Sarah walked over the knee-high hedge, then paddled around the pool, fiddled with the blinking lights box for a few moments, opened the sliding glass doors and feel on the couch, flat on her face. She really liked that particular couch -- a large, L-shaped Italian design, upholstered in white leather. Real leather, not that "euroleather" plastic crap.
She especially liked planting herself face first on it, and she lay there, enjoying the feeling. People claim to not perceive nor conceive the difference between real leather and socialist substitutes, but that'd be the difference right there, on plain display : a girl like Sarah wouldn't have spent her time after school flat on her face on a proletarian couch upholstered in plastic. She didn't necessarily understand that's what she was doing, or why, it is true, nor could she have explained what the problem is or what drives her to do something else. At her age understanding came fragmentarily, by fulguration, in starts and spurts ; but then again she still did it, regardless, and besides : for most adults understanding is nothing like a reliable, reliably always there, bedrock of daily activty. The average adult is more akin to the ideal twelve year old than anything else, and just like the ideal twelve year old the average adult can't really explain the causes driving them to specific activity, to say nothing of the causes driving them to specific inactivity.
In the undisturbed still Sarah somehow perceived something, maybe like breathing. The entire place was deserted. She didn't particularily know why this time, nor did she all that much care. The place seemed to fill to excess in spurts and then lay empty, hollow, abandoned for most of the time ; it was supposed to be a home, it was built as a home not to mention officially designated one in all the abundant associated paperwork (which is a manner of speaking, no paperwork had seen any paper in decades), yet it worked more like any other industrial space of the postmodern era : ready capacity, to be used intensively briefly and otherwise kept out of mind and off the books. It was perhaps unavoidable an outcome, the floor space being so large, so very unmanageably large... Sarah once read in a short story, perceived in its atmosphere the implication that not only there'd be such a thing as "the women of the house", meaning, the women who live in a particular house, as a personal identifier, like you'd say "the goths" at school, but that they were expected, or required, or in any case "had to" keep the house clean themselves! As a thing, like goths have to wear black, I mean what if you don't ? Maybe they put up with it, once, or maybe... But you could also be kicked out, right ?
The notion of a space so tight, so thick with women that you could be meaningfully kicked out sent a sort of shiver through the back of her neck. In reality, in actual, lived Reality as Sarah lived it things worked differently -- even the bus driver, that was supposed to drop them all off one by one at their door, had given up on the notion five weeks in, and simply dropped the whole baker's dozen of fifth graders at a suburban intersection somewhat geometrically closest to all their respective cul-de-sacs. They walked the rest of the way, a half mile or so over their own and their neighbour's lawns and golfing courses, or whatever they had "in the back", this in preference of spending the next two hours spinning around like a toy schoolbus through elaborate roadways in endless circles. This wasn't even his idea, yes the bus driver was a young black man, but no he wasn't lazy nor disinclined from doing his job, to the very letter. As far as he was concerned he'd have been more than happy to spend the next two hours thus spinning, each and every day. After all, what else do you sign up for, when you take up the job of bus driver ? But nobody wanted to be the last to get off the bus. It wasn't practical to buy the kids cars at the age of twelve -- that being the only impediment, otherwise their older teenaged siblings all drove, their own, imported, mechanical jewels -- and so there was no way out. The arguments over the itinerary became so embittered, and what's more they ended up taking such a majority of the school board argument time that eventually the vice-principal took Willie to the side and told him to just do it. There was no way out. So Willie broke the rules, and who knows, maybe even the law, every day. Instead of doing his job, which he'd have had no problem doing in the first place -- but if he did do his job, the other people, the rich people, the important people couldn't very well live, or at the least so they claimed. And so... what was poor ol' Joe to do ? Or hum, I think his name might've been Willie. Whatever.
There was that shiver again... Sarah turned, and looked, and all the blood rushed to her limbs, or to her bones, or in any case somewhere else than where it normally rushed. There, slightly above her, pretty as could be, stood a tiger. His majestic head slightly inclined, his jewel eyes looking straight into hers. It lifted a paw, not hesitatingly, but not purposefully either, just held it up. It seemed to Sarah to be larger than her, just that one paw, held up, right there. Sarah exhaled sharply, reached around her waist and pulled down, bunched up evertything under her knees, then breathlessly started fingering herself. Sarah's grandmother, Rachel, who had survived the Holocaust, once told her so. She said, shortly before finally expiring, aged a hundred and two, "Daughter," she said, as if she were talking to gran'ma Alice, "Daughter, mark well my words. If you ever see yourself stuck for your life, and you don't know what to do, and there's no way out, lift everything over your head and open your birdy in your hand".
That's what the old woman had said, clear as a bell, and it had provided Sarah's entry into recreational masturbation a couple of years thence, a couple years ago. One day, in the shower, feeling strangely frisky (though obviously she neither realised it nor would've called it that) Sarah perceived she absolutely has to practice said opening, the implicit splitting, the true emergency measure because... well, one never knows when one could end up stuck for life. One has to be prudent and prepared like they say in girl scouts, and so... She tried a number of things, and in due course of such trials made a few discoveries, which she put to good use a few times a day ever since. Speaking truthfully, as often as not Sarah's faceplanting was followed by bottom probing, neither the tiger nor the Holocaust surviving great-grandmother necessarily needed any involvement ; yet there they were in the instant case.
Sarah looked at the animal, unmoved, and turned around. To tell the truth its massive, stone-like presence wasn't really all that conducive. Resting her weight on her knees she pushed her bottom into its face, which produced at first a very mellow, pleasant sensation of softness -- Sarah knew from her father that indeed real leather made from tanning the hide of dead animals is a lot better than "official", government-issue leather, made from petroleum jelly ; but she didn't know, for her father not having told her (as his father in turn perhaps never told him) that there's no real need to shave the animal first -- rather, leaving the hair on the respective hide delivers even better results. She wiggled her butt on the tiger's soft, wonderfully soft face and then what came next was outright electrifying. The tiger gave her a lick! Not a tiny, probing, anxious flick of the tongue like Johanna at the pj party, either, but a wet and slobbering, wide and all around lick, she was drenched from thigh to shoulderblade as a result. "It's all tiger spit, I'm covered in tiger spit" thought Sarah furiously, as she started convulsing in her first real orgasm. The tiger continued the application of his rough, deliciously rough tongue upon the dying girl, and she just could not handle it, at all.
Soon it had enough and wandered off, and a little while later Sarah also came to, and went upstairs to take a shower, which took her longer than usual, and by quite the margin at that, even though she never did manage to replicate the heights of earlier sensation -- then, or ever in her life. Even later there were some junkets on the news about the escaped tiger being recaptured, but nobody noticed that, everyone being very busy with something else, and generally speaking somewhere else -- an outcome not particularily difficult to obtain given the endless expanses of this contemporary reconstruction of Siberia.