The North Valley Tailor: The Nerd by CountryMouse
For a few years in grade school, before Geoff ever lived across the street from Lyla, Adison was best friends with the Lyon’s daughter. Adison was the pretty one that everyone liked, and Lyla was the smart one who knew all the homework answers.
The dynamic changed when over one summer, Adison had to start wearing glasses, and Lyla became a young woman. When 7th grade began, Lyla was 4 inches taller, and had developed her famous hourglass body. Most of their mutual friends migrated over to her. Still, there was a time when Adison would stay the night at her house, eat popcorn and stay up too late playing point and click adventures.
“Ooh, that sounds hot.” Gabi said to Riley louder than intended, “We should try that.”
Allegra supposed that meant they were on-again, “No. It’s an old-style of gaming.” Before Lakyn could call her a nerd, Allegra clamped her hand over her mouth and pinched her nose. “this guy in a white suit would follow your pointer around, and try to get dates. It was really fun.”
“How is that different?” said Lakyn. “Nerd.”
They had not spoken since high school began. Now that it was over, and they were both moving away, Adison felt she needed closure with Lyla. At least try to see her and say goodbye, “Hey Lyla, I have to get going but I just wanted to say hi…”
Lyla leaped up and gave her a warm, damp, genuine hug. “Oh wow Adison, I’m surprised to see you!”
Adison uncomfortably said, “You invited me.”
“I know that, silly.” Lyla laughed “It was a hopeful invitation, we haven’t talked in years. I miss you so much.”
This made Adison emotional, so Lyla hugged her again. “It happens.”
“I heard you got into UC Davis? When do you start?”
Adison was surprised at how much Lyla knew about it. “In Two weeks, I got into the veterinary program.”
“Oh, that’s great! Remember we used to play with that Animal Hospital playset?”
“Lyla, I really have to…” Adison said regretfully. She felt like she was going to cry, but needed to leave for her last shift at the diner tonight. She needed all the cash she could get.
Lyla understood and picked up her phone “What’s your number?” Adison sent her a message that she could respond to later. “Okay, once I’ve beaten this hangover, we’re going to have lunch and catch up okay?”
Adison was pleased, She didn’t believe they were really going to meet up, but she hoped they would. After one last hug, she walked through the Lyon’s house and out the front entrance. The street was full of cars parked for Lyla’s party, Adison would have to walk a few blocks to get to her red Hyundai i10.
It was a standard suburban neighborhood, a planned community that had a housing board requiring residences to be painted every decade and the lawns to be maintained. Except that these rules were not often enforced, and there were some unruly yards. The men on the board just used the meetings as an excuse to play billiards, and get away from their wives.
Adison paused to remove her glasses, and wipe tears from her cheeks. She had not prepared for such a reaction to talking to Lyla again. They had never had a falling out, they just followed different interests. Adison had been afraid Lyla wouldn’t recognize her, or worse, bully her. Lyla had gone from a sweet, smart girl, to a queen bee, and rumored ****.
The skinny, red-haired girl, fogged-up her lenses and wiped them clean with a microfiber cloth. Her parent's house was just a street over, but she had not been on this side of the neighborhood in years. In the yard directly across from the Lyon’s house, she saw the blurry figure of the neighbor, standing on the porch of the recently sold house. In the darkness, she could only tell that the figure was short and thin, standing about the same height as her, but this person had broader shoulders. Adison remembered an older couple living there but doubted they were still alive. She assumed this was a new family. This must be the wife, or perhaps a teenage kid?
She waved and called “Hi.” but the neighbor did not respond. The heat of the day had finally backed down, and a breeze chilled through the sheer stretchy fabric of her black full-length dress unimpeded. Fortunately, Adison was always prepared for her trusty oversized gray “Hello Kitty” hoodie. She had received the sweater for her 16th birthday and had worn it every day since.
The mousey redhead hesitated, before moving into the unlighted area of the street. It was a ghost town, with no lights on in any nearby house. The Lyon’s had let everyone know about Lyla’s going away bash and had probably made plans to be elsewhere this evening.
The girl was suddenly, inexplicably, overwhelmed with fear. Her heart rate accelerated to an alarming rate, and the usual tension in her shoulders went away as adrenalin hit her bloodstream. She considered herself a strong modern woman who did not need a man to protect her, but she had lost her nerve about walking that distance alone.
She considered going back to the party and asking one of the guys to ****** her. Adison put her glasses back on and looked all around. The neighbor was no longer on the porch, but otherwise, it was the same scene.
Adison calmed herself by doing some math. Even though she lived only a street over, their yards didn’t quite meet up, it was that odd geography, where she could see her own house from Lyla’s backyard but was unable to walk to it. They used to ride their bikes, from Adison’s culdesac to the end of her street, then turn down the main road, where their grammar school was located, to Lyla’s street. Long way to walk, faster on a bike, almost no time with a car.
With all the extra vehicles filling up the spaces around Lyla’s house, there was no close parking. The latecomers were instructed to use the school lot, so after one pass without finding a spot, she left the Hyundai over by the kindergarten buildings. Adison guessed it would be a 10-minute walk and there was no one in sight. Adison found the pepper spray in her purse, took a deep, unimpeded breath, and set forward.
The loud music from the party drowned out all other noise. Adison could hardly hear the clip-clop of her own clog shoes, as she walked down the middle of the empty street.
“Fuck!” Adison yelled, nearly jumping out of her skin when her phone suddenly dinged.
She forced herself to calm down, pulling out her smartphone. There was a text from an unknown number:
“I’ll see you soon…G”
Relief washed over her, It was just Lyla returning the text she had sent a few minutes ago. What was she so anxious about? She had lived in this neighborhood her whole life.
With renewed confidence, Adison continued walking…
Adison felt it again.
Her proprioception, her spidey sense, was firing on all cylinders, warning her that someone, somewhere, somehow was watching her. The second wave of hysteria was more manageable for her though.
As she walked the redhead did a spin to check her surroundings. She was not graceful, nor were her leather clog shoes the kind intended for activity. She stepped on the skirt of her too-long dress and felt something tear as she tripped backward to land on her ****.
She sat on the still warm street laughing at herself. She was still close to Lyla’s house and could run back there in 2 minutes if she had to, less if she ditched her stupid shoes. The things women did for fashion.
Her mood turned dark when she inspected her new-used dress. She used some of her work money to buy most of her own clothes from vintage boutiques…
“She means a Thrift Store,” Lakyn said wryly.
Allegra rolled her eyes but smiled.
She had her eye on this dress for months but felt its tight fit was a little risqué for her. Adison had always been a tall awkward beanpole…
“Like Alley!” Gabi teased.
Allegra’s mouth dropped in exaggerated insult. “Well, at least I won’t have Pamela Anderson’s back problems when I’m 30!”
Gabi leaned in unfazed, “pre or post-reduction surgery?”
“Thanks!” Gabi smiled broadly. It was difficult to body shame a girl with Gabi’s natural gifts. When they were at the beach Allegra witnessed a little kid's voice change to a baritone after staring at Gabi in a bikini for 5 minutes.
…beanpole but the salesgirl convinced her it the slinky mesh fabric flattered her figure. After every paycheck, she would go back to the store and try it on in front of the three-way mirror but she never left the store with it. At last, she made the purchase when the invitation to Lyla’s party turned up in the mail. She had just been waiting for the right occasion to wear it.
Now Adison was lamenting the rip in her skirt. It traveled up to her knee, exposing the pale flesh of her skinny calve. She tried to fix it but the integrity of the thin cotton lycra blend was undermined and she ended up tearing it even further up her thigh. When she stood up the fabric of her skirt split open to uncover her scrawny leg nearly up to her *******. Adison pulled the sides together, her eyes darting around to make sure nobody saw that.
She took no more than 3 steps before she tripped on the skirt again. She caught herself with her hands to avoid a face plant. Again, she felt the fabric coming apart. Kneeling on all fours Adison could see that the other side of the garment had slit open and both of her legs were exposed.
The skinny girl stepped on the skirt over and over as she tried to pull herself up. At length, Adison settled back on her feet. Her dress had gone from floor-length to just a few inches of the skirt under her sweater. The girl burned red with embarrassment throwing her hands over her pasty thighs, she was wearing Wolford skin tone tights but she may as well be barelegged. She silently screamed “Oh my god!”
What was she going to do? She could make it back to the party, but there were dozens of people there now who would see her matchstick thin legs. On the other hand, she had her work clothes in her car to change into. She just had to make it there.
The redhead yanked down the shortened hem of her dress attempting to cover her naked thighs, unaware that Geoff lurked only steps behind her using the noise of the party, and the darkness of the evening to remain hidden.
Losing her skirt was embarrassing enough. Going back to the party and having to explain why she was walking around in her ******* would be Adison’s greatest fear come true. Nothing, not even death, terrified her more than the idea of somehow losing all her clothes and having to run around naked while other people saw her.
As with all things, she approached this fear academically. This led her to read from some ****** fiction websites such as nficstoryboard Where there were all sorts of stories. Some about a college where all the women who attended went to class naked as a rule. Others were about women who were sentenced by a judge to work as **** mail carriers. Still, other stories were about a young woman named Jenny whose clumsiness led to her losing her clothes as she tried different activities.
Adison would deny in court that this “embarrassed naked female” stuff was actually a turn-on for her, though once her research was satisfied she continued visiting those sites.
Things were going well. She could see the street sign where cars from Main Street would turn off to go towards Lyla’s house. That meant she was beyond the halfway point, less than 5 minutes to the Hyundai, and nobody’s Grandma had come out demanding to know why Adison was walking through their neighborhood not wearing pants.
She considered wearing her chunky “Hello Kitty” hoodie as a skirt, but the dress had not been doing much to keep her legs warm anyway. removing the sweater that was working did not make sense. Besides this was not worse than shorts, she wore those sometimes, just not cut so high.
There was still the specter of atmospheric dread looming in the air. She knew it was only paranoia, but she could feel someone’s eyes on her. A persistent, unwelcome leering traveled up and down her body making her colder than the breeze flowing across her legs did.
Every few steps the thin redhead looked around, unable to quash the desire to start running, but in which direction? She was seeing human-shaped shadows everywhere. Standing amongst hanging clothes, standing behind a backyard gate with a “Beware of Dog” sign. Adison crossed to the other side of the street when she got close to a shrub dividing two properties and thought she saw something move.
She turned the corner and could see her car now. A small 10-year-old commuter vehicle she inherited when her mom decided to get a gas-electric hybrid. It was extremely well cared for with a nearly perfect interior and slight discoloration on the hood and roof due to being parked outside. Adison had only had her license for a year and was looking forward to taking the s10 on a road trip to Davis for school in a few weeks.
Now she was running, all internal alarms going off at once. She risked a glance back but still saw nothing. What was she running from? She had the habit of psyching herself out and mistaking windmills for giants, but it had never pressed the panic button like this before.
A Supra MK IV roared past her and the passenger catcalled loudly, “Damn baby! Those are some nice legs!”
Adison was startled, losing a shoe as she jumped. The girl cursed as she walked back for the black leather clog. She found the show easily but somehow lacked the coordination to slip her stockinged foot into the heelless sandal. It was because she was shivering, which surprised her because she wasn’t that cold.
Adison gave up and just bent over to retrieve it. She felt a draft between her legs and stood upright blushing. Those guys in the car would have gotten a nice show if they had passed by again.
Wait. What did she care about what those assholes thought of her? It was rude and made her feel objectified. She liked their Supra though, it sounded like a street racer. Did they really think she was cute?
It felt like half an hour but Adison made it to her car in only 8 minutes. At last, she was at the Hyundai parked by itself under a light on the street in front of a chain-linked fence. She was relieved to see her work clothes in the back seat. In moments she would be able to put pants on and have some coverage below the waist.
The redhead fumbled through her purse for her car keys, found them, then dropped them straight away. To make the simple task even more complicated she then kicked the keychain to god only knows where.
“Ooh!” Swooned Allegra’s 3 woman audience. Manicured hands reached into the large yellow mixing bowl full of fresh popcorn. They were eating from a new batch.
“Does Geoff kill her?“ asked Lakyn dropping her usual coolness.
“I hope not,” said Gabi “Adison is cute.”
“Yeah, don’t kill Adison, kill Lyla,“ Riley opined “Lyla’s a *****.”
Adison’s heart raced again. She peered all around, keeping her back to the car. Nobody for a hundred feet in any direction. Except that she couldn’t see very far beyond the outer fence of the school.
It was a stupid move, one Adison knew only some dumb character in a horror movie would make, but she braved going up to the fence. On the other side, the grass was unkempt. The groundskeeper tended the lawn less often during the summer, but they would come around soon to cut it before classes started again. She could see the empty baseball field lit up in the distance. The lights were on a schedule year around for the baseball leagues that used them.
Between where Adison stood by the fence, and the ball field, there was several hundred feet of darkness. With her poor vision, Adison realized that a person could have been standing directly in front of her and they would see her, but she wouldn’t see them. Then there were trees, old and thick enough for a large man to hide behind.
Adison remembered that she needed to find her lost car keys and cautiously split her search. A quick scan around all sides of the Hyundai compact car proffered no results, so she kneeled down in the street using the led lamp on her phone to hunt under the vehicle. Her pipe dream was to find the keys in the first few tries and be off to work, but since this was a horror movie she was not so lucky.
If she was going to get those keys she had to be willing to get herself dirty. With a frustrated sigh, she lay belly down in the street, well aware that her legs and **** were now highly visible. In this posture, she had a full view beneath the car and she rapidly located her keys. Of course, they were just out of her reach
As she struggled Adison’s phone went off again, indicating a new message. Adison repositioned so that her body was side by side with the car. Her fingers could just brush against the polygonal 20 sided dice tag, but she could not get her hands around it.
Adison flipped over and sat on the street. She still did not see anybody when she surveyed the area around her. With reluctance, she pulled her grey “Hello Kitty” sweater over her head and set it on the ground next to her, it might give her another half-inch to move around.
With her ruined clothing only covering the same area as a one-piece swimsuit, Adison laid down on her back. She shimmied one leg and arm beneath the car. The keys were still out of reach but she sucked in her stomach and was able to roll the D20 enough to finally move the loop close enough to grab the keys.
“Yes!” She cheered victoriously. Adison climbed out laughing at herself. She was a world-class clutz. Only she could manage to lose half her dress and wind up crawling under her own car that way. It was very similar to the heroines in those naked damsels in distress stories. Everything was good now though.
She checked the message on the phone. Lyla again? Nothing for 5 years and now she couldn’t get her to stop calling. The message had no text, just a “G” with a video attachment. Adison clicked on the link, and a 30-second clip filmed in vertical orientation started playing. “What the ****?”
The video started with a really skinny girl with glasses and red braids leaving a familiar house. The footage was taken at night but the house was well lit. Then the camera was switched to night mode as the cameraman walked very close behind the nervous young woman as she walked down the street. The person filming demonstrated how close he was by reaching and acting like he was going to touch her.
Things went into chaos as the man moved suddenly. The video steadied when the person filming found a new hiding spot. Now the cameraman was peering over the white camper shell of a pickup truck. The girl was fighting with her clothing, comically tearing away her own skirt. That footage looped a few times.
Next, when she was mere feet away from him she turned away, and he followed her across the street unseen.
Then the camera zoomed in on her **** and legs. The girl was across the street looking all around for the keys she had dropped. The video slowed to 0.5 speed as she peeled off her chunky sweater.
Adison got to her feet breathing hard, she felt like she was having a heart attack. She thought the “G” was just a typo, but this wasn’t Lyla messaging her at all. There was no doubt. It was her, the girl in the video was her! Someone had been following her this whole time and they were watching her now!
From somewhere behind her, Geoff said “I told you I’d see you later…”
“Somebody let me in!” Adison screamed furiously ringing Lyla’s doorbell while trying to hold her bra in place with her other hand. Grace laughed at the tall redhead's wild behavior “What is her problem? What happened to her clothes?”
“Should we let her in?” Asked Rachel innocently.
“Not when she’s acting crazy like that.” Lyla insisted. “I don’t know, we used to be friends, but she's become a real weirdo.”
“Not bad,” Mike said checking out Adison as if he had never seen her before. He whistled his appreciation. Unlike his curvy girlfriend Lyla, Adison had a tall slender frame with small breasts, a tight belly, and narrow hips. Willowy, yet womanly. “Who knew The Wendy’s Chick could fill out a bikini like that?”
Lyla punched her boyfriend in the arm and gave him a death stare. “Don’t say stupid **** like that until after you’ve gotten laid, you idiot.”
“Oh…” Mike realized his mistake, but countered with “Maybe I’ll just give Adison a few drinks and…”
That launched their 3rd fight of the evening. Lyla herded Mike into her bedroom for when the argument devolved into make-up ***. It always took at least 3 fights.
“Please! He’s crazy!” Adison yelled pounding on the door. She looked out into the roundabout of the culdesac and ran over to the next window. “Let me in!”
Grace suggested. “Maybe we should let her in, she seems really upset.”
“Lyla’s right, maybe Nerd-Girls on drugs or something. You know those Dungeons and Dragons geeks think fairies and stuff are real” said Rachel, taking a shallow draw from her vaping stick. “Plus, It’s not our house,”
“Ooh, I know!” Grace hurried off toward the kitchen with her idea. While she was gone, Adison came back to the front door and tried to force it open with her nothing weight, then she stood in front of the window and looked right at Rachel.
“Help me! The psycho was right behind me.” she pleaded.
“Why are you naked?” Rachel asked loudly.
“He cut off my clothes!” Adison said urgently, relieved that someone was listening to her. “He has scissors and he’s going to kill me!”
“Scissors?” Rachel scrunched up her face in doubt. “That doesn’t seem like the best thing to stab someone with.”
“Why would I lie about… He’s crazy! Look at what he did to me!” Adison called attention to “I’m out here in my *******!”
Adison seemed to hear something that Rachel couldn’t and she ran off through the bushes. Grace came back with a big smile on her face, “That should get rid of her.”
“What did you do?” Rachel asked.
“Ah!” Grace and Rachel both cried out as Adison reappeared unexpectedly and began doggedly hitting the window “He's over there! Open the door… eek!”
The front lawn suddenly erupted in water as the sprinkler system switched on. Adison was standing right next to one and took a geyser full in the face. The girls laughed as the waifish ginger brought her hands up to guard her face taking a backward spill over the hedge behind her.
Adison was back on her feet pulling mud and branches out of her sopping wet hair. She turned back to Grace and Rachel long enough to flip her middle finger at them, before running out onto the lawn trying to avoid the sprinklers.
Then Adison saw something that made her shift into reverse. She backed up a few steps and tried to turn around but lost her footing and took a face dive. She landed in the mud with a splat.
Then they saw him, a gaunt hooded figure, manifesting out of the darkness. He wore black clothes, knee-length shorts with black socks and trainers. On his upper body, he wore a neutral grey hoodie with a cute cartoon cat on the front. The hood was pulled over his head leaving his features in shadow.
Grace and Rachel knew who it was though.
“It’s Geoff!” They cried out together.
“I thought he was ******* in the shed.” Said Grace having a panic attack.
“He was!” Rachel affirmed, “Did you check on him?”
“Fuck no I didn’t check on him,” Grace screamed back “that was the point, to make him think we forgot about him.”
With her bare feet, Adison had trouble getting purchase in the slick mud. As she was slipping and sliding Geoff was almost on top of her. He raised a hand menacingly over his head and there was a bright glint as the scissors were brought into the light.
Geoff lashed out nearly carving into Adison’s back as the disheveled girl broke into a sprint. Instead, the blade caught the strap of her bra which popped off of her shoulder. The tension of the brassiere laxed and her right breast popped out of the cup, bouncing as she ran for the door. Adison wailed “Let me in!”
Rachel bawled “We have to open the door for her Grace!”
“No, he’s too close to her!” Grace shrieked.
“Somebody please open the door!” Adison reached the door vehemently shaking the handle but Rachel saw Geoff coming up the walkway and set the deadlock. Adison cursed “You *****!”
The skinny redhead put her back against the door so that Grace and Rachel could only partially see her. Geoff was at the doorstep, eyes obfuscated in the shadow of his “Hello Kitty” hood. All they could see was his hideous Cheshire cat leer. His arm was raised to eye level as he pointed the scissor blades at his victim and worked the handles.
Snip… snip… snip… ah… ah... ah…
They saw Adison raise her arms like a shield, screeching in horror as Geoff brought the scissors down on her again and again.
“No, please no!” Adison wailed as Geoff descended on her with his silvery cutting tool. Through the sidelight next to the main entry, they could only see a hand and a svelte, naked leg. The sprinklers were going all out, bringing rain where there was none, soaking the front lawn as well as both Geoff and his victim.
“What’s going on?” Lyla walked up pulling her shirt back on. “You’re screaming louder than Mike.”
“Where is he?” asked Grace, sure that Mike could kick Geoff’s ass if he came after them.
“We just finished up, so he’s having a cry.”
Rachel explained frantically “Dude! Fucking Geoff is out there and he just killed Adison!”
“What? How did he…” before she finished her thought Lakyn screamed and pointed at the window. They watched Adison slump out of sight, still wailing from the agony of her injuries.
Geoff stepped into view facing away from his victim as she damned him verbally. “You depraved ************! What is wrong with you?”
He stopped at the edge of the darkness, facing his own house, looking fixedly at his phone. The morose light drenched his goblin features in blue. His sardonic smile was wider than it should be. A half-curtain of hair swooped over half of his face.
“Help me…” cried Adison.
“Okay, get her Mike!” Lyla ordered, “Open the door Grace.”
The skinny redhead was curled up in a ball, arms crisscrossed over her long legs, head bowed down. Most arresting was the reality of her ******. Mike pulled the girl to her feet where she stood soaked through, arms at her side, bearing his scrutiny.
“Wow!” Mike gawked with a big stupid smile. Adison’s breasts were first-rate, her dainty curves exquisite. Who would have known?
Adison took his ogling with irritation. She covered her intimate parts with her arms, cocking a hip. “Do you think you could have opened the door, I don’t know Before the maniac cut everything off?”
“Uh… sorry?” Mike said bashfully. He put an arm around her wasp waist and helped Adison inside. She shoved him away when his hand lingered too long on her breasts. “Mike quit groping me!”
Lyla did not bother getting angry, she was going to dump him anyway. “Adison, are you hurt? There’s no blood?”
Adison nodded explaining, “Right, that pervert just took a bunch of pictures, gave me the thumbs-up, and left me there naked.”
“You were right Lyla,” said Rachel solemnly, speaking the moral lesson out loud. “Even when he had a hot girl at his mercy, that nasty kid didn't know what to do with her.”
Geoff acknowledged his audience with a crazy, unblinking eye. At once their phones all went off, each of them, at least all the girls, received dozens of embarrassing photos of Adison and a foreboding message from Geoff.
“I’ll see you later…G”
Then the gangly thing that was Geoff Forrester, Geoff the Voyeur, whom police would nickname “The North Valley Tailor” walked off into the night, never to be seen again.
Or the beginning?
“So they never found him?” Asked Lakyn.
“It’s a story,” Allegra affirmed. “But yeah, there is supposed to be a real Geoff. Lyla called the cops and they arrested him a few hours later at his house next door. He went to a mental hospital.”
“But this was years ago right?” said Riley, putting the pieces together. “The original story was written in the 90s.”
“They could prevent his criminal activities while he was in the facility. As long as he showed improvement, they would release him when he was 18.” Gabi drew in a sharp breath. “He would be out by now! Geoff could be anywhere, anybody!”
“Or he could be totally fictional,” Allegra said reasonably. “There are a ton of Geoff the Voyeur stories, including multiverse versions where Stu becomes the Tailor, and Adison goes around stripping women before Geoff can.”
“Ooh, I want to hear one of those!” Said Gabi.
Allegra looked hard at her phone. “That depends on the Reader, Man.”
Lakyn seemed disinterested as she asked. “So now the story is over, do you want to do the seance now?”
“No. That was the seance.” Said Allegra.
At that instant, the girls were startled by the noise of their phones dinging all at once…