Re: Man and numan - A Tale Of Our Times
Man and numan
Lessons were held every morning from 9am until noon, except on Sundays.
Newbury, the community to which Fran and Sam had moved, was one of many new communities designed to test Central’s evolving systems in ideal surroundings. To Fran, it was reminiscent of an Amish settlement, with its local Leaders, its own Central office and a full suite of small but comprehensive facilities. To Sam, it was a relaxed and pretty place to enjoy the new society in which males had handed over the difficult and stressful business of management to the men who had always been better suited to the task as the Lessons made clear.
Sam was glad that their small family had been accepted. With only Fran, Sam and their daughter Alex, they were excellent candidates for selection by Central. Sam was glad now they hadn’t had the son he had wanted. Sam had heard that families with sons were restricted to much larger, less well-managed settlements. In any case, there were no sons at Newbury.
This morning, Sam could hear Fran and Alex talking in the kitchen of the white weatherboard house they had been allocated. The voices were indistinct, but Sam made out his name just before he heard footsteps coming along the hallway towards his bedroom. Sam shook and blew his lengthening hair from his face and sat up just as Fran swung open his door.
‘Morning sleepyhead!’ she said as she strode to the window and drew the yellow curtains aside.
Sunlight poured into the small room.
Sam blinked and swung his legs out of the bed, anxious for a moment, as his pjs seemed to catch on the bottom sheet, that he had wet again. But no, all dry, he thought happily.
‘Alex is going to take you to Lessons this morning,’ Fran said. ‘I’ve got some meetings to go to.’
‘Okay,’ said Sam.
He liked it when Alex took him to Lessons. He was very proud of his daughter, and she always hugged him just before she left him.
Sam stood up and immediately felt something strange under his feet. Fran laughed.
Sam laughed too as he picked from the soles of his feet pieces of the wooden jigsaw puzzle he had been doing on the floor the evening before, while Fran had been going through her new papers in the living room. The house did have a separate study, but Alex used that mostly for the politics course she was doing. Sam did his puzzles or whatever was recommended as homework by the Lessons in his room, and he preferred to work on the floor, as they often did at Lessons.
‘Sam could you tidy all that up before Lessons, please? You’ll have a few minutes after breakfast,’ said Fran.
Sam had hoped to finish this morning the drawing he was doing of their house.
‘Can’t I leave it there until…’ he began.
‘Sam, no. What day is it?’ Fran asked.
Sam hated being put on the spot like this. He tried to count the days from Sunday, when they had all gone to the swimming pool, beginning on one thumb, but then missed a day and got messed up. He decided to count the sleeps instead. One, two…
Fran watched him mumbling and manipulating his fingers.
‘Sam, honestly,’ she said. ‘It’s Thursday, which has been cleaning day all year. Molly is coming at 9, so please…’
Fran grabbed Sam by the shoulders and swung him towards the door.
‘Bathroom. Now,’ she said, delivering a flat hand to Sam’s rounded, pj’d bottom.
‘Ow!’ said Sam theatrically as he scooted into the bathroom.
Sam sat on the toilet and peed into the bowl. Numen all sat to pee. They wiped too, front to back, just as in the ‘Bathroom Song’ they’d learned in about Lesson 1. It was a bit embarrassing to sing, and Sam was glad that once he’d earned his ‘Bathroom Badge’ he didn’t have to sing it any more. He looked across at the badge, visible sewn onto the top of his trackie top, just above his name. He felt good, remembering his pride at having got his badge. He still giggled along with the others when they sang the song, though. He wiped himself and stepped into the shower.
‘Hair, Sam!’ he heard Fran call out as she passed the bathroom door.
‘I know!’ he called back, and used a dollop of shampoo to wash his hair.
With the shampoo still in his hair, Sam slid the soap over his arms, legs and torso. One of the things the tablets had done was make his skin super smooth. Sam loved the feel of it, especially on his chest and tummy. He was a tiny bit shorter now, too, as were all the numen, but that was made up for by being so smooth, and by not having to shave. The only disadvantage was that in a crowd of men, he was a bit short to see much, and he wasn’t as strong as he thought he was, although that was hard to tell. Strong wasn’t good anyway, he knew that. He’d seen horrifying films of Before, with crowds of huge ‘old men’ smashing things and pushing people around. It was genuinely frightening. Last time he’d seen one of those films he’d felt quite sick. They’d all felt sick until the Lesson Leader had switched it off, and one of the other numen in the Lesson had actually vomited watching it.
Feeling sick just remembering it, Sam turned his thoughts to more pleasant things, like the Graduation Dance, which he practiced again in the shower until Fran told him through the door to hurry up.
Sam rinsed the shampoo from his hair and washed his thing. He wasn’t sure whether he liked the feel of it any more, all soft and complicated between his legs. Feeling and squeezing it gave him strange, complicated thoughts, too. Good thoughts and bad thoughts and thoughts of Fran all mixed up. Yuk, he thought, and left it alone after rinsing the soap off the little fleshy tube and the soft stuff underneath it. It was better when his undies and the track pants squashed it all up against his tummy and he could forget about it. It was the tube that had leaked when he had wet the bed, Fran had said, and worse, it leaked a little bit during the day sometimes when he didn’t even know. Fran would find out eventually, he was sure. He was glad that his undies were thick enough that it didn’t show.
As Sam was drying himself, the bathroom door opened. It was Alex. She was wearing her leotard ready for gym. Alex and Fran went to gym most days. Alex’s leotard was a vibrant green. Green wasn’t her colour – men didn’t have colours, and Alex and Fran had lots of different coloured gym clothes – but it still suited her short red hair. Sam loved the feel of the smooth, tight fabric, and felt a wave of pleasure as Alex came in and took his towel to finish drying him. Sam held Alex’s waist as she dried his back. The green leotard was so tight and smooth.
‘Let go, buddy,’ said Alex, spinning him around to dry his front.
Sam pulled his undies up tight as Alex shook out his tracksuit. She gave his undies an extra tug upwards and held out the pants for Sam to step into. Sam could dress himself, of course, and usually did, but this morning there was obviously a rush. Sam looked down at Alex’s tummy. The green leotard swooped down between her legs over her tan tights. She had a bulge there too, like Fran, not a squashy lump like a numan’s thing but a bigger, smoother bump.
‘Hey, stop daydreaming!’ said Alex, snapping his waistband up to his chest and picking up his top.
Sam got his top on then followed Alex out to breakfast. Fran had poured Sam his bowl of cereal and set his glass of milk down just as Alex led her father into the big kitchen.
As Sam ate, Fran lifted the back of his hair and dropped it.
‘Your hair’s lovely, Sam,’ she said, ‘But it’s getting very long. Have you got a yellow scrunchie, Alex?’ Fran called to Alex, now in her study. ‘I meant to pick up one yesterday.’
‘Not a yellow one,’ said Alex. ‘Can’t he use a rubber band?’
‘Not at Lessons,’ said Fran.
‘Can you ask your Leader at Lessons for a scrunchie, honey? Can you remember that?’ asked Fran, thinking that she’d have to ring the Daygroup today about Sam’s undies anyway, and would ask about a scrunchie for Sam in case he forgot.
Sam was getting up from the table when Fran put her hand on his head.
‘Not so fast,’ she said, producing Sam’s tablet pack and taking out the three coloured pills for the day.
Sam swallowed them with a little more milk.
After breakfast, Sam went to his room to tidy up his jigsaw puzzle, and was sitting on the floor struggling with his shoelaces when Fran arrived to hurry him along. Sam was delighted when Fran leaned down, wrapped her arms around his chest and swung him to his feet, and whispered in his ear ‘I could eat you all up!’
‘I’ve still got one lace to go!’ objected Sam, giggling all the same.
‘Done,’ said Fran, flicking her fingers over his remaining yellow lace and doing it up in an instant.
Sam was impressed, as always. Alex was a demon lace-doer-upper too, as was the Lesson Leader, who wasn’t much older than 18 year old Alex. All men were brilliant at laces, it seemed.
The Lesson today was the test, Sam remembered, as the numen formed up in a pastel-coloured double line to be counted. The Lesson Leader was a different one today, Sam saw as the young man explained that the test was really easy if they took their time and relaxed. She didn’t say her name. The Lesson Leaders never did – they were all just the Leader. This one was tall, like all of them, and nice-looking with the cropped hair that all men wore. She stood in front of the group who sat in a semi-circle on the floor as she explained that they would practice their dance again before the test. Sam looked at her long legs. He could see the front wall and blackboard through the gap between her legs. Sam knew he had shorter legs, but his legs had got a bit fatter too. When he stood up for the dance, Sam could feel his legs rubbing together from his knees all the way to his bottom. It was the same with all numen. Sam pushed his fingers between his legs at the top. There was no gap there, just his soft thighs then his undies at the top, with his thing pushed up against his tummy.
‘Do you need to pee, Sam?’ asked the Leader.
‘No,’ said Sam, embarrassed and quickly withdrawing his hand.
‘Well, don’t put your hand there, it’s not very nice to do that, is it?’ asked the Leader.
‘No,’ said Sam, feeling the queasy feeling that came over him whenever he was reminded that he was misbehaving.
Sam met the Leader’s eyes for a moment. A lot of the early Lessons had been about misbehaviour, and Sam knew that with enough proper Misbehaviours, ones you were sent up to the blackboard for, you could lose a Badge.
Sam only had one Badge, his Bathroom Badge. He couldn’t imagine telling Fran that he’d lost that. He didn’t mind not driving, or not drinking – alcohol made him sick now anyway – and he actually liked going to Lessons now, after a rocky start, but to lose his only Badge… Sam looked at the other numen, most with at least one Badge and some with two, and he felt tears beginning to come. He put one hand to his precious Badge and looked again at the Leader for some sort of confirmation that it was not at risk.
Now he did want to pee. Maybe he had all along. The tears glistened in his eyes as he looked at the Leader. He wanted to ask to go to the bathroom, but in his confusion and distress, the words wouldn’t come.
‘Oh Sam,’ said the Leader. ‘Come here, bubs.’
Sam almost ran to the Leader’s outstretched arms. She smelled of tobacco, a bit like Fran’s woolen jumper after she’d been to the Swan.
The Leader gave one of the class a pile of animal cards and asked him to distribute them as she took Sam to the bathroom.
‘I can do it,’ said Sam, while still letting the leader pull down his track pants. Sam pulled down his undies and sat on the toilet, peeing forcefully as the Leader knelt beside him.
‘I’m sorry,’ said Sam, apologizing for everything – touching his thing, crying, needing to pee…
‘Shhh,’ said the Leader, pulling a small wad of tissue from the roller near the toilet.
‘I can wipe myself,’ said Sam, now almost clear of his tears, and wiping his eyes with his forearm as he took the tissue from the Leader.
‘Well done,’ said the Leader. ‘No wonder you’ve got your Bathroom Badge.’
Sam grinned with pride, despite himself, as the Leader pulled up his undies. She saw and felt the big damp patch extending from the back of the gusset to well above it at the front. She reminded herself to report to Sam’s wife or to his daughter when she picked him up after the Lesson. Sam was chattering on now about getting his Bathroom Badge in the first Lesson. The Leader smiled as she tugged his track pants back up and gave his bottom a little smack just as she did her own father when she helped him. It was really his fifth Lesson, Sam’s card showed, but she enjoyed his moment of pride with him as she led him back to the class, who were now practicing the various animal recognition noises. It sounded like a very undisciplined zoo.
Sam arrived home that afternoon sporting a new yellow scrunchy, his ponytail bouncing up and down as he walked into the kitchen, all smiles.
Sam gave Fran a rundown of the animal recognition game as Fran asked him to take off his pants. It wasn’t bedtime, but Sam happily complied, chattering away, until he stood in his top and undies in the kitchen.
In the first few months after the Change, Fran had continued sleeping with Sam. They still loved each other, they were still husband and wife, despite the man and numan titles, and Fran still regarded Sam as her lover. Now, almost a year later, everything was different.
But back then, with Sam only on two tablets and everything still in a state of partial flux as the new lifestyles expected by Central became more normal, it was almost as if Fran and Sam were exploring the new world together, as equals almost, strange as that sounded today.
They still had sex together, not recommended by Central but tolerated as things settled in. When Sam lost his body hair, a few weeks after the Change, he became a little hesitant about sex, although the couple still spent good times in bed. They still did, thought Fran, but it was different now.
As Sam lost his muscle tone and began to lose height, he seemed to lose not so much his affection for Fran but his inclination to attempt intercourse. Sometimes, after cuddling for an hour or so, Sam would contentedly fall asleep, leaving Fran to masturbate as he slept, or during the day when he was at his Lessons. In fact, masturbation had been the elephant in the room, if there were one, of the whole Order setup. It was such an issue, albeit not often spoken of, that it began to surface in jokes and other markers of popular culture, being treated like food shortages in Russia years ago. It was a kind of shared, barely concealed problem among men. The problem was being addressed now, Fran knew, but nevertheless…
Anyway, by the time Sam’s height, like most numen, dipped below five feet, he began, under the influence of the white or pink tablet, to acquire his sweet layers of puppy fat. Fran was never sure which did what, despite Central’s detailed Notes. Whichever tablet it was, Sam quite rapidly lost first his sexual prowess, which had been considerable, then his interest and almost memory of intercourse.
Because his plump little tummy had prevented him seeing the changes to his manhood, and because of the incessant warnings in the Lessons about numen touching themselves there except for a brief wash, Sam hadn’t noticed any alteration in his genitalia.
It wasn’t until after looking at some old pictures of himself which Alex had incautiously left where he found them that the realisation came to Sam. Fran remembered the night that he had, to her great surprise, initiated some old-fashioned foreplay. It was about six months into the Change, and Sam was already only five feet two and quite weak physically.
He swaggered into the bedroom, and began to fondle first Fran’s breasts, then moved to her crotch, first using his now smaller, pudgy fingers then, his tongue while with one hand he played with himself. Finally, he had sat up, and holding his tummy upwards with one hand, managed to peer down at his much reduced penis and balls. His ‘pee tube’, in the current parlance, which had no equivalent for ‘balls’.
Fran, who even then along with Alex was quite regularly helping Sam bathe was fully aware of his state, felt so sorry for him as he saw for the first time what the medication had done. His permanently flaccid little penis was barely half the length of one of Fran’s little fingers. His testes, which had once been like small eggs, were mere vestigial lumps in the soft folds of his hairless scrotal sac. The eggs had reduced to olives, and were then like two soft peas. Now of course, they had been entirely reabsorbed, according to the Notes.
Sam had sat back, one hand to his tummy, staring at his toddler-like genitals. Then came the flood of tears, and the wailing. Hours later, after endless supportive words and gentle cuddling from Fran, Sam had calmed down. More than that, he had really worried Fran who thought he may have had some sort of mental collapse as his manly (in the old sense) attempt to take his wife had ended with him suckling her breast for an hour or more, crying softly and mumbling that ‘he wasn’t little’.
Consultation with the local Central office revealed that the whole episode had been brought on by Sam’s fretting over the old photographs at such a delicate stage of his re-development. Fran could see it all once it was explained. A doctor had come from Central and had started Sam on the third tablet as well, a ‘stabiliser’.
All that was months ago, and Sam seemed thankfully not to recall any of it. He had just been unusually sensitive. Fran and Alex had both been counselled, and the Leaders at Sam’s Lessons were aware of the episode, with some remarks being added to Sam’s card at the Daygroup and his main record at Central.
In fact, it had turned out to be a good thing after all, as it revealed aspects of Sam’s psyche which would be useful in guiding his further re-development into the ideal family member for Fran and Alex.
And as for now, apart from being a little needy of affection from time to time, Sam was progressing very well.
Even the isolated bedwetting and the present issue of damp panties could be seen I the light of his particular condition, and according to Central’s experts, appropriate changes could be made to his re-development programme to ensure that not only would he become an ideal fit within the family, but would be happier in himself than most numen could ever be expected to be.
But now, Sam stood in the kitchen, having just realized that Fran had removed his pants.
‘Why did you take my pants off?’ Sam asked Fran, his eyes wide.
‘Because, honey, I want to have a little talk,’ said Fran, kneeling and gently turning her husband to face her, her fingers spreading over the smooth cotton of his undies which displayed a dark half-moon of damp curving up to almost his belly button.
Just above his crotch, flattened like an over-ripe apricot, were his genitals, a few beads of fresh pee emerging through the damp cloth from what must have been the location of his little pee tube. Fran couldn’t bring herself to call it a penis any more.
Sam looked down at Fran, his bottom lip trembling.
‘Oh, Fran, I know. I’m trying really hard…’
Sam began sobbing as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other.
‘I really try hard…please…please Fran…’ sobbed Sam.
Fran felt her soft, adorable little husband slump in her embrace. She knelt, her knees wide apart now, holding him tight to her breast and stroked his back.
‘Fran…Fran…’ Sam mumbled as his tears cascaded down her cheek as well as his. She felt his pee begin to flow, falteringly at first then in a warm torrent, soaking her jeans and splashing onto the floor.
Sam was bawling lustily now, his mouth finding the wing of her shirt collar and clamping it between his teeth.
Fran held him even closer, feeling overwhelming pity for him. She put one hand behind him and held his rounded little buttocks in her outstretched fingers. Sam heaved one or two great sobs as Fran felt the back of his undies fill with a soft bowel movement.
With an ease that surprised her, Fran picked Sam up bodily and, an arm cradling him despite the mess in his pants, carried him towards the bathroom.
She could only think of the words of the central doctor, and of the Notes she’d left.
Alex came trotting in from the gym, still sweaty in red lycra. She looked at Fran in her soaked jeans, sizing up the situation immediately.
‘Fran, he needs a diaper,’ Alex said.
‘I know, I know,’ said Fran, closing the bathroom door behind her.
The end, for the time being.