Duck Shuffler
by Randolph O. Mann

After Jill gave the ‘all-clear’ sign, the group of crouching ladies made their way ninja-style along the western wall of the building until they reached the frosted levered windows of the T. Winston, INC men’s shower room. Each woman had been given an assignment. Jill was in charge of Advance Reconnaissance, Travesty Forward-Lookout, Shilo Rear-Guard, with Karen working as Trailing-Lookout. Helena and Victoria would be handling Demolition and Assemblage. Cinematography was Olivia’s job and Linda was Principal Conniver. Courtney was along as Superfluous Staffing. Once the clamor of hot water against the tiled floor of the spa was loud enough to muffle the sounds generated by their enterprise the girls set to work. Incorporating practiced martial precision these little ladies put into action a strategy months in the development and rooted from the infliction of past perverted abuses. These ladies were on a mission, and Linda’s retaliation was planed as meticulously as it was shrewd. These women had been the humiliated causalities of Randolph’s gambling activities, and paybacks are a bitch!

Linda whispered, “Olivia, have you got your camera ready?”

“All over it Linda.”

The nimble fingers of Victoria and Helena went to work on opposite ends of the middle levered six foot glass panel with screwdrivers until it could be expertly removed. Carefully lowering the frosted pane to the ground allowed eighteen female eyes ample opportunity to gaze into the misty confines of the spa, but only after squeezing together so all could get a peek.

Courtney complained,“I can’t see.”

Shilo ordered, “Move over!”

Olivia commented, “It is so foggy.”

Shilo repeated, “I said make some room, little sister.”

Karen commanded, “Shush!”

Courtney whined, “I still can’t see anything.”

Travesty exclaimed, “There he is!”

Jill asked, “Where?”

Travesty answered, “There.”

Helena queried, “Where is there?”

Linda explained, “Over to the left, and keep your voices down or he will hear us.”

Jill squealed, “There he is.”

Courtney declaimed, “Oh my God!”

Shilo sighed, “Look at those ‘pecs’!”

Victoria speculated, “I think he is wearing his underwear.”

Travesty corrected, “No sweetie, those are soap bubbles.”

Karen sneered, “You think?”

Travesty guaranteed, “Watch when he steps into the shower water.”

Helena confirmed, “Oh my, that is right!”

Courtney reiterated, “That’s what I said.”

Jill exhorted, “Look at these abdominals!’”

Shilo admired, “That man has definitely been working out.”

Karen snarked, “You think?”

Victoria warned, “Wait ladies! He is turning.”

Olivia blurt out, “Damn!”

Helena cried, “Look at that butt!”

Courtney extolled, “Sweet!”

Linda questioned, “Olivia, are you filming this?”

Olivia affirmed, “All over it, Linda.”

Linda hummed, “Sweet.”

Courtney nodded, “That’s what I said.”

Victoria mentioned, “He’s still turning, ladies.”

Travesty exalted, “Wow!”

Shilo advised, “Look at THAT!”

Jill attested, “I am impressed!”

Helena contemplated, “Who would have thought?”

Jill proclaimed, “THAT sure places the 'small feet' theory into question.”

Karen sniggered, “You think?

Courtney pontificated, “There’s an exception to every rule.”

Victoria allowed, “THAT would definitely qualify as exceptional.”

Karen gibed, “You think?”

Linda challenged, “Olivia are you filming THAT?”

Olivia acknowledged, “All over IT, Linda.”

Revenge is a dish best served cold, but under such a sultry circumstance a reprisal doled out poached and steamed in this manor is very good too. Plus, bearing in mind the chronological viewpoint, these ladies were really enjoying their Kodak Moment, having left nothing to chance, except...

A voice shouted, “Freeze! Police Officer! Stay as you are! And do not turn around, ladies! I said, ‘do not turn around’ or I will release the dog! ‘GibLaut’!” (Bark)

Karen shouted, “What the fuck...

Linda soothed, “Don’t panic girls, let's all just relax...”

Courtney quizzed, “Dog? What dog?”

“ ‘Bleib’! (Stay) I will need this whole group of women to face the building and very slowly place both your arms above your heads, then place the palm of each of your hands against the fitness center window in front of you. Ladies, this was not a suggestion! This is an order!"

Shilo objected, “This is total Bull..."

Linda demanded, “I’m afraid I will need to see some form of Identification, Officer.”

Olivia muttered, “He won’t bite, will he?”

“ ‘GibLaut’! (Bark) Understand ladies, I will not ask you a second time for your immediate and full cooperation. If I experience even the slightest hesitation on anyone’s part I will be forced to send in the dog. Do I make myself understood? ‘Hopp’!” (Jump)

Jill brazened, “I have had enough of... OH crap..."

Linda concluded, “I am afraid this policeman is serious and I am sure that dog is, so we had better follow his instructions, girls.”

Travesty whimpered, “Nice doggie?”

“ ‘Bleiben Ruhig, Steht Noch’! (Helper, Stand Still) Now, one at a time starting with the blond take the palm of your hands off of the window and clap them together over your head before folding your fingers together and lowering the heel of your hands onto the top of your head. ‘Platz’!” (Down)

Helena balked, “This is ridiculous..."

Linda conciliated, “Please, just do as you’re told, girls, until I can get this straightened out with his commanding officer.”

Victoria worried, “That dog looks really mean.”

“One at a time, and Blondie you can start, with yours hands still on top of your head, slowly and carefully step back and away from the building. Now I need all the lovely ladies walking single file through the double doors of the gymnasium and into the changing area. ‘Steh!’ (Stand) Ok, just like ducklings I need a straight line. Now forward march ladies! ‘Pass auf, Wache!’ ” (Guard)

Karen snarled, “This guy is really pissing me off!”

Linda protested, “Officer, at what point in this procedure are you planning to present your credentials and establish a probable cause for our detention?”

Jill simpered, “Nice doggie?”

“‘GibLaut’! (Bark) ‘Hopp’!” (Jump)

With the entire cluster of woman recoiling in the presence of the stern canine intimidation, law enforcement’s authority was restored among these rebellious ladies and in mass the female detainees stood down.

Travesty plead,“We’re good!”

Linda entreated, “Where would you like for us to stand, Officer.”

Helena sniveled, “Sit! Nice doggie?”

“ ‘Fuss! (Heel) ‘Sitz’!,’ (Sit) Now ladies, ‘At-Ease’ and face the dog. I will caution you only once, not to lower your hands! This Canine Officer will respond should any of you ladies move. ’Platz’! (Down) ‘Pass auf’!” (Guard) Hey Randy, Olly Olly Oxen Free! We got’em! And you can grab a towel and get out of the shower, these ‘desperados’ are in safekeeping!”

Randy exited the showers and casually sauntered into the changing area with a towel wrapped around his slender waist, drying his hair with a second towel that would eventually be draped over his strapping shoulder.“Good! I thought I would be wrinkled up like a prune before this shameful group of scoundrels was taken into custody."

Courtney squalled, “Does that mean we are going to jail?”

Shilo blubbered, “To jail?...”

Olivia fussed, “I could go to jail..."

Linda asserted, “They can’t put us in jail without formally charging us. So until that happens we are being held against our collective wills and without the aid of counsel, I might add. And I demand to speak with my lawyer, Anita Morris, and with the On-Scene Commanding Officer. NOW!

“ ‘GibLaut’!’ (Bark ) ‘Hopp’!” ( Jump)

Jill , “Oh my God!

Victoria expostulated, “Shit!"

Courtney pouted, “I really don’t like your dog.”

Randy laughed, “I’d be careful, ladies! On-Scene Commanding Officer looks hungry to me!”

“ ‘Lass das sein! (Don’t do that) ‘Fuss!’ (Heel) Ladies, by my count each female in this group is in violation of numerous sections of the local City Penal Code Section 7 of 10. Your actions have placed all of you well within the parameters the Invasion of Privacy Statute which makes it a crime to use stealth to observe and/or display a subject that is not apprised of the being scrutinized. Thus each of you women can expect to be cited for Obscenity, Criminal Scopophilia, Courtship Disorder and Emotional Manipulation and this list could easily be expanded once the District Attorney is made privy to the goings on here today after reading my detailed report.”

Travesty cried out, “Damn!”

Karen pondered, “This sounds very serious.”

Helena wept, “Linda do something! We have careers!”

Linda argued, “Officer there must be some sort of mistake?”

“Yes there was, and all nine of you ladies made it! Understand, your estimation that the present situation is very serious is dead on! At present I will be contacting the Desk Sergeant to secure a paddy wagon large enough to facilitate the transfer of such a large group of detainees.”

Linda bargained, “Please Officer, there must be some thing that can be discussed concerning a remedy to this very unfortunate episode.”

“I am afraid my hands are tied in this matter. As long as Mr. Mann is willing to proceed with this slippery situation you will be transported downtown and the really bad news is, all of you young ladies will be joining the current Detention Center population at City Center. On the other hand the good news is that by adding nine very attractive inmates in-mass to the female population it will spread the carnal work load between all nine of you pretty little girls allowing for a much more manageable individual application.”

Victoria wailed, “Oh my God!”

Courtney professed, “That defiantly sounds bad.”

Jill begged, “Linda do something!”

Linda beseeched, “Randolph, we need to talk!

“Yes, Boss. How can I be of service?”

“I was hoping I could call upon your sense of decency that would allow you to take the high road by simply explaining to the arresting Officer that your accusations are being dropped and you have no objections to our release upon our own recognizance.”

“Why would I do that? What's in it for me, ladies?”

The full brunt of their pathetic bargaining position gradually came into focus for the group of female lovelies as their expressions of annoyance and ferocity gave way to anxiety and genuine worry.

Jill feared, “What does Randy really want?”

Karen noted, “That would be our ‘sixty-four-thousand-dollar-question’, Ladies.”

Travesty censured, “Linda, you got us into this.”

Linda calmed, “Let’s not panic girls. I need to determine what Mr. Mann has in mind as proper encouragement to bestow some leniency in our direction.”

Victoria avowed, “Personally, I don’t care what it is I just want to sleep in my very own bed tonight.”

Shilo added, “And alone!”

Courtney attested, “That’s what I was think too!”

Linda capitulated, “Ok, Randy you seem to have us over a barrel, so to speak. What are your terms?”

“First off I want that camera awarded to me as your token of good faith.”

Linda accepted. “Done! Olivia, give him the camera.”

Without any hesitation Olivia removed the camera strap from her hand and quickly surrendered the manually operated mini-cam into Randy’s maniacal care so his nimble fingers could quickly be educated upon the proper operation of his new ‘toy’. Judging from the triumphant grin that gradually slid across Randolph’s countenance all the females at hand clearly understood their liability was far from satisfied.

Randy mused, “I wonder if Ed Wood started out this way?”

Courtney wondered, “Who is Edward Wood?”

Shilo cautioned, “You don’t even want to know, Courtney.”

Helena instructed, “Just button it, Little Sister, we are in enough trouble without anyone encouraging his imagination.”

Linda supplicated, “Randy, we gave you the camera. Now will you now please tell the nice officer with the belligerent dog that we can go?”

Using directorial skills rivaling that of Sam Peckinpah, Randy focused his newly acquired camera and panned along the ‘Wild Bunch’ fidgeting before the lens. Randy artistically stopped at each detainee momentarily in order to zoom the lens into a perfect ‘head shot’ pose of each captive as Randolph recorded in pictures the unmistakable identities of each of the trembling women.

Randy philosophized, “Now ladies, you all know what they say, ‘turn about is fair play’, ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’ . And a soapy shower for a soapy shower.”

Victoria dissented, “No way!”

Jill chafed, “This is outrag...”

Karen prayed, “Linda do something!”

Olivia raged, “This cannot be happening!”

“‘GibLaut’!” (Bark) My partner says, ‘Way’.”

Linda communicated, “Can we all just relax, please! I want to summarize these negotiations for all present. In exchange for the camera and the opportunity to film all nine of us bathing al la natural, Randy will not press charges, while the kind Officer will call off his dog/partner and release us from custody.”

Randy concurred, “Pretty much. But a fairer idiom would be to say, ‘What was good drake is also good for this flock of ducks.”

Travesty brooded, “Us, naked, together in the shower?”

Helena worried, “And he plans to film us?”

Victoria forewarned, “Linda, this is a very bad career choice.”

Linda mocked, “So do any of you fashion divas believe registering as a sex offender or explaining police mug shots to the media is better for your professional image than clearing up a sexy group shower scene leaked among the paparazzi? Ladies, I suggest we are stuck between a rock and Randy’s ‘hard place’.”

Courtney inquired, “Did Randy say soapy”

Karen dismissed, “That is SO not going to happen!”

“ ‘Hopp’!” ( Jump) My partner thinks you ladies might be stalling.”

Linda demurred, “Where would you like for us to stand, Officer?”

Helena quivered, “Sit! Nice doggie?”

Courtney implored, “Can we lower our hands?”

“ ‘Fuss! (Heel) ‘Sitz’!,’ (Sit) Now ladies, ‘At-Ease’ and face the dog.”

Under the watchful eyes of Randy, the ‘nice’ Officer, and his faithful partner, the nine desperate women formed a half circle before kicking their shoes off. A pile of clothes in the center of the famine arc began to build. Blouses and tops fell next, then the girls wiggled free of their designer jeans leaving themselves clad in only lacy lingerie. Each of the pretty detainees glanced up from their efforts in the frantic hope of finding a sympatric chink in Randolph’s perverted and rancorous armor. But they found none, as more prodding from the dog was solicited in order to return the women to the task at hand.

“ ‘GibLaut’!” (Bark) Drop the bras and panties too, little girls. Randy, these lovely ladies are taking to stripping like ducks take to water. ‘Sitz’!,’ (Sit)”

“I think you are right, Officer, and I do believe it would be safe to say these women are now ‘Duck’ naked.”

Shilo fulminated, “Very funny, Randy”

Karen snapped, “You’re a real ‘punny’ fellow, Randolph!”

Jill grumbled, “I don’t think this is funny at all. It is cold. Look at my arms.”

“Judging by the attractive gooseflesh appearing upon the cheeks of your gorgeous bottoms I think a nice warm shower is in order. So could I get all nine of your shivering women to mosey on down the tiled floor and into the showers?"

In unison this flock of freshly uncovered females withdrew from their nest of recently cast off textile adornments leaving the last vestiges of modesty in the wake while shielding their private parts with various combinations of hands, arms and elbows from the “gentlemen’s” gaze and the lens of the ever present camera. Vulnerable and acquiescent, the women reluctantly abandoned their belongings while shuffling singlewide into the showering area to ‘embrace’ the water torture, of a public trial-by-bubbles that awaited this naked team of anatine. The swaying posteriors of the girls as the nude column waddled across the wet and slippery tiled floor punctuating how these ladies may honk like ducks, but they sure do not walk like fuliguline.

Olivia murmured, ”This is so bad!”

Courtney observed, “Girls, I think we could have thought this though better.”

Shilo spat, “No shit, Courtney!”

Karen interjected, “Don’t start playing the blame game, ladies. We are all invested in this unfortunate situation and everyone needs to pull together and in the same direction.”

Travesty snipped, “Save it for work, Karen.”

Randy called, “Lather up, women!”

Olivia cracked, “Ya, ya, ya, asshole!”

Victoria blustered, “You can JUST bite me, Randolph!”

“Feel the moment girls, work with the soap suds. Action!”

Linda erupted, “Action THIS, Randy.”

“Talent! Listen up! Talent, the shot requires more foam worked into the nooks and crannies and please ‘stay in the moment’ with this scene, duckies. Just remember, Lawrence Welk might have found the Champagne Lady in a gymnasium under very similar circumstances to this, a one, and a two, and awww,”

Helena squalled, “You can KISS MY FAT..."

Linda entreated, “This is embarrassing enough without your running commentary, Randy.”

From the steamy recesses of their very communal shower the T. Winston, INC ‘bubble fairies’ watched in resigned horror as Randy competed his filming and the police officer gathered up their stockpiled articles of clothing before depositing them down the gym’s laundry shaft. “Here goes everything.”

“Damn, Randy, those women are calling you every name there is except a child of God, and you are still able to just shine them on. That is awe-inspiring self-control, my Mann!”

“It’s just like water off a duck’s back, and you can please tell the boys down at the station thank-you for the heads up and I will be down to cash in their markers tomorrow.”

The End