent decided to go through the kitchen to see what supplies they actually had whereas the others had devised their shopping lists from memory and the fact that they had no supplies.  As Andy looked in the fridge and in her cupboard, she started with a list she had started in the lounge and added or crossed off items as she refined it.  Kent seemed to be more interested in watching her or talking to her about food items.  Andy may not have noticed this, because she just went on about her task as if the companion was simply doing the same thing.

When that task was over, Andy headed for her room and Kent rather followed her, looking suspicious when he headed down the stairs rather than up the stairs when Andy headed down to her room.  Before she could ask about it, he said, "Andy, Um, would you mind if I talked to you in your room for a while?  I have so many questions for you."

Andy detected that there was something rather sexual about this request but in fact, given that they were in quarantine for two weeks, was already worried about the isolation and was trying to figure out how to survive it.  She said to him as he was standing by her door, "Well, we have two weeks to pass in here and most of us have very little work to do.  You could just come in."

Kent was in like a shot and Andy found herself sitting on her bed opposite her desk with a great hunk of a pipeline worker cleaned up and sitting rather close to her.  He said, "Those three beers were really nice but I think I might have preferred a bigger boozing up at a local bar if we were not confined here in the rooming house."

Andy had a bottle of rum in her room that had been put there eons ago.  As she pulled it out, he asked, "Oh, super cool!  So do you think there is any pop in the house?  We could buy it from one of the others if they happen to have some."  Andy looked under her bed and found that she still had some bottles of pop from some time ago.  She pulled one out and gestured it to Kent.  His face brightened and he asked, "Do you drink?"  He recalled she put back the same three beers as the others and then corrected himself, "I mean: do you perhaps want to drink a little more?"

She got up and found two cups – re-useable but still paper disposable ones.  She had washed them at her last visit to save them.  He nodded at them enthusiastically and she began to pour rum into them.  Kent nodded enthusiastically as she put what looked like a whole shot into one and repeated the pour.  She put barely a shot in hers, perhaps even less, and then added mix to them before he could detect the short coming in her drink.  She did not want to get any more liberal with him than she was currently feeling.  He commented that ice was not a problem when you were roughing it like they did on the pipeline job.  He gulped back half his drink and then studied Andy as she carefully moved the plastic cup to her face bow and took back a quarter of the drink.  Kent remarked, "Yeah!" but said no more.  She drew her legs in as she crossed them and sat in the middle of the bed.  He moved in closer to her but her legs kept him just a reasonable distance from her.  He talked to her about some stories from work and she realized that it was just a bunch of guys getting a superior pay for an inferior out-of-work-time experience.  She finally asked him how he liked the ladies that worked the pipelines.  He answered, "Ladies?  There haven't been any ladies on that crew for quite some time.  One of the guys asked about it and management said that if a single lady had applied for the job, she would likely have been accepted just to defer any concerns about gender bias."  It had been an hour and Kent then rose and said to Andy, "I shouldn't bother you any more.  I've really enjoyed talking to you and especially about your hardware for your bite, but I really should be going."

Andy looked at the clock.  About fifteen minutes and her headgear wear would be complete.  She said, "Oh, that's too bad.  In about fifteen minutes I could take the headgear off and I could talk to you more like a real person."

Kent said, "Oh, fuck.  That would make it even worse.  Andy, I'm getting really interested in you and I think maybe it is best if I retire before I do something that is so way out of line for housemates in quarantine."

Andy quickly analysed her own situation.  This guy had been stuck on a pipeline job without any female presence for probably a month and was worried about coming on to her, while she was just getting used to a hardware sentence that would completely eliminate any possibility of real male closeness.  She spoke quickly before he could leave, "Kent, maybe I would kind of like you to stay..."

She expected Kent to slither back into her room and sit up close to her with his eyes darting back and forth from the clock as he gauged the count down of the fifteen minutes.  Instead he sat up close to her and put his hands either side of her face.  He said quietly, "Fuck fifteen minutes.  You look perfect just the way you are."  She laughed quietly and he stroked her face bow, saying, "Red Room be damned.  You're way above that.  I think maybe that fifteen minutes is a time constraint, not a waiting period.  Is that okay?"

Andy thought of Devin's advice.  She should be diligent with this headgear, but if this guy wanted to work with it, 'then it would be all worth it in the end'.  She moved her face closer to his.  She was not sure what would happen next but with Kent's exuberance, and in fact just carnal instincts, perhaps a month's build up would just explode and she could do no wrong.

Minutes later, and it is questionable if that was plural or not, he was just breathing like he just muscled a huge piece of pipe into position and was exhausted.  Andy was not surprised that this guy, who had been cooped up like that, was quick to do his part, but she was unhappy that she was left still waiting for a male performance of some kind.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #12 on: 17. September 2020, 13:29:45 PM »
The Rooming House During Quarantine, Chapter 4

Kent had to excuse himself for the bathroom but asked if he could come back and sit with her a little longer.  She said, "Sure, I'd appreciate the company." And he was off, returning a few minutes later with the breath seemingly having returned to normal and a big smile on his face as he yawned.  He was quite happy to sit and watch her re-brush her hair after their encounter, as that was about all she had to do to recover from it.  It was not like any of her clothes had come off.  Kent watched her carefully as her hair was brushed.  He watched her sometimes looking at him and sometimes he watched her at a profile, then even watched her strap from the back as she held her hair with one hand and turned to take an elastic from her desk with the other.  However before she could join him to lie beside him on the bed, he had dropped off to sleep.

As the session with her headgear was over and her teeth were rather painful, she removed her headgear and proceeded with some work on her laptop.  She put in her grocery order.  Her laptop had been equipped with a VPN to allow her to get into her office files and she proceeded to check Email, update some status spreadsheets on the office's internal network, and then started to create a spreadsheet to record her headgear wear-time.  She had the last few periods of break-in recorded on a card they included with the headgear and she copied these as well as her most recent wear period into her new spreadsheet.  She compared it to the literature that told you how to break it in and realized that she was not really as compliant as she could be.  The travel had spread out the break-in periods and so she was quite behind in them.  She would just have to try to wear it more as soon as possible.

After about forty-five minutes or so, Kent stirred and was probably about to wake up.  If you could consider the incident an hour ago to be intimacy, even if Kent was the only one who exposed himself, it meant it would be okay for her to touch him the way she wanted to.  She started by caressing his biceps below his short sleeved shirt and then put her hand down his shirt over his chest.  Finally she started to touch him somewhere she had not had a chance to an hour ago.  He was a male that had rested after intimacy and the engine was now ready to be wound out again.  He started to come to full wakefulness and hummed and smiled at her as he opened his eyes.

He commented, "I guess the fifteen minutes ended a while ago, did it?  Shit.  I dropped off too soon.  When do yuh have tu strap up agin?"

Andy thought about the advice from Devin.  Her molars did not seem overly sore now so she said to Kent, "I think maybe I could try again now."  And with that she picked it up off her desk and began to feel the face bow into the tubes at the back of her braces and connected the strap.  She looked at him with her lips together behind the front of the face bow in a relaxed fashion to study his reaction.  It seemed maybe the lower portion of his torso was getting a little fuller.  She crawled onto the bed and straddled him over his waist.  He traced the whiskers of her face bow with his index finger and then traced her lips, at least the parts that were accessible to him, and then she slid her sweater up and over her face bow very carefully.  She normally dressed in this style.  The blouse under it she unbuttoned a bit so Kent could see more of her chest than just her clavicle.

He commented, "That skin looks like it has not seen the light of day ever.  It is so smooth and young-looking."  She was glad he noticed, as it seemed her womanly features could be distracting, even when she flashed headgear at this hunk.  She took her blouse off completely and encouraged Kent's hand to feel her chest and bra.  She then bent over so her face came closer to his.  She began to kiss him gently and then he moved hands from her chest to her back and coaxed her flat on top of him.  In their last encounter he had more looked at her than kissed her but now he more thoroughly explored the idea of how to kiss a vixen wearing headgear.  He did this in such a way that Andy felt just like she was having such an encounter without the impediment and humiliation of wearing headgear at the time.

The headgear caused a few other challenges to the couple but after a fairly long encounter, Andy was able to congratulate herself on managing to feel fulfilled while in quarantine.  Or perhaps she should have congratulated herself on managing to achieve fulfillment while wearing headgear.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #13 on: 17. September 2020, 13:30:24 PM »
The Rooming House During Quarantine, Chapter 5

During the arranging for groceries, Geraldine had shared with the residents, the window of time in which the groceries would arrive.  As it was a Saturday, residents of the rooming house could quite possibly be sleeping in.  She got agreement that she could locate each resident, and bang on their door if necessary to wake them up, when the groceries had been delivered.  The delivery truck had a frozen section and a refrigerated section so that frozen items would only begin warming up the moment they were deposited onto the porch.

Kent had returned to his own room to sleep the previous evening.  There was a house rule about having no overnight guests as, with the lack of sound proofing within the house, it could be hard for residents to get a good night sleep if others had guests overnight.  Kent interpreted this rule as meaning he could not remain in Andy's room for the night.  While Andy was up and about when the groceries arrived, Kent was not.  He had to get himself up quickly and get dressed.

Devin was also not up yet as the jetlag was still affecting her sleep patterns.  She joined the others as they hauled their grocery orders from the front porch to the kitchen.  The kitchen had two large refrigerators as well as a deep freezer.  The group got the frozen stuff packed away relatively quickly and then could be a little more leisurely with the rest.

Kent confided in the others, "Andy and I find we are having very romantic feelings for each other.  I hope we don't make any of you feel uncomfortable."  This was not his usual coarse language brought home from the pipeline project.  He'd rehearsed the sentence with Andy the previous evening when they talked about the necessity to declare their relationship to the others so there were no uncomfortable moments.

Geraldine smiled and said, "Oh, that's so nice."  And then she pondered it and changed to her more authoritarian persona and said, "The house rules about no overnight guests were designed to make sure the house was quiet at night when we should be sleeping.  I wonder how you feel about sleeping in your own rooms each night."

Devin looked at Andy, who was in the process of another wear period with her headgear, and suggested, "Well Andy will be wearing that headgear at night, so I can't imagine it's a problem."  Devin had been woken up by the arrival of the groceries and was dressed, not in her business clothes, or one of her smart casual outfits, but was wearing her skimpy shorts and tight tank top that she slept in.  Chris could not help noticing the attractive cleavage from her wearing a good but comfortable bra under the tank top for sleeping.  He always found that although she was quite a glamorous girl, that her personality came across as perhaps a little snobbish.  With her hair down and messy from sleeping and her retainer still showing across her teeth, and that outfit she slept in, he now found her quite distracting.

Geraldine commented, "Well, if we are all shut in here together in quarantine, there certainly is no opportunity for any other socializing, so we might as well all appreciate one another's company, and if two of us have become romantically involved, then let's embrace it.  I think tonight we should all try to come up with some kind of a communal, pot luck dinner.  And I don't see why we can't get a home delivery order from the liquor store to get supplies to make it a kind of party."

The group fleshed out plans for a party that night while they put away the rest of their grocery orders.  Chris and Devin were last to finish as they had to completely unpack a large cupboard they shared as they were having trouble getting everything in.  Devin had become aware of Chris's new and warmer way of viewing her.  While her dates over the last couple of years had mostly been the sons of the rich and famous at properties she managed, she now found this academic with no wealth to be a comfortable change of pace.  He was responding to her lack of grooming and glamour, while all her previous dates were the opposite, losing interest once they saw her dressed down and less groomed.  She found her hand going over his at one point while they each reached for a can to put away.  As they looked at each other, Chris said, "Would you maybe like to attend the party tonight as my date?"

Devin's eyes as well as her smile lit up and she said, "Yes.  You certainly can't have any other date while we are in quarantine, so if you are okay being stuck with me, then I'd love it."

It was about four in the afternoon when the party actually started.  Some of the pot luck dishes were already simmering at that time but it was then that the residents started to all show up in the kitchen.  Andy was saying to Kent as they walked in, "Unfortunately I am supposed to wear my headgear until this evening but it can be off for the height of the party."

Chris looked at Devin and said, "They're quite romantic in the way they have that headgear always having to be worn when they are together.  But I think in your case, when you showed up in your retainer this morning to put groceries away, it somehow made you seem more down to earth and not so much a part of the lifestyles of the rich and famous."  Devin had been rolling out some dough for something she would try to bake, washed her hands and said she would be right back, using the excuse that since the party was starting she needed to get herself ready.  She returned with her hair down but kept off her face by a little accessory that gripped her head by her ears and ran up and over her head above her forehead.  It had two little triangles like cat ears either side.  The glitter on it gave a sparkle to her head and when she smiled at Chris, he found a retainer bar sparkling across her top teeth.  Chris's returned smile flashed the sparkle in his own research braces back at her.

Geraldine glanced from Chris to Devin and then to Andy, noting that the latter looked so much more industrial in the way she had the large powerful braces, rather than the dainty, finer flash of the other two.  Devin then said to Geraldine, "Chris and I decided to be at this party tonight as dates.  I hope it doesn't make you feel left out."

Geraldine snickered and said, "I think I am more interested in watching you four enjoying yourselves.  I've never really gotten over my ex yet."

The kitchen got cozy warm with the five of them all cooking at once.  There was a lot of leaving things to cook or heat or simmer and so the group spend a lot of time talking while they waited, but finally dishes were ready, some having to be kept warm while others were waited on, and the group made a procession of each moving one or two dishes of hot food out to the dinner table.  The five then sat down at it, Geraldine at the head of the table the other two couples on either side of her, facing each other.  Chris watched as Devin pulled a braces box out of her purse and opened it, carefully prying the retainer off her teeth and storing it in the box which she moved to her purse.  Everyone then looked at Andy.  She'd managed almost four hours of wear while they prepared their magnificent dinner.  She unhooked the strap and put it in her purse.  Kent watched her head moving as the bars that dangled near her ears, were sprung away from her cheeks and the front of it dipped a little at her lower lip.  She then grasped it either side of her mouth and began to wiggle it.  With the tenderness in her molars, she was being very gentle with it, but this meant it took her quite a time to dislodge it from her molars.  It did not help that the others were watching all of this like it was a show.  After what was almost half a minute, she had it out and stored that in her purse.  She smiled a still metallic smile at them, prompting them to start digging into the food.

As the bowls were passed round the table, Andy had to pass on several of them because she would not find it comfortable to chew the contents.  Corn was passed because it was on the banned list for braces wearers.  Chris had to pass on Kent's stew as he had seen how much turmeric and curry had been added to it and he certainly did not want this dinner to stain his ligatures, whether or not it would all get chalked up to research in the end.  Geraldine served up each of them with a glass of wine from the several bottles they had ordered as part of the home delivery order.  Devin and Chris managed three glasses of wine with dinner, while Andy managed two and Geraldine and Kent only one each.  Kent was not a wine drinker.  He preferred his beer, which he would get into after dinner.

And when dinner was over, Devin and Chris found themselves finishing their last glass of wine by swilling it vigorously around their mouths to wash out any remaining food.  Andy caught this and did the same, asking Kent if there was any food still lodged in her braces, to which he inspected for a very long time, not so much for food, but as an excuse to simply get a good close look at her braces.  She then put her headgear immediately back on, feeling that the pain had lightened with the rest during dinner.  She was not scheduled for a second wear session so close to bed time, but the others did not know that and she did not want to have them see Kent working on her to wear it more.  Devin, seeing this, and receiving a glance from Chris, simply followed suit and replaced her retainer into her mouth.

After clearing up the dinner dishes, the group retired to the lounge, where Geraldine laid out the rest of the after dinner party supplies, including liquor and mix.  Kent would have to keep running to the kitchen for another beer as he was keen on having it as cold as possible, a practice he learned on hot summer nights on the pipeline projects.  By this time Devin was fairly well lubricated and although Chris's heavier frame would take a little longer to reach her state, he was nicely relaxed and the others now witnessed the two of them getting a little closer and more familiar with each other.  Devin started to pick at Chris's braces with her finger nails, referring to the research he was taking part in and trying to spot the difference in his appliances.  It was when she was examining the back of his arch that she spotted something she recognized from her own treatment which she never imagined Chris would have.  He not only had bands on his second molars like she had had, but moreover, he had the same headgear tubes which she had had on her molar bands.  She had been made to wear headgear for the last three months of her treatment as they had not been able to perfect the bite.  It had only been at night but she remembered it as a big let down as she closed in on the end of her treatment with much anticipation.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #14 on: 17. September 2020, 13:31:11 PM »
The Rooming House During Quarantine, Chapter 6

Kent and Andy had not been watching the other couple much.  Kent had been studying Andy's neck strap and was concerned about whether it had a right way up or not.  He removed it, examined it, and thought he saw a difference.  Andy pointed out that when she put it on, she always placed it with the part that was curled a little along the neck pad facing down.  Kent put it on her the other way up and then studied her.  He was sure it was fitting differently until Andy put her hand on the back of the strap and slid it up a little on her neck.  She explained that she could feel it pulling on little hairs on her neck as it was trying to slide up into its usual position.  Kent seemed to think it needed straightening and started to fiddle with the ends of the neck pad to make both sides vertically even.

Devin, meanwhile, was asking Chris about his molar bands, "You have tubes on your molar bands.  Do you have headgear?"

Chris looked at her in surprise and replied, "No, the research is about ligature staining.  I don't think headgear stains, and anyway, you take it out to eat."

Devin said, "I got one for a bit at the end of my treatment.  I still have it somewhere.  Can I try it on you?"  The drink Chris had taken from his cocktail before she started doing this had lubricated him to the same state as she and he shrugged his shoulders and snickered.  Devin took that as a 'yes' and jumped off him and ran to her room.  Chris took the opportunity to freshen his drink.

He said to Geraldine, who was watching Kent fuss with Andy's headgear strap, "With those two a couple and Devin and I making a date of it, it kind of leaves you out of it.  We should try to do some group activity.  Do you want to try cups?"  Geraldine had never been any good at the game of tossing things into cups down the length of a table, but jumped at the suggestion and got up to get supplies to set up for it.

Devin returned shortly with a zip-locked pouch in her hand.  She said to Chris, "I only brought the neck strap for now.  The hard part will be getting the face bow to fit.  Kent noticed what was going on and got interested in what Devin was going to do to Chris.  Devin got back on top of Chris's lap and got him to open is mouth half way.  She moved the face bow into his mouth and lined up one of the ends of the face bow with a headgear tube on his molar.  The other one lined up okay when she sprung it in toward his arch.  As she pushed it in, she realized it was not fitting like it had on her.  It was almost touching his braces in the front but it was slightly above them.  It was, however, in.  So she put the neck strap around his neck.  Chris's neck was perhaps a little more muscular than hers.  In any case, the strap was going to have to stretch quite some distance in order to connect to the face bow.  She remembered the times they had tightened the strap and how the pressure on the back teeth became immense.  She had the kind of strap which adjusted by a clip on the elastic strap that ran through the neck pad.  She made the adjustment and made sure it was only just putting pressure on the face bow.  She connected it and then moved back to look at her date for this party, now wearing headgear like Andy and part of the strapping that she had had to wear when it was prescribed for her.

Chris looked at Andy, his lips closed and having to meet the face bow closer to his nose than they did naturally.  He smiled shyly at her and she smiled back similarly.  Both felt embarrassed for each other to be looking at their headgears in such a way.  Kent felt himself reacting in a way he was embarrassed about.  Wearing the same hot accessory that Andy wore, he found himself reacting somewhat in the same way as with Andy, only more subdued.  Perhaps it was the beer subduing it.  Chris then smiled nervously at Andy, the full arch of braces clearly displayed beneath the face bow, which held his upper lip higher above his braces than normal even when he smiled.  When he relaxed his lips, he did not meet his lips.  The lower one rested just about where it normally did, just under his top teeth, while the upper one, being held up by the face bow, draped down either side of the inner bows where they came away from the meeting with the outer whiskers.

Chris repeated, "Since it doesn't stain, they would not give me one of these, even if I needed it.  Perhaps I do, but I would have asked for something easier to wear if it were a regular treatment.  I really don't think this is very becoming on me."

Devin giggled and said, as he moved his gaze from Andy to she, "It looks funny on you.  It looks like it is trying to hold your mouth open.  You'd never be able to drink with that on.  It'd go all over your shirt."

Kent, being the most mechanical one present, suggested, "Uh, Chris, depending on how the loops at the back are angled, you might find it fits differently if you put it in the other way up.  But as for it sticking in so far, I think it would have to be bent a lot in order to stick out enough, like Andy's does."

Devin moved off Chris and asked Kent, "Do you mind?"  The unspoken part of her request was probably evident.  Chris patted the couch in front of his groin, indicating Kent should approach him but he probably meant to indicate kneeling on the floor.  Kent took it that way and after Andy moved off his lap, he went over to kneel in front of Chris.  He unhooked the strap as he might have done for Andy, putting one hand either side of his face.  He left the strap sitting on the back of Chris's neck and slid the face bow out.  Andy, watching from nearby with Devin, was envious of how easily it slid out compared to her own.  Kent examined the ends of the inner arms of the face bow and nodded with a hum of agreement.  As he hoped, the loops had been adjusted to accommodate Devin's mouth.  They were closed a little.  In fact Devin had not remembered which way up she wore it and had actually put it in upside down anyway.  Kent fed it into Chris's molar band headgear tubes, expecting that it would again go in too far.  He expected it to almost touch the front of Chris's teeth near the bottoms or even below them, but when he pushed it in, he was surprised to find it stopped well before it was in that far.  As he pulled back Chris's cheek he found that there was some kind of projecting bar coming forward of the headgear tube, perhaps some kind of a hook, and the loop on the inner arm of the face bow was hitting it.  This was perfect.  It held the face bow out somewhat.  It was probably not going to be enough for Chris's lower lip to come behind the face bow to meet the upper like in Andy's case, but at least it was not touching the teeth or sitting under the top teeth.  He connected the strap and moved back to admire the appliance as Chris relaxed his lips.

As his lower lip touched the underside of the face bow and the upper one relaxed just far enough above it to show the bottoms of his top teeth and a hint of the arch wire, Devin gasped and commented, "Oh Chris, that's darling on you.  It looks just like a real headgear; like on Andy."  Chris moved his lips around to feel how the face bow fit this way.  He closed his lips around it but had to push them out a little to accommodate it between them.  Then he pushed them out further to moisten it and this formed a pucker.  Devin caught this and jumped back on his lap, pushing her lips against his.  After kissing him, she pulled back and turned to look at the others and said, "Kent, thanks for making it fit so well.  He's kind of hot in headgear, wouldn't you say?"

Kent's loins were urging him to agree, but self-consciousness prompted him to say, "Yes, I reccon he will turn a few heads of da babes a lookin like that."  Kent found that whereas Andy was now looking comfortable in wearing her headgear amongst the other roomers in the house, Chris was clearly not comfortable in any way, except for the attention he was getting from Devin.

As Kent and Andy returned to the couch they had been cozying on, Devin picked up Chris's drink and commenced to train him on how to drink from it with headgear on.  Geraldine was pretty much just sipping on her drink and watching the others at this point.  She'd always found Chris's braces to be endearing, but now in headgear, he was not the subtle display of a sparkle of arch wire now and then.  Rather he shone brightly with two thick, shiny whiskers trailing around his cheeks.  She watched as he drank and smiled and spoke to Devin.  His lips were finding a way to rest with the bottom one squeezed under and behind the face bow a little, although one could clearly see it would work more smoothly if the face bow stuck out just a little more.  But then after a while he had reason to look up at the ceiling above them.  Most newly fitted headgear wearers tend to hold their head still and to not move it much at all, but perhaps the alcohol had smoothed over the feelings cervical headgear gives to the wearer and Chris did not let the headgear constrain his head movement in the slightest.  It was when he was looking straight up and putting maximum pull on the strap that he felt a bang in his mouth.  What Geraldine saw was the face bow snap in further to his mouth and with his lips and teeth apart, she saw the face bow narrowly miss banging into his front teeth.  If it had not been quite so low, it would have, but actually was positioned a hair below them.

Chris put his hand to his mouth at the feel of the sudden movement, moved his head back, and feeling that the face bow was still more or less in place, calmed his fears that it had all broken apart.  He did not have words to describe to Devin what he had just felt but after closing his mouth and lips, realized what had happened and then said, "Oh, it's moved in further."  Devin looked at him and said nothing.  He closed his lips and found it fit well within them.  As he closed his lower jaw to swallow, his lower lip actually popped up in front of the face bow to meet the upper, completely enclosing everything but the whiskers.  Devin smiled at him in this posture of the lips around the face bow.

He said, "I guess the pressure from the strap was too much for it.  But it still seems to be in okay like this."  Devin kissed him and found that the face bow was even less in the way like this.  She realized that back when she wore one, she had never had the opportunity to experience being kissed in headgear, nor would she have liked to have such a chance.  The headgear had been strictly guarded as a secret between just she and her orthodontist.  Geraldine snickered as she observed the carefree way that the two dealt with a headgear that was miss-behaving like it was.

Later, when Kent needed to get another beer, Chris joined him in the kitchen to get Devin a glass of water.  For some reason Chris felt it was okay now to remove the headgear to talk to Kent, perhaps wanting to remove the feeling of being eight and to feel more like the twenty-eight he really was.  He removed the strap and started to pull on the face bow.  It would not budge.  He said to Kent, "Damn.  When it popped in as I was looking up at the ceiling, it must have got itself stuck."

Kent's mechanical mind had already recalled what he had seen during insertion and predicted, "Oh, yeah, it was pushing on two little bars coming out of the molar bands above the headgear tubes.  It probably sprung around them and went in the rest of the way and now the little bar is holding it in.  Let's get back to the girls before they pass out so we can enjoy them, and then we can look at it later."

Chris was not feeling the calm lack of concern that Kent was and got a little jumpity as he returned to the couch with Devin.  He had the strap in his pocket and just looked at her with face bow bars hovering in front of his ears while he explained trying to remove it and finding it had jammed in.  Devin cooed with empathy, saying that she had never had anything more than a little stiffness in removing it some mornings.  She caressed his cheeks and tried to comfort him.

Later Kent returned to his room and got a micro screw driver set.  He was able to reach into Chris's mouth and lever the loop on the face bow arm closer to the teeth so that it could pass a ball on the end of the bar projecting from the molar band.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #15 on: 17. September 2020, 14:04:41 PM »
I had to upload the rest of the story in one shot as I am about to go off grid for a few days.

The Rooming House During Quarantine, Chapter 7

The pot luck dinner and the party started a trend in that house where the two weekends during their quarantine consisted of more massive dinners and parties and even week nights involved everyone having dinner together.  Everyone but Kent had some kind of work to do from their room and even Kent took it upon himself to do the cleaning and maintenance around the house.  Despite four of the five residents becoming romantically close during the quarantine, the house was quiet at night.  Andy started wearing her headgear through the night starting with the first Monday but Kent and Devin convinced her that it was silly to leave it out so much during the day.  Andy never dreamed of feeling such a fulfilled woman during quarantine, nor so while wearing her headgear, either.  Devin strapped up Chris a few times when Devin and sometimes the others were hanging around out of their rooms.

While Chris stayed away from foods that might stain his research ligatures, he enjoyed many of the culinary adventures the group came up with.  One night they had a very spicy fish dish.  The fish was one that was known to become phosphorescent while trying to attract a mate for breeding.  Following dinner while brushing his teeth, he found his ligatures were glowing even in moderate light after the meal.  He found that they absorbed light while he smiled under bright lights and gave it off in dimmer light.  When he woke up in the morning they would have exhausted themselves of light energy and would take much of the morning to get it back.  Chris realized that once he was able to get back to the University research department to get his ligatures changed, he would have to keep his mouth shut from the time he awoke until his appointment.  Geraldine's comments to Chris about the look of his braces now took on a much wider vocabulary.  She went so far as to equate their glow as an indication of the smile wanting to attract a mate.  Devin was in fact was even more attracted to his phosphorescent smile and this prompted her to want to put her headgear on him more frequently.

When the Quarantine period was over, it only meant that the residents could go out of the house.  A general stay-at-home order, due to the pandemic, meant they could not visit anyone, nor go to any events.  They were limited to grocery shopping and to going for walks for exercise.  Chris was unable to get an appointment for ligature change and so every evening he would be shining his smile at the others, extra charged from the bright sunlight during the day.  Luckily for him, they could not shine brightly enough to be noticed outside in daylight or in the grocery store.  The residents got into the habit of going out for walks as a group.  People seeing two couples and a fifth person all walking closely together sometimes had to get an explanation that they all lived together in a rooming house in order for scowls to relax from their faces.

For the first couple of months of the pandemic, Andy was not able to get an appointment for adjustment of her braces.  She wore the headgear a great deal of the time with Devin often reminding her that 'it would be all worth it in the end'.  Her braces, however, moved her teeth to the point the arch wire had been designed to do and then pretty much stopped doing anything but retaining them in their position.  With her bite improving and her teeth well aligned, the others saw a more appealing smile, despite all the metalwork it contained.  When Andy did finally get her long awaited appointment, she was told her bite was miraculously fixed in the very short time her treatment had progressed and she need not wear the headgear any longer, although Kent convinced her to wear it sometimes when they were together.  Chris finally got this ligatures changed as well as to get an adjustment and was told they would not be able to use him much longer as a test subject as he had provided them most of the feedback they could ever use in formulating stainless ligatures.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #16 on: 17. September 2020, 17:06:10 PM »
I don't have a problem with more than one chapter being posted. I will be adding the rest of this story to TheArchive as soon as I have it ready to add.

It may take me a day or two to combine all the chapters and sort it into the appropriate categories, but it will be there soon.

It would be nice if some of the other people here would write a short story to show what their ideas are on the subject of being locked-in or how the epidemic would impact a character or group of characters.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #17 on: 05. October 2020, 04:55:25 AM »
This is part 3 of Adventures in Pandemicland, Scene 4

It is also the continuation of The Ride-Share Driver - The Epidemic - Chapter 9 which is in the stories section here.


Many of the vendors have set up tables outside and lots of them have some sort of barrier system in place, whether it is a chain or fence or just signs on cones with arrows, to try to help maintain the social distancing rules. Most of the people shopping are maintaining a safe distance and have kept to the one-way system of movement. Not everyone is and that does give me the opportunity to see what kind of masks they are wearing.

Most of the masks are the typical cloth masks, but there are a few of the masks that have the plastic panel sewn into them. Then I see a cute-looking girl coming towards us dressed as a school-girl, blouse buttoned to the collar which is wide and ruffled, short skirt that ends mid-way between her thighs and knees and billowing around her legs with a bit of lace from her petticoat showing below the hem, white socks that end just above the knee and trimmed with a white lace band, and Maryjanes with a two-inch heel on her feet. Not really that unusual for a group of this type and size.

What does catch my eye is that, at first glance, it looks as if she has a big smile on her red-lipsticked mouth and big metallic braces on her teeth. When she gets closer to us, I take a closer look and see that there is a line running across her face just above her nose and that she is wearing a mask. The colour of her mask matches her skin-tone so well that it blends in, almost disappearing until she gets close to us. The print on the mask is just the right size and in the right place to match up with the location of her mouth and nose. The illusion created is very realistic.

I smile at her behind my mask, wishing that she could see my smile. It is a bit disappointing that I have all this nice jewellery on my teeth and nobody can see it. That might be changing very soon.


After we all stepped out of the limo, I was a little bit nervous, not knowing what to expect. I took his hand and stayed right by his side until we got to the bus. When I saw those fabulous pieces of custom jewellery, especially those earrings that looked like molar bands, I couldn't help myself and squeezed his hand. When he turned to me and saw the look in my eyes, I knew that he could tell how much I liked them, especially when he looked at my ears too. I was a bit disappointed when the jewellery was put away again, but I was pretty sure that I would see them again.

As we leave the bus and walk past all the other vendors, I feel a bit more relaxed when I see how the other people are dressed. What I am wearing fits right in with many of the outfits that other people are wearing and is actually on the more normal end of the scale. That is confirmed when I see a pretty looking girl walking towards us dressed in a schoolgirl outfit, right down to the white knee-high socks and schoolgirl skirt and blouse. The big metal braces surrounded by the bright lipstick complete the look. It isn't until she passes us that I realize she is wearing a mask over her lower face. The illusion is very convincing.

I squeeze his hand and tilt my head in her direction. He gives my hand a squeeze back when he sees her. Candie turns a corner ahead of us and heads towards another row of vehicles, this one mostly converted highway coaches. She stops beside one of them and waits until we join her at the table displaying a variety of masks, shirts and blouses, some that are custom-made. The masks with the plastic window in them are arranged by colour in stacks, all stored in resealable plastic bags.

Beside them are a couple of manikin heads with realistic-looking epidemic masks, one with a female face with over-done makeup, the other with a male face with vampire’s teeth. Hanging on the side of the bus is a sign that explains how they take three pictures of your face, one from the front and each side, and use those to create a computer image of your face that you can add details to. The idea of having our mouths scanned and having our enhanced smiles printed on our masks gives me a tingle in all the right places. The price to have a mask made is not cheap, but is still reasonable when compared to the price that other masks are selling for. If more than one custom-designed mask is purchased, the cost per mask goes down significantly.

I turn to “James” and move my mouth close to his ear. This places my body between his arms and I move our hands so that his palm is resting on my butt cheek over the strap of my garter-belt. “I have an interesting suggestion for you. How about we get a couple of masks made, using our current smiles as the design. We can get two masks made of each of our faces and then I can wear your mouth on my mask and you can wear mine on yours.”

His response is what I am hoping for. His palm rubs up and down just a little and he whispers back, "What a wild idea. I wonder how long it will take? We should get a couple of those window masks as well. Even if we don't wear them very much around people, it will still be fun to have them."

There is a wireless buzzer beside a sign that says, “Ring for service”, which I press. A petite girl sticks her head around the edge of the door and I see that she is wearing a mask that has a kittens face on it. The makeup around her eyes is done so that it looks as if she has eyes that match the mask. When she sees that she has several customers, she comes down the steps and I see that her t-shirt carries on the kitten theme.

When I explain to her what we want to do, she tells me that she can do it at a reduced price, as she won’t have to do any additional work on the computer to design the masks.

Candie Caine is practically bouncing up and down beside us, and when she hears what we are going to do and the price, asks me, “Would you mind if I did the same thing with my face and had an extra set of masks made of your designs for myself?”

“James” is standing with his side to her and is shielding where his hand is resting from their view. This time his hand drops a little lower and cups the cheek of my ass as he whispers into my ear, “Would you like a copy of her mask as well?” That is all that I need to know.

After entering our orders into her tablet and doing a calculation of the costs involved, "Kitten" lets us know that if we pay the regular price for the first two masks, the third will be free. We all agree to the deal without hesitation.

We follow "Kitten" into the bus to find that the front has been laid out as a photo studio. There are three cameras hooked up to a computer and a monitor mounted to the wall where we can all see it. While "Kitten" gets everything set up, I push "James" into a comfy chair and sit on his lap, squirming a bit until I am sitting just where I want to be. I know the bump I am sitting on is going to get bigger as soon as Candie Caine removes her mask.


My name is 'Randy' to my friends. Rachel calls me 'James' when I am wearing my uniform. We share a love of old movies, and in many of them, the Chauffeur is called 'James', as in, 'home James'. We both get a kick out of her using my nickname around people, especially when I am in uniform.

Today is no different, except for the location. She likes to do things that deliberately tease me, such as wearing her uniform with one of her numerous orthodontic creations. Right now she is using her body to tease me, knowing that there is nothing that I can do to fight back. Candie is getting ready to have her mouth scanned and I am eagerly awaiting the moment of the reveal of her braces and face-bow.

I watch as she gets into position in front of the cameras and brushes her hair back behind her ears, revealing the strap running around her neck and the ends of the face-bow not covered by her mask. For the first time, I notice that it has thin red, white and green stripes on an off-white background running diagonally across it, just like a candy cane. She looks in my direction as she grasps the loops of material holding the mask in place and slips them off, being careful that they don’t snag on her earrings.

The anticipation of finally getting to see her face-bow in person is getting to me, and it isn’t helped by the soft body that is making little movements on my lap. Rather than just pulling the mask away from her face, Candie does what amounts to a facial strip-tease, moving first one side a little and then the other, gradually exposing small bits the face-bow with each movement.

Rachel can tell that the display is having an effect on me and ups the ante by taking my hand that is away from their view and placing it just underneath the slit in her skirt on the lace of her boot. It is not a sexual act, nor is it indecent in any way, but just doing it in public where others could see what she is doing is what is causing the excitement.

‘Kitten’ is facing away from us, concentrating on her computer, so doesn’t notice what is going on with the three of us. Candie reveals a bit more of her face by lowering her mask slightly and moving the sides closer to her nose. I can see that she has a big smile on her face as she lowers the mask enough that the face-bow begins to come into view. She finally removes it completely and all the metal in and around her mouth is on full display.

The whole strip-tease only takes about a minute, but seems to take much longer.

We all shift our attention to ‘Kitten’ when we hear a  gasp and she says, “What a marvellous look. Now, give me the pose that you want to use on your mask. Use the monitor as a mirror and play with it until you are satisfied. Don’t worry about trying to let me know what it is, the cameras will capture it.”

Candie begins to move her mouth and face through a variety of positions, some revealing all of the metal, others showing and hiding different parts of her teeth and braces. Then she does something unexpected and begins to add her tongue into the picture by running it over her upper braces and the face-bow, both inside her mouth where it almost touches her teeth and outside her mouth where it runs towards her ears.

She finally seems satisfied with the variety of poses and says, “How was that? Did I do okay? I can’t think of anything else that I want to try.”

When we don't say anything for several seconds, 'Kitten' clicks the mouse and the screen begins to fill with pictures. The pictures start just before Candie brushed her hair back and ends just after she stopped using her tongue on the face-bow. There are a few that have a bit of blur, but most of them are very clear. Many of them are between poses. There are a few that could make very nice masks, but my favorite pictures are the ones that show her tongue running over the inner wire of her face-bow.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #18 on: 12. October 2020, 12:07:24 PM »
This is the conclusion of Adventures in Pandemicland, Scene 4.

The rest of The Ride-Share Driver - The Epidemic will be in the stories section as I write it.

The Ride-Share Driver - The Epidemic - Chapter 10


I like what Candie has done with her pictures. My favorite pictures are the ones where she is revealing her braces and does a striptease. As she moves from in front of the cameras, I give my butt a wiggle before getting up from James’s lap and trade places with Candie.

There are little paw prints on the floor that show where to stand and I place my feet on them. My idea of what kind of pictures I want is a bit different from what Candie did. When 'Kitten' lets me know that she is ready, I try to keep my lips closed over my braces as I remove my mask. Just like Candie did, I want to make my pictures more about the reveal and seduction of my braces. With her having the face-bow, her reveal was more apparent from the start. I intend to make mine more about the surprise of the sudden unveiling. There is no slow removal of my mask, I just reach up and remove it.

Now is when the fun starts. James is watching me closely as the mask drops, and I have a pleasant, neutral type of smile that begins to become more seductive as the corners of my mouth turn up and I begin to part my lips slowly. The brackets on my upper front teeth rub against my lips as I raise them, revealing the band's that appear to be wrapped around them. My smile gets wider, displaying more of the sparkling metal on my upper jaw, before I part my lips more, exposing the bands on the bottom as well.

The next part is a little more difficult to achieve. I watch closely in the monitor as I part my teeth, trying to get just the right angle so that the light shines into my mouth and glints off the band's on the inside of my jaw. When the angle is just right, I run my tongue along the inside of my upper jaw and over the metal bands. Even though I don't think that the pictures will be useful as a mask, it is still exciting to do it in front of everyone. I finish off by running my tongue over the outside of my teeth, similar to what Candie did.

"Okay, Kitten, let's see what we have." Me calling her Kitten gets a chuckle from everyone. The screen fills with the sequence of pictures and I know right away which one I want. There are several pictures during the transition from when all the bands are showing on my teeth to when I finished opening my mouth that I really like. The two that I like best have the brackets and bands showing while still being partially covered by my lips. I point to those two and say, "Let me see these two. I like how they look."

Kitten puts them up side by side and then gasps. "They are spectacular. They seem to capture the beauty of the old-style braces wonderfully. Either one would make an amazing mask. Will you let me choose which one to use when I print your mask for you?"

I smile at her, letting her see my metal-clad smile again and nod.


I know that it is my turn next and that I can't match the dazzling display that the two girls have put on, so I decide that I am going to try for silly instead. When I take my place on the paw prints, the mask is already in my pocket. The way that Rachel revealed her braces was very appealing, so I try for a similar look, only doing it in a less sensual way. Rather than look at the people watching me,  I focus on the monitor and try to make silly faces. The first one is with my tongue sticking out of my mouth, just a hint of the braces showing. The next one is with my tongue hanging out the side of my mouth. Much more of my braces are showing, as well as the pistons of my Herbst. My smile gets bigger when I see how that looks and even more of my teeth are exposed.

By now, the girls are all laughing and that starts me going as well. This works well for the cameras as I try and get a goofy look for the final group of pictures and fail. I finally give up and tell Kitten I am done.

Once again, Kitten puts the pictures on the monitor and we all look at what has been captured. The pictures of me sticking out my tongue are good, but the group with my tongue hanging out the side of my mouth are better. There are a couple that have most of the Herbst visible and I get Kitten to put those up. One shows both of the Herbst pistons clearly, including the molar bracket at the top and the attachment point at the bottom. That is the one that I select for my mask.

While Rachel and I have already made our choices for our masks, Candie still hasn't. Kitten puts her pictures back on the screen and we all look at them. I like the group of her running her tongue over the outside of her face-bow, Rachel likes when she was running her tongue over the brackets behind the face-bow. Kitten says that she likes the poses where Candie has her hands beside her face and the braces are just coming into view. After looking at the pictures that everyone else likes, she points to one that has her face-bow in full view and most of her brackets showing, along with the lower ends of her Herbst pistons. With so many good pictures to choose from, it is not surprising that we all like different looks.

The next part of the process is both hard and easy. We need to pick out the color of our masks. We all decide that we want colors that match our normal facial skin tone. Mine is easy to match because it doesn't change shade. The girls have a harder time, because they don't always use the same shade of makeup every time. They finally settle on shades that match their current look at the suggestion of Kitten, that way they can adjust their makeup to the mask if they want to.

When the subject of payment comes up, Kitten tells us that all the merchants only take cash so that there is no record of the transaction and nobody has to deal with paying sales tax. If we need to pay with credit, there is one person who is set up as a mobile bank and will get us the cash. Rachel and I didn't bring enough cash with us and Candie needs to pick up some to pay for her earrings. This works out well for us, because it will take a while for Kitten to print our masks. This will give us more time to look around at all the other stuff for sale.

We take our time wandering around the complex, checking out the various stalls, not really planning on buying anything else. We locate the mobile bank in an old armoured car that has been retrofitted to serve as an ATM, right down to the machine. There are a couple of armed guards sitting nearby, and I can't tell if they are wearing costumes or the real thing. The guns do look real.


It is so cool wandering around and looking at all the neat stuff for sale. It is even more fun seeing what all the people are wearing and trying to guess if some of the uniforms are real. The security guard at the gate is probably real, my limo driver is real, unless he has a limo so that he can play dress-up. The uniform of the girl with him is hard to tell. It looks real to the casual observer, but it fits her just a bit too nicely, as if it has been tailored to fit. The security guards might be real, but with them, it's hard to tell. I'm pretty sure their guns are real and that they know how to use them. It is legal to openly carry a gun here. Many of the other uniforms are obviously fakes, even if they are very well made.

After stopping to get the cash, we walk back to the bus with the jewellery. She takes us inside and pulls out the lined box again. After wiping the earrings, she hands me the set I had her make for me. I remove the pair that I am wearing and replace them with the new studs. There is a mirror mounted on the wall and I take a look at myself, liking how the ligatures bring attention to my ears and the brackets.

As she is wiping the second set, I check out the reaction of the girl as she watches. Her eyes are glued to them, and as the lady holds them out, I turn to her and say, “Would you like to try them on?”

I can tell that she has a huge smile on her face, even with her plain mask on, her eyes have a shine to them and the mask can’t hide the lines that show how big her smile is. She takes them one at a time and slips them into place. The design is very clever, using the bracket as a stud that goes through her ear to attach at the back and hold the earring in place securely. The tube for the face-bow is mounted on the band and keeps the bracket and wire from turning. They are just slightly larger than a real molar band would be, yet all in perfect proportion. She has tears in the corners of her eyes as she looks in the mirror.

“Why don’t you wear them until we go and pick up our masks. That way they won’t get lost and I can see how good they look.” Turning to the lady behind the counter, I say, “I’ll take both sets. Don’t worry about packaging them up, we’ll be wearing them.” She hands us each a small box to put our other earrings in, then thanks us for shopping with her after I pay her.

It’s getting late for me and I am a bit tired after doing a shift at work, so I suggest that we head over to pick up our masks even though they probably won’t be ready quite yet. The girl has a bounce in her step that wasn’t there before and I suspect that it is because of the earrings. They fit snugly, and with the bottom of her earlobes sticking out the bottom, it looks as if she has molar bands on her earlobes. They do look good on her.

Kitten is putting her display table into the storage area underneath the bus when we arrive. When she turns to us, I see that she has changed her mask and each part of it looks familiar, yet none of it is completely recognizable. I see my face-bow, Rachel's bands and James’s tongue and Herbst pistons. The rest of her mask is still the kitten, just with the rest added to the kitten’s teeth. Even the bands look as if they fit on the teeth.

“I had a bit of time to wait while I was printing all of the masks, so I played around a little. I hope that you don’t mind, but I liked so many of your pictures that I had to make something for myself as well.”

Kitten reaches around the door of the bus, picks up three bags, each one labelled for us. Mine says ‘sexy’, the next one says ‘stud’, the last one ‘wild’. When I open mine, there are four masks inside, the three that we ordered and one of the masks with the window in it.

“I included that one so that you can all let the rest of the world see your real smiles whenever you want. I also included a disk with a copy of each of your pictures. You should have a copy for yourselves. There is one last request I have. Would you mind if I used some of your pictures to make some masks for me to sell? I could trade you some more custom masks of your choosing if I sell some.”

The idea of getting more custom masks appeals to me, so I turn to the limo driver and his assistant and wait for their response to Kitten’s offer. While I have been focused on Kitten, she has moved in front of him and they have been looking at the masks in their bags. She has exchanged her plain mask for the one that Kitten made for her. When I first glance at her, it almost looks as if she isn’t wearing any mask at all, that is how well Kitten has matched her face.


When Kitten reaches out to hand us our bags, I step in front of James and take both. His arms come around me and take them from my hands and opens mine. There is just enough difference in our heights, even in my heels, that his arms end up just below my breasts and he tightens his arms slightly, causing my breasts to elevate slightly. I know that he is getting back at me for sitting in his lap earlier but that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy what he is doing now.

I push back against him slightly and take out the top mask. It is the one that has my lips partially covering my braces. It only takes me a moment to remove the plain mask that I am wearing and replace it with the new one. As I am looping the elastics over my ears, I play with the earrings that Candie has let me wear for the time being. There is something about how my earlobes are sticking out below the band of the earring that is intriguing, as well as how the bracket and headgear tube feel against my fingers.

I feel his breath against my cheek and neck and know that he is watching me play with my ear. Just to tease him a little, I tilt my head slightly and look down at the bags in his hands. My free hand reaches into his bag and rummages around until I find the mask with Candie’s face-bow printed on it. Trying not to let him see which one I have, I remove it from his bag and turn in his arms so that I am facing him.

He has to loosen his arms to let me turn, and before he can tighten them again, I reach up and take off his mask, replacing it with the one with Candie’s face-bow-enhanced face on it. I haven’t been paying attention to the conversation going on around me, but when I hear ‘free masks’, I turn around again to find out what I missed.

Kitten and Candie are looking at me as if they are waiting for me to answer a question.

James waits a couple of seconds before answering the question. “I think that I can speak for both of us when I say that we are willing to participate, but with one condition, the masks that we have printed for our use are not to be sold to anyone else.”

Then he whispers in my ear, “Kitten wants to know if we would be willing to let her use some of our pictures on the masks that she sells in exchange for free masks.” His lips are so close to my ear that they are brushing against the earring on my earlobe. The sensation of feeling them brush above and below the band causes me to shiver slightly in his arms. His answer seems to satisfy them and I don’t have to say anything. The thought of having my mouth portrayed anonymously on other people’s faces and being able to get free masks in exchange is an appealing idea


The driver’s assistant changes his mask so fast that I don’t see which mask she puts on him. With the two of them being willing to accept the deal, I turn back to Kitten. “How do you want to keep in contact with us?”

“I have a website that I use to sell my products on. It has an email address that customers use to ask questions. You can use that one for now. If things turn out the way that I hope, we can work out a better way to maintain contact. Come inside with me and I will get you some cards that you can hand out if anyone asks where you got the masks.”

My two escorts are still distracting each other, so I follow Kitten back into the bus. After putting business cards in three bags, Kitten takes one last card and turns it over to the blank back. "I'm going to give you my personal number. I hope that you will keep it to yourself and consider giving me a call sometime. Maybe you would be willing to do another photo session with me and let me see more of your fascinating smile."

I don’t know what to say. While I am thinking about how to politely decline and explain that I am not into girls, I take a closer look at Kitten and realise that Kitten is a male. The well-done makeup, the petite build and the clothes that Kitten is wearing all made me think that I was talking to a girl. Even the way that Kitten had been talking and the soft voice gave that impression. I take a better look at Kitten, this time as a male and realise that I would be okay talking to Kitten again, on a more personal level.

It isn’t often that I find people that are interested in my braces the way that Kitten is and today I found three people. It’s obvious that the first two have each other. I tell Kitten that I will think about the offer and get in touch with a more definite answer sometime, not saying ‘No’, and giving the impression that I might be interested without saying ‘Yes’.

I notice that the driver and his assistant are waiting for me. I finally see which masks they are wearing and am a bit disappointed that he has my mask on. I don’t want to wear the same mask as him and she is wearing the one with her face on it already. Kitten sees that I am a bit upset with which mask is left for me to wear and takes my hand.

“I hope that you don’t mind, but I printed off one more mask from your photo session. I was going to wait until you left and then wear it myself, but I think that you need it more than I do.” Kitten brings out a mask from below the counter, it is one with my tongue running over my teeth behind the face-bow, and hands it to me. “It is different enough from the other mask that most people won’t even notice that it is the same mouth. Besides, they won’t be looking at his mask when they see how alluring you look with this one.”

It's been a long day and I have been fighting the urge to yawn for a while already. As I reach up to take off my mask and change it for the one that Kitten has for me, the urge to yawn is too great and my mouth opens wide. I reach above my head as I am yawning and stretch. Kitten’s eyes drop to my chest briefly and quickly return to my mouth.

I'm intrigued that he finds my mouth more interesting than my chest. Just to test Kitten's reaction, I close my mouth partially, hiding my brackets, and move my arms back, stretching my blouse tighter over my respectable breasts. Kitten's eyes don't leave my mouth. This is someone that I might want to get to know much better.

I slip the mask into place as I am leaving the bus. "If you two are ready to leave, I am too."

They lead the way back to the limo. She keeps playing with the earrings as we are walking and I can tell that she likes how they look, because, every time that we pass a reflective surface, she looks at them.

The driver opens the door for me when we arrive at the limo and steps back, allowing space for social distancing. It is interesting how the epidemic has changed how people interact with each other now.

I have to fight to stay awake on the drive to my place, so to pass the time, I use the intercom to talk to them. They explain to me that I am the first person that they have picked up using the RideShare app, and that they did mainly because of me having braces.

She has the webcam angled mainly towards her, although I can still see a bit of his face from time to time. The earrings do look good on her ears and look as if they were made just for her. Just before we arrive at my place, I decide that I have an offer that can benefit all three of us.

"Would you be willing to make an off-the-books deal? If I let you keep the earrings, would you be willing to provide me with another trip or two at no cost, as long as I keep the trip short?"

She looks at him and says, "That is an offer that we can't refuse." The smile on her face is so big that I can see all of the jewelry on her teeth, including the bands on the inside of her teeth and the tubes on her molars at the back of her mouth. His smile is just as big and I get a good look at the pistons of his Herbst.

He pulls into the driveway at my place and opens the door for me, letting me out and waits until I am inside before getting back into the limo and driving away. This has been a very good day and I have met three people who I hope to get to know better.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #19 on: 06. November 2020, 11:39:09 AM »
Pandemic Masks, Glasses and Braces - Busy Face

It just seemed like my face was getting busier and busier.  I guess the braces didn't really count.  I sure felt them inside the mouth, but right after I got them the news media had suggested that people should consider wearing a face covering to protect from the impending pandemic.  This was before they were made mandatory.  Honestly, I was compliant with my mask as it just meant all the same store clerks I had come to know in the community would not suddenly be faced with my wired up smile.  Depending on how long the pandemic lasted, I might have completed my treatment before anyone ever saw all the steel on my teeth.  And then just as I was getting comfortable with the braces on my teeth, I'm fitted with cervical headgear.  Wearing it at night was all very well, but the goon started saying that I must get several hours more during each day.  And while I might have done that, say, in the evening, he even suggested that while we were wearing face masks in public, maybe I could wear it while doing errands.

I didn't like wearing it while having a really nice Netflix evening; I didn't like wearing it while trying to keep in touch with friends over video conferencing over Smartphone or laptop.  I didn't like wearing it when I awoke at an ungodly hour with pain in my mouth and could not get back to sleep without removing the stupid thing.  Somehow it was easier wearing the stupid headgear under a face mask, I mean one that I found that actually covered more of the face than a surgical mask, and found after a couple of trips, that I relied on these trips to complete my prescribed hours.  I had to wear my hair down and styled so there was lots of hair at the sides of my head, over my ears.

But the face was plagued with more.  I found I was having trouble reading labels on products when out shopping and after that appointment to get prescription reading glasses, I started putting them on when I went to the store so they would make it easier.  They were progressive bifocals and the optometrist had told me to just wear them much of the time when I might find I needed to read something.  I felt really stupid when people I knew came up to me in the store and I had my face covering, my glasses and my headgear invisibly under the fashion face mask to boot.  I never really felt the headgear if I was wearing the face mask and glasses as most people just complimented the glasses if they even realized they were new, now that we all wore face-masks.  After a week or so it just felt normal.

After we all felt normal wearing the now legally required face-masks when we went out, we started to realize that this was the new normal.  For me, it was no different.  I wore a face mask when I went out.  I wore my headgear when I went out, and I wore my glasses when I went out, as well as if I was inside and might need to see something close-up.

One day, I ran into a friend while out shopping and we stopped and chatted for a while.  It was nice talking in person, rather than over video conferencing.  He was well built and I would certainly not mind going out with him if that were an activity that was permitted during the lock-down that went into effect when the masks became mandatory.  We could not do anything but necessary errands.  While restaurants were closed, coffee shops could remain open via the drive-through, or you could do take-out.  If they had a table and a few chairs outside, those could be used.  Noah then did something unexpected.  He asked if I wanted to go with him for coffee!  At a time when we didn't congregate, date or gather in any way, I was being asked out ... for coffee, at least.  I mean, I only knew him from zoom meetings over the laptop.  We never really even talked one on one.  The friends I knew that I zoomed with had noticed the steel appear on my teeth and had talked about it early on.  Noah was one of the friends, therefore, that knew I had braces and he had made some positive comments about a pretty smile.  I'd worn my reading glasses before I got my bifocals, when I sat up close to work on the computer, so Noah did not see anything all that different seeing me in the flesh.

He asked me to wait at the table outside while he got two coffees.  Being a coffee shop, they put them in paper cups with those lids that allow a tiny door to fold back so you can drink out of the lid.  This kind had a bulge on the side of the lid where the flap came out.  He reminded me we had to sit on opposite sides of the large table to maintain distancing, especially as we dropped our masks to drink the coffee.  Since I was used to slurping morning coffee around the face bow, I did so now without thinking.

As I put the cup down, Noah gasped and said, "Holy shit!  You have THAT for your braces!"  He paused as I froze, realizing that with all the stuff littering my face, I'd completely forgotten that the face bow was not part of the 'new normal' as was the face mask.

I pulled my mask up and put my hand over my mouth, as if covering the face bow well enough now would help Noah to forget he had even seen it.  I said, "You weren't supposed to see that.  I have to wear it more than at night and I'm on zoom so many evenings, or am snacking while I watch Netflix that errands are the best time to wear it."

Noah laughed and said, "There's no point in covering it back up, especially with your hand.  You might as well enjoy your coffee.  I've seen it now."  This seemed like a perfectly logical statement and so I pulled the mask back down with the hand that was up against it and took a nervous drink of my coffee.

Noah had done the same and then said, "I had actually been meaning to ask you out before lock-down, you know.  It was right after you got your braces.  I found you attractive before but somehow the braces just boosted that.  Um, other than a casual coffee like this, this lock-down means I can't date you, but if we had been going out, then we would be the same social bubble and we could visit each other.  Um, I guess it would be going too far to ask you to be my girlfriend, but would you be my social bubble?"

Well, I'd not thought of this.  I just knew I was not allowed to ask him out.  I think he was asking me in.  I was still nervously putting my hand to my face bow an alternately covering it and then grabbing at my face mask to pull it up and then stopping and putting the fingers back over the front of the face bow.  I smiled nervously at Noah and then said, "Yes!  Please be my social bubble."  He smiled and took another drink of coffee while I slurped at mine.  Then I said, "So that means we can spend time at each other's places – inside."

Noah added, "And not wear face masks!"

I finished my coffee with the next drink and put my face mask back over my face like you were supposed to.  A mother and her son had just passed, heading for the entrance to the coffee shop when the boy remarked, "Mummy, that lady has a big brace like Timmy has at night, only she's wearing it outside.  Will Timmy have to wear his all the time now that we have to wear face masks outside?"

The small amount of skin that had been showing outside of my face mask and glasses had been moving between shades of red but now moved to its darkest end of the spectrum.  Noah glanced around as they went through the door and said, "Yeah, we can be inside in private and not have little boys being so rude to you about your headgear."

I said, "And I usually only wear it when out doing errands or in bed.  Maybe we could do a Netflix movie together."

"Right now?" he asked.

I smiled and said, "Well, I'm still able to work half time on my computer from home, so certainly not until afterwards, so yeah, tonight."

We did part ways at that point.  Noah suggested I show up at his place for seven pm after I refused dinner as I already had it partially prepared at home.  I suggested that we should do dinner together at my place the following evening.  I actually had one more errand to do on the way over to his place and, since he had seen the headgear, wore it as I always did when I went out.  It was too annoying to wear while I worked and you never knew when a window would pop up on the computer asking for a video conference from someone else on the team.  I left at six and was barely at Noah's by seven, making one stop on the way but having to transfer buses as well.  He invited me in.  He was not wearing a mask, of course, and I hesitated and then started to remove mine.  After I put it in my purse, I removed my glasses and put them in a glasses case in my purse, while Noah was hanging up my coat for me.

When he came back to me he remarked, "Now I can get a proper look at your headgear.  It's charming!"  Just as when you are on a second date, you interpret remarks as overly positive.  And this one was just that.  I started to unhook the strap of the headgear so I could remove it and store it in my purse when he said, "You don't have to do that.  I can put a straw in your wine glass."

I took my hand away from my strap.  The headgear was annoying and distracting when I worked, just as when I tried to watch TV in the evening, but on a date, I would have to call it just plain romance killing.  I expected Noah was going to be overly polite and overly supportive, as guys are just after meeting and starting to date.  I found myself cooperating as a side effect of my nerves.  He got me to follow him into the kitchen while he got us both wine.  The straw would not stay in the wine glass, so he had to cut it in half.  He toasted me, but only took a quick sip as he focused more on my attempt to drink my own wine with the straw.  I actually had not been doing this at home.  Morning coffee was the only time I kept the headgear on in the house except for in bed.  And coffee actually was drunk mostly sitting up in bed.  He invited me to the couch and turned on the TV, scrolling through the Netflix movies that the service felt matched his taste.  He seemed to attract recommendations of romance and adventure.  As he scrolled through them, I pointed out something that looked interesting.  "Hey, maybe that one, 'The Lost Hiker' might be nice.  While we are locked in, we can watch people living completely out of doors."

Noah clicked on it and said, "Actually I was reading today that most of the more remote of the hiking trails around the world are actually still open.  It's just that you have to find one that does not require crossing any political borders, either inside or out of the country you are in."  We started watching the movie.  We were sitting about as far apart as just regular friends would do.  I took frequent sips from my wine, as did Noah and soon we were drawn into the story of a girl doing a day hike but realizing it was taking far too long to complete the loop and that soon it would be dark.  She comes across a campsite with a guy camping there.  She stops to ask directions – yeah like 'Am I on the wrong trail?'  Really all there is to ask is where she is.  He soon has her sitting by his camp fire having a bite to eat and a drink while he figures out on her map where she must have gone wrong at a fork.  Noah then looked at me as the filming made the viewer decide that there should be romance between the two hikers, and he moved himself a little closer.  I put my hand on his and moved myself a little closer to him.  He put his arm around me.

I turned a little so as to face him slightly and said, "They seem to be trying to make sure the viewer is aware she has braces.  They even focused on a face bow that is poking out of a pocket in her toilet bag."

Noah looked at me and kind of moved his head closer to mine.  I moved mine a little closer to his.  Here I was during a social distancing mandate, close to a hunk of a guy that seemed to want to become ever closer to me, while I wanted the same.  I suddenly moved my hand from his so that it could coax his body closer to mine and I felt his other hand pressing against me.  Maybe it was the wine, and, or, maybe it was the lust, but I suddenly found my lips at his.  Then a moment later I felt pressure on my face bow, pushing it in and bending it slightly up.  How could I do something so stupid as to forget the damn headgear had to come out first.  I pulled back a little and said, "Wait!  The headgear has to come out!"

Noah answered quickly, "No!  Please!  It is so hot to kiss around."  And his lips were again against mine.  Soon his tongue was on my braces.  His lips were pressed against mine with our mouths open.  We both approached this like we had been in lock-down for a year, but in actual fact it was just for a month.  Maybe, like me, he had not had much action for months before the lock-down.  We moved our grasp of each other around a lot and stroked each other and just kept kissing, and kissing.  I'm pretty sure I would have preferred to kiss him without the stupid headgear, but I have no idea, really.  That first encounter with that special someone can actually be somewhat of a failure and yet it still feels supremely erotic and romantic at the same time.

I know it was a long time before we separated because when we looked next at the movie, the guy was getting the girl settled into his tent and then climbed in after her.  The next scene, though, either introduced us to, or showed again, that the girl wore headgear, like me.  We missed a bit.  Noah looked at me after looking at her on the TV and then said, "He's a very lucky guy.  I'm speaking from experience."  After we watched a while longer and they were just waking up and he kissed her in her sleep, Noah commented, "Well, he may be lucky, like me, but I would not trade places with him.  I mean my date is prettier and almost as importantly, I get to kiss the girl when she is awake.  He's only providing shelter against a cold night, not dating her."

I said, "But this plot works better at keeping the audience engaged.  No one is watching us.  Our plot is purely for our own enjoyment and not for any audience."

He looked at me for a while as if studying me after making that last statement and I found I moved my mouth and lips around to try to make them more comfortable around the face bow.  He then remarked, "So you aren't doing that for the audience?  This audience is really enamoured with your performance."

I said, "It's not a performance.  I'm coping."  He smiled at me and I added, "But if you want to pretend it is a performance for you, then why not.  Just realize that when I take it out, the performance may change or even stop."

He laughed, "That performance will stop, but you'll probably do something just as erotic, just trying to get up and move around."

I said, "You mean like when the movie ends and I get up to..."  I stopped the sentence in the middle and looked at him.  He smiled and nodded.  I assumed he meant that the sentence did not end with a reference to leaving.  And I'm not detailing the rest after we patiently waited for the movie to get to its conclusion, which I now forget, but it seemed headgear and some strange new traction, seemed to intertwine into the movie plot.

* Link:  The movie does not exist but I wrote a story that contained an expanded version of this plot.  You can find it here!  And if you qualify for membership in the stories section you can read it, otherwise I suggest you keep posting chapters to a really cool story we can enjoy while you work up to admission to the stories section.

Offline bracessd

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #20 on: 06. November 2020, 17:54:25 PM »
Nice job!

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #21 on: 14. January 2021, 12:49:41 PM »
It's time to explore a new way to leverage on the pandemic for scenarios that may not normally seem quite believable.

Seeing Her Through The Eyes of a Dog.  Chapter 1.  She is Just Too Perfect to Let Go

Author's Note:  This story assumes you have read the stories called 'I Wish' where two people change bodies like in Friday the 13'th, the two movies.  Oh, well that's most of what you have to know from those stories if you haven't been in the stories section to read them yet.

I'm pretty sure that changing places with a really hot guy would still not have got the attention I wanted from this girl.  What I did, worked, because I appealed to the fact that the girl felt she could be open with a pet dog and pay all the attention to it that she could, unlike me or any hot guy I could think of.  Teresa was a blond haired, round faced, smooth skinned, well built student at college whom not only would not respond to any of my advances, but in fact seemed to be avoiding guys, in fact avoiding socializing.  I should point out that the majority of the time I saw her, she was wearing a face mask, which was required during the pandemic.  The exception was a few times I ran across her outside, where face masks were not required, although if just moving a short distance between two buildings between classes, one normally left them on.  She had a smile to die for.  She had big lips and large, aligned teeth, beautifully prominent.  I may have lusted after her smile but as with all beautiful smiles, my imagination tried them out with various kinds of stainless steel decoration.  Sure there were girls at college with braces or retainers, but not all were as beautiful as Teresa, had her physique, or even had her radiant smile.

Teresa lived with her parents, while I had moved to a rented house with a roommate.  My roommate was studying to be a veterinary assistant and had this habit of fostering homeless pets from time to time.  By exam week, he had a Saint Bernard living with us.  Being a mature dog, it basically moped or slept around the house much of the day, other than going for walks.  The old run-down house we rented backed onto a patch of wilderness at the edge of town.  Teresa lived a couple of blocks closer to school than we did.  I had managed, in small talk with Teresa, to determine times she would be walking to school on a few days of the week and started positioning myself just before her house to wait for her to emerge so I could catch up to her and walk with her.

Just before exam week, I realized I needed to increase my efforts to run into her because I caught her one day with her mask off.  She had smiled at something and I caught that she had braces.  Sparkly stainless steel, somewhat high on her large teeth so that they would not always show if she was just talking seriously.  When I caught up to her on the way to school after that, I found it very frustrating that she always wore a mask when we walked together, as did I, as we were not going to walk down the sidewalk staying six feet apart.  It was only a few minutes from her place to school, so every day I had  a plan of the comments I would make to find out more about her and how I could perhaps get closer to her.  It was likely to be the last time I could run into her before exams when she mentioned to me that their family was trying to adopt a dog so she would have a companion as the stay-at-home order would no-doubt be made either during or soon after exams.  She said the problem was the shortage of homeless dogs available for adoption, due to increased demand due to the pandemic and travel bans and so on.  I perked up and explained that my roommate was fostering a dog and it was just about ready for adoption and would she like me to try to hook her up.  She was very excited about the prospect.  I gave her our address and my phone number and felt that finally I would make some progress.  I had not, however, had any offer of a phone number for Teresa.

After a phone call to my roommate, we had a plan.  He would arrange for her family to adopt the dog, but just before the dog moved to their place, I would conduct a special meditation session where I projected my mind into the dog while projecting its mind into my body.  This would allow me to move in with Teresa in the body of the Saint Bernard.  Teresa was supposed to arrange for her family to come to see the dog.  What happened was that half way through exam week, her mother showed up at our door and we introduced the dog to her.  I was disappointed that Teresa did not come, but was able to confirm that all of Teresa's charm and beauty came from her mother.  This presumably included her smile, but with us all wearing masks, except for the dog, I never saw her mother's teeth, and even if I had, they would probably have been corrected, if she had the same prominence as Teresa had.

Charlene, as the mother introduced herself as, decided she wanted to go ahead with the adoption after carefully inspecting the dog and taking it for a quick walk.  She needed a few days to get all the things they would need for it and we arranged that my roommate would bring the dog over, coincidentally, soon after my last exam.  I asked if Teresa would like to come over to see the dog in the meantime and Charlene explained that Teresa needed to focus on her exams and that was part of the reason for not getting the dog until after exams.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #22 on: 14. January 2021, 12:50:47 PM »
Seeing Her Through The Eyes of a Dog.  Chapter 2.  Becoming the Dog

Obviously I was very excited about the adoption, as was Teresa, and I decided to go with Charlene's advice and not do anything about it until I had written my last exam.  Temporarily becoming the dog would have been good practice, except if there were complications switching back, I might find I could not go to write an exam if I was stuck in the body of the dog.  Sometimes these meditations took several attempts to work and were exhausting, requiring periods of rest before additional attempts.  To make the wait even harder, I was not able to run into Teresa at all during exam week.

Following my last exam, I explained to my roommate that I was going to attempt the mind swap with the dog.  He had finished his last exam the previous day and was just going to sit in his room, reading a book.  I settled in my room with the dog and began to meditate.  I came to, several hours later and when I opened my eyes, I was looking at fluffy paws.  I had to wake the dog, I mean the human.  It looked at itself and seemed happy with the result, not having any idea what was going on.  He was going to roll over and continue sleeping but I jumped onto the floor and tried to get him going.  I pushed my nose into his waste, licked his hand and finally he got up.  We were not sure what the result would be.  Would I try to walk around on my hind legs and he crawl on hands and knees?  Would he continually want to lick everyone while I would only offer a paw to shake?  I took his hand in my mouth, gently, and attempted to lead him into my roommate's room.  I think it mostly worked because the dog wanted to see my roommate, as this was his primary caregiver.

To explain the interaction that then ensued, I need to refer to each of the bodies by their new names.  I was now Ralph, the dog, but my old body would answer to that name, so it was to be used for him.  Rudy, my roommate quickly addressed his roommate by the name he usually used for him, which was Darin.  When he did this, I perked up my eyes and the human beside me did not react.  Rudy then said, "Ralph, come!"  My old body excitedly pranced over to Rudy and did a Hindi squat at Rudy's feet.  He then grabbed a dog cookie and gave it to my old body and petted its head.  I continued to stand at his door and looked at him.

Rudy said to me, "Darin, so did it work?"  I had no idea how to answer, so I gave a little bark and jumped my front feet off the floor once.  He said, "Yeah, just as we suspected, you can understand but not talk."  By this time my body had stood back up and was looking at Rudy for what would come next.  Rudy looked at him and said, "Ralph, speak!"  He blinked his eyes, opened his mouth and sighed.  Rudy said, "Well, at least I don't have a barking human to take for walks twice a day.  Okay, so Darin, do you want your dinner now?  How about a walk."

I led Rudy and Ralph to the bathroom.  I was able to lift the toilet seat up with my nose and then stood beside the toilet an lifted my back leg.  This worked mostly because of my height and everything went into the toilet.  I then went to the kitchen, again with both following me, and got my dog dish in my mouth and handed it to Rudy.  Ralph was following and looking interested in everything.  The problem was that if Rudy put dog food in the dog dish, would Ralph assume it was for him?  No, Ralph went and sat at the kitchen table and looked hopefully at Rudy.  I then found dog food was quite appetizing.

We had one more whole day to get used to this before I got delivered to Teresa and Charlene.  Ralph had to be walked in the wilderness behind the house to do his business, but I had to be walked so we could try leaving Ralph alone in the house to see if he tried to get up to anything.  When we peered in the windows, we found Ralph did much of the same thing he did as a dog.  He laid around on the couch mostly.  The problem came at bed time.  Ralph would sleep with Rudy, normally, although had tried sleeping with me a few times.  Rudy felt uncomfortable with a human male curling up in bed with him.  Not having fur, Ralph found it colder than before and was not able to sleep on top of the bed.  Rudy had removed his pants for the night as the belt would scratch against things if left on in bed.

The next morning I was waiting in the kitchen for my breakfast when Rudy came out with Ralph following.  He said to me, "That was really uncomfortable.  Ralph had the normal guy testosterone thing going on in his groin when he awoke, but then his canine personality did the normal process of licking the owner to wake him up for breakfast."  He laughed, but I did not seem to have a way to express laughter except to jump up and down a bit.  Ralph got his breakfast first since he was now coordinated enough to get his own, and he was as hungry as always.  After watching the other two get bowls of oatmeal, I got the same old bowl of dog kibble with some canned dog food on top of it, but had to smell the oatmeal while waiting for my own meal.  I was pleasantly surprised, however, to see Ralph could handle a spoon to eat with.  Switching bodies seemed to leave a lot of the appropriate abilities with the body.  I wondered, since I could understand speech, but could not speak myself, did this mean Ralph could speak but not understand?  I considered it and realized that I could make out sentences in my head, but the body did not have an ability to form the words.

After breakfast, Rudy had to take Ralph out for a walk and to do his business, while I was left in the house.  I guess I could have gone with them but I wanted to use the bathroom.  It took me some time to work out a way to walk up to the toilet and stand with my bum facing it, then back up and put each of my back feet on the toilet seat.  I could see this wasn't going to work.  I'd make a mess of the tank.  Then I pushed the seat up with my nose and was able to press the back of my legs against the toilet so my butt was slightly over it.  It worked and I did my business in the toilet.  The problem came when I had to flush.  I had to push the seat until it slammed down and then use my paw to pull down on the flushing lever.  What was stranger still was not using toilet paper, but soon after, needing to lay down and clean myself up in the backside with my tongue.

Finally it was time to go to my new home.  Ralph had been the kind of dog that you can walk with a leash or not and he would stay beside the person walking him until he had to do any business.  For some reason, Rudy felt with all the unknowns of our switching bodies, he would be better to walk me on a leash with a collar around my neck.  Interestingly enough be had no hesitation in walking Ralph as usual with no leash and he certainly did not want to put a collar on him.  But he did have to fuss a lot trying to get his pants back on and then to put shoes on him.  This time Ralph got left at home, but he was happy to rest after running around his owner in the woods for half an hour.  As I walked along the side walk beside Rudy, I found my excitement building.  My mind was eagerly anticipating being able to be with the beautiful Teresa and to study her braces and for that matter, the rest of her body, to study it in various states of formal and not-so-formal, or even an absence of, clothing.  I would be spending time with her in private while she dropped all her inhibitions.  Hormones were no longer working the same way, however.  I was getting quite excited, but dogs don't get extra firmness in the loins.  Rather, they just start to walk them selves into a kind of pelvic thrust stance, which Rudy mistook at one point for my having to poop.  It seemed my legs would not move at a constant speed and kept trying to take extra quick steps every time I had a thought of Teresa and spending time with her in private.  The leash was quite short and Rudy kept jerking it to keep me in pace.  It seemed he was treating me more like a dog than a roommate, but then, he'd never done this mind swap thing so had no idea exactly what had swapped.

Getting to Teresa's, her father was the one who answered the door.  I got the feeling, now seeing him and having met his wife earlier, that they had Teresa when quite young – could they have been in high school then?  As a guy, I could see myself perhaps playing a round of squash with him, or partying, or whatever, and feeling he was just one of the guys, rather than a generation older.  And he seemed really cool, too.  Both he and Rudy now had masks on.  Instinctively I walked up and held out my paw to him, with my salutation coming out as a kind of quiet 'woooof'.  He introduced himself to Rudy, "Hey, I'm Derek.  So you must be Darin."  But he was looking at Rudy when he said this.

Rudy said, "No, the dog is call Darin and I'm Teresa's friend's roommate.  My roommate is also called Darin.  I'm the one who fosters these homeless, rescued pets.  But Derek, I cannot come in because of the pandemic, so all I can do is to hand you the leash.  Are you sure you'll be okay with him.  Do you need any help or advice?  Keep in mind he is trained and is mature, so it would just be you guys that have to get accustomed to caring for a pet."  He handed an envelope to Derek saying it was a standard set of literature on adopting a dog as well as all of Darin's medical records.  He had to explain that in his last home, his name was apparently Ralph but that now he answered to Darin.  I then went back to Rudy and tried to thank him but it came out as a quiet 'woof' and a rubbing of my head against him.  I took his end of the leash in my mouth, which he let go of, and took it to Derek.

Upon seeing this, he smiled big and commented, "The dog seems to understand what is happening.  And don't worry about us.  I had a dog as a child and my parents were quite strict about how we looked after him.  I'm going to be the same with Teresa and Charlene.  Darin may not need training, but they will."

Rudy left me and Derek took me into the house.  Charlene was out in the back on the deck and Teresa came down the stairs quickly, all excited that their new dog had just arrived.  Derek was just taking off his mask and must have dropped the leash for a moment because when I saw Teresa, I suddenly felt excitement and my body expressed that by my bounding over to the foot of the stairs to greet her.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #23 on: 14. January 2021, 12:51:57 PM »
Seeing Her Through The Eyes of a Dog.  Chapter 3.  With the Babe of my Dreams at Last

Dogs are normally careful when first meeting a stranger, but Teresa was no stranger to me, so I greeted her as you might expect a dog to do to someone they are forever running into in the street.  She petted me eagerly and said all kinds of nice things to me in the kind of voice a girl gets when talking to a cute animal.  She told me I was soft and fluffy and looked so cuddly.  She told me how pretty I was (what?) and said she hoped I would like to come and lay on her bed with her while she studied.  Wow, this being a dog really opened up the doors with a hot chick.

But this interaction had opened up yet another opportunity.  A household does not wear masks inside.  Teresa was not wearing a mask, was up close to me and looking at me, and moreover was smiling big and showing me the complete array of beautiful shiny steel on her top arch.  I could see right to the back.  The way I was staring may have made me appear cautious in meeting her now, but in fact I was studying those gems on her teeth quite intently.  I could see her molars and was glad to see her braces went right to the back and terminated in molar bands.  Further studying suggested there was extra parts on them, but I could not identify them yet.  Maybe hooks, or something.  And something else that I noticed, that I never saw on those few occasions I had seen her without a mask throughout the college term, her top teeth perhaps protruded generously into the front of her lower lip.  I noticed over the years that females posting pictures or videos on social media would 'let themselves go' when photographed interacting with a pet or a baby.  Otherwise they would try to control their smiles to kind of cover up any over-jet going on.  Her Dad made a comment to remind her that the dog might be a little timid of her until he got to know her better and not to overdo the smothering with attention.  I turned to try to tell him it was okay but it came out as a kind of whine of agreement.

Realizing that I was coming across as reserved, I told myself to never mind the braces for the moment and to just greet her like a dog.  My dog instincts had me push my head into her hand as she petted and as she started to scratch behind the hear I made a soft groan.  When she moved her hand to my belly, I stepped closer and nuzzled her against the leg.  She seemed to like this and I kept doing it, getting closer to the top of her leg, until all of a sudden I stopped myself as I realized where exactly my head was and pulled away.  The human in me said that it was very inappropriate to have any part of my body there.  I started to rub my head against her stomach as this seemed appropriate for a dog to do, until I found I was pushing up on her chest and stopped myself again.  Ralph would have been going after her face but the human instinct in me was saying we didn't know each other that well.  Still, I thought, I had to pull off this role as a dog believably, so carefully went for her face.  Touching her chin with my tongue immediately got her laughing and that pulled back her lips and opened her mouth and before I knew it, I had licked her teeth and braces.  I pulled back again, as this was just not how a connoisseur of mouths, and accessories for them, would get close to a new subject.

Teresa looked at her parents, with Charlene having come in from the back deck at hearing the commotion I was causing, and said with a big smile, "Oh, Mummy, he likes me, I'm sure of it.  Thank-you for getting us a dog.  He is wonderful."

I moved my head around to look at her parents, standing some distance back from me.  Derek just smiled and said 'great', but Charlene smiled bigger.  To my surprise she also had braces.  And yes, Teresa got her beautiful smile from her mother.  Derek's mouth was pretty boring, although his teeth that were obviously fairly naturally arranged were not particularly crooked.  Charlene then went more serious and reminded Teresa, "Now keep in mind that you agreed to do your share of the walking, honey.  He's not just a companion for doing your homework and studying with."  Charlene had that mature look of a slightly older woman with braces mounted high on her teeth where they only just appeared as a sparkly chain emerging from under the top lip now and then, or when smiling big.  I turned back to look at Teresa as she replied, more seriously, in the affirmative and as I watched her talk this way, I realized that her slightly more youthful mouth did in fact display the braces twice as often.  You may see lots of white of her teeth but you would not quite miss that she had braces, where as if her mother talked to you seriously, it was quite likely you would completely miss them.

Derek then explained to the family, "Now, since this is a new home for Darin, he will need to fully explore and sniff around the entire house before he can become comfortable in it.  We need to have someone with him all the time until we are sure he is not going to get into anything."

Charlene offered, "Okay, I'll do it.  So his name is Darin, is it."

Derek said, "Well the paper work says his original name was Ralph, but they found he answered more to Darin."

Charlene said, "Come-on Ralph, let's go explore the house together."  I decided I better practice responding to Ralph if they were going to want to change my name.  I left Teresa, perhaps a little rudely, but then a dog is hardly going to turn back and communicate that it was a pleasure meeting her, or something.  I ran ahead of Charlene and started to look around.  My dog instinct told me to sniff a lot, but in fact even though I could identify a lot of smells, like food and the scents of the family members, I really didn't care the way they thought I would.  I kind of rushed it, but every time I entered a new room, I studied it before sniffing it.  I tried to imagine what a dog would do in each of the rooms as a pet, as I had to get this right quickly to keep up my role as a pet.  In the kitchen I would sit or lay down and look longingly for my next meal.  In several other rooms I would lounge around on furniture and watch the family, or TV.  In Charlene's and Derek's bedroom, there really wasn't much reason I could see for going in.  The main bathroom, which was mainly for Teresa because the parents had an en-suite, would be where I would prefer to do my business, although I was not sure I could do it secretly without them seeing.  I might have to resort to doing it outside, but I hoped not.  Teresa's bedroom was the highlight of the house in my opinion.  There was enough space for both of us because she had a queen-sized bed and there was still lots of floor space, even if she was working at her desk.  No wonder she didn't leave home like I had done.  This was a pretty nice layout and nicely decorated, even if it was not all that pretentious.  In fact, from the outside it seemed rather small, like a starter home.  The fact that they adopted a dog, rather than ordering one through a breeder for a thousand plus, suggested they did not have lots of money to throw around.

Following going through the motions of a detailed house tour, with Charlene explaining to me what she thought I would do in each room, and warning me of things I could not touch, (she pretended I might understand some of what she said, not realizing I got all of it), I went to look for Teresa.  She had not been in her room.  I found her at one end of the living room, beside the front door.  She had laid out a big cushion that was intended for a dog to use as a bed.  There were also some dog toys beside it.  She was trying to interest me in playing.  I was, as a result, trying to get interested in playing with them myself.  Maybe a good solitaire game, (that a dog could handle), or watching TV would be fun, but instead I was required to have a lot of fun with what I saw as childish toys.

She picked up a toy bird and showed me how you could make its belly squeak if you pressed it.  I found the stupid sound got me all excited.  I grabbed it from her and she hung on to the tail.  I pulled and pulled while she giggled with pleasure as we played tug-of-war with it.  It was my instinct to stare into her eyes as I pulled, presumably as a primal act of aggression in this play fighting.  Her lips compressed against her braces on the top and on her top teeth from below as her face got a little red with determination and this caused my eyes to move to her beautiful mouth.  A moment later she lost her grip on the toy and then tumbled over backwards onto her back on the floor, laughing.  I dropped the toy and ran to her face instinctively to see if she was hurt.  I did not see any reason she should be damaged, but dog instinct told me to stand over her with feet either side of her and to lick the face, which I did.  After one lick, my human side took over and just stared into her mouth as she laughed with her mouth wide open.  I could see the bands on her molars and connected between them on the inside was a single bar with a 'u' in it at the top of her pallet.  So she had the kind of expander that did not need turning.  That was obviously what the molar bands were for.  I certainly would not have got this view if I had dated her as a human, as I had asked her a long time ago as a human.

Charlene came in a moment later and shouted, "Oh Ralph, get off her, you're going to hurt her.  Oh honey are you okay?"  I was taken aback by her accusation.  I was going to do nothing of the sort.  I would have liked to explain that I was just taking the opportunity to study the inside of her mouth but all that came out was a squeak and a leaping off of her.  Teresa then said that I had not hurt her.  Charlene went a grabbed another toy and tried to interest me in it.  As before I was not so interested, but thought I better play the part.  It was a raw hide bone.  I thought I better start chewing on it and was surprised how powerful my jaws and teeth really were.  Instinct told me to take this treasure to a safe place.  But that was dog instinct.  Human instinct told me to go to Teresa's bedroom and wait for her to get away from her mother.  I needed to spend time with her with less interference from parents.

It was not too long before Teresa found me and cooed at me with assurances that I was a good boy.  This cooing was always done with a smile on her face.  I suspected that if I had spent time with her outside of the pandemic when there were no masks required, and did so as a human, I would not have found her smiling so much.  She was normally a pretty serious person.

She seemed to be catching up on Email on her laptop while sitting at her desk.  I just lay on the floor beside it, under the window, and chewed and watched alternately.  She did her Email with a serious, lips-together face.  I admired the way she sat up so straight in the chair and how her chest looked so ravishing under her shirt and tee-shirt bra.  At one point I heard a truck go by outside.  I was curious as to what it was so I got up and stood on my hind feet, putting my paws on the window sill.  Teresa was about to say something and then realized I was just standing there and looking and doing no harm so said nothing.

Getting back to her laptop, I soon heard a voice and then she was talking.  In sitting up beside her chair, I could see she was doing a video call with a girlfriend.  Teresa started explaining that they just got a dog.  In looking at the screen, I realized that the laptop screen with web-cam was pointing up slightly and so the caller could not see me.  I moved around behind the chair and Teresa just ignored this.  I got up on my hind legs and gently placed my paws on the back of the desk chair.  It seemed she had not felt the extra weight getting applied to the chair.  I could now see that I was in the little window that showed Teresa's side of the call, but Teresa was concentrating on the rest of the screen, where her friend was showing details of a hair trim she just got.  Suddenly the friend exclaimed, "Oh, he is big, and really cute!"  This was the kind of comment I would have liked to hear frequently when I was a human, but right now, it had that squeaky tone that girls use when they talk to each other about animals.

Teresa did not realize I was visible on the call and just said, "Yeah, he's a fully grown Saint Bernard, but how did you know he was big and cute?"  Just then she caught me in the little window that showed herself and she quickly turned her head around as if she thought there was some kind of weird digital mess-up in the app.  Verifying that I really was there, she laughed and turned back to the camera, "Oh, well that's Ralph.  Maybe I can walk him by your place tonight."  Their conversation turned to me and where I came from and Teresa added quit a bit of praise for me in terms of being smart and playful.  But it got boring shortly and I backed away from the chair and walked around to the side and just lay my head on Teresa's lap.  She stroked me and told the friend what I was doing.  Soon the call ended and by that time I had lay back down by the window and resumed chewing on my bone.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #24 on: 14. January 2021, 12:53:24 PM »
Seeing Her Through The Eyes of a Dog.  Chapter 4.  Starting to Take Control

The family had lunch but as a dog I was not included as I ate only twice a day.  I went and lay in the bed they had arranged for me in the living room.  This was all very well but I could not see them and so I was not impressed with my bed's location.  This whole adventure with changing bodies with a homeless dog was all designed to get me attention from Teresa, so it made no sense to spend much time in the living room unless she was there.  No, I had to convince them to move the bed to her bedroom.  But then all of a sudden I realized the answer.  I simply grabbed the end of it with my mouth and dragged it up the stairs and into her bedroom.  The only space for it was where I had been laying by the window.  It took a bit but eventually I got it straightened out and I lay in it.  I knew better than to go and bug them at the table and anyway, seeing, hearing and smelling whatever food they were having would only make me hungry.

Teresa eventually came upstairs and went right past her open bedroom door without noticing I was there and headed straight for the bathroom.  A real dog would have been quite concerned about the length of time she was in there, but as a former human and connoisseur of braces, I was well aware of the time one spent after eating to clean all the stuck food out from between them and between the teeth above the arch wire.  I might have gone in to just watch her do this, but she would probably do something like abort the procedure and leave it incomplete.  Charlene called to her husband to ask where the dog bed went.  He said he didn't know and I heard no more.  Then I heard her call up to Teresa but she could not hear her mother while in the bathroom with the water pick going.  Soon I heard more feet on the stairs and shortly Charlene was standing in the doorway.

She smiled, twinkling slightly across her smile from her high-mounted braces, as she said, "Awwww, Ralphie, you got your bed moved.  Teresa will be so happy you have taken to her so well.  She was the one who wanted a dog the most of all of us.  Derek was almost against it."  She must have assumed Teresa moved the bed up after lunch.

Just then, Teresa came back from the bathroom as her Mom was looking into her bedroom door.  She said, "Mom, I was in the bathroom," assuming her mother was looking for her in her bedroom.  Her mother repeated the comment she had just made to me, which I had just blinked to and shaken myself.  Teresa replied as she entered the bedroom, "Oh, I didn't move it.  It must  have been Dad.  But that's good.  I'll be glad of Ralph's company when I'm in here."  I gave a little 'woof', which was the best I could vocalize in response to my intended response of 'and I'll be even more glad of yours, Teresa.'  But instead of coming in and laying on her bed to catch up on social media on her phone, or sit at her desk and do something on her laptop, she announced, "Okay, I'm taking Ralph for his first walk now."

Teresa bent at the knees, leaned over and said to me in an upbeat tone, "Okay, Ralph, let's go for a walk!"  Well, I didn't feel a walk was that important, but started to get up.  She added, "Hey, we'll stop by and visit Carol who you saw on the laptop this morning."  Oh yeah, of course, you get in with one of the girls and they quickly introduce you to the rest of their gang.  This could get exciting to some extent."  I then jumped the rest of the way to my feet with energy and bounded toward Teresa as her mother backed away from the doorway to let us pass.

The dog walk went rather as I expected except that in all my dreams of spending time with her in the past, I never imagined her connecting a leash to a collar around my neck and using it to give me directions to her friend's place.  To say there was a bounce in her step was correct.  I sometimes walked right behind her, admiring the wiggle in her bottom, something which would simply be rude if I were still in a human body, and then other times I went ahead of her a little and looked back as I trotted, admiring the small bounce in her chest, transmitted from the bounce in her step.  At one point we met a girl whom I knew but apparently she only just recognized.  We stopped so this girl could coo over me and pet me.  I had always been pretty sure she had some kind of steel in the back of her mouth, but did not know her well enough to ask.  Now as a dog there was an easy way to find out.  I simply, although gently, jumped up onto my hind feet and put my paws carefully on her shoulders and looked into her mouth.  The mouth opened wide with surprise and I saw an expander like Teresa's connected to molar bands and then lingual braces all around her top arch.  Before I could find out if there were tubes on the outsides of her bands, something I usually tried to survey if I got to talk to someone with molar bands, I was yelled at to get down.  Now that I think about it, Teresa had to yell my name twice, even though 'Darin' would have got my attention first time.  The girl brushed off her shoulders and then talked to Teresa about some exam.  It started to get boring so I did something that I had seen dogs do in the past.  I walked around the back of the girl and gave her a little nudge in the butt.  This got a squeal out of her followed by laughing with a counselling from Teresa to not do that to her.  Since they kept talking, I went around and did it to Teresa.  She had the much more perfect butt, but as a human I would not have been able to compare them in this much detail and from this angle.  Teresa then realized I was bored and we were on our way, and my curiosity had been settled about the girl's steel, even if I would have preferred that she just had bands and would get some dazzling sparkle shortly.

Eventually we got to a house and I was led up to the front door.  Teresa rang the bell and soon a lady came to the door, from whom Teresa asked if Carol could come and see the dog.  The mother called back into the house and shortly after, Carol came to the door.  She came out after grabbing a coat and then I was led along the porch.  The girls sat on a kind of patio love seat and Teresa gave the command to sit, facing them.  As a human, Carol would have said hi to me and that would be about it.  As a dog, she cooed to me, patted me, rubbed my tummy and let me put my paw on her knee.  She leaned toward my face and I was able to lick her on hers.  The dog in me felt satisfied that I had expressed myself, but the human in me would have preferred we talked about something more interesting, like the results I was getting in the gym with my new work-out routine.  As they talked, Teresa let my leash go as far as she could as I sniffed around the porch.  I concluded that they had two raccoons that frequented the place, some mice and a bunch of squirrels.  I didn't need to know this, but I felt the dog in me was eager to find each of these.  The human in me took over and expressed the boredom in it by laying down, managing to press on all four of the human feet.  This got some patting, but no wrapping up of their discussions.  I then took in a big breath and let out the biggest, loudest sigh I could.  There was even some hint of a growl at the end, or was it a moan.  When this didn't work I got up and started to lay my head on each of their laps in turn.  Carol had a nice scent coming from her privates – woops!  That was the dog in me again.  Okay, this was way too much information.  Carol had not been with a guy in ages.  She had thought about a guy way too much recently.  And Carol needed to shower after those kinds of private moments in her room.  This information came to me as she was telling Teresa how she was getting thick with a football player on the college team – all lies, but only Teresa's dog knew for sure.  I stopped myself from sniffing when I put my head on Teresa's lap.  I didn't want to know anything from her scent right now.

Our walk back was uneventful and I concentrated on walking while always keeping the leash a little slack and staying beside her left leg.  I even ignored a squirrel that spotted me too late and which I could have almost got if I had managed to pull away from Teresa's grip fast enough.  Really though, what would I do if I got the squirrel.  I was not hungry for a rodent that ate what ever garbage it could scavenge and I was not interested in playing with a live and terrified damn squeaky toy.  I barked at it just to make it look right.

Getting home, Teresa bragged to her parents how well behaved I was, not mentioning jumping up or poking girls in the butt, and she didn't even know about the private info I collected about Carol's love life.  I was not sure what was to happen next.  I might have suggested an early dinner, but Derek was working from home and had a report to finish from his office in the corner of the family room, while Charlene worked from a similar make shift office in their bedroom.  Both were prepared for the possibility of a formal lock down of society and were using that as an excuse to get out of their respective commutes.  Teresa started to prepare the family's dinner.  She was done exams and would have nothing to do until next semester, as did I.

Teresa had the TV on in the kitchen and the news was airing while she worked on dinner.  I was sitting watching both she working on dinner and watching the news.  Little did she know I could comprehend everything in the news.  Much of it didn't affect me in either a dog's body or my own human one.  The main story, however, was huge to me.  They announced that commencing in a couple of days and extending past Christmas, our country would have a stay-at-home order, meaning that you could only go out for essential trips like grocery shopping.  This meant college would only resume after the break in an on-line format except for certain lab classes that could not be conducted on-line.  This affected Rudy more than me.  I had told Rudy that if we got the stay-at-home order, then I wanted him to go on-line and cancel my enrolment in college.  I would resume my education after the pandemic was over.  This meant I could remain in this dog's body longer than the break if I wanted to.  I wished I had an easier way to communicate with Rudy.  I had to meditate and switch back to my old body in the middle of the night and wake him up to speak with him.  We decided we could not do this for very long as the real dog Ralph might get confused about being in a different house.

I listened as Teresa called a friend to talk about the lock-down and heard her discussing the same arrangement as I had made.  While she was on the call I heard Derek call from the family room that he was done work and could someone bring him a beer.  I was able to nudge open the fridge and pick up one of the beer bottles in my mouth, then push the door shut and jog into the family room.  I walked up to Derek's desk and sat looking at him with the beer in my mouth.  I needed to score some brownie points with this guy as he had originally not been in favor of the family getting a dog.  He seemed impressed as he took the beer from me and stroked me on the head.  His comment suggested he assumed Teresa had got the beer for him and got me to deliver it.

In getting dinner ready to serve the family, somehow a bowl of dog food was prepared and it was presented to me by Charlene to eat in the kitchen while the family ate dinner in the dining room.  I was finished a lot faster, of course, and spent the second half of their dinner period sitting watching them eat.  Derek seemed to think I was begging, but the ladies suggested it wasn't begging if the dog sat well away from the table.  I was listening to their dinner table chatter.  Some comments from Derek were quite interesting.  He was saying, "Well, getting Ralph for free was critical.  With you two in braces, there just would not have been money for adoption or breeder fees for a dog.  I don't know why you two had to decide to do them at the same time.  It's quite a strain on the budget."

Charlene clarified, "Derek, I keep telling you.  I could not go through with it unless someone else was doing it at the same time.  Nights would have been unbearable if I went through it separately from Teresa."  I wondered what was up with nights.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #25 on: 14. January 2021, 12:54:42 PM »
Seeing Her Through The Eyes of a Dog.  Chapter 5.  Retiring with Teresa

The family watched a movie on TV after dinner.  During one of the commercial breaks Charlene made a comment to the effect that they were just sitting privately in their home watching TV and why wouldn't they brush teeth and get their braces ready for bed.  What a strange way to refer to flossing and water picking.  Teresa made a comment that she just couldn't handle it in front of the family and would wait until she went to her room for the night.  Strange.  Dental hygiene should not be that embarrassing.  Unless, perhaps she and her mother had strange elastic configurations that criss-crossed the front of their mouths or something.  Derek made a comment that although it was very expensive treatment, that he could not see pushing their adult daughter into embarrassing herself like that.

During the movie, I mostly sat at Teresa's feet, but any time she laughed at, or talked about, the movie, I stared up into her face and her braces.  At one point I heard Derek commenting that in the next commercial break be was getting himself another beer and would anyone else like anything.  No one did.  I got up and wandered deliberately into the kitchen, with the family watching to see what suddenly got my interest, but no one followed.  I used my trick of opening the fridge, getting a beer, and pushing the door closed again with my backside.  I trotted back into the family room and put the beer on Derek's lap.  This really surprised the three humans.  Charlene offered, "We don't know anything about Ralph's past life.  His previous owner may have trained him to get a beer for him whenever he asked for one.  Charlene then called me over to her.  I sat at her side and she petted me, praising me for being so clever.  I looked into her mouth as she talked, catching that beautiful twinkle in her smile as she did so.

Following the movie Teresa got up, saying she was going to bed.  It was kind of early but I think what she meant was that she was going to shut herself in her bedroom, do whatever she had in mind, perhaps on the computer, and then go to sleep when she got tired.  Charlene commented that with the dog bed in Teresa's room, she assumed that's where Ralph would be sleeping.  Then Charlene asked if she could walk me that evening.  I got a nice walk because Charlene took me on a route that was new to me, I mean as a human I had not walked through the particular neighborhood she took me through.  She seemed concerned that I had not done my business.  When we finally got home, I was left to go to the kitchen to get a drink of water while Charlene did some chores.  I took this opportunity to go into the downstairs bathroom and do my business and was able to get their toilet to flush.  I was glad the toilet had a slow-close toilet seat and lid.  I heard Charlene call out after I flushed, "Derek, is that you?" but there was no answer.  I was worried the family would start to get suspicious of me if they caught me using the toilet, especially after I got Derek two beers that evening.

I wandered up to Teresa's bedroom and the door was shut.  I gave one bark and after a moment heard the sound of Teresa getting off the bed and coming to open the door.  As I went in I noticed she was wearing a pair of soft, warm pyjama pants and a tank top.  Her hair was down.  She shut the door tight after I was in and I stood looking at her, wondering what we were to do next.  She went over to her bed where she had obviously been on her Smartphone.  She sat back on it, leaning against the headboard and patted the bed next to her for me to join her.  I did so obediently and looked into her face.  She then reached to the other side of her and opened a drawer in her bedside table and pulled something out.  Reading glasses?  Maybe she wore contacts during the day and had to wear glasses to read in bed.  Then my jaw dropped, which doesn't have the same effect of surprise to an observer when you are a dog.  She was holding a face bow.  She took a while to get it into her braces, which suggested she had not had it that long and so had not learned to do this quickly.  She then connected a neck strap under her long blond hair and picked up her Smartphone.

She looked at me before continuing with her phone and explained, not that she figured I'd understand, "This is the most embarrassing part of my braces.  I told my parents that once my door is shut they can't come in without knocking to give me a chance to get it out.  I'm never letting anyone see me in it.  I'm not even telling anyone about it.  Ralph, I'm glad you are a dog.  Seeing this headgear won't mean anything to you."  So this was what she was not willing to wear while watching TV.  It was pretty stupid of her not to.  Treatment would go a lot faster if she wore it more.  And now that we were in pandemic lock-down, she could have worn it almost all day and no one outside her family would see it.  Surely she would not be that embarrassed for her mother to see her.  After all, she had braces too and the headgear was just more braces.  And maybe her mother had something for teeth grinding at night.  They often need them as they get towards thirty.  If you have braces, they would have to design a different kind of appliance, maybe more like a retainer or something.  It would be worse than criss-cross elastics at the front of the mouth.

I moved myself around on the bed, which is a laborious task, trying to get in just the right position, so I could see what was on the screen of Teresa's phone.  She was doing Email.  I watched as she read some, deleted most after reading, and wrote a couple, apparently to girls.  Much of the time, though, I turned my head so I was watching Teresa's face from the side.  I watched her lips as they moved frequently as she read and especially as she typed.  When her mouth was relaxed, I could see that the front of the face bow only just touched her lower lip near the bottom of it.  The bars outside her mouth slanted up her cheeks to where the neck strap clipped on in front of her ears, meeting the face bow at quite an angle.  The strap wasn't that kind the kids get with white strips of holes so they can connect it with varying tensions at any time.  Hers had metal release modules that connected to a stretchy elastic strap and had silver loops coming out of them to connect to the face bow.  The release modules were shiny steel round pieces and when I first looked straight into her face when she put it on, they almost could be have been mistaken for earrings.  Her neck pad was black, as was the elastic strap and this contrasted well with her blond hair.

As a dog, I cannot exactly say I was feeling terribly horny.  I was feeling so in my mind and the only way my dog body could express it was to keep cuddling more into Teresa, who cooed and stroked me from time to time.  After about an hour of this, she put her phone on the bedside table and said to herself that she would have to figure out how to get Ralph to his bed by the window.  I watched her, wondering what she would try.  She softly told me she needed me to get off her bed and go to my own.  I pretended to not understand.  She grabbed my collar and I looked into her eyes, making mine as sad as I could.  But Teresa only just got slowed down in her attempt to get me off the bed.  Finally she was pulling hard enough that my head and part of my relaxed body were moving anyway.  I reluctantly got off the bed and let her drag me over to my own bed and I got in it, with a big sigh.  She knelt down beside me and petted me, stroking my head and back, tickling me on the stomach, and cooing softly about what a good boy I was.  With her face quite close to mine, I felt quite an urge to kiss her, but unfortunately all that happened was that my nose came up close to hers and my tongue gently ran over her face bow and lips, at which she pulled back a bit and wiped her hand across her face bow, trying to dry it.  She then went back to her own bed and got in, reaching for her bedside light and switching it off, calling 'good night' to me.  I waited until her breathing sounded like she was asleep and then got up and crept onto her bed, using my nose to lift the covers so I could go under them.  I'm surprised my moving around to get comfortable and in the right position to be near her did not wake her.  I was not used to feeling my way around in a dog's body and in the dark, I must have positioned myself with my head in her chest.  In her sleep, she simply put her arm around me like a teddy bear.  After a while she awoke and I heard her say, "Oh, Ralph, you didn't stay in your bed.  Oh well, you're here now."  And she rolled over and went back to sleep.

As morning came and daylight started to come in through the window, we both awoke.  She was facing me on her side and I on mine, my head on one of her pillows and looking into her eyes.  Well, actually they were looking from eyes to mouth frequently.  She mumbled to me, "Ralph," smiling, "I guess you aren't that bad to sleep with.  You were no trouble.  I don't think you even snore.  I'm really glad we got you, and just in time for lock-down."  It was interesting how wonderful her smile looked with a face bow under her top teeth and braces running along the tops of them.  Her smile had lots of silver, but with a wide strip of white between face bow and braces.  And with that, I had just got the serious attention of the hot chick I had been after all this time and had just spent the night with her in her bed.  Well, that sounds great, but this dog body was not as good at feeling what my human body would have felt.  I had probably been neutered as a puppy and my body had no inclination to respond, even to a lady dog.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #26 on: 14. January 2021, 12:55:37 PM »
Seeing Her Through The Eyes of a Dog.  Chapter 6.  Seeing Teresa's Morning Routine

With lock-down in effect, Teresa did not have anything to have to get up for, but shortly she looked at me and said, "Well, Ralph, I guess I have to get up and get you out for a walk so you can do your business, won't I boy."  I cringed inside but any reaction I had in my dog body probably did not show.  I did in fact want to go to the bathroom, but the door was shut to her bedroom and I did not have the appendages to be able to turn the knob.  And I certainly was not looking forward to the prospects of doing my business outside in public!  I would simply have to watch for an opportunity and jump at it, so to speak.

I assumed Teresa would get up, stretch, go to the bathroom, do some grooming type rituals on herself and return to her room.  Not quite.  She got out of bed, while I lay where I was to watch, ready to jump up the moment she headed for the bathroom.  My plan was to stay there after she left and hope she did not come back for me.  To my surprise, she went to her closet and started to select an outfit for that day.  Undies, bra, top, jeans, which I assumed she would put on when she returned from the bathroom.  No.  She removed her pants.  Then she removed her top.  She had worn a bra under her tank top in bed.  It was a nice supportive one, but it revealed a lot of cleavage, and all blemish-free.  She then almost made me put my paw over my eyes with her reaching around to undo the clasp for the bra at the back.  When she pulled it away, I realized that she needed very little support from a bra.  Unbelievable!  And the cool morning air on a relaxed female body that just woke up caused her nipples to stand out dramatically, and large they were.  I knew it would be polite to turn my head or something, but somehow I could not do this.  She quickly reached for her hips and grasped her panties to remove.  This was even more against decency to watch, however I did recall a human expression about collar and cuffs matching, which applied to her, before I had moved my big, doggy gaze to the floor.

Moments later she was dressed.  She removed her headgear and placed it in the drawer of her bedside table and headed for the door to her bedroom.  I followed her, tail wagging, to the bathroom, where she immediately sat on the vary plumbing fixture I was myself longing to use.  And I had to once again turn my gaze away as some clothing descended.  As a human I would have noticed the aroma of a female's urine, but as a dog I seemed to find it full of information and to be a glorious bouquet that was all about my owner.  When she was done and getting to her grooming rituals, I jumped up onto the toilet seat and admired her as many dogs do to their owners.  She looked at me and giggled, but did not tell me to get down.  I watched as she tied her hair up out of the way, washed her face and then began to apply powders, colours, eye liner, lipstick and so on.  She talked to herself, or was it me, while she did this.  She questioned why she was doing it during lock-down.  When she got to the lipstick, it was as though she had only just noticed again that she had braces on her teeth and pulled her lips together more forcefully to keep them hidden from her view, saying, "Oh Ralph, I couldn't have picked a better time to finally bite the bullet on these teeth.  I'm in almost all the time and when I am out, I wear a mask so much.  And Mom, I don't know how she brought herself to do this.  Dad's been really supportive of it all."  And then she screwed up her face at the sight of her lips, teeth and part of her braces as she did a smile to herself in the mirror.

She seemed to leave the bathroom without noticing I did not follow, then came back and looked in to see me still sitting on the toilet seat.  She said, "Okay, Ralph, back to the bedroom," leaving again.  I got off the toilet and went over to move the door almost shut and then went back and put the toilet seat up, and got into position.  I did my business as fast as I could and flushed it, hurrying to her bedroom.  As I entered she laughed, "I guess Dad had to use my bathroom.  Mom was probably taking too long and he couldn't wait any longer.  Did he make you finally leave and follow me?"  She then left again and headed downstairs, saying that Mum and Dad should be down soon and she would get breakfast for everyone, probably intending they would hear this.

I decided it was proper for the family dog to go check on the parents now.  I wandered over to their room and found the master bedroom door not completely shut.  I pushed it open and found that, contrary to Teresa's assumption that they were up and using the bathrooms, found it was all quiet and the two were still in bed.  I decided that if Derek had not been all that keen on a dog in the first place, perhaps jumping on him and licking his face was a little risky.  I jumped up on the bottom corner of Charlene's side of the bed and waited.  Nothing happened.  I carefully walked up between the two bodies and started to sniff Charlene's neck just behind her ear, which was hidden by her shoulder length hair.  This started to wake her.  She started to roll from the side that faced her away from me, onto her back.  As she did this, I was met with a most unexpected site.  Charlene also wore headgear in bed!

If I had been in a human body, she would have screamed and put her hands over her face and told me to go away, feeling mortified by being caught in her night time appliance.  However with me in a dog's body, she reacted with not the slightest bit of shame.  She just said, "Oh, Ralph, Teresa sent you in to wake us up, did she?  You'll be wanting someone to take you out for a walk, then."  No, I was not.  I had been ready for breakfast, but now, I was just frozen, staring without shame at this beautiful, mature woman, wearing headgear as she slept beside her husband.  When she had spoken, I watched her lips moving up and down her teeth, revealing none of her braces, yet with this large arch of steel from the face bow trying to impede her lower lip from meeting the top.  As she yawned, I studied the fit of the headgear.  The face bow seemed to go in closer to her teeth than Teresa's.  When she closed her mouth her lower lip had more trouble than Teresa's in moving behind the face bow and up over the top teeth.  It kind of stuck just under them, yet when she had previously spoken, it seemed to squeeze itself a little higher with the top lip coming down more than when she was not wearing it.

It was not my conscious human mind, but my dog mind that gave her a lick on the mouth.  I had not pressed hard so the lips did not move off the braces, but I moistened the face bow for her, which she dried immediately with her fingers.  She then pulled back the covers and got out of bed, with Derek finally starting to stir.  I jumped off the bed quickly after her and followed her to their en-suite bathroom.  It was big and bright and had separate shower and Jacuzzi tub.  I sat beside her as she looked at herself in the mirror, standing at the counter.  They had double sinks, so the counter was long enough for a dog to sit and watch the human looking at themselves in the mirror.  She moved her fingers to the strap near one ear and fumbled as she tried to unhook the strap from the face bow.  Considering she would have had over a decade of experience at applying makeup to herself, she showed no dexterity at operating a headgear's neck strap when it needed to be disengaged.  I noticed she even was slow to unhook the second side with the traction released, and then she pulled the strap out from behind her neck.  She put it in a drawer under the counter where she had all kinds of grooming tools.  Next she put her hands to the face bow.  Whereas Teresa would just slide it out, Charlene seemed to labor at hers, wiggling it and jiggling it and after a period in which I was almost getting bored of sitting watching her, she wiggled it out and put it in the drawer with the strap and grooming tools.  I considered: for some reason the daughter puts off treatment until she starts college, even though it would involve wearing headgear with her braces.  Her mother, prescribed a similar treatment, starts at the same time so she would not be going through it alone, and yet the two never let each other see each other wearing their headgears.  I suspected that this doing braces together for mutual support started out as a good idea, but then didn't go beyond the fixed appliances.

I did not wait for Charlene and Derek to get up and dressed.  I headed downstairs at this point and was glad I did, as I realized how much more uncultured it would be to hang around the mother of the girl of my dreams as she probably used the toilet and then changed from pyjamas into clothes, probably having no concern with standing in front of me completely naked.  I could not play my role of a disinterested dog around a naked parent of my girl.

When I got downstairs, Teresa was sitting in the living room, watching TV, waiting for her parents to come down so they could start breakfast.  Me?  She seemed to think I would be fed with the others.  She offered to take me out for a walk, but I just laid on the floor and gave a big sigh.  She seemed to accept this as an indication that there was no rush.  I guess her parents didn't take a long time to come down, by human standards, but for me the wait for breakfast was unpleasant.  As soon as Charlene emerged, Teresa started to work on breakfast while Charlene started to work on the more important task, of getting food for me.  They went with the standard diet of kibble, just enough that I would not gain weight, plus a meagre helping of something from a can that had a photo of a happy dog on it.  I ate this as you would expect – rather similar to inhaling it, but in fact I crunched on several of the kibbles before swallowing.  When the family sat down to breakfast, I sat a decent distance off and looked mildly interested.  In fact I really wanted what they had, but remembered as a human how I hated it when Ralph would do that to Rudy and I back in our house.  When Charlene got up and said she was going to brush teeth, I felt the need to accompany her.  I realized in the logical, human side of my mind, that it was Teresa that I was there to be around all the time, but the my doggy brain said that the one who fed me was special and must receive special attention also.

Sitting in her bathroom and watching her use her special braces cleaning tools, I got a special documentary accompaniment from a very pleasant female a few years older than me on the intricacies of oral hygiene when that female had darling sparkly dazzle high on her beautiful but slightly protruding white teeth.  I have to admit that I was actually kind of getting into this, with her calming voice that kept talking on the subject that she was sure I would not understand, and the display of all that beautiful and sophisticated dazzle that she was wearing in conjunction with her daughter as a kind of support.  It got rather surprising when Charlene finished off her hygiene activities by pulling out her headgear and, with a lot of trouble, inserted the face bow and connected the neck strap.  She looked at me, looking about as dorky as a mature lady looks in one of these, and by the way, sexy as hell to the mind of a guy that got off on these appliances.  She explained that she could wear it while she walked me because she would have to wear a face mask and would wear a stretchy, round-the-neck-and-face one that completely hid the headgear, back and front.  I'd mostly seen guys wearing these neck wraps that were originally created as outback hiking wear against mosquitoes.  She grabbed one from the drawer and put it on.  She was correct.  She had obliterated everything that made her attractive to me.  Oh, but wait, I guess she really did have a decent body, now that this was all there was to consider.  And to the human in me it seemed fine to me to lust after stainless steel on two different ladies, it was still wrong to do so to the Mom of the girl I found so ultimate in the body department.

She squeakily urged me to follow her down stairs to the front door, hardly bothering to explain to the other two what was up and where she was going.  Teresa did make a comment about she not being able to take the dog into most malls or stores and so the lavish face mask might not be that necessary.  Charlene grunted and ignored that comment and we were soon off.  Every so often Charlene would make a comment that sounded like she was urging me to do my business.  Sorry to say, I was fine as I had already gone in the main bathroom of the house, but at one point I lifted my leg at a tree that had obviously received tonnes of other sprays from those who regularly walked this route.  Charlene kept me away from other dogs who were anxious to greet me, and soon we were back home – soon being almost an hour in human terms but somehow it seemed only a few minutes to me.

Upon getting into the house and wiping my feet, Charlene was confronted by her daughter, who asked, quite innocently, "Mom, I don't know why you wore a face mask for a dog walk, and why you don't whip it off the moment you are back inside."

Charlene said to her daughter, "It's not about spreading virus during the pandemic.  That is just a convenient reason to be seen wearing one.  I got an extra hour in wearing my headgear because this face covering masks it from everyone."  Teresa gave a big 'um' sound.  She certainly had not liked the idea of family seeing her in her headgear and so understood her mother's technique.  Charlene then said, "Teresa, is it possible we might get up the nerve to wear these during the day, out of our rooms?  It's lock-down, so we are just locked up in this house all the time except when someone goes for groceries."

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #27 on: 14. January 2021, 12:56:51 PM »
Seeing Her Through The Eyes of a Dog.  Chapter 7.  Passing a Saturday in Lock-Down

Teresa was determined not to be seen by anyone in her headgear and now her mother was suggesting she should wear it where she could be seen.  It would only be family, mind you, but this was not something she had considered acceptable when she started this treatment.  Her Mum, who had walked the dog, wearing both headgear and face covering to mask it, left and went up to her room, when Teresa did not respond positively.

Being that nobody in the house had to work that day, it was all about how to pass the time.  Derek had some stuff he wanted to do on the Internet, and on his personal laptop, so got stuck into that.  Teresa seemed to have more of her endless social networking over her phone and laptop to get out of the way that morning.  For some reason, and this may be the fact that Charlene had fed me both meals since I moved in, I was starting, in my doggy brain, to take more interest in Charlene.  If I had been in a human body, I would have scolded myself for seeing something interesting in a woman who was early thirties while I was early twenties.  I would further have been turned off her in account of her being married, but somehow, as a dog, none of this seemed relevant.  We had just had a nice walk after she fed me breakfast and the canine part of my brain said this was very special.  She actually wore the face covering all the way up to her bedroom.  She closed the door, after me, and mumbled something to me about still having to keep it covered from her daughter if she was not game to wear them in the house.  She huffed and went on, "And Derek hardly sees it.  I come out of the bathroom after he turns the lights out and I scamper into it again as he is hardly able to open his eyes.  I guess he doesn't truly see me in it."  And I realized that I had an incredibly special opportunity to see her in her headgear that even her husband did not have because it was broad daylight.

She came out of the bathroom and sat on the bed with her pillow leaned up against the head of the bed.  She pulled a magazine out of her bedside table.  I was surprised to see that she still kept her headgear on.  Charlene looked special in it because she was a nicely matured and attractive woman.  She had obviously taken care of her face as the skin looked that of a mid-twenties girl, even if the features spoke of a bit more wisdom.  In trying to read the magazine, I'm sure she would have hidden it from me if she knew I was human, at least in mind.  It was a trashy magazine that had a headline indicating it was instructing young ladies on the best ways to perfect their smiles.  I could make out words like whitening, veneers, braces, lingual, night-time appliances, extractions and surgery.  Yeah, that is about the best of the arsenal that the ladies these days used against imperfect smiles.  She was not leafing through it but rather reading it in detail.  I jumped on the bed and sat up beside her.  As I was a pretty big dog, my face was level with hers.  Now, a human guy could not go and jump onto the bed of his fellow-girl-student's mother, sit right up beside her and look around at her head to admire the extra oral traction appliance that decorated her face, and which she hardly even let her husband see.  Yet as a dog, here I was doing just that and getting a warm smile from her, completely unembarrassed about sitting beside her daughter's admirer in bed.  I found it in fact somewhat challenging to keep my eyes on her face in this situation.  I turned my head down toward her magazine and was actually able to read the article she was looking at.

I won't go into details about the terrible logic errors in the advice about which way to go about fixing an imperfect smile.  It seemed to be giving priority to the price of the procedure, with higher being more highly recommended.  And yes, headgear was an awful long way down on the list if sorted by price.   Eventually I felt uncomfortable with Charlene as her caresses, I mean pets, were way too loving and gentle to be coming from a guy's girl's Mom.  After enjoying it for as long as I could leave it to my doggy brain, I carefully jumped off the bed and went to the door.  Unfortunately I had to make a little noise at the door to get Charlene to notice I wanted to go out.  She got up and came over to open the door, but before doing so, she bent down and took my head in her hands and told me I was such a good boy to spend this time with her, and gave me a kiss on the forehead.  I could even feel her face bow through my fir on my head.  I couldn't help doing the unthinkable.  I moved my head up as she was moving her head back and timed it just right so I could run my tongue up and over her chin, face bow and lips.  And with that I sauntered out of the door as it opened, feeling totally guilty with myself for getting this personal with this older woman when I was actually in a two-week long session of making the moves on her daughter.

And find her daughter I did very quickly.  She was in the family room doing yoga to a YouTube video.  The instructor was obviously doing the recording out of her home and her own dog was laying peacefully watching the instructor from a short way off and still in frame.  I'm afraid my human mind came up with something I would want to do in general to a hot girl doing yoga and then my doggy brain further detailed that something into a very specific interference in her practice in such a way that she could not help laughing at all my antics.  You can lick a girls braces in child's pose if you really crouch down.  You can do so upside down if you stand up underneath them in down dog, and several times during vinyasa.  Half moon works okay except that the braces go right down the middle of the tongue like a hacksaw blade.  To do it during warrior one you have to hump the forward leg, placing your paws on their waist while you stretch up toward their face.  Warrior two has the problem that they just fall over backwards as soon as you put your hands on their shoulders and face up to theirs.  A shoulder stand seemed to go well until I felt her feet going unto my rump as she turned it into a plow as a result of all the giggling.  But I think I finally got it right during corpse pose as I had figured out you have to stay calm during yoga and all I did was to lay on top of her, hind legs straddling her thighs, with my belly on hers, my groin pressing into hers, and my paws on her hands as she raised her hands at a forty-five degree angle over her head.  I had to tilt my head a long way down to line up our mouths and at that point all I could do was watch her lips as she tried to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, none of which revealed any steel.  It was seven minutes of laying like that before the instructor said to start wiggling hands and toes.  The instructor did not say to wiggle the groin but when she did, she then reached one of her hands down and then after touching me somewhere that she never would have thought of doing if I was in a human body, made a husky squeal of surprise.  I had no way of telling her that a male dog is permanently like that and yoga was not the turn-on practice for dogs that she may have thought it was from my previous instinctive participation when my owner did it.

I got carefully off her and was disappointed to hear that she was doing an optional wake-up flow for another ten minutes.  This represented an opportunity that I had been contemplating for some time.  I went up to her bedroom and luckily she had left her laptop on even if the screen had gone out and the CPU had gone to sleep.  I jumped on to her chair and carefully used one of my claws to press the shift key.  The laptop came to life in a moment and was in her email program.  It was hard but I used my paw to coax the mouse so the pointer was on a 'compose' button.  With a new window open, I started to type in Rudy's email address, but found that her laptop already knew of it.  She must have received an Email from him regarding my adoption.  I started to key a message but found it was quite slow.  I entered, 'It's Darin enjoying new home please cancel next term for me.'  Then I coaxed the mouse to send and off it went.

By the time Teresa returned to her room, I had moved to her bed and was almost asleep.  She sat down at her computer and read an Email that had come in, "From Rudy.  I hope you are enjoying Darin, the dog.  Please let me know if you need any help with him.  Tell him I cancelled dog training for him.  You can make your own arrangement if you think he needs any.  I miss him and wondered if I could drop by to pet him sometime."  Rudy had realized Teresa would read his answer and so referred to college as 'dog-training'.  Teresa had read the entire Email and then replied, "Rudy, sure between five and six is good because Mom and Dad are done work and dinner isn't ready yet."

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #28 on: 14. January 2021, 12:58:42 PM »
Seeing Her Through The Eyes of a Dog.  Chapter 8.  Rudy is in Distress

Around five that afternoon, the doorbell rang and Derek announced to us that it was Rudy at the door and would someone get the dog.  I bounded up to the door and Derek put a leash on me and opened it.  Rudy was standing six feet back from the door and was wearing a mask.  Derek dropped the leash and I was able to walk over to Rudy, who petted me just like he had always petted this dog when it was his.

He knelt down as he was doing this and spoke quietly into my ear.  However just as he was about to speak, Derek said, "So Rudy, take all the time you want.  I'm sure you miss him.  Just ring the bell again when he is ready to come back inside.  Maybe you want to take him for a walk."

Rudy looked up and thanked Derek, then walked me out to the street and down the road.  He then knelt beside me again and started to pet me, just so it would look good to any passersby.  He said, "Look, Darin, it's getting really hard with Ralph in your body.  He gets way to cuddly with me in bed every night and even if I try to sit on the couch to watch TV.  He is trying to get into everything now that he has discovered he has dexterous hands and stands up erect.  I had to put child safety locks on all the cupboards in the house.  And he has learned to make a bark with your vocal cords.  It's kind of like a wretch sometimes.  Is there any way you are ready to switch back?"

I wanted him to know I understood so I turned my head towards his and licked his mouth.  Somehow this reminded me of what he must be going through with my old body.  This felt natural to my doggy brain but my human mind felt it was much the same as it must be for Rudy when my body was like this with him.  I couldn't say much else.  I started to walk toward home until the leash was taught and then stopped waiting for Rudy to follow.  He commented that he hoped I understood.  He also stated assumptions.  He said, "So you'll attempt a switch-back maybe over night?"  I barked.  He said, "So we'll check in with the family tomorrow to see how Ralph handled living with them after the switch back?"  I barked.

I might have been very disappointed at all of this, but in fact it was a combination of boring and frustrating being in Ralph's body .  The boredom is probably obvious.  The frustration came from being with a really hot chick, who had braces and wore headgear no less, but then my arousal to all this was limited to a mind recalling how my human body would react if I was in it.  I needed to build on what I had done.  I needed to use the fact that Teresa had adopted our dog, and the fact that the dog would act rather strange starting tomorrow, to offer to help them to deal with him.  No, wait.  I could go further.  I could explain the mind swap and then appeal to her on the basis that she had already spent the night with me while wearing headgear.  I'd have to break all this to her slowly.

Getting back to the house and being admitted, I ran to the kitchen.  Charlene and Teresa were working on dinner and Charlene immediately started to get my own dinner ready when she saw me.  Teresa came and petted me and even gave me a hug.  I licked her while she was smiling at me just so I could run my tongue over her braces again.  This was an experience that I soon would not be able to have.  I then did the same to Charlene when she put my food dish down.

Soon after I had eaten and before the rest of them had finished, I was able to sneak off to the bathroom and do my business.  But sitting and watching them doing dishes, seemed even more boring as I thought of the prospects of returning to my own body that night.  I guess I rather made a fuss of Charlene when she had finished dishes and she correctly judged that I wanted to be walked.  She commented to Teresa that since she had fed me, she was the one I approached when I needed my walk.  She said to Teresa, "It worked out well last time I walked him.  I'm going to wear my headgear again on the walk.  I really need to wear it more and this is the one chance I get other than when sleeping.  I really wish I was brave enough to wear it in front of you guys."  To make it look right, I chased Charlene up to her bedroom, as she tried to explain to me why we were not heading for the front door.  I sat at attention in the bathroom and watched this erotic show of a mature woman clumsily putting her face bow onto her braces and then securing it with a neck strap, after which she covered the whole lot up with a pandemic face covering.  Charlene petted me and thanked me for being so patient, assuming the sitting at attention was a continuing campaign to get her to walk me.

I enjoyed the walk.  Charlene cooed nice things to me and even started thinking out loud.  She said, "I just have to get up the nerve to wear this headgear around the family.  It would really help if Teresa were to wear hers.  Derek's had a few glimpses of me in mine, so he would not be so hard to wear it in front of, but Teresa is a different story.  Humiliating yourself in front of your offspring is just devastating.  I should just bite the bullet when I get home.  Watching TV in the evening is the perfect time to wear it.  Everyone is watching the TV, not me.  Well, Ralph.  At least I don't have to feel self-conscious in front of you.  It probably doesn't mean anything to you."  I turned my head and woofed at her but she did not interpret it as my contradicting her.

Getting in the front door, Charlene knelt down and fondled my feet... I mean she wiped my feet with a rag so I would not track dirt into the house.  But she cooed nice things about how good and so patiently I was to let her do this to my feet.  Then she stroked my head before getting back up.  I took that opportunity to press my nose into hers and then to move it to one side and grasp the strap to the face-mask in my teeth.  I pulled and it came off her ear and then I continued pulling and it came off her other ear.  Charlene let out a little squeal and I whipped my head around so she could not get the face-mask back.

She was standing by this time and Teresa had seen her Mom in headgear for the first time.  She said, as Charlene placed her hand right over the front of her face in shame, "Oh Mom, your headgear doesn't look so bad.  Wait... take your hand way."  Charlene did so and Teresa considered it, "I feel so dorky in mine, but it looks fine on you."

Charlene said, "Well honey, I have been telling you we need to get comfortable wearing them in front of each other.  Look, why don't you get yours and we can all watch TV together."  I then handed Charlene back her face mask which she took as she made a huff at me in reaction to my bad behaviour.  I followed her into the family room with Derek behind me.  Charlene sat on the couch and patted the seat beside her to invite me onto it.  I lay on it with my head on her lap and then lifted it to look into her face and headgear as she said, "Ralph, I would not have got up the nerve to just go put on the headgear and come down to watch TV when Teresa was refusing to wear hers, but that stunt you pulled with taking my face mask off after the walk seems to have done the trick after all."

Derek had stopped in front of her and was taking in the sight of his wife in cervical headgear in the better light of the family room and said, "Yeah, we're paying so much each month, if you can just wear it to watch TV in the evening and shorten the treatment time, it could really help our family budget.  That Dog seems to be pretty useful, what with getting me a beer and now getting you and Teresa to speed up your treatment, I'd say he is becoming quite an asset to the family."

Charlene looked up at her husband and complained, "All you think about is money.  You said nothing about how bad I look in this."  And as she was saying this, I leapt off the couch and went to the fridge to get a beer for Derek.  This freed up the spot on the couch beside Charlene and he took it.

He replied to her, "Honey, it's a headgear, not a fashion accessory.  I would not be able to compliment how you look in it with a straight face.  It looks like you are getting your teeth fixed.  But Teresa maybe said it best, 'you look okay in it.'"  I handed Derek his beer and then Teresa entered the room.  I looked over at her after Derek took the beer from my jaws and saw that she had put her headgear on as her mother had been urging.  I trotted over to her as she was approaching us and she stopped to pet me as Derek commented, "Oh Teresa, good for you.  I was just saying to your Mom how it will really help the family budget with you two speeding up this teeth fixing, and yours looks fine on you, too.  You don't need to be hiding away in your room all the time to wear it."

As Teresa was heading for another shorter couch, Charlene said, "Oh, honey, you actually look good in yours.  I guess your youth helps."  Teresa gave her mother a look that said she had just been told a pile of dog poop.  I jumped up on the couch beside her, sitting and facing her, then I licked her lips and face bow.  Charlene quickly said, "Oh honey, watch the dog doesn't break your braces."

Teresa sneered and said, "Mom, he's been doing that since we got him and he is never rough on me.  It's not doing any harm."  She paused and looked at her father who was considering her, probably thinking what a pity it was that his daughter had to look such a dork just because their family had not been able to put her through this when she was in middle school.  She then said, "Dad, would it be okay if I had a couple of beers while we watch TV?"  He nodded and grunted 'uh huh.'  I then jumped off the couch and ran to the fridge.  I was finally able to get a beer for my Teresa.  I ran back, jumped on the couch and lay down with my head over her lap and dropped the beer.  Okay, this was not quite romantic because the bottle dropped between her legs with the cap at her crotch.  Nevertheless, she smiled big and gave me a big thank-you as she picked it up and unscrewed the top, taking a big drink by holding it to her face bow and puckering her lips around it.

Charlene had watched this, expecting having the beer was just an excuse to remove the headgear in order to drink, so she could leave it off for most of the movie.  She cautioned, "Oh honey, watch you don't dribble it all over yourself!"  Teresa swallowed the beer and put the bottle down on the coffee table and then smiled at her Mother, who then said, "Well, I think I might as well join you two, but what is the command to the dog to get you a beer?"  I needed no command.  I leapt off the couch and ran to the fridge for my third beer-fetch run.  Charlene cooed wonderfully to me as I held the beer in front of her and she praised me with the face bow sticking out over her lower lip and her top lip pulled back in a big enough smile to show her entire chain of braces.  I stood and watched this for a moment as though I was waiting for a tip, so she petted me on the head and I ran back to lay on the other couch next to Teresa.  Given that this was my last evening with these two lovely headgear-laden women, I wished I could have a beer also, but Rudy had always reminded me how bad alcohol was for dogs.

Charlene had removed the top to her beer and was carefully trying to replicate the pose of the mouth that Teresa had done while her husband watched with curiosity.  She took a wee little sip first try, then took the bottle away and wiped the face bow with thumb and forefinger.  She then wiped the lips with the back of her hand.  She tried again and this time was able to take a decent drink without getting dribbles on her lips.  It was easier for Charlene to drink from a beer bottle than Teresa because the former had her face bow projecting a little less and the latter had her face bow a little lower relative to her top teeth.

When the movie was over and we went to bed, I was perhaps a little too affectionate with Teresa.  I watched her intently as we lay in bed and she worked on her Smartphone.  I kept scooching my body up so my head could touch hers and then gave her little licks around her face bow.  She giggled, partly from intoxication and partly from my attention, and accused me of liking the taste and smell of the beers she had drunk while watching the movie.  She eventually put the light out and after she was asleep, I crept out of bed and to the dog bed by the window on the floor.  I curled up in it and began to meditate.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #29 on: 14. January 2021, 12:59:37 PM »
Seeing Her Through The Eyes of a Dog.  Chapter 9.  Something Weird about Teresa's Dog

The next morning I awoke to find I was in bed and was not alone.  I was spooning someone with my front paw over the person and holding them in approximately the belly area.  I quickly realized, though, due to some strange new appendage Teresa didn't have, that it was not her, and coming to, I realized I was in bed with Rudy, and as I jumped out of bed, I realized I was in my old human body.  That was a relief, but I was alarmed at how I had been cuddling with Rudy.  My jumping out of bed had awoken Rudy, who turned over and looked at me.

I croaked, "What the heck?  What was I doing to you?"

Rudy said, "Oh, Darin, thank goodness.  Yes, I don't think Ralph was yet used to having long arms and he didn't know where to put them.  Now you know why I told you I wanted you two switched back.  Ralph didn't mean to bother me like that, but man, I sure wish it was a female that wanted to do that dog/human swap thing.  At least I could have pretended it was enjoyable intimacy."

I said, "Rudy, I'm sorry.  I didn't really think through the dog side of things.  Well, at least you don't have to take me out in the woods first thing in the morning any longer."

He laughed and added, "Nor wipe your butt for you.  So do you mind having a shower, please.  I couldn't bring myself to bath you like I do Ralph."  I agreed and went to the bathroom to shower.  Over breakfast, Rudy told me about some of the difficulties of having a dog in a human's body and I laughed.  When I started to tell Rudy of some of the experiences I had myself, in a dog's body, he was jealous.  Of course I left out all the intimate observations of the two ladies, such as headgears and Charlene's magazine but I did tell him the kinds of things I learned if my nose got near human ladies' privates.

Soon after breakfast Rudy got a text from Charlene.  She explained that Ralph was acting very strange and wondered if he might be passing their house that morning and could he stop by to see if he could explain what Ralph was doing.  I asked him to text back that Darin would be by and would likely be able to explain it.  As soon as we had finished breakfast I headed over to Teresa's.  This was the first time ever I had a legitimate excuse to go call on her.

She answered the door with a mask on her face, as I wore also.  This was so sad because I would still have enjoyed watching her smile flash that glorious display of braces to me as she talked.  She came outside with Ralph on a leash and suggested we should go for a walk with him.  He pooped and peed shortly after we started as Teresa was trying to explain how Ralph had awoken and seemed uncomfortable and then insisted on smelling every inch of the house like he had never been in it before.  Teresa remarked that it was the first time she had ever seen Ralph pee or poop on a walk with her.  She then explained how Ralph had awoken in some kind of panic and threw all the covers off and started barking, then ran away from her, off the bed and to the door.

I said, "Oh!  Yes.  I know what happened.  Ralph thinks he woke up in a strange house.  I know why that happened, but it is a long and strange story.  Are you ready for it?"  She urged me to continue.  I carefully explained how one could arrange a mind swap if one had the appropriate meditation skills.  She repeated several times though my explanation the question of what this had to do with Ralph.  I finally said, "Teresa, Ralph's doggy mind had been swapped out over the last few days and it was swapped back in over night."  Teresa challenged me that Dog's don't meditate.  I explained, "No, probably not, but taking the meditation one step more advanced, one of the minds involved in the swap actually controls the whole thing and only needs the dog to be asleep.  The other mind involved in the swap is a human."

Teresa gave a little yelp and exclaimed, "You mean some human's mind might have been in my dog's brain!"

I said, "Teresa, I happen to know that Ralph's mind was in fact swapped out with a human, otherwise I could never have dreamt up that explanation."

I soon changed the subject.  I said, "Teresa, you don't know how long I have wanted be friends with you.  Ralph has turned out to be a fantastic reason to get closer to you.

Teresa stopped and made Ralph stop.  She turned and looked at me with a smile obvious just in her eyes.  She said, "Oh, Darin.  I didn't know how to tell you.  Surely you realized I was avoiding guys.  It would have been just too hard to have a social life while getting my teeth fixed.  I was going antisocial for a year."  Then she stopped and covered her face mask with her hand and gave a little yelp and said, "Darin, I got braces, but they have been covered by a face mask all semester."

I said, "Yes.  And they're really hot on you."

She said, "How can they be hot?"  Teresa still didn't quite believe all of this.

I clarified, "Teresa, I once got to see you without a face-mask on, even if you didn't see me at the time and I decided your braces were really hot, but hotter still might be any accessories you happen to have."

Teresa's face first dropped and then perked up as she ventured, "You'd still be pursuing me if we didn't wear masks and I flashed steel at you every time I talked or smiled?"

I said, "I treasured my time with you.  I'm really going to miss it now.  I'm going to miss you.  We can't exactly visit since we are in lock-down.  But is it possible I could video call with you sometimes?"

Teresa then stepped up to me and hugged me.  Ralph seemed worried about this and carefully stepped up onto his hind feet, placing his paws one on each of our shoulders and attempted to lick our masks.  Teresa started giggling and said, "Sure.  You might make better conversation than a dog."

We walked Ralph for a very long way that morning.  I don't think either of us wanted it to end.  But finally I had to leave Teresa and Ralph at her door and return home.  At least now I had her Email address, phone number and some kind of developing friendship with her.  On the way home I mourned the loss of my position in Teresa's household.  I could not curl up with her on her bed to watch her lips dance around her face bow, nor cuddle up to her lushes body all night.  About all I could do with her in person was to walk Ralph and dream of her smile behind the face mask.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #30 on: 14. January 2021, 13:01:07 PM »
Seeing Her Through The Eyes of a Dog.  Chapter 10.  Derek The Match Maker

Rudy was interested to know more about my stay with Teresa over the past few days and more about what I did and how much was influenced by the dog brain, vs. the human mind.  Right after lunch the phone rang and it was Derek calling.  He said Teresa had explained to them that the dog had a different mind in it for the past few days and was now back to the same mind it had before they adopted him.  Then he went on to say that Teresa had been very disappointed that she could not have me over or come to visit me and that all we could do was dog-walks together.  He explained that he had been going over the law regarding the lock-down in detail and had discovered that it did not apply if one person moved during the pandemic.  It was okay for a person renting a room in a house to move to another house to rent a room in it and that they then changed which household they associated themselves with.  I explained there were no more rooms in our house to rent out and Derek laughed and said, "No, Darin, we are suggesting you could come rent a room in our house.  Darin, you see Charlene and I have been worrying about Teresa's lack of success in the dating area.  There was that one boyfriend near the end of high school and then when it ended badly, she seemed to avoid trying again.  But the way she talks about you, we think there is a real chance of her relaxing and finally moving on."

I said I was unsure how much notice I had to give at my current place to leave but that I would investigate and call him back.  In fact I was absolutely going to take him up on his offer, but I wanted to think about this move for a while before jumping at it.  After all, I had been spying on the whole family without them knowing, through the eyes of a dog.  Without intending to, I had caught Teresa naked and her mother in her headgear.  The parents had not indicated Teresa had told them everything about the human mind that had been in their dog the last few days.  I went for a walk  behind the house in the wilderness.  I used to do that for a break from studying a couple of weeks ago but now it felt different.  I noticed certain alcoves under rotten trees I had never noticed before.  I spotted the feces of a number of forest creatures, which I seldom noticed in the past.  But despite all these distractions, I thought hard about the opportunity in front of me.  My own rental situation was irrelevant.  Paying rent on two places for a couple of months was irrelevant to me if it meant I got to live with Teresa.  In fact, maybe having my old place still available for a couple of months would be a good idea so that if living with Teresa and her family was not the heaven I felt it would be, then I could easily move back.  I was still not sure of what the mother would say about me sitting in bed with her reading that trashy magazine and lusting after her metal work, and then there was seeing Teresa naked.  Or would Teresa object to me putting my nose too close to the belly of her friend and learning things about her love life that she would not even share with her best friend.  I returned to the house and discussed it with Rudy.

Rudy's response was ultimately very positive, but his reasoning for it was rather alarming.  He explained, "Look, this place is not that large and we got along very well, but over the last few days, having you insisting on sleeping with me, snoring in my ear, fondling my chest, touching me in much more private places in the early morning, and doing even worse with your nose has been really, really hard to go through.  Although you are back to your old self, when I look at you, I still remember what you did with Ralph's mind in your body and it makes me uncomfortable.  I'm sure I'll get over it after a night or two.  I tell you what, you take Teresa's Dad up on his offer.  I'll cover your rent for the current month.  If it seems to be working out then give notice next month and I'll cover the rent for the two months of the notice.  And if it doesn't work out with Teresa's family and you move back, it'll just be everything back to normal.  I then called Derek back and we talked over the many details.  I would pay them a rent that included food and I would eat with them.  He mentioned the guest room in the basement, assuming I would not actually be moving into Teresa's bedroom with her, which was reasonable.  At least I could visit her up until lights out and upon rising in the morning.

Charlene was good enough to bring over the minivan so I would not have to carry all my stuff to their house.  Rudy and I had rented a furnished house and Derek was renting me a furnished guest room.  It was just all my boxes of clothes and so on that I had to move.  Charlene wore a mask while we carried things out of my old house.  She used the stretchy neck wrap she used for walking me as a dog.  With Rudy, Charlene and I at it, we had the van loaded in about fifteen minutes.  Once I had my seat belt on and mask put away, I looked at Charlene.  She could take her mask off now since we were going to be in the same household from now on.

She hesitated until Rudy had gone back in the house.  Then she said to me, "Darin, no doubt at some point in the school year you noticed Teresa got braces, right?"  I grunted 'uh-huh' so she continued, "Well, I did at the same time.  We both have pretty much the same dental problem and I could never get mine fixed as a child.  In fact we couldn't fix Teresa's back then as we were not that well off, and then she got too self conscious until she started college.  The thing is that in living with us, you are going to see that we have some extra braces that are horribly humiliating for adults to wear, let alone kids.  I'm trying to wear mine as much as I can to rush treatment and get it over with and I'm encouraging Teresa to do the same.  So, when I walk the dog or have to go somewhere in the car, I've decided to wear it."  She paused as I waited for her to show me the headgear that I had seen her in the previous evening while we watched TV.  It would be cool to see her driving so I could watch her from a profile view as she focused on the task of driving.  She continued, "I'm trying to get up the nerve to show you.  I have to get this over with and the sooner the better."  I heard her take a big breath like she was going to jump into a big wilderness lake of cold water.  She pulled the neck wrap down and it bunched up around her neck, leaving her entire headgear, face bow as well as neck strap, all revealed to me.

I hesitated as I cancelled what I was about to say, 'Yeah, I've seen it, but you look way better in it in a bathrobe than with that neck wrap all bunched up below it'; or 'Don't sweat it, you look as hot as your daughter in it, but you are little more brave about it than she is.'  But in that moment I came up with, "Well the pandemic is probably the best time to go through that, for both you and for Teresa."

Charlene looked at me before starting the van and said, "You'll have to be very careful with Teresa.  She is really hung up about it and wasn't even going to let her father and I see her in it, at least until last evening.  I'm really hoping she doesn't try to wait until you've gone to your room before using it each night.  She and I watched TV last evening wearing them.  Starting right after dinner is a lot more time than waiting until lights out.  If you can be sincere about it, maybe you could say something encouraging, playing down any aspect of her appearance that it hurts."  I said 'okay', as if I had no idea what exactly I would say, but of course I was just going with something like I suppressed saying to her Mom.

After having backed the van up the side of the driveway that had a path leading around the side of the house to a basement entrance, she carefully restored the position of her face covering which her husband used to use to keep insects from much of his face and neck on wilderness treks over the years.  I pulled out my face mask and put that on.  We got out and met Derek at the back of the van.  Derek made a comment upon seeing me, "Welcome Darin, but I hope you don't think we're all wearing face masks in this household.  You're a tenant now.  You don't have to wear one.

I looked at Charlene, who agreed, yet kept hers on.  She laughed, "I'm not wearing mine because of the pandemic."  And I laughed, realizing she was keeping her headgear hidden with it.  And Teresa appeared at that moment and was also wearing a stretchy neck and face wrap like her mother, except that it was perhaps a more feminine pattern, looking almost attractive on her.  She was presumably also not wearing it due to the pandemic, and anyway, her fashion face-mask was the more traditional kind that just had elastic going around the ears.  At least that's what she wore when we walked Ralph earlier in the day.

My stuff was piled outside the guest room for me to unpack at my leisure in a very short time.  I noticed Charlene did not remove her face covering once we had the back door shut.  She could not be seen once she got around the back of the house.  She made a motion with her head at Teresa once we had the last boxes put down.  I realized she was not going to reveal her headgear to me in front of Teresa until Teresa had shown me hers.  Teresa then asked her parents if she could talk to me privately.  They went upstairs, saying they would call us when they were closer to having dinner ready.  We went into the guest room and she got me to sit on the bed.  I realized why she had not removed her face covering but she acted like I thought she was doing something strange.  She started, "Daren, I know you spotted at some point that I wear braces."  I smiled and nodded with a suppressed laugh, as I knew the whole thought she was having so much trouble confiding.  She went on, "Well if you're moving in, my parent said I had to let you see me in a really horrible extra thing I wear on them in private."

It suddenly struck me how to put an end to this stressful conversation.  I jumped in, "Your Mom had her mask off while she wore her headgear in the van driving over here.  She told me that you and she were trying to wear your headgears much more than just in bed to rush treatment.  She said she wanted to get that moment over with so did it in the car.  Just take the face covering off and do the same."

Teresa pulled her face covering up and over her head, the method that Charlene should have used so she didn't have it all bunched up around the neck, looking stupid.  She did this very slowly as if it was a kind of striptease act, but was really because she was trying not to snag it in the headgear.  She then held the bunched up face covering in her hands against her face to hide the face bow.  She said, "This is really embarrassing."

I said, "Just think how your Mom felt driving over here.  She's even more mature looking than you."  She slowly lowered the face covering as her face went redder.  I said, enthusiastically, "Well it looks a lot hotter on you, though.  Relax, we're going to get along fine."  I was not faking that it was no big deal, nor any kind of surprise nor that it did not even make me feel at all uncomfortable, because I'd been looking at her in it for days.  She relaxed and I stood up.  She did the same preparing to follow me upstairs, but I turned toward her rather than the door and I put my arms around her and held her against me.  I perhaps felt more like getting her into the position where I in Ralph's body had straddled her and lay on her and pressed all of me into her including a very unexciting doggy part.  I realized that my non-doggy part would enjoy pressing into her in the future much more than Ralph's body had, and that my human chest was way better at feeling the firmness of her chest above the softness of the tummy as I hugged her.  I then let us part enough so I was at the optimum distance to give her the usual lick over the mouth, lips and face bow.  I stopped myself because humans press the lips together before parting them and letting the tongue out.

Teresa also stopped me, saying, "Darin, don't rush it.  I haven't kissed a guy in a very long time and I certainly have never tried it with this headgear in the way."  I let her go and we started up the stairs.  Then suddenly she turned to face me a couple of stairs higher than me and said quietly so the parents could not overhear, "I'm sorry.  I keep telling myself not to screw this up.  It doesn't have to be any harder than it was getting close to Ralph."

She looked at me like she was going to let me kiss her and I said, "Teresa, don't worry about it.  Just do the same as you did with Ralph and everything will work out great."

She reached her hand out and stroked my hair, then rubbed my chest, and then laughed and said, "Actually no.  The hug worked way better than with Ralph but you're actually not nearly as pettable.  Let's go help with dinner."  I noticed she wanted to get used to wearing headgear in front of me while around her parents rather than alone.  I guessed it was some kind of feeling of security she got from them.

Joining Ralph, Derek and Charlene in the kitchen, I noticed Charlene's headgear, not because I figured she would have taken it off, but because she was assuming Teresa had showed me hers.  If Teresa had come up with her face covering still on, I guess the idea was that she would not let Teresa keep it a secret any longer.  As we joined them, wondering how we could help, Derek and I were able to look at Charlene and Teresa standing side by side in headgear, both a little red faced as they glanced back at me.  Derek said, "Darin, I'm hoping we can encourage them to wear those damn headgears a lot since we are in lock-down so it speeds up the treatment and we can stop paying those exorbitant fees sooner.  You need to encourage them."

I smiled at him and said, "Well that's easy with Teresa but it may not be as appropriate to her mother.  She's married and it would be disrespectful to compliment her appearance in front of you."  He shook his head and gestured toward them for me to go ahead.  I looked at them and said, "Well I see no reason either of them would restrict their wear in front of us when they look so gall darned hot in their pricey fixtures on their braces."  I decided that had come out rather eloquently, if I did say so myself.

Derek said, "So there you go ladies.  Our lodger is no reason to go getting shy about them."  Then he looked around and said, "I think this calls for drink.  Ralph, you have been doing the honors recently and you are right by the fridge.  How about it buddy, can you still get me a beer?"  Ralph bounded over to Derek for a petting while I instinctively headed for the fridge.  I got a beer out and Derek said, "Well one for you as well, and could you get the wine out for Charlene, please.  And Teresa, how about you, beer or wine.  I think tonight calls for drink before dinner to celebrate our new lodger."

Teresa giggled at me and specified wine.  As she reached for her neck strap to disengage it, her mother quickly said, "Honey, the drink is not meant as an excuse for us to take off our headgears.  There must be a way to drink wine with these on."  Teresa put her hands down, disappointed.

Derek said, "In preparation for you two wearing them more during the day I did some research and I found that people showed two solutions.  One is to use a straw.  That seems the most universal, but I did find two different places where it was suggested that for some people, it just means they have to use a glass that curls out at the top."  Teresa looked through the glasses cupboard while Charlene went to the buffet in the living room and went through it.  Moments later, both agreed they had no glasses that curled out at the top.  Then Derek remembered something and said, "Wait, do you remember that cheap, old fashioned set of wine glasses my friend brought when we had our house warming party all those years ago?  I seem to remember it was how they curled out at the top that led us to realize they were extremely old.  Now where did we store them?  Oh, wait, yes, I know, wait here."

Charlene continued to open the bottle of wine and then we all looked at each other, me taking a swig from my beer bottle.  Suddenly the self-consciousness of me looking at the two ladies in headgear with a bottle of wine they currently could not sample due to a lack of correctly shaped glasses overwhelmed Charlene and she just tipped the wine bottle up to her lips in front of her headgear and took a swig like it was beer.  She then handed it to Teresa who had laughed at that, but then, feeling the same as her Mom, if not more so, accepted the bottle and took her own swig.  She said to her Mom after she had swallowed, "I would have expected to get in trouble for doing that normally."

Charlene countered as she laughed, "Well, normally we are not both being asked to stand around the kitchen in headgear holding a bottle of wine while our lodger drinks his beer."

Derek came back momentarily and had a box of wine glasses.  He took two out and washed them, saying, "I was always convinced that my friend bought these at a charity shop where someone had hung onto them for a decade or so because they were an out-of-fashion style of wine glass, and then gave them to us as even more out of style and now, here we are over a decade later finally opening our housewarming present because we need wine glasses of this very shape."  He dried the two glasses and then took the bottle from Teresa and asked the two ladies upon looking at it, "What happened?  It was full when I left the room."

I snitched on them and said, "A wine bottle is a lot like a beer bottle and they have experience drinking from a beer bottle."  I laughed, and then Derek laughed, remembering the previous evening.

But then Teresa cut in, "How do you know about that?"

Charlene looked at me and repeated the question.  Derek looked at his wife and daughter and assured them, "I never mentioned it.  Teresa you told me not to tell Darin anything at all about your headgear until you were comfortable showing it to him and that was just a few minutes ago."  Both ladies took their glasses and started sipping on their wine and Derek took a swig of his beer, as did I.

Charlene said, "Ralph is the only one who could have known about that.  So how did you find out, Darin?"  I then realized how terribly I had miss-spoken.  How would I explain that I had been the human mind in the body of the dog?  Would I get told to leave immediately, and take my boxes with me?  I had to explain it carefully to them.  At least telling them both I had seen them in headgear would not come over as knowing something terribly private about themselves as they were wearing them now as I explained this.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #31 on: 14. January 2021, 13:05:46 PM »
I posted this story all in one shot and the beginning is here:

Seeing Her Through The Eyes of a Dog.  Chapter 11.  The Spy Amongst Us

I know I looked uncomfortable as I tried to figure out how to explain it to them.  Derek was going to find out I had been in bed, or at least on it, with his wife.  Teresa was going to find out I had seen her naked after sleeping with her, although as a dog.

I cleared my throat and started to explain, "I was very eager to get to be with Teresa all semester.  I did some desperate things.  When I finally learned her schedule on a few of the days of the week, I would hang around down the street watching for her to come out of the house so I could catch up and walk with her."  I was looking at the parents while I explained this as I feared them more than Teresa right now.  I continued as they were not yet reacting, "So then when classes were over and a lock-down was threatened, this ended all my hopes of finally getting close enough to Teresa that I could maybe get a 'yes' if I asked her out, although it would be probably limited to meeting outside for a walk or something.  When I heard that you guys were interested in adopting a homeless dog and that the supply of them had pretty much dried up as more people were deciding to get dogs during the pandemic, well Ralph was in foster care with Rudy and I was sure you would like him.  Unfortunately Teresa did not even come over to see him and it was Rudy that was to deliver him if you accepted him into your family.  This was where I got even more desperate.  I used a kind of meditation practice where you project your mind into another body.  It works well if two people do it at the same time and exchange bodies.  With a dog however, you have to focus extra hard to make both changes occur."

Teresa interrupted, "But Darin, how did you know that your old body would be okay afterwards.  Couldn't it have just died or something?"

Derek said, "Yeah, and even if the swap worked great, did you really trust the mind of a Saint Bernard to take care of your human body?  What if he scratched it all up on walks and what if he sprained it chancing a rabbit or something."

Charlene jumped in with, "And what if your old body did something wrong outside on a walk and got arrested.  I mean humans can't do their business outside and you can't go being that friendly with ladies walking down the street."

I laughed, "Yeah, I know.  Rudy had a plan.  My body was walked carefully in the woods behind our house.  It's wilderness.  The problem was that Ralph used to like to sleep in Rudy's bed and with his mind in my body, it was all very difficult for him."  They laughed.  Then I was able to finish, "This all seemed great because now I could be with Teresa and without a mask on either of us.  And whatever was making her distant with guys wouldn't apply to a pet dog which she had asked for."

Teresa then said, "Ahhh, Darin, you did all that just because you wanted to be with me?"

Derek jumped in, "Darin, was there any risk of you not being able to return to your human body?"

I answered Teresa, "Yeah, I did all that to be with you."  And then I answered Derek, "Well as long as the body was healthy, I would eventually get back into it, even if I took a couple of days to do it."

Teresa and Charlene were sipping their wine more quickly because of nerves and Derek was going through his beer quickly as if he was having a riveting argument about which football team had the best prospects that year.  Charlene then said, "Wait a minute, Darin.  When you were in my bedroom and I was reading a magazine in bed, I was essentially lounging around with a guy who was friendly with my daughter?  And does that mean you could read the magazine?"

I laughed, "Even if you handed it to me now, I couldn't read it without ripping it up.  It's all gossip and bad advice!"  She looked at me for the rest of my answer and I said, "But Charlene, you invited your pet dog to keep you company.  You adopted the dog.  It would not have been polite to totally ignore you."

Teresa then said, "Wait, Darin.  You hung around in my room when I changed!"

I said, "That was really hard.  I had to mostly look away like a dog that was disinterested in what his owner was doing.  Anyway, I've got my own room now.  And by the way, Ralph is neutered.  It was only my human mind that told me I should look away.  Ralph didn't react to you that way.  You were just a human companion and owner that he could be loyal to.  You have no idea how frustrated it was for me to know how it should feel to be near you but Ralph didn't feel it anywhere close to that.  I have feel tingles so often now that I am able to be with you, that it is like the time in Ralph's body didn't happen."

Dinner then needed attention and they were able to find things for me to help with and we soon ate dinner.  I was sitting around the corner of the table from Teresa and for the first time, got to see both ladies disengage their neck straps and wiggle their face bows out at nearly the same time.  It was quite refreshing to be a human eating at the table again and able to talk to the family over dinner.

Ralph was, of course, a different dog now.  He tried to beg at the table.  He wanted to be taken for a walk right after dinner.  While Charlene offered to take Ralph for a walk, she understood when I asked if Teresa and I could do so.  I was able to talk to her privately.  She asked me some question about being in Ralph's body, "Darin, did you find me pretty?  How about other dogs?"

I answered with a snicker, "My human mind found you as pretty as it always did.  The Dog in me made no judgment at all about you, but there was one female dog we passed on a walk that did kind of get me a little worked up.  I think it helped that I was neutered.  My own body with the mind of Ralph in it would probably have gone bananas over a human female.  I would think he would just try to mate with her upon meeting her.  Rudy knew he had to keep my body hidden once the mind swap was done."

I got to know Teresa better during that walk and in a way that is different than when you are in a dog's body.  That night we watched TV with the family for a while and then went to her room to talk.  Actually I found myself touching her as if my time with her as Ralph had defined our relationship.  After drawing away shocked a few times, she said she realized how I had gotten used to doing that to her as a dog, but please slow down as a human.  I did.  However Teresa did allow me to kiss her after I asked her if I could.  And unlike when I had been with her as a dog, she insisted on removing the headgear to do so.  This being a human made getting close to a girl so much more difficult and calculated.  Still, I would appreciate being close to her in a human body when our relationship further developed if I just persevered and took my time.

* The End.

If any one else wants to use any part of the setting, characters, situation, or write your own scenes in, or version of, this story, please feel free.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #32 on: 08. February 2021, 12:43:59 PM »
I was wondering what you thought of the 'post in one shot' method?  Is it better to post each chapter on a different day?

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #33 on: 08. February 2021, 13:05:48 PM »
Both methods have advantages and disadvantages.

When I am adding stories to TheArchive, it is nice to have a smaller file to work with.

When I am reading a story, it is nice to have it all at one time so that I don't have to go back and read parts of it again to get the flow going. If the story is a long one, I don't always have the time to read the whole story, so it wouldn't really matter if it was posted over a longer period of time.

One thing about posting it all at once is that the story is more likely to be complete. When a story is posted in pieces, many of them are incomplete simply because the author lost interest in writing more.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #34 on: 20. August 2021, 12:23:17 PM »
I wanted to recount a pandemic, non-observation I made while travelling recently:

I had stopped at a quick-serve restaurant for breakfast.  An older couple were ahead of me placing their order and it was obvious that they had been coming regularly for some years and had gotten to know the server.  When it was my turn, I noticed the server was a most pleasant young lady, probably quite good looking without the mask on.  While I was waiting for my order, the order for the couple ahead of me was ready and she called for them to get it.  She made a comment as they were leaving that they would not recognize her next week because she was getting her braces off.  Yeah right -- she'd be still wearing a mask.  The old guy countered with that if he left his teeth out, she would not recognize him either!  They had obviously been going there regularly since before the pandemic and she had smiled braces when she served them.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #35 on: 20. August 2021, 18:41:27 PM »

One thing about posting it all at once is that the story is more likely to be complete. When a story is posted in pieces, many of them are incomplete simply because the author lost interest in writing more.

Another problem with posting a story on multiple chapters is that sometimes you think "damn, if only I'd done XXXX".... I often have to work on the principle that my story doesn't tell EVERYTHING, so I can often add in a later back-reference to something that was never written about before.

But sometimes it can be a show-stopper. Maybe you gave someone braces, which you described in detail, then wish you'd also given them an expander, for some reason.

Interestingly, I will sometimes (because I'm in the mood) write later chapters long before some of the earlier chapters, which can be useful. I think I've done just one (shortish) story as a single post: I like the idea of the "daily chapter" because it gives me longer to develop the story, and come up with ongoing ideas.

The whole process makes me appreciate why authors of REAL stories take so long to write a book... plus why some of them have manual / computer databases of character / place information (I do that to a slight extent, at the end of my notes I have a list of peoples names, what they do, what braces they have, and other useful info)

But, as an author, do whichever you like! Make it as short or as long as you like. Include as much or as little braces as YOU want. Write the story for yourself, then PLEASE do share it!!! We authors are readers too!!!

Offline m1090y

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Re: Adventures in Pandemicland
« Reply #36 on: 03. February 2022, 11:59:53 AM »
I'm working on a story that takes place during the pandemic and it uses physical distancing, masks and economic impacts on the tourist industry, but because it doesn't center around the pandemic, I decided I would not put it here.  It is story number 54 in my thread in the stories section.  So what happens if someone undergoes orthodontic treatment while living as a nomad, out of a vehicle while driving across a continent?  You can't go back to the ortho every month for an adjustment.  Do you change orthos every single month?

The Nomad Patients

I'm sorry for just putting a trailer in the general section, but I just feel the my stories should go in the stories section.