The Testing Session


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Carrie, her pollen-powdered golden hair tied back in a loose braid in an attempt to stop the tiny grains caught in her hair tickling her nostrils and interfering with the afternoon's experiments, was sitting on the bed, her legs crossed demurely at the ankle like a maiden aunt in church. She held a fat, lush-petalled
daisy in front of her face, the petals just lightly brushing her beautifully shaped, pink-edged nostrils.

She had taken off her dress, as it was also coated with pollen from the flower store, and was sitting in her ivory satin slip. Carrie, concentrating hard, breathed in through her nose, trying to coax the small, irritating tickle in her nose into a genuine urge to sneeze.

With the early summer light bathing her, her childish braid and the flower held up to her nose, Gloria thought that if it wasn't for her amazing breasts, Carrie would look just like a picture of a pretty little girl on a summer's day- the kind of picture that her mother loved to pick up at rummage sales and hang over the TV with the 3-D pictures of Jesus. Given that Mrs. Taylors only daughter was a raven-haired, foul-mouthed tomboy who decapitated daisies and never sat still once she'd learned to crawl, Gloria had never given her any static about the chocolate-box pictures, even though her aesthetic sense daily nagged her to set fire to them.

The illusion of peace and contentment that Carrie presented was abruptly shattered as the young woman raised her head, her eyes tearing violently, her mouth falling open in a look of utter helplessness and discomfort as her nostrils flared in and out, first slowly and rhythmically, then so rapidly her nose began to physically twitch like a rabbit's.

"Oh-" she managed, breathlessly, "it tickles!"

Satisfied that a sneeze was on the way, she laid the flower down in her lap as though she couldn't bear the itches it caused her any more. Then her face froze as the sneeze, on the point of coming out, got abruptly stuck. She sniffled, then frantically rubbed her itching nose with the heel of her palm, taking in deep breaths to try and build the tickle into a genuine sneeze as allergic tears formed in her eyes. "Hehhhh....hehhhh..." her breaths shuddered, her eyes closed, her head tilted back slowly...slowly...

"I need to snuhhheeze..." she whispered, her words caressing Gloria like a lover's endearment. "But it won't....come...oh God, it itches so much!"

Irritated, Carrie snatched up the daisy and pressed her nose right into its yellow centre, raising her head with a light dusting of saffron pollen on the very tip of her nose and expelling a great, wet, throaty sneeze so huge that Gloria felt a tiny touch of spray on her face.


Gloria held a tissue to Carrie's tender, reddened nose, wiping away the pollen, actually feeling the girl's nose wriggle and twitch beneath the tissue- she obviously wasn't finished with her sneezing fit.

"That was a big sneeze, sweetheart," Gloria said gently, stroking the trembling tip of Carrie's nose with a soft finger. "I think there's one more in that cute little nose of yours, am I right?"

Her fingertip, running insistently down Carries nose, tickled unbearably, and Carrie choked out, "You're gonna make me-" Gloria's finger pressed against her nostrils. "Sorry. That better?"

"Aahhh-" Carrie breathed out gently, and then suddenly her big blue eyes widened in panic as Gloria took away her finger. Her eyes closed, her mouth contorted into a pained grimace and she let out an enormous, forceful, "HaaaaaISSSHHOOO!"

Gently, Gloria wiped her friends nose with a soft, lotion-enriched tissue, which soothed her nose.

"Sorry. I couldn't resist it. Better out than in, y'know." She held the tissue to Carrie's nose. "Blow. You need to keep your nose clear for the next one." Carrie snorted softly into the tissue, afraid that she would soak her friend's hand if she really gave her nose a good blow. Gloria, with perfect aim, tossed the tissue into the bin and placed the half-empty box on Carrie's lap. Then, playfully, Gloria reached for the next flower- a fragile red wild poppy- and held the flouncing bloom beneath Carrie's quivering nostrils.

"Breathe," Gloria instructed, her voice dry and capable-sounding although she was burning with anticipation. Carrie obediently sniffed the flower, and moaned softly as the sneezy feeling spread into the back of her throat, making the slight tickle that persistently played with her into an insurmountable urge to  explode with a great sneeze.

Carrie, holding her breath, grabbed a handful of Kleenex, then jerked forward uncontrollably as she let out an enormous, "HA-ISHOOOO!" her eyes squeezed tightly shut, hand attempting to cover her nose and mouth with the tissues. "Oh God, get that thing away from me! Haah-ISSSHooo!"

Gloria smiled sympathetically. She gently lowered her face to Carrie's and kissed her very lightly on the nose.

"Kissing it better," she explained to the surprised girl. "If it's any consolation, Carrie, you look absolutely adorable when you sneeze."

Drawing back slightly, she noticed something about Carrie's face. What stunned her was that she had seen Carrie look like this before, she'd just mistaken it for other things- discomfort, embarrassment, yet another impending sneeze. But it wasn't.

Carrie looked even more beautiful than usual. Her soft, downy cheeks were flushed heavily, bringing out the startling cobalt darkness of her eyes and the corn-fed shine of her hair. But there was something else- a relaxed slackness in her lush lips, a sated look in her eyes. Carrie's blush had licked its way down her neck, even colouring the crests of her generous breasts just above the ivory lace of her slip's bodice. She looked post-coital, as though she should be sprawled out on the bed, laughing and naked, limbs spread in ecstasy, instead of perching on the mattress edge like a maiden aunt. As Gloria watched avidly, Carrie reached for a sunflower and pressed it to her nose, taking a thick, wet sniff at its centre.

Carrie's head reared back, completing the illusion of orgasm, as that unmistakable expression crept over her beautiful upturned face- her eyes slowly looked up too, watering violently, as a long, shuddering breath filled her lungs, making her impressive chest heave slowly.

Her nose was stuffed already, but there were definitely enough teasing, tickling little grains of pollen chafing and irritating her delicate nose for the sunflower to set off a sudden, definite itch in the very back of her right nostril.

She held the flower to her nose, giving herself no peace as the pressure in her nose slowly gathered to a head,  "Hah... ah... ahISSHOO!" Carrie shook herself like a wet dog drying itself, and grinned at Gloria. "God, I needed that!"

Gloria smiled at her, thinking hard. Even though she looked, and sometimes even behaved, like the last word in sophistication, Gloria's closest relationship was with her father, a foul-mouthed ex-cop, from whom Gloria inherited her fearless attitude and her stunning line in invective. Men seduced by her violet cat-eyes would often be shocked within moments of meeting her, as Gloria Taylor's Mona Lisa lips formed words that would have shocked a docker.

One of the things that Gloria had shared with her father from the age of eleven was their mutual appreciation for the oeuvre of Mr. Stephen King, and one of the most frequently quoted lines from a book of his- 'She looks like a widow who just got fucked after a ten-year dry spell,' had insinuated itself firmly into the knee-slapping Men's Night talk of Mr. Taylor and his friends, and into the vocabulary of the young Gloria.

It was this unrefined phrase that rose up like a bubble in Gloria's head when she looked at Carrie, who was all business now, reaching out for an amber rose which cast ripples of gold onto her face, and burying her nose in the centre of its glorious, flouncing petals.

As the inevitable build-up took control of Carrie's abused nose, Gloria looked at her unashamedly, and this time she saw that beneath the thin satin of Carrie's slip, her nipples were growing slowly and dramatically erect.

The sneeze jolted Carrie's head forward, and she threw the rose down on the carpet. "This is so useless!" She threw herself back on the bed like a bouncy child. "Let's face it, everything makes me sneeze." Gloria knelt down on the floor to retrieve the rose and place it with the rest of the Forbidden Flowers, and when she looked up to reassure her friend, she caught a glimpse of Carrie's underwear through the thin but plentiful folds of her swirling slip, like a flower in itself, petals of pale ivory falling and encircling their centre- white lace panties, bordered with tightly curled filaments of honey blonde. With a definite wet patch.

Gloria felt her breath inflate her lungs suddenly, almost painfully. "Oh my God," she thought. "This is just too wonderful."

"Carrie," she said softly.

Her friend rolled over to the edge of the bed and stared languidly down at Gloria. "Mm-hmm?"

"Forgive me for being frank, honey, but you look like you just...came."

Carrie did something Gloria had never expected her to do. She smiled, a slow, lazy grin spreading out across her face like spilt syrup.

"Want to hear something weird?" she said softly, lying down and spreading her arms out on the pillow.

"Always." Gloria lay next to her on the bed, tenderly stroking a finger down Carrie's cheek.

"Did I ever tell you about how I was brought up?"

Gloria rolled her eyes expressively. "I think perhaps you're prevaricating here, dollface..."

Carrie shook her head. "No, no, no. Hey, I don't talk much, do I? So listen. Basically, my parents were very big on church, and we went every week, more than once in Holy Weeks. I can still remember that church. Huge, silent, frightening and echoing...and filled with flowers."

"Oh God."

"Exactly. None of my family had allergies except me. I don't know why, but anyway, the long Sunday services in summer used to be absolute torture. I know I've got a big sneeze right now, but coming from a short, chubby, pigtailed little thing like I used to be, it was like a thermonuclear blast. I don't really think my mother understood my hay fever, and my father just used to think that I threw fake sneezing fits out of boredom- my brother's a great mimic and he could do an incredible fake sneeze when he didn't want to go to school, so I suppose they were paranoid for a good reason, but really I just couldn't help it. I used to sit there every Sunday in total agony, trying not to move because I knew the preacher could see me, even though I knew if I didn't rub my nose I'd just explode with a huge sneezing fit in the middle of the sermon. That was my insurance- if I just knew I was going to sneeze, the only thing I could do was try to rub my nose. It always worked.

Anyway, one Easter Sunday when I was about ten, I knew things were going to be bad. It was a beautiful spring day and I woke up with the most godawful case of the sneezes. While we were putting our best clothes on, my mother was like, "You'd better get all of those out right now, Caroline, because you can't sneeze in church." Of course, when we got there, the place was absolutely bursting with flowers- the altar, the sides of the pews, women were even wearing them on their hats, on their jackets. The church was unbelievably hot and dusty, the sun was shining right at me, and the smell of incense was driving me insane. Even my mother had this strong special-occasion kind of perfume on, which didn't help. Anyway, that was just the longest hour of my life, and I decided to see if I could test myself- if I could actually will myself not to sneeze, sitting perfectly still, not moving my hands, and about half-way through the service, concentrating on the tickle in my nose, I began to feel...well..."

"Horny," Gloria supplied with tact that would have made her father crack her open a beer.

Carrie nodded. "It was the first time I'd ever felt like that. Like this great feeling of warmth and light was concentrated in, well, a place I'd never given all that much consideration to. I kept thinking, I can't go on without sneezing, and it just seemed to get me more and more excited, this holding back, the danger of it, knowing that I was probably going to explode any second, that every breath was a potential disaster and that after holding back so long the sneezes would be huge, even by my standards, that they'd drown out the preacher and probably the entire congregation. But it actually worked. I wish I could still do that. I suppose I just like sneezing too much. Not the itchy-eyed runny-nosed bit, but just the feeling of a really satisfying sneeze. I've never been that afraid since, I suppose. Not till now, anyway.

The minute they let us out of there I bolted into the toilets in the church hall, where we had Sunday school, and let rip like you wouldnt believe. I had never felt anything so good in my whole life, but I managed to get it under control again long enough for the ride home. When I got home, I ran into my bedroom and sneezed up a storm, and about half-way through the fit I felt like I had to, you know-" she gently rested her hand on her crotch. "It was just like another kind of...release. But because that was the first sexual thing I did, I don't know, sneezing and sex have always been closely linked for me. It was kind of a fun game when I was a kid, and it helped me deal with keeping my sneezes in during exams and meetings- it was just like a reward, or something. But once I started dating, I'd try like crazy not to sneeze when I was with someone I really liked, and all it would do was turn me on so badly that I was afraid I'd get a reputation."

Gloria, who was proud of all of her reputations, just smiled. "Carrie, that is so unbelievably cute. But doesn't John know?"

"God, no!" Carrie shot up from the bed. "It's! I mean, can you imagine what he'd think if I told him? He'd think he had to make love to me every time I sneezed!"

Gloria fought to keep a poker face. "And you dont want that?"

"Well, most of the time I do, but..." Carrie sighed. "It's just ridiculous. I should just be glad that I get some enjoyment out of these damn allergies, but sometimes I just get so unbelievably turned on, especially when I'm with John, and all I can think about is how much I want him that I can hardly speak. I mean, he's so sweet about my allergies, I should just thank God I've found someone who can put up with them, and he always looks after me when I've got colds, but..."

"Sometimes you just want him to give you some lurve," Gloria finished.

"And the worst thing is, I just can't handle it at my wedding. It's's just too much. Too much tension, too much pressure. Everyone looking at me. Churches always remind me know. And anyway, it really is embarrassing, not being able to get through my vows because of these damn flowers, with everyone I know there feeling embarrassed for me...even you, even John..." Carrie groaned and hid her face in the pillow while Gloria gently rubbed her back. "I don't know what to do."

"You might well worry about John's mother and your mother and the rest of the civilised world, Carrie, but don't even begin to worry about John," Gloria said, smiling broadly. "You're just perfect for each other."