2015 Anniversary Challenge
The Fig Leaf, The Banana, and The Pink Ribbon

by Kathy De


The children ran through the tunnels, excited about the possibility of directing their own play.

Catherine had graciously given into their pleading, and Vincent grudgingly agreed to support her decision. As they walked through the tunnels hand and hand, he looked at her warily.

“Catherine, I fear the children may use this opportunity to …” His voice faded; he was unable to put into words his suspicions.

“To … what?” Catherine suddenly stopped walking and turned to face him.

“It’s just that you’ve opened up a world of possibilities to the children by telling them they can take from any subject they learned in the past six months, as long as they can make a story out of it.”

Catherine frowned in confusion. “I was trying to make it easy for them, I thought that by opening up all of the subjects, they might get a chance to be creative and come up with something other than Romeo and Juliet or Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher …”

“Yes, that’s what exactly what I’m talking about,” Vincent said evasively.

Catherine knew him too well and narrowed her eyes as she looked at him. “Vincent, what are you afraid to tell me? Do you know something I don’t?”

Vincent looked at her worriedly before he leaned against the tunnel wall and blew out a long breath. “Many of the children who come Below have already lived with parents or family and already have an established set of beliefs. When we teach, we stay as neutral as we can, but try to touch on aspects of all of the main religions, and then we also take on the scientific approach of evolution …”

“That makes sense; you let the children decide what they believe in.”

“It seems like the only fair way.”

Catherine stayed silent, prompting him to continue, but when he looked at her nervously, then looked away, she knew he was struggling about how to tell her something. “Vincent, just say it so we can deal with the consequences.”

Vincent took a deep breath. “Two weeks ago we read a chapter about Adam and Eve.”

Catherine frowned as she thought about the “first” couple. “Well, that doesn’t seem …” Her thoughts took her to the Garden of Eden and her jaw dropped open. “Oh …”

Vincent blushed as he looked away. “Yes …”

Catherine reached out and touched his arm nervously. “Surely, they wouldn’t pick that for a story would they?”

Vincent shrugged his shoulders as he sighed. “I think it’s a good possibility.”

Catherine groaned and held her hand over her face. “And I opened my big mouth and said we would wear costumes!”

Vincent nodded as he blushed a deep red and turned to walk away.

Catherine sighed and followed after him. They walked into the dining chamber and looked nervously over at the children who were in a large group, bent over a table and whispering out ideas. Brooke and Michael were in the middle of all of it and everyone. Once in a while, excited howling and giggles could be heard around the room.

“Oh no,” Vincent groaned.

“Maybe it won’t be that bad …” Catherine hinted hopefully.

Vincent shot her a look that said that it would definitely be bad!

Two hours after dinner, Brooke and Michael came to stand in front of Catherine and Vincent. “We have the screen play,” Michael said as he handed over four pages of dialogue.

Vincent and Catherine read through the pages quickly. Catherine felt her stomach start to settle. “This isn’t so bad,” she thought to herself.

Vincent came to the same conclusion, but when he looked up and saw Brooke and Michael giggling, he knew there was more. Brooke held two items in her hand. Vincent groaned as Catherine looked at them curiously.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Your costumes,” Michael answered seriously.

Catherine glanced at Vincent, then made to object when Brooke waved her finger. “Ah ... ah ... ah … you promised to act out our play with no objections!”

“But …” Catherine began.

“No objections …” Michael reiterated.

“Michael! I won’t …” Vincent began before Catherine placed a hand on his arm to stop him.

“Vincent, I did make a promise and I can’t go against it …”

“Catherine! The children have grossly overused the power bestowed on them to create a vicious game at our expense. These costumes …” he said, as he grabbed them from Brooke with one hand, “… were created with the sole purpose of embarrassing us. I won’t be a part of it,” he said as he stormed from the room.

Brooke and Michael were horrified that he thought that of them.

“Catherine, I promise you that was never what we intended!” Michael explained.

Brooke began to cry. “I thought Vincent would finally get over his fear of his appearance and accept himself the way we all do. I mean, there hasn’t been a girl raised in the tunnels who hasn’t had a crush on him at one time or another, and we just want him to be happy, and what would make him happy is being with you! Now we’ve just made it worse!”

She was sobbing by the time she finished, and Michael put his arm around her. “We’re really sorry, Catherine. Please tell Vincent we never meant it the way he thought we did.”

“I will,” Catherine said, as she patted Brooke on the shoulder tenderly.

Catherine tried to find Vincent, but was unable to track him down. She figured he had gone off to be alone for awhile, so she headed up to her apartment.

She emptied out her pockets and dropped everything on the bed, then headed to take a shower. She quickly finished then dried her hair. As she came out of the bathroom, she spotted the pink ribbon on the bed and picked it up.

“Costume?” she said to herself as she headed back into the bathroom. The ribbon shifted in her hands, and Catherine realized it was actually folded in half. When opened fully, it was about three inches wide.

Catherine’s brows rose in surprise, and she dropped the towel to the floor and played with wrapping the ribbon around her breasts and waist, then around her neck. An idea formed as she ran to get a pair of nude colored panties, then slipped them on as she took the ribbon off, then started wrapping it around her again. She managed to have it drape around her to discreetly cover all her private parts, and the look was amazingly exotic.

Catherine quickly pinned up her hair, then grinned in the mirror as she wondered if that was what Brooke had had in mind.

She heard the familiar tapping at her window and quickly slipped into a white sating robe. She headed quickly out to the balcony.


“Catherine, I’m sorry.”

“Vincent, don’t be sorry. I understand why you were so upset.”

“Still … I shouldn’t have just walked away from you.”

“No, Michael and Brooke explained to me the real reason behind what they did.” Vincent looked at her curiously, and she smiled, then continued. “The children just want you to be happy, and they’ve decided that I’m the person that makes you happy. They were just trying to find a way to push us together.”

Vincent shoulders sagged in relief. He truly believed that the children were not being cruel, and he realized her explanation sounded more like what they would have done. He smiled at her shyly. “You do make me happy. Without you my life would be nothing.”

“I feel the same way,” Catherine said as she stepped forward and kissed his cheek.

Vincent had grown accustomed to her kisses, and he turned his head and leaned in to kiss her. Catherine sighed as she leaned against him.

A cold wind blew, and she shivered. She remembered how she was dressed, then looked determinedly at Vincent. “Vincent, will you come inside?”

He sighed, then nodded at her shyly as he followed her inside. He threw his cloak over the back of a chair then stopped when Catherine turned to him.

“By the way," she said, "I’m wearing my costume.”

“What costume?” At the look in her eyes, Vincent gasped.

Catherine stood bravely in front of him and slipped the bathrobe off her shoulders, then let it fall to her feet. Vincent had looked away, and Catherine’s voice was thick with emotion when she spoke. “Vincent, look at me please.”

Vincent’s eyes grew wide as his eyes traveled down her length. He gulped against the lump in his throat and shifted as his body grew hard. “Catherine, it’s …you’re …”

He couldn’t speak, and Catherine licked her lips nervously. “I hope you’re going to say beautiful or …” She was embarrassed and looked down as she bent to retrieve her robe. “I’m …”

“Beautiful,” Vincent said, as he pulled the robe from her hands and tossed it on the bed. “You’re beautiful, Catherine.” His hands slipped from her shoulders and down her arms to hold her hands in his. As he leaned in to kiss her, he slipped his hands and held her waist.

The kisses deepened, and Catherine gasped as she pulled back to catch her breath. Vincent was panting heavily as she handed him the end of the pink ribbon.

Knowing she meant for him to undress her, Vincent looked into her eyes. “Catherine, I’m … willing to move forward … I have been for some time … I was just waiting for the chance to … Are you sure this is what you want?”

Catherine smiled as she began to seductively twirl in a circle, effectively taking off the first layer of ribbon. Vincent began to kiss her, and the two of them managed to slip the ribbon off completely ... as well as most of his items of clothing.

Vincent carried her to the bed and hovered over her as she slipped her nude colored panties off. She guided him through their first time and, despite being ready for him, gasped when he slipped inside of her. Vincent waited while her body adjusted to his size, then the night took on a magic of its own, and the couple made love until the early dawn.

Exhausted, Vincent groaned when the first signs of dawn shown on the horizon. “Catherine … I must leave soon.”

Catherine sighed and scooted against him. “We could stay here all day.”

“Father will worry …”

Catherine kissed his chest, then looked up into his eyes. “Can I come Below? Then … we could stay in your chamber … Maybe we can find a way to block the doorway,” she chuckled.

Vincent scooted to the edge of the bed and began to get dressed. “We have measures that we take when we want privacy … It will be unusual for those Below to see them in my chamber, but we will be able to have privacy.”

Catherine smiled, then slipped out of bed as well and quickly put on some warm clothes. “I’ll meet you Below in ten minutes.”

Vincent left as Catherine slipped on her shoes and coat. Her stomach rumbled, and she stopped off in the kitchen and grabbed whatever fruit was sitting in the bowl.

As she climbed down the ladder, she felt Vincent’s hand on her leg. She handed him the bag she was holding, and he took it from her immediately. As she stood in front of him, she opened the bag and looked inside.

“I was hungry so I grabbed some fruit. Apple, orange, grapes, or a banana?”

“Apple,” Vincent replied as they began to walk.

Catherine handed him the apple and began to peel the banana. As she brought it to her lips, Vincent’s eyes darkened as he was struck with the memory of her doing something similar to a part of his anatomy just last night. He blushed and turned his eyes away, shocked that his imagination had taken him to that place.

Catherine innocently walked ahead, with no idea that his thoughts had turned so abruptly. She watched as he took another bite of his apple and smiled. “Will Father be worried you were gone all night?”

“Perhaps, I … wonder if he’ll be able to see a change in me?”

“Have you changed?”

He took her hand and squeezed it lightly. “You took me to a place I had only allowed myself to dream about. For me if felt like paradise.”

Catherine smiled as he took another bit of his apple. “I feel like Eve, taking you to paradise, then getting you to eat the forbidden fruit.”

Vincent smiled at her and put his arm around her shoulder to draw her to his chest. “So you’re comparing us to Adam and Eve?”

“Well, this place is more like the Garden of Eden, but, yeah … I guess I am.” She looked at him saucily. “I just don’t think that we’ll be able to find a fig leaf big enough for you to wear.”

Vincent blushed as he looked away, and Catherine squeezed his hand, then turned him to face her. “I love you, Vincent.”

Vincent felt the honesty in her words and quickly drew her to his chest. “I love you too, Catherine.”


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