Ascension in the East: Chapters 11-12

Chapters 9-10

Chapter 11 – The Phtuoch Phtaem

The following day at noon Steven and Jasmine, in full imperial regalia, entered into the palace temple. Present were four other figures: the Honourable Chandarith, the Prime Minister, the Head Priest and one of the generals whom had been present at the other ceremonies. First they had to all bow down before the immense golden image of the Buddha and offer incense, and only then the royal couple were bade to sit on two of five thrones arranged with one other simpler chair in the centre of the room. After this five pretty shrine maidens entered, each bearing a bowl of steaming liquid for their charges. They bowed low before the powerful guests and then proffered the bowls to them. Only the Honoured Chandarith did not have one. The royals looked questioningly at the Honourable Chandarith who said, “This is thveu aoy and it is necessary for you to drink it to partake in the ceremony. The Prime Minister, General and High Priest will also drink of it but I shall not, for me it is unnecessary. But it is entirely necessary for you because it helps you to focus your thoughts on the important things that we are going to say. Currently your minds get distracted much too easily, particularly our young royals. Ragaraja and Somanath who reside almost completely within your bodies now take your minds towards sexual activities constantly, but for this ceremony we need to dim and subdue those urges. Drink!”

Jasmine and Steven looked at one another and smiled. The chance to stop fixating on sex! Was that not what they had longed for? As the general, priest and politician sat on their thrones and drank, they did likewise.

Within seconds they were starting to regret it.

By the time that a minute had past they definitely regretted it and longed to strike the Honoured Chandarith for his honeyed words.

But they could not, for whilst the brew did do as he had promised it would and subdued all sexual thoughts whatsoever, it also had the effect of paralysing them completely. They could sit there, flicker their eyelids and see and hear perfectly, but that was all. It was a terrifying experience, like a vivid sleep paralysis.

After a couple of minutes had passed, the Honoured Chandarith spoke. “Welcome all of you to the Phtuoch Phtaem of Emperor Nguanamthom and Empress Sukkisawali of Sukhothai. In precisely two weeks’ time they shall be crowned as the omnipotent and omniscient monarchs of this ancient, sacred and beautiful realm and so it is that today they need to know how it really operates and what will be expected of them in the future. Gathered here today are all the people who are considered to be the powerholders in Sukhothai: the head of the government, the head of the faith, the head of the military and, finally, the rulers themselves, the semi-divine royal couple. Oh yes, and myself as emissary between all parties. You will have noted that the five members of the company have drank of the sacred thveu aoy. The General, Prime Minister and High Priest knew beforehand of the properties of the sacred thveu aoy, but our young royal couple were unaware. By now you shall have discovered that it is a paralysing agent as well as an excellent clearer of the mind. I shall not ask you to confirm or deny any of what I will say to you because you cannot. You are currently quite mute, which is fitting, since it is unnecessary for you to be able to communicate to anyone save each other from this day forward.”

‘What the fuck…?’ thought Steven to himself. The Honoured Chandarith sat down on the one simple chair and then said. “Will the people holding the real power in Sukhothai please rise?”

At first there was no movement and then, slowly but steadily, the general rose from his throne.

“General Anakkeanamnach Phdachkar did not drink thveu aoy like you,” said the Honoured Chandarith. His bowl contained tea. The others knew this but drank regardless. They knew the consequences for them and their families if they refused. Please General, explain to Emperor Nguanamthom and Empress Sukkisawali how things work around here.”

General Anakkeanamnach nodded, and then turned to the royal couple. “Eighty years ago this country was plunged into war. The Empire of Japan tried to defeat our ancient and sacred Sukhothai. They almost succeeded. Only one thing stopped them. It was not Buddha, it was not our political class and it was not the emperor. It was the army that stopped them and that was a lesson for us. To be strong, to defeat enemies inside and out, we need to have the army in charge. Today we still face many dangers: The Muslims in the south, in Sumatra, Malaya and Java; in the north the barbarian Chinese communist hordes and even Japan is on the rise again. And in the west they look down on all Asiatic like us. They mock us saying that the Asian is weak, we are small men with small dicks. But we are not weak, we are strong! Sukhothai is a match for anybody in world. Or at least, it is with the army and no one else firmly but surely in command. That is what I have to say; Chandarith, continue!”

“Certainly General Anakkeanamnach Phdachkar, and thank you. As the General has said, the military saved this empire against the Japanese. Not only that, but the Emperor disgraced it. As the invaders advanced towards Angkor, he was more interested in his debaucheries with his harem of a thousand beauties. And as for the politicians, they bickered amongst themselves, none providing either leadership or ideas and the religious, well, we have four faiths here in the empire and although Buddhism is by far the largest, it is splintered into a thousand sects and they all fight just as the politicians do. No, only a military government can rule this diverse realm.

But that too brings problems. Other powers will not deal with military dictatorships. They like to see parliamentary democracies which, in their ignorance, they respect. Whilst the people, they fear only God, not generals. They need a figurehead whom they can adore and believe in. That is why the Secret Pact of Sukhothai was agreed upon between the Four Estates. The Emperor gave up his power for a life of luxury in the palace, the politicians for fat wages and trouble-free elections and the religious for generous state subsidies and free reign to act with impunity. And so, although you shall never see it in any official document, all power rests with this man here and this ceremony today, performed prior to the coronation of every monarch, was devised as physical proof of that.”

At this General Anakkeanamnach Phdachkar nodded and smiled.

“But why,” continued the Honoured Chandarith, turning to the royal couple and smiling almost maliciously, “should this affect you so much? After all, so what if he holds the real power so long as you live pampered lives in your huge palaces? Well, that is what your long-deceased predecessor, Emperor Thaokteab thought, but we were not so sure. He might be happy to waste his day fucking slave girls but would his son, or his grandson or maybe his great-grandson be equally satisfied? It was too big a risk to take and besides, a story was needed to explain to the ignorant masses why their monarch was such a debauched waste of space. And so it was created, the legend of Ragaraja and Sowathara. We co-opted those old fertility deities to create a new status quo for our land. Thaokteab was not fucking around because he was a male slag, no, nothing of the sort. Instead, he was doing it because he was in fact the incarnation of the lustiest god of them all! He jumped at the chance to give himself a larger cock, but little did he realise the bigger plan. His physical transformation into Ragaraja not only made the legend believable to the peasants, but it also served our purpose. With a huge cock he could no longer fuck around, only his modified wife and eternal consort Sowathara could take him. And then we went further: not only could he not fuck around, but there was a great deal else that he found himself unable to do too. But by that stage it was too late for Thaokteab as, indeed, it is for you two as well as you shall soon learn. But, before you leave this ceremony to undertake your final set of modifications to make you fitting vessels for the god and goddess, the real ruler of Sukhothai has something to say to you.”

And at these words, General Anakkeanamnach Phdachkar stood up, walked in front of the two monarchs, bowed deeply before them and said, “Thank you very much for your past, present and future sacrifices for the Empire of Sukhothai.”

And with those words both he and the Honoured Chandarith strode off out of the room, leaving Jasmine and Steve alone with the equally-paralysed prime minister and chief priest. Petrified, they wondered what would be happening to them next, until Somanass and Sukhumala entered the chamber, each carrying a large syringe. They came up to their master and mistress, knelt before them and then said in unison, “This ith the latht time that we thshall be able to thspeak with you. When you are mothified, so too thshall we be, so that our lipths will be able to take your member, Mathesty. Thank you, we love you anth we are alwayths honoured to therve you.”

And with those words they rose graciously, approached the Emperor and Empress, and calmly, carefully plunged the syringes into the royal couple’s arms.

Chapter 12 – Waking Up to New Bodies

Jasmine awoke slowly this time. This time.

Before she even opened her eyes she remembered the foregone coup, the previous modifications, her hopelessly paralyzed body, and Steven! Oh how they had been so naive. She should have known, protected her young husband somehow, mentioned her suspicions to him earlier. But that was gone now, and Jasmine was scared to wake up. She struggled to open her eyes, for whatever drug was coursing through her veins left her drowsy and unable to move much. Actually, now that she thought about it, she wasn’t restrained, and she could move, so the paralytic thveu aoy must have been out of her system, but no matter how much she tried, her body never left the bed she was laying in. She must have been restrained, but Jasmine couldn’t imagine how.

At least she guessed it was a bed from the feel against her naked skin, but it definitely wasn’t hers. She felt naked, and the room was cooler than her chambers were, the mattress too hard, the sheets too basic. No, she was in a hospital. Wait! Maybe she had been rescued, all those horrible surgeries had been reversed, and she was back at home in the United Kingdom, just another girl trying to make a name for herself. Yes, yes, this must be it. Her hazy mind drifted off to this peaceful image.


She was later roused from her slumber, and when her eyes opened the lovely dream she had been living in fell apart rather quickly. The nurse she now looked up at, or she guessed it was a nurse, was clad head to toe in white silk, with no gap for the face, and Jasmine guessed she must be able to see out better than in. This must be one of the Brahmanan body artist’s wives, working as a nurse, or maybe a hopeful? Oh it all hurt her head to think of the castes and systems she had been forcibly adopted into. But just the man for these problems, standing next to the white-shrouded figure, was Honourable Chandarith. She looked up at that deceivingly docile old man and began a verbal tirade of insults at his deception. Or so she thought she did, for what she heard then was a forceful but equally unintelligible moaning come from her mouth. She panicked as she tried to phrase something, anything! What was wrong with her?! Her mouth felt fine!

Chandarith looked down at this scene, smiled, and then sat down in a chair provided by the silent nurse. He looked at her almost fondly. “Ah yes, that’s much much better. No more outbursts or questions from you, Your Majesty. You know, when I located you, I thought to myself, ‘A dancer. A nice, simple girl who won’t ask too many questions, she will love the spotlight, the luxury.’ But now I see that I underestimated you. Oh well, not a problem, this is exactly why we do this sort of thing before you are officiated before the people.”

“Yes I see, Honourable Chandarith.”

Jasmine was horrified. The voice that had just been guttural noises came out crisp as a bell. She had even mouthed the words unthinkingly.

“Now that works mighty well! This is exactly why I’m here, to explain to you what in the world is happening in this ‘backwards country’, as you put it. Now that you know your true place in this society, we can’t be having you spouting it off when in public, and even though we have been practicing, your accent is still atrocious, so we will be taking over from now on, on multiple fronts actually.” he said as he gestured to her body.

Her doe-like eyes could not communicate her fury very effectively, so she gave up her position there and followed his gaze downward, and nearly fainted from the shock. Her arms… were gone. Just GONE!. And though her breasts, which were now even larger mounds upon her chest, blocked her view, she could feel cool air on her hips, her empty hips, her unprotected pussy lips, and she knew her legs were gone too.

Horrible, sobbing wails came from her mouth as she struggled and wriggled her body, trying to convince herself it wasn’t true, but when Chandarith took a remote control from the bedside table and silenced her voice with hardly an effort, she knew they could do anything to her, why not this?

Jasmine, Sukkisawali, whatever, laid in her bed for a long while after Chandarith left, crying silently. Of course she hadn’t expected to go back to dance ever again, but the mere thought of it had kept her hope alive. Now what did she have? The features of her body most passive and inviting for hero one purpose. And as she laid there, the worst part was that she still couldn’t concentrate on anything but where her next fuck was going to come from.

Later that day, she was being fitted with strange prosthetic limbs when the nurse’s shroud ran lightly over her enlarged clit. Enlarged was a nice, pretty word for what they had done to her pleasure center, for when that gleeful old man had held up a mirror for her, she had seen its true nature. It surged forth from her cunt with no modesty, and the shape of its head, long free from her clitoral hood, looked nearly phallic. Her body squirmed as she thought about it, about how her desire reached out to nobody, everybody, and how she would never pleasure herself again.

Slowly, the itch returned with full force.

The mechanical arms and legs did not really have anywhere to affix to on her torso, for there were no stumps to be taken advantage of, but somehow when positioned near her rounded-off shoulders, they attracted like magnets and refused to budge further. This worked similarly down below, and within moments she felt her body rise of its own accord to a standing position.

She felt like she was going to be seasick.

In the elaborately-gilded full-length mirror now stood a corseted woman with enormous ass, breasts, and clit sticking out at least two inches, with golden metal limbs standing eerily still. Long, slim neck led up to her doll face, which luckily had not been modified further. Her new arms and legs were engraved with what she later learned were ancient sutras regarding karma and obedience to a higher power. Chandarith was crueler than they ever could have guessed.

She tried to beg the nurse, but it seemed he had left her mute when he departed earlier, and when her arms and legs suddenly activated and walked her naked form out the door, she couldn’t even yelp in surprise. As she walked down the hall, a new golden silk corset encircled her torso, giving her a little mammary support but not nearly enough; Jasmine’s tits swaying in rhythm with her steps, erect, ringed nipples reaching forward. The motion of walking itself was discomfiting, especially as any motion to her oversensitive cunt turned her on till she was glistening in the open air. She yearned for something to fill her deep emptiness right now, and she even hoped the stretching plugs were not far away in her future. Her new, mechanical hands met and froze in a classical prayer position, even as she walked on in silence.

When she rounded the corner to another recovery room, she saw the back of a strange looking man. He was only a naked, semi-muscular torso, standing suspended by golden limbs in the air. Jasmine locked eyes with Steven as he saw her through his own mirror, and his expression said it all; he was mute as well. When his limbs turned him around, Jasmine nearly drooled. Sticking out in front of him, unencumbered by any sheath, was the largest cock she had ever seen, had ever even imagined. It must have been 14, 15, 16 inches long, and the girth of it was larger than she could’ve possibly put in her mouth. His balls hung below their heavy golden cuff, large and ready. When Jasmine finally looked up, Steven’s eyes was darting between her breasts, which would have hung to her navel if not for the corset, and her massive, desperately engorged clitoris.

And yet they stood still.

And yet they stayed quiet.

All they could do was look at each other’s physical manifestations of desire, silently, for an uncomfortably long time. Until their limbs reactivated and automatically led them to a prep room to get a last look-over by the nurses who then dressed them, and then they were walked back through the maze-like temple to their chambers. Once inside, they noticed two new throne-like chairs on the terrace, replacing the loungers from before, and their limbs guided them to these, to look over the local jungle and Empire beyond. Surprisingly, once they sat down, the limbs released and clattered to the floor, leaving them visibly helpless, vulnerable, and nearly naked in their seats. If they hadn’t been left leaning against the cushioned backrests their abbreviated bodies would have toppled right over.

“I wish I wasn’t sitting right on my— OH”

“Wait. We can talk?!”

The two quickly aired their desperation to each other, the mutual gossip of their deception by the men in charge, the horrors of awakening, their worries for the uncertain future. They spoke in quick, hushed tones, as if at any moment they would lose their last mode of interaction again with the click of a button. And soon, even though a foot of warm, humid, empty air lay between their helpless bodies, their conversation turned to sex.

“I need you in me, Stevey, I’m serious, it’s not like before. That desire I told you about, how I could only concentrate once you’d fucked me, I only managed that much sanity by masturbating and jumping on you whenever I could. Oh god, how are we going to survive this if I can’t rip your clothes off three times a day?! Why do they want to torture us so much?”

Steven quieted himself, for he knew of no answer, and he just looked down at his now permanently-erect cock, which lay flat on the cushion his thighs would have once occupied. He tightened some muscles in his lower abdomen, and his ramrod member lifted an inch up, then fell back down. This teased his frenulum achingly, but after a few minutes, he knew he would never get release from this. Who knows if he would ever be left outside the sheath like this again? he thought. Desperate, he looked over at Jasmine, who had been trying to grind her hips and dripping pussy into the cushion below her with no success. “I don’t have answers. I won’t ever, I’m afraid. Like this, I don’t know what kind of husband I can be. Oh, what are we going to do with our lives, Jazz? We’re just their puppets now, and I can’t stop thinking about fucking you, our maids, anything! Oh I really wish we could just go back to our first night together, talking till the early hours, and watching you dance for me. For yourself. I just want to go back there, Jazz.”

When he looked over, she was crying, tears dripping onto her distended chest as it rose and fell in wracking sobs. Through these tears came a soft, “I love you.” floating through the air as if it were precious: it was a first. Steven would have given anything to have arms still to hug his wife with, but all he could do was sit there.

“I love you too. We’ll get through this… somehow.”

 

Chapters 13-14

The Tale of Anastasia: Part 8

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Chapter 15

Punishments at Miss Garner’s Institute for Ladies of Leisure were executed in the cellar, an area of the house that Anne had previously never been allowed to see. Following her meeting with the headmistress, she was returned to her room and stripped down to her chastity belt, boots and corset. Her arms were taken from their binders and rebound in a leather monoglove, a leather gag, far larger than her fleur de bouche fitted into her mouth and finally a cloak with large hood was wrapped around her so that no one would learn the identity of the unfortunate who was to be discipline as punishment at Miss Garner’s Institute was very much a private, not public, affair.

Perkins led her down the stone steps and opened the door to the cellar. The heat was astonishing and the reason for it immediately became apparent, for it was in those depths that the mighty boiler that heated the whole house was located and as she watched a burly sweat-stained workman was busy shovelling coal into it. Aside from him and Perkins, Anne was alone.

The maid led her over to a wooden bench into which she was strapped. At first she wondered about the design for it did not hold her seated as she would have expected, but instead bent over, her head near to the floor and her pinioned arms up in the air like the mast of a great ship. More worryingly however, was that the vast moons of her enhanced derriere were left exposed to the air and facing upwards in full view.

“It is normal Miss Anne, for a husband to chastise his wife and indeed, many do so regularly even if they have not committed any wrongs just to remind them the consequences if they did. Your fiancé in fact has already indicated that he intends for you to receive some kind of chastisement though I do not know if it will be misdemeanour based or simply routine. However, he has already commissioned a suitable paddle from Briggs’, the premier paddle manufacturers in Bloomsbury, with the Norfolk crest engraved upon it. For now however, as he is absent in France, we shall have to make do with the official Miss Garner’s paddle with the school logo on it and Sykes here. Sykes, would you be so kind?”

“Right away, ma’am.”

The workman came over and took the paddle from Perkins. “How many, ma’am?” he asked.

“The standard punishment for a misdemeanour is five paddles and according to Miss Garner, Miss Curzon here has committed two such misdemeanours; the first being disobeying myself when ordered to complete the duty of visiting an elderly member of the community and the second being the failure to take note and gain success when being tutored by Capt. Hope. Therefore, the punishment shall be ten paddles. You may start now, Sykes.”

“Certainly, ma’am.”

Swish!

The pain was a shock! A painful shock! Anne cried out but the gag soaked up much of the sound and little more than a groan was heard.

Swish!

There it was again, only this time worse as her derriere was still tender from the last paddle. Anne cried out again and Perkins tutted. “Please, Miss Anne, show some restraint!”

Swish!

Anne tried to show restraint but it was hard. Tears flowed from her eyes and…

Swish!

…and yet at the same time she realised that she was wet. Why? There was something…

Swish!

… something pleasurable about this! But why? That wasn’t right, that wasn’t…

Swish!

…wasn’t natural! This was painful, oh so painful! She wanted it to stop, to end and yet…

Swish!

…yet at the same time she didn’t; at the same time it really excited her in ways that she didn’t really…

Swish!

…really understand. Oww, how it hurt! How many? How many had she endured now? Six? Or possibly…

Swish!

…possibly seven. So if that was the seventh, then only three more…

Swish!

…more, nay only two more left! Never had two seemed so many and yet….

Swish!

…yet it was almost over, the last one now, bring it on! Bring it on! Come on I need this! Oh…

Swish!

… oh yesssssssss!!! It is over, it is accomplished!

“Thank you Sykes, now can you release the young lady and prepare her for the second stage?”

“Certainly ma’am.”

“Miss Anne, you have completed the first stage of your punishment. Here at Miss Garner’s punishment comes in two parts; firstly the pain and secondly the opportunity to meditate on your sins and repent. For every misdemeanour there is a prescribed meditation and repentance period of twelve hours and there fore your encapsulation shall be for twenty-four hours exactly. Sykes here will now lace the punishment corset onto you.”

By this stage Anne was attached to a lacing bar and Sykes was approaching with the most remarkable corset that she had ever seen. In fact, it looked like no corset at all but instead a body suit for it was to e fitted from her toes right up to the crown of her head, leaving only her arms and face free. “The middle is always laced to half an inch smaller than your usual and contains a stem waist half an inch longer, Miss Anne,” informed Perkins, who seemed to be enjoying her mistress’ travails. “It shall be a trial for you to wear, miss.”

A trial it indeed was. It took over an hour to lace fully and once done Anne could not move a muscle, from her en pointe toes to her head forced back by the elongated neck. Worst of all though was the middle which crushed her mercilessly. She was as a statue and due to the heat of the room, was already sweating profusely. Once done, she was released from the lacing bar, her hands cuffed together in front of her and laid out on a hard bed that lay in the middle of the room and from the smell, Anne suspected might belong to Sykes.

“Now Miss Anne,” continued Perkins, during meditation and repentance, your arms are to be in the perfect reverse prayer position. Sykes, if you would be so kind.”

“Certainly ma’am.”

Perfect reverse prayer! There was nothing so horrible, so painful! Anne shuddered but said nothing. After all, a lady does not complain and, after this ordeal, she would not be disobeying orders again in a hurry, even if a friend was in trouble!

It took another ten minutes or so to twist her arms into the difficult perfect reverse prayer position and then lace them up neatly. Then Sykes produced a strange contraption like a small platform with rods sticking upwards about two feet in height. It was mounted on wheels. The burly workman then lifted her immobile form up and placed her on the platform, the rods keeping her from falling over whilst Perkins secured her on with straps. Once that was done the maid explained fully the rest of her punishment.

“Miss Anne, please come over here!”

Anne of course could not move anywhere but Sykes obligingly wheeled her across the room and through a doorway into another, smaller chamber. In this room stood a bulky woman, her figure shrouded by a cloak and hood.

“This is another one of the pupils here being chastised for misdemeanours,” Perkins explained. “It does not matter which of your friends it is, punishment is a private affair here; I only show her to you so that you may understand what meditation and repentance entails.”

The maid then went over to the figure and undid the cloak. It fell to the ground to reveal a thick woollen dress with no arms. This however, was not what shocked Anne. What shocked her was that in the place of a face, a pot mask with closed eyes as if a doll were sleeping, was seen. Throughout all of this, the figure remained motionless and seemed to Anne to be more a mannequin than a living girl.

“First the petticoats,” decreed Perkins as Sykes came back through, her arms laden with vast quantities of material. No less than ten petticoats were put on Anne before a thin cotton dress covered her body. Then the main dress, in unbecoming thick grey wool. Anne shuddered. Already the cellar was hot; wearing this it would become unbearable! The dress was button on and the temperature rose dramatically. Perkins however, had not finished.

“I shall place the head hood on now, which has the pot mask attached to the front. Wearing it you shall see nothing and hear very little as the ears are padded. Your world shall become black and silent and the heat together with your red raw buttocks shall remind you or your sins. Use this time to sink within yourself, to contemplate your sins and to beg forgiveness. Tomorrow at the same hour you shall be removed from your cocoon a new and more moral butterfly. Now the hood, Sykes!”

The hood was leather and laced tightly at the back. It compressed her head and made her feel claustrophobic and alone. With no eyeholes the world went black and heated up immediately. The only reminder of the outside world was a small warm breeze through the holes by her nostrils.

Anne felt an extra weight being put on her which she assumed was the cloak and then some motion as she was wheeled into the corner of the room where she was to stand. Then there was nothing. At first it was unbearable, she wanted to free herself to fight; not having any idea or the time scared her. The heat built up and she sweated more. She realised that she had to keep still but it was hard. She longed for sleep but it would not come and instead she was alone in her prison, pain all over her body, compressed from every angle; yet strangely safe somehow.

That safety gave her solace. Since she had come to England her life had changed in all aspects; she had been enhanced and turned into a plaything; stripped of her rights and given a new name and religion. All control of her life had been taken off her and she was now due to marry a stranger and exist as his toy until he passed away and then… well, then her sons would take control. It was all so unfair, so overwhelming, so wrong…

And yet at the same time, in England not once, not even for a second, had she ever felt in danger. It was hard, yes, but it was safe. She was looked after here. Even down in this cellar, this unbearably hot cellar where the sweat poured off her, where she could not move a muscle, entombed in cloth and corset, even here, she knew that they were looking after her, that she was safe, that she would come to no harm. These thoughts helped her and slowly they mushroomed in her mind. She recalled the two minor offences that she had committed to warrant this punishment. At the time she’d been angry that she was being punished for those offences – after all, hadn’t the circumstances been special, excusable. Now however, she realised; that this safety was sacred, it was the Holy Grail that all people sought. But it could only be achieved if one obeyed the rules and special circumstances or not, she had broken them. No, the punishment was just, even if it was hard to bear. And with those comforting thoughts she drifted away on a raft across the endless ocean of her mind.

Chapter 16

Anne only realised that she was being released when Perkins took the pot mask off her and the dull light blinded her eyes. Then the thirst hit her and she gratefully drank the whole jug of water that the maid offered. Following that she was released. The other hooded figure was gone now. Slowly the punishment corset was removed and her own stays loosely laced on. Then she returned upstairs for a long hot bath and afterwards bed. Anne then slept for twelve hours straight even though she had done absolutely nothing for the twenty-four that preceded it.

Following her punishment, Anne was more docile than before and accepted everything with a resignation that she herself welcomed as it made life far less stressful. She had subconsciously committed herself to them and resigned from even the office of rebellion, and having done so life was far more enjoyable. Instead she entered fully into the preparations for her marriage which was now only a few weeks away and every thought was connected with trying to please her future husband as much as she could.

The punishment had also had another, pleasing side effect. The extended period of time in the punishment corset had caused her to lose weight and her body to become accustomed to the new, tighter measurements. Miss Simpson asked her if she wished to return to the old measurements which were the ones that her fiancé had decreed, but Anne knew that he would prefer the smaller ones and so kept at them. This meant that the wedding dress had to be re-stitched at some cost but she cared not, for she knew that it would make him happy.

Two days before her wedding, Anne had her farewell meal at Miss Garner’s. It wasn’t a great experience as most of the girls – including Clare Hawkins – had already left to get married themselves, but the food was exquisite and Anne was glad that Miss Garner had decided to mark it. Then the next day it was down to London on the train where she met her step-father at St. Pancras station and they travelled to M. Saint Laurent’s boutique for a final fitting and ironing out of details and then to the hotel itself, the grand Cumberland in Bloomsbury where her reception and wedding night would later be spent. “Look!” said Lord Robert as they pulled up in the car outside. “That building there is the Soviet Embassy; isn’t it fitting that you truly enter English noble life in its shadow?” Anne looked at the great modernist stone building that dominated the street and thought. Yes, it was fitting in a way.

Anne wishes that she could give a detailed account of her wedding day now, but in truth it was all a blur. She was woken up at four in the morning when the dressing started and finally ready in a stunning creation of white silk and flowers by ten. Then she minced outside to a waiting horse and carriage which drove her through the streets of the capital to the great abbey of Westminster where she alighted and slowly walked down the long, long aisle to where her groom awaited. Then the service, then a drive back through the capital to Hyde Park where there were photgrpahs and then finally back to the Cumberland for the reception where over a thousand members of the nobility had gathered to wish them well, dine and be merry. After the meal, (of which Anne ate virtually nothing), and the speeches, there was the ball, but in her dress Anne could not dance or indeed do aught but stand and smile and so, as tradition dictates, a podium was wheeled out and Anne placed on it, (secretly fastened on in a manner akin to when she was punished), and then wheeled into the very centre of the ballroom and whilst the orchestra played and the couples waltzed, Anne stood there for all to admire, rotating slowly like a piece of crystal in a shop window, very much the bride on the wedding cake. Then, around ten, she was removed, the whole assembly raised a toast to her, and she was taken upstairs by Perkins to the sumptuous bridal chamber in order to be prepared for the greatest night of her life.

Once in there, Perkins undressed her, peeling off the fine layers of silk until, for the first time in a year, she was wholly naked. Then she was bathed in a gigantic bath of rose water before finally being powdered dry and led back into the bridal chamber.

“Right Miss Anne, now you are to be prepared,” said the maid. “The Duke has decreed…”

“Stop!” rapped out Anne. She couldn’t even believe herself when she had said it.

“Excuse me, Miss Anne…”

“You forget Perkins, it is ‘Mrs.’ or indeed ‘Lady’ Anne now!”

“I apologise Your Ladyship, but…”

“No ‘buts’, you are to leave Perkins!”

“But Your Ladyship, His Lordship…”

“I am your mistress, not he, nor my uncle, nor Miss Garner! When I tell you to leave, you will leave! I shall call when I wish you to prepare. I need time alone to think. Go!”

Perkins clearly did not wish to go but she also realised that the balance of power had changed and her stern expression changed into a meek, “Yes, Your Ladyship.” Like a mouse, she scuttled out of the room, carefully closing the door behind her.

After Perkins had left, Anne walked over to the door and turned the key in the lock. As she did it, she felt strange and at first couldn’t grasp why. Then it came to her: for the first time in months she had used her hands for something, she was not completely helpless and dependent on others. She took those hands and held them before her face before rubbing them slowly against one another. The touch was unreal; a touch denied for so long. A flash of fury streaked across her mind: what right had society to deny her of so simple a pleasure?

Anne walked across to the window and gazed out, not caring that the world might see her nakedness. There across the road it stood, a great hulk of square grey stone, a symbol of another more modern, very different world. The red flag resplendent with triumphant hammer and sickle fluttered proudly in the evening breeze. Some would say more free, more human. When Lord Curzon had mentioned in passing that the wedding hotel would be opposite the embassy, the very symbol of her old country and self, then she had thought nothing of it, but as the hours had passed, like the mustard seed, the germ had grown into a great tree. Here she was, alone and unhampered, with salvation but across the way. All she needed to do was slip on a dressing gown; sneak out into the deserted corridor, down the stairs, out through the servants’ door and across the road. Freedom! No more Lady of Leisure, no more Anne Howard, Duchess of Norfolk, bound, squeezed, restrained in every imaginable manner, the property of a man whom she hardly knew. Once through those doors, Anne could die and Anastasia Kolyakonova could be reborn! Independent Anastasia, the Anastasia who had a happy life to look forward too across on the other side of this continent, the Anastasia who had been so happy. Would they accept her? Of course they would! The papers would love it, Modern Soviet Woman forced into a marriage against her will to some backward Lord who would keep her tied up inside his castle, secluded from the civilised world. She would become a heroine! The British would hate it of course; they would moan and rail, protest that this was their way, their culture, their religion, but against the might of the USSR, what could they do?!

Anne turned away from that window of opportunity and walked over to the bed upon which her dressing gown lay. As she did, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and stopped. She turned to see, for the very first time, her new naked self. There before her was not the Anastasia Kolyakonova that she knew but instead another woman, more sensual and voluptuous. Where a boyish figure had once been was a mass of curves: huge orbs stood out from her chest, obviously grafted on, as round and ripe as melons, with no sag and enormous nipples the size of thimbles, whilst below them, even without a corset, a miniscule waist that she could encircle with her two hands. And then, below that, it broadened out again, massively into buttocks of prodigious proportions, two huge maternal orbs, as if someone had inserted a tyre pump into her anus and pumped and pumped and pumped until no more air would fit in. She touched those buttocks, as firm as any car tyre. She was no longer a woman but more a cartoon caricature of one, exaggerated in all the right places like Betty Boop in Mr. Disney’s cartoons. “What have they done to you, Ani?” she asked. No reply came. Ani did not answer because from those enhanced lips she could not. They were not hers, but instead the lips of some Biblical temptress like Bathsheba or Salome. Ani of course, had never even read the Bible.

Anne on the other hand, knew it well.

“They will be able to remove them, cut your hair, and restore you to whom you once were.”

But they were empty words, devoid of meaning or desire. Already her hands had strayed to those erect nipples and were caressing them gently.

“You have to choose, Ani!”

The voice was urgent but Ani did not respond. She could not for she had ceased to exist months ago. Anne looked across at the window with the fluttering flag of freedom through it. Then she turned to the bed, walked across, lay on it and pulled on the bell rope by her side. Within a minute Perkins had entered.

“Perkins, I have rested quite enough. I need preparing!”

“Yes, ma’am. The Duke has decreed…”

“Stop! I care not what he has said. You shall prepare me to my instructions not his. Now listen carefully…”

And Perkins did listen, and she did follow those instructions. And an hour later she left her mistress to fetch the Duke of Norfolk just as her mistress had instructed her to.”

Anne Howard waited in the pitch black room. Her every action was concentrated on keeping conscious. Around her middle her wedding corset, lace to an excruciating thirteen and three quarters inches bit into her and sapped her. Her neck was similarly squeezed and stretched and although she lay on her front, her eyes gazed at the ceiling. Her feet, laced into the endpoint bedroom boots were strapped against her enormous, inviting buttocks whilst her arms, dead from the pressure, were twisted into the excruciating and elegant perfect reverse-prayer position. But the crowning glory of it all was for her husband, her derriere, lifted by a cushion for ease of access, open and ready for use, the hole painted with a pair of inviting red lips.

‘He shall remember his wedding night for all eternity!’ declared the Duchess of Norfolk, Anne Howard silently behind her fleur de bouche, as Anastasia Kolyakonova slept silently in her grave.

Postscript

Readers may be interested to note that I had originally intended quite a different ending to this tale and should you be dissatisfied with the one that I finally chose, perhaps a brief summary of the alternative might improve your demeanour. In my original ending, Anne was again naked and sent Perkins away, she went over to the window and saw the Russian Embassy and was fixed on her plan to escape. This she attempted but downstairs was met by her step-father, (who had guessed her intentions), and escorted back upstairs to wait for her husband. However, once upstairs, Perkins reveals that she is willing to help Anne in return for a passage to the USSR herself as she has longed to live the life of a free woman for many years. And so the two dress as maids, (extra costume procured by Perkins), and sneak across to the Embassy where Anne reveals who she is and is given sanctuary. Anne then goes to Moskva with Perkins and becomes something of a celebrity in a manner akin to Western women of our world who marry an Arab and then run away from the harsh life. She plans to have operations to reduce some of the enhancements made to her but not all the changes undergone in Britain can be reversed and a doctor advises her that if she stops corseting, she will have problems, so atrophied are her muscles. And so Anne becomes a film star in Soviet cinema portraying English women in adaptations of Shakespeare or Dickens and the great Russian heroines from Tolstoy and Pushkin. In time she becomes a member of the politburo and ambassador to London. There she meets up with Clare who is now widowed from her marriage to Cpt. Hope. And so it is that Anne takes her back to Moskva with her and they enter into a lesbian relationship of intense passion, living out the rest of their days in a beautiful dacha by a lake some hundred kilometres away from Moskva.

As I said, it’s up to you which you prefer. – DP

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

The Tale of Anastasia: Part 7

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

 

Chapter 13

The next visit of the Duke of Norwich followed much the same format as the last, only this time he made more mention of Anne’s forthcoming enhancements and how he couldn’t wait to play with her ‘new melons’, kiss her ‘inflated lips’ or ‘paddle her balloon arse’. These comments however, were only to be expected, as the following week was when Anne was due to travel to London for her much-anticipated enhancements.

The night before the trip however, Anne got a pleasant surprise when Miss Simpson informed her that Miss Garner had arranged for Clare Hawkins to have her enhancements at the same time and for the two to travel down to London together. Furthermore, as a reward for their excellent behaviour and perseverance with their studies, the two would be allowed to share a bed in the London hotel on the night before the operations and share that night together in Anne’s bedroom. Ever since their first meeting the girls had been getting exceptionally close and often lay together for an hour or so on the bed of one or the other, but never before had they been allowed to spend a whole night in each others arms, (metaphorically, not literally of course). Naturally, with chastity belts and arms pinned behind them in monogloves, not to mention the bedtime pot masks, there was little chance of any sinful intimacy, but even so, it was a real delight to entwine their boot-clad legs around each other and breath in their feminine scents in the morning and for Anne the moment was made particularly special by the Duke of Norwich who chanced to be thinking of her as he awoke at seven in the morning and switched on her anal plug.

The journey down to London was by car which was tiring as it was an eight-hour trip and both Anne and Clare’s travelling dresses were most hot and cumbersome indeed. Furthermore, the thick veils on her bonnets prevented any real viewing of the passing scenery whilst the large black fleur de bouche in her mouth made speaking impossibility. Consequently it was eight hours of darkness and silence but neither girl minded much as their minds were full of what was to come and besides, ladies should not mind such things anyway.

They checked into the prestigious Cumberland Hotel, (where Anne was later to have her wedding reception), where they were engulfed by reporters from Society and the other magazines eager to discover who was in town now and quite what they were having done to them. The girls naturally, did not comment, (for they could not), and nor too did the maids, so the reporters had to be satisfied with their names alone and a couple of pictures of them in their extravagant purple fur-lined walking outfits. Immediately, they retired, were bathed and then stripped down to their corsets and monoglove and another night of feminine intimacy was enjoyed.

Anne recognised the South London Hospital for Women from her last stay there, (although of course, she mentioned that visit to no one), but this time things were much different. Now that she was a lady and secrecy was not the order of the day, she found herself greeted upon arrival by the Head Surgeon who ushered her through to his office and explained fully what enhancements were to be performed upon her body. Once again the calculator image was brought out and demonstrated to her but then the surgeon went into much further detail.

“What this screen does not show us, miss, is the actual shape that your new breasts will obtain – and I say ‘new’ because they will be just that, and quite unsuitable for the feeding of infants I am afraid. Now, please look at these two pictures here. The first shows the breasts of a lady whom is size 36DD naturally and the second is a lady whom I enhanced to that size, (she was quite humble beforehand). Now can you see the difference in the shape, miss?”

Anne could, but with her mouth full of fleur de bouche, she did naught but nod. She was however, quite shocked. The natural 36DD breasts were, well… natural. They dropped somewhat as did most large breast. The enhanced breasts however, stood firm and round, as round as footballs and looked very, very fake.

“The shape, miss, it is obviously artificial, and this is of great import. You see, the point to enhancements is not only that they will make you appear more feminine and thus attractive to your spouse, but also in that they display your wealth and status. It is not unknown for ladies already endowed with large breasts to have surgery whereby their size is not increased, only their shape. The beautiful breasts that you shall soon possess will be a symbol to all of your position in society. They will be much like those shown there except that your husband has requested larger nipples which shall be pierced as so so that they remain permanently erect and sensitive. The effects for you, miss, will be most noticeable I believe.”

‘Indeed,’ thought Anne.

“Now, moving onto the other enhancements ordered. Naturally your fiancé has ordered considerable buttock enhancements, known in the business as gluteal implants. Now, this will entail the implanting of these elastomer pads into your buttocks which will result in not only more curves at the back, but also wider hips. I must admit, I feel that the effects will be striking.”

The surgeon held up two gel-like implants that Anne realised would soon be inside her. The thought was not a comforting one, particularly as she had never desired a larger bottom and indeed, the fashion in Moskva was to try achieve as small a one as possible with girls often asking one another as they tried on a new pair of trousers or a dress, ‘Делает моя задница выглядит большой в этом?’1 Now hers definitely would whatever the clothing.

“Moving on, we have also the lips. Your fiancé has requested only minor injections of collagen to fill them out a little, though there will be other work done in that area as our piercer will be attending to your tongue. Whilst we are on that topic, piercings are also planned for your clitoris and of course, the nipple piercings will be equipped with rings as is standard.”

Piercings! Although she had had her ears done as a child, Anne had never considered getting anymore. But now her tongue (why??) and her clitoris!!! Having the latter done sounded most painful yet also somehow exciting. Knowing much more about English culture these days she guessed that it was something to do with sexual activities.

“And the other area, permanent fingernail extensions and eye lash extensions as standard, but the hair removal is a little more than normal. Your fiancé has requested permanent hair removal around all your genitalia and under the arms. You will experience a slight burning at first, but do not fear, it shall pass. Now, shall we get started, miss? Please, let your maid undress you….”

Hair removal, now that sounded scary! Still, what say did she have in it all. Even though it was her body, none at all. In fact, in a way she no longer even owned herself. Anne stood meekly as Perkins undressed her and the surgeon sunk a long needle into her thigh. Seconds later her whole world went black…

When Anne awoke, she ached all over. She was lain in a hospital bed ina white room, the only colour provided by a bowl of fruit and some flowers beside her. At first she felt weak and drowsy and so just lay there. Then Perkins lifted her up and she saw the bandages around her breasts and buttocks. Her lips and private area tingled and she could feel the piercings in her tongue and clitoris.

It was a week before the bandages were removed. When they were Anne was shocked. Her breasts and buttocks were bruised and discoloured. The nurse told her it was nothing to worry about and sure enough, with time the brusies did disappear and she was left with two heavy rounded breasts and an enormous rounded derriere. There were strange, unnatural additions to her body. Her new lips were strange too. When she sat it felt like she was sat on a pillow, when she opened her mouth it all felt inflated. The rings on her nipples fascinated her. She wished to touch them, and her clitoris too, which was now permanently aroused. The state of arousal made it difficult to sleep, difficult to do anything except imagine coupling with her new husband. Anne felt cheapened yet excited. Like so many things in her new life, the contradiction was overwhelming.

When another week had passed she was allowed out. Perkins dressed her in a new corset, (for the old one no longer fitted), and elaborate walking outfit, this time in dark grey. Outside the reporters were there again, eager to snap the newly-enhanced future Duchess of Norwich. Much as she didn’t want to, Anne felt sexy and seductive as she strode out to the car. She only wished that Clare were with her, but her enhancements had not been so extensive and she had already returned to Miss Garner’s. Anne expected to return straightaway, but to her surprise she was driven to a photographic studio and ordered to strip. This she did and then she was dressed in her old Red Army uniform. At first she wondered why but then she recalled her fiancé’s kinky request. She posed for photos in clothes that were now too small for her, her breasts bursting out of the top whilst her buttocks causing the seams of the trousers to stretch. When she saw the photos she was embarrassed. Gone was the brave heroine of the USSR and in her place a buxom bimbo parody of one. Anne felt cheapened yet still she somehow liked it. The dichotomy was excruciating.

Back at Miss Garner’s however, she soon put her new body into the back of her mind as the normal routine resumed. She discovered why her nipples were now ringed, (so that they could be attached to similar rings inside her dresses to stop her new breasts from popping out unannounced!), and why her tongue hah had a stud driven through it, (it enhances a male’s pleasure when serviced orally Miss Simpson explained). She was just about to explore this new function one Sunday after church when she was unexpectedly called into the Headmistress’ Office. Once in Miss Garner simply said, “Anne, sit down. I have something very serious to tell you…”

1 Does my bum look big in this?

Chapter 14

Miss Garner removed Anne’s fleur de bouche and then looked at her square in the eyes. “Anne, I shall be straight with you,” she said gravely. “We have a difficult situation, nay, a tragedy, here at the Institute. You are close with Miss Clare Hawkins, are you not?”

Anne nodded to confirm that she was.

“Miss Hawkins’ father shot himself this morning at his estate just outside of Stockport.”

Anne gasped involuntarily. “That’s awful!” she exclaimed, before realising that she had had no invitation to speak. Miss Garner however, did not chastise her.

“It is only the beginning, Anne. Mr. Hawkins shot himself because of debts, gambling debts. It transpires that he spent the entire twenty-four hours of yesterday at a gaming table in Buxton Spa. He lost his entire fortune; Clare is destitute.”

“Oh no! That’s… that’s unthinkable!”

“Unthinkable is the word, Anne, but alas for dear Clare, it is also true.”

“But what will become of her?”

“That my dear, is the unthinkable part. She cannot stay here as she has no money to pay for fees and she has no marriage prospects of course; her fiancé broke off as soon as he heard which is only understandable. Mr. Hawkins not only died penniless but had also accrued a great number of debts. No one will marry Clare as they would have to take on a portion of them. Her only option is… employment.”

“But she cannot, she is a Lady of Leisure!”

“She was a Lady of Leisure, Anne.”

“I understand Miss Garner, but what I meant is that, well… she can’t work ecause she doesn’t know how to; she has only been educated to be a lady.”

“If it were merely a question of education Anne, that would be workable, but it is more than that. Anne has been corseted to such an extreme that she has to be laced into those dimensions for her to survive; her muscles couldn’t cope with being unlaced these days, and laced so she is useless for any kind of work. Besides, her enhancements have been made…”

“Yes! Yes! And she is a naturally pretty girl too; surely some man would be glad to have her as a wife?!”

“Glad to have her perhaps, but not as a wife, not any man of means. You see, as I have just pointed out, her enhancements have already been made and that makes things far more difficult. Enhancements are a man’s stamp, his signature on a lady. She has already been stamped, claimed. No man would touch her, it is as if she is no longer a virgin!”

“But then what can she do?”

“There is but one course left to her, Anne, and it is a most loathsome one indeed. The House of the Enhanced Venus have already enquired. As you have already stated, she is naturally pretty and many men would be glad to have her. They are willing to pay off her late father’s debts… in exchange for control over her entire life…”

“The House of the Enhanced Venus! But surely… surely there is another option?!”

“Not unless someone agrees to marry her within the week, and as I have already said, that is a most distant possibility indeed.”

“But it is terrible, so terrible… she is such a good girl… she doesn’t deserve this…”

Fat tears were now rolling down Anne’s doll-like face. Miss Garner came over and wiped them away. “Anne, cease your weeping, you need to be strong. Clare has just been told and she is distraught. You need to be at her side, comforting her.”

Anne looked up at her headmistress. “You are right, I shall go there immediately; replace my fleur de bouche, please.”

Clare Hawkins was indeed distraught. She sat on a chair by her bed weeping uncontrollably, her maid dabbing at the tears every few second, doing the job that her own useless, bound arms could not. When Anne entered she came over to her friend and pressed her face against Clare’s. Oh how she would have loved to have been able to put her arm around her as well! Still, Miss Garner had allowed her to be sans fleur de bouche and so she whispered in her ear, “Everything will be alright, Clare, all will be fine.” Clare however, was not thinking of the future, instead only her dead father and lonely mother came into her mind. “Lord Jesus protect her and welcome him into Heaven!” she just repeated, over and over again. Anne kissed away her friend’s tears and Clare smiled. Even the thoughts of her fiancé and the commencement of the vibration of her anal plug could not disturb the warmth and tragedy of the moment.

Anne was prepared to stay with Clare all day for it was clear that the girl needed her and valued her company, but within thirty minutes Perkins came into the room and hoisted her out of her chair. “Miss, it is time to go, let me put in your fleur de bouche.”

“Go! I cannot go, Perkins, I am needed here!”

“But Miss, you are needed at Capt. Hope’s house; it is time for your visiting!”

Anne however, was in no mood to be pleasuring the old seaman at that particular time. “I shall not go Perkins, I stay here today.”

“But Miss, you shall, it is ordered!” Then the maid harshly shoved in the fleur de bouche and stood her charge up on her heels.

“Mmmpf! Mmmpf!” said Anne, shaking her head vigorously and resisting the efforts of the maid.

“You must, Miss!” reaffirmed Perkins harshly.

“Go sweet Anne,” said Clare, “but hurry back to my side afterwards!”

And so having no choice, Anne minced miserably away.

At Capt. Hope’s Anne decided to put on a brave face and push her friend’s woes to the back of her mind. Perkins left, her fleur de bouche was removed, and she knelt down and began to administer to the old man. At first her was most complimentary about the effects of her new tongue stud and began to suggest ways in which to maximise its potential, but alas, Clare’s woes began to push themselves to the forefront of her mind and before she knew it she was weeping uncontrollably into the seaman’s crotch. When he noticed, he pulled her away, sat her on his knee and asked her what was the matter.

“It is nothing, sir,” she replied.

“Nay lass, it is something. We have known each other for some time now and I know you to be an excellent pupil, not easily put off your studies by worldly woes. For you to be crying into my pants must mean that something terrible has occurred.”

And so, before she even realised it herself, the whole story was flooding out; the suicide, the gambling, and then the House of the Enhanced Venus. At the end Capt. Hope looked away in the distance as if lost in thought and said quietly, “I can see why you were distracted Anne, for ‘tis a terrible tale indeed, terrible and cruel. Well, there shall be no lessons for today, for you are in no state to heed them, so instead I shall return you to Miss Garner’s – for your maid is not due to return for a good hour yet – where you can attend to the needs of your friend. Come now girl, you have a duty to fulfil as a ministering angel…”

Anne would have thrown her arms around that old man if she could have done! What a kindly soul he was!

The rest of that day and night was spent comforting her friend and providing a modicum of solace in a dark and uncaring world. In the early hours of the morning they fell asleep side by side on the bed, but morning came round again to remind them of their woes. Clare sought hard to be strong, but it was a front and both trembled when she was called to Miss Garner’s office that morning, for it could mean only one thing.

With Clare absent Anne elected to stay in the room and wait, praying to God that her friend may be spared somehow. The minutes ticked by slowly and as each passed the weight of Clare’s fate pressed down further on Anne. Then, after some ten minutes or so, Perkins entered the room. “You are to see the headmistress, Miss,” she announced. Wearily, Anne stood, allowed Perkins to fill her mouth with the fleur de bouche, and minced down the corridor to the office.

Once inside though, she saw something that she had not anticipated. It was a Clare Hawkins with a broad smile on her empty mouth. “Anne! Anne!” she cried, “I am saved!” Anne looked quizzically at the headmistress.

“It is true, and you have helped to save her!” declared Miss Garner.

Her?! But how? Through her prayers? Surely not!

“You confided in Capt. Hope of Clare’s woes and he came here to see me. He asked to see photographs of the girl and then offered to marry her on the spot; her father’s debts and all. Said that since he hadn’t long left in this world, he could use that time to do a little good and help an innocent soul. Yes indeed, Anne, Clare is saved!”

Overjoyed the two girls minced over to each other and pressed their faces together, tears streaming down them and mingling. This time though, the tears were of happiness, not misery.

“Excuse me ladies,” interjected the headmistress, “but I am afraid that all the news is not so good.” Both girls moved away from each other and turned to face their teacher. “Anne here has disgraced herself immeasurably; first in refusing her orders to go to Capt. Hope’s and secondly in failing to complete her studies at his house. Now I appreciate that circumstances were extreme, but rules are rules and so I am afraid that a punishment is in order.”

Miss Garner’s eyes however, were not angry as she said those words and besides, with Clare saved; she knew that she could face any punishment on earth…

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

The Tale of Anastasia: Part 6

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Chapter 11

Anne was woken early on the morning of the 12th June. Two days prior, she had returned to Kedleston where she had greeted her family again and then immersed herself in trying out outfits whilst Lord Curzon finalised the preparations. Everyone was happy and Anne felt herself getting caught up in the joyous mood at times and almost forgot that this man whom she was to be engaged to was chosen by someone other than her in a manner which she did not approve of. This was perhaps the greatest indicator of all that during her time spent at Miss garner’s Institute for Young Ladies, Anne’s mindset had been changed subtly yet surely and she was by now far more a Lady of Leisure than she realised. However, whilst misgivings of a choice of husband did not trouble her unduly, those of what accompanied did, for present for the celebrations after her third and final trip to the hospital was Charity and she was a living embodiment of the horrors of enhancement.

Since her third trip Charity’s breasts had swelled dramatically in size, so much so that they now dominated her whole body and were, (according to her half-sister) an official size of 52MMM.1 More disconcerting though, were the changes that had gone on with her face which was now virtually unrecognisable from that of the girl whom Anne had first met less than a year ago. As promised, her lips had now been inflated to such a size that they appeared as two pillows on her face and indeed, Charity could not close them completely and drooled without her fleur de bouche. When she did have that implement removed, her speech was now much different, somewhat slurred and with a lisp which Charity explained was caused by the fact that her tongue had been deliberately shortened and inflated and a large piercing driven through it. Furthermore, her nose had been reduced to a mere button whilst her eyes were now large and staring like a doll’s, bright blue in colour caused by contact lenses decreed as mandatory at all times by her fiancé. This with her platinum blonde hair created a impression of vacant mindedness and inhumanity. Anne shuddered when she thought that her lot would probably not be dissimilar.

On the day of her engagement though, even those thoughts were driven from her mind and all that Anne could think about was staying alert and not fainting away. The lacing started as soon as she was bathed and continued in stages until one. Then work began on her hair and then came the dress, an outrageous creation in cream which took several hours to fit as it required over a hundred fresh roses to be pinned onto it. Whilst this was being done her make-up was attended to and her boots laced on before finally, at four o’ clock in the afternoon she was led out of her room, down the stairs and outside to the garden party that was being held in her honour. After that, things passed by in a flash. She was introduced to the Duke of Norwich, (who wasn’t unhandsome and not too old either), and speeches were made by Lord Curzon and the Duke. Then came the engagement itself, with a large diamond ring being placed on one of her wooden replica fingers and the dreaded enhancement demands being given to Lord Robert. Finally Anne was presented with a box, (which Perkins took on her behalf), which she knew could only contain one thing and thoughts passed through her mind of what it would be like to have something shoved… up there. Then there was music, some chatter and it was over even before it had begun and Anne Curzon was a single woman no longer but instead promised to a man whom her ears had not yet drunk a hundred words of that tongue’s utterance.

As that man and his tongue contained to drink and be merry out in the garden however, the first intimations of intimacy to come were being made known to Anne in the bedroom. Immediately she had been stripped down to her chastity belt and corset before being laced into a monoglove, bathed and then placed on the bed face down, her buttocks in the air. Then Perkins approached with the box, opened it in front of her mistress’s face, covered the ivory rod within in olive oil and then slowly but firmly inserted it into her anus. The feeling was a peculiar one. It caused her to feel full and bloated and tight down there, yet at the same time it was comforting and almost as if her husband was with her. Still, whatever the feeling, Anne knew as she settled down to sleep on her side that evening, arms pinioned behind her, waist compressed to nothing and her buttocks full of her fiancé’s gift, that she would have plenty of time to get used to it.

Less than an hour after she had returned from Kedleston, Anne was called into the Headmistress’s office. With the help of Perkins she minced down the corridors and into the office where the maid sat her down before leaving after a glance from Miss Garner. Then the door was shut firmly behind her and to Anne’s surprise, Miss Garner removed Anne’s fleur de bouche.

“I have asked you here, Anne,” she started, “to discuss a matter which I am sure has been utmost in your mind over these last few weeks. You doubtless know by now that it is standard procedure during any engagement ceremony conducted in this country involving a Lady of Leisure, for her fiancé to submit a list of desired enhancements that he wishes to be made to his fiancée’s body. Your fiancé was of course, no different from all the others in this respect and indeed I have the list that he handed to your uncle here in my hand. However, whilst I must impress that these enhancements will take place whatever your feelings on the matter, I do also appreciate – and sympathise – with the majority of my girls who harbour grave misgivings and fears about the operations before they take place, and indeed, considering the recent history of your family, I doubt not that you Anne, must be harbouring greater fears than most. Am I right in this respect?”

“Yes ma’am,” nodded Anne.

“As I suspected. And may I also ask, are these fear partially based at least, on the recent enhancements that your cousin Charity has been subjected too.”

Again Anne nodded. “Yes, ma’am…” Her voice started to falter, and a tear appeared in her eye. “Please ma’am, I don’t want to become like her… a freak… it’s terrible!”

The headmistress smiled kindly at Anne. “Do not fear child, your situation and Charity’s are quite different. You say that what has happened to her is terrible, and I quite agree, for it is. What has been done to her is nothing about beauty and more about… well, I don’t know what depraved ideas are behind it but believe me, they are deprived. Fear not though, your guardian would never have chosen you a husband that would demand such things.”

“Then why has he chosen such a beast for his own daughter?”

“Now that is a worthwhile question Anne, and I suppose it only right that I answer it now. However, before I start, let me reassure you that your enhancements are not to be like those of Charity; indeed, I consider them quite restrained indeed. Does that comfort you somewhat?”

“Yes ma’am.”

There was a short silence whilst Miss Garner collected herself and Anne regained her breath which she had lost during her spate of high emotion. Once her breasts had stopped heaving thought, the headmistress began.

“Anne, the situation of you and your cousin – or should I say half-sister, though trust me, not a word shall ever be breathed of that matter – could not be more different. For starters, the Good Lord has blessed you with a natural beauty that Charity, alas, never had. You are the very image of your mother who was a most celebrated beauty in her day whilst Charity has always been at best plain and at worst, well somewhat ugly. I do not wish to sound harsh, but it is the truth, even if it is not just that she have no natural bloom or elegance. Now that of course, does not mean that you are perfect; your features are the very epitome of prettiness but your figure is boyish; an English lady has sumptuous breasts and derriere, you have neither, but this we shall come onto in a while. In the meantime, back to your sister.

So, your sister was born without beauty and alas, her early education soon revealed her to be without either grace or brains either. She was a clumsy girl who excelled at naught save for gossiping and giggling. Your step-father wished for me to enrol her here – he offered me a lot of money in fact – but I said ‘no’. I have a reputation to uphold you see and I knew that even my tutelage could not create a lady out of her. All of that however, does not account for her current predicament; that I am afraid she brought on herself.

Instead of Miss Garner’s, Charity instead attended Berkhamstead School for Girls, an esteemed yet not that esteemed educational establishment in the Home Counties. There she went and there she failed to excel. However, last year, she managed something far worse. Berkhamstead you see, also operates a boy’s school and once a year they hold a Grand Ball where the girls and boys may dance; the idea being to accustom them to life after school. However, at this dance she met and fell in love with one of the male pupils, the son of a shipping magnate I believe. Anyhow, somehow – I certainly cannot fathom out how, their security must’ve been lax in the extreme – she and this young man managed to sneak out into the garden where they were found copulating by no less a figure than the Mayor of Berkhamstead – quite what he was doing in the gardens, no one is quite sure, nor will they dare to question. Well, after that her prospects were ruined. As you know, to become a bride in this country, a girl must still be a virgin. Now of course, as you have direct experience of – nor shall I breathe a word about that too – there are ways and means these days of rebuilding a hymen, but one can never rebuild a reputation. Charity’s mistake was not that she copulated with this boy, but that she was so stupid as to get caught. She was expelled immediately, (though he only received a sound thrashing I believe), and all hope of marriage was lost, for even with her large dowry, no respectable man would ever think about marrying her. Oh, your step-father tried of course, but there were no takers. He had given up hope, the worst that could happen had happened and then, he received a visit from the Earl of Stafford.”

“An offer of marriage?”

“Indeed Anne, but with conditions. The Earl of Stafford had a reputation and no respectable father would allow their daughter near him, but even so, as a male his plight was not as desperate as Charity’s. But anyhow, he offered your step-father a lifeline, full and open marriage to Charity, but on one condition: extreme enhancements. Lord Curzon tried to argue and reason with him of course, but to no avail; without the enhancements, no marriage. And so in the end he had to agree.”

“But why would he want such… enhancements?”

“Who knows what goes on in the minds of men, Anne, who knows? However, it is well-known that the Earl of Stafford is a regular visitor to the House of the Enhanced Venus and it appears that he wished for something similar to… take home.”

“But what is the House of the Enhanced Venus, ma’am?”

“It is a brothel, Anne, in plain English, a whorehouse, but in reality it is far worse than that. The girls in the House of the Enhanced Venus, do not come cheaply you see, for it is far worse than that. Indeed, these girls are not noble girls, often from quite humble backgrounds, but they are educated in a manner reminiscent of the worse kind of Ladies’ Institute and then they are enhanced beyond all recognition. The ladies there, if ladies be the word, have breasts the size of beach balls and lips so large that they can no longer speak clearly through them. Their noses are reduced to mere buttons, whilst there buttocks can fill the largest armchair. They are made into parodies of feminity for the enjoyment of the most deprived of England’s manhood. Many have their teeth removed so as to give more oral enjoyment, others have far more removed, be it arms or legs. Some are mere stumps of humanity, pillows for the enjoyment of the sickest of men; men such as the Earl of Stafford. The place is a disgrace to our nation; it gives fuel to foreign fires that our society is debauched and immoral. Many have campaigned to close it down but when it numbers royalty, archbishops, peers and even the prime minister amongst it patrons, well, what chance have such measures of ever being implemented? Particularly since it is also a good source of foreign revenue – your compatriots the Russians being the best customers I believe.”

“But that is sick, disgusting!” exclaimed Anne. “How do those poor ladies live?”

“Anne, I do not know, but often they do not live long. Those who have the ability to, often commit suicide; alas the more brutally maimed cannot do that, though the Lord takes most before long. A few of course, enjoy it but then their minds must be even more addled that those of their customers if that be possible. But anyhow, that is that and that is why Charity is as she is. Do not blame Lord Curzon, and do not fear either, her lot is not yours. You have beauty and a reputation and very soon, thanks to the enhancements ordered by your fiancé, you shall have an even greater supply of both. Now Anne, let me help you stand and come over here to look at this viewing screen connected to my calculator.”2

Helped up by Miss Garner, Anne minced over to the screen where she was sat onto a small stool in front of it. Then the headmistress went over to the device and typed some figures into it. Then, on the screen, an outline of a female figure appeared and started to rotate in front of her. “That figure,” said Miss Garner, “is you, Anne. Or at least, you when you entered this establishment. I have typed in your measurements and here is the result. As I said before, and is quite clear from this projection, your figure is boyish, your breasts small and your derriere almost non-existent. Now, let us add in the changes that have occurred since your arrival here.” The headmistress typed in some more figures and pressed the ‘Send’ button. The waist constricted dramatically whilst her breasts and buttocks grew very slightly. “This is you before the ball, the measurements that were sent out to all prospective husbands. As you can see, the corseting regime that you have undergone has had a dramatic- and indeed pleasing – effect. Your waist is much smaller and some of the fat has been pushed into your breasts and derriere. All in all, the effect is quite stunning; the contrast between the smaller waist and other areas, even if they have barely grown is incredible and indeed, for a Lady of Leisure in the past, it would have to suffice. These days however, we have science to help us and so, if I type in these measurements provided by your fiancé, well, you will see what I mean…”

Miss Garner typed and pressed ‘Send’ and Anne certainly did see. The breasts of the figure on the screen blossomed outwards whilst the bottom ballooned in size. These additions, added to the tiny waist, created an incredible – and incredibly sexy – silhouette. Anne gasped and Miss Garner smiled. “It’s remarkable isn’t it?” she commented. “I must admit Anne, I think that your step-father has chosen well for you, as the Duke of Norfolk’s tastes are exquisite. The breasts are actually somewhat smaller than is standard for a Lady of Leisure, but I for one think that breasts that are too large can detract from the waist which must always be the centre of attention, whilst the derriere, well, now that is somewhat larger than standard so it seems that your husband-to-be is what is commonly referred to as an ‘arse man’. The derriere is of course, not seen by the public, only intimately and so is his special preserve and I guess that it will be a little strange at first for you but I personally feel that such dimensions suit you, Anne. Now of course, this programme does not show all. Breasts have different shapes of course, some sag, some are firm and hopefully, in years to come we will have the technology to display such intricacies on screen as well, but for now, well, you have a general outline, do you not? Now, I have made an appointment for you at the South London Hospital for Women two months hence where all enhancements will be made. Before then, try not to think about them and instead focus your mind on studying and pleasing your fiancé on his monthly courting visits. Now Anne, do you have any comments to make or questions to ask?”

Anne of course had a thousand questions to ask and a hundred comments to make but she had caught the tone and glance of her headmistress. Only one, ma’am,” she replied.

“And what is that, Anne?”

“May you replace my fleur de bouche and have Perkins escort me back to my quarters. I am suffering from fatigue caused by my journey.”

“Certainly Anne. Goodbye.”

1 For those who wish to compare this with someone in our world, I believe that Sabrina Sabrok has similar sized breasts. She however, wanted to have them.

2 These terms can be translated into ‘monitor’ and ‘computer’ in our world although there are differences between our concepts and Anne’s.

Chapter 12

Life returned to its usual monotony of intense restriction and lessons for Anne but things were not quite the same now that she was engaged. For starters the large ivory phallus in his anus reminded her of new status daily but also there was the prospect of monthly ‘courting’ visits from her future husband. The first of these came rather quicker than Anne had anticipated – time flew by at Miss Garner’s sometimes – but she certainly remembered it for a long time afterwards. As with any special event, she was excused from lessons, laced tighter than usual and dressed sumptuously, this time in a grand ‘walking’ dress in forest green, (that permitted virtually no walking whatsoever). The Duke of Norwich arrived at one as expected and met her in the sitting room where he kissed her on the cheek, (causing Anne to blush in a most embarrassing fashion!), before helping her up by the waist and taking her for a tour of the garden. Whilst she struggled along, her breasts heaving nine to the dozen with the exertion of exercise, he chattered to her, talking of the wedding preparations and his hopes for the future. She learnt that they were to be married in London, in no less a temple than Westminster Abbey and following that the Reception Banquet and Ball – and the wedding night! – would be in the prestigious Cumberland Hotel. When they got to the end of the garden however, where there is a white bench surrounded by a trellis of flowers, her fiancé leant over her and whispered in her ear.

“Anne, I love you very much.”

Anne did not reply of course. She could not with an enormous red fleur de bouche lodged in her mouth.

“Do you love me?”

Did she love him? She looked at her fiancé. He was certainly a man that a girl could love but as of yet, she did not love him. Still, could was a start. She nodded slightly as her high collar permitted naught more.

“My love, your waist excites me, it causes an unquenchable fire in my loins and a thirst in my throat. Oh how I desire to kiss your ruby red lips!”

It was at that moment that Anne realised that the duke was no poet. She felt his hands encircle her waist.

“I want it tighter and smaller. I want to lace you until you faint, my wasp-waisted angel!”

No, he was definitely no poet! And the thought of being laced even tighter, well!

“My darling does the ivory prick in your bottom fill you? Does it make you dream of times to come. When I think of you with me inside you…”

Well, it did fill her, but as for the times to come…

“…I cannot contain myself, but look here my dove, here is a secret that I shall share with you, our special love secret.”

Anne looked. He pulled from his pocket a small silver pocket watch. Or at least, that is what it looked like. However, when he flicked it open, she was surprised to find no clock, but instead a small switch.

“Do you know what this is, Anne?”

She shook her head.

“It is a reminder for you that I am thinking of you and missing you dearly and waiting for the time when we can be together as only a man and wife can,” he told her. Then he flicked the switch and to her hsock the ivory phallus deep inside her began to vibrate causing peculiar, yet pleasurable, sensations. She gasped loudly.

“Ssssh, my love, not so loud!” he chastised. “No one must know. Whenever I think of you I shall turn it on. It stays on for ten minutes, just about for you to… appreciate my devotion…”

Ten minutes of that! Already Anne was feeling quite hot under her high collar. Ten minutes of such sensations when she could be eating, studying, whatever! It would be a trial indeed, though not necessarily a terrible one.

“My angel, I must go, but remember, I count the days, and in a certain way I shall be with you every night and day!”

He stood up, kissed her on the cheek and then left her, red in the face and breasts heaving on the bench until Perkins came to collect her several minutes later.

“Girls, it is imperative, now that you are all engaged to be wed and become proper Ladies of Leisure, that I breach the difficult subject of Ladies Companions, for I expect that during your lives ninety per cent of you will have some experience with them and thus I believe that it is important to view them in the correct light.”

Anne was interested in Miss Garner’s words as she had never heard of these Ladies Companions before.

“Now, before I start, can I just make a count? Nod to me girls, if your mother has a Lady Companion.”

Anne looked around and noted that most of the girls in the room were nodding.

“As I expected. Now girls, please nod if this is a subject which distresses your mother and has been distressing you as you prepare for marriage.”

Again Anne looked about her and whilst a few of her companions had stopped nodding, most still were. This surprised her; after all, a Ladies Companion sounded quite a nice thing, not something to be scared of. She was eager to hear more.

“Indeed, it is as I feared. Now girls, I do hope that this lesson today will help to put most of those fears at rest, as well as explain to our two girls who have been brought up in foreign climes,” (and at this point she nodded to Anne and Oksana), “exactly what a Ladies Companion is and how we must deal with them. However, before we start may I state, state most plainly, that a Ladies Companion is not something to worry about. Is that clear girls?”

All the class nodded.

“Good. Now, what is a Ladies Companion? Well, the best way to describe one – and the official way – is a friend to a Lady of leisure. As we are all aware, Ladies of Leisure are privileged ladies and thus it is not appropriate for them to mix with any females on a personal level whom are not Ladies of Leisure themselves. However, that does present us with some problems, as Ladies of Leisure are few and far between and thus we can, at times, get lonely and in need of a sister in whom to confide our feelings. That is where Ladies Companions come in. These are girls whom our husbands or parents have educated to a certain degree – though not to the same high standards it must be stated – and who share our lifestyle and thus can empathise with our problems. They are however, much lower than us in the social order, being effectively somewhere between servants and mistresses, and are well aware of that difference in status. Therefore, you are superior to them and can order them about. Your servants on the other hand, cannot, unless the order comes from you. The only person who can supersede your authority with regards to Companions is your husband. Is that understood?”

All nodded.

“Excellent. Now all of that sounds good and nothing to fear, but of course, there is another side to Ladies Companions that is never – and I repeat never – discussed in polite company, but is present nonetheless, and it is this aspect to their role that causes so many Ladies of Leisure such distress. It is this that I shall discuss now and I shall do it by quoting from this book entitled ‘A Ladies Companion’ by one Melissa Lockhart who was the companion of the Duchess of Sutherland some fifty or so years ago. Please listen girls, for there is much that you can learn from it.

“ ‘I was born, dear reader, in a cottage in a small village in Staffordshire to a humble peasant farmhand and his wife. My childhood was idyllic, playing in the fields and helping my mother with the chores. We were not rich and indeed at times went short of food for there were eight of us children, but we were happy. All of that changed however, when one afternoon the Duke of Sutherland came riding through the village with some companions and we villagers stood by the roadside to bow, curtsey and marvel at that great man. I was about fourteen at the time and regarded as pretty in the village and when he saw me, he stopped and asked of my name. I gave it, proud that such a great man had deigned to notice me. Following this, he rode off and I thought no more of it until a week later my father announced to me that great luck had befallen me and that I had been offered a position in the great house at Trentham by no less a personage than the Duke himself who had been impressed by my bearing and intelligence when he had ridden through our village.

So it was that a trunk was bought and packed with my few belongings and I rode off to Trentham Hall on the back of a farm cart full of excitement as to what my new life might hold. Well, upon arrival I was introduced to the Housekeeper and placed to work at the Master’s Table serving his evening meal. This was not an easy job as you might imagine and much had to be learnt before I could commence my work, for not only must I know how to do the work, but also my bearing and diction as worked on, but everyone treated me kindly and indeed with a certain respect as if I were a lady myself. Once I began, I do confess that I made a few minor mistakes, but the Duke never once blamed me and instead I excelled so well that it was announced after only a month in the post that I was to be promoted to the position of ladies maid to no other personage than the Duchess herself.

Again though, this was a job that required much training, not only in actions but also in appearance. Her Ladyship decreed that all her servants be laced to no more than twenty inches and so I had to undergo some waist training as well as get used to the high heels of three inches that were also standard with the job. However, once these had been mastered, I began in my new role.

Seeing to the Duchess was much harder than serving at the table, (though the pay was five times the amount), as being a Lady of Leisure she could do virtually nothing herself, and furthermore, I had virtually no social interaction with her, (as Ladies of Leisure are no supposed to converse with servants), unlike with his Lordship who often used to chat with me. On top of this, she did not seem to appreciate my presence which I supposed was due to my inexperience and so I endeavoured to win her over by performing the very best that I could.

Every morning I woke her, bathed her and toileted her. It was strange and not pleasant wiping the bottom of a grand lady, but she seemed to accept with an air of indifference. Worse things were to come though, for I would also administer her enemas and help lace her to a frightening size of but fourteen inches, and then bind her arms in the incredibly painful-looking reverse-prayer position, so that they sat elegantly above her enormous bustle. I also fed her three meals a day and helped her sit and stand. To be fair, despite her coldness to me and her great status, I actually pitied the Duchess considerably, for she was a sorry soul indeed, sitting bored most days, unable even to wipe her own nose or brush a tear from her eye and having no one to talk with save her husband who was often in London or out on business or hunting. Little did I know however, what was in store.

Things changed all of a sudden when, after about four months in the post, her Ladyship got ill and the doctor was called. He was a middle-aged and quite effeminate man who hardly noticed me as he diagnosed her malady as the flue and recommended several months in the Italian sunshine. That was that and the following Monday her Ladyship left with another maid to keep her company, and I was at a loose end or so I thought. Then, on the Thursday, I was called into the Duke’s study and to my astonishment, the doctor was there and he explained, without hardly looking at me, that I had captured his heart when he had attended to Her Ladyship and that he had inquired of His Lordship who had informed him that I was single, and therefore I had come to ask my hand in marriage!

Well, what could I do? I told them of course that my father must have the final say in anything, but His Lordship assured me that he had already ridden over and asked and that my father was delighted, especially since the doctor was offering a sum of £20,000 to support my family, a sum that His Lordship had generously agreed to double. Well, it all seemed a fait accompli and whilst I felt nothing for this doctor, I knew that I had to accept for the sake of my brothers and sisters. However, I did point out that despite the generous offers of both the duke and the doctor, my parents relied on the wages that I sent home and I feared that if I were married I would be unable to work and support them monthly. To my surprise though, His Lordship said that he understood this entirely and that he and the doctor had talked the matter over and that whilst it was not usual for a doctor’s wife to go out to work, I was a special case and thus I would be allowed to continue to work at the hall. However, in light of my new status as the wife of a professional man, continuing as a maid would be unsuitable and so it was decided that I would become the Companion of Her Ladyship, a position that did need to be filled as the doctor had decreed that one of the causes of Her Ladyship’s ill-health was a lack of refined conversation. However, to fulfil that role I would require some training and so the doctor had agreed that I be sent away to a training school for six months and that he put off the wedding until I had completed my studies. And so it was that I agreed, gave my future spouse a peck on the cheek and then packed my bags and went off to study.

My studies were at an institution named Miss Grice’s Academy for Ladies Companions and they were far from pleasant. Much time was spent getting used to the clothing that I now had to wear which was similar to that of Her Ladyship only much plainer of course. I must confess that I found it hard to walk in ballet heels and move with my arms bound and I detested the insertion of a fleur de bouche in my mouth and the tightening of my stays to an excruciating fifteen inches, (they had to be tight, but not to eclipse those of my mistress). However, complete them I did and then I returned home to marry my husband in a quiet ceremony in the parish church attended only by my parents, His Lordship and the priest. Even then though, I do confess to you now that I had no inkling of the true nature of their scheming.

All was revealed however, that night, the very night that should be the happiest of a woman’s life. I was taken to my chamber and undressed by my maid so that my husband could receive me. Within an hour he arrived, but too my surprise seemed devoid of either passion and happiness. I tried to excite him but nothing worked and he just sat miserably on the end of the bed. Misunderstanding, I tried to comfort him, but then it was he who burst into tears and explained all. “My dear wife, for that is what I must call you now, I am sorry, so sorry, but you have been cruelly deceived and I am a part in it. You seem a nice girl and I wish that I could love you as a husband should, but alas, it cannot be, for I never have loved you or found you attractive, though that is not your fault. I am a sorry thing indeed you see, for my inclinations lie not with women but with men and I am already married – in my heart – to the butler, Mr. Greaves. It is not I that has had my heart captured by your beauty and grace, Melissa, but instead the Duke, a fine man, but alas also a married one. When he first saw you as a girl, you enraptured him and all of this, your job as a maid, then a ladies maid, now as a Companion and my wife are all just a ploy so that he can be with you respectably in the eyes of the world. You are destined to be married, Melissa, but not lawfully and not to me but him. I do like you and wish to be freinds with you, but naught more can we ever be. So please, forgive me and lie back, for within a quarter hour His Lordship will be hear and your duty is to pleasure him as you had imagined you would me. Goodnight and forgive me, Melissa.”

And so it was, that within the quarter hour His Lordship came and used me. Then my life as a Companion began and I understood why Her Ladyship had always treated me coldly. When she returned from Italy daily we sat, be it in the house or the garden, restrained and more often than not, muted, two dolls for him to play with. Sometimes she would be upended and used, other times I, often both of us at the same time, particularly when he had his friend, Charles Stanley around. She hated me as I was taking what was hers, yet I never asked for it and never wished to hurt her. Mind you, I will confess to enjoying it at times, but that is by the by, immorality should never be enjoyed and I ask the Lord daily to expel such devilish notions from my mind…’”

Miss Garner stopped and looked around the room. “I shall cease reading at that point, for what is relevant to us has been told and the remainder is more an exploration of Mrs. Lockhart’s intense, yet somewhat dulling, religious beliefs. What matters to us however, is as follows. Firstly, men get bored of their ladies after a while and look elsewhere. Secondly, they generally seek solace in a Ladies Companion whom you have to live with daily, almost as a second wife. Thirdly, Ladies Companions rarely choose to be such.

That men seek alternative partners is not something that you can do anything about so do not try to. That they seek solace in Ladies Companions is also not something that you can change. You can however, do something about your relationship with these unfortunate – and yes, I must emphasise that, unfortunate – individuals. In my opinion, the Duchess of Sutherland acted wrongly in the case of Melissa Lockhart. She shunned her from the word go and made both her life and that of the companion, a misery. My advice to you girls, is to embrace these Companions and treat them as companions instead. They cannot help their predicament but you can use them as friends and believe me, a friend is something that you often need as a Lady of Leisure. Indeed, treating them as such can even help your lot in other ways. What if your husband prefers his new-found lover and if she complains of your treatment to her, do you think that he will treat you kindly for it? No, not indeed, he will torture you in ways that only a husband can. Yes, you are superior to these girls, and that must never be forgotten, but they hold power too and you cannot give them cause to use it.

And besides, it is not all so negative and political. Have you not noticed that I have encouraged you all to have a friend and to be intimate with that friend whilst here at this school? Well, that was done for a special reason, for intimacy between two women can be an amazing thing, for we women understand each other’s bodies better than a man ever can, and besides, men like to watch two beautiful women enjoying each other’s company. So, my advice is to be friendly and love your Companion from the moment that you meet her. Pity her a little, make her know who is boss too, but also act as an older sister, (for invariably they are much younger than you are), and teach her, teach her pleasure and satisfaction, for any gift that you give, you shall receive a thousand fold, I promise. Now girls, that is all for today, you may retire to your rooms with your special friends where your maids will undress you and you may think of practicing some of the things that I have talked to you about today. Class dismissed!”

And dismissed it indeed was, with Anne glancing at Clare Hawkins and winking. British society truly was quite different under the surface that she had ever expected. But oh, if she could have a Companion such as Clare, then truly life could be quite enjoyable, quite enjoyable indeed…

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

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Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

The Tale of Anastasia: Part 5

Links to all parts of the story:

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Part 3

Part 4

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Part 7

Part 8

 

Chapter 9

Coming home at Christmas was definitely more special in Britain than the Soviet Union. Although there was time off school in Moskva, no one really celebrated Christmas anymore since they weren’t religious, but here the whole country was excited, with a massive tree dominating the entrance hall at Kedleston. Anne accepted the bows and curtsies of the servants as she arrived and then greeted her family. She was so happy to see her mother and siblings again, and even Lord Robert, but straight away she knew that something was amiss, for Charity was not present. She would have asked, but of course, ladies do not ask things, particularly when they have a fleur de bouche in their mouths. And so it was that she was left in suspense until Lord Robert mentioned at dinner that evening, “And you’ll be pleased to learn, Anne, that your cousin Charity will be returning to us on Christmas Eve.”

Anne looked at her step-father quizzically in the manner that she had been taught by Miss Simpson. He caught the glance and asked, “Are you aware of where your cousin is, Anne?”

Anne shook her head.

“Oh, I do apologise, I thought you knew. Charity is currently at the South London Hospital for Women where she is undergoing the first set of enhancements as decreed by her fiancé in preparation for marriage. We were quite surprised at the dimensions that he stated, somewhat above the standard requirements, but then a man is master in his own house. That is why she is starting so early, so that come next September, everything shall be perfect.”

Anne did not have a clue what her step-father was talking about. She had heard ‘enhancements’ mentioned a number of times by people as some sort of precursor to marriage, but she had no idea what was meant by the term. That evening however, after dinner, she was allowed to sit with Hope for an hour in the Children’s Sitting Room without her fleur de bouche and so she used the opportunity to find out.

“Has nobody told you about Enhancements yet? We learnt about them at school last year; every girl – or at least most girls – must have them before they get married. Certainly Ladies of Leisure nearly always have them.”

“But what are they?”

“Well, they are our titties and bottoms and sometimes other bits too. You see, we are born with all these things, they are our gift from God but when we marry we should be special for our husbands, so our fiancés will say how they want us to be made more beautiful and special for them. It’s an act of supreme love my teacher said, whatever that means. Because our husbands love us so much they want us to be perfect and that means having large titties that are perfectly round and do not droop and a large rounded bottom too and maybe big lips as well or something.”

“So you are saying they alter our bodies?!”

“Yes, of course! We go to the hospital and the doctors make us more beautiful. When a girl gets engaged her fiancé presents his specifications – that’s how big he wants everything to be – to his fiancée’s father and between then and the marriage she goes to hospital. Normally it’s about a month before but with Charity she has to go three times papa said so the first visit is now.”

“Why does she have to go three times?”

“Because her fiancé wants very big enhancements made. Papa was quite shocked when he read the specifications – said some might be difficult for her – but since he has asked for them they have to be done. Her titties are going to be huge after the third visit I have heard, like those balls you play with on the beach as a child, and her bottom too. Also he wants something doing to her lips and her nose and lots of other things. I said to Charity that I wouldn’t be able to recognise her at the end. She was quite upset actually when Papa told her about it all, but she has no choice and I told her that it would be fun to have enormous titties but I only said it to cheer her up; I would only want standard Lady titties which are as big as watermelons.”

On Christmas Eve Charity did arrive back from the hospital and all the family were a little shocked even though they didn’t say so. Her breasts were noticeably larger and from what was said – although of course, under her skirts it could not be seen – her bottom was too. What was most disconcerting however, was a pair of enormous, pouting, luscious, red lips that had been grafted onto her face, obliterating her sweet smile completely. Anne was shocked that such a thing could be done to a woman without her having any say in it, and her feelings were only compounded when, after dinner, she sat with her half-sister in the Children’s Sitting Room and Charity spoke of her experiences.

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“I have never experienced anything like it. They are very good of course, and professional, but even so I must confess to being scared and crying a little. When you enter the doctor explains fully what he will do and then you are put to sleep. I was under the anaesthetic for over a day and when I awoke I felt most drowsy and muddle-headed. However, what struck me most was the aches all over my body, which was largely covered in bandages. I remained bedridden and bandaged for some days and then they were removed, although I am sorry to say that the sight was not a pretty one as the operations cause much bruising. My lips were incredibly puffed up, so much so that I couldn’t really speak or close them, although the doctor says that when I have been enhanced to the final specifications of my beloved, then they will be somewhat similar which worries me although I am of course happy to become as he desires. When I at last got up I had much trouble walking, partially because my muscles had weakened somewhat due to a lack of use but also because with these new breast… they are so large and heavy, they weigh me down and I must hold myself differently to walk. The strain causes me back pain and I fear for when they are further enlarged, but Mama assures me that special corsets will help me to cope. It is a burden being beautiful, but to please my fiancé, then it is worth it of course…”

All the girls nodded as they should, but Anne looked into her half-sister’s eyes and saw a different story to the one that her inflated lips told.

Christmas at Kedleston was a delight. They attended Midnight Mass by candlelight and had a wonderful meal of turkey and trimmings on Christmas Day itself. This was followed by presents and Anne found herself showered with new and expensive dresses, perfumes and glittering jewellery. She felt so happy that she would have liked to hug all present, but bound and silenced as she was, such was an impossibility. To make things even better, it snowed and the only blot on the whole experience was when Earl Stephen came to call on Boxing Day and, after admiring his fiancée’s enormous new lips and breasts, (and joking about how he couldn’t wait to view the other changes also, causing his shy bride-to-be to blush), he moved over to her sisters, remarked how much finer Miss Anne was looking these days, circled her waist with his hands and gave her a peck on the cheek and a wink. Anne felt sick and once again, thanked God that it was Charity and not herself who was to be wed to such a wretch.

All good things must come to an end though and within a couple of weeks Anne found herself back in the car travelling to Nottingham and the beginning of her new term at Miss Garner’s. Whilst she had enjoyed Christmas however, she did look forward to seeing her darling Clare again and going round to Capt. Hope’s for a friendly chat after her lesson.

The Spring Term at Miss Garner’s was centred around preparing for the Easter Ball and the attraction of a suitable spouse there. Waist training was now much more difficult since all the easy reductions had been made and each quarter of an inch now came with an immense effort. However, by the end of February Anne had reached the decreed fourteen inches and then work was concentrated on her stem which reached its required length a month later. Moving and living in this corset was a constant trial: Anne ate virtually nothing and was continually short of breath and light-headed. What was most distressing however, was that she knew that this corset – or at least one of these dimensions – was what she would be wearing for the rest of her life. The thought was a sobering one indeed, particularly for a girl used to physical activity, and her only consolation was that all the other pupils were in the same boat.

A new subject introduced specifically for the Ball was Dance. For this, thankfully, lower shoes, (heels a paltry four inches high!), and dresses with unbound arms (!) were worn and all the girls were instructed in steps by their teachers who, dressed rather unnervingly in male outfits, took the parts of their future suitors. Anne, who had a natural grace and rhythm, enjoyed these sessions and soon became the best pupil in the school.

More difficult were the afternoons spent bound and muted discussing ball gowns with Monsieur Saint Laurent who showed pictures, suggested alterations and additions to which she had to respond with either a nod or shake of the head. After a week of intense design sessions however, a dress was decided, an enormous creation supported by a huge crinoline, (fashionable for ballrooms apparently, but not outside them), in sky-blue satin, off-the-shoulder, decorated with large bows and roses and incorporating a high choker.

The dress decided, then it was her hair and make-up, every aspect gone into in the minutest detail, and once those were attended to, perfume. Once that was done, a date was set in March, (the day after her final corset could be completely closed), for Anne to attend a top photographic studio for a couple of days. There she was dressed ina variety of outfits and photographed before finally being laced into her magnificent ball gown and snapped in all her glory. At that moment Anne truly did feel like a real lady and was glad to be female and feminine. Thinking back on it that night in bed, she realised that a year ago her reaction would have been much different.

The pictures were for Anne’s booklet, a glossy publication detailing everything about her. When Anne was handed the finished article she felt somewhat surprised and almost hurt, as if her privacy had been invaded. In it a run-down of her life was written, including childhood pictures of her in Moskva and the photographs that Monsioeur Saint-Laurent had taken in London of her in her Soviet uniform and – worse still – of her in her underwear. One page gave a full measurements of every aspect of her body, (corseted and uncorsetted), which Anne suspected was for the purpose of future ‘Enhancements’, (a word that made Anne shudder with remembrance of her mutilated half-sister). Then there was her testimony, a brief description of her interests and feelings and what she looked for in a man. Since she had not written a word of it herself, (although it was signed off with her signature), she read it with interest. It was putrid stuff – ‘I want a man who will look after me and care for me, a noble spirit and protector’ – but Miss Garner explained that these pieces were standard for everyone and should not be taken too seriously.

But with the booklet, all was done and what was a girl to do but wait and worry? Wait for that magical evening, in the grand ballroom of the City Hall when she would twirl around the marble floor under the light of a thousand candles, supported by the arms of England’s most eligible bachelors.

And worry as to who – if anyone – would choose her, as to whether he would be leery like the Earl of Stafford, as to whether she would be enhanced so hideously like Charity so that she ceased to be a beautiful young woman and became instead a parody of beauty, a cartoon caricature, a sexual plaything, a toy, not a human being…

Chapter 10

At last the big day arrived! Anne was woken up early by Perkins, fed and then given a long and luxurious bath. As one would expect, there were no lessons that day for with all the preparations, there would be no time for them. After bathing, the first item to fit was underwear. Due to the fact that the dress was so large and there were no female toilets at the City Hall, it was decreed that all the girls must wear nappies like a baby followed by no less than three pairs of rubber pants, (the last pair reaching to just above her knees), to ensure that no liquid or odours escaped. Anne felt strange wearing nappies like a baby, particularly as they and the rubber pants caused her to waddle somewhat and gave the impression of her bottom being several sizes larger than it actually was. The lacing started mid-morning and by noon Anne was down to the required size and breathing regularly. She had only fainted away twice! Then came the petticoats, the crinoline and the dress itself. The fitting took several hours, for after it was on and laced up, hundreds were of roses were pinned on by hand. After that it was her hair, perfume and make-up and by six o’ clock she was ready. Then there was time for a small sandwich and glass of wine which filled her completely and caused her to feel light-headed before heading down to the entrance hall to meet the other girls.

The sight in that room was a joy to behold; a gathering of virginal beauty clad in the finest of gowns. All the girls looked magnificent and Anne was sure that by the end of the evening all would have won admirers. Only Oksana was absent, she having found a fiancé already, though even she would be having an enjoyable evening, for her beau had arrived in the city and was taking her out to the theatre.

Then the cars arrived and in twos, (for that is all each car would fit), they left the school and rode to the City Hall. Anne travelled with Clare and beamed with joy at her friend as they rumbled through the streets of Nottingham. Once at the City Hall they alighted to be met by a crowd of interested onlookers from the lower classes, for the Easter Ball of Miss Garner’s Institute was one of the major social events of the year and everybody liked to have a glimpse at the girls who would be gracing the pages of Vanity Fair and Nobility in years to come, and indeed photographers and reporters from those two esteemed publications were there also to snap and chat to the giggling girls.

Once inside however, with the hoi polloi gone, the atmosphere changed to one of refinement and class. The ballroom itself was incredible, huge with enormous crystal chandeliers, its walls lined with fine oil paintings and the noblest bachelors in all England. They stood quaffing wine and admiring the arriving belles and weighing up in their minds which would be best as a future life partner, whilst the girls casually eyed them up likewise and wondered in their minds what kinds of husbands they would make.

And then the music started! A waltz! Anne looked at her card and saw that she was booked to dance with the Marquis of Suffolk. Within a minute that man, a rather disappointing balding gent of around thirty-five with a large wart on his cheek came bounding over and took her hand and waist. Handsome he may not have been, but dance he certainly could, and as he spun her around the marble floor Anne felt more feminine and special than ever she had before in her short life.

After that it became a blur; the Marquis of Exeter, Viscount Lisle, the Earl of Essex, the Duke of Norfolk, Baron Monatgue, and many more, all a blur of ecstasy as she whirled round that room like a princess, held fast in the arms of a prince, a glowing example of beauty and elegance, a thousand versts away from a Soviet girl whose goal in life were a university degree and a career in the Red Army…

The weeks that followed the Easter Ball were terrible. Lessons resumed, but nobody paid any attention to them; they simply could not! Instead each girl was thinking only of the post which arrived twice daily, at seven in the morning and one in the afternoon.1 Who would propose? Would anyone propose?! How many? When, oh, when?! Slowly, after a week or so, the letters began to trickle in. They all followed the same formula:

Dear Miss X,

The Honorable Y would like to propose that his life be united with your own under the auspices of the Holy Church. Please accept this lock of hair as a token of my unending affection and consider my proposal with all your heart.

Not that the girls could consider at all. The letters that they received were all simply matters of protocol; it was the copies of them sent to the girls’ fathers that really counted, but even so it was nice to see the names in print and dream.

Anne received four proposals in all, including one from the balding Marquis of Suffolk which she dearly hoped Lord Curzon would reject. Miss Garner was extremely proud of this tally, the third-highest in the school, as she had feared that Anne’s foreign roots may have caused more problems and she put the fact that they had not down to her excellent tutelage. Anne however, didn’t care, just so long as her future husband was kind and caring and not a jot like the monstrous Earl of Stafford who was turning her half-sister into a balloon-breasted swollen-lipped freak as they sat there. She looked at the names – the Duke of Norfolk, Baron Montague, the Marquis of Suffolk and Baron Grey of Codnor – but aside from the Marquis, she could recall nothing distinct about any of them and besides, how could one form an impression of a man’s character based on a twirl around the dance floor? And so she waited and whilst she did comforted Clare who had only received one proposal, though it did come from a young and respectable Earl.2

Then at last did it come, the letter that she had so waited for. I shall display it in its entirety:

My dearest, darling Anne,

I am so overwhelmed with joy that you have accepted my offer of marriage. From the moment that I set eyes on you I have been in love and to dance with you at the ball was magical. I have spoken with your uncle and he has agreed and so we have set the date of our engagement as the 12th June. I count the days until I see you again on that joyous day!

Yours in everlasting adoration,

Richard Plantagenet, Duke of Norwich3

1 The idea of two postal deliveries a day is a peculiarly British one and persisted in our own world until very recently when it was decided to cut them down to one in the name of cost. A lamentable retreat from the eccentricity that defines the British and one that I hope has not been matched in Anne’s world.

2 One assumes that Clare Hawkins’ lack of success was due to her father’s wealth being made in manufacturing, not inherited.

3 In our world the Plantagenet’s were indeed the Dukes of Norwich but the line became extinct in 1483 as a result of the Wars of the Roses. One may therefore assume that either the Wars of the Roses never happened in Anne’s world or that the Plantagenet’s beat the Tudors.

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

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Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

The Tale of Anastasia: Part 4

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Part 7

Part 8

Chapter 7

A week after her summons to the Headmistress’ office, Anne was surprised when, on the Sunday following lunch, instead of retiring to the sitting room to read, Perkins put her walking bonnet and fleur de bouche on and led her out to a waiting car. She tried to ask using her eyes as she had been taught to and evidently she had learnt well for her maid caught her glance and once they were seated inside, explained.

“At Miss Garner’s Institute it is common for the pupils to visit elderly members of the community – respectable members – so as to provide them with a little refined company on the Lord’s Day and also to the pupils themselves get used to socialising. Today we are visiting Capt. Hope whom has been assigned as your elderly companion. He is a former naval officer of sixty-four years who had to retire due to a leg injury. Not only has he had to suffer that, but also his wife died of influenza some six years ago and so he is now very much alone. Your visit should provide him with some joy.”

Upon arrival at Capt. Hope’s townhouse, a maid opened the door and directed them into the sitting room where the captain, a jovial looking fellow with a large grey beard and twinkling eyes sat by the fire which was roaring brightly despite the fact that it was a warm day outside. “Greetings! Greetings! So you are the new girl from Miss Garner’s then? How wonderful to have you in my home. And what is your name, Miss?”

“Her name is Miss Anne Curzon,” replied Perkins.

“Wonderful, wonderful! I do so enjoy having you girls pop round and see me. I’ve been quite lonely you know ever since young Clarissa got married, but it was a wonderful wedding, it truly was and she looked so lovely in her gown. Now Miss Curzon, would you like some tea?”

“She would love some, Captain.”

“Excellent! Martha, tea for three please. Now, please, tell me all about yourself, Miss Curzon.”

“My mistress is sixteen years old, Captain and she is the ward of Lord Curzon of Kedleston. Her heritage however, is quite interesting, as she lived for many years in Russia before coming here. Her father you see, was a diplomat in the city of Moskva.”

“Russia, or should I say the Soviet Union? Indeed, a fine country, very modern. I was there several times, though only to Leningrad, never Moskva. A beautiful city though, the Hermitage is a remarkable museum. Ah, here is the tea!”

From the outset Anne liked Capt. Hope. He was a friendly man with a kind smile and she was pleased to meet someone else who had been to her country. If only she could speak to him! Alas of course, her fleur de bouche prevented that, and it would be impolite to speak when it was removed for tea drinking. Anne resigned herself to letting Perkins speak for her.

They sat and drank tea whilst Perkins made some general chit-chat and Capt. Hope enquired how Anne was liking Miss Garner’s. Then, after he had drank half a cup, the captain excused himself and left the room. Immediately, Perkins came over to her and whispered in her ear, “I shall be leaving myself for a while now Miss. Whatever he does, do not be alarmed, it is as it should be.” These words mystified Anne somewhat and she was wondering what they could mean when Capt. Hope returned, beaming as before and Perkins stood up. “Captain, I do apologise but there is an errand that I have to do; Miss Curzon here has a new set of stays waiting at the post office and I must collect it. Would you mind awfully if I left?”

“Not at all, not at all. We can stay here and chat about Leningrad and Moskva can’t we Miss Curzon?”

Now Anne really was confused! She knew nothing about a new pair of stays, (although to be fair, she was rarely informed about things concerning her these days), but what she did know was that the post office was shut on Sundays! Why was Perkins leaving?

Whatever the reason, leave she did and Anne found herself alone with Capt. Hope who was still beaming and sipping his tea. Once she had left though he changed his countenance to a more serious one, and moved nearer to Anne. “Now Miss Curzon, I am sure that your servant’s excuse has not fooled you, particularly since the post offices are closed on a Sunday in this country, (although not in the USSR I seem to recall), but do not fear, it was all for a reason that is to your benefit. You see, the thing is, you were not brought here merely to keep an old man company, although I must say your presence is charming, but instead, to help with your education. Now, I am about to do something, do not be alarmed. Are you sure that you will not be startled, Miss Curzon?”

As her mouth was filled with the fleur de bouche, Anne could merely nod, and that action too was slight due to her neck corset.

“Right, now, have you seen one of these before?” And to her shock the captain undid his trousers and pulled out his manhood and waved it in front of her. Anne gasped but then, remembering her promise, nodded. “Good, now that is a start, as many girls have not you know and are quite overcome at the first sight. In the USSR though, I appreciate that things are quite different and so I suppose that it is there that you… observed…?” Anne nodded slowly. “I see. Now, would you mind if I removed your fleur de bouche?” Anne shook her head and the captain removed it with a smile. “Excellent, things are moving well. Do you know what, we don’t often get to this stage by even the second visit with many girls; Clarissa took a month. Now Miss Curzon, I am sure that you are quite confused by all this, so would you like to ask me any questions?”

“Captain, sir… you have done this before… to young ladies?”

“Ever since my wife died six years I have been dfoing this every Sunday to young ladies from Miss Garner’s. We must never talk of it of course, not even to your maid and certainly not to your husband, but Miss Garner knows and promotes it. You see, she needs her pupils to learn certain skills which can only be learnt well first hand, whilst I, well, after my dear Prudence died, I fell into quite a state of depression and when I went to see the physician about it, he said that it was due to a build up of sexual fluids in my body and that I required regular release for the state of my health. And so we have a situation that suits us all, I teach you, you help me keep my health and the reputation of Miss Garner’s Institute remains high.”

“So are you saying that you have… sex with girls…?”

“Not exactly, no for that is impossible due to your chastity belts, and besides, it is immoral also. No, what I do is teach the young ladies how to pleasure their future husbands with their mouths and hands, although as you are bound today, then the latter will have to wait. Now, would you be willing to take my member in your mouth, Miss Curzon?”

“I do not know Captain, I have never done such a thing before…”

“That is fine, this must be done in your own time. Whenever you are comfortable. I can sit here and wait and whilst we wait we shall talk. So, tell me about life in Moskva then…”

Anne started to tell the captain all about her life in the USSR and he did seem genuinely interested, but it was most off-putting with him sat there with his penis hanging out and so in the end she stopped the conversation and said, “I should like to try, Captain.”

And so it was that he came over and placed it in her mouth. It was hard and had a slight salty taste to it, but it smelt alright and it was obvious that the Captain was a most hygienic man indeed. “Try sucking it a little,” he said. She did so and it stiffened further. “Try using your tongue, Miss Curzon,” advised Capt. Hope. This she did and was beginning to get into the rhythm when there was a knock on the door. “Your maid has returned,” he announced, withdrawing his tool and fastening his trousers up again, before replacing the fleur de bouche in her mouth. “Miss Curzon, you have made an excellent start indeed, really good. You can be proud of yourself; it took Clarissa over a month to achieve such results. Well done!”

There was aknock on the door and the Captain said, “Enter!” Perkins walked in. “Oh Capt. Hope, sir, I’m so sorry, but I completely forgot, the post office is closed on a Sunday isn’t it? I do hope that you weren’t bored here all alone with my mistress?”

“Not at all, not at all, Miss Curzon is quite satisfactory company indeed. However, I fear that it is time for her to leave now.”

“Yes, that it is Captain, sir. We’ll be off now but seeing you again next week, like.”

“I shall count the days. Good day to you, Miss Curzon.”

Anne curtseyed and left the house, still a little shocked at the difference between the public face and private reality in English aristocratic life.

Chapter 8

The visits to Capt. Hope on a Sunday afternoon became a regular part of Anne’s weekly routine. On the second week Perkin’s informed them that her sister who lived in the city was ill and would it be alright if she visited her to provide “a modicum of Christian comfort?” Capt. Hope of course agreed and this time Anne had a little longer with the old seaman and she managed to make him cum in her mouth although she did not manage to do it quickly or to swallow it. The Captain told her that these results would come in time and indeed they did. After the act though he sat her on his knee, and let her chat to him without the impediment of her fleur de bouche, whilst he gave her lessons from his vast life experience. Very soon she began to look forward to those Sabbath meetings regularly, as Capt. Hope was such a jolly old man, like the grandfather that she’d never had and he was an excellent and patient teacher besides. Lovingly he would stroke her hair whilst he explained how to improve her technique and when, after she had mastered the basics of oral stimulation and Perkins dressed her in a dress with unbound arms so that she could learn the art of manual stimulation, he would hold her hand afterwards as she sat on his knee, not replacing her locking muff until Perkins knocked on the door following her visit to her perennially-ill sister.

Life in the school also began to change in the months that followed her introduction to Capt. Hope. Her Diction and Deportment were declared ‘adequate’ and both she and Oksana were moved into the main class with the other girls. This was much less tedious and far more enjoyable as they learnt such things as polite conversation, the Classics, Shakespeare and Art History. Miss Garner explained that in other schools girls were not taught anything academic as their role in life was not to be clever but merely ornamental, but she believed in a different ethos. “After all,” she explained to her pupils one morning, “how many men tire of their women once their beauty starts to fade or get frustrated with them when they are travelling in Greece or Italy and all the girl can comment on is that those ancient ruins are ‘pretty’. Whilst they will never admit it, men need some intellectual stimulation as well as the sexual and emotive from their spouses and thus it is that here you shall learn all that you need to know on Art, Music, Theatre, Literature, History and Sport. Never try to dazzle your husbands with what you have learnt, always make sure that they are more knowledgeable than you, but woo them with it and bind them closer to you by it.”

This ethos was one that Anne wholeheartedly concurred with and she loved her lessons in Ancient History and Literature whilst he heart soared when they visited the theatre or a renowned violinist came into the school for a recital. Even in Moskva, with the world-class Bolshoi, she had never been able to indulge in the Arts as wholly as she could at Miss Garner’s – something practical always interfered – but here, hampered as she was by her clothing to do anything else, she immersed herself in them and emerged most refreshed.

In her lessons she also got to know her fellow students better for at certain periods they were allowed to sit and chatter without the impediment of their fleurs de bouche. Slowly Anne became friendly with Cecilia, the chestnut-haired daughter of Baron Mowbray, Camilla Stanley, daughter of the Prime Minister, the Earl of Derby, Susan Arrowsmith, daughter of the Bishop of Durham and Heather Graham, daughter of the Marquess of Montrose. Best of all though was Clare Hawkins, the daughter of Albert Hawkins, the great Manchester industrialist who mills and pottery banks generated more wealth than ten Earldoms. Generally those not of the gentry were not admitted into Miss Garner’s but Hawkins had paid a fortune as he wanted his daughter to marry a peer and so she had got in as an exception. Immediately Anne was drawn to her as, like herself, she was something of an outsider, but mostly because she had the sweetest, kindest heart that Anne had ever known and her bright blue eyes, framed by her blonde curls were a pleasure to behold. Within days the two had become soul mates, telling each other every little detail of their lives and whenever the girls were asked to work in pairs, Anne always chose Clare. This was to Miss Garner’s liking too, as Anne was much more able academically and so could help Sarah to learn some of the subjects that she struggled with whilst Clare excelled in Deportment and Etiquette and could help the inexperienced and often unsteady Anne.

One lesson that the girls particularly enjoyed was that of Intimacy. Every so often the pupils would be paired off and Miss Garner would instruct them on how one should be intimate with one’s husband, practicing of course on one’s partner. You might think that being intimate is virtually impossible when one is laced into an enormous dress with one’s arms disabled, but even so, one can still kiss and this is what they would do. From a simple peck on the cheek and brush on the cheek to lengthy and stirring kisses using tongues, Miss Garner would instruct the girls on how to perfect the Art of the Kiss. Anne always enjoyed kissing Clare and when it came to a deep, loving kiss she felt such a desire in her nether regions that she almost fainted. Miss Garner explained that this was quite usual and indeed, even desirable and their effort was declared the best of the class and they had to repeat for the others to observe; an experience that neither girl resented.

Whilst all this was going on, Anne’s costume was gradually getting more extreme in preparation for the big day of the Easter Ball. Miss Garner had explained in her induction into the school that for the Ball a minimum waist of fifteen inches was stipulated, but that in her opinion fourteen inches was not beyond the reach of Anne. And so it was that weekly Anne’s waist was reduced until she could hardly feel it at times and often fainted from the slightest exertion. When she eventually did reach fifteen inches in November, things were compounded by the fact that Miss Garner then decreed that she attain a stem waist of a couple of inches which basically entailed stretching her torso somewhat on the lacing bar so that she could wear a corset with an in-built circular metal belt in it that gave her waist an unusual and elegant shape. Unusual and elegant it may have been, but alas, it was also very painful and caused her to lose much feeling below the waist. She confided these woes to Clare who confessed that she was much the same, and that for her a final waist circumference of thirteen and a half inches had been decreed, but with a stem of no less than three inches. Neither of the girls could decide who was worse off.

As well as the waist, Anne’s neck also came in for a rough time. Miss Garner had given them a lecture one afternoon on future fashions and announced that it was predicted that over the coming five years, “Necks will get longer whilst skirts will get more bunched at the rear, leading perhaps to a re-emergence of the bustle.” Following this prediction, (Anne did not know where Miss Garner divined her ideas from although as the years passed, they proved to be accurate divinations), the girls all began to receive training in the use and wearing of bustles and also extra attention given to their necks which meant having them stretched to the maximum and laced into longer neck corsets than before which left them staring at the ceiling, rasping for breath.

And with different fashions come differing arm restraints. Miss Garner explained that the enormous gigot sleeves disguising folded arms was just one way of restraining the arms and over the years past and to come, many more had or would be used, often in ways that gloried in the restriction of the wearer rather than tried to hide it. The most common was that pioneered by the great Duchess of Hamilton herself, the monoglove whereby the arms are held, ramrod-straight, pinned behind the back in a most graceful yet tiring position. Thus it was that all the ladies were expected to spend two afternoons a week bound in such a glove, reading or listening to a musical recital. At first Anne hated it, but gradually she found it a welcome change from the gigot sleeves. It was interesting – yet infuriating also – that in these gloves, tailor-made for each wearer as they were, that even the fingers could not be bent, pinned as they were against each other, splayed out in all their glory. The restriction was total, which made Anne hate it yet at the same time it excited her which was disturbing. Why should restriction be exciting, even something that one looks forward to? One afternoon she went so far as to put the question to the Headmistress.

“Miss Curzon, you cite an excellent point, and one that is passed over in most establishments. A foreign observer views the restriction under which a Lady of Leisure conducts her life and pities her, concluding that she is miserable, and oppressed by her sadistic and controlling spouse. How wrong they are! Yes indeed, many a man has admired and been excited by restraining a woman, it is a natural impulse, yet too many a woman has yearned for it and sought it. Perhaps the most representative heroine of this English ideal is Mrs. Grace Attenborough of whom the wags said, “By day all holy, by night all whore!” By that it was not meant that she ever sought pleasure outside of the marriage bed of course, for if she had done, she would not be a heroine to us. No, what it referred to was an attitude that differed greatly between the public and the private. Mrs. Attenborough was a woman of great intellect, wit and sanctity. She attended church daily and held salons in her house where the most pressing political issues and latest art trends were discussed. The number of distinguished personages who attended those salons was endless, from the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Castlereagh, to the poet Wordsworth and the painter Turner. All was in excellent taste, all was beautiful and all was refined. However, every evening at eight she would make her excuses and retire, whereupon in her room she would order her maid to strip her naked, bathe, and then have herself laced in to the utmost degree – thirteen inches it was said. She would then have her legs bound so that the toes pressed against the buttocks and then have an enormous gag inserted into her mouth. Then she would decree that her arms be bound in the most difficult manner of all, the elegant yet painful ‘reverse prayer’ position and then she would order the maid to toss a coin. If the coin fell on heads, she would have the maid arrange her on the bed so that her vagina was on full view and easy to access and thereupon the girl would paint with make-up lips upon the vagina so as to make it all the more appealing. If the coin landed on tails however, she would be propped up with her buttocks in the air and her anal hole similarly decorated. And then she would wait – never for long I suspect – for her husband to come and take his pleasure. Can you see girls how she completely encapsulated the ideal of a lady. Outwardly, all propriety and elegance, yet privately, whilst sensual, never sinful. Mrs. Attenborough was educated and intelligent, witty and urbane, yet in private she would submit to the greatest restraints, yet at the same time, in a fashion, never totally submit. After all, it was her – or the coin – that decreed in which manner her husband would take his pleasure and she decided the posture in which she was tied. He had no say in any of it and not once did he ever try to have a say. By submitting, she dictated. Let her be a lesson and an inspiration to you all; you could do far worse than follow the example of Grace Attenborough.”1

Grace Attenborough’s reverse-prayer position was the next one in which the ladies were introduced to and like Miss Garner had said, it was the most difficult of all to obtain and when obtained, came with much discomfort. In the reverse-prayer position, as the names suggests, one’s hands are placed as they would be in prayer except behind, rather than in front of the torso. This however, was only the first part of achieving a ‘perfect’ reverse-prayer posture, (as Miss Garner termed it). After that the arms had to be slowly drawn together, (a process done in stages over several weeks), until the elbows touched and they could be encased in a single kid leather gloves similar to the monoglove. The result was incredibly compact and elegant, particularly when worn with a bustle, (for which it had been designed when the bustle first came into fashion back in the 1870s), but by gosh was in difficult and painful too, only really becoming bearable when the extreme position cut the circulation off and the whole ensemble when dead. Because of such reasons, it was not advisable to wear it for long periods, (when bustles were in fashion, it was usual for going out in the evening or walking in the park, rarely at home), but even so, after she had managed to attain it, Anne was forced to wear it every Friday evening which she was allowed to spend in her room with Clare, (who was also similarly encumbered), a time that the two of them greatly enjoyed, as they were allowed to be without their fleurs de bouche and they could chatter, kiss and cuddle up to each other on the bed.

And so it was that life continued much restricted and restrained but not without its pleasures until the Christmas holidays came and Anne returned to Kedleston to enjoy the festive season.

1 In our world the English fetish is renowned to be spanking, yet this does not seem to be the case in Anne’s world. This is perhaps due to the public school playing a much more crucial role in our world; in Anne’s most males of consequence were educated at home or in schools which they only attended during the day. Restriction seems to have taken the place of spanking, particular amongst the females, although it must be noted that some spanking did take place for at weddings we hear of the grooms being presented with a paddle by their fathers-in-law in order to keep their wives in order, though this may have been ceremonial as much as practical.

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

The Tale of Anastasia: Part 3

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Chapter 5

Miss Garner’s Institute for Ladies of Leisure was housed in a smart brick house situated in the suburb of Attenborough some two miles from the centre of the city of Nottingham. The establishment was not a large one, Anne was the eighth student to arrive and there was room for but two more, both of whom arrived within the following week. What the Institute lacked in size however, it more than made up for in quality which is how Miss Garner preferred things. Garner’s was one of the premier establishments in the kingdom for future Ladies of Leisure and she was booked up years in advance despite her astronomical fees. Lord Curzon had had to pull a few strings to get Anne in, but he knew that it was worth it. Garner’s got results in the marriage market and that was what he needed for without the best education imaginable, Anne, with her shady Russian past and questionable parentage, could never hope to find a decent husband, despite the £5 million dowry that came with her.

“So Miss Curzon, welcome to Garner’s Institute for Ladies of Leisure. I trust that your journey has been a pleasant one?”

Anne eyed the headmistress up and down. She was a thin woman with the standard compressed waist of an English lady. Her eyes though betrayed a streak of kindness that gave Anne cause for hope. “Oh, yes, ma’am, quite pleasant,” she lied, (for her corset and boots had irritated her for the entire trip).

“A correct answer if not an honest one, girl. I doubt that any lady could actual enjoy travelling, her costume does not permit it, but she should always appear to enjoy it. Now, to business. Do you know why you have been sent here, Anne?”

“To be educated ma’am.”

“Educated for what purpose?”

“To be a lady, ma’am.”

“Incorrect I am afraid. You have been sent here to be educated as a Lady of Leisure and the difference between the two is quite significant. Do you know what the difference is, Miss?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Well, I shall explain, because from now on being a Lady of Leisure is to be your prime concern in life and so it is essential that we start by establishing what one is. It all started approximately two hundred years ago in the latter years of the eighteenth century. During that period costumes, particularly for females, were most extravagant and sumptuous. During that period ladies laced down to fifteen inches or less, wore panniers that stuck out for several feet on either side of them and had hairstyles that took six hours to create and could not be dismantled easily. It was an era of opulence when one displayed one’s wealth in one’s dress. However, this opulence also started a strange trend. You see, wearing these costumes was most limiting; with panniers six foot across there are a lot of things that a lady cannot do whilst with hairstyles two feet high she can hardly turn her head. Ladies began to be more like mannequins for their clothes rather than functioning human beings and to be honest both females and males liked this. The females because it showed the distinction between those who had to work and those who didn’t more clearly and the males because, well… let me say there is something about the helpless female that has always appealed to the male. Then, matters were taken a step forward by the leader of fashion at that time, the Duchess of Hamilton. She arrived one evening at a royal ball in honour of the queen’s birthday in a dress no less than ten feet across, with a hairstyle three feet high but most outrageously, with her arms encased, palm to palm, in a sleeve behind her back. Anyhow she entered the ballroom, causing an almighty stir and accompanied by a maid on either side. “Seat me!” she commanded, and lo they did so. “I desire wine!” she commanded and lo they brought a glass to her and fed her. She was you see, completely helpless, the ultimate expression of wealth and refinement; a lady who need not work and who can afford others to do everything for her. Well, unsurprisingly it started a craze and very soon all ladies of quality were doing it, although a variety of fashions evolved. None had use of their arms and all were extremely rich and as the years passed they began to be known as Ladies of Leisure. Now fashions are different; arms are rarely placed behind our backs palm-to-palm as the Duchess once did, but the principle remains; total wealth, femininity and helplessness. That is the aim of a Lady of Leisure and from now on Anne, that is your aim.”

“So I am to be… helpless?”

“Yes.”

“But what if I don’t want to be? I mean, I don’t wish to be rude, but it sounds rather scary…”

“Anne, I can understand that; a lot of girls find it difficult at first, particularly if they have had upbringings with a lot of freedom such as you have had. However, you must work hard and try to accept it. It will not be easy at first I am sure, but given time I belief that you may actually come to love it. Being a Lady of Leisure after all, is the easiest life that one can lead, not something to be scared of. Anne, if you try, I am positive that you will love your time here at school and your married life afterwards. Unlike other educational establishments you see, we don’t believe in making our pupils’ lives a misery; we wish you to enjoy yourself here and feel yourself part of a happy family. We have rules which you shall keep to, but they are not overly harsh and within their boundaries, you shall be happy. Do you understand, Anne?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Good. Now that was the first thing that I had to say to you, and that is what I say to all my students here. However, as you can no doubt appreciate, your particular case is somewhat special and so you shall require a different regime to the other girls here at the school. Therefore, whilst you make up lost ground in terms of body training, you shall also be subjected to a strict regime of pronunciation lessons. Your English is good, but not your diction and this must be worked on for you to be accepted as a Lady of Leisure. You shall therefore be under the tutelage of Miss Simpson, but do not worry, you shan’t be alone as we have another overseas pupil, Miss Kusturica, from the Kingdom of Serbia, who will share your diction classes. Now, please get along as it is time for you to be fitted with an outfit suitable to your new role in life as a Lady of Leisure so that you may join your fellow scholars for dinner and then a session of reading.”

Anne’s new bedroom was small but homely. Flowery sheets covered the bed and a thick carpet lay on the floor. The only ominous item was the trapeze for lacing corsets but by now she knew to expect such things as standard. In her room Perkins was waiting and informed her that she too would be staying in the school with her mistress. This pleased Anne as Perkins was a pleasant, polite girl who did her job well. Methodically she undressed her lady and then led her to the bathroom, (which was en suite), where she bathed her and oiled her body. Then she was ready to be dressed.

At first dressing for school was much the same as dressing at home. There were the stockings, the shift, the damnable corset, the numerous petticoats and the gloves. These items fitted she was let down off the trapeze. Then however, things changed a little.

The first change was a mini-corset that Perkins produced and proceeded to fit around her charge’s neck. She laced it until Anne’s breath was short and then tied it off. It forced her to keep her head erect at all times and prevented any downward movement. In the mirror it looked regal and graceful, but it was a most disagreeable nuisance.

Then came the bit that Anne had feared, the bit that made her helpless like a Lady of Leisure should be. Perkins took her arms and folded them, so that the hand touched the shoulder and then using a leather pouch fastened them in that position. Then, to Anne’s surprise, a pair of wooden arms 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, she realised the true genius of the fashion of the gigot sleeves, for the folded arms were completely hidden in those balloons of silk and to all intents and purposes the wooden replicas, (which were now gloved as her real arms were), look like the genuine articles. It was then that Anne realised why her mother had never taken her by the hand or held her in her arms. Had she not been wearing a dress with enormous gigot sleeves? Had not Lord Robert described her too as a ‘Lady of Leisure’. She too had evidently been disabled in this way! At once Anne felt a warm feeling of affinity for her mother and relief that the lack of contact between them had not meant a lack of love.

1830s 03

New boots were then fitted to her feet with higher heels than Anne had ever seen before. The heels were so high in fact that they forced her feet into a vertical position so that she was perched on her toes like one of the dancers that she had seen when she visited the Bolshoi. “These are called ‘en-pointe’ boots Miss,” Perkins explained, “and all fine ladies wear them. They will be difficult to walk in at first – your sisters were most unsteady when they started – but don’t worry, I’ll steady you and you’ll be fine. Now, to help you with your step, I’m just going to attach this chain between them so that you can only take smaller steps. Again, this is normal for fine ladies such as you.”

Anne remembered the plastic daisy chain and realised that short strides must be something that ladies are expected to take.

Her dressing completed, Perkins helped her up, (for she could no longer do this by herself). Standing there, her dress filling half the room, barely able to balance let alone walk, her arms folded uselessly in her sleeves so that she couldn’t even use them to balance, she realised just how different her life would be from now on. She was now completely dependent on Perkins for everything, from feeding to walking, dressing to bathing. That feeling was a strange one, particularly since she had been largely independent since age nine or ten, but she knew that strange or otherwise, she would have to get to used to it.

Dinner that evening was a memorable yet surreal experience. Getting to it took an age as she was most unsteady on the en pointe boots and would have fallen at every step had it not been for Perkins holding her. At dinner she was sat at the table by her maid and then greeted the other diners who were the other pupils at Miss Garner’s Institute for Ladies of Leisure. All were clad similarly to her with bound arms and miniscule waists, hers in fact being by far the largest in that department with several of the girls having middles that defied the laws of anatomy. The girl on her left, a stunning blonde of about sixteen introduced herself as Clare Hawkins, the daughter of a Manchester textile merchant, whilst on the right was her co-student in diction, Miss Kusturica, a fiery looking Serb of great elegance and minute waist. Both greeted her heartily and welcomed her to the school, but all conversation was then stopped by the introduction of the meal – tiny servings of roast beef – which was then fed to the girls in silence by their maids using silver spoons. As Anne watched Perkins cut the meat into tiny chunks and put it into her mouth, she was reminded of a baby being fed and inside she felt quite ashamed.

Despite the portions being small, all girls were very soon full up due to their tight corsets. Then their mouths were washed out with red wine and to Anne’s dismay, fleurs de bouche produced. Perkins popped Anne’s in and then led her from the table to a sitting room where she was lowered on a straight-backed chair. Then a strange frame of wire was brought out and fitted onto her front. Anne wondered as to what its purpose could be but all was revealed when Perkins picked a book off the shelf and placed it in the frame. “Blink twice when you wish me to turn the page, Miss,” she instructed and so, having no choice in the matter, Anne did, immersing herself in the History of Western Art until a bell rang, the books were packed away, the reading frames removed, and the Ladies of Leisure led off to their beds.

Chapter 6

Life at Miss Garner’s Institute as a Lady of Leisure took quite some getting used to for Anne. Can you imagine living a life where you are totally dependent upon someone else all of the time for absolutely everything? I certainly can’t and before she entered that esteemed educational institution, nor could Anne. Not even the corset, high heels and costumes that she’d worn in London and Kedleston prepared her and she soon understood fully why many young ladies who had received the proper preparatory education struggled at first to adjust. She also learnt why her step-father had decided upon Miss Garner’s for her schooling since it soon became clear that whilst it was all extremely difficult, without the tutelage that she received there, it would be far more so.

Her days started with her waking up in her bed. Generally, due to her restrictive night time attire, particularly a sleeping corset that was now mandatory attire, her sleep was troubled and she woke before Perkins came in to wake her. When she woke she had no choice but to lie there for she was now unable to move by herself. This was largely because her arms were now fastened in a single sleeve in front of her, (to prevent ‘nocturnal fiddling’ – whatever that meant!) and so were rendered as useless as they were during the day, but also since she was now required to wear a pair of sleeping boots, (which like her day boots forced her feet into a straight line, but these had no heels so one couldn’t walk in them), and also a padded face mask that was porcelain on the outside, (and painted to look like a china doll), but inside the padding filled with a sweet-smelling cream that kept her complexion soft, silky and pale. The only problem was that this left her with only two pin holes to see through and so all she could do was lie and contemplate the white expanse of her bedroom ceiling.

What followed this however, was far worse and indeed made Anne feel quite terrible for the first few months of her stay. After a long night in bed, one’s bowels need emptying and so she was escorted to the toilet by Perkins where she did her business in the presence of the maid who then wiped her bottom clean. The humiliation of this was unbearable and Anne would have protested had not Perkins placed a fleur de bouche in her mouth beforehand, (perhaps foreseeing her charge’s wishes to comment on what should not be commented upon?). Never in her life had Anne felt so stupid, so pathetic, so absolutely helpless as she did then. It was humiliation in the extreme and worse still, it took place thrice daily.

Following toilet and bathing, (in which Anne was naked save for her chastity belt and arm sleeve), she was dressed and then escorted down to breakfast with the other girls. Then, it was lessons, save on Sundays when there was church which was attended wearing a fleur de bouche and enormous walking bonnet complete with a veil so thick that naught of her surroundings could be made out. As the parish church was only a couple of hundred metres away, each of the girls walked there, led by their maids, an unnerving experience when you are practically blind, have your arms bound up and are forced to balance on points the size of ha’penny coins.

Anne’s lessons revolved around two subjects for the first two months, both of which she spent with Miss Simpson, a spinster of around thirty with blonde hair and thin eyes and Miss Oksana Kusturica, the Serbian student.

Oksana Kusturica was a strange girl indeed, or at least, that is how she seemed in Anne’s eyes. She hailed from a small village in the Kingdom of Serbia, brought up in a household of peasants. Then, aged sixteen she had gone to stay with her aunt in the capital city of Beograd where she had met an English Lord, Hugh Belmont, the Earl of Worcester1 who was travelling around the Balkans with a companion following the completion of his Bachelor’s degree at Cambridge. The two fell in love at first site, (or at least, Belmont fell in love with Oksana; she on the other hand, fell more in love with the idea of marrying an extremely rich gentleman and being able to live a life of luxury), and within a week he had proposed and she accepted. However, he being an English peer, things were not as simple as all that and his family, whilst grudgingly accepting the idea that he marry a Serb of low stock, (his father after all, a famous rake, had wed one of his laundry maids), would not allow the wedding to take place before Miss Kusturica was properly prepared, and so it was that she had been sent to Miss Garner’s.

Unlike Anne however, she had arrived their entirely voluntarily.

“I suppose you didn’t realise what you were letting yourself in for when you came here?” Anne had asked her one morning during Diction.

“Oh no, not at all. When I met Hughie and he proposed to me, he explained all about how English ladies lived and what would be expected of me.”

“And yet you still accepted him?!”

“Of course! Between you and me, I knew it all anyway. At school we’d done all about the English class system and how women live in the United Kingdom and I remembered thinking at the time, oh how I’d like that! I mean, in Serbia I would be required to work and the clothes there, well, like in the Soviet Union, they’re so plain and boring. One can’t be a real lady in the East these days, but here, well… it’s just heaven! Hughie loves me so much, I can get him to buy me whatever dresses I want and the rumour is that crinolines are coming back and I shall wear the biggest possible. I just adore being laced in so tight – I’m aiming for thirteen inches you know and Hughie says that he’ll buy me a fleur de bouche of solid gold if I manage it! I love being so constricted, it gets me excited… down below I mean. The only problem with this place is all the virginity crap, I so need some sex it’s killing me! I’m not a virgin of course, me and Hughie were doing it day and night in Beograd, but still, not long to go now; the wedding is set for next June. Of course the only problem with that is that I’m not allowed to go to the Easter Ball which is so annoying as I’d love to glide around the floor in my finest peach ballgown, but still, when we’re married Hughie and I’ll be at balls all the time I suppose…”

Anne had heard the Easter Ball mentioned several times already and wondered why it was so important and why Oksana was prevented from attending it. She asked her fellow-student.

“Don’t you know?! Why, because at the Easter Ball, that’s where you find your fiancé! Two months before all the eligible bachelors submit their attendance applications and then a month after that the best are chosen – it’s always oversubscribed – and the guides are send out. By reading the guides – colour booklets that contain pictures and information about all the ladies ‘on offer’ – the men can decide whom they might be interested in and submit applications to dance with those ladies. Depending upon popularity, they either get their choice or not, but we ladies never know, since it is stipulated that all the ladies dance cards must be full and that the gentlemen must not give away whom their first choices were. Anyhow, then comes the ball at which the ladies dress in the finest gowns imaginable – oh how I wish I were attending! – and with the use of their arms, (as this makes the dancing easier and provides greater intimacy), and they dance and chatter with the men and it is all so romantic and glorious!”

“It sounds more like a market of flesh to me!”

“Oh Anne, you have not romance in your bones. Do you know what, my Hughie was booked into the Easter Ball this year and if he hadn’t met me, he’d have gone off with one of the other girls here. Oh, imagine him with Sarah Hawkins or Arabella de Villiers; it’s frightful!”

“But all of that doesn’t explain how husbands are chosen.”

“Well, after the ball, the gentlemen send in proposals of marriage to the girls that they desire, around three generally and then the negotiations begin. The ladies don’t have any part to play in all of that; their father’s talk to the prospective candidates and decide but then, when a decision is reached, then the courting starts. This means that the gentleman visits the school about once a month and woos the lady. Of course, those visits are supervised closely; she wears a fleur de bouche at all times as one might expect, and they generally just sit together or he walks her around the garden, the biggest intimacy allowed being a peck on the cheek, but whatever. Anyway, when that has gone on for a few months, then an engagement is arranged. For most aristocratic girls that takes place in her home but here Miss Garner likes it done at school as it enhances her reputation. There the gentleman presents the obligatory gifts and demands and the date is set. And that is how a husband is found in England, Anne Curzon, not that I will have to got through all that rigmarole of course although I do so wish I could be at the ball…”

The lessons that Anne shared with this passionate Serb were Diction and Deportment. Diction consisted of hours of learning how to pronounce all the words that she’d thought previously she could pronounce, properly. It was dull, but necessary and slowly as the months passed her ‘ye’s became ‘e’s and her ‘th’s evolved from ‘t’s into what they should be, whilst all the whilst both she and Oksana struggled to converted their ‘meettons’ into ‘mittons’ and ‘oombrellars’ into ‘umbrellas’.

Deportment was equally tedious and necessary. Ane discovered that simply balancing on her boots and walking in her extravagant costumes was not enough for a Lady of Leisure and instead she must learn to do so elegantly and with an expression on her face that hid how difficult it all was and gave the impression that a walk in the park was, well… just that. As the months rolled by she improved; her stagger became a glide and her grimaces smiles, and once all that was mastered then she was taught how to express with her eyes so that emotions could still be conveyed even when wearing a fleur de bouche. Work too was also done on how to address and speak to servants and other members of the lower classes before then moving on to how to chatter and flatter husbands.

It was during this subject that Anne began to realise that things in aristocratic English life were not always as they appeared to be. To the uninitiated the life of a Lady of Lesiure and her man might seem to be one of unbridled prudity and sexual innocence, yet in her classes she learnt how to flatter him and how to use sexual innuendo, (something which Oksana took to like a duck to water). Confused, Anne questioned Miss Simpson who simply smiled and ordered her to go to the Headmistress and ask the same question there.

In Miss Garner’s office, Anne was sat down and then asked why she should be taught such things. Miss Garner stood up, smiled and said, “Today Anne, I am going to let you into the great secret of English life. Some schools never officially let their girls know it and would have you beaten for asking questions such as the one that you put to Miss Simpson today, but I have a different ethos, and whenever a girl asks such a question of her own free will then the teacher is under instructions to send her to me. Now, do you know what this is?”

The Headmistress, (whose arms were not bound), was holding in her hand a small wooden box. “No ma’am, I do not.”

“This Anne, is the engagement gift of the Earl of Jersey to Clara Russell, a girl in the year above you. Open it and find out.”

“Perkins!” said Anne sharply. The Headmistress smiled, pleased at both the command and tone. The maid opened it and revealed an ivory cylinder, some ten centimetres in length carved – and this was what caused Anne to gasp – in the shape of a male penis!

“I can see that it shocks you and well it should, yet what may shock even more is if I tell you that an ivory replica of the fiancé’s member is the standard engagement present to his fiancée. This is the Earl of Jersey’s; an average specimen I would say. However, what is perhaps most shocking of all, is why such a thing is given. Can you guess as to why?”

“Well ma’am, I would have said so that the lady could… practice with it, get used to her husband’s… member… before marriage, but if she is to stay a virgin and she wears a chastity belt, then it can’t be that so I don’t know.”

“Anne, you have a sharp mind. You are right about the virginity issue yet right too about the importance of practice. A female however, does not have one hole but three, all of which it is her husband’s sacred right to demand use of. What makes the wedding night so special is that that is the first time when her reproductive hole may be used, but he will desire the use of the others too and to use the anus, then training is definitely required otherwise it would be too small to fit his member. And so, on the engagement night she inserts this replica in her rear and trains her anus for her husband. That is the primary purpose, but the secondary is that it provides her with some joy, an intimation of the intimacy and pleasure that will come after marriage. The replica helps make the engagement night one to remember as well.”

“But that is so… so crude!”

“Perhaps so, but that is England and I show it to you so that you know what to expect from your life. On the outside we ladies are innocent, pure and chaste yet inside we know it all, we have lusts and wants as well, and your schooling will help you achieve in both worlds. Embrace it Anne, physically and mentally and you shall do well. There is much to enjoy about your time here.”

1 Interestingly, in our world, the lineage of the Earldom of Worcester ceased in 1145, the family holding the rank being the de Bellomonts. Evidently, in Anne’s world, the line continued somehow and the family name was corrupted to Belmont over the years.

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

The Tale of Anastasia: Part 2

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Chapter 3

The following morning they returned to the Salon and Mr. Kent set to work curling her hair whilst Mary retouched her make-up. This time it did not take so long but nonetheless, over two hours had passed between entering and leaving the establishment. Her shock upon completion this time was that Mr. Kent decreed no mirrors should be made available to her as “your style is not complemented by your proletarian attire, wait until you are properly dressed”. And so she did not know what her new hair looked like, but she felt it, the ringlets bouncing about as she moved whilst the chignon at the back of her head was tight, pulled on the hairs and left a slight breeze at her neck.

They then went across the road to Monsieur Saint Laurent’s shop.

“Mademoiselle! What an improvement I am seeing! Très charmant
The change is incredible and now I personally shall complete the miracle started by Monsieur Kent! Undress please, completely!”

This time Anne felt more comfortable about undressing but more apprehensive of what was to follow. And she had reasons to be for the volume of clothing that Mary brought in was quite overwhelming and after she had put on some silk stockings and a shift, a corset was brought out that looked much longer and tighter than her previous one.

Mary fitted it around her, did up the cusps and then started to tighten. “We shall attain 20 inches today,” Saint Laurent commented as the girl pulled. Anne didn’t know what 20 inches was as she could only work in metric, but whatever it was it was fast becoming uncomfortable. Mary pulled and pulled and the constriction grew greater and greater. Then the maid had to retire since she herself was out of breath. Saint Laurent took over and worked furiously. Just as she was beginning to feel light-headed he tied off, took a tape measure and smiled. “Just under 20 inches, perfect!”

It was at this moment that Anne first experienced truly wearing a corset. The other had not even been laced shut but this one truly affected her. Wearing it she could hardly breathe or bend. Little did she know then that this was only the beginning…

Following the corset came a number of petticoats so that her and then the dress itself, a huge flowery, flouncy affair that hugged her middle and then ballooned around her below. Equally surprising though were the sleeves which were like giant puffs of material, supported inside by a wire cage.

“Why are they like this, sir?” she asked the designer.

“They are gigot sleeves, Mademoiselle, the latest fashion. Like balloons on each arm they are very elegant.”

“But with them I cannot move my arms so well,” replied Anne, flapping them up and down like a bird to demonstrate.

Saint Laurent and Lord Curzon looked at one another and smiled. “Anne,” Lord Curzon said, “you are a lady now. Ladies are not meant to use their hands! They have servants to do things for them.”

And speaking of servants, Mary now had a pair of white kid gloves which she was busy fitting onto her charge’s semi-useless hands. They were excessively tight and once fitted, Anne found that she could hardly move her fingers or grip anything
Following this she was led over to a chair upon which she sat, (or to be more exact, perched, for sitting normally was quite out of the question in her tight corset), and a pair of boots laced onto her feet. Once attached, she stood up only to find that these new boots had heels which lunged her forwards, causing her to be most unsteady indeed. Lord Curzon on the other hand was delighted and bade Mary to take a photograph of Anne in all her new finery so as to continue recording her ‘development’. Then, and only then, was the mirror uncovered and Anne allowed to contemplate her new English look. What she saw, shocked her. The doll-like complexion from the previous day was now complemented by a mass of bouncing sausage curls, an enormous flowery dress in cream and a tiny waist. It was no longer her at all, she was instead now a creation, an English girl of the highest class who had never even heard of the Soviet Union, let alone lived there for a decade and a half. That done, they left, Anne no longer moving freely but now unsteadily mincing along, weighed down by a mountain of cloth and hair, her breasts heaving with every breathe as she inched slowly towards the open door.
That evening she again ate with her step-father at the long dining table, though this time she could only manage a few bites before she was full up, so constricted was her stomach.

“My dear Anne,” said Lord Robert smiling, (he was obviously very impressed with all the changes of the day), “as you are now becoming a proper lady, it is not correct that I invite you into the drawing room tonight. However, before we part there is one question that I must ask you, although I am afraid it is a most personal one.”

“What is that, sir?”

“During your time in Russia, Anne, did you ever – and please, you must be truthful here – ever engage in any kind of, ahem… sexual activity whatsoever?”

Anne blushed and looked down. Already, dressed in her new attire, feminine gestures were becoming more natural to her.

“Shall I take that as a ‘Yes’ Anne?”

“Yes, sir, I did, once, with a boy on a Young Pioneer Camp. We…”

“Anne, I do not need to know the particulars, but I do thank you for your honesty. Good night girl, I shall see you on the morrow.”
Anne had assumed that following her dressing and baptism, they would be heading straight off to Kedleston Hall, Lord Curzon’s seat in Derbyshire. However, to her surprise, they continued to stay in London for the rest of the week, with her step-father taking her around the city and showing her the sights such as Buckingham Palace and the British Museum. He explained that it was only right that she should see the sights of her new country and besides, it would give her a chance to get accustomed to her new clothing. In the latter he was right and as the days passed she found the corset, boots and ridiculous sleeves more manageable, although she was always out of breath and her feet ached at the end of each day. Furthermore, whenever they went out a new encumbrance was added, an enormous bonnet festooned with bows and other frivolities which had a veil at the front. This restricted her sight incredibly as the bonnet cut out all side vision whilst the veil caused a haze to descend upon the world and whenever she wanted to see something not directly in her sight, she had to turn her entire body. Even so, it wasn’t all bad; the feeling of anonymity that it gave her she welcomed, (though she couldn’t fully understand why), whilst her new clothes made her feel like a princess in a fairy story and many times did passers-by stop and gaze at her. She certainly never had that effect on people back in Moskva!

The following Monday though, after a most enjoyable week of sightseeing, she was surprised when the car drew up in front of the South London Hospital for Women and her step-father ordered her to get out and then directed her into a small private room where a nurse in an elaborately starched uniform was waiting with a cup of tea.

“But why Uncle Robert,” (for such was how she was requested to call him in public, in keeping with the story about her being his brother’s child), “for I am not ill?”

“I know you are Anne, but this is just a necessary check up. Just drink up your tea and relax.”

This she did and within moments a dizziness overcame her and the world started spinning. That was when she realised that the tea had been drugged and that was when the world went black.
Anne awoke to find herself lying in a hospital bed, Perkins by her side. When the maid saw that her mistress was awake, she gave her a drink and then left the room to inform Lord Robert. Within moments he had entered and Perkins left. He locked the door behind him and sat down beside her.

“What has happened?” she asked weakly.

“Anne, there is something that I must explain to you; you have had a little operation. In Britain you see, unlike Russia with its revolutionary ideals, one thing is prized above all else in females, and that is virginity. No English girl may ever indulge in sexual intercourse before her marriage and it is the responsibility of her parents or guardians to make sure that she stays pure until her wedding day. For you though, it is different. I do not blame you or feel angry that you have enjoined with a man already – the society that you were living in then allowed it – but others in Britain will not see things the same way. You will never be able to marry without being a virgin and a woman without a husband in England is doomed. Therefore, you have had this little operation, a small job to replace your hymen – the film that you broke when you lay with a man – so that physically you are a virgin once again. Then over your sex we have fitted a belt of metal that is locked and will ensure that should you ever find yourself in a compromising position with a young man, he cannot take advantage of you. Please Anne, do not be angry with me for this, or ever tell anyone, for it was done for your own good; it is our little secret; even Perkins does not know why you are here. Now, when you feel strong enough, call Perkins and she will dress you and then we can make our way up to Kedleston to see your beloved mother.”

And with those words, he kissed her on the forehead and left. Once she was alone again she wept. Wept at the thought of being touched down there. But at the same time she was not angry with Lord Robert. She hated the English ideal of virginity and femininity but she realised that she now had to abide by it and her step-father had only been acting in her best interests. She sat up and took another sip of the water by her bed and then dried her eyes with a tissue. “Perkins!” she called

The maid entered the room. “Yes Miss Anne?”

“Dress me.”

Chapter 4

The journey to Kedleston Hall was not a long one, or at least, not long by the Soviet standards that Anne was used to. She and Lord Curzon took a train out of St. Pancras north to Derby where they were met by a car and driven the several kilometres from the city to the hall. As they rode along Anne eagerly drank in the sights, sounds and smells of her new country. What surprised her was how backward the United Kingdom was to the USSR. In her history lessons she had learnt that in the 18th century the UK had been one of the world’s leading powers with a vast overseas empire. Her unwillingness to change however, particularly on the domestic political front had meant that, like the equally great Spain and Portugal, her power and influence had dwindled away until she was now a backwater, ruled by a dictatorship of the landed aristocracy, (of whom Anne herself now belonged!). This was in sharp contrast to the USSR which had broken free from the chains of monarchy and the aristocracy in 1905 and led, first by Lenin and later Trotsky, towards a bright new dawn with industry and military might that was the envy of the world from the Americas, (where there were dozens of Soviet bases), to Africa, (where there were dozens of Soviet client states). Only the Far East – Red China and Red Japan – could offer any competition. Britain certainly was nothing to worry about, insulated, inward-looking and primitive as she now was.

As they neared the hall though, the knot in Anne’s much-compressed stomach began to tighten. She would be seeing her mother! What would she be like? Would they look similar? Would they get on? Would they have the same interests? These questions span around in her head and she looked up at Lord Curzon who was sat opposite her. “Don’t worry, Anne,” he said, gauging her feelings, “it will be fine.”

The hall itself was impressive, a huge pile of stone bigger than the largest dacha in Russia, surrounded by lush green meadows, a river running through the valley below. As the car drew up a whole host of servants, all dressed in smart uniforms lined up to meet them. The driver opened the door and she descended with her step-father, mincing along the line whilst the servants all bowed or curtseyed before her. Slowly she was beginning to realise the importance of the family that she now belonged to and this – along with her tight corset and apprehensions regarding her mother – caused her heart to beat loudly and her breasts to heave up and down dramatically.

With an effort they ascended the stone steps into the giant entrance hall, (where two dozen more servants were waiting to introduce themselves), and then she was shown into a side door and the door closed behind her.

And in that room sat Lady Clare Curzon.

Her mother.

Anne’s first impression was one of surprise. Her mother did not look as she had expected her too. Squeezed into a dress of unimaginable size and frivolity, she had a miniscule waist and above that, huge, heaving breasts, the dress cut low to reveal and enormous, deep cleavage. The waist did not surprise Anne – this was England after all – but the breasts did. She herself was small-breasted and lithe whereas this woman was the very epitome of a buxom beauty. Her face too, heavily made-up, (as Anne’s itself was although in the moment she forgot that), with large red lips and bright blue staring eyes. Anne herself had dark eyes and her lips were thin. How come her mother looked so different?

But looks are one thing, love is another, and as soon as her mother saw the daughter that she had longed for so many years fat tears fell from her eyes. Anne minced over as fast as she could and threw her arms around her. Strangely, her mother did not do the same, but she pressed her face against Anne’s and whispered repeatedly, “Моя любимая, моя любимая! Как я тосковала без тебя!, как я тосковала без тебя!!”1
Anne and her mother talked in that room until dinner. Then they were joined by the rest of the family. To Anne’s delight she had two half-sisters and a half-brother; Hope, Charity and Thomas. Hope and Charity were typical English girls, corseted to the extreme, wearing frivolous dresses, their talk all of fashion and femininity, but she loved them nonetheless, whilst Tom was a sturdy lad of ten who wanted to become a soldier. Anne was about to start telling him of her days as a cadet in the Red Army when Lord Robert stared at her and she realised that it would perhaps not be appropriate.

Having a family was good though and despite her not sharing much in common with her sisters, Anne began to enjoy aspects of her new life; walking around the beautiful grounds at Kedleston and playing in the ladies sitting room with Bouncer and Holly, the family’s pet Springer Spaniels. It was nice to belong somewhere you see.

Not all was good about life at Kedleston though. Upon arrival she discovered that the rest of the clothing ordered from Monsieur Saint Laurent’s establishment had arrived and that meant life getting a little more difficult. For starters there were new corsets which were tighter and longer than her previous one. To fit them now required a different method and Anne discovered the real reason for the trapeze bars in all the bedrooms, (which she’d initially used as an exercise device in London), for now her wrists were tied to it, and it was hoisted in the air, thus stretching her body and allowing the corset to be fastened tighter. This was alright until she was lowered to the ground. Then the new measurements really kicked in and on more than one occasion, (and every occasion after a fresh tightening), did she pass out, having to be revived by an acrid-smelling nasal spray.

What was not ok was that she now had to wear a corset in bed at night too, so as to maintain the shape of her new waist and make daytime fittings easier. This resulted in a lack of sleep as she could not rest with such incredible restriction to cope with and for the first week or so she walked around half-asleep.

More worrying however, was a new piece of apparel that was added to her attire on the day that the Earl of Stafford came to visit. “You must look your best for Earl Stephen,” her mother had said the evening before, “as his visit is very important to the family and there is a new item for you to wear that you haven’t tried before.”

“But why, Aunt Clare?” she had asked.

“Why because he is Charity’s betrothed and tomorrow’s visit is the set the date for the wedding and for him to make his marital demands!”

Anne was confused. “But how can he be her betrothed, Aunt Clare? She is younger than me, still only fourteen!”

“But why should that stop him, darling?”

“But in the Soviet Union we are not allowed to marry until we are sixteen and even then, only with our parents’ permission!2 To marry someone who is only fourteen, well, that’s just… wrong! Charity’s still a child!”

Her mother’s eyes gazed wistfully into the distance as if she were remembering the happy times that she had spent in the USSR. “To you it may seem like that darling, but things are different here. By law a girl can marry aged twelve but very very few do that. It is more normal to wait until fifteen or sixteen when she developed as a woman. However, most engagements take place much younger. Earl Stephen approached us after meeting Charity when she was only seven. He had been a guest at a garden party and she was playing in the summer house. She had started talking to her and showed him her teddy bear. He was so impressed by her beauty and intelligence that he asked if he may marry her when she was old enough. We agreed so long as the ceremony did not take place before her sixteenth birthday. And so that is when she will marry, on her birthday, but they have been engaged for three years now. Tomorrow will be the last time that she sees him before the wedding and when he will state what he wishes her to accomplish before the ceremony, for all husband’s have demands for their wives.”

“But what does she think of it all? Does she want to marry him?”

“She has accepted her father’s instructions, that is enough. We women must accept, not want, things.”

“Things are very different in Moskva, mama.”

“I know my dear, I know.”

Seeing her mother’s melancholy expression, Anne decided to change the subject. “What is the new item of clothing that you wish me to wear tomorrow, mama?” she asked.

Her mother smiled. “Here it is,” she said, showing her daughter a small box. “It is called a ‘fleur de bouche’ and all fine ladies wear them on special occasions.”

Anne opened the box to find a small flower attached to some kind of plastic bulb lying on the silken interior. She looked up at her mother confused. “How does one wear such a thing?” she asked.

“In one’s mouth of course, you should know that from the name. Perkins, fit this fleur de bouche on Miss Anne. The colour matches her dress, it is very pretty.”

And before Anne knew what was happening, the maid had picked the fleur de bouche up and pushed the plastic bulb into her mouth. She then pressed the centre of the flower, (which Anne now realised was silk and plastic), and the bulb inside her mouth inflated so that it filled her inside making it impossible for her to either make a sound or remove the fleur de bouche. Now, as well as being constricted and heavily-laden, she was silenced too!

“How pretty!” her mother exclaimed. “Perkins, fetch the mirror so Anne may see how it compliments her eyes and dress!” Perkins duly did this and Anne looked. The image was a strange one. There was no sign of any restriction, only a large flower where her mouth should have been. She looked at her mother in confusion and helplessness.

12103626-portrait-of-beautiful-young-lady-with-flower-in-her-mouth

“Since earliest times people have required that their daughters be seen and not heard and so a variety of gags have been used since the Middle Ages. However, they all looked so unfeminine that none achieved great popularity. Then in the 18th century the fleur de bouche was invented in France. The first had a wooden plug that was quite difficult to get into the mouth, (and out again afterwards), but of course modern technology has improved things for today’s woman. Queen Marie Antoinette was one of the first patrons, she swore by the fleur de bouche and is said to have possessed over a thousand. She said they helped her lose weight since they were hard to remove for meals so she did without. Indeed today they are still unofficially called ‘Marie’s mouthfillers!”

Anne however, had nothing to say about this short history lesson. With the fleur de bouche in her mouth you see, there was nothing that she could say.
The visit of the Earl of Stafford was a real trial for Anne in more ways than one. To start with she was woken early and laced into a new corset that was half an inch tighter than her previous one. Then she was dressed in a new dress of unbridled frivolity with no less than fifteen lace petticoats beneath it. The dress, of the finest silk, was bright pink in colour with prints of daisies on it and her fleur de bouche for the day was also a large daisy.

The gigot sleeves of the new dress were also much larger than previously and as well as a wire cage to support the shape, they were padded inside causing her arms to stick out on either side of her like those of a china doll. Her make-up too, and sausage curls matched the china doll image, whilst an enormous yellow ribbon round her waist tied off with a bow half a metre across behind her completed the innocent little girl image. Daisies that matched her fleur de bouche were pinned in her hair and a pair of incredibly high heels, (an inch higher than those she had worn previously), were laced onto her feet that lifted her so high that they could be seen under the dress. These were then linked together by what appeared to be a short daisy chain, (although in fact it was made out of tough plastic), so that her stride was limited to around ten centimetres. Skin-tight white kid gloves adorned her arms but worst of all was the front of the dress which dived down and revealed far too much of her breasts than was decent, the juxtaposition with the innocent child look heightened further by the fact that padding had been added under her breasts giving her a deep cleavage that was far from being real. And then, to top it all off, a wide leather collar was fitted around her neck, (also in yellow, to match the ribbon at her waist), and a lead attached to it which Perkins held. The transformation from assertive young woman to pampered plaything was complete and the only thing that made it bearable was that when she met up with her sisters, she found that Hope was dressed identically whilst Charity’s dress, a ridiculous affair in virginal white, was even worse.

Earl Stephen was older than Anne had expected; around thirty-five to forty and Anne was glad that it was her sister and not her who was marrying such a man. She remembered her sexual explorations with Dima Kostov on the Young Pioneers Orienteering Weekend and the pleasure it had given her. She couldn’t imagine ever having to lie and conjoin with such an old and flabby man, although she reassured herself, at least her sister had no other experiences to compare it with and so wouldn’t realise what she was missing.

The weather being fine, the party was held out in the gardens. Earl Stephen made some speeches about how he would be honoured to be joined with such a noble family, one of England’s finest and Lord Curzon reciprocated. Then the Earl presented Charity with an engagement ring and a wooden box containing the ‘traditional engagement gift’, both of which she accepted as a spectator, (the fleur de bouche preventing any greater involvement), her breasts heaving from her overtightened corset and a look of misery pervading her face all the while. Then Earl Stephen listed his demands, namely “a set of enhancements to the usual proportions, familiarity with her engagement gift and such additions of jewellery, all the exact measurements and precise details being contained within the papers that I am now presenting to the father of my beloved Charity.” Finally, the date of the wedding was set for the 3rd September, 1968; Charity’s sixteenth birthday. This announcement caused fat tears to flood from the eyes of the bride-to-be; a reaction which caused lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ in the assembled party who could all see clearly how touched Charity was to be getting married on her birthday.3

The worst moment for Anne however, came several hours after the speeches when the Earl of Stafford took hold of her leash and requested her guardian’s permission to take her for a short walk around the gardens. Earl Stephen had been introduced to her at the start of the afternoon. She had curtseyed to him and he described her as charming, her beauty surpassed only by that of Charity, but now he had had a lot of wine and was quite a different man. He led her to the summerhouse, bade her sit and then placed his hands around her waist. “Anne,” he said, slurring his words somewhat, “you are a dashed pretty thing, dashed pretty indeed. It’s a bloody shame that I didn’t see you all those years ago instead of Charity, or else it’d be you and I being hitched today. Still, her waist is better than yours and that’s a pity; several inches smaller and by gad what a ride you’d be. Aye, I can see by yer eyes that you’re thinkin’ the same but it’s not possible, what with people about an’ all. Aye, you’re a little flirt and no mistakin’ my pretty Russian doll, (wonder what’s hidin’ inside of you, ha?!), eyein’ me up all day, (don’t yer try an’ deny it wench!), but still, I’ll give yer what yer want!” And at that he deflated her fleur de bouche, pressed his lips to hers, explored her mouth with his tongue and then replaced the fleur de bouche before she could make a sound. “That’s just for now flirty Annie, but don’t worry, there’ll be other times for yer to look forward to. Now, let’s be getting’ back before they all get suspicious.”

And that was that. Fury and hate rose up inside her but there was naught she could do, helpless and muted as she was. She thought about telling her mother or half-sister later on but then realised that it would only cause trouble for the family. That night she wept in her bed before consoling herself that at least she would never be marrying the obnoxious Earl Stephen of Stafford.
Anne’s life returned back to its restrained yet generally pleasant normality following the visit of Earl Stephen, save for the fact that Charity was whisked away to ‘start fulfilling her obligations to her fiancé’ the day after his visit. She did manage to speak to Hope briefly about Charity’s forthcoming marriage, but her half-sister merely replied that Charity was lucky to have found someone so early whilst she had no one yet, nor any enquiries and she was petrified about ending up as an old spinster, although papa said that the finishing school that she was to be sent to in a year’s time would definitely find her a good match although she wished that she could be sure of it but she was scared. Seeing that no ground could be made in that direction, Anne changed the subject and raised the matter no more.

One good thing was that the fleur de bouche did not become a regular part of her attire, save for Sundays when they visited the parish church. Anne particularly disliked this new addition to her life as the feeling of being unable to express herself was most unnerving.

About a month after the Earl’s visit however, she found herself called into her step-father’s study. Anne wondered what could have warranted this as since her arrival at Kedleston her contacts with Lord Robert had been minimal, males and females living quite separate lives in England. However, when she entered, he smiled at her and bade her sit.

“And how are you settling into English life, Anne?” he asked.

“Quite well, sir. It is nice to be with my mother and brother and sisters and Kedleston is so beautiful.”

“Indeed, and you too are creating quite a good impression. The Earl of Stafford, Rev. Kinnersley and the Sir Roger from Wingfield Manor have al remarked to me about you. I am proud that you have managed to adapt to English life so well, Anne, for we did have great fears prior to your arrival.”

“That you, sir. I have tried my best”

“Indeed you have, Anne, however, some things in life cannot be achieved simply by trying, instead they need to be taught and it is this subject that I have called you here to speak about. Anne, you are but sixteen and you require an education so that you can find a suitable marriage match. So far you have learnt much about becoming a lady but your lot in life is, like with your mother and sisters, to be a Lady of Leisure which is quite a different prospect indeed. Thus it is that I have decided to send you to the establishment of Miss Garner in the city of Nottingham. You shall attend there until your marriage and I wish you well. Do you have any questions, Anne?”

“You said about my marriage. Does that mean that you have found me a husband already?”

“No, no, that you must do by yourself. However, Miss Garner will prepare you excellently; you shall have no problem in finding a suitable match after her tutoring, I am sure.”

“But what if I… don’t wish to marry, sir?”

“Anne, in Russia that may be acceptable, I do not know, but here girls must marry.”

“And so when do I marry then?”

“As I said, I don’t know but we can expect a wedding within two years.”

Two years! Married! Anne could not keep up with the course that her life was now taking. “Wh… when am I to start school, sir?”

“You shall leave in the car for Nottingham on the morrow, Anne.”

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

The Tale of Anastasia: Part 1

The Tale of Anastasia

Copyright © 2010, Dave Potter

1830s 01
Author’s note

This tale is set in the United Kingdom in the year 1967. It is however, not the United Kingdom that we know. Instead it is an alternate United Kingdom set in an alternative universe. Therefore, much of it is familiar to us, but conversely, much isn’t. In the universe of the story, the United Kingdom is an inward-looking, reactionary society that lags behind many of its neighbours. It is governed by a powerful elite formed of an aristocracy of hereditary landowners and the Church. The Great Reform Acts of the 19th century never happened and the place of a woman is very much that of a second-class citizen… or subject. She has no rights and no property, she is owned by her father, after his death her brother or uncle, and upon marriage, her husband. Wives are expected to be virgins and all women are corseted.

The world however, has moved on faster than the United Kingdom. In Europe, the most developed country is the Soviet Union, the only country where women have anything near equal rights. As a result of the Great Socialist Revolution of 1905, they can vote, work, fight, own property and get divorced. Following the example set by Lenin’s wife Inessa Armand, they have cast off their corsets and adopted a proletarian, freer style of dress. The Soviets now control much of the world, with only the Chinese and faded glory of Germany offering any serious resistance.

Much of the inspiration for this story came from reading ‘Imperial Lace’ by Alice McCloud. However, I must point out that her alternative Britain is not the same as mine.

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Chapter 1

Anastasia Kolyakonova stepped off the zeppelin and into the terminal at London. Inside her breast her heart beat anxiously. What would she find here? What would it be like? What about her mother…? All these questions and more circled round in her head; today was the day that she’d been waiting for, looking forward to yet dreading at the same time. She took a deep breath but her clothes stopped her. They annoyed Anastasia with their stupid stays. Back in Moskva she’d never worn anything like that but when she’d stopped in Berlin on the way over she’d thought it prudent to buy some European clothes as she’d heard that the British police did not take kindly to Soviet female dress. But, the clothes that she’d bought were uncomfortable, heavy and cumbersome whilst the corset sapped her strength. ‘Perhaps I’ll not have to wear it for long?’ she’d thought when she first put it on but since then all the women that she’d seen were corseted, most a lot tighter than her and she was slowly realising just why Soviet dress was frowned upon here. Since crossing the border into Germany she’d not seen a single female ankle or ungloved hand, even amongst the lower classes. Yet at the same time, the dress here was not altogether modest; heaving chests with deep cleavages seemed to be all the rage amongst the females of fashion. She of course, was not fashionable, even by Soviet standards, but she had noticed that the corset had had the effect of making her meagre breasts seem much more matronly, an effect that she had not wholly welcomed.

But why was Anastasia here, a woman alone, disembarking off an airship thousands of kilometres from her place of birth. Well, to answer that, we need to look back into her recent history…

Anastasia Kolyakonova had been born some sixteen years and two months ago in the city of Moskva to one Andrei Kolyakonov and the daughter of the British Ambassador, Clare Hamilton-Smythe. The two had met at an Embassy function, (Kolyakonov was a civil servant), and had fallen in love at first sight. Bowled over by the dashing Slav, Clare had entered into an illicit liaison and Anastasia had been the fruit of it. The Soviets did not mind; in their enlightened proletarian utopia, many people had children without getting married. The British on the other hand were horrified. Clare wanted to marry Kolyakonov, but her father had already promised her to someone else and could not renege on the deal. The pregnancy was kept quiet and the prospective husband discretely informed. He agreed to marry Clare regardless, (though for a greater asking price), as Lord Hamilton-Smythe was his employer. Clare, devastated, tried to elope with Kolyakonov, but her father found out in advance and she was transported back to Britain in haste. Thus it was that Anastasia had never known her mother or the British members of her family.

Not that this bothered her of course, for instead her life was full with her loving father, her studies and her activities as a Young Pioneer. Anastasia, (or ‘Ani’ as her friends called her), was both an excellent student and athlete, holding the oblast record for both 500 and 1000m sprint. She was on the tennis and volleyball teams and swam regularly. Life for her was good, with hikes in the forests, weekends at the dacha and in the week, the best education in the world. She saw only a dazzling career before her with her athletic abilities and natural intelligence combining, she hoped, to achieve a high-ranking officer’s grade in the Red Army. Already she was in the Cadets and next year she was due to start at the prestigious Military Academy. Life was good.

Good that was, until the 21st November, 1966 when a knock came on the door and a uniformed policeman told her that her father had been killed in an accident, run over by a tram as he crossed the road without looking. Tears filled her days then and all was darker. Those tears then turned to shock when a lawyer came to her door and told her that she was now the responsibility of her mother and step-father who were both demanding that she live in England from now on. And so, in disbelief – and yet excitement too – she packed her bags, bade goodbye to her friends and boarded the airship for Berlin and a new life far across the sea…
Ani was surprised when a single man came up to her in the terminal reception hall. “Excuse me miss,” he said, “but may I assume that you are Miss Anastasia Kolyakonova?”

“Yes sir,” she answered in her accented schoolgirl English.

“Good,” he replied smiling. “My name is Lord Curzon, Robert to family members, and you are indeed a member of my family as I am the man that your mother married following her…ahem, tryst… with your father.”

Ani was disappointed. She’d hoped that her mother would be at the terminal to meet her but evidently this was not to be the case. She so wanted to meet her, to see what she was like in the flesh as all she had was a small faded photograph given to her by her father. “A pleasure to meet you, sir,” she said, offering to shake Lord Curzon’s hand.

Robert Curzon frowned and then bent over to her ear. “In Britain it is not customary for women to shake the hands of gentlemen,” he whispered, “though doubtless things are done that way in Russia. You should curtsey instead.”

“Sorry,” whispered Ani back to him and then bent her knees in an exaggerated manner just as she had seen on the films.”

“Much better,” said Robert, “Now to the car!”
The ‘car’ was the next surprise that Britain had to throw at her. Unlike the sleek modern cars of the Soviet Union, this was evidently not built for speed. Instead it was tall, wide and opulent. Inside it was as high as a small room in which one could stand without banging one’s head on the roof. The uniformed driver sat in a separate cab at the front, with no contact to those travelling inside. As soon as he saw them he left his cab and opened the door for them. “Thank you comrade,” said Ani with a smile, but the driver did not reply. “To the townhouse, Greaves!” ordered Lord Curzon and away they went.

As soon as they were moving, Lord Curzon sat opposite her, (for British car seats were not arranged as Soviet ones, with all passengers looking forward), and started to speak.

“Miss Kolyakonova, I must explain many things to you and now seems the best place to start. To begin with, I sense an unhappiness in you, perhaps due to the absence of your mother?” Ani nodded, getting the gist of his conversation with all its long words. “I thought as much. Fear not though, you shall meet your mother soon, but it was not possible for her to meet you today. The reason is this; her shame has never been made public and if it were our family honour would be much damaged. If she were seen in public with you referring to her as ‘mama’, then all could be lost. Besides, you yourself are not fit for presentation in British Society yet. Our rules you see, they are very different from those in Russia, particularly concerning how ladyfolk must dress and appear. You at the moment do not adhere to our notions although I do notice that you have made some attempt to do so which I appreciate. The clothes, where are they from?”

“Germany, sir.”

“Indeed, and I do wholeheartedly thank you for attempting to fit in. However, German clothes are not English ones and those do not match the class of society that you now belong to. In Russia I know that class is supposedly a thing of the past, but here it is very much alive, it is the bedrock of our society in fact and your mother and I come from the very highest class indeed and thus it is that you shall belong to that class also. But certain class demands a certain style of dress and your dress befits only the lower-middle classes and the German lower-middle classes at that. Furthermore, your hair, cropped short as it is in a boyish fashion, is most unsuitable for British life and so until that has been rectified and some suitable clothes procured for you, you shall dress in Russian clothes and we shall continue the pretence that you are a visiting Russian tourist or military personage and that I am your guide. That is acceptable for myself with you in London, but it is not acceptable for your mother to be seen in such company and so only when you are dressed as an English lady shall you be taken to our seat at Kedleston and presented to her. Do you understand all that I have said, for I appreciate that English is not your first language?”

“Yes, sir,” said Ani, who had understood most and was now running her fingers through her bobbed chestnut hair.

“Now, we are almost here, but before we alight, one more thing, please do not refer to anyone at all, but particularly not a servant, as ‘Comrade’. The word is much disliked here as it aims to destroy the sacred barriers of class. Now, we are here, welcome to my townhouse, Miss Kolyakonova.”

Ani alighted from the car and this time did not greet the driver. She then entered the house, enormous by Soviet standards, and found herself in a grand hallway where three maids were waiting, dressed in stiff black and white uniforms and wearing corsets far tighter than her own. Once they were in Lord Curzon announced, “Miss Kolyakonova, I am sure that you are tired from your long journey. Please retire to your room with Perkins here and take a rest for a few hours. We have dinner at six and afterwards we shall discuss the course of the next few days. Goodbye.”

And with those words she followed one of the black and white maids up the stairs to an enormous bedroom equipped with a four-poster bed, an array of mirrors and an enormous wardrobe. More puzzling though, was a trapeze that hung from the ceiling that Ani assumed must be some sort of exercise tool, perhaps for building up the upper arm muscles, as she had seen something similar during her time in the Red Army Cadets’ training camps.

“Miss, shall I unlace and undress you?” asked Perkins.

“No that won’t be necessary, thanks…” she replied, remembering just in time not to add ‘Comrade’. And so the maid left and she sank into a deep and welcome sleep.

Chapter 2

Ani woke up relaxed and refreshed. She had dreamt that she was back in the USSR, tramping through pine forests on a Young Pioneers Expedition and to find herself in a four-poster bed in London was quite a surprise. She glanced at the clock on the wall and seeing that it was half past five, realised that dinner was not long off and so freshened herself up and dressed – as Lord Curzon had commanded – in Soviet clothes before going down to eat.

The food was bland; some lamb with potatoes, carrots and gravy. She ate it sat at the end of a long table that could have fit around twenty diners at it. Lord Curzon sat at the other end and she had to almost shout to converse with him. Afterwards though they ‘retired’ to a drawing room with leather armchairs and a roaring fire. And it was in there that the real business of the day was attended to.

“You know really you shouldn’t be allowed in here,” Curzon had told her after they’d sat down. “Ladies are not allowed in drawing rooms as a rule, but I have to admit that dressed as you are I find it hard to think of you as female Mademoiselle Kolyakonova.” Ani looked at her dress; a white blouse and some grey trousers; quite usual for dinner in Moskva. With her bobbed hair she could see how it appeared a little masculine, particularly compared with the dresses that the English girls wore!

Of course, Anastasia had not seen much of the English female at this stage, but what she had seen had created quite an impression. All, without exception, wore dresses, huge floating things with many layers that covered a vast amount of floor space but then swooped into tiny, corseted waists. Yes, all girls were corseted, from servant to lady. Out of the car window she’d viewed a variety of women, from poor to rich and all had been laced, many – particularly those who appeared rich – quite tightly. One waist in fact seemed laced to such dimensions that she wouldn’t have believed that the human being could be so compressed and still stay alive. She guessed that the girl must be very red in the face and short of breath but when she looked up to see if her conjectures were correct she found that the girl’s head and face were obscured by an enormous bonnet with a thick veil across the front. Besides, by then the car had moved on and the girl just a silhouette in the distance. So, she would never know!

Bonnets though, were common in London. Outdoors all females wore some kind of headdress, most of them elaborate and extremely feminine bonnets with feathers, lace and all manner of frivolity. Such could be said of all the clothing in fact, ultra-feminine was definitely the order of the day and in her plain German dress Ani had felt most plain indeed.

“So,” Lord Curzon continued, “our first task will be to equip you with a suitable English wardrobe. That task we shall embark upon tomorrow and hopefully by the following day we shall have something adequate. I say adequate since English fashions are, as I am sure you have already noticed, somewhat more difficult to wear than Russian ones and indeed much training is required to become a true Lady of Leisure as you are destined to be, but still, the bare minimum – travelling dress, hair and what not – these we can achieve now. However, looking the part is one thing, being it is something else. Have you given much thought to your new life here, Anastasia?”

It was the first time that he had called her by her name. “No, sir, not really. After tatko… I mean ‘father’ died, well, my life has been…”

“Anastasia, I quite understand, it must have been a most traumatic time for you. However, whilst you have not been thinking, I have, for I must admit that your father’s death has placed us in a most delicate position indeed. You see Anastasia, as I mentioned in the car, under no circumstances must the particulars of your birth be made public, it would be disastrous not only for my wife, children and myself, but indeed also for you. As a child born out of wedlock, you will never be able to hold up your head in English society, let alone find a suitable match. Even with a dowry of several million pounds, no respectable gentleman would ever look at you and a governess or prostitute is the best that you could aspire to. No, such a course is unthinkable and thus it is that I have concocted the story that you are the child of my late brother and his Russian wife, (he was stationed in Moskva you see on Diplomatic Service), who passed away at your birth. You were raised by a Russian uncle, whose name you took out of respect but following his death, I have agreed to not only be your guardian, but also to provide your dowry. This story explains your accent and heritage but leaves your reputation completely in tact. It does however, leave a couple of loose ends that require tidying up. The first is your name. If you took your old guardian’s name out of respect, then it is only right that you do the same with the new. Therefore, tomorrow we shall be going to the registration office and changing your surname to ‘Curzon’. Furthermore, as you can appreciate, Anastasia is a most unsuitable name for an English lady and so your first name will be changed to ‘Anne’ after our great queen. Is that all understood… Anne?”

Ani wanted to scream, ‘No! No! I don’t want an English name, I am a Soviet citizen!’ but the sense of Curzon’s argument as well as his forceful presence made her meekly reply, “Yes, sir.”

“Good, so, let me see… clothes, hair, name… and… ah yes, religion. Russia is atheist is it not, and so I assume that you have not been baptised?”

“No, sir, never.”

“As I feared. Well, tomorrow afternoon we shall be attending the church of St. Martin-in-the-Field as I have arranged with Rev. Sneyd for your baptism. Two friends of mine will act as godparents, do not worry.”

“But I don’t believe in God, Lord Curzon?”

“Anne, that is immaterial. Here in Britain, one has to be baptised, you can’t not be. If you are not a member of the Church of England then you are require to be either Roman Catholic, Methodist or Jewish. Anything else and you must leave the country and only Anglicans get full rights. No, it is a matter of necessity, not faith.”

“Oh.” Ani was shocked; it seemed like her whole life, her very being was all changing before her eyes and there was nothing that she could do about it. “Sir, I am scared,” she said.

Lord Curzon smiled. “Anne, there is no need to be. You are embarking upon a very privileged life here in England, the life of a Lady of Leisure. Many would long to be in your shoes.”

“I suppose so, but…”

“No buts, off to bed girl, you’ll be having a busy day tomorrow…”
Never were any truer words spoken than those of Lord Curzon for the following day did prove to be very busy indeed. Ani was woken early by Perkins and dressed in her Soviet Army Cadets uniform.

When she questioned this, the maid informed her that Lord Curzon had decreed it as it best kept up the illusion that she was a visiting Russian military personage. Following breakfast she met up with her step-father and they caught the car into the city centre, stopping outside a very expensive-looking boutique indeed named ‘Monsieur Saint Laurent’s’. Lord Curzon led her inside where they were greeted by a fawning attendant in a very tight corset and flouncy dress who directed them to a private room at the back of the establishment. They were then served with tea and after a few moments Saint Laurent himself came to see them.

“So, this is the girl that you were telling me about, Robert, hmm? I can see that we will need to do a lot of work on her…”

Ani didn’t like – or understand fully – the designer’s words, but she had learnt enough now to keep quiet.

“Indeed, Yves, although I am sure that you are the man to achieve miracles,” replied Lord Robert.

Non, non! ‘Miracles’ is too strong a word here. A lot of work is needed, yes, but she has potential. With the right clothing and training, she can become not only acceptable, but indeed even exemplary. She is lithe and should corset down well. But this hair, mon dieu! It is despicable!”

As he said this, he ran his fingers through Ani’s chestnut bob. She disliked the intrusion into her privacy intensely. “It is the fashion in Moskva, sir,” she remarked, defiantly.

He drew back immediately. “In Moskva yes, but Moskva is neither London nor Paris. Here we have refinement and class, there they have… how would you say it… égalité. What exactly do you have in mind for this Slavic belle, Robert?”

“A Lady of Leisure, naturally. She is a family member and shall attain the same status as the rest of us, regardless of flawed beginnings.”

“Naturellement, but a Lady of Leisure, it is a tall order for one so advanced in years. Training normally commences at twelve or thirteen…”

“But you yourself said that she is attractive and lithe.”

Vraiment, it is true. But even so, it will be a challenge. However, that challenge is for her educator, not me. My challenge is the immediate days and the clothing of the longer term also. What do you have in mind, Robert?”

“Well, for London merely a travelling dress with accessories and a day dress. These will suffice until we reach Kedleston. By then several evening dresses, morning dresses and day dresses and another travelling dress. Also several fleurs de bouche and a muff. As for bonnets, suitably large and feminine and with veils, as I still want her presence to be a low-key as possible.”

“Restraints?”

“At this stage, no; they will come later at school.”

“Which establishment have you decided upon?”

“Miss Garner’s…”

“An excellent choice. But what of footwear? En-pointe is not achievable yet I fear, but a start should be made…”

“What do you suggest?”

Saint Laurent turned to Ani. “Mademoiselle, you have worn boots or shoes with heels before, non?”

“Not really, sir, only at a few parties.”

“And how high were those heels?”

“I don’t know, three or four centimetres maybe…?”

Mon dieu! Si bas! Robert, we will have to start with only two and a half inches and even then she will struggle. As for at Kedleston, I shall prepare some with three and four inches. Any ground we can make will assist Mademoiselle Garner. I am thinking a pair of boots for now, but for later three pairs and one mules.”

“That sounds acceptable.”

“And now onto the important business, corsets. What do you desire?”

At this word Ani’s heart started. The corset that she’d bought in Germany had been uncomfortable enough, but from what she’d seen of English fashions so far, there was much worse to come!

“I propose just a day corset for London and then a day, training and night corset for Kedleston.”

“Punishment?”

“I shall leave that for Miss Garner to decide.”

“As you wish. Well Mademoiselle, we must get you measured and photographed, come, please remove your clothing!”

Ani was startled. Remove her clothes, in front of two men! It seemed wrong. “But…”

Mademoiselle, do not protest, c’est normal. I am a man of fashion and I have seen so many female forms over the years that a new one does not shock me. As for Robert here, why, he is your guardian! Besides, we need to see you naked to measure you properly and photograph; all are necessary for my work.”

Gingerly Ani removed her uniform until she stood in her bra and pants. “All the way,” Saint Laurent said, gesturing for the underwear to be removed also. Lord Robert just looked on as if he was enjoying it all.

“Colette!” Saint Laurent shouted. After a second or two the assistant in the flouncy dress minced in carrying a tape measure and camera. Methodically the designer then measured every inch of her before finally taking the camera and photographing her naked form from every angle.

“She is to be enhanced?” he asked Lord Robert during the process.

“Naturally, but I will consult Miss Garner.”

“It is imperative that she is, as there are not sufficient curves here. Seins et derriere, both need work, lèvres also. This is my advice.”

At that moment, Ani wished dearly that she had studied French.

“And now replace your undergarments, mademoiselle.”

Ani was glad to, but was surprised when Saint Laurent photographed her wearing these. Finally she put on her uniform and she was snapped in this too. Then Lord Curzon made to leave.

“But Robert, the colours and the fabrics, we have not discussed them!”

“I leave them to your discretion, Yves.”

“I shall not disappoint, all shall be très charmant et haut mode. You may pick up the first items tomorrow afternoon. Au revoir monsieur, au revoir mademoiselle!”
And so they left, but only to cross the street and enter another establishment; this time one with the sign ‘Paul Mitchell Salon’. So, after the clothes, they were going to work on her hair!

“Good lord!” the proprietor exclaimed as they entered. “Is it a girl or a boy?!”

“I did warn you, Mr. Kent!”

“Indeed you did, but even so, I am surprised. Miss, please sit down here in this chair. So, I see that you are Russian, and evidently this is the style in Russia but I am afraid that English girls wear their hair a little different. Don’t worry though, we’ll put you right! I personally shall work on your hair whilst my assistant Mary here will attend to you eyebrows and nails. Please, put your head back, close your eyes and relax. You will be leaving here a new girl indeed!”

And so she did. For three whole hours she relaxed whilst her hair was washed and worked on and Mary massaged her face, plucked her eyebrows, fiddled with her lashes, painted her nails and then applied some make-up. When Mr. Kent declared it all finished and showed her her new look in the mirror, two things struck her immediately.

The first was the weight.

She lifted her head to see the mirror and found it very heavy, very heavy indeed. She looked quizzically at the stylist and he smiled. “It is the extensions, miss. In England no girl has hair less than waist length and now yours is the same. Do not worry, I have done it expertly, no one will be able to tell where the real hair ends and the false begins. I have left it straight for now because of your uniform but tomorrow when you have your new outfit you shall return and it will be styled.”

And the second shock came when she looked in the mirror. Gone was the Anastasia Kolyakonova that she knew so well and in her place a feminine, beautiful and somewhat surprised looking lady, with long lashes that obscured her view, bright red rosebud lips, rouged cheeks and high, arched brows. It was an altogether more English look but she was far from sure that she approved of it. Lord Curzon on the other hand, was delighted.

“Once again you have excelled yourself! At last my ward is beginning to look like a lady! Now Anne, we must go, we have your other appointment to make!”

Paul Kent took up her Red Army cap and placed it on top of her new mane and then slowly she left the salon, her head unsteady under the weight of all that hair.
And that last appointment was of course, the church. They got back in the car and drove to the bustling Trafalgar Square where Ani marvelled at all the grand buildings of grey stone. One of them was the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and inside was the priest and two smartly-dressed gentlemen whom Lord Robert greeted heartily. “Bertie! Richie! Great to see you! Here’s my ward, what do you think?”

“You’re a little ravisher, miss!” said the first whilst the other looked on quizzically and said, “But could do with some stays and heels!”

“Hello Miss Anne,” said the vicar, “and welcome to St. Martin’s. I am so pleased that you have decided to make this step and meet your Lord, and you’ll be please to know that you are not the first. I have hundreds, every year, desperate to love their Creator.”

Ani knew it of course, it was the latest craze amongst Soviet backpackers eager to discover themselves to get baptised and then have their baptismal name tattooed on their arm. People will do anything when they’re abroad.

“Well, let’s get started then.”

The service that followed was short and consisted of a candle, a splash of water and a vow to follow Christ. Ani found it quite moving in fact, though was still a little irked at having to go through with it. Anyhow, at the end she had a certificate with her new name.

Next they left and went to the Registrars where the Baptismal Certificate was presented and her new British identity registered. That was it. She was now ‘Anne Clare Curzon’. The finality and officialness of it all shocked her.

Links to all parts of the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8