Say Hello to Pearl

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Featured Review on this writing by ETHAN Writes

From my website anthology, Is It Love? @ www.isittodayhjfurl.com Say Hello to Pearl. This is a controversial protest story really against animal testing, where the tables have been turned. It's also the most popular story on my website so far with over 200 reads, so I thought I'd celebrate. If you do visit the website, don't miss the opportunity to hear Ruth Pownall bring Pearl and Toy to life (every story on Is It Love? is audio-visual). (16+ sex)

Say Hello to Pearl

Midnight. The Rutting Season. Winter came early to the pine forest of Tannochbrae. Snow fluttered down in heavy flakes, white poppy petals on an alien Remembrance Day. Cascading in swirls borne on the chill wind before settling on a blank canvas that stretched between her window and an electrified perimeter fence. Blanketing the flat rooftop of the institution in a shroud of secrecy.

Every so often, Toy would hear a loud crack as a bough bowed, bent, then snapped under the weight of it. Clumps of snow tumbling down, forming mounds, filled with the souls of those who lay so deep. There were eight mounds inside the fence, mounted with inconspicuous little red crosses like Christmas decorations. Testimonials to their earlier efforts. Failed experiments.

She thought of her parent’s grey-stone cottage on the outskirts of Oban, the privet hedge, the clapped-out Cortina immobilized by snow. Janice and Peter waiting, snug in woolly waistcoats and tartan carpet slippers, sipping single malts in front of a roaring fireplace, wondering if they would ever see their missing daughter again.

Missing. That was the official explanation. Toy had gone missing from her studies at Edinburgh University. Her bedsit: left pristine, bed-made, laptop still on. Vanished without a trace. Except, her real name wasn’t Toy. Her name by birth was Lauren Jane Smart, aged eighteen. An Oban girl, last seen boarding a Glasgow-bound Highland train. Never to be seen again. She cast her mind back to when she was a little girl, a lonely girl, an only child. God, how her Mammy and Daddy would be missing her.

What had possessed her to be Pearl’s plaything? Money to pay for her crack addiction? The money was good: live-in, shared bed, free food, full board and lodgings, all expenses paid. Or was it the intrigue, the fascination of Pearl, the need for Lauren to be her dolly, their intimacy?

She recalled her childhood. Playing in the snow. Hard ice on a pavement. Ruts in the roadway. Skidding down the road with Mammy. Building a snowman. The other children, laughing at her, playing hide and seek behind closed brick walls. Jack Frost at her bedroom window. Cat’s paws! Dripping icicles hanging off leaky gutters. Shards snapping off, falling. The back garden: yellow leaves sticking out of an imperfect blanket. Mam, sprinkling rock salt on the path. Snow, heaped against their garage, coating the wheelie bins. Tiny footprints: a robin redbreast. The elderly, struggling. The young, daring to break free.

And, in her solitary childhood, not a living soul to play with. Perhaps that was why she was here, as a toy, in a snow year. The full moon shone on her face: her figure, her body, silhouetted in dark relief against the vermillion sky, twinkling starlight, distant planets, far-off suns. Pearl,

‘Come into the warm. Shake off your coat. Take off those gloves. Dust yourself down. Come and sit beside my fire. You must be freezing. Hot chocolate, warm minced pies, rich fruit cake!’

‘Shtop teashing me,’ Toy whistled with the lisp she’d endured: taunted and jeered at since birth, ‘There ishn’t a fire. Or a coat. Jusht me in thith thilly thlip.’

‘Come to bed with me, Toy. I’m a big girl now!’

‘I know that, do you think I don’t know that?’

‘Well then, come to bed.’

Toy was wearing a regulation institutional white slip. She pulled it off over her head and held it aloft like a white flag of surrender. Looked around in the half-light, at Pearl, lurking, half-under the sheet on her giant-sized bed. At the unblinking security cameras. At least Beattie, the Security Guard, had had the decency to switch them off at eleven. When they were intimate. Sensually intimate. In the way that only eighteen-year old girls can be.

Beattie would be at his control desk, scanning the white-walled corridors for signs of suspicious activity. Not that there ever was suspicious activity. Tannochbrae was impregnable. Access and egress were controlled, limited to specific individuals by iris optical recognition. Beattie would be sprawled, half-asleep more like, over his unfinished ten-minute crossword in this week’s edition of The Tulloch Herald.

Toy appraised the dark void behind the toughened glass window. There were no ghouls or deer, stags or bucks, watching her. She went to take off her pale grey thong.

Pearl protested, ‘Leave it on! I want to love you with it on.’

In the end, she left her thong on. After all, the weft accentuated her smooth buttocks. She went to lie in the bed with her mistress.

Pearl felt for the fluffy pillow, placing it in the centre of the bed, creating a soft plinth for her toy’s head. She pushed back the duvet with her feet, admitting her lover to the centre, the heart of her bed. It was important that her plaything was relaxed before they were intimate. The toy had an unfortunate habit of squealing like a piglet when she came excited, a risk Pearl could not afford to take…

For fear of activating the noise sensors positioned around the bedroom door, attracting Beattie’s unwanted attention. For fear of stirring McNiel and McCain in their adjacent bedrooms. For fear of reprisals. Punishment. She recalled the last time her toy squealed. Pearl’s unpleasant leather restraints, buckles. Sleeping in a stiff straightjacket for twelve days. The constant threat of sedation. Solitary confinement in her room.

Worse still, McVie, the fat bitch, had taken away her toy, until she learned how to behave. Life without a toy was unimaginably hard, nothing to play with, no fantasies, no escapism, no-one left to love. Pearl had asked to be put down. No chance of that! She was unique, a valuable entity in her own right, a test tube creation by the eminent sperm donor Jack McGilvrae, her professorial namesake, and Dr Christine McVie, her surrogate mother: the conniving cow who birthed her, then treated her worse than a stray puppy.

Pearl set about relaxing her toy. Straddling her soft tummy. Gently stroking her locks of ruddy hair, her rosy freckled cheeks, with the back of her hand. Massaging her gilded neck, her narrow shoulders. Lifting off her own white shift so that her toy could play with her small breasts while she rubbed herself on her belly.

‘Now what would you like to play, girl?’ she whispered seductively, unusually for her.

In all fairness, she was about to grant the toy her dying wish. Pearl felt the strangest sensation, all tingly in her wingly.

Toy smiled at her, nervously. Felt like squealing. Felt like kissing. Felt most peculiar if she was truthful. And she was a truthful Oban girl.

Why had Pearl asked her what she wanted to play? She was toy here, not her. Girl? Why girl? And why now?

She lisped, more than she’d ever lisped, ‘Kithes.’

‘Kisses?’

‘Mm, pleath say yeth?’

Pearl seemed mildly amused, ‘Kisses! Do you love me, Lauren?’

Lauren! Pearl named her toy Lauren! She’d never named her toy before! Named her Lauren!

‘Yeth,’ Lauren lisped, ‘I love you very much. You mean everything to me, Pearl.’

‘Where would you like me to kiss you?’

‘On the lipth.’

‘What do you say?’

- to your owner, your child-thing, your alien puppeteer, Pearl reflected sadly.

‘Pleath, kith me on my lipth.’

Pearl kissed Lauren Smart upon her wet pink lips, kissing her deeply, looking down at her. She, in turn, gazed up at her waxy complexion, the squashed-cherry lips, her dark, hollowed, eyes.

‘What isth it Pearl? What ith it? No, pleath!’

Toy tried to squeal. Almost did. But for a fluffy pillow muffling her squealing mouth she might have. Pearl pressed the pillow hard into her girl’s face. Felt her toy’s blunt knees kicking her, bruising her firm buttocks. Felt her toy ripping, slashing, her pale cheeks, tearing out clumps of her rich chestnut hair, by the roots. Felt her love relax. Lauren was a fighter, a tough Scottish lass. Suffocation took a few minutes. She lost consciousness in seconds. She stopped breathing. Her body went limp. Pearl made her look decent: closing her legs, shutting her mouth, covering her toy’s sad spent body with their doubled-up sheet.

The cheese-wire was located in the kitchen cupboard, down the corridor, past Beattie’s control desk. Snow fell, a petal for the fallen dead-butterfly called Toy. Pearl showed her teak iris to a door. The frosted glass slid open. She padded barefoot, towards the kitchen.

Beattie looked up from the randy girlie magazine he kept well-hidden inside the pages of his free copy of the Herald and studied the beautiful young woman through the eye of the lens. If she was a woman. He couldn’t be sure. McNiel once confided to him that Pearl was the natural outcome of McGilvrae inseminating the fat bitch McVie, with modifications. Post-conception, McGilvrae had surgically removed the foetus from McVie’s womb and undertaken genetic reconfiguration, and transplanted it back in again. The hybrid, Pearl, was birthed and breastfed by McVie, then placed in captivity for laboratory testing alongside cats, rats, dogs, birds and human animals. Out of all the intellectual mammals, only Pearl survived the grossly invasive test regime.

Overall, scientific testing on live animals had fallen to its lowest level in the UK since 2007, with the exception of beagles (+16%). Until an urgent new imperative by NASA: preparation for human inhabitation of the Moon and Mars, demanded the introduction of designer foetuses, embryos, babies specifically grown for cloning and remodelling.

The research team at Tannochbrae under McGilvrae and McVie used Pearl’s body to test for respirational difficulties in rarefied atmospheres, response to repeated doses of drugs, toxins, deadly viral strains, reaction of her musculoskeletal system to different atmospheric pressures. In more than two thousand tests, her body was used to determine whether continual intravenous injection of moon virus resulted in a higher resistance to infection.

Cats, rats and dogs were used in 93% of invasive tests enacted since her sixteenth birthday, but there were still six-hundred-and-thirty-four additional experiments involving Pearl in this, her eighteenth year. Compared to five-hundred-and forty-one in her seventeenth year.

As recently as July 2019, the Director of Policy, Ethics & Governance at Genetic Research had insisted that the use of animals in medical testing remained essential for them to develop new and better treatments to understand the biology of diseases. If researchers applied for funding for studies involving animals, they were required to give clear reasons for using them and to explain why there were no realistic alternatives.

The head of the research animal department at RSPCA disagreed, inferring that, behind these numbers, were the lives of millions of individual animals. Each was sentient. Each was capable of experiencing pain, suffering and distress.

Responsibility for regulating animal experiments fell upon the Home Office. Since mammal-testing at Tannochbrae breached the terms of The International Medical Convention, only the Home Secretary and Prime Minister knew of the existence of Pearl McGilvrae. The scientists, cleaners and security men working on the project all signed highly confidential non-disclosure agreements with heavy financial penalties and a threat of solitary confinement for anyone found guilty of leaking information.

In 2014, the Home Office classified testing according to the level of suffering caused. A spokesman confirmed:

‘Our legislation provides a rigorous regulatory system that ensures animal research and testing are carried out only where no practicable alternative exists, and under controls which keep suffering to an absolute minimum.’

Of the procedures carried out at Tannochbrae last year, 38.9% were rated mild, 14.7% moderate and 3.6% severe. Specifically, the majority of tests on Pearl were classified as severe.

Beattie, fifty-eight-year-old faithful husband to Annette, father to five girls, thrice grandfather, and Night Security Guard, watched attentively as she padded silently along the corridor from one security camera to the next. A uniformed guard of no great importance who obsessed over his own grandeur: he was used to seeing the tall, slim creature with pallid skin, straggly hair and a toffee-nose, prance about Tannochbrae naked, or with her modesty barely covered by her regulation institutional slip. But since she had grown breasts and hairs in her groin and armpits, he’d found her achingly beautiful to watch. He creased back the pages of his glossy rag, trying hard to concentrate on matters of internal security.

There were seven scientists based at Tannochbrae. McGilvrae and McVie shared a bedroom at the far end of the corridor, next to the laboratory, a rarely-used entertaining suite, and kitchen. Beattie eyed the time on the blank camera screen. They’d be busy, rutting like the Monarch of the Glen and his doe deep in the forest. Dawn McNiel, behavioural psychiatrist, would still be writing up her latest report on the effects of toys on Pearl. Alastair McCain, the brilliant young biochemist responsible for concocting the potentially deadly toxins, fungi, viruses, and germs which he inoculated into his subject, would be sound asleep. A tormentor without a conscience. The three ghouls, the observational team: McLeish, McTaggart and McPartland, all lived-out, in Oban.

Hot chocolate, warm minced pies and rich fruit cake were traditionally served to all those who were still awake after midnight in the run-up to Christmas. By Pearl. Beattie looked forward to receiving her generous offerings, exhausted by his long shift.

McVie, the cunning bitch and power behind the throne, had condemned him to a variable hours’ contract closely-aligned to the hours of darkness. This meant that, in November, he had to live at Tannochbrae from 3pm until 8am the following morning. Add to that his one-hour trek by moped to and from Oban, breakfast, lunch, three hours sleep if he was lucky. He rarely saw his lovely daughters: Maira, Maisie, Maidie, Maribel and Moira, who all attended local schools, during the dark months. Beattie had slept in a separate room from Annette since she lost interest in sex and started her stertorous snoring.

He searched for Pearl. She had disappeared from view. Into the kitchen.

No problem.

In ten minutes-time, his fine young beauty would appear before him, her slender arms laden with his tray of winter treats. He glanced up at the sprig of mistletoe that he hung earlier from the ceiling, far too early for Christmas, and strictly against the rules:

No Fraternization with the Animals.

Perhaps she’d oblige him with a seasonal kiss, a festive hug. A treat for a sad, lonely, old man?

The power failed. All the lights went out in the control room. The cameras blinked and switched off. He smiled as she ran her soft, slim fingers through his spiky, ginger hair, down his stubbled cheek, over his fat lips, round his flabby neck. His final thoughts, before the cheese wire cut his throat, were of holding hands with Annette. Kissing his beloved. Gazing out over the bay of Oban. Watching ferries cross to Mull. From the lofty heights of McCaig’s Tower.

Immune to the cold, Pearl McGilvrae strutted out into the waiting world. Snow fluttered down in heavy flakes, white rose petals, cascading in swirls, settling on a blank canvas that stretched between her, an open gate, and the deactivated perimeter fence…

Say Hello to Pearl.


Submitted: November 11, 2020

© Copyright 2020 HJFURL. All rights reserved.

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Comments

ETHAN Writes

Bravo! Perfection! I truly ADORE this magnificent tale! Your exceptional writing is very marvelous and lush! Such a temptingly bittersweet and wonderfully provocative piece! My NEW favorite story of yours! This inspires me! Thank you very much, HJ! Kindest Regards!

Thu, November 12th, 2020 4:01pm

Author
Reply

Thank you so much Ethan - if you like the story you'll love the audio acted by Ruth Pownall on my website www.isittodayhjfurl.com.
Best Wishes
HJ

Sat, November 14th, 2020 1:58am

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