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Part 9
First Fitting

I was not looking forward to Monday night at all. Friday's shopping trip hadn't been so bad although I was still a little piqued that the girl in the shoe shop thought that I was a girl! My male ego was still taking a bashing over that and my tormentors when I told them thought it was a hoot! School was a drag, not that I'm exactly Einstein, but I do usually get good grades, maybe it was my distraction with the dress (ing).

Of course all of our parents knew that we were going to the dance in costumes, they just didn't know what Rhod and I were dressing as. Just as well I guess. As mum was going to a meeting in Clowne, she volunteered to chauffeur Jules and myself to Bernie's house in Meden Vale and she would pick us up on the way back.

"So what are you two going to the disco as?"

"It's not a disco mum"

"Well dance then"

"We're all going as characters from different Manga stories" Jules explained.

"What's that?"

"Well it's like Japanese comics and cartoons"

"Like those videos Drew and his friends are always watching"

"Yes, but we're not always watching them!"

"So you're helping with the costumes, Juliette?"

"Well I said I would, as I can use a sewing machine quite well, it would take forever if this lot were doing it" she pointed a thumb at me over her shoulder.

"Here we are, tell Mrs Rose that I'll pick you up about nine as long as the meeting doesn't run over. Have fun"

We got out of the camper with our bags of material etc and waited while mum turned it round at the end of the cul-de-sac before we went to knock on Bernie's door. Mum waited until the door was open before she pipped the horn and drove off.


"Hi Bernie"

"Hi Drew, ah great Jules you brought the material. Rhod's just trying his costume on and Ally's helping mum with the drinks."

"I need to speak to your mum" Jules put in.

"They're in the kitchen" which she indicated to my sis.

"Where's Mad?"

"Oh she rang to say she'd be a bit late. Come on we've got the conservatory to ourselves, when is your mum collecting you?"

"About nine she said"

"Great we should get most of it done then"

"I thought there was loads to do?"

"Well Rhod's got his costume, mine just needs a couple of bits adding, and Ally only needs to make her cape."

"That still leaves three costumes"

"True but your sister's dress only needs a little bit of work, it's you and Maddy that we need to work on tonight"

Just then Ally and Juliette came in with the refreshments.

"Hi Ally"

"Hi Drew, Bernie you're mum want's you"

Bernie went to find her mum and Jules took control.

"Rhod will be out in a minute," (he was getting changed in the downstairs bathroom) "we'll check out what needs doing to his costume then we'll start on you and Maddy Drew"

We heard the doorbell go and we could hear Maddy and Bernie exchanging greetings before coming into the conservatory.

"Hi guys"

"Hi Mad"

"Hi Maddy"

"Where's Rhod?"


We all looked to the doorway where the sight of Rhod sort of wearing his costume greeted us.

"Get in here and shut the door" Bernie motioned him in.

"I think you need some help Rhod"

"No kidding"

He had the kimono on but the sash and overjacket were in a mess and the Adidas trainers didn't really go either. The girls fussed around him and soon had the clothing in order; I located the shoes in one of many carrier bags and in short order the costume was looking pretty good.

Juliette, as senior seamstress, took control and quickly pinned the hem and a couple of other bits to make it fit better then sent Rhod to change again admonishing him to not dislodge any pins.

"Ally can you do Rhod's alterations when he gets back?"


"Maddy did you cut out the patterns for you and Drew?"

"Yeah, mum helped me"

"In that case can you and Bernie do the cutting and pinning on yours and Drew can help me with his"


"Come on then"

The next half an hour or so saw frenetic activity from everyone. Rhod returned and whilst Ally made the alterations he set about sorting out everyone's 'accessories' into separate piles, shoes, hosiery, hairpieces where appropriate as well as Ally's staff and Bernie's tail.

"When you guys have finished tacking that I'll machine it up here then you can do the fitting during the week. I'll do Drew's first it won't take long, as it's quite simple really."

"What about this Jules, I've nearly finished" Ally proffered Rhod's costume.

"Rhod you need to try it on again to make sure it's ok then Ally, you could finish your cape off"


"Come on Drew, I need your help with this"

Rhod returned in costume again and Jules gave it the ok so he quickly departed to change back again. So we all set too again and as good as her word, Jules soon had my costume machined up just in time to start on Maddy's now ready more complicated affair.

"Right Drew, go and put it on, I'll send Rhod in to help you zip up in about five minutes ok?"

With heavy heart I replied "ok"

I took the proffered garment and went out to the Rose's downstairs loo to change. I wasn't happy about this but I was stuck with it I guess. I stripped to my y-fronts and socks and then tried to work out how to put this alien garment on. I had just got it up to my waist when there was a knock followed by.

"Drew, its me"

Rhod. I unlocked the door and made sure it was locked again after he was in.

"Nice colour Drew"


I was not happy about the colour, it was if anything a pinky cream and seemed even more girlie than white would. I managed to get my arms into the frilly sleeves and Rhod zipped me up.

"Whoa dude, that dress is short!"

No kidding. I knew it would be shortish but this was ridiculous. If I so much as moved from the vertical my underwear would be on display!

"I can't wear this, it's far too short!"

"Maddy's will be the same"

"I know but she's a girl"


"Well, she doesn't have my bits. Everyone will see me. This is ridiculous."

"Ok but we have to show the others"

"I guess"

"I'll make sure Bernie's parents aren't about then you make a dash for the back room"

Rhod undid the door and checked that the coast was clear, the last thing I wanted was to be caught in a dress, especially this one, by Bernie's parents.

"Come on, it's clear"

I launched myself across the corridor to the conservatory leaving Rhod to bring my boys clothing and turn off the lights. I arrived just in time to see Maddy finishing putting on her own costume.

"Wow Drew, that is just so excellent!"

"I can't wear it Jules, it's too short"

"No shorter than mine" Maddy interjected.

It was true. Although the skirt of Maddy's costume was less full than mine it was the same length and her outfit threatened to show even more than mine did.

"Yeah but you're a girl"

"What's that s'posed to mean?"

"Well," I had to admit I was floundering on this a bit, "you're used to it". I knew as I said it that that was rubbish. I had never seen any of the girls in anything shorter than above the knee except shorts and both our costumes were well above that level.

"Look Drew, it's a costume. It's a sort of parody of what the characters would wear if they were real. It's sort of an idealised version."

"Come on Drew be a sport"

I was starting; well that's not strictly true, I was getting an even more uncomfortable feeling about this whole thing. Dressing up with mum at Christmas was one thing; this was taking me to places I'd rather not visit.

"Look Drew, no ones going to see anything, I've got some frilly tennis panties you can wear and no one will know that you've got more than the average girl" Bernie ended her statement in her Yogi bear voice!

Well that had even me laughing.

"Drew you promised you'd do it"

"That was before I got the costume"

"But it's only a costume, we all see more of you when we have swimming"

She had me there but I had to try anyway.

"But that's different"

"How so?" asked Ally.


"Drew, the dress covers far more of you than your trunks and with Bernie's tennis briefs no one will ever see your bits"

"I guess"

"Anyway you look really cute"

"I do not look cute!"

"If you say so brother mine, but with the wig and everything no ones going to think you look anything but like a cute girl." 

"If you look cute Drew, no one will guess it's you"

I guess there was some twisted logic there.

"Damn, mum'll be here in a few minutes. Drew go and change, I can do the alterations at home. Are you alright doing yours Maddy?"

"Yeah fine, mum will help if I need it"

"Our place next week ok?"

"Fine, same time?"

"Yeah, the olds are going out so we won't be disturbed. Everyone bring your costumes so we can do any final changes in good time. Rhod can you give everyone their bag of stuff?"

Rhod sorted through the bags and gave everyone their stuff.

"I'll bring the other bits on Monday, it's not all finished yet"

Did I mention that Rhod is a perfectionist? Or that he got the wig job because his mum runs a hair salon in the village.

Timing is everything. I had literally just finished doing up my shoes when mum pipped her horn outside.

"Anyone want a lift back?" Jules was asking as I got back to the conservatory. I should explain, Meden Vale is next door to Church Warsop but it's quite a walk from my house, well over a mile. All the others lived somewhere between the Bond and Rose household's so it wasn't usually a problem as we most often met at Maddy or Ally's home.

"Please" Maddy replied

"Dad will be here for me in a few minutes and he'll give Rhod a lift" Ally stated.

"Ok, see you tomorrow"

Mrs Rose came out to see us out and used it as an excuse for five minutes gossip with mum.

We dropped Maddy and her bags off and drove on home.

"When do I get to see your costumes?"

I started to panic.

"They're not ready yet mum" Juliette replied

"Yeah and we want to surprise everyone at the dance so we don't want anyone to see them before then." I didn't want anyone to see mine anyway!

"Ok, ok, I'm sure they will be really good, are you entering the competition?"

"What competition?"

"The fancy dress silly"

Oh no, not more chance of embarrassment.

"We thought we'd enter as a group mum" my sister was full of surprises.

"That's a good idea"

"Well I know a few others that are going to do the same, I think Paul and Clive, Drew's mates, are entering as Batman and Robin"

It was news to me and it would no doubt be news to them, they weren't exactly party people!

The conversation moved onto other things and once home I headed straight off to my room and bed.

I couldn't sleep. All I could think of was the brevity of my costume and the fact that I would have to wear it out in public in less than three weeks. It was all right for Rhod, his costume covered nearly all of him and although it was obviously a girls costume it was at least more 'normal'. Mine on the other hand would stand out if one of the girls were wearing it let alone a conscript girl like me!

You might think I skip a lot of the week in my narratives, but do you really want to hear about double geography, religious education and maths? For five days! Thought not, I certainly don't want to relive them! And I suppose you want to know why we don't do much the rest of the week after school? Homework! We all get tons and Monday is the only night we don't get at least two hours worth. It's not just me and my mates, but most of the kids in school do the same.

Anyway, for a change, the rest of the week seemed to go quickly and the weekend was upon us once more. Saturday would be my racing debut for this year and I guess the excitement of that helped speed the week along. A new season for any sportsman usually means at least some new kit and I was not to be denied! As I often rode the tandem with mum it meant that mum had to have new too, so we both had new skinsuits in our club's white, red and yellow strip and I had also wangled a new pair of yellow track mitts.

As we were racing in the afternoon, there was no Saturday morning ride, instead I was instructed to do that most hateful of jobs - cleaning my bike. Mum and dad for that matter always maintained that there was no excuse for a dirty race bike. It was they claimed physcological too, if your bike was all shiny and bright, it lifted you and got to those who were less well prepared. I don't know whether it worked on that level but it did mean I found the glass in my back tyre in time for dad to change it for me.

I was really proud of my new skinsuit but my helmet is looking a bit sorry for itself

Although dad wasn't a hard case cyclist like me and mum, he maintains all the family bikes and I reckon he could get a job doing it if he wanted to. Even Juliette took an interest in watching the races, although I'm sure it was partly to ogle all the Lycra clad bodies taking part rather than the sport itself! Today I was doing a schoolboy circuit race near Lincoln, mum was going to ride the senior event. I better explain that at Christmas, it was actually a time trial against the clock rather than your Tour de France, whereas today it meant man, or rather boy against boy in earnest combat!

You don't want a blow by blow account do you? The highlights were that it was a nice afternoon but as the race was on an exposed airfield perimeter road, the wind was a problem. But the good news for me was that I won my age group and finished 5th overall, which meant a prize of enough record tokens to buy the new 'Avril Levigne' CD.

Mum did even better. Much to the men's chagrin, she managed to win the sprint for second place after the favourite had made his escape a couple of laps before. Did I mention that mum has ridden for Britain? I guess she intends to again if today was anything to go by!

Maddy Bell 08.02.03
Copyright (c) 2003
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The images used above have been selected from various sources. If you hold the copyright to any image and wish it removed contact me. Thanks to everyone involved in Cosplay, particularly Anime Turnpike.