The Graduate Education of Malcolm Covington

by Elizabeth Bennett

CHAPTER 1

Malcolm Weatherby Covington, possessed of considerable talent, refinement and pride, was a tenured professor of English at Columbia University in New York and a Renaissance Man withal. An autodidact, he spoke seven languages fluently (two of them dead ones), dabbled in Flemish perspectival painting, played the viola and had composed a number of string quartets in the baroque style, several of them having been performed in public to warm, if not enthusiastic, acclaim.

At fifty-five, he was barely beginning to gray at the temples and was still elegantly, almost imperially slim. A paragon of sartorial impeccability, he had all his clothes tailored in London - suits in Saville Row, shirts and ties (he had a predilection for floppy velvet bows) in Jermyn Street and he purchased Swiss shoes in the Burlington Arcade. His socks and underlinen (as he preferred to call it), though not bespoke, were always of silk. He would not be caught dead buying so much as a handkerchief at Brooks Brothers in Manhattan.

He was, it almost goes without saying, an accomplished oenophile, knowing all there was to know about French wines: give Professor Covington a glass of Burgundy and he could name not merely the year of its vintage, but the village and even the vineyard of its provenance. He could say as well whether the grapes had come from the north- or south-facing slope of the vineyard.

No living person knew more than he about 18th century English literary arcana - he knew the century's minor poets and its most obscure pamphleteers. He could recite from memory the contents of the Earl of Rochester's weekly laundry list for the entire year 1712. Professor Covington was a Force to Be Reckoned With at meetings of the Modern Language Association, whose presidency he had held - twice - while still only in his '30's.

The professor was a singularly successful procurer of grants, making him the principal breadwinner for his department. He was on a first name basis with the senior staff of the National Endowment for the Humanities and had sat on its board. For more than twenty years Professor Covington always managed to receive a lavish grant of his own to spend summers in London, where he had his personal carrel in the library stacks of the British Museum (with his name inscribed on a small brass plaque). Though American-born (in Manhattan, no less), he concealed his New York origins with a respectable patina of an English accent. He said 'shed-yule' instead of 'schedule' and referred to the final letter of the alphabet as 'zed.'

He was an authentic polymath with an international reputation, or at least one in the English-speaking world sufficient to earn him more invitations to lecture in Edinburgh, Capetown, Toronto, New Delhi, Auckland, Brisbane or Dublin than he had time or inclination to accept, so he accepted on the basis of the season, travelling to the southern hemisphere, say, during New York's winter and generally avoiding equatorial regions (except, of course, if the honorarium ran into the high four figures). He always traveled first class and stayed in the best suites in the best hotels. Though he was an academic, he managed to live like a prince.

Having never married, and always in receipt of royalties from numerous textbooks he had written or edited and from articles he had authored for encyclopedias and magazines, Professor Covington had earned considerable disposable income over the years and had invested it wisely - speculating in precious metals was another of his manifold talents - so wisely that he was, unlike many of his fellow academics, exceedingly well-off, having regularly withdrawn his speculative profits to place them in triple-tax-free municipal bonds. Consequently, he lived in a spacious apartment on Riverside Drive (furnished in Chippendale and hung with minor Gainsboroughs from Sotheby's), overlooking the Hudson and the Palisades, not far from the campus on Morningside Heights and so only a short stroll away.

He did not own a car, preferring a limousine service or a taxi when shopping, running errands or going out for the evening. He was a lifetime member of the Harvard Club (he had earned his doctorate at Harvard) and played squash there twice a week. He was also, as one might expect, a devotee of grand opera and held an annual subscription to a box at the Met. A gourmand as well, he had a favorite table at Lutèce, its availability secured in perpetuity by a handsome emolument provided to the maitre d'hotel each Christmastime.


If Professor Covington had a serious weakness, it was for young women, whose intimate company he sought as often as he could arrange it, which was, in fact, two or three times a week and sometimes more often. The Department of English had, for more than two decades, rendered up to him a ready supply of suitable female English majors and graduate students who were eager to exploit this particular weakness of his.

The professor, you see, happened to be, shall we say, rather well-endowed not only in matters pertaining to the English department, but in other matters as well - matters of keen interest to certain young co-eds who coveted top grades and top recommendations to graduate school, but who lacked the necessary intellectual wherewithal to attain them. Invariably such co-eds were reciprocally well-endowed, that is to say, they were particularly attractive young women not above earning a better grade on their backs than they could ever hope to earn in a classroom.

Professor Covington was no less than a highly educated, brilliant and articulate ... satyr.

But Professor Covington always delivered, both in promised grades or recommendations as well as in the performance of his extracurricular duties, which, because of his vaunted physical endowments, made him a sought-after commodity even beyond the confines of the English department. Although he did not like to admit it, he stooped to the occasional one-night fling with, say, a pretty history major who happened to be taking one of his courses. But, as a rule, he generally stuck with the English majors, finding them to have more, shall we say, depth, not that he talked with any of them more than was minimally necessary to charm them into bed.

A chance pregnancy was, of course, always a danger, but the professor had solid connections at Presbyterian Hospital and always anonymously paid every cent of the bill (putting a thousand or two each year into the hospital endowment fund as well), with two weeks on St. Croix and forgiveness of missed exams thrown in as a bonus. So on the half dozen-odd occasions that a co-ed was found to be with the professor's child (he was never sure of the exact number, having a quirky memory when it came to such irrelevant statistics), nothing - literally nothing - ever came of it. One girl, it is true, had committed suicide after her abortion, but she was considerate enough to have left no note and so the matter went nowhere.

And that was really the most remarkable thing about the professor: how skillfully he navigated the turbulent and perilous waters of political correctness which had inundated American campuses starting in the early 1980's and had reached such a flood tide by the late 1990's that any male professor even suspected of old-fashioned male chauvinism (regardless of tenure or fame) was subject to censure if not outright termination. Take Back the Night rallies in condemnation of date rape had become commonplace. And these were to protest date rape by students. For a male faculty member even to think about a sexual liaison with a female student was like playing with nitroglycerine. Like Stalin's Reign of Terror, when people could be imprisoned (or shot) for having anti-Soviet dreams, the Commissars of Political Correctness (the new Thought Police of the Western world), would pass sentence on the basis of ideas alone, ideas which had never even seen the light of action.

As we said, the professor was as adept in his navigation of these dangerous waters as he was in the exercise of his myriad other talents. In fact, he wrote frequent letters to the New York Times excoriating even the vaguest whiff of sexual inequality: one such letter proposed the official enshrinement into Standard American English of the androgynous pseudopronouns 'he/she' and 'his/her'. These letters were often published and were then cut out and posted on campus bulletin boards. Girls who had slept with the professor had to laugh whenever they read one, but he had been so good to them (in bed as well as in the matter of getting them into their preferred graduate school or job of choice), that it was not really in their interest to blow the whistle, so none of them did.

"Covington's girls" were scattered throughout the English departments of most of the country's leading universities and in the editorial offices of some of America's largest publishing houses: a recommendation from Malcolm Covington carried great weight with certain of his male counterparts, who knew precisely what they were getting and were willing to overlook an occasional syntactical gaffe in exchange for what these young women really excelled at.

But word inevitably leaked out beyond the tight circle of women who had enjoyed the professor's favors (and beyond the even tighter circle of academic men who subsequently enjoyed these very same women that Professor Covington had so thoughtfully procured for them by means of his coveted references). Yes, word inevitably leaked out into the hostile, politically correct world of the Academic Arch-Feminists, eventually reaching the upper echelons of The Movement where actual War Plans for annihilation of the Male Establishment were hatched and set into motion. A dossier on the professor was opened, agents and informers recruited (and paid), and pretty soon Professor Covington had a rather thick file.

So the professor had been found out at last and his halcyon days were numbered, but he, of course, had not yet the slightest suspicion, for the operatives in the exalted upper ranks of The Movement knew how to be patient and to plan. Professor Covington was far too valuable a plum to waste with mere censure or even a publicized firing. No, The Movement had greater designs for him. It wanted an elegant and fitting revenge.

Thus was Operation Bow Tie conceived and born. After holding dozens of interviews, the feminist High Command recruited the finest Certified Witch it could find, gave her the professor's dossier and authorized her to use any and all of her powers to bring the professor to heel. The Command sketched a general strategic outline of what it wanted accomplished but left tactical details to the witch. It also deposited $225,000 in a New York bank to the witch's account under the name of Deborah van Arsdale.

Deborah van Arsdale applied to and was accepted at Columbia College, where she matriculated as a freshman in the fall of 1996. In September, 1998 Miss van Arsdale, nominally aged twenty years (but actually a hundred times older than that), commenced her junior year and registered for Professor Covington's famous course on Samuel Johnson's London. There were two hundred and twenty-three students in the class, the majority of them women.

The trap was now baited and waited only to be sprung.


CHAPTER 2

"Professor, I think you'd better have a look at this," said Michael Butler, one of Professor Covington's teaching assistants, on a brisk Thursday morning in January, as he scaled a student paper over onto the professor's desk. The paper, a thin one, was entitled "Johnsons Pragmatec Philosophy of Politics," and bore the name Deborah van Arsdale at the bottom of the title page.

"Pray give me a single cogent reason, Michael, why I should sully my fingers reading an undergraduate paper. I haven't looked at one of those in decades. That's what T. A.'s are for," Professor Covington drawled, aspirating his 'r's and not looking up, while he critically examined the less-than-perfect buff on his nails and reflected it was about time to change manicurists again.

"Well," Michael responded, "this one's a bit different. It's word for word lifted from your Samuel Johnson entry in last year's Brittanica. Here, have a look. I brought you Volume Ten," and he slid the heavy, black leather-covered tome across the desk towards the professor.

Professor Covington didn't need the Brittanica: he had a near-photographic memory for the written word, particularly his own. He recognized the writing as his the instant he opened van Arsdale's paper at random and read:

"For Dr Johnsen these tracts were an oportunity to expound his esentialy pragmatec philosophy of politics he ascribed devine rite niether to kings or to people talk about liberty in the abstract or about 'naturel' rights he dismised as can't what was esential for a civillized comunity was a stable goverment and respect for it's laws..."

He wanted to read further (always soothed by the sound of his own voice on paper), but he winced at the egregious misspellings and grammatical errors. The girl was a rank plagiarist, yet she could not even copy correctly! He felt his blood begin to boil with the indignation only a tenured Professor of English can feel whenever the Mother Tongue is assaulted.

At that moment, Phoebe Phipps, the lissome and doe-eyed graduate student whose brains the professor had been screwing out every Thursday lunchtime for the semester, knocked perfunctorily on the door and entered, bearing a note.

Miss Phipps was clearly disappointed to see Michael Butler already in the office, and the special meaningful smile she had just, in front of the ladies' room mirror, so carefully prepared for the professor, quickly faded from her haughty and intelligent face. She passed Professor Covington the note, sniffed once or twice as she lifted her nose slightly into the air, and, barely able to conceal her petulant irritation at Butler's presence, began to whine in an Up-Eastern drawl:

"There was a Miss ... a Miss van Ahsdale to see you, pwofessah. She seemed wahthah anxious, and ahsked me to give you this note. She left but said she'd wetu'n in ten minutes."

"Thanks, Miss Phipps, that'll be all," he replied, unable to address her as Phoebe in front of the T. A. and languidly taking the note between his two fingers, as one holds a cigarette. "Oh, Miss Phipps, by the way, here's the new reading list. Burn a couple of hundred copies and have it ready for tomorrow's lecture, won't you? Thanks ever so much," he added, as he handed her the list with a clearly dismissive motion of his free hand. Miss Phipps, crestfallen, looked as if she were about to cry, and for a few moments stood motionless with a hurt expression on her patrician features, undecided whether to speak up or leave.

"And Michael," the professor crooned, "thanks for bringing this other little, ah, matter to my attention. I'll deal with this Miss van Arsdale when she returns - if she does," and he made a small sweeping gesture with two of his fingers, indicating Butler was also to withdraw. Butler retrieved Volume Ten from the desk, then he and Miss Phipps collided with one another in the doorway, mutually glared, begged each other's pardon (for Professor Covington's benefit) and left.

Alone now, Professor Covington glanced at the folded note, inscribed on the outside, "to proffesor covington." A little circle with a smiley face surmounted the 'i' of his name. He instinctively sensed an opportunity here, while subconsciously he whiffed danger but paid it no mind at the moment. He unfolded the note and read:

"dear proffesor covington I am afraid I did something real bad and its been bothering me quite a lot if you can spare a couple minits of you'r time Id like to explain it Debbi van Arsdale"

Again, the little circle with the smiley face over the 'i' in the name and no punctuation whatever besides the superfluous apostrophe.

Professor Covington opened his desk drawer and withdrew the current college student directory. Fanning through it to the 'V's,' he located Deborah van Arsdale and examined her small color photograph. Pretty enough face - fine features, blue eyes, rather too full a mouth for his tastes (her preferred thin-lipped Yankee girls of solid Puritan lineage) - with shoulder length, slightly waved honey blonde hair. She was wearing a soft-looking pastel blue sweater, and from the fall of it (even though the picture was cropped rather high on the chest), he sensed she was, well, to use a vulgar but evocative expression... stacked. He returned the directory to its place and slid the drawer shut.

Next he logged on to his terminal and punched up the roster for his course on Samuel Johnson's London. It was updated through yesterday, January 13th. He scrolled down the listing of names and found 'van Arsdale Deborah.' Van Arsdale Deborah had failed to turn in her first paper and on her subsequent four papers had received two D's, an F and a C-minus. Her midterm exam grade was an F; in the 'comments' field he read that she had left 75 per cent of the questions unanswered.

Now, Professor Covington was a realist and knew very well the depths to which American university admission standards had plunged by the end of the 20th century, but this seemed a bit much: fourth-grade elementary school writing was better. And consider the girl's brazen plagiarism, without even the clumsiest attempt to make the least alteration! Plagiarism was a hanging offence, so to speak, at any university, and the girl must surely have known it. And how on earth could she have gotten admitted to Columbia College, much less to his junior-level course?

He would have to have words with Arbuckle, the Dean of Admissions. And with Samuels, too, his senior T. A., who supposedly vetted every student's performance and grades before admitting any of them to an elite course like Samuel Johnson's London! A ringing letter to the Times about the shameful erosion of academic standards began composing itself in his head when he heard a light tap at his door, which was ajar, and he saw the face from the picture in the student directory peek into the room.

The photo hadn't done the living girl even the least bit of justice: van Arsdale Deborah was ravishingly beautiful and batted her large blue eyes at him through the half-open door. He automatically rose from his chair and invited her to enter, which she did, quietly closing the door behind her, and continued to blink at him like a frightened rabbit.

Miss van Arsdale resembled a classic 1940's Coca-Cola poster girl: her clean good looks and fresh face, with its pert, slightly turned-up nose, made Covington agree that little circles over her 'i's suited her to a 't,' and he chuckled inwardly at his mental pun. She wore nylons and heels, something he had not seen on a co-ed for years: nowadays, college women favored Desert Storm fatigues and bright blue Doc Marten's combat boots.

The hint the school directory picture had given of a prominent décolletage was more than amply confirmed in the flesh: Miss van Arsdale was, indeed, stacked. Professor Covington could barely wrench his eyes from her bosom, and, when he did, they involuntarily swept downwards to take in her perfect figure, which she took no pains to conceal, as her rather short beige knit dress was certainly not overly loose. Her long, nylon-encased legs glistened as she entered the office, which she instantly filled with a pure and overwhelming feminine essence radiating from her like the blast from a Bessemer converter.

There was nothing subtle about the girl, but she carried it off with such open-faced innocence that it was not at all a black mark against her in the professor's book. For the professor preferred willowy aesthetes, ones whose cerebral pretensions flew out the window almost the moment he got a hand on their legs anywhere above the knee and who then couldn't wait to slide off their panties and display their treasures for the Great Professor to ravish, and whose mouths he more often than not had to cover with his hand at the moment of their release to stifle their most un-intellectual screams... Though he preferred such girls precisely because he loved to strip them of their intellectual pretensions almost as much as he loved to strip them of their clothing, he instantly forgot them, forgot that it was almost lunchtime on a Thursday and that the somewhat angular Miss Phipps, aesthete extraordinaire (and a screamer of the first order), shortly would be expecting him to summon her in with the day's grades, followed by a quick and thorough reaming...

Contemplating Miss van Arsdale, the professor felt a familiar stirring down below like a live bird in his trousers and he was hooked. Miss Phipps had no chance this week: poor Phoebe could not possibly compete with a two thousand year old witch...

But we have ungallantly left poor Miss van Arsdale standing before the professor, not knowing how to begin and waiting for him to address her; she continued to blink like a frightened rabbit. So the professor broke the silence:

"Ah, Miss van Arsdale... I've just now read your charming little, ah, note. Won't you please sit down?" he intoned in his best plummy voice, and he felt his heart pounding as it had not pounded in almost thirty years; breaking etiquette, he sat before she did to conceal the burgeoning evidence of his not-so-very-academic interest in this failing student of his, who must have spent the semester sitting in the back row of the lecture hall, otherwise he surely would have noticed her sooner.

Miss van Arsdale sat, taking no care at all to prevent her skirt from riding up as she crossed her nyloned legs with an audible whizz, permitting a tantalizing flash of a satiny white 'V' that the professor could not be sure he really had seen, but the impression of which, real or imagined, hardened him further.

She carried a little dark blue leather purse, from which, after having placed it on her lap (so that he could, unhappily, no longer admire the lovely adumbration of her confluent thighs), she extracted a kleenex as she simultaneously lowered her face and began to cry.

"I... I don't know what to say," she began in a stammer, dabbing her averted eyes. "I know you've found out about my paper... I mean, your encyclopedia article. There's no excuse, I know, but I just have to get through this course, or Daddy will kill me. I have three older sisters, they were all Phi Bate, and I'm supposed to outshine them and I can't even spell!" she wailed, and then blew her nose. "I don't know what to do! I can never think of anything to write about, I hate college, these have been the worst two years of my life! All I want to be is a wife and a mother, but I could never tell that to Daddy... he always wanted a boy and I was the last straw! Please don't flunk me, Professor Covington, I'll do anything to pass..."

And she began to blubber freely.

Professor Covington wanted to get up and comfort the girl, but didn't dare because of the majestic tent in his trousers and he knew that any minute Miss Phipps (not, after all, wholly forgotten) might burst in on some pretext or other and he had no desire to be caught in flagrante.

So instead he soothed her with words:

"Now, now, Miss van Arsdale, do dry your tears. You're not the first young lady to have problems in an advanced course like mine. I've had a look at your grades so far this semester, and, well, as I am sure you're aware, you are not exactly pulling an 'A' in the course. But I am certain there is something you can do for, ah, extra credit. I've gotten quite a number of, ah, problem students successfully through my courses, you know. In fact," and he began at this point to confabulate freely (unctuous confabulation being yet another one of his talents), "by a remarkable coincidence a number of students are gathering at my apartment after dinner this evening for a little, ah, seminar on Dr. Johnson and his politics, the very theme of your, ah, paper. Why don't you drop by, it'll be worth a good fifty points towards your final grade," and he tremulously jotted down his address and apartment number on a notepad, taking pains, despite his excitement, to form the numbers extra legibly so that she would have no trouble reading them. "It's only a ten minute walk from the campus. Eight-thirty, over before eleven. What do you say?"

The girl looked up and a meek smile broke out and spread over her lovely face just as a rainbow at first barely glows in the sky then shines forth in spectral resplendence when the sun's rays suddenly break through the clouds in the midst of a midsummer rain shower: she seemed achingly vulnerable, for tears still trickled in glistening tracts down her cheeks to either side of her captivating smile.

"Really?" she asked, sniffling, and her smile spread even further, softening the professor's heart but having quite the opposite effect elsewhere. "I can come to your seminar? D'you really mean it?" He nodded, she gave one final (and dignified) sniff, arose, approached his desk and took the proffered notesheet, which she glanced at and then stuffed into her purse.

"Thank you, Professor Covington," she purred, half-closing her eyes, "you have no idea what this means... I'll be there at eight-thirty sharp," and she turned on her dainty heel and undulated out of the office, closing the door behind her and leaving the professor, still seated, with his mouth half-open and his manhood as stiff and as thick as a roll of half-dollars though considerably longer.

As far as Professor Covington was concerned, eight-thirty could not come too soon. And, best of all, he still had time for the now-remembered Miss Phipps, just to take his edge off, for he was quite stiff with lust and needed release. It would make everything so much better that evening, he thought.

And at that very moment, with perfectly fortuitous timing, the ethereal Miss Phipps tapped at his door...


CHAPTER 3

Tapping the ferrule of his furled London umbrella on the sidewalk in time with his pace, Professor Covington walked briskly down the hill West 112th Street makes as it descends towards Riverside Park and the Hudson, which the setting January sun was just beginning to gild a deep shade of gold. The glow of the water's reflection nicely complemented the warm image of Miss Phoebe Phipps bent over his desk this noontime, her dress and slip neatly turned back up over on themselves, exposing her pale and pantiless rump.

Miss Phipps, in the interests of sexual efficiency during an always abbreviated Thursday lunch hour, had stopped off at the ladies' room beforehand to remove her immaculate white cotton panties. She had retained, however, her black garter belt and Retro seamed nylon stockings, which she knew titillated the professor, who had, after all, come of age in the '50's when women still wore real stockings and not pantyhose, and besides, Miss Phipps shared the professor's view that pantyhose were not sexually efficient.

As the professor neared the bottom of the hill and the sun glinted more brightly off the water, the warmth of his mental image glowed more brightly, too, as he recalled how he had taken Miss Phipps from the rear this time, while both his hands fondled her smallish breasts. Phoebe Phipps was a little wiry, perhaps, for his tastes, but her nipples could get unusually firm and she was tight and always wet where it mattered, which was, after all, precisely what counted for the professor's lunchtime interludes. He came, she didn't - a frequent inequity which had never once overburdened his conscience on any occasion during his long sexual career.

As he reached the corner and turned north on Riverside Drive, Miss Phipps' image dimmed and faded; it was displaced by a new one, in primary colors, of the smiling and buxom Miss Deborah van Arsdale as she accepted the note paper with his address written upon it, then turned on her heel and... sashayed from his office. He pictured her luscious derrière limned by her tight beige knit dress, and thought he might like to remove her panties himself, at least the first time, like unwrapping a present.

He next recalled that flash of a white satiny 'V' as she had sat down and crossed her legs and he imagined the delectable treasure that satin concealed. He speculated what color hair she had on her little mound - would it be blonde or a light mousy brown? Kinky or gently waved? And he hoped that, whatever the color or texture, she shaved it over her lips in the fashion of many, ah, liberated girls - liberated, that is, from the interference of any hair whatsoever on their most sensitive skin, for the professor found girls to be far more responsive when properly shaved. Stroking a girl who was properly shaved elicited an almost immediate moan of pleasurable arousal (or, less often, a squeal), and he adored hearing a girl moan as he stroked her. The sound of feminine moaning augmented his pleasure immeasurably.

He glanced at his watch - five 'til six - just a little more than two and a half hours and he was reasonably certain he would not have to speculate any further on questions of color or texture - or of much else - as he would be, by then, well on his way to possessing the actual facts.

Entering Number 438, he noted, with approval, a new and expensive floral display in the elegant lobby. Summoning the lift by pressing the button with the tip of his umbrella, he ascended to the sixth floor and entered his apartment. Depositing his umbrella, briefcase and tan kidskin gloves on the stand in the foyer, then carefully hanging his overcoat in the closet, he walked down the hall to his bedroom, already pulling off his bow tie. He showered, shaved for the second time that day and hung out his best grey Worsted suit - the one with the widely-spaced wine-colored pinstripes - on the clotheshorse in his dressing room. He put on a fancy dress shirt with French cuffs, closing them with cufflinks of sterling. He tied on a plum velvet bow and donned the elegant suit, expertly shooting his cuffs. Finally, he slipped into a new pair of black Bally shoes that his shoemaker had shipped over from London earlier in the week.

He then left his apartment and retraced his steps until he came to his favorite Vietnamese restaurant, the Nouveau Saigon, on Broadway, expensive, elegant and not frequented by students (heavens forfend!) because of its prices, and whose waiters all wore white gloves. Tran, the headwaiter, conducted him to his particular table and, snapping his fingers twice, caused the professor's usual Thursday before-dinner apéritif to materialize - a white Dubonnet-and-tonic with an ever-so-thin wedge of lime and only one cube of ice, if you please. They exchanged empty pleasantries for a minute or two, then Tran cocked his head and smiled the ingratiating smile of a headwaiter. He clasped his hands together at chest level, bowed his head briefly then glanced inquiringly at the professor, who murmured, "The usual," signifying that Tran was to lay on whatever dishes the Thursday chef excelled in - the professor disdained menus in restaurants, preferring an element of culinary surprise. His lavish tipping habits guaranteed him the finest dining - always.

After a leisurely dinner, he strolled back to his place and settled into his library to review his daily electronic correspondence from all over the world, most of it erudite and scholarly. This evening there was an unusually large number of messages; he had barely gotten halfway through them when the door buzzer sounded. He glanced down at a screen in the little console set into his desk, saw the image of Deborah van Arsdale in profile, staring up at the ceiling, and buzzed her in. He shut down his computer, stopped off at his Chippendale highboy and poured out two snifters of Armagnac '57, which he left on the shelf. By the time he reached the apartment's entry door, Miss van Arsdale had already knocked on it lightly and he admitted her.

"Ah, Miss van Arsdale, I'm so very glad you could make it. Please do come in," he crooned in his most mellifluous tones, ushering her inside by her elbow then noiselessly closing the door. "Here, let me take your wrap," he continued, as he helped her out of her simple black trench coat. She switched her little dark blue leather purse from one hand to the other as she extracted each arm from its sleeve.

"Thank you," she murmured, and peered about her into the rich interior of the apartment with apparently innocent wonder. "This is certainly a lovely place y'have here, professor, it must have set you back a fortune."

"Yes, it did, quite," he responded, turning from the coat closet to face her, stunned to see how beautiful she really was. Miss van Arsdale had worn no make-up at their earlier encounter, but now she had on lipstick, eyeliner and just a hint of blush, accentuating her naturally radiant cheeks. She wore small, dark blue enameled disks, gold-rimmed, in the pierced lobes of her ears. He now saw that she never closed her mouth fully, always leaving her lips slightly parted in apparently perpetual breathless anticipation.

Standing so close to him, Miss van Arsdale seemed shorter than he recalled, and then he realized she was not wearing heels, but flats, and he briefly wondered why she had so incongruously dressed down for the evening in this single respect, not suspecting, of course, the real reason. She wore a pale yellow shantung dress with a full, mid-calf skirt, which nicely set off the rich, honey tones in her hair, and a dark green sash round her tiny waist; the bodice was low-cut, but not tight, so one could glance down the front of her dress at her magnificent cleavage, which disappeared into a froth of frills - a combination of matching lacy trim on slip and brassiere.

So the professor glanced down, only briefly, then looked up to resume their interrupted conversation by completing his response to Miss van Arsdale's opening comment:

"But what's money for if not for nice things?" he asked, flashing his best toothsome smile, which resembled a grimace and remained on his face for a fraction of a second too long.

"I wouldn't really know that, professor, because I never have any. Money, I mean," she parried, and they both laughed.

"Actually, I spend every cent on my clothes," she continued. "D'you like my new dress?" and she unselfconsciously twirled herself before him so that her skirt flared, revealing a glimpse of her beautiful legs. "It's real silk shantung. It's from the '50's, and I got it last weekend at a little vintage shop on Amsterdam Avenue. The rich old ladies in these big Riverside Drive apartments have just tons of lovely old clothes, and usually in near perfect condition, too. A few weeks ago I got a '20's beaded dress for only seven dollars!" She smiled and batted her eyes with the same air of innocence as that afternoon.

"Yes, it's quite, ah, lovely, really quite lovely," replied the professor, with mild, feigned enthusiasm. He had scant interest in the outer garments of women, you see. The sooner women could be gotten out of them, the better, was his firm motto. He saw the yellow shantung dress as sort of an enemy to be disposed of forthwith and the last thing he wanted was to have attention drawn to it by making it a topic of conversation.

"Why don't we go into the living room," he suggested, and he guided her again by her elbow until they had entered it.

The living room's west wall was all window, floor to ceiling, and looked out over the nighttime Hudson. To the north were the jeweled lights of the George Washington Bridge, draped over its towers in parallel lazy parabolas. Far to the south stood the wharves on the river, brightly lighted by the harsh greenish-white glare of mercury vapor as freighters were being unloaded. Directly to the west above the river's opposite bank was the pitch-black void of the Palisades, prominent precisely because of the complete absence of lights of any sort, a gaping black hole against the twinkling lights of New Jersey. Strings of red tail lights and white headlights wove silently up and down the West Side Highway below them, making a luminous trail in the otherwise dark expanse of Riverside Park as it ran down to the Hudson. It was one of the best views upper Manhattan had to offer.

Miss van Arsdale set her purse down on an occasional table, approached the window and stared out at the view.

"This is fantastic," she murmured, and felt a hand on her shoulder.

The professor was working fast tonight, but he rarely erred in his instincts and he did not err now. The girl turned slowly around to find herself looking up into the professor's inquiring eyes. She blinked several times, in feigned innocence now, and said:

"Oh, I see. So there's no one else here and no one else is coming, right?" and she smiled.

"Right, Miss van Arsdale. You're a perceptive young woman. Perhaps it's next Thursday the others are coming," Professor Covington replied, barely suppressing a smirk. "As I get older, it seems my memory isn't quite as good as it used to be. But everything else is..."

Miss Van Arsdale's smile merely broadened as she said:

"Oh, that's perfectly all right, Professor. About no one else being here, I mean. It's much easier that way, isn't it? We can get on with it tonight instead of putting it off. Maybe I can't spell and my grammar isn't so hot, but I'm not stupid, y'know." She gave her honey blonde hair a proud little toss and as she continued to smile her agonizingly seductive smile, now completely devoid of all previous innocence.

"I know what extra credit means, all right," she continued, momentarily knitting her brows and frowning as if she intended to give a formal speech on the subject, "I've gotten plenty of it, too, since I arrived here two years ago. Ask Dr. Arbuckle, the Dean of Admissions, he was the first, or Mr. Samuels, your senior T. A., he was one of the last. How d'you think I ever got into this place anyway? And into your course? Without all this extra credit my grade-point average would be somewhere near the square root of two - and even I know that's a pretty small number. But right now I'm carrying a three-point-oh, and I hope to bring that up to at least three-point-two with very course, professor," and so saying she reached both hands up high behind her back and briskly unzipped her dress; as she did so she slipped off her shoes. "I can't write worth a damn, but there are a few things I can do very well..."

Within seconds the girl stood before Professor Covington clad in her slip, whose shimmering fabric outlined her stunning figure to perfection and gave clear hints of her delectable hollows. In her stockinged feet Deborah van Arsdale stood about five-foot-four. There was nothing to quibble about regarding her proportions: without boring the reader with the usual litany of bust, waist and hip measurements (not to mention cup size), suffice it to say that she was thoroughly voluptuous in every respect, without any part being excessive - all was in pleasing harmony, creating a whole that was insanely attractive. Not too many English majors had bodies like this...

The professor could hardly believe his good fortune. Why, he didn't even have to waste any time chatting this one up beforehand - asking about her background, her parents, her siblings, her taste in music or movies or what she wanted to do with her life. He certainly didn't have to talk with her about Samuel Johnson's London, which was the very last thing on his mind.

This girl didn't waste a moment on subtlety - she got right to the point, yet she did not come across as coarse or aggressive. He thought her a refreshing change from the most challenging, ultra-intellectual English majors, the ones who required two or even three hours of preliminary verbal foreplay, various clever word games and arch innuendoes before they were ready to consider shedding even a single item of clothing. And often he didn't actually get into their panties until the second or third encounter. It all depended on just how bad their writing was, it seemed, their willingness to spread their legs for him being in inverse proportion to the quality of their prose.

"Well, then, Miss Van Arsdale ... or may I call you, ah, Deborah? Since we understand one another so well at the outset, I suggest we not beat around the bush and instead retire to the, ah, bedroom," which they proceeded to do, the professor detouring by way of the Chippendale highboy in the study to retrieve the two snifters of Armagnac, one of which he handed to the girl.

"Just call me Debbi," she replied as he steered her towards his

inner sanctum, "I think you'll get used to it sooner than you imagine..." and the professor wondered what the girl meant, whiffing that faint sense of danger again. Did she suppose this was the start of a prolonged liaison? If she did, well, she had another think coming. But he did not demur and responded with a simple, "Very well, Debbi."

The professor sat on the bed sipping his brandy, while Miss van Arsdale stood before him, snifter cradled in both hands, raised to her face. She regarded him playfully through the distorting lens of the snifter's amber contents.

"D'you want me to undress for you or d'you want to undress me?" she teasingly asked, then took a long sip of brandy, swallowed it slowly, lightly smacking her lips, and looked at him. She raised her eyebrows interrogatively and ran her tongue over her lower lip to capture an errant droplet of liquor.

Now, the professor really didn't care a tinker's damn how Miss van Arsdale was undressed, as long as she was, one way or the other. His own preference was to remain in suit and bow tie until the woman was down to bra and panties or else completely naked, as this gave him a feeling of power - being fully clothed while his partner was most vulnerably not. Using his fingers (he eschewed the use of the tongue for such matters, reserving it only for the caressing of words), he would then work her up to a certain pitch of desire, and, when he judged the pitch to be sufficiently wild, he would retire to his dressing room to disrobe, then return, in an elegant Viyella dressing gown, slide her panties off her, slide off his robe, slide into bed and then slide... into her. If he played his cards right, the girl would by then be sufficiently wet to allow a nearly frictionless insertion of his enormous tool, which always evoked a gasp of pleasurable shock as he plunged it home, plunged it in as high as the girl's navel or higher, if she was petite.

But tonight the professor felt particularly gallant, so he replied, "Whatever suits you, my dear." Taking her cue, the girl quickly finished her brandy and put the empty snifter down on the dresser. She then proceeded to perform an excruciatingly slow strip tease, at last slithering out of her panties, which she picked back up off the floor with her toes and expertly flung into a far corner of the bedroom with a practiced flick of her lovely long leg. Totally nude, she gracefully pirouetted several times for the professor, who, raptly attentive, was silently taking in the performance.

Now he drew in his breath at the perfection of her beauty. He saw that the hair on her mound was darkly blonde, like ripe corn silk, and he beckoned her over for a closer inspection. Like an apparition, she slowly glided closer and stood so near that he could feel the heat of her body radiating onto his expectant, almost trembling hands.

Without boring the reader too much, allow me to cut to the chase (which is, to be sure, what you've been waiting for after all these pages). Miss van Arsdale, having been brought to climax once or twice by the professor's expert digital attentions, now appeared ready enough in his experienced judgment for the real thing, and so the professor retired to his dressing room, undressed (taking his time to hang his suit, meticulously preserving the crease in his trousers as he draped them over the rod of the hanger), returned to the bedroom in his dressing gown, removed it and slipped into bed next to the virtually palpitant girl.

He entered her, from behind, with his colossal organ (it was not for nothing that he had his reputation), both of them on their sides spooned snugly together. Then he took her from on top, then she was on all fours, and, finally, after half an hour, when she was perfectly frantic with pleasure, he allowed her to ride him as he lay on his back and kept his hands pressed to her breasts as she slid herself up and down on his shaft, neck extended, eyes lightly closed, her enraptured face turned up towards the ceiling.

Presently they reached their simultaneous climax... but something was terribly wrong: the professor could not fail to notice that his pleasure was far more intense than anything he had ever before known, and instead of dying down right away it went on and on and actually augmented and he was transported to some other plane of being and he knew that something awful was going awry, like a flywheel spinning out of control and about to break up, like a searing rent in the continuum of time and space and existence, and his pleasure became exquisitely unbearable, almost painful, like drawing a razorblade lightly over the web between one's fingers, and he felt a strong rhythmic rippling in his belly and a soft fleshy implosion, a pulling asunder of his hips as they broadened then a hot pulsating fullness surged upwards through his belly and into his chest and his skin seemed on fire and his body suddenly seemed less substantial and the bed began revolving end over end and spiraled down and down into the depths of an infinite black vortex, an astral nebula studded with billions upon billions of frigid white stars and he heard himself scream in an odd girlish register then all became wet, warm, soft, open and black as consciousness fled and was extinguished like the flame of a guttering candle as it expires with a last, soft flare and its final quantum of smoke coils languidly upwards impelled by hot gases no longer, coils languidly upwards through the now-cool air, then all is dark and still.

In his last moments of consciousness Professor Covington thought he was dying.


CHAPTER 4

Malcolm Weatherby Covington did not, however, die. No, far from it: Operation Bow Tie did not envision his death. The professor was, in fact, reborn, in a manner of speaking. His lapse of consciousness had actually lasted only five minutes at most, though it may as well have been an eternity.

Professor Covington was summoned back to consciousness by the slow and lubricated withdrawal of something long, smooth, cylindrical and half-soft, half-hard, a withdrawal from his belly (and against his will), through a new and appallingly wet... aperture... between his legs, followed by a warm trickle that ran slowly (and rather uncomfortably) down the fissure between his buttocks and onto the bed where it pooled into a classic wet spot - then cooled off and stayed cool.

His very first thought was that he was sorry for the withdrawal of this alien but nonetheless comforting cylindrical object, for its absence left him feeling bereft, unsolaced and somehow imperfect. Such a disappointing emptiness made his eyes snap open and he was shocked to see... to see his own face or, rather, the face of his doppelganger leering down at him. The doppelganger was nude, hairy and male, and had obviously just finished... well, had just finished servicing him, that is, had just finished servicing Professor Covington, who was lying on his back, in his own bed, his white feminine thighs immodestly spread. Yes, that's right: his immodestly spread white feminine thighs - for we are constrained to confess that Professor Covington had become a woman.

And if the doppelganger looked like the professor, then the professor was now a perfect replica of Deborah van Arsdale, right down to the two moles on his left breast just below the nipple.

Professor Covington lifted his pretty head and instantly felt the silky sway of his own long, honey blonde hair on his shoulders as he changed his position. Looking downwards, he found his view obstructed by a pair of magnificent breasts, his own, their nipples still semi-erect and surrounded by broad, dusky red areolas three inches across. So full were his breasts that to see further down he had to lift his head considerably higher; he had to half sit up, in fact, and support himself on his elbows to see over them and even then he had to crane his neck forwards so far that the ends of his hair brushed his nipples.

No sooner had he raised himself and looked down than he screamed a high, girlish scream when he saw what was there (and what was not there): a smooth, hairless and slightly scaphoid white belly set between broad feminine hips, a belly ending below in... in a soft mound sparsely covered with fine and wavy darkish blonde hair, sufficiently sparse so that he could easily see the vibrant pink and still-gaping cleft in the dreadful void between his legs from which the doppelganger had just withdrawn his huge and detumescent organ, a cleft glistening with the spent and copious secretions of their recent lovemaking. The professor's heels were drawn up so high on the bed that they were almost touching the cheeks of his lovely derrière, and his legs - long, smooth, shapely and hairless - were still spread outrageously wide.

In shocked disbelief he extended a hand downwards to confirm what his eyes refused to accept and... O, horrible! His fingers encountered the moist and tender contours of an aperture all-too-familiar - not some other woman's this time, but his, for it was alive to his touch: he - it - reciprocally felt his own probing and tentative fingers. There was no doubt that he was touching his own... his own what?

No! It was impossible! This was all an insane delusion: he couldn't have a woman's... a woman's... No! He couldn't have one of those! His mind balked at the word and his fingers at the reality: he jerked his hand away as if he had touched a hot stove. Then he sucked in his breath to scream again, but the doppelganger quickly brought a firm hand up over his mouth, effectively stifling him. Professor Covington struggled, but he hadn't half his former strength, and the hand remained firmly emplaced.

"Ah, welcome back, professor," the doppelganger intoned in the professor's very own rich, plummy voice, "Why did you scream? Didn't you like what you saw? Perhaps you don't think it's real? Here, why don't you feel it again," and he forcibly pulled down the professor's petite hand and pressed it firmly against his new sex, pushing the fingers inside. "Tell me: does it feel real enough now?" he asked, letting go of the professor's hand, which this time remained where the doppelganger had placed it, fingers still hidden from view.

Unable to utter a word, Professor Covington's eyes showed white above, just as the eyes of a young mare show white when she is put out to stud for the very first time and she sees the stallion released into her paddock and he snorts through his dilated nostrils and rears, pawing the air with his hooves... even so the professor's eyes showed white and darted wildly about, focussing on everything and on nothing. He struggled a few moments before the insistent pressure of the doppelganger's hand over his mouth forced his head back down onto the pillow. He bit the hand and instantly felt the sharp thwack of the doppelganger's other as it slapped his cheek smartly; his big, blue eyes overflowed with stinging tears and he soundlessly sobbed.

The incubus spoke again:

"Listen to me, Professor Covington. Listen carefully. Your new brain might have some difficulty understanding this, but just listen anyway.

"You thought I was Deborah van Arsdale. You thought I was just another pretty co-ed letting you screw her in exchange for a grade, but I'm not Deborah van Arsdale: You're Deborah van Arsdale. I'm a witch, a Certified Witch. I was born in Anatolia in the year 7 and have lived as so many people in so many centuries and in so many countries that I cannot begin to recall them all. You have just undergone what we call, in our trade jargon, a, ah, body conversion. This must be my umpteenth: there's not too much of a challenge in it any more. For me, that is. As for you, professor, you'll have to judge for yourself what sort of challenge it turns out to be. You're going to have lots of time to find out."

Professor Covington again struggled violently against the doppelganger's restraint, as ineffectually as before. His eyes seemed to bulge from his head.

The doppelganger continued:

"Save your strength, professor. Struggling won't change the facts - you're a twenty-year old woman now, and there's not a thing you can do about it. But you're entitled to an, ah, explanation, at least. We know all about you, you see. By 'we' I mean the Feminist High Command. We've been watching you for several years. I was hired more than two years ago to bring you precisely to where you find yourself at this very moment: a young woman student, on her back, having been, ah, screwed by her lecherous professor for the sake of a grade. Did you enjoy it?"

Professor Covington shook his head, his large blue eyes still showing white above and brimming with tears.

"What's that?" asked the doppelganger, his free hand cupped behind his ear, feigning deafness, "Speak up, I can't hear you. Oh, you don't know yet, perhaps? Well, just give yourself a chance. You might be surprised."

Professor Covington was having difficulty enough coming to terms with his sudden transformation, and so could barely absorb a word of what he was hearing. He had no choice now but to listen, however, so the witch obligingly continued:

"Our sources report that you seduced a total of one thousand and three women from 1975 until the present, not counting me. So that makes one thousand and four. You had sex with many of these women more than one time. You miraculously managed to get only sixteen of them pregnant and one of those committed suicide following her abortion. We think that's a pretty sorry record, professor. A record that demands a fitting punishment.

"So here's the, ah, deal: you'll remain Deborah van Arsdale until you've slept with a thousand and four different men and see how you like it. We think that's a generous offer, since if we held you to the total number of times you've slept with women for grades, it'd be somewhere around seven or eight thousand and it'd take you twenty years to work off your sentence. You're comparatively lucky: you have to sleep with each man only once. Well, of course you can sleep with a man more than once if you, ah, care to, (and you'll find that you might), but it won't count.

"Then, as soon as you've racked up the requisite total, you can change back - if you still want to and if you still can, because, if you become, ah, pregnant, you see, you'll remain Deborah van Arsdale forever. Of course, the more you sleep around, the sooner you'll get back to being yourself, but the more you sleep around, the greater the chances you'll get knocked up. So it's the golden mean all over again, professor: everything in moderation. And you'll have to be very careful. But you're only twenty years old now, so there's really no hurry. Try to look at the positive side."

The doppelganger paused for a sign that the professor was following this line of reasoning. Professor Covington's large and frightened blue eyes were unblinkingly fixed on the doppelganger's, indicating complete comprehension, so he continued:

"And while you're working off your sentence on your back, I'll be the professor and I'll take care of your career. You'd better not leave me in charge too long - I'm liable to ruin your precious, ah, reputation, so you'd better get cracking. Do the math (if you still can): if you sleep with someone different every night, you'll be done in a little under three years... even sooner if you work extra shifts on the weekends.

The doppelganger paused again to let this latest twist percolate into the professor's brain for a few moments. He wasn't quite sure the professor was completely on board, but he resumed just the same:

"And, by the way, this first time with me didn't count, so you still have a thousand and four to go. I'd be happy to reduce your total by one: if you're interested, we can do it right now, and, even if you're not, well, the fact is, I might be, as you're a real dish, professor, quite, ah, lovely, really quite lovely. You turned out rather nicely, you know - my work gets better all the time, if I don't say so myself.

"Now, I'll take my hand off your mouth if you promise not to scream. And don't bite me again. Do you promise?"

The doppelganger awaited another sign from the professor, who nodded his pretty head affirmatively. The doppelganger removed his hand.

The professor began to sputter and fume. "You... you... you can't do this to me," he squealed in Deborah van Arsdale's light contralto, "You... you'll never get away with it!"

"Oh, won't I? Are you going to turn me in as an imposter? Or as a seducer of students? Even if someone believed you, you would only be hurting yourself, don't you see? And you don't suppose you can go on being a professor of English as Deborah van Arsdale, now, do you? You'll always remember who and what you were (that's part of the punishment), but in an hour or two you won't know a damned thing about 18th century English literature anymore - you've probably forgotten most of it already. Here, let me show you: name me Dr. Johnson's biographer. Everyone knows that. Go ahead, tell me who it is."

The incubus sat back, folded his arms and waited. The professor looked up at the ceiling and thought as hard as he could, which, as you might expect, was not terribly hard.

"Dr. Johnson... um, is he the one who invented baby powder? Why would he have a biographer?" asked the professor, looking genuinely perplexed, his eyes wide with innocent simplicity.

"The wrong Johnson, professor... the 18th century one had nothing to do with baby powder. The answer is Boswell, whose name you don't even recognize. You see, professor, you have Deborah van Arsdale's mind now, not only her body. Try writing the simplest paragraph - see how you spell and what your syntax is like. You can't write your way out of a paper bag any more. And when you sign your name, it's going to come out 'Debbi van Arsdale,' with a little smiley face over the 'i,' because that's who you really are now. And you're becoming more like her by the minute: do you know you're a very quick study, a real, ah, pleasure to deal with?"

The professor returned a blank look, so the doppelganger rephrased his question:

"Do you have any idea what I'm talking about?"

The professor bit his lower lip and, knitting his delicate eyebrows, pursing his lips and nodding his head in a series of quick, little jerks, answered, "Um, I think so: I'm you and you're me, or something like that."

"Good girl! In another couple of hours you'd have had a lot more trouble ah, articulating even that. And I must confess, professor, I really am astounded at the extent of your knowledge. You are a genuine Renaissance Man - I'll learn a lot being you. So don't go out and get screwed too fast or too often; (you needn't work off your sentence in under three years, you know) - I might fancy being you for at least five or six years." The witch paused and smiled wickedly, awaiting the professor's response.

The professor's pretty face registered as much consternation as it was capable of showing, which is to say, not very much. Then his expression became pained: he shifted his long, lovely legs uncomfortably and also shifted the subject.

"I think I have to pee," he said, in a small, rather petulant voice, "but I'm not sure I know how."

The doppelganger laughed. "Sure you do, honey," he said. "The bathroom's in the same place as always. You just have to remember to sit down, that's all, and wipe yourself when you're finished. Don't worry, professor, you really do know how. Go ahead, give it a try. It's easier than you think. Then take a good look at yourself in the mirror. But don't stay in there too long. Hurry back: we have other important business to settle. I'll give you five minutes (and he glanced at his Rolex); any longer than that and I'll come and get you. You can lock the door if you want if it'll make you feel any better: locks don't stop me, you see."

Impelled by an inexorable call of nature, the professor arose lightly from the bed, all five feet four inches of him. He urgently minced off to the bathroom, his hips swaying nicely and his full, unrestrained breasts swinging in time to his surprisingly graceful feminine gait. Less than halfway across the room he hesitated, stopped, looked down and gasped, for the flow of secretions had begun trickling down the insides of his milky white thighs. Placing a tiny hand between his legs and blushing intensely, he entered the bathroom and closed the door behind him, not locking it.


CHAPTER 5

Once inside his bathroom, Professor Covington made straight for the toilet and promptly sat down, only to pop back right up like a jack-in-the-box the instant he felt the cold porcelain rim of the bowl against his broad bottom. Flustered, he lowered the seat and sat down again, clasped his hands tightly between his knees, and set his feet, heels up and toes only touching the floor, on either side of the pedestal. The doppelganger was right - he did know how to go, though the abrupt, high-pitched sound of his feminine rill startled him.

He carefully wiped himself, duly impressed by the exquisitely delicate softness of his new apparatus, then arose and approached the washbasin, wetted one of his monogrammed washcloths with warm water, and, stretching it over two of his tapered little fingers, squatted slightly to open his lips and carefully cleaned himself out. He needed to rinse and wring out the washcloth several times before he had absorbed all the sticky fluids remaining inside him. The thought of what he was actually doing revolted him (for he was by nature quite a fastidious fellow), but he did it anyway and he did it efficiently, too, not roughly and without scratching himself with his long fingernails.

His intimate ablutions complete, only then did he turn to the full-length mirror on the back of the door to regard himself - with utter and open-mouthed awe. Yes, Deborah van Arsdale was every bit as gorgeous as he had remembered seeing her when she first stepped out of her panties a hundred years ago (or so it seemed), and as he turned before the mirror, - oh, no! it was really true! he saw his reflection turn, too! - he had no doubt whatever that he and Deborah van Arsdale were now one and the same.

We have already described Miss van Arsdale's attractions in some detail, hence we need not do so again as the professor reaffirmed them for himself in the mirror, except to note that he appeared mesmerized by the soft-looking cleft which bisected the inverted apex of his mound and descended a couple of inches before vanishing between his thighs: he could not tear his incredulous gaze from it. Though alone and unobserved, he flushed a deep shade of crimson when the realization finally struck him that he was shaved precisely to his own specifications, and his hand shot downwards for tactile verification. Oh! How smooth and soft he was! His lips felt softer by far than those of the girls he had remembered stroking in his long experience, not realizing that he was not actually softer than any other girl: it was simply that he had never touched such delicate skin with feminine fingers before. He was not, of course, unmindful of the delectable thrill his light touch induced, but he was afraid of the doppelganger and remembered his admonition to return without too much delay.

So he proceeded apace with his hasty inspection: he placed two fingers of one hand on the lips to either side of his little cleft and gingerly spread them, while at the same time squatting down in a most unladylike way to induce them to part, which they did, like an orchid unfolds in time-lapse cinematography, revealing his iridescently pink penetralia, its folds glistening as he spread his lips even further apart with the inverted 'V' of his fingers.

At this sight his jaw dropped and he brought his free hand up to his cheek; he shook his head slowly in wordless denial and gasped, then gasped again as he removed his fingers from his lips and hurriedly straightened up - the soft pad of his index finger had inadvertently grazed the little bud at the jointure of his inner lips - the diminutive anlage of what he no longer possessed - and he could not deny that it felt delicious. So delicious, in fact, that, despite the doppelganger's admonition, he tentatively touched himself there again, and then several times more for good measure (no longer tentatively but already with passably decent finesse).

He next cupped and hefted his breasts; they felt huge in his little hands. He was astonished at their weight and consistency and how they jiggled and settled when he abruptly released them. He was about to repeat this maneuver when he heard the doppelganger clear his throat - no doubt a reminder that his presence was again required in the bedroom. So the professor, almost reluctantly, curtailed his tour of inspection and hurried back into the bedroom, the movement of the cool air over his delicate skin causing it to break out in gooseflesh.

The doppelganger was lying semi-recumbent on the bed, clad in Professor Covington's Viyella dressing gown. He had his half-glasses on and was reading a manuscript. He appeared completely absorbed and did not even glance up. The professor stood for a moment at the foot of the bed and glared at him, feeling somehow slighted and thinking he should be indignant, but he couldn't think of anything to say besides, "I'm cold now," which the doppelganger appeared not to hear, so he crept in under the covers, pulled them up almost over his head, lay on his side, drew up his knees and began to shiver. He kept his back towards the doppelganger.

After several minutes of reading in silence the doppelganger sat straight up, removed his glasses and turned his face in the professor's direction.

"I say, professor," he began, "this is a deucedly fascinating paper you're writing. It looks like an editorial for a scholarly journal. Am I right? Shall I read you a bit? I know you just love to hear your own writing read aloud," and he glanced over at the slight form lying curled up under the bedclothes beside him.

"I'm cold," whimpered the professor again, "I don't want to hear any editorial, and I have no idea what a scholarly journal is. I just want to warm up." Now his teeth chattered audibly.

"Oh, is that all?" replied the doppelganger, stifling a yawn. "Well, I had meant to go over a few things with you before I kicked you out, but if you want to get warm, they can wait and we can go over them later. So let's warm you up, professor. I think I know a good way." The doppelganger removed his robe, but the professor, his back turned and his head buried under the covers, did not see him do it.

And to his shocked indignation, the curled-up professor felt the bedclothes drawn off him and a hand - not his - slide between his legs from the rear and cup his new sex. His whole body gave a twitch, and he turned his face round over his shoulder to see the doppelganger only a few inches away, leering at him again.

"No, please..." protested the professor, squirming as if to escape, but the hand, conforming to his outer lips, cupped him firmly and held him in place. "No... don't... Please don't..." he tried protesting again, but then heard his voice say "oooohhhhh..." in a little moan of pleasure, as a finger entered his new aperture and began slowly to probe his sensitive tissues, which almost instantly began to moisten again. "Oooohhh, that does feel good," he moaned, drawing his knees further up until they were compressing his breasts; he simultaneously thrust his shapely derrière towards the doppelganger, granting him readier access: he simply could not help himself.

After too short a time the hand was withdrawn and he felt the doppelganger nestle up next to him and slide his huge member between his thighs from behind, not penetrating him yet, but sliding it slowly and endlessly forward along the length of his delicate (and shaven) lips and over his excruciatingly sensitive little bud, so far forward that its tip, and more, protruded between his thighs in front and he, to his horror, found that he actually grasped it, grasped it in his tiny hand. The professor was astonished (and dismayed) to feel the full caliber of the organ, as he could not quite close his fingers completely around it.

Well, why, indeed should he have been at all astonished or dismayed? Surely, he must have been well acquainted with its length and circumference after all these years! Ah, yes, he was, of course, but never quite from this... well, from this novel perspective. So he was duly shocked to find just how enormous he really had been and was fearful, too, that it might hurt to take something so large and so hard into something so delicate and so frightfully soft as he felt himself now to be, quite overlooking the remarkable elasticity of his tissues, an elasticity which he was not yet fully acquainted with but was very shortly to learn a lot more about.

By now the intense new sensations careening through his feminine sensorium and the revulsion the battered remnant of his male psyche was feeling collided in his brain in a thick red cloud of confusion and pleasure. He decided to abandon his being to the latter, as if, the way things were proceeding, he had any choice.

The doppelganger drew back, paused - forever, it seemed to the expectant professor - and this time, as he slowly thrust forward, he entered the professor's supernumerary orifice from behind - the indignity of a fitting and elegant revenge! - distending his lips until they formed a perfect 'O' round the huge shaft, and then slid it up and up into him to the full depth the professor's female anatomy allowed, which is to say, exceedingly deep - to the professor's breathtaking surprise. His eyes opened widely and he gasped, partly in alarm but more in pleasure, at the sensation of being impaled by a man.

Now the internal collision of feelings and thoughts made him think he was going insane and he wanted to scream, but instead he brought a hand to his mouth and clamped his teeth tightly into the edge of his index finger.

He managed to suppress a scream, but not the sharp little 'Oh!' he emitted as the doppelganger wriggled himself in that last little bit deeper, causing the professor a brief spasm of pain.

When the doppelganger heard it he paused and inquired, "Did I hurt you? Do you want me to stop?"

Disappointment instantly clouded the professor's pretty features, and to his astonishment (but not to the doppelganger's) he heard his little girl voice start to plead, "Oh no please don't stop don't stop, just do it..."

The doppelganger, however, did indeed stop - stop and withdraw, but it was only to roll the professor over onto his back. The professor's thighs fell willingly open as the doppelganger mounted and entered him, and his heels involuntarily rose a foot or two into the air. The professor pushed the flat of one little hand, fingers splayed, deep into his soft and broad belly, just below his navel, deep enough that that his hand could feel the doppelganger, moving in and out of him, through the intervening wall of his abdomen. Now the professor's hips started to roll in time to the thrusting and he began to thrash his head side-to-side and he bit the edge of his finger even harder than before.

And presently he screamed a real scream - high, thin, drawn out and tapering into a long sigh of ecstasy as he was overtaken by the rapturous and blinding delight of his stunning orgasm.


CHAPTER 6

The professor lay once again on his back, no longer cold, except for the now-to-be-commonplace wet spot under his bottom, a spot upon which he would find himself struggling to fall asleep for countless nights into the future. But the wet spot was not bothering him at the moment: eyes half-closed, he lay spent and relaxed and content and his fine, glowing skin gleamed with hot feminine perspiration. He had, without question, enjoyed being ravished, and was now basking in the afterglow.

Alas, the professor's serenity was short-lived, for it was suddenly shattered when he remembered who he really was and the awful sentence upon him. The hideous thought flashed through his mind: "Only a thousand and three to go!" and he began to weep freely, as much for the intense sexual release he had just now gone through as for the impossible reality of his future, not to mention the frightening prospect of pregnancy. O, how his woman's heart froze when he realized that he just now might have been impregnated! The poor thing had no idea where he was in his cycle! He couldn't afford chances like this, he reflected, and would have to start taking proper precautions.


His tears, of course, were one of the goals of Operation Bow Tie, for Professor Covington, though incarcerated in the body, and controlled by the brain (and potent hormones) of a voluptuous twenty-year old woman, and though bereft of his vast intellectual powers, still had his same male identity within, never to be fully suppressed, merely to be thrust far into the background on many occasions (at least a thousand and three more), of which his frantic lovemaking with the doppelganger had been only the first. No matter that he had been made a vapid female: he could never forget what he had been and would be reminded of it many times each day, but particularly after each of his mandatory couplings.

And that was the beauty of his punishment: the professor would be completely captive to his female body and its irresistible impulses and would have to obey and enjoy them, but, between his moments of rapture, or even his moments of female discomfort and inconvenience (which he would shortly learn about in five days' time or so, when he would suffer the emotional ups and downs of his first premenstrual syndrome and be referred to by one and all as 'that bitch'), the essential core of his psyche would remain male, so no sooner would he remember his maleness, however wistfully, than he would be abruptly dragged off again, in one direction or another, by the bittersweet femininity that would utterly dominate him for the term of his sentence. Or, should he become pregnant - forever.

The tension between this new and indescribably wonderful sexual pleasure and the absolute tyranny of his subjugation to it would often bring him to tears in the future just as it had brought him to tears even now, for being a passive receptacle for the gratification of male lust was horribly repugnant to the professor, even though his female body would force him to enjoy it each time. And, even worse, no matter how often he would be debased and humiliated by men, he would soon find himself looking forward, with prurient anticipation, to his next sexual encounter, making his fate all the more horrible.

It was really a brutal sentence, even for the professor. The High Command was getting its money's worth.

All this would be in the future, however. But even now, after only one coupling, his duller brain could foresee the frightening implications of his thralldom, and he was able to grasp, albeit dimly, the enormity (if not the perverse perfection) of his sentence.

No sooner had he done so than the doppelganger jabbed him sharply in the ribs.

"Time to get up and leave, professor," he said, "it's way past eleven and pretty young ladies shouldn't be out on the streets alone late at night in Morningside Heights - so close to, ah, Harlem. Naturally, I can't be seen walking you back to the dorm. I'm afraid you've left me short of cash, professor and I've left you the same, so you can't take a cab - you'll just have to walk home on your own and be careful.

"So go pick up your clothes - don't forget, your dress and shoes are in the living room and you'll find your panties in the corner over there," he gestured with the back of his hand to where he, as Deborah van Arsdale, had flicked them during his little introductory strip tease earlier in the evening. "And you'd better, ah, clean yourself up again, too, or else you'll have a rather, ah, soggy walk home, if you know what I mean. So, come on, it's getting late, and I need to finish my correspondence. It's time to get moving, professor dear."

The poor beleaguered professor abruptly sat up in bed and wrapped the bedclothes about his nakedness to preserve a modesty that was only imagined. With one hand grasping the gathered bedsheets over his prominent breasts, he lifted his little chin high into the air like a woman in dudgeon (which was, of course, precisely the case), and glared over his nose at the doppelganger.

"What d'you mean, 'leave'?" he squeaked in protest. I live here!"

"Wrong again, professor. I live here. You live in one of the dorms, Bard Hall, to be exact, room 1127, which you share with a girl named Tae Woon Kim from Korea and a girl from Malawi named Celeste. The room key's in your purse. Here, I've brought it for you," he said, as he handed the professor his little dark blue leather purse as if it were a grenade with the pin pulled, then sat back expectantly to enjoy what was about to transpire.

Professor Covington received the purse only to discover that a woman wearing anything without straps never seems to have enough hands to deal properly with hair, garments and other inanimate objects all at the same time. He needed both his hands to open his purse, but when he leaned forward, his long honey blonde hair fell in front of his face and he was unable to see, so with one hand he swept back his hair and in so doing raised his arm slightly, which caused the protective bedsheets to fall away, exposing his breasts. Blushing once more, he dropped the purse, needing both hands to pull the bedclothes up around himself again, and, in fumbling about, happily discovered that his cleavage was a rather handy, if not too reliable, place to tuck in the enveloping sheets, so he did, thereby learning one of the essential functions of breasts having nothing to do with the nursing of babies.

As the doppelganger had said, the professor was quite a quick study.

Both hands free at last, he again took up the purse, snapped it open and began excitedly to rummage through its contents, pulling out one item after another and holding each closely up to his face to scrutinize it - a lipstick, a small hairbrush, a compact, a calculator, a couple of condoms, ('Oh damn!' he thought, 'where were these an hour ago!') a small bottle of nail polish, a door key bearing the stamped number '1127.' Then his hand came out clutching several little O.B. tampons in cellophane wrappers: he gazed quizzically at them, opened his pretty mouth and was about to ask the doppelganger what they were for when the latter interrupted him before he could get out the question:

"Those are, ah, tampons professor, the kind modern girls favor. Put them back - you won't need them for a week, if memory serves... Oh, by the way, you'll discover that Debbi van Arsdale has trouble counting past ten (anything greater runs off her fingers) - so I might be off by a few days one way or the other: it might be tomorrow or two weeks from now, I can't really recall. Anyway, it'll be sometime within the month; if you can't figure out those tampons when you need them (they're really quite simple to use, you know), your roommates will be more than happy to, ah, instruct you, I'm certain."

The professor was aghast at the thought that he would start menstruating in the not-too-distant future; he blanched, dropped the tampons back into his purse as if they were scorching his fingers, and resumed his rummaging, while the doppelganger proceeded:

"Oh, that's your driver's license in the side pocket, but, of course, you don't have a car. In fact, professor, you don't have much of anything except your good looks. Ah, you've found your checkbook, I see."

The professor had already opened it and was studying its slovenly entries with a genuinely blank expression on his face as if he had never seen a column of numbers before.

"That running five-figure balance is wrong, so don't get your hopes up..."

The professor hadn't gotten any hopes up at all, not having comprehended the purpose of the little ledger in the first place - it's the checks that count, right? Besides, the matter of money had already evaporated from his mind, for he had discovered a half-consumed roll of Life Savers which now absorbed his attention. With an enameled fingernail he pried off the green one at the end of the roll and popped it into his mouth. Then he turned to the doppelganger and smiled his perfectly innocent and crazily seductive smile.

"Mmmm! These are good," he said, "D'you want one? The next is a red." And he proffered the roll.

The doppelganger held up his hand in negation and shook his head, then he smiled too, but indulgently, clearly pleased at the professor's rather charming diversion. But he needed to bring the professor's attention back to the subject of money, and so he resumed:

"After I left your office at lunchtime, I took the liberty of electronically transferring the bulk of Debbi van Arsdale's funds to your - I mean to my - account. Banks will let anyone put money into anyone else's account, you know. So your real balance is about $300, maybe less: I probably wrote a few checks and forgot to enter them. I did that a lot. I hope you know how to balance a checkbook (I certainly didn't) - you can't afford any NSF charges, you know. You might give the bank a ring in the morning to see how much is really left. I'd advise it: it's all you have in the world besides your clothes and cosmetics...

"And by Monday or Tuesday you'll receive a certified letter from the bursar informing you that your tuition is overdue and because it'll be the third and final notice, the letter will also regret to inform you that your, ah, career as a Columbia College co-ed is over and that you'll have to turn in your key and remove your possessions from your room by the end of the week. Don't count on getting back your security deposit, either: I left a hot iron on the dresser last week and scorched it rather badly, so I'm afraid your deposit will be docked for the cost of a new one. And I was fined fifty dollars for having an iron upstairs in the first place - it's against dorm rules, you know. The fine comes out of your deposit, too. And..."

The professor evidently understood the gravity of his predicament clearly enough, for dismay clouded his pretty features. He interrupted the apparently endless catalog of his misfortunes, and stammered:

"B... b... but what am I going to do? Where am I going to live? Where am I going to get money to live on?"

The doppelganger chuckled and replied:

"Well, professor, that's hardly my problem now. But even girls without brains can always find a way to, ah, earn a living, so long as they're pretty, and you, my dear, are an absolute, ah, knockout, as you are doubtless aware."

Genuine puzzlement replaced dismay on the professor's little face: he really had no idea at all what sort of work the doppelganger could possibly be referring to.

"I... I... haven't the foggiest idea what you're talking about," he said slowly, frowning and touching his index finger to his cheek, "unless you mean being a showgirl or something... D'you think I'm pretty enough for a showgirl?"

The doppelganger practically guffawed. "Yes, you certainly are pretty enough, but even showgirls need some talent besides their good looks, and you're tone-deaf - you can't even carry a tune - and you're a rather poor dancer besides. No, I'm afraid the stage is not a good career option for you, professor dear. Think again."

The professor thought for a few seconds, then his large eyes grew wider. He drew in his breath and blushed beet red as the realization of what the doppelganger was suggesting finally dawned on him. He felt like slapping the doppelganger's face, but he didn't dare.

"No!" he squealed, horrified, "I know what you're thinking. I'll never do that, I'd rather die!"

"That's what they all say at first, every last one of them, but before they know it, they're, ah, displaying their wares on a regular basis, cash only, please (never take a check, professor). You're far too good looking to be a streetwalker - your roommate Miss Kim, who is earning her pin money by, ah, working a few evenings a month, has excellent connections with a number of upscale midtown agencies that would be delighted to list you, I'm certain. Gotham Escort might be a good place to start, but they'll insist, of course, on sending you for an exam before taking you on: they want all their girls to be, ah, healthy."

The doppelganger paused long enough for the professor to picture himself on an examination table, feet up in stirrups and the menacing speculum poised for insertion. When the predictable crimson flush finally came (it was not instantaneous), the doppelganger smiled again, for this was going far better than anticipated: the High Command would doubtless cheer and break open champagne when they heard all the details - he could already hear the clinking together of glasses. Why, there might even be a fat bonus in the offing, for this job really was a masterpiece of the first magnitude!

Bringing himself back to the present, the doppelganger resumed:

"You'll get to see some of the finest hotel rooms in Manhattan, by the way. You'll, ah, meet lots of interesting men, too, and you'll have a regular and predictable decrease in your sentence, so it's a good idea on that score, for sure. And you'll possibly get presents, too, like real jewelry and fur coats - if you establish a good reputation and a high-class clientele, that is. You might even wangle a marriage proposal out of it. That sort of thing does happen, you know. Of course, a marriage proposal would, ah, complicate your future enormously..."

"I wouldn't have to be out on the street, you really don't think?" interrupted the professor, frowning with intense concentration, finger again on his cheek, pursing his lips and raising his eyes towards the ceiling as he weighed the practicality of the doppelganger's suggestion. "It'd be just the best hotels? And somebody'd actually give me a mink coat, d'you think?" and his blue eyes became wide and began to sparkle at the prospect. "Are you sure?"

"Guaranteed, professor, though a looker like you really ought to hold out for sable. Just please your clients, keep away from drugs, don't, under any circumstances, get, ah, pregnant and you'll be right back here running the show in a little less than three years, that is, if you want to get it over with quickly. Now come on, get moving: it's late."

Cocking his head and evidently considering his options as seriously as he was now capable of, the professor again arose from the bed, one hand protectively over his cleft to prevent any new, embarrassing leakage, and glided off to the bathroom to clean himself up. He shortly emerged and, with a bedsheet clutched about himself, toga-style, scurried around the apartment retrieving his garments, which he brought back into the bedroom.

The doppelganger, in the professor's best dressing gown again, reclined on the bed, an amused expression on his face and hands clasped behind his head, watching while the professor slipped into his panties and pulled them up snugly, releasing the delicate waistband (a tiny flat satin bow at its center) with a crisp little snap. The professor skillfully wriggled into and fastened his bra without pinching his breasts and put on and straightened his garter belt. Sitting on the edge of the bed and extending each leg in succession, toes high in the air, the professor smoothly rolled on his nylons, then stood and secured the garter tabs, twisting his head first over one shoulder, then over the other, so he could see to fasten the rear ones. Next he put slip and dress on over his head, shimmying a bit to get them to settle about himself and automatically smoothed down his yellow, real silk shantung dress (circa 1952) with the palms of his hands. He tied his dark green sash about his tiny waist.

The moment he slipped on his shoes the professor finally understood why Deborah van Arsdale had arrived in flats: it was an act of kindness (alas, the only one!), because, he realized, he would never have been able to make it back to the dorm in the heels she'd been wearing when she'd come to his office the previous day.

Now fully dressed, he tossed his lovely hair in a surprisingly habitual motion and then briskly carried his purse into the bathroom and came out a few minutes later with hair competently brushed and clothing perfectly straight, but he had wisely deferred trying to repair his wrecked make-up: with surprisingly good judgement, he had simply removed it entirely. Neither the absence of make-up nor his mournful expression diminished the stunning beauty of his face, however.

He approached the bed and hesitated a moment. Blinking seductively for the very first time, then lowering his head, he asked softly:

"Y'don't suppose I could move in here? There's a maid's room in back, y'know, that's never been slept in. I'd stay out of your bedroom unless you, um, wanted me. I know how to vacuum and dust; I can cook breakfast and I do a mean tuna-noodle casserole. Um, what d'you say?"

For the first time the doppelganger looked surprised, for, despite months of meticulous planning, this promising option had been overlooked completely. Stroking his chin, he considered the professor's suggestion, then replied:

"That's actually not a bad idea, professor, except for the tuna-noodle casserole bit. But you'd have to do a maid's work and the laundry and ironing, too, of course (don't forget, I like my underlinen and socks ironed), there'd be no pay in it at all, and you would have to be, ah, available whenever I wanted you, which, knowing your, ah, my sexual appetites, might be pretty darn often. And none of those times with me would count towards your sentence, as you already know, so you'd still be working most nights, assuming, of course, I didn't want you myself. It might take much longer for you to work off your sentence that way, but if you don't mind a few years' delay, it might work. In fact, it has some intriguing, ah, advantages... for me."

The professor lifted his face, which had at last assumed a minimally hopeful expression. The doppelganger continued:

"But, anyway, you can't stay here tonight - you have to go back to your dorm - your things are there anyway - and I'll think about it. But no promises. Don't call me - I'll call you."

The professor cast his face downwards again, nodded dully and offered no objection, saying merely:

"All right then. I guess I'm ready. D'you suppose I can have my coat now?" and he picked up his little blue leather purse from the bed.

The doppelganger stood and accompanied the professor to the front door of his apartment. Retrieving his black trench coat from the foyer closet, he helped him into it. The professor buttoned it up, not even noticing that the buttons were the wrong way around. Tears glistened in his beautiful blue eyes.

The doppelganger opened the door for him, handed him his purse, which he had taken from him so he could get into his coat, and patiently awaited his departure, beaming avuncularly.

The professor hesitated for fully a minute. "I guess this is good-bye," he finally murmured, starting to sob, and he turned and walked off down the hallway - no, make that undulated - in the direction of the lift, his little dark blue leather purse slung over his shoulder and bouncing softly off one hip as he walked.

The doppelganger waited until the lift had gone, then he closed the door and headed into his study for another snifter of brandy. The image of Phoebe Phipp's pale and pantiless rump rose up before him again and he smiled. Perhaps he could add in Miss Phipps for Friday lunchtime as well: his Fridays had been free for quite a while now.


While the professor, snug in his study, imagined Miss Phipps' grammatically impeccable treasures and booted up his computer to finish the day's correspondence (as he nursed his Armagnac '57), Debbi van Arsdale, outside in the cold on Riverside Drive, clutched her trench coat tightly about her throat against the January wind blowing in off the river. Turning the corner onto 112th Street, she began to trudge slowly uphill in her flat-heeled shoes, towards Morningside Heights and towards her new life.

Her new life! On the one hand, she dreaded the prospect, but, on the other, she reflected, as a cold gust of wind caught at her legs and swirled up under her dress, a long sable coat (or even a mink) would be absolutely lovely and the mere contemplation of it warded off the chill. Debbi van Arsdale clutched her coat even more tightly about herself, then she paused, recalling the cruelty of her sentence...

'Oh, my God,' she thought, standing stock still. 'One thousand and three!' She hadn't the least idea how she would manage, but, then again, ideas were no longer her strong point so she decided not to worry too much about it. She'd start first thing in the morning, she'd think of something - and she began to plod up the hill, the lights of the city shimmering through a veil of self-pitying tears...

The Graduate Education of Malcom Covington copyright 1999 by Elizabeth Bennett.