Tanked (1)

“I’m not going in there..!” With a gasp, she stood upright. Below her was the largest fishtank she’d ever seen. She’d been to aquariums before, but never had she seen anything like this one.  With a flick of his wrist, the old fart who had hired her gestured to the two burly men who flanked the door.

They moved forward, and lifting her easily, threw her in the tank. Her last clear thought as she felt the water closing over her head was that she was being seriously underpaid.

**************

She’d been looking for a job for 22 weeks. The stint at the local burger joint hadn’t ended well. Newbies were not looked upon happily when they criticized their new bosses for not preparing food properly. She knew she’d never eat at one of those places ever again.

A long string of weeks followed, where her only good news was that the unemployment check was coming. She wasn’t quite ready to start eating cat food, but she wasn’t far from it, either. She needed a fucking job!  There was a series of prospects, a flurry of resumes sent, received, and  then, interviews. Followed by two more weeks of absolutely nothing. Geezuz. Why wouldn’t someone give her a fucking chance?

Two weeks left of her unemployment. She tried to breathe through the panic. She opened her computer and went to her local help wanted page. It fairly leapt out at her:

Wanted: Someone dedicated, loyal, trustworthy. Needs to be able to follow through, be caring, and committed to excellence.

There was an email address listed below. Hell, she was all those things and more! She sent her resume, and tried not to get her hopes up. Every fruitless interview had beat her down just enough to shake her confidence. When the  phone call came an hour later, she was, frankly, shocked. She was even more stunned when the raspy male voice insisted that she interview today, and as soon as possible, please.

She dressed quickly, but carefully, somewhere between comfort and professional. She had absolutely no idea what the job entailed.  Hopefully her simple dress, linen jacket, and colorful scarf would portray a confident, capable woman.

************

He’d stared at her. Not a word spoken after the initial “come in” when she met him at the door. She had been surprised to be given the address for her interview~ it was at the most exclusive neighborhood in town.  The house, mansion really, was enormous. She tried not to imagine herself as a maid here; she was hoping for a personal assistant. The pay promised had been pretty darned generous; certainly well over what she had made at her last job. Yet, here she sat, in this beautifully appointed office, surrounded by bookshelves, antiques, and expensive what-nots, while being stared at by the man who would, hopefully, become her employer.

After 5 long, embarrassing minutes, his rusty voice almost startled her.

“When can you start?”

She blinked, caught off guard. He was hiring her? Or was this an inquiry?

“As soon as you need me to, Sir,” she had responded. The watery blue eyes had blinked, then he nodded.

“Sir? You’ve not told me what you need me to do…” the caustic look almost alarmed her. She swallowed.

“You’ll be caring for my pets. I have a very large, private aquarium. You’ll be responsible for keeping the viewing area clean and tidy. I often have private viewings for friends and associates. You’d be responsible for setting up chairs etcetera. Making sure the lights work, that sort of thing. Please come back tomorrow. Dress casual. That,” and he waved his bony hand at her, “is far too much. Shorts, tee-shirt, that sort of thing. You’ll need to go into the tank occasionally, just to clean around the top.”

“Oh. You don’t have sharks, I hope!” she giggled nervously.

He blinked owlishly at her. “No. Horrid creatures. No sharks.”

*************************

She’d arrived when he told her. A sheaf of papers needed to be signed. Social security number. Address, bank for direct deposit, identification forms, yada, yada, yada. So many papers. She stopped looking at them, fanned them out, signed them all.

He took them, checked each page for signatures, dated them, and arranged them precisely in order. Attaching a clip to them, he put them into a manila folder, and slid it into his bottom drawer.

“This way.”

He indicated that she lead the way out the door. They went to the back of the house, and then up a flight of stairs. And more stairs. Three full flights up and she was breathless. There was a heavy door at the top of the landing.

“Go on, then,” he gestured to her. She tugged it open. Saw the guards -they had to be guards,-on either side of the door. And then she saw the tank. She heard the door thunk shut behind her.

“You need to be naked.”

“I’m not going to be naked.” She whirled around and stared at her boss. “Mr. Withers, this is not what I agreed to at all.”

“Ms. Butler? This is exactly what you signed up for. I have 18 pages, all with your signature on them, downstairs to prove it. William can help you if you feel the need. He’s very good at undressing women.”

She glanced over at the guard who must be William. The leer was unmistakeable. No way was she letting him touch her.

“I am paying you a great deal of money to do this task. I believe I mentioned that I needed someone who could follow through, and be dependable in my ad. You assured me that you were. I can assure you that if you don’t work, you won’t be paid a penny.”

“I need this job….”

“Then do it. Naked. Now. If I understand correctly, your unemployment runs out in 10 days, yes?”

He twisted the knife of fear so well. With a little huff of breath, she all but tore off her tee-shirt. She didn’t want to take off her shorts. But somehow they were pooled around her ankles. She stepped free of them. She stood there in bra and panties. He stared at her. With a roll of her eyes, she unhooked her bra, shimmied out of her panties.

He walked her over to the side of the tank. It was bigger than anything she had ever seen in her life. There was ….something huge swimming in the tank.

“Oh my gawd. Is that…is that….”

“A giant squid. Rare, extremely rare. He is one of only a few dozen left in all the world. He needs special care. And you, my dear, are here to provide it for him. You need to go into the tank and let him get used to you.”

“I’m not going in there!” she gasped.

“Indeed, you will.”

*********************************************

She fell with a splash, her ass hitting the water first. She’d expected it to be shocking and cold, but it was, instead, warm, comfortable. Not hot, not unpleasant in the least. She rose to the surface, grabbed a lungful of air.

“You BASTARD!” she yelled at William, who stood at the edge of the tank with a shit-eating grin on his face. Her tirade was ended before it began when something curled around her ankle and tugged her under the water.