Sunflower Shift (NSFW)

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Author: Allyson Callahan

The smoke from her cigarette permeated the air. Even if she hadn’t been smoking, her breath would have produced the same plume from her lips and nostrils as the warmth slowly escaped from her lungs into the cold winter evening. Tyler was planning on working later than usual.

Tyler was always the kind of girl who was more like a boy. And with a name like ‘Tyler,’ who could blame her? She hated dresses, though she would wear them if her mom begged long or loud enough. She hated make-up, but even she would admit that sometimes a little pop of mascara could help disguise her hangover just well enough to allow her to pass for a somewhat functional human being. Tyler never really dated in high school, but her college years were a different story.

She had tried dating men for quite some time, but eventually, she realized that there was something about a penis that just didn’t suit her liking. She much preferred the warmth of a woman’s curves and the soft, sensual excitement of a kiss that didn’t try to swallow her whole. Her parents were wildly supportive of her decision to pursue the same sex, but her older brother had long since distanced himself from even the thought of her existence. Tyler didn’t mind, though. She had plenty of other things to worry about.

As she quietly smoked the last few puffs of her Camel menthol, the weight of the day began to make itself known to Tyler’s already frail body. Her shoulders slumped as though she were carrying every textbook she had ever owned in one bag on her tiny frame. Her face was pale and slim. Her eyes were heavy; hardly even the dimmest light from the moon reflected back, giving them the slightest sign of life. Her feet were swollen, and her nails had several days worth of dirt crusted underneath them. All of her clothes were beginning to fall off: she had lost nearly forty pounds in the last month and a half. She wondered how much time she had left.

A loud chime from her iPhone snapped Tyler back to reality. A text from her girlfriend: “Come home bby. I need u. I want u.” She wanted to reply, but she had to get to work. She rubbed the butt of her cigarette on her jeans and tossed it into the snow. She would come back and pick it up tomorrow, she swore. She walked around the side of the old, abandoned brick building to a taxicab, waiting for her at the corner of 5th and Wabash. She slid in and slammed the cab door behind her. The driver shot her an awkward glare, then asked in a charming voice,

“Where’a we goin’, miss?”

“Blackford and Flank Street, please. Quickly.” She replied, just barely loud enough to understand.

“You got it. Anythin’ special goin’ on t’night? After all, it’sa New Year’s Eve. If I wasn’t working, you better believe I’da be out there partyin’ with the best of ’em.”

“No. Nothing. Nothing at all.”

Her terse response cued the driver to kindly quit talking. He took the hint. Tyler padded away at her cellphone, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, checking the Craigslist ‘Missed Connections’ section just for the hell of it, and randomly deleting old photos from her camera roll. She texted her girlfriend, “Hey love, working late. B home in a couple hrs. ILY.”

The taxi pulled up to the curb at Blackford and Flank Street. Tyler threw some cash at the cab driver, hopped out as quickly as possible, and ran to the yellow house twenty yards down the road, forgetting to shut the car door and neglecting to grab her change. 2150 Flank Street. She had arrived at work. Some wouldn’t exactly call it a job. It was all she had, though, and she wasn’t about to quit.

The door was locked. Tyler pulled out her phone and punched in the number for her boss. Her hands were frozen and shaking. Snow was lightly falling all around her, and the night was coming to life before her eyes. There were parties being hosted at just about every house on the block, and people were already shooting off fireworks, though it was only nine thirty p.m.. She shivered as she waited for her boss to answer her call. Finally, a shrill voice broke through the monotonous ringing.

“What, Tyler? What do you want? It’s New Year’s Eve, for Christ’s sake!” The shrill voice exclaimed.

“Bu…but I am here for work. I am here, a…at your house. For work, ma’am. It’s locked. P…please let me in. I need a shift, and it’s cold.” Tyler’s voice quivered.

“You stupid bitch. Go home. I already told you: nobody is working tonight, dumbass. Damn, you must really be losing it, huh Ty? You poor little freak. I bet you don’t even have a fucking week left.”

“C…come on, Kat, I need this money. You know I n…need this money. Don’t do this to me. Let me in.”

Silence.

The yellow house creaked as the wind blew violently against its old wooden frame. The door swung open, and Tyler rapidly disappeared inside. It was dark, and the stench of animal feces was almost enough to induce involuntary vomiting. Kat wasn’t even home; but, Panch was waiting for her. He was a large man with black hair and a beard that covered most of his face. His dark eyes hid something from the world, and his breath always smelled like cannabis and stale pizza. Panch wasn’t even his real name, but nobody except Kat knew his true identity. She knew everything, and everyone.

The chair was already set up with all the essentials for a full shift. Tyler found this particularly peculiar, since Kat said nobody would be working that night. Did she somehow know this would happen? Did she predict that Tyler would show up at her doorstep, begging for work? Perhaps Panch saw her waiting outside in the cold and decided to let her in, unbeknownst to Kat. Perhaps. But Tyler decided to regard it all as pure coincidence.

Without a word, Panch grabbed Tyler by the arm and forced her small body into the large, metal chair. He restrained her arms and legs, then removed her coat. He unbuttoned her flannel shirt and slid his hands down her back to unclasp her bra. His hands were cold, but not as cold as the wind had been, so she welcomed his harsh touch. Suddenly, her phone started buzzing. It was her girlfriend, Azalia. She could tell by the pattern of the vibration: she had set it to ‘heartbeat.’ Panch grabbed the phone from her pocket and tossed it aside onto the black leather sofa across the room. He removed her boots, jeans and underwear, then stepped away from Tyler for a brief moment to prepare himself for the shift. These precious few seconds were crucial to Tyler. She prayed silently in her mind. She asked God to protect her and to not let it hurt this time. She prayed that it would be over quickly.

Twenty minutes later, Tyler regained consciousness. She was no longer bound to the chair, and Panch was nowhere to be found. Her clothes were back on her body, and her phone was back in her pocket, where she also found full payment for her shift. She clutched the five-hundred dollars cash tightly in her fist. This would be enough, she thought. This would certainly be enough.

It was nearly eleven o’clock when Tyler finally made it home. She was queasy and weak from her shift, and her head was pounding hard enough that she could barely see straight. Azalia ran to the door to greet her. She kissed Tyler on the forehead, but Tyler was too exhausted to return the gesture. Azalia scooped Tyler up into her arms and walked her into the back bedroom, where a fresh bouquet of flowers was waiting on the nightstand, and a tall glass of ice water called out to be delicately sipped. Azalia set Tyler down on the bed and handed the cold water to her ailing girlfriend. Tyler gulped it down as though she were participating in a beer chugging competition. Almost immediately, she began to feel the warmth return to her limbs and a small smile spread across her face. Her eyes lit up with joy, and lust, when they met Azalia’s stare.

Tyler placed her glass on the nightstand next to her gorgeous sunflowers, and lit her favorite Bed, Bath & Beyond candle. She grabbed her woman’s hand and kissed her lips. It had been nearly six years, and the fire between them had never been quelled. Azalia slipped her hands up under the front of Tyler’s shirt and lifted her bra to expose her soft, beautiful breasts. Her nipples were begging to be licked. They were the perfect brown color and always came straight to a peak with the slightest touch of Azalia’s tongue. She moaned in pleasure. Tyler laid back onto the bed and felt the blood rush from her face, to her bosom, to her clitoris. She moaned again.

Azalia kissed her way down Tyler’s pale white body, their contrasting skin tones glowing subtly in the candle light. She let her lips play with the edges of Tyler’s ear, then the curve running from her ribs to her stomach and the indentations where her hip bones jutted out then sloped down to reveal her smooth, supple vulva. She took great care to make sure that Tyler felt every inch of her body tingle with erotic anticipation before finally gliding two fingers inside of her. Azalia placed her other hand on Tyler’s neck and began to slowly squeeze, tighter and tighter. Tyler arched her back as she came. Azalia thrust with three fingers, deeper and harder this time. She rocked her hips against Tyler’s body to match the rhythm of her hands.

Azalia’s beautiful brown skin was shimmering with beads of sweat as she pushed herself deeper and deeper into her girlfriend’s wet, warm vagina. Her large breasts were bouncing up and down in her bra, and her own cum was beginning to saturate her underwear. She pulled off her shirt and threw it against the wall, almost landing it perfectly in the laundry basket. Tyler reached up and grabbed Azalia’s long, black hair and pulled her in close. She kissed her lips while she pulled the sports bra up and over Azalia’s head. She bit her neck and ripped her sweats and underwear off in one swift motion. The rough texture of Azalia’s hair laden pussy against Tyler’s smoothly shaved skin drove them both wild.

Tyler, though much smaller than her partner, was strong enough to toss her around rather effectively when she wanted to. She put her arms around Azalia’s back and tossed her onto the bed like a rag doll. She wasn’t feeling so sick anymore. Maybe she had more time than she thought. Tyler’s long, thin fingers traced the outline of Azalia’s curvy, voluptuous figure. She loved the way the female body could be so drastically different from woman to woman, yet they were all of equal beauty, and so incredibly mesmerizing. She loved the smell of a woman, especially the way she smelled during sex. As she stared down into the dark green eyes of her lover, Tyler made slow, passionate movements, circling Azalia’s clitoris with her fingertips, and lightly brushing over her labia with just enough pressure to create an intense longing for more.

Tyler carefully inched herself further into her lover until she was fist deep inside Azalia, the couple both moaning and screaming with desire. As Azalia reached her climax, Tyler slowed her thrusts to a gentle pushing and pulling motion that made the orgasm last as long as possible. Both women collapsed into a daze of heavenly bliss, their bodies shaking and their muscles contracting in a sort of synchronized, euphoric dance. The fireworks outside their window were nothing compared to the ones banging around in their bodies. Tyler leaned over to the nightstand to blow out the candle, then nestled herself into the safety of Azalia’s arms.

“Happy New Year, my love.” Azalia said.

“Happy New Year, Z.”

It was one twenty-four a.m. when a loud knock at the door woke Tyler from her slumber. Azalia was always a deep sleeper, so naturally, she didn’t budge. Tyler got up quietly and threw on Z’s fuzzy pink robe and matching slippers. The robe was hanging off her body awkwardly, but it was warm, so Tyler didn’t care. She rubbed her eyes groggily and almost tripped over a pile of laundry on her way to the door. She peered through the peep-hole, but all she could see was white. The snow was coming down harder now, and the bitter cold was seeping through the cracks in the door frame. Tyler cinched the robe tight with the waist belt. She planned to open the door just enough to see who could possibly be rude enough to wake her in the middle of the night; but, the second she turned the handle, someone pulled the door from the outside hard enough to drag Tyler along with it.

Tyler landed in the snow on her front porch. She looked up to see Kat and Panch standing over her. It was time. She wanted to smoke. She also wanted to be wrong, but could feel it, and she was suddenly grateful for Azalia’s robe, and the smell of lavender. She stood up silently and followed Kat and Panch to a red Nissan Rogue parked on the street. No one spoke. No one even seemed to breathe. Or blink. Or question what was about to happen. It was the rules of the job. And the rules had to be followed, no matter what.

As the car made its way through the desolate streets, the cold no longer felt cold. In fact, it almost felt hot, so hot that Tyler wanted to strip off the robe, jump out of the vehicle, and run naked through the snow until she just collapsed and vanished into whatever comes after death. But she kept herself calm. She didn’t have a choice, really. She knew Azalia would pay the price if she didn’t do her job. She knew the consequences of disobedience to her boss were far worse than the benefits of such disobedience. She didn’t dare resist. She remembered the five hundred dollars she had had in her pocket. She hoped Azalia would find it in the morning. She prayed.

Suddenly, it was almost morning, and Tyler wondered what had happened and where time had taken the three callous souls in the red Nissan Rogue. She didn’t recognize any of her surroundings. In fact, everything looked happy, and bright, and warm. The snow was gone, and there was a bright orange sunrise peeping up from behind a large mountain to the east.

“We’re here.” Kat said, staring straight out the window of the front passenger’s seat.

“Alright Ty, get out.” Panch ordered.

“What?”

“Get out, I said.”

Tyler opened the door and climbed out of the back seat. Her feet hit the pavement of an unfamiliar street in an unfamiliar town in the middle of who knows where. She shut the door. She needed a cigarette. Kat rolled down the window.

“Go in there.” Kat said, and pointed to a hospital a few blocks down the road.

“And then what? Why?” Tyler asked, still in a fog.

“Just fucking go, alright! They know who you are. Good luck, Ty. I hope that last shift was worth it, dumb bitch.”

Kat rolled up her window. Panch floored it hard enough to leave a set of skid marks on the road and a cloud of black smoke in the air as the car, and the crooks, made their quick, and seemingly timely, escape. Tyler walked towards the hospital, not knowing what to expect, yet feeling somewhat hopeful about her current circumstances, seeing as they weren’t exactly the typical job protocol. Maybe this was a good thing, she thought. Maybe she did have time.

The hospital doors swung open, and a tall woman in a white suit was waiting inside. She had short, blonde hair and a long nose that didn’t quite fit her face. She had kind, hazel eyes that glimmered under the flourescent lights, and a sideways smile that almost seemed to speak life into Tyler’s dying spirit. The woman did not talk, but simply gestured for Tyler to follow her. The women walked silently down several hallways, past multiple empty rooms and into the northwest wing of the building. They took an elevator to the fifth floor. They walked down more hallways and past more rooms. Finally, the tall woman gestured to a yellow door at the end of the corridor, on the right.

Tyler approached the door with caution, then decided to enter, after taking a few deep breaths to calm herself. In a metal chair positioned against the wall sat a young girl, probably in her mid-teens. The girl looked up at Tyler and smiled.

“Here for your shift, Ty?” The girl asked.

“What? How do you know me?” Tyler inquired, slightly terrified, but slightly intrigued.

“We all know you, Tyler. You’re a hero around here. And after today, you’ll be famous forever. Can you believe it? Can you believe they chose you?”

“Who chose me? For what? I don’t…I don’t understand.”

“Don’t be silly, Ty. You know why you’re here. The treatments weren’t working. They weren’t working for anyone. But then they found you. And you were stronger than the rest. You lasted longer, and you always asked for more work. You took more doses than anyone has ever been able to take, and you survived. They didn’t believe me when I told them I was getting better. They didn’t think it was possible. Kat said I was full of shit. But then they tested me. They tested me, and I was regressing. I was getting better. And you were the one on the other side.”

“The other…I, you…but how? Who are you?” Tyler asked, tears welling up in her eyes.

“Ask Panch. I don’t know how. I just do what I’m told and hope I don’t die.” She giggled. “And me, I’m just a girl. My identity isn’t important, Ty. You are the one who matters here.” The young girl replied, her eyes also beginning to fill with tears.

“Wait, but you said after today I will be famous forever. What does that mean?”

“You…well, you…”

The girl’s words were interrupted when the woman in white suddenly stormed into the room and grabbed Tyler. The woman rushed Tyler back out into the corridor and slammed the door behind her. She tied Tyler’s hands up behind her back and put a white sack over her head. The woman put Tyler in a wheelchair and pushed her to another section of the hospital. She removed the sack from Tyler’s head and turned her wheelchair around to face a large, rectangular mirror.

Tyler barely recognized herself. But she recognized the robe and slippers. She thought of Azalia. She wondered if she had found the money, and what time it was, and why she was cold. She wondered when she would be able to smoke, and if her sunflowers were still alive.

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