Sarah Kirkpatrick began what would turn out to be probably the most humiliating – and certainly the muckiest – week of her life with a meeting with a monster; a monster which just happened to have taken on the visage of an achingly gorgeous pop sensation. The nineteen year old girl with the angelic face and heavenly body that sat on the opposite side of her desk had taken both of her managers and the record label they worked for to previously unimaginable heights. One of the most stunningly attractive young stars in recent memory, the fans and the media alike followed Leanne Linscott religiously. Her ash-blonde, long wavy hair that fell almost to her waist was the envy of women everywhere – many tried to replicate it, but very few were able to pull it off. It flowed neatly over the perfectly rounded, perky young breasts that were practically ready to burst out of the tight blue t-shirt she wore. She’d been sitting with her legs crossed, her short skirt conspiring to show off her perfect thighs, but as Sarah finished the pitch for the band’s next music video, Leanne squirmed in her seat, planting both legs back on the ground firmly. Her pretty features screwed up with undisguised revulsion, her body shivering before she looked over at Nick with a pleading expression. Both Sarah and Nick shared the office space, and he’d pulled his chair over behind Sarah’s desk while they went over with Leanne what the video would be.
The nature of the video had taken form very quickly after the label had selected the next single from the group’s smash hit album – the song was entitled ‘Into the Mud’.
“Yeeeeeuuuuch! Nick, you’re not really going to make me do this are you?” asked Leanne sweetly, nimbly leaping to her feet and making her way around the desk. With absolutely no sign of shame whatsoever, she planted the lovely pert bottom she so loved to flaunt right onto his lap. She fluttered her eyelids at him. “You wouldn’t let them throw me into some kind of disgusting mud, right? You love me too much.”
As Nick tried to mouth some kind of response from underneath her, she cradled his head in her hands, leaving his face just inches from her impressive cleavage. Sarah blushed, trying to keep her eyes facing forwards.
“It’s not just Nick’s decision you know,” said Sarah curtly. “As we’ve explained, the higher ups have already given this the go-ahead; it’s too late to back out. They’ve already hired the location.”
“Without consulting me of course!” whined Leanne, nesting her head against Nick’s. Sarah couldn’t help but observe that Nick was doing absolutely nothing whatsoever to get this young harlot to control herself. “I can’t help but feel like I’m being set up here! You know I hate this stuff; it’s bad enough you always make me do those awful Saturday morning shows with all these revolting gunge games on them, and now you’re forcing me to do this!”
“But Leanne, that’s just it: you never get messy on any of those shows. Every single time we schedule the group on those shows we have to get the producers to agree not to get you messy; you never agree to do the show until they do! It’s gotten to the point that it’s happened so many times that everybody knows we rig the games so that you always win – and it’s the rest of the band who always end up on the receiving end, since because you won’t get gunged, they have to take it in your place. People are starting to complain…”
Leanne tossed her pristine hair aside with a dismissive flick of her finger.
“Only those losers and weirdo’s on those pathetic gunge sites,” said Leanne, whose favourite hobbies included googling herself.
“No, not just them though – remember the heat we took when you backed out of that charity gunging at the last minute?”
“Oh, but that’s not fair! They sprung that on me from out of nowhere,” Leanne pouted.
“You held the entire show up while you argued about it backstage!”
“I don’t care how much money they raised, they weren’t putting me in that tank! Anyway, I think I came up with a solution that worked out best for everyone.”
Sarah tried to keep her expression neutral. In the end, to try and save face, they’d had to hastily come up with a script where, just as Leanne announced she was more than happy to go in and take a massive gunging in the name of charity, the other three members of the group had intervened, stating that Leanne was looking far too beautiful (that had been Leanne’s own input) to get covered in slop. So, in what was designed to look like a spontaneous moment, the other three volunteered to take her place instead. To say that the crowd had been displeased by this turn of events would be an understatement, not that Leanne showed any sign of shame whatsoever as she abandoned her bandmates to their messy fate.
“Not for the rest of the group it didn’t! Leanne, they’ve taken more than their share of gungings in the name of keeping you clean. And it’s not just them – the label wasn’t happy at all with the negative publicity that generated. They believe that doing this mud video would go some way to showing the press that the rumours about you refusing to take that gunging are false.”
“Oh please, Nick!” sobbed Leanne, clasping her hands together and adjusting the pitch of her voice to make it sound like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. “Don’t make me do this. Please, please please!”
Nick looked at Sarah with an apologetic expression on his face.
“Well… I mean there’s no reason we can’t hire a stunt double to go in the mud in your place,” said Nick.
“You don’t understand!” said Leanne quickly. “I mean, yes, that’s better than me having to get caked in mud myself, but I have a certain… image to maintain, don’t I? We all know I’m not the best singer, necessarily, that’s why you put me in with the others in the first place, but it’s my face, my body, my reputation that draws all the publicity and drives all the sales, isn’t it? People try to copy my hairstyle, they try to emulate my sense of fashion, they look up to me! Can you imagine what people would think if they saw someone they thought was me covered from head to toe in mud or slime? A girl in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous, Nick! Think of what it would mean for my image!”
“It IS your image we’re thinking of,” said Sarah, although she was fast coming to the conclusion that this was a losing battle. “And all the negative publicity we have…”
“Is your job to deal with, not mine! You can’t honestly be telling me I have to wade around in filth because you can’t handle a few mean stories that people are reporting just because they’re jealous of me, are you? The only way you’re getting any mud on me is if it’s some kind of luxury spa treatment, not by throwing me in some bog or something. I’m a star,” Leanne stressed. She looked into Nick’s eyes, one bare leg rubbing back and forth over his thigh. Nick looked at Leanne like a deer caught in the headlights, carefully avoiding Sarah, who was glaring a hole through him.
“All right,” said Nick, sounding much like a put-upon father giving in to his spoilt daughter. “I’ll talk the other girls into doing it. We’ll have you miming the lyrics in front of them or something. On dry land, of course.” Sarah sighed; she was exasperated with Nick, who’d promised her beforehand that they would keep a united front, but she couldn’t entirely blame him. The seductive pop princess had never yet met the man that she couldn’t wrap around her little finger. Whatever department of the label you went to, there were always slaves ready to carry out their princesses’ bidding.
“YAAAAAAAAAAY!” squealed Leanne, kissing Nick on the cheek and clapping her hands together happily. “My hero! You’re just the best, Nick!”
Urrrgh, thought Sarah to herself. How many times does she have to say his name? It makes her sound like she’s his clingy girlfriend. She was about to make one last feeble attempt to protest this, when to her complete surprise Leanne hopped off of her comfortable perch atop Nick and in one in one quick bound dropped her smooth buttocks down on top of her lap. Sarah balked, squirming underneath Leanne, whose gorgeous face was planted right in front of hers, biting down on her lip seductively.
“Leanne, get off of me, what are you doing!?”
“It’s just like you said, it’s not just Nick’s decision now, is it? So I wanted to thank you too! It’s very sweet of you to change your mind over this whole thing!”
“I didn’t say anything about-”
“Oh, look Nick, she’s blushing!” said Leanne, who was wearing the smuggest grin Sarah had ever seen. To Sarah’s embarrassment, the girl – who was ten years younger than her -wrapped her arms around the back of her head, cradling her face to one side of her supple bosom. From here Sarah caught the scent of sweet-strawberries coming from Leanne’s hair. The pop princess ran a hand through Sarah’s own medium length, wavy chestnut-coloured hair, much to her consternation; she’d styled it immaculately, and now she’d have to fix it back up. “Isn’t she just so precious?”
Leanne pushed Sarah’s head back gently, her lips hovering just in front of Sarah’s for a moment, eyes drinking in the older woman’s discomfort. A cruel glint appeared there for just a moment, disappearing so fast that you could almost think you imagined it. She moved in slowly, but just as Sarah thought the girl was going to plant a kiss right on her lips, her head moved to one side and her mouth appeared right next to one ear.
“I think this is going to be such a fun shoot, don’t you?” Leanne purred. Before Sarah could say anything more, the girl jumped off of her. She kissed the palm of her hand and smeared it down the side of Sarah’s cheek, winking cheekily at her.
“Bye Nick!” she said sweetly, walking over to the door with a hypnotic hip wiggle that once again showed off her backside at it’s very best.
Sarah and Nick sat in silence for a moment. She was practically daring him to say something, but in the end she spoke first.
“It’s high time you learned how to stand up to people,” she fumed.
“Don’t blame me for this! You know, you may have tried to make this about the higher ups not being happy with her, but let’s face it – you just want to see her get slimed for your own amusement! You were the one that set up the charity thing in the first place – going behind my back, I might add – because yeah, what could she do about it, it’s for charity, we’ve already collected all the money, well she got one over on you didn’t she? So really, it’s your own fault that the label’s so mad in the first place, and of course it’s you who sold them on the mud video, knowing full well how Lee would react. And yet you want to lay all this at MY feet, just because I’ve had to be the voice of reason, AGAIN!”
“Don’t take that tone with me!”
“You just told me to stand up to people!”
Sarah considered this for a moment.
“I didn’t mean me.”
As the morning of the mud shoot arrived, Sarah was not surprised to see Nick turn up only a little while after her own arrival. She exited the portacabin which she had set up as an office as best she could to greet him.
“I did say I could handle this,” she said as she ushered him inside.
“You have heard the news, I take it?”
She gave him a rueful smile.
“Leanne went right from our conversation to the head of the label, sobbing her little heart out about how cruel we were being to her and how she felt she was being set up-”
“Which she was,” muttered Nick.
“And now we’re under strict orders to make sure our perpetually pristine pop princess is kept clean and dry or we’re in deep, deep trouble.”
“Which means I have to be here to make sure someone doesn’t get any more bright ideas.”
“Nick of course I’m not going to do anything. You do see though, don’t you, this is what she always does, says one thing to your face but then she’s off tattling to the higher ups about you, always making sure she gets what she wants-”
“Nick! Niiiiiiick! Oh Nick, help me! Help me!”
They both shared a look as they heard Leanne screaming from somewhere outside; Nick rushed out just ahead of her and they both saw the princess straddling a fence as a very muddy and not all that Golden Retriever barked playfully at her from below.
“Thank god, Nick, get rid of it, it’s awful! It tried to jump on me and slobber on me and get mud all over my good clothes.”
Nick looked at Sarah and saw no signs of help coming from there. She was wearing a smart pink business suit and trim black shoes and had no intention whatsoever of letting that dog mess them up. With a sigh, Nick gently snatched up the dog, getting mud all over the sleeves of his own dark blue suit. He waved it in Sarah’s direction, smirking as she recoiled from it in horror.
Leanne carefully clambered down from the fence, making sure to give a wide berth to a large muddy splodge beneath her. While the green t-shirt that kept her fine midriff exposed (the shirt looking even tighter than the last one, if such a thing were possible), the short, frilly back skirt and black boots she wore were nothing like Sarah’s suit, she plainly didn’t want them getting muck on them just the same.
“Thank you so much Nick!” she said happily, although she was much less touchy-feely with Nick now that he had mud all over him. “Now I want you to take that horrible mutt and lock it up in one of those cabins over there.”
“Isn’t that Miranda’s dog?” said Sarah, Miranda being one of the other members of the band.
“Yeah,” said Nick. “She wanted to bring him along to enjoy the fresh air; says he misses his mother when she’s on the road so she tries to keep him near her when she can. Lee, I really don’t think we need to be shutting him up, I’ll find Miranda and see if she has a lead or something for him…”
“She should have had him on a lead in the first place,” whined Leanne. “Nick, I’m telling you: lock him up right now or else I’m walking right off this set.”
“Fine,” said Nick, muttering under his breath. He shut the dog in the cabin next to the one he and Sarah were using and locked the door. Since the door had a glass front, Sarah was able to see the dog looking out at them miserably and whining to be let back out. She wasn’t especially a fan of dogs herself, but she couldn’t help but feel bad for it.
Leanne pulled a face filled with mock sympathy and stuck her tongue out at it with a smile.
With the first beams of the early morning sunshine smiling down pleasantly upon them, they joined the film crew and met up with the rest of the band atop a scene that sent a shiver along Sarah’s spine. Peering out over the edge cautiously, she looked down at the slimy, slippery mud slide that would carry the members of the band – minus Leanne –down into the massive river of sludge below. Parts of the swamp had a soupy texture but for the most part the horrible wet brown mud looked like an extremely slimy thick paste. Not for the first time Sarah felt bad for the fact that she’d set the three girls up for this; it would have been worth it to see Leanne’s face as she slid down that repulsive mucky slope, but since she’d wormed her way out of it as usual, her scheme had been worthless. From beside her Leanne was also looking down the slide with a big grin on her face, no doubt imagining how horrible it was going to be for her bandmates and visibly glad to not be taking the ride herself.
“Morning folks!” said Miranda, the oldest member of the band at twenty four. While Leanne was widely considered the most stunningly beautiful of the group, Miranda certainly had more than her share of admirers, with her curly brown locks and a curvy body that featured a chest that rivalled even Leanne’s. The two brunette’s either side of her, Nicola and Dana, both twenty, offered polite nods. Both of them looked apprehensive about the trip they were about to take. Miranda, who tended to take a rather more cheerful view of things, seemed to take it in her stride. Sarah often pointed out to people that Miranda was up for anything, and they laughed at her as if she hadn’t said exactly what she intended. “’Here, you haven’t seen Pan anywhere on your travels, I suppose? I let him off his lead to stretch his legs, but with all the fussin’ going on around here he seems to have gotten away from me, and I do worry about him!”
“Haven’tseenhim!” coughed Nick.
“I’m sure he’s just fine, I’ll… send someone to look for him,” said Sarah. While part of her felt like stamping on Nick’s foot due to idiocy, she felt a little sorry for him as well. She knew he felt terrible about locking that poor dog away. He was a big softie at heart really, too soft for the music business. Much nicer than most of the men she’d worked with during her career. With his cheeky grin and relatively muscular physique she might have considered him a potential suitor if she were Leanne’s age, but she’d learned the hard way not to date anybody she worked beside.
The director appeared to go over a few things with everybody, and let them know they were ready to shoot the slide down into the mud that would open the video.
“We’ll see you at the bottom!” said Sarah. She, Leanne, and Nick took the long way round, steering well clear of the slide and making their way down via a much safer route that led to a wide path that ran near where the band’s muddy destination lay. Despite the fact that – in Sarah’s view – no-one could possibly have looked upon this blight on the landscape and thought “we need more mud!” there were, in fact, a large number of buckets containing just that dotted around all over the place. There were a number of different shades and textures, from grey to brown to one that looked almost green. Sarah shuddered at the sight of them. Vile, vile, vile!
She could still hear the director from up top; he was using a megaphone to direct traffic, and was telling the girls to be ready to go when he completed his countdown. It wasn’t until she noticed Leanne scurrying back that she realised they were all standing a little too close to the pool. She retreated to join Leanne a safe distance away; she wasn’t about to risk getting any messy splatter all over herself. She made to warn Nick, who was obviously giving no thought to this, and bit down on her lip with a sly smile. If he wasn’t smart enough to steer well clear, let him get a little messy.
“OKAY LADIES… THREE… TWO…ONE…”
With a squeal of terror coming from Nicola, both she and Dana leapt down onto the slide in unison. Dana’s arms flailed wildly as she spun out of control on the descent, landing face down in the mud while Nicola went in feet first, her pretty legs trailing a slimy path through the mud and sending it flying in all directions, including as predicted over Nick and his already tarnished suit.
“OH COME ON!” he roared, turning to glare at the two girls giggling behind him, although as soon as he did Leanne’s mouth snapped shut and she gave him the most stunningly innocent look she could muster.
“Um… why is Miranda still up there?” asked Sarah, looking back to the top of the slide. This was a question the director was also asking. She could just make out what Miranda was shouting from the top.
“Whoops! I thought it was three, two, one, go! Not just three, two, one!”
“JUST GO!” screamed the director. Miranda shrugged, taking a few steps back before making a running leap out onto the slide.
“GERONIMO!” she shrieked, laughing as she landed on the muddy slope, looking for all the world like she was having the time of her life. “Look out below!”
Dana and Nicola, who had just struggled back up to their feet and were in the midst of consoling one another, suddenly had a full-grown woman slam into them at high speed and send them both sprawling back down into the mud.
“I said ‘look out below’,” said Miranda cheerfully as she sank into the swamp. “Are you both okay?”
After confirming that in fact, the only injuries done were to the two girl’s pride, the director arrived at the bottom of the drop to advise the girls to play around in the mud and get themselves as messy as possible.
“Alright, but you’d better not get too into this, Mr Director! I know what your sort are like, believe me!” said Miranda, happily splashing the other two girls. The director decided to help speed things along by picking up one of the buckets of grey mud and flinging it all over poor Nicola, who sputtered as she caught a face-full of the nasty stuff. This was plainly enough for Nicola, who once she recovered pointed angrily at Leanne.
“This isn’t fair! You always get away with it! I’m sick of all this, I hate gunge, I hate pies, and I hate I hate I hate mud, and I always get it while you stay clean!”
“She’s right,” said Dana. “This has to change, right now. Either all of us do this messy stuff, or none of us do!”
Leanne’s jaw dropped; clearly this was a turn of events she had not expected, and a very unwelcome one at that. She flicked her hair, and for just a moment all pretence faded away; she looked at the girls in the mud and at Sarah with a look of complete distain – a look that said they were all nothing but insects to her, and the only reason she hadn’t crushed them all yet was because she hadn’t found a time convenient enough. Then it was gone, and only a quick, sly look in Sarah’s direction betrayed anything about her innocent persona.
“Now, now, let’s not get worked up about all this,” said Miranda, who typically played the role of peacemaker between the girls. It was safe to say that regardless of her and Nick’s efforts, it was Miranda who had stopped the group from imploding so far. “I’m not telling you what to do Lee, but it does seem like you joining us in here would show us all something.”
“But Sarah’s the one who- OOOPS!!!” cried Leanne, clapping a hand over her mouth.
“Sarah’s the one who what?” asked Miranda.
Sarah froze. Her mind worked overtime as she tried to figure out what she should do. Leanne knew. Someone – almost certainly not Nick, but someone higher up the chain – had told Leanne that it was Sarah who had pushed for this.
“I shouldn’t have said anything!” said Leanne quickly. “I don’t want to get anyone in trouble! Nick, help!”
“What did you do, Sarah?” asked Nicola. Leanne had turned all this on her!
“This was your idea, wasn’t it?” asked Dana. “You sat there and told us all the decisions had been taken above your head, but it was really you, right? That’s what Lee’s saying.”
“I never said any such thing!” Leanne protested. Sarah wanted to throttle her. She’d outmanoeuvred her again! Sarah tried to think of the best way to talk herself out of this. She needed to find a way to put all this back on Leanne somehow.
“Is this true, Nick?” asked Miranda. “Thick as thieves, the pair of you. You’d know if this was her doing, wouldn’t you?”
Sarah remained silent. She was sure Nick wouldn’t sell her out, at least not deliberately.
“It’s okay, Nick,” said Leanne. “It’s not fair for them – especially Sarah! – to put you in this position. I’ve only just found out myself; this was all Sarah’s doing, and so was that Charity Gunge thing! She’s the one who keeps putting us in these positions to get us messy, all for her own amusement! I’m sorry, Sarah, but there’s no point trying to keep it from them anymore!”
Sarah looked at Nick and back to the girls in the mud. She knew the game was up; Nick wasn’t saying anything, but his reactions essentially confirmed it.
“It isn’t like that!” she protested. “The song’s called ‘Into the Mud’, what did you think the video was going to be!?”
“You lied to us,” said Nicola. “You arranged all this and tried to blame it on everyone else. Well, I think you should learn what it feels like.”
“No no no, come on now,” said Sarah, backing away. “This is a very expensive suit, I’ll have you know, and-”
Her protests were cut off as Leanne suddenly grabbed her from behind, trapping her in place, her firm breasts pressed up against her back. Again she caught a pleasing scent coming from her fresh, clean hair; this time it was of roses, and boy, didn’t this girl always come up smelling of those? She could feel her sweet breath in her ear as she whispered to her.
“Told you this would be fun.”
The other three girls emerged from the mud, trailing slop all over the place, and Sarah fought to free herself. This was a nightmare; she couldn’t possibly end up looking like that, a woman in her position!
“Come on guys, please, let’s talk about this,” said Sarah. “Let me explain, this is all just a big misunderstanding… no Miranda don’t touch me, you can’t get mud on this suit, you just can’t!”
Sarah gave a girly scream as Leanne shoved her forwards into the outstretched arms of the advancing horde, whimpering as muddy hands grabbed at her suit. Miranda and Nicola hoisted her up, carrying her over to the edge of the mire. She squirmed in their grip, legs kicking wildly, shrieking at them to let her go.
“Put me down at once – nonotinthemudnotthereno!” she screamed, breathing a sigh of relief when they didn’t follow her hastily-given command. “Put me down on the shore or I promise you’ll all be in so much trouble…”
“What do you think, girls?” grinned Miranda. “Shall we give her a taste of her own medicine?”
“YES!” cried all the girls, including a very smug Leanne.
“NOOOOOOOO!” cried Sarah. She could hear Nick in the background making an appeal for order. It sounded very moving, she’d have been very touched if it hadn’t been so completely useless, but absolutely no-one seemed to be listening. “No, pleEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCKKKKKK!!!”
Sarah screamed as the duo rocked her back and forth before launching her into the air. She seemed to hang in the air longer than should have been possible; she felt for a moment like Wylie Coyote, standing on air as the ground collapsed beneath him, feet warily testing out the total lack of anything beneath him, completely unable to accept the reality of what must now happen. But there was no escaping reality.
Birds fly. Fish swim. And Sarah flopped face-down into the mud, which greedily drank her into itself.
She freaked out.
Again, much as she tried separate herself from the sheer horror of what was happening to her, the muck was far too cold and far too horrible for her to deny. The wet, sticky dirty feeling all over her body was more than she could bear; it was disgusting, just absolutely disgusting! The whole front of her formerly-pristine pink suit had gotten completely covered by the stuff. It was ruined! Even worse, the water and mud had soaked right through her clothes; the shirt underneath her suit was stuck to her body. She wanted to go and get changed immediately, but she didn’t even have a change of clothes with her. She crawled on her hands and knees, feeling absolutely pathetic, hating that everyone was looking at her, especially Leanne, who had dropped the innocent act to look at her with undisguised merriment. Barely able to see, she reached out and grabbed at the person in front of her, to try and get enough leverage to pull herself to her feet.
She looked up to see Dana, standing over her with a bucket in her hands.
“Where do you think you’re going?” she said with a smile that was a cruel half-twist of the mouth. “We haven’t even gotten around to doing your hair yet!”
The entire bucketful of wet, sloppy mud was poured right over Sarah’s head, completely ruining her stylish chestnut hair. She hated the feeling of the all-consuming mud oozing all over her fresh face, and the horrible smell that now assaulted her nose was one that she didn’t think she would ever be able to forget. She lifted a trembling hand and ran it through her hair, feeling a few horrible damp strands that hung limply against her head, and then the big fat globs that seemed to engulf all the rest of it.
“Ew” she squealed. “Ew! Ew! Ew!”
“Keep going ladies,” said the director. “This is all great for the video!”
“I’m not part of the video!” shrieked Sarah, stamping her feet in the mud furiously.
“I think you are now!” said Leanne, words dripping with conceit. Sarah looked on aghast as Miranda, Nicola and Leanne now all fetched buckets of their own and surrounded her from three directions.
“Just stop it already! Haven’t you gotten me messy enough?” sobbed Sarah, who couldn’t stand any more of this. She looked around for Nick, to try and appeal for him to intervene on her behalf, but he seemed to have given up and left them to it – there was no sign of him anywhere.
None of the girls listened to her protests, of course. The contents of Miranda’s bucket struck her from behind, somehow getting yet more muck into her hair and catching the back of her suit, which while it hadn’t exactly been doing her much good, had at least managed to stay somewhat clean up to this point. Leanne’s assaulted her from the front, a vile spray that caught a face that no longer had any clear skin showing on it, and also splattered against her chest and midriff. Nicola’s was aimed rather lower, showering her pretty pink trousers with sludge. With a sob, she looked down at herself in complete horror; she was completely unable to believe that just a few minutes before, she’d been completely clean and dry! She felt so awful, she almost wanted to cry. She looked over to the shore, absolute loathing building inside of her as she looked at the primped, pampered pop princess that always managed to wriggle her way out of getting messy. Leanne couldn’t seem to stop giggling at her.
She lost all sense of control.
A part of her that knew her career would be over if she did this screamed at her, but she ignored it. In that moment, in that one moment she knew if she didn’t drag that manipulative little vixen down into the mud with her she would regret it for the rest of her life. She began to wade forwards. Leanne took a step back.
The director blocked her path back to dry land.
“Hold on there!” he said, holding his palm up to stop her. “We’re going to need you stay in the mud. To keep the continuity in the video.”
“This isn’t part of the video!”
“Look, this stuff is just too good not to use – check my contract, you gave me full creative control over everything. So now I need you to stay in there until we’re done filming.”
“What!? No way!!!!”
Leanne had one hand over her mouth, bend over double, clearly in the middle of a complete laughing fit.
The director actually had the nerve to turn away from her while she continued to protest, instead talking to Leanne.
“You heard the man!” said Miranda, as she and Nicola grabbed her by the arms and dragged her screaming back into the centre of the pool. Sarah would never have considered Miranda cruel, but she was mischievous, and – to her extreme dismay – it was very clear that Sarah would be going absolutely nowhere for quite some time.
“Okay Leanne,” said the director. “We need to get a few shots of you dancing at the top of the slide. You just need to do a few moves, perform the lyrics just like we rehearsed, and look sexy. Think you can manage that?”
“Yup!” said Leanne, fit to burst with enthusiasm. “Bye Sarah – have fun! See you later girls!”
With one final – and extremely satisfied – glance at Sarah, Leanne turned and practically skipped back up the path. Complete frustration consumed her. One day, she vowed. One day she’d get her, whatever it took.
“Get off of me!” she screamed, shaking free of Miranda and Nicola’s grip. Unfortunately in her haste she completely overbalanced and fell right back down into the mud with an indignant gasp.
She looked up at the top of the slide, seeing Leanne taking her place and moving at the director’s orders and mouthing the lyrics to ‘Into the Mud’, a single that Sarah never wanted to hear or think about ever again. She could imagine Leanne’s voice signing the words.
“As the sky continues to flood
You drive me right down into the mud
In the sunsh- Who let that fucking dog out!?”
Sarah frowned. That wasn’t at all how the song was supposed to go. Leanne had spun round furiously. Sarah watched as Pan, free once more, ran right into the girls legs, knocking her off balance and leaving her arms whirling wildly as she fought desperately to keep her balance.
Oh god please, thought Sarah, leaning forwards to try and catch the best view of Leanne’s distress. Please, just give me this. After all I’ve been through today, let me have this.
Quite oblivious to the predicament of the pop princess, Pan happily took the slide down into the mud; the dog didn’t mind it one bit. The mud gave it a very soft landing – although it did send another spray shooting everywhere, which made Sarah forget about Leanne just for a moment.
“There he is! Good boy, come to mother,” said Miranda, picking up Pan and snuggling him close, the dog barking in delight. So that’s where Nick went, thought Sarah. He really was just a big softie.
Leanne, wailing, trying desperately to regain her footing, leaning over sideways, doing everything she could possibly do to keep herself from falling down that slide. She reached an arm out to try and grab hold of the director, who moved forwards to try and help her.
Sarah held her breath.
Leanne spilled sideways.
With a shrill scream, her divine body fell right into the muck and she began a slippery slide that she couldn’t stop no matter how desperately she tried to scrabble for purchase. Much like Dana she completely lost control and began log-rolling downhill, the front and back of her clothes, along with the bare skin of her thighs and legs, gathering more and more muck to them with each rotation.
Sarah hoped the cameras got as good a view as she did of the sheer horror and shock on Leanne’s face just before the moment of impact. The pop princess had just a moment to look upon what she was about to land in, and then her angelic face plopped right into a thick, gooey globule of bubbling mud. Her pretty nose was squashed right up against it, inhaling that foul goo just as Sarah had been forced to. After soaking in the mud for a moment, her head jerked upright; she looked absolutely stunned and horrified, her well groomed features now absolutely caked with filth. Her tongue rolled out of her mouth with undisguised revulsion; the pop princess coughed and sputtered, spitting mud from her mouth. Her eyes were filled with disbelief.
Her chest had become anchored in the mud. Leanne, gasping, pushed her way upwards, some of the thicker blobs of mud dropping from her, but the vast majority of it clinging to her shirt and the skin of her bare midriff. As one very grimy leg snaked out from under the mud that consumed it, Sarah caught a glimpse of the soaking white panties the princess wore under the frilly skirt that now hung limply against her body.
“IIIIIIIIIIICCCCCHHHHHHHH!!!! This can’t be happening!” wailed Leanne, standing up with her arms outstretched in revulsion. “Not to me! Not to me! Don’t just stand there you idiots, do something! Ohmygod this feels so disgusting, get me out of here!”
Grinning, Sarah waded to the shore. Leanne was far too caught up in herself to pay her any heed; with a mischievous glint in her eye, Miranda nodded at her. Following Sarah’s lead, she fetched a bucket while Leanne continued whining at the crew.
“Turn the cameras off right now! I don’t want ANYONE to see me like this. Where’s Nick, why isn’t he… what are you doing, ohgod, don’t-”
Leanne had a fit as Miranda and Sarah lifted their buckets right above the princess’s head and emptied the sludge inside all over the gorgeous ash-blonde hair that was such a key part of her image. The muck completely desecrated it, coursing through it until not one part of her hair could possibly be described as blonde. She flicked at her very sludgy hair, not liking what she felt at all. Sarah, despite everything, was absolutely delighted. At long last the pristine princess had found herself getting completely trashed.
“This is all that stupid dog’s fault!” shrieked Leanne, pointing at Pan furiously. “Who let it out, I had that awful thing locked away-”
“You did what?” asked an appalled Miranda.
“Well no, I mean, Nick was the one who did it!” said Leanne hurriedly.
“On your orders,” said Sarah.
“Is that right?” asked Miranda, who looked in no mood to play peacemaker now.
“That’s a lie!” shrieked Leanne as all four girls advanced on her. “I’m warning you, keep away from me!”
Leanne shrieked as Miranda tackled her down into the mud, bucking wildly from underneath to try and throw her off, but to no effect. The camera’s continued to roll. Oh, Sarah knew that, creative control or not, Leanne would do whatever it took to make sure that none of this footage made its way into the video. And to make sure Sarah lost her job for this. She would win in the end; she always did.
Well, almost always. Still, if it was the last thing she did in her current position, it would be to make sure the footage of Leanne finally getting messy made its way out to the public somehow. Once the media caught this, there would be no doubt whatsoever about Leanne’s serious aversion to anything messy!
She smiled to herself as Miranda flipped the wailing girl over onto her front to give her face another bath in that foul goo.
“Isn’t she just so precious?” grinned Sarah.
Nicola sat on Leanne’s back while Pan barked away happily, just glad to be near his mother and to be part of all the excitement. After all the gungings they’d had to take in her place, none of the band seemed to be of a mind to end Leanne’s suffering any time soon. Sarah hoped could smooth things over with the others, regardless of whether she kept her job. She regretted what she’d done; hopefully now they could call things even.
She cackled as she looked upon the struggling pop idol; pristine no longer, that was for sure, but she was still a princess of course – albeit an exceptionally mucky one!