Kelly is a young woman from Boston with a tiny apartment and no job who tries to make ends meet by signing up for medical experiments.
One day she accepts an unusual offer from a strange scientific research company that takes her deep into the forest and leaves her standing alone in a large, wooded enclosure. At least, she thinks she’s alone.
When Kelly comes in contact with a pack of LUSTFUL HAIRY FOREST CREATURES she soon comes to realize that this experiment is unlike any she’s done before.
Boston is a beautiful city, a lovely place to live, that is, if you have money. On the other hand, if you don’t have money, and you don’t have access to money, well it’s not quite so much fun. In fact, being desperate for money can lead you into all kinds of strange situations.
My name is Kelly. Actually, it’s Kelley, but everyone I’ve ever met has called me Kelly so I just go with the flow. I’m that kind of girl I guess. A High School teacher said I was ‘easily led’ and ‘prone to getting into trouble’. Well boy did he get that right!
I live in a tiny apartment, possibly the smallest apartment in Boston. Seriously, if there’s a record for the smallest apartment in North America, I want to know about it, because I have a new challenger. My living area is made up of tiny bedroom, tiny kitchen, almost non-existent living room and a bathroom so small it’s like showering in an airplane.
I say I live in this apartment, but that’s not really true in two ways. First it’s not really the kind of place a girl lives in. Existing is possible, but living? No. I could never have a date round, for example, which is why I don’t go on that many dates. Even if a cute guy wants to take me to his place, at some point he’s going to want to see my place, and well that will be the end of that. Call me old-fashioned, but the guy should be the one who lives in a poky, cluttered little space with no insulation, no sound-proofing and no air-conditioning. If I was a guy, I might think that was rugged and Spartan. But I’m a girl, and girls aren’t supposed to live like that. At least, I’m not supposed to live like that.
In fact, I barely lived in that apartment at all. I spent most of my time wandering the city, plucking up the courage to walk into bars or cafés or convenience stores and ask if they had any work. Either that, or sitting in the park, or at a Starbucks, trying to make the cheapest coffee they had last as long as possible. Any time I was in the apartment was spent sleeping, showering or writing crazy erotic fiction on my battered old laptop.
Erotic fiction? Yes, don’t judge me. I started writing fan fiction, but I was finding that my super hero and science fiction tales almost always took an erotic turn, and one day someone online suggested that I should just write pure erotic fiction. So I did. There was nothing pure about it though, and some days, the filth that poured out of my laptop onto the internet surprised me. I can’t tell you how many times I deleted a story out of sheer embarrassment. But I always republished. I was kind of proud of my work. I only really wrote the stories for my pleasure, but the way I thought about it was that if my stories turned me on, then maybe they would turn other people on.
You may have noticed the past tense sneaking into that last paragraph. That’s right. I said there were two reasons why I can’t really say that I lived in my apartment and the second is that I haven’t been there for over a month. The changes in my life had been so dramatic, so amazing, that I hadn’t even thought about my apartment. I mentioned it to Adam yesterday and he said he would sort it out for me.
So who’s Adam? My husband? My new boyfriend? Well no, it’s much interesting than that. Adam is a researcher for a pharmaceutical company, but more importantly, he is the founder and director of Real Life Interactions, a scientific research start-up. Don’t think that sounds interesting? Well I think you will change your mind when you learn more.
I first met Adam when I signed up for a drug testing program. You know the kind of thing. You answer a Craigslist ad, turn up at a laboratory, sign a couple of forms, take a pill, sit around for a few hours, answer some questions, get a whole load of tests done and then go home, hopefully with a couple hundred dollars in your purse. I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t it risky? Well, I guess so, but I’ve done a few of them, and they’re very carefully controlled.
The last one I did, when I came across Adam, was for some kind of fertility drug. As it turned out, I was in the placebo group. I’d taken the drug and was waiting to have my blood pressure checked when Adam came into the room. I didn’t pay him much attention to start with. He looked like all the other laboratory people: white coat, clipboard, haphazard approach to personal grooming. He took my blood pressure, asked me the usual questions about my diet, lifestyle etc, and then, at the end of the questioning, he asked me if I was interested in another experiment.
I was skeptical at first, mainly because Adam had spent most of the interview sneaking a glance at my bare legs. I don’t know why guys think they can get away with that, as though we don’t notice! Admittedly, the skirt was a little shorter than I had realized when I bought it, but still, Adam’s wandering eyes didn’t encourage me to think his ‘experiment’ was genuine.
It did sound tempting though. He told me it would involve a residential stay in a country location, with all accommodation, food and living expenses paid for. All I would have to do is turn up, agree to engage in what he described as ‘intensive real world interactivity sessions’ and I could stay as long as I like. It sounded ideal. A few days, maybe a few weeks, away from my apartment, away from Boston, without having to worry about money. If I took my laptop, I could probably write in the evenings.
When I said I would have to think about it, Adam looked so sad. Just for a moment, he looked like a little boy who had been told there would be no Christmas this year. So I softened and said I would do it. His face lit up and he immediately began pouring out the details. He was so excited that I had to ask him to slow down and write it down for me. He said he would do better than that, and dashed off out of the room to fetch me a binder. The binder had all of the details, and, in case I needed it, Adam’s home number, mobile, and social media contact details. He did seem extraordinarily keen that I take him up on his offer, which was also kind of cute. I’d always had a thing for geeky guys, and he seemed geekier than most, almost like a teenager, though I guessed he was much older than me, probably late twenties.
The next morning, someone had pushed an envelope under the door of my apartment. It contained a note telling me to be ready with my basic belongings at four that afternoon, and to look out for a blue 4×4. I was going to a place somewhere in New Hampshire called Banana Falls. I had never heard of it and the hand-drawn map didn’t help very much.
I spent much of the day debating with myself whether to take up the offer or not. On the one hand, I desperately needed a break from my crummy apartment and my money worries. On the other hand, it was a leap into the unknown. This debate went on until five minutes to four, when I made a decision. I grabbed fresh underwear, my laptop, my purse and sprinted down the stairs of my apartment block to the sidewalk outside.
At four on the dot, the blue 4×4 rolled up. The driver, a surly looking man with a shaved head, asked me if I was Kelly. I said yes, and he opened the rear door. Throwing my stuff in, I took one last look up at my apartment and climbed into the car.
I tried making a little conversation with the driver, but his grunted replies made it hard work and eventually I gave up. We drove through Boston and out into the country and after a while, the monotony of the journey and my tiredness got to me. I found myself drifting off.
When I woke, with a start, the car was crunching along a dirt path in the dark. There was nothing but trees on both side, and only the lights of the car to show us the path. I clutched my bag to me and asked the driver where we were. He didn’t reply and I didn’t think it was worth asking him again, so fell silent.
The path took us deeper and deeper into the forest and the car slowed to a crawl as tree branches scraped on the windows, then up ahead I saw lights breaking through the trees. We came to a halt outside a small log cabin in a clearing. The driver told me it was time to go, so I yanked at the door and jumped out, glad to be free of his company. The door of the cabin was already opening, and there stood Adam.
“Hi, welcome to the experiment!” he said, beaming. He was wearing jeans and a scruffy t-shirt, but looked different without his lab coat, much more relaxed, though less geeky. I smiled a little and made small talk about the journey, as he led me into the cabin.
“So, where are the others?” I asked as we stopped outside a wooden door.
“Yes, the other people in the experiment.”
“Oh,” he replied, looking a little flustered. “Well, you are the only one here at the moment, but don’t worry, we can get you started tomorrow.”
“Yes,” he said, his gaze lingering on my chest. “I mean, yes, sorry, yes. Tomorrow though. Tonight you need to rest. You need to rest. This is your room,” he said, opening the wooden door. “There’s everything you need in there: bathroom, television, fridge full of food and if you need anything else, anything else at all, just come and find me.”
The room was bigger than three of my apartments put together, and the bed was enormous. I wandered around it like Cinderella being shown round Prince Charming’s palace, patting the bed, checking out the en suite bathroom, opening the fridge.
“Wow, its lovely,” I said, “Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it,” said Adam, beaming. “And as I say, if there is anything you need, anything at all, please do come and find me.” He left his offer hanging for a few uncomfortable moments, gazing at me.
“Er, okay, I will,” I said. He seemed to be happy with this, and finally left the room. Throwing my bag on the bed, I took off my jacket, grabbed a sandwich from the fridge, turned on the television, lay back on the bed and promptly fell asleep.
The next morning, I woke, groaning, as the daylight was streaming through my window. It took me several minutes to adjust to the light, and several more to drag myself into the bathroom, shower and change. Eventually, I was ready to face the day and unlocked the bedroom door. Not entirely surprisingly, Adam was lurking in the corridor.
“Hi,” he said, “Good sleep?”
“Yeah, kind of,” I said.
“Are you ready to start the experiment?” The excitement in his eyes was almost palpable.
“I guess,” I mumbled.
“Great! Follow me.” I followed Adam through the cabin, through an open living space and down a small corridor to another room.
“Just take a seat in there,” he said. I wandered into the room. It was small, with a table, two chairs, a computer and a filing cabinet. Through the open window I could see more trees and part of a high, wire fence, like a zoo enclosure.
Adam came bounding back into the room. He was carrying a parcel.
“So, I guess you are wondering what this is all about?”
”Okay, well I can’t tell you everything, but we have been given a special license to carry out behavioral experiments in the wild.”
“Basically, these are intensive interaction sessions, in which you will be required to interact, naturally, with other entities.”
“Oh that’s just a jargon word we use for certain life forms.”
“Life forms? You mean people?”
Typical scientist, I thought. They always have to make everything sound more complicated than it needed to be.
“So, this interaction. What do I have to do?”
“That’s completely up to you. You will just be in certain situations, that arise spontaneously and you will just react in the way that feels natural.”
“Kind of like roleplay?”
“Exactly,” he said. “Now in a moment, I’m going to take you to the experiment area, but first I’m going to need you to put this on.”
He pushed the parcel across the table to me. Curious, I opened the parcel and pulled out a thin pile of silky material. I held it up. It appeared to be the world’s smallest, skimpiest all in one suit. The material was delicate and had an unusual texture, almost rough on the inside, yet incredibly smooth on the outside.
“What is this?”
“An experimental fabric. Part of the experiment. It enables us to monitor heart-rate, pulse, levels of stimulation, that kind of thing.”
“Er, I don’t know.”
“It’s kind of essential to the experiment.”
I looked at the suit and blew out my cheeks.
“Fine, I guess.”
“Excellent. You can get changed behind that curtain if you like.”
He pointed to a curtained alcove that was like a fitting room at a clothes store. This situation just got weirder, I thought.
I went into the alcove, pulled the curtain behind me and then checked for cameras. After checking the walls thoroughly, I was fairly sure there wasn’t a hidden device there, so reluctantly I started to change.
The suit took forever to work out, but eventually I got one leg in and then the other and it started to make sense. It was incredibly tight though. It snapped tighter at the ankles and the wrists, and clung to my body. There were no wrinkles in the fabric, and it felt kind of warm, though not like leather or PVC, just warm, soft, and natural. But every curve of my body was visible, including my breasts. I mean, I am quite proud of my body, but even I felt self-conscious and my nipples were plainly noticeable. Something else felt odd as well. I reached down and realized with horror what the problem was. The suit was crotchless!
“Are you ready?” said Adam
“Nearly,” I replied. I didn’t know what to do. If I complained, first of all I would have to be talking about my crotch in front of Adam, which I really, really didn’t want to do, and then there would probably be some valid scientific reason for it, which would make me feel silly.
I closed my eyes, pulled back the curtain and stepped out, making sure not to look at Adam as I was certain that he would be ogling me.
“Wow. That looks…wow!” he said.
I think I managed a weak smile.
“Okay, well if you’d like to come this way, we can get started.”
Humiliated, I trailed after Adam all the way through the cabin and out through a rear door onto a lawn which looked onto a high wire fence.
“Don’t you think I should have some footwear?”
”Oh no, don’t worry. Barefoot is best. Yes, better barefoot.”
This made no sense at all, but I thought I might as well carry on with it. I followed him across the grass, looking anxiously this way and that to see if anyone could see me, but I could not see anyone in either direction. We paused at a gate in the fence which Adam set about unlocking. Eventually, it swung open.
“You, you go through, I’m having trouble with this lock,” he said. I was reluctant to let Adam ogle me from the rear, but I felt foolish standing there outside the gate, so I walked inside, across the scrubby grass. I had only gone a few yards when I heard the gate clang shut behind me. I turned quickly to see Adam locking it.
“Hey! What’s going on?”
I hurried to the gate.
“Don’t worry. It’s all part of the experiment. I will be back in a few hours to let you out.”
“A few hours!”
He smiled, waved and then wandered off back to the cabin.
“Hey, come back here!” I shouted. He didn’t turn his back, and soon, I was alone in the enclosure.
I turned around slowly. There didn’t seem to be any people in there, just a lot of vegetation. I couldn’t see the end of fence, so I figured it was a big, big enclosure. But what did it enclose? I sighed. As I was going to be there for a few hours, it made sense to explore a little.
I took some tentative step into the vegetation. It was mainly exotic looking shrubs and palm-type plants, but beyond that there were tall trees and after a minute or two of walking, it felt like I was in the middle of a forest. It was a strange-smelling forest too. The floor was littered with dead leaves and occasionally I passed a pile of brown rotting fruit, as though a family had worked their way through a fruit basket and thrown the remains in one place.
As I was walking through the forest, I heard a shuffling in the leaves behind me. I turned round quickly and thought I saw a dark shape slip behind a bush. I whipped round to the front and out of the corner of my eye saw another dark shape disappear behind a tree. I began to walk quickly and then broke into a run. I could hear shuffling and scraping behind me but every time I turned or looked this way or that, I saw only a fleeting glimpse of strange, hairy creatures. I began to run faster until I stumbled through thick bushes into a clearing of flattened reeds and ferns and fell forwards, landing on the soft vegetation.
As I pulled myself to my knees, I saw the vegetation rustling in front of me. I turned round and the ferns were shaking behind me. I was trapped!
From the vegetation emerged first dark hairy arms, and then came the creatures. As I saw them, I felt my stomach sink and my blood turn cold. They were shorter than humans, with hairy twisted features and red eyes. Their bodies were completely covered in matted dark brown hair and they shuffled, ambled and lumbered rather than ran. They looked powerfully built and their shoulders were particularly strong and bulky.
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