The Crow’s Nest – part 3

The televised match was a London derby – Palace vs the Hammers – and it commenced its second half in stalemate. The East End pub was rammed, but Rachel had staked out a snug to herself, her icy glare and ready heel fending off the burliest of Cockney geezers who tried to cuddle up to her. As her diet tonic water sat going flat, she perused student photos on her slimline laptop.

There she and Lucinda poised either side of a tennis net, tight white shorts and t-shirts dazzling in the overexposed shot. Rachel couldn’t remember who had won that match, though she was sure her opponent knew, right down to the tally for each set. Not that Lucinda had shown much interest in tennis, other than that Rachel played it. Ever since that back-row clash in the matriculation photograph, Lucinda had striven to beat Rachel at whatever was her own game, whether contesting her for the presidency of the Economics Society, or rising at the crack of dawn Saturday to race her in orienteering. The silly girl had even tried to upstage Rachel at the Jewish Society, though her Kosher credentials soon unravelled. Rachel had shrugged through it all, expressing her superiority through indifference.

Another image: herself in a claret cocktail dress, Lucinda in turquoise. The pair leant into one another, uncharacteristically chummy. That had been the end-of-term ball, when Lucinda had succumbed to curiosity and supped champagne.

I nearly took her to bed that night, Rachel recalled, reliving the cool night air, “Livin’ la Vida Loca” playing muffled from the college bar as the pair cuddled on the lawn. Her lips revisited the kiss they’d shared, before a fiery spat, the issue long lost in time, sent them storming separate to their rooms. What bedsheet battle might have ensued, Rachel could only speculate upon, but if Crow had possessed a fraction of the pubes she now sported, she’d had a lucky escape.

Returning to the present, Rachel spied a tall figure stalking through the thronged drinkers. A hoody was pulled tight around the face, on which balanced a massive pair of mirrored sunglasses, like an insect’s eyes. A stick-on moustache jarred with a discernible bust, and Rachel couldn’t help but chuckle as the newcomer slunk into the snug.

“Trying to outdo Crow in the hairy stakes?”

Amanda didn’t see the funny side. Her nails were bitten, her mood ratty. For the past two nights she’d lain in turmoil. The impending plot stoked more adrenaline than any of her old fraud jobs; Lucinda terrified her more than any cop or judge. Even prison seemed sufferable if one observed the etiquette. But if Amanda failed in this coup, there was no telling what retribution awaited her.

“I thought we agreed to communicate by text only,” she hissed.

“Developments are rather too drastic for a hundred-character exchange,” said Rachel, closing her laptop. “And when you hear them, you’ll understand it doesn’t matter if we’re seen together.”

Helvetica chose not to conjecture too deeply into the atypical appliances that dominated Lucinda’s dressing room. Maybe it’s her gym equipment, she told herself of the stocks and shackles, before absorbing herself in a full-length mirror.

She’d had her hair done that afternoon, and for a short, precious duration, the mass of curls would conform to reason. They spilt in neat spirals around her ears, ending just shy of her shoulders. A red, glitzy dress sparkled around her figure – a dark, smoky red that masqueraded as near-black in the muted lighting. Her boyfriend had presented it to her at the birthday brunch they’d held in lieu of tonight’s cancelled dinner. Yes, not only had he taken the snub with good grace, he’d lavished her with a gift on his birthday.

“Not every day you go on telly,” he’d explained as she’d opened the box. “You’ll be the prettiest girl on the screen.”

And in this garment, Helvetica began to believe it. The silky fabric brushed intimately against her bare flesh, as if transmitting his very tenderness. It was a novelty for her to go braless, even though her featherweight chest scarcely called for support. An elegant v-cut earned her an impressive return on her modest assets, even eking out a subtle cleavage. She swished one-eighty, the dress’s slit flashing a tease of white thigh. The fabric plunged in a U at the rear, right down to the small of her pale, freckled back, beneath which the curves of her rump glittered.

“I do have quite a sexy bum,” she remarked. She seldom appraised herself in such terms, but she’d broken a lot of norms that week. This was the new Helvetica – the rebel, the avenger, the femme fatale. As much as she feared jinxing things, it really seemed that life was going her way for once.

In the mirror her gaze fell on Lucinda, standing in the doorway. She straightened with an apologetic giggle, the old Helvetica embarrassed by the new’s vanity.

“Yes, it is a sexy bum,” Lucinda agreed. The presenter prowled over to her dressing table, leathers tight against her toned body. She skirted her finger over the array of buttons and switches at her disposal. “What would suit you better – green or black?”

“Gunge?!” Helvetica stiffened, half-expecting to be sloshed on the spot.

Lucinda smiled with dry amusement. “Tea, darling.”

“Oh. Uh, black please. Milk and sugar if you have it.”

Lucinda sighed, as if Helvetica had failed a test. “There aren’t many who appreciate the bitterness of green tea,” she lamented, flicking a switch. An ornate kettle purred into life. “Your big moment tonight, Vet,” she remarked, advancing upon her apprehensive guest. “You’re going to push the button on your bullying boss.”

Me? I’m not sure… maybe you should do it.”

“Nonsense!” Lucinda placed her hands on Helvetica’s shoulders. “Why get all glammed up only to shrink into the shadows?”

“But I’ll get the sack,” Helvetica said, squirming at Lucinda’s touch.

“You want to stick with an employer who treats you like dirt?” Lucinda’s hands roved down the twenty-year-old’s back, in a manner that suggested other than a supportive hug. “You could set up business by yourself, Vet, a tiger like you.”

Helvetica mumbled thanks, tingling as Lucinda’s fingers slid over spine and shoulder-blades. Shorter than Lucinda, her chin came to nestle in the gorge between those leather-clad D-cups. She stared ahead at Lucinda’s long pink neck, not daring to peer down, cheeks burning with a mixture of straight-forward awkwardness and a forbidden thrill, which added another layer of awkwardness. The kettle hissed louder, pressure building.

Then Helvetica’s eyes bulged; Lucinda had slipped a hand within the swooping folds of her dress, and now had digits extended around her right cheek. The hand lay outside, not inside, Helvetica’s panties, but it made little difference when Lucinda squeezed. Vet bleated softly into her groper’s chest.

“Yes, a very sexy bum.” Lucinda purred, as Helvetica swam in emotion. Images flashed of the pair of them, laid out on the dressing table, ravishing each other’s naked bodies. Of her bending over before the mirror, Lucinda taking her from behind with an enormous strap-on. Of kneeling in obedience to worship that notorious overgrown pussy. Who knew where this would lead? Who knew where she might let it? She battled to conjure her boyfriend into her mind, but Lucinda’s ensnaring arms squeezed him out.

The kettle clicked.

“Besides” – Lucinda disengaged from Helvetica and strode over to her tea service as though nothing had happened – “you may not have a job to go back to. I anticipate Silverstein cashing in her enterprises once I’ve finished with her. A new life on a kibbutz, perhaps.”

Helvetica struggled to normalise her breathing.

“Speaking of whom, I can more than handle Silverstein tonight.” Lucinda sploshed hot water into a silver teapot. “But I’ll need you to take out Tang. Even a Crow can’t be in two places at once.”

“Oh, er, I d-didn’t intend to g-get involved…” protested Helvetica. “No, really, I can’t!”

“Course you can. There’s nothing to it. She’ll come here pre-show; you’ll be ready for her.” Lucinda looked up sternly from her tea-making. “And don’t you go showing any mercy; the traitorous little bitch deserves all she gets.”

“How will I be ready for her?” asked Helvetica, wide-eyed.

“Could you be any more prepared?” Lucinda grinned, indicating the room’s ample arsenal of flans, pails, hoppers and hoses. She pondered a few seconds. “The cream cannon would be a good place to start. You could blast her with it when she walks in. Are you familiar with its operation?”

Helvetica shook her head; unlike photocopiers, shredders and franking machines, such an item hadn’t featured on her secretarial induction course.

“I’ll show you, but first let’s have tea.” Lucinda readied two dainty cups. “Are you sure you want sugar, darling? Looks like something’s already given you a rush.”

A striker sliced a shot through the defence, only to whack the crossbar. The atmosphere built and waned accordingly, and dozens of beer glasses were raised to mouths.

“You are shitting me!!” Amanda exclaimed, the scant colour she possessed draining behind the oversized shades. “You’re saying our patsy has snitched?!”

“Not only snitched but working with Crow,” Rachel confirmed. “Goodness knows what’s got into her. Still, I knew that bugging the Bentley would pay off.”

“Shit shit shit shit shiit!!” Amanda clapped her hands over her hood-clothed head. “It’s over then. There’s no way I’m going back there – not ever.” She peered anxiously around the pub, as if expecting Lucinda to spring forth with a bucket of gunge. “I’m getting the next flight to Hong Kong!”

“You’ll do nothing of the sort,” Rachel chided. “You’re attending the Crow’s Nest tonight as planned, and so am I. We’re still one step ahead – Crow doesn’t know that we know that she knows – and we’re going to win this.”

Amanda rocked back and forth, stamping her feet in despair, but Rachel’s enthusiasm seemed only to have heightened with the setback. “You leave Crow to me,” she continued shrewdly. “I know her little ways, her tricks, what makes her tick. I’ll run rings around her before she’s even seen me coming. You can take the easy job – dealing with Baines. Tie her up in a broom cupboard, preferably with something slimy for company; it’ll serve her right.”

“Easier said than done,” fretted Amanda.

“Don’t tell me an ex-con can’t deal with that mouse of a girl!” sneered Rachel. Amanda winced, and even through the giant sunglasses, Rachel read her expression. “Oh yes, I know about your past.” She reached into her briefcase. “But if Baines won’t go quietly, here’s some encouragement.”

Rachel lay a metallic weapon on the table, its broad barrel glinting in the orangey pub lighting.

“Woah!” Amanda raised her palms, her mouth mirroring the gun’s nozzle. “I don’t do firearms!”

“It’s a splurge gun. The technology’s advanced a bit since Bugsy Malone,” Rachel explained with a smirk. “Six cartridges, each a different colour.” She pointed the weapon to Amanda’s side and pulled the trigger.

SPLURGE! The gun discharged with faithful onomatopoeia, producing a purple splatter that stained the seat beside Amanda and redecorated a section of wall. Nearby drinkers turned their heads, but the football soon reclaimed their attention. The barman looked over but did nothing.

“Are you off your rocker?!” gasped Amanda.

“Not really – I never liked that wallpaper,” Rachel replied, before clarifying, “I own the pub.”

Frowning at the stray droplets on her hoody, Amanda took the gun into her possession. “You’ve been very thorough in your planning,” she admitted to Rachel. “But there’s one thing you’ve overlooked – that presenting job. You said you’d have the contract sorted by the end of the week. I’ve received nothing.”

“It’s all ready and waiting – for after you’ve completed tonight’s job,” Rachel primly informed her.

“Uh-uh, contract first,” Amanda insisted. “Lucinda strung me along over this; I’m not having you do the same.”

“If you insist”, shrugged Rachel, pulling two stapled stacks of paper from her briefcase. “One copy for me, one for you. If you’d sign and date please.”

With greedy haste Amanda scribbled across the cover pages. “I’ll be on my way,” she said, furtively getting to her feet.

“Not yet, you’re not.” Rachel glanced at the match – still nil-nil. “Take off that stupid moustache and go to the bar. A gin and diet tonic for me and whatever you’re having, on the house. Let’s drink to the Crow falling to Earth.”

In dribs and drabs the audience filed in, presenting their tickets and signing the preemptive release forms that condemned them to whatever fate Lucinda saw fit. Behind the giant vagina, the woman herself dabbed black to her eyelashes, while Helvetica paced the griddle flooring.

“Not long now, pumpkin.” Lucinda patted Helvetica on the buttocks, eliciting a shudder through the younger woman. “I need to go speak with the crew, sort the final arrangements for you-know-what. You better ready yourself at the cream cannon; won’t be long until Tang turns up.”

She ushered the protesting girl behind the sturdy artillery, which was set up pointing at an internal door. “Remember, you don’t pull the trigger, you squeeze it,” she said, guiding Helvetica’s hand. “A good firm squeeze, as if it’s a nipple. And when you’ve blasted her with the cream, follow up with these pies.” Lucinda gestured a row of creamy desserts. “Or the buckets if you prefer. Just let the bitch have it.”

“And then what…?” Helvetica began, but Lucinda had already swished through the cervical doors opposite, leaving her alone. Apprehensively, she crouched at the cannon, exposing some more of her modest cleavage. “No sweat, Vet,” she murmured with limited conviction, closing her fingers on the trigger. She took stock of the pies. “Piece of cake.”

Amanda was indeed closing in. From corridor to corridor she darted, pressing herself to the walls, the splurge gun holstered in her blazer. A squeak from behind and she whipped round, bracing for Lucinda’s steely glare, but the corridor lay empty. “I should’ve stuck to white-collar crime,” she muttered, pressing on.

A door with a gold star heralded her destination. Releasing her nerves with a puff of the cheeks, Amanda readied the gun and yanked the handle.

Helvetica yelped as Amanda tumbled in; Amanda yelped in response. The Chinese girl saw the formidable cannon barrel levelled at her, and froze.

“Sorry about this,” Helvetica said out of habit, preparing to fire. But her hands shook, fingers failing for purchase. Amanda jerked herself from paralysis, raising the gun in both hands. Shaking with panic, Helvetica pinched repeatedly at the trigger, but nothing happened. Squeeze it like a nipple – that’s what Lucinda had said. How hard was one supposed to squeeze a nipple? It was easy for a lesbian to say…

SPLURGE! Amanda got there first. The shot exploded in the nook of Helvetica’s dainty cleavage. Bright green gunk coated the entirety of the girl’s exposed chest, icy cold after its rapid expansion from the cartridge. Helvetica’s throat stopped with shock, then she screamed.

Amanda fired again, higher. Light blue goo engulfed Helvetica’s face, the epicentre at her forehead. Her freshly coiffured locks flew into a crazy upstyle, permeated by the blue gunk. Spluttering, she staggered back from the cannon.

Amanda stepped inside, weapon trained. “That’s it, move away,” she said sharply. “Cooperate and you needn’t get messier.”

Helvetica spat out the nasty synthetic goo, wiped her eyes, and raised her hands in capitulation. Amanda half-smiled as she stole another step. Enemy neutralised without a fleck of mess on herself – this hadn’t been so hard after all.

“I’ll have to tie you up for a couple of hours. It’s nothing pers—”


The cannon went off. Whether in belated response to Helvetica’s fumbling, or of its own mischievous whim, it caught Amanda at point-blank range, turning her whole front a singular shade of white. The blast whipped back her twin ponytails, buried her blazer and made a misshapen mask of her face.

A gobbet of cream oozed rejected from her mouth, which hung open, a black half-moon. Eyes blinked their way to the outside world, cream suspended from lashes, the whites barely distinguishable. It had finally happened – Amanda’s messy cherry popped! All those times Lucinda had threatened her, those occasions she’d squirmed and palpitated at the prospect, and in the end the event slammed her before she saw it coming. The stickiness on her face, the heaviness in her hair, the full-bodied taste of double cream, the seeping wetness around her breasts – all were hers to deal with while the embers of presumed victory still glowed.

Slowly, the vacant disbelief lifted from Amanda’s eyes, and they fixed Helvetica accusingly.

“It wasn’t me! It wasn’t me!” Vet’s knees knocked at the creamy sight. Amanda, spraying dairy mist through anguished snorts, was having none of it. Her snowy hands extended toward a pair of Black Forest gâteaux.

She’s going to cake me, gulped Helvetica. How do I stop her? Cake her first! She snatched the gâteaux clear of Amanda’s reach, and cymbal-smashed them onto her head.

“Emmmppphhh!” The alternate layers of white, red and brown swiftly muffled Amanda’s cry. In for a penny, in for a pound, Helvetica slammed a coconut-cream pie into her opponent’s face, then emptied a trifle atop her.

Amanda flailed, her face and hair engulfed. A leg lashed out, toppling the cannon. A growl emanated from the pile of cream and fruit. Helvetica, on the latest yo-yo dive from bravado to timidity, began to giggle nervously.

You,” Amanda seethed in a shaky voice, “are so for it!”

Helvetica didn’t doubt it. With a squeal she ditched her high-heels and fled for the cervical stage doors. But Lucinda had locked them. The girl battered the unyielding exit. Amanda, clearing eyes, raised the splurge gun.

“YEEP!!” A burst of yellow stung Vet across her bare back. She spun round, only for a scarlet splurge to pelt her crotch. Her dress alone suffered mess from that shot, but the impact drew a gasp regardless.

“I’ll make you wish you came quietly!” Amanda returned gun to holster and switched to two buckets, marching on her foe like an extra from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Vet, pressed to the doors, seized a dangling hose. Bright yellow spurted out, coating over the cream. A custard fragrance filled the air. Cursing, Amanda realised she couldn’t lob the pails one-handed. She set one down, getting pasted as Vet swept the hose over her, and slung the other. Mushy peas landed in one wet heap on Vet’s upper chest and shoulder. Vet cringed as it crawled into her dress, but kept the hose pointed. Amanda swung her other vessel, splashing home with a faceful of gravy. Out of ammo, she lunged, but slipped and fell short. As she went down, she seized the shoulder pieces of Vet’s frock.

Rrrriiiipp!! Helvetica shrieked as the garment plunged, along with Amanda, to her feet. She stood in nothing but pink knickers, one bantam breast buried in mushy peas, the other’s little nipple piercing fresh air. Her mouth hung agape, mortified; she might as well have been denuded before a dozen cheering rugby teams. And the dress! What would her boyfriend say?! The hose clattered to the floor, custard spraying over the griddle.

Amanda clambered to her knees, clutching Helvetica’s thighs for support. Vet, incensed, slapped her face – a squelching, mushy slap. Amanda thrust her head through Vet’s legs, lifting the latter on her shoulders. Vet yelped, forced onto tiptoe. The pair grappled around the room, Vet gripping Amanda’s sodden ponytails like a bull’s horns. They crashed into a set of shelves, bucketloads raining down.

With a snarl of exertion, Amanda freed her head from Vet’s legs and butted Vet’s belly. Vet stumbled and sat down – in a tiramisu. She made to get up, but it was lights out as Amanda rammed down a comic-sized top hat of circus slosh. A white geyser erupted from a hole in the top as Helvetica’s squawks were smothered. Amanda followed up with two fruity flans, slapped cold and hard against those small tits.

Blindly clawing forth, Vet yanked down Amanda’s skirt, leaving only dark tights and darker panties where the blazer ended. Instinctively Amanda stooped to rescue the garment, and Vet shoved with all her might.

“OOOOOOOHHH!!!” Amanda tottered and landed butt-down in a barrel. Lumpy green goo overflowed, whooshing between her legs and down her tights.

Helvetica slid off the hat, her head a cylinder of white that sported a single eye and a crude mouth. She stood unsteadily, almost slipping on the slick of mess. A yard away Amanda struggled in the keg, her bum wedged in, feet kicking shy of terra firma.

The cylinder’s lone eye regarded her adversary, and the mouth climbed to a satisfied smile. Clearing a path to the other eye, Helvetica perused the remaining wares and selected a pair of lemon cheesecakes.

Amanda wriggled in frustration, but if anything screwed herself deeper, the gelatinous slime welling up around her crotch.

The yo-yo was back on the ascent. Helvetica tossed the cheesecakes gently in her palms, affected with a bizarre sense of glamour, even as mushy peas and raspberry goo dripped from her. The flans’ pastry bases held in place, functioning as a bra. She glanced over her shoulder to the mirror. Tiramisu smeared her panties, suggestive of something less sweet, but Helvetica had to admire how the saturated undergarment clung to her delicate knolls of flesh and the crack betwixt them.

“Yes, a very sexy bum,” she purred to herself. She advanced on her wedged opponent, brandishing the cheesecakes. “Thanks for taking a seat, Miss Tang,” she simpered, enjoying her own voice. “Dessert will be served.”

Amanda whipped out the splurge gun. “You so sure about that?” she hissed. She took aim at Vet’s crotch, right at the camel-toe that protruded through the panties.

Helvetica sighed. Her arms wilted under the weight of the cheesecakes. “Well I guess…”

She pounced. Cheesecakes outstretched, Vet leapt in star formation, her foamy face contorted in a war cry. She collided with Amanda, the barrel went over, and they bundled to the floor, entwined in a maelstrom of wet flesh and cheesecakes and a flood of green slime. Face to boobs and feet to arse they grappled, four hands wrapped round the slime-coated splurge gun.

Side to side the pair wrenched the barrel, until one knocked the trigger and the gun went off. With a deafening “SPLURGE!”, an artistic splodge of brown was impressed on the ceiling.

Lights snapped on, the dressing room’s broody ambience seared by spotlights. Dazzled and confused, the warring girls froze. Footsteps strolled in from the corridor.

“Well well, it’s hard to say who the winner is here,” said a stern voice.

Amanda recognised the voice; to Helvetica it rang more familiar still. The latter’s eyes blanched, and even beneath the mess, her throat could be seen to swallow.

“Ms Silverstein!” spluttered Amanda. “Fear not, I have everything under control! Did you get Lucinda?”

Rachel stepped forward, smart blue shoes clacking on the grid. Her imperious figure loomed in semi-silhouette between a pair of spotlights. “You have some explaining to do, Helvetica.”

Helvetica didn’t look at her boss. The yo-yo hadn’t simply plunged; the string had snapped, dashing the toy to pieces on the ground. Her skin had turned quite grey. Admittedly, it was largely slathered with colour and cream, but underneath it was a stony, desolate grey.

“Never mind her!” Amanda cried at Rachel, gripped by fresh panic. “Have you dealt with Lucinda?”

“Oh yes, she dealt with me,” oozed a malevolent voice from the cervix. “We struck a most amicable deal.”

Lucinda entered opposite Rachel, leather glinting in the spotlights, cleavage thrown into stunning relief, black hair and make-up razor sharp.

“You know what, Rachel, I don’t think there is a winner.” Lucinda peered down at the messy duo with that condescending smirk she’d honed over so many hours. “All I see is a pair of looooo-zers.”

Helvetica turned yet greyer, but Amanda was slow to comprehend. “There she is, Ms Silverstein!” she pointed. “Why don’t you get her?”

Rachel returned only a wry smile, and Amanda understood. Heart thumping, she disentangled herself from Helvetica and pointed the slimy splurge gun up at Lucinda. She was a desperada now; there was nothing left to lose. Her worst nightmare would soon come to pass – infinite humiliation at Lucinda’s hands. Anything she did now could only make it infinity plus one. And if she could score one messy hit on her cruel oppressor, if she could knock Lucinda, in any minor way, from her pedestal of perfection, it would grant her satisfaction in defeat.

She trained the weapon at Crow’s cleavage, brow furrowed amid cream and custard. Lucinda smirked back at her, hands on sculpted hips.

Arrogant bitch, Amanda thought, and pulled the trigger.

The gun clicked uselessly.

“You’ve had your six,” said Rachel grimly.


Posted in Foam/soap, Food (fights), Gunge, Pies, Stories | 2 Comments

Gunge Grand Prix: Quarter-Final Results, Semi-Finals Live!

Hi All,

The quarter-finals for the 2016 Gunge Grand Prix have now concluded and you can view the results on the spreadsheet below.

The semi-finals are now live and will close next Monday, so get voting!


Posted in Stories | 11 Comments

Gunge Grand Prix: Last 16 Results, Quarter-Finals live

Hi All,

The round of 16 has now been completed and you can now view the results on the spreadsheet below. The Quarter-Finals are now live and voting will close next Sunday. Getting to the business end now so make sure you head to the Quarter-Finals page and make your vote count!


Posted in Stories | 1 Comment

The Crow’s Nest – part 2

Monday morning, and the scratchy texture of Lucinda’s pubic hair still affronted Amanda’s tongue when she took yet another excursion south – this time along the A24. Through the increasingly leafy reaches of Mordern, Epsom and Ashtead she drove, clearing the M25 and away into the Surrey countryside. Off-shift, she was dressed down in jeans and sweater, yet she had important work to do.

The sunlit fields mirrored Amanda’s aspirations: space to breathe, fresh opportunity, the big wide world beyond the asylum. Recent months had indeed pushed her to the edge of madness. She’d run too many errands, served too many sherries, munched too many short-and-curlies. And what for? One more favour – always just one more favour – and Lucinda Crow would deign to make her a TV star.

It pained Amanda to face the truth – for it meant that her servility and submission had all been for nothing – but she knew in her heart that Lucinda would forever string her along. There was no plum presenting role in the offing. Not this side of doomsday.

Well, what Lucinda refused to give, Amanda vowed to take.

“By the time I’m done, you’ll have more than my middle finger up that smug little arsehole of yours,” she muttered, abandoning the certainties of the dual carriageway for a B-road. Several miles of winding lanes and she arrived at the thatched three-storey that served as Rachel Silverstein’s out-of-town residence.

Helvetica jabbed the intercom with her left hand while scribbling on triplicate forms with her right. “Sorry to disturb you, Ms Silverstein. Miss Tang from the TV studio is here to see you.”

“The TV studio? What do they want?” Rachel’s voice rasped tinnily through the speaker. “Whatever it is, they should’ve brought it up at the meeting. I’m a busy woman! Tell ’em to sod off!”

The intercom broke off with a spit of static. Helvetica smiled apologetically at Amanda between frenetic pen-strokes. “Uh, Ms Silverstein requests to know your business.”

“It’s about Lucinda Crow,” Amanda replied. “An opportunity to have her… dismissed.”

“Opportunity? You should get on and fire her!” Rachel rasped back. There were a few seconds of crackle and hiss, then, “Alright, you’ve got five minutes.”

Rachel’s office boasted twice the ceiling height and many times the floorspace of the antechamber in which Helvetica toiled, though only a fraction of the paperwork. A lesser woman would have looked lost at the sweeping, stately desk, but Rachel more than matched its grandeur. Sunlight streamed through a bay window behind the businesswoman, making a halo of her golden hair and at the same time shrouding her hard-nosed countanance. Amanda padded forth onto carpet as lush and springy as the lawn outside. “Good morning, Ms Siverstein. I’m Amanda Tang… we met at the board meeting, remember?”

“Did we?” Rachel squinted at the young Chinese woman, pale and stark in the sunlight. “Your blood doesn’t strike me as blue enough.”

“I greeted you in the lobby. I served you a decaffeinated coffee.” Amanda puffed out her chest, trying to bring gravity to these menial acts.

It clicked. “The serving girl!?

Amanda bristled inwardly, but said politely, “Ms Silverstein, I heard what you said about Lucin—”

“What business is that of yours?” snapped Rachel. “That was a confidential meeting; you are to disregard anything you overheard. And how did you obtain my address?”

Amanda unfolded a piece of paper from her pocket. “From the top of this letter,” she revealed.

Rachel snatched the missive and pored over it. “This is from Lord Wetherby,” she observed. “Does the old fart have all correspondence hand-delivered by trolley dolly? No wonder the company is bleeding money like a haemophiliac on acupuncture. Tell him to send a fucking email next time!”

Amanda seethed at the “trolley dolly” epithet, but her exterior held stoic. She’d come to forge an alliance, not strike up a friendship, and a real nose-pincher of an alliance it promised to be.

“I was meant to post it to you,” she said. “But it isn’t really from Wetherby.”

Rachel frowned. “Then from whom?”

“Lucinda. Well, she wrote it and I signed it; I have a knack for forging signatures, you see.”

Rachel sighed. “One of Crow’s japes, is it?” She read aloud with the air of a teacher who had confiscated a naughty note: “Dear Ms Silverstein, I am writing to apologise for the heavy-handed and hostile atmosphere that transpired at the board meeting…” She scanned on. “…I was too dismissive of your arguments, and am willing to reconsider Miss Crow’s future at the company. To this end, I would be most honoured by your attendance at a private dinner, to be held at 9 p.m., Saturday. My assistant Amanda Tang shall take care of the practicalities.

“There’s no dinner scheduled, at least not to eat,” Amanda revealed. “Instead, I am to greet you in the lobby and escort you directly to the Crow’s Nest studio, where… well, an unpleasant reception awaits you,” She wrung her hands. “Lucinda plans to gunge you – humiliate you on live TV. So badly that you lose all credibility in the media industry.”

Rachel responded with a small “hmmfff”. “So why are you telling me this?”

“Because you’re right; Lucinda has to go. The way she behaves is out of order. And it isn’t just a persona she applies with her stage make-up; it’s twenty-four-seven. She’s genuinely unhinged, mad with sadistic lust – a bully, a beast, an ogre!”

“On that point, I agree with you,” said Rachel, pursing her lips.

“That’s why I want to help you – not only to avoid humiliation at her hands, but to turn the tables, give her a dose of her own medicine. A big dose – enough for her to swim in! Imagine it – brought down on her own TV show! How could she strut around after that? She’d be finished – never to poison the airwaves again! You get what you you want, Ms Silverstein, and that vicious, deceitful bitch gets what she deserves! Together we can make it happen. I have access behind the scenes, you have money to bribe the crew, we can sabotage the show. We can smother that black hair of hers, smash pies in her smarmy mug! A gunging to end all gungings!!”

Amanda punched the air, blurting breathlessly. She’d bottled up her frustration for months, every encounter with Lucinda shaking up more fizz. But now, in the aftermath of the uncorking, the brew seemed a little flat. Rachel appeared wholly unmoved – not grateful for Amanda’s tip-off, nor impressed by her initiative, nor even keen at the opportunities. She simply sat with a finger resting in the groove of her chin, parallel to an aloof smirk.

“Why should I trust you?” she eventually asked. “If you and Crow wanted to lure me in, this is exactly what you would say. I can smell a double-bluff at a hundred paces, and this one stinks.” She shook her head derisively. “If this is Crow’s masterplan, I expect better.”

Amanda slid a hand into her pocket, fingers finding a slender USB stick. She swallowed, loath to disgrace herself before this suave businesswoman, to reveal the depths she had let herself sink to. But her embarrassment now would serve the greater humiliation of Lucinda later. It warranted a little shame in the privacy of this sunlit office, in order to wreak total and utter revenge before millions.

With an unsteady hand, she tendered the USB. “You want proof I’m for real? Here it is.”

Lucinda had to make her own green tea that morning, but she was glad of the solitude. She loafed at her dressing table, Bach’s Double Violin Concerto in D Minor piping through expensive speakers, her boarding pass for Bratislava (this week’s ATCF destination) freshly printed.

A panoramic photo frame leant against the mirror. The label proclaimed “ST. EDMONDS’ HALL, OXFORD — MATRICULATION 1999″, together with a list of names. The corresponding freshers were lined up in archaic university garb, proud and earnest on a dewy lawn, and in the rearmost row towered an eighteen-year-old Lucinda. The cheeks were fuller than now with teen fat, her hair more subdued in a “Winona”, but the iron glinted there in her eyes, yet to be sharpened but already cold. The lips traced a prototype of the contemptuous smirk she would perfect and make her trademark.

Yet the photograph provided a bittersweet record. Lucinda avoided sweeping her eyes along the row, knowing that asymmetry would sting her like a slap across her sleek navel. For the young Miss Crow stood one place askew from the dead centre of the back row. It was the traditional position of dominion, coveted by every despot to be. Lucinda didn’t occupy it.

And who had shunted her from her rightful spot? Lucinda’s attention turned with fury to the girl next to her younger self, who sported the smuggest of closed-mouth smiles. Her hair was its natural dark brown, and glasses predated the present-day contacts, but the tenacious carriage was unmistakable – Rachel Silverstein.

“I should’ve pushed you off the staging,” Lucinda hissed.

Around Lucinda, the two violins climbed through inversion upon inversion, each vying for a higher foothold in the stave. Rachel’s head-on gaze met Lucinda, as if anticipating this encounter all those years ago. “You so wanted this spot,” Rachel spoke across the gulf of time. “You schemed and strove for it, but I got it. I was the more cunning and ruthless; I timed it to perfection; I trod on the necessary toes. Try harder next time, Crow.”

The violins soared to the apogee of their outpouring. Rachel stared out unflinching. With a tortured snarl, Lucinda dashed the photograph face-down on the table, precipitating a dull crunch. She had got through a few replacement panes over the years.

Rachel’s intercom possessed a design flaw – at least from the perspective of those who didn’t know about it – that allowed one party to eavesdrop on the other by half-pressing the button. Helvetica’s left hand presently rested on the device in such a fashion, and what she heard left her so incredulous that her pen-wielding right hand hovered dormant over her pressing paperwork. She knew that business sometimes called for cloaks and daggers, but the skulduggery unfolding over the crackly connection was new to her. Fake letters? An ambush plot? Total humiliation on live TV?! And all before eleven o’clock on a Monday!

But scandalised though she was thus far, what issued next from the intercom speaker made Helvetica’s frizzled follicles stand straight.

Let’s have those hands on my arse to keep them out of mischief. In fact, I want a middle finger up my arsehole.”

Amanda winced beside Rachel’s desk as the scene played out on the computer monitor – Lucinda, legs open and tits out; and herself, black hair bobbing at the former’s crotch. Rachel took it all calmly, sometimes bearing a raised eyebrow, other times a faint chuckle, occasionally a pitiful grimace. All the while, Lucinda got louder and louder.

“Is she trying to smuggle a Persian rug through customs or are those her pubes?” Rachel sneered. “Rather you down there than me.”

Amanda stood sullen, her mouth still haunted by Lucinda’s muff.

“Still, you must charge a pretty penny for a session like this,” Rachel added casually.

Amanda flushed. “I’m not…” The words “professional whore” tarried at her tongue, but the truth dawned more shameful still. She was an amateur whore, in both senses of the word, prepared to abase herself pro-gratis, ready to kneel down and nom on that hairy twat with only hollow pledges of TV stardom for enticement.

“…not cheap,” she lied, wanting to sink and shrivel in the sunlight.

SQUEEZE MY ARSE! WIGGLE THAT FINGER!!” thundered through the computer speakers. The TV star contorted, grinding and bouncing, while Amanda’s head-bobbing attained whiplash speed. With a strangled gasp and a concerted clench at her tits, Lucinda threw back her head, and then it was over. Amanda withdrew, Crow-juice dripping from her Chinese chops.

For thirty seconds neither Rachel nor Amanda spoke. A pin could have been heard to drop, even on that plush carpet. The intercom hissed on in the next room, Helvetica wide-eyed and slack-jawed at her pokey desk.

The blonde broke the silence. “Okay, I believe you. Crow would never allow me to see such a recording, even as part of a ruse.”

Amanda nodded weakly at her vindication.

“Take a seat,” Rachel gestured. “I think you and I can do business.”

And so, over a duration far surpassing the alloted five minutes, the two women honed their scheme.

“Yes, I can see it now.” Rachel leant back, surveying the black beams that spanned the ceiling. “The last ever episode of the Crow’s Nest, to air this Saturday, with a special extended Crow’s Court. In the dock, Crow herself, accused of grave depravity. This video shown in evidence.”

“With my face pixelated!” Amanda hurriedly insisted.

“And after the verdict comes the sentence,” Rachel rubbed her hands together. “Tar and feathers – isn’t that the textbook method to run a rotter out of town? Very fitting for a Crow, too.”

“Glue and black feathers would suit even better,” Amanda suggested, starting to like the businesswoman. Rachel’s icy manner had melted; her eyes were glazed and enraptured as she gently swung in her ergonomic chair. Amanda recalled Lucinda’s utterance: “not changed a bit since Oxford.” Did Rachel grind a personal axe as well as an entrepreneurial one?

“I can arrange all the necessary props,” Amanda continued. “But there’s one more thing we need.” She pulled a ticket from her pocket. “Someone to distract Lucinda so we can make our move. Someone Lucinda doesn’t know. Who’ll take all the risk for us. A stooge. A patsy.”

“Leave it with me,” Rachel smiled, placing the ticket on her desk. “I know just the person.”

In the next room, Helvetica gulped.

“There’s something I don’t understand.” Rachel drummed her fingertips together. “What do you get out of this? With this video you could blackmail Crow for a small fortune.”

“I want a presenting job.” said Amanda immediately.

Rachel snorted. “A serving girl on TV? Don’t be silly.”

“Didn’t Rick Astley start as a tea-boy?” argued Amanda, her ire prickled again. “Listen, I know you want a shift into documentaries and current affairs. I’d be ideal to front such a programme; I have a very authoritative tone.”

She did indeed; in a previous life Amanda had been a financial fraudster, persuading banks and businesses to hand over vast sums without ever pointing a pistol. She’d been spared prison when eventually caught, being only seventeen, but the conviction had damned her career ever since.

“I’ll think about it,” said Rachel dismissively.

Amanda shrugged. “I guess it’ll be difficult to get the other board members’ agreement.”

“Those toffs are no hindrance to me!” Rachel snapped. “I’ll have the paperwork ready by the end of the week.”

Amanda beamed inwardly; her ploy had worked. “I’m most grateful, Ms Silverstein.” She paused before asking carefully, “And what about you? Is seeing off Lucinda purely a business move, or do you have a deeper motive?”

“One should never mix business with pleasure,” Rachel replied circumspectly. “But when the two are offered pre-blended, it would be a pity to decline.”

Oxford had opened doors for Lucinda, not least in the wet and messy department. Previously, her indulgences had comprised what she and her trusty VHS recorder could garner from terrestrial broadcasting. And while the 1990s canon of gungy TV had ignited Lucinda’s passion (seeing Nicola Stapleton clutch her face in a Munchian scream before being swamped in yellow and black had been a life-changing moment), she’d tired of the sterile 2D projection, the frustrating inconstancy of delivery and victim (gunged males did nothing for her), and the lack of interaction. Lucinda wanted to be amongst it all, to bask in 3D panorama, to steep herself in the smells and the atmosphere. Most of all, she wanted a hand in it.

Her wish came with her election as college RAG representative. Traditionally a minor affair in the Dreaming Spires, she brought the event to the fore, with beans and custard all round for the student exec, and she even roped a few dons into the fray. Lucinda reminisced with particular fondness on an exquisite young history lecturer she had cajouled into the pillory. The look on the woman’s trapped face when Lucinda unveiled a table chock with colourful pies! She must have expected sponges!

Then there had been the rowing – watching of course; Lucinda would never endanger herself to that nasty river-water. She soon bored of the customary cox-chucking, so in her second year she arranged for the St Edmonds’ women’s team to sink at Summer Eights. She almost got caught in her act of sabotage, slithering inside the fated vessel when the night-porter’s torch swept the boathouse. This only added to the thrill when the murky water welled up around the lycra-clad waists of those strapping six-footers, oars awry, the strident sprite of a cox tumbling from her perch with a splosh. Gasps arose from the crowd as the catastrophe unfolded, but Lucinda alone knew its cause. Ravishing in a short summer dress, she discreetly raised her non-alcoholic Pimms, while the sporting suckers thrashed in brown water and green weed at her feet.

But the pinnacle of Lucinda’s messy education had been the infamous tradition of trashing – exam-finishers emerging onto the cobbles of Merton Street, red carnations in their lapels and sleep-starved eyes to match, to be doused with champagne, sprayed with silly string, and pelted with whatever groceries were on special offer at the Sainsbury’s Local. It was an orgiastic rite – a celebration not of clinching a good grade or even passing (that was yet to be decided by the examiners) but simply of crawling over the finish line, of escaping the regime of libraries, lecture notes and late-night coffee, like a butterfly from one’s cocoon. It was amazing what people let you do to them, Lucinda mused, when they were relieved.

The trashings had fascinated Lucinda, her feet inexorably taking her to witness them, even when she should have been cramming for her own exams. And naturally, she never missed an opportunity to take part.

As baroque music continued to swirl around the dressing room, Lucinda laid a pile of prints on the table, blown up until the grains were macroscopic. From the uppermost, Rachel smiled wearily into the camera, grey bags under her eyes, her necktie partially loosened. She would not smile for long; through the crowds behind her, her arch-rival approached.

Chuckling, Lucinda turned the print aside to reveal the next. A young Lucinda now stood beside Rachel, an arm outstretched, an egg being brought to bear on the crown of the finisher’s head. Rachel’s eyes turned up and her mouth turned down as the ovum cracked, a glimpse of yellow trickling out onto her dark hair.

Onto the next still. The first egg snaked a glossy train through Rachel’s hair, while Lucinda slammed a second onto her forehead. The shutter had snapped with inspired timing, capturing the trails of viscid yellow that radiated from the impact. Rachel’s eyes bulged behind her glasses, her mouth taut in a small black hole. As for the assailant, Lucinda’s eyes twinkled along with her grinning teeth.

By the following photo, two more eggs had been delivered, with a fifth on the way. Their contents glistened in Rachel’s hair and stained her shirt. Half a shell dangled from her fringe and yellow coated one lens of her specs. Around them, Rachel’s friends clapped and cheered in good-natured fun, blocking any route of escape, but the diverging expressions between trasher and trashee conveyed a mutual understanding: a jocular celebration this was not. Lucinda loved that Rachel hated it, and Rachel hated that Lucinda loved it.

Lucinda let out a little moan of arousal when she clapped eyes on the next image. The photographic paper all but screamed at her, such was the contortion of the victim’s figure, the gaping of her mouth, and the sheer shock in her eyes. The cause lay out of sight, but Lucinda knew – a two-pint bottle of milk, fresh from the chiller aisle, stuffed inverted down the back of that over-starched shirt.

Cheeks aflush, Lucinda slid a hand down her panties. “Still glad you took my spot in the photo? Not so smug now, are you?” Her X-ray vision could picture every square inch of flesh, every muscle and sinew, rigid and spasmodic. The scream still reverberated in her sweetest dreams. A moment like this was rarer than an affordable dwelling in London – smooth operator Silverstein shaken to her snooty core.

Lucinda rifled through the photos, no longer sparing the time to savour, but hungry for the next phase of Rachel’s humiliation. There came a shot of Rachel wearing a blanket of mushy peas, then one of her spluttering in a cloud of flour, and then.. ohh!! The alphabet spaghetti! A catering-size tin of it!

Down came Lucinda’s bottom-halves. She flicked a switch and a drawer glided out, bearing an armoury of vibrators and dildos. Straight and curvy, smooth and knobbly, lifelike and space-age – Lucinda had a little friend for every occasion. She selected a green, rubbery gadget, complete with clitoral stimulator, and set it going on the gentlest throb. Horned as she was, Lucinda didn’t want to orgasm over her rival just yet. This masterful trashing, she reminded herself, was merely the hors d’oeuvre. Rachel’s main course was soon to be served.

In her stupefied state, Helvetica neglected to remove her hand from the intercom before Amanda left Rachel’s office. She jolted, accidentally knocking the button full-way and setting off the buzzer.

“What?” growled Rachel over the speaker.

“Oh…er, I just wanted to let you know, I’ve completed the paperwork for the Korean deal.” It was an impromptu lie; she was scarcely a quarter through.

“Good,” came Rachel’s response. “You can come and see me, while I think of it.”

“I’ll let myself out,” mouthed Amanda.

With a bashful goodbye, Helvetica hurried into Rachel’s office. “Yes, Ms Silverstein?”

“Do you have any plans for Saturday Night?” Rachel enquired, returned to her upright posture.

Helvetica did – her boyfriend’s birthday (soon to be ex-boyfriend, she saw so little of him) – but wistfully she shook her head.

“Well now you’re all fixed up,” announced Rachel, holding out the ticket. “You’re going to be in the audience of the Crow’s Nest.”

Helvetica’s heart sank; she had guessed correctly who the patsy would be. “The Crow’s Nest?” she said, feigning off-hand surprise while hiding her very real dread.

“Helvetica, if I wanted a parrot in the office I’d buy one. I’ll instruct you further on the matter during the week, ok?”

“Yes, Ms Silverstein.” Helvetica took the tickets with trembling hand. “Is there anything else?”

“Actually yes. I have a visitor coming to sign a contract: Horst Klein. He’s German – shrewd, reliable, but rather dull.” Rachel rolled her eyes. “I can’t be bothered to see him, so I want you to pick him up at Heathrow. Take him for lunch – nowhere too expensive – titter at his pedantic Frankfurt humour, and make sure he signs the contract.”

“Ok, Ms Silverstein,” nodded Helvetica. “When’s he coming?”

“His plane gets in at 13:45.”


“Is there a problem with that?” Rachel frowned. “You’re done with the Korean contract; what else is there to do?”

“Your tax return, for a start,” said Helvetica.

Rachel waved a hand. “That can wait.”

“It can’t,” Helvetica protested. “The deadline is midnight!”

“So you can meet Klein this afternoon and do the tax return in the evening.” Rachel regarded her PA bemusedly. “What exactly is the problem?”

“Nothing, Ms Silverstein.” The words came out choked as Helvetica turned to leave.

“Oh, and wash the car before you go,” Rachel ordered. “Klein’s a stickler for these things. German, you know.”

Clouds had rolled in across the sunny morning, darkening the sky as if especially for Helvetica. Rain started to fall as soon as she stepped outside, drizzle at first soon growing torrential. Tears joined the raindrops on Helvetica’s cheeks as she took a bucket of soapy water to the Bentley.

She stared back at herself in the chrome wheel-arch, her curly hair sodden and her beige suit darkened. The curved surface amplified her frown, magnified her moist eyes. Up in the bay window she clocked Rachel’s blonde mane, smart and dry. Things couldn’t go on like this. She needed to be more assertive; that’s what her mother told her. To show some initiative, to have that ruthless edge when the situation called for it – just like that girl Amanda did. Yes, she ought be more like Amanda.

She stood up, and with a sniffle straightened her suit. Enough of being oblique – it was time for Helvetica to be bold!

She clambered into the car and switched on her phone – her personal phone, not her work one. Blood thumped in her ears above the drumming of the rain. She selected the number, then hesitated, weighing the enormity of what she dared to do.

Lucinda harrumphed as her phone tinkled – a brassy, old-fashioned ring. She detested disruptions during Crow Time. Switching off the vibrator, but leaving it inserted, she snatched the receiver. “Crow.”

“Oh uh, h-hello, it’s Vet Baines calling.”

Who?” spat Lucinda.

“Uh, Helvetica Baines,” the caller elaborated.

“Is that a company? This is my private line; call the commercial operations office.”

“No no, I’m a person, not a company”, Helvetica explained. “I, er—”

“To join the fan club follow the link on my Facebook page,” Lucinda sighed mechanically.

“No, I’m not a fan… I mean, I am a fan, of course I am, but that’s not why I’m c—”

“GET TO THE POINT!!” roared Lucinda.

“R-right, okay. Well, y-you see, I need to tell you about a plot,” said Helvetica.

“Ah, you want to set someone up for a gunging on the Nest?” guessed Lucinda, resolving to make this set-up a double-cross; it would serve the bumbling imbecile right for disturbing her wank!

“Maybe.” A naughty shudder rippled through Helvetica as she pictured Rachel squawking under gallons of gunge. “But that’s n-not what I’m c-calling about; it’s a plot against you!”

Lucinda puffed. What was this woman on about? “I ain’t got time for jokers. Get lost!”

“Rachel Silverstein and Amanda Tang!” blurted Helvetica.

Lucinda had the receiver halfway to the cradle when the names rattled out of it. She halted, her whole body pricked up like an alerted dog. She pulled out the dildo, refastened her trousers, and returned the phone to her ear.

“Speak, child.”




WAM imitates art?

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Gunge Grand Prix 2016: Round 5 Results and Round 6 Live!

Evening all,

Round 5 of the 2016 Gunge Grand Prix is now complete, and now just 16 girls remain in the running. Round 6 has now gone live, and will close next Friday, so get voting by selecting the 6th Round tab under ‘Gunge Grand Prix 2016’.

In the meantime, feel free to check out the spreadsheet below for a full run-down of the results from Round 5.

Gunge Grand Prix 2016

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