Travelling in Bondage

Travelling in Bondage

by D

March 2011.

“Travelling in Bondage” was written by me possibly in 1998 and was one of first items of mine that was ‘published’ on the Net. It was originally written as a partial explanation of my private lifestyle at that time and designed to be read only by a specific friend of TB and myself. As he also ran a web site specialising in D/s writings, he asked for permission to publish it, which was why it first saw light of day on the Leviticus site.

For some reason, it was removed from that site later and, after many years of gathering dust, is now published here at the Confining Clothing Group as it has certain elements that relate to the group’s main interests.

As I said in the original Preface, it is a factual record of my life back many years ago and not a work of fiction. As such it brings back a lot of memories for me when I read it again a few days ago – the first time I had done so for over a decade. I hope you enjoy it.

“D”


The most important element about this article is that it is NOT a work of fiction, but is an accurate and truthful account of aspects of my life, past and present. I am a submissive who has been in a 24/7 D/s relationship with her Master for five years. I count myself as very blessed to have such a wonderful Master who understands me so completely, and whom I strive to please to the very best of my ability all the time. This article is written with his permission and encouragement.


TRAVELLING IN BONDAGE.

My name is ‘D’, I am in my twenties, and I am the chattel of my Master, The Bear. Ours may not be the most typical D/s relationship, as I have a career that he permits me to pursue but, when I am at home, I must forget that I am Dxxxxxx. She may be the person who puts the key in the door lock, but it is ‘D’ who steps into the house.

One aspect of our relationship which has been very important from the start has been my Master’s decision that within the house – and, as I will relate shortly, outside it too at times – I must be kept under some form of restraint all the time. This can vary from simple enough methods, such as wearing hobbles or short-chained handcuffs, through to full restraints that do not allow me to move a muscle. More usually it takes the form of my being made to wear often uncomfortable and confining clothing. As I type this article, I am dressed in such a way so that the simple act of using the keyboard is made difficult by thick gloves and by having my arms tethered to my sides just above my elbows. In addition I am wearing very heavy clothing, corsets and a floor length cape which only opens up to waist level. That I am gagged as I type is perfectly usual, as my Master does not wish to be disturbed by my chatter.

It was probably a few months after my Master and I decided to share our lives that we first ventured outside the house with me under restraint. Of course, that was not my decision but one of The Bear’s ideas. A week or so earlier he had brought me a calf-length cape which was normal enough to wear in public. However it did not take long for the arm-slits to be sewn up, rings for padlocks to be sewn on at collar, waist and hem levels, and for an innocuous cape to become a restraint item. Naturally, as soon as I had finished modifying the cape to my Master’s specification, he took me out for a walk wearing it. But he harnessed my hands and arms behind my back before he caped me, so that I was in bondage even before I stepped out into the street.

It soon became quite usual for us to go out with me harnessed and caped. We went to the cinema, to the theatre and for long walks with me made helpless under my cape. Occasionally we got strange looks………. Why was that girl still wearing her cape all buttoned from throat to hem in a perfectly well heated cinema or theatre? Once a young woman of my own age came up to me and commented that I must be very hot dressed like that. (The cape was made of wool and was fully lined, so she was right in thinking I was hot, wearing it in the cinema.). I just smiled and said I was okay. She looked very puzzled as she moved away.

Also a man came up to my Master and said, laughing, “I wish I could keep my wife like that!” The Bear just smiled back and moved me away before the man could take any further interest in us. I think he must have realised what was going on, but my Master’s silence showed him that it was not a good idea to pursue the matter further.

Soon after this, I started to make various garments for myself as my Master’s instructions, including the prototype of the indoor ‘uniform’ which I am now wearing. Luckily making clothes has always been a hobby of mine. I get ‘difficult’ items – corsets, stockings, gloves, boots etc. – from ordinary or specialised suppliers, but all other ‘normal’ clothing I make myself. So it was no surprising that my Master instructed me to make myself a proper full length cloak with a hood and the usual ‘extras’. Also he ordered me to make it of the heaviest material I could find and to line it throughout – “Just in case we have a BAD winter!”.

From then on, when I was not working, and if the weather did not make wearing a long cloak look too extraordinary, I had to wear my cloak when I left the house in my Master’s company. Because it was full length, not only could I have my arms harnessed or kept immobile in a single sleeve or straitjacket, but I could also be hobbled as well – just to make walking that bit more difficult. Also its extremely deep hood was very useful, and not just for keeping my head and face warm when it was cold outside. For, when the weather justified it, my Master would wind a scarf around my lower face, as though protecting me from the chill. In fact the scarf was there to hide the fact that I was gagged.

So it was that I started being taken out under duress and in bondage. At first he would only take me out at night but later we went out in daylight as well. Then one day, when we were about a mile from our house, he hailed a cab.

Before he got into it, he said, “Time for you to look after yourself. See you at home, and DON’T loiter!”

With a final wave, he got into the cab and drove off, leaving me standing on the pavement, cloaked and hooded, hobbled and harnessed, and completely helpless. Although I was not gagged that evening, I could not call a cab or get on a bus as I had no money. Even if I had, I would not have been able to use it, as my arms were locked into a tightly laced-up single-sleeve behind my back under the cloaks dense drapery. So I set off to walk home, half terrified, half weak with excitement. Even when I did eventually get home – my hobbles were long enough to climb steps but still made walking slow and difficult – I was soaked in sweat and shaking. Even then my Master had another little joke to play on me. For he was not there when I arrived and, cloaked and helpless, I could not ring the door bell (we have a pull-type device so using my nose would not have been possible.)

So I had to stand on the door step, hoping and praying the neighbours would not notice me, or that a ‘helpful’ policeman would not come up to me to find out why I was standing there. By the time my Master did let me in (he was aware of my arrival and had been watching me unseen all the way home – he had stopped the taxi as soon as he was out of my sight), I was a complete nervous wreck. But, as a submissive, I had to silently accept his little joke and just hope that he never played it on me again. Of course he has – several times – the last time making me get out of the car and leaving me with a two mile trudge home which, close hobbled, was most unpleasant.

From just going for walks or to the cinema with me cloaked and under bondage, my Master soon extended the rules concerning how I might be dressed outside the house when under discipline. If he was with me, I must ALWAYS be cloaked, hooded, harnessed and, preferably, gagged when I left home. Of course going shopping or visiting friends were times when this rule had to be waived. But travelling from A to B I was to be kept in bondage whenever it was possible.

Travelling in the car was easy. Our garage is attached to the house, so I could be ‘loaded’ into the passenger seat before he drove out onto the street. Once he fastened my seat belts about me (he has now replaced inertia belts by ‘positive fixing’ ones in the passenger seat, so he can tighten them as severely as he likes, and so they will remain fully fastened until he choses to unfasten the belts) and we are on our way, he will probably pull my hood right down in front of my face so I can’t see anything, as well as probably being gagged under the hood’s canopy.

He has also fixed a steel bar across the bottom of the passenger side foot-well. Once I have been belted to the seat, he will push my feet down to the bar and will then shackle my hobble to it. I always secretly hope he will forget to do this, as having my ankles shackled as well removed the last vestige of opportunity to move any part of my body to ease my position during the journey. (I do admit that, if driving conditions are bad, he will be less severe with me, as it would be HIGHLY embarrassing if we were involved in a crash with me so totally restrained!) Sitting motionless, even in a well-upholstered seat of a Jaguar, becomes very unpleasant after an hour or so, while being swathed in my uniform and my heavy cloak and hood is exhausting because of the heat under them. Being gagged and unable to see just adds to the misery of a long journey, but I am in no position to complain if that is how my Master wants me to travel.

And it is…………. My Master boasts that he has the perfect passenger in the car; one who is silent, uncritical of his driving, motionless and undemanding for the whole of even the longest journey. The only limit to the duration of any journey is set by how long I can go before needing to use the toilet. Except, of course, using the facilities at a service station would not be possible……….. So my Master is inclined to drive onto a back road after a several hours, and let me out in some unfrequented place where I can be allowed to answer the calls of Nature without anyone looking on. As the whole process adds maybe twenty minutes to any journey, more often than not he will just let me suffer until we reach our destination.

Once upon a time, I used to look forward to the weekends when we drove away from home to spend a couple of days with friends. Now the journey there and the journey back, always in bondage, makes me rather less keen to go away for the weekend. But, as an obedient submissive, I have no say in this matter. I go where my Master takes me. And, if he wishes me to Travel in Bondage, that is his privilege, and I must accept his decision with good grace and without complaint.

Travelling on foot and by car was just the start of my experiences of ‘Travelling in Bondage’. For my Master, the Bear, has a keen mind and a fertile imagination, so it was not long before I found myself faced with a new mode of travel which had to be undertaken in Bondage.

He had been invited to Spain for the week (we live in London) and, as I was not working at that time and was at his beck and call 24 hours a day, he decided that it might be fun for me to come along too. As I love travel and had not been to Bilbao before, I was excited that we were going abroad together. Admittedly it was only late February, so sunbathing and swimming were not on the agenda. But it would make a change from the strict control under which my Master kept me at home. Only when the date of our departure grew near did I learn that his control was not going to be relaxed just because we were going abroad.

A friend who knows ‘our little ways’ drove us from London to Portsmouth where we would board The City of Bilbao, a 20,000 ton ferry which would take us on the two day trip to Spain. A cabin had been booked for us and, under normal circumstances, I would have been really looking forward to the trip. But, as I was helped into our friend’s car, I was swathed in my heavy, full-length, winter cloak, its bulk closed up about me to conceal the fact that I was made helpless by a locked straitjacket, and by the short hobbles joining my ankles. Also, for the 90 minute drive to the docks, my hood was drawn up over my head, concealing the fact that I was well gagged under its gable.

I have to admit that I was in a total panic; I thought of the emigration men who would check our passports, of customs men and of the crew on the ship. I just could not see how we could get away with my being kept in Bondage for the sea journey. In fact I did not understand how my Master thought we would even get aboard the ship without being exposed as ‘deviants’.

In fact my Master was having a joke at my expense. For his friend pulled off the motorway before we reached Portsmouth and my strait jacket and hobbles were removed, my gag similarly be unlocked and taken from my mouth before all my articles of suppression were put away in one of the suitcases. I heaved a sigh of relief and hoped that it was the last I would see of them for a good while.

It was cold with snow flurries when we boarded the good ship City of Bilbao, having passed through emigration without anyone even giving us a second glance. As we stood on the promenade deck as the ship cast off and slowly moved down past the naval dockyards, I was delighted that I had my heavy cloak to protect me from the cold, its deep hood keeping my head and face snug and warm when other travellers were shivering and hurrying back into their warm cabin and or into the bars and restaurants of the ferry. Before we had swung round the Isle of Wight, The Bear also went inside, telling me that he expected me in the cabin in half an hour. So, almost alone, snuggled into my wonderfully warm cloak, on a freezing winter afternoon I watched the Isle of Wight slip past as the ship made its way out into the English Channel, the sea grey and calm, the air chill, occasional flurries of snow blowing across the water.

Feeling relaxed and happy, I made my way to our cabin exactly at the right time. I felt great but, as soon as I entered that tiny room, my heart sank. For spread out on my bunk were the items I had worn in the car, plus one or two more than I did not know my Master had brought with him. Half an hour later, he was locking me into the cabin’s main cupboard. I was not only straitjacketted, and hobbled but I was locked inside a stout containment sack which was exactly where I spent most of that trip down to Spain. Occasionally my Master would let me out of the cupboard to use the toilet, to be given food or water or allowed on deck for exercise when the stewardess was tidying our cabin. But my world for most of that journey – and for the return trip – comprised mostly of the inside of a cupboard. Not that I saw it often as he kept me blindfolded virtually all the time.

As he said when we eventually disembarked at Bilbao, I was lucky it was such a smooth crossing, or else I might not have had such an enjoyable time. ‘Enjoyable time’? I could think of many more pleasant ways of travelling to Spain than that chosen by my Master for me. But, as a obedient submissive, who am I to question how he makes me travel?

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

My job means that I have to go to various locations far from home. So flying is second nature to me now. But…………………

“I wonder if I could fly you abroad,” My Master had said one evening recently.

“I don’t understand, Master. I fly a lot.”

“In a nice comfortable seat?”

“Not always comfortable. But yes; in a seat anyway.” I replied, puzzled. “But why do you ask, Master?”

“Umm…… I was just wondering. You see, I think we could save some money next time we go abroad together.”

“How, Master?”

“Freight, my sweet little ‘d’. By sending you by freight…………….”

“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo…………………………. ”

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

So that is it. One submissive’s story about how she travels in bondage. As yet the air-freight idea is still – thankfully – only an idea. But knowing how my Master loves solving problems, I do not put it past him to find a way to send me abroad as freight. NOT a pleasant prospect !

 

D’s Tales

D was a talented writer of Victorian bondage fiction who also practised some pretty extreme restrictions and bondage in her real life. She was someone who I communicated with some years ago.

Several years ago she died tragically in a car accident. An online friend of hers asked Bo_Emp to preserve her work on Tales of the Veils. When he too passed away and that site went defunct, I set a new blog to preserve that work. These stories though, which never fitted the TOTV ethos, I have now transferred here, a more natural home for them, as a tribute to a fine author of erotica who should not be forgotten.

DP

Following are the writings of D outside the scope of TOTV.
With D having passed away in May 2014 I Bo_Emp (editor of TOTV) finds it important that her writings, which I enjoy, are available on the net.
The material below plus her TOTV story Claire’s Tale is as far as I know all that D has published online. All of this are for now (June 2014) also to be found in the Files section of the Confining Clothing Yahoo group.

Walking In Silence
A fictional story about a young governess who is the ‘victim’ of older and more powerful people…

Travelling in Bondage
A real-life account that is a partial explanation of my private lifestyle…

Catalogue Illustrated
A fictive catalogue of a 1873 store selling restrictive clothing for i.e. girls’ schools…

Return to 1873
A real-life diary of days spent as a Victorian Young Woman kept under Strict discipline…

Return to 1873

Return to 1873

by ‘d’

A diary of days spent as a Victorian Young Woman kept under Strict discipline

Introduction : The top floor

At the top of our house is a floor that is kept normally locked away. It is our `time warp’. Once, immediately after the house was built in the 1840s, it would have been where the servants slept but, long before we bought the house, it had been transformed into a separate self-contained flat (apartment). Because of our lifestyle, and because we felt we could do without the flat’s income when we bought the house, we decided to reclaim the floor and to set it aside as our `homage’ to the bad old Victorian days.

Those of you who know us, or have read about our life style, will know that I am a twenty nine year-old submissive (and masochist!), The Bear being my Master. Our particular `kink’ is that we both enjoy transporting me back to the harsher days of the mid Nineteenth Century, and making me live and dress and act completely as a somewhat unfortunate and badly treated young woman might have done in those days – days when young women had little or no rights even in the most civilised of Western countries.

During the years we have been together, the top floor has been transformed. Two small bedrooms have been knocked into one large room to make `The Schoolroom’, and the flat’s living room has been converted into a combined bedroom and punishment room. The tiny kitchenette remains, although locked off most of the time, the bathroom has been `simplified’, and all the carpets and modern furnishings have been removed. The window in the new bedroom has been boarded up and sound-proofed, all other windows double or triple glazed and have been either permanently covered up or have opaque window glass so it is impossible to look out.

All `mod cons’ have been removed. There is no electricity, no central heating and only cold water plumbed through to the top floor. Its walls have been painted a depressing off-white colour, or are a drab grey-green, and all the furnishing are either genuine Victorian pieces or are modern replicas, suitably `aged’. It is a dark, silent place, totally cut off from the outside world, and just right for containing a Victorian young lady who is to be kept under the harshest of discipline..

Sybilienne Conventions and Dress.

One important aspect of our role-play has to do with a totally fictitious school for young ladies called St Sybil’s. (Readers will find it referred to in my fictional stories, especially in `Claire’s Tale’). In the six years we have been together, we have acquired or I have made several complete sets of uniform clothing for a `Sybilienne’.

It is NOT a comfortable or convenient means of dressing, being heavy and entrammeling, being under-pinned with a full length corset that is always be worn laced up as tightly as possible, and finished off with a floor length cape without armslits that must always be at least buttoned closed down to waist level. To add to all that, I have to wear gloves all the time and have my head and hair covered by two tight fitting coifs that match the rest of the heavy woollen uniform and leave just the front of my face exposed. As can probably be understood wearing such a uniform all the time can be both oppressive and tiring – it is meant to be just that ! But it is what I must wear whenever we `go back’ to Victorian times.

Eighteen months ago we had our first major `time travel’ experiment. I went to live in the top floor as a Sybilienne for several weeks. It was a time that was designed to see whether it was possible to `transport’ me back in time and to find out how I would really react to a longer term `immersion’ into our scene. It was partly successful but what we both learnt was the ways in which `real life’ could worm its way even into the shut-away top floor of our home.

My need for baths and showers, for 20th century food, and for stimulus not available in our `Victorian world’ all interfered with the total success of our experiment. But we made up our minds that, when the opportunity occurred again, I would volunteer to be shut away in the top floor, and that this time I would HAVE to live in accordance with our `Full Sybilienne Rules’.

This time there would be NO modern-day comforts or pleasures.

The Sybilienne Rules are tough enough if we are just scening for a day or two, so I knew I was in for a hard time once I was shut away in the rooms upstairs. This would be especially so as my Master, The Bear, had made it plain that he was going to be a very strict and unforgiving taskmaster, and that I would be properly punished for my faults, no matter how trivial or unavoidable. So I was fully aware that I was in for a very hard time indeed as soon as I was locked upstairs for the duration of my stay in `Victorian Times’.

As things turned out, my stay there was even more fraught than I had anticipated for a whole variety of reasons, nearly all unpleasant!

The one task I knew I would have to complete each day was making diary entries, and this article is the end-result of those efforts. They were primarily written so my Master could see how I was reacting to my incarceration, as well as a schoolroom exercise, as readers will see. They are largely reproduced here just as they were written at the time I was locked away: some very minor editing has been done to make them more comprehensible to the reader who does not know us well. Apart from that, the entries remain as originally written.

It was only when our friend, Leviticus, showed interest in them that we considered them for publication. I hope that they prove interesting to his readers and fans.

As a final note, it is our intention to repeat this experiment. However next time it will be for a great deal longer, with NO relaxation in the severity of the lifestyle, nor of the discipline’s strictness. Now that really SHOULD produce some interesting diary entries!

‘d’

London, February 2000

My Diary for December 1873

Monday, 27th December

I am into my first full day living back in 1873, having stepped back in time yesterday when the rest of the world was celebrating Boxing Day, and still recovering from the excesses of Christmas Day. However, although I know what day it is now, as my Master allows me no external light, and there are neither clocks nor watches in my quarters, I am unable to tell what time it may be. But I do know that I was brought up here fully dressed in my Sybilienne attire yesterday, to spend an evening in the school room before being put to bed.. But how long I was allowed to sleep, I do not know. Certainly my Master did not say and, as I am strictly forbidden to ask him any questions at all on any subject, I know that I will be unable to know what time or night or day it is for as long as I remain here.

As usual when sleeping up here, the low truckle bed had been placed in the ‘punishment room’ and I am left strapped to that at night. As its mattress is thin and the bed hard, sleep is not usually easy (as I know from last year when I was locked up here for three months). What was different was that my Master this time locked me into my sleeping irons so that, as he said, I would not be tempted to touch myself. These sleeping irons are something that I do not like being locked into, but even I must admit that they do their job with cold efficiency.

Made of steel, the sleeping irons comprise of a long ‘back bar’ onto which are attached three sets of restraints. At the bottom, a rigid pair of ankle irons: further up, similar cuffs to hold my wrists behind my back and, at the top, a deep steel collar that is locked about my throat. Because the back bar is adjustable, I can be secured either drawn rigidly out, as though lying to attention on my arms, or with my ankles drawn up. Whatever way the bar is fixed, this device is uncomfortable at the very best, and can be agonising too. A night spent locked in my sleeping irons is never an enjoyable one.

Thankfully, the Christmas period had been long and tiring and I slept reasonably well, although not for long enough. I seemed almost as tired when my Master woke me this morning. As he was watching me getting dressed, and between lacing me REALLY tightly into my corset (the long one), my Master announced that I must – as part of my school work – keep a diary of my stay up here. And it must be written with an old fashioned steel pen, using a proper ink-well, all of which makes writing rather slow (as I am now discovering). Also he informed me that I will receive schoolroom punishments if my diary entries are not accurate and neat WITHOUT ink blots. At least I will have plenty of time while locked up here.

But there were other things to do before I would go to the schoolroom. First of all I had the sweep and then scrub the floor in the room where I slept. Getting the bucket and brush and clothes from the bathroom was the start of this labour which took, I suppose, about an hour. Only when I had finished that task to my Master’s satisfaction was I allowed food or drink.

After eating so well for the last few days, my new Victorian diet came as a nasty surprise. While I was still in bed, my Master brought up the supplies which will have to be all I’ll eat while locked up here. Water comes from the bathroom tap, but I am allowed black tea IF there is enough hot water (my Master says that I am not to be trusted with boiling water) which, at the very best tastes horrible. I had a cup for my breakfast, and I found myself wishing it had been water – that would have tasted better. For food, I will have to survive on bread and, sometimes, cheese. But no butter or anything to put on the brown bread. However, my Master says that he may allow me hot food if I stay up here for more than a day or so. Not that his promise is all that enticing as he did the same when I was here before. My ‘cooked meals’ then consisted of things like over-boiled cabbage with equally over-cooked fatty chops which I hate. But I have to eat all given to me or I am punished.

After breakfast, I was brought in here to the schoolroom, where my Master AGAIN tightened my corsets so that I thought I was going to faint. Also, to make sure that I don’t stray from my desk, I have my legs bound together under my skirts.

My first task was to write out the new Constitution for Mutual Punishment, having been told, I would be punished unless I reproduced it with total accuracy. This Constitution is a new part of my life that effects me outside my Sybilienne role. A short while ago, The Bear, my Master, and I signed a mutually binding agreement with another Master and his slave ‘m’. Its basis is simple but frightening; If one of us submissives does anything wrong and needs punishing, the other (innocent) submissive will be punished in an identical manner. In the short time it has been in operation it has proved to be horribly effective, as ‘m’ has no wish to see me punished for her faults, and I am horrified at the thought that she, my friend, should suffer for my mistakes. As soon as the Constitution came into effect both I and ‘m’ had to learn it by heart; a chilling process but one that reinforced in our minds how we must both improve our behaviour. (Fortunately any punishments I earn for myself while up here will not rebound onto poor ‘m’.)

Thankfully, I learnt The Constitution by heart reasonably well last week, but I am not too sure I have got it right. I checked it through carefully – I know I’ll get punished if I cross things out, but that will be a minor problem in comparison with what will happen to me if I cite it incorrectly. So I did do one crossing out, hoping that my Master would go easy on me for such a small mistake.

After I had finished that work, I obeyed my Master’s new orders about what I must do when I am ‘unemployed’. Essentially, when I have finished my set work and he has not returned to the schoolroom, I am to kneel on the floor next to my desk, straight backed and straight upright from the knees as always. NO lounging back on my heels for me! It was a bit of a struggle getting down on my knees because of my legs being tightly trapped togther. My skirts and petticoats also don’t help but at least they pad my knees so they don’t get too sore when kneeling on the bare boards of the schoolroom floor.

Even so I was feeling tired, my back aching by the time he came to see me. He took my exercise book aware to check what I had written, leaving me on my knees while he did so. Fortunately he passed my effort at remembering the Constitution, although he told me that I would have to do an additional twenty minutes exercise this afternoon for the crossing-out.

After that he came over to where I knelt, and pleasured himself. (I have been instructed that I may only say ‘pleasured himself’ when describing personal matters in this diary. It is the only aspect of my life here that I may not report on fully.) Afterwards, he checked my attire and then told me that I might start writing my diary. Which is what I am doing now.

My Master also instructed me to briefly describe my quarters here. They are on the second floor of the house, and comprise of a small bathroom, various built in cupboard in the passage way at the top of the stairs, a smaller room (about 11′ a 9′) which is known as the Punishment Room. That is mainly because my punishment seat is always kept in this room, bolted to the floor near the wall opposite the door. In addition, my low bed has been placed in here just as it was when I spent three months here last year. Also new is the trestle over which I am tied down before being caned. This normally is kept in the cellars but had been brought up here in case my Master thinks I need severe punishment. Seeing it in that room does not make me feel at all happy, as I know what pain I will experience if I am bent over if for a whipping.

Otherwise the room is unfurnished apart from a small table with a wash bowl, soap, tooth brush and towel on it. (I am not allowed to use the bathroom, even relieving myself must be done at set times in the pot kept under my bed. In fact I only go into the bathroom to empty it, and to fetch cold water when needed. To clean my teeth I have the choice of salt, baking powder or the normal coarse soap I use for washing.)

My Master has permanently boarded up the window in that room, so light comes from a solitary candle. The room is white walled, the floor is of bare boards which I must scrub once a day.

The schoolroom is much the same, except it is slightly larger – in fact it is two small ‘servants’ bedrooms knocked into one room. It measures approximately 14′ x 10′ and, although the window is not permanently boarded up, as with my last stay up here, the windows are double curtained and the drapes nailed in place so not light can get into the room from outside. Also, as the windows are double glazed, it is just as silent as in my bedroom/punishment room. The furniture here is a genuine old cast-iron seat and desk in one which we found in a scrap yard. There is a table and chair for my Master when he is correcting my work or hearing me recite lines I have learnt by heart. To one side of the table is an easel and blackboard. Fitted onto the right hand wall is the posture back-board while, projecting from the wall at the back of the room, is what looks like a solid wooden bench-type seat (and can be used as one) but is also a chest in which various items are kept. Finally there is the schoolroom cupboard which is kept locked normally, my work books being kept in my iron desk’s drawer. Like the other room, the school has bare walls and a wooden board floor which I have to scrub daily, normally before I am given my last meal of the day. If I take too long scrubbing it, or do not do it to my Master’s satisfaction, I will have to scrub it all over again, which means I miss my evening meal and am put to bed with an empty stomach.

Those are my quarters and I will spend most of my time in one of other of those rooms. The only times when I am not in one or the other is when I am very briefly allowed to go to the bathroom for water or to empty my chamber-pot, or when it is exercise time. That last occupation I will explain after this afternoon session.

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

Monday 27th December. Evening.

I had to stop writing my first entry in this diary rather abruptly as my Master came back. To my surprise it was already lunchtime (the morning seemed very short whereas I remember time dragging past so slowly when I lived up here for three months previously.) Lunch was just bread and cheese washed down with water. Not that I minded it being probably inadequate as, laced up this tightly, I have very little appetite for food. I feel hungry but, as soon as I have eaten a few mouthfuls, I have had more than enough, which sometimes makes finishing off a meal rather hard. However I am thirsty most of the time as the clothing I wear is very hot and heavy. Fortunately water is not rationed and I can drink as much as I need at mealtimes.

After lunch I was permitted to go to the bedroom (I will call it that, if I may, rather than punishment room as it’s called more normally), so as to use my chamber pot. This I can only do at certain times or when told to do so by my Master. In fact I may not alter my position without his permission, never mind go into another room. Anyway, as to using the chamber pot, I could not do that on my own even if allowed to do so; for the crutch strap of my corsets is always locked tightly in place, and this has to be unlocked and unfastened by my Master before I can relieve myself.

After this, I was made to go back to the schoolroom and there to black lead my desk. As it is made of cast iron, it has to be kept very clean. In 1873 black lead would have been used for this purpose; now we have to use a substitute but it is a long and tiresome business, and one I particularly dislike as the desk and seat have lots of little curlicues and decorative bits on it that are difficult to clean. At least for this (and for scrubbing) I am allowed to remove my gloves; with them on the task of polishing into the little crack and crannies would be almost impossible. My Master always closely inspects the desk and seat after I have cleaned it, and I am in trouble if he finds any dirty bits or places where the polish has not been buffed off properly. Today I was lucky as he was more interested in getting me ready for my exercise period, rather than in looking for faults with a magnifying glass. Yes, he has been know to use a glass to make sure every millimetre of the desk was properly cleaned.

Exercise is the time of day that I probably dread most of all. I do see its necessity but that does not stop me from disliking it intensely. The format is always the same because I cannot go outdoors while dressed like this. Anyway I am confined to this floor for as long as it suits my Master, and I have to get some form of exercise other than scrubbing the floors, which is backbreaking exercise anyway!

For exercise, I have to be masked and cloaked on top of my normal attire. Obviously with my uniform Sybilienne cape buttoned closed from chin to floor, I cannot put on my cloak , so I am dressed by my Master. This afternoon, to my horror, he also gagged me under my mask, which is something he may do outdoors now and then but normally does not do it for indoors exercise. My circuit starts at the end of the passageway on this floor along which I walk until I reach the top of the stairs. Then I go down them to the first floor landing which I must walk round and then climb back up the stairs to my floor. Then I walk down the passageway to its end, before turning there and starting a new circuit. It does not sound too bad except for several things.

Firstly: I am really weighed down by my burden of clothing; full Sybilienne uniform with its cape and then with a massively heavy hooded cloak worn over everything else.

Secondly: although my Master eases my hobbles (without doing so it would be impossible for me to walk up and down the stairs), my legs are still partially bound and they are fettered by the dragging weight of my petticoats and skirts. This makes walking difficult and tiring on its own.

Thirdly: as my skirts are all floor length, I have to normally pick them up slightly when walking around. But this is impossible with the skirts of my cloak during exercise as my hands are trapped under my sealed-up cape. In consequence I have to go up and down stairs with a great deal of care so as to ensure I don’t step on my skirts or trip up on them. Luckily the stairs are typical Victorian ‘servants wing’ stairs – in other words they are narrow, and they wind down via two small landing so that they take up the smallest space possible inside the house. So, even if I was to fall, I would probably not hurt myself. But my Master always waits watching at the bottom of the stairs, both to make sure I am alright, and also to check that I do not slack.

Taking exercise is exhausting and, my Master watching me, I cannot slack or slow down. If I do, he will just tell me that I have to do extra time. Normally my exercise period will last three-quarters of an hour (it seems twice as long), but today I had an added twenty minutes for the crossing-out in my exercise book. It seemed endless and, had I not been silenced, I would have begged to be allowed to rest. But that is not normally allowed and, as I would be punished if I stopped without being told to, I would certainly be punished. So I carried on, even though my legs seemed on fire and I was gasping for breath – although I am not sure if ‘gasping for breath’ is the right description as I could not breath through my mouth, as it was stopped up by my gag.

Tuesday, 28th December. Morning

I went to bed in tears last night but feeling wonderful too as my Master locked me in my sleeping irons, promising me that he would be even more severe with me unless I behaved better today.

I did not sleep as well as before and it took me a time to go to sleep because of the pain and joy I felt. My hand throbbed non-stop but so did my crutch more pleasurably from his ministrations. But I am running ahead of myself.

Normally before punishment I am locked in the cupboard downstairs. Yesterday, I was gagged and blindfolded, hooded and then sat on the bench at the back of the schoolroom for a while, so I could focus on my failings and on the punishments to come. After a time, still hooded, blind and silenced, I was dragged across to stand in the centre of the room. There my Master removed my left glove and informed me that, as I had spilt ink on the white gloves I had worn earlier, my hand would be the recipient of the punishment to come. I was to hold out my hand, supporting it by my other gloved hand, and then to await my punishment.

I stood there, shaking and moaning silently within, but with my whole body electric with anticipation, my crutch betraying my excitement. Wearing my coifs and with the thick hood fastened down over my head and face so that I felt half suffocated, I could not hear anything beyond the darkness of my own fear-filled world. Then there was an appalling pain across my open palm as my Master drove the rod down to administer the first stroke of my punishment.

Because I had not heard the rod cutting through the air before striking my hand, the impact caught me by surprise, making the pain of impact seem worse than it might have been. I know I would have filled the room with my cries had I not been gagged. But, almost before I could assimilate what had happened to be, another and harder blow fell across my palm. This time I howled into my gag, distressed at the awful pain and appalled (as always) at how the pain make me shake from head to toe with desire and want. Had I not been silenced, I would have begged my Master to hit home even harder with the next stroke.

But the stroke never came and I felt bereft waiting for it for what seemed an age. And then it impacted horribly with my hand, making me stagger and sending lights up in front of my eyes like a firework display. It was SO SO hard to hold my position; my legs seemed to have turned to jelly and I was shivering all over. I think I screamed so loudly that not even my effective gag could hold back the sounds that filled my head and made me body shudder as though hit by an vast electric shock. The blow was vicious but I could not wait for the next one. When it came I was torn by the agony of its impact and the onset of an incipient orgasm. But that event was drowned by the terrible impact of the rod smashing home across my flesh again. My legs gave way and I recall staggering forward. Blindfolded and hooded I can’t say what really happened next but I think I was dragged across to the table, and bent back over it, my Master throwing back my petticoats and skirts before unfastening the crutch strap of my corset so I felt cold air strike my private parts that I could feel convulsing.

He used me with total brutality, not minding if he hurt me, leaving me still hooded and gagged, while I dissolved into a series of orgasms or maybe it was just one that seemed to last a lifetime; I don’t know.

I think I must have fainted. For the next thing I remember was feeling him still inside my body, now using another opening, yet with me at long last being able to see and hear and cry out. When he had finished with me, he stood back, tidying his clothes as I helplessly slipped to the floor to lie there, my hand sending arrows of pain up my arm as, unaided, I seemed to continue to orgasm. It seemed like a dream; maybe it was my imagination. But I think I had yet another orgasm as I lay in a tumble of clothing on the floor half under the table,

In the end my Master brusquely informed me that I had half an hour to undress, see to my toilet needs, wash and eat my supper which was in the other room. With that I turned and left the upper floor, locking the door on the stairs behind him. Some how I managed to drag myself into my bed room, where he had left me a meal of bread and cheese as usual but, wonder of wonders, with a segmented orange as well. One handedly I undressed, used the pot and then – for once satiated and not wanting to touch myself – washed and ate my meal as I prepared for bed. Some how I managed to do everything before he reappeared, grim faced as always. But, when he saw me kneeling by my bedside as though in prayer, he smiled and handed me a chocolate!!!

“For being such a brave little girl,” he said.

Today I think I can still taste that delicious chocolate on my tongue. Oh I know that’s just my imagination but it was such a delightful and utterly surprising treat. Opposing that delight, my left hand still throbs and it swollen, it’s palm laced with the marks of the rod’s blows. Putting my glove on that hand this morning had me fighting back moans of pain and biting my lips to prevent my Master hearing me. As I write now, later in the morning, it is throbbing away inside the glove that feels even tighter than normal, showing that it is swollen still. It is really too painful to use, so that I had to scrub my room this morning using one hand only. Unfortunately my Master was just as demanding as yesterday and I missed my breakfast for the second day running, having to made do with just water again after I had re-scrubbed the whole floor.

That done, my Master just ordered me to button up my cape from chin to floor and to go and stand in the corner of the schoolroom, facing the wall. There I have spent all the morning up to now when I have been allowed to sit down to write this diary. My legs are aching and my back is sore from standing to attention for so long. As he pointed out just now, I should be enjoying the rest because, this afternoon, he is going to exercise me till I have reached the stage of wanting to beg him to allow me to stand in the corner once more.

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Tuesday 28th December. Evening.

I am totally exhausted. My Master was not exaggerating when he promised me a long exercise period. It seemed to last an eternity and I have no idea how I survived it. Then to make me earn my supper, he made me kneel under the desk so as to pleasure him while he did some reading or maybe writing above me. He made me wear a mask that has just one opening in it, one opposite my mouth. Wearing that, my arms tightly strapped behind me under my buttoned up cape, I had to keep him ‘amused’ with the threat of being further punished if he should get bored or annoyed with my efforts to please him. Now, to add to my still throbbing hand, aching back, and exhausted legs, my knees and thighs are sore from kneeling between his legs to ‘amuse’ him. I have no idea how long I was there but at least I did not disappoint him, for I have been put to work to write this entry in my diary before supper. Then I will be allowed to go to bed. How I have survived today, I am not sure. But I seem to have done so.

Wednesday, 29th December. Morning

I was woken this more feeling stiff and sore and with my hand still throbbing, but not as badly as yesterday. Again I felt awfully tired, as though I had not slept enough which makes me wonder of time up here is different to normal time elsewhere. But I had little opportunity to think about that problem because, right from the start, my Master was hustling me along, ruling me with a metaphorical rod of iron, and once more making me miss my breakfast because he thought I had not cleaned my room properly; he found a trace of dust on the bed rail, and made me clean and scrub the whole room again.

I have to admit that, even as tightly laced into my corsets as I am now, I am feeling hungry and long for something other than bread and cheese washed down with water, that diet broken only by a disgusting tasting cup of black tea. But, surprisingly, I seem to be coping alright; my Master believes in making sure I get enough exercise up here. My afternoon ‘walks’ certainly make me expend more energy than any aerobic work out, as does the endless floor scrubbing that he makes me do.

Really I should be even more tired than I am as I seem to be ‘bubbling’ all the time with fear and expectation, as I am never sure what is going to happen next to me, being it good or bad. Again this morning, after he’d laced me horribly tightly into my corsets, my Master locked my crutch strap in place and remarked that I was disgusting, juicing all the time. If he was genuinely cruel, he told me, he would whip my pussy till it had REAL cause to weep. Of course that threat just served to make me even hotter so that, when I was sat down at my desk to learn ANOTHER page of Hebrew, I was shaking with desire and yearning, which was barely ideal for learning just a hard section of incomprehensible text.

Today – so that I do not ‘feel that I am being spoiled’ – I have my arms twisted up behind my back, my wrist up at shoulder blade level. He used an old harness I have not seen for some time to do this. I am not sure why he did this to me, but he informed me that he wanted to know how comfortable it would be after a few hours with my arms immobilised in that way. I could tell him now that it is MOST uncomfortable, even when I am just sitting at my desk, trying to learn from the book that is propped up in front of me. Just to make things worse, he also told me that, except when I am getting dressed or undressed, or am cleaning and scrubbing, I will have my arms immobilised in some way or other. He says I am becoming too self-sufficient so that, making me rely totally on someone else for every single necessity of life, will nicely humble me.

The idea of not being able to feed myself or do anything else is something I find incredibly exciting. When I was last up here for a long period, he made me wear my cape buttoned up all the time when I was not working, and instigated a rule that I was not allowed to lift its hem without his permission. The feeling of helplessness then was overwhelming and exciting. This time I think he means to make it even more comprehensive and to make me rely on him for all sorts of things. Even so, it is little things that can be unpleasant, like having an itch on my nose, or wanting to scratch even, that are strangely unpleasant and frustrating.

On the topic of wanting to scratch, I have only been allowed to wash in icy cold water since coming up here a lifetime ago (or so it seems). I long for a hot bath and to be able to wash my hair. It is confined under two tight coifs for 16 hours day and, although I comb it out and then plait it at night, it feels itchy and horrid. Last time I was up here, I was allowed to wash it regularly, but I can see my master won’t allow me that sort of luxury this time. In fact he is being incredibly strict with me. I get barked at if I even breath loudly, and I have spent most of the time gagged this morning because he says I am a noisy slut. In fact after my time learning the Hebrew (again an nearly impossible task, so I dread being tested on it later), he sat me down on the bench, leaving me there gagged and blindfolded and hooded as well. What I have not explained about that bench (which is really the top of a small chest in which are kept various school room items) is that it is narrow across the top and has a small ‘back’ that prevents me from sitting on it in comfort. Being so narrow, I have to perch on it with just the back part of my posterior supported, my legs holding me upright and still. Because of this it is a strain sitting there and I hate being left there for long, especially as, unable to see anything nor able to hear much, I do not know if I am being watched. What I DO know is that, if I move even a fraction of an inch to ease my posture, I might be seen by my Master. And that would lead inevitably to punishment. So I sit uncomfortably perched on the chest, tense and excited for what seems like an eternity, not knowing if he is looking at me. All the while my stomach is turning over with fear, because the strain of keeping still grows every second, just as the heat under my airless hood grows all the time.

Time stands still and, by the time I heard him ordering me to stand, I was juicing with fear and anticipation of what would inevitably happen if I moved just a fraction of an inch. I could barely get up; I was stiff and sore but also shaking with longing for relief.

At least I no longer am hooded and blindfolded, and I have my cape undone to the waist and have my hands freed of the paralysing harness so I can write this entry. Once more I am wearing those awful white gloves over my normal ones, and my heart beat accelerates with fear every time I dip my pen into the ink well. I think I have manages to make this entry without dropping ink onto the gloves, but I thought that last time……

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Wednesday 29th December. Evening.

Again, this may be a short entry. For the time since I last wrote in my diary has been only too eventful, leading me towards a punishment session that is due to take place after I had written this entry.

It started with my Master finding a spot of ink on my left gloves AGAIN! And also saying that my diary entry has been badly written. I howled inwardly to hear this awful judgement, as my poor hand is still sore from the last time it was whipped. I would beg him to beat me elsewhere rather than on my hand but, knowing him and the way he always says that a hand whipping is the ONLY suitable punishment for shoddy writing, I know that nothing I might say would change his mind.

Of course I said nothing; I am too well trained to utter a word in my defence if I have been told that I may not make a sound without his express permission. So I stood still as he removed my cape and harnessed my arms cruelly tightly up my back. He then led me to the other room, extracted the chamber pot from under the bed and told me to use it. Of course – as he knew full well – this was impossible. So he teased me, making me speak so as to beg to have my clothing adjusted and my crutch strap unlocked. It was when he was unlocking the cruelly tight strap that he discovered yet again that I had been juicing during the morning. He rubbed his fingers in the evidence of my lust and made me lick his finger clean, leaving my mouth tasting of my own desire.

Even then my humiliation was not over. For I had to beg him to hold my skirts and petticoats out of the way so I could squat down over the pot. Even afterwards, I had to ask him to clean me, a task he said he was unwilling to perform for a girl so badly behaved as myself. In the end he relented but not before I had begged him most earnestly to have pity on me.

Even after he had done that and had readjusted my clothes, I was humbled even more, as it was my lunch-time and, as he pointed out, if I did not eat it, I would be punished for wasting food. With my arms fastened behind me, of course there was no way that I could do that, and again I was forced to beg him to help me. As he fed me, I was made to realise how I was complete at his mercy, relying on him for everything, and unable to do anything to help myself.

When he had pushed the final crumbs of bread into my mouth and given my a last drink of bitter tea, I was placed back on that awful bench for what seemed an eternity until it was time for my afternoon exercise. By now, this time is assuming all the aspects of punishment and I dread it. With good cause as I lost concentration walking up the stairs after I had been walking for what seemed like forever. I did not slide my foot forward so as to push the skirts out of the way before stepping up. Just a second of carelessness, and I trod on the hem of my cloak and the next thing I knew was being dragged forward and falling down to lie helpless of the stairs, totally unable to get up again, so tangled was I in my layers of skirts and cloak; with my hands immobilised behind me I was more helpless than normal and I had to lit there until my Master came to my rescue. He knows perfectly well that I can walk up and down those stairs without tripping. So he informed me that I would have to ‘Pay an appropriate price’ for my carelessness.

Even apart from that incident, my exercise period seemed endless and more exhausting than ever. I am very fit normally, but the weight of my clothes and the steepness of the stairs makes this daily ritual one that I truly dread. My legs are burning before long and my back aches horribly. But, to add to all that, being masked and gagged during my exercise periods means that I am alway short of breath, my lungs burning as I climb up and down the stairs, longing for a moment’s respite, but knowing that to pause even for a few second will mean that I am punished for my weakness. So I have to battle on, sweat dribbling into my eyes, until at long long last, I am told my purgatory is over.

So I am now here at my desk, still feeling exhausted and wondering what that price I will pay for tripping during my exercise period, and how my Master will punish me for my earlier faults. My stomach has turned to water and I am shaking with delicious fear. Because I know he will punish me well for such unforgivable faults.

Thursday, 30th December. Morning

I am still trembling and my crutch burns with what happened to me last night. For my Master decided that the source of my lust would have to be punished, as he judged my carelessness was brought about by its dominating my thoughts so that I was careless about IMPORTANT aspects of my life here.

I blush to think of what he did to me and of my reactions to his punishment. All I know is that the area between my legs is still sore and throbbing and that walking is painful, which will make this afternoon exercise period total purgatory for me. But the time he spent correcting me will remain etched in my mind for a very long time. Never before have I known such mingling of pain and pleasure. He was only too right when he called me a ‘pain slut’ but I am paying for my enjoyment this morning. I am actually glad that I have to wear petticoats and heavy skirts under my cape because they hide the fact that I am waddling like a duck this morning. Even my Master did not over-tighten the crutch strap of my corset this morning – the first time since I have been up here.

But in no other way has he been lenient with me and also I am beginning to worry about how long he is intending to keep me under this regime. Tomorrow night and the morning is going to be the start of the New Millennium, but my Master shows no sign of bringing my stay to an end. I know I asked him to keep me up here for as long as possible. But I had thought he would have freed me from here in time for the celebrations. Of course, being under the Rule of Silence, I cannot ask him about this. He may be teasing me but …………………

Strangely, I slept well last night, even though my pussy area seemed on fire and he locked me in my irons overnight. As I was being locked up for the night, I wondered how my fellow submissive, M, was getting on and what her Master was doing to her. That her Master and mine talk a great deal probably means that she knows what’s happening to me. I just hope and pray that her Master is not trying to balance our situations and is making her suffer like me. (Not that she would object!)

At least my hand seems a lot better this morning. Even so, scrubbing my room’s floor was both backbreaking and painful this morning. My knees seem to be always sore, and my back aches to. But I feel surprisingly fit. At least I got my breakfast this morning; well, part of it anyway; my Master found a tiny trace of dust on the bed frame again but he just punished my by leaving me with just bread to eat, and water to drink. So, corset laced up tightly or not, I am hungry all the time now.

Strange how food doesn’t seem to matter so much when I am wearing my stays. But it gets to a stage where I also start to dream about food, even though I know that – this tightly laced up – I can only pick at whatever food my Master sets before me. Not because it is dull and unpalatable (which is always is up here) but because with my stomach so compressed, eating almost a penance. Two mouthfuls and I feel full. Half an hour later and I am assailed by hunger pangs.

Ah well, I seem to remember reading that a human can last easily for 30 or more days without food, providing he or she has enough liquids. And my Master is always watchful to make sure I do drink enough. So maybe my hunger pains are just make-belief; me thinking I need food when it is merely an unnecessary luxury I don’t really require.

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Thursday Evening, 30th December

My Master says that the entry I made in this diary for this morning was rubbish. I have read it through again and it seems to be a little rambling but not rubbish. But, if he says it is rubbish, it must be.

Maybe being up here for this length of time is getting to me. I haven’t seen daylight for what seems like forever and I am uncertain of the time. I either sleep heavily or not at all. Either way, I am tired when I get up, and everything seems such hard work. Yet when I was exercised this afternoon, I seemed able to climb those awful stairs as well or maybe better than when I first came up here.

What is strange is the mental state I am in as I climb up and down the stairs; I have said how I have to concentrate as I take every step or I am in danger of tripping on my skirts. Now each step seems a challenge that has somehow become something almost of beauty. I feel a surge of satisfaction as soon as I lever myself up to the next thread. It is …………. I was about to say ” almost an orgasmic experience”. But that would be exaggerating. Instead it is a moment of fleeting but intense happiness. Maybe lack of food is effecting me, but I don’t think it is that. It has something to do with the feeling of being owned and controlled up here which is so intense.

I think that as I have lost all right to decide what I can or cannot do, I am focussing on things that I can achieve on my own, and gaining pleasure from each tiny triumph. My Master may order me to climb those stairs, but I have to do it; I have to force my aching limbs to climb or descend each step. I may have lost all vestige of personal freedom, but I have gained something else which I do not yet really understand.

I had been sadly correct when I had said that exercise today would be painful. It was – exquisitely so. I wear heavy flannel pantaloons over my corsets and these reach down to below my stocking-covered knees. They become heavy with sweat when I am exercised and rub against the inside of my thighs. I cannot begin to describe what this is like when the flesh is that area is abraded and raw from last night’s punishment. Yet it was something of a triumph – yet again – for me to be able to ignore or ride over the misery caused by sweat-damp material rubbing coarsely against my poor flesh. Each step caused me to wince yet I was able to carry on. And it was something of a mixed blessing as that area is close to my most sensitive regions which, given my innate predilection for pain, caused me to taste bitter pleasure along with the misery of being so harshly exercised. To be a Sybilienne it IS necessary to absorb sufferings and to feed on them too.

Friday, 31th December. Morning

I think I fainted being laced up this morning. I am not sure as I had been used and I was in a dream-like state when my master laced me up. It has happened before but not like this. Maybe I just had another orgasm. I don’t know. To have an orgasm just because I was being laced up? It was not even very painful, though tightening the crutch strap is now near agony as I have been whipped there. Naturally I have not be allowed to see anything of the damage down there, now may I touch the area.

To speak of an orgasm while being laced up is silly, of course. Physically it would be impossible but something happened and even now, hours later, I feel disassociated from my body; I know I hurt in all sorts of places but I can not accurately feel where the pain is or how intense it might be. But one thing is certain; each time I breath in any manner but the most shallow inhalation there is a pain surprisingly at the back of my ribs, where they join my spine. So doing things like scrubbing my room had to be done slowly and careful so I did not need to breath in deeply. Even moving from one room to the other must be controlled, not just by my hobbles but also by my desire to avoid unnecessary pain.

Having been laced up tightly for days on end, I find that I am now breathing solely through the tops of my lungs, or so it seems. It is as though my ribs have been compressed by the continuous pressure of my stays, allowing me only partial usage of my lungs. This feeling is born out by the fact that I not only suffer pain at the base of my ribs if I breath too deeply, but I become light headed when I exert myself at all. In some ways it is a pleasant sensation but I know that it is a dangerous one and, when my head starts to spin, I stop and wait until the sensation stops.

I have never experienced anything like this which is, I suppose, brought about by the severity of my lacing and lack of food. I tried to eat what little breakfast I earned for myself, but even the tiniest mouthful is now hard to force down, thanks to the compression about my stomach. I admit freely that I am terrified of what will happen during this afternoon exercise period. For climbing the stairs I need liberal quantities of air and, laced this tight, I do not see how I could obtain it.

Yet, if I put that thought out of my mind, I feel strangely at peace. Writing this diary calls for all the concentration I can muster and I know that I am writing more slowly and more labouriously than before. My fingers feel numb and I look down at my writing to see that it is not as neat and compact as once it was.

For all this, I also feel something approaching euphoria at times. This morning my Master’s harsh words merely washed over me, and although I understood what he was saying, they seemed remote and almost as though he was speaking to someone other than myself.

One thing does intrude into my strange state. That is the knowledge that tonight is the end of the year – a special year outside, though it is just 1873 in here. I would have thought that my Master would have allowed me to return to the ‘normal’ world for the final hours of the 20thCentury, but he shows no sign of doing so. He has ignored the subject and I may not ask him about it. I suppose that, if he wishes to keep me here during the Century-end and Millennium-end celebrations, that is his decision and I must accept it as best I can.

I have just noticed that I have smudged the word ‘wishes’ in the last sentence, and that there is evidence of my doing so in the ink stain on my glove. I know that I will be punished for my carelessness – presumably in the same hideous manner as has been the case when I first soiled my glove. Yet the delicious fear which I normally feel before such punishment is not there now. Instead the feeling of having left my body is ever stronger. I see everything so clearly and yet physical aspects of my existence do not seem to be of any importance now.

I realise that what I write must make little sense, and anyway the time allocated for my diary writing is over, my Master having just entered to tell me to wind down my writing. So I will stop so I may go to the corner of the room and there kneel facing the wall while he decides what is to be done with me next.

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Friday Evening, 31st December

It would appear that I am not to be allowed to rejoin the world for tonight’s celebration. My Master looked at my diary this morning and informed me that, although he had considered the idea, the disgustingly sloppy manner in which I had written it made him realise that I had failed to earn such relief from my present servitude.

Instead I am to spend the night chained to my desk, copying pages from a book he will give me. He has deemed my hands to bruised to be whipped again so this is to be my punishment. While the world celebrates I am to be left up here copy writing at my desk until such time as my Master thinks I have learnt my lesson.

He threatens to keep me at my work all night long and to make me go without sleep right through until tomorrow night. I cannot imagine how I will cope with that, but I will just have to do so, if that is his command.

If the future appears grim, at least this morning’s diary entry alerted to him as to my fear about trying to walk up and down the stairs during exercise while so severely laced-up. For he actually loosened my stays a fraction before preparing me for exercise. It was still as purgatorial a time as ever, but I was able to breath without too much pain, and I did succeed in struggling through the time allotted for exercise.

However, as soon as it was over, he retightened my laces so that I am in as parlous a state as this morning.

Writing is harder than ever this evening. Time flies as I struggle to write without smudging or blotting my work, yet at other times it stands still.

My Master has returned and has ordered me to cease work.

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Epilogue

February 2000

If you have struggled though my 1873 diary this far, I must tell you what indeed had happened while I was locked away back in my private time warp.

Right from the first moment of my incarceration, The Bear, my Master, had started to play games with my estimate of the time. He made my nights extremely short, and similarly shortened my days so that, when I thought it was 31st December it was, in fact, only the 30th, and not the evening but midday. He had literally deprived me of more than a whole day or, as far as I was concerned, inserted 30 extra hours into my mental calendar.

His original idea had been to keep me locked away until the evening of what I thought was 1st January, so that I would emerge imagining I had missed all the Millennium celebrations. Then he would be able to surprise me by telling me we were soon going to walk down to the Thames and watch the end of the Century with the millions of other people lining the river for the grand firework display.

Unfortunately, that never happened as work intruded and I had to make some urgent phone calls which meant he was forced to liberate me 24 hours ahead of schedule. Even so I was totally shocked and surprised when I discovered how effectively he had distorted my sense of time.

Interestingly, regardless of what I may have written about being starved, I only lost less than a pound in weight during my time locked away and, once I had a long long bath (Oh it was bliss!) and a good night’s sleep, I felt tremendous.

Since then we have discussed the experiment in some depth. I want to try a far longer time shut away in my ‘Sybilienne World’. As always, the demands of 21st Century living and work make that a pipe-dream, certainly for the next six months. But, when we can arrange for me to be incarcerated again (probably under even more stringent conditions) I hope to keep another diary. And, if Peter is not too bored by this one, perhaps he will allow me to publish it here as well.

‘d’

London. February 2000.

Walking In Silence

Walking In Silence

by D

walking_in_silence6

An Introduction by the Author.

Some months ago, I came across a story by an author who called himself ‘Leviticus’. I was immediately taken by the sheer quality of his writing, and I lapped up his ‘Valley’ stories, persuading my Master to read them – which he did with great relish.

As I had some time on my hands, My Master suggested that I should try my hand at writing. The result of this was a story (still uncompleted) called ‘Claire’s Tale‘. The early parts of the story were published through an E-group, but then work over-took me, and I had to stop writing. Six months later, a friend asked me if she could publish Claire’s Tale in a new site she was opening. I agreed and then, shortly afterwards, she told me that Leviticus had been asking her about me – it seems that they were old acquaintances.

So I contacted Leviticus and, to my considerable surprise, he asked me if I would write something for HIS site. The result of that request is ‘Walking In Silence’, a story that requires some explanation.

It might help to know that I am in a long term D/s relationship with my Master, The Bear; we have been together for six years and that time has been the happiest of my life. One of our ‘kinks’ is for me to dress up as a Victorian young lady and to undergo the sort of discipline and even oppression that was sometimes handed out to young women during the 19th Century. This led me both to research the era and to making my own clothes that were copies of the more restrictive type of clothes and school uniforms to be found, mainly in mainland Europe, during the middle part of the century.

It was an age when young women, as well as boys, were subject to draconian punishments and when the birch could be used on my sex as well as upon males. It was the era of sometimes extreme corseting, of young women suffering from ‘The Vapours’ and when women had NO rights whatsoever throughout most of the ‘civilised’ world. It was a time when good family and wealthy parents did not guarantee that a young woman would not be subject to the harshest of treatments at the hands of her men folk, or from her governesses.

(Anyone who has read Henri Portalles’ ‘Livres d’Images’ will understand what I am talking about.)

Victorian governesses have always been the source for many stories and books, ‘Jane Eyre’ probably being the most famous. And, as ‘Claire’s Tale’ dealt with the mishaps of a post-school young woman at the hands of her governess, I wanted to reverse the roles in some way in this story. So, in ‘Walking In Silence’ the hapless heroine is a young governess, this time the ‘victim’ of people older and more powerful than herself.

She, like Claire in the earlier story, is my alter ego.

So, if you want to know what happened might have happened to me had I been transported back in time over one hundred and twenty years, please read on.

Oh yes, and the usual warnings. This is a fantasy for grown-ups who are broad-minded and do not object to occasional brutality. But perhaps we should remember that the 19th century was a brutal period, for all its civilised trappings. And women were only too often Society’s victims.

Have fun reading about Arabella Poyser. And thank you, Leviticus, for allowing me to ‘publish’ this story alongside your own mini-masterpieces.

WALKING IN SILENCE Chapter One

It seemed an ideal situation. Two well behaved children, a lovely house in the outskirts of the city, and no interfering parents to look over my shoulder all the time. Oh yes; and annual salary of thirty guineas a year which was almost double the amount that I had been previously paid by Mr and Mrs Hetherington when I had to deal with their two boisterous children.

Please allow me to introduce myself before I go on any further. My name is Arabella Poyser. I am the younger daughter of the late Reverend James Poyser and Mrs Poyser of Gillmarston Rectory, situated in the village of Old Gillmarston in the County of Norfolk. It was there that I spent my formative years, growing up in rustic tranquillity until I was sent to Mrs Hughers Academy for Young Lady at the age of thirteen. There I remained until I was twenty years of age; first as a pupil and then as a Student Teacher. Finally, I was given employment as an assistant governess in the house of a wealthy gentleman who lived near Henley in the Royal County of Berkshire.

There I remained for several years before being ‘passed on’ to a neighbouring family, the Hetheringtons where I was sole governess for the first time But then, with Thomas due to depart to become a boarder at Eton College and Miss Sarah approaching seventeen, there was no further need for a resident governess. Mr Hetherington could have merely dismissed me but, instead, he found me a position with the Symingtons. Perhaps the use of the word ‘with’ in this context is incorrect. For the post was not ‘with’ the Symingtons, but ‘at’ one of their houses, looking after their wards

May I explain further? The children I was to look after and tutor were orphans, the offspring of Mrs Symington’s younger brother. He and his wife had died in India during the terrible cholera outbreak of 1869, leaving little Caroline and her elder sister, Charlotte, in their aunt’s hands. She, a society lady who divided her time between her town house in London and a similar residence on the French Riviera, had no time for her wards and so they were ‘kept’ at Fairacres, her husband’s ‘rural retreat’ that she and Mr Symington rarely visited. For several years a Miss Hassack had been the children’s governess but she, for no reason given to me when I accepted the post, had abruptly left. Hence the opening at Fairacres which I most gratefully accepted.

“We have several house rules which you must comply with, Miss Poyser.” Newly arrived at Fairacres, I stood in front of Mr Harding who, it seemed, ran the establishment as Mr Symington’s agent. “They are simple enough, but I would be grateful if you would sign this contract. It merely states that you agree to comply with our house rules.”

He slid a somewhat bulky document across the desk towards me.

“You may use the hall to read the contract,” Mr Harding continued. “When you have done so, please come back here and sign it. If you do not wish to comply with the rules laid down the agreement, I must ask you to leave forthwith. I will have the carriage take you and your bags to the village but, from there on, you must find your own way home.”

My heart stopped for a second, and I felt an icy lump forming in the pit of my stomach. For I had assumed that the post at Fairacres was assured. I had no home to go to. Both my parents were dead, and my sister and her husband lived in Scotland. In addition, I had spent my poor savings on new attire, my old clothes seeming too shabby and worn for such an important family as the Symingtons.

With a trembling hand, I reached out and picked up the document before bobbing a curtsey to the man behind the desk and turning to leave the room. In the hall, my pathetic luggage piled near the front door, I read the clauses of the agreement that I knew I had to sign. I had no alternative.

Ten minutes later I felt a mixture of relief and trepidation. For I had read the contract which I must sign, and had come to the conclusion that, although some of its clauses seemed strange, its general tenor was not unreasonable. It stated that my salary would be paid quarterly, half in arrears, half in advance, either by cash or banker drafts as I might wish. I would be provided free of charge with full board and lodging, including coals for my room and the schoolroom area, food, and light. I might order (via Mr Harding) all items needed for the schoolroom, and I was at liberty to teach the girls in whatever manner I pleased, subject to their spending at least half of the days learning English, Latin, needlework, and The Bible. Finally I would submit a written report on their progress to their guardians once every six months.

So much was more than satisfactory. No young governess could ask for more pleasant or reasonable terms of employment. However it was the clauses listed towards the end of the agreement that caused me concern. Amongst these were ones that stated that, although I might walk in the ground within one hundred yards of the house, I might go no further afield. In addition I must not leave the estate under any circumstances or risk immediate dismissal without notice.

Although nominally I was allowed half a day each week off work, these 26 days per year would be accumulated so that, when I left Fairacres, I would receive payment for them in lieu of actually having any time off at all while employed there. Along with this clause was another one which stated that, when not actually looking after the children, I must remain in my room or in the schoolroom unless Mr Harding wished me to work for him in ‘some clerical capacity in keeping with Miss Poyser’s status and age’. However I might take exercise in the grounds (not further than one hundred yards from the house, of course) providing I obtained Mr Harding’s permission to do so, and providing I was ‘suitably attired’.

These clauses seemed petty rather than worrying. But what did concern me was the final two which I will reproduce in full.

Clause 27. Miss Poyser understands and agrees that Mr Harding (or his assigned deputy) may deal with any dereliction of duty or failure to comply with these rules on Miss Poyser’s part. Mr Harding (or his assigned deputy) may not fine Miss Poyser for such offences or impose financial penalties upon her, but he may employ any other means of correction that seems to him to be commensurate with Miss Poyser’s faults.

Clause 28. Miss Poyser agrees that she is legally bound to obey Mr Harding’s instructions or order in all matters, and that she has NO form of restitution or appeal against any of his rulings, decisions or demands. Therefore she agrees to accept whenever means of correction he may deem fitting in the event of her failing to act properly (as laid down in Clause 27.)

I read the final two clauses time and again, uncertain of what to do. Eventually, I summoned up all my courage, rose from my chair and crossed the vast hallway to knock on the study door once more. When I heard Mr Harding biding me enter, I opened the door and walked in, pale but I hope not with my fear too apparent.

“You agree to sign?” The man behind the desk asked even before I had shut the door behind me.

“Well, sir, there are some items I cam not clear about.”

“What, Miss Poyser? What?” His voice was harsh and abrupt as his looked up at me, his eyes piercing me so that I hurriedly lowered my gaze.

“The last clauses, sir,” I stuttered. “Twenty seven and eight, sir.”

“They are self explanatory. Completely self explanatory. Now, are you going to sign, or shall I send for the carriage to take you away?”

As he spoke, he pushed the pen holder across the desk to me.

“Miss Poyser, I do not have all day to chatter with you. Sign or go!”

With a trembling hand, I reached out and picked up the pen. I carefully dipped it in the ink well, and then signed in the blank space on the final page of the agreement.

I signed my name under the words, ‘I, Arabella Poyser, do of my own free will, and in full knowledge of this document, do sign this agreement and contract as indication of my full compliance, both real and implied, to its terms and conditions, both real and implied, understanding that these conditions will apply in full until such time as I am dismissed from the employment as set down in this agreement and contract.’

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WALKING IN SILENCE Chapter Two

I heard the pen squeak across the paper as I signed my name at the bottom of the contract. The two words formed in shiny fresh ink on the heavy velum.

Arabella Poyser.

“Now date it. Please.” Mr Harding’s voice was hard; the ‘please’ abrupt and perfunctory. But I did so.

Thursday, the Fifteenth of October in the Year of Our Lord, Eighteen Hundred and Eighty Three.

Having done as I was told, I stood back from the desk and looked at the man who now reached out to inspect the contract I had just signed.

I would have taken Mr Harding to be in his mid forties. Tall and lean, he seemed to possessed that wiry strength you sometimes find in men of light built. Only his hands, large and spatular, seemed less than neat. For all else about him was precise and composed, from his dispassionate features to his highly polished shoes.

“Now, Miss Poyser, to business.” He spoke in more relaxed tones as he locked the contract away in the desk. “There are only a few points that I wish to clarify before you start work. Firstly, you will have seen in the contract that I have an ‘assigned deputy’. That is Miss Harding, the housekeeper. Yes, we share a common name. Not surprising as she is my sister. But our relationship is unimportant to you, Miss Poyser. What should be important however is the need for you to obey her instructions as though they came from me. You understand that?”

“Yes, sir,” I replied, barely able to force my voice above a whisper.

“Good.” He reached behind his chair and dragged on the heavy bell pull hanging from the wall. I knew that, as he did so, a bell would be ringing somewhere in the depths of the building, summoning a servant to answer Mr Harding’s imperious call.

“If you work hard, do as you are told and obey the house rules, I do not see why you should not find working at Fairacres to be congenial employment. You will find me strict but fair and I am sure the same applies to Miss Harding.” The man paused for a moment to allow his words to sink in. “You must also understand that I run this establishment as Mr Hetherington’s agent. Trusted agent, I might say. He is rarely here so, apart from your half-yearly report that I will forward to him, you will have no contact whatsoever with him or with his wife. Think of me as your employer, and you will not go wrong. Miss Poyser.”

He looked up at me with a smile. A smile so thin that his lips barely seemed to move from their usual hard line.

“A final word of caution. Remember you are governess here, Miss Poyser. You are not a ‘common’ servant, and you will stay well clear of such people dealing only with them on a formal basis. Keep your congress with them to a minimum. If you need to discuss anything, broach the subject with Miss Harding first. She will bring it to my attention if she feels it necessary. Otherwise you will keep to the school room and nursery quarters and to your own room, which you will find adjacent to your place of work. Of course, if Miss Harding or I summon you down from your eyrie, or if you wish to take exercise in the park, you may leave your quarters. But otherwise you will confine yourself to that area of the house. Is that clear?”

I nodded, dumbly. Already I could see that working at Fairacres was likely to be a lonely business, but that was a fate only too well know to many governesses.

I did not have long to brood on my fate. There was a sharp knock on the door behind me. I heard someone enter the room and then, with a swish of heavy skirts, a woman strode past me. I had been expecting a servant to answer Mr Harding’s summons. But it was no common servant that swept into the room . Instead it was a black dressed woman, tall and gaunt and only too evidently the sister of whom Mr Harding has spoke off earlier. If the man’s eyes had been cold, this woman’s were icy. She looked me up and down, slowly and clearly revealing a mixture of distrust and dislike, reactions I had done nothing to earn. Eyes focussed on the carpet at my feet, I stood silently as she stalked slowly round me so as to inspect me from every side. Then, after a seeming eternity, she halted by the desk.

“Look at me, girl.” The woman’s voice lacked the apparently cultured tones to be found in her brother’s speech. But I did as I was told and focussed on the hard face three feet from where I stood.

“You do your job and tutor the girls, and we will have no trouble. In fact, you could even grow to like it here. But get any hoity-toity ideas about your station, and I will be down on you, Miss. Down on you hard. Now, come with me and I will show you your room, and where you are going to work. After that I will introduce you to the children.”

She turned on her toes and, with a swirl of fustian skirts, swept from the room. I hurriedly bobbed a curtsey to the man behind the desk and followed in her brisk, long-striding wake.

The next few hours matched the horror that any junior governess knows when she takes up a new post. A strange house, strange servants, hostile looks and an inward fear that you are not going to like this new place of employment. The difference this time was that there were no parents or senior governess to tell me what to do. Just Miss Harding with her brusque tones and freezing stare. I took in what she showed me, asked as few questions as I could and waited with some trepidation to meet the children. However, as we waited in the schoolroom for the nursery maid to bring them to us, Miss Harding made one final remark that made to look at her questioningly.

“When the children are having their supper, you will come down to the servants quarters. I will have a uniform ready for you by then.”

“Uniform?” I queried. “But I am the governess. I wear my own clothes.”

“NOT in this house,” Miss Harding snapped back. “You may have the title of governess but governesses here wear uniforms, as do all employees. Even me.”

She ran her hands over the flat bosom of her black dress, its waist circled by a belt from which dangled a heavy bunch of keys. The dress did not look like any servants uniform I had ever seen. But I could not raise any further queries as, at that moment, the door opened and in were shepherded the two girls who were to be my charges at Fairacres. Thankfully, their arrival meant the departure of Miss Harding, and for the next few hours I was left alone with my new pupils, trying to get to know them.

They were not at all what I had expected. Identically attired in dull brown pinafore dresses, their hair centre-parted and dragged back from their faces into tight buns behind their heads, neither girl could be deemed ‘pretty’. But they had fine bone structure, their eyes were a delightful blue green and their hair the same dark gold shade that even their harsh hair style could not sully. Charlotte, the elder, was approaching seventeen, tall and gangly like an unbroken colt. Her younger sister, now fifteen, lacked her sister’s height but was similarly slender. And both were clearly ill at ease, not raising their eyes to look at me as I introduced myself to them.

Having told them a little about myself, I made them sit at their desks. Then I mounted the low podium on which stood my own larger desk and chair, and proceeded to find about their own accomplishments. Three hours later, I had discovered that my pupils had been poorly taught, knew little Latin, sewed badly, wrote ungrammatical English and were weak at all forms of mathematics. But I also discovered what I thought was a glimmer of very real intelligence in both of them. Yet, strangely, they seemed very reluctant to reveal their agile thought processes, apparently wishing me to think them dull and even stupid.

I was deeply puzzled at this behaviour but I did not have time to probe further as the nursery maid, an surly young woman maybe a year or two older than myself, came in to take the girls away for their supper and to prepare them for bed. I knew, from what Miss Harding has told me of schoolroom routine, that I would not see them again until the next morning. So, after they had trooped out after the nursery maid, I tidied the books we had used, cleaned the girls’ slates and wiped the blackboard on the wall behind my desk. It was only then that I remember that Miss Harding has told me to report to the servants quarters to find out about my ‘uniform’.

By the time I had found my way deep into the bowels of the house, and had been guided to Miss Harding’s ‘private room’, it was nearly seven o’clock and it was plain that the housekeeper was not pleased at my tardy arrival.

“I will be kind to you this time,” she growled at me as I apologised for being late. “But NEVER keep me waiting again. You have had your last warning and there will be no more. Now come with me.”

She lead the way to a well stocked laundry room, its wooden shelves near groaning with linens and napery, towels and sheets, bed clothes and furnishings and, along one wall, shelves piled with what appeared to be servants’ clothing. But she did not look to the shelves as she led me into the room. Instead she pointed to the polished wooden expanse of the central ironing table. On it lay a heap of clothing that seem to contain far more items than was in all my impoverished wardrobe.

“The Mistress requires that you surrender all your personal clothing for as long as you work here. Your possessions will be laundered and kept safely for you, so you can reclaim them when you leave. Until that time you will ONLY wear uniform items of dress. One of the maids will help you take this lot up to your room. And you will then hand over to her every item of clothing you possess, other than what you wear at this moment. When I say ‘every item’, I mean just that. Down to handkerchiefs and fichus, stockings and underwear. All you may retain are your shoes, and those I will inspect tomorrow to ensure their suitability. You understand?”

“Even bonnets?” I asked lamely, thinking of the precious savings I had recently spent on one beautiful bonnet, the first new one I had ever really owned. Before its recent purchase, I had made do with second-hand ones that I reworked for my own use.

“Of course,” the woman snorted. “I said ‘everything, didn’t I?”

Two minutes later I was staggering upstairs, laden down by vast arm-fulls of clothing. Behind me came a raw boned maid, carrying a similar pile. At last we reached my room in what was referred to as ‘The Nursery Wing’. There my new uniform garments were placed on my bed and, as the maid waited, I lay my own pitifully small collection of clothing next to them. When I had done, she picked up the smaller pile, pausing at the door before departing.

“You’ll leave what you wear now, miss, outside you door when you go to bed. I’ll collect them first thing in the morning.” With that she disappeared to begin her long descent back to the servants’ quarters.

That evening I sat in my room and wondered what the future held for me. With no family present, and embargoed by my status from going to the Servants Hall, I would clearly be spending my time alone when not working. It was a fate common to governesses, and one I had come to accept. So, looking at the monstrous pile of garments on my bed, I decided to see just what my uniform comprised of. Half an hour later, I was both pleasantly surprised and also gravely disappointed.

The pleasant surprise came from the quality of the garments I was to wear. Each was extremely well made, every seam double-stitched with minuscule stitches, each fabric of good quality; certainly better than I could have afforded on my small salary. Also I had been supplied with more than adequate numbers of clothes. Four complete sets of underclothing, two corsets, three sets of petticoats, six pairs of stockings, three pairs of gloves, three dresses, two capes, one heavy cloak, and even two bonnets. For night wear, there were four nightdresses and two warm dressing gowns. In addition, I had been given eight lawn handkerchiefs and various other more private items. In fact the number of garments in my possession had virtually doubled in an instant. For that I was indeed grateful. As I was in respect of the garments’ sizes. I had no idea how, but Miss Harding had selected clothing that seemed exactly the right fit for me. Either this was an amazing coincidence, or someone had written to my previous employer and asked for details of my size and shape, facts easy enough to ascertain by anyone looking in my old room and inspecting the clothes I wore whilst in the employ of Mr and Mrs Hetherington.

But disappointment tinged and almost eradicated such pleasurable feelings. For the clothing I had been supplied was unattractive in design, its material heavy, the cut the dresses looked uncomfortable. Even such minor drawbacks as petticoats that appeared too tight for ease of walking merely added to my mounting depression at the thought of wearing such ‘uniform’ during my stay at Fairacres.

Later, as I finished the meal that had been brought up to my room by the surly nursery maid, I felt slightly more sanguine. The food was plain but well cooked and sustaining. A generous slice of beef and onion pie with gravy and boiled potatoes, followed by a bowl of cold summer pudding revealed that I was likely to eat more than adequately at Fairacres. At least, I told myself as I undressed for bed, I will be able to save virtually all of my wages, as I will not need to buy new clothing while employed here. And I had my books to read and my journal to write up each evening. So I should not be too bored, even if my social life would be extremely limited. Limited? I smiled to myself as I struggled into my crisp new nightdress. It would not be ‘limited’. It promised to be non-existent.

After I had bid goodbye to my best dress and all that I had been wearing previously, placing the garments outside my door in a small basket I found there, I knelt by my bed to say my prayers. The litany taught to me by dear Papa, so long departed to join his Maker, rolled out in whispers for the usual ten minutes. Then, cold and stiff, I got to my feet and slipped into bed. I propped myself up on an elbow and snuffed out the candle on the bedside table.

Settling down into my new and strange bed, I thought that Fairacres might prove to be a congenial place to work, regardless of the somewhat worrying aspects I had already come across. After all, I had two pleasant enough girls to teach, and a degree of freedom within the schoolroom not often granted to young governesses. ‘Yes,’ I thought as I slipped, exhausted, into dreamless sleep, ‘I think I am going to like it here.’

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WALKING IN SILENCE Chapter Three

I woke the following morning to knocking on my door. Half drugged by sleep, I called the person outside to enter and sat in bed, blankets pulled high under my chin, as the maid who had helped me the previous evening came in. She carried a heavy tray on which rested a lit candle, a clean washing bowl, and two jugs, one holding cold water and another hot; the latter cooling rapidly after its long journey from the kitchens. Also on the tray was my breakfast; an egg, slices of still warm bread and some fresh-churned butter.

The maid placed all but the candle on my wash stand, removed the bowl and jugs I had used the previous night and left without a word, even ignoring my soft-toned ‘Thank you.’ As she closed the door behind her, the room was again plunged into darkness.

I clambered out of bed and felt my way to the window. Drawing back the dull brown curtains, I looked out into darkness. Clearly in this house, the day commenced early.

Twenty five minutes later I was washed and dressed and my breakfast was eaten. So, after I had tidied my bed chamber, with nothing further to keep me there, I made my way to the schoolroom, my candle held aloft and I made my way along the silent corridors that, bare-boarded, led to my daytime domain. As I expected the schoolroom was empty and, for a moment, I was tempted to go to the girls’ quarters to see if they were getting up. But then I recalled Mrs Harding’s harsh words, as she explained my duties to me the previous day.

“You will be responsible for the girls only during their schoolroom hours. That is seven o’clock through to half past eleven in the morning. And one o’clock to six each afternoon. At all other times the nursery maid will look after them. Under MY supervision. So you will NOT interfere with what happens to them at times other than those I have specified.”

“But what if…………………….”

“NO Buts!” Miss Harding almost snarled the words at me. “You will NEVER involve yourself in anything other than the girl’s schooling. You will not go to their quarters. You will not concern yourself in their meals, in how they dress, in where they sleep, in anything other than what happens in the schoolroom. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, Miss Harding. You make yourself very clear.” I murmured in reply.

Fifteen hours after that brief exchange, I waited alone in the schoolroom, watching the light of a drizzling dawn gradually illuminate the room. I snuffed my candle and set to sorting the text books I had found in one of the cupboards until, at long last, the door was thrown open and the nursery maid chivvied Charlotte and Caroline into the schoolroom to start their day’s lessons.

May I speak of myself for a moment before continuing my tale? On that grey morning I was some two months past my twenty seventh birthday, a tall and plain young woman, the sort you pass by in the street without giving her a second glance. I was a governess because it was one of the few respectable ways in which a young woman of my background and station could ward off starvation and ensure she had a roof over her head. In some ways I was suited for such an occupation as I enjoyed looking after small children. But, offsetting that asset, I gained no great satisfaction from merely being a teacher of elder children. Maybe, because I was so near to their own age, I lacked the natural authority of a more senior governess. But, whatever the reason, I found children over the age of thirteen or so hard to control by the force of my will alone.

Perhaps, from what I have related so far of my tale, it may be seen that I enjoy writing; that art and reading being my passions. So it was only natural that I should have attempted to pass on my enthusiasm for the written word to my charges, but I regret that I must confess to little success. For I was (and, indeed, am) a less than brilliant teacher, knowing myself to be competent but uninspiring as a governess. I reckoned myself fair and reasonable with my pupils, but I had suffered sufficiently at the hands of high-spirited children to know that I must always maintain discipline in the schoolroom. Unless shown from the start, even the best mannered child can soon turn into a rebel, and that was not the transformation I was paid to effect.

That morning, as I had been sorting through the book cupboard, I had found the various ‘tools of my trade’ placed reverentially on the top shelf. From the shiny nature of the canes’ handles and the wear upon the straps, it was plain that they had been used, probably frequently, by my predecessor. If indeed they had, it was little wonder that my charges had proved so reserved when I had first met them. For they must have wondered if I was going to prove as fearsome a governess as the departed Miss Hassack.

I flexed the lightest of the three canes between my hands and inwardly shuddered. Like most girls of my class, I had been subjected to corporal punishment from an early age, even though my good if ineffectual Papa had shied away from correcting his daughters, and had left that task to Mama. But, once a pupil at Mrs Hugher’s Academy for Young Ladies, I had been subjected to harsh discipline, so that I was only too aware of the pain that even a light stroke with such an instrument of correction could inflict upon an offender.

Given other means of ensuring schoolroom control, I would have happily broken or burnt those penal instruments. But I was only too aware of my lack of natural authority, and I knew that I might have to resort to those awful devices if persuasion and commonsense did not make the girls maintain their previously obedient and quiet demeanour.

Immediately below the low platform upon which stood my desk and in front of the girls’ places was a book table. It was here that text books were piled ready for use, and it was where the girl’s slates were kept when not being used. Now, I thought, it can serve a new purpose.

I took from the cupboard the medium weight cane and one of the straps. These I proceeded to lay on the book table so that they would always be directly in my pupils’ line of sight every time they glanced up at me behind my desk. The cane, over two foot in length and the breadth of my thumb nail, I placed at the front edge of the table, its curled handle towards where I sat. Behind it I laid out the heavy strap. It was a Scottish tawse, over a foot in length excluding its rounded handle, and split in two for most of its length. Some four inches in width, it would produce much pain if used across a girl’s open palm and, of course, it might also be employed to ‘warm’ her posterior as well.

Looking down at my handiwork, I shuddered again, hoping that I would never have to use those cruel instruments of correction. As a girl, I had been the victim of frequent corporal punishments; not because I was a bad or rebellious pupil, but because teachers at Mrs Hugher’s Academy, including the Principal herself, reckoned that the simplest and most effective way of instilling knowledge into a girl’s head was to drive it there with the rod or birch, unless the pupil assimilated it at the first time of asking. Later, as a pupil-teacher, I was taught just how to use such things, and how best to extract the maximum of pain with the minimum of effort. But I had hated doing so, and had even been whipped myself for not ‘laying on’ hard enough when order to correct some poor girl only a year or two younger than myself.

In consequence, once on my own and employed as an independent governess, I had shied away from using corporal punishment at my previous posts, only using it as a final resort and then with great reluctance. I have to admit that, even then, I employed that means of discipline rather ineffectually too.

When the girls’ entered the schoolroom and made their way to their desks, I saw their eyes widen as they saw the cane and the tawse laid on the book table. But they went to their places and, having curtseyed low and bid me good morning, meekly obeyed my command to sit down, each focussing their gazes up at me, rather than looking down at the book desk. But I knew I had made my point. Now it was time to see whether a threat was sufficient to keep my charges in order when my own malleable character was barely likely to convince them not to test my patience.

The morning passed quietly enough. I had discovered the previous day where the sisters’ worst lack of knowledge lay. So I had them working at their Latin primers for the first two hours, ensuring that they kept their heads down and absorbed in both the written word and my verbal tuition. Once or twice I was surprised by one of the girls translating a sentence with perfect fluency when, moments before she had stumbled over something less complex. Whenever it happened, the girl in question would bring herself up short, almost as though she had made a mistake in doing so well.

When I had pointed this out to the older girl, Charlotte, she had dropped her gaze, and blushed.

“I am sorry, Ma’am,” she stuttered. “I must have translated that passage before. And somehow remembered it.”

“Perhaps,” I murmured to myself, unconvinced by the girl’s explanation. “Anyway, there is nothing to be sorry about. Your translation was excellent. Now turn to page 32, and we will look at the first passage at the top of the page.”

After Latin, I moved on to Divinity, testing them on their Biblical knowledge and setting them a test on the Ten Commandments. By the time the nursery maid arrived to collect the sisters, I had been surprised several times by sudden glimpses of intelligence from each of the girls. After they had gone, I sat at my desk, wondering what was happening, and why Charlotte and Caroline seemed so reluctant to let me know just how well tutored they really were. I was still pondering this quandary when the rude maid, who seemed to have been assigned to look after me, arrived with my luncheon.

As I looked at the suet dumplings in gravy, I realised I was not at all hungry. But I forced some food down, knowing the cause for my lack of appetite. Before dawn, in the candle-lit gloom of my bed chamber, I had made further discoveries concerning my new uniform. The first was that the corsets supplied to me were both longer and more heavily boned than the ones I was used to wearing. As if that was not enough, when I tried to do up my dark grey dress, I found that it was cut tight about the chest and waist, so that I was forced to lace myself severely into my corset so as to compress my torso sufficiently to do up the buttons of my dress. And that garment was itself less than comfortable. Made of serviceable but decidedly heavy serge, it possessed a high boned collar that, when done up, half choked me, its upper edge projecting up into the soft flesh under my jaw.

So it was little wonder that, so tightly laced into my corset and further constrained by the formidable tightness of my dress, I was in no mood to eat such things as suet dumplings, tasty though they might have been. So I merely tasted the food and drunk the water supplied with it.

When the downstairs maid returned to collect the tray, I noticed that she looked at my still partly filled plate, and then how she smiled to herself before leaving without commenting. The smile puzzled me at first. But then I told myself that, as a junior servant, she was probably not as well fed as would be one of my station. Therefore she would have seen what I had left, happy in the knowledge that, on the way back to the servant’s hall, she could stop off in some hidden place and eat my left-overs. Doubtless that would be enough to make the normally hard-faced girl smile for once.

The afternoon passed slowly for me, and probably even more so for my pupils. I had hoped to take them outdoors for a walk but I was informed by the nursery maid that this was only possible if I first cleared such an excursion with Miss Harding. So we worked on the girls’ mathematics, and their needle work, before I tested them on geography, a subject in which they revealed almost total ignorance.

As the clock ticked round to six, the nursery maid entered the schoolroom to retrieve the girls and to take them back to their own rooms. But, before she left, she handed me a folded piece of paper. It contained a cryptic message.

You will come straight down to the laundry room as soon as you have completed this afternoon’s lessons. Do NOT keep me waiting again. Maria Harding (Miss)

The hand may have been that of a poor educated woman but there was no doubting the command in its words. I hurriedly put away my pupils’ books and then, having snuffed the candles that lit the schoolroom, I hurried down the flights of stairs that led to the basement of Fairacres. Breathless, thanks to my exertions and the brutal compression of my stays, I entered the laundry room to find that Miss Harding has arrived before me. She fixed me with an icy stare and then, turning slowly gestured towards the ironing table behind her.

In the middle of its smooth expanse stood a single plate. One that I recognised. For it still held the remains of my luncheon, suet rolls now mired down in a sea of cold congealed gravy.

“Yours, I think,” Miss Harding said in chilling tones.

“Yes, I think so too,” I admitted, my voice barely above a whisper. “I did not feel hungry.”

“Really…………… I wonder what Mr Hetherington would say if he knew that the money he generously allows for your rations was being wasted.” Sarcasm joined ice in the woman’s voice as she glared at me. “Well, girl, it is my duty to ensure that his money is NOT wasted. The contents of that plate will be your supper tonight.”

“But I can’t eat it!” I protested. “Not cold and congealed like that.”

“You will eat it, girl. Because, if you do not, it will be sent to your room for your breakfast tomorrow morning. If you do not consume it then, you will find it appearing for your lunch. And so on. Until you DO eat it. Unless, of course, you wish to starve yourself to death.”

I felt all fight drain out of my body. I knew I was beaten.

“I will eat it, Miss Harding,” I said slowly.

“Now?” The woman asked.

“If you wish.”

From a pocket in her dress, the woman produced a spoon which she handed to me. Shuddering, my hands trembling, I took it from her and walked to the table. A chair stood nearby and I sat down on it, and began to eat.

I will not trouble my readers with the details of that meal. Suffice it to say that it took all my fortitude to force the vile dish down. But in the end the plate was clean enough to satisfy even Miss Harding. Feeling nauseous, I got up from the chair and started for the door.

“And where do you think you are going, miss?” Miss Harding’s harsh voice stopped me in my tracks.

“To my room.”

“Ma’am!” she barked abruptly at me.

“To my room, ma’am,” I said in a defeated whisper.

“You think that just eating your lunch is recompense enough for the bad example you have set the servants who saw that you had returned your food?”

“I hope so, ma’am.”

“Well, your hopes are not going to be met.” The woman snapped out the words as she strode across the room. “Far from it. For you, my girl, must be taught that, in this household, NO-ONE wastes food.”

I watched as she opened a cupboard set on the far wall, her body hiding whatever it was she extracted from its depths.. Then she turned again to face me, and I saw that, in her right hand, she held a rod. A three foot length of black malacca cane. It was an instrument of correction the like of which I had never seen before, so brutal did it look in Miss Harding’s white knuckled hand.

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WALKING IN SILENCE Chapter Four

My mouth must have dropped open when I saw the dreadful rod in Miss Harding’s hand. Shying away, putting the wide expanse of the ironing table between us, I half turned, determined to run from the room and the crazed woman who came slowly towards me. Then, to my horror, I saw Mr Harding standing in the doorway. I halted in my tracks and watched as he closed the door behind him, turning a heavy key in its lock.

“Miss Harding told me about your wasteful ways,” he said slowly as he pocketed the key. “I had hoped that you would settle down here without my having to show you that we don’t put up with stupidity at Fairacres. But it seems it will be necessary to teach you a salutary lesson, so that your behaviour will be less self-centred in future.”

“You can’t,” I babbled, terrified and confused. “You can’t do this to me!”

“Oh, but we can.” The man smiled as he walked towards me. “The contract you signed yesterday gives us every right to punish you as and how we wish.”

Suddenly he reached out and snatched my arm. I struggled briefly but he was too strong and dragged me to him so that his face was inches from mine, her cold eyes boring into mine.

“Miss Poyser, we can approach what has to be done in two ways. Either you are sensible and accept your punishment quietly and like an adult. Or you can make us use less acceptable means of ensuring you are properly corrected. And, if we are made to use force to subdue you, I will greatly increase the degree of your punishment. Greatly increase it. Now, what is it to be? An unseemly scuffle which we will inevitably win? Or you acting like a well brought-up young lady, and accepting your punishment as being correct and due?”

My head spun, and I think I might have collapsed had not Mr Harding dug his fingers into my arm, holding me upright.

“Well, Miss Poyser? Which is it to be?”

“I will accept my punishment,” I stammered, my voice barely audible.

“Excellent,” I heard him murmur as he guided me round the table to the far end. “Now spread you legs, please, and bend forward to lie on the table.”

Too shocked and weak to think, I obeyed, my corsets groaning from my movements. Behind me I heard a swish of material and, glancing sideways through tear-filled eyes, I saw Miss Harding kneeling down. A moment later she had tied my left ankle to the low cross bar that joined the wide-spread table legs. Then moving across behind me, she fastened the other ankle in place so my legs were spread under the heavy fall of my skirts to the maximum width permitted by my tight petticoats.

A hand, Mr Harding’s I think, pressed down on my back between my shoulder blades, pinning me to the tables smooth surface. Then I felt something pass across my back a few inches lower down. It was tightened and I began to realise that a broad strap must have been passed over my back and down under the table, to be drawn in until I was flattened against the smooth wood beneath my chest and torso, crushed down so that breathing, already made problematical by the compression of my stays, became painful. I gasped for air in quick shallow pants, fearing that my ribs might break under the awful pressure imposed upon them..

Helpless now, I closed my eyes and sobbed gently, terrified of what I knew was to come. I had not been whipped for years, but the memory of those awful occasions when I had been disciplined at Mrs Hughers Academy was still branded on my psyche.

As I contemplated my fate, a wrist was grabbed and then the other one, to be tied together and then pulled across the table so that I was racked out on its surface. I must have moaned or perhaps even protested at my cruel handling. I can not recall which. But I do know that my hair was tight gripped, my head pulled up and back and, as I started to scream or cry out, a bulky wad of material was rammed into my mouth. Choking on the fearful gag, I felt something being tied round my head and between my teeth so the material was thrust deeper into my mouth, muffling my cries and making me choke on its mass.

“Miss Poyser, you will BEHAVE!” I heard Mr Harding voice close to my ear, its tone harsh and curt. “Cease your struggles and make no noise. Or your punishment will be increased.”

I did my best to obey, knowing my own helplessness as I listened to the man continuing his monologue.

“Before your correction starts, there are one or two points that I must make plain to you. It may occur to you to leave her after we have finished with you now. Do NOT try to do so. You have no clothes and no money. In fact, unless you leave naked, we will have you taken as a thief for stealing the uniform you wear. That is, providing you can leave the grounds. Which is something I doubt you capable of doing. So, Miss Poyser, you are best advised to accept your punishment and to return to your work, a better and more careful young woman. It gives me no pleasure to see you being corrected in this manner. But it is my duty to run this house smoothly. If that calls for me to have you flogged, so be it. It is what I will do.”

With my eyes tear filled, I sensed rather than saw Mr Harding move away from the table. When he next spoke, his voice came from the direction of the door.

“I will now leave you to undergo chastisement, Miss Poyser. The proprieties must be observed and I do not witness the exposure and humiliation of female staff. Miss Harding will now take charge. And I hope and pray that we never meet in such a manner again.”

I heard the key turn in the lock and the door open and then, after a brief pause, close again. I was alone with the woman who must be standing behind me, and I was more afraid than when her brother had been present. I moaned into my gag, trying to beg for mercy but the sound that emerged past the wadded material was muffled almost to extinction, no words audible in its hushed sound.

Then, to my horror, I felt my skirts being raised, then my petticoats. I struggled briefly against my bonds, but I could barely move a fraction of an inch and, to make sure my efforts were only too soon terminated, the unseen woman hissed at me to be still.

Skirts and petticoats dawn up and raised to waist height, my voluminous flannel nether-garments were then dragged down. I felt cold air above my stocking tops, the back of my thighs exposed as was the curve of my posterior. I shuddered and bitterly recalled such sensations when readied for correction at Mrs Hugher’s Academy, and fear welled up in my throat in sickly bile whose egress was blocked by the plug of fabric that filled my mouth.

“There we are, my girl. All ready for punishment.” Listening to Miss Harding voice, I was shocked to hear what was nearly a friendly note in her words. Previously everything she had said to me had been curt and near rude. Now she had adopted a relaxed tone of voice as if we were discussing flowers over tea and cakes.

“I am now going to whip you,” she continued in the same conversational tones. “And when I have finished you will return to your room. There you may do what you wish to ease your suffering. But tomorrow morning you will act as though this ‘incident’ never happened. But be warned, if it is reported to me that you behave abnormally on the morrow, you and I will have a second meeting down here in the evening. I hope that is clear, my girl.”

Howling soundlessly into my gag, I vaguely heard her move behind me. I closed my eyes, my exposed nether cheeks clenching in my fear as I waited for the first blow to fall. But the woman had not finished tormenting me with words.

“Oh, I forgot to mention something.” She said, almost with a laugh in her voice. “If any of your clothes are marked afterwards, just put them outside your room for the maid to bring down to the laundry. She will not be surprised to see them blood stained.”

Almost as the final syllable was falling from her lips, I heard the hideous whistle of a heavy rod cutting through the air. I heard it strike flesh and then, after the most tiny of pauses, the pain of its impact hit me.

Dear reader, if you have been whipped by governess, parent or pedagogue, you will know with bitter memories what I speak off when I say that I felt my skull to be exploding as the pain surged into my consciousness. You will understand when I speak of a line of cold fire across my haunches, fire white hot and sinking deeper and deeper into my flesh. You will no doubt recall the convulsions as your body tried to tear itself away from the next blow. You will again hear your screams echoing round your brain, and remember your garbled pleas for mercy. Yes, dear reader, we share those terrible memories, and I am sure you weep for me as I speak of the murderous pain that even the first stroke caused me, as Miss Harding brought that monstrous rod flailing down across the soft flesh of my posterior.

And then came the second stroke. The horror of the first blow was consigned to the void when the next struck home. I screamed afresh, head shaking, fingers twitching as I struggled against my bonds. I screamed afresh and no-one heard me. Probably not even Miss Harding as she readied herself to deliver the next stroke, so gag-muffled must have been my shrill cries.

The third. And a fourth. And then the fifth. Evenly spaced, they were well enough separated in time for each to be its own dire punishment. Each one enough to teach me to always eat what I was given. Each one more than enough to ensure my contrition and every one on its own sufficient to make me desire but one thing in life – to please Mr Harding and Miss Harding in all that I did, then and in the future.

When the sixth has struck home, searing me from head to toe with its all consuming agony, I collapse, still and beaten, barely conscious but somehow sure that I had somehow survived my punishment. My posterior felt as though someone had held a red hot griddle across it for half a lifetime, and I knew I would live in pain for days to come. But I had survived, I had………………………….

Then the seventh smashed hope, driving breath and hope from my tortured body. And an eighth. And a ninth and……………………. I may have fainted before the tenth and final blow. Perhaps it is my mind that has shut off the memory of that terrible last stroke. I do not know. All I remember is the wad of material being dragged from my mouth and sucking in air to burning lungs. And I remember pain. That pain I remember best of all.

I do not recall making my way back upstairs to my bed chamber. Perhaps I was helped, perhaps I crawled; I am not sure. But I do remember finding myself slumped across my bed, half kneeling, sobbing hysterically and feeling that my whole posterior had been slow-roasted. It probably took me an hour to undress; each movement sent shafts of fresh agony coursing through my body, and I wept and moaned as I slowly removed garment after garment from my sweat soaked body. I tried to wash but gave up, dragging my nightdress over my trembling carcase, screaming as its material grazed my backside. Then I set to clearing the room. Outside the door I placed blood stained under garments, knowing that, in the morning, my nightdress must join them.

Finally, unable to pray, I dragged myself onto my bed and lay face down. Still crying, still wracked in pain. My first full day at Fairacres had ended, and every last ounce of the previous night’s optimism had been drained aware to leave bitter despair in its place.

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WALKING IN SILENCE Chapter Five

I slept little, if at all, that night. By the time the maid arrived before dawn with my water and breakfast, I was already on my feet, not wanting her to see me lying on my stomach, the back of my nightdress stained with the final evidence of my punishment. She would doubtless be aware of what happened the previous evening – Miss Harding has made that clear. But I was not going to give the sour faced maid the opportunity to gloat.

I stood, shivering in the pre-dawn chill, as she placed the washing bowl and jugs on the washstand, and my breakfast on the writing table. She said nothing until she reached the door. Then she turned towards me.

“I’ll fetch that night dress later, Miss. And anything else you wish to put out for laundering too.” As she spoke I thought I heard a hint of grudging admiration in her voice.

As soon as she had left, I fell upon my breakfast. Having gone supperless the previous evening, I was ravenous. No threats of further punishment were needed to make me finish every last crumb of that meal. But, when it was finished, I knew that I had to face up to the awful task of washing and tending to my poor ravaged posterior. That I moaned and cried out once or twice during this awful business is of no surprise. But I held back my tears and, in time, stood naked in the centre of the room, my soiled nightdress at my feet and ready to face the new day.

I will not bother my readers with a description of what it was like to dress that morning. Lady-readers who have drawn under-garments, petticoats and heavy skirts over a freshly chastised posterior will not need reminding of the awful misery of such a task. For the rest of my readership, I will merely state that it was a highly painful and unpleasant process but one accomplished in the end. At last dressed, I dashed cold water on my face in the hope of hiding my swollen lids and reddened eyes, and made my way to the schoolroom.

That morning I taught standing up, making sure that I was employed at the blackboard for much of those endless hours as possible and, at other times, prowling the room as though checking that my docile pupils were not cheating at the tests I set, nor skimping on the work assigned to them. I hope I gave them no cause to believe me freshly chastened for, had they done so, my power of command in the schoolroom would have been grievously compromised.

When the nursery maid came to collect my charges for their mid day break, I noticed how she looked at me with hooded eyes. I smiled back at her and spoke lightly about nothing important. For she was, I was certain, yet another of Miss Harding’s spies, just like the maid who served me in my room. The woman acknowledged my words with a nod but, as with the other maid, I felt that she might have been impressed by my stoicism. Little did she know what that smile cost me, nor how my body shook under the concealment of my clothes. As soon as the door closed behind her, I limped to my desk and leant over it, my weight resting partly on my hands, tears but a part of an inch away from emerging. There was a knock on the door, and I straightened up and was smiling as the other maid brought in my luncheon. Fried mutton chops and the inevitable potatoes with a helping of anaemic cabbage along side the meat.

I thanked the maid and, for a second, I thought she was going to say something. But, instead she turned and left the schoolroom without a word. It was then that I saw the folded paper on the tray, half concealed under the plate.

My legs turned to jelly, my stomach to water as fear surged through my whole being. But I had done nothing wrong, I told myself as I reached out with a shaking hand to pick up the paper. Turning it over, I discovered it was sealed which seemed strange until I realised that an unsealed note would doubtless have been read by the maid. Carefully I lifted the seal with a paperknife and read the words written with a neat, spidery hand that most definitely was not Miss Harding’s barely legible scrawl.

Miss Poyser. I wish you to know that it gave me no pleasure in sanctioning your punishment last night. But you must know that, if you fail to behave properly, I will sanction its repeat or worse so as to maintain good order in this household. That is my primary task.

The matter is now in the past and I trust that you may make a fresh start at Fairacres. For I do not bear grudges and merely wish to see this household running smoothly and well.

On another subject, I would like to discuss a matter with you. I shall come to the schoolroom after classes this afternoon. I hope that this will be convenient for you.

With respect I remain Josuah H. Harding (Agent.)

I read the missive several times, astonished at its almost placatory tone. “I hope this will be convenient to you” was barely the sort of language that the man had used the previous night. Perhaps he had decided that I had been overly chastised by his sister. After all my fault was trivial. Yet he also threatened further dire punishments if I did not “behave properly”.

In the end I ceased trying to find a solution to this puzzle and just wrote a brief note in reply, saying that I would remain in the schoolroom until such time as he might wish to come to see me. Lacking sealing wax or a seal, I merely folded up the note and, when she came to collet my tray, instructed the maid to hand it to Mr Harding with utmost expediency.

The afternoon dragged by with slowness that was trying for me and doubtless crushing for my pupils. They behaved well enough, did their work with little sparkle or enthusiasm, but without giving me any reason to chastened them for slackness. Latin followed Bible Study which, in turn had succeeded Mathematics. By late afternoon candles stood in holders on the girls’ desks and on mine, the far corners of the room sunk into wintery gloom. I grew cold and I had to rub my hands together before I wrote on the blackboard. The previously mild weather has clearly been replaced by chillier days. I looked at the empty grate at the back of the room, and determined to ask Mr Harding if we might now have a fire in the schoolroom.

At long last the nursery maid entered to collect her charges, the girls bobbing their curtseys to me before leaving the room. As the door closed behind them, I realised that I knew nothing about the sisters, apart from having some idea of their scholastics shortcomings. I knew nothing of their likes and dislikes, of their previous lives, of what they did when not in the schoolroom. They remained enigmas.

I had just finished tidying their books away when I heard heavy footsteps in the uncarpetted corridor outside the door. Moments later Mr Harding entered the room. I would like to say he strode in, but he was too neat in all his movements to stride. Instead he walked with the same precision as he did all else.

I curtseyed low and, on rising, indicated my own chair on the dais, asking him if he would like to be seated. He nodded and sat down while I remained standing, hands clasped behind my back, almost like a schoolgirl before her teacher.

“You are recovered from last night?” He asked, looking up with piercing eyes so that I was forced to lower my gaze and look at the wooden floor at my feet.

“Thank you, sir. As much as can be expected.”

“Good. The matter is closed, unless you force me to reopen it. Now I have one or two things to discuss. Firstly, are there any things you require for your work? Books, pens, ink, the like?”

“We are well supplied for now, sir.” I replied before taking my courage in my hands and broaching what I knew would be a trickier subject. “However, sir, it has turned cold and I wondered if we might have the fire lit during schoolroom hours.”

With my eyes lowered I could not see Mr Harding’s expression, but I somehow felt his eyes boring into me again.

“A fire? At this time of year? My dear Miss Poyser, you have clearly been employed in a most eccentric household if they had fires in the schoolroom at this time of year. In winter, yes, they may necessary. But not now.”

I heard him get up from his chair and, when I looked up, he had moved to stand near the girls’ desk, his gaze on the empty grate. Then he turned to face me.

“Your pupils have warm clothes, Miss Poyser. Tell the nursery maid to dress them in them.” He paused and frowned. “No, I will get Miss Harding to instruct her to dress the girls more warmly. We do not want them catching chills. And, if you are cold too, I suggest that there are mittens amongst the clothes given you as uniform and warm capes too. You will wear them.”

“If you say so, sir,” I murmured, again knowing I was defeated and that no fire would burn in the schoolroom until he deemed it to be winter once more.

“I say so,” the man replied in minatory tones. Then, his voice lightening, he continued, “I have another thing to discuss with you. Your predecessor, Miss Hassacks, used to take the girls out two or three times a week, letting them walk in the ground for an hour or two on such afternoons. I am charged with ensuring that the girls remain in good heath. So, Miss Poyser, you will exercise them too. I suggest each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, commencing tomorrow. One hour and one half each time, shall we say?”

My heart leapt; at last an excuse to leave this oppressive schoolroom and to breath God’s good air.

“Of course, Mr Harding. I would be only to happy to take the girls out for exercise.” I tried to keep the excitement out of my voice and, for the first time since arriving at Fairacres, I actually felt like smiling. Of course, I did not. No well trained governess would dream of betraying her emotions in front of a superior. Nor, for that matter, in front of an inferior.

“Excellent, I will make sure the nursery maid knows of this plan.” Mr Harding, far superior to me, could afford to smile. And this he did; briefly and with his mouth drawn in a tight, barely curving, line.

Too soon he turned to leave. I dropped into another curtsey and heard him go from the room before I had risen to my feet. I sighed and then grimaced for curtseying when one’s backside has been recently flayed is no laughing matter. But at least now, with Mr Harding and the nursery maid gone, I could limp and nurse my pain to myself, feeling how my under clothing had adhered to the newly formed scabs along the deeply etched lines where the rod had torn into my flesh twenty four hours earlier. It would be a long time before I forgot Miss Harding’s handiwork, of that I was sure.

I returned to my bed chamber to find my evening meal already standing on my table. That the soup was near cold and the bread hardening did not matter to me. I ate it without tasting it, knowing that my plates must be returned clean of sign of food. This I did happily, as I was still hungry. But then hunger is something known well to many governesses. At least I was well enough fed at Fairacres, and for that I was deeply grateful. But I was not grateful when I tried to remove my under garments. But in the end I soaked them free of my wounds, a further small piles of soiled clothing being left outside my door as evidence of my sin and of the retribution brought down upon me for my failings.

That night I slept on my side, waking with a muffled scream when I rolled on to my back and posterior. But at least I slept better than the previous night, the hideous wounds across my nether cheeks now healing and no longer oozing to stain my clothing. But, when the maid arrived with my water and breakfast, I was already on my feet, a blanket round my shoulders against the bitter cold of the high attic room. Drawing back the curtain I saw the light of my candle reflected on the ice formed on the glass. I stepped back, shivering, before moving to the wash-stand to perform my morning ablutions. Then, teeth chattering, my hands turning blue, I dressed as rapidly as possible. Minutes later, even though I was fully dressed, I could still feel the chill invading my clothes. I moved to the wardrobe and took one of the capes that cape with my uniform clothes from its hook. I threw it round my shoulders and then set to eat my rapidly congealing breakfast. This time, wincing, I sat down to eat for the first time for a day and a half.

Cold was an old enemy. At school, during what seemed like endless winters, we had to break the ice that would have formed overnight in our washing bowls. Chillblains came and stayed through till Spring, food arrived from the kitchen cold and we shivered ourselves to sleep under thin blankets each night. Even in a well-run household like my first employer’s, servants rooms were never heated and, as a junior governess, I was deemed on a par with a senior scullery maid and was allowed no fire in my tiny chamber. Here at Fairacres I had been promised coals for fires but it was plain that Mr Harding was a gentleman who deemed it to be winter only when the ground was frozen hard and snow lay waist deep upon it. Obviously I would have to relearn all the old means of keeping warm I had employed as a schoolgirl.

My meal finished down to the last crumb of bread, my chamber tidied, I glanced at myself in the cracked mirror on my dressing table. I saw a wide-eyed young woman, face pinched with cold, looking back at me, half of her face deep in shadow, the other illuminated by the candle’s flickering flame. I paused a moment, gazing at my reflection and wondering if any man would think me attractive. And I wished I knew what men found attractive in women. All I saw was a serious face framed in severely combed dark gold hair, the straight locks parted in the middle to be pulled hard back into a compacted bun at the base of the young woman’s skull. And the rest? The mouth – too wide. The nose – too short, insolently turned up slightly at its end to rudely accentuate wide nostrils. The eyes – too wide-set, too enquiring. Their lids – too heavy. The eyebrows – too straight and the left one marred by a childhood scar that bisected it half way along its length. The chin – maybe be pleasant enough, as were the well defined cheek bones. But the whole? No charming dimples, so rosy cheeks, no sweetly bowed lips, and melting eyes. No golden ringlets. Nothing that could judged as being beautiful by the conventional standards of feminine beauty in the year of Our Lord 1883.

I shivered and turned away, knowing that lonely years stretched ahead of me as I gradually aged, alone, another spinster governess moving from post to post until she was too old to find employment. And then?

I suppressed a moan and, grabbing the mittens from off the table, hurried from my chamber before the awful spectre of my future could catch up with me.

WALKING IN SILENCE Chapter Six

The schoolroom seemed even colder than my chamber as I arrived, my upraised candle illuminating its darkness with a flickering light. I looked up at the clock’s slow hands and saw that I still had twenty minutes to wait before my pupils were due. I walked to my desk and, having placed the candle in the holder there, I pulled on the thick knitted mittens I had taken from my room. They were welcome even if their cut-off fingers did leave the last knuckle of each digit exposed so that I had to blow on them to get some warmth into the stiff joints.

My breath came in white billows of cold-induced steam. I could barely believe it was only October and yet this freezing. So I moved across the room to peer out of the window, but like my own, its panes were white with ice and I could see nothing but impenetrable blackness beyond. Shivering, I pulled my cape round my body, welcoming the garment’s heavy mass as, with shaking hands, I began buttoning the floor-length cape up around myself in an effort to retain whatever bodily heat I had left.

I closed its warmly lined material about me down almost to waist-level. Then, I dropped its fabric and sought to draw it round me so that I might push my hands out through its arm slits and then , with only hands exposed to the freezing air, fasten the remaining buttons. For a moment or two I felt blindly for the slits. When chilled hands could not find them, I turned towards the candle and looked down, seeking them in the cape’s walls. A moment or two’s searching told me the strange fact that the garment had no arm slits. It seemed that, once buttoned down to its hem, the wearer would have her hands and arms trapped under its folds, only being able to use them by lifting up its hem and thus freeing a hand. Obviously the seamstress who made the cape had been guilty of an oversight in not inserting arm-slits into the garment. But that, I thought, is something I can legitimately ask Miss Harding to have rectified. Alternatively, I could return this cape to my wardrobe, and just wear its twin in future. As that garment undoubtedly would have hands openings in place.

Glancing at the clock I saw that I still had ample time to go to my chamber and to change into the other cape. So, retrieving the candle from its holder, I made my way back to my room. There I was in for another surprise. For the other cape, the twin of the one I wore, was also devoid of arm slits. Puzzled, I returned to the schoolroom.

The conundrum of the lack of arm-slits soon left my mind as I prepared for the day that lay ahead. Books had to be put out, mathematical problems selected, fresh chalk retrieved from the supply cupboard and the candles at my charges desk lit. Eventually, when returning to the dais, my eye fell on the book table, and I saw the heavy rod lying in front of the tawse. I picked it up, flexing it between my mittened hands, and wondered if I would ever be called upon to use it. I hoped not, as the memory of my own punishment was still etched in pain on my mind, and I most sincerely had no wish to inflict even one fraction of that misery upon either of my charges. Yet I was beginning to worry about them. There was something strange about the way they seemed so listless and almost lacking in intellect. When I tested them they always seemed to do just well enough to avoid even verbal chastening. But I had the impression that they could so easily have done so much better.

‘Perhaps,’ I thought to myself, ‘it is time to encourage them to try harder, and to reveal how intelligent – or otherwise – they really are.’

The idea was only half formed in my mind when the door opened and the nursery maid ushered in the sisters. I watched them go to their desks and then, in perfect unison, drop into deep curtseys before rising to the feet after a silent count of five, and sitting meekly down in their places. I also noted that they, like me, were now more warmly dressed than the previous day, hip-length capes hiding their arms as my own, longer version, did for me. Of course their outer coverings were pf the same dull brown colour as the rest of their clothing, whereas mine attire was all of clerical grey, clearly a sober enough colour for a humble governess to wear. But, a few minutes later when they had to open their desks to retrieve their slates, I noted that the sisters also wore short-fingered woollen mittens, almost as though our uniforms had been designed by the same hand.

But their attire was of no interest to me. Instead my mind was again focussed on the puzzle of their behaviour. They seemed such dull pupils, yet I was sure they were not. But I was in no rush for any confrontation, and I took my time in making them prepare a passage of Latin for verbal translation later in the day. Then after a cold slow ninety minutes, I ordered them to put away their Latin primers and to get their slates out for a mathematics test. The previous days they had revised their scales of weights and measures, and it was on that I was going to test them.

“You will leave your desks when I ordered you to,” I said brusquely to the girls. “Charlotte, you will stand in the right hand corner behind your desk: Caroline in the left hand corner, both facing the wall. There you will remain until I have written the questions on the blackboard. When I have finished, I tell you to return to your desks. You will do so WITHOUT looking up at the blackboard. You understand?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” the sisters replied together softly.

Making pupils stand facing away from the blackboard while test questions were written there was a common enough ruse, employed by most governesses so as to introduce an element of tension, even fear, into their charges. This time, I wished the sisters to be nervous about the coming test, and so I employed this method upon them, just as it had been used upon me when I was their age.

“Move to your corners…….. Now !”

The girls rose as one, stepped away from their desks, took one pace to their right, dropped into the usual curtseys, and after a count of five, turned and hurried to the back corners of the schoolroom. As soon as they were both facing the wall, I rose from my own desk and started to write on the black board the questions I had prepared earlier..

For ten minutes the silence and stillness in the room was broken only by the harsh squeak of chalk on the blackboard and my movements as I wrote out the test. Occasionally I would glance back over my shoulder to check on the sisters. But each time they stood motionless and silent facing the wall. No fidgeting, no coughs, no shuffling came from their corners. Clearly they had been well trained by Miss Hassack and her predecessors.

At least I was ready and I instructed them to return to their desks. I was pleased to see that both focussed their gaze on the floor and did not look up even after they had curtseyed and sat down at their desks.

“Very well,” I said as soon as they were settled. “You have one half hour to complete the questions I have written here. You may use the right side of your slates for working out your calculations – adding and subtracting and multiplying and dividing. Use both side of your slates if need be and do NOT erase your workings-out.”

I paused for a moment or two, letting my words sink in.

“You may commence NOW!” I glanced across the dimly lit room at the clock, noting the time was 9.52 am. At 10.22 their writing time would be up.

The girls looked at the board, Caroline’s mouth moving slightly as she silently read the first question to herself. It was a simple starter, one that any well educated young woman should be able to answer.

Question One.

If a recipe states that it requires two pounds of sifted flour to make a cake for 15 persons, how many tablespoons of flour will be required to make a cake for 3 people ?

The answer, as I am sure that all lady readers will have already worked out instantly in their heads, is nineteen full tablespoons and one fifth of a spoonful. However the younger sisters, Caroline, being young and inexperienced, was forced to work our her sums on her slate. The elder girl however read the question on the board and then wrote down her answers with only a moment or two’s hesitation. This I watched through veiled lids, thinking that Miss Charlotte was more intelligent that she would like to make out. To work out the answer to that question in one’s head required better brains and steadier intellect than she had so far revealed to me.

After twenty minutes or so, Caroline was still struggling with her sums. But her sister, from what I could see of her slate, had completed all the test. But, clever enough not to let me easily see that fact, was writing down some figures at the side of her slate.

“Time!” I called out as the clocks hand reached twenty two minutes past the hour. “Hands behind your backs and clasp elbows.”

The girls immediately did as they were told, their capes briefly billowing as they adopted the pose that would not allow them to alter the answers on their slates, right mittened hand gripping left elbow and vice versa.

I rose from my desk and made my way to where they sat. Both girls, their eyes demurely lowered, sat stock still as I picked up their slates and return to the dais, there to correct their answers.

It was the younger girl’s work that I looked at first. Much working out adorned her slate and it was clear that she had struggled to finish the test in time. But she had done reasonably enough. She had three questions that were wrong, although she had revealed that was mainly owing to mathematical errors rather than not knowing her tables and scales. In addition she had not quite completed the final question, although her workings showed she was on the right track and would have probably reached the correct solution had she been given a few minutes longer to complete the test.

I marked her as having achieved 6 out of 10. Not a brilliant result but satisfactory enough. Very much what I would have expected from a girl of her age and education.

Then I turned to Miss Charlotte’s slate. Here was a totally different set of answers. Not so much in their results but in the way the girl had approached them. Neatly arrayed down the left hand site of the slate were the answers, seven correct, three wrong. In other circumstances I might have considered that to be passable; not good but sufficiently accurate enough to avoid bringing her to task for carelessness or lack of knowledge. However the minimal workings at the sides of the slate appeared to bear no relation to the answers. They seemed random figures that looked to have been written there for effect rather than to aid the girl with her sums. I was only too plain that the girl had added them so as to convince me how hard she had worked to achieve her answers, something that my carefully observation had shown to be a sham.

I sighed and knew what I would have to do with Miss Charlotte. I picked up the slates and walked to the girls’ desk. I stopped first at Caroline’s.

“You must be more careful in future, Caroline. And please do NOT confuse perches and furlongs in future. But you have done well enough. I am pleased with your efforts, if not totally satisfied with your overall accuracy. Just try a little harder from now on.”

I placed the slate back on the girl’s desk and I could sense rather than hear her sigh of relief. For I had written ‘Pass’ at the bottom of her slate.

I moved a few paces across to her sister’s desk and placed her slate on the desk top. I watched as I saw her eyes widen as she saw the dread word ‘FAIL’ written at the base of her efforts.

“I think that you and I have some problems to clear up, my girl,” I said as coldly as I could. “I think you are under-estimating me, Miss. I think you are producing work that you think will meet my requirements but no more. I think you are being DEVIOUS. Now, stand up.”

The girl, red spots showing on her pale cheeks, did as she was told, struggling from her seat with her hands still clasped behind her.

“How old are you, Miss?” I asked rhetorically.

“Seventeen, Ma’am,” came her whispered reply.

“I thought you were sixteen.”

“It was my birthday yesterday,” came the soft reply that made me stop in my tracks. But only for a moment. I knew what had to be done, and the fact that I was unaware of the girl’s birthday would not prevent me from doing my duty.

“Well, girl,” I said after a moment’s pause, “your birthday present from me is one I trust you remember. And I hope you always remember why you received it. Take off your mittens.”

Without a look to see if my order was being obeyed – I knew it would be – I walked to the back of the room and, from the cupboard, selected a suitable instrument with which to administer my pupil’s birthday present. With it in my hand, I walked back to face Charlotte, seeing how her eyes widen when she saw what I carried.

“You are no longer a child, my girl. At seventeen you are a young woman. And as such you will be punished like one. You are fortunate that I cannot prove you have been trying to make me think you are less intelligent than you are. Had I cast-iron prove, you would have suffered much more than will now be the case. But, even so, you are going to learn a VERY salutory lesson., and a very painful one.”

I turned and faced the other desk where sat an ashen faced Caroline. I pointed to the corner of the room behind her.

“Go and stand where you were before,” I snapped. “Face the wall again. You may listen to your sister’s punishment so that you too can learn not to under-estimate me, nor to believe that I can be easily fooled.”

The girl, clumsy with her arms behind her, scurried into the corner as I turned to face her sister. I saw that her mittens lay neatly side by side on her desk and that she too had returned her arms to their appointed posture.

“You know what is about to happen?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” came her almost inaudible reply.

“Miss Hassack whipped your hands before?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“Very well. You write with your right hand? So we will start with that one. Hand out NOW!”

The girl’s heavy cape flapped about her slender frame as she brought her hands out from under its shelter. Grasping her right wrist with her left hand, she held out her open hand, palm uppermost, at just above waist-level. I barely glanced at it as I flexed the cane between my hands. Not as thick or heavy as the one that lay on the book table, it was the same diameter as my fourth finger and was a good two foot long. I moved to the side, standing level with the girl’s right shoulder, cane now in my right hand.

Carefully measuring the distance by bringing the rod slowly down until it was over the girl’s open palm, I felt calm. I was only doing my duty and Charlotte was to be punished because she was devious and chose to hide her natural ability from me. She would have to pay for that crime, for such was the natural order of things.

“You will not move you hand until ordered to,” I warned her. “And, if you flinch from a blow, it will merely be repeated…… twice over.”

I raised the rod, my hand at shoulder level, wrist cocked so the end of the rod pointed to the ceiling. Then, using skill acquired over my years as a pupil teacher and then a governess, employing both arm and wrist to increase the rod’s speed, I brought the instrument of correction slicing down through the air to crack home across the girl’s open palm.

I hear her breath being sucked in, followed by a moan that she cut off as she bit her lips against the pain. As I slowly raised the rod again, I could see the mark of impact running across her palm, just below the pads at the base of her fingers. The hand shook but she held it steady and we both prepared for the next stroke.

Again I brought the rod flashing down, this time with more speed and an extra downwards motion of the wrist just before impact. This time the young woman gave a gasp followed by a low moan as the pain surged through her body. Glancing at her face, I saw her eyes tight shut but tears beginning to squeeze out from under their lids. As I looked at her now visibly trembling hand, the new mark seemed deeper etched into the flesh, just below the first one that now was showing signs of the deep bruising that would build up over the next few minutes. But the blows already delivered were of little interest to me. The girl had to be chastened, and that I would do to the best of my ability.

The next stroke drove a cry from the young woman’s lips as it strike home just below the previous two. Now her whole body seemed to shake, as sobs wracked her and fresh tears fell from under swelling lids. I lowered the cane and, maybe for a moment, Charlotte must have thought her punishment was over.

“I do not want you using this correction as an excuse for poor handwriting. So the rest of it will be delivered on your left hand. Change hands, girl. NOW!”

For a moment I thought she was going to beg for mercy or forgiveness. But, as a creature of her time, just as I had been a child of mine, we both knew that such pleas would have fallen on deaf ears. Indeed they would have only served to increase the duration and intensify of her punishment. So, though she sobbed quietly to herself as she ‘changed hands’ to grip left wrist with right hand, a hand on fire from the strokes already delivered, she said nothing as I walked round to stand to her left, ready to recommence her punishment.

Having assured myself that my aim was accurate and my skill unimpaired by not having been forced to correct a pupil for some time, I lifted the rod so as to start the real meat of the young woman’s punishment. So far I had not employed all my skill and strength, as I did not wish Charlotte’s writing hand to be hurt more than superficially. But now I must do my duty properly, so as to ensure that the young lady was never tempted to be devious or untrustworthy again. I raised the cane higher than before, rose slightly on my toes and brought it screaming down to impact across the open palm. This time she did indeed howl, as the pain of the blow swept up her arm and through her whole being in a single instant of time.

Those ladies who read this sad tale, and who have been the recipients of such a method of correction, will doubtless be wincing at the memory of their own pain when they too were hand whipped. But no such thoughts passed through my mind as I raised the rod again, shutting out the sound of the young woman’s moans that now seemed continuous. I was not paid to be merciful or sympathetic; my task was to teach the girl to be better behaved in future, to be more open and docile. I might have suffered in just such a matter when I was her age, but now I had to play the governess and follow the traditions and practice of my day and age.

I balanced momentarily on the balls of my feet, rod raised high, and then brought it down for the second time across the palm of Charlotte’s shaking hand. This time, as the blow struck home, the young woman had every right to scream. For the stroke had landed just where I had aimed it – on top of the previous one.

I stood back to allow Charlotte a moment or two to recover, for she had curled up, bent at the waist, her hands sunk into the material of her garments, as though seeking shelter there.

“Stand straight, girl,” I said after I thought she had enough time to compose herself slightly. “Hand out properly, and NO moving after the next blow. Or you will receive bonus strokes for failing to hold your position. We still have a long way to go before you have learnt your lesson, and I think neither of us would wish the requisite number of strokes to be increased further.

Sobbing, the girl straightened up and stretched her left hand out in front of her, her other gripping her wrist. She moaned as tears slid down her cheeks. But she said nothing. Like myself and thousands of similarly brought-up young women, she knew she had no alternative other than to receive her punishment, regardless of what it might cost her. I smiled at her stoicism and adjusted my own stance so as to ensure the next, and the next and the next blows fell exactly where I wished them to land.

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

A Footnote Ladies of good breeding and education from across the Atlantic will doubtless think that I gave the wrong answer to the first question of the test which I set for my charges. Might I most humbly point out to them that certain measurements differ in their United States of America to those traditional Imperial measures used in this fair land ruled by our Sovereign, Queen Victoria. I believe that the measures for such things as a tablespoon or even a gallon of liquid is, in America, but four-fifths of the same nominal amounts used in Her Majesty’s British Empire.

WALKING IN SILENCE Chapter Seven

As always, the schoolroom correction took longer than expected, and the routine was disturbed. But the young woman who had tried to fool me learnt a very salutary lesson that icy morning. She may have only received three strokes across her right hand, but her left would be useless to her for a day or two and painful for perhaps a whole week. For she received six strokes with that whippy rod, the final blow planted diagonally across its predecessors. The shriek that this most agonising of cuts drove from between her clenched teeth even made me shudder.

It was little surprise that she was still sobbing quietly to herself an hour later when the nursery maid came to collect poor Charlotte and her younger sister. After knocking and entering the room, I gestured for the maid to come over to the dais.

“I have been forced to correct Miss Charlotte,” I informed her. “Just across the hands but painful enough, I warrant. I trust you will give her assistance in dressing, even in eating, if she needs it.”

“If she needs, it, Ma’am,” the maid muttered in reply.

“Oh yes, and what time will the girls be ready to go outside for their exercise?”

“They will be at the East Wing door at half past one sharp, Ma’am.” The maid paused for a moment and then continued. “I hope you don’t mind me saying this, Ma’am. But if I were you, I’d be down there a little before that time. It would be in your interest, Ma’am.”

“In my interest?” I asked. But I was too late. The maid had turned away and was signalling the girls to leave their desks. This they did with their usual low curtseys before following the maid from the room. Both walked out with shoulders slumped as though defeated, and I noted how tears of sympathy for her sister still stained the younger girl’s flushed cheeks.

Still puzzled over the nursery maid’s cryptic remark, I had found no answer to its dilemma by the time the older maid came in with my luncheon. As usual I ate it at my desk, remembering to finished every last crump so that Miss Harding might have no cause to seek to correct me again. My meal over, I glanced at the clock, seeing that I had plenty of time before I needed to prepare for our adventure outside the house. For it seemed like an adventure to me. For I had seen so little of Fairacres since my arrival and to be able to view more of the house and its widespread grounds would indeed be a treat for me. So it was that, feeling more happy than at any time since my arrival, I set to preparing further lessons for my charges.

At ten past the hour of one o’clock, I tidied my desk and returned to my room. Unbuttoning my cape and hanging it up, I glanced across at the window. Ice still remained on its glass. This I scraped away so I could see that the ground below was still white with overnight frost. Clearly daytime had failed to increase the temperature out of doors, the sun absenting itself behind a heavy veil of cloud. It would be cold out there, I thought as I walked to my wardrobe to ready myself for the afternoon’s expedition in the grounds.

I first found a pair of heavy knit gloves and placed them on the wash stand, ready to put on, before I took the ‘uniform’ bonnet from its shelf. Like all my clothes it was made of drab grey material and, as I inspected it, I was surprised at its weight. Doubtless its frame work was of wood which would account for its weight. Such a mode of bonnet making was cheaper than the more usual stretching of fabric over a woven reed or even plaited straw framework where wood was only used sparingly to keep the bonnet’s weight down to a minimum. But, looking at the close fitting example of some amateur milliner’s art, I realised I could barely expect a three guineas hat to be part of my uniform.

Placing the bonnet next to my gloves, I dragged the cloak I had been given from its place behind the door. It had been hung there by the maid when we had together brought my uniform clothes to my room during my first day at Fairacres. So I was not prepared for the garment’s weight. I staggered back a pace or so and knew that wearing this cloak was going to be a tiring business. For a moment I was tempted to leave it in my room and to go outdoor wearing one of my capes. But some warning voice told me this would not be advisable and so, with some reluctance, I threw the massive folds of the garment round my shoulders, staggering again as they settled in place, the cloak’s vast envelope draping itself about me.

A few minutes later I was making my way down to the door that stood on the ground floor of the East Wing in which the schoolroom and my own chamber were situated. I had fastened the cloak at its collar, the bonnet now upon my head, and my gloves tucked into the dresses pocket. Although the weight of the cloak was far from pleasant and its massive folds swirled and surged about me as I carefully walked downstairs, I was still reasonably happy about going out doors. It was true that the bonnet’s projecting sides blinkered me severely and that its wooden frame weighed heavily upon my head. But I pushed these inconveniences aside as I stepped from the final stair and turned towards the door that would lead into the gardens. As I did so, a black shape loomed up in front of me and my heart, recently so light, grew instantly heavy. For the tall figure of Miss Harding stood by the doorway.

“Good afternoon, Miss Poyser,” she said in spectral tones. “You are taking your charges for a walk, I am informed.”

Terror of the woman made me curtsey to her, an act of submission that no governess should perform towards a mere housekeeper. But I had not seen her since she had flogged me so brutally, and I was still terrified of the unbridled power she so obviously enjoyed within the walls of Fairacres.

“Yes, Ma’am,” I whispered as I rose to my feet, again cursing myself for using the honorific title of “Ma’am” when addressing her. “Your bro…. I mean, Mr Harding gave his permission for them to get exercise outdoors on a regular basis.”

“That I fully realise,” the woman replied slowly as she stepped towards me, a thin hand snaking out to tweak on side of my cloak. “You realise you are incorrectly dressed, don’t you?”

Terror knotted my stomach. ‘Oh Merciful Lord, let me not fall foul of this woman again,’ I pray silently to myself as her other hand reached out to adjust the dense fall of my cloak. Then, to my surprise she stepped back to observe me from a yard or more distance.

“Normally, Miss Poyser,” she said after a long moment of silence, “the nursery maid takes the girls out for their walks. But I gather that you wish to accompany them. That is correct?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“Very well, as my brother has no objections, you may walk with the girls, but……. There are certain conditions which must be enforced when you leave the house. You are young, perhaps frivolous, and yet to prove yourself trustworthy. So, as men sometimes work in the gardens, we will have to take certain precautions to ensure that you behave in a manner than is compatible with the high standards demanded in this household.”

“Precautions, Ma’am?”

“Yes, Miss Poyser; precautions. Now kindly put these on.” From a bag that she carried she produced a pair of leather mittens. Not of the type I had been wearing earlier, but ones where the fingers were sewn into a single pocket, only the thumb being separate.

For a moment I was about to protest that I had my own, perfectly adequate, uniform gloves. But one look at Miss Harding’s thinly drawn lips was enough to persuade to hold my peace. I took one of the mitts from her and forced it onto my hand. Its leather was hard against my flesh and, as I pulled it on, I discovered that it was almost inflexible, making it impossible to curl my hand. Once inside the covering, my fingers were rendered useless, even the thumb being granted no movement, thanks to the solidity and density of the leather than enclosed it.

Clearly Miss Harding was aware of the mittens qualities, for she held out the second one, indicating that I was to insert my right hand into its interior. This I did with something of a struggle until it was fully imprisoned in the leather. The woman before me however did not release my newly enveloped hand. Instead she tightened the strapping that passed about the glove at wrist level. Drawing it in and buckling it in place so there was no chance of my ever removing it on my own, she swiftly ensured that I was genuinely helpless. The right gloved locked in place, she repeated her work, this time with my left glove. But she had not completed her work. Indeed she had barely begun.

Next she produced a wide belt and, pushing aside my cloak’s heavy folds, she buckled it about my waist. Then she took my left hand and somehow strapped it to the belt at the right side of my body. Then she did the same with my right hand, again strapping its wrist down to the belt so that my arms were crossed before me and pinned hard down against the bodice of my dress. It was uncomfortable but that did not concern me; what worried me was why Miss Harding was immobilising me like this.

“Ma’am, restrained like this I won’t be able to really do anything if…………..”

“Restrained like that you will have to behave!” The woman snapped out the words as she proceeded to buttoned the massive walls of my cloak about me, until I was enveloped within its mass from chin to floor.

Having checked that the garment was totally sealed shut, she retrieved yet another item from her bag. This time it was a three inch deep strip of some canvas-like material. To my surprise she passed this round my head and then drew it tight across my mouth. As I parted my lips to protest, she tied the two ends of the tough material together, the broad knot slipping past my teeth and into my mouth. Gagging on the foul-tasting material, I tried to redouble my protests but the sounds that did emerged past the knot was garbled and indistinct.

Ignoring my distress, the woman produced another strip of the same material and this again she passed round my head below my bonnet at the back. Again she knotted it at the front so that the new strip forced the original knot deeper into my mouth, dampening the sounds I made even further.

The hard faced woman, a slight smile playing on her thin lips, looked at me with something approaching satisfaction.

“There are house rules here, my girl, that have to do with unmarried young women,” she said, her face only inches from mine. “We expect such young women to be chaste and modest at all times and most definitely to behave themselves when away from their quarters. Your charges recognise that, and they accept that they must be silenced and masked out of doors. As yet we have not yet received the walking mask and proper gag which are being made for you, but I think the present arrangement will do until we get them. After all, we could not expect the girls to so docilely accept their own restraints if they saw that their unmarried and rather pretty governess is allowed out of doors any less severely restrained than they are.”

She reached forward and tightened the outer canvas strap, forcing the inner knot yet deeper into my mouth and making me again gag on its hard mass.

“Maids and their ilk,” she went on, “are of course of too low a class to be effected by these rules. So the nursery maid will be in charge of your walk. You WILL obey her whenever you go outdoors for exercise. If you do not, you will doubtless find yourself making renewed acquaintance with the laundry room and the ironing table. If you really do wish me to be forced to correct you again, just be less than instantly and utterly obedient to the nursery maid when you are out of doors.”

I saw her look up and listen for a second. Then she began to raise my hood, resting it on my head so that I could feel its weight pressing down.

“Your walking companions have arrived.” She announced.

Through tear streaked eyes I watched as the nursery maid led two heavily cloaked figures past me. They seemed to glide slowly past, each with their deeply hooded heads bowed low so they could only see the floor at the hems of their outer garments. There was no doubting that the anonymous figures were those of the sisters, the leader being the inch or two taller than the second, just as Charlotte was a trifle taller than Caroline. The silence of the hallway was broken by the sound of shuffling feet and the swish of the hems of their massive cloaks as their dragged across the flag stones of the floor.

“They are a trifle more comprehensively secured than you, Miss Poyser. Each wears a strait-cape reaching from chin to knee and, of course, they are hobbled as well. I doubt if the dear girls are not going to run away from here when kept thus restrained.” The steely smile was back as the woman came as near to being amused as I was ever to see her. But it soon flickered and died. When she spoke next, the cold impassivity of tone had returned.

“Johnson, let Miss Poyser see one of the girls’ masks. Miss Charlotte’s, I think.”

The maid, who had halted her little train just in front of where I stood, stepped forward to stand in front of the taller figure. She reached in under the gable of the massive hood, unseen fingers seeking out the ties that held the hood in place. Using experience and feel rather than sight, she undid the strings and pushed back the great hood.

“Effective, I think,” Miss Hading said as I stared in shocked surprise at my charge. Not that I could have told who she was. For the whole of her head and face was locked away inside the stiff carapace of a helmet-like leather mask. Laced down the back and, as I was to learn later, padlocked shut behind the wearer, the dense walls of the rigid mask utterly eradicated all the girl’s features. Even her nose was only discernible by a slight rise in the front, with two small brass bound holes situated under what must be the hapless Arabella’s nostrils. Even her eyes were hidden behind narrow slits which, again I was to learn in due course, were in turn covered internally by two layer of black-dyed muslin.

“We have seen enough, I think, Hood the girl, please, Johnson.” Miss Harding turned to me as the nursery maid began to re-hood Arabella, hiding away from sight the hideous mask that rendered her totally anonymous. “That excellent mask also has an internal silencing device; one which ensure the girl’s complete silence. Oh yes, as yours will in due course. So I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you about it. You’ll find out all about that gag soon enough.”

She reached out and dragged my hood forward and then down so that I was forced to lower my head to see out of its tunnel which now pointed to the flagstones at my feet. I could feel the woman’s hard figures reaching inside the hood’s vast cavern until she found the tie strings which she knotted brutally tightly under my chin. Now the hood could not be shifted away from its position even by a gale.

Hands withdrawn, she adjusted the material, further blinkering me and cutting down my fields of vision until all I could see was the floor in front of me. Just at the edge of my limited of sight, I caught a glimpse the lower few inches of a dark cloak. I realised that it must be the younger sister’s, for she had been standing behind Charlotte.

“Pay attention, Miss Poyser,” My attention was drawn by the extremely muffled sound of Miss Harding’s icy voice. Although she could have only been standing a foot or so from me, I could barely hear her words, thanks to the density of the hood’s fabrics. “I am sure you can see Caroline standing in front of you. Well, for the time you are outdoors, you will follow her. Stay close or you’ll lose her and then the nursery maid will be forced to report you to me. And I don’t think you’ll enjoy the consequences if she does. Oh, there is one last thing.”

There was a pause and then, appearing in my incredible limited field of vision, was the sight of the nursery maid, ready attired in an outdoor coat. She had something in her hands but I could not see it as she dropped to her knees facing me. The weighted hem of my cloak and my skirts were lifted and then I felt something passing round the ankle of my left hand bootee. The same pressure was exerted and remained round the right one before the woman rose and disappeared from my sight.

“You are now hobbled like your charges, Miss Poyser. But I have been kind because you may not be used to such restraints, whereas they are. So I have allowed you a whole twelve inches of leeway. Enjoy it, because it will soon become less generous. One final thing. You told my brother than you felt ninety minutes was an ideal length of time for exercise. I must applaud you, because I know that your predecessors found forty five minutes a great strain, and an hour of walking under restraints to be more than she could bear. Indeed that was one of the main reasons why she left here without pay and without references. But I am sure you are of far more resolute character than she was. Now that is enough chatter. Enjoy your walk, Miss Poyser. It is just the first of many, I am certain.”

I howled soundlessly into my makeshift gag. But then I heard the nursery maid say something and watched as the hem of Caroline’s cloak move forward, sliding across the floor away from me. I stepped forward to follow, and nearly fell as the tether tied between my ankles brought me up short. I staggered for a moment or two, then regained my balance and hurried after the now disappeared cloak hem. Fortunately my desperate shuffling and the fact I facing the correct direction to start with meant that I managed to catch up with my marker. I was at the back of the three female queue, now as anonymous as my charges and about to start what I already knew was to be a purgatorial exercise session.

Tears nearly blinded me as I shuffled through the now open doorway that led outside as we set off on what was to be a terrible and unforgettable experience for me.

WALKING IN SILENCE Chapter Eight

Stepping outside the house for the first time since arriving at Fairacres, I felt none of the joy I had expected to accompany such an occasion. In fact the reverse was true. Unable to see anything other than a few feet in front of the dragging hem of my cloak, the view of the gardens and the estate was hidden to my eyes by the manner in which the giant hood blinkered me, the tears welling up in my eyes not helping my vision either. In fact, as I stumbled over the doorstep and moved outside the house, all I could see was the bottom of Caroline’s cloak and the gravel path way along which we walked.

As I shuffled along in my pupil’s wake, I tried to make sense of what was happening to me. It seemed ridiculous that I should have to be so formidable concealed outdoors, even to the extent of having my voice silenced. Yet Miss Harding made it plain that this would be the case in future, and that I would be expected to take this dreadful form of exercise with my charges whenever they went outdoors. And Miss Hassack? Was it true that she had been subjected to the same horrors and had left because of them? And my pupils: why were they so hideously masked and hidden away outside the house, even to the extent of being horribly silenced and close hobbled? I had never heard of young women being so formidably kept under rigid control and to be so totally hidden from the sight of ‘outsiders’. What was the reason for these seemingly excessive precautions?

The unanswered questions reverberated round my mind, momentarily making me forget what I was doing and where I was. But that was soon to be brought back to me with startling clarity. I had been vaguely conscious that the path on which we walked veered slightly to the right, round towards the back of the house, I assumed. I had never seen what lay to the rear of Fairacres’ vast building as the trees lining the drive had shielded that view when I had arrived in the carriage and the nursery wing faced East, allowing no view behind the house. But, as I laboured on, taking tiny paces, weighed down by my monstrous coverings, I was little concerned as to what lay unseen ahead of me. But I should have been concerned; extremely concerned.

Following the younger sister’s cloak, I noticed that the path along which we now walked was no longer of neatly raked gravel but was made of coarser stone. It was more irregular and I was glad that my laced-up boots reached above my ankles, for it would have been easy to have turned one on that rough surface. My eyes focussed on the ground in front of me, I concentrated on where I was walking, trying to avoid the larger stones that rolled out from under the hem of Caroline’s cloak or over which it dragged. So brutally hobbled it was no possible to avoid all such objects but at least the tunnel of my hood down which I peered allowed me to see them before I might step on their rough edges.

I had just avoided a viciously sharp flint as I slowly moved along the broken path when I realised that walking was becoming more difficult. Close hobbled, my petticoats and weighty skirts also fettering each pace I took, walking had been a struggle from the first step I took outside the house. But now it seemed more onerous to move forward at all. For a moment or two I genuinely could not understand why this should be. Then I realised that we must be walking uphill, and that the gradient of the slope was becoming more and more severe with each pace. Breath hissed through my nostrils and I tried to suck extra air round the brutal makeshift gag blocking my mouth. But that awful silencer was becoming more effective the longer in place. The knot was now soaked with my saliva and seemed to have grown to totally fill my mouth so that, if I breathed through it, all I inhaled was a miserable stream of saliva-filled air that burnt my lungs.

My legs soon began to ache from the unaccustomed exercise. I considered myself to be a fit young woman in an age where such qualities were not commonly thought of as being of any merit. I was also someone who would happily walk all day long, but not close hobbled and burdened by such a monstrous weight of clothing. Perspiration started to dampen my underclothing, for the chill air came nowhere near to penetrating the layer upon layer of dense materials that cocooned by whole body. Even the air trapped inside the long cavern of my hood seemed hot, warmed and made stale by my own rapid breathing. Sweat trickled down from under my bonnet, stinging my eyes and making me blink as I struggled to follow the cloak that was my only guide in my solitary world of misery.

I moaned into my gag, sure I could not continue any longer, so great was now the steepness of the hill we climbed, and so exhausted was my body and spirit. But then, just as I reached the end of my reserves of strength, the ground levelled off under my feet and, perhaps a dozen tiny paces further on, began to slope gently downhill. I said a silent prayer of thanks and carried on, my heart lighter, even if my body cried out for me to stop and give it time to recover from that brutal climb.

I had lost all track of time as I had climbed that dreadful hill. All I knew was that it seemed an eternity and now we were going downhill, presumably back to the house and the end of our walk. With aching limbs, I walked on, each step an effort, legs aching horribly and my head pounding from the heat and lack of fresh air. To take my mind away from my miserable state, I again tried to work out why the girls were treated in this cruel manner. It was plain from the awful mask I had seen locked down over Charlotte’s head and face, and the wear evident on it, that this was no newly introduced part of their lives. That mask had been used many times and so I had to believe that the sisters had been kept hidden away for a long time. Perhaps even years. But why? They seemed harmless enough, docile and obedient, and certainly two girls who had so far revealed to me no sign of being troublemakers. Then why were they kept so close? They had nowhere or no-one to run to that I knew of. After all, they were orphans being looked after by their nearest and, as far as I knew, only close relatives.

I was still puzzling over these questions when I was aware that we were walking on level ground again. ‘We’ll be back indoors soon,’ I told myself. I trudged on with tiny paces, feeling that I had survived yet another of Miss Harding’s strange assaults on my dignity and self-respect. Then I stumbled slightly. Blinking sweat from my eyes, I looked down the close tunnel of my hood. To my horror, I saw I was walking on a path made of broken stone, sharp edged flints peppering its surface. I howled silently into my gag as I realised that, beneath my shuffling feet, the ground was rising again. As it grew ever steeper, I felt my mind go blank as my stomach knotted with all-consuming fear. Pain mounted again, the air inside my hood grew ever hotter and less usable, as I climbed ever upwards, following the dark hem of Caroline’s cloak. I sunk into my personal hell as I laboured pace by tiny pace up that awful hill.

How I survived that afternoon, I cannot tell. Life had made me unwilling to give in to any set-back, even when continuing might seem like purgatory. So I walked on, blinded by sweat, roasted alive inside the carapace of my coverings and weighed down by their mass. The third and fourth time we climbed that hill I felt as though I was going to faint. But somehow my legs kept moving and my body remained upright. On and on we trudged until I lost track of where I was, even who I was. I think I would have continued walking had I not tripped over the step leading into the hallway, and had stumbled forward to stop just behind the cloaked figure I had been following for seemingly all my life. I stood there, head swimming and lungs burning, probably swaying and barely able to stand. Only when I grew aware that the sisters had been led away and someone was undoing the tapes that held my hood in place, did I slowly start coming to my senses.

“Enjoy your walk, my dear?”

I blinked in the sudden light as the massive hood was pushed back. In front of me stood Miss Harding, her lips thin but smiling. She reached forward and began untying the canvas strips that served as my gag. When the knot of the inner one had been undone and the saturated material dropped to the floor, I ran a dry tongue round inside my bruised mouth.

“I am leaving,” I whispered through parched lips.

“Leaving?” The woman standing in front of me, hands on her hips, smiled wider at my statement. “You intending leaving here? Now?”

“Yes,” I said, not sure how I had gained the courage to speak so openly to the woman who I had come to fear so much. “I am leaving now. Even if I walk out naked.”

Miss Harding took a pace back, looking at me with eyes that seemed black in the dying light of the day.

“Like that?” She asked, gesturing to the cloak still tight buttoned about me. “With your hands tethered. And hobbled?”

“No.” I stuttered my courage running out rapidly. “Wearing my own clothes. If you would please let me have them. I have a little money and can afford to ride back to London.”

“Oh, a lady of wealth, are you?” Miss Harding laughed at my words; a harsh cackling laugh. “Hiring a carriage? Oh, that will impress the servants!”

Abruptly, as though cut off with a sharp knife, the laughter ceased and the lips grew thin and straight once more. My courage spent, I dropped my eyes, afraid to look at the frightful woman. I stood in silence as she moved away from me and I heard a key turn in an unseen locked. Then she was back before me. With claw-like hands, she took my shoulders, wheeled me round and pushed me across the hallway. Suddenly I realised she was guiding me into a dark room as, after a final push, I stumbled forward to come in painful contact with a wall. Behind me, a door slammed shut, leaving me in total darkness. I cried out but it was too late.

I discovered that I was in some sort of tiny alcove, no bigger than a cupboard, presumably set into the house’s immensely thick outer walls. From the musty smell it could not have been used for a long time; in fact I sensed rather than felt cobwebs brushing against my face. I stood in the darkness, wondering what I could do before despair descended on me like a black cloud and, yet again, I wept. Hands still strapped down to my waist belt and the dense walls of my cloak sealed about me, I was totally helpless; all I could do was to stand on exhausted legs, facing the back of the alcove, and pray that I would not be forgotten.

I am not certain how long I remained in that tiny prison but, perhaps after half an hour, I heard a key being inserted in the lock behind me, and then the door was opened, flooding the interior with light. Roughly I was dragged out into the small hallway where I found myself facing Miss Harding, now accompanied by the nursery maid and another woman who was as hard-faced as my main tormentor.

“Listen to me, girl and do NOT speak! Understand?” I tried to nod but my choking collar allowed me to only move my head fractionally. It seemed enough for Miss Harding who continued in harsh tones that sent shivers of fear through my over-heated body. “You threatened me just now. Threatening to run away. Well, girl, that is NOT going to happen. You are going to remain here; like it or not.”

“But…………………”

“BE QUIET!” The woman roared. “That is your last warning. One more word from you and we will go straight to the laundry room. Only this time you will receive a whipping which will make your first one seem like a mere caress. You understand, girl?”

I nodded.

“Good. Now, you must get in into that simple brain of yours that you are NOT leaving here. It is necessary that the children have a governess. Why is of no concern to you. But it would be very inconvenient for us were you to leave. In fact you will not leave.”

I opened my mouth to protest, but one look into Miss Harding’s cold eyes was more than enough to make me to close it again.

“But Mr Harding and I agree that the girls do not really need tutoring any longer. They must know enough after so many years in the schoolroom. So you, Miss Poyser, will stay here as governess but without any real duties, as I am sure you’ll be glad to hear. Imagine that; being paid for doing nothing.”

The woman gave another of her tight lipped smiles. But it soon faded.

“Unemployed but paid. Well, that is a dangerous state of affairs. Especially as you have already threatened to leave here. So we have decided that you must be made to stay. Whether that is your wish or not.” Miss Harding paused and turned slightly to gesture towards the new woman who stood by her side. “This is Grant. She has been here for many years and is someone whom Mr Harding and I trust absolutely. She will be responsible for making sure you remain here. When necessary, such as now, she will be assisted by the nursery maid, Jenks, as you will remain in your current quarters which of course is in the nursery wing, and that is under Jenks; control.”

She looked at the maid who blushed slightly, doubtless unused to such flattery.

“You, Miss Poyser, will co-operate with her and Grant. You will treat their orders as though they came from my brother. AND they will report to me regularly. If their reports tell of your being less than totally co-operative, I will have you brought down to the laundry room. And even you, girl, know what will happen then.”

With this final warning, she turned to the woman who stood slightly behind her and to one side.

“Take her up to her room now. And remember what I said. NO mistakes.” She gestured the women forward but, as they approached me, she held up her hand.

“One final thing. Miss Poyser, you will not speak or utter a sound from now on. If you do, you will be forcibly silenced. And in a far less mild manner than you were whilst exercising just now. You will have no further warnings. Just a single word, a solitary syllable, and you will have your mouth plugged up so cruelly that you will wish that The Maker had never granted you the power of speech..”

She gestured to the woman to carry on with their task. Moments later, my hobbles at last removed, I was being bundled upstairs towards the nursery area and my room, the two women forcing me to climb ever upwards towards a fate which was as yet unknown to me. I desperately wanted to plead with them, to try to persuade them to let me go, to help me escape this nightmare. But Miss Harding’s words echoed round my brain, filling me with terror and ensuring that I remained mute.

At last I was pushed into my chamber, my legs burning from climbing the stairs at a time when they could barely hold me upright.

“On the bed. Face down.”

It was Grant who spoke, her voice as harsh as Miss Harding’s, her granite face as hard as her mistresses.

I looked at both women, fear and need battling within me. In the end fear won and I said nothing, moving slowly to the bed. With my wrists strapped tight down to the belt about my waist, and so heavily encumbered by my cloak, even lying down was problematical. In the end rough hands grabbed me, forcing me down and forward, pulling up my legs and swivelling me until I lay on my stomach on the hard bed. I felt hands grab my ankles and they were fastened tightly together. Then, from the downward pressure on this new binding, I must have had my feet tied to the bed end. Finally unseen hands pulled up the cloak’s great hood, dropping it so that its massive folds covered my head and face, plunging me into darkness.

Lying there, unable to see what was happening about me, I heard the woman moving round the room. This was followed by the sound of furniture being shifted, the two occasionally speaking in low tones so that I could not hear what they said. For the thick drapery of the hood muffled sounds as well as ensuring that I was struggling for breath in the hood dark interior. In some ways, I was less unhappy than I had been recently. At least I could rest my weary body, slowly recovering my strength as I lay there on my stomach, ignored by the two unseen women. It was true that it was airless under my hood and I was still grossly over-dressed. But I was being left alone and even that seemed like a mercy after the hideous experiences of the last hours. I even tried to ease my position slightly but, with my hands shackled underneath my body, there was no way in which I could make myself more comfortable. But I was used to discomfort, and such minor aches and pains did not overly trouble me.

What did however worry me intensely was just what was to become of me. A paid but yet unemployed governess? Such a creature could not exist. It was impossible that anyone would pay me wages for doing nothing. But yet that was what Miss Harding had told me would happen. And she was a woman of her word, as I knew to my bitter cost. Over and over in my mind I turned this conundrum until I suddenly became aware that the woman must have left. For the room was silent, the dimly heard sounds of their activities had ceased and I was alone once more. Carefully I tested my bonds. But my ankles were well secured and my wrists cruelly immobilised. I might be able to wriggle around slightly.. But what good would that do, except to annoy my captors? So I lay still, as fatigue and mental turmoil gradually overcame me.

WALKING IN SILENCE Chapter Nine

Incredible though it may seem, I must have fallen asleep as I lay on my stomach on my bed, shackled and helpless, not knowing what terrors lay in store for me. It does seem almost impossible but I know I must have gained some rest from my living nightmare, as I remember jerking awake as an unseen key was turned in the unseen lock of the door. For a brief moment I fought against my bonds, mindless fear overwhelming me. But swift recall of my predicament made me force my body to relax, knowing that any struggles would be in vain and might even anger my tormentors.

Still covered by the cloak’s giant folds, I lay still, listening as the door was closed before I could hear footsteps approaching across the wooden floor to stop by my side.

“I hope you remember everything that Miss Harding told you, miss.” The voice was that of the nursery maid. Her tone was neutral but I thought I could detect a note of concern in her words. “I have to report you if you speak or do anything except what you’re told to do. Sorry, miss, but them’s my orders. I can’t help ’em.”

As she was speaking she must have reached down and pulled back the dense drapery of the hood that covered my head and face. For the first time for what seemed like an eternity, light hit my eyes, making me close them until used to the luminescence given out by the candle which the young woman held in her left hand. I blinked, growing used to the light and, as my head was turned to face away from the wall against which the bed rested, I was able to see the maid and, beyond her, the room.

She must have seen my eyes widen as I saw how barren the room now was.

“Sorry, miss, we were told to clear this chamber. Just left you the bed, wash-stand and a chair. That’s all, but it’s how Miss Harding told us to do it.” She moved out of my line of vision and I felt her untying my ankles a moment or two later. “Grant will be here soon with your supper, miss. Take care of her, miss. She is Miss Harding’s favourite.”

Barely had she finished speaking than I heard the door open. I lay still as the older maid came into sight, carrying a tray that she then put down on the floor by the bed. Her tone when she spoke was brusque and she did not bother to hide the way in which she clearly despised me.

“Sit up,” she barked.

Stiff and cramped, my legs still weak from that awful exercise period, spine aching dully, my wrists were strapped to the wide belt around my waist, I had difficulty levering myself round and then up to sit on the edge of the bed. Neither maid sought to help me, the elder one sneering at my efforts.

“Eat your food,” she said as soon as I was perched on the bed side.

I opened my mouth to protest that such action would be impossible as long as my hands were immobilised. But I remembered Miss Harding’s dire warnings, and I limited myself to waving my still mitten-encased hands so as to indicate my predicament.

“Having problems, are you?” Grant asked with heavy irony. Then she turned to the younger maid. “Unfasten her, Jenks. We can’t have her complaining she’s being starved, can we?”

Five minutes later, hands at last free of the crushing bondage of the heavy leather mitts and no longer with my wrists strapped down to the broad belt still circling my waist, I was chewing at the dry bread and stale cheese which, together with a mug of water, comprised my supper. The maids, my jailors, once then had seen that I was being meekly compliant to their commands, stood talking, barely bothering to glance in my direction, so certain were they that escape for me would be impossible.

“I’m surprised that Miss Harding hasn’t place her under the same duress as your two girls,” Grant said to the nursery maid. “Strikes me that they are kept nice and safe in their rooms.”

“Very safe,” replied the younger woman. “Locked in their orphan boxes they can’t trouble no-one. Them boxes makes me life easy. And the other things, of course.”

“Other things? I haven’t been up here lately, you know. What other things have you got now?”

“Oh, things like hoods and shackles. Mr Harding got them when Miss Hassacks left. He said the older one was grown up and needed watching more than when Hassacks was here. He told me to use them of her, but not the younger one yet. Not if she behaved anyway.”

I listened to this conversation, appalled at what I was learning as I ate my frugal meal.

“You got any spare bits and pieces? We could use them on this thing.”

Eyes lowered, chewing my dry bread, I did not see Grant gesture in my direction, but it was plain who she was talking about.

“Yes, I suppose so. But Miss Harding didn’t say anything about them.”

“Leave her to me, Jenks. I am sure she’ll be pleased if we make sure this one is kept nice and snug. Proper shackles will do better than what we’ve got here. Why don’t you pop along and get a selection? Oh yes, and bring one of the girls’ hoods. They sound interesting.”

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

That night I slept little. It was true that I had been allowed to get out of my clothes and sweat soaked undergarments, and that I had been permitted to wash in cold water and to straighten my tangled hair. But I had been forced to undergo the terrible humiliation of squatting over the chamber pot as my two tormentors looked on. I had tried to shut my ears to their ribald comments then, and to their equally cruel remarks as they made me strip off before fitting me in a clean corset and night gown.

I had remained silent as Grant had tugged so hard at the corset’s crutch strapping that she had almost pulled me off my feet. I had held my peace as my wrists were taken behind my back and fastened inside iron shackles joined by a short rod which, in turn, was attached by a rigid steel bar ti the heavy shackles locked about my ankles. So close were the ankle irons that walking was impossible and the maids were forced to half drag, half carry me across the room before lying me down on my back on the bed.

“She won’t get much rest like that,” the younger maid commented, looking down at me as I lay on my arms, the solid metalwork of my shackles underneath my body. “Must be uncomfortable like that.”

“We weren’t sent her to make her comfortable,” Grant retorted. “Did you bring the hood with you?”

“Oh, I forgot. Do you think we really need to use it?”

“Of course we do. Have to make sure that little Miss Perfect here is all snug and safe for the night, don’t we. Gone on, run and fetch it.”

I lay on my back, my body locked into immobility by the steel and iron of my restraints, waiting for the older woman to say something. But she remain silent until the other maid returned. In her hand was a device that I knew only too well from my time at school, although such things were rarely used even within an establishment as strict and severe as Mrs Hughers Academy for Young Ladies.

While it was carefully inspected by Grant, I was able to see it in her thin-fingered hands. Like the ‘tranquillity hood’ that terrified the pupils at Mrs Hughers, it appeared to be a leather bag about the size of a person’s head, with various items attached to it. Around the bag’s opening was a hinged circle of metal, a three inch deep ‘collar’ that would be locked about the wearer’s throat. At the back of the bag was a double line of reinforced eyelets, through which was loosely threaded a stout length of cord. At the base of this lacing was a pair of steel rings, and from one of them dangled a small brass padlock which, when shut, would be hidden away under the metal of the deep collar to which the leather was firmly attached.

I watched as the senior maid felt around within the bag’s interior. She smiled as her fingers came in contact with something there.

“Ah, so it has a nice silencer within its walls?”

“A big one too,” Jenks replied with a sly smile. “It certainly keeps Miss Charlotte extremely quiet. You could whip her and not know she was troubled by it all when she’s got that plug in her mouth.”

The elder maid smiled in turn and then came towards the bed.

“You’ll doubtless know what this is, Miss Governess,” she said, sneering down at me. I knew well enough. And I also knew well enough not to speak. I just nodded slightly. “Well, I think it’s time you were all snugly settled down for the night. You know what to do, don’t you? Get that silly mouth of yours wide wide open so we can put the plug in your mouth as we hood you. Open it, girl. NOW!”

The horror of the next few minutes does not bear repetition. Let it be said that the two maids forced that awful plug deep into my mouth as they drew the leather hood down over my head and face. Soon they had tightened the laces so the leather was drawn in crushingly tight about my head and face, the plug forced yet deeper into my mouth, doubly ensuring my silence. The small padlock was snapped shut, locking together the two rings at the base of the lacing, ensuring the pressure from the lacing could not lessen by even the tiniest amount.. And finally the collar was fully closed about my throat, half strangling me, to be secured shut by another but larger padlock.

Lost in the stifling darkness of the hood, I could barely hear the maids congratulating themselves on a job well down. But I felt blankets thrown over my body. I was at last ready for the night.

“Sleep well, girl!” I could only just hear the doubtless raised voice of the older woman. “You’ll be quite safe now. And to make sure no-one disturbs your sleep, we’ll be locking the door when we leave. Enjoy your rest, Miss Governess!”

Choking on the gag, I could not answer her taunts. But by then all I wanted to do was to survive within the airless hood, and to pray that morning and release came swiftly to me.

It did not. Instead I suffered endless minute by endless minute, seemingly suffocating inside the hood’s thick walls and choking on the plug as, at the same time, my body cried for relief from my grievously uncomfortable posture – relief that never came as the shackles ensured I could not ease my posture by even a fraction of an inch. No onlooker, seeing my motionless body and leather interred head, would have believed that I was suffering greatly. But I was, and to the very limits of my endurance and beyond.

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

“I trust you slept well.” Twelve hours after I had been put to bed, I sat on the solitary chair in my barren chamber, the steely eyes of Miss Harding staring down at me. “It seems that Grant and Jenks have been doing their job well enough. I am pleased. And I trust that you are too, Miss Poyser.”

Even had I wished to answer the woman, I would not have been able to do so. It was true that my bruised mouth was no longer filled with the hood’s terrible silencing plug, but I had a makeshift gag tied in place so as to make sure I did not break any of Miss Harding’s rules about not speaking.

Two hours earlier I had been freed from my living hell. Allowed to use the chamber pot and to wash and dress, I had eaten food identical to that which I had been given the previous evening. Clearly I was not to expect much variety in my diet as long as things remained so grim for me. My breakfast over, the stout leather belt was again fastened about my waist and my wrists strapped tight down against it, rendering me helpless once more. Then a strip of canvas, bolstered by a thick knot at its centre, was used as a means of ensuring my silence. This done, the long cape I had worn the previous day had then been draped round my shoulders prior to being buttoned close about me down to its floor length hem. Then, with no word of explanation, I had been strapped to the chair, my ankles again secured together, before the maids departed, leaving me in pre-dawn darkness.

I sat there, watching the dull interior of the room grow slowly lighter, as the black of night was replaced by the grey of a sleet-chilled day.

When Miss Harding eventually appeared, briskly rubbing her short-mittened hands together, I was almost glad to see her. It was true that the chair was not as uncomfortable as lying shackled on the bed for the night, nor was my gag as cruel as the great plug. In addition I could breath reasonably freely, and was no longer near suffocation as had been the case during the murderous hours locked within the walls of that terrible hood. But I was tense with fear and anticipation of more evil befalling me. At least, when Miss Harding appeared, I hoped that I was going to learn more of my fate. In that, I was not disappointed.

“You must be wondering what is happening, Miss Poyser,” Miss Harding began. “Your fall from grace, if we may call it that, has been sudden and unexpected., I’m sure. But neither Mr Harding nor myself wish you to be kept in total ignorance. Because we believe you to be a sensible young woman. Naive and silly, perhaps. But not without intelligence. So we have decided that you can be trusted with a few little secrets. Once you know them, of course you will never be able to leave here. We could not allow it. And anyway, I am sure you will be wise enough to see that, as soon as you have been told our little story, you will be implicated in it. You will become as much involved as anyone. And that fact should ensure your silence and total co-operation, unless you are extremely stupid.”

Suddenly she frowned and moved past me. A second or two later, I felt the canvas strap that served as a gag being pulled and then loosened. The knot was dragged from my mouth and, as I ran my tongue round parched lips, the makeshift gag was thrown on the floor, and Miss Harding appeared to stand before me again.

“We will not need that,” she said, gesturing at the discarded gag. “I am sure you are disciplined enough to remain mute unless I tell you to speak. The story I am going to tell you should fascinate you, my dear. And when it is told, perhaps I may allow you to speak. Perhaps not.”

The woman paused a moment and then, somewhat to my surprise, moved across the room to sit down on the edge of the bed, her back straight, her hands neatly folded on her lap.

“You know a little about Charlotte and Caroline. How they are orphans and have been adopted by our employers. What you will not know is the fact that they are extremely wealthy as well. Their late mother was a Miss Gordon, her father one of the founders of the Northern Railway. He died relatively young and she inherited his stock in the company. Then, when in turn she died, that very valuable asset passed on to her daughters, your charges, Charlotte and Caroline. So, Miss Poyser, we have two extremely wealthy young ladies living under this roof. Or they would be were it not for several other matters.”

She paused and looked at me, her eyes cold as is the falling snow outside.

“You never enquired about your new employers before you took this post, did you? A shame because you might have learnt of their extremely expensive tastes. Of their great house in London and of their equally elegant French residence. And Fairacres as well, all of which must cost a fortune to maintain and run. But I regret to say that your employers do not possess any great fortune. In fact he has been assiduously gambling away his inheritance for some years now. And her tastes have grown ever more expensive. So, when the girls came into their hands, they must have seemed like angels from heaven. Angels bearing gifts; gifts of railway stock.”

A harsh laugh cut through the freezing air and I shivered at its sound. Not because of the bitter cold, but from the sheer malice in Miss Harding’s chilling laugh.

“A less than straightforward lawyer was employed to help our employers slowly use some of the girls’ inheritance, and reliable staff was employed her to ensure that no-one knew where the children lived. Most people believe that they are still in India, looked after by some purely fictional aunt. That, my dear, is why we ensure that no-one sees their faces when they go outdoors. It is why they are kept under close duress, and it is why you are now our prisoner too. You see, we need you. We need you because our employers want the girls to have a proper governess. But, as they cannot be bothered to concern themselves as to how the girls are educated, it does not matter a jot whether they are given classes or taught anything. Providing a decent and respectable governess is employed here, that is all that the children’s guardians care about.”

Again she paused, but this time she rose from the bed like a gaunt black vulture. She walked across to where I sat and looked down at me.

“Miss Poyser, I will make things clear to you. You have two alternatives. You will either join us and freely share in the task of keeping the girls shut away from the world. In fact you will be another conspirator, and will be just as culpable of imprisoning the sisters and cheating them of their birthright as anyone else here. Or you may be a honest and god-fearing young woman, and refuse to join the rest of us. The choice is yours. But I must warn you, if you take the second option and stay in the ranks of the righteous, you will have to remain here. As a prisoner for as long as may be necessary. Which could be a very very long time, my dear. Perhaps for ever.”

WALKING IN SILENCE Chapter Ten

Pinioned to the chair, I felt my heart turn cold as Miss Harding spelt out her ultimatum. The story of how the sisters had been cheated of their inheritance had filled me with horror but now I had been told what alternatives awaited me, I felt terror welling up within me. I knew I could not stand idly by and watch two helpless young women being robbed of their birthright for every ounce of decency in me screamed out at that terrible injustice. Yet……………………. Yet I had seen enough of brother and sister Harding to know that neither bluffed and neither threatened without meaning all they said. If Miss Harding said that I would be kept prisoner along with the girls, that is what would happen, of that I felt certain. But………………….. But if I was a prisoner I could not assist the girls in any way. I would be as helpless as they were, and as powerless to free myself from the Hardings’ duress as they were.

“I see you are having problems making up your mind.” I looked up at the sound of Miss Harding’s voice and saw to my surprise that she was actually smiling. That it was the smile of a hen-stealing fox only served to make its presence all the more shocking. For her features were not ones made for smiling nor, I imagine, ones often creased by such an expression.

“Miss Poyser, I am going to make a suggestion.” The smile slowly turned into a death-s-head leer.

“Clearly your conscience is troubling you. Much as you might wish to join us and continue to work here as the young creatures’ governess, your scruples hold you back from allying yourself with us. I understand that. I too was troubled when first told of the scheme to keep the girls hidden away here. But then I came to see how I could benefit from such an arrangement.”

The gaunt woman turned and walked back to my bed where she sat down, again neatly arranging her skirts before continuing with her monologue.

“I saw the financial and other benefits that would accrue to me were I to join in with my brother and his employers. It did not take much thought before I agree to come here and also to find some suitable servants who could be trusted to keep their mouths shut and who would not overly mind what went on in this house.”

Again she paused, looking down at her fustian skirts before brushing off an imaginary speck of dust.

“Of course, we cannot offer you the same sort of financial inducements as we were initially offered,” she said, looking up at me again. “But you would continue to be paid your agreed salary. In due course, if your work and behaviour here remained excellent, I am sure that my brother would recommend you for an increase in wages. But it is not bribes we offer you, my dear Miss Poyser. No, that would not be possible under the present arrangements. Instead we would be offering you a most unpleasant existence were you to refuse to join us.”

She rose from the bed like a ill favoured crow and went to where the makeshift gag lay on the floor. Picking it up she came over to where I sat.

“Open you mouth please, Miss Poyser.”

Obdurately I kept my jaw closed. I was not going to let her gag me again. She hit me only once, a swinging backhand blow that knocked my head to one side and brought tears welling into my eyes.

“Open!” She barked. I hesitated a moment, not from bravery or stupid bravado, but because my brain was still reeling from the vicious blow. Then I saw Miss Harding raise her hand again and I opened my mouth; wide.

“Sensible girl,” she murmured as she secured the canvas strip in place, the knot filling my mouth. Then, when she had tied the material behind my head, she moved to stand in front of me, her eyes now so cold that I could not meet her gaze, dropping my own and looking down at the small patch of bare floorboards between us.

“That’s better. In fact you look rather sweet with a gag in your mouth. Now where was I? Ah yes, I remember. Well, Miss Poyser, as I cannot offer you bribes, I must offer you a taste of the future if you do not join us. I think you will find it an incentive to cast your lot in with us. What I propose is that we declare a schoolroom holiday for a short period of time. While the girls relax from your tutelage, you will be treated in the manner similar to the way in which you will live should you decide to join the aide of the angels. I think a week or so looking into that future will persuade you to join the ranks of Mammon.”

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

After the woman had left me on my own, still strapped to the chair, I had ample time to consider her words. They filled me with fear but I did not see how they could possibly dare to maltreat me too badly. It was true they could leave me locked in my grim little chamber. They might feed me minimal rations, even shackle me in some way. But I felt sure they would not risk harming me. Even the Hardings could not be that stupid or cruel. So, trying to control my natural fear, I sat on the chair and waited to see what would happened next.

They left me in that room for longer than I might have guessed but, when the door was unlocked and someone entered the room again, it was not Miss Harding. Instead it was her brother, now accompanied by a man I had not seen before. Standing well over six and a half foot in height, he was massively built with a beetling brow, and hands the size of navvies’ shovels. A pugilist’s nose sprawled down his face from between piggy little eyes that looked at me in such a lewd manner that I almost cried out in terror. I looked away from his awful face but not before I saw him lick his lips and smile to reveal yellowed and broken teeth.

“I gather that you have not yet made up your mind, Miss Poyser,” Harding said in his usual harsh tones. I am sorry to hear that, but I trust that a week or two downstairs will persuade you not to be so stubborn.”

He turned to his companion. “Untie her and take her downstairs. And DON’T harm her. Understand.”

“Yeah, Mr Hard’ng.” The giant’s voice was as shocking as his appearance but for a very different reason. He spoke in a piping treble, the voice of a little boy.

Two minutes later I was being bodily carried down the back stairs, the monstrous man carrying me as easily as he would have carried a chicken, and with about as much consideration for my comfort when she shucked me over his shoulder. My teeth rattled in my head as he lurched down the steep stairs until we reached the ground floor. There he turned down a corridor I had not been down before, stopping later to throw open a heavy door that I heard creak on its hinges. Again we descended, now entering the house’s cellars. More winding corridors and passage followed until at last he stopped, opened another door, stepped through it and dropped me to the ground. For once I was thankful for the density of my clothing for, although the air was driven from my lungs by my landing on the stone floor at the giant’s feet, I suffered nothing more from his handling that a minor bruise of two.

With the man’s mass blocking the door and the only light coming from a lamp or candle flickering in the passage behind him, I could not make out anything of the room into which I had been cast. A moment later, all chance of seeing where I was disappeared as he stepped back and slammed the door shut, leaving me in total darkness; darkness such intensity and totality that it terrified me as I lay helpless on the floor.

With my gloved hands still strapped to the broad belt around my waist, and tangled in petticoats, skirts and cape, I tried to sit up, even to stand. But my clothing was tangled about my legs and try as I might I found it impossible to get up. In the end I knelt on the unseen floor, feeling the room’s chill against my burning cheeks. I moaned into my makeshift gag and attempted to hold back the tears that dribbled down my face.

Before my jumbled mind could make head or tail of my grim predicament, I heard footfalls, then the sound of bolts being dragged back. Finally, with a squeal of rusty hinges, the door swung open. The sudden light blinded me after the room total darkness, and I looked away.

“No longer the elegant governess, I see!” Miss Harding’s voice cut through the chill air. “Get up, girl. What do you think you’re doing on the floor?”

Gagged, I could not explain how my skirts were wound round my legs and, with my hands useless, I was incapable for getting up.

“I don’t think she can get up, Miss,” The nursery maid’s voice sounded apprehensive in the presence of the formidable Miss Harding.

“Perhaps you’re right. Well, help her up and get her changed.”

It took ten minutes for the two women to strip me to the naked flesh, to seat me on a bucket in the corner of the awful chamber, and then to dress me in coarse clothing that scratched my flesh whenever I moved. Perhaps I should have resisted, but there was no fight left in me. The women handled me like a side of meat, grunting orders but otherwise ignoring the fact I was a living breathing women like themselves. They worked by the light of two paraffin lamps they had brought with them, so that I was at least able to see my prison. And what I saw filled me with horror and dread.

The stone floored room was probably some twelve foot square. In one corner stood the bucket which I had already been forced to use to my profound embarrassment. Near it, along the side wall to the left of the door, was a low platform, apparently made of coarse wood to which were bolted various irons rings, some with chains attached, some standing alone. The final item of furniture – if you could call it that – was a strange wooden box with a hole in its lid. Standing perhaps three and a half food high, it was probably just over two foot wide and eighteen inches deep, front to back. It seemed to be made of oak and it was reinforced at the corners and the whole of its front could be swung open, half the lids being attached to this moving part.

As soon as I had seen the wooden box, my heart had raced, my stomached churning with fear, for I knew what that device was. It was true that I had never seen one before. But I had heard such fiendish devices described and had been told how they were used long ago in more cruel times. Also I had heard such a device mentioned by the two women who were now dressing me in my scratchy clothing. I was on no doubt that the wooden object across that grim chamber from the sleeping platform was an example of the infamous and much feared ‘Orphan Box’.

“I see you find the box interesting,” Miss Harding said with a cold laugh, as I stood in the centre of the room, the nursery maid on her knees as she shackled my ankles together. “I don’t know where the Master or Mistress found them, but we have three here. One each for the girls if they misbehave, and now this one for you, my dear Miss Poyser. But then, as an orphan, it seems only right you should see what life is like kept locked inside one.”

She walked across the stone floor and opened the front of the box, the flickering light from the lamps showing the narrow ‘seat’ inside, and the straps attached to its inner walls. I moaned into my gag, fear making my legs go weak as the woman poked around inside the heavy walled box.

“I don’t know what all the fuss is about, really.” She said, turning to look as me as the nursery maid clambered to her feet, having locked my ankles in iron shackles. “It strikes me as an ideal way of keeping young women like you under control. Locked in your box and nicely kept still by its straps, you can’t get into trouble at all. Silence you as well, and we won’t have to worry about you at all. Just leave you down here during the day, Breakfast and supper between box and bed; a nice quiet life for you and for us too. In fact a perfect life for you while you make up your mind whether you are going to be sensible and join us, or whether you want to spend a VERY long time long up down here.”

I desperately tried to beg for mercy. But the knotted gag that filled my mouth only allowed some indecipherable noises to emerge. Miss Harding smiled again, a glacial look in her eyes that betrayed the upwards curl of her thin lips.

“No need to tell us your decision yet, Miss Poyser. You see, we don’t want you deciding on something and then changing your mind later. And to make sure you REALLY have made up your mind when we do ask you, my brother has thought it best that you stay down here for a while, out of the way, and out of mind for most of the time. So there’s no need to hurry with your decision, my dear. Take your time, because we intend giving you plenty.”

Abruptly the smile disappeared and the strode over to me, her talon-like hands grabbing my shoulders and wheeling me round. With ankles shackled together I almost fell but the two women manhandled me across the room, forcing me backwards into the tight interior of the box, pushing me down until I was perched on its narrow seat. Heavy leather straps were passed wound my torso, across my lap and around my legs until I was secured immobile in place. Even my hands were contained in tight leather bags attached to the box’s rear wall. Fresh tears ran down my face as the straps were jerked cruelly tight about me and then padlocked so there was no chance of their slackening.

The back of my neck rested in a sem-circular opening carved into the fixed rear half of the box’s top, a thin strap holding my neck in place. I was helpless already but the box’s true restraint was still to be put in place. This was done by Miss Harding who slowly swung back the front section, the top sliding backwards do that my throat was gripped by another semi-circular opening in the top. With a sickening clunk the front part shut, sealing me inside withe small wooden prison, only my head projecting from its enclosure.

Unseen by me – the top projected out under my chin, preventing me from looking down – heavy reinforcing bars were swung about the whole box to be padlocked closed. Now I was locked inside my oaken prison, two inches thick timber ensuring that I could never escape from its confines without assistance. I moaned into my gag, knowing that I was more helpless than I had ever been before.

“You look rather charming in there, Miss Poyser,” Miss Harding said with an icy chuckle. “I doubt if governesses have ever spent any time in one of those things. Well, you and that Orphan Box are going to get to know each other rather well. It’s going to be your daytime home for a good while. I’m told they are not too comfortable, but who worries about your comfort, my dear. I certainly don’t; all I am interested in is keeping you out of harm’s way.”

She held up a bunch of heavy keys for me to see through tear-streaked eyes.

“Six locks to your box, my girl. And just so no-one gets carried away with compassion and lets you out of there, each day they’ll be locked in Miss Harding’s own safe. He says he wants them locked in there by seven each morning and he has agreed to release them to whoever is looking after you at nine each night. Fourteen hours a day locked in your Orphan Box, that’s what you have tolook forward to in future.” She smiled again and then abruptly turned to face the nursery maid.

“I think you said that Miss Poyser found wearing that Tranquillity Hood an extremely distressing experience last night. Well, you run upstairs and bring it down here. It’s occurred to me that we can train her into accepting that hood while she is here. In fact, for every second she is locked in that box, she is to be hooded too. Now that really will help her make up her mind.!”

WALKING IN SILENCE Chapter Eleven

I sat on the Orphan Box’s tiny internal perch, jibbering inwardly with fear as the nursery maid trotted from the subterranean chamber, leaving me alone with a clearly pleased Miss Harding.

“Nice and snug in there?” She enquired, smiling thinly down at me. “Orphan boxes are such delightfully secure devices, I always think. Put a young woman in one, strap her nice and tightly to the seat, and then lock the box closed about her and you KNOW she is going to have to behave. NO alternative; as you are going to find out for yourself, Miss Poyser. Well, you can draw some consolation that you’re not the only young woman kept in one of those boxes here. Your charges will be in theirs too. Three of you, all kept well behaved in the same way. Rather charming, isn’t it?”

The gaunt woman laughed at her own cruel jest before turning towards the door, obviously growing impatient for the nursery maid’s return. After all, tormenting me was not something that would keep her amused for too long. But it was plain it was a better alternative than just waiting for the maid to come back. For she turned to face me again.

As she did so, in the flickering lamplight I saw her eyes focus on something out of my line of vision. Swiftly she stepped forward and moved round behind the box in which I was such a helpless prisoner. With my throat clamped tightly both by the strapping inside the box and by the stocks-like aperture in the top of the box, I could not turn my head to see what she was doing. But I did not have to wait long. For she reappeared to stand before me, holding in one hand what I recognised as a spanner. In the other was far bulkier object: a clearly heavy box, yet far smaller than the one in which I sat. Perhaps a foot high and nine inches each side, it appeared to be made of the same thick oak as that which incarcerated me.

“I nearly forgot this,” the woman chuckled. “Of course our sweet girls upstairs don’t have such attachments on their boxes. It was only this one that was made with a head container. ”

She held the wooden object up for me to see. It appeared simple enough, an oaken box with a steel flange around the base which itself was wide open. Projecting down from each corner of the flange was short threaded bolt.

“Can’t our so intelligent governess see how it works?” Miss Harding teased me, clearly reading puzzlement in my eyes as I looked at the heavy object in her hands. “Well, look down girl. See the holes in the top of your box a few inches either side of your chin. Well, they are matched by ones behind your head. You see, all I do is lower this box down over your head and face and then screw the bolts home into those holes. And hey presto!, your head box is sealed down to the main part of the Orphan Box and you are completely shut away from sight. Like to see how it works?”

I howled into my gag as the woman raised the device in her hands and slowly lowered it down over my head. One moment I could see past Miss Harding and view part of the grim cell that was my outer prison. The next she had lowered the box down so my head was within its walls, its lower edge and the steel flange resting on top of the Orphan Box. I could see a tiny strip of light at the join but then I heard what I presumed was a bolt being screwed down, and the line of light grew thinner and died, leaving me in total darkness.

For a few moments after this I heard the woman tightening the other screws down. And then there was silence almost as total as the darkness about me. Only the harsh sound of my breath entering and exiting my dilated nostrils broke that awful silence.

As a child unable to afford night-lights or such luxuries, I had grown used to sleeping in darkness, but the Stygian blackness into which I was plunged surpassed anything I had experienced before. I felt fear creeping up on me; fear of darkness and fear of being shut away inside the two close fitting boxes whose dense wood walls sealed me into my own personal prison. I howled almost noiselessly into my gag, cold terror filling my heart. To be locked in an Orphan Box was a terrible fate but to have my head locked inside its extended walls made it all far more frightening.

Momentarily I struggled against my bonds. But the leather straps that held me in place were steely about my body, holding me immobile on the narrow seat. Even my head was held motionless by the deep wooden ‘collar’ about my throat, its relentless pressure threatening to garrotte me if I even tried to move my head at all. But mere confinement within the box and the cruel manner in which I was strapped in place were far from being all the miseries that afflicted me. For the seat on which I sat seemed to be made of one or maybe two narrow bars passing from one side of the box to the other. When I said I was ‘perched’ on that seat, I was not exaggerating; for only part of my posterior was supported and it was that narrow band of flesh that had to bear all my weight. Having spent countless hour on a similar ‘punishment seats’ when I wa younger, I was only too bitterly aware that remained on one for long was going to be a bitterly uncomfortable, and ultimately painful, experience.

But, locked inside the darkness of my tiny prison, I was beginning to learn other unpleasant facts about the Orphan Box. The first which I had barely noticed when I was strapped inside it, was the fact that, running up from the seat to the top inside the box was a square bar that now jabbed into my spine. Doubtless the excuse for this projection was to keep the inmates back upright and straight but, as minutes slowly passed, I was discovering that it was more an instrument of additional torment rather than a mere posture aid. The upper straps dragged my shoulders back so I was pressed cruelly back against the square bar behind me. Just sitting quietly inside that box was obviously not designed to be a restful way of spending one’s time.

Another nasty little item was the manner in which my feet were fastened. The seat was of such a height that they did not reach the base of the box but, like my legs, were strapped back against a bar running down from seat front to floor. For my skirted-padded legs this was not too bad. But my feet seems to be strapped to some sort of plate that was angled steeply downwards so my toes almost pointed to the floor. Again this was not too bad initially but, as time passed, the manner in which my feet were immobilised began to cause me ever increasing discomfort, thanks to the tightly laced ankle boots that encased my feet and the acute angle at which they were held.

Finally, it did not take me long to recognise that the cadence of my breathing was speeding up, its rhythm growing ever faster as fear and lack of air inside the head box began to make my heart pound and my lungs to burn. Panic began to set in, as the terrible spectre of being slowly suffocated within the head box caught hold of my imagination. I howled into my gag, hoping and praying that Miss Harding might still be near and that she would realise what was happening. But the sound that escaped past the makeshift gag that filled my mouth was pathetically muffled, and I doubted if she could hear my entreaties for help. If she could have done, she certainly did not act upon them, as the head box remain bolted down in place and the air inside its walls seemed to grow ever more foul.

I have no idea how long I remained like that, fighting off ever increasing discomfort and pain, and terrified that I was being slowly suffocated. But I gradually came to realise that there must be some device allowing air into and out of the head box. Whatever it was, it must be cruelly restricted, but my terror of suffocation gradually subsided, although the air in the box remained foul and hot. Now my fear seems focussed on how long I was to be kept in this awful box and how long I would be kept locked away in the cell-like room outside it. Whatever was going to happen, it was plain that Mr and Miss Harding were determined to break me by whatever means they had available. How long I could remain sane and clear headed when faced with such torments, I did not know. But, sitting inside that terrible Orphan Box, I resolved not to weaken and to fight against every fresh trial they produced in order the break my spirit. I would NOT let them win.

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

Four days later, I was not in so determined a mood as the nursery maid shovelled some sort of foul-tasting gruel into my mouth, warning me not to spit it out.

“You’ve got to eat it all, Miss,” she said in almost apologetic tones. “If you don’t, I have to report you.”

She paused, forcing me to eat another spoonful of the bitter concoction. I gagged on the horrible mush and the young woman tut-tutted to herself.

“Eat it, Miss. Or she’ll whip you as sure as day is day. And she’ll enjoy that; she will. Great one for whipping the other servants is our Miss Harding.”

I swallowed the beastly gruel and risked asking a question.

“Have you been whipped?” I asked, my voice cracked and barely audible through lack of use.

“Me? Whipped?” The nursery maid laughed at my question. “Course I have. More times than you could count to, Miss.”

“Then why do you stay here? You can surely get another job, somewhere kinder, where you’ll be decently treated.”

I saw terror in the young woman’s eyes. She glanced behind her, as though afraid that Miss Harding was in the doorway, listening to our doubtless forbidden conversation. Relief was apparent in her features as she turned again to face me as I sat immobile, only my head projecting from the tight confines of the Orphan Box in which I was locked.

“I can’t leave, Miss. I’m indentured. Anyway, they’d never let me go.”

“Not let you go? How could they stop you?” I asked.

“Last maid who ran off they told the peelers about her. Had her arrested for theft. Said she’s stolen some silver. She got three years hard labour, Miss. That’s why I can’t run.”

The nursery maid, prim in her black uniform, picked up the gruel bowl and loaded the spoon again with its grey mixture.

“Better to stay and get whipped than to try to leave,” she went on as I struggled to swallow the food she scooped into my mouth. “At least we get fed and even get some money for ourselves. Though Mr Harding keeps it until we’ve done our time.”

“All the servants are indentured?” I asked as soon as I had swallow the gruel.

“Most, Miss. The rest are either friendly with the Hardings or owe them. No one ever leaves here unless Mr Harding wants to see them gone.”

“How long have you been here?” I ventured to ask, after I had forced down another horrible spoonful of gruel.

“Since I was ten, Miss. Funny you should be in an Orphan Box. Because that’s where I could have been if I didn’t come here. The Hardings got me from the local orphanage. There at the orphanage they used these boxes of the eldest girls. Dead terrified of them, those girls were.”

The young woman looked in the bowl, spooned up the rest of the horrible gruel and, after she had given it to me, placed the bowl and spoon on the floor. She walked across to the bed and picked up the heavy tranquillity hood that lay on it.

“Time for this, Miss. And to locked down the head box as well.”

“Oh no, please. Please. A little longer, I’ll…………………………”

The nursery maid, for all that she might feel sorry for me, even sympathise with my plight, knew her duty. And I, helpless within the box, could do nothing to prevent her from gagging and hooding me. Blind within the hood’s dense walls, I did not see her lift the head box, nor did I witness her replacing it and bolting down the screws that held it in place.

For me, another endless taste of purgatory was about to start, and there was nothing I could do to prevent its onset.

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

“We have decided that you should have a break from your close confinement.”

I blinked in the sudden light, my eyes painful after so long of being engulfed in the darkness of my tranquillity hood and being locked inside the head box.

Shocked by the unexpected visit and still with my mind confused, and my body pain-filled from so long locked in the Orphan Box, I did not at first comprehend what the woman was saying. Then her words sunk in and, for the first time in days, I felt something akin to joy, as I realised I might soon be released from confinement.

I had lost count how many days it had been since I had first been locked in the Orphan box. For, since that day, my routine had been unwavering. Sixteen endless hours within its confines, tranquillity hooded and strapped into often agonising immobility. Then a brief flurry of activity as one of the servants assisted Miss Harding in removing me from the box, cleaning me up, and making sure I used the pot, before giving me something to drink. Then I was fastened down on the sleeping platform for the ‘night’. There I stayed for another seven and a half hours before I was unchained and unstrapped so as to be allowed to use the primitive toilet facilities. The I had to wash myself as best I could in cold water, and to be given a frugal breakfast before being dragged across the cell to the Orphan Box, there to be locked away for the day. During the slow passing hours that followed I was fed sometime in what must have been the late afternoon, although there were days when, for no apparent reason, my main meal of the day was not given to me. There was never any explanation for this, and I had learnt only too soon not to ask Miss Harding why such things happened to me. For I knew that I would barely be able to withstand the pain were she to flog me and then lock me in the box, perched on its grossly uncomfortable seat.

Now, I realised, she can come to see me at an unusual hour and she was talking about a break in my confinement. My poor addled brain was still trying to work out this conundrum when she spoke again.

“We don’t want you wasting away through lack of exercise, do we, Miss Poyser? We want to keep you healthy and happy, for when you go back to teaching your old pupils. Because you are going to do that, aren’t you, my dear?”

With my throat clamped in the wooden ‘collar’ formed by the two halves of the box’s upper surface, I could not nod my assent nor shake my head to indicate refusal. But I knew I might make enough of a movement to let my tormentor know if I had decided to join in with her devious actions.

“Not made up your mind yet?” The woman smiled thinly down at me.

I shook my head slightly, but enough for her to see my indication of refusal.

“Stubborn child.! Never mind, we are in no hurry.”

She turned away and walked across the room to where her companion, the hatchet faced maid, was standing. She took something from the younger woman and, as soon as she turned to face me again, I recognised it as the heavy winter cloak which I had last worn during that terrible exercise period with the sisters.

My heart leapt with joy. They were going to take me outdoors for a walk – out of the box, out of this dungeon and out of the house. I almost cried out with pleasure, but gagged, and discrete, I remained silent as Miss Harding, the cloaks massive folds gathered in her arms, stood back and indicated that the maid should extract me from the orphan Box. As usual it was a protracted and, for me, agonising procedure as cramped limbs were straightened and my part folded body was straightened up, my trembling legs barely holding me upright.

But this time the pain was worthwhile, for I was about to breath God’s fresh air again after so long of breathing and rebreathing the fetid atmosphere trapped under my hood and within the confines of the head box.

I even did my best to straighten up and to stand upright, rather than letting the maid drag me to and fro. My heart was singing as I felt certain that, if I could see the world beyond the cellars just once every few days, I could outlast my tormentors.

Miss Harding came across towards me and shook out the voluminous folds of heavyweight material. With a broad sweep of her hands she swung it round me and allowed its folds to settle on my shoulders, its bulk billowing slowly down to cover me from chin to floor. I staggered under its sudden weight, weakened legs fighting to keep me upright. My head swam from the effort but I managed to remain on my feet.

Miss Harding came closer and reached forward to fasten the massive garment about my throat. As she did so, she smiled again.

“Oh Miss Poyser, I forgot to mention, you’ll be back to wearing your tranquillity hood for your exercise period. You see, you won’t be going far. In fact, just outside the door to this cell. There is a nice long corridor out there, and we thought you could walk up and down that for a while. No need for sight, as you will soon get to know how many paces it is from end to end!”

She laughed icily and stood back, gesturing to the maid.

“Finishing dressing her and then lead her out into the corridor. We’ll teach her how long it is before we make her walk blind. Can’t be cruel to our little governess, can we?”

End of story

 

Catalogue Illustrated

Catalogue Illustrated

by D

Messrs.
Brightwell and Comfort

humbly present their

Young Ladies

Attire and Restraints

Catalogue

for

Spring 1873

 

catalogue_illustrated1

SCHOOLROOM UNIFORM AND ATTIRE

Basic Dress and Cape

This simple, yet pleasantly chaste, uniform comprises of a dress, gloves and hip length cape.

The dress is made of dark grey twill of medium to heavy weight, and is fully lined with wool mix material, all of the garment having this lining with the exception of the collar and cuffs which are canvas lined for extra hard wearing qualities.

The skirt has its own attached hobble-petticoat. This is made of strong cotton canvas and reaches down to within an inch of the ground. It is very closely cut down to knee level, below which it is equipped with stout leather straps at middle calf and ankle level. These may be used to further hobble the wearer and to adjust the length of her paces from a maximum of fourteen inches down to zero. The straps are equipped with rings so that they may be locked closed.

The skirt of the dress is reinforced against wear at its floor length hem by a two inch leather binding. To prevent it from accidentally rising up, small leaden plates are sewn into the leather binding so as to weigh it down. Its waist is equipped with a built-in and whalebone reinforced belt some four inches deep so the dress may be adjusted to closely conform with the shape of the wearer’s corseted waist. (Suitable corsets to be worn with this dress may be found in the ‘Corsets’ section of this catalogue.)

The cuffs are closed by means of six small buttons and, as well as being reinforced with a canvas lining, they are equipped with a whalebone stay under the wearer’s wrist, this being designed to prevent the wearer from indulging in excessive hand and wrist movement. The cuffs are also designed so that the matching gloves may be tucked inside them. The gloves themselves are made of cape leather, dyed to match the dress. They have long cuffs that are close-buttoned and which reach up to mid-forearm level so as to ensure that they do not slip and so expose any of the wrist, being trapped under the cuffs and lower sleeves of the dress at all times. They also may be supplied with or without stiffening panels with whalebone inserts which largely prevent all hand movement.

The body of the dress is closely tailored and the sleeves are cut and set in place so as to make it impossible for the wearer to raise her arms to shoulder level or above once she has been buttoned into her dress. This is fastened at the back by sixteen buttons and twelve sets of hooks and eyes. The collar, which is very high and tight, is reinforced with twelve vertical whalebone braces, joined by three horizontal wire bands. When buttoned closed, the collar prevents the wearer from moving her head in any direction.

The hip-length cape is made of similar, although slightly heavier material to the dress. It is double lined with canvas and wool, and its front opening may be sealed shut by means of fifteen concealed buttons and eighteen sets of hooks and eyes. The collar is constructed in the same manner as that of the dress and reaches up to the underside of the wearer’s chin and up to the base of her ears at the sides.

The hem of the cape is, like the skirts of the dress, weighted with small leaden plates so as to prevent it rising up. These may be added to as necessary. In addition, pockets are sewn into the cape’s lining at shoulder level, so that further weights may be inserted there. The dress and cape are normally supplied with eight quarter-pound weights at the skirt’s hem, and a further eight at the cape’s hem. All such weights are very thin and suitably shaped so that their presence is not visible.

Further weights and pockets for them may be ordered, as may leaden plates weighing half a pound each for the shoulder pockets inserted into the cape’s lining.

The measurements required for this uniform dress and cape are as per the list set out on Page 43 of this catalogue.

catalogue_illustrated2
Cape – Type 2

SCHOOLROOM UNIFORM AND ATTIRE

Cape – Type 2

This garment is designed for schoolroom wear for girls and young women whose main education has been completed and who do not, in consequence, require to use their hands and arms frequently. It may be worn over any dress but we would recommend that it is worn over our Schoolroom Dress No. 1 which is ideally suited for wear with this garment. It is however supplied with double coif’s that are made of the same material as the cape and which are lined with thick woollen material, these covering all the wearer’s head, leaving only the front of her face, from eyes to chin, exposed. The coifs fit the wearer’s head very snugly, being fastened at the back with strong drawstrings and matching lacings, equipped with locking rings as some wearers may find these coifs unpleasantly hot to wear all the time.

The cape is made of grey ultra-heavy twill, specially made for us for this garment. The weave, although coarse to the touch, is extremely close and dense. The wool used is of exceptional strength. These qualities make the cape very hard-wearing; its extremely close weave and the qualities of its material mean that it will not only last for a very long time indeed but also virtually impermeable.

This extremely heavy outer fabric is double lined. It has an inter-lining made of compacted quilting of considerable thickness and weight, while the inner lining is of woollen felting, again a very heavy and strong material. The overall thickness of these linings are such that, although the cape is generously cut, as may be seen in the illustration, the wearer’s arms are pinned to her sides as there is not free space inside the garment at all, once is has been done up.

There are NO armslits or other openings in the garment which is designed so as to be closed-up about its wearer all the time. To ensure this remains so, the front opening is sealed by a row of eighteen metal buttons that are threaded through very close-fitting button-holes, all of which are wire reinforced to prevent their opening up. In addition, there is a secondary row of steel hooks and eyes, twenty in all. Finally, at the top of the cape and at its hem are double steel rings which may be locked together to prevent anyone other than the key-holder from easing or opening the cape once it has been sealed-up around its wearer.

The garment’s collar is lined with woollen felting and is internally reinforced with twelve vertical whalebone bars, together with four flexible metal bands running round the collar horizontally. As well as being closed by six buttons and six sets of steel hooks and eyes, the metal bands are spring-loaded so as to ensure that the collar is always fastened as tightly as is humanly possible about the wearer’s throat. It is also very tall, reaching hard up under the wearer’s jaw and rising up to the base of her ears at the sides. Once the collar is closed up about her throat, the wearer will not be able to move her head at all in any direction.

The garment’s hem is weighted down by means of nine flat leaden weights set into the floor-length hem between the outer material and its leather reinforced bottom lining strip. Normally these lead plates weigh three-quarters of a pound each, but either heavier weights or more of them may be specified, as many parents prefer to use more lead plates to ensure that the garment’s hem cannot accidentally be raised.

This cape has been specially designed to be worn with a body or arm harness, but its weight and thickness make it an excellent form of attire for those young women who need to be kept under any form of duress or restraint. However, even in the case of exceptionally well behaved girls, wearing one of these capes will have a very beneficial effect, especially if worn all day long for a protracted number of years. It is also an extremely chaste and attractive outer garment for young married women, as its weight will ensure that they act in a modest and decorous manner, its heat making certain that they will not be tempted towards over-activity.

This design has been successfully used on girls as young as fourteen who, as they grow older, have had the number of weights sewn into their capes increased. As the garment weighs some nineteen and half pounds without any leaden plates, it can be seen that, by adding more of these weights, the cape can be used to subdue and control headstrong young women most effectively, thanks to its ‘escape-proof’ design, its burdensome weight and the heat that soon develops and grows within its walls after it has been sealed up about its wearer.

catalogue_illustrated3

SCHOOLROOM UNIFORM AND ATTIRE

Cape – Type 2 – Note

While this garment used on its own is perfectly satisfactory in meeting the needs for which it was designed, its usefulness can be improved by using it in conjunction with other products that we can supply. Some of these are listed in these Notes.

1. Body Harness

This is a canvas garment worn over a girl’s normal day dress and beneath her Uniform Cape.

It is made of strong canvas, reinforced with leather strapping, and it reaches from the base of the wearer’s throat to below hip level. It is put on its wearer by making the girl put her arms out in front of her body so that they can be threaded into the harness’s internal ‘sleeves’, the back-opening harness then being drawn back and over her upper body. The ‘sleeves’ are, in fact, deep pockets set inside the garment in which the wearer’s hands and arms are trapped once the harness has been fastened up about her. This is effected by leather straps set in the back of the garment. All the straps are equipped with locking rings so that it may be padlocked shut about its wearer. Once done up, the harness pins the girl’s arms firmly to her sides, making it totally impossible for her to move them at all.

The wearer may be left inside her locked harness for any length of time (unlike some other products which must be removed regularly to prevent severe damage to the wearer). In addition to this, professional experiments have shown that this garment is ‘escape-proof’ and we happily guarantee each one sold as such.

2. Arm Harness

Although apparently less encompassing than our Body Harness, our Arm Harness has proved highly successful and popular with parents, guardians and governesses since we introduced it a few years ago. As its name suggests, it comprises a complex harness that is locked about the wearer’s upper body and over her shoulders. It is made of extremely strong leather and canvas, and comes equipped with heavy-duty padlocks where appropriate.

The harness is locked in place, as per the illustrated instructions that accompany it. The wearers hands are then placed inside a small leather sack which is laced tightly about them so that the girl literally cannot move a finger tip. The bag comes with a deep ‘cuff’ that is then locked about her wrists prior to her arms being pulled up her back, the bag containing the wearer’s hands being then secured high up on the harness between her shoulders blades. Further locking straps then draw her elbows in together and pinion her now twisted and folded arms into a tight ‘parcel’ behind her which, when she is caped, is virtually invisible beneath the thick walls of her outer covering. This form of harness, although apparently less comprehensive than a body harness, is in fact highly efficient and totally ‘escape-proof’. Although some may see it as a disadvantage of this design, it is widely felt that the harness is more effective in keeping a girl in check because of its undoubted discomfort. Many of those in charge of young woman are of the opinion that a degree of discomfort does young women good, so we know that the less than pleasant aspects of this form of restraint are viewed by many as being a very definite ‘plus point’. We would have no hesitation in recommending this form of restraint, knowing how extremely effective and efficient it is.

3. Chastity Mask (Type 1)

This is a thick walled mask that covers the whole of the wearer’s head and face. Made of the same material as our Schoolroom Capes, the chastity mask possesses two extremely small (3/4″ x 1/8″) vision slits piercing its heavily lined walls, there being no other openings to the device.

It is drawn down over the wearer’s head and is then sealed about her collar by a heavy-duty draw cord, two locking rings then being padlocked together so that the mask can not be removed except by the key-holder. Internal tapes at the back are then tightened, drawing in the whole mask so that it presses down on the girl’s whole head and face. However, its extreme thickness eradicates all signs of the facial features of the wearer, not even the outline of her nose being visible. She becomes completely anonymous for as long as she is masked. The masks, thick walled and all concealing, can be supplied with an internal silencer of any type or size. Alternatively, if the girl is to wear her own gag, it can be obtained without such a silencer inside its walls.

catalogue_illustrated4

SCHOOLROOM UNIFORM AND ATTIRE

Cape – Type 2 – Notes – (continued)

4. Chastity Mask (Type 2)

Like the Type 1 Chastity Mask, the head and face covering is made of the same materials as used in making our Schoolroom Capes. Like its counterpart, this mask is fully lined and may be supplied with or without an internal gagging plug.

The difference between the two masks is that this one is not equipped with vision slits. These are dispensed with on the basis that a girl wearing this mask will not require the ability to see anything once she has been masked. When secured in place, this mask totally deprives its wearer of sight and plunges her into total darkness. As such it is an ideal covering for a young woman who is to be kept in isolation.

In addition to its ability to calm over-excitable young women, this mask can be used for minor correction, for it becomes overly warm and somewhat airless inside its walls after a while. Thus few girls enjoy wearing this type of mask, and it may be used to chasten a girl who has erred in some small way.

5. Regulation Silencer (Type 1)

An immense number of different types of silencers exist, several of which we hold in stock. However, many years of experience has shown us that our Type 1 silencer combines excellent efficiency and not unacceptable degree of comfort for the wearer.

The silencer comprises of two linked parts; the face mask and the gagging plug. The first is made of leather, fully lined with thick rubber. It covers the whole of the wearer’s lower face, reaching from the base of her chin up to immediately below her nostrils. Reaching higher at the sides, it is joined behind the head by lacing reinforced by metal clamps. Adjustable rings at the mask’s top edge, at its centre and at its base allow for padlocking the mask closed, three padlocks being supplied with the silencer. Once laced up and locked, the mask presses hard against the wearer’s lower face, sealing it down hermetically.

The second part of this silencer, the plug, is made of wood covered with thick rubber. The wooden core is shaped so as to match that of the inside of the wearer’s mouth, so that it presses down on the tongue and fills the rest of the space within her mouth so as to prevent all sound from directly bypassing the plug. The plug is joined to the outer mask by a flat metal ‘joining-plate’ that passes between the teeth, they being forced up to tightly ‘bite’ the joining-plate when the mask is laced up. The joining-plate is covered in rubber so as to prevent damage to the teeth when they are forced closed onto it. The action of forcing the teeth together like this ensures that the wearer has her mouth closed up all the time.

Although this silencer is far from being as severe or unpleasant as some other designs, it is highly effective as the mask covers the cheeks, thus preventing ‘reverberating sound’ from escaping. All other sounds are stopped by the plug and the mask so that this form of silencer manages to successfully combine effectiveness with simplicity of use.

In view of the different sizes of girls’ mouths and heads, five different sizes of plugs and three of masks are available (a measuring chart is available at the back of this catalogue). In addition, four larger ‘over-size’ plugs are also available, these being more effective than normal versions but they are considerably more distressing to wear. Their ends curve back and down so as to block the girl’s throat. This makes this type of plug extremely effective but they do cause most girls to choke on them for as long as they are in place.

However all types of plugs and masks may be worn all the time without permanently damaging the inside of a girl’s mouth, only being removed at meal times and when her teeth are to be cleaned.

6. Regulation Silencer (Type 2)

This is of the same basic design as Type 1 except that the mask reaches up to cover the whole of the wearer’s face, being terminated at higher forehead level so, if worn with a coif, the whole of the wearer’s face is hidden except for her eyes which look out through two openings in the leather and rubber-lined mask (these openings measure 1″ x 1/2″). As the wearer can not breath through her mouth and as her nostrils are shut away inside the rubber-lined leather walls of this type of mask, two very small holes are pierced through it under her nose, the leather being shaped so as to allow for the presence of her nose. These holes are lined with metal grommets to ensure that they always remain open, this being necessary as the wearer would rapidly suffocate if they closed up. This type of silencer is less pleasant to wear than the Type 1. However it is marginally more effective, which will appeal to those seeking perfect silence from their charges.

catalogue_illustrated5
Cloak – Type 1

OUTDOOR UNIFORM AND ATTIRE

Cloak – Type 1

This cloak has, over the years, proved to be one of our best selling items. It has the advantages of being most chaste and demure, concealing its wearer completely once the hood has been raised so that ill-mannered onlookers cannot see any part of her in public. Its design is such that, once secured inside the garment and with her head covered by its large hood, the wearer cannot be accidentally revealed because the fastenings are both complex and ultra efficient, as well as being made so that the wearer, on her own, cannot open her cloak nor lower her hood.

The cloak is made of heavyweight felted twill of very considerable thickness. This material is impermeable, to the degree that the cloak can be worn in heavy rain without the wearer’s clothing getting damp beneath it. Beneath its outer layer, the cloak is triple lined: the first layer being of medium weight canvas so as to enable the garment to hold its shape at all times. The next layer is of thick-quilted fabric to give it bulk while the innermost lining is of heavy wool. These linings, allied with its basic material, make the cloak extremely snug and warm enough to wear on the iciest day of winter. Yet such cloaks are worn by many girls all the year round; although overly warm on temperate days, this type of cloak is so hard-wearing that the need for any other cloak is obviated.

The body of the cloak is closed by means of twenty three buttons and twenty one sets of steel hooks and eyes. It is equipped with matching rings at the neck and hem so that it may be locked about the wearer.

Its hood is made of the same material and linings as the rest of the cloak and, as such, is very heavy. This factor, combined with the way that the hood is made, mean that the wearer will have to bow her head if she is to see out of it and, even so, she will be very effectively blinkered so that she can only see a small patch of the ground at her feet.

The hood can be worn in a less strict manner but it is designed to ensure that the wearer’s head and face is always totally concealed and that she is unable to gaze idly about her when outdoors. To effect this, the hood is partially closed up and is equipped with nine buttons and seven sets of steel hooks and eyes, as well as having three sets of stout tapes set inside the hood’s cavity to prevent it being blown back from the wearer’s head. Once properly hooded, the wearer has to keep her head demurely lowered because, if she tries to raise it, the front of the hood will collapse before her face, totally depriving her of sight and also cutting off her air supply. In order to prevent the garment from accidentally riding up, ten half-pound lead plates are sewn in around its leather reinforced hem. In addition, provision is made for a further ten plates to be inserted into other pockets round the hem.

Also sewn into the lining on either side of the shoulders of the garment are three pockets (making a total of twelve in this position). Normally four of these pockets are filled with one pound weights, being in the form of lead plates. However the cloak can be supplied with eight or even twelve of these weights in place. If thought necessary, the garments can be supplied with more pockets or ones capable of taking two pound weights. However, in view of the overall weight of the garment and the fact that its hem is weighed down, we would not recommend that a full grown young woman is initially made to carry more than twelve pounds in lead weights in her cloak’s shoulder pockets. However it has been found that, after a few months of carrying such weights, they may be added to without undue problems.

The garment is designed to be worn over our Schoolroom Cape, but it may be worn with any other combination of clothing. As such it is an extremely adaptable and versatile cloak which, as we are informed from time to time, is used even as an indoor garment for their charges by some parents and guardians. However, it should be stated that this cloak is extremely heavy and very warm, so it should only be worn indoors by those young woman capable of bearing its weight and withstanding its warmth.

We have found during the years that we have been selling this garment that it is an excellent ‘training’ device, for any girl or young woman wearing one of these cloaks will be kept very subdued and reluctant to move about owing to the burden of her cloak.

The hood, with its design that makes its wearer bow her head all the time, is good for instilling humility into otherwise less than humble young women, while the weight of the complete garment will ensure that the natural spirits of any girl are subdued after she has been cloaked and hooded for even a relatively short period of time. We would thoroughly recommend this garment for all girls and young woman over the age of fifteen, to be worn whenever they go outside and, if necessary, to be adopted indoors so as to discipline and to chasten its wearers. Given that it will last virtually indefinitely, it may be worn all the time by any girl without the need of a duplicate being purchased.

catalogue_illustrated6

SCHOOLROOM UNIFORM AND ATTIRE

Cloak – Type 2 – (Indoor)

This cloak is designed to be primarily worn as an indoor cloak, although it is sometimes used for outdoor wear if the weather is especially hot and when the adoption of our Type 1 cloak might be excessively problematic for its wearers. However, this does not mean that this type of cloak is any less strict and, although designed to be worn indoors over normal uniform attire, it is warm enough to be used for virtually any purpose.

(This type of cloak has been used by several purchasers as a night attire for their charges, worn in bed over normal night-time suppressive devices – as listed on Page 23 of this catalogue – as it covers up the harnesses etc. worn in bed.)

The garment is made of the same heavy material as our Type 1 cloak, although it is of a slightly lighter weave. It is also thickly lined with a deep quilted layer sandwiched between the outer shell of the cloak and its inner lining made of heavy wool. Its closure is effected by twenty steel buttons reinforced by sixteen sets of hooks and eyes which reach up to the top of the cloak’s high collar.

The hood is constructed of the same materials as the cloak but it is not as large as that used with the Type 1 cloak. This enables the wearer to see out of the hood with her head held in its normal posture, as opposed to the deeply bowed pose necessary when wearing a Type 1 cloak. However, the hood may be drawn forward if deemed necessary, so that this cloak’s wearer must bend her head low so as to enable her to see out of the hood’s aperture. Because it is possible to place the hood ‘normally’ over the wearer’s head, this cloak can be worn in the schoolroom or in other places or situations where its wearer needs to be able to look in front of her or to see anything other than the floor at her feet.

(NB. In view of the fact that this cloak may be worn with its hood ‘open’, many of our customers have decided that, in order to maintain it wearer’s modesty, it is necessary to keep her hooded whenever she wears this type of cloak. We therefore offer to supply each cloak with a pair of matching masks. These are made of the same material as the body of the cloak and are lined with heavy rubber so that, should the wearer perspire within her hood’s walls, this will not stain the material. Extremely small holes are pierced through the rubber lining to permit the wearer to breath inside her hood, for the only other apertures in the hood’s walls are those for vision. These are very small, measuring 1/2 by 1/8th of an inch, and are covered by densely woven black curtains that prevent onlookers from seeing the wearer’s eyes. [If required, the masks may be supplied without vision slits so that their wearers are left deprived of all sight once masked.]

The hoods are fastened at the back by means of wire-reinforced lacing with a metallic band passing round the wearer’s throat so as to seal the hood in place, this band being secured closed by means of a padlock situated at the rear which prevents the hood being eased or removed by anyone other than the key-holder. When the lacing has been drawn in fully, the mask is extremely tight fitting, hence the need for only a few very small holes in the rubber lining as this presses hard up against the wearer’s nostril openings.

We supply two of these masks as one is of normal construction, the second having an integral silencer fixed within the mask’s walls. Should the purchaser so desire, both masks may be equipped with gags. While they normally may be ordered in ‘standard’, ‘large’ or ‘extra large’ sizes, we will fit special gags to these masks at a small extra cost. Similarly, the masks may be equipped with lower-face bindings if required, also at a small extra cost while breathing tubes may also be specified if the purchaser does not wish for the rubber lining to be pierced with breathing holes. However, we would advise buyers to consider purchasing ‘purpose-made’ masks for their charges should their demands apropos these coverings be highly specialised, for we are able to ‘tailor’ such devices to exacting standards and to a wide variety of specifications.)

The Type 2 Cloak comes equipped with pockets for lead weights around its hem and over the garment’s shoulders. The standard weights supplied are eight, each of one half pound, fitted around the garment’s hem. However, any number or weight of lead weights may be specified when ordering one of these cloaks at no extra cost, up to ten weights of a pound each. Any greater number or weight will involve a small extra charge.

A further ‘extra cost’ option available with this cloak is the fitment of a closure curtain inside the hood. This may, at any time and extremely simply, be drawn across the hood’s opening and be sealed in place, thus preventing the wearer from seeing out of her hood interior. We would however like to make it clear that this curtain should not be left in place for protracted periods as it prevents the ingress of air into the hood, thus causing the cloak’s wearer to start slowly suffocating after a while. The curtain may be left in place for two or three hours but, beyond this, its wearer will start to be badly effected by lack of air within her sealed hood.

RESTRAINT AND CONTROL DEVICES (1)

a. Full length Strait Cape

This device is guaranteed to subdue and control the most determined and head-strong young woman, and to keep her under strict duress all the time that she is wearing this garment.

It is made of double-layered heavyweight canvas, reinforced with leather strapping and sewn with wire thread for extra strength and longevity. It reaches down from a high collar to an ankle-length hem, constraining its wearer by means of its great strength and by use of the horizontal straps that are situated outside its walls and which will be buckled tightly closed about the young woman once she has been dressed in her Strait-Cape. These three inch wide straps are made of heavy leather and each is equipped with two sets of locking rings for added security. They are sewn into the garment at chest, waist, hips, upper and lower thigh, knee, calf and ankle levels. Normally those down to knee level are fully tightened and locked, whilst the two lowest straps are left with an inch or so of free ‘play’ so that the wearer can move about, albeit with tiny steps and extremely slowly, the severe hobbling effect of her Strait-Cape making moving even short distances at very slow speeds an extremely tiring and even painful process.

If she is not to be permitted to move about, the calf and ankle level straps may also be fully tightened and then locked so the young woman is made completely unable to move at all, her limbs being extremely and effectively immobilised.

In respect to the wearer’s arms, these may be first incapacitated within the confines of a separate harness, or they may be inserted into the internal sleeves set within the interior walls of her Strait-Cape. These are deep pockets reaching down from arm-pit level to below waist level, being made of specially reinforced canvas. Once the wearer’s hands and arms have been inserted into these ‘sleeves’ she is totally unable to remove them on her own and, once the cape has been closed-up behind her and the horizontal straps have been tightly drawn in and locked closed, she is made completely helpless; her hands and arms are pinned down and totally immobilised at her sides, and they will remain in that posture until such time as she is eventually freed from her Strait-Cape. The Strait-Cape is sealed behind the wearer’s back by means of steel lacing and nine short closure straps made of heavy leather which are all equipped with double rings so that they may be locked closed. The garment’s collar is reinforced with vertical iron plates that force the wearer’s head up and grasp her throat in such a manner as to prevent her from moving her head at all. The collar’s top edge reaches right up under the young woman’s chin and extends even higher at the sides and back so as to completely ensure that her neck is paralysed and her head is locked into complete immobility.

The Strait-Cape is supplied with a matching mask-hood made of the same canvas but this time rubber lined to prevent its fabric from being stained by perspiration. This covering can be supplied with or without eye-slits. If in place, these are always curtained to prevent anyone from seeing the hooded young-woman’s eyes. Owing to the hood’s rubber lining, nostril plugs are fitted inside the hood, these exiting through the rubber lining.

The hood (which is sometimes known by its users as a ‘face corset’) is equipped at the back with steel lacing which enables the extremely strong canvas to be cinched in with great force, ‘corsetting’ the wearer’s head and face in a highly unpleasant manner, if so desired.

This ‘tight lacing’ is very useful in controlling even the strongest willed young woman. For the threat of having her head and face ‘corsetted’ will soon bring such creatures to heel, once they have sampled the misery of having their Strait-Cape’s hood severely laced up.

It is also of some use when it comes to ensuring that a girl locked within her Strait-Cape remains silent. For once her hood has been tightly laced-up, its pressure on her face will force her gag even deeper into her mouth and will press her cheeks down on it fully, thereby ensuring that her silencing plug fills every nook and cranny of her mouth.

It is far from pleasant to be ‘face-corseted’ but many of the people who have purchased our Strait-Capes in the past always use the hood on their charges, and insist on those hoods being laced up as tightly as possible at all times. They have witnessed how effective ‘face-corseting’ can be, and have decided that their young charges will benefit from the unpleasantness caused by having their heads and faces enclosed within most rigorously laced-up hoods all the time.

Similarly, many young woman are kept locked inside strictly laced up and strapped Strait-Capes virtually every moment of their lives. For, once locked within the cape’s embrace, they cannot misbehave and must be docile and obedient at all times. Kept utterly helpless, they soon learn that rebellion or disobedience are out of the question and they become meek and tractable creatures as they should have been in the first place.

RESTRAINT AND CONTROL DEVICES (2)

b. Total Containment Sack

This device has been specially designed to retain and restrain girls and young women who are to be placed ‘In Storage’. It is also most suitable for use in conjunction with our Strait-Cape, if the wearer has a Back-Bar (see page 29) attached to her Strait-cape.

The Sack itself is relatively simple. It is made of four layers of heavily reinforced rubber in the shape of a long sack, shaped to fit a young woman who is inserted through the ‘foot’ end of the sack. Once inside, the sack is sealed and external straps are fastened so as to further restrain the entrapped girl.

Prior to insertion within the sack, breathing tubes must be fitted up the girl’s nostrils and held in place by a special mask supplied with the sack. The long tubes are allowed to fall down to the girl’s feet as she is inserted into the sack and, as it is being sealed, the ends of the tubes are connected to a small control box set within the sack’s walls. The box has a small ‘gate’ which passes through the rubber, allowing a predetermined amount of air to pass into the box and thence into the long breathing tubes. As the sack is hermetically sealed when closed up, this regulated supply is the air which the girl must breath. However, it is rationed carefully so that she will exist satisfactorily only if she remains utterly motionless and does not struggle inside the sack, for she is permitted just sufficient air for survival when totally motionless while even the tiniest movement will burn up more air than she has been permitted, this causing her to slowly suffocate.

Once inside the sack, the young woman is further immobilised by means of the straps passing round the container which will then be drawn tightly in about her and buckled closed prior to being locked in place. The webbing thus formed also will act, if wished, as the supports when the sack is hung up later. For it is equipped with strong steel ‘eyes’ at shoulder level so that the sack can be attached to ropes which may then be hauled up, raising the sack from the floor, until it hangs free. Once clear of the floor, the bottom opening can be double sealed and locked so that the creature locked within the sack’s walls is totally isolated and can only be freed from it by the designated key holder.

c. Storage Box.

This box is made of one and three-quarter inch thick timber, and is reinforced both externally and internally by iron ties. It measures six and a half feet in height, being two foot wide and two foot deep. It is specially designed to be used in conjunction with our Total Containment Sack (see above) which may be hung from hooks and chains attached to the box’s ceiling.

The interior of the box is inter-lined with sound-deadening material, having an interior lining of thick rubber to further ensure that no noise may enter or escape this container, the door being made so as to ensure that it remains sound-proof and air-tight once closed. It is equipped with four external bolts and two heavy and deeply recessed locks which are opened by different keys so that two separate key-holders may be employed, if required. In addition, provision is made for two padlocks to be used to lock the box as well.

In view of its air-tight nature, the box is provided with a Breather Box. This is fitted into the side wall of the box, opposite the very similar boxes found in our Total Containment Sacks. This is to enable the two boxes to be joined by a small diameter air tube, the amount of air flowing through this being controlled and rationed via either – or even both – boxes. Should the young woman locked inside the Box not be inserted into a Containment Sack first, her breathing mask (please see Page 37 for suitable examples) may he linked to the Breather Box so as to ensure that she will not suffocate whilst locked inside her Storage Box.

Whether first placed within a Containment Sack or whether otherwise bound, a young woman locked within a Storage Box will be its prisoner until released as, once the door has been closed on her, it is totally impossible for her to open the door, even if it has not been locked or bolted. She may be left inside her Box in total silence and darkness for as long as is needed.

(Note. It is necessary to ensure that a girl locked inside her Storage Box is ALWAYS connected to the Breather Box prior to the door being closed. Without this she will rapidly suffocate. Also, if a girl is to be left in Storage for any great length of time, she should be bodily ‘plumbed’ and provided with water and – should she be locked away for longer than three weeks – with a supply of sustenance. We are happy to supply Storage Boxes equipped with suitable plumbing and feeding apparatus to those who wish to keep their charges in Storage for protracted periods of time. If properly fitted with plumbing and feeding apparatus, a young woman may be left locked in her Storage Box virtually indefinitely. We will, on request, supply detailed specifications and prices, and we will be happy to provide ‘case histories’ proving that girls may be locked away quite safely for extremely protracted periods.)

catalogue_illustrated7

RESTRAINT AND CONTROL DEVICES (3)

d. Restraint Box. (Type 1.)

This box is designed for daily use and, although essentially very simple to use, is highly secure. Based on the old fashioned ‘Orphan Boxes’ still found in some institutions, it is made of stout timber, it comprises of a box some three foot high and two foot deep and two foot broad. Within its walls is a very narrow seat and rings to act as strap anchors. The front of the box swings open while the top is divided into two halves which will slide apart. Each half has a half circle aperture at its internal centre so that, when they are pushed together and locked, there is a circular opening in the centre of the top. It is through this opening that projects the head of the young woman imprisoned within the box.

Once the young woman has been seated within the box, she is secured in place by means of straps or harnesses, fastened down to her seat as well as having her body and legs totally immobilised. The two top halves are then slid together to clamp her neck in place so she cannot move her head at all, and then the door is closed and locked. Once this has been done, even if she were free of all other forms of restraint, the young person inside the box would be totally incapable of escaping from it, as her hands and arms are trapped inside its walls and its door cannot be opened from inside, nor its top halves slid apart to free her neck. However, our boxes are all equipped with double locks as well as external padlocks to make certain that no misguided person can free the girl inside her box unless having authorised access to the boxes’ keys.

The area around the neck opening is built up so that, when the two halves of the top are slid together, the girl’s throat will be tightly held for its whole length, this ensuring that she can not move her head at all. The box can be supplied with the following ‘extras’ if so desired:-

1. Head Box. This is a solid walled container which, once the girl has been fastened within her Restraint Box, can be placed over her head so as to deprive her of sight and, to a degree, air. It is attached to the top of the Restraint Box by means of eight screws that ensure that the Head Box is sealed down properly. The Head Box can be supplied with either a small grilled opening at the back for ventilation or, alternatively, it may be fitted with a control valve so that the amount of fresh air allowed into the box’s interior may be regulated.

2. Single Bar Seat. This comprises, of a narrow bar running from side to side within the box to act as a seat. As it is made of steel with its narrowest edge, facing upwards, it is extremely uncomfortable to sit on even for a short while. In consequence it may be installed for punishment purposes, or to ensure that the girl inside the box remains awake for as long as she is so restrained.

3. Internal Harness. The normal Restraint Box is supplied with anchorage points for restraint straps. However, it may be fitted with a complete harness made of extremely stout leather which is equipped with heavy duty buckles and lock-rings. Once this has been secured correctly about a girl inside a Restraint Box, it may be guaranteed that she will be unable to move a single muscle until such time as she is released from this form of harness.

e. Restraint Box. (Type 2.)

This box is very similar to the ‘Type 1’ Box, except that it has a permanently attached Head Box fitted to its top. In addition, the inside of both parts of the box are lined with heavy-duty rubber, the Head Box being fitted with a control valve for the admission of a rationed amount of air. This is necessary as the Head Box, once closed and locked, is totally air-tight.

In addition to its normal internal harnessing, this type of Restraint Box comes only with a ‘single bar’ seat, and has provision for a heating box to be placed under that seat. This is an iron box which is accessed by means of an iron door set in the side of the Box. Within this internal container is a removable tray into which hot coals may he placed. Once placed inside the heating box these will heat up the iron walls so that they will raise the temperature inside the box by a very considerable amount. The interior of this type of Restraint Box becomes extremely hot once the heating box has been filled with glowing coals, and will remain like that for several hours afterwards.

This facility may be used for punishment purposes or it can also be utilised so as to help a young woman to lose weight by making her perspire heavily as she sits in her Restraint Box. It can also be employed merely to ensure that the girl within the Box is kept in a state that will dissuade her from rebelling against her fate or from being anything other than docile when eventually let out of her Box. As such this facility is often used merely to ensure that a girls’ behaviour improves generally over time.

RESTRAINT AND CONTROL DEVICES (4)

f. Breathing Control Hood. (Type 1.)

In recent years many of those who have young women and girls under their control have discovered how easy it is to control them by depriving them of air or by rationing it to the extent that any movement causes the offender to run out of air very rapidly. At the request of customers, we have designed and made various devices which accurately ration the amount of air available to the devices’ wearers or even to prevent them breathing at all for brief periods. Unlike earlier (and less professional) devices produced elsewhere, ours are both highly effective and safe, if they are used as per the instructions issued with them.

Our Type 1 Breathing Control Hood is a simple to use device which has been designed so that it may be worn for very long periods without maintenance. It comprises of a double layered ‘bag-hood’ made of heavyweight rubber which is drawn down over the wearer’s head and face, its back opening and deep collar being laced up prior to being secured closed with four locking straps which are equipped with attached padlocks. Inside the hood are two small plugs that, when the hood is fitted, are placed up the wearer’s nostrils. These plugs pass through the wall of the hood into a small control valve. This has an adjusting knob set in its front surface which can be turned so as to select the amount of air allowed to pass through the valve and thence into the wearer’s nostrils. The adjustments vary from ‘5’ – an air flow barely less than that available to the wearer if she were not hooded, down to ‘0’ on which setting no air whatsoever is allowed to pass through the now closed valve.

The air allowed through the valve and the nostril plugs form the wearer’s breathing supply as the mask is otherwise hermetically sealed. As with all our Breathing Control Hoods, this comes with a table showing how little air is necessary for the wearer under various circumstances, and how she can be punished by using the valve’s low settings for various periods of time.

This version possesses no vision openings. It may be worn for extended periods, and the wearer may be kept under suppression by strictly rationing her air supply all the time.

g. Breathing Control Hood. (Type 2.)

This hood is identical to the Type 1 Breathing Control Hood, except that it is equipped with eye-slits. These are surrounded by thick rubber ‘gaskets’ so that no air may enter the body of the mask, other than that allowed in via the valve and nostril plugs.

h. Breathing Control Hood. (Type 3.)

This hood is identical to the Type 1 Breathing Control Hood, except that it is fitted with a built-in gag that is attached to the hood’s inner surface opposite the wearer’s mouth. It is NOT equipped with eye-slits.

The type of gag and its size may be specified by the individual purchasers.

i. ‘MAXIMUM’ Control Hood.

This is the most popular of our range of Control Hoods, as it provides full suppression of its wearer. Its outer shell is made of black leather inside which are two layers of thick rubber which is laced up about the wearer’s head and face in a similar manner to the less severe hoods. The leather ‘shell’ is similarly laced up and locked closed by means of similar locking straps.

Inside its walls, the hood is equipped with dense pads situated over the wearer’s ears so that, once hooded, she can not hear anything whatsoever. Jutting out from the front wall of the interior is one of our ‘Perfect’ gags to ensure the wearer’s total silence while, just above the gag, the larger and longer than usual nostrils plugs are fitted ready for insertion up the wearer’s nose.

Outside its walls, the nostril plugs enter into the back of a control valve, this being fully adjustable as well as having an open connector so that it may, if wished, be attached to a remote breathing control box (Please see Page 41) by means of flexible rubber tubing. Thus the wearer’s air supply can be controlled and rationed either by means of the valve set in the front of the hood, or by a separate and more sophisticated Control Box. However, even using the simpler valve set on the hood’s surface, it’s wearers air supply can be regulated most accurately, even being shut off completely for short periods, if thought helpful.

As an isolation aide, this hood is excellent and cannot be faulted, just as it may also be used for penal purposes as well as being employed as an ‘everyday’ part of any young woman’s uniform attire. It may be most unpleasant to have one’s head and face locked inside a ‘Maximum’ hood for any length of time; but this merely goes to show how very effective and efficient is this form of hood

 

Weekend at Birchdale

Weekend at Birchdale

by Bo_Emp

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Version for Qlair forum.
Not for reproduction on other websites or in any other publishing format without author’s permission.

This story is inspired by and uses the story “The Mask of Birchdale” (by N.Y.C. from the Bizarre magazine) as background. It is recommended reading that story before this, but not a necessity to enjoy the following.

1.

The doorbell rings. If it is her she is five minutes early. But it doesn’t matter, they are ready, and especially Anne is ready. They stayed in bed until late morning, just lying petting like teenagers. Then Anne has been in the bathroom for long to make her body ready for going partying. The brunch table is simple but nutritious. Anne knows normal eating for her won’t be possible perhaps until late Sunday. They have been at the table for nearly an hour and are both completely filled and ready. For the last quarter of an hour they have just sipped coffee and fed each other small bites, which they think the other would really enjoy. They both enjoy being fed by their love, filled or not. Now they both get up and walk arms around shoulders to the front door. Peter would be able to leave in minutes already in white shirt and black trousers. Anne is ready as well, wearing a white bathrobe and nothing else. Peter opens the door for them both to see that it is the woman they expect. But anyway they both can’t help staring for a while before Peter says “You are the maid from Birchdale I presume, please come inside.” The maid nods politely and takes a step forward to start pulling a small suitcase on wheels with her left hand. Anne still intensively stares at the woman entering. Considering what the maid is here to do her appearance is not surprising, and her body is dressed in the usual Birchdale maid uniform of a black knee long dress with white collar and cuffs in addition to a white apron, but it is what is outside the normal uniform where the individual employee is normally identified, which is different. This is all covered in fine soft black leather. Especially the head of course looks different completely masked in black although topped by the usual white cap. The face is a black mold of a human face, but with only two small holes at the nostrils, two circular areas at the eyes consisting a grid of tiny holes, and a hemispheric protrusion at the mouth indicating the maid is gagged. Having closed the door Peter says “I’m in the living room when you two are ready to go to Birchdale.” Then he leaves and while Anne leads the maid towards the bedroom, she can’t make out if this is the around forty years old head maid, Mrs. Burns, the barely twenty years old Mrs. Summer or perhaps even one of colored skin like Mrs. Davidson.

Inside the bedroom Anne says, while the maid opens the suitcase “It seems to be a weekend where all women at Birchdale are to be masked. I’m very happy someone has been send with the clothing to dress me correctly. Only wearing this bathrobe I’m ready to begin right away. Are you Mrs. Burns, Mrs. Davidson or one of the other maids I’m familiar with?” The maid answers by holding a specially made black silk scarf in front of Anne’s mouth. At the middle of the scarf it is sewn around a large ball of cloth with a tube through the center. Anne realizes this is the modern version of the kerchief the first wearer of Birchdale masking, the seventeen century maiden Joanna, had to wear beneath the mask to prevent her from any form of oral communication. Anne opens her mouth wide and immediately it is filled with cloth, but due to the ball being enclosed in the outer scarf none of the cloth slides back to obstruct her airways. While the maid ties the scarf at the back of Anne’s neck, the cloth starts getting soaked by saliva, making it feel like her mouth has been filled with sticky porridge, which won’t dissolve and can’t be swallowed. Then from the suitcase the maid produces a skin colored piece of clothing. Made from spandex this can’t be part of the original Birchdale outfit, but the current Lord and Lady of Birchdale are kinky and have updated the outfit for their own pleasure. The maid holds the full body suit open for Anne to step into the legs with integrated feet. Anne removes her bathrobe, and a minute later she is hundred percent covered in spandex, when the maid ends the closing of the long zipper from the top of the back, down and in between her legs to up just below the waist. A tiny slit at the mouth to let the tube of her cloth gag through is now the only opening in her new second skin. Anne immediately starts feeling a little warm all over, but what makes the largest difference to being naked is that her eyes are covered as well. Her surroundings have become darker and everything is seen through a haze. The suit being elastic clings to her body and accentuates every sexy curve, for those liking forms rather than the touch of skin making her a wonderfully most attractive female form. But what the maid next produces suggests someone in the past or present isn’t satisfied with the natural female form, because the maid holds up a white corset. Anne gets a little scared because she has never worn more than a boned top, and knows that a corset may create extreme chest pain, heavily restricted breathing and occasionally fainting. But she has no need to worry. Just as the maid has tightened the laces to a point where Anne starts hurting and feeling her breath impeded, the maid stops. While the maid turns to the suitcase again Anne cheers up seeing herself in the mirror. Although her waist has only been reduced by something like three inches, she has to admit it is a visible improvement. The corset outer layer is made to cover the lacing down the back with two flaps to be zipped together. Before zipping the maid holds up the item just taken from the suitcase for Anne to see. It’s a padlock to require a key for opening the zipper and thus removing the corset again. As Anne senses the lock being closed, she realizes that the corset has to be removed for the zipper of her spandex suit to open more than giving access to her crotch, and that the suit has to be removed to remove her gag. Without cutting, not herself and only the keyholder decides how long she is to remain an anonymous mute female form. With a pair of boots in her hands the maid gestures Anne to sit down on the bed. The boots are made of reinforced white leather and reaches just below the knees. But what makes Anne widen her eyes, unseen inside the suit, is that their form with high tiny heels forces her feet close to en pointe, to make walking and perhaps even just standing an insecure task. Just being laced the boots only stretch her ankles and feel very tight but doesn’t hurt. If just standing is a problem isn’t directly tested, but indirectly confirmed, as the maid lets her stay sitting for the next items to be put on. Opera length white leather gloves are next. The maid has great trouble getting Anne’s hand inside the first glove, which is extremely tight. When she has pulled it up above the wrist, from where it is laced close, Anne has had plenty of time to get used to that her hand is immobile and practically useless. The tightness of the glove makes her fingers unbendable, and the individual fingers are sewn together making the hand unable to grab or hold anything. But eventually the maid is ready to reach into the suitcase again. Immediately Anne forgets her useless hands and quite rigid arms, and takes a deep breath to suppress a perhaps wrong fear of participating in this weekend arrangement. Because what the maid produces now is the Birchdale mask or hood itself, the most important item in changing her from a normal human being to a submissive obedient female living doll. But it is neither her new appearance or the effect the mask may have on her character that worries Anne the most. She is in doubt if she can handle having her entire head tightly wrapped in an impenetrable sheet of material that could make her faint from overheating or suffocate. With the three other couples and Peter enthusiastically agreeing about the weekend ‘no’ what not an option, but had she been asked alone face to face it would have required long persuasion, and perhaps some training sessions of increasing duration to accept having her head completely encased. Now she has to endure it for more than twenty four hours starting in a few moments. Her only consolation is that Janet, the current Lady Birchdale, enjoys wearing the mask, but Anne fears it is part of her liking to be disciplined. Her face already covered the maid can’t see her fearful expression, and before Anne’s fear starts turning to panic her head is surrounded by the soft leather, which then starts tightening as the maid laces the mask down the back of the head. It gets tight everywhere, but Anne calms somewhat when she finds out her breathing isn’t affected much. The mask has two small tubes to ensure the nostrils aren’t blocked, which have penetrated small cuts in the suit, replacing the need to breathe through the spandex with open but narrow paths for the air. Then Anne opens her eyes, which have been instinctively closed when an object approached. She sees something, but very little. The pin-hole openings of the mask have reduced her sight to two narrow circles, seeming more dark than with the spandex covering alone, and still hazy. The maid having finished lacing, Anne’s head is free to allow her to look in the mirror. Her field of vision is just large enough to see her own entire face. The limited view means it doesn’t matter that she isn’t wearing a dress and bonnet yet. She recalls how Janet at the last yearly ball in memory of Joanna’s abduction to become the first masked Lady Birchdale, popped up among any group of women chatting with her masked doll face. She was unable to make any contribution to the conversation and could not reveal her own opinion, opposed to all the other women often nearly shouting to have their saying. Anne didn’t really notice this at the ball until at their next meeting, where Janet told her that passively listening to a heated discussion in which everybody liked to know on which side the others are without revealing your own view with the faintest expression, is just one enjoyable part about wearing the Birchdale mask and complete outfit. The mask is made of soft natural pale leather not far from the skin color of a white person a little tanned. But without the hues of real skin, no colored irises or white of the eyes, the human features are just sketched by the pin-holes resembling pupils, two lines of black stitching resembling eyebrows, and two pieces of attached leather in dark red resembling slightly parted lips. Anne has become a doll able to move to some degree. Just how much that is she will find out next, as the maid grabs her hand to help her get on her feet. Anne’s thoughts are immediately moved away from her appearance, the tightness of her hood and her increasingly warm head, to put her full attention on trying to stand. Her feet wobbles and her body moves back and forward without able to balance on its own. Only the maid steadying her and Anne more or less leaning against her keep her upright. Supported and with insecure steps the maid leads Anne to a wall, where she can stay upright by leaning her forward stretched hands against the wall. Shortly after a dress is put over her head and with the maid replacing the support of one arm at a time she is able to get the arms through the sleeves and the dress down over her body. Now Anne is able to see she has been dressed in forest green silk. The dress shows her corseted body from its top, just covering her nipples, to the hips. Below it continues being tight to the knees, from where it flares out brushing the floor except at the front. Attached at the top is a piece of white lace to make it little visible that was is seen in the neck opening is the skin colored suit and not real skin. The short sleeves are only reaching halfway down the upper arms, but that is more than enough to cover the rims of the gloves. By turning her head to the side Anne is able to see herself in the mirror while still leaning against the wall. Just the bonnet remains to make the Birchdale outfit complete. While Anne unable to move much tries to get an impression of her figure in the mirror the maid fits the bonnet. Bonnets were a normal thing to wear for women of the seventeenth century, but the Birchdale bonnet is special in being a cap with a wide neck strap attached, both made of thick black leather, and topped by a form giving layer of thick black velvet. In addition to hide the lacing of the mask and covering where hair would have been if unmasked, the bonnet serves to make both the mask and itself irremovable without damaging. In the mirror Anne sees that nowadays the small front buckle of the bonnet is not sealed with wax to reveal tampering, but simply locked with a matching padlock. She doesn’t think of where the key might be, because now her already warm head starts feeling hot and the first drops of sweat are running down the back of her neck. Luckily the spandex doesn’t absorb much sweat, and her face ‘only’ being covered by one layer of leather the perspiration here is low enough to avoid forming droplets that would run into her eyes without any possibility of removing them. Having no option but accepting the sweating Anne’s mind has time to notice that it seems her hearing is now reduced as well. The natural sounds of the room and the small noises the maid makes are attenuated, but as none of them are able to speak Anne can’t determine how much her hearing is affected. Wearing the boots for some minutes she has become more assured standing, and slowly she turns to watch herself in the mirror frontally, only using one hand to steady herself against the wall. The two times she has seen Janet masked in the Birchdale outfit, she has been wearing a burgundy dress, which is perhaps the color Joanna wore the night she was abducted, but apart from Anne is now wearing green, it seems to her she is observing an exact copy of Janet when looking in the mirror. With her very limited field of view her head has to move up and down several times to view herself from bonnet to boots, and after this thorough inspection Anne gets the hunch some detail is different. Then the maid bows down to her feet and the difference gets clear to Anne. To become an exact copy of Janet, and restricted like Joanna, the legs and arms have to be bound. Back then Joanna was probably tied with silk ropes, but now the maid cuffs Anne’s ankles with a short connecting chain. Then she gets up and makes Anne lean against her body to lead both her arms behind the back, where the wrists are connected with a ring through a strap on both gloves. Now the maid agrees with Anne in that her dressing is complete by taking her to the door, where Anne turns to lean with her back against the wall not to fall while the maid closes the suitcase. Just before doing so the maid removes its last contents. Anne is dressed as Janet at the balls, but like Joanna when being outdoors, she further has to be dressed in a large cloak, hiding for the general public her masked and bound condition, and for present day observers the unusual bonnet, that would attract attention much more than a large cloak. The cloak folded over the left arm, which pulls the suitcase as well, with the maids right arm as support Anne slowly and with only small steps possible carefully minces out of the bedroom.

With her changed vision, encased head, corseted body and concentrating nearly only on moving without stumbling, it is as moving through a totally unknown house, due to the low speed seeming much larger than where she had lunch in about an hour ago. Only subconsciously she has noticed Peter has been watching her for several minutes before he takes some steps towards her saying “Now I know how Lord Birchdale felt when he first saw his love, the masked Joanna, approaching him. You are a lovely sight Anne, I’m sure this will add another layer of excitement to our wonderful love life.” Anne has stopped moving and is actually standing on her own, with the security of the maid right behind her, with her limited vision only seeing the face of her beloved husband with an expression of lust much stronger than ever seen. Although her hearing is actually reduced, at this short distance she clearly perceives every word. As Peter takes the last step towards her she feels her crotch anticipating him to enter her any moment. But he just puts his hands to her waist to sense how much closer it has come for his fingers to meet, and then he bows to kiss the lace on both of her protruding and hard breasts, then lifting his head to kiss her leather lips passionately. This affection of Peter, approaching their finest moments of love making, comes as a total surprise to Anne. To her this weekend is just a different way of being with very good friends with the women playing an old role from the Birchdale family tradition, and by that letting the men take the lead and do the talking with their free choice of subjects for a change. In relation to sex she would have expected that Peter and the other men, when not having seen their wives or other women for real for a day, would have been longing for Sunday night when their love is again visible in her full naked glory. And because everything hidden but being close by all the time, an extra passion would be built up making their flesh unite again in an especially intense act. Right now it seems like Peter is actually enjoying her masked, covered and restricted form jut as much as if she were naked. But she loves Peter and has to return his affection. Unable to produce loving words, caress or hug, she relies on the maid and Peter to catch her if loosing her balance, and bows to press her masked face against his crotch, knowing he loves being touched there. She can sense he still does, but only a small increase in hardness is possible. After a while Peter lifts her to stand straight again saying “Thank you my love, neither your open mouth nor hands are needed to make me extremely happy. What you are now is extremely pleasing as well. I think this weekend, what we didn’t think was possible, we will be loving even more passionately than until now. We have an appointment for tea at Birchdale in half an hour, but I’m sure even boiling tea won’t add to our current heat of passion. There will be other subjects at Birchdale doing that. Let’s go.” Anne feels Peter is different from the man she cuddled this morning. Perhaps it’s her outfit that makes her feel that way, but whoever is in front of her she can surely feel that she loves him. The man calling himself Peter is right, she is as hot all over as rarely before. Coming into the living room only her head was hot due to the masking, now her crotch has taken over being the most hot spot, and she is sweating all over longing for a man to remove her dress and unzip her suit sufficiently. But she has to accept her heat will probably increase in a different way as the maid wraps the heavy velvet cloak around her, pulls the hood over her head and closes the hooks down the front. The front edge of the hood is level with her chin, and if not bowing her head Anne is completely blind. Bowing her head she is able to see a small area just in front of her feet, the difference is mostly psychological as she is unable to orientate and thus moving on her own anyway. Then she senses Peter right behind her and clearly feels his strong arms around her waist, quickly realizing this means she just has to move her feet as fast as possible, as no stumbling will occur.

2.

It’s a warm day in spring and although not even looking at the floor Anne immediately senses when they get outside. The black velvet makes her breathe hot air, and although she stays conscious she has no memories of the car ride. What really makes her aware of her situation again is sensing the heating stops, because they have entered the cool environment of a building. Shortly after her cloak is removed, and although her sight is different Anne quickly recognizes the hall of the Birchdale House. Now with Peter and the maid supporting her walking on each side they approach George and Janet, Lord and Lady Birchdale, their hosts for the weekend. Of course Anne is assuming it is Janet next to George, because the woman shows nothing of herself being masked and dressed in a Birchdale outfit looking identical to Anne, except her dress is burgundy. On the other side of Janet one step behind is a masked maid indistinguishable from the one dressing Anne. George while directly facing Peter puts up a big smile and holds his right hand forward to greet Peter. When their hands meet he says “Welcome, it’s always a pleasure seeing you Peter. I expect this weekend to be the beginning of an even closer friendship, and most likely starting a new even better period in all of our lives. The weather is a proof of this and tea is served in the garden. You know where to go and meet Phil, and excuse me for sending you there on your own but Keith haven’t arrived yet. Just run out there, the maids will take care of the women.” While George has been speaking Anne has turned to face and greet Janet. Shaking hands or greeting verbally is not possible, and Anne is about to think Janet is blind and deaf so long it takes before she reacts in the only way possible by turning her head to face Anne and then make a slow nodding movement, which Anne immediately reciprocates. With a look Peter ensures the maid next to Anne is supporting her and then leaves. George makes a gesture to call another maid and while waiting for her stares at Anne but without greeting her or communicating in any other way. Janet is still facing her but doesn’t move and her mask of course doesn’t show any reactions. The new maid arriving she immediately guides Anne and her maid away. After crossing half the hall the maid dressing her walks away to the right with her cloak and still pulling the empty suitcase.

Anne slowly minces through the large building now so confident with her boots that the maid only loosely has her arm under Anne’s armpit. She is back to being most annoyed by having her head tightly encased and would remove the bonnet and mask immediately if possible. From being shrouded in the black cloak in the sun her entire body is sweaty, but that is a familiar condition normally telling her jogging has reached the phase where it does her good, and despite the heavy perspiration her dress and even her gloves remain dry. Just outside the garden door are steps to surmount. Unable to use the rails this is done by the maid standing two steps down in front of Anne, who then lets herself fall forward one foot out from the step. At about the same time moments later she is grabbed by the maid and her foot touches the step below. Then the maid holds her tight until both feet are on the lower step. How to descend higher steps where her chained feet are unable to reach from one step to the next Anne doesn’t consider. At the foot of the stairs a large lawn reaches as far as can be seen. On each side are neatly kept flowerbeds alternating with bushes and larger trees, the latter being dominating to the far sides to bound the garden. Fortunately there is a tiled footpath along the right side where the maid leads her down. A couple of minutes mincing down the path further to the right is a small tiled square surrounded by trees partly shadowing the area. In opposite corners of the square are two identical circular tables to accommodate something like eight people each. The close table is generously filled with cups, plates and dishes with sandwiches, cakes and biscuits, and surrounded by four very comfortable garden chairs. In the two chairs occupied Peter and Phil are sprawling engaged in an amusing conversation. With her reduced hearing Anne only picks up a few words far from being able to grasp what is said. Her passing and nodding make them both fix their gaze at her for a while, but the conversation continues uninterrupted, and none of them as much as nod to return her only possible way of announcing her arrival. The maid leads her towards the far table, which only contains a large pot of tea and four mugs, all placed at the center unused yet. There are no chairs at this table for some reason, which on the other hand explains why the masked woman in the Birchdale outfit wearing a peach dress is standing up a few feet behind the table. It has to be the wife of Phil, Naomi, but until reaching her Anne wonders how she is able to stand unmoving with no maid supporting her and not touching the table. The maid leads Anne around the table, and for the first time this afternoon at Birchdale, she gets the expected reaction when meeting a friend. Naomi meets Anne’s face when she reaches the opposite side of the table, and keep facing her until she nods clearly twice, when they are close. Anne happily reciprocates. Anne has been nearly touching the table to have support if needed while greeting. Meanwhile the maid has bend down to take something from under the table. Seeing it’s an about four feet long iron pole it has been answered how Naomi is able to stand completely still alone on the tiles in her high-heeled boots. The pole is made to stand in a matching hole in the tiles, and then Anne is guided backwards until touching the pole with her back bound hands. A clip connects the ring holding her wrists together with a ring attached to the pole, and Anne is prevented from falling or moving much at all just like Naomi. They are standing just unable to touch each other both facing their own table and both facing the table of the men. They look at each other, but the masks don’t convey any information, moving the head is about the only thing they can do. To Anne exchanging some more nods means she is happy being with a good friend and that Naomi feels the same. Then Naomi tilts her head back facing the sun and shakes her head, which makes Anne aware that there is a gap between the trees leaving just this corner of the square in the burning afternoon sun. The black bonnet is going to make her brain cook soon, but then it occurs to her that Naomi might have been standing here for quite a while making her shake her bowed head towards Naomi in sympathy. But Naomi may think no further communication is possible because she now faces straight forward perhaps to look for the other half of the group arriving.

About ten minutes later George and Keith arrive chatting. Warm greetings are exchanged with Peter and Phil before they take the unoccupied chairs, and then at the same time starts eating and drinking and taking part in a conversation among all four, lively from the very start. Perhaps they have noticed Naomi and Anne while walking to the table, but none of the men glances in their direction while seated. About a minute later a masked maid arrives carrying fresh coffee. She refills the cups of the men, puts the pot on the table and goes to take a stand facing the table of the men in the close empty corner of the square. Some five minutes later the two remaining women arrive slowly mincing each with a maid at their side. Janet and her maid walking a little ahead of Jocelyn and her maid show no continued communication is possible between them. Janet lightly supported by a maid as well, makes Anne to believe that the boots they are all wearing now are much stricter than what Janet wore at the last ball, where Anne doesn’t recall her walking insecurely like they all do now. Janet, no matter in what direction she is guided, all the time holds her head straight and at no time indicates she is approaching two of her friends, soon making both Naomi and Anne follow Jocelyn although she will join them after Janet. Soon Naomi, Anne and Jocelyn exchange nods, while Anne admires the royal blue dress Jocelyn is wearing, which Anne finds is her favorite color this afternoon. For some time she will have little trouble watching this dress as Jocelyn is placed right next to her, while Janet is placed on the other side of Naomi. Attached to poles side by side all facing the public, represented by the male table, it is like they are a mannequin display showcasing a seventeenth century style dress available in four colors. But within a minute the mannequin illusion is broken after one of the maids has filled the four mugs with tea, and then both maids starting with Naomi and Anne connect a small tube to the tube barely showing between the leather lips of the Birchdale masks. A mug is held to their chin, and sucking Anne for the first time gets the strange drinking experience where the liquid enters at the back of her mouth and has to run forwards to be tasted with the tongue. Although her entire mouth has been kept moist from saliva sucked into her cloth gag, this is something different and highly needed to balance her long lasting perspiration due to being tightly covered all over. After a few small trying sucks to learn how to drink like this, Anne has quickly sucked half the large mug empty, when the maid removes the mug to go on serving Jocelyn. Anne looks at Jocelyn drinking, but the tube and the mug not being transparent, she can see nothing but a masked head tilted a little down, and the black gloved hand of a maid holding a brown mug steady just below the chin of the mask. Anne looks at the male table suddenly desperately longing for a sweet piece of cake, but has to be content with the maid feeding her tea with no sugar a few minutes later. All too soon the mug is empty and the maid puts it on the table and removes the external tube. All four having drunk one mug, one maid leaves, while the other goes to stand next to the maid serving the men. For close to half an hour all activity takes place at the male table, where the movements of the men show they are having a good time, being confirmed by an outbreak of laughter now and then so loud it can be perceived with the attenuated hearing of the women. Perhaps they are talking about them or women in general, because from time to time one or more of the men actually give the four Birchdale masks a look. The men not being loud it is completely quiet, because the sounds of the surrounding garden are too weak to penetrate the layers of leather. Then the legs and feet are getting fatigued, and it is hot. Very hot. Anne has to think of all sorts of cool drinks not to collapse. She glances at Naomi now and then, and it seems to her she is getting more and more restless from increasing small movements and perhaps even trembling. Suddenly one of the maids starts moving quickly towards them, making Anne turn her head to see that Naomi is bowing head and torso all she can up and down while facing the center of the table, indicating she desperately needs more to drink. The maid fills her mug and lets her drink for long seemingly to drink the entire mug. Then one by one the others are fed about half a mug, before the maid lifts Naomi’s mug and points to the pot to get a nod from Naomi as response to give her even more to drink. Two minutes later the maid puts Naomi’s mug down and removes her tube. Activity at the female table stops again, and soon the burning sun and the weary legs are all they can think of. Anne has just figured the time must be around half past four, when at the same time both maids starts running towards their table and all four men look at them silently. Turning her head Anne sees Naomi has collapsed right next to her hanging from the pole in her chained wrists, head down five inches above the ground. Being lifted and shaken by one maid her head starts moving indicating she has not lost consciousness. The other maid holds a mug of probably cold tea to her chin. Then George, as the only man having left their table, comes to them. Seeing Naomi is able to drink he says “I’m sorry we have forgotten to take the ladies to the room for rest in time. Maids! Leave with the blue dress right away, and come back three of you to take care of the others.” The two maids practically carrying Naomi between them, she is taken back to the house to a highly deserved place out of the sun. Only a few minutes later as much as four identical masked maids arrive, one going to the empty corner to serve the men. Being supported the three remaining women are all able to mince on their own, quickly reaching the shadow and slowly approaching the house. Between afternoon tea and dinner high-class women often relax in their rooms to end bathing and dressing for dinner, Anne reflects while mincing. She is quite sure no unmasking will take place, and that their current dress as a close copy of what Joanna wore wont be changed either. Then bathing is out of the question, perhaps they are just taken to the bed assigned for them for tonight, but she is quite sure George said ‘room’ and not ‘rooms’ indicating they will be resting together.

A small elevator solves the problem of getting one storey up without unchaining their legs, which would require a key. Down a corridor they are each taken through one of four closely spaced doors. The small room inside is a wardrobe or dressing room, having another door opposite the entrance and a small toilet to the left. The maid starts disconnecting Anne’s wrists. It is nice being able to move the arms freely again although they are still tightly gloved. Then her dress is opened and removed. The maid directly puts it on a hanger, and then to Anne’s disappointment gestures her to take her arms to the back again. Arms free lasted less than one minute. Then a mixture of embarrassment and curiosity fills Anne as the maid pulls the zipper of her full body suit open to reveal her intimate parts. Anne has to relieve herself while the maid is watching. Finished she realizes this is necessary as she is unable to clean herself. She is taken out from the toilet without being zipped. The maid opens a drawer and produces a device explaining this. She has to have a large vibrator inserted into her vagina. Since meeting Peter for the first time in the Birchdale outfit, sex haven’t been at the forefront of Anne’s mind, but the maid letting the tip of the vibrator touch her love crevice, Anne senses she is quite hot and wet not caused by sweat alone. Is being masked and restricted subconsciously exciting her, although at least the mask still feels very uncomfortable? Her undisclosed excitement makes it an easy task for the maid to slide the vibrator in, but she does it very slowly anyway with the result Anne’s arousal increases. While accommodating to the stimulation she is zipped again, and the maid opens the other door of the room. A large double bed with two separate mattresses fills the room they enter. Lying hands above the head on the back at the center of each mattress is a Birchdale masked woman without dress just like Anne herself. A closer inspection of the women in the bed reveals both the connected wrists and the chained ankles are further chained to the ends of the bed. So this is resting in a Birchdale outfit, Anne thinks, before wondering where herself and the fourth woman is to lie, as there is only this double bed, and the three other doors seem to match the doors in the corridor most likely leading to dressing rooms as well. This is partly confirmed as the fourth woman and a maid enter from one of these doors. Who is who is no longer to be determined, because without the differently colored dresses they are all completely identically covered and still showing nothing of themselves. But Naomi taken inside some minutes before the others, Anne guesses she is one of the women in the bed. Then where the two standing Birchdale masks have to rest is solved, when both maids clearly gestures and helps the ladies to climb into each half of the bed and make them lie stomach down on top of the woman already occupying the same half. White straps, not noticed on the white sheets, are used to tie first the waists, then the armpits and finally the knees of the upper and lower woman together, ensuring the upper woman won’t slide off her partner. A short chain connecting the ankle chains of the pair as well allows only small displacements from the other body from necks to feet. But their heads can move quite freely, and Anne has to force the woman below her to turn her head sideways and then place her own head likewise resting her head on the other’s cheek, as her head is unable to reach the sheet, and one of them facing the other would squeeze a nose. Except for the head, Anne mostly resting on her corset, is not too uncomfortable. She hopes the same goes for the woman supporting her, that her corset distributes the weight of Anne’s torso, to avoid hurting her. The light being dimmed signals the resting period has begun. Moments later simultaneously Anne senses her own vibrator and that of her partner start to vibrate. The strong stimulation quickly makes resting impossible. Anne has to move her hips and lower body, and being tightly tied to the one below she has to move as well. Fortunately she is stimulated to wanting the same, and soon they find a rhythm of movement that pleases them both. Their bodies moving their heads can’t lie passively cheek to cheek. With reduced sight, in dimmed light and highly aroused, the expressionless anonymous mask, they can sense just as much as see, has to be the attractive beautiful face of the partner pleasuring their body. Beneath the mask Anne’s gagged mouth tries to form a kiss while she presses her leather lips against the leather below her. Both used to let their moist lips touch and suck all over the face of the one they are making love to, their current leather lips do the same, again and again pressing against the leather of the other mask from below the edge of the bonnet to the tip of the chin. Anne would love to have her covered mouth touch all over the breast beneath as well, but that their ties do not allow. As the corsets prevents their breasts from being rubbed by their partner, they are only stimulated by hardening and thus squeezing against the corset. But despite the limitations in contact, most important no skin to skin touching, the vibrators and perhaps the entire outfit increases their arousal minute by minute. Suddenly Anne senses the body below her diverging from their mutual rhythm and shake uncontrolled. Her partner is having a huge orgasm ending with her body going limb despite her vibrator is still running. Anne is close to the edge as well, and rubbing the limb body as much as their bounds allow while pressing her masked nose into the black velvet of the partner’s bonnet, which results in light suffocation, do the job. Anne orgasms as well, and shortly senses nothing but pleasure. As she again becomes aware of her situation, the only thought going through her mind is that now the woman beneath her and herself are truly resting.

When she senses a maid has started untying her she has no idea how much time has passed. She is just rolled of the other woman while to allow the other woman to be unchained from the bed. Of course the same is going on in the other half of the bed, and when all four are detached from the other and the bed, Anne’s partner is motioned to switch bedside with one from the other side, and Anne has her hands moved from behind her back to above her head to be placed on her back like her previous partner was. After Anne has been chained to the bed the woman from the other side takes Anne’s previous position, now on top of Anne. A shiver goes though her body when realizing she will probably be forced to arousal again very shortly. When the vibrators start again Anne immediately senses the woman on top of her tries to ignore her vibrator much like herself. But the devices now vibrate differently resulting in stimulation despite both of them could do without. Slowly and reluctantly their bodies start to make small rhythmic movements, and soon the woman on top of her presses her leather lips against Anne’s upturned cheek, making Anne face her resulting in more ‘kisses.’ Anne can’t help contributing to their mutual body movements as well, and soon she has to try if it feels different kissing this Birchdale mask. It is similar leather surfaces meeting, but Anne now having to lift her head until it presses against the other mask, as opposed to just letting her head sink down, makes it a different experience. For what feels like long they just move slowly and exchange kisses now and then as the vibrators prevents them from resting, then Anne senses her partner starts increasing the rhythm and force of their mutual movements on her own and presses her nose against Anne’s mask to restrict her breath. Anne realizes her partner has changed tactics, understanding only following an orgasm her body will ignore the stimulation of her crotch and allow her to rest. Anne decides to join her, and they work together in stimulating each other by moving and rubbing as much as their ties and tired bodies permit, while pressing their masks against each other to reach the point where the mind switches off faster through suffocation. Anne herself somewhere between exhaustion and pleasure doesn’t sense her partner orgasm before she senses her body going limb and now opposing rather than contributing to the movements Anne is doing trying to force an orgasm on herself. Then subconsciously she moves her head from restricting her breath by pressing nose against nose with her partner, who now no longer presses, to burying her nose in her partner’s bonnet like with the previous partner. Again she regains her senses relaxed and relieved without being able to explain what happened. Until the maids reappear her only thought is that being a masked, covered, restricted, helpless and impersonal living doll is quite pleasing, when knowing her friends are with her experiencing the same.

As expected she has to go through a third stimulation, and hopefully resting period, to have done this with all of the three other Birchdale masked women. It is clear to Anne that the result of this are four living Birchdale outfits loving their duplicates, and not thinking of the human individuals Janet, Naomi, Jocelyn and Anne. Already during tea Anne now and then thought of them as just burgundy, peach and royal blue versions of herself. She moves to the other half of the bed and is again on top. Being identical copies of the the original Birchdale masked subject, Joanna, it comes as no surprise to Anne that the woman below her immediately starts moving at full effort and repeatedly letting her leather lips touch the mask of Anne, who responds likewise. They have both had the same experiences with their previous partners to learn that stimulating themselves to orgasm with the help of the vibrator as fast as possible is the right to do. As soon as her partner has satisfied her initial desire for kissing Anne’s mask, Anne buries her face in her partner’s bonnet. When aware of her surroundings again she lies relaxed on top of a relaxed body. In her mind nothing else counts than she is a Birchdale mask, and this subject, and her duplicates no doubt as well, is ready to do as the men pleases including having them where the vibrator is. Wanting to please overrides that a dinner to regain her strength would be Anne’s primary wish.

mask_of_birchdale2

3.

Both relaxed and spend Anne is taken to a different dressing room. Her suit is unzipped, the vibrator removed and she is gestured to use the toilet. While seated sources blow warm air from the walls drying her sweaty body. She is cleaned and helped on her feet guided to move from leaning against one wall to another for some minutes to get dried on all sides. Then out in the wardrobe another vibrator is inserted, the suit is zipped and her wrists are disconnected to get the dress on. To Anne’s pleasant surprise she is now wearing royal blue. Already while the maid pulls at the dress to make it fit right and be without wrinkles, Anne is holding her hands together on her back. Joanna had her arms bound like this, and this is what pleases the men. She comes out in the corridor at the same time as the peach dress. They look at each other, Anne with a loving expression, which she in her mind sees on her duplicate as well, despite only expressionless masks are facing each other. They are taken downstairs to the dining hall. At the center a large square table is set for celebration. Peach and Royal Blue are guided around the table to the wall opposite the entrance, where Forest Green is already standing leaning her back against the wall. A few minutes later all four Birchdale masks are lined up against the wall to be on display for the men to enjoy until dinner is served. About a quarter of an hour later Keith arrives in a smoking. He first looks at the well decorated table, then at the fine wood carving on the ceiling, before strolling around the table while admiring two paintings of previous Lords of Birchdale. Then like looking at the paintings he slowly passes the four masked women at a distance of about six feet. Unlike the paintings the four masks turn to constantly face him. It makes his mouth widen in a smile while he quickly takes the few steps to the closest mask, and then to their pleasant surprise places a fast kiss on the leather lips of each of them, before walking six feet away again to just observe them with a neutral expression. Anne doesn’t think she is the only one to imagine Keith filling the space where her vibrator is. Something makes Keith turn his head, and all four masks turn to see Peter approaching. They exchange some words looking at the table, too low to be perceived by the leather covered ears, before both turning towards the display of Birchdale outfits apparently commenting them like pieces of fine art, just their taste. Looking straight forward to present herself at the best Anne a minute later sees George and Phil enter followed by no less than six identical masked maids. While George and Phil go to meet Keith and Peter, staying at the Birchdale masks, four maids place themselves behind the right chair on each side of the table, and the last two maids start pouring white wine. After the four men have exchanged some words indiscernible to the women, George raises his voice for them to hear “I suggest we start by each taking the lady in the dress put on at your homes to the table. Phil, would you be the first please, and then you can choose freely where to sit.” Phil goes to put his right arm around the back of the peach outfit to support her while she minces guided by him to the chairs closest. After the resting period Anne is sure the dresses have been exchanged in a way ensuring none of them are wearing the color in which they arrived, implying Phil’s partner now is not his wife Naomi. The men are probably aware of this, right now not much interested in who is behind the masks. Anne has accepted being an anonymous outfit as well, just enjoying she thinks the royal blue she is wearing shines a little more than the others. This means she and Keith, taking her to the left table side, are the best looking couple tonight, even if no one else cares about this. Just as if he was with any partner Keith faces her saying “I think we are going to have a wonderful dinner, don’t you?” Anne nods. After they have been seated Keith continues “You look wonderful my dear. I love slender waists and blank faces.” Anne makes a consenting nod. While George and the burgundy outfit as the last couple are being seated Keith goes on “You are a most pleasing partner. Not only your appearance, but also your quiet communication, is something I wish all women would prefer.” Anne nods three times in a row to express she likes being praised. Then Keith says “Although I’m hungry, I wish I could be on top of you right away to enjoy your tight leather wrapping while being pleasured in your love channel. Fortunately we will come to this before sleeping.” Anne is blushing unseen, and sensations created in her crotch reminds her of her already filled crevice, which appropriately makes her face down for some seconds.

Then George attracts the attention of everyone to say loud enough for all the women to hear “We have been together for some hours of this special weekend already, but even a dozen welcomes is not enough to express how welcome you are. This weekend is to celebrate our common success and realize our common initial interest. I’ll wait elaborating further on this until we have had our stomachs filled. Just before we raise our glasses I like to point out that this dinner consists of four courses to allow us men to sit next to Joanna in all her four forms present. After each course we men stretch our legs for some minutes, and then take a new seat when continuing the meal. Let’s raise our glasses for a wonderful weekend and a dream come true.” Anne having been looking at George to her left, is suddenly grabbed by her chin from the right by the maid standing behind her chair. Quickly a tube is attached to the tube from her gag, and then the maid reaches for her wine glass moments after Keith has lifted his. They toast, the maid doing what Anne should have done if able to use her hands, and then the maid holds the glass to her chin, making the tube go into the glass to allow Anne to suck the wine. The maid is watching Keith, and moments after he puts his glass down again she puts Anne’s glass back on the table. A maid arrives pushing a trolley with two large pots of soup. The two maids standing at the sides come to the trolley and hold up plates, which when filed by the maid bringing the trolley, are served for the men. When it comes to serve the women the soup is taken from the other pot and filled in high cups instead. Ann can smell and see it’s fish soup being served at least for the men. Getting her cup it smells the same, but when Keith starts eating making Anne’s maid lift her cup to her chin, she is able to suck her soup to realize the soup for the women has been blended to remove whole pieces of meat not eatable through a tube. The men have started talking among themselves quickly making Anne loose interest in the conversation, as she can only perceive what Keith is saying. Instead, when not being fed or given wine, she looks around the table to observe that all the four maids feeding the women only look at the male partner, to make the lady they serve eat when he eats and drink when he drinks. A simple rule which requires no communication between lady and maid, and may imply the maids are deaf as well as mute to prevent them from listening to the conversation. Further as men in general eat and drink more than women, the women are practically ensured to get all they want.

Some minutes after eating has ceased George gets up with the other men following him. Anne turns her head to see if they stay in the room chatting, leave or do something else, but she never finds out, because at the same moment her vibrator starts at high power, in seconds making her surroundings unimportant. The combination of an outfit being slightly exciting, being offered much more wine than she would have taken herself, perhaps Keith’s stimulating word and now powerful direct physical stimulation, makes her sit head down rocking in her chair. To be blown out by an orgasm is all she thinks about while her movements slowly gets wilder. Then the vibrator stops, hot and sweating she leans against the back of the chair just relaxing with eyes closed for a minute.

When she becomes aware that she is seated at a dinner table, she opens her eyes to see Peter next to her watching her close. Her facing him makes him say “I never knew fish soup could have such an effect on women.” Anne makes a small nod indicating she has understood. Then Peter continues “Or is it the Birchdale outfit that makes you women play with yourself during a dinner break?” For some reason Anne nods twice to make Peter say “I’m glad it’s being masked and restricted that turns you on, because first of all I’m not sure I would like my lover eating fish soup just before going to bed, second and seriously it can only mean the outfit is enjoyable for you to wear, and third it seems I can look forward to having a real good time when later going to bed with a Mask of Birchdale myself.” Anne nods a couple of times to be taken as yes to whatever part of Peter’s words he likes himself, not sure if her opinion matters at all. In any case she is aware that he probably doesn’t know he is talking to the one he will be going to bed with, her, his wife, Anne. From his surprising sexual reaction when she first showed to him wearing the Birchdale outfit, like Peter, Anne is expecting their encounter in bed to be something very special. George raising a new glass with a different wine stops Peter talking to her. After they have made a speechless toast the men start talking among themselves again and the second course is being served. The men get quail, making Anne wonder how this is made to go through a tube. It isn’t, the woman are served a cup of a yoghurt drink with garlic flavor. It’s nice, but doesn’t match the wine selected for the quail. The women are rarely sucking during this course when offered wine, perhaps to keep them above the table for the remaining dinner.

Quail doesn’t contain much meat and soon the men get up again. Anne leans back to be relaxed when expecting her crotch to be on fire within seconds, but there is no immediate stimulation. She looks around to see her duplicates even have their heads tilted back to be prepared for the treatment. But they are equipped with advanced vibrators. It takes half a minute before Anne starts sensing something in her crotch, not even sure if it’s her own anticipation creating the tickling. They all bend forward starting to rock their hips, because expecting to be turned on they have to create some arousal. Then the vibrator over half a minute increases from trickling to at least the previous level of power. To Anne it’s like the table dissolves in front of her, and when she sees it again it’s because she is pushed by the maid trying to move her chair to its correct position again and make Anne sit right. Hot, out of breath and her mind not totally clear she moves as the maid wants, and then turns her head to see Phil next to her. He is smiling probably having enjoyed their performance as he says “Women only thinking of sex always is regrettably only a dream, but watching you doing it in reality even only for a little while corresponds to dreaming for long.” Anne smiles flattered, but can only make a slow bow to in some way express she likes his dirty talk. Phil continues “To me it benefitted your performance it was not being degraded by loud moans or other obnoxious sounds. A silent woman is much more sexy. With such nutrition as the Ayran you have just had, women could be gagged like you are forever, still getting a varied and healthy diet. Did you like it?” Anne nods twice. Then Phil says “I think it would be fun to have my wife wearing Birchdale outfit each weekend. It is fun, isn’t it?” Although the mask is still annoyingly tight and restricting, Anne’s feet and hands are from time to time tingling from being kept immobile and she is hot and sweaty even when not being stimulated, it is a fun sexy game for a change, and being limited by the weekend the bad sides are tolerable, so she makes a clear nod, although doing it every weekend may be exaggerating. Then as before they start the course with a glass of wine, this time a very fine burgundy. Toasting unites the men, who again only speak among themselves. The men are served game, a favorite of Anne, but today she can’t participate. Like most women she likes vegetables, but tonight the cup of blended vegetables served to the women is lacking to be accompanied by what she can clearly smell. Fortunately after the men have all finished their first slice of game George calls for a stop to stand up and make a speech. Without referring to any kind of notes he says “To the world we are four ordinary businessmen, who found each other in believing in a business model no one else would give a chance. Today I’m not sure it works either. Perhaps it was chance, or our small investments just came at the right place and time, but this dinner and the entire weekend is to celebrate that we succeeded. I’m no longer just a moderately well off Lord like my ancestor, who loved and married Joanna. You are no longer average middle-class white-collar workers. We are all rich. Rich enough to do what we like for the rest of our lives. Let’s toast!” Anne takes a large sip of the burgundy. This sounds far far better than what Peter has told her. He just said their success meant she should consider in which of the better areas of the city she would like to live. And for a start if they needed new furniture. Then, with her, he had marked several days in his calendar to go shopping for clothes. It is fantastic, but by Anne considered a one in a lifetime extravaganza, perhaps even meaning they would have to work harder if actually buying a better house. Peter has never mentioned stop working just to play golf, travel, arrange parties or whatever they would like to do if able to spend most of the time together and do as they please. Anne by habit looks at her duplicates to see if they look just as surprised as herself, but no one has moved extraordinarily and the blank masks doesn’t tell. George starts speaking again “From the beginning we liked each other, and that is what made us do business together. But among the four of us business is just a secondary common interest. What really make us close friends, and what brought us together, is our fascination of the Mask of Birchdale, its associated outfit and the role it gives to women. In my safe I keep the letter written by Phil, in which he on behalf of all of you says that after reading the story of The Mask of Birchdale on the internet, the three of you found it so fascinating that you arranged to meet in real life to discuss it further, and not the least elaborate on how it would be if modern day women and in particular your wives could be made to be masked and bound like Joanna. The letter further says it was Peter who came to the meeting with the information that Birchdale was a real present day name, and the purpose of the letter is to ask if the existence of the Birchdale House and a Lord and Lady Birchdale mean that the story about the seventeenth century Lord of Birchdale and his masked and restricted love Joanna is real. If so would I mind you coming to learn all what I know about what took place then, and if possible see the mask or the current outfit, if the part about a present time ball is true as well. It was one of the best evenings of my life meeting fellow devotees of the Birchdale outfit, and I’ll never forget your looks and the enthusiasm displayed when my wife entered the room masked, dressed and bound as Joanna. Following you were most welcome guests at the traditional ball, where Janet was Joanna all night, and which I think convinced your wives that trying out this mask and what goes with it for a day wouldn’t be that bad, perhaps even interesting, and not the least it would make the four of us happy. Here we now sit with a Joanna each, all of us as happy as any man can be. Let’s make a toast to celebrate Joanna, and wish Joanna after this weekend is with us again soon.” Peter, Phil and Keith stand up as well, and all four look at their partner and let their glass touch the glass lifted by the maid before looking at each other and drink. So it wasn’t purely business trips when the four men met without wives, Anne thinks after her glass has been removed. But not counting Janet sometimes playing Joanna, no women have been involved. She and the other wives have not been let down. Their common interest may even just be described as an interest in a certain episode of history and the traditions it has created. From what she can hear Phil say during the rest of this course, the three other men praise George for his wonderful speech and recall moments from the meetings he talked about. With many wonderful moments shared and each having his version of them, it is no wonder no one have hardly eaten for nearly half an hour before George decides to get up.

Anne for some time has been dozing sitting upright, so she is totally unprepared and only just register the men stand up before the vibrator activates at full power. A long powerful moan being stifled by her gag makes her tilt back to nearly turn over her chair, perhaps it’s the maid who stops it. The next thing she remember is looking across the table, where the green dress is leaned over the table apparently unconscious, as only the maid holding her seem to have prevented her head from knocking into the glasses and the table. Then Anne discovers her own maid is supporting her as well, or she would have fallen off the side of the chair. While getting to sit right Anne turns her head to see that the peach and the burgundy dress are both tilted back on their chairs, their chests moving as much as the corset permits. The men are not seated yet, standing behind the burgundy dress enjoying to observe the women. Seeing Anne position herself right on the chair George comes to be her partner for the last course, and the three other men take their new seats as well. George says “It’s a wonderful toy you got inside you, and it’s clearly visible you enjoy what it does.” Anne nods a couple of times to the rhythm of her breathing slowly decaying towards normal. George continues “Now that we are rich it means you could be pleasured like this all day every day if you like. But I’m sure it wouldn’t work that well without wearing the Birchdale outfit, don’t you agree?” Anne clearly nods twice. George says “Having the vibrator running every half an hour is perhaps a little too much when not celebrating. On ordinary days it should perhaps only be ten minutes three or four times a day. Then it would continue to be a fresh and wonderful experience each time. Is it possible you would enjoy being sexually aroused like that each day when not having to work?” Still having small waves of pleasure running through her body, Anne happily nods repeatedly for some seconds. Then George says “What a vibrator do to you, the Birchdale outfit do to Phil, Peter, Keith and I. It would be wonderful a couple of times each day to watch a figure approach mincing tiptoed, embrace the slender waist and kiss the masked face. I know this means being in your current condition for extended periods quite often, but knowing the pleasures it brings to both yourself and your partner the inconveniences are to live with, don’t you agree?” Wearing this Birchdale outfit, even just for a few hours, but each day sounds a bit too much to Anne, but she has to agree that there has been periods of intense pleasure, and that the men enjoy being with women in the outfit is without question, so when being watched or pleasured she forget the drawbacks and thus has to nod clearly. Then George takes his glass and says directed to everybody “Let’s taste the wine to go with the dessert.” It’s a fine sweet muscat. The desserts are not that different for the men and women. The men get chocolate cake, and the women get chocolate smoothie. George just taking a small bite of cake from time to time, Anne’s maid let her have the smoothie at her chin whenever George is not drinking, to let her more or less decide on her own when she wants to take a suck. The slices of cake are not that large and dessert is soon over. When George has seen all the men have an empty plate he says in a voice loud enough for all the women to hear “On a estate like this it is customary that after the dinner the men and women separate for an hour or so. The men to have a smoke and perhaps a game of cards, and the women to chat or perhaps arrange for meetings where their marriageable children can be presented. This tradition should be maintained even if the women tonight are not able to talk. Let’s all go and digest the dinner.”

4.

The men quickly leave, and then after being seated for long it suddenly feels like when taking the first steps in the high-heeled boots again, but the maids are ready to support them. They are taken to a very small room, empty except for two identical sofas placed symmetrically against opposite walls and an empty coffee table in between. They are guided to sit in a corner of a sofa each. Then Anne’s maid reaches down in the seat corner to pull out a lap seat belt, which she after buckling tightens so hard Anne’s bound hands are pushed deep into the sofa seat back. Then the maid bends down to reach for a strap under the seat, which she pulls around the chain connecting the boots, and then tightens so the boots are pressed hard against the sofa seat bottom. Finally from below the sofa she produces a neck brace with an attached pole. After the brace has been fitted around Anne’s neck it shows the pole fits into a slit at the top of the seat back. Anne has been made completely immobile forced to sit facing the bare wall and the empty part of the opposite sofa between two of her duplicates. After the maids leave Anne can see no movement, can’t move herself, and no sounds are about her high hearing threshold. After a few minutes she starts to doze. But then her vibrator starts at a level just high enough to make her awake, but not in a way to really stimulate her. After about a minute it stops again. In a few minutes any sensations from her crotch cease and she starts to doze again. Then the vibrator starts again and the cycle repeats. Over and over. Anne starts counting the cycles to in a way keep track of time, but before ten she gives up and instead starts imagining how her night with Peter might go. But her pleasant daydreaming is constantly interrupted by the vibrator, and then she just lets her mind flow. At one point a maid again fills her limited field of view and Anne just notes that then about an hour has probably passed.

They are taken to a hall where her mood immediately improves considerably by seeing a podium at the opposite end with four musicians, who, when she are a little into the room, can hear are playing soft classical music. At the center of the room the maids make them stand on their own just to stay within reach if someone looses her balance. The four Joanna’s turn towards each other and all make a number of nods to tell they appreciate what is going on here. When after a couple of minutes it seems the tune comes to an end the peach and the burgundy dress even turn towards the musicians and bow a couple of times. Then the men arrive and after some words from George they start playing a slow waltz. Each man takes hold of a Joanna, and the women try to follow their lead with small insecure steps. It doesn’t seem to bother Anne’s partner, Keith, who just slowly moves her around, his cheek touching her masked cheek, and a strong arm around her slim waist. Anne quickly realizes that next to sex, this is probably the most wonderful to do for the men. She certainly likes it herself, although dancing at least without mask and gag would have been much nicer. After two dances George says loud “New partners please!” Peter takes over Anne, and like with Keith they just dance slowly cheek to cheek without him saying a word. For a minute it feels a bit strange dancing with her husband without him knowing he is dancing with his wife. But not sensing his familiar touch anywhere and not looking at his face, she just enjoys the music without caring who is leading her. George comes next without Anne really noticing the difference. Dancing just becomes a little less enjoyable as her feet start hurting and her legs are getting tired. Then Phil takes her over. It seems the men have agreed to make two dances with each Joanna. As the second dance with Phil starts, Anne wonders if they will start all over again, something her feet clearly signal will be quite painful. As the dance comes to an end George says “Last changing! Partners for the night please!” Phil looks down Anne like he wants to check something and then stays with her. George has taken the forest green dress, Peter the peach and Keith the burgundy. After dancing for a minute Phil says in a low voice only perceivable to Anne because they are again cheek to cheek “I’m happy I could have you in royal blue Joanna. Although you won’t wear the dress in bed of course, it’s more enjoyable looking at you in my preferred color until the dress becomes an obstruction.” He holds her a little out to be able to bend his head down and kiss the blue fabric on each of her breasts. Although Anne can’t sense his touch due to the corset, she feels it as her breasts are being directly caressed making them harden. Dancing cheek to cheek again Anne notices Peter and the peach Joanna are gone. Then Phil says “Touching your soft leather clad arms or face is to me like touching perfect female skin.” He leans back to place a kiss on her leather covered forehead just between the eyebrow stitches. Anne’s hot head starts feeling hotter, her crotch starts tickling and her sore feet are no longer at the front of her mind. Phil says “Am I right sensing you like dancing tight and being kissed although you can’t directly sense my lips?” She is not with the man she loves, uncomfortably restricted and encased in too tight leather, but anyway this is sensual and she is increasingly aroused, making her stop her tiny dance steps and bend to put her masked face to Phil’s chest. They stand like that for a little while, then Anne lifts her head to directly face Phil for the first time while dancing. It’s like seeing Peter on their wedding day, and Anne is happy to be Joanna, when Phil puts his lips to her red leather patches, giving her a long passionate wet kiss, leaving them wet with saliva. Very gently he starts leading her to the music again, but in soft curves they approach the door. Here Phil changes from embracing her to walking next to her with his arm around her back. A few steps behind her are now one of the maids, who have all been waiting at the walls during the dancing.

They all three take the elevator to the first floor and soon enter a small dressing room like in the afternoon. Phil leaves her standing in the middle of the room to take the few steps to the other door, from where he watches the maid take over removing Anne’s dress. Then she takes her to the toilet, unzips the suit to give access to the crotch and removes the vibrator. Phil is still watching, even as Anne relives herself and is washed by the maid. As the maid leads her out from the toilet, Phil opens the door and they enter a bedroom just like the one where they ‘rested’ in the afternoon. Anne is guided to the right side of the bed, where her wrists are shortly disconnected to make her move her hands above her head. Then she is motioned to lie down on her back at the center of the right mattress and her ankles and wrists are chained to the ends of the bed like in the afternoon. Just tied to the bed at the ends she is able to move and twist her body quite freely, including turning her head freely and lifting it sufficiently to see that Phil is still fully dressed watching her closely. While her head has been lifted the maid has arranged the pillow to make her bonneted head rest comfortably when coming down again. But just as Anne is about to let her head rest on the pillow she senses the maid has her hands at her neck. Short straps, attached to a wide strap across the bed just below the pillow, are attached to the neck strap of the bonnet on each side of the neck. The wide strap is tightened pulling Anne’s bonneted head deep into the pillow, resulting in head movement has become impossible. Her head is facing directly up to only see a small circle of the ceiling unless something else or someone come into this fixed field of view. For long, perhaps ten to fifteen minutes, nothing happens. If having danced with Peter like with Phil, Anne would have been increasingly excited lying waiting for him in bed anticipating even closer contact. But waiting like this she is just hot because of her covering. She wonders if this, from some undisclosed information George may have revealed to the other men, is how the first Joanna had to spend her nights in the outfit, or it is a new addition to the Joanna way of life like the spandex suit, or it’s just something that gives Phil a kick. To Anne, if one of the first two possibilities, it would certainly make her more reluctant to spend another night as Joanna in the future. Then the bed moving announces Phil is with her. She senses his hands at her waist. Then they move up to touch the top of her breasts, which is something she can directly sense with only the thin fabric of the suit preventing a direct touch. The hands of Phil shortly passes through her field of view as he continues to her outstretched gloved arms and hands. This being like perfect skin to him, it is no wonder he spends minutes touching and even kissing her arms and hands, but still she can’t see him as he is doing all this lying next to her. Although all this doesn’t do the same to her as when dancing, her exposed slit starts getting moist from anticipating the time for getting the real thing inside her has come close. But first she gets some glimpses of Phil’s face as he starts kissing her mask all over. Just seeing him highly excited makes her more excited herself. Still kissing her mask he comes on top of her. And then she senses his tool at her slit making her lift her body to get her love channel filled. For some minutes it’s pure wonderful sex, and Anne working hard fully covered and with restricted breath makes her fast approach a climax, which soon brings her to be flooded by waves of pleasure while Phil reaches satisfaction. Then Phil moves to the other half of the bed and nothing more happens. She hears nothing and sees only the ceiling for some minutes until the lights are turned off.

Anne has been through a lot this day and quickly falls asleep, but she doesn’t sleep well. Each time she subconsciously likes to turn in the bed, not being able to do so wakes her up, only to experience darkness and silence. Perhaps not used to sleep masked and tightly covered makes her sleep bad as well. But she is at least sleeping lightly when shaken by a masked maid and immediately noticing the room is lighted by daylight, which she hasn’t seen coming. Detached from bed she looks at the other half to see Phil has left. The maid takes her to the toilet, she is blown with warm air, but as she is still wearing gag, suit, corset, boots, gloves, mask and bonnet a real bath is not possible. Anne is aware of this. Their agreement is for the women to wear the Birchdale outfit for their entire stay at Birchdale from Saturday afternoon to after lunch Sunday. It is most likely that the keys for the bonnet and the corset are at their own home. Anne is fitted with a vibrator, zipped and put into the burgundy dress. Breakfast is served in a room facing the garden. It’s a clear sunny day and the men are dressed for sports. Anne arrives at the same time as the royal blue Joanna as the last. The men are seated two on each side of the table all at one end, the women likewise at the other end. It may be a practical thing as the men are served traditional English breakfast, while the women may choose between Ayran, different flavors of blended vegetables, strawberry and chocolate smoothies, while the drinking offered is the same as the men. For the first time wearing the Birchdale outfit the women are allowed to decide something. Anne quickly learns to nod directly forward when she wants the cup of drinkable food lifted to her chin, and to tilt her head a little back when she wants it put down again. To get tea or juice she nods towards her cup or glass, and to get a new cup of something different she nods leaning forward in the direction of what she wants, and then her maid lifts what she think it is until getting a nod for yes. The men talk among themselves not perceivable to the women. Anne and the royal blue Joanna have nodded to each other and to the other two Joanna’s while getting seated, but after that there has been no communication among the women. Nodding, shaking the head, bowing or facing a certain direction are about their only ways to indicate something, and have to be made in a context to be meaningful. Expecting just having to pass the time until lunch Anne could have stayed at the breakfast table much longer, but when the men get up, at once the maids remove their tube extensions and gesture them to get up as well.

In a line, with the four Joanna’s having a maid to their left each, they mince out in the garden to the same square as yesterday. The first table, where George and Peter sit with a tennis racket in their laps, contains a selection of juices and soft drinks. The other table is empty. The four Joanna’s are to stand supported by and chained to a pole at their back exactly like yesterday. It is much freer than the bed this night, the feet have gotten more used to stand nearly tiptoed in the boots, and most important it’s at a different time of day where there is shadow at this corner of the square. But it’s extremely boring. There is nothing new in being encased in the Birchdale outfit, it’s not interesting to look at two men talk, who you can’t hear, and the only maid remaining to serve the men stand as if she has been chained to a pole as well. After less than a quarter of an hour the forest green Joanna has her head hanging down seemingly sleeping standing, and some minutes later the peach Joanna has joined her. None of them seem to have slept well this night. Anne is dozing herself, but wakes afraid to turn over each time her head sinks. After what Anne thinks is about half an hour something happens. Two maids arrive, one carrying a jug of orange juice, the other four mugs, and they walk straight down to the women. Two at a time have a tube extension attached and are allowed to sip juice for about one minute after which the tube is removed again. Those sleeping wake when their heads are lifted to have the tube attached. After the few minutes it all takes, the two maids walk away leaving the jug and the mugs. Who is at the men’s table changes now and then, they might be playing some sort of tennis tournament. One man changing with another at the table is about the only thing that happens during the next half hour. And then only the peach Joanna falls asleep again. Two maids arrive at their table again. If it’s the same as before is impossible to decide, as they seem to have been hired to have the same measurements. They have one minute each to sip juice again, this time it isn’t chilled anymore. The maids leave. Another half an hour has to tick away. As part of their effort not to fall asleep they all look around every one or two minutes to quite often directly face each other, but no one take the trouble to even nod after standing here so long. Two maids arrive again, and they may sip more juice if still thirsty. Anne thinks they have been ordered to do this every half an hour to avoid a Joanna fainting from being dried-up and overheated, which was what might have happened yesterday. If having remembered the number of times they have sipped correctly, the clock is approaching half past noon when four maids arrive, and they are detached from the poles to mince back to the room where lunch was served.

Getting seated now is the best thing that has happened since the intercourse. They are seated like at breakfast with the men at one end and the women at the other, and the selection of drinkable food for the women is exactly the same. Beer is offered to all of them, but the women tired from a bad night, tired from trying to stay awake all morning and physically tired from standing for hours, all only drink non-alcoholic beverages. Anne is not eating much, just hoping for a short meal to quickly get home and remove the mask. But she has to stay at the table for nearly an hour, the men are of course hungry having exercised, before George suddenly speaks loud enough for the women to hear “Dear friends, with this lovely lunch a unique wonderful weekend has come to an end. We men have enjoyed not only one but four Joanna’s and for much longer than the traditional ball. Our wives have experienced living like Joanna, who we know took the inconveniences of the outfit and the bounds put on her with good spirit, seeing how happy she made her love, and freed from the unpleasant tasks and decisions most women have to live with. Now it’s time for doing what each of us prefer individually, our new wealth allowing almost anything. But we’ll stay in contact, and I’m sure we’ll soon miss each other so much we have to meet again, even if not all of us at the same time. Enjoy the new life!” The men toast emptying their glasses and in a minute have left the room.

5.

Immediately following the women have their tube extensions removed, and the four maids help them get up, and in a line, like walking to the garden and back, they all mince to the entrance hall. There is no sight of the men, but just before they reach the doors a maid catches up on them carrying a cloak and gesturing them to part. Anne meets cheek to cheek with the forest green Joanna first, then with the peach, who even let their leather lips touch. Finally she ‘kisses’ the royal blue, while the two others part. Meanwhile the maid with the cloak has moved up behind the royal blue Joanna, and just as Anne has withdrawn from her, the royal blue gets the cloak around her shoulders. The maid bringing her starts closing the front hooks, while the maid behind her lifts the hood over her head. Only a few moments after Anne has parted with her, the two maids guides her out of the door. Meanwhile two more maids have arrived with cloaks, and before the door has closed behind the royal blue Joanna and the maids accompanying her, Anne is virtually blinded by a hood being pulled over her head. A couple of minutes later she is seated between two maids at the back seat of a car and belted. She doesn’t sense Peter enter or the engine being started before the vibrator she had almost forgotten sets in at very high power. She has several small orgasms during the ride, but never gets to climax fully. Anne is hardly able to stand on her legs when after the ride being motioned to get out. She hasn’t even noticed the car has stopped completely and the engine turned off. Being strongly supported by both maids while walking up the driveway she only thinks of Peter has to take her fast. Then her mind gets confused expecting Peter in front of her, but her eyes sees Keith. And then her eyes sees the house of Keith and Jocelyn. Anne stops. After having opened the front door Keith turns around to see Anne standing still shaking her head, which makes him say “Oh, I almost forgot that you are not Jocelyn. Please come inside and I’ll explain to you.” Following Keith the maids more or less carry her, so they are nearly able to follow his pace. Anne is still too aroused to be surprised to end up in the bedroom before Keith says “Being with a Joanna almost all day and night, having sex once a day is not enough for me. And you are highly aroused, perhaps not able to understand what I’m going to tell you before having climaxed. I think we should enjoy each other before anything else. Remember we have all agreed sex with each others partners is fully acceptable this weekend.” While Keith speaking a maid has disconnected Anne’s wrists, and the other is about to remove her dress. While barely noticing her wrists are connected again after the dress has gone, Anne thinks sex – why not. She certainly craves for a man inside her and nods, already being guided towards the bed. Still wearing the Birchdale outfit, which is what Keith clearly prefers, it is sort of part of the package that her ankles and wrists are chained to the bed ends. Meanwhile Keith has undressed and is immediately on top of her. He simultaneously kisses her mask and caresses her gloved arms for some minutes, before in about one movement he unzips her suit, removes the vibrator and puts his hard member in its place. Their bodies start moving rhythmically and mask, chains and the questions of why she is here are washed out of Anne’s mind. She is completely satisfied and relaxed when starting to thinking again. Keith lies outstretched on the bed next to her completely relaxed as well, staring at the ceiling looking very happy and dreamy. Having observed him for less than a minute he turns to look at her and smiles even wider. Then he gets up and gestures a maid to unchain Anne from the bed. Anne gets out of the bed so happy with this intercourse, that she minces directly towards Keith to press her corseted body against his naked skin, and put her head on his shoulder to have her masked cheek touch his. A minute later he gently lifts her from the floor to carry her the few steps to the bathroom. Slowly he loosens his embrace, and when she is standing on her own a maid instead comes up to her. She holds a cloth over the nose of the mask. Anne smells ether.

Then she is seated somewhere unable to move. When she tries anyway her knees are able to move some inches left or right, and her shoulders are able to move some inches as well. All that is in her limited field of view is a wall with basically green wallpaper. She is apparently still in a Birchdale outfit, but she senses she has been bathed, and everything feels fresh, especially the dry cloth in her mouth, but also the tight boots, the gloves and the mask. Suddenly the voice of Keith sounds a little away but loud enough to be clearly heard “Welcome to your home for some time Joanna.” Keith pauses because a monitor is entered into Anne’s field of view. It shows the room from a corner just below the ceiling, and Anne sees she is indeed trapped in a Birchdale outfit, now with the forest green dress. She is seated in an armchair and made immobile like in the sofa the night before with a lap belt, a neck brace and strapped ankles. In a similar chair on the other side of a coffee table sits Keith observing her, but not restricted of course. He continues “You should be able to turn your boot tips away from each other. If you can hear me and see us, then move them apart and together again a couple of times.” Anne does as she is told, making Keith go on “With our new wealth George, Phil, Peter and I have decided to have our fantasy come true, and have Joanna at our side for real and forever. Our wives will all have to wear a Birchdale mask and what goes with it 24/7 for many years to come. But the four of you being real women, the four Joanna’s are slightly different, giving us the opportunity to have a little variation in our love life by swopping you among us from time to time. That is why you are here now. This also means you won’t be looking at the same walls or ceilings forever, keeping you mind sane. While staying with me at least, you’ll further have the freedom to move around in the house and garden when I’m out or like to see you mince around, but the hands stay behind your back and the ankles chained. You have tried the basic selection of food available, and you’ll only wear the one style of dress you wear now in the four colors the first Joanna wore, but we’ll probably try reducing your waist down to wasp size. That’s about all I think you need to know. You’ll see me at dinner.” The monitor is removed, it becomes totally silent to Anne, and she sees only the wallpaper again. Despite the tight mask she senses a stream of tears running down her own now always moist skin on both of her cheeks.

Copyright © 2008, Bo_Emp; moc.oohay@pmE_oB

 

The Mask of Birchdale

The Mask of Birchdale

by N. Y. C.

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There was a leather helmet arrangement that far antedated the socalled Discipline Helmet mentioned in the last issue. It was designed and used in London in 1669 or 1670.

In England at this time, it was quite usual for a lady of fashion to wear a vizard mask when going abroad, and especially at the theatre. The vizard was made, usually, of black velvet on a cardboard or thin wood frame. It was formed to cover the whole face, save for fairly generous eyeholes and was held in place, almost invariably, by a wooden button fastened to the inside and held between the wearer’s teeth. This seems an odd way to do it, since having to hold a wooden button in the jaws made it impossible to speak – or at any rate to be understood. But there was a reason back of this.

The Theatre, which had been abolished during the Commonwealth, was still a pretty daring place for a Lady to be. While it was a very delightful place to go, it was advisable not to be recogisable. So, since a woman can be recognised by her voice as well as her face, the button between the teeth was an ever present reminder to the lady to keep quiet as well as covered.

At the time I mentioned, there was an elderly merchant – we’ll call him Mr. Samuel Steel. He had a lovely eighteen year old daughter named Joanna. As he had social aspirations, he allowed her to go to the theatre regularly, accompanied by her personal maid. Needless to say, they both wore the fashionable vizards.

Mr. Steel, whose fortunes had suffered greatly in the Great Fire of London, saw a chance to recoup by marrying his daughter to the elderly Sir Timothy Kirk. (You understand I am changing all the names, since the family of the principals is still very much in existence, and I got the facts of this story from one of them.) Sir Timothy was rich, but he was also quite elderly, very gouty and extremely ugly. Needless to say, Joanna wanted no part of him; she was much more interested in Lord Birchdale, who was young, healthy, handsome and only moderately well off. Joanna met him at the theatre, while she was supposed to be out shopping or bettering her father’s social position.

Of course, her father found out about this secret romance and hit the ceiling in a fine seventeenth century fury. First he threatened to send the girl into the country and keep her her there, a virtual prisoner. But as he was highly vindictive and more than a little sadistic, he thought up what he deemed a fine punishment – one ideally suited to a disobedient girl.

He had a leather helmet made which covered her entire head, and laced tightly down the back. In front, above the narrow eyeholes, he added ”eyebrows” in black stitching, and in front of the mouth a pair of faintly smiling lips in red kid. Thus, no matter what the wretched wearer’s feelings might be, she presented a bland white face and an enigmatic smile to the world. To conceal the lacing of the helmet, he provided a close-fitting bonnet of leather and velvet which came down and closed around the neck with a lacing in front.

While this device was being made, Samuel kept his daughter a close prisoner, and discharged her maid – who, of course, had been a party to the clandestine romance. In her place he had engaged an elderly hatchet-faced duenna named Emma as a combination maid and spy. Emma knew her job depended on reporting everything Joanna did.

When the helmet and bonnet arrived, old Samuel was in a transport of joy. A little while before theatre-time, he sent for his daughter and, with Emma holding her, he forced a tightly folded kerchief into her mouth and laced the helmet as tightly as he could. Doubly gagged as she was, Joanna was unable to make a sound.

Samuel next adjusted the bonnet, fastened the lacing in front and sealed it with a spot of sealing wax. Now to get her bonnet and helmet off, Joanna would have to break the seal, and so she was as much a prisoner in her leather helmet as was the Man in the Iron Mask.

Instructing Emma to put on the girl’s cape, Samuel sent them to the theatre. He chuckled as he watched them leave in his coach, Joanna silent and unrecognisable behind her smiling mask, and Emma watching her like a hawk. Samuel reflected happily that undoubtedly the young man would be hanging around the theatre, that Joanna might even see him, but she would be unable to attract his attention, and he would never recognise her, and even if he did, what good would it do with that battle-axe of an Emma watching them? Everyday for some weeks whenever there was a theatrical performance, poor Joanna was gagged and masked, bonnetted and sealed and sent off, to sit in a conspicuous position, her identity concealed behind her bland leather face.

To make her punishment still sharper she was often sent shopping with Emma, but was obliged to stand, mute as a post, while the older woman did the talking. On occasion she even had to try on gloves or shoes and to make her feelings known by nods or shakes of the head.

Her mask caused a certain amount of interest, but nothing out of the way. People regarded it as a rather logical extension of the vizard idea, and two or three women even asked where they could get one made. In these cases it was especially galling for Joanna to have to remain silent as a statue while Emma discoursed on its advantages ”especially, if I may say so, m’Lady, as a curb for young tongues as wag too freely.”

But Joanna was not without hope that Lord Birchdale would rescue her. Needless to say, he did. He had had his men watching Samuel’s house day and night, and when the unhappy Joanna first issued forth, masked and supposedly unrecognisable, Birchdale was informed and took up an inconspicuous position in the theatre within ten minutes of Joanna’s arrival.

It took time to make his preparations, as he proposed nothing less than an elopement – or a kidnapping, depending on how you look at it.

Then, one afternoon, one of the theatre attendants, whose palm had been well oiled, quietly told Emma that Mr. Steel, her employer, was outside in his coach and must see her at once. Not stopping to think that she was leving her charge unprotected, Emma hurried out and was directed to look for the coach at the corner of the next block. Full of concern, she hurried off. A moment or so later a serving man in a quiet livery leaned over and told Joanna that her woman had been taken ill and was asking that she come at once. She followed the serving man as he led her out.

Once outside the auditorium, he led her directly away from the route taken by Emma, and round into a deserted ante-room and closed the door for a few moments. When he opened it and led Joanna out, her cloak was carefully pinned together in front, concealing the fact that her wrists were bound together in front of her slim waist, and her arms were further prevented from moving by a rope around her elbows and behind her back. Whether she made any attempt to cry out is not known, since she was completely dumb any case; however, she made no attempt to struggle against her bounds, and gossip even had it that she held out her wrists for the cord when she was being bound.

She was most docile as she followed her captor to a waiting coach in a quiet alley. He lifted her in, bound her legs at ankles and knees, slammed the door, jumped up on the box and drove off.

Safely outside London, the serving man stopped the coach, picked up a driver, and climbed into the coach with his victim. Here, as the vehicle rattled along, he removed his disguise and showed himself to be, as you have already guessed, Lord Birchdale.

Though he unbound Joanna’s legs at once, and her arms when their journey was nearly over, he kept her in her bonnet and helmet until they had crossed the threshold of the Birchdale country home.

They were married the followening morning and as soon as the ceremony was over, Joanna found herself silent, masked and bonnetted again, sitting at the side of her lord and master at the wedding breakfast, but unable to eat or speak. Birchdale explained his action to his guests by explaining that he had a theory that silence and obedience went hand in hand.

Once the wedding was over, there was nothing that Samuel Steel could do – especially as Birchdale had entry to the Merry Monarch, Charles II who, tradition says, was entertained many times at Birchdale House, each time insisting that Joanna wear her helmet and bonnet.

There is still a tradition in the Birchdale family that until the first child is born, a fancy dress ball should be given each year on the anniversary of Joanna’s abduction, and that the current Lady Birchdale shall appear in a copy of Joanna’s famous outfit, and that she shall preside at the revels, masked, silent and, be it said, obedient.

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Big Sis Is Back

Big Sis Is Back

by Bo_Emp

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Version for Qlair forum.
Not for reproduction on other websites or in any other publishing format without author’s permission.

1.

The sound of a car makes Lisa squeeze against the window. Seeing a large black Mercedes slow down she is bolting out before the engine stops while shouting “Mum! Amy is coming”. When Lisa is halfway down the tiles the passenger front door opens and Andrew steps out greeting her with a big smile. A few seconds later they shake hands, sending shivers of pleasure through Lisa’s body as she senses the firm grip of Andrew’s black latex glove. Noticing the impact this has on her he says “Finally we meet Lisa. Seeing you for real makes all those wonderful photos fade. I’m glad my glove thrills you because my head is the only human part coming out of this car not covered in latex.”

His words makes Lisa’s heart jump with joy and she looks down Andrew’s body. He wears what at a distance looks like a normal expensive casual khaki suit appropriate for the owner of such a car, but up close, as she is now, the slight shine, the smoothness of the surfaces and not at least the smell makes it clear shirt, vest, jacket and trousers are all made of latex. Andrew is extremely handsome reminding of David Bowie at the peak of his popularity in the eighties, fair skin with light hair, both slightly red.

But Lisa doesn’t really love any man or have male idols. She adores and looks up to her big sister Amy, the wife of Andrew. When she found out several years ago that Amy loved wearing latex, it was natural to her that it enhanced her erotic sensations as well, and for some time she has always worn latex hidden, like bras, slips or panties. Lisa quickly puts a hand to her breast to let the latex she wears under her cotton dress squeeze her nipple. Amy since meeting Andrew wears nothing but latex, as far as Lisa knows, and she is, perhaps always, totally covered.

Andrew turning towards the car makes Lisa look left towards the back door, from which Amy has to appear, because Andrew is wealthy enough to have a chauffeur. The female chauffeur is on her way around the back of the car, making Lisa realise why Andrew hasn’t reached for the door. Of course having a chauffeur he or she is to open for the passenger and help her out.

But alone seeing the sight of the chauffeur in full figure at close range would make most people gasp – and Lisa drops her jaw and becomes all eyes. Above black high heeled shoes, that can’t be easy to drive in, are white latex stockings to mid calf, followed by flesh coloured latex covering at least above the crotch, and all this accentuating a lovely pair of long legs. A forest green uniform jacket is the item just long enough to create a bet on whether additional panties or not even the flesh coloured latex cover the crotch. The jacket is just buttoned at the waist, clearly showing a white latex shirt stretched very visibly by large breasts. The uniform is completed by a small cap in matching green with black brim, a black bow tie and white gloves – all in latex.

But despite wonderful latex clothing accentuating a beautiful body it is the head that catches the eyes. A blond wig and a latex mask resemble the head of one of the most attractive women of all times – Marilyn Monroe. Although the latex makes the look slightly artificial, and the fact that it is a mask with neither eyes nor mouth moving – a frozen expression – Lisa is sure almost any man would want to make love to her, and many women too.

The chauffeur is taking a sexy pose while waiting for a sign from Andrew to open the door. But observing Lisa makes him say “Meet one of my staff Lisa. They are all so close to me I do not like to address them as ‘chauffeur’ or ‘maid’, so this is Norma. But on the other hand they all look alike, and so they are all a Norma. Before meeting Amy this was the look of my dreams, and then I decided to keep the memory of my previous dream girl like this. Norma please, say hello to my sister-in-law with a hug and a kiss, and then help my wife out.”

Within seconds Lisa smells and sees just latex, and her bare arms and lower legs are caressed by the wonderful material. And before she can really take in these sensations an awkward kiss between fixed lips of red soft latex and her own dazzled mouth makes her entire body shiver close to loosing her stand. Both Norma and Andrew get ready to catch her, but she stays upright with a blissful expression on her face.

Then Norma opens the back door of the car and bows to reach inside. In about the same movement she pulls out again to stand right next to the opening at the opposite side of the door ready to assist the passenger, but without covering the opening to give Lisa full view. Expecting to see something similar to Norma appear, Lisa is surprised when nothing but a mass of white latex is lifted out by a force inside to reach from the ground up onto the seat of the car. Ten the top of the mass appears and Norma puts her hand at it’s back to help get it standing.

Her sis shows as nothing but a cloak in white latex. There are no hand slits and the hood is a long tube pointing directly downward and narrowing towards it’s end far down at the middle of the chest. The four by six inches oval hood opening seem more made for breathing than for viewing. For a little while nothing happens. Lisa unsuccessfully tries to imagine how it must feel travelling confined in an almost blinding latex cloak, Amy can’t make a move without being guided, and Andrew enjoys watching Lisa and lets her take the time needed to react.

Then Lisa is ready to greet her sister. She takes a step forward to lift the end of the hood where there has to be a zipper on the underside. But Andrew from behind gently takes hold of her as to guide her for dancing while saying “I think we should go inside first. Norma, please guide my wife inside, and then go and get the suitcases and change. Don’t move Lisa. I think you’ll enjoy walking behind watching the movements of the cloak and listening to the sounds we all make.”

Lisa is already enjoying being held by Andrew’s latex covered hands and arms, and while just following his guidance she watches Amy blindly move forward, like gliding because her feet are invisible, guided by Norma patting her on the back and sides. Lisa just gets a glimpse of her mum standing inside in the dim light behind the doorway, probably having watched nearly from the beginning, before mum disappears to give room for Amy and show Norma where to take her. ‘Big sis is back,’ Lisa thinks as Amy passes the doorway.

2.

Norma guides Amy, a little strange to Lisa, to the far corner of the living room, where she is just left to stand leaning a little backwards against the corner walls, while Norma quickly walks out again. Lisa, no longer being held by Andrew, takes a step towards her while facing Andrew for approval. But Andrew shakes his head and says “I understand you are eager to see and greet your sister, but it’s not vice versa. You see, she doesn’t know it’s today we are going to visit you, and I want to give her a pleasant surprise meeting you and Heather dressed like other people we associate with – covered by our one and only clothing material: Rubber.”

Lisa nods eagerly with an expression like it’s her birthday, and then leans to whisper into Andrew’s ear “You mean me – and mum – are to be dressed completely in latex just like you, Norma and Amy. How wonderful Andrew.” Andrew says loud “There is no need to whisper to avoid revealing it to Amy, or she would know already. The hood of her cloak, in addition to only letting her see a few square inches of the floor, it also contains padding for the ears to make her virtually deaf. But I’m glad you didn’t speak out loud because wearing a mask and becoming part of the society of rubber lovers that Amy and I belong to means being mute. Especially women are almost always mute. When I told Heather, your mum, this, she said she wouldn’t mind being mute to try wearing latex.”

Saying this Andrew nods in the direction of the door where mum is standing. It takes a few seconds for Lisa to discover that the face of her mum is changed. Then suddenly a surprised expression appears on Lisa’s face and she nearly shouts “Mum! Your mo…” She becomes aware she has just been told to stay silent and instead takes some fast steps across the floor to take a closer look at her mum. Of course the mouth of her mum is not gone, but she wears a flesh coloured strap of latex across her mouth and all around the head, hiding the lips, which at a distance give the appearance of no mouth in the face. Lisa sees that the strap bulges just over the mouth and reaches to feel a hard ball protruding from the mouth with a small hole at the centre.

Turning to make Andrew aware of what she has found out, she stops when seeing Norma standing on the other side of the door, hands folded in her lap apparently awaiting new orders now dressed as a maid. First Lisa looks at her masked mouth up close to see a similar bulge, and then she steps back to look at Norma’s new dress. In fact Norma has only replaced the jacket with a black dress of exactly the same suggestive length, but with short sleeves revealing the white gloves are opera length, and added a white apron with frilly edges. And then the green brimmed cap is replaced by a white frilly maids cap. All made of latex of course.

While Lisa observes Norma Andrew says “You have just demonstrated Lisa that a small surprise makes one forget to stay silent, and besides speaking when masked is hardly intelligible and sounds like you are held to ransom. So to ensure nearly no sounds are made, it is normal to wear a gag with a mask. Now Heather is not masked, but she is just about to be, because I’ve promised her that she can dress you, and for dressing in our circles we need the assistance of a maid. So to dress you for the pleasure of your sister and yourself, we have to dress your mum first. But to avoid you repeat your little mistake I think the very first thing to do is to equip you likewise. Norma, hand the item to Heather please. I think she should dress her daughter from beginning to end, even if she isn’t appropriately dressed herself yet.”

Norma lifts a suitcase up on the dining table and opens it. After a look into the suitcase mum turns towards Andrew and moves first her open right hand from the fingertips of her left hand to the elbow and then vice versa, making Andrew say “Your thinking is absolutely right Heather. Simply putting on a pair of latex gloves Lisa at least will feel being handed right.” Norma has of course understood the mime as well and is ready with a pair of elbow long black latex gloves when Andrew stops speaking. Shortly after mum’s right black gloved hand reaches for a flesh coloured strap with an attached black ball, which she receives with a nod as thank you and a happy look in her eyes. Mum and Lisa meet at the centre of the living room, Lisa holding her mouth wide open and nodding repeatedly signalling she would do almost anything to be fully dressed in latex. The ball slides in filling her mouth like nothing before, but the latex fingertips touching her lips just as the ball touches the back of her mouth gives her a slight thrill that compensates the discomfort. Then her mum waits for her to close the lips as much as the ball allows before taking the ends of the strap behind her head, which makes the strap grip and seal her lips. Mum buckles it tight making it cut into her cheeks, hurting a little. Soon after it feels unpleasant she can’t move her lips, and the ball aches at several places and forces her tongue to be uncomfortably fixed, but Lisa starts nodding and tries to make a happy expression.

Andrew takes her hand and leads her to the sofa for them both to sit saying “Relax leaning against me if you like, while we watch your mum being dressed. I think you can say it’s just fun from now on, and remember Amy and Norma are mute all day.” Andrew faces mum and says loud “Heather! Strip please!”

Mum, still gloved, reaches to remove her thigh long summer dress, but then it seems she remembers something and starts pointing to her mouth and then out of the room. But first when she makes a gesture as for drinking Lisa recalls her mum has prepared coffee and cakes. Gagged she can only go to the kitchen herself, as her mum seem unsure if she should serve the coffee or strip. But as Lisa lifts from the sofa Andrew holds her back and says “I understand you have arranged for a refreshment Heather. It’s kind of you to think of that we have been driving for long. But if most of it is ready perhaps Norma can serve while you undress?” Mum nods and gestures to Norma to leave.

Then she pulls the dress above her head to reveal bra and panties are all that remain, but to the joy of Lisa, and a little surprise, her mum’s underwear is made of shiny black latex. Having a break to fill until Norma is back makes mum kick her slippers off, face Andrew and Lisa in the sofa and make a polite bow as standing on a stage, and then she starts dancing by turning around herself while with seductive arm movements slowly removing her gloves. One by one they drop to the floor. Her hands move to her chest to caress her bra, and after a little while she goes further by pulling at the elastic rubber with one hand while with the other directly caressing the breast exposed. After doing like this at both sides she lifts her head to directly stare at Andrew with a sexy look while taking her hands to her back to unclip the bra, which falls to the floor, to reveal a pair of hard erect tits. Then her hands move to her thighs to caress the latex in between the legs and behind on the buttocks. The hands start pulling at the rim of the panties, slowly going all way round, and each time the rim falls back it is positioned a little lower. Slowly a moist pussy is revealed. But just before the bottom of the crotch shows Norma enters, making mum let her legs meet and pull at the bottom of the panties to make them drop to her feet.

She now stands in front of them completely nude without showing showing any form of embarrassment, actually her eyes are shining and her entire body shows her excitement. Despite mum being forty two Lisa thinks she is still an attractive woman with a shapely body and shoulder long auburn hair. Lisa is happy to observe this, because then she can expect to preserve her own beauty for long, being a younger close copy of her mum. Although mum looks like she is ready to have sex with Andrew, Lisa is sure that it’s the anticipation of soon being covered in latex that makes her hot. Before Amy left home years ago Lisa sometimes watched them discuss and try latex items, them thinking she was too young to take interest. And mum has stayed in close contact with Amy after she started only wearing latex. Perhaps they even have a better relationship now with no house chores to argue about.

Norma has placed a tray on the coffee table. Mum, despite being totally naked, takes a step towards the table clearly to assist. But Norma gestures her to stay away. Mum accepts just waiting with her hands down her sides, but she closely watches Norma, and Lisa is sure it’s not to interfere with how she serves. There are four cups but only one plate. Only Andrew is able to enjoy the biscuits and cake. And the women have to drink through a straw. Lisa takes the straw at the side of her cup and after a few tries makes it enter the hole in her mouth strap to slide through the tube in the ball. It feels strange sucking with a ball in the mouth, and even stranger that the liquid enters at the back of the mouth. When she looks up again after this new drinking experience Norma and mum have just left their cups after drinking standing, Norma leading mum to the dining table.

From the suitcase Norma takes a bottle of silicone lube and starts applying it to mum’s body. After Norma has been working for less than a minute mum closes her eyes and tilts her head back obviously getting excited by the combination of oil, latex gloves and massage. It looks to Lisa as if she would be moaning if not gagged. Still staring at her mum and Norma, Lisa instinctively presses herself lightly against Andrew to let the bare skin on her side rub his latex clothing, and let her hand rest and finger on his rubber covered thigh. Soon after Andrew’s gloved hand is gently placed on top of hers. It seem like only a couple of minutes have passed when Norma puts the bottle away, leaving mum with glistering skin and heavy breathing close to an orgasm.

Norma slowly rummage in the suitcase to retrieve a large flesh coloured item, and even slower unfolds it, to let mum regain her senses. Eventually she holds up in front of her a full-body catsuit with hood and integrated feet and gloves. Pointing from the suit to mum she wants to be sure mum is ready. Mum with an eager look in her eyes nods a couple of times. Norma then holds the suit with a leg open for mum to step into, and her oiled skin easily slides into the second skin of the suit, changing her leg from reddish, slightly speckled to be completely uniform in structure and colour with the flesh tone slightly pink. Mum slides into the other leg, and then Norma holds a suit sleeve for easy access, and then the other sleeve. With only the head and a V-shaped area down the front uncovered Norma no longer needs to hold the suit. She makes mum tilt her head a little back to gather all of her hair at the back. Meanwhile mum with her new latex hands touches her breasts, where it is evident that the suit has built-in cups that enlarges her breasts about two sizes. Mum still has her head tilted as Norma lifts the hood over her head and carefully checks that all hair is inside. Finally in several stages she holds the suit opening together and pulls the front zipper upwards. When the suit is completely closed it overlaps the lower part of her mouth strap to only leave free the face area encircled by the covered lips and the eye brows.

Mum looks really sexy in the suit, which emphasises her curves. Of course the shine and the uniformity of the material makes it clear it’s artificial second skin, but brown nipples and red nails on hands and feet on the other hand improves the real look. Moving her hand a little on the thigh of Andrew Lisa senses a bulge that proves he likes mum, and if bald women is what turns one on she is heaven.

While Lisa and Andrew have admired her, and mum has sensed and looked down her body covering, Norma has turned to the suitcase again. Soon she is back in front of mum holding up a Norma mask with attached wig. Mum immediately guides the holding hand towards her face. Norma then goes behind mum, holds the mask open, and from above pulls it towards her face. While Norma straightens the folds and wrinkles and zips the mask at the back under the wig, Lisa observes that now mum has got lips again, but on the other hand the eyes have stopped moving. And mum no longer has the familiar face, but she has become a second Norma. After a little while the first Norma seems to be satisfied with the look of the mask and the wig and gestures mum to take some coffee, probably thirsty herself.

Lisa notices the characteristic sounds of moving in latex now comes from mum as well, as she with trying movements walks to the coffee table and bends down to her cup. The first Norma only takes a few sips of coffee and then returns to the dining table. From the suitcase the items to make mum dressed like herself are placed on the table.

When the first Norma turns towards the coffee table with a pair of long white stockings mum stops sipping and seats herself. The first Norma quickly rolls the stockings up mum’s legs, and then walks to the dining table to immediately return with a pair of black high-heeled shoes. Andrew must have got her measures, and likely those of herself too, Lisa thinks. When the first Norma has buckled the shoes, both Norma’s go to the dining table. Next is the white shirt, which shows to have nearly full length sleeves. With the arms in the sleeves, but still open, it looks at least one size too small. Now mum has to hold a part of it together, starting from the bottom, while the first Norma closes the zipper between mum’s hands. The stretched shirt emphasises the breast even more, as the first Norma displayed while wearing chauffeur jacket, but to be dressed as maid only the collar of the shirt will be visible.

First the shirt sleeves are covered by opera length gloves, which are put on by the first Norma on her own again. Then follows the black dress and the white apron. Mum is now almost a Norma maid. As a maid she should be able to dress herself, but the first Norma even handles the final small items, the black bow tie and the white maid cap, perhaps to complete the dressing in front of Lisa and Andrew instead of in front of a mirror. While the first Norma attaches the cap to the wig of the second Norma, Lisa notices they are only differentiable because the first Norma is about two inches higher than the second, her mum. If they both leave the room and only one returns, appearance alone wouldn’t suffice as identification.

After only rattling of cups and squeaking of latex have been the major sounds for long suddenly the voice of Andrew is heard again saying “Heather, I guess you have a full length mirror in the bedroom. Go and enjoy yourself. But it’s not Heather or mum who return. Only Norma returns, and from then I expect you to behave like an employee of mine, only carrying out my orders, and forget all about being hostess and head of this house.” Mum bows to Andrew and leaves. While Andrew has been speaking Lisa has learned from seeing the dressing exactly what is just above the hem of the dress. Norma’s wear no latex panties, but neither is their crotch freely exposed. But as one of the few areas on their body the crotch is only covered by one layer of latex, the flesh coloured suit, giving easy access to the openings inside for relief or fun just by opening a zipper.

3.

Just as mum is out of sight Andrew says “Norma please, fill all of our cups. Then swap the suitcases. After that you may sit until Lisa has been oiled.” For something like five minutes the only thing happening in the living room is coffee drinking and Andrew eating another piece of cake. Apart from herself and Norma using straws, herself showing no mouth, Norma being a movie star look-a-like moulded in latex and dressed as a maid in latex and Andrew wearing latex from neck down as well, not forgetting the white cloak standing in the corner, this could be a completely ordinary afternoon session in any family. At least it is normal enough to remind Lisa of when she was part of a normal family of dad, mum and two daughters. Her parents divorced when she was ten, but Andrew sitting close has in some ways made her feel safe like with her dad. In other ways Andrew turns her on, not only because of his clothing. But she can’t allow herself to fall in love with Andrew unless big sis agrees. Big sis has found and chosen to live with Andrew, and Lisa won’t do anything that hurts big sis. But what if Andrew being more the master than the husband of sis asks her to be intimate with him? Well, for now it’s only speculations.

Another Norma enters the living room holding her hands folded and stops in front of the coffee table facing Andrew and bowing. Andrew then turns to look at Lisa and says “Norma has arrived to dress you for your sister. You have just seen how it is done. Are you ready?” Lisa leans towards Andrew to give him a hug. She is so ready, and just seeing and touching latex on others has made her really hot and her panties wet, ready to be discarded.

She gets up and removes her slippers and short dress, to reveal that the dress has hidden a body covered in latex. Andrew claps twice when seeing the sky blue set consisting of a sleeveless low necked top to the waist, overlapping high-waisted boxer shorts. But it’s neither the time for another several minutes long show, nor has Lisa the experience of her mum. Nonetheless her excited state calls for a short performance. She takes her stand in front of the coffee table catching Andrew’s eyes. Then she slowly and clearly licks her lips while bowing her head to face her crotch. Over ten seconds she pulls the shorts to her knees, from where they drop to the floor. While lifting her head again to see Andrew focused on her wet pussy, she slowly moves her hands to the back of her neck to pull the zipper of her top open. Still moving a little slower than normal she removes the top to hold it by her right hand. She ends her short performance by making a bow towards Andrew while stretching her right hand in an elegant curve towards the Norma’s, at the top of the curve letting the top go, to make it fall at their feet. With a blushing face she removes a short latex muted applause from all three.

It must be obvious to all of them that she is extremely excited, but Andrew looks no more thrilled than when seeing mum naked, and the expression of the two Norma’s is exactly the same no matter what they feel. Little Norma just comes to Lisa and starts lubricating her skin systematically beginning from the head and working down. The way it is done shows Norma enjoys it. And Lisa enjoys it, but her thoughts are more looking forward to being for the first time ever covered in latex from head to toe. When Norma reaches her feet her arousal increases even more than when she oiled her erogenous zones. Lisa stays in the centre of the room when Norma closes the bottle and heads for the dining table, but her eyes follow Norma closely curious to know what she will have to wear. The other Norma has got up to retrieve the first item from the suitcase.

Soon Little Norma again approaches Lisa with a folded latex item, which is – – brown, chocolate brown! When it is unfolded it shows to be a catsuit similar to what the Norma’s wear, but Lisa is going to change race to black, which adds a new dimension to wearing latex. But Lisa quickly realises that if seen by strangers they would probably pay more attention to the latex and the fact that she will be masked than to what skin colour she resembles.

Lisa has been wearing latex stockings, she has been wearing long latex gloves, and she has had most of her body covered, but she has never been totally covered. A few minutes later every piece of her skin, except her face, is warm like only latex can feel. And everywhere she puts her gloved hand it’s only latex touching latex. Nowhere is an area of exposed skin to be touched by the latex glove. Lisa senses her moist crotch again and her breasts are hard against the padding of the suit.

Looking up she finds Norma right in front of her holding up a mask with the same brown skin colour and an attached wig of chest long straight jet black hair. The mask being flat and wrinkled Lisa doesn’t recognise a particular face. But of course she has to wear it and nods to signal Norma to put it on. Immediately she senses her face warming like the rest of her body. While the mask is pulled back over her head she tells herself that finally she is covered as complete as can be in latex with only three holes in her second skin: One for each nostril and one for the gag tube. The eyes are covered by plastic lenses being nearly clear over the pupils, but because they are part of the mask and not directly placed on the eye itself, they remove most of the peripheral vision and reduce the field of vision, making turning the eyes alone useless. Unable to turn her head because Norma is still working on her mask Andrew gets her attention because he is straight in front of her. To Lisa it looks like he is comparing her new appearance to others wearing a suit and mask representing the same black woman. For a second it looks to Lisa as if he is going to say something, but stops preferring to wait until her mask and wig are fitted correctly. Lisa senses that both Norma’s are right behind her straightening the latex and brushing the wig.

Finally they are satisfied with her look and walk in front of her on each side to look at their creation without blocking Andrew’s view. After letting the two Norma’s observe for a little while Andrew says “I think I prefer Norma, but for a change it’s nice with a beautiful black woman. Amy from time to time wishes she was a supermodel, and then we both got ours by her being converted into a Naomi Campbell look-a-like. Now you have become Naomi Campbell as well, but although both of you have very pretty bodies, which the latex makes even more pretty, none of you qualify as supermodels, I’m glad…” He is about to continue speaking, but Lisa pointing and looking towards the white cloak in the corner makes him wait for a couple of seconds and then say “You want to remove the cloak of your sister now?” Lisa nods, but Andrew says “First of all I think she should meet you only when you are dressed like her, because sisters so much alike in both body and mind should be dressed alike. Second you wouldn’t consider go meeting anybody in the living room of a house or most other places for that matter in nude.” The last remark makes Lisa look down herself to admit she looks nude, although she feels completely covered, and strictly speaking is. She nods to tell Andrew he is right, and then points towards the suitcase. This makes Big Norma face Andrew to have his approval to go on, which a nod gives her.

4.

Big Norma closes the suitcase and takes it out of the living room to return immediately with a third one, larger and especially thicker than the other two. A pair of white boots are retrieved. But the material is no longer thin elastic latex, but thick rubber, so thick the boots keep their shape on their own. And they are thigh high being a combination of boots and stockings. Finally the heels are five inches high and the feet accordingly angled about forty five degrees to the legs. Such items are to be entered standing. A zipper at the back nearly the full length of a boot makes it possible to push a foot through the slit of the zipper just below knee level, and then quite easily slide the foot down to the toe of the boot. The first boot is quickly on, Lisa mainly resting on her un-booted foot and putting little pressure on the angled foot in the boot, while Norma zips it. But then she has to stand on high heels only, and first Norma has to get a good grip on Lisa before Lisa is able to lift her foot into the boot, then Norma has to look up every few seconds to be sure she doesn’t have to catch Lisa while she balances insecurely on her tilted feet. Big Norma could have supported her while Little Norma closed the boot, or Lisa could have supported herself against a wall, but like all the previous dressing it takes place at the centre of the room, and Lisa might as well get used to stay upright in the new boots, because she reckons she is supposed to be able to stand and walk nearly like the boots were flat. But on the other hand the boots support her leg as long as they are straight, and the white rubber beautifully contrasts her chocolate brown second skin.

To practise moving in the boots Lisa carefully turns on her feet to follow with her eyes Norma walking to the dining table for the next items, instead of just turning her head. What Norma carries back to her, while Lisa slowly turns back to face Andrew again, superficially looks like another pair of similar boots, white as well. But these are full length gloves ending in mittens. A long zipper along the underside from the wrist and up makes it easy for Lisa to put her hand and arm into a glove, when Norma holds it in front of a hand and slides it up her arm when the hand is inside. Then with no problems Norma zips the glove, and the other is fitted just as easy. The problems arise with wearing the gloves. First of all the mitten has no separate fingers, the hand just being a larger smoothly rounded extension of the arm, in fact ending with a hard rubber eyelet with a half inch hole, the purpose of which Lisa doesn’t understand. But she do understand that most work, including dressing or undressing, not to mention removing the gloves and thus being able to work again, is impossible with her hands encased like this. If Amy often wears gloves like this the Norma’s are indispensable. Second the gloves are rigid. She is able to bend her wrists and elbows, but the gloves resists bending and force is required to bend. Relaxing makes the bend straighten immediately, implying keeping the elbows bend for more than a dozen seconds at a time seem impossible. Experiencing this makes Lisa understand why Amy stands leaning against the wall. To sit normally would require bent knees, which is impossible with boots reaching the thigh and being at least as rigid.

Now Lisa’s excitement to see the next item has cooled a little. But it’s size and bright colour makes it very noticeable. Big Norma with some difficulty takes out of the suitcase a complete dress of the same rigid material, entirely in scarlet red. It has unfolded itself when removed from the suitcase to let Lisa see immediately that it covers from neck to feet, with long sleeves and narrow skirt and waist. Little Norma turns it while carrying it to Lisa to figure out how to put it on. The narrow skirt part has no side openings, the only opening for entry of the dress is the back which splits with a zipper from waist to neck. With the skirt part being a rather rigid tube and Lisa having quite rigid legs, holding the dress low and her stepping into the skirt seem a sure way to stumbling. Of course Big Norma knows, and now points to an easy chair for Lisa to sit down. Lisa carefully takes the few steps to the chair and bends at her knees to let her body sink down. With the force of her body the boots bends nearly as normal and she gets down, but the moment the feet are no longer forced down by the weight of the body the boots instantly straighten with a low snap and Lisa is thrown back in the chair surprised. Now by Lisa lifting both her legs a little the dress is pulled up along her legs until the waist of the dress reaches the chair. But her feet are still inside the skirt part, which as a semi-rigid tube is hard to fold. But Big Norma makes it twist, which shortens it sufficiently for Lisa to place her feet directly on the floor. Then Big Norma places a foot on top of Lisa’s feet to hold them down while stretching a hand forward for Lisa to grab for being pulled up. Using the right technique Lisa is swung on her feet to end being caught in Big Norma’s arms.

When Lisa is steady on her high heels Big Norma, after tapping a dress sleeve to indicate what has to come next, walks to the dining table. Little Norma takes over to support Lisa while moving back to the centre of the room to continue the dressing again facing Andrew. Now besides walking in high heels her steps are severely restricted by the tight skirt of the dress, which will only be a little better when the dress is fitted correctly lifting the hem to the ankles. First it is the sleeves. Although Lisa for a short while is able to bend her elbows sufficiently for her hands to meet the sleeve openings her hands won’t slide into the sleeves. Little Norma has to fold the entire front of the dress in a U, because the sleeves both are designed to have their slack resting position with the arms on the back and further are attached to the dress down to the elbows. But when Norma has found the right twist, suddenly the hand slides in and all way through the sleeve in seconds. The slide makes Lisa relax her arm and instantly it is pulled towards her back. Having entered both sleeves she soon finds out that when relaxing her arm muscles her arms are held at her back such that her mittened hands meet.

Meanwhile she senses Norma pulling hard to hold the opening down the back closed to pull up the zipper. It seems like the dress is made too small. Little Norma must have gestured Big Norma for guidance, because Lisa sees her gesturing back to take a few inches at a time. Lisa realises the body part of the dress is made as a light corset, but there is no lacing to pull it close, only the force of hands to stretch the rubber until the sides meet for the zipper to close. Norma works hard for several minutes until she has worked the slider up to the level of the arm pits, where she has passed the point where the dress compresses the body. Lisa estimates her waist has been reduced by at least three inches. But Little Norma doesn’t close the dress completely because Big Norma has signalled her.

Big Norma comes to Little Norma carrying a mask, apparently of the same thick rubber as the other items Lisa is wearing outermost now. Lisa only gets a glimpse of it’s back bottoms up before Big Norma hands it to Little Norma behind her back. Lisa doesn’t bother to turn with her insecure feet, expecting Little Norma to hold it up for her to see before fitting it. But a few seconds later the inside of the mask comes into her field of view from above, and immediately following it is pulled down over her wig covered head. The mask is so thick and rigid that there is no unfolding or straightening wrinkles. It is simply zipped at the back, but different from her Naomi mask it reaches down over the neck and a little over the shoulders. That is why her dress was not completely closed. Of course the mask resembling skin is to go inside the dress. Lisa immediately following the closing of the mask senses the neck of the dress being pulled quite tight around her neck, and it stays like that indicating Norma has closed the dress zipper completely.

With her head already completely covered in latex the new thick mask doesn’t make her feel more confined or warm. But the eyes have to be different from the Naomi mask. Now she only has two small pinholes to see through, giving her a very small field of view without moving the head. And when she does move her head to find out what will happen next, she discovers head movements are opposed by the inert nature of the rubber just as when moving arms or legs. Her neck muscles can only relax holding the head straight forward and facing a little down. Along with her arms at rest on her back Lisa realises she has to take a submissive pose to relax.

But despite some effort is required Lisa looks around to see that Andrew and the two Norma’s are just observing her, perhaps letting her get used to the new more restricting items. Although not explicitly said, Lisa has understood that Andrew is in command, and that to take any actions require his approval. She can’t ask with her mouth gagged and she can’t point with her hands in mittens. Even gesturing is limited, unable to make hand signals and only able to move her forearms. She tries to convey her message by lowering her head even more to where it’s within reach of her up turned hand, and then pats herself several places on her face, followed by facing the door and nodding. Andrew shows he has understood by saying “Am I right you would like to go and see yourself in the mirror?” Lisa perceives him without problems, although she now discovers her hearing is attenuated clearly noticeable by the thick rubber. But she just nods making Andrew continue “But you don’t need to. Your dressing is complete. The aim of dressing you was to make you look like your sister. When her cloak is removed to you it should be like looking in a mirror. I know you would like to remove her cloak yourself, but you are now incapable of that. Just walk over and stand in front of her like she was a mirror. I’ll uncover her for you.”

Andrew gets up and is beside Amy before Lisa with her insecure feet and very limited step size has reached a position three feet just in front of Amy. Amy is still leaned against the corner walls when Andrew takes hold of her hood to lift and stretch it slightly for the zipper on the underside to open easily. He opens the zipper, but he doesn’t pull the hood away from the head. But his action makes Amy react, leaning forward to stand on her own without touching the walls. Andrew bows down to lift at the hem of the cloak at the floor. Using both hands he makes the thinner latex of the cloak fold over Amy’s upper body, revealing that she from waist down, as he has promised, shows the tight skirt of a scarlet dress and the feet of white high-heeled boots, seemingly identical to what Lisa wears.

Lisa can’t help feeling tense, eagerly awaiting to meet her sister and see how the head of Amy and herself looks, although she is aware of that Andrew has chosen to remove Amy’s cloak like this just to create the maximal surprise and suspense for both sisters. Andrew now holds the folds of the cloak with one hand and arm, to take hold at the top of the hood with the other hand. He directly faces Lisa with the look of a boy having been permitted to open a birthday present for her older sister, and then nods three times to make the final countdown. It works. Lisa is highly excited when he pulls at the hood to re-grab and pull as fast as possible to make latex fall down the front of Amy’s body. A few seconds later the hem of the cloak passes over the head and drops towards the floor.

big_sis_is_back2

5.

Lisa stares at a beautiful but strange dolls head, of course made in thick rubber but resembling a china doll. The rubber is cream coloured with soft contours of lips, nose and eye sockets. Eyes, lips and a hairline are like painted with black ink on the surface. Especially the eyes are painted to be more decorative than life like, being the major factor in giving the impression of a china doll. Looking at Amy is very close to looking in a mirror, because despite her being four years older, they are of nearly equal height and build. While looking at Amy it occurs to Lisa that one reason for her being so generously dressed up is that no new items had to be bought to fit her size. She is just borrowing from big sis’s wardrobe.

Amy doesn’t seem really surprised to see a copy of herself standing in front of her, at least she doesn’t react to the sight. Lisa realises that if Andrew and Amy only visit people fully into rubber like themselves, then it is likely that she, perhaps several times before, has been uncovered in a room to see Andrew, a couple of Norma’s and a copy of herself. After all, if they visit another rubber couple, the wife could quickly be dressed in boots, mittens, confining dress and china doll mask on top of another latex attire. But here the male host is missing. It could of course be a home where the male is a crossdresser and as such being one of the Norma’s, but Lisa, without knowing that much about Amy and Andrew, has the impression that they only associate with similar couples, where the husband is in command and the wife being restricted, with reduced senses and helpless.

After half a minute, where Amy has turned her resisting head to observe the subjects present, she makes a small but clear nod to Lisa and then with tiny steps but secure movements walks towards the centre of the room. Lisa at first admires Amy’s confident walk, but then she notices the tips of her mittens touch on her back. They can’t do anything else because a clip goes through both eyelet’s at the end of the mittens to lock the arms together on the back. Carefully Lisa turns around herself to be continually facing Amy, only having to lift her head and not turn it. Andrew has returned to the seat in the sofa and just silently observes Amy as well, to let her find out for herself where she is and who is present. Both Norma’s are standing hands folded with their backs against the dining table likewise observing Amy and of course ready to take orders. At the centre of the room Amy turns one full circle taking in the room by changing her field of view horizontally only with her feet, and vertically only by tilting her head up and down. The full turn completed she walks to the window to look out in the garden at the front of the house, seeing all that can be seen by one slow turn of her head from left to right.

Then she rather abruptly turns away from the window to walk towards the coffee table and Andrew, while both shaking the locked mittens on her back and bowing her head alternately towards Lisa and the Norma’s. Reaching the edge of the coffee table she makes a deep bow to Andrew, so deep Lisa would have thought it impossible with the rigid dress. He calmly puts up an accepting smile before saying “I can understand you ask for permission to have your hands separated. And then it looks like you want to tell us something. Both are granted. Norma’s please, remove the suitcase, place the laptop on the dining table, and last unlock the locked doll please.”

Big Norma gestures to Little Norma to close and remove the suitcase while she walks out of the room. Shortly after she returns carrying a laptop in one hand and a similar but larger case in the other. The laptop is placed a little away from the edge of the table and opened but not started. Then the other case is placed at the edge in front of the laptop, and the case opened to show it contains an oversize keyboard with keys four times the normal size. Taking the keyboard cord with one hand Big Norma with the other for little Norma to see points to Amy’s mittens, Amy waiting close up her back to them.

Able to move her arms Amy turns around to stand in front of the large keyboard. A nod from Big Norma to confirm it is connected with the laptop makes Amy lift her right mitten away from her back, to with the eyelet at the tip of the mitten hit a key that starts the computer. Immediately her hand falls behind her back again while waiting for the computer to become operative. At this point Andrew gets up from the sofa to take Lisa with him to stand behind Amy to watch the screen. On both sides of the three a Norma takes her stand to watch as well.

When a large cursor appears Amy lifts her right hand again to slowly hit one key at a time creating the text ‘This is mum’s house. I assume mum and Lisa are here right next to me. Is it Lisa looking like me?’ Letting the hand go to her back again she turns both her body and head to face her copy. Lisa is moving towards the table to oblige her while nodding repeatedly. Amy and Lisa lean against each other as for a hug, but their forearms can’t reach much around the body of the other. This is the moment Lisa has been dreaming of since this visit was arranged. She is as close to her sister as can be. She is dressed like her sister the way her sister has chosen to dress. She likes latex and rubber like her, and is for the first time completely covered in these wonderful materials. But the embrace feels strange. Nowhere does she feel the skin of the other against her own. And nowhere does her body get heated from body parts squeezing against each other. Probably warm breath comes out of the nostril tubes and the mouth tube of Amy, but as it is not exhausted directly into her own tubes she can’t sense it. Lisa only senses little more than a real doll. The rubber has confined her into her own world, only in contact with the surroundings through pinhole sight, limited hearing and slow written communication. But Amy cherishes this life, making Lisa see it as something positive she just has to learn to appreciate, like red wine being just sour in the beginning.

Amy turns to the keyboard again to write ‘Mum, embrace me!’ Then she turns to have her back to the table holding both forearms outstretched and turning her head from side to side to find out who of the Norma’s will meet her. It is of course Little Norma, but it wouldn’t really matter, as it is only in Amy’s mind she knows it’s her mum. Her senses only registers she is hugged by an entity in latex.

But after standing close long the Norma moves to the keyboard to write ‘My only Amy, you must be thirsty or perhaps hungry after waiting for long dressed in layers of rubber?’ This Norma definitely is mum, but to her surprise, and that of Lisa too, Amy shakes her head. Disbelieving Little Norma places her pointing finger on the screen to see Amy shaking her head once more. Then Big Norma pats the shoulder of Little Norma and goes to fetch Amy’s cloak. On the inside of the chest is a pocket holding a bottle with a long tube. Big Norma takes it out showing it is nearly empty. Little Norma then turns to write ‘What about food then? I have a blender if you stay masked. When do you think we should eat Andrew?’

Andrew says “It won’t be ‘we’ when it’s time for a meal. Heather you promised just to be Norma only acting on my orders and forget you are hostess. If we were at our home I would immediately have put you to bed properly restricted for twenty four hours, but considering it’s your first error as Norma and your sincere care for Amy and our well-being, you’ll get off with being remembered how to behave by hunger. It won’t be too long until the rest of us have dinner. No cooking is needed. We have brought some blended food and I’ll order a pizza. But if you have a bottle of wine we could start with it as an aperitif now and celebrate the family reunion.” Little Norma bows deeply to Andrew and then turns to presumably write that she accepts her punishment, but stops when Andrew says “This computer is not for staff. You’ll only use it if being invited to do so, and then every new line has to be approved. The wine please.”

While Little Norma leaves Andrew starts using the computer. Shortly after he says “Lisa, would you type the password for wireless internet access please. I would like to take a look at the pizza delivery selection. You and Amy better take the sofa for the wine, and dinner as well perhaps. Norma, please stay close to Lisa until she is seated.” Lisa at the keyboard really has to concentrate. First the log-on screen looks different through the pinholes of her mask. Second the password is an acquired sequence of hand movements, and now it’s a different keyboard and she can’t move her hands like she is used to do. But after a failed trial she gets it right.

With Amy at her side she just minces across the room without thinking about tripping, although she doesn’t walk much better. They both more or less fall down on the sofa, and then Lisa by looking at Amy finds out she can sit fairly comfortably in the corner, sideways having her body and legs stretched, where they are at rest, without being just about to slide to the floor.

Little Norma brings a tray with an opened wine bottle and three glasses making Amy shake her head without Lisa understanding why. Big Norma shakes her head as well to Little Norma and then makes a head movement towards Andrew, but holds back Little Norma when she takes a step towards him. A few minutes later Andrew comes to the coffee table, which makes Amy nod towards the glasses and Big Norma nearly touch them with her pointed finger. It makes Andrew face Little Norma saying “I call you Norma because you’re neither ordinary staff nor should our relationship be like in an ordinary family or among friends. Me putting it straight before has naturally made you think that the staff is not part of the family reunion. But we like to eat and drink with Norma as part of our family, when we are just ourselves. And none of our Norma’s are hired from ads anyone can apply for. Here one Norma is related to my wife, and the other is an old classmate who needed temporary work between two jobs but stayed, if I don’t have mixed up the identities.” Big Norma nods repeatedly to confirm Andrew is right, and Little Norma leaves to get two more glasses as fast as her high heels permit.

Andrew doesn’t speak for the toast, he just lifts his glass, making the Norma’s lift theirs as well, and then the three with usable hands let their glasses touch all the other glasses ending with four women sipping through straws and Andrew drinking normally. They sip for five minutes and without Andrew speaking silence is almost complete, at least to Lisa that because of her thick mask only hears her own breathing and heartbeat. Then Andrew says “I’m sure Amy likes to see how her old home looks today. Lisa would you be so kind to show us around? I like to get an insight in her previous life as well, and I like to follow you two closely, not just to be there if you trip.” Lisa and Amy both nod enthusiastically to Andrew and each other. Andrew comes to help both of them on their feet, and while they mince out of the living room Andrew turns his head to say “Norma’s please, get the blended food and lay the table. I think we’ll eat at the coffee table for the doll’s sake. Then wait for us at the front door.”

They start the tour in the kitchen. Lisa pats the fridge making Amy nod, it is renewed since her living here. Lisa turns to stay still just facing Amy, who turns both body and head to look all way round with her small field of vision and inert neck. After looking all around from the centre of the room Amy walks to the far end to look out in the garden. After a little while she nods in the direction out while unfocused pointing her mitten as well. Lisa thinks she might be referring to the old beech at the back from where an old swing still hangs, so she nods to confirm it’s still there.

They go to Lisa’s chamber. Lisa pats Andrew, makes a circle with her mittened forearm, and then pats her own chest. But from the laptop on the desk, the clothes hanging on the outside of the cupboard or the made bed he can figure it out himself. Amy pats a cupboard doorknob, and when Lisa nods Andrew opens the doors. More than half the underwear is latex, but apart from that there are at most a few items of each in the only material that Amy and Andrew wear. But at the back of a shelf at the highest visible to Amy and Lisa is a dummy head with a latex mask. A simple entirely black mask with holes for both eyes, nostrils and mouth. Amy strikes her forehead against the edge of the shelf and it can’t be misunderstood that it’s the mask that interests her. Lisa nods while moving to the desk and pat the lowest drawer. Andrew opens it and Lisa pats a folder of photos. Andrew takes it out and quickly finds what Lisa wanted. Three girls are dressed up for Halloween or similar as bank robbers in black sweaters and trousers holding a toy machine gun each. And they all have their head disguised in black as well. With one wearing the latex mask and the other two balaclava’s, Lisa is identified. Lisa pats the photo and then returns to the cupboard to pat a black latex polo shirt and a pair of black latex Bermuda shorts. Andrew smiles and Amy pats Lisa’s thigh nodding. Lisa pats the photo again and then pats the bed followed by patting herself on her crotch. Andrew’s entire face becomes a smile and Amy actually lets herself drop on her back on the bed to make obscene rhythmic movements by lifting her bottom up and down and moving her right mitten right over her crotch. Lisa nods continuously while Andrew stretches a hand out to pull Amy up sitting and next up standing by acting as block against her bootsl. When Amy is on her feet again Lisa leans to brush cheek against cheek to say thank you for the funny performance. Then Lisa minces towards the door.

The next chamber used to belong to Amy. She immediately pats the folding bed in the corner and two racks on wheels, and Lisa nods to confirm this have replaced the regular bed Amy used to sleep in. The remaining furniture is the same, but it doesn’t hold for any of the items in the desk or the cupboard, which Andrew opens after a nod from Lisa. But in the dark corner of the desk, leaned against the corner of the cupboard and the wall, sits a one foot tall doll belonging to Amy. Amy nods enthusiastically and waves a mitten towards the doll, because the desk is too wide for her to reach it with forearms only. Andrew moves the doll to the edge of the desk from where Amy immediately lifts it by placing a mitten on opposite sides. She lets it’s face brush her cheeks and mouth like it was a baby. When Amy has put it down on the desk edge again Lisa touches it’s face, followed by touching her own and stretching her mitten towards Amy’s face. Years ago Lisa and Amy played with this doll, now they play dolls themselves, and Amy has found a husband who likes dolls as well. As Andrew gently places the doll in the corner again, Lisa is sure she in the days to come often will go in here to look at the doll to recall her memories of Amy and Andrew’s visit.

Out in the corridor again Lisa notices that the two Norma’s are already waiting at the front door, which makes Andrew look at his watch. It seems they have time left because then he reaches for the next door waiting for Lisa to nod to confirm they may enter here. It’s the bedroom, which always makes Lisa a little sad, seeing the large double bed where only her mum sleeps. But Amy looks at it differently. First she touches the bed sheet and then moves a mitten rhythmically in front of her crotch followed by touching her own chest and that of Lisa, which means Amy sees the room as the place where herself and Lisa were conceived. Next she touches Andrew, Lisa, makes two jolts towards the door and touches her own chest to turn and pat the bed sheet with both mittens. Lisa can’t believe Andrew faces Amy with a naughty expression while nodding, the way she understands Amy’s gestures. But Andrew doesn’t say his understanding loud, just as he hasn’t said a word since leaving the living room. Lisa appreciates he by only using their language recognises that this is her showing her sister around with him just as bystander. It continues to the very end by him opening the door for Lisa and Amy to pass while with a pointing gesture tell them to join the two Norma’s at the other end of the corridor.

The two Norma’s stand about eight feet from the door in the middle of the corridor facing each other separated by a stool. A stool in the middle of the corridor? Lisa is puzzled, but it seems to be part of something done before at the home of Andrew and Amy, because Amy directly places herself against one wall a couple of feet further away from the door while facing it. And Andrew then guides Lisa to stand mirroring Amy at the opposite wall. Taking a look at his watch makes Andrew walk away, to the living room Lisa supposes, but she stays unmoving in the position staged by Andrew. Just after Andrew has left the two Norma’s both turn ninety degrees to face the door as well. Then nothing happens in the corridor for nearly ten minutes. Then the doorbell ringing makes Lisa jump by surprise, although it was of course what they had been waiting for.

6.

Without hurrying Andrew arrives to open the door. Outside is a boy of about seventeen, with an expression like they should have ordered from someone closer, and starting to speak before the door is half open “A Domino’s pizza for Mr. Hayward. It is … thirteen … fif..ty.” Lisa has never seen someone showing this much surprise. The pizza box starts sliding out of his hands, but sensing the edge between his fingers makes him subconsciously take a firmer grip. Then Andrew says patting a back pocket “Arh, I forgot to put my purse back. May I take the box with me while getting the purse? And please step inside meanwhile.” An indefinite sound from the partly open mouth of the delivery boy Andrew takes as a yes, lifts the box out of his hands, turns and slowly walks down the corridor. The boy stares with eyes ready to pop out of the head. Up and down, from side to side. Without looking down a hand touches his crotch, him obviously sensing the large bulge in his pants.

Coming back Andrew stops between Lisa and Amy to say “You like my family I can see. For the prize of the delivery Norma here is willing to help you with her hands. If you agree just close the door and sit down and enjoy.” Looking like he is afraid this vision will disappear in a flash the boy makes the door close by moving backwards without changing his view. Sensing the door can’t be pushed any further he slowly puts one foot forward, his legs now shaking visibly. Then Big Norma moves the stool just in front of him, and with just one movement of each leg he can let his legs give in, but is fit enough to just make a small bump when getting seated. His gaze is fixed at Big Norma’s clear but unmoving eyes as her face approaches his from above, but when she leans over him to place her soft latex lips on his forehead he has to look lower and of course his gaze stops at the bulging breasts. Then Big Norma gets on her knees and unzips his pants. Immediately his dick pops out, and Big Norma takes it in her hand. Perhaps observing the boy has nowhere to put his own hands, Little Norma gets down on her knees as well to place herself at the boy’s left side taking his hand in hers. This makes the boy facing left staring directly at Lisa. Lisa moves her small field of vision up and down between the boy’s face and his crotch. She admires how Big Norma slowly increases the boy’s arousal to give him maximum pleasure in a way that shows this may be one reason why she stayed with Andrew and Amy. While the boy starts breathing heavily his look gets distant and hazy. Lisa herself starts gasping for breath, suddenly feeling clearly her reduced waist, and she senses small streams of sweat despite all of her body is already moist. Suddenly Big Norma makes her hand move faster having sensed the climax is near, and then the boy explodes sprinkling directly on Big Norma’s face. But she knows she is fully protected and remains completely calm.

Perhaps instead of his purse Andrew has brought a wet towel, which he now drops in Big Norma’s lap, and soon the dick is back in the pants, and Big Norma can put the towel to her own masked face, while the boy relaxes with a dreamy expression. “Wow” he just says after getting up, and then he takes the receipt from a chest pocket and signs it as paid. But then surprising all of them from his other chest pocket he takes his phone holding it towards Andrew saying “My name is Robert Jones. I promise not to put it on the internet or send it to even my closest friends, but if I try to describe this to even my most trusting friend, he will think I invented this incident after surfing too much.” Andrew says while reaching for the camera phone and they exchange places “Well it’s not a secret that we like latex, so perhaps you can earn a few favours from your friends Robert, but please don’t put it on the net. And by the way we are only visiting here, so it’s in vain checking back day after day. But if you really get hooked on rubber then remember L.A.R.S. – The Latex And Rubber Society.” Now Robert is standing with a Norma squeezing against him on each side, and Lisa and Amy close up to a Norma each. Andrew clicks a couple of times and then gestures the Norma’s and the doll’s to swap. He clicks several times again, and then steps forward to take some close ups of both doll’s and Norma’s, finally handing the phone to Robert saying “Good we had warmed up the oven, but soon my pizza will get dry.” Robert not even looking surprised at hearing this says “Enjoy your pizza Mr. Hayward. But does this mean the women, if they all are, stay masked and without food?” Andrew says taking Robert’s hand to touch Little Norma’s crotch “They are very much women and they stay masked for long periods implying no solid food.” Robert says “Thank you. Goodnight seems evident. I’ll write Lars in front of Hayward on the receipt and make myself a copy.” Andrew says as Robert turns to pass the open door “See you again in a few years Robert, then I’m sure you can afford domestics. And goodnight to you too.”

Lisa would like a bath before dinner as she feels like after a wet dream, but Andrew directly takes her and Amy with him into the dining room, and a Norma soon follows them. Within a minute the other Norma, Lisa guesses it’s Little, brings the pizza. Andrew eats and Lisa, Amy and Big Norma drink without any form of communication for about ten minutes. Little Norma just sits facing here and there, perhaps with closed eyes recalling the show Big Norma put up with Robert. Lisa likes the mix of blended vegetables, but pictures that after a week only getting this to fill her stomach, she would have to unmask no matter how fantastic it is continuously being a latex character.

Then Andrew in a low voice directed to Big Norma only says “You may have some wine, but no refill while we eat.” Then everybody only eat or drink and doze or daydream for another ten minutes.

Apparently filled up but with a little pizza left the silence is broken by Andrew saying “Perhaps Lisa doesn’t know and Amy certainly doesn’t, but we’ll stay here for the night with all of you in latex. But although it’ll be nice going early to bed, right after dinner is too early. To pass the time I’ve asked Norma to entertain us. Both Norma’s, please clear the table and the kitchen and return as soon as you are ready. We’ll empty the wine bottle while waiting.”

They only get a third of a glass of wine each, but a small sip once a minute is all that is needed to make the movements that show each of them that they are part of a group enjoying each others company, and not just sitting absorbed in their own world. Although it can’t be seen, all Lisa do is looking at her sister, never getting tired of observing the shining smooth rubber surfaces that ads up to a fantastic rubber doll, who is in fact her adored sister. And it is also the way Lisa herself looks to the world, while right now enjoying latex caressing every single square inch of her own body. The way Amy sits nearly unmoving like a real doll in between sipping, she can’t be looking at anything but Lisa’s face, but if her eyes are open or she is recalling memories from her youth in this very house or dreaming of an evening filled with sexual stimulation, can’t be discerned. Andrew, on the other hand, continuously looks from one doll to another, perhaps looking for the small differences between them, or just indulge in that he now has two dolls to enjoy.

7.

None of them however get to empty their glass, because in less than ten minutes the sound of an alarm clock coming from the corridor is used to draw their attention to the doorway. The announcement is well justified, because the first thrill of the Norma’s entertainment is to see the doorway being filled with red latex. Is it a scarlet ghost or the wet dream of a fundamentalist mullah? Getting a better look as the figure approaches favours the latter. From the rounded top of the being the scarlet latex in vertical folds or pleats reaches down to spill on the floor. Thus it doesn’t reveal anything about the subject inside showing neither a glimpse of a shoe, nor any human form, be it arms, legs, face, neck or breasts. There doesn’t appear to be any openings, apart perhaps towards the floor, and except a rectangular area at the top being perforated by six dozen small 1/4 inch holes, defining a front, and functioning as an air intake and a mesh to enable orientation. In other words it is a burqa, the full body cover worn by women mainly in Afghanistan and Pakistan to make them appear modest and not tempting, but made of bright latex instead of fabrics in subdued colours. Modest it is, not displaying any forms or possible attractive looks of the woman inside, but on the other hand to see the material sway and fold as the garment is moving across the floor, to hear it more squeak than rustle, and inhale the special aroma, is something that rouse not only latex addicts.

Lisa being a latex lover is highly aroused, even if all that happens is that the burqa moves across the room to the shelves. Here two more openings in the folds of the scarlet material are revealed as two hands appear through previously hidden slits. The hands are of course covered by matching scarlet gloves, and the right is holding a CD which is loaded in the stereo. Soon the rhythmic intense, heavily Orientally influenced music of Natacha Atlas fills the room. Slowly, turning and swaying to a sub-rhythm, the burqa turns half a circle to face the door again. The hands are no longer to be seen. A few bars after the turn is complete the doorway is filled again by an identical scarlet burqa slowly swaying as well. Slowly they approach each other, and when nearly touching both turn left to face opposite, followed by moving clockwise in a circle around the point where they met. Although Lisa with her narrow field of view constantly has to turn her head to look at one or the other, high or low, the two latex creatures curving, swaying, billowing is a mesmerising sight and sound, which despite the effort makes her stamp a heel in the floor on and off and clack her mittens to the rhythm at her back. The first tune is long, six to seven minutes, and the two burqa’s move around each other until it ends. Then a slightly faster rhythm is introduced. With this they change to move in the same figure of eight in opposite directions to cross from time to time, the burqas just brushing each other. But what really makes it different is that the garments move considerably more because the hands from inside are used to push the material out from the body, but in a way that it doesn’t lift much, and thus although now lifting some inches from the floor for some seconds at a time even the feet are still hidden. But hoping to get a glimpse of hidden feet Lisa looks down to notice that one burqa spills the floor more than the other. The burqas are identical, in lengths as well, and apparently made for someone the height of Big Norma, thus spilling a little too much when worn by Little Norma. Although now able to make out who is who without them standing close, Lisa was too late identifying them to tell who entered first and put on the CD.

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As a new tune begins both Norma’s slowly, side by side, glide towards the wall opposite the coffee table. While still holding the burqa’s wide with their hands they now bend a little forward at the waist and move the lifted hands forward to make the material touch the back and to reveal the subject inside has a sexy bulge on the lower back, which they both wiggle to make sure it is noticed.

Three feet from the wall Little Norma gets in front of Big Norma, who is still wiggling, making Little Norma unseen from the coffee table. About half a minute later the burqa of Little Norma appears to the left of Big Norma. But Little Norma is no longer inside. The scarlet gloves are held up high to hold up the burqa like a curtain, still hiding Little Norma completely as seen from the spectators. Then Big Norma disappear behind Little Norma’s curtain to reappear likewise behind her own scarlet burqa curtain. The scarlet sheets are moved a little from side to side to the rhythm until the tune reaches it climaxing end. At this moment both let their burqa loose to let the scarlet material drop to the floor.

The sight showing makes Lisa try to take a deep breath, but because of her restrained waist instead for the next minute she has to gasp for air. It doesn’t matter, following she has plenty of time to enjoy the Norma’s. The new oriental tune is dominated by a slow continuously repeating rhythm that sounds like it could go on for hours, and the volume has been reduced to make the music just something registered subconsciously to turn the living room into a room in an oriental palace in the minds of the spectators. Because now it shows the latex burqas have contained two harem belly dancers. The blonde wigs are again showing to remind of their name. But the entire maids attire has been replaced by a typical belly dancer outfit consisting of loose trousers with tight waist and ankles, a loose shirt with loose sleeves with tight wrists and so short it lets the belly button free, and finally a small veil covering the face below the eyes. It’s all latex of course, yellowish perhaps to resemble gold. But the colour is just a hue because from the top edge of the veil to the ankles the Norma’s are now dressed in transparent latex. The oriental costume constitutes a layer covering most of the body and half the face, but even so what is beneath is clearly showing, only being slightly attenuated and blurred by the latex equivalent of chiffon. It looks like they are naked under the flimsy rubber, but they still wear the flesh coloured catsuit, implying not an inch of real skin is still to be seen.

In her mind Lisa starts to think of herself and Amy as the wives of sultan Andrew being entertained by two young concubines recently abducted from the West. With their belly dance they will excite all of them to make the night of the sultan with the wife of his choice start off from a high level of arousal. Lisa is already aroused from watching the movements of the scarlet latex burqas, and now just seeing the Norma’s in these sexy harem costumes makes her even hotter. Subconsciously her mittens start rubbing at various places on her body, but it’s more because she is used to that such movements do her good, as little is actually sensed through the thick rubber.

The Norma’s have first removed each other’s scarlet elbow long gloves. Then facing the coffee table they make some simple belly dance movements with their arms and hips for a couple of minutes, but those now expecting it to slowly evolve into a latex version of the Dance of the Seven Veils instead get the thrill of the unexpected – totally spicy unexpected. The Norma’s turn to face each other and with moving arms and hips approach. When they meet the attempt of oriental dancing is replaced with tight intimate hugging while still moving their feet and turning around each other like a couple who use the dance floor for foreplay, only minutes from actual love making.

With the spectators getting hotter and hotter by watching the Norma’s, it is clear the Norma’s themselves are quickly moving towards climaxing. Now it is more heavy breathing than swinging hips that makes the upper body move. But Lisa with her small field of view doesn’t look at the bouncing breasts. She is mesmerised by observing how the latex veil is moving more and more as the breathing gets heavier, alternately being sucked to the mask and blown out from the face, as all the air into and out of the lungs have to pass the three holes at the nostrils and the mouth, which are all behind the airtight piece of latex of the veil. Lisa notices that now and then the veil blocks the air so tight that an inhalation has to be cut midway, instead to blow out and facing down to get the latex sheet away from the breathing tubes. But this is something both Norma’s do subconsciously, as all they think of is the other Norma and how to increase her arousal.

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While turning in a tight embrace their overall direction of motion has not just been a circle, but they have moved to the shelves and away again. Big Norma has taken something from next to the stereo, and she makes them move back to the centre of the room again, only now turning from side to side to keep the object she is holding behind Little Norma’s back hidden to both her and the spectators at the coffee table. Still with the hand holding the object behind Little Norma’s back she pulls as far away from Little Norma as possible without showing the hand, and then looks down her own front and takes her other hand to her crotch, where it shows the transparent trousers have a slit allowing her to unzip her catsuit. Then she points from her own crotch to that of Little Norma, and at the same time lifts her head to await a response. If Little Norma is surprised or this move has been agreed upon, the fixed expression of her mask doesn’t reveal, but after some moments Little Norma nods and Big Norma unzips her crotch too. Big Norma rotates her hips to the low music, with Little Norma copying her, to point out that they are still dancing, but as they simultaneously slowly go down on their knees all dancing movements soon stop.

Big Norma moves on to seat herself on the floor with her legs wide apart, knees high and heels in the floor. When Little Norma is positioned likewise facing her and their feet nearly touching, Big Norma moves the hand holding the object in between them close to the floor. They are seated sides to the coffee table and now their hot and highly aroused audience get a new thrill to increase their excitement by being able to see the object. It’s a round about twenty inches long black flexible rubber rod with rounded tips. In plain words a double dildo. Big Norma makes one tip just tickle the crotch of Little Norma while she pulls herself towards Little Norma until the other tip is touching her own crotch. Then she gestures Little Norma to take hold of the rod at her own end with her right hand and guide the dildo a little inside herself. After Little Norma has made her move, Big Norma lets the dildo enter a little in herself by moving a bit closer. To get the most pleasurable penetration Little Norma is now on her back with her other hand under the back of her head lifting her upper body. With each move of the dildo her head makes a small backwards tilt and the continuous movement of her chest due to heavy breathing increases a little. There is probably moaning as well, more and more, louder and louder, but the gag suppresses everything, or converts it to air turbulence through the tubes. Big Norma leans back as well, but in a more upright position by using her free hand as support behind her back. They have reached the distance from each other where the dildo penetrates each of them just right, so that when it is pushed one way to fill one of them completely it still stays inside the other. Their hands move the dildo in and out trying to find the rhythm that brings most pleasure. It can’t be seen, but they take turns in taking control. And after each take over they increase the rhythm a little. Which makes both breathe a little harder, move their upper body a little more, tilt their heads a bit stronger – and soon their brains crave for even more stimulus. They are totally absorbed by their feelings.

The spectators have forgot everything else as well. Their eyes are glued to the centre of the floor while their mind and body only tries to copy what the two intertwined Norma’s are experiencing. The strong visual stimulation creates heat, heavy breathing and rocking bodies. But considering five people are involved in this sex show the room is very quiet. The music has stopped, and with the four women gagged only the sounds of squeaking latex and heavy breathing through small tubes sounds in the room. But that makes it much easier for especially the spectators to be fully concentrated on converting the visual input to sensations in their mind and body.

After more than five minutes of ever increasing dildo movements they have reached a frantic velocity. Little Norma freezes. Her body convulses several times from a massive orgasm, and then she freezes again with her head tilted back to touch the floor, before her body goes completely limb making back and legs flatten against the floor. The broken rhythm makes Big Norma sense it is time to climax, and she pushes her behind forward to let the dildo go to it’s deepest a couple of times. Just before Little Norma freezes the second time Big Norma gets lost, the orgasm brings her to heaven, and then she slides limb to the floor as well. They have both fainted.

The dramatic end to the Norma’s performance has made Lisa so hot and excited she is about to loose her breath and faint, and has to face down using all her concentration on trying to breathe calmly using her unrestricted upper chest. Having managed the worst crisis she turns to see that Andrew of course has a large bulge in his pants. He sits quiet enough but his face is red, and with a blissful expression he looks like he might think of jumping up and take one of the Norma’s, or perhaps only relieve himself, but he remains seated his hands unmoving. Amy sits leaned back and relaxed as well. Too relaxed and facing a little too much upwards to actually observe anything. Lisa surprised realises Amy has fainted as well, either from a massive orgasm requiring more air than her restricted waist could supply, or from getting overheated by the huge input of sexual stimulus. Lisa has probably been saved from fainting because this is all new to her. She has to use brain power to process and interpret both what her eyes catch and how her body responds, and is unable to just enjoy the performance fully as stimulation for sex. The way Andrew sits relaxed he must have known how it would end both for the Norma’s and Amy, and he isn’t worried. Lisa figures passing out is just a small disadvantage you have to accept when being at the same time aroused by latex, encased inside it, and visually stimulated by seeing rubber sex.

Lisa has neither cooled down to her just hot pre-performance level, nor is her breathing back to normal, before both Norma’s within a span of half a minute start to move again. They get up sitting on the floor to shake hands, touch cheek to cheek and with other gestures thank each other for the wonderful experience. But within a minute, while Little Norma is still gesturing, Big Norma gets up standing and reaches down with a hand to help Little Norma to stand as well. Then Big Norma signals Little Norma to copy her and they both face the coffee table and make a big bow. The final act of the show is over and the audience has to applause, which Andrew and Lisa do. Latex gloved hands doesn’t sound much, and both mittened and gloved hands even less, but the room is completely quiet now and they both clap intensively for about a minute. Then Big Norma takes a few steps towards the doorway gesturing Little Norma to follow and they quickly go out.

Then Andrew turn to Amy to gently shake her. Amy almost immediately starts moving a little on her own, which make Andrew turn and nod to Lisa before leaning back to just relax with a blissful expression again. Lisa is still just trying to calm down herself. She realises that it is her mum she has just been watching having kinky sex with another woman, but not even that makes her cool. Mum and daughter are gone. Two blonde latex harem dancers have performed for a blonde man and two china head rubber dolls, and that keeps Lisa aroused.

She is surprised when after what to her seems like just a few minutes both Norma’s appear in the doorway. What is so surprising is that now both are again dressed as maids, and carrying trays with glasses and litre bottles of soft drinks. Andrew, obviously knowing what they have been through, reacts with a gesture telling them to serve themselves first. Soon they all drink ferociously.

8.

His glass emptied twice Andrew says “It’s still early for going to bed, but it’s been a long day for some of us, and for others some very exciting, demanding and thus tiring hours, and I like us to get up early to get home in good time for dinner, so although we won’t sleep right away, Norma’s please, put the dolls to bed, if Lisa and Amy have quenched their thirst.” Lisa perhaps would like another glass and then some time at the computer chatting with Amy, but it seems Andrew’s word is not to be questioned, Lisa even doubts if he really will accept to wait. She turns to look what Amy does. She has a nearly full glass and takes a hand from her back to gesture she would like to empty it. Then Lisa pats a bottle and gets her glass refilled.

Some ten minutes later Amy gets up and Lisa, not having an empty glass, straighten to get up, but Big Norma gestures her to stay until fetched. The Norma’s take Amy away. About a quarter of an hour later both Norma’s are back, directly coming up next to Lisa and helping her to stand. Then with both of them supporting her she is taken to the bathroom.

Despite sweating a lot relief is much needed. She is happy when sensing her thick rubber dress being unzipped. But out of the dress she is still helpless with her mittened hands. No one waits for her to signal her needs, her crutch is directly unzipped and she is guided down on the toilet. Afterwards she is washed, pulled up standing and zipped again. There seems to be no more uncovering for brushing teeth or further washing as she is then guided towards the door.

Coming into the bedroom Lisa immediately observes Amy lying in one half of the bed relaxed on her back facing the ceiling directly on the normal sheet her mum uses. She is just like Lisa showing ‘black skin’ on her body with thick white rubber boots – still on in bed – white thick long mittens and the thick rubber china doll head. Lisa is guided to the other bed side to lie next to Amy. Amy sensing the other bed side being occupied lifts her head and upper body to lean over and press her rubber mouth against that of Lisa. Lisa nods to signal she likes it, although not knowing if this was a goodnight kiss or just Amy’s way of saying she is happy they are close again.

Next Lisa discovers they are meant to be close perhaps all night, because one Norma, probably Big Norma, is lifting at her left boot to move it close to Amy’s boot, and then the boots are connected. Following the Norma makes their mittens meet and clip them together as well. Lisa realises it means both Amy and herself will have difficulty leaving the bed on their own, and neither can sleep on the side facing away from the other, but they can roll against each other and on top of each other if they feel like it.

But following it gets clear that this is not what Andrew wants. An elastic rubber strap is connected to Lisa’s other boot and tied with some tension to the bed post, forcing her leg towards the corner of the bed to be relaxed. She is still able to move the outer boot over next to the other boot in the middle of the bed, but it requires force, and as soon as she relaxes her outer boot slides across the sheet towards the corner. And then a similar rubber strap is pulled through the eyelet on her free mitten at the bed side to pull her arm towards the top corner of the bed. Again she can move her arm, but it requires force to hold it away from the corner. Amy has been tied similarly by the other Norma.

Only a minute after their arms have been tied Amy by turning her head towards her outer shoulder tells Lisa that it is too strained keeping bodies lifted, and Lisa gets another ‘kiss’ before Amy lets her head sink down on the pillow to lie relaxed facing the ceiling. Perhaps this was the goodnight kiss then Lisa says to herself while leaning back as well. She then tries turning her head alone to be able to look at Amy’s head, but only having a small straight field of view it is too strained having the head this much turned, and besides Amy seems to have realised this, not attempting to look back at Lisa. Of course Amy being used to wearing outfits like this has probably known all the time that it makes little sense in trying to maintain a strained position just to be able to look at someone unable to show any expressions and only able to make a few head and body movements for communication which might have a multitude of interpretations. Besides the only thing real important is that they are together again, and actually it feels good having a hand and foot tied together to constantly be reminded. But Amy doesn’t let it stay with that. Lisa suddenly feels Amy squeezing her forearm against her own for a little while, which Lisa takes as Amy is not only lying right next to her but she is also very much thinking of her. A little later Lisa returns the move to make Amy know she is thinking of her as well – or how it is to be a latex doll 24/7, which is apparently what Amy has become and would like to be forever. Lisa has forgot she is sweaty. She is hot, but in her mind that is only because she is anticipating a night like never before.

The bed moving makes Lisa raise her head to look despite the effort to hold it lifted. Has she been sleeping? Has an hour passed or just minutes? It is probably closer to the last because it is the Norma’s entering the bed. They are completely ‘naked’, meaning only wearing the flesh coloured suit, the mask and the wig. There is just room for them on either side of Amy and herself, but they have to sit with legs bent across the outer legs of Amy and herself to be able to lie down without resting on the outstretched arms of Amy and herself.

Between their legs are some items of which the first, a pillow, is placed just below the arms of Amy and herself. Then the one next to Lisa places a three feet metal pole between her feet, pull a rubber strap at each end of the pole around each ankle and pulls the straps tight. It looks like the legs of the Norma’s are to stay spread and bent across a doll’s leg during the night. Lisa notices the other Norma next to Amy has been looking and copying what has happened on this side, indicating it is Big Norma right next to herself. Big Norma is buckling a belt of black elastic rubber around her waist. And following she takes the last item between her legs, which shows to be a sleep mask of black rubber. While Big Norma puts the mask to her face and buckles it, Lisa notices that Little Norma doesn’t copy this step. Of course she has to be able to see to learn how to make the final steps. Having blinded herself Big Norma leans back and senses that her head is centred on the pillow and her body comfortably outstretched. Then she puts her hands to the belt, which shows to have an elastic strap at each side which she slides her hands though. When her arms are nearly outstretched down her sides the straps are just below her elbows, and then she pulls both elbows away from the body making the elastic rubber belt stretch, but the loops around her arms are tightened. A few moments later the arms relax at her sides, and Big Norma is at rest and bound.

Lisa has to stop looking and relax her muscles as well. When she lifts her head again a few minutes later to look at Little Norma she is lying bound as well, but she is breathing rather heavily obviously being turned on by having to sleep restricted and covered in latex and unable to see what is going to happen. Lisa lets her head fall back again, herself increasingly excited by her own situation, as well as lying close to Amy, anticipating Andrew to have sex with his wife before him going to sleep squeezed down somehow between female bodies in latex.

Lisa is quite sure only minutes have passed when a cheerful humming tells Andrew enters the bedroom. Lisa stays on her back facing the ceiling, but from his voice talking loud to himself, or to all of them, it is clear he has come to her side of the bed. “My beautiful Norma, although having satisfied and exhausted yourself completely in the living room, it looks like you won’t mind to have something inside again. I know you’ll enjoy this rod in your love channel, and especially when slowly inserted with rhythmic movements while I hum a lullaby.” The humming starts again immediately followed by Big Norma starting to move. The movements during the following minutes keep increasing and are accompanied by the likewise increasing sound of heavy breathing through the small tubes of a mask. Then Lisa senses the head of Big Norma hitting the pillow several times and the total of noises from Big Norma now overpowering Andrew’s humming, making Lisa just about to lift and roll towards the centre of the bed despite her ties. But just before starting to move it feels like Big Norma has made a jump up from the sheet and then hits it with all of her body at the same time – and then all movement stops.

Lisa again hears Andrew humming, and after a minute or two the sound tells he moves to the other side of the bed. Then he speaks again. “It looks like this Norma has been stimulated by sensing how her duplicate was put to sleep, or perhaps it’s just the sensations of her new second skin that makes it unnecessary to lubricate the rod for her nightly pleasure. Here comes the joy stick!” The bed immediately starts moving, and it doesn’t take a minute before Andrew’s low humming is overpowered. But now Lisa doesn’t have to fear being hit by an uncontrolled movement at her side and just starts breathing a little harder, anticipating Andrew soon to enter the bed and perform right next to her. Little Norma stops moving after much less time than Big Norma. Wearing latex and being put to bed like this for the first time has made a much larger impact on her.

After a few minutes of quiet Lisa senses the bed moving again. It is at her side, and it is not Big Norma moving. Andrew has entered the bed, and he is between her legs when he says “Now that the Norma’s have started dreaming it is time for playing with dolls. Let me see if this doll is the right one.” Lisa is just about to lift her head to see what Andrew is doing when she senses her crotch being unzipped, making her stay on her back and take a deep breath as a response to the sensations his move creates in her body and mind. It is like Andrew has moved away or lowered his voice as she only just perceives his next words “It is my fresh new doll. The fruit is ripe and dripping with juice. May I taste your fruit my wonderful doll?” It takes a little while for Lisa to understand Andrew’s question. He asks if he can make love to her. She has been asked this before, but under very different circumstances, and by young immature boys with no experience in love making. Of course they were rejected. She only really loves her big sis, and that has nothing to do with sex. But now it’s an experienced handsome man asking, and her body craves for a yes. Then her left forearm gets a couple of knocks from the arm connected with her own. Big sis says go for it, and Lisa lifts her head just enough to nod clearly. Immediately Andrew’s smiling face moves into her field of vision and she senses him straddling over her. She just gets this one glimpse of him because then she closes her eyes and relaxes completely, understanding that her ties mean that Andrew wants to do everything needed for them both without any caressing or conscious movements from her. Lisa is about to climax just from thinking of that she has just accepted being transformed from a toy doll to a love doll. The transformation is in full progress, speeded up by Andrew touching and squeezing her where it feels just right. She is sent into a world of nothing but pleasure, and what Andrew does physically just makes that world brighter. Thus the small spark of pain created when Andrew eventually carefully enters her is immediately drowned in an ocean of pleasure. Over the next minutes Lisa smoothly goes from sexual climax through unconsciousness to sleeping dreaming the dreams of a love doll without sensing the transitions.

9.

Lisa wakes refreshed remembering dreaming of being a love doll. Then sensing she is still completely covered in latex it comes to her that not all she remembers were dreams. Andrew actually entered her with his latex covered manhood. It was heavenly. Lisa can still feel him inside her. She wriggles her hips and opens her eyes. She lifts her head to find out she is alone in the bedroom. Andrew gone it means he has ended his lovemaking with replacing his member with a dildo, like the Norma’s were put to sleep with. No wonder she has been dreaming about being a love doll. There is daylight coming through the curtains and Lisa is no longer tied anywhere, but she is still in the Naomi suit with thick rubber on top on legs, arms and head, just like when entering the bed. Perhaps she is allowed to borrow these items when Andrew and Amy leaves. Should she stay in bed waiting for someone, or should she get up? She starts to move out of bed afraid to miss saying good bye to big sis, Andrew and Big Norma, if it isn’t too late already.

She has just put her thick high-heeled rubber feet to the floor, sitting trying to figure out how to get up standing without tumbling over when a Norma enters the bedroom. Lisa is relieved, then they are still here – unless her mum is still Norma. Norma immediately helps Lisa on her feet and guides her to the bathroom. She doesn’t start removing anything, but just unzips the crotch and with an inaudible moan from Lisa pulls a dildo out. Then she points to the toilet and leaves.

A few minutes later two Norma’s enter. Then they are all still here, and perhaps all still dressed like yesterday. Lisa thinks it is Little Norma washing her crotch. Then Big Norma squats in front of her with the dildo cleansed and lubricated. Being gagged Lisa is able to let go and moan loudly while the dildo enters her. Then she is zipped and guided to sit on the lid of the toilet. She is to be dressed in the thick scarlet corset dress again.

A few minutes later the two Norma’s support her as she minces to the living room. As expected her mirror image, big sis, is seated next to Andrew. But Andrew has changed now wearing an olive green suit, but still latex of course. Lisa gets seated on the other side of Andrew, a drink of blended vegetables is placed in front of her and the straw guided into her mouth.

After Lisa has taken a few sips Andrew says “I’m sorry if you were awaken Lisa. Your mind has been bombarded with new sensations since we arrived, which of course has made you tired. But I hope you like what you have been through and now is fresh and ready for another day in layers of latex.” Lisa nods intensively rocking her upper body as well, but does this mean Andrew and Amy have changed their mind and stay until tomorrow? Then she might not borrow what she is wearing allowing her to be covered in latex everyday for a long while, but only for twenty four hours more. On the other hand it probably means she can chat with big sis.

Andrew puts up a big smile when seeing her response, and then continues “Lisa you’re a big girl now and maybe should begin a higher education in some months, but right now I’m sure a little adventure would be very welcome. At least that is what your mum has told me, so both of you are invited to stay some time at our rubber mansion. Your mum has accepted if you’ll accept?” Despite the effort it takes Lisa stretches her arms forward and throws herself towards Andrew to hug him in an awkward way. Then without taking into account her limited mobility she takes some steps to the side and leans forward to hug Amy as well. She falls forward bumping her head into Amy’s chest and gets a surge of pleasure from the rod in her crotch. Amy nearly acts like a doll not immediately reacting, but when Lisa gets her head up again, staring directly into the expressionless mask of Amy, the masked head moves to brush cheek to cheek. Lisa reciprocates by turning her head so that their opposite cheeks meet. Then a Norma lifts at her and helps her back to her seat again. Lisa nods to the Norma, and then turns to nod towards the other Norma, not knowing right now who is her mum.

Then Andrew speaks again “You express yourself perfectly clear without words Lisa. Amy, me and everybody staying with us is looking forward to having you staying with us. You were allowed to stay in bed until we were ready to leave. It means we are now ready to leave right away. Don’t worry if you are still hungry, you’ll have a bottle to sip on the ride. Let’s go!” The last words he says facing the Norma’s.

A Norma for each helps Amy and Lisa up and over to the dining table. Two white latex cloaks are the only items on the table, but first Lisa senses her hands, at rest on her back, are held close together and forced to stay in this position. Her mittens have been clipped together. Next the cloak is lifted over Lisa’s head to rest on her shoulders. Then Norma reaches inside the opening to produce the end of the long tube attached to a bottle in the cloak chest pocket. The end of the tube is entered into the mouth hole of Lisa’s mask, and when she senses it she takes a sip and nods to Norma to confirm she is able to drink. A hidden happy expression appears on Lisa’s face as she tastes this is sweet blended fruits.

Norma makes Lisa turn towards Amy, who is facing her leaned to wish her a pleasant trip. It’s a different doll, now showing a featureless white body with vertical folds, and the head is a little more human with the tube indicating there is something inside. They touch on both cheeks, and as they both straighten Norma next to Amy lifts the hood of Amy’s cloak over her head turning the head into a surface as featureless as the white cloak itself.

Lisa gets about ten seconds to take in this view before her own hood is lifted and a few seconds later zipped. Because it gets nearly completely dark for some seconds the sight of Amy’s hooded head, which is now her own appearance as well, stays in her mind. Then her eyes adjust to new conditions and she is able to see the inside of her hood in a dark shade, and when bowing her head she is just able to see a stripe of light on the floor, which is much smaller than the opening in the hood due to her small field of view. She gets just enough light to sense what is up and down, but no information about her surroundings, because due to padding over the ears all noises have ceased as well.

Then she senses a firm hand on her back as the signal for her to walk. Of course she knows the way, but quickly the supporting hand on her shoulder pushes as well to make her turn a little. Even if being corrected every few seconds Lisa knows this her first trip walking virtually blind is out to the curb. But when coming to the end of the ride she will know nothing about how far to walk, or if making a stop a stripe of light is of little use either. Lisa is thrilled by walking blindly into the unknown, or is it the dildo moving inside that excites her?

In a few minutes she is seated in a car, which is more comfortable than the furniture she is used to, perhaps because the soft back gives room for her bound arms. She can sense a seat belt across her front, feeling like she is occupying the left seat, but nothing else. She hears nothing and has no indication of who is right next to her if any. It takes five minutes before vibration tells her the engine has been started, and as she after another five minutes only have sensed some changes in the vibration pattern she figures the drive is so smooth that she is unable to sense acceleration and turns.

Quite fresh she can do nothing but think or dream. Is Amy spending her life just pleasing Andrew, herself and perhaps others? Or do she make some work of some kind? Does she spend some hours in only the thin latex suit to be able to work like a Norma? Or is she able to do some intellectual work by typing with her mittens on the oversize keyboard? There are many more questions like this, but Lisa neither gets to think about more questions nor think about possible answers to her first questions. Suddenly the dildo inside her starts vibrating and turns all her thoughts into dreams about latex, rubber, dolls and sex.

Lisa is hot, sweaty and exhausted when again thinking normally. Hours have been lost in dreams and pleasure she is sure. But how many? She becomes aware she has regained her senses because the dildo has stopped vibrating. Are the batteries gone dead or has it been stopped by remote control because they have reached their destination, or just a stop to get stretched? They should be there late in the afternoon. But Lisa has no idea what time of day it is, and can’t get the information. The car is still vibrating. Lisa relaxes. She has to get used to that while dressed as a rubber doll the most basic information may be out of her reach and that just about everything is outside her control. All that matters is that she feels wonderful, she has just been absorbed by wonderful dreams, and she is on her way to a sort of vacation in a house of latex people. She might as well try to imagine how the coming night will be. Is it Amy’s turn? Or did Andrew make love to both of them last night? Lisa tries to recall the minutes with Andrew on top of her. But soon after the engine stops.

The few minutes in total silence feels much longer, and Lisa is about to use her imagination again, when suddenly touched as a signal to move. Her legs feel numb after being seated for so long, but a hand on both shoulders makes her feel safe despite walking blind at an unknown place.

The walk is more than twice as long as for entering a typical family home like their own. But just as Lisa has prepared herself for walking on and on they stop. She has been leaned back and senses a wall to support her. If she is treated like Amy was treated yesterday then she may have to stand here for an hour.

Perhaps because of expecting to wait long it feels like only a few minutes have passed when she senses her hood being grabbed and soon after the cloak is as in one movement removed.

The first Lisa notices is that the room is huge. Along the centreline of the room there are three groups of furniture, each with a table and a large sofa and ample space between and around each group. The floor is dark wood and there are no carpets. The far end wall has a large painting of a mountain view nearly filling the entire surface. To the right are only windows facing a garden reaching as far as can be seen. To the left the wall is only made up of dark wood panels, but not as dark as the floor. Evenly spaced along its length are six openings, the size and shape of doors, but round at the top. They are too closely spaced for leading to wings, at least if all of them do, and even if just leading to other rooms those would be narrow. But then Lisa observes they are not doorways, but just rather deep alcoves. And the three far are empty, and the three close contain a large actually quite bright red object, just seeming dark because no light fall into the back of the alcoves.

Lisa is disbelievingly looking at three dolls exactly like herself and Amy. Or is Amy one of them? She makes a hazardous turn on her feet and at the same time turns her head stretching the rubber at full force. Andrew and a doll stand a few steps behind her, and she doesn’t need to fear falling because there are five Norma’s around her as well, two of them taking hold at her shoulders because of her turn. Anything could have happened in the time it took her to mince to this room and while she was waiting. Is it Amy at Andrew’s side, and if yes who are the other dolls? And is her mum among the Norma’s? As with the two Norma’s at home yesterday they only differ by being of slightly different height. But the five are only differing some three to four inches in total. She can’t be sure the one she named Big Norma is the tallest or that her mum is the smallest. She had expected days of playing some sort of rubber games with big sis and chatting in between, but this looks totally different from anything she has dreamed or imagined.

Then Andrew speaks “Welcome to the rubber mansion Lisa and Heather. There are of course many more rooms, but all of the residents are present in here. A tour of the house has to wait or you can investigate it on your own in the days to come. Because there is something I have to say. Lisa, I have to admit that your mum and I have been in contact much more than what have reached you. I think she has a pretty good impression of what goes on here. For her coming here means never being alone anymore, and always able to find someone willing to fulfil her sexual desires – well I don’t think she will ever need to ask. You, Lisa, can live out your rubber dreams, be close to your sis and mum, and learn both about the adult sides of life as well as have some formal education. When I tell all this so soon after you have arrived it’s because I want you to from the beginning to think of this as your new home, and not think of going back. You see, Amy and I have decided it’s time for something new to happen in our relationship. We will stay together, but like to make a formal change, which will make it much more fun when we are together. I like you Lisa to be part of this arrangement. In the old days I just had to ask your father or guardian, and if we reached an agreement you would be mine. Until recently your mum was your guardian, and she has consented and would be happy to see us as a couple. But now you have come of age, and besides in modern times each of us should both want it. I think you begin to understand that the arrangement that Amy and I want you to be part of start with Amy and I wanting to divorce. And then I ask you Lisa: Will you marry me?”

Lisa is disoriented and in disbelief after this long speech so much about her and even more about her future, where she had just expected to be introduced to this place and its people for staying a couple of weeks. Her state of mind is clearly displayed on her face, but of course hidden to those watching her, but a shiver goes though her body and she urgently has to sit down and take this in. She takes some insecure steps aimed at the nearest chair, but her puzzled mind can’t control the high heels with her restricted legs and she starts falling. But arms of several Norma’s immediately hold her so that no legs are needed, and she is dragged to a chair. As soon as she sits on her own a straw is entered in her mouth tube and a Norma holds a glass of freshly squeezed juice for her to drink.

While sipping for the next few minutes Andrew is a little away out of her sight, and she is only watching masked women, who do nothing but watch, and thus with their unchanging faces do not force a certain decision upon her.

The liquid has made her mind clear. Lisa will do as she has always done. Do what big sis wants. She makes an attempt to get up, but with rigid legs and hands locked on her back, it is not possible. But it works as a signal to the Norma’s and soon she is standing with two of them ready to support her. She shakes her locked arms, and a nod from Andrew leads immediately to a Norma removing the clip.

She takes the step needed to stand directly in front of Amy. Then she turns to face Andrew. Stretches her forearm towards him and then bends it to touch her own chest. She turns her head to see Amy has started nodding. But to leave no doubt she takes a step forward to touch Andrew’s crotch with her mitten, and then moves the mitten to touch her own dress over the crotch. Amy keeps nodding. Amy wants Lisa to marry Andrew replacing herself. Lisa starts nodding to Andrew, making Andrew say looking very pleased “Dear Lisa, I take this as you have decided to accept my marriage proposal?” Lisa keeps nodding for about ten seconds more until Andrew says “Thank you Lisa, my love. Now watch how we keep the dolls when not in use.”

Andrew looks at Amy, who makes a small nod and starts mincing towards the long dark wall. Andrew puts his arm around Lisa and they follow Amy. Amy goes to the fourth, the first empty, alcove. Andrew stops when they are five feet from the alcove where Amy has turned to stand in the darkness with her back against the alcove back wall. Then a Norma walks into the alcove and do something with Amy. In less than a minute the Norma squats down to reach under Amy’s dress. Moving her field of view upwards Lisa can now observe that wide black straps at the waist, around the shoulders and under the chin fixes Amy’s body and head to the wall behind her. Meanwhile the Norma is walking away from the alcove. Lisa remembers there is an eyelet or hook under their soles, which probably means Amy has been fixed to the floor as well.

Lisa lets her head move up and down a couple of times to really take in this sight, while wondering if she is to be placed in an alcove as well if Andrew is not around or wants to play with another doll or a Norma for a change. Would it be exciting or boring? As her head stops moving Andrew says “Our heads approximately fill Amy’s completely fixed field of view I think. Wish her pleasant dreams by nodding a couple of times. I’ll make her dreams pleasant with this.” While Lisa nods towards the alcove Andrew holds a remote control up in her field of view and pushes a sequence of keys. Lisa keeps staring at Amy for half a minute, but there is no movements to reciprocate her nodding or that shows a dildo is now vibrating inside her.

Andrew says “Dolls can’t move if no one plays with them, but the dolls here are always having fun. Which reminds me, I haven’t introduced you to the rest of the collection.” He puts his arm around her again and they walk parallel to the wall for Lisa to see that the other three dolls are indistinguishable from Amy, and perhaps herself. They all stand completely unmoving with not even breath movements showing due to the thick rubber dress, and of course nothing shows if the dolls notice them when they are passing though their field of view. As they stop at the last doll Andrew says “Now you have met my other former wives, Pamela, Melissa and Jennifer, although not necessarily in that order. I’m so happy this afternoon has turned out so wonderful. I think we’ll postpone dinner and just have fun. Watch!”

Andrew makes Lisa turn towards the doorway, in front of which the five Norma’s are now standing in an arch, hands folded, and awaiting orders. Lisa and Andrew walk slowly towards the doorway for ten seconds before Lisa discovers what Andrew meant. All five Norma’s start squirming and twisting and their hands move to their breasts or crotch or both. Lisa stops to see them rather quickly being absorbed by pleasure – two of them already too far out to stay on their feet. Amy and the other dolls in a strange way made her aroused. This show very naturally increases her excitement. The fluids produced makes her dildo move, which reminds her that she has one as well – and she is now the only woman in here … Her dildo starts vibrating. Lisa just gets a glimpse of Andrew unzipping his pants before her surroundings become unimportant and she just thinks of latex, rubber, dolls, sex, latex, rubber, dolls, sex, latex, rubber …

Copyright © 2009, Bo_Emp; moc.oohay@pmE_oB

Bo_Emp’s Tales

Bo_Emp was a prolific and highly talented writer of erotica who disappeared from the web and stopped contacting all his friends late in 2016. We can only assume the worst. He worked with me for many years on the Tales of the Veils website which I set-up in 2005 and he took over in 2007 and ran until 2016. Most of his work can be found there but there are a few tales that don’t fit within the scope of that site. Not wishing the stories of such a talented author to be lost in the electronic ether, I re-post them here as a tribute to a great writer.

mermaid

Bo_Emp’s “portrait” on the old TOTV. He was both Danish and a lover of female veiling

My non-TOTV stories

by Bo_Emp

Following are stories outside the scope of TOTV. They were originally published on Querthe’s Qlair forum. Because this no longer exists I’ve made this remote corner of TOTV to still have them on the net.
March 2014

Weekend at Birchdale (Nov 2008)
Four couples meet at Birchdale Manor for the women to dress as Joanna, the first Lady of Birchdale, at her wedding. This involves being both restricted and wearing a leather mask…

 

Big Sis Is Back (Nov 2009)
Lisa’s sister is coming to visit her for the first time after having married a wealthy man with whom she shares a passion for latex. Lisa looks up to her sister and is eager to learn about her sister’s new lifestyle…

 

Ascension in the East: Chapters 13-15

Chapters 11-12

 

Chapter 13 – Maid to Measure

This moment was broken only minutes later by the door to their marital chamber opening and closing well inside the terrace doors. Unable to crane her modified neck back all that way, Jasmine looked to Steven, and saw his eyes glaze over. She only saw why when Somanass and Sukhumala came around to the front of their throne-like perches.

The bodies of the two maids were the same, exactly. They still sported the same fake, bouncy breasts, hourglass waists and wide hips. Unlike with Jasmine herself, whose breasts easily outdid those of her maids after these latest changes, nothing had changed there. Significantly they still had all their limbs. But their faces. Oh yes, something had been altered there. Their already puffed up and modified lips had gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. They now dominated their entire faces, two glossy pink tyres each with a large adult-sized version of a child’s dummy lodged within it. The two maids stood before their master and mistress, bowed deeply and then knelt. Then they slowly and ceremoniously removed their pacifiers and both Steven and Jasmine’s eyes grew wide in astonishment, for behind the plastic end plate each had an enormous phallus lodged deep within her throat. Immediately it became apparent why they now needed baby stoppers, for drool started dripping from their modified mouths instantly, mouths that they could obviously no longer close properly.

Quickly, carefully, silently, each grasped their charge’s hips and scooted them closer to the edge of the plush thrones in the warm night air. They then pushed their heads towards the royal couple, Somanass affixing her warm lips to Jasmine’s yearning nether regions, whilst Sukhumala took Steven’s entire member within her orifice. And the shock did not end there either, for Jasmine discovered to her surprise – and delight – that the new lips had a great suction to them and the tongue within them was now pierced and ridged and could do sensational things to her enlarged and engorged new clit, whilst for Steven, once his member was fully inside Sukhumala’s mouth, the walls of the cavern that now encased it clenched around it and a strange yet sensational vibrating began.

Within seconds both were lost in a world of pleasure, fidgeting on their throne, ready to explode with orgasmic ecstasy when, just as quickly as it had started, it all stopped. The maids withdrew their mouths and instead knelt silently before them.

“What?” asked Steven.

“Why?” asked Jasmine.

“They have stopped because I have ordered them to do so,” pronounced a third voice. Jasmine groaned; she should have known! The Honorable Chandarith stepped into view, smirking like the cat that had just eaten the cream. “I ordered them to demonstrate to you what we have done with their mouths. A practical explanation always works better than an academic one, don’t you think? But I shall provide you with the latter as well. You see, both of your girls no longer have teeth and the insides of their mouths have been remodelled to resemble their vaginal channel, albeit quite decorated. They can no longer speak and nor can they close their mouths, hence the need for the dummies. They had to have surgery on the jaw to enable them to open them so far for you, and any gag reflex has been dealt with. Both girls have undergone a tracheotomy so that they may still breath with your mighty tool lodged inside them, Emperor Nguanamthom. I have ordered them to desist now as it would be improper for you to reach a climax before your coronation now, wouldn’t it? Girls, depart!”

At this order, the two maids dutifully stood up and left, so that the two royals were left alone in the room with their tormentor.

“So, that is them, but what about you? I bet you both have so many questions to ask…”

“You bet we fucking do, we…”

“Shhh, Empress Sukkisawali, shhh! Talk to me like that and you’ll receive no answers whatsoever, and I’ll revoke what privileges you have left. I do not have to put up with it, as you now know. If you want to know what’s what then stay silent!”

And then, to prove the point that he didn’t have to put up with anything, the evil courtier casually took one of Jasmine’s monstrous nipples and twisted it sharply. She cried out in agony but was powerless to stop him.

“So, shall you obey or not?”

Realising that they had no choice, both nodded meekly, or at least, Steven did and Jasmine tried to although her modified neck prevented it.

“Right, so the limbs. Neither of you have them anymore. You do not need them. You are royalty; you have people like Sukhumala, Somanass and myself to do everything for you. What greater sign of nobility could their be? Not that the public shall ever be aware of this of course. No, to the world at large, you shall always be fully-limbed and virile, even as you age – and with the medical care and healthy diet that both of you shall be receiving, expect to live into three figures. Those limbs you have already experienced. They are attached to powerful electromagnets implanted beneath your skin and shall always be a part of you when you are outside of your quarters. As they are made utilising the latest robotic technology — of which we Sukhothais are world leaders — and as you shall always be clothed outside of these quarters, then no one will ever suspect a thing. They are controlled by a control centre located… well, you don’t need to know where I suppose… but manned by expertly-trained personnel who work 24/7 at the command of the generals and myself. They coordinate every movement from the simple handshake to complicated gymnastics. All you need do is enjoy the ride, as it were. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. However, once in your quarters, you shall be guided to your throne where the limbs disengage leaving you to relax. In here your maids are your limbs and shall look after your every need as is their sacred vocation in life which, I believe, you have already learnt, is something that both of them fully believe in, impressionable young girls that they were when we first got hold of them.

And then there are your voices too. Yes, you can use them freely now but you couldn’t before. Like with the limbs, there is a sensor attached to your voice box which overrides the nerves between the brain and the vocal chords whenever you leave your quarters. Thus everything that you say and do, even the very opening of your mouths is controlled from the same control centre as your elegant new limbs. Remember all those long hours we spent getting you to recite speeches and phrases in Sukhothai? Well, we compiled everything, did in-depth analysis on your voice patterns and can now replicate you saying any phrase realistically, not that you shall ever say much beyond a small number of stock phrases and announcements, but that’s by the by. There is a phrase, I believe, in the West, to describe constitutional monarchs with no real power. Apparently they call them ‘puppets’. Well, I can think of no better term for the Emperor and Empress of Sukhothai except that we are now so technologically advanced and sophisticated that, well, who needs strings…?

But, to become monarchs of any type, even puppets, one needs a coronation, does one not? So, I leave you here in the care of your good maids and shall see you in three hours hence in the Great Temple in Angkor…”

Chapter 14 – Becoming Emperor Nguanamthom and Empress Sukkisawali

And so their counsellor left and their maids returned. The naked torsos of the rulers-to-be were taken to their shower area where things had been radically altered since their last visit. Now, unable to do anything for themselves, they found themselves being placed into two contraptions hanging from the ceiling. At a distance these looked a little like string bags but once in them they found that they were made of rubber and had straps going around the torso above and below the breasts and one more which went between the arse cheeks, around the genitalia – frustratingly, not touching it so that no sexual relief could be garnered – and then up both the back and front to keep the whole thing together. Placed in this, the maids could then wash each of them thoroughly before then drying them and combing out Jasmine’s long and glorious hair. Tight stays were then fitted on Jasmine which incorporated cups for her ballooning chest and then plugs inserted in both her holes. To Steven’s dismay, he discovered that he was now expected to wear a small plug in his bottom too (to prevent accidents) and that this would regularly start vibrating at random times throughout the day, causing him further frustration. After this, both were lifted out of the bathroom “bags” and dressed in their underwear, a tight, white all-encompassing garment rather like a leotard or ladies’ one-piece swimsuit except that there were no leg or arm holes and Steven’s included a opening for his enormous penis (which was still erect and never would be otherwise) to jut out of. That Holy Tool was then covered in its sheath and the monarchs carried out to their thrones whereupon their golden limbs reattached themselves to their bodies – presumably at the command of unseen control centre – and a white catsuit fitted on each royal so that all the skin below the neck was covered up.

Then other, unknown servants came in to dress Steven in his robes and Jasmine in an elaborate ao dai, after which their limbs sat them down and both had their hair and makeup (another first for Steven, but it was to become the norm for public functions) attended to. Then, finally ready, they were walked by their new limbs out to a waiting helicopter and whisked away to Angkor.


The coronation ceremonies took all day. When they arrived in the capital, they were greeted by thousands of cheering citizens, all waving the national flags. The limbs that now carried them around walked past them, waving and greeting the occasional baby or cute child. It was strange for both Jasmine and Steven that they had no control whatsoever over their bodies or mouths, they merely existed as two cardboard cutouts for the benefit of the nation.

Inside the temple they first had to participate in the Buddhist marriage ceremony again so as to publicly demonstrate to the nation that they were legally wedded and then it was the coronation itself. Following that there was more greeting the crowds and then an enormous banquet in the palace with hundreds of foreign dignitaries and national notables. Neither of them was required to say anything, but what was most annoying was that both were starving, and yet their new hands only picked up the tiniest of morsels for them to eat!

Then, around eight, they were led away to their new quarters, at first separately, where each had a throne waiting. Placed in them, their limbs disengaged and their maids undressed them completely. Jasmine then found herself being carried off to a massage table upon which she was placed and fragrant oils kneaded into her beautiful but truncated form whilst her hair was washed and also oiled. Her nipple and clit jewellery was then removed and replaced with some new pieces that were far more extravagant. Each was fashioned into the form of a beautiful pink butterfly, the ring forming the body of the creature through which the nipple or clit poked through, engorged and excited. Holding up a mirror to show her how they looked, Jasmine could see that they were really nice but couldn’t understand this pampering. But then Somanass produced a note for her to read.

“Since you married again today, we must make this a worthy wedding night, for tonight will be the first time that you couple truly as Ragaraja and Sowathara. Emperor Nguanamthom will not be able to resist you tonight, you are so exquisitely beautiful. It is an honour to serve such a marvellous monarch.”

These kind words which she knew were true and heartfelt made Jasmine warm inside. However, the sentence that followed made her shudder.

“The jewellery is a wedding and coronation present from the Honoured Chandarith. He says that he wishes for you to be reminded of him, your most devoted and loyal servant, when you wear it.”

Reminded of him! If only she were not!

Beautified to befit her exalted role, Jasmine was then placed on a silk coverlet on a large silver platter and carried into the Emperor’s bedchamber. Her spouse, both human and divine was there waiting for her, similarly prepared, wearing an enormous red butterfly around the base of his raging, gigantic penis. Placed on the bed beside him, she wriggled up towards him and their lips met for a lingering kiss. Feeling the monster pressing against her womb, she longed for it to be inside her, but truncated as she was, she could not maneuver things so. Steven was equally helpless and, desperate with longing, the two looked at their maids who nodded, climbed onto the bed with them, each picking a royal up and slowly lowering the Empress Sukkisawali onto the rampant penis of Emperor Nguanamthom. Never before had Jasmine felt so full, never before had Jasmine felt so excited and, as they slowly started rocking, the supportive hands of their maids behind them, never before had Jasmine felt so much in love with a man.

Chapter 15 – Epilogue

Three years later

Steven opened his eyes as the morning sun filtered through the blinds of their sumptuous bedroom. The first sight that he saw was the first thing that he saw every morning, and it was a view that warmed his heart: it was the sleeping form of his beautiful wife, Jasmine or, as the world called her, the Empress Sukkisawali. What he saw today was the back of her head, her ebony locks spreading out across the bed. This is because they were lying against each other “spooning,” or at least they would be if either of them had arms and legs. Their maids had arranged them in that position so that they could happily fall off to sleep together, their two truncated bodies as one. As she slept, Steven silently watched her gargantuan breasts rise and fall and his member, erect and longing as it had been now continually for the past three years, began to long to enter her. His hip twitched and he momentarily mourned his inability to satisfy himself, but this melancholy quickly passed.

And whilst he wished to copulate, he did not want to disturb his beloved’s beauty sleep. They had a hard day ahead of them after all: today was to be the naming ceremony for their twelfth child, the baby Loethai. Not that Jasmine had ever given birth of course. Instead her eggs and his seed were collected in a ceremony every Friday and their ten birthmaidens; homely, plain noble girls, raised to be mothers, were implanted. This had been the way that royals had reproduced ever since the close of World War II and the Great Changes, although no previous Emperor had sired so many in such a short time.

But then again, no previous Emperor had had to repopulate an entire royal family from scratch.

Somanass, one of the two maidservants who were forever present in their chamber (to such a degree that their absence was quite unsettling for the two) saw his opened eyes, came over and fixed her modified mouth over his cock. The vibrating began almost immediately and the feeling was exquisite. But the movement and his gasps woke Jasmine, who wriggled around, her round ass shaking with the effort. Somanass withdrew and the two royals kissed, deep tenderness in their eyes.

Knowing intuitively what they wanted, Somanass pointed down to which the Emperor shook his head. She then pointed up. Steven nodded. Up meant the swing.

Because of their truncated forms, the Emperor and Empress needed assistance from their maids to copulate. The night before, when Steven had used his wife anally, Sukhumala, the other maid, had had to strap him to her torso in what looked like a large baby carrier, and used the motion of her hips to help him move in and out of his wife’s beautiful and generous arse. All the positions on the bed required at least a third person, but on the swing they could be alone. It was a simple device, like one of those swings for young children that have a rail to hold them in safely, except that this one was made of gold, padded with silken cushions and held both in at the same time.

Carefully, Somanass lowered the device down onto the bed and then lifted her master into it. Once she was sure that he was secure, she then took her mistress and placed her in, impaling her on her husband’s cock in the process. Thus situated with their hips pinned together, the penis could not slip out and they were safe and free. Somanass pulled the chain and the swing slowly rose up and up, above the bedroom and into the great glass dome that formed its ceiling. When they’d first experienced it, Jasmine had said that it reminded her of a gilded bird’s cage yet, unlike birds in their cages, it was on their swing that the royal couple were more at liberty than anywhere else in the world.

There, bathed in the morning sunlight, the great city of Angkor laid out below them, they were alone and free.

“Dance my darling,” whispered Steven into his wife’s ear and, with a smile on her lips, she slowly started grinding herself against the throbbing monster within her, causing the swing to move as both of them thanked Ragaraja and Sowathara for entering their bodies and bringing them together in holy union.