Denise had spent less than five minutes on the phone with the man from the restaurant, who had called himself Robert. He was vague about what he did for a living. Denise assumed that he was, in fact, the head of the bank in Halldale, just as Sandi, the waitress, had reported. But he was above all else a devotee. He wanted to know all about Denise’s disability and pressed for detail that she was not about to provide. He asked if she would let him come over and take pictures of her, and suggested that he could make money with them on a website, which he offered to split with Denise.
“I’m sure you probably could use some extra cash,” he said smugly into the phone.
She was disgusted with his lack of class and his pompous attitude. He would probably be courting her as a depositor for his bank if he knew that Denise had investments worth nearly a million dollars. This guy was obviously spoiled by women posing as pretenders for his gratification: all paid for their acting, Denise assumed. She grimaced at the realization that the redhead wearing the leg brace perhaps had also had sex with him for money.
Denise was now resolved to carry through her plan. It could be risky, but it would be fun to hurt this jerk a little. She picked up the phone again and called Carolyn, her best friend from childhood. Carolyn was the one person who had always taken Denise’s side when mean-spirited kids had teased her about her deformed leg and her crutches. Carolyn was now a divorce lawyer and had become quite wealthy working no-contest cases. In spite of Carolyn’s hectic schedule they often got together for lunch, and the two frequently did volunteer work together at a local homeless shelter and food bank.
” Hello?” came the voice Denise knew well, enthusiastic and full of energy, as always.
“Hey, it’s Denise,” got a few minutes? Denise spent quite a bit of time explaining to an amazed and increasingly disgusted Carolyn about the devotee phenomenon and about Robert. Denise explained her plan and Carolyn giggled with excitement. She told Denise she would play along and they made plans to meet the following Thursday in Denise’s office.
When Carolyn arrived Denise was finishing up some paperwork. Carolyn was a tiny woman, a mere 4 feet 10 inches tall. With brunette page-boy-style hair, she had a pretty face and aqua-blue eyes. She was quite petite, with a large bust, making her a hit with most men. Carolyn’s torso was long and she had very short, rather un-muscular-looking legs. Perfect for the part, thought Denise.
The two women hugged and Denise motioned for Carolyn to close the door. When they were alone Denise invited Carolyn to stretch out on the plush sofa decorating the office. Without waiting for direction, Carolyn pulled her dress up over her waist, exposing her legs. “Telephone pole legs,” as Carolyn referred to them…straight up-and-down, with little visible tone at the calf. The one characteristic she hated about herself.
Denise produced a measuring tape and proceeded to measure Carolyn’s left leg from hip to heel and then the circumference of her thigh, calf, and ankle. Denise wrote the measurements on a notepad then picked up the phone to call Ron, her orthotist.
Ron, who had custom-made Denise’s patten brace chatted briefly with her on the phone. She had called earlier to explain that she needed a brace made for a friend. Denise said that Carolyn was appearing in a stage play featuring a polio-disabled supporting actress. She had described Carolyn and Ron said he thought he had a knee-ankle-foot-othosis in his shop that might fit her. He explained that he had several braces on hand, which, for whatever reason, had never been picked up. Now, with the measurements provided by Denise, Ron confirmed that, yes, the appliance he was thinking of should work. He would be happy to let Carolyn have it at no charge as a courtesy to Denise.
The two women left for lunch and the orthotics shop. In anticipation of visiting Ron’s shop, Denise was wearing her patten brace inside navy pinstriped trousers. The pants matched her tailored suit jacket, and to her mind she looked like a banker. Most appropriate, she mused to herself. One of the advantages of the brace was that it afforded her a much faster swing-through gait on her forearm crutches than when she wore a built-up shoe. Denise had selected her black crutches this morning to complement her suit. She liked color-coordinating her clothing and her sticks; she felt that, if crutches were necessarily part of her every ensemble, she should be able to vary them just as any other professional woman would vary her accessories.
Carolyn noted the reactions Denise evoked from people as they walked together down the street. Some looked at Denise briefly with curiosity, particularly at the bracket of rubber-coated steel protruding from her right pant-leg. The end of the patten brace hit the pavement with a muted clunk as Denise propelled herself along. It was no wonder that people would take a second look at çanakkale seks hikayeleri this oddity.
Some people looked at Denise and turned away, pity on their faces. Other people outright stared. While Denise didn’t seem to pay any attention to this, Carolyn was angry at this impolite reaction. She could forgive children, but virtually everyone on the street downtown today was adult. And then there was one man that had first passed the two women, going in the opposite direction without taking his eyes off Denise. But he had somehow wound up behind them now as they waited at a pedestrian crossing. Was this one of the “devotee” men Denise had described?
With the white “walk” sign, Denise reached slightly backward with her crutches, lifted her hips, and thrust her legs forward off the curb and onto the street. Catching her balance on her strong left leg, she began a series of long, energetic swings to get across the street quickly. At that moment Carolyn turned to look at the man who had reversed direction. He was on the corner behind them and was pointing a cell phone in Denise’s direction. Carolyn realized in shock that he was taking pictures of her friend. She quickly made an effort to get behind Denise to block his view. Carolyn swiveled her head and saw the man retreating into the crowd.
“Pervert!” thought Carolyn. He would probably go home and post who-knows-how-many pictures of Denise on a website somewhere.
The two arrived at their lunch destination, an Italian place specializing in calzones, which Carolyn loved. They enjoyed the food and each other’s company. Carolyn shared with Denise how she had observed the man taking her picture.
Denise responded, “Not surprised. That apparently happens all the time. You should see the websites out there, Carolyn…I’m probably featured on more than one of the sites focused on people with one leg shorter than the other. There are also dedicated sites for men who like women wearing braces and others for chicks in wheelchairs. As a matter of fact, we’re going to access some of those once you get fitted with your brace. If you’re going to act the role of a polio victim you need to be credible. The best place to find videos of handicapped women and study the way they move is on the devotee websites. It’s really the truth.”
“But doesn’t that make you mad…that people are taking your picture for their own sexual….thing?” asked Carolyn.
“Well…it bothers me when I’m ambushed like that without knowing it. But, you know something…I’ve learned from Bart, my “postal-hunk,” that these guys are really not out to harm me or anybody else. Devotees are attracted to people like me, but don’t know how to initiate a relationship. Bart is sweet and gentle, and I know that he cares about me as a person. Now, granted, he is ferociously turned on by my little leg….you wouldn’t believe that reaction! But, I don’t look at that as all bad. It’s kind of like the way a normal guy would react if a woman with big boobs was walking down the street topless.”
“But it’s different with this banker asshole, right?”
“Yeah, because he’s a user. He’s obnoxious and selfish and doesn’t care about anything except his own gratification. Bart loves and reveres disabled women; this clown demeans them. He just made me mad and I want to give him a wake up call that I think he deserves.”
The two finished a delicious lunch and left the restaurant, now headed for the orthotics shop. Carolyn was vigilant in watching the people around her friend, but found nobody else unduly interested in Denise. For her part, Denise crutched along with her characteristic energy and optimistic expression. Carolyn was always impressed with her positive disposition and attitude about her disability.
Upon arriving at Daniels Orthotics Denise and Carolyn were greeted by Ron Daniels, the brace maker. He was in his mid-40’s and in great physical shape. Carolyn was impressed with this good-looking man with barely-turning hair and smoky gray eyes. He seemed to be interested in her as well, but concentrated his attention on her friend.
“Denise…great to see you,” said Ron. “Hey…before we do anything else I want to check the knee-locks on that masterpiece you’re wearing. Sit down here and let me have a look.”
Denise grinned and sat down on a chair in front of Ron. She pulled up the pant-leg covering her brace for him, exposing the appliance she only occasionally wore. Her tiny right foot was bare, resting on the support bar five inches from the bottom. Carolyn noted that Denise sported a perfect glossy red pedicure on her tiny crippled foot. Denise had shared with Carolyn that Bart, Denise’s sometime-lover, was not only a devotee, but also a foot nut who asked that she keep her toes maintained for him. Denise was obviously ready for whatever Bart wanted to do with her feet.
Ron examined, then engaged and released the knee locks of the brace. He then lifted it from the bottom to check the condition of the rubber footing at the base. “It looks fine, Denise,” said Ron with satisfaction. “If the leather and bindings feel fine I think you’re good for another year.”
“Well, I hardly wear it, Ron,” said Denise. “I usually wear my build-ups. But, thanks for checking. Now…can you fit Carolyn, please?”
Ron agreed and retrieved a steel-and-leather KAFO brace from the back of the shop. He asked Carolyn to take off her left shoe and when she did he strapped the brace on her leg.
“It fits,” said Ron, with satisfaction. “Did you plan to use crutches? Denise, I think those custom-made jobs you have will be too long for Carolyn.” Denise agreed. She had all her crutches built-to-order for her 5′ 5″ height and they were not adjustable down to Carolyn’s tiny size. “Do you have anything she could use?” she asked Ron.
“Actually I do. The guy I bought this place from used to sell crutches and apparently took some in on trade. Let me show you one pair that’s been collecting dust that I think will be great.” With that, Ron went to the back of his shop once more and returned holding a pair of short aluminum Kenny-style crutches with a padded metal armband ring at the top. The crutches were somewhat worn from use, but were in good shape overall. “Here you go, Carolyn. Slip into something a little less comfortable,” grinned Ron.
Carolyn took the crutches and posed with them. The height was right; the armbands surrounded her forearms just below the elbow. Because she was still wearing a 3-inch heel on her right foot, only the ball of Carolyn’s bare left foot was touching the floor. Denise chuckled out loud at this incongruous sight.
“Hey…I beat up anybody that laughed at you…you’re not allowed to laugh at me!” joked Carolyn. With that she pushed down on the hand grips and did an awkward swing-through of her legs, losing her balance slightly but then recovering. “I think this is going to be harder than I thought. My respect for you just went up another notch, Denise.”
“I think it works,” said Ron. “Those crutches are old and it kind of adds to the authenticity for your show. Now all we need is shoes that complete the “polio look” for you, Carolyn. You need a clunky-looking pair that I can modify so the brace locks into the heel. And I won’t charge you for that, either.”
Carolyn removed the brace and left it and the crutches in Ron’s care. She and Denise departed, promising Carolyn would come back within a day or two with appropriate shoes. The two returned to Denise’s office and continued to plot their strategy excitedly. Carolyn told Denise she would go back to Ron’s shop by herself with the shoes needed to complete her brace.
Later that week Carolyn went shopping and picked out a pair of old-fashioned-looking, Victorian style lace-up shoes. The pair looked like diminutive boots with laces, and had thick 2-inch heels. Carolyn was amazed that these were considered stylish; they looked like something her great-grandmother would have worn at the turn of the century! Ah, what will be next from the style-mavens on Madison Avenue, she thought to herself.
She left the shoe store and proceeded to Daniels Orthotics, where Ron greeted her warmly. Ron and Carolyn had both felt a bit of chemistry on her first visit, and he was clearly flirting with her now. He took the shoes from her, commenting on how well they should work with her brace. He told Carolyn the othotic ensemble would be ready in a couple of days, and asked if she would like to take the crutches with her now. Carolyn agreed and left Ron’s shop with the old Kinney crutches he had offered on the first visit, which she loaded in the trunk of her car.
That evening at home Carolyn took the crutches into her house and, on impulse, began to practice using them. She was resolved to help Denise make her plan successful, and she knew that she needed to appear to be a credible polio victim. Denise had shown Carolyn how to access some of the “devotee” websites and Carolyn now logged on, downloading several video clips of polio women using crutches with a single leg brace. She closely studied how they moved and for the next two days Carolyn spent nearly all her time at home on the crutches, swinging herself around the kitchen and from room to room. She became more adept and rhythmic in her gait all the time.
Denise had already confirmed to Carolyn that the man who had leeringly offered her money to take her picture was in fact the president of a small bank in Halldale. She had accomplished this by simply checking out the bank on the internet. The guy’s picture graced the home page. Ronald Cruikshank was his name. His professional pose belied the alter-ego he had revealed to Denise.
As an attorney specializing in divorce, Carolyn often required the services of very good private detectives to document the philandering of wayward spouses. Bob Franks was the best in the business and had worked on a contract basis for Carolyn many times over the years. Carolyn called Bob from her office the next day to call in a favor.
“Bob, I need you to check out the president of First Security Bank in Halldale for me. It’s personal…I’m helping a friend out a little. This’ll be worth a really nice dinner for you and Lois on me.” Lois was Bob’s wife and they both loved gourmet dining. He readily accepted Carolyn’s offer.
“You got it, Carolyn. What do you need?”
“Bob, this guy is a creep. He likes his women disabled and I think he hires hookers to wear leg braces for him. My friend and I are going to set him up and I need you to be available to shoot some nice film of our friend, Mr. Cruikshank, the banker.”
“No sweat, babe. I thought you wanted something tough.”
“Well, the tough part may be keeping a straight face when you see yours truly acting my part in this. But…this whole thing is our secret, OK? Nobody in the business is ever going to hear about this little escapade. Deal?”
Upon her third visit to Daniels Orthotics Ron asked Carolyn if she would like to have dinner with him sometime. She readily agreed and gave him her home number. A tingle of excitement ran through her at the thought of being in the company of this man with the great body and intelligent eyes. Ron produced Carolyn’s shoes and brace from the back and helped her get the appliance on her leg. Ron held her left foot gently and almost seemed to caress it as he positioned her leg in the brace. Carolyn wondered if Ron was a foot-lover like Denise’s friend Bart. She promised herself a pedicure if Ron did call for a date-just in case.
The brace fit snugly when Ron snapped the ends into the modified heel of her shoe. Carolyn walked around the shop awkwardly, swinging her braced left leg in a slow arc as she moved. After a few minutes of practice she removed the brace and shoes and left with them, promising to look forward to Ron’s call.
The next day was Saturday and Carolyn drove to Denise’s apartment complex wearing her brace. The crutches were on the seat next to her and she was excited about moving forward with their adventure. She parked next to Denise’s Z-4 and exited her car by lifting her left leg out with her hands as she knew Denise did with her right leg. She retrieved the crutches and stood with them, securing the knee lock on the brace. She noticed a woman at the complex’s mailboxes surreptitiously watching her.
“Showtime,” thought Carolyn, as she swung herself up the walkway to Denise’s door. She had now practiced her gait at home with the brace on, and she felt that to an untrained observer she looked like a bona fide cripple. She stole a glance over her shoulder at her observer, who was still unabashedly watching her progress. The woman quickly looked away. Carolyn was now truly immersed in Denise’s world, and realized she would experience the gawks and stares first-hand.
When Denise opened the door she let out a gasp at the sight of her friend, now transformed into a fellow disabled woman. Denise stood on her own crutches, barefoot as usual. Her paralyzed right leg dangled above the floor and was moving slightly from the momentum of her advance to the door. Carolyn entered the apartment giggling at Denise’s reaction to first seeing her. She moved herself in a series of broad swings across the room, then reached backward with the crutches to abruptly turn and face Denise.
Denise watched with amazement as the tiny woman she knew so well moved with such agility. Carolyn’s ample bust was even more pronounced as she leaned forward into the little crutches with their closed armbands. She was wearing a tight knit top tucked into slacks that covered the brace except at the heel. Denise thought the lace-up boots looked quite chic, despite the steel emerging from the right heel. The fact that the crutches were used and scuffed made Carolyn look quite authentic.
“What do you think? asked Carolyn. Do I look the part?”
“Ohmigosh…do you ever! I’m impressed. You walk like you’ve been using all that hardware for years. I’m just jealous that you can put it all aside and walk on your own when you want to!”
Denise poured a glass of wine for the two of them and they sat and excitedly went over their plans once again. When both women felt they were ready to move ahead Denise picked up the phone. She dialed the number of the devotee man she had encountered at the Garden Patch restaurant. After a couple of rings a gruff voice answered. Denise identified herself.
“I thought you blew me off, said Ronald Cruikshank in a hushed voice. Let me call you back in a minute.” He was obviously not in a position to talk.
“No…I’ll call you back in ten minutes,” said Denise, knowing full well her number was not displayed on his cell phone. She did not want him to have it. He agreed.
With the second call the banker was back to his full bluster. He was interested to know why Denise had called him, and excitement was apparent in his voice.
“I’ve been thinking about your offer, said Denise. I think I might want to take you up on it if the pay is good. I do need the money. What do you want me to do, and what’s it worth?”