Star Me Kitten, Part 1

(by, 03 July 1998)

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Star Me Kitten (Part 1 of 2)

   Gillian was lying in bed. She lit a cigarette with rapt anticipation. As soon
as she'd taken the first draw from it she slid her right hand down the curve
of her abdomen, inside her thigh, and began a patient, unhurried masturbation.
She allowed her thoughts to free range as she did it, passing from one set of
pleasantries to another in a way which made her patient believer's approach
all the more sexual and sensual.
   But even as she moved herself towards the inevitable climax, the thoughts
which drove Gillian were dark and lonely. Only the knowledge that she would
she be here keep the darkness from engulfing her. She was special- not merely
a believer like Gillian, but a true believer, versed in the texts and the
ideas behind them.
   Professor MacMurty drifted into her thoughts. He was standing on the loading
dock, patiently working his cigar with the stylish grace of an educated man.
Gillian drew deeply on her cigarette, allowing the inhale to flow into her
waiting lungs. It was a good feeling, one which made the orgasm which followed
it all the more special.
   For a moment at least, the dark thoughts faded.

   Marianne was sitting out back, lounging in her chair. She was just finishing
up Moby Dick, and as a celebration, she was lighting a cigarette. Her mother
came outside, carrying a tall glass of ice tea. She watched her daughter apply
the flame to her cigarette with a certain amount of motherly pride. Amanda had
taken to smoking with all the skill of a student of the art.
   That was what it was, if you asked Amanda. Not an habit, and certainly not an
addiction. No, it was an art. Practised by attractive women the world over.
Marianne had never spoken of it, but she obviously understood the nature of
what she was and what she was doing. An attractive smoker made a statement
when she smoked. 
   Marianne was making the most wonderful statement.
   She removed the cigarette from her mouth and demonstrated the skill of her
nose exhale as she took the iced tea. She offered Amanda the cigarette and she
took it happily, enjoying the shared nature of the moment.
   "Any regrets ?" Marianne asked.
   "About what ?"
   "About deciding to let me smoke."
   Amanda pursed her lips and spread smoke into the backyard, hopelessly trying
to fill it.
   "Not a one. How's the pre-studying going ?"	
   Marianne laughed. "I can't say I like Moby Dick, but I like the idea that
I'll be able to say I read it as well as understanding cryptic references to
it one the X-Files. Funny, but a surfer dude doesn't seem like the type of guy
who would have read Moby Dick cover to cover."
   "Those references are less obscure than the Fiji Mermaid, no ?"
   Marianne took the cigarette back, drew on it easily, and nodded. "I suppose,
but that whole thing about wanting a peg leg- it's hard to believe."
   "Carter does create caricatures, to a point. Are you really going to take
that summer course ?"
   Marianne actually managed a giggle, although they were moving into a more
serious subject. Amanda knew that as always her daughter was quickly drifting
in that direction, analysing as she stalled. When she finally answered, there
was no question what they were both thinking about.
   "I suppose I could ride my bike- but what about the rainy days ?"
   "I don't have a ton of money for a car, honey. And you don't know the first
thing about driving."
   "Just get me a car with a working cigarette lighter and I'll be all set."
    "No question about whether you need a car, I suppose ?"
   "No," Marianne said, honestly, and then handed the cigarette back to her

   Angel was sitting in her car- well, the rental car. There was a small plastic
white disc hanging off the key chain. It was a `no-smoking-in-the car'
reminder. Angel, no stickler for rules, stuck her left hand out the open
window so that the smoke from her cigarette would not fill up the car.
   Pembroke Falls was the sort of place which could be described as an easy job.
The people were quiet and unassuming, the town was not expecting a person like
her to walk their streets.
   The university was another matter. There might be someone there who was ready
for her- lately she had noticed that the other side always seemed to be
nipping at her heels, as though there was an information leak somewhere inside
the group. She had her own list of potential subjects, but what was the point
   The group existed with the acceptance of moles and counterintelligence. It
was a part of their every action.
   Like sending her here.
   She brought the cigarette to her mouth, inhaled slowly, thought about dear
sweet Gillian.
   No one else saw her that way, but Angel did because that was what the girl-
woman required. Just a pretense of true understanding was enough to ensure her
cooperation. She would do whatever she asked, whether it be simple observation
or desperate action.
   She picked up her cell phone, then put it down again, deciding to instead
work her cigarette. It was a beastly hot and humid day- a pack of cigarettes
opened in the early morning would be stale and moist by midday. All the more
reason to smoke the ones she had before the sun rose too high in the summer
   Gillian would be waiting for that call. Probably sitting at home, smoking and
masturbating and hoping.
   What for, not even Amanda was sure. There were some things even she could not
see- nor would she have wanted to.
   Still, she would wait, and Angel needed to prepare for the woman. Amanda. As
always, there was a key, and in this case that was the mother and the PhD
student with the right attitude for her potentially exciting research. The
group was, as always, interested not only in the research, but its
conclusions, and that was where Angel came in.
   The anti-smoking bill lay gloriously dead, killed in the way only politicians
could destroy something. They had the tobacco companies reeling. Then again,
the tobacco companies had paid the group more money than would ever be known,
even after the final victory. They had dug, and cajoled, and persuaded, and of
course they also had allies who were elected.
   But it would be back. If there was inglorious aspect of the american
political system, it was the recyclable nature of legislation. Change was as
easy to undo as the line item veto or prohibition. Just because the people
spoke out of one side of their mouths on Monday did not mean the other end of
their lips would not find a voice on Friday. That was the nature of this
   Angel picked up the cell phone, made a call to a landline switching box, and
then another call. Her students were not her only ally- it never paid to
depend on one link in any chain. And she wanted to tie this up without
interacting with Amanda. It was still early in this piece of work, and the
girl was the one she needed to see.
   She allowed herself to smile at the eagerness of her other contact.

   Amanda was studying the information she'd gathered so far with wry amusement.
There was no question that the twenty interviews she'd done so far were all
unique. While there were certain common themes encased in each one, the common
thread was that all the girls she'd spoken to enjoyed smoking and when asked
if they felt addicted, only two said yes.
   Ten said that advertising had played a role in their decision to smoke, but
Amanda was not convinced that was, in and of itself, a bad thing.
   Another interesting common theme was the type of cigarettes the girls smoked.
As Amanda lit one of her own Marlboro Lights 100s, she looked at the
breakdown. Eighteen of the twenty smoked cigarettes of the 100 or 120 variety.
Seventeen smoked lights, two smoked mediums and only one smoked what they
called full-flavoured cigarettes. Fifteen said that they thought cork filters
were a turnoff.
   Five of the girls were practising lesbians, of those, four had girlfriends
who smoked.
   Only eight of the other fifteen had boyfriends who smoked or felt they would
only date boys who smoked.
   All twenty felt that smoking made them more sexually attractive and half of
them had been approached by adults who either thought they were older or were
interested in them anyway. One of the girls was dating a college professor-
she didn't say who but Amanda got the impression it was someone right here at
the university.
   Only half the girls smoked with their parents permission. The other half
expressed varying levels of concern their parents would find out, but none
said that would lead to them quitting.
   None of them thought trying to eliminate teenage smoking was the right
approach and most of them favoured either lowering the smoking age or
eliminating it entirely.
   Contrary to public opinion, smoking and drug use didn't seem to be linked.
Only four of the girls she'd spoken with had tried pot, and of them only one
had experimented with other drugs.
   Of course, none of the information was set in stone- it was certainly
possible that there had been lies told, but they'd all seemed like pretty
honest kids.
   Amanda drew deeply on her cigarette, closed down the Powerbook, and looked at
her daughter. She was lying on her stomach, taking in the sun. A cigarette
rested in her left hand and she drew on it at random intervals. The style was
still well-conceived and Amanda wondered if heredity played a part in that.
She reminded her of herself at that age, smoking as she still did now for pure
pleasure, looking so comfortable.
   There had been other changes as well.
   They had always gotten on fairly well. There had never been the sort of
tensions which made family life so complicated. Oh, there were disagreements,
arguments, even fights. But over the long term, nothing onerous. Still, as
Amanda had hoped and expected, ever since she'd allowed Marianne to start
smoking, things had improved.
   More talking- more honest and open dialogue.
   So why did Amanda feel uneasy ?
   Marianne drew deeply on her cigarette, exhaling the smoke in a slow and lazy
way so that it surrounded her like a shield of smoke. She lay in it, not
knowing how utterly gorgeous she was like that, a woman in the prime of her
carefree days, when smoking and reading on a hot summer afternoon was a right
rather than a luxury.
   "What are you thinking about, Mom ?" the girl asked.
   "What makes you think-"
   Although she couldn't see the smile, she felt it.
   "You're always thinking, Mom. That's what's so special about you. You always
have something on your mind, don't you  ?"
   "I suppose. I was just marveling at how naturally gorgeous you look, lying
there smoking."
   Amanda's own inhale was stylish, full-bodied, a luxury of time in its own
   "I learned that from you, Mom. You're the one who can turn people on with
your smoking."
   Her exhale was slow, a nose exhale designed to prevent the smoke from her
lungs traveling away from her eager nose and mouth. She drank it in a second
time, wondering at people who found the activity disgusting. It was marvelous.
She blinked in the hot sun and drew on the cigarette again before speaking.
   "I'll take that as a compliment. But you know who really looks good smoking
is Gillian. The first time I saw her was in class and I knew right away that
she had to be a smoker."	
   "I know what you mean. Sometimes you can tell just by looking at someone that
they smoke. She's got that in a major way. I could watch her smoke all day.
You can see that she knows it, too."
   "Yes, but she's not arrogant about it. She looks good smoking, but you'd
never feel as though she was touting it. And she should. If I were her-"
   "Mom, you're not saying that no one ever watches you smoke, are you ? Because
people must-"
   "I suppose, but I try not to think about it that way."
   "I bet there are a few professors who would love to be you, interviewing
attractive young smokers out on the steps. Hell, just watching them would be a
kick for the average guy."
   "Well, I don't get quite so much out of it, but yeah, I suppose. It's always
fun talking to people about why they smoke."
   Marianne rolled over, exhaling as she did.
   "Are you getting close to being done ?"
   Amanda laughed. When it came to research, done was almost never the state you
found yourself in.
   "I need at least ten more teenagers, but I have seven appointments lined up.
If you know anyone who'd be interested-"
   "I can think of two or three offhand, if you haven't already seen them. Can
you tell me if you haven't interviewed someone without violating
   "I suppose."
   "Carol ?"
   "I wouldn't call Carol."	
   "Brenda Longfellow ?"
   "Brenda smokes ?" Amanda said, surprised.
   "Yeah. Brenda was the first one of us to start."
   "Brenda ? Her mother's a doctor !"
   Marianne laughed at that. "It's one of the best kept secrets in the Falls
that Dr. Longfellow smokes. I don't think half a dozen people know."
   "How old was Brenda when she started ?"
   "Her mom wouldn't let her smoke until she turned 13. She's the youngest
smoker I know. From what Brenda says, her mother goes to Janson Mills to buy
cigarettes and only smokes at home. But she's really into it."
   "I just think that's so hard to believe."
   "Why, because she's a medical doctor ?"
   Marianne drew on her cigarette, thought about it. Did being a doctor mean
that you were supposed to be anti-smoking ?
   Basically, it did. There was no way around that. If you were a doctor,
smoking was on your bad thing list in a big way.
   And yet....
   "I'm intrigued. Do you think that Brenda would sit down and talk with me
about it ?"
   "I can ask her. the worst thing she could do is say no, right ?"
   "I suppose. Are you two friends ?"
   That was always such an awkward question. As well as Amanda understood
Marianne there were things about her daughter that she did not understand and
one of them was just what constituted a friend these days. Marianne had a
tendency not to talk about those sorts of things. Amanda felt like she should
be cool enough to know even though it was never a topic of conversation.
   "Casually, yeah. There's a certain solidarity among the smokers, you know ?
It's kind of cool."
   "Yes.  I was hoping that you'd discover that along the way. It's one of the
most pleasant things about being a smoker."
   "Can I ask a serious question, Mom ?"
    Amanda was not always in favour of serious questions. There were times they
did more harm than good, or simply could not be properly answered. But
Marianne certainly had the right to ask them. 
   "I suppose that we'll be talking more about the concept of you and a car."
   "No. I was wondering why you never were willing to talk to me about smoking.
All those years- you never really talked about it once- never told me why you
smoked or even why I shouldn't. Didn't you ever want to talk about it ?"
   "Of course I wanted to talk about it. But I felt like talking about it would
unduly affect your decision, and until I found out that you were smoking, I
had no idea how I felt about the idea. It was a question which I couldn't
answer for myself. How could I discuss it with you ?"
   Amanda looked at her cigarette thoughtfully, trimmed it, and then inhaled
   "I was a little hurt when I found out that you were talking to other girls
about smoking and not me."
   "I never thought about it that way."
   "That I was so thoughtless ?" Amanda asked, trying at once not to be hurt and
hoping that she hadn't hurt her daughter.
   "Well, yeah. I mean, here you are talking to Carol, but not to me. That's
disheartening in a way." 
   Amanda drew deep on her cigarette, enjoying the way the tip hissed. "I knew
she was smoking, that she was a smoker-"
   "Ouch. You've got a point there, don't you ?"
   "It's probably best if we don't fight about something we've been so
fabulously agreeing on, no ?"
   Marianne quickly agreed, and all was well again.

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