The Goddess Provides, Officially: Chapter 9 & Epilogue

Chapters 7-8

Seni_Pot_Cover

Chapter 9

Chaos reigned in the Ankhkhaf house! Meryetamun Ankhkhaf fainted, and from her daughter Heni’s mouth erupted an awful sound, something between a scream and a wail and, when she had done that, she lunged for her potted sister and had to be restrained by her father. Lord Nebet turned on his son and bellowed, “Hapu! I demand an explanation!” whilst Teo clapped her hands in glee and hugged her mistress.

It was a full ten minutes before things calmed down.

When they did, the talk was sober and serious.

“Hapu, it is not possible. She is a potgirl! You cannot marry a potgirl!”

“Why not, Father? Lots of men in noble families have potwives. Your own grandfather on your father’s side had two, as did Mother’s dad.”

“Yes, but that is different.They were potted after marriage, after childbirth. Senisonbe here has already undergone the procedure.”

And she is promised to the temple,” added Unasankh Ankhkhaf, “and that is a sacred vow that we cannot renege on.”

“And you both promised to honour my proposal if I made it.”

“To Hentmereb, Hapuneseb, I promised to honour your proposal to Hentmereb!”

“But sir, I never mentioned Hentmereb. I merely promised to propose to your daughter, Miss Ankhkhaf. That could be Heni or Seni.”

“He has a point, Unasankh,” said Lord Nebet, “although, promise or not, I cannot allow it. The fact is Hapu, you are our only child and the Nebets are an ancient and noble line. I require you to produce an heir and, charming though Miss Seni may be, she is clearly unable to do so. Therefore, I must veto this union on those grounds alone.”

“But Father, if that is your only objection, then you should have no fear! Miss Senisonbe could produce an heir for me. When we were talking, she explained that, as part of the potisation process, the eggs in her ovaries were removed and frozen for future fertilisation as, in the temple of Isis, the semen of the priests is matched with the eggs of the temple potgirls and surrogate mothers – young pious poor girls who want to attain favour with the goddess – birth them before giving them to the temple. They become the next generation of priests. So why not, instead of a priest, my seed could be used and, providing we can find a suitable surrogate, our children can be birthed?”

“I’ll act as a surrogate for my beloved mistress,” shouted out Teo, before remembering her place and shutting up again.

Hapu looked at his father as if to say, ‘Well then?’ and Lord Nebet shrugged. “If that is the case, then… then I have no objections. Potisation is an ancient and noble Egyptian custom and, if my son and the girl are happy, and if you too Unasankh, have no objections about marrying a daughter into the Nebet clan, then why should I stand in your way?”

“Lord Nebet, I am honoured to have a daughter be considered worthy to become a Nebet, but what of the Temple of Holy Isis? I made a sacred vow and that cannot be broken.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry too much about that, Unasankh; I know the head priest at that temple well and, between you and me, if we grease his palm enough, he’ll find a way around the vow. Indeed, I’ve heard of it before; if one daughter cannot make it for whatever reason, then they’re always happen to accept another.”

“Noooooo!!” cried Heni and her mother in unison, collapsing on the floor together.

But Unasankh Ankhkhaf was a changed man. He had a daughter marrying into the Nebet family, he could see the joy on her face, and he could still retain his pious standing in the temple. “Although I must admit that this is something of a surprise and unexpected turn of events, Hapuneseb Nebet, I accept your proposal to my daughter and, Senisonbe, I will allow you to wed.”


The torches flickered and the smell of frankincense wafted through the balmy night air. The sound of ululating womenfolk drew louder and louder until it stopped and a knock sounded on the great, carved door.

“Enter!” ordered Hapuneseb, heir to the noble and ancient house of Nebet.

The door opened and a pair of servants entered, carrying a veiled object on a silver tray between them. They laid it down on the carved wooden table at the end of the bed, bowed, and then departed, carefully closing the great wooden door behind them.

When they had gone, Hapuneseb walked over to the object and, carefully removed the embroidered piece of white silk that covered it.

In doing so he revealed a beautiful potgirl, with large chocolate-coloured eyes and the most captivating smile this side of the Sinai Desert.

Smiling, he bent down and carefully lifted her up and carried her into the bed itself. Then he removed his silken wedding robes to reveal his rampant member. Sitting down on the bed, he opened his legs wide and then picked up to potgirl and, lovingly kissed her on the lips. She reciprocated and groaned in bliss. Then, carefully, he positioned his tool over the aperture in the clay that revealed her womanly channel and said, “Seni, my darling wife, I love you with all my heart!”

“Officially?” she asked him with a grin in-between her panting.

“Officially,” he replied, before lowering himself deep within her.

Epilogue – Scenes from a Marriage

Hapu lay on the bed, his baby daughter cradled in his arms. Beside them stood his wife in her pot, the look in her eyes full of maternal bliss.

Nefertiry – or Nefi for short – had been born safely only three days before. Created from Seni’s egg fertilised with Hapu’s seed and then transferred inside the womb of Teo, she had enjoyed an easy birth and the hospital had given the all-clear for her to leave the premises and enter the family home. Teo was breastfeeding her and taking care of most of her needs just as a real mother would, although they made sure that the baby spent most of her time with her biological mother who happily sang her lullabies to help her sleep. In the meantime, a new maid had been hired to see to Seni’s needs to give the exhausted Teo a break.

After Nefi had drifted off, Hapu lifted his eyes to those of his beloved wife and smiled. She smiled back and then whispered, “Darling, we need to talk.”

“What is it?”

“What are we to do about Teo? She has done so much for us; how can we ever repay her?”

“She has not asked for any repayment and she tells me that she is perfectly happy.”

“She tells me the same, Hapu, but I know that she is lying. I am a woman after all. She has needs, we all do, and little Nefi here has awoken them.”

“Needs?”

“Sexual needs. Maternal needs. Like I said, she is a woman, and an attractive one at that.”

Hapu had noticed the same thing, of course, but he had wisely never mentioned it. It does not do to mention to your wife that you are transfixed by the shape of her maid’s arse, particularly when she does not have an arse of her own.

“She should marry then. She has had plenty of suitors and we would provide a suitable dowry.”

“She will not. I ordered her to and she refused. Our family took her in as a young girl; we played together as children, and she has made a vow dedicating her life to looking after me. She never agreed with me undergoing potisation; it really upset her, and she promised that she would always be by my side. I have told her that she should not feel beholden but she is stubborn. She will not marry, no matter who comes knocking.”

“Then there is nothing we can do.”

“But there is something, Hapu.”

“What?”

His wife looked at him, her eyes tracing every inch of the body that she loved so much, and she smiled. “You,” she whispered softly.

“Me?”

“You’re a man, and men, like women, have needs. Don’t think I haven’t noticed your eyes following her around the room, fixing on her bum or breasts. Like I said earlier, she’s an attractive woman, and men want an attractive woman to hold and caress.”

“Darling, there is only one woman in my life… or at least, there was until little Nefi here came along! And I love her because she has come from you. You, Seni, you are the one I love, with all my heart, the only one I have ever and will ever love.”

“I know that darling, but…”

“But nothing! If I’d have wanted a full-bodied girl to squeeze and caress then I’d have married your sister! You satisfy my needs, completely and totally. I need nobody else.”

“Hapu, you are many things, but a good liar is not one of them. Yes, you love me totally, I know that and always will; yes, you will always be mine. That is why I am comfortable suggesting such a thing! But that doesn’t mean that you don’t dream of a full-bodied girl from time to time. A breast to cup or buttock to stroke.”

“When I stroke the curves of your pot then I imagine…”

“Imagine no longer, Hapu, do not fantasise, live! Lie with Teo when she is ready again; satisfy her needs and give her a child. Reward her for her service to us and show her that you… we, care.”

“I couldn’t! I’d feel guilty, I’d… to go behind your back…”

“Hapu, I don’t have a back and, besides, you wouldn’t be. I would there too, in the bed with you both. Kissing your lips as you satisfied her.”

Hapu imagined the scene and, involuntarily, his member stiffened. Seni glanced down and smiled. “Do it for me, Hapu; that’s an order.”


For a number of months now, Hapu had noticed an uneasiness with his potwife whenever they talked or lay together. It was as if something was on her mind and so, one evening after congress, when she was lying alongside him in their bed, he asked her straight what it was that was bothering her.

“It is my sister. I feel guilty. She would never have had to undergo potisation if it weren’t for my actions and, I fear she must hate me for it. After all, she wanted to marry so much – or at least, to enjoy some of the benefits of marrying – and, whatever her faults, potisation is never easy. I want to speak with her and, if possible, to beg her forgiveness. She took the place in the temple that should have been mine and yet I know she was never of a religious bent. I fear that place is not suitable for her.”

“But you know that visiting temple potgirls is prohibited… if  I had known back then, not even family! No. Their job is to pray for us and to do that, they must be cut off from the world.”

“Yes, that is true, and I would never have asked before. But the fact is that their guardian can request to see them – I learned this when I was being prepared for temple life – and ever since Papa passed away so suddenly, then you became her guardian and thus can see her.”

“Even so, that is me, not you.”

“But we have money and even in Isis temples, I am sure that money can unlock some doors that otherwise would be closed, remember what your father did for mine. That temple receives a sizeable income from both the Ankhkhaf and Nebet families and they wouldn’t want to lose some of that.”

“Well, if it mean so much to you, darling, we shall go there on the morrow.”


And so, the very next morning, Hapu did carry his potwife up the steps to the esteemed Isis temple. And, once there, he requested a meeting with the high priest who, after initially refusing and stating that such a meeting would be “impossible”, then discovered, with the lubrication of a sizeable donation to the new wing that was currently being planned for a further forty potgirls, that there was in fact a loophole in the law that allowed a temple potgirl to meet with, not only their guardian but also other females so long as they too have undergone potisation.

Twenty minutes later, Heni was carried into the private chamber that the priest had found for them. There, before two smoking incense burners, she was carefully set down by the temple attendant who promptly left the three alone.

Heni looked far better than Seni had expected. She had worried about her sister being depressed and this showing in her face and demeanour. She had anticipated a torrent of abuse or even a refusal to meet with the woman and man who had caused her life to be transformed from that of a free, able-bodied young noblewoman, to an immobile, dependent religious ornament. However, to her surprise, Heni’s skin seemed to glow in the lamplight and her expression was a happy one.

“It is so good to see you sister and brother-in-law!” she exclaimed once the attendant had gone. “You really have left it too long! Please, give me a kiss.”

Hapu picked up his wife and carried her over, angling her pot so that the two sisters could embrace. Then, after putting her down again, he too kissed Heni and, to his surprise and shock, he found that as he did so, her tongue entered his mouth and explored it a little more than was proper. He withdrew and she winked at him.

“Not what you expected, eh?”

“Not quite,” replied Seni, who was both surprised and a little concerned. Had the temple sent her sister round the bend?

“You expected me to be cursing you – both of you – for putting me in here, and by that I mean in this pot and this place. You expected me to hate you, Hapu, for rejecting me and choosing her, whilst you, Seni, dearest sis, for condemning me to a life which, as you know better than anyone, is far from easy.”

“Heni, I never meant for you to be hurt, I…”

“Shhh, leave it. I bear you no ill will… either of you. True, I did find it hard, especially the potisation. Why would anyone ever want to have half their body chopped off and be entombed within a vase for the rest of their lives, unable to do the slightest thing for oneself? True, I have heard that there are some pretty messed up individuals who do want it, some sort of weird fetish or something, but, trust me, I was never one of them. Yeah, your names were mud for many weeks with me, and I was pretty low, let me tell you. I mean, my whole future had been taken from me and I was being transformed into some pious ornament whose only function is to pray endlessly until she leaves this world, after which she’ll be reborn in the next, just as helpless and miserable. However, after I arrived here, well, my outlook changed.”

“It did?” the couple said in tandem.

“Yeah, it did. This place wasn’t what I expected. In all honesty, I don’t think it would have suited you at all, Seni.”

“But I was always the more religious one of us.”

“Religion ain’t got nothing to do with it, sis.”

“What on earth do you mean?”

“Look, which goddess is this temple dedicated to?”

“Isis, of course.”

“And what are her attributes?”

“Well, she’s the mother goddess, the sky goddess, fertility, magic, and miracles…”

“Precisely, fertility and magic. Which means, well, depending on how you translate it, that this place is the place to come for a bit of magic or a miracle. And how the priests translate that is, well, how priests translate these things everywhere: in the way that brings in the most profit for the temple.”

“Heni, how can you say such things? That’s blasphemous!”

“Seni, I’m a temple potgirl; I can say whatever the hell I want and I say them because I live here and I know what goes on. Before I came, I thought it would all be a lifetime of standing on a shelf and reciting prayers like you did in the shrine room for all those months. However, the reality is very different indeed.”

“In what way?”

“Isis enables miracles, right, through the medium of her potgirls. And fertility is all about sex, right again? So, how does this place make its money? Basically, men – and a few women – come here to copulate with the potgirls. We’re like a holy brothel. They pay a handsome sum and then take one of us into a chamber like this one – indeed, I was in this very room only yesterday with the High Judge – and they give us a damn good spiritual probing. Men love it; a lot seem to have a potgirl fetish, the helplessness of us appeals I suppose, and so there is no shortage of takers. Plus, with a temple potgirl, not only is there no risk of pregnancy, but it is also a blessing, not a sin. See a whore and the world judges; screw a temple potgirl and you receive great boons. And not only you, us too.”

“What are you saying? This is outrageous!”

“Seni, you prude, calm down! The fact is, I have always liked men. I longed to feel a penis inside me but all that stupid no sex before marriage crap prevented it. I was horny as hell, Hapu you remember. Now though, I get as much cock as I like, all the time! On average five times a day; at festival times it can be double or triple that. I get to be probed right in the spirit constantly and I absolutely love it. Rather than sitting around dreaming of it at home, today I am living it. Of course, I wish I still had arms and legs and that, some of these acolytes have no sense of rhythm, but one can’t have everything. The fact is Hapu, if we’re honest, me and you would never have worked; you were looking for true love; I’m just wanton. But you fucked up, you know, big boy, you fucked up big time.”

“How?”

“Well, if you’d have married me, then we could have screwed as often as we liked, full-bodied, which would have been something, and with Seni as a temple potgirl, you could have taken her as much as you wanted too. But this way, while you can still enjoy us both to your heart’s content (so long as you pay the temple fee, of course) it will only ever be as potgirls. You lose out; never mind.”

Seni was incredulous. “So, it’s all about sex. All you think about is sex?”

“Not all, darling sis. A lot, yes, but not all. The fact is that we’re a community here. Men are all well and good for fucking, but I wouldn’t want to have to live with them and talk to them all day long, particularly if it were just the one. But here, there are forty of us, and, every evening after closing, aside from the one that the high priest chooses, we are all placed in a circle where we can chat, share gossip and compare each other’s news. You get to find out a hell of a lot in here you know; all the rich and powerful come in. I bet you didn’t know that the Pharaoh has just forced his former favourite concubine Isetnofret – yes, the same one who turned him against Queen Merytaten-tasherit – to undergo potisation, because he suspected her of having an affair with one of his top generals. They weren’t, of course; the general was seeing another of his concubines though, but that is by the by. Old Isetnofret now sits on a shelf, her cunt locked off and inaccessible, next to the very queen she betrayed. Yes indeed, we find out everything and never go to sleep unsated. I hardly have time to pray…”


When they had left and were back in their bedroom at home, Hapu looked at his potwife and said, “So, what do you make of all that?”

Seni smiled. “Not what I expected at all, but I’m glad she’s not angry with us. She seems happy, which is what matters.”

“I suppose so, although it is not what I anticipated either. Still, at least it sort-of brings a close to the tale of how we got together.”

“Yes, it does, and, because of that, I think we should celebrate.”

“Celebrate? How?”

“Fuck me like a temple potgirl, big boy! Fuck me like you’re going to get myriad blessings at the end of it!”

“But I already have, my darling, I already have,” he replied, laughing as he slipped his rigid member into her hopelessly exposed slit and met her lips with his own.

The Goddess Provides, Officially: Chapters 7-8

Seni_Pot_Cover

Chapters 5-6

Chapter 7

The following morning, Hapu arrived later than he usually did and then struggled to stay awake while Heni sat talking with him.

“What is it with you today?” she asked at last. “Am I really so boring that you need to close your eyes when I tell you about my new gown?”

“No, no,” said Hapu in-between yawns. “I don’t know what it is. I went to bed a little later than usual last night but maybe I’m coming down with something or it could be the weather. I always get tired easily when it is muggy like this.”

“Maybe. My sister couldn’t stay awake this morning at breakfast either. She said the same thing. However, she’s got an excuse; she’s a potgirl after all so her body is more sensitive to the temperature. You, on the other hand, should be more resilient.”

“Seni is tired too?”

“Yes, so you won’t be able to invite her to play Monopoly with us today and then side with her once again so that I lose.”

“To be honest, I don’t think I could stay awake for a whole game of Monopoly.”

“I know. Maybe I’m being too hard on you. Why don’t you put your head on my lap and have a little snooze… no, don’t resist, we’ll be married soon and we can do this every night…”


Hapu did actually doze off on Heni’s lap as she stroked his hair, the first act of real intimacy that he had allowed and one that had made her suspect that a proposal must surely be coming soon. When he woke up though, he made his excuses and returned home where he then slept for several hours, waking up as the sun was starting to set in the west. He then had several excruciating hours of waiting until the time when all the Ankhkhaf household retired, before dressing in black once again and making his way over the garden wall, across to the banana palm, up its trunk and in through the window. This time, when he came in, Seni was already wide awake, her dark eyes sparkling in the flickering candlelight. They did not kiss on the lips, only the forehead as friends should, although, once again, those kisses lingered far longer than was appropriate for a purely platonic relationship.

They fell into talking about Seni’s future in the temple. She told him about the training that she had received, that all potgirls were expected to memorise lengthy prayers and repeat them on behalf of the devotees who would come and leave generous donations for the priests. She told him about the room that she had visited where the potgirls lived, the ornately-carved stone shelf on which the vases with their human occupants stood. And as she spoke, tears welled in her eyes and she struggled to get her words out.

“Seni, what’s the matter? Why are you crying?”

“Oh Hapu,” she wept, “when I think of it… it is too terrible. I know that it is my fate, my destiny and a great, great honour, but I do not want to go there, I really don’t. To think of spending my life just standing on a shelf repeating prayers ad infinitum, with no friends, no family, no joy, no sunshine, no…”

She broke down completely and her head started to convulse as the tears flowed down her face. Without thinking, Hapu when over to her and hugged her tightly. “Don’t worry my dearest friend, it will be alright, I promise you, I’ll do something, I don’t know what but something…”

But she did not hear and instead merely cried in his arms, her tears wetting his shoulder as they soaked into his tunic.

Eventually, they dried up, the sniffling stopped and Seni whispered, “I’m alright now, truly I am. I just need to pray to the goddess more. Thank you, thank you so much, you’ve been a great help, you’re a wonderful friend, you truly are.”

Hapu stepped back and, taking out a handkerchief, wiped the tears from the young potgirl’s face. He smiled at her and she smiled back. And then, a look of absolute horror passed over her face.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

Seni darted her eyes to the right and he turned. No word of explanation was needed.


“I’ve been standing there for a full five minutes,” said Teo, Seni’s maid and dearest companion. “I couldn’t bear to break up your embrace, no matter how wrong it may be.”

“How did you know?” asked Seni. “You normally sleep at this time.”

“Hmm, let me think. Ever since he started coming to this house, there’s been a distinct change in you. A good one, it is true, but a change nonetheless. Before you were despondent and sad; now you seem full of the joys of spring. And then this morning you struggle to wake up and spend most of the day dozing, whilst he arrives at the door looking like the walking dead and spending half the day snoring on your sister’s lap? Then I realised what was going on. Then I knew that, despite your piety, what was causing the change in outlook was not excitement at your imminent entry into the temple when that trollope gets married.”

“Teo! I’ve told you before; she’s my sister! You shouldn’t say things like that!”

“A true sister would look after you and love you better, but she only cares about herself. You too young man, you Casanova! One Ankhkhaf daughter is not enough for you; you want to seduce both of them!”

“It’s not like that, I…”

“I know exactly what you are! I’ve heard of men like you; men with an obscene fascination for potgirls. Will you have the same done to her sister once you’ve wed her? Not that it’d be a bad thing mind, it might bring that cow down a peg or two, but I’ll not have you hurting my mistress, no, that I will not! Coming in here so you can kiss and do worse to a totally defenceless and innocent young potgirl, you…”

“Teo, it is not like that at all!” whispered Seni. “As you are my dearest friend, believe me! Hapu has had ample opportunity to do whatever he wants to me multiple times and he has acted the gentleman throughout. Apart from anything, I think he is too shy to molest a girl, that is one of the reasons why he is such an absolute darling, but there are many more. He is kind, caring, he listens to me and he knows exactly what to say!”

“By Holy Mother Isis, this is worse than I thought! You are in love, Miss Seni, you are totally besotted with him!”

“No! No! We’re not in love, we’re just friends!”

“Yes, Miss Teo, just friends!”

“Just friends my arse! I can see it in your eyes… and his. By Ra! You do not even realise it yourselves, but you are smitten, the pair of you! That is so terrible, so awful… and yet… yet so wonderful at the same time! Oh Miss Seni, this changes everything! I am so happy for you, you who deserve joy more than anyone and who has continually been afflicted by hardships! This is marvellous news, I feel like dancing with joy, I…”

“Shh! You’ll wake the others!”

Teo quietened down immediately and nodded her head. “No, we can’t have that; it would solve nothing. I came here today to expose you and get you banished from this house, but seeing the joy in my mistress’s eyes, I cannot do that now. How this will end I can’t say, probably in tears, but I shall not be the one to force the hand of fate. However, you need to promise me, Mr. Nebet, that you will not mistreat nor do ill by my mistress, for if you do, I shall hunt you down and kill you, honestly I shall, for she is my life and…”

“Miss Teo, I promise, I promise! Have no fear, I could never do ill to her, she is too precious to me.”

“Very well, and promise me one more thing too.”

“What is that?”

“That you shall not marry Miss Heni. You do not love her and she does not… can not love you, and if you two were together whilst Miss Seni spent her life in the temple alone, then it would break her heart. And I would have to kill you, did I mention that?”

“Teo, you cannot expect Hapu to…” Seni interjected, but Hapu was resolved.

“No, I promise. I shall not wed Heni, but I need to keep up the courtship as it is the only thing that allows us to be together.”

Teo nodded and then approached to kiss her mistress on the cheek. “Go girl,” she whispered, smiling, “seek happy nights for happy days!” and then, with a passing glance at Hapu, she left them all alone.

In the candlelight, Hapu gazed at Seni and Seni gazed at Hapu. “We’re not smitten are we?” he said.

“Not at all. Just friends.”

“Just friends.”

“Officially.”

“Officially.”

And then, he leaned his head in towards hers and, cradling the back of her hair with his hand, pressed his lips against her. Again, their mouths opened and their tongues explored one another intimately. This time though, she did not withdraw.

Chapter 8

And so Hapu entered a period of absolute bliss. By day he would visit one Ankhkhaf sister, pretend to court her and be interested in her, whilst at night he would creep into the room of the other and they would talk for hours with the connivance of her maid. They would talk and they would kiss but they never did any more, even though Hapu’s rod ached to do so and, the moment he got into his bed, he would bring himself to ecstasy within seconds, the image of Seni’s heavenly face hovering before him in his mind’s eye.

Some days, Heni would agree to Seni being brought down to join them and she would stand there in her pot whilst they drank tea or played a game and, whenever Heni’s back was turned, she would wink at Hapu and they would both smile at the secret that they shared.

But even though the period was like a perfect summer’s day, over it hung a cloud. At the back of both of their minds was the awareness that it was only temporary, that it could not last and that the ending would be cruel, for it would mean Hapu unable to visit the Ankhkhaf residence and, after Heni’s marriage, Seni being sentenced to this life and the afterlife in the gloomy confines of the Isis temple.

And then, one day most unexpectedly, the clouds broke and the rain gushed down in torrents.


Bleary-eyed, Hapu knocked on the door of the Ankhkhaf residence. As usual, a servant let him in and showed him to the sitting room. As usual, Heni was sitting there waiting for him, a smile on her face, wearing a revealing and expensive gown. Unlike usual, next to her sat her dad and, next to Mr. Ankhkhaf sat someone else.

“Good morning, Hapuneseb,” said Unasankh Ankhkhaf.

“Good morning, Hapu,” said his own father.

“Dad… err… Mr. Ankhkhaf… g-g-good morning.”

“Please sit, Hapuneseb,” continued Unasankh Ankhkhaf. “Now, I know that seeing us here today is not what you expected; instead you were looking forward to more time together with my daughter Hentmereb here. However, that is why we need to talk with you today.”

“Yes Hapu. You’ve been courting with Miss Ankhkhaf for more than a month now and, if you continue visiting this house without making a marriage proposal, then it will become questionable in terms of propriety and people will begin to talk. Now I know that you have always been a trifle shy around young ladies, but a month is more than enough to know if you are attracted or not and, what is more, the festival of Sokar is almost upon us, recognised since ancient times as the ideal time for a a wedding to take place. So, I must ask you to make a decision, son, and, I must say, Miss Ankhkhaf is certainly a charming and well-bred lady whom, if I were your age, I would not hesitate to propose to.”

“Lord Nebet, you are too kind!”

“Well, Hapu?”

Hapu sat there. He looked from his father to Heni, from Heni to her father and from Mr. Ankhkhaf back to his dad. This was the moment of truth; this was when it would all end, when the greatest friendship of his life would be destroyed and only an abyss of misery could be seen before him. He had promised never to marry Heni – a girl whom he would have stopped seeing after the first day under normal circumstances – and he would keep that promise, but to do so would mean that his name would be mud to the Ankhkhaf family and that Heni would marry someone else and Seni would be taken from him into the temple forever. He pictured his beloved, entombed in her pot on that dark and dusty shelf amongst all the others, chanting prayers for all eternity, that joyful smile and sparkling eyes dimming with a crushing and hellish life. No! No, he could not let that happen! Yet what could he do? One couldn’t marry a potgirl after all, could one… could one?

He turned to Unasankh Ankhkhaf. “Sir, if I am to understand you correctly, you desire me to marry your daughter?”

“Nothing would make me happier, Hapuneseb.”

“And Father, if I am to understand you correctly; you do not want me to leave this house today without proposing first to Miss Ankhkhaf.”

“That is correct, Hapu.”

“So be it. I shall do it, but under one condition. I would like the whole family gathered here as I do it.”

“That is a strange request, but I shall honour it, Hapuneseb.” Unasankh Ankhkhaf clicked his fingers and the servant waiting by the door came over. “Man! Bring my wife here and also Miss Senisonbe!”

“Yes sir.”

Around a minute later, Mrs. Ankhkhaf came into the room and, a confused look upon her face, sat down on the couch beside her daughter. Soon after that, Teo entered carrying Seni in her pot. She laid her down carefully on the small table by the couch and then stood back looking as bemused as the lady of the house. Hapu stood up and addressed the room:

“Today my father and Mr. Ankhkhaf have asked me if I am prepared to marry Miss Ankhkhaf and that, if she accepts, they will too. I am willing to marry her. Therefore, I have brought you all here so that you may witness my proposal and her response.”

Then, turning to the small table by the couch, he went down on one knee and said quietly yet firmly, “Senisonbe Ankhkhaf, do you agree to become my lawfully wedded wife?”

Seni’s eyes lit up. “I do,” she replied, tears of joy running down her face.

 

Chapter 9 & Epilogue

The Goddess Provides, Officially: Chapters 5-6

Seni_Pot_Cover

Chapters 3-4

Chapter 5

Hapu continued to visit the Ankhkhaf house every day, causing his mother and father to start making preparations on the quiet. He would usually ask to play a game and get Heni to include her potted sister, but as the elder sibling was now starting to get a little jealous – and was expecting a little more intimate time with her lover – she would often think of reasons not to include her and Hapu knew that he had to be careful so he did not push the matter. He did, however, always manage to see her, if only fleetingly, making sure that he drank lots of tea so that, after an hour or so, he was in need of the toilet. Ducking into the shrine room after one such visit – and after being denied Seni’s presence in the sitting room for three straight days – he kissed his friend on the forehead and then whispered to her, “This is awful! I really want to see you but she keeps making excuses.”

“She’s getting suspicious, Hapu. We’ll have to stop meeting.”

“But that would be awful! You’re the dearest female friend I’ve ever had and the thought of coming here and not seeing you is too terrible to contemplate. Isn’t there another way?”

Seni closed her chocolate-coloured eyes for a moment so that it looked as if she were asleep. Then a wide smile spread across her face and she opened them again. “I’ve got it! The window in the shrine room is left open every night by Teo so a breeze flows through and I don’t overheat. If you climb over the back wall into the garden, then it is right above the banana palms. Climb the one underneath it and sneak in. No one is awake between eleven and seven, and this room is on the opposite side of the house to all the bedrooms so, as long as we are quiet, we can talk to our hearts content!”

“Really?! Then I shall come, tonight! I cannot wait!”

“Me too!”

Hapu left and returned to his fiancee with a smile spread across his face. “I suppose you want to play a game again,” she said with a sulky pout on hers.

“Not at all. I was thinking that maybe a stroll around the garden might be in order, if you’d like to, of course.”

“Like to? I’d love it! I know some nice bushes that we could sneak behind where no one can see us and I can tickle you rotten… or more…”

And so they did go for a walk around the garden although, curiously, whilst Heni did manage to lure Hapu behind the bushes briefly, he seemed to be far more interested sitting on the very public bench by the fountain that overlooks the banana palms….


That night, dressed in black like a robber, Hapu used his climbing skills to scale the two meters or so up the wall surrounding the Ankhkhaf residence and then descend down into the moonlit garden. He silently made his way along the paths, keeping to the shadows, before heading for the large banana palm beneath the open window. He climbed the tree as quietly as he could and then squeezed himself through the narrow aperture. He was in the corridor leading to the shrine room. On tiptoes he crept down and opened the door. Inside, the candles on the shrine provided a faint, warm light and the smell of incense hung in the air. On her shelf stood Seni in her pot. Her eyes were closed and her breathing deep. Well, deep for a potgirl. He crept up to her and whispered her name. Immediately, those beautiful eyes opened and that perfect smile spread across her face. “You came!” she whispered in delight.

Chapter 6

Hapu left the shrine room as the sun was beginning to peep its sacred face over the eastern horizon. He did not want to depart, then or ever, but above the hushed sounds of their two voices, Seni heard a bird sing its song. “It is the lark!” she whispered. “Morning is here; you must go now!”

“No, no, it is the nightingale,” Hapu replied, but he knew and, after a promise to do the same again the following night, he was gone before any of the household members were awake.

They talked about everything, all those questions that had been burning in Hapu’s brain ever since he had met this captivating potgirl. Why had she been potted? What was it like? How did she feel? Did she regret it? What was her future? Patiently, she answered them all and, in return, he told her the answers to all her queries about his life.

She had undergone potisation only six months previously, although had known for years that it would probably be her fate. “It is customary for families of standing like mine to pot a daughter and send her to the Temple of Isis. It guarantees good luck, standing and respect. The only question for our house was which one of us would have the honour.”

“I understand that. If I had had a sister, she may well have undergone potisation too; as it was, I am the only child. But why you? Why not Heni?”

“Do you want the official reasons or the real ones?”

“I’ll have all of them,” replied Hapu, who simply liked listening to Seni talk far more than what she talked about.

“Well, officially, it is because I am the younger sister, thus of a slightly lower status than Heni which can count during marital negotiations. On top of that though, I have always been the more pious and responsible and so I was deemed more suited to the role.”

“That’s the story I heard from her, but that’s terrible! Like you are being punished for being a better person than she!”

“Officially potisation is an honour, not a punishment. People respect me more because of it and Heni is jealous of me, not the other way round… officially.”

“Officially.”

“Indeed. But there were other factors at play here, never openly stated, but far more influential. The first was that our father had two wives; my mother and Heni’s mother. And Heni’s mum, Aunt Meryetamun, is both the first wife and, crucially, still alive. My mum died giving birth to me.”

“Oh, Seni!” cried Hapu, trying to imagine what life would be like as a child without a mum. “Our goddess Shai has dealt you a rough hand…”

“Shhh! Keep your voice down; we don’t want them waking up. Yes, I suppose I have, although never having had a mum, I’ve never missed her, although countless times I have imagined what it would be like. Aunt Meryetamun was never bad with me; indeed, we get on very well, but she naturally favours Heni and when the potisation issue came to the table, there was no one to argue my side or, officially, to push for giving the great honour to Heni. So, that was one unacknowledged reason, but there is also another: Heni has always been the pretty one and it is well-known that a pretty face can attract a good husband. So, Papa made the choice, and I got the great honour while Heni got you.”

“Well, you’re wrong on two counts there: firstly, I’m not engaged to Heni yet and, secondly, you’re far prettier than she is!”

“And you’re full of lies, Hapu! I know I’m the plain one; Heni is gorgeous; she has a beautiful face and a tempting, curvy figure. Now, I don’t even have a figure, but when I did it was nothing special, just straight up and down, whilst my face is just everyday and normal.”

“Well, I must prefer everyday and normal girls then.”

They looked at one another with the unsaid allegation that he had just transgressed an unseen red line into a dangerous place. “And, to continue what I was saying, Heni has got you. After all, why would you keep on visiting here every single day if you were not thinking of marriage? If you did not propose now, then it would be most irregular and could cause both of you great shame and loss of face.”

Silence fell upon the room and this time Hapu did not transgress the boundary. Instead, he changed the subject: “So, tell me what it was like, being potted I mean?”

“The short answer is that there is not much to tell. I had the process explained to me in detail beforehand, so I can give you a medical explanation – what is removed, how infection is avoided, how the pot is fitted and so on – but, in all honesty, I saw nothing of it first-hand. I remember the great ceremony in the Isis temple where I shall later live, the incense, the chanting, the fine robes and headdress that I had to wear which made me feel like Queen Merytaten-tasherit. And then, I remember going to the inner sanctum and drinking the sacred tea, but after that, I naturally blacked out. My sleep was dreamless – some girls have vivid visions and dreams, but I can’t recall any – and when I woke up, I was like this. The tea did not keep me drugged, of course, that was done in the hospital over the week or so that I was out cold. When I awoke I had already been taken home and so when I opened my eyes I saw the view before me now: this shrine room. Unlike some girls I had no complications,so I just had to adjust to my new state; not the easiest thing in the world, but I’d had training which helped a little.”

“Heni mentioned that. She still has to undergo it she says. Something about having her arms immobilised behind her back.”

“Yes, and she absolutely hates it! Since the age of twelve, our arms were trained to accept the monoglove, a kind of leather sleeve that keeps them immobile behind your back – very soon they deaden and you can’t even feel them. It is seen as essential for future potgirls, as it gets you used to not being able to use them, and so become dependent on others to feed you and help you with the toilet and turn the pages in a book, and so on. It was embarrassing at first, but as all girls of standing undergo it, I didn’t mind that much. It was normal. And for those girls who are not destined for a vase, then it is said to improve posture which it probably does since it makes you thrust your breasts out and keep your back arched. Preferable for marriage, I’d say. But has she mentioned the legbinders?”

Hapu just shook his head.

“Oh, those were similar leather pouches that restrained my legs. Each leg was folded back on itself and then laced tightly into its own leather pouch. Wearing them, I could do nothing with my legs save open and close them for toilet purposes. I was usually put in a stand with two holes for each pouch that could be wheeled about by Teo. Straight after my potisation was announced, I started spending more and more time in them until, by the end, I was never out of them and could hardly remember what it was like to have legs to walk around with. Heni was meant to wear them too, to help her empathise with my situation and to encourage discipline – young ladies are not meant to wander about at will, ‘they may get into trouble’ as we were told – but she soon wheedled out of it through some heavy doe-eyed pleading. Anyway, due to that training, when I did eventually wake up as a fully-fledged potgirl, whilst it was still an almighty change to get used to, I was somewhat prepared.”

“So what is it like, living in a pot?”

“Good and bad, I suppose. The biggest problem is boredom. You can’t do anything, nothing at all, for yourself. My neck is even stiffened. I mean, I can look around, but not like before… of course half of looking is turning your chest, which is now rooted in here. If I sneeze I cannot even wipe my nose. That was a massive thing during my training – being unable to scratch itches was hell early on, especially under the binders – but you get used to it; it is part of the spiritual dimension of potisation. Unable to solve the problem yourself, like a meditating monk, you work out ways of blocking it from your mind. That works well with itches, although with snot its harder. But Teo comes around regularly to wipe my face.”

“You’ve mentioned Teo several times; is she your maid?”

“Yes, and much more. Teo is my handmaiden but also my best friend in all the world. We are like sisters: far more so, I am afraid to say, then I am with Heni. It is not that Heni and I do not get on, but instead that Teo understands me far better. I could never see her as a mere servant, she is the most beautiful and wonderful person alive! Our family took her in as a young girl and we played together as children. She has made a vow dedicating her life to looking after me and she never agreed with me undergoing potisation; it really upset her. We share everything.”

“Have you told her about my visits?”

Seni looked to one side. “No, not that. Not yet. She may try to stop it. She would fear that we may get too attached as friends and that would both poison my relationship with my sister – Heni can be prone to jealousy, I’m afraid – and cause me too much hurt when I enter the temple.”

“Why? Couldn’t I still visit you there?”

“Visit, maybe, but only as a devotee I imagine; brief and in public. We could never get to know one another like this, intimately and alone.”

Again, silence descended on the room as something unspeakable had almost been said. This time it was Seni who changed the subject:

“I was telling you about what it is like; well, the helplessness, yes, but worse than that is the boredom. I mean, what is there to do all day but just stand here? And I say ‘stand’ almost in jest! I am beholden to my sister or father or aunt to order me moved or included in family activities. I have religious programmes to occupy me, and my prayers, but one can only pray so much. That is why I enjoy your company, Hapu; it is such a refreshing change!”

“So, that’s all I am? A change from religious indoctrination?”

“No, I didn’t mean that. Even if I wasn’t potted and could walk about and do things for myself, I would still love your company. You’re the first guy I’ve ever met – not that I’ve known many in this way – who can talk to a girl on her level, who is interested in her life and does not try to dictate everything. You’re really sweet and special.”

“As are you, Seni, as are you. Even though we’ve only just met, I feel like you’re my best friend.”

“I know, it’s weird isn’t it?And yet I feel exactly the same. I’ll hate it when we can no longer talk like this, although I do hope you’ll still visit me in the temple, even if it is only to offer supplications.”

“Of course I will, although you do realise that you are providing me with every incentive I need to delay marrying your sister.”

“I know.” They giggled together as the candles on the altar flickered.

“Carry on with your tale, please.”

“So, there is the boredom and the helplessness, but those I did anticipate and was trained for. What my training did not prepare me for though, was the overheating. Covered and contained as I am, I can no longer control my body temperature easily, and so I quickly become overheated in the daytime. That is why I am usually left in here as it is the coolest room in the house, open only slightly to the shaded side, but even then Teo has to come around regularly to flannel my face with a cold cloth. It is really hard, the heat, being unable to even cool myself down.”

“Are you hot now?”

“Feel for yourself.”

He put his hand on her cheek. It was slightly warm. “Seems ok.”

“Try the other cheek,” she whispered, gazing into his eyes.

Hapu put his other hand up and then moved his face forward until he was only centimetres away from hers. “What about your lips? Are they warmer or cooler than the rest of you?”

“I can’t tell, try them too.”

He leaned forward and placed his own lips on hers. No cheeks or foreheads, lips. They met and their mouths opened involuntarily. Before they knew it, their tongues were intermingling. Then she jerked her head backwards, only as far as she could manage, but enough.

“What is it?” he asked, shocked.

“You are due to marry my sister and I will enter the temple,” she replied coolly, a tear trickling down her cheek.

They sat for a while in silence as the tear dried in the balmy night.

 

Chapters 7-8

The Goddess Provides, Officially: Chapters 3-4

Seni_Pot_Cover

Chapters 1-2

Chapter 3

Hapu knocked on the large and ornately decorated wooden door of the Ankhkhaf residence. A servant answered. “I’ve come to see Miss Ankhkhaf,” he announced.

“Step inside please, Noble Mr.Nebet,” the servant replied.

Despite his earlier assertions to the goddess, Hapu had not returned to the sitting room and announced that he would not be visiting Miss Heni any further. Instead, he went back, his face aglow and indulged in another hour of conversation, giggling and the embarrassing antics of the elder Ankhkhaf sister who continually sidled up close to him, leaned over so he could catch a good view of her half-exposed breasts peeping out of her tight, white gown, and other such supposedly seductive moves. Indeed, now Hapu even enjoyed it a little. Perversely, her sister’s soothing words and smile setting him at ease in the company of one young female, seemed to have translated to this other, less subtle one too.

And at the end, he announced that he would be honoured to spend more time with Miss Ankhkhaf as he found her delightful and would love to get to know her better.

And that evening, he said exactly the same to his parents, who smiled like they had not smiled at him in a very long time.

To none of them though, did he mention which Ankhkhaf sister it was that he wished to spend more time with and would like to get to know better.

That night though, he lay awake in his bed, thinking about her, recalling every detail of her perfect face, from that winning smile to those sparkling eyes. As he did, his member grew hard and his hand strayed down towards it. As it did though, he wondered; could a potgirl even do… that. I mean, one required certain body parts and she did not have a body. On the other hand though, presumably potgirls needed to make wastes like the rest of us and he had noticed a small aperture in Seni’s pot towards the bottom, that had been modestly covered with a tiny curtain of white silk. Did that mean then that she could?

Thinking about it, for some inexplicable reason, excited him further. As he lay there on his bed, he imagined a life whereby what he was doing that minute would not be possible; indeed, nothing would be possible. A life where all you could do was stand there on a shelf, only able to move your head, and not much at that! You could remember what it was like to have a body and move about, but that was no longer possible. You would be totally reliant on servants for everything, from feeding you to wiping your bottom, from moving about to simply having a wash. It was beyond terrible to imagine and yet, at the same time, it weirdly excited him, giving his ministrations an intensity to them which he had never before experienced in his life until, recalling Seni’s perfume and her soft kiss on his forehead, he exploded with an orgasm so intense that he was left a panting wreck at the end.

Yes, he needed to see that girl again.


And so the very next morning, he went round to the Ankhkhaf residence immediately after breakfast.

Heni, when she joined him in the sitting room, was wearing a far less stylish and revealing dress than the previous afternoon. She was also wearing far less makeup and jewellery. Most noticeable of all though, was the fact that she was continually massaging her arms and rolling her shoulders as if something were up with them.

“Hapu, darling, I never expected to see you so soon!” she said, kissing him on the forehead after he had done the same to her.

“I enjoyed yesterday so much, I couldn’t wait to return,” he replied, truthfully.

“As did I, but you’ve caught me off guard. If you’d have given me advance warning I could have prettified myself for you.”

“You are more than pretty enough as it is,” he replied.

“Oh, you say the sweetest things!” she exclaimed, brushing his thigh with her olive-skinned hand before abruptly withdrawing it as a twinge of pain shot across her face.

“Are you alright? You seem in pain! If I have inconvenienced you then I can withdraw and return on a more suitable occasion.”

“Oh no, not at all. It is just that I have posture training in the mornings and my arms have only just been released and so they are still achy and full of twinges. In half an hour or so they will be back to normal and I’ll be able to tickle you to your heart’s content.”

She smiled wickedly and he grimaced inwardly. The thought of being tickled by Hentmereb Ankhkhaf was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. He needed to change the subject.

“What do you mean by posture training?”

“I can tell that you don’t have a sister! All of us ladies of standing undergo it. We have our arms laced behind us, palm-to-palm, elbow-to-elbow, in a single leather sleeve. Even our fingers have their own separate pouches so that we can’t even bend them. Most ladies commit a couple hours but I spend four hours every morning like that.”

The thought, like her sister Seni’s immobility within her vase, excited Hapu and he felt his member stiffen beneath his cloak. “But why?” he asked.

“Two reasons: one for posture. It forces our shoulders back and chest out so that we naturally walk, stand and sit with a more elegant and ladylike pose. Such things please you men I suppose. And then it is seen as preparation for potisation as it gets you used to being in a helpless and dependent state.”

“Potisation?!”

“Not for me, silly, how can I marry you if I am potted? But families like ours always send one daughter to the temple as a potgirl to look after our spiritual well-being or something. To be honest, I’ve told Mamma and Papa that I shouldn’t have to undergo posture training anymore since my posture is flawless as it is, and my sister is the one in our family who was chosen to be the Ankhkhaf temple potgirl. And since she was potted several months ago, then what’s the point in me still enduring such a silly regime?”

“Your sister was potted?”

“Yeah, like I said, a few months back.”

“Why did they choose her and not you?”

“Well, I’m not exactly what you’d call the pious sort, if you know what I mean, whereas she was always a good little girl.” At these words, Heni gave a naughty wink. “Plus, I guess that I was always the pretty one, so it makes sense to leave me unpotted, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Well, you are very pretty so… maybe.”

Excited beyond measure at this conversation, his rod like iron beneath his cloak, Hapu stood up and said, “Excuse me, I need to use the toilet. I have slight bug I am afraid; I’ve been going… uhm… continually. So, why don’t I go know and give… given your arms time to recover from their… training…?”

“Oh Hapu darling, you are so considerate! I’ll be waiting for you when you return, waiting to tickle you!”

He ran.

Seni’s shrine room was bathed in light this time when he entered. She was standing on her shelf, a small TV monitor before her, playing some sort of religious programme. She looked up the moment that he stepped through the door and a look of both joy and shock passed across her face.

“Hapu! You’re back so soon! What a surprise!”

“I told you that I wanted us to become friends, so here I am.”

She frowned and looked a trifle embarrassed and, in an instant, Hapu saw why. The silk curtain maintaining her modesty had been removed displaying her intimate parts to the entire room. Worse still, beneath them stood a small brass dish half-full of an almost transparent liquid.

“You have caught me unawares,” she said, blushing. “This is highly embarrassing.”

“I… I…I am so sorry; I can go, I…”

“No! Don’t go! Please! It is embarrassing but I love your company. Besides, if you are to get to know a potgirl, then I suppose you must be warned that some things are a little embarrassing.”

“I suppose so, I mean, I did wonder about how… but then that’s not really appropriate to talk about and so…”

“Nonsense! If we are to become friends, why not get to know such things about one another? I just hadn’t anticipated things becoming this… intimate… so quickly. Actually, I hadn’t anticipated you actually returning to see me again. After all, why would anyone want to come and spend time with a boring old potgirl who can do nothing for herself?”

Seni’s face turned glum and Hapu felt sorry for her. “What do you mean, ‘boring old potgirl’? You’re not old and you’re definitely not boring; in fact, you’re the most exciting girl I’ve ever met in my life!”

She brightened up slightly. “Well, you’re just saying that.”

“No, not at all; you’re really cool, Seni. All the other girls I meet make me feel awkward and embarrassed but around you I can relax. Well, normally I can, aside from… you know…”

She laughed. “Oh Hapu, you’re such a gentleman! But thank you, what you’ve said means a lot, although you shouldn’t have said it at all.”

“Whyever not?”

“Because you’re meant to be marrying my sister; how would she feel if she heard you saying that I am the ‘most exciting’ girl you’ve ever met whilst she makes you feel awkward and embarrassed?”

“Well, she probably wouldn’t like it but, the thing is…” He leaned in towards her, so close that he could smell her delightful perfume again, and then whispered in her ear, “… it is true.”

“I can believe it is. She is a bit of a maneater who would make most guys feel awkward and embarrassed. She’s a tiger! Grrrr!”

With those words and the funny grimace on her face, both started laughing and laughing, until tears began to roll down Seni’s perfect cheeks.

When they calmed down, the potgirl said, “About down below, I’ll explain; I’ve just had my breakfast. As part of the potisation surgery, I’ve had half of my stomach and half of my bladder removed. I can’t keep stuff inside me for very long. It goes in and then, almost immediately, out again. My diet is largely liquid – I don’t need much these days to keep me going – and so, pretty soon it dribbles out and I can’t do much to control it anymore… side-effects, I guess. That’s why Teo always puts my little dish in front of me in the mornings, so it can tinkle out whilst I endure this frightfully boring series of programmes on the attributes of our beloved goddess.”

Hapu turned to the TV that was babbling on in the background. “Yes, it does sound rather dry.”

“All part of the preparation process for entering the temple, I’m afraid. I need to know all about the deity I’ll be serving.”

“When do you enter the temple?” Hapu asked, a worrying thought that he may not be able to visit this fantastic girl for much longer.

“Oh that depends,” Seni replied.

“On what?”

“On you.”

“Me?”

“Yes, you. I’m the younger daughter you see, and you know our culture: the younger cannot marry before the elder has wed. Well, obviously, I won’t be marrying anyone in the normal sense of the word, but my entering the temple is viewed as a sort-of marriage, ‘a union for all eternity to Holy Isis’, or that’s what they parrot at me. But it can’t happen until Heni gets married, an event which, at the present moment in time, seems to depend on you more than anyone else.”

“Oh, I see. But when you are in the temple, then will we still be able to be friends?”

“I don’t know. Can a temple potgirl receive visitors from the laity? Maybe she can, maybe not. To be honest, I’ve never asked. I never believed that I would have someone actually interested in seeing me before.” A tear escaped, dribbled down her cheek, and this time it was not one of mirth. Instinctively, Hapu reached forward and wiped it off with his finger. Seni smiled. “You need to go now,” she whispered.

“I know,” he replied, “although I don’t want to. I want to spend all day with you.”

“Me too, but we can’t.”

“I’ll think of something.”

“You try.”

He stood up to leave. “Bye!” he said.

“Wait!” she replied.

“What?”

“A goodbye kiss… as friends…?”

“Of course.”

He leaned over to kiss her on the forehead but then, on an impulse, moved his face lower and planted one on her cheek where, moments before, the tear had lingered. Seni gasped. “Let me return the favour,” she whispered. Hapu turned his cheek to her mouth and felt her lips touch it and linger for a full second longer than is usual between friends.

Chapter 4

Back in the sitting room with Heni, all Hapu could think about was her potted sister alone in the shrine room, so close and yet sequestered. Heni had changed into a far more revealing dress, and her arms seemed to have recovered from their bondage now, for she was using them to touch him as if by accident and play casually with her hair or stroke her legs so as to bring attention to what she saw as her assets. Finding her conversation a little dull, but not wanting to leave the Ankhkhaf residence, he suggested that they do something.

“We could go for a walk in the grounds?” she suggested.

Hapu had a mental image of Heni grabbing him, leading him behind a bush and subjecting him to tickling or something worse. “No,” he replied, “it is too hot out at present. Why don’t we play a game or something? What about chess or sheshbesh?”

“I’m rubbish at chess and not much better at sheshbesh. Why not just snuggle up here and…”

“No, it would not be seemly. If your mother were to enter, it could cause you to get told off and I wouldn’t want that. Why not Monopoly? Everyone can play that!”

“Monopoly would be more fun I suppose, but it’s no good; Monopoly is best when you have three or four people but there is only the two of us.”

“Can’t you get someone else? A servant perhaps?”

“I wouldn’t dream of playing with a servant! What a silly idea, Hapu! No, there’s no one else. Let’s just…”

“Didn’t you say you had a sister? Why not let her play with us?”

“Seni? But she’s a potgirl! How can a potgirl play Monopoly?”

“Quite easily if we throw the dice and move the pieces for her. It’s not like cards where you have to keep your hand hidden and potgirls have minds just as good as anyone else’s.”

“You wouldn’t like Seni; she’s really intellectual and dull. It would be better if…”

“No, no, if she is your sister, Heni, then we should include her! And I am sure I would like her very much. Besides, if I am to enter this family, it makes sense that I get to know some of the other members as well. After all, if we did end up together, she would be my sister too.”

Faced with such an argument, Heni could not help but agree, so she reluctantly rang for a maid to bring her sister.

It was a rather surprised but glad Senisonbe Ankhkhaf who was carried into the sitting room several minutes later by her maid. Hapu noticed with a smile that she now had her private parts modestly covered up again and her make-up and hair had been touched up. He pretended not to recognise her at all and Seni, to her credit, played her part equally well.

“Hapu, this is my little sister Senisonbe,” announced Heni.

“An honour to make your acquaintance, Miss Senisonbe,” replied Hapu with a bow.

“Please, sir, call me Seni.”

“And Seni, this is Hapu, the guy I was telling you all about.”

“And he is everything you said, Heni, and more. Why, if I still had arms and legs, I’d walk right over there this minute and try and grab him off you.”

“Well, no danger of that happening, is there? Hapu here wants to play Monopoly and I thought you’d like to join us.”

“That would be marvellous. You must have told him how much I enjoy playing games. Can I be the serpent?”

“If you like.”

“And I will shake the dice for you, Seni.”

“That is most kind of you, Hapu,” she replied with her heart-melting smile.

The hour that followed was one of the most enjoyable in Hapu’s entire life. It was obvious that, despite their shortness with one another, there was a deep and genuine affection between the two sisters, though he could not help but reflect on the fact that, time and time again, when comparing the two, Seni always came out on top. She was kinder, cleverer, funnier and prettier. The only thing that Heni could trump her on was sexier, but then that is easy when your competition doesn’t even have a body.

One thing that was also clear is that the two, like so many siblings, were also intensely competitive. Although she threw better, Heni made several bad choices with regards to buying property – who throws away a chance at the greens yet she landed on Ramses II Street and did not buy it! – and so, after a good hour and a half, it was a stalemate, as neither could finish off the other. Hapu, on the other hand, who had thrown terribly all game, was well behind and could never hope to win and so, after yet another ill-fated move, he throw his hands up and declared, “I’m outta here! It’s between you two ladies now!”

“But what about your properties?” asked Heni.

“You may buy them when you land on them.”

“Well, I’m on Seti I Avenue, so I’ll have that right away,” interjected Seni.

“You can’t do that! You were on it already and…”

“Yes she can, I’m the banker. That’s 350 pounds please!”

“Wait! She can’t!”

“She can and she will, sis! Brilliant! Now we can really have a fight to the death.”

Which they did, but after a stormy half an hour had passed, it became clear that only one girl was going to win and it wasn’t the one with arms. In frustration, Heni threw the board up in the air, scattering the pieces and said, “You win then, but only through cheating! I would have triumphed otherwise! Hapu, you are mean; you only did that to spite me! You should be on my side, not hers!”

Chapters 5-6

The Goddess Provides, Officially: Chapters 1-2

The Goddess Provides, Officially

Author’s note: This potgirl story is set in the same alternative Egypt as my earlier tale, The Gift Offering. I recommend reading that first as it provides an introduction to the reality in which Hapu, Heni, Seni and all the others live.

Once again, thanks to Cafterhomme for extensive editing and suggestions.

DP

Chapter 1

Hapu took a deep breath. The room was quiet and dark; just what he needed. He needed time to think, to get his head straight, to sort-out a suitable course of action.

Why was it always like this? Most of his friends enjoyed courting young ladies and looked forward to their dates. They boasted of the girl’s wit or looks – more often the looks – and what an impressive dowry they would receive should they agree to marry them. But then, most of his friends did not have parents powerful Nebet clan.

“No, it is wrong to blame Mother and Father,” he says to himself in a low voice. I am to blame, not them. They only want me to be happy and to find a suitable girl who can carry on the noble Nebet line. It is me who can’t cope with the courting and the girls that they find for me.”

He thinks he hears a noise and looks up and around. But there is no one there; this room is empty, some sort of household shrine room to Isis. There’s nothing in it; just the altar to the goddess, quotes from scripture on the walls and a vase on a shelf. Or at least, it looks like a vase, though in this light one cannot tell. The flickering shadow before the holy statue doesn’t illuminate much. He is safe. He turns to the goddess whose sanctuary this is and implores her to help him:

“Holy Isis, what should I do? What is up with me? With some men it is because they do not find girls attractive; they prefer a young boy to share their bed. But I am not like that; I do find them attractive. Well, most of them. That one father arranged for me to court two weeks ago was pretty awful, but most of them are sexy; they inflame my loins and I do confess to thinking of them when I am in bed at night with my manhood in my hand. This one especially. Her name is Heni – you know that of course, I am sorry for being so silly – but, she is really sexy. She has an amazing figure, a lovely bum and her face is nice, beautiful dark eyes that I feel I could dive right into. But even so, even though in one way I’d love to kiss her and learn to do the sex thing with her, on the other hand… aargh! She is too much; they are all too much, but she is especially so. All of these girls, they like the sound of their own voice; it is like they want to control me. I have only met this Heni today and she is already throwing herself at me. She tells me that she thinks I’m cute and puts her hand in mine and speaks of love, but how can we be in love? I mean, come on, we have only just met and I know that she’s lying because I’m not half as good looking as most of the lads in school, nor as charming or charismatic or whatever it is that girls like. I am just boring old me and I know that she is all enthusiastic because she knows that if we marry she will enter the nobility and bear children with an ancient name, not to mention come into great wealth. She is doing her duty I suppose, as am I, but I don’t want duty, I want love, someone who wants me for who I am, rather than my name and fortune. And I want a girl who does not try to control all the conversation, who is not so in-your-face all the time. Heni is nice I daresay, she is probably lovely, but she is too much, way too much for me. With her I’d have no freedom in life! Oh, I will have to tell them that, but how? It is so hard; I don’t want to hurt her feelings, or that of her parents and then what about Mother and Father. Father said to me that his patience is running out and that if I don’t choose a bride soon, then he will choose one for me and not give me an option. And what if he chooses an absolutely dragon who’s even bossier than Heni but ugly to boot? Oh, Holy Isis, what should I do? Guide me onto the right path and please, do it quick, because I told them I’d popped out to the toilet and if I don’t return to the main chamber soon, they’ll wonder what has happened to me and might even come looking! Help me, sacred goddess, I implore you!”

And as he finished his monologue and silence began to take over, from behind him a female voice said softly, “Don’t be so hard on Heni; she’s bossy it’s true, but she has a good heart. And don’t be so hard on yourself too; you really are quite cute even if you don’t believe it yourself.”

Chapter 2

It was a girl. A girl around his age with jet black braided hair cut into a stylish bob, captivating dark eyes and a beautiful smile. On her head she wore a hooded cobra golden circlet signifying nobility whilst below her head… well, below her head she was not there. Or at least, she couldn’t be seen. Instead, there was only an ornate ceramic vase. She was a potgirl.

Seni_Pot_Cover

“What? You… I’m… err, I… didn’t realise… I thought I was alone… I disturbed you miss, I’m so sorry!”

“It’s not problem at all. I was actually bored out of my mind just standing here in the dark. This is meant to be my contemplation and prayer hour, but I often just drift off. I’ve never been much good at praying I suppose, which is a bit of a bummer considering my future career. You coming in here and having a chat with our goddess rather made my day! By the way, Senisonbe Ankhkhaf at your service. I’d shake your hand but obviously I can’t.”

“I, err, I said things that were meant to be private; oh, I didn’t mean to and… and Senisonbe Ankhkhaf did you say? If your name is Ankhkhaf then you must be…”

“…Heni’s little sister? Yep, that’s me! Much littler than her in fact. Well, these days I am. And you, I assume, are Hapuneseb Nebet?”

“You know my name?”

“I’ve heard of little else these past few days. My sister and parents felt very honoured that a Nebet would consider courting an Ankhkhaf. They’re desperate for you to agree to marry her.”

“They are? Oh dear, I mean, she’s lovely and everything but… oh, this is terrible! You heard everything and now… please Senisonbe, forgive me and…”

“Shh! Don’t you worry, I won’t breathe a word to anyone.”

“Thank you, thank you so much, Senisonbe!”

“Nonsense, friends confide in each other! And I’d like to think we could be friends. And by the way, why so formal, Noble Mister Hapuneseb Nebet? I’m Seni to my friends.”

Hapu looked at this smiling, bubbly potgirl. Just seeing her face made him feel better. Could he be friends with her? He would like nothing more! This was the first girl that he’d ever met whom he’d been able to have a conversation with where he didn’t feel ashamed, awkward or terribly embarrassed. Why, he was actually enjoying her company! “I’d like that too… Seni, I’d like that very much!”

“Excellent! Now, as I said already, we’d normally shake on something like that, but, as you can see, well… so instead, would you mind kissing me to seal our new friendship?”

“Kissing you?! But that would be…!”

“Not on the lips, silly, on the forehead. I’d come over to you, but…”

“No, no! I quite understand. I’ll come over to you.” He got up, walked over to her and stood next to her, his face level with hers due to the height of the shelf that her pot was resting on. As he did, he took in the vase that she was encased within: the creamy colour of the clay, the ceramic neckpiece around the top, the elegant handles on either side. Then he moved his eyes upwards to confront the head that emerged from the top, the seal between the two so tight that he doubted he could get a fingertip in there. Although only a head, it was one of the most beautiful that he had ever set his eyes upon, from those lively brown eyes, to the smooth cheeks, perfect rosebud lips and elegant neck emerging from the vase that imprisoned it. He leaned forward and planted a light peck on her forehead. As he did, he breathed in and smelt the seductive aroma of her perfume, his body tingling with a hitherto unknown feeling as he did so. He withdrew, looking at her eyes and smiled but when she glanced back at him, he felt embarrassed and turned aside.

“Not so quick! We have only half-sealed the bargain,” she said.

“Excuse me?”

“I have to kiss your forehead now. Bend down please; I can’t do this myself.”

“Oh, I… err… yes, of course.”

And so Hapu bent his head before her own, taking in her feminine aroma once more and then, whilst staring at her pot, felt a pair of lips lightly kiss his forehead. Although the touch was light, never before in all his twenty-years in this life, had he felt so happy and so excited to be with another human being. He withdrew and looked at her, drinking in her captivating smile and enchanting eyes once again.

“I do hope that our friendship will be a long and close one,” she said. “I get so lonely here sometimes and it would mean a great deal to me if you could come round and see me from time to time. You’re a lovely young man, you know. However, I want you out of my room this very instant!”

“Why?” asked Hapu, shocked at Seni’s sudden change of tone.

“Because you have some courting to get back to and you have tarried too long in here. If you don’t leave now, not only will you get in trouble, but I’ll probably get a telling off as well and I don’t want that, particularly if it meant we were stopped from seeing one another.”

“Yes, I suppose you’re right. That would be awful, but I do want to see you again soon, I really do. I hope we meet again. Bye Seni!”

And so he left, pausing at the door to drink in a last look at those eyes and that joyful smile before turning on his heels and making his way back to his potential bride-to-be.

 

Chapters 3-4

The Thracian Goddess

The Thracian Goddess

thracian princess diana

Diana Filkova sighed. Not long now. Just bear with it and all will be ok.

She was with her partner, the twenty-years-her-senior Mark Vogel. They’d been an item for two years now, ever since she met him at a reception for prospective historians organised by her university. She was looking for a summer placement at the time and they had just clicked. He was handsome, funny, charming and absolutely loaded. He also offered her a job. “My job is in tech, but I’ve long had a passion for history. I live on the Greek Island of Draxos and I’m sponsoring a dig there of an ancient Greek temple complex. You seem like just the sort of girl we could do with on-site. Are you interested?”

Interested? Of course she was! The wages he were offering were exorbitant compared with what she could get in Bulgaria and the opportunity sounded like a golden one to improve her CV. So, she signed up and, at dinner that night, also signed up to a whole lot more.

She didn’t love Mark, of course. Why, he was old enough to be her dad! But he was ok to get along with, extremely generous with his cash and, besides, she didn’t have a boyfriend as it was. Plus he lived in a vast, luxurious mansion on a private island just off the coast of Draxos, with full spa facilities, a swimming pool and balconies affording gorgeous views of the Aegean. Her plan was a simple one: stay with him until she’d finished uni, saving all the gifts and fancies he gave her and then, when she graduated, use all of them to pay for her MA, something she could never afford otherwise.

The MA that she’d signed up for that coming September. Not that she’d told Mark of course; after all, why waste the holidays alone? No, she would tell him next week in a note after she had left.

But sometimes she wished that the days would roll on by far quicker than they did. He was beginning to bore her and his pawing at her body in bed was now annoying. Plus, he could get so obsessive about things; like today for example. He had insisted that they jet over to Athens to do some shopping. But it wasn’t the kind of shopping that she enjoyed, instead it was about buying household decorations. Yawn! Still, needs must.

When they arrived in the city, they took a taxi to the studio of one Yiorgos Hatziastros, a potter of some renown who was, apparently, a friend of Mark’s. “He’s done work for me in the past and it’s always been of the highest standard,” said Mark. Diana looked out of the window.

At the studio, the two men greeted one another like long-lost brothers. Mark then introduced Diana and, to her surprise, made an announcement: “I want to buy my darling something really special, not just the usual trinket, but something of artistic as well as monetary value, to symbolise our deep love for one another. She is training to become an archaeologist and so I thought, why not have Yiorgos make me a unique, personalised pot in the Ancient Greek tradition?”

At these words Diana’s heart melted. At the reply from Yiorgos, it nearly went into overdrive.

“That is fine, of course my friend, but they do not come cheap. My Ancient Greek-style work starts at 10,000 euros a piece.”

10,000 euros! That was the entire cost of the MA!

“The price is not a factor, only the quality. As you can see, she is my Greek goddess and so why not make her a Greek vase.”

“Forgive me for contradicting you,” said Yiorgos, “but I sense that the young lady is not Greek. Balkan, maybe, but Greek, no.”

“That is right, I am Bulgarian, from Plovdiv.”

“Then may I make a suggestion. Since the lady is not Greek, maybe a Greek vase is inappropriate, but you are Bulgarian, yes, and the Bulgarians are the descendents, some say, of the Ancient Thracians, an equally civilised people. So why not try a Thracian-style design instead?”

Those words caused Diana to like this man all the more. Most Greeks are disparaging about their northern neighbours, but he saw their ancient glory as well as their current poverty.

“That would be marvellous!” she replied.

They looked at some designs and worked something out, based on a pot design of black-painted ceramics with gold leaf images. The ones on the example told the story of an ancient Thracian king, but Yiorgos suggested they change them to the story of the sorceress ‘Thrace’, founder of the ancient civilisation, who was said to be daughter of Oceanus and sister to Europa. “And we will give her your face for you truly look like a mythical goddess who has entrapped my friend’s heart with your sorcery!” added the potter.

thracian princess pot

After the visit to the potter, Mark then took her to an upmarket tailor who proceeded to make a very special outfit for her, contemporary but based on ancient Thracian fashion, all flowing gowns that felt sumptuous on her skin. Then he took her to the city’s greatest stylist who made up her hair – previously in a plain ponytail – like an ancient Thracian noblewoman. Thus, looking like the goddess that Mark believed she was, they dined at a fine restaurant before retiring back to their five star hotel for a bout of lovemaking. Although bored of Mark in bed, after he had been so generous – and feeling a little guilty for her forthcoming deception – Diana let him do whatever he wanted with her and that night he seemed to take an inordinate amount of time caressing her legs and fondling her shapely ass.

And when they had finished the lovemaking, they ordered wine and, after drinking her glass, Diana fell into a deep, contented sleep.


—–

When she awoke, Diana knew that something was wrong. She opened her eyes but no light entered. Not even a chink. And, when she tried to move, her body somehow did not respond. She cried out but that realised that something – it felt like a rod of some sort – was lodged in her mouth, and all that came out was an mmphf. Fear took over.

Then, out of the darkness, came a soothing voice. “Good morning, darling. I trust you slept well.”

It was Mark. She mmphfed again and he spoke once more. “You are trying to speak, no? Well, that is not possible now as there is a gag in your mouth. I shall remove it soon, but first let me move you somewhere better.

And she felt herself being moved. Her body, totally unresponsive, was lifted and carried. Yet she never felt any hands touch her. Indeed, she felt somehow enclosed, or encased. It was weird. Not all of her though. She could feel the wind on her face and her breasts and her private parts. The rest though, was somehow covered up.

She was placed down and she felt Mark draw near. He kissed her lightly on her forehead and then did something to her eyes. Immediately the light rushed in. She blinked and adjusted herself. She was sitting on the balcony of their house in Draxos that overlooked the blue waters of the Aegean. There was not a cloud in sight and in the distance she could make out the white triangle of a yacht’s sail.

“The cause of the blindness was these,” said Mark. He was holding a pair of contact lenses in the palm of his hand. They were totally black. Anyone wearing them would have no sight whatsoever. But why…?

“I’ve made a few changes,” he said, smiling. And then he turned her around to face a full-length mirror. What was reflected back at her stunned her completely. Still smiling, he took out the gag, which transpired to be both large and penis-shaped.

“What the fuck have you done to me?” she cried.

“I gave you a boob job like I promised,” he replied.

Mark HAD mentioned a boob job before. Diana liked her tits but they were rather small and a little saggy. They were neither now, instead two bulging orbs projected from her chest. Or at least, from where her chest should have been.

Oh yes, the boob job was the least of her problems.

She was in the pot that they had commissioned. Yes, that is right: encased within the vase, her head sticking out of the top and her boobs squeezed out of two windows on the front while, down below them, there was another, smaller window, through which her denuded pussy and anus could be seen.

“I had the boobs done after you were potted. I think they look better than way although I’m sorry if the fit is now a bit tight,” Mark continued, still talking about her bloody tits.

“Forget my boobs! What have you done to the rest of me? Why can’t I feel or move my arms and legs?”

“Oh, because they aren’t there anymore. They were the first things that the surgeon removed. Then he cut you open and removed the non-vital organs and all your bones save for the spine. Your entire body size is now comparable to your head, hence you being able to fit so snugly into your pot. Do you like how it has come out? Yiorgos has done a fine job, don’t you think?”

Diana was in shock. “But… why? Why am I in a pot?”

“Because I believe women look prettier in them. Plus, potted girls are far less likely to leave their future spouses.” He looked at her gravely. “I know your plans and intentions. I was your sugar daddy, useful to pay for your forthcoming MA. Not that you’ll be able to do that now, of course; after all, what use is an archaeologist with no limbs? No, I would never have potted you had you stayed true and faithful. But come on, Diana, did you really expect a guy who works in tech not to hack into your emails and social media?”

“How dare you! I’ll…”

“You’ll stay quiet,” he replied and replaced the gag. There was absolutely nothing she could do to stop him. Then, to her horror, he picked up the contact lenses once again and refitted them. Her world plunged into blackness. Silenced, blinded and immobile. It was like a descent into hell.

“Let me tell you how this works,” continued Mark’s voice. “You are now my potgirl, my Thracian goddess. You will live here for the rest of your days, spending your time in leisured luxury relaxing on the balcony or in a room. You will be cared for by your maid. A great advantage about living in Greece these days is the steady flow of illegal migrants. The girl I’ve got for you is Sudanese. She doesn’t speak a word of English and can’t run off. She will see to your every need save for that most important one…”

His voice trailed off and she felt a finger trace over her nipples and then touch her clit. She shuddered in both horror and delight. “Your sexual needs. You are still my girlfriend after all; we never broke up. I will continue to be your partner and may even offer you my hand in marriage one day. Why, we could even have kids as I’ve saved your eggs; all we require is a willing surrogate and, like I said, with a steady flow of migrants… However, you need to be willing in all this. I will never force myself upon you, nor will I endure abusive language or behaviour. That’s why you’re gagged and blinded now. If you misbehave, you will wear one or the other. If you bite my tongue when we’re kissing, or my cock when you’re giving me a blow job, then the lenses will be in for months, ear plugs too. But behave, woo me, couple with me, chat with me, and you can be rewarded and not just with sex. It can get quite lonely out here on this island, but I have friends with partners, potgirls like yourself. Indeed, Yiorgos is desperate to bring his wife Melissa around. That can be your first reward for good behaviour. Think about it, my Thracian goddess.”

And with those words he left her there, blank eyes staring into nothing, mouth gagged, naught more than an elegant household decoration in the luxury mansion of Mark Vogel.

As his footsteps faded into the distance, Diana realised that she had a lot of thinking and adjusting to do. Fat tears fell from her eyes onto her pot, running down the shiny surface like raindrops until they soaked into her protruding breasts.

Gabrielle van Hessel: Part 3

Part 2

PART THREE

Chapter 1

That evening I was again in der Vlinder’s private back room, with van Hessel across the table from me and a pint of beer in front.

“So my lad,” said he, “are you entirely sure about accepting Gabrielle as your wife?”

“Sir,” replied I, “I have never been so surer of anything in my life.” And I spoke the truth. For whilst I had seen other wenches as comely if not more so than Miss van Hessel, and undoubtedly more virile and creative in bed, (for she as a virgin was completely inexperienced and trussed up so, I doubted that she could be very athletic also), there was something about this girl that captivated me, enthralled me, obsessed me. All that day following my visit to the van Hessel house, my mind could think of nothing else; of seeing her restricted like that, her arms rendered helpless, her feet squeezed into those tiny yet delightful boots that made the simple art of walking near on an impossibility, her waist corsetted into nothing, and all against her wishes. And the fact that I had watched it all and she knew nothing of it, she thought that I was as ignorant of it all as the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker! And how she had told me afterwards, pleaded with me to help her out of her situation, given herself to me believing that I was to be her saviour. No, of all that I had witnessed, that confession, hearing the words of the discomfort that she suffered and of the hope that she saw in me, that was the most erotically stimulating of all. I had not left my bedroom for three hours straight and my manhood was as tired a native coolie after a days work in the rubber plantation.

“But Mr. van Hessel,” I continued, “I want to continue this in my way, if you don’t mind.”

“What way is that, Wilhelm?”

“Well, as you know, I enjoyed coffee with your niece this afternoon and whilst there I embarked upon a little game with her. I chastised her for hating me, for running away. I asked what bad thing had she done to render such a punishment as being gagged. Well, what could she do but deny it. It was a quandary you see, on one hand I would think of her as disobedient and no lady, or on the other she gives you away. So, she told me about the restriction and I pretended to be shocked. I asked her to describe more, and I must say Sir, it was most exciting hearing it come from her own mouth. She asked me to feel her wooden limbs and her bound arms, and then Sir, implored me to help her. ‘Marry me and free me!’ It was most amusing.”

“Oh dear Wilhelm, it sounds so. I doubt that I, should I have been a man of your age, would have been able to control myself, Ha! Ha! What a lark, Sir!”

“Indeed, indeed. Anyway, so now she knows that I am interested in marriage, and that I know about her bondage. What she does not know however, is about our close relationship, that you are in on it all, and what’s more, she thinks that I am to be her saviour. Sir, I like that situation, and I should be pleased if it could continue. In fact, I would like you to appear almost against the marriage, whilst I will play up the role of the Knight in Shining Armour. What do you say to it?”

“Why Wilhelm, I assent. It is a lark true, but it also serves my purpose. For the fact is, I was worried that she would object to whomever I chose and perhaps cause a raucous in the church or whatever on the wedding day when of course her arms cannot be bound. In this way, I have the opportunity of sending the bint to the altar as meek as a lamb and still guaranteeing that she is treated in the manner that I see fit afterwards. Or at least I hope that she will be?”

“Whatever do you mean, Sir?”

“What I mean is that once married, I wish her present lifestyle to continue, so that she may never bad-mouth I and my wife nor come back to haunt us. Be you in the Indies or Duiveland, I wish her to be kept as now, helpless and bound.”

“Oh Sir, you need not fear on that account. I would not be interested in marrying the wench were she kept as a normal lass. I don’t want her for her money, nor her mind, nor even for the times that we shall spend between the bedcovers, for I can get that elsewhere and no doubt with ladies of a much more experienced nature. What’s more, getting  that elsewhere is something that I intend to continue doing – I fear that I loathe to give up my brown-skinned tropical beauties – and with a bound and immobile wife, that should not prove a problem.

“Well then Sir, we are agreed in all. We shall continue as you say, but also I have some stipulations of my own. If you are to keep her as I do, you have much more to learn. You need to know about her various forms of restraint, as I have more methods than just a gag and ballooning sleeves. You will learn about them and at the same time will continue to win her confidence. Then, a month or so hence, I shall lead my niece to the altar to become Mrs. Wilhelm van Wettering. Agreed?”

“Agreed!”

And at that we both clinked glasses and downed our beverages.

Chapter 2

And thus it continued in such a manner. Daily I would visit Miss Gabrielle, sit in that drawing room with its ticking clock and lace-laden table and drink coffee whilst she described to me the horrors that she was put through.

“But at least you rest at night my dear sweet Gaby,” said I.

“Oh no, Will, not even then. For that monster has decreed that I sleep in a sleeping bag.”

“A what?”

“A bag. ‘Tis made of leather and laced like a corset. It covers all of me, from my head to my feet, the only opening being for my nose and mouth. And it is tight and hot and I lie in it immobile until I am woken by my maids.”

“How awful!” exclaimed I.

That evening I journeyed down the tunnel and set my eye to the spyhole. There I watched as that heavenly creature was stripped of her clothing and left wearing only her chastity belt. Then another corset was put onto her, except that this one, unlike her daytime ones, had cut-outs for her breasts which ballooned out as if presenting themselves for a waiting man, (oh later on, I knew who that man would be!), and amazingly had no holes for the arms, those beleaguered appendages being crossed over at the top of her back, thus rendering her absolutely dependent on those around her. Then the Sleeping Bag was produced, a huge leather sack which she was placed into, and which was then laced tight all around her, displaying each and every one of her delightful feminine curves to perfection, and of course allowing her not to move a muscle, in fact to do naught but breath. I couldn’t wait any longer, and as van Hessel had not joined me that evening, I whipped out the bishop and jacked one off there and then. To think of her in that cocoon, so helpless… and the heat! To be encased wholly in leather on this sultry summer’s eve. Oh how much more she would suffer when in Batavia where even naked the heat is unbearable.

Returning to the study I asked van Hessel about the armless corset.

“It’s called a Venus Corset,” said he, “after the armless Venus de Milo. Mrs. van Hessel is always laced into one at night and that way she cannot object to me caressing her fine breasts and placing my manhood where it should be placed.” The thought of doing the same to Gabrielle excited me further.

“Let’s take a closer look,” said van Hessel, and together we tiptoed into the girl’s room. I was careful not to make a sound, but van Hessel shook his head. “You need not bother,” he said in a normal voice. The Sleeping Bag has built in ear plugs. She is as deaf as she is blind, completely oblivious to the world around her.”

It was fascinating seeing her entombed like that up close, her breasts rising and falling dramatically beneath the leather. “I do so like her large bosom and buttocks,” I commented to van Hessel.

“It comes from the corsetting,” he explained. “Before she was quite a plain girl, nothing of note in either place. But the corset restricts any fatty growth around the waist, but of course the fat must go somewhere – and we do control her diet to make sure that she puts some weight on, though not enough to make her obese –  and thus it is that we get this pleasingly rotund derriere, and those handsome breasts.”

I was amazed by the ingenuity of this man, and the fact that even what she ate was controlled and restricted. It was all so artificial. Like she was a toy, not a human being. And long may it continue of course!

Whilst in the room, van Hessel also took me over to Gabrielle’s wardrobe to show me the many modes of restriction that his niece was subjected to. There were cocoon suits, punishment corsets that lasted to her knees, stride impeders, countless pairs of shoes with ridiculously high heels, ankle chains, a joug, shoulder braces, neck corsets, (“She always wears one underneath her high collars or scarf,”) which forced the poor girl to hold her head up high and much more. This unusual collection excited me no end, especially when one considered that the owner was sleeping in the very same room, oblivious of what was going on around her.

“Would you like to try some on?” asked van Hessel.

“I don’t think that most will fit,” I said.

“Most no, corsets are out of the question, but you can try these.” He held out the stride impeders. They were two golden rings connected by a thick loop of rubber. I placed them around my knees and tried to walk. My stride was limited to almost naught and tottering across just the room took an age. “Now imagine wearing those along with a tight corset, neck corset, bound arms, and ballet boots.” I tried to imagine and it was a pleasant imagine that was conjured up in my mind. Being breathless and restricted so…

I tried on several more items of Gabrielle’s apparel. The ankle chain was interesting, the effect slightly different to the more flexible stride impeders, and the full hood was scary, to be so at the mercy of all. I knew that that was one thing that she would be making a lot of use of after her marriage! I also tried her arm bindings and wooden limbs. The effect of that was strange, yet exciting. Again it was the helplessness that did it for me, but also the artificiality added to matters. I mentioned this to van Hessel and he agreed. “I like it too,” said that fine gent. “That is why I have her and Mrs. van Hessel dress up as dolls  on odd occasions. I have had dolly faces made out of porcelain for them, through which there are two pin holes that they can view the proceedings, well a little of them, through. Indeed, I have several masks, look!”

I did so and was most interested. Several of the masks were of the typical Virginal Doll look, but several more portrayed an Oriental visage. “A relic of my travels,” explained van Hessel. “I sometimes miss those Oriental ladies, especially the beauties of Annam, Tonkin and the Empires of China and Japan. Well, on my last voyage I bought some costumes from all those places and afterwards I had these masks and some hair pieces made. Now and again, when the mood takes me, I dress Mrs. van Hessel or Greta the servant, up in a kimono or cheoung sam and have her mince around the house with this mask and an elaborate oriental hairpiece on.”

Now that sounded something! “But what of the small feet?” asked I, remembering the tales that I had heard regarding foot-binding in China, a practice that I had never come across but had always sounded intriguing.

“Well Wilhelm, I do not bind feet, as although it produces an extremely pleasant shape and a beautifully unstable walk, the stench is quite horrid. But of course, both my wife, and Gabrielle’s feet have been forced into tiny boots from an early age so they are not large and what’s more, with Gabrielle… no I shall let her tell you about her feet. But they are small and en pointe, so the effect is not too dissimilar to that of foot-binding.”

I tried a mask on. The porcelain admitted no air barring through the tiny breathing holes, and fitted closely so that within a moment I was sweaty and flustered. What’s more it contained a built-in wooden protrusion for the mouth which rendered speech and impossibility. To walk around all day wearing that…

“And now Sir, what do you think of this?”

Van Hessel pulled out a long leather sheath. “Put it on!” said he.

It turned out that this garment was a glove, a glove that fitted over both arms and held them tight together behind the back. I tried it on. It took a while to fit as it was rather tight, but once on, and laced, held my arms mercilessly in that position. Within a few minutes I felt them starting to deaden.

“Gabrielle wears this?” I asked in amazement.

“Why yes, every afternoon, when visitors are not admitted.”

‘By the Good Lord above!’ thought I. To wear such a garment daily!

“I should love to see her in it,” said I.

“Forget your hat and call round tomorrow at two for it,” suggested van Hessel.

Chapter 3

I did just as he suggested and the following afternoon found myself sat with my fiancee in the drawing room, her with her arms pinioned behind her and an embarrassed look upon her face.

“Whatever are you wearing?” exclaimed I in mock astonishment.

“My mono-glove. He forces me to wear it every afternoon.”

“Is it uncomfortable?”

“Very. My arms are dead and my shoulders are on fire.” Of course I knew all of this from my own brief experience in the glove, but hearing it come from her innocent lips made it all the more exciting.

Another day I took up the lead that van Hessel had given me and asked about her feet.

“Is it those boots that make you walk so unstably?” I enquired.

“Partially,” said she.

“What do you mean, ‘partially’,” I asked.

“He has done other things to my feet.”

“Like what?”

“I was forced to have an operation… when I first came here… he said that small feet were ladylike and mine were to be as small as possibly.”

“What did they do?”

“The surgeon, he removed by smallest toe on each foot, and also sections of my other toes and forced my big toe into a point.”

“That sounds painful.”

“Oh no, it wasn’t. It was all very professionally done, under anathesea and such. But the problem is, we are given five toes on each foot for a reason. I, with only four cannot balance well, I often stumble and fall.”

“That’s monsterous!” declared I, inwardly impressed at van Hessel’s idea. “Can I see your feet, please?” I added.

My Gaby daintily lifted the hem of her voluminous skirts and poked a foot out. It was tiny, unbelievably so. I was sent into raptures of delight, though of course I tried not to display this. Instead I changed the subject.

“We will marry soon,” said I.

“I fear he will object,” she replied. “This morning he was moaning about you at breakfast.” So, van Hessel was playing his part well, I thought. Jolly good!

Daily I visited the beleaguered Gabrielle, and daily she trusted me more. One day I even had a mock disagreement with van Hessel and then the next a mock making-up, before finally we had a mock grudging acceptance by him of my proposal of marriage. It was all so delightful, all the artificiality, her trust and his deception. Daily she told me of her restraints and nightly he demonstrated them and explained how to keep that gem that was soon to be mine.

And then, a month from the night when I’d watched her sleep, I was stood in Zierikzee’s great church whilst my bride, her arms unhindered for the first time in years, tottered down the aisle on the arm of van Hessel.

“Who gives this girl away?” asked the Man of God.

“I do,” said van Hessel, (no truer words ever were spoken, she had had no say in it all).

“Do you accept this man to be your Master?” asked the Pastor.

She did.

And with the document signed, the jewel was mine!

But the real pleasure cam later that day. I had been enjoying the feast with my friends whilst Gabrielle had been taken to the room several hours previously to be prepared for her wedding night. Eventually, at Eleven I could bear it no longer and headed upstairs to enjoy my new toy. Opening the door to my chamber I was confronted by one of the most enchanting sights that a man can see. Leaning against the wall was one of the most beautiful girls in all of the Netherlands, her body tightly-cocooned in a finely-made leather body corset that forced her toes into an en pointe position, her waist into miniscule dimensions and her arms behind her, leaving only her head and her hair done in beautiful ringlets free. Around her ankles, waist and neck were tied three large red bows and over the gag in her mouth was a large red rosette. Here was my present waiting to be unwrapped!

I went over to her and lifted her onto the bed, and took the rosette covered gag out of her mouth.

“Oh Wilhelm!” she cried, “I have waited so long for you! Get me out of this hateful cocoon, I wish to make love to my husband!”

“Later,” spake I.

“Later?”

“Do you not know the wedding tradition of the van Wetterings?” I asked.

“Nay.”

“Why before we enjoy normal congress, the woman must first pleasure her spouse using her mouth.”

“Really?”

“Aye.”

And at that I shut her up by thrusting my throbbing bishop into her only free orifice, whilst she stayed as trussed up and helpless as ever before.

EPILOGUE

It is a typical sultry hot tropical eve in the Isle of Kalimantan. Besides the vast rubber plantation that he owns, Mr. Wilhelm van Wettering, once of the Dutch East India Company, now as his own Lord and Master, has built a huge white mansion in the Dutch style. And in that mansion, in the master bedroom her lies, nay, not lies but sits, his back against the fine teak headboard whilst he bounces a fair maiden on his unquenchable manhood. A pretty girl, with silky skin and her arms forced behind her in a black leather mono-glove. Who is she? His wife? His mistress? Nay, she is none of those. For that said wife, the fair Gabrielle of Zierikzee lies to the left of the two lovers, bound up in a tight sleeping cocoon, blinded and deafened by that awesome garment. And his mistress, the beautiful Fatima, a child of Batavia and one of the fairest maidens in the Indies, why she lies to their right, also bound up in a leather cocoon, her fine proportions picked out by the material, oblivious to all around her. And so the girl in the mono-glove, who is she?

Oh no one, just some comely village girl that this millionaire Raja of the Indies has picked up for the night to enjoy as is his whim.

Gabrielle van Hessel: Part 2

Part 1

PART TWO

Chapter 1

That night for many an hour I found that I could not sleep. What was van Hessel up to? Why have a pair of wooden, (and one presumes expensively made), hands and arms for a girl who already has perfectly good limbs. And if she does possess such limbs, then where were they when I kissed her? My mind was a muddle as to why, what and where…

But at eleven sharp the following day I was stood outside the coffin-like church of my hometown, feeling fresh, excited and curious. Two minutes later van Hessel, his wife and their ward came into sight, rounding the corner of the street that leads to their canalside home. It took them however, a full five minutes to walk the fifty metres or so across to the church steps where I was stood. I was intrigued. Had my father’s friend replaced her feet with wooden replicas also? Or perhaps she was hobbled? But why do that to a lady?

By the time they arrived the chests of both Mrs. and Miss van Hessel were heaving up and down at a great rate, as if they had just run a marathon.

“Good morning Wilhelm!” cried van Hessel.

“Good morning Sir, and you too ladies,” replied I, bowing to the latter.

“Would you care to escort young Miss van Hessel on her morning stroll, Wilhelm, whilst I attend to my good wife.”

“I would be honoured sir,” said I, turning to the younger lady. She was dressed today in a fine purple walking outfit, with an elaborate bonnet, her face covered by a lace veil. Her sleeves were as ever, of the Beret time, large and voluminous, but this time they encased real arms, as I saw the gloved appendages that protruded from them squirm a little. The ends of those arms however ended, as fashion dictated, in an elegant matching purple muff.

“Miss Gabrielle,” I said, “How are you on this sunny morn?”

The lady did not answer, which I considered a little rude, but knowing how she was against her step-father’s match-making attempts, I considered it perhaps understandable. ‘I shall make the wench love me,’ thought I.

“Your arm, Miss,” I said.

She lifted it up and I slipped my hand through. The limb was warm and soft, and undoubtedly real.

Thus we started on our stroll. Miss van Hessel walked at an incredibly slow pace, taking steps of no more than ten centimetres at a time.

“Why do you walk so slowly?” asked I.

Again she was silent. Too haughty to speak, the arrogant little miss! ‘Hmm,’ I thought, ‘you need the training of a good husband.’ A man such as myself of course.

To be truthful though, her tiny steps I minded not, as walking with this divine creature was a pleasure. The curve of her minute waist, and the heaving of her breasts caused joy in my heart and a somewhat different reaction lower down. When no one was looking, I wheedled my hand in further and grasped that waist. Gabrielle gave a little gasp of surprise but again said naught. I heeded the haughty wench not but instead pressed harder. It made no difference. That waist, so small, was as hard as iron. Probably was iron actually, as I’m sure whalebone could not have produced such an extreme yet alluring shape.

We circled the House of God and then started back to van Hessel’s house. Covering the half a kilometre or so that we walked took an age, almost an hour I reckoned, but it was an hour of sheer pleasure for myself I shall admit. At the door I made to leave, but van Hessel stopped me. “Nay, nay Wilhelm, wait a second. You must kiss my niece goodbye.”

I felt the female body next to mine shudder, but I minded not. Instead I leant over, lifted her fine veil, and planted a fine kiss upon her ruby red lips.

Or at least that is what I intended to do. Instead, what happened is a felt my lips meet, not hers, but instead a piece of leather! I drew back in surprise and studied her fair visage. A visage that was only partially visible. Then I realised why she had not spoken to me all morning. Her mouth had been securely gagged the whole time. Her eyes looked pleadingly at me, and I have to admit that I realised the speech impeder suited her. I turned to van Hessel for an explanation and he grinned. “Van Wettering, why don’t you and I head to a tavern for a beer. There is something that I wish to talk to you about.”

Chapter 2

Of all the taverns in Zierikzee, der Vlinder is perhaps the finest. It is situated in one of the many small streets leading off from the bustling harbour, and beyond its stout wooden door is to be found an atmosphere of Dutch congeniality, some fine beers and more importantly, the comeliest serving wenches in town. Wenches who have been known to provide the customer with more than just beer. It was to this haven of pleasure that van Hessel and I retired, he going up to the proprietor and asking if we could please hire the private backroom, to which that fine gentleman of course assented. Sat in their, which a glass of the finest Netherlandish brew apiece in front of us, we began to talk.

“Wilhelm, before I start,” said he, “I need ask you a question?”

“What be it, Sir?” replied I.

“Young Miss Gabrielle. Does she please you?”

“Aye, Sir.”

“Then, should I consent, would you be willing to consider her as a wife?”

I thought. Of course I would, but only if she were fully-limbed and of course, still a maiden. “Well Sir, I would, only if she is what she appears to be.”

“And what does she appear to you?”

“A normal, healthy, beautiful virgin.”

“Then you have no fears. She is all of those. So, I ask thee again, would you consider my ward as your wife? For if you say yes, then we can continue, but if no, then we must to part now.”

“I consider her.”

“Right. That is good. Because ever since I set eyes on you young sir, I have considered you. I know you and your rakish ways. They disgust some, but they appeal to I. As I said before, a woman needs controlling. However, many a young man does not realise this, and their young wives get the better of them and soon enough they are a man no longer, but instead a snivelling hen-picked louse.”

“Aye Sir, I have seen it to often, and it disgusts me.”

“I also. We have had many a suitor coming to our door after Miss Gabrielle’s hand. After all, she is a handsome wench, no denying. But she is also a strong-minded lass, and one who could damage a man. Before she came into our care her upbringing had been quite shocking. My brother was one of those hen-pecked mice. His wife a shocking tramp. They believed in freedoms for women. That whore went around with a waist as broad as a barrel, not a corset ever in sight, considering herself the equal of my sibling. And the child was brought up the same, as a tom boy, sailing on a boat in trousers and shirt, travelling around the country with them, talking to any gallant that came along. She could have had her maidenhood picked by a man such as yourself at any time, had she been but a little older. Thankfully, the Lord intervened. Killed off those two pathetic excuses for parents and sent her into the arms of myself and my wife. So it was that we set about turning her into a lady.”

“Well, it was no easy task. First there was the corset, such as she had never worn, why how she screamed and threw tantrums. Thrice she ran away, but thrice did I catch the little  Jezebel. Well, thought I, this is not to last. We need control, we need discipline. We need to beat this sultry bint into a ladylike submission. Luckily for her, I was a man with experience in such matters.”

“Experience, Sir?”

“Aye lad, experience. Now this is a tale I have never told a soul since it happened, and by God Wilhelm, if thou tellest any, even thy father, then there shall be hell to play, be thee in Batavia or Zierikzee, I shall find thee!”

“I will tell none.”

“Good. My wife, a comely lass when younger. I noted it, that’s why I married her. Problem was others noted it also. Including a friend of mine, one van den Ouden. First he visited for dinner, and that whore starts winking at him. Next he’s coming for coffee in the day. Then I learn that the unthinkable happens.”

“No!”

“Aye, that! Well, what was a man to do? I tell you what, punish both the bastards, that’s what! So I gets him a job on a ship of a mate of mine. That young fox was out of work at the time, so I helps him as a mate. On a ship bound for Spain. Well, when they was out in the Bay of Biscay, which a seafaring man such as yourself, knows is renowned for its storms, a big wave comes and sweeps him overboard, God Rest His Soul. A wave known as I, Ha! Ha!”

“So that left only the wench. I thought to kill her also, but no, that wouldna do. She likes sex so much, well, then she can be denied it thought I. So I gets a goldsmith friend of mine to fashion a chastity belt, which one night I proceeds to fit around her coming privates and then solder shut. Permanent! Ha! No more playing around for you my love! She could pleasure me with her mouth, and should I require more, well, you’ve seen my servants have you not? Ever wondered why she was childless?”

“But why stop at restricting only her cunt, I thought. No, why not indeed? Well, first was the easy one, the waist. I subjected that to a lacing regime unseen in those times, until it would get no smaller. And then I moved to her feet, containing them in the tiniest foots imaginable, and with heels so high that she could barely stand. And just to make sure, I added a little chain between each ankle. Eight centimetre steps, that’s all I’ve ever allowed her.”

“Why is why she walks so slowly?”

“Aye, and the girl too!”

“She is subjected to the same regime?”

“Oh no lad, with her I’ve improved and refined it. I had to. She is more rebellious that my own wife and partner. Besides, it’s always fun to develop new tactics, eh?”

“Well, I wouldna know but all that you’ve described, it sounds…”

“Exciting, eh? Makes the male member wake up and ask for his breakfast?”

“Aye.”

“Well, lad, I will talk no longer. Come back to my house and you shall see for yourself.”

Chapter 3

Back at van Hessel’s house, we saw not the ladies, but instead he escorted me to his study. Once we were safely inside and the door locked, he spoke. “Now lad, no servant is ever allowed in here and you shall find out why. In the olden times this was the house of a smuggling ancestor of mine. Well, those who bend the law need to take precautions and he was no exception. Look at this.” Then he went over to the bookcase and took one of the books out. Behind it was a handle. He turned the handle and the case opened. Behind it I was shocked to find a narrow passage. We entered.

The passage was no long, and after a few metres we stopped. “We need go no further,” said van Hessel. “The tunnel leads to the sea, but I have no need for that. I only require here. Look!” There was a small peep-hole in the wall.

“There?” asked I.

“Put your eye to it,” said he.

I did as was bid and gasped. It was a spyhole into the dressing chamber of Miss Gabrielle. And that fair lady was in there, hanging from a lacing trapeze and whimpering. The comely maid was pulling her laces.

“Stop! Stop!” cried she.

“Nay lass, shut thee up! I have said before, the Master has stipulated thirty and five centimetres today and that is what I shall attain or my life will not be worth living.”

“But it’s too tight.. too tight!” moaned my prospective wife.

The maid paid no attention, but instead gave one last tug and tied off.

Then she disappeared out of sight and returned carrying a pair of boots. But these were no normal footwear, what boots they were. Why the unfortunate wearer would be forced to stand on tip-toes with them like a ballerina. The girl was released from the bar and lain on the bed. Then the boots were forced onto her feet causing more whimpers and pleas.

“Not the ballet boots, Greta!”

“Master’s orders again.”

It took an age for the boots to be secured, but I enjoyed every moment. The sight of this helpless, beautiful girl, forced into such extreme clothing against her will, her ample breasts heaving all the while and the rounded mounds of her buttocks quivering. “What is that around her privates?” whispered I, noticing a flash of gold.

“The chastity belt,” whispered back van Hessel. I had one made for her as soon as she started bleeding.”

“The same as your wife’s.”

“Nay, better. This one has rounded mounds of rubber within, that caress her all day long, causing a tension that can never be released.” I knew the feeling. My own member was extremely tense at that moment and had it not been for the presence of my father’s friend I’d have had no hesitation in relieving it there and then.

“Now your arms Gabrielle,” said the maid.

Then to my surprise, she took the white arms of my object of desire and folded them, so that the hand touched the shoulder and then using a leather pouch fastened them in that position. Then the wooden arms that I had been shown earlier were produced and cleverly fitted over the pouch, so that it appeared that they were her real arms. Of course this did not look real though, as her folded arms had a much greater bulk than normal. But then when the dress, a beautiful creation in green silk was produced, I realised the true genius of van Hessel. The huge Beret sleeves of current vogue ballooned out around her shoulders and upper arm and so completely disguised the folded arms. The wooden replacements, once gloved, looked like the real thing!

“How glad I was when that fashion came about,” whispered van Hessel. Before I used to sew the arms to the main dress or cuff them to her waist, but this is far better.”

“But why do it, to the arms?”

“Because I lady without arms is entirely helpless, entirely dependent, entirely at our mercy.” We both chuckled at this undoubtedly true statement. Gabrielle’s dressing was now complete. She stood, an angel of loveliness in the room, before the maid led her downstairs. Any normal observer would not realise how she could hardly move a muscle. They left the room and van Hessel spoke in a normal voice.

“Today for the walk, her arms were locked inside that muff. I have many forms of restriction that I use. You shall be introduced to them in time. Now, you know my secrets, I ask you firmly, once and for all, will you marry Gabrielle?”

Knowing what I did. Having a chance to be able to play with such a doll for life? Of course, I would. “Aye Sir,” I replied.

“Then Wilhelm, why not join your future bride for coffee and ask her yourself?”

Chapter 4

In the drawing room there was only I and Miss Gabrielle. She was of course unaware that I had been in the house for some time and that I had seen her preparations, so I decided to play a little game with her.

“Miss Gabrielle, did you enjoy our little stroll this morning?” I enquired.

“Oh yes, Sir,” answered she. “It was most pleasant.”

“You answer surprises me,” continued I, suppressing a grin. “For how could anyone enjoy a walk when gagged as you were.”

“Oh, I am used to it.” Then she stopped, seeming to regret what she had said.

“Used to it! You are punished often Miss?”

“No, I’m not punished often. I behave…”

“Then whyever were you gagged so?”

“Do you not know?”

“I cannot fathom any other explanation except that you had been disobedient, rebellious…”

“No Sir, it is my Step-Father. Mr. van Hessel, well… he likes his women to be… restrained.”

“Really?” I feigned astonishment though inside I was ready to erupt with laughter. “In what way?”

“Oh many Sir, but, I should not talk of such things…”

“Whyever not?”

“It is none of your business Sir, it is of no account to you.”

“But there Miss, you are wrong. Have you not guessed?”

“Guessed Sir?”

“Guessed my feelings towards you?”

“Feelings, Sir?”

“Aye Miss Gabrielle. I look for a wife and well, I would like to think that Heaven has placed one in my path…”

“Oh Mr. van Wettering!”

Her bosom began surging but I am sure that the greater tension was within my own breast. What a lark this was!

“But I fear that you despise me. You keep secrets from me, run out when I am here…”

“Oh no Sir, no, it’s just that…”

“That?”

“My mode of life is so strange… Has not my step-father explained?”

“Explained what?”

“The restrictions, restraints?”

“So what my dear, so what is you are gagged, and your corset is laced rather tightly. What difference does that make to me?”

“It goes further?”

“Further?”

“Yesterday Sir, did you not feel my arm…”

“Why yes, it was a little cold and hard. You are sick?”

(Oh how I was struggling to control myself whilst this poor girl sat believing that I was ignorant of her situation, and indeed perhaps, a possible saviour. I could last no longer, I took out my handkerchief and coughed into it).

“Oh Sir, are you alright?”

“I fear you may have passed your sickness onto me.”

“No Sir, I have not, I am not sick.”

“Then what then?”

“Feel my arm again, Sir.”

“I should prefer to feel your lips.”

“No Sir, my arm.”

I touched the wooden limb and its hardness and falsity excited me. Knowing that she was helpless, her own perfectly good arm folded uselessly in that balloon sleeve excited me beyond measure.

“It is false!” I said in a shocked voice. “You have a wooden arm!”

“Aye Sir.”

“So that is your worry. My dear sweet Gabrielle, I shall love you fully limbed or otherwise, do not fear!” Then I did what I had long wished to do. My hands grabbed her waist and completely encircled it, fingers touching at the back whilst I fastened my lips to hers.

She gave a gasp of pleasure. My manhood, unbeknown to her, exploded in its prison.

“My dear sweet gorgeous Gabrielle! Maimed or not, I shall always love you, please be mine!”

“No Sir, you misunderstand. I am not maimed, I am full-bodied.”

“But the wooden limb?”

“My own limbs exist…”

“But where?”

“Folded in my sleeve. Feel.”

I felt. How exciting it was, I had never experienced anything so erotic as this trussed up helpless and innocent young virgin.

“My God!” exclaimed I.

She looked sad.

“Does it hurt?”

“My arm goes dead after a while. And when released it aches.”

“He does that to you?”

“Yes, Sir. He demands I be kept in this way, like an animal, forever chained, restrained, a prisoner. Unable to do the simplest things for myself. Dependent on him and his will, everyday and every night. It is a living hell for me, please please help me Sir, set me free, let me escape from him!”

“I will, I will,” replied I getting excited once more. “I shall marry you my love!”

“Shall you?”

“Aye sweet Gabrielle, I shall.”

“Oh Mr. van Wettering!” And at that the helpless maid fell into my arms, smattered my face with her kisses, before passing out due to the excitement and tightness of her corset, whilst I disguised my uncontrollable laughter as tears of joy.

PART THREE

Chapter 1

That evening I was again in der Vlinder’s private back room, with van Hessel across the table from me and a pint of beer in front.

“So my lad,” said he, “are you entirely sure about accepting Gabrielle as your wife?”

“Sir,” replied I, “I have never been so surer of anything in my life.” And I spoke the truth. For whilst I had seen other wenches as comely if not more so than Miss van Hessel, and undoubtedly more virile and creative in bed, (for she as a virgin was completely inexperienced and trussed up so, I doubted that she could be very athletic also), there was something about this girl that captivated me, enthralled me, obsessed me. All that day following my visit to the van Hessel house, my mind could think of nothing else; of seeing her restricted like that, her arms rendered helpless, her feet squeezed into those tiny yet delightful boots that made the simple art of walking near on an impossibility, her waist corsetted into nothing, and all against her wishes. And the fact that I had watched it all and she knew nothing of it, she thought that I was as ignorant of it all as the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker! And how she had told me afterwards, pleaded with me to help her out of her situation, given herself to me believing that I was to be her saviour. No, of all that I had witnessed, that confession, hearing the words of the discomfort that she suffered and of the hope that she saw in me, that was the most erotically stimulating of all. I had not left my bedroom for three hours straight and my manhood was as tired a native coolie after a days work in the rubber plantation.

“But Mr. van Hessel,” I continued, “I want to continue this in my way, if you don’t mind.”

“What way is that, Wilhelm?”

“Well, as you know, I enjoyed coffee with your niece this afternoon and whilst there I embarked upon a little game with her. I chastised her for hating me, for running away. I asked what bad thing had she done to render such a punishment as being gagged. Well, what could she do but deny it. It was a quandary you see, on one hand I would think of her as disobedient and no lady, or on the other she gives you away. So, she told me about the restriction and I pretended to be shocked. I asked her to describe more, and I must say Sir, it was most exciting hearing it come from her own mouth. She asked me to feel her wooden limbs and her bound arms, and then Sir, implored me to help her. ‘Marry me and free me!’ It was most amusing.”

“Oh dear Wilhelm, it sounds so. I doubt that I, should I have been a man of your age, would have been able to control myself, Ha! Ha! What a lark, Sir!”

“Indeed, indeed. Anyway, so now she knows that I am interested in marriage, and that I know about her bondage. What she does not know however, is about our close relationship, that you are in on it all, and what’s more, she thinks that I am to be her saviour. Sir, I like that situation, and I should be pleased if it could continue. In fact, I would like you to appear almost against the marriage, whilst I will play up the role of the Knight in Shining Armour. What do you say to it?”

“Why Wilhelm, I assent. It is a lark true, but it also serves my purpose. For the fact is, I was worried that she would object to whomever I chose and perhaps cause a raucous in the church or whatever on the wedding day when of course her arms cannot be bound. In this way, I have the opportunity of sending the bint to the altar as meek as a lamb and still guaranteeing that she is treated in the manner that I see fit afterwards. Or at least I hope that she will be?”

“Whatever do you mean, Sir?”

“What I mean is that once married, I wish her present lifestyle to continue, so that she may never bad-mouth I and my wife nor come back to haunt us. Be you in the Indies or Duiveland, I wish her to be kept as now, helpless and bound.”

“Oh Sir, you need not fear on that account. I would not be interested in marrying the wench were she kept as a normal lass. I don’t want her for her money, nor her mind, nor even for the times that we shall spend between the bedcovers, for I can get that elsewhere and no doubt with ladies of a much more experienced nature. What’s more, getting  that elsewhere is something that I intend to continue doing – I fear that I loathe to give up my brown-skinned tropical beauties – and with a bound and immobile wife, that should not prove a problem.

“Well then Sir, we are agreed in all. We shall continue as you say, but also I have some stipulations of my own. If you are to keep her as I do, you have much more to learn. You need to know about her various forms of restraint, as I have more methods than just a gag and ballooning sleeves. You will learn about them and at the same time will continue to win her confidence. Then, a month or so hence, I shall lead my niece to the altar to become Mrs. Wilhelm van Wettering. Agreed?”

“Agreed!”

And at that we both clinked glasses and downed our beverages.

Chapter 2

And thus it continued in such a manner. Daily I would visit Miss Gabrielle, sit in that drawing room with its ticking clock and lace-laden table and drink coffee whilst she described to me the horrors that she was put through.

“But at least you rest at night my dear sweet Gaby,” said I.

“Oh no, Will, not even then. For that monster has decreed that I sleep in a sleeping bag.”

“A what?”

“A bag. ‘Tis made of leather and laced like a corset. It covers all of me, from my head to my feet, the only opening being for my nose and mouth. And it is tight and hot and I lie in it immobile until I am woken by my maids.”

“How awful!” exclaimed I.

That evening I journeyed down the tunnel and set my eye to the spyhole. There I watched as that heavenly creature was stripped of her clothing and left wearing only her chastity belt. Then another corset was put onto her, except that this one, unlike her daytime ones, had cut-outs for her breasts which ballooned out as if presenting themselves for a waiting man, (oh later on, I knew who that man would be!), and amazingly had no holes for the arms, those beleaguered appendages being crossed over at the top of her back, thus rendering her absolutely dependent on those around her. Then the Sleeping Bag was produced, a huge leather sack which she was placed into, and which was then laced tight all around her, displaying each and every one of her delightful feminine curves to perfection, and of course allowing her not to move a muscle, in fact to do naught but breath. I couldn’t wait any longer, and as van Hessel had not joined me that evening, I whipped out the bishop and jacked one off there and then. To think of her in that cocoon, so helpless… and the heat! To be encased wholly in leather on this sultry summer’s eve. Oh how much more she would suffer when in Batavia where even naked the heat is unbearable.

Returning to the study I asked van Hessel about the armless corset.

“It’s called a Venus Corset,” said he, “after the armless Venus de Milo. Mrs. van Hessel is always laced into one at night and that way she cannot object to me caressing her fine breasts and placing my manhood where it should be placed.” The thought of doing the same to Gabrielle excited me further.

“Let’s take a closer look,” said van Hessel, and together we tiptoed into the girl’s room. I was careful not to make a sound, but van Hessel shook his head. “You need not bother,” he said in a normal voice. The Sleeping Bag has built in ear plugs. She is as deaf as she is blind, completely oblivious to the world around her.”

It was fascinating seeing her entombed like that up close, her breasts rising and falling dramatically beneath the leather. “I do so like her large bosom and buttocks,” I commented to van Hessel.

“It comes from the corsetting,” he explained. “Before she was quite a plain girl, nothing of note in either place. But the corset restricts any fatty growth around the waist, but of course the fat must go somewhere – and we do control her diet to make sure that she puts some weight on, though not enough to make her obese –  and thus it is that we get this pleasingly rotund derriere, and those handsome breasts.”

I was amazed by the ingenuity of this man, and the fact that even what she ate was controlled and restricted. It was all so artificial. Like she was a toy, not a human being. And long may it continue of course!

Whilst in the room, van Hessel also took me over to Gabrielle’s wardrobe to show me the many modes of restriction that his niece was subjected to. There were cocoon suits, punishment corsets that lasted to her knees, stride impeders, countless pairs of shoes with ridiculously high heels, ankle chains, a joug, shoulder braces, neck corsets, (“She always wears one underneath her high collars or scarf,”) which forced the poor girl to hold her head up high and much more. This unusual collection excited me no end, especially when one considered that the owner was sleeping in the very same room, oblivious of what was going on around her.

“Would you like to try some on?” asked van Hessel.

“I don’t think that most will fit,” I said.

“Most no, corsets are out of the question, but you can try these.” He held out the stride impeders. They were two golden rings connected by a thick loop of rubber. I placed them around my knees and tried to walk. My stride was limited to almost naught and tottering across just the room took an age. “Now imagine wearing those along with a tight corset, neck corset, bound arms, and ballet boots.” I tried to imagine and it was a pleasant imagine that was conjured up in my mind. Being breathless and restricted so…

I tried on several more items of Gabrielle’s apparel. The ankle chain was interesting, the effect slightly different to the more flexible stride impeders, and the full hood was scary, to be so at the mercy of all. I knew that that was one thing that she would be making a lot of use of after her marriage! I also tried her arm bindings and wooden limbs. The effect of that was strange, yet exciting. Again it was the helplessness that did it for me, but also the artificiality added to matters. I mentioned this to van Hessel and he agreed. “I like it too,” said that fine gent. “That is why I have her and Mrs. van Hessel dress up as dolls  on odd occasions. I have had dolly faces made out of porcelain for them, through which there are two pin holes that they can view the proceedings, well a little of them, through. Indeed, I have several masks, look!”

I did so and was most interested. Several of the masks were of the typical Virginal Doll look, but several more portrayed an Oriental visage. “A relic of my travels,” explained van Hessel. “I sometimes miss those Oriental ladies, especially the beauties of Annam, Tonkin and the Empires of China and Japan. Well, on my last voyage I bought some costumes from all those places and afterwards I had these masks and some hair pieces made. Now and again, when the mood takes me, I dress Mrs. van Hessel or Greta the servant, up in a kimono or cheoung sam and have her mince around the house with this mask and an elaborate oriental hairpiece on.”

Now that sounded something! “But what of the small feet?” asked I, remembering the tales that I had heard regarding foot-binding in China, a practice that I had never come across but had always sounded intriguing.

“Well Wilhelm, I do not bind feet, as although it produces an extremely pleasant shape and a beautifully unstable walk, the stench is quite horrid. But of course, both my wife, and Gabrielle’s feet have been forced into tiny boots from an early age so they are not large and what’s more, with Gabrielle… no I shall let her tell you about her feet. But they are small and en pointe, so the effect is not too dissimilar to that of foot-binding.”

I tried a mask on. The porcelain admitted no air barring through the tiny breathing holes, and fitted closely so that within a moment I was sweaty and flustered. What’s more it contained a built-in wooden protrusion for the mouth which rendered speech and impossibility. To walk around all day wearing that…

“And now Sir, what do you think of this?”

Van Hessel pulled out a long leather sheath. “Put it on!” said he.

It turned out that this garment was a glove, a glove that fitted over both arms and held them tight together behind the back. I tried it on. It took a while to fit as it was rather tight, but once on, and laced, held my arms mercilessly in that position. Within a few minutes I felt them starting to deaden.

“Gabrielle wears this?” I asked in amazement.

“Why yes, every afternoon, when visitors are not admitted.”

‘By the Good Lord above!’ thought I. To wear such a garment daily!

“I should love to see her in it,” said I.

“Forget your hat and call round tomorrow at two for it,” suggested van Hessel.

Chapter 3

I did just as he suggested and the following afternoon found myself sat with my fiancee in the drawing room, her with her arms pinioned behind her and an embarrassed look upon her face.

“Whatever are you wearing?” exclaimed I in mock astonishment.

“My mono-glove. He forces me to wear it every afternoon.”

“Is it uncomfortable?”

“Very. My arms are dead and my shoulders are on fire.” Of course I knew all of this from my own brief experience in the glove, but hearing it come from her innocent lips made it all the more exciting.

Another day I took up the lead that van Hessel had given me and asked about her feet.

“Is it those boots that make you walk so unstably?” I enquired.

“Partially,” said she.

“What do you mean, ‘partially’,” I asked.

“He has done other things to my feet.”

“Like what?”

“I was forced to have an operation… when I first came here… he said that small feet were ladylike and mine were to be as small as possibly.”

“What did they do?”

“The surgeon, he removed by smallest toe on each foot, and also sections of my other toes and forced my big toe into a point.”

“That sounds painful.”

“Oh no, it wasn’t. It was all very professionally done, under anathesea and such. But the problem is, we are given five toes on each foot for a reason. I, with only four cannot balance well, I often stumble and fall.”

“That’s monsterous!” declared I, inwardly impressed at van Hessel’s idea. “Can I see your feet, please?” I added.

My Gaby daintily lifted the hem of her voluminous skirts and poked a foot out. It was tiny, unbelievably so. I was sent into raptures of delight, though of course I tried not to display this. Instead I changed the subject.

“We will marry soon,” said I.

“I fear he will object,” she replied. “This morning he was moaning about you at breakfast.” So, van Hessel was playing his part well, I thought. Jolly good!

Daily I visited the beleaguered Gabrielle, and daily she trusted me more. One day I even had a mock disagreement with van Hessel and then the next a mock making-up, before finally we had a mock grudging acceptance by him of my proposal of marriage. It was all so delightful, all the artificiality, her trust and his deception. Daily she told me of her restraints and nightly he demonstrated them and explained how to keep that gem that was soon to be mine.

And then, a month from the night when I’d watched her sleep, I was stood in Zierikzee’s great church whilst my bride, her arms unhindered for the first time in years, tottered down the aisle on the arm of van Hessel.

“Who gives this girl away?” asked the Man of God.

“I do,” said van Hessel, (no truer words ever were spoken, she had had no say in it all).

“Do you accept this man to be your Master?” asked the Pastor.

She did.

And with the document signed, the jewel was mine!

But the real pleasure cam later that day. I had been enjoying the feast with my friends whilst Gabrielle had been taken to the room several hours previously to be prepared for her wedding night. Eventually, at Eleven I could bear it no longer and headed upstairs to enjoy my new toy. Opening the door to my chamber I was confronted by one of the most enchanting sights that a man can see. Leaning against the wall was one of the most beautiful girls in all of the Netherlands, her body tightly-cocooned in a finely-made leather body corset that forced her toes into an en pointe position, her waist into miniscule dimensions and her arms behind her, leaving only her head and her hair done in beautiful ringlets free. Around her ankles, waist and neck were tied three large red bows and over the gag in her mouth was a large red rosette. Here was my present waiting to be unwrapped!

I went over to her and lifted her onto the bed, and took the rosette covered gag out of her mouth.

“Oh Wilhelm!” she cried, “I have waited so long for you! Get me out of this hateful cocoon, I wish to make love to my husband!”

“Later,” spake I.

“Later?”

“Do you not know the wedding tradition of the van Wetterings?” I asked.

“Nay.”

“Why before we enjoy normal congress, the woman must first pleasure her spouse using her mouth.”

“Really?”

“Aye.”

And at that I shut her up by thrusting my throbbing bishop into her only free orifice, whilst she stayed as trussed up and helpless as ever before.

EPILOGUE

It is a typical sultry hot tropical eve in the Isle of Kalimantan. Besides the vast rubber plantation that he owns, Mr. Wilhelm van Wettering, once of the Dutch East India Company, now as his own Lord and Master, has built a huge white mansion in the Dutch style. And in that mansion, in the master bedroom her lies, nay, not lies but sits, his back against the fine teak headboard whilst he bounces a fair maiden on his unquenchable manhood. A pretty girl, with silky skin and her arms forced behind her in a black leather mono-glove. Who is she? His wife? His mistress? Nay, she is none of those. For that said wife, the fair Gabrielle of Zierikzee lies to the left of the two lovers, bound up in a tight sleeping cocoon, blinded and deafened by that awesome garment. And his mistress, the beautiful Fatima, a child of Batavia and one of the fairest maidens in the Indies, why she lies to their right, also bound up in a leather cocoon, her fine proportions picked out by the material, oblivious to all around her. And so the girl in the mono-glove, who is she?

Oh no one, just some comely village girl that this millionaire Raja of the Indies has picked up for the night to enjoy as is his whim.

Part 3

Gabrielle van Hessel: Part 1

Gabrielle van Hessel

 

By Dave Potter

PART ONE

Chapter 1

My name is Wihelm van Wettering and I come from the small port town of Zierikzee. I say that I come from there, but that is about all. The truth is, that although I am a native of that town it has been many a year since I have set foot in her. My trade is that of a sailor, and merchant and it is for that reason that I do not live in my native place. Instead, I dwell in one of His Royal Dutch Majesty’s Colonies, that of the East Indies, in the fair town of Batavia where I am a young, hard-working, and I am pleased to say, ever-rising official with the magnificent Dutch East India Company, the pride of our land.

A proud young man I may be, and a successful one, and what is more largely happy, Thank the Lord, but alas, also unmarried. Not that Batavia does not have its members of the fairer sex whom have tickled my fancy, indeed there have been far too many. Batavia is, in my opinion, one of the finest hunting grounds for those rakish young men of the globe who wish to find an exotic beauty who knows what she is doing just as much as she looks like she knows. Many a night have I lain by some brown-skinned Venus, my heart and mind in ecstasy after the performance of tropical lovemaking that I have just been subjected to. But alas, pleasurable as these ladies are, they are not suitable candidates for a marriage, society dictating quite rightly that a wife must be white, Protestant and wholly inexperienced between the bedsheets, until that is, her husband has chance to act as a teacher to her.

But whilst fair Batavia might abound in even fairer native wenches, even more alas, the pick of Netherlandish girls there is quite lamentable. The girls of my own stock to be found are but few and far between and the Lord it seems, was not at his most benevolent in handing out charms on the sad days when they entered this Life. On top of that, all are either prudish pastor’s daughters or well-protected by their fathers, who, like myself, having lived for most of their lives in sunnier climes, know what the tropical heat can do to even the most upstanding of young men.

So it is that I, Wilhelm van Wettering am unmarried at twenty-six, and in full realisation of the need to rectify this woeful situation. And so it is, that I, Wilhelm van Wettering, am stood in the Year of Our Lord 1832, aboard the good ship Groningen bound for my native land for the first time in a decade where I hope to sort out some financial affairs, see my kinsfolk and more importantly, find myself a wife to bring back with me to Batavia.

Chapter 2

I disembarked at the port of Rotterdam and went straightaway to the offices of the company where I had some business, before finding myself a lodging for the night and then going out onto the town to sample the delights for which she is famous, wrongly so I may add, for after having enjoyed the pleasures of the Oriental Angel for years upon end, those of even the finest trained of my own stock were sadly lacking and I must admit that the coming prospect of finding a permanent soul and bedmate from amongst them did not exactly fill me with glee. But nonetheless, the tensions of those long months on board the Groningen were somewhat relieved and it was with a clearer mind and emptier body that I left the following day for Zierikzee aboard the daily stagecoach.

My family were glad to see me, and I them of course, catching up on new cousins and learning of those who had sadly departed to the Other World. However, after several days of such activities I began to felt the pressing need to make some headway with the true reason for my journey home, that being the acquisition of a wife. And so it was that I was sat in the drawing room of my father’s house, whilst that said man and two friends of his puffed on pipes and sipped port wine when I decided to breach the subject.

“Father,” I said, “As you know, I am as yet unmarried.”

“Aye, so,” replied he, “But you should be thinking of rectifying that woeful situation and finding yourself a good God-Fearing woman to be your lifetime soul mate.”

“Well Father, to be fair, I am. But in Batavia the wenches are few and far between, leastways those of our race and creed and thus it is that one of my objectives in returning to this good land of ours is to procure for myself a spouse.”

“Tis good thinking my son.”

“But Father, I am at a loss. For where am I to look? I know the Netherlands not these days and where to find a suitable lady whose family and standing fit my requirements, well… I know not where to start searching.”

“You could try young Wilhelm, by visiting my home for a spot of coffee one afternoon.”

The man who spoke was one Jacob van Hessel, a merchant of Zierikzee and a long-standing friend of my father. He was a man whom the town held in high respect due to his wealth and I also, though for different reasons. During his younger days he had spent many-a-year on board ships and had sailed the Seven Seas, visiting Batavia amongst other exotic destinations. The other night we had been sat smoking and drinking and my father had been called away on some business. Alone in the drawing room, van Hessel had started to ask me about Batavia, my life there, and then tactfully he had moved onto the subject of the Batavian lasses and my exploits with them. It was not long before we had both become deep involved in a riotous discussion of my current and his former encounters with the whores of the world’s ports and his views on the weaker sex. “Control ‘em! Control ;em my lad!” he’d cried. “They need discipline, my, and a good lesson now and again!”

“Who do?” That had been my father, who had re-entered the room after having returned from his business.

“Natives, van Wettering,” van Hessel had explained. “Just telling the lad here about how the natives under you on the plantation and working as servants need control and teaching.”

“Aye,” said my father, comprehending nothing, and our conversation returned to its former subject, that being the price of coffee.

And now this van Hessel was suggesting I visit his house with regards to finding a wife. Was he about to offer more advice or tales? I knew not, but one thing was for certain. I would not let the good gent down. The very next day, a eleven sharp, I was stood on his doorstep.

Chapter 3

I was shown in by a maid, tightly corsetted as was the current, (and indeed pleasing), fashion of the day, and told to wait in the drawing room. I was escorted to that said chamber and told to sit. “Mr. van Hessel is not here, sir,” the maid explained, but the ladies will see to you.”

I sat and waited. Waited for what seemed to be an age in fact, before the door opened and two ladies walked in, or perhaps shuffled as the speed of their movement could hardly be called walking. The first was obviously Mrs. van Hessel, a woman of around fifty or so whom in her day must have been quite something and indeed even now retained a good bone structure. Following her however, came the maiden who caught my attention. She was about seventeen, or perhaps eighteen, with blonde hair done up in the ringlets of the day, with piercing blue Dutch eyes, and a somewhat mournful yet strikingly beautiful visage. She wore a blue silk day dress, with huge ballooning Beret sleeves such as was the fashion then, her hands encased in tight-fitting matching gloves. What caught my attention however, was her waist, or more importantly, the lack of it. Both the servant and Mrs. van Hessel had been tightly corsetted which pleased me, as like van Hessel, I not only enjoyed seeing the contours of a constricted middle, but also knew that such garments restrict women and make them weaker and more dependent on us stronger creatures, and aid in the control and discipline that my father’s friend had earlier mentioned. There is however, a corsetted waist and a waist that defies the Laws of Anatomy, and Miss van Hessel’s, (for that is who I assumed her to be), was one of the latter, it circumference could not have measured forty centimetres and could have been easily surrounded and enclosed by my two hands. It must have been a trial to wear also, as I could see the girl’s face looking pleasingly flustered and her breasts heaved under that silken dress.

“Mrs. van Hessel.” I bowed.

“Mr. van Wettering  I presume? My husband said that you may be honouring us with a call. So pleasant to meet you. Would you like coffee?”

I would have liked anything that would enable to stay in the presence of that delightful Dutch nymph sat across from her mother. “Yes, if it is no trouble.”

“None at all, Mr. van Wettering. But first, permit me to introduce my ward and niece, Gabrielle van Hessel.”

The girl, who had been staring vacantly into space, her mind seemingly kept busy with the effort of breathing, looked up and put on a smile that seemed delightfully false. I held out my hand, but she did not proffer hers, so a little surprised, I sat down again. “Mr. van Wettering,” she said, scarcely a whisper.

“Please, call me Wilhelm, ladies,” replied I.

We sat and talked. Mrs. van Hessel explained to me all about the girl, her ‘ward’ who sat through it all without saying a word. It turned out that she was the only daughter of her wayward brother, who had married a common actress and had lived a life of high living and moral laxity. “Well, that was until the judgment of the Good Lord came down upon them both, and they were alas killed in a fire which broke out in the tavern where they were staying at the time. The girl however, escaped, and came into my care. She was but thirteen years old, but a real urchin and ruffian.” Gabrielle looked downcast but still did not speak. “Thankfully for her, I and my husband have endeavoured hard and she is being raised as a lady.”

“That is good to hear,” said I politely, not interested in how she was raised, but more in how I could get that fair lass between the bedcovers.

We sipped coffee and the clock chimed.

“And you, Wilhelm. Why are you in the Netherlands this time?”

“Oh,” I replied. “To see my beloved family of course, to immerse myself in a good Protestant culture once more and also, to look for a wife.”

“A wife? You are not married?”

“Not yet, Madame.”

“But whyever not. Such a fine young man, and with wealth too.”

“Alas the opportunities for finding a bride are limited in Batavia,” I explained.

“Well, I wish you luck Wilhelm,” she said. “I know how important matrimonial issues are. We have been looking for a suitable match for young Gabrielle here, but no such man has yet located.”

The air was silent save for the creaking of corsets, but young Gabrielle’s face grew redder.

We left the subject at that.

Chapter 4

That Friday van Hessel again came to my father’s house.

“How is the wife-hunting going my young sir?” asked he.

The answer was not favourable. I had seen three eligible maidens, but alas, it was only they who would describe themselves as eligible. One was too fat, another with a face akin to that of a mule and the third decidedly pretty – in her younger days. No, I was still at Square One.

“I am sorry to hear that,” he said. He took a puff of his pipe. “You paid a visit to my house, did you not?”

“That I did sir, but alas you were not at home.”

“Did you meet my good wife?”

“Aye, that I did.”

“And young Miss Gabrielle?”

“Her also.”

“She is a handsome one, is she not?”

“Aye sir, that she is. She will make a good wife for one lucky man one day.”

“That I doubt not, but who? My wife and I are very particular as to the quality of men that we introduce her to.” He paused and puffed again. “Wilhelm, how do you feel that a wife should be treated?”

“With respect, courtesy, but also with discipline. She should know her place and know whom is Master.”

“Good lad.” He paused once more. “Visit my house again tomorrow at Eleven.”

I did so, and again was shown into that Drawing Room. Seated in there was Miss Gabrielle, again wearing a dress of high fashion with ballooning sleeves and a tiny waist, but this time, in pink. She was a vision of loveliness. She stood up when I entered and made a tiny curtsey. I bowed but she did not hold out her hand once more, so I sat. ‘Aye, to win this wench would be a prize,’ thought I. There was rebellion as well as sadness in her eyes. She would a package to open and no mistaking!

“Miss Gabrielle,” I said. “Are your mother and father not at home?”

“No sir, I am to entertain you, if I can?”

‘Oh, I’m sure you can,’ thought rakish old I.

“Well then Miss…” Her chest was heaving through a lack of air. Speaking was obviously a chore for her. “Well then, Miss, you are looking for a husband?”

“No, sir. They are looking for a husband for me.” She said ‘they’ with a vehemence. Like as if she hated her guardians.

“You do not want to marry?”

“Let me just say, that my choice and there’s would be different.”

“Oh. And what would your choice be?”

“A kind, gentle man, who respects his wife and lets her share in his life… A man like my father was to my mother.”

“And van Hessel disapproves of such men?”

“Let me just say that he has different values.”

‘Yet values that seem to coincide with mine,’ thought I. I had suspected that my father’s friend was interested in my becoming his ward’s suitor for some time. Now I was sure of it. And I was a forward man.

“Does he approve of me?”

“Yes, that he does.”

“But do you?”

She was silent. But I was not a man to wait for an answer. I leapt up out of my chair and grabbed her gloved hand and kissed it.

She started in shock and gave a little cry. Then her breasts started heaving nine to the dozen and she uttered the word, “Oh, sir!” before getting up out of her chair and mincing out of the room.

It was I however, who were in the greater shock of the two. For the hand that I had kissed had been cold and as hard as wood. In fact, I was convinced that that hand was actually made of wood, and no human hand at all. No wonder van Hessel could find no match for his ward. She was an amputee!

Chapter 5

I called again that evening at the van Hessel’s, this time in a fouler mood. That my father’s friend had attempted to fool me into marrying an invalid had angered me. “Is Mr. van Hessel in?” asked I.

“Aye, sir, he be in the study,” said the wonderfully-corsetted young maid.

“Then I may I see him?”

I went in and ascended the stairs and knocked on the door. A voice bade me to enter and I did so. Van Hessel was sat inside the room, a smoky room full of books and souvenirs from his wandering days.

“Van Wettering!” he cried, raising himself. “Please take a seat.”

“No sir, I will not. For truth be known, I am angered at you at present!”

“Whyever is that? What have I done?”

“Oh Sir, you know what it is that you have done! Nothing more than attempt to dupe me into marrying a cripple, that is what!”

“A cripple?”

“Aye Sir, a cripple?”

“Never did I do such a thing!”

“Lie not Sir, for I know. Your Ward, Gabrielle. A pretty face indeed, but I cannot be fooled! I kissed her hand this afternoon, and found it to be no hand at all, but instead a wooden replacement.”

Then, instead of the look of guilt which I had expected to have seen, a smile spread across the face of the old man. “An invalid, eh? Ha! Ha! Oh Sir, you are confused! An invalid! Ha! Ha! Ha!”

His jesting irked me. “Do you do not deny that the hand that I kissed was wooden?”

He stopped laughing. “I am sorry, Wilhelm, it seems like I mock you. No Sir, I do not deny the fact. The hand was wooden. However, because you kissed a wooden hand, it does not mean that my ward is an amputee.”

Now I was confused. “I shall explain,” he said. Then, to my surprise, he got up and left the room. A moment later he returned carrying a box. “Open,” he said.

I did so and found inside, two beautifully sculpted wooden arms. “It was one of these that you touched this morning,” said van Hessel.

“But what of Gabrielle’s arms?” asked I.

“Oh they are still very much attached to her personage. Meet me in the park besides the church tomorrow at Eleven and you shall find that out for yourself.

Part 2

Together Forever

Together Forever

Part I

Ahmed smiled. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her approaching. At the same time every day she got off the bus and walked past the café en route to her studies in the university. Her name was Yasmin and she was, quite simply, the most beautiful girl in the world.

together forever

He’d first noticed her weeks before. He had been sitting in the café drinking his tea when, looking up from his textbook by chance, a beautiful woman had been approaching. She was wearing a black hijab and long, flowing abayah, which accentuated her beauty and showed her to be a good, modest girl. Ahmed was smitten. He took to sitting in the café at that time every day in order to catch a glimpse of her as she passed by. Not only that, but he asked questions. He enquired of the waiter if he knew who she was and learned that she was a student at the University of Mosul, a fact that he knew because his niece was also a student there and he had seen her talking with the girl in question. With some baksheesh, Ahmed managed to get the waiter to talk to that niece and find out more. That was when he learned that her name was Yasmin al-Rashid and that her father was a lawyer in the city. She was also studying law, that she was Sunni and, most importantly, she was single and had confessed to noticing the handsome youth who sat in the café by the bus stop every day. Oh yes, and her favourite flower was the national bloom: the red rose. Which was why he had one such rose in his hand and, as she approached, he rose from his seat, walked up to her and presented it to his belle accompanied by the words, “A gift for the true Rose of Mosul.”

The following day they were sitting in the café together.

And the day after that, walking by the rivers of the Tigris, they shared their first kiss.

The months that followed were like a slice of heaven for Ahmed. Indeed, they were so fantastic, he felt as if they were not real and such happiness could not last. Sadly, he was right. One Friday, just as the month of June was beginning, Yasmin came to their favourite bench overlooking the river in tears. She’d had a meeting with her father who told her that, since she was due to graduate in a matter of weeks, it was time to face up to her responsibilities. “A woman your age should be married and I have had an offer for your hand. It is a good offer, one that we could never refuse. Yusuf al-Qassim has noticed your beauty and intelligence and wants you for his wife.”

Yasmin had gasped. Yusuf al-Qassim was a name known to everyone in Mosul. He owned several local factories and countless properties, and companies, including the law firm that her father worked for. He was close with important figures in the government, a supporter of numerous mosques and charitable foundations and rumoured to have a fortune worth billions of US dollars. None of that meant anything to Yasmin however, not with Ahmed.

“But father, he is old, in his fifties!”

“I am ten years older than your mother. Age is in the mind and it is said that he keeps fit and healthy.”

“But he is already married!”

“Your grandfather had multiple wives, and our Prophet, peace be upon him. There is no shame in being a second wife, indeed, you will doubtless end up as his favourite.”

“But he is so strict and religious. He wears jellabiya and a beard and his wives, or so it is said, stay within the home and cover strictly!”

“Bazaar rumours, dear daughter, that is all. I have spoken with him. He will respect you and allow you freedoms, I am sure. Besides, how can you refuse him? He represents great prosperity for our entire family; if you refused the company could be closed down and then how would we feed ourselves? No, darling, this is an order: you will marry Yusuf al-Qassim a month from today.”

“But, how can I?” she asked Ahmed, tears in her eyes. “I love you!”

“You cannot! It is again heaven! We will be together, do not fear.”

“But how?”

“We will elope together. We can go to Baghdad and hide in the slums there. We will marry and when that is done and sanctioned by an imam, your father will have to accept us!”

A week later they were in the capital, in the working-class district of Ghazaliya. They were lying on a mattress in the humble room that they had rented for a pittance. It was a rude hovel, but it was theirs and both were in bliss for, moments before, they had joined their bodies in mutual adoration. Thus, it was that they lay, naked, in each other’s arms, both thinking that life could not be more perfect. “We will stay together forever, my love,” Ahmed whispered to the woman who he was due to marry at the Jumma Mosque on the morrow.

But in a split second that perfection was shattered into a thousand pieces. Without warning, four figures barged through the door to the room and made their way to the young couple. Dressed in military fatigues, carrying AK47s and wearing masks, they were terrifying. Each of the lovers was grabbed by one of the heavies while another placed a damp pad over their faces. The chloroform caused both to faint clean away within seconds.

 

Part II

Yusuf al-Qassim stirred his tea slowly then, carefully, put down the spoon, smiled and looked up at his guest. “The folly of youth!” he exclaimed softly. “What are we to do?”

“I am so sorry, brother, truly I am,” said Mustafa al-Rashid, his face distraught and broken. “I am so ashamed. That she would even think about refusing your hand, then running away with that rake and then, then…”

“It is unfortunate that the men I hired located them too late, but at least they found them. Your daughter is safe, that is all that matters.”

“Safe, but shameful. How can I ever accept her back into my home, knowing that she has been with a man outside of marriage.”

“You do not need to accept her back into your home; she may enter mine instead.”

“But how can you accept her after such a crime?! Who would want a sullied wife?”

“Allah is merciful,” replied the businessman, raising his eyes heavenwards as if the Lord Himself was sitting there. “As I said before, youthful folly. She is not a bad a girl, although the crime is serious. I cannot marry her now, it is true. She needs to repent and understand the error of her ways. But, I made a solemn promise to you, dear friend, to take your daughter off your hands and care for her. I am not a man who breaks his vows and so that still stands. She may enter my household and I will provide for her needs until a suitable candidate for her hand can be located. But the dowry I promised you which, I believe, is to pay for your son to complete his studies, will still be provided. Half a million dollars I believe it was. You, after all, are not to blame.”

“Yusuf, you are too kind!”

“As I said, Allah is merciful. Besides, a stay in my home will do her good, morally.”

“That is too true, Yusuf; your morals are legendary!”

Al-Qassim nodded but did not say a word. He took another sip of his tea. Then, putting it down again, he said, “The boy?”

“What of him?”

“What do you want me to do with him?”

“Alas, our laws do not recognise what he has done as a crime.”

“But you feel that justice should still be served?”

“Of course, but how?”

“Trust me, I am an expert in meting out justice. If you place this matter in my hands, then I shall see your honour is restored.”

Al-Rashid smiled. As a lawyer, he knew the rumours about how people like Yusuf al-Qassim meted out justice. It usually meant taking the suspect to some location deep in the desert and putting a bullet in the back of their head. He could not think of a better end for the wretch.

Ahmed came around to find himself still naked, sitting in a chair in a white room. He tried to get up but found that he was firmly secured to it, straps going around his wrists, ankles, stomach and neck. He struggled against them, but it was clear they were firmly tied. He would not be escaping.

He turned his head and discovered, to his left, that his love was sitting in a chair next to him. Like him she was completely naked and firmly secured. It angered him that she was exposed to the world but then was thankful that she was still alive. Not that that meant much. He had no doubt who it was that had kidnapped them, nor what to expect from him. The rumours in the city said that Yusuf al-Qassim was a harsh man. They could expect no mercy.

After a few minutes, Yasmin came around. She slowly opened her eyes and took in her predicament. A tear fell from her left eye and then she turned to her right and saw Ahmed. He smiled at her and whispered, “Love you!”

“Together forever,” she whispered back.

“Together forever, eh?” Both bodies started as if shocked by electric. The voice came from behind them. Craning round, they saw a door open and a man walk in. A man called Yusuf al-Qassim.

He strode around the room until he was standing directly in front of them and then said with an evil smile, “Well, well, well, what do we have here then? Layla and Majnun[1] perhaps?”

They did not answer. They knew they were at his mercy.

“I could have you both killed, you know. You have dishonoured my name and your father’s, young madam. Whereas you…?” He let the words linger and horrific scenarios form in their heads.

“However, I am a merciful man. Yes, Yasmin, you should have been my wife; yes, you should be pure, but I can recognise true love when I see it. It is rather beautiful. Together forever, eh? Well, if you wish it…”

“We do, sir, we do! We are sorry to have displeased you, and Yasmin’s father, but we cannot help how we feel. We love one another and…”

“Shh, young man. Do not state the obvious. I will not kill you and I will allow you to stay together until death do you part which, Inshallah, shall be many years from now. However, some things will change. That though, is for later. First things first, tea!”

Al-Qassim clicked his fingers and two of the hired heavies entered. They were no longer wearing masks but looked equally fearsome without them. They untied the belts fastening the two lovers to the chairs and then let them stand. Then they gave each a loose jellabiya to protect their modesty, before taking their arms and leading them out of the room.

They went down several corridors, each lavishly decorated in beautiful mosaics or murals, before entering a large room with a table in the centre. At the table were three chairs. Al-Qassim took the centre one with a lover on either side. Even when they were seated, the heavies stood behind.

A maid entered, veiled in black so that only her eyes could be seen. She set down a steaming silver teapot and three cups on the table. Then she methodically poured out the tea before handing out the cups to the three drinkers. “Go ahead, drink,” said al-Qassim, beckoning for his guests to go first. They did so, and he smiled. The maid poured them both a second cup.

“I should like you to meet my wives,” their host then said. “He turned to Yasmin. “It is a crying shame that you shall not be joining their number, but evidently, that was not the plan of fate. However, it is only correct that you should meet your would-be sisters.”

He snapped his fingers and a pair of double-doors in front of them opened. Standing behind them were three completely-veiled figures. Nothing whatsoever could be seen of them; they were like pillars of black cloth.

“Drink,” said al-Qassim. The lovers did as bid, both glad that Yasmin had escaped the fate of living her life in such strict purdah. The maid refilled the cups.

“From left to right there is my first wife, Someya; my second wife, Zaynab, and my third wife, Sara.” As he spoke, each of the veiled mounds nodded in turn. “There was Rashida too, but she passed away three months ago, freeing up a vacancy. A vacancy that I had hoped you would fill, Yasmin. However, it was not to be. Please, do you like the tea?”

“Y-y-yes, it is nice.”

“It is brewed from the finest leaves from the province of Hunan in China. $100 a cup. Please, drink.”

They did as they were bid although by now Ahmed had noticed that their host had not touched his cup.

“Hmmm, I tell you what. Since we are among friends and will be seeing a lot of each other in the future, why don’t I ask my wives to unveil in front of you?”

“Sir, I wouldn’t…”

But al-Qassim never let him finish. Instead the businessman snapped his fingers and the maid went over to the wives and, with a deft flick, removed the veil from each one. As the cloth fell to the floor, both Ahmed and Yasmin gasped.

In horror.

Standing in front of them were three women. But these were no normal women. Their heads were. All three were beautiful – or had once been – with expertly applied make-up and finely coiffured hair. But below the necks something was wrong.

Their necks all protruded from ceramic pots. Ceramic pots that rested on pedestals. Each did not seem to possess a body. The pots were beautiful, covered in floral designs, rather like those old Assyrian, Babylonian or Hittite ones that Ahmed had viewed in the National Museum when he’d visited Baghdad, except for one small detail. In the front of each one, near the bottom, was a small window in the ceramics through which a set of denuded womanly lips protruded.

“What on earth…?”

“Bring over Sara!” announced al-Qassim. The maid went over to the youngest and prettiest of the wives and, using the two handles of the pot, picked it up and carried it over to the table. It did not seem to be heavy at all and was only about a metre high at most. Where was her body in there? And why were her most intimate parts exposed?

Yusuf al-Qassim stood up, leaned over and kissed the lips of his youngest wife. Then, using his hand, he brushed the exposed lower lips that protruded from the pot. Sara smiled but said nothing. Al-Qassim then turned to his guests and said, “I think it is time for a history lesson. I’m a history enthusiast, did you know? I actually use some of my extensive fortune to fund archaeological digs. Were you aware that I have a particular interest in the Hittite and Assyrian Empires?”

Neither Ahmed nor Yasmin had been aware of any of that, but what they were both increasingly becoming aware of was that something was seriously wrong. Their host’s line of conversation possessed a dark undertone to it and the entrapment of his wives in ceramic pots could never be normal. More immediately concerning though, was the fact that their bodies weren’t responding to the commands that their brains were sending them. Ahmed tried lifting his arm, but it would only move a few millimetres whilst when Yasmin tried to say something, her tongue felt heavy and only a groan came out. Either al-Qassim did not hear this groan or he deliberately ignored it.

“Yes, the Hittites and Assyrians. Amazing civilisations, world leaders in their day, yet we rarely talk about them today. Such a shame… we could learn so much. Their religion was particularly fascinating you know. They worshipped many gods you know, countless. As good Muslims, we understand their ignorance today, of course, but it still worth exploring their cultic practices for historical reasons. One deity that always appealed to me in particular was named Ishtar. Have you ever heard of her? No? Oh well, she was a beautiful creature, the ‘Queen of Heaven’ they called her, the goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, justice, and political power. Which, as chance would happen, are all the things that turn me on. Anyway, twenty years ago, when I was still a young man, a fascinating find was made in the mountains to the north-east of here, not far from Aqrah. In a cave, archaeologists unearthed a temple complex dedicated to her. It was a large place with some incredible murals, but what was most intriguing were huge quantities of pots with human remains inside them. Now, at first these were merely assumed to be funerary vessels; people died, and they were buried in pots. Such practices were, after all, common across the Bronze Age world. However, upon closer investigation at the University of Baghdad of both the pot themselves and also the inscriptions on the walls of the temple, an astonishing discovery was made: the occupants had all been interred within the ceramic jars whilst still alive!

Yes indeed, what a discovery! It turns out that, to honour the goddess, noble families chose to deliver one of their daughters, usually the second-born, to the temple. Once there she would be ceremonially inducted into the Sisterhood of Ishtar in a mystical ceremony during which she was plied with herbs that rendered her unconscious for a number of days and slowed her heartbeat to almost naught. Then, her body was taken to the main altar, stripped and her four limbs amputated before being cast into the eternal flame as an offering to Ishtar. After this the high priest would open up her chest and start taking away what was not required. For what they had learned was that living in a pot requires much less body mass, so most of the organs inside were either removed or reduced in size. The liver, stomach, bladder and intestines were reduced in size while one kidney and lung were removed. Most of the bones were also removed, leaving only the skull and some of the spine intact. The only thing that was left alone was the heart since that, as you two lovebirds know better than anyone, is more important than anything. After that, her skin was stitched back together and she was carefully fitted inside the pot that had been made for her, first the bottom and then the two top halves until they were all joined together and she was snug as a bug in a rug, with her head popping out of the top and her private parts accessible for waste disposal purposes. And thus, she would live out the rest of her days – which, according to the inscriptions on the walls, could be numerous indeed – standing on a shelf in the temple, reciting praises to the goddess and acquiring good karma for her family in the afterlife. What a strange yet marvellous practice, do you not think?”

Neither Ahmed or Yasmin liked the way that this was all headed, but they both liked far less the fact that they now seemed to be completely paralysed, their heads drooping against each other for support while their tongues lolled out of their mouths.

“Well, me being such a history aficionado, I thought, ‘Why not try and bring history back to life?’ and who better to start with than my unfaithful, nagging and thoroughly interfering wife, Rashida. So, it was that I contacted the finest – and least ethical – surgeon in the world, a man by the name of Martinez from Brazil, and outlined my vision and the amount I was prepared to pay him. He expressed some reservations as to whether she would survive, but I merely assured him that if the Assyrians could manage it then so must we, their descendants. And so, she was sedated and put under the knife and there before you is the result. Potted as she was, she gave me great pleasure and so, when it came time to remarry, I did the same with Someya, then Zaynab and then, ten years after, with Sara here as well. And you, dearest Yasmin, were to become my next potwife but, well, as we have said before, it was not to be. However, I am never a man to let a good opportunity go to waste and your love story touched me to the core and so I thought, why not? They want to be together forever; who am I, Yusuf al-Qassim, to stand in their way? But then I considered that you have both sinned grievously, against both me and Yasmin’s poor father, and, thus, a degree of punishment is necessary. Which is why I brought you here and gave you that tea. It is expensive and from Hunan Province, but what I forgot to mention earlier is that it is also laced with a large dosage of neuromuscular-blocking drugs which have the exciting effect of paralysing your entire body but ensuring that you stay awake throughout. I thought, whilst those ancient virgins in that Ishtar temple not far from Aqrah had the honour of becoming potgirls, due to the primitive technology of those times, they were denied the opportunity of watching their transformation take place. You two, however, are more blessed. Come, to the operating table!”

And with a click of his fingers, the two heavies lifted the inert lovers up from their chairs and carried them out of the room.

Part III

It was an ordeal of such horror than even a Hollywood filmmaker could not have conjured it up. Ahmed remembers every single minute of it; indeed, time seemed to pass in slow motion. He recalls being carried through the corridors to a lift which then descended downwards to a well-equipped underground operating theatre where a surgeon and his assistant in scrubs stood waiting. He was laid on the table and each of his limbs was sawn off with precision. Thankfully, the drugs had also deadened all feelings, otherwise he is sure he would have died from the pain.

After the limbs were gone, he watched the surgeon cut open his chest and start working on his organs. He gazed on in horror as a kidney and a lung were removed, and then the surgeon meticulously reduced the size of his liver, stomach, bladder and intestines. After that, he got to work on the bones, removing ribs and those around the pelvis. All the time, he was able to see every detail in a huge mirror placed directly above the bed on the ceiling. Then he saw the surgeon stitch the skin back together leaving him with a limbless, misshapen torso only slightly larger than his head.

And after all of that, his head was turned to one side and he watched the entire process be performed on his beloved. That hurt more. Mutilating him was one thing, but when he saw them lop off parts of her perfect, gorgeous body, and reach into her innermost recesses, tears flooded from his eyes. Never had he imagined that man could be so barbaric and all the while Yusuf al-Qassim stood watching, clad in scrubs, a medical mask over his face, his eyes smiling.

When they were done, he was carried over and placed alongside his love. She stared at him with defeated, scared eyes. What had happened to them both?

“That is enough for today,” said al-Qassim above them. “I like an element of surprise and so we’ll knock you out now, but I know you’ll both love what comes next!”

And with those words, a gas mask was placed over his face and Ahmed passed out.

 

Part IV

He awoke to find himself in a warm, light room. There was the faint odour of frankincense burning and a breeze caressed his cheek from the right and sunlight flooded in from the same direction. As his head cleared, he tried to move. His entire body was totally immobile. Indeed, most of it had no feeling at all. Only two areas could he move: his face and his manly tool. As he accustomed himself to the surroundings, he tried out his new form. He raised his eyebrows and puffed out his cheeks. He tried to speak but only a groan came out. He sniffed with his nose and tried to turn his neck. There was feeling in the latter, but it would not budge. It felt like it was held in a vice. Down below, he could feel the breeze on his member. He tried using the muscles and it twitched.

Soon after he drifted off to sleep again.

When he awoke for a second time, Yusuf al-Qassim was standing before him smiling wickedly. Ahmed tried to speak again, and a faint croak came out. The smile broadened. “Don’t worry, your voice won’t be coming back,” said al-Qassim. “I had the vocal chords severed, although you will be able to groan a little.” There was a noise, another croak, to his left. Ahmed tried turning his head, but it would not budge. He could only look straight ahead.

“So, Layla and Majnun, you’re both awake at last! You’ll be pleased to know that the operation was a success; you didn’t die. Back in the Assyrian times, mortality could be as high as fifty per cent you know, but surgery is more advanced these days. Anyway, I suppose you’re itching to see what the finished article looks like? Well then, here we go!”

He clicked his fingers and two maids came in carrying a full-length mirror. What was reflected in it was like a vision from heaven and hell at the same time.

It was a pot. A large, traditional Assyrian pot, elegantly curved with a handle on each side and traditional-style artwork surrounding it. What was more shocking though was that, unlike most pots, this had not one neck but two and from those two necks protruded two heads: his own and that of his beloved. Both were immaculately made-up. On the top of his head, he wore a felt hat decorated with feathers. Yasmin wore her hair in long braids with a traditional-style headdress festooned with silver adornments. They looked like a pair of Assyrian nobles. Around their necks, reaching right up to the chin were severe gold collars decorated with writing. The only other parts of them visible were in two windows in the front of the vase. One revealed Yasmin’s womanly cleft that seemed now to be adorned by a gold ring while through the other protruded his – now erect after seeing the face of his beloved – member. That too had been pierced with a gold ring.

“What do you think?” exclaimed al-Qassim laughing. “Together forever, Layla and Majnun. Of course, you shall be; why, you even share the same pot!”

Part V

As the days, then the weeks, then the months and then the years, Yasmin and Ahmed learned the full depths of al-Qassim’s depravity. Entombed within their pot, they had no control over their destiny or bodies. Completely immobile, unable to even regulate the temperature of their reduced torsos, they were entirely at his mercy.

And he made the most of it.

They learned the main feature on that very first day. Taking a remote out of his pocket, al-Qassim pushed a button and, slowly but surely, their heads started to move. While their bodies still faced forwards, the golden collars – which he later told them had ‘Layla’ and ‘Majnun’ inscribed on them respectively – turned their necks so that they faced one another, gazing into each other’s eyes.

And there they were left, their faces only inches apart but unable to touch. All they could do was look at one another and reflect on their tragedy. And in that position, they were left all day, every day.

Except when he wanted to torment them further. On that first evening he came back to see them and, using his remote, turned their heads forward. He walked up to the giant pot and then he rubbed his hand over Ahmed’s penis. The touch was exquisite yet also humiliating. The thought of a man caressing him there. Despite this, it sprang into action. Ahmed was desperate for release, but then, al-Qassim smiled and left it, turning his attentions to his one-time betrothed.

And then, in the full-length mirror, he watched their captor unfasten his robes to reveal his own straining member, which he then carefully, and gently, inserted into her waiting love cavern. Against her will, she groaned in a mixture of pleasure and disgust and al-Qassim brought his lips to her and kissed her passionately.

Ahmed was forced to watch the entire rape.

Then, without a word, al-Qassim turned their heads back facing one another and left them, turning the light off as he went. The shame and guilt in Yasmin’s face was plain to see.

Al-Qassim visited often at first. Always to rape Yasmin and torment them both. He explained with glee how, as well as their names, their collars were inscribed with quotes from the famous Layla and Majnun poem:

“They tell me: ‘Crush the desire for Layla in your heart!’ But I implore thee, oh my God, let it grow even stronger…My life shall be sacrificed for her beauty, my blood shall be spilled freely for her, and though I burn for her painfully, like a candle, none of my days shall ever be free of this pain. Let me love, oh my God, love for love’s sake, and make my love a hundred times as great as it was and is!” around Ahmed’s collar and “Thus many a melody passed to and fro between the two nightingales, drunk with their passion. Those who heard them listened in delight, and so similar were the two voices that they sounded like a single chant. Born of pain and longing, their song had the power to break the unhappiness of the world.” Around Yasmin’s.

They both cried when he told them.

And on another occasion, he explained the pictures that surrounded the pot. In the style of ancient Assyrian art, they were a pictorial telling of how they’d met. There was Ahmed in the café, him handing Yasmin a rose, the kiss by the Tigris, her father’s order to marry al-Qassim, their elopement, the kidnapping and then the whole horrible ordeal at the hands of their tormentor.

And all the while he explained the images, he had one hand on her love slit, playing with its ring and the other was tugging playfully on the similar ring that impaled the head of Ahmed’s member.

They had other visitors too, but only al-Qassim ever spoke to them. The maid came several times a day to feed and water them. She would take away the little golden bowls that collected their liquid wastes and would feed them tiny spoonfuls of mush washed down with water. They never ate much as their reduced stomachs could not take it and, because their bladders had been similarly downsized, there was soon the tinkle of golden waters in their bowls.

And all the while they stared into one another’s eyes, together yet never touching.

Yes, for even inside the vase, they were separated. Al-Qassim sadistically explained that, when designing their captivity, he had ordered a dividing wall to be placed between them so that even their deformed and reduced torsos could not snuggle against one another in their prison. Even so, during those long hours when they were alone in that opulent room, they could both hear and feel each other’s hearts beating in tandem beneath the pottery shell. And when they did, they would mouth with their useless lips, the words ‘I love you!’ before puckering them in a kiss that could never be fulfilled.

Copyright © 2018, Dave Potter

Written 23/12/18

[1] The Middle Eastern equivalent of Romeo and Juliet.