Wednesday, April 22, 2015
A Suitable Position Chapter 12
In my last post I mentioned that the next episode would be the last, in fact I said it would definitely be the last. Well, unluckily for readers of this blog, Irish people appear to have a very elastic relationship with the word ‘definitely’, so this will be the penultimate episode – and I’m pretty sure I’m definite about that. At the moment I have close enough to 10,000 words but I think it will take probably another 2-3 thousand to finish it which could take another 2- 3 weeks as I wanted to do 2 illustrations also. However I think that would be too much for one chapter and probably more importantly too long a time between chapters, so long story short- I decided to split it. The chapter below has fewer than 6,000 words, far fewer than I usually post but at least I’m well ahead on the final chapter however realistically it will still take 2-3 weeks maybe longer to complete and as I said I wanted to avoid a long delay. I tried to tie up this one as neatly as possible- not sure I succeeded- but it was the best I could do.
The illustration like the one in the previous chapter bears no relation to the chapter posted but does reflect Robert’s continuing humiliation at the hands of Frau Kirchen, the Countess, or maybe even some of their friends, in this case Lady Agatha and Miss Clarissa. Unlike Robert I feel these ladies do not consider his treatment a humiliation, Frau Kirchen probably thinks she is doing the right thing in creating an environment that will encourage a femininity that she perceives he no doubt possesses. His role as a servant girl is central to this as it encourages submission, obedience and loyalty to her will, traits she values highly, she also seems to be developing a high degree of affection towards him.
Anyway enough of my ramblings, many thanks again to all who commented and those who ticked the more box, it’s what gave me the encouragement to keep it going but I’m not really sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
I think I got all the typos if not apologies.
Hope you enjoy it.
A Suitable Position©
Room 101 – Now my dear boy, we just have a few questions.
A journey through the beautiful leafy suburbs of Katrinabourg in a chauffeur driven Bentley in the company of an attractive and elegant older woman should have been a pleasurable experience for any ordinary young man of nineteen but Robert Kilcoyne was not any ordinary young man. No ordinary young man would have spent the several weeks employed as a maidservant, dressed as primly as any maidservant would be, in a regulation maid’s uniform complete with apron and cap. This was the price the foolish youth had to pay for allowing himself to be contracted as a domestic servant to the authoritative and domineering figure with which he now shared the back seat of the car. As the purpose of this particular trip was to renew his visa with the appropriate government department his employer Frau Rozamund Kirchen felt it appropriate that he should dress as a male although her idea of how a male should dress was peculiar to say the least, cropped Capri pants and a white silk pleated blouse masquerading as a shirt. Worst of all a cloche hat with a silk rose in a band around it, matching kidskin gloves ornamented in a similar motif completed the ensemble. In Robert’s opinion this outfit may have been acceptable on a girl and a very prissy one at that but it was downright ridiculous on a male and he feared, indeed dreaded, he would be the subject of much curiosity. However he also realised that once he was well behaved and compliant Madam would be very protective of him as she had been on his only other visit outside her house. That had been a very distressful experience, one in which he was dressed in female clothing however despite some nerve wracking moments, miraculously he had come through it without being exposed as a male, thanks in no small part to the coaching in feminine deportment he had received from Greta, Madam’s other maid.
Even more disturbing for Robert was the seemingly inexorable pull into the orbit of femininity that Madam had created for him. He still retained a grip on his masculinity but he was also aware that this hold was a tenuous one to say the least and he was under constant pressure from both Madam and Greta not to mention the Countess of Argyll, Madam’s close friend, to behave in graceful and feminine manner at all times and to this end he was constantly supervised by either or all of these women. He had been wearing a maid’s uniform for weeks now and Madam had also insisted he wear very constricting foundation garments underneath. “A disciplined figure makes a disciplined mind” she had said to him on a daily basis insisting he repeated this and other similar phrases back to her. This he now did with the enthusiasm that she expected from him, for anything less would incur her ire and inevitably he would find himself face down on her bed receiving several strokes of her hairbrush. He found he was in a constant battle against this insidious femininity as he attempted to retain his masculine identity. Despite his most determined efforts his inability to escape from this seemingly never-ending feminine lifestyle was beginning to wear down the poor boy’s resistance and inevitably certain feminine characteristics lodged themselves in his consciousness. Recently he found himself checking his hair and general appearance every time he encountered a mirror, around the same time he began subconsciously referring to Frau Kirchen as Madam in the way a well-trained subservient and docile maid would. He had also gained some knowledge of ladies fashion as he was allowed nothing to read but various magazines on the subject and was regularly questioned by Madam on various aspects of the latest fashion trends, he was convinced that his new familiarity with this topic and the enthusiasm he showed had thankfully contributed to Madam discontinuing his punishments. In the perfumed haze of this new feminine world in which he found himself in his masculinity occasionally surfaced long enough to realise the danger he was in of becoming feminised and in one of these brief periods he hatched a plan to escape. So while he viewed this excursion with his mistress with trepidation he thought that although it would be difficult he may be able to gather further information that could help with this plan.
These thoughts were running through the boy’s mind as the gleaming vintage motor cruised towards its destination.
“Penny for your thoughts.” Frau Kirchen said gazing at him intently.
“I’m just nervous Madam. “he answered truthfully “these clothes……”
“Oh don’t worry you look just wonderful.” she said, smiling reassuringly as she adjusted his hat slightly “Silly boy, it’s the latest fashion for boys of your age, straight off the Paris catwalk you’re just not used to male clothing.”
This didn’t reassure Robert in the slightest but he certainly wasn’t going to disagree he just gave his default answer in situations like this.
“I think you should know, dear boy” she said continuing to fix him with her eyes “You are making so much progress if you continue to allow your feminine persona to grow I will certainly reward you and perhaps may even be persuaded to grant you more freedom. You would like that, now wouldn’t you?”
“Oh yes Madam.” he blurted enthusiastically at the mention of more freedom but afraid to ask what this could mean.
The remainder of the journey was passed by Frau Kirchen lecturing Robert on the merits of continuing the development of his feminine side, however Robert was becoming more nervous as they approached their destination. His hopes that the car would deposit them within metres of the building were dashed when she instructed the chauffeur to stop several hundred metres away saying the walk would do him good.
Robert waited for the chauffeur to open the door and reluctantly stepped from the car, the smirk on her face only served to increase his anxiety. He looked around apprehensively as he assisted Frau Kirchen from the vehicle. The sight of a luxury chauffeur driven car frequently attracts curiosity and much to his disappointment this was no exception, Robert observed several inquisitive onlookers gazing in their direction. Noticing the look of dread on his face Frau Kirchen turned to him and said
“If you feel anxious you may link your arm in mine.”
Under normal circumstance Robert would have baulked at the very idea of having to cling to a woman for what in reality, he had to admit, was in fact protection perhaps not in any physical sense but certainly against any derisory or sneering remarks which he felt his outfit was sure to attract. Any courage he had he left in the car and once on the sidewalk he felt, dressed as he was, he needed some sort of security blanket so silently he surrendered another part of his masculinity to this formidable woman as he slipped his arm inside hers to effectively tether himself to his mistress.
“Feel safer now?” she said smiling as she pulled him so close he could feel the warmth of her breath.
“Yes Madam.” he agreed shamefully but nonetheless truthfully and not for the first time he felt conflicted. Simultaneously he experienced incredible powerlessness and humiliation at having to seek the protection of the woman who had imprisoned him in such feminine attire yet he also felt secure and considered it a price worth paying.
“That’s a good girl, Mummy will protect you.” she murmured softly as she drew him even closer, he felt even if he wanted to he could not break free.
As they made their way along the street he struggled, despite being linked to her, to keep pace and every few metres had to quicken his step which gave his gait a less than masculine aspect. He knew it was weeks of being forced to wear long corselettes stretching almost as far as his knees which restricted his stride to a more feminine walk and although he was not wearing one now he found it extremely difficult to readjust to a normal male walk. Thankfully the area was not very busy and they managed to arrive at the building’s entrance without having encountered too many people and once inside Frau Kirchen unlinked Robert and approached a middle aged woman at reception.
“Good morning, I have an appointment for a renewal visa for my employee.” she said handing over a letter and his visa.
“In what capacity is she employed?” the woman replied as Robert winced at the female pronoun, almost instinctively he moved closer to his mistress.
“Domestic servant.” Frau Kirchen answered.
“Ah yes… Madam” she said her demeanour changing as she consulted a list and glancing quickly at Robert continued “maidservants appointments are on the first floor Room 101. I will phone the person immediately to avoid any delay Madam.”
Robert could see that the woman examining him from head to toe as she made the call.
“Madam, she thinks I’m a girl and is sending me to the wrong section.” he said as they made their way up the marbled stairs.
“Oh do stop panicking you silly girl, she’s obviously a little short –sighted.” she said brusquely brushing off his protestations and as they walked along the corridor two women approached them, they introduced themselves as Kirstin and Isolde and showed them into the room.
“This should be just a formality Madam and should not take too long,” Kirsten, who had dark hair tied in a bun and a pleasant plump face, said addressing Frau Kirchen and ignoring Robert who although annoyed was glad to hear the interview would be a short one, he relaxed slightly as both women consulted various documents in front of them however his respite was only temporary as she added “we just have a few questions for the girl.”
“There seems to be a slight mistake in her application.” Isolde, who had her auburn hair cut in a pageboy style layered softly at the ends while her bangs reached almost to her eyebrows, added almost apologetically “the name is Robert and the sex is male.”
“That is correct.” Frau Kirchen said nonchalantly as she patted Robert on the thigh as if he was a prize winning spaniel.
“But… I thought… ahem..we….assumed…..” Kirsten stuttered at her answer.
“Please forgive us Madam we did not mean any offense.” Isolde apologised as Robert shifted uneasily in his chair, extremely perturbed at this turn of events.
“It’s not me you should apologise to.” Frau Kirchen answered and gestured with her hand towards the foppishly dressed youth next to her.
Both women then turned their gaze to the unfortunate boy and for a moment or two regarded him quizzically as he sat in front of them, his rose motifed gloved hands folded on his lap, legs tilted at an angle to the left and crossed at the ankles, a pose he had been trained to adopt when sitting in Madam’s company and due to his present very nervous state Robert had not thought of altering this peculiarly feminine sitting posture. Isolde was the first to speak.
“I do hope you were not insulted by our…ahem… error” and pausing for a moment added “…..er.... Herr Kilcoyne.”
Robert, as uncomfortable as any male would have been in such circumstances found himself unable to speak and could only shake his head and forced, what he hoped would be taken for a forgiving smile. After he had composed himself Kirstin ran through some basic questions relating to his application which he managed to answer without difficulty and occasionally Frau Kirchen would make a contribution which reassured him greatly. They were not long into the interview when the door opened and the Countess of Argyll entered, both Kirsten and Isolde curtsied even though they wore trousers. Robert either through weeks of habit – though Greta and his mistress would call it training- or perhaps just sheer intimidation at the Countess’s presence, immediately stood up and automatically joined them in the demeaning feminine act which caused a curious look to cross the faces of the two women officials.
“Rozamund my dear, I’ve just been told you were here.” the Countess trilled clearly delighted and noticing Robert continued with a note of condescension “ah I see you have your delightful boy with you.”
Frau Kirchen explained the reason and both women engaged in small talk for a moment before the Countess glanced in the direction of the two officials,
“I need to talk to you for a few moments, these ladies will look after your boy I’m sure.”
“Yes your ladyship, we only have the questionnaire section left it will only take a minute or two.” Isolde said.
“Excellent, have the boy join us when you’re finished.” the Countess said and left.
“Do you know the Countess well?” Kirstin asked as they all sat once more.
With the shock of seeing the Countess Robert had almost forgotten that the she held the position of Deputy Prime Minister in the Principality.
“No.” he lied but thought that the way the Countess referred to him indicated differently and knew this answer would not satisfy the two women in front of him, “I have only met her on a few occasions at my mistress’s house.”
“Did you hear that!” Isolde exclaimed “‘my mistress’, we don’t hear that form of address very often these days, such an appropriate way for a domestic servant to address her …oh I mean his employer.”
“Yes Kirstin.” Isolde agreed arching her eyebrows and accompanied by a most patronising smile “such a quaint but nevertheless an appropriately deferential mode of address by a domestic servant to refer to her ….oh I mean his employer.”
“Obviously she ….oh dear now you have me doing it Isolde….obviously he is very well trained.” Kirstin said as Robert sat cringing at the blatantly condescending remarks and cursed himself for referring to Frau Kirchen in such a servile manner but after weeks of constant indoctrination it was hard to break the habit, he really didn’t know which was more humiliating being taken for a girl or a domestic servant.
“Not to worry,” Kirstin said and noting his obvious discomfort continued in her smug tone “I’m sure it is a very rewarding position. Now my dear boy we just have a few questions, to gather information for our records on those employed as domestics.”
Both women looked at the paperwork in front of them and Robert who was still burning with shame from their earlier remarks got an uneasy feeling as he noticed a look of surprise on their faces.
“It appears from our records that your….” Isolde paused and then emphasised the word “mistress has completed Form 10A which is for the position of maidservant only, unfortunately this error will require her to complete a new form for a male domestic and as she is in conference with the Countess heaven knows how long she will be. However we could proceed with this document and we can make the necessary adjustments later, it’s up to you?”
Robert only wish was to leave these dreadful women’s company as quickly as possible and with as much dignity as he could salvage.
“Yes that’s fine, please continue.” he blurted.
“Excellent!” Kirstin beamed as her eyes met his “I hope you won’t be offended but that’s a gorgeous outfit you’re wearing those cropped Capri pants are very fashionable, such a becoming colour I hadn’t realised they made them for males also, and I simply adore the rose on your hat.”
“ Yes very chic.” Isolde gushed “so rare for a boy to have such a sense of fashion and that shade of stocking goes so well with your pants.”
Robert squirmed even more in his chair and could feel himself blush as she noticed his nude panty-hosed legs at the end of his cropped pants.
“But I suppose we had better continue, I have to ask you the questions exactly as they are stated on the form, unfortunately due to strict departmental rules we cannot alter the questions in any way I do hope you understand.” Kirstin said as Robert nodded nervously.
The initial questions were routine, date of birth, nationality, duration in the country and so on and as she went on the unease he felt began to subside a little. Isolde looked at her paperwork and asked
“Could you tell us is this your first time being employed as a maid?” Isolde asked fixing him with her eyes.
The boy was taken aback by the question and seeing this she said
“As we’ve said unfortunately we cannot alter the questions on the form please don’t be embarrassed it’s purely a box ticking exercise.” She repeated the question and smiled at him while waiting for his response.
“Y…yes.”he answered his sense of discomfort increasing once more.
“And which one of these descriptions best describes your position- kitchen maid, scullery maid, parlour maid or housemaid, or a combination of these.”
“I … am … it’s just that…”he stammered
“Oh come now, as a domestic servant” Kirsten said in a superior tone and in a slightly impatient voice continued “surely you must recognise your position within your mistress’s household. Would you like me to repeat the list?”
“No….. no….” he blurted and lowered his eyes as he answered her question “house-parlourmaid.”
“House- parlourmaid” she repeated in a lofty voice. “Excellent, that wasn’t so difficult, now was it?”
“Now is that under housemaid or head housemaid?” she continued the interrogation as he continued to squirm in his chair.
“Under house-parlourmaid.”he mumbled.
“Oh Kirstin don’t be so hard on the girl…. Oh I’m so sorry,” Isolde said smiling apologetically at Robert “I mean boy of course. You’re forgetting this must a little embarrassing for him, answering questions meant for a servant girl.”
He smiled gratefully at her intervention sensing that at least she understood his predicament more than her colleague, she continued,
“Don’t worry my dear we are almost finished, now tell me is your position a uniformed one?”
Robert suddenly felt the queasiness in his stomach increase tenfold, why was she even asking this and how could he answer such a question? Isolde saw the look on his face and seemed to recognise his confusion and added helpfully
“This is purely for statistical purposes the department needs to collate information about all aspects of domestic service, I’m sure you understand. Now assuming you were an under house-parlourmaid would you be required to wear a uniform, and if so please describe it. I’m sure it is like the one your superior- the head house-parlourmaid wears.”
“Y…..yes.”he finally said and writhed uncomfortably in the chair as he described the uniform he was forced to wear “a grey morning dress with a plain apron and cap and an afternoon uniform of black dress with white cuffs and collar with a more elaborate apron and cap.”
“Clearly your mistress is a traditionalist you must look very stylish when in uniform.” Kristin said.
“I….. I mean… I don’t..”he spluttered attempting to deny any connection with his hated uniform and tried to give a spirited dismissal of such a notion “obviously I don’t wear that uniform.”
“Oh of course not, whoever heard of a male maid and please do not be offended I really mean this as a compliment…” Isolde said, and in a strange and dreamy voice added “but with your cheekbones, long eyelashes and wonderful sylph-like figure you would make a delightful girl.”
Under normal circumstances Robert would have exploded in anger at such an insulting and demeaning suggestion but these circumstances were anything but normal the last thing he wanted was to get involved in a shouting match he quickly decided the best course of action would be to stay silent and swallow her insult manfully. He forced a smile hoping it would suffice.
“And undoubtedly would make a wonderful maid did you notice the way he curtsied earlier?” Kirstin unhelpfully asked.
“Yes I did as a matter of fact, I wondered why you did that.” Isolde inquired, a dreamy look still on her face “it’s such a feminine gesture and you performed it so naturally.”
“I…. it was …I only….”he stammered as his brain once more desperately tried to concoct some plausible answer but before he could utter a word the door swung open.
“Are you not finished yet? ” the Countess’s voice boomed from across the wide expanse of the room. He never thought he would be grateful to see her but her imposing presence had just saved him from trying to explain the inexplicable.
“Oh yes your ladyship, we’ve just finished.” Kirstin said very quickly and a little shamefaced Robert thought, he could tell that from the imperious look on the Countess’s face even if there were more questions neither woman would dare ask them. “Come along girl….your mistress is waiting.”
Before he rose from his chair he clearly heard Isolde say to Kirstin “I knew he was a girl.” He quickly followed the Countess from the room where they were met by Frau Kirchen.
“There has been a slight change to my plans.” she informed him as he tried to quicken his still restricted stride in order to keep up with both women. He was more than aware that with his handbag swinging on the crook of his elbow he looked ridiculously feminine as he did so.
The Bentley was waiting for them outside and soon he once more found himself nestled snugly between the two powerful female figures he could smell their perfume mingling with his own. Much as he was relieved to be removed from the excruciating interview with those horrible women he was worried by the reappearance of the Countess into his life, in his recent experience any encounter with her was never to be welcomed.
“Rozamund you really should have called me earlier I could have had those formalities dealt without putting you to the trouble of presenting the boy.” the Countess said as the car pulled away from the kerb and despite her usual intimidating presence he was grateful that he was in the car and heading for Frau Kirchen’s residence.
In his fragile state he understood that incidents like the one he had just experienced could become more frequent and decided his escape should come sooner rather than later and as the women droned on he noted various things like tram stops, taxi ranks, bus and train stations which could be useful with his nascent plan. It was with alarm he suddenly noticed they were not travelling in the direction of Frau Kirchen’s home and he immediately tuned back into their conversation.
“Thank you so much Rozamund for volunteering the boy.” the Countess said and stroked him gently on his thigh.
Robert had no idea what they were talking about but the Countess patting him on the thigh was never a good sign he thought, by this stage in his incarceration he had developed finely tuned antennae when it came to sensing something bad was about to happen, he glanced at his mistress who smiled benignly at him, but her answer to the Countess did nothing to enlighten him.
“Oh don’t be silly Maxine it will do the boy good to associate with younger people as well as putting his newly acquired skills as a lady’s maid to the test.”
“I had intended to spend more time with you to help the poor boy shed this ridiculous notion of masculinity and to discover his true self.” she said this time she squeezed him gently on the thigh but closer to his groin which despite his best mental efforts her hand stirred his confined member into life. She smiled at him as she continued “ I had sent most of my staff including my lady’s maid to my country residence so you can imagine my annoyance when my sister asked me to look after her girls while she attends a week long charity event.”
“And how are the girls it’s been some time since I’ve seen them.” Frau Kirchen asked
“Oh they’re like most young girls their age, demanding, difficult, and absolutely exhausting if one spends too much time in their company.” the Countess answered in an exasperated voice.
“Which is why we have governesses and servants.” Frau Kirchen chirped.
“Precisely!” the Countess exclaimed and squeezing him once more continued “They’re always complaining how bored they are, which is where this charming young creature can be of assistance.”
“Ah yes, it’s that difficult time in a young girl’s life where they probably think they’re more grown up that they actually are. Like Robert here they need to be guided onto the right path.” Frau Kirchen said.
“My thoughts exactly, dear Rozamund.”
Robert looked from one of the ladies to the other trying to make sense of their conversation.
“You do want to help us Robert, now don’t you?” Frau Kirchen asked, as she looked him directly in the eyes. Her tone left no room for doubt.
“Oh yes Madam” he lied, injecting just the right degree of enthusiasm in his voice, if he had learned anything in these last weeks of domestic servitude- it was always sound eager to please, it delighted the mistress and avoided a potential spanking. In a perverse way he prided himself on being able to achieve this level of subterfuge not to mention other behavioural traits associated with girls in general and maidservants in particular. It did worry him occasionally that at times even he could not tell if he was just acting the part or he was genuinely acquiring feminine gestures and habits. He thought of the feminine way in which he had arranged his legs earlier and cursed himself.
“Excellent, what a good and very brave boy you are. Isn’t that so Maxine?” Frau Kaufmann stroked his cheek in a genuine display of affection.
“Of course Rozamund, he really is a quite remarkable young man.” the Countess beamed and clarified the situation for him “now dear boy as you may have gathered, my darling nieces will be staying with me for a few days and they tend to get bored with adults so they may benefit from having someone a little closer to their own age for company and although you may be older than them, I’m sure you will find you have areas of common interest.”
“But… they’re girls they’ll soon discover I’m a male, the girls at Frau Kaufmann’s were suspicious” Robert spluttered desperately trying inject some sanity in order to avoid this new ordeal.
“Well you’ll have to ensure they don’t, otherwise it will mean you’re not trying hard enough to fulfil your mistress’s faith in you.” the Countess said and addressing Frau Kirchen over his head said “Perhaps Rozamund, he should attend the Institute for the week instead.”
The nervous youth looked pleadingly at Frau Kirchen for some support.
“Oh I don’t think that will be necessary Maxine.” Frau Kirchen replied “I’m sure the boy will be the quintessential female and will do us proud, isn’t that so Robert?”
Another lesson he had learned in these last few weeks was being aware when not to pursue certain matters, this would invariably be construed as disobedience thus leading to further punishment. He quickly nodded his agreement.
“Excellent.” Frau Kirchen said acknowledging his acquiescence.
The car pulled up outside a large three story townhouse in one of the most fashionable and exclusive streets in the capital a girl in a pale blue dress with a mob cap and apron was cleaning the marble steps leading to the imposing front door. She curtsied but kept her eyes firmly on the ground as the two ladies steered Robert up the steps, as they stood waiting for the door to be opened he noticed the girl scurried through a gate in the black railings and down into the basement. He understood her actions all too well. The door was eventually opened by a tall slender woman, her blond hair plaited around her head like a crown or halo, she wore a plain black A- line dress which flared out at the waist emphasising a narrow waist. He instinctively knew she, like him, was tightly girdled beneath her dress which fell to just below her knees, her legs were encased in black stockings and she wore three inch patent leather court shoes. Despite her severe appearance her smile was very welcoming as the Countess and her guests made their way inside. Their shoes beat out a staccato rhythm across the black and white tiled floor of the spacious entrance hall and as they stood there while the Countess spoke to the woman a number of large gilt mirrors threw back reflections of the woman in black as well as two exquisitely dressed women standing on either side of a girlish figure dressed in an obviously feminine costume. Despite his mistress views to the contrary the image confirmed everything he had feared regarding his effeminate appearance but he took solace in the fact that at least they were now out of the public view.
“Frau Dedlock, this is Daphne, the person I have told you about.” the Countess said waving at Robert.
“What a wonderful choice m’lady and how kind of you Frau Kirchen to bring her at such short notice” Frau Dedlock answered and then approached Robert, scanning him from head to toe a moment or two later she addressed the boy.
“Yes I think she will fit our purpose perfectly, won’t you my dear?” she cooed patting him gently on the cheek.
“Er.. em… yes …Frau Dedlock.“ Robert replied and automatically curtsied, he really wasn’t sure if this was necessary but by now his default position was when in doubt -always curtsy, it usually pleased the recipient of the subservient gesture as well as his mistress, showing as it did what a well-trained servant he was.
He followed the two women into to the elegant drawing room where he was told to sit on one of the large two seat silk upholstered sofas. Frau Dedlock excused herself and the ladies seated themselves in the large comfortable chairs opposite him, they chatted to themselves for a few moments until the door opened and Frau Dedlock reappeared with two girls.
“Ah Isabelle, Lillian, you remember my dear friend Frau Kirchen.” The Countess chirped at the sight of the girls.
Robert looked on anxiously as the girls went through the customary kissing ritual that the opposite sex are so fond of and while they barely noticed him he had a few seconds to study them.
He took them to be twins perhaps not identical but very like each other, they were smaller than him and definitely younger by at least a year maybe two it was hard tell with girls this age. They were attractive with dark brown hair falling down past their shoulders, one wore a coral coloured flared dress with a high lace bodice, the other a lilac square collar fitted dress which clung tightly to her well rounded body. After the introductions were made the girls sat down and eyed Robert with a curiosity he had come to know and dread.
“Now girls it’s obvious to me from your last visit that my own maid was not the most satisfactory person to look after you, so this time I thought someone closer to your own age may be more suitable, and as luck would have it like you, she is also from England so you will have so much in common.” the Countess addressed the two girls, who on hearing this intensified their gaze on the young man sitting opposite.
“This is Daphne.” Frau Kirchen introduced him, taking up the conversation from her friend she explained his circumstances to the increasingly curious girls “she was alone in a foreign land and running low on money and came to me seeking employment. Unfortunately she had very masculine tendencies, something I think we all agree should be discouraged, particularly in a servant girl, naturally I took pity on her but resolved to attempt to reconnect her with her true nature.”
Both girls looked with pitiful expressions at the now increasingly uncomfortable boy, Robert for his part had no idea where Frau Kirchen was going with this.
“Your aunt and I were hoping that you would assist in the project and help him….” Frau Kirchen paused momentarily “oh I’m so sorry girls, I keep forgetting….help her to rediscover her true character.”
They shifted excitedly on their seats and quickly engaged in an animated discussion.
“You mean like give her a make-over?” one of them said.
“And teach her to be more feminine?” the other quickly added.
“Well…yes” Frau Kirchen answered.
“Can we dress her in more appropriate clothes?” the girl in the coral dress asked.
“Of course, my dears.” the Countess replied and turned to Robert “stand up and turn around Daphne, let the girls see you.”
They eagerly approached him to begin their inspection, Robert could feel the panic, which as always was never far from the surface, rise at the thought of being handed over as a plaything to these girls.
“But… please Madam….”he pleaded with Frau Kirchen.
“Hush now Daphne.” Frau Kirchen stood and looking at him directly in the eyes she lent over and whispered in his ear “just remember you’re a girl, act like one and you will be fine. The Countess will look very favourably on you if you keep her nieces entertained, let them think they are helping you.”
The two girls were speaking quietly to the Countess and when they had finished Frau Kirchen turned to them and said in a louder voice “I’m sure the girls will take great care of you.”
The sight of the two advancing figures triggered a rush of blood to his head, he attempted to make for the door but it was too late and before he made three strides they were at either side of him, he found each arm was held tightly by the girls.
“Oh she is a feisty thing Lillian.” the girl in the coral dress said as she tightened her grip.
“The poor thing is trembling Isabelle.” Lillian said and addressing Robert said softly “Don’t be afraid girl we’re not going to hurt you, now come along we’ve got so much to do.”
Robert was still spluttering his protestations as he was practically frogmarched from the room.