Friday, May 12, 2017
Relative Interference - A (Very) Short Story - and illustration
I haven’t contributed to the blog for quite some time – a bit shamefaced about that as Dave and Rosie have been keeping it going between them.
This is a very short story I’ve posted elsewhere so some readers will have read it before.
It’s a small contribution but hopefully readers will enjoy it.
“I’m afraid I have some bad news William.” Mrs Sophia Dearlove addressed the young man in front of her and patting the seat next to her on the couch added “please sit down.”
The young man immediately knew there was something seriously wrong as he had never before been invited to sit in his employer’s presence. He looked nervously at Miss Grayson the housekeeper and his immediate superior before taking such a liberty, sitting down in Mrs Dearlove’s company would be deemed quite a serious faux pas for a member of the domestic staff. However Miss Grayson nodded her approval but given his position in the household he was still reluctant to do so.
“It’s quite all right William.” the housekeeper reassured him “you may sit next to the mistress.”
It had now been several months since Mrs Dearlove had first met him at the orphanage where he had spent the previous six years. She was attending a charity event and afterwards as he had served her and her glamorous female companions’ coffee she had engaged him in conversation. He clearly remembered how he blushed when she remarked how delicate and feminine his features were, an opinion that was endorsed enthusiastically by her friends. Miss Parker the orphanage’s matron noticed the group of women talking to the young man and joined them. Mrs Dearlove quickly established that the young man would remain in the orphanage’s care for another two years, something the boy was deeply unhappy about as Miss Parker was a petty tyrant and now that his education had come to an end she was using him as unpaid labour. He recalled how his heart raced as Mrs Dearlove asked if he would be interested in a position in her household. Given Mrs Dearlove‘s power and influence with the orphanage’s Board of Directors Miss Parker had to agree when William quickly agreed to her offer. The position was as a houseboy and despite some initial apprehension by the exclusively female domestic staff he had been treated reasonably well as the sole male. The work wasn’t too hard and Miss Grayson the housekeeper was far kinder than Miss Parker, apart from a few misdemeanours for which he had received a mild punishment he had been very happy. Until now.
With all this coursing through his mind it was with a great degree of nervousness that William crossed the deeply carpeted floor to join Mrs Dearlove on the couch.
“William, my mother will be staying with me for a few months and ....”Mrs Dearlove said softly, almost apologetically “...well....she has some unusual ideas regarding male domestic servants.”
William looked at his employer with a quizzical look, Mrs Dearlove took a sip of her tea then continued,
“You see she has had several bad experiences in the past with butlers, footmen etc. and will not employ a male servant. Such is her aversion that she will not even stay in a house that has a male servant. So you see my dilemma.....unfortunately I will have to send you back to the orphanage.”
“Oh Madam ...please not that.” the young man pleaded.
“I’m so sorry William but there is very little I can do about it.” she answered sympathetically.
“Please Madam.” he implored now almost on the verge of tears at the prospect of being returned to the orphanage, “I’ll keep out of her way, stay in the kitchen, the garden...anything.”
“I’m afraid that would not make any difference.” she replied in a regretful voice.
“Please...Madam....”he was begging now and slipped off the couch onto his knees.
Miss Grayson bent down and whispered in her mistress’s ear.
“Oh I don’t think the boy would agree to..... that Miss Grayson.” Mrs Dearlove answered her housekeeper, “But...” she hesitated “... with his features, those wonderful high cheekbones and those beautiful long eyelashes perhaps he would pass.”
William sensed there was a suggestion of a lifeline, he would grasp at any straw that was offered as the very thought of being returned to the orphanage was enough to make him weep. Anything would be better than that.
“Stand up dear boy.” Mrs Dearlove said and rising to his feet both women examined him closely “yes...yes.. if mother is any way reasonable I think it may be a solution.”
“Turn around William.” Miss Grayson ordered and he quickly complied “Yes Madam he certainly has possibilities and I’m sure if he was given some intensive training perhaps Madam’s mother would be willing to consider the idea.”
William didn’t know what they were talking about but felt that whatever it was there was no doubt Mrs Dearlove seemed very enthusiastic and positive, even Miss Grayson seemed more animated than usual. He sensed there may be some hope of resolving the issue and while they were engaged in their conversation William considered his own situation. There were many advantages to working for Mrs Dearlove, he was treated much better and life in this house was easier than the orphanage, the food was also better and there were fewer restrictions. Of course he was still a servant but at least his uniform of a white jacket and black trousers appeared more casual than that of a maid’s uniform. In this outfit he imagined he could have been mistaken as a visitor to the house but no one could mistake a female servant as there was a strict uniform code for Mrs Dearlove’s female servants , blue or grey dresses in the morning and a black one in the afternoon with the regulation white apron and cap of course.
“William!” are you listening?” Mrs Dearlove said in an exasperated voice, interrupting his thoughts. He looked at her blankly.
“Miss Grayson believes there may be a solution to our little problem.”Mrs Dearlove informed him as she looked at her housekeeper “ a trifle unusual but my mother may agree.”
“That’s wonderful.” William blurted, barely containing his excitement “what is it?”
“As my mother’s objection is to male domestics, you will be dressed as a housemaid.” Mrs Dearlove exclaimed, clasping her hands to her bosom with excitement and smiling at him expectantly. “you have such delicate.... almost feminine facial characteristics, a little make-up and a light colour lipstick would work wonders.”
“And with the correct foundation garments your figure would be transformed into a more girlish figure.” Miss Grayson beamed, delighted with her solution.
William thought he was hearing things.
“A housemaid?” he repeated incredulously.
“Yes, yes” Mrs Dearlove declared in an exhilarated voice “Isn’t it a wonderful idea? Mother could not possibly object.”
“I would have to dress as a....a... housemaid? A... girl?” he asked still unsure that he had heard her correctly.
“Yes of course, it’s the only way we could keep you here.” Mrs Dearlove replied her voice now losing patience with his questions.
“Well.....I.....it’s just that...a housemaid....”he stammered not knowing how to respond to such an outrageous suggestion.
“Yes it is unusual I suppose.” Mrs Dearlove said “but there is no alternative I’m afraid. I suppose it was too much to ask but I really thought you were happy here but I do understand it is not every day you are asked to dress as a girl. Such a pity I think you would have been a great addition to the staff. But it is your decision.”
So many thoughts were running through his head and he barely noticed Mrs Dearlove had retreated to the couch looking extremely disappointed.
“While you are packing Miss Grayson will call a cab to take you back to the orphanage.”
Those last two words sent a shiver down his spine, Miss Parker the matron would view his return from such a prestigious establishment as Mrs Dearlove’s as a personal insult and he knew she would make his life miserable.
“Yes?” Mrs Dearlove said.
“I.. didn’t mean to... be disrespectful Madam.” he babbled as he struggled for the words.
“Yes?” Mrs Dearlove repeated her eyebrows arching ever so slightly.
“I mean I would like to stay.” he finally blurted.
“As a housemaid?” she said as she elegantly crossed her legs and fixing him with her large grey eyes added, “ and....wearing the appropriate uniform?”
He looked at Miss Grayson who still held the telephone in her hands and felt anything would be better than returning in disgrace to Miss Parker.
“Yes Madam.” he mumbled.
“Please speak up boy I can barely hear you.” she said and he could hear the irritation in her voice, the last thing he wanted was to get her angry.
“Yes Madam I would like to stay .....as.....your... housemaid and I will wear the appropriate uniform.” he blurted and as the words left his mouth he could feel a wave of shame wash over him.
“Excellent, Mother will be here soon so we had better get you into your new uniform. Miss Grayson,will you locate something in his size and meet me in my bedroom.”
William was still in a fog at what he had just agreed to and mindlessly followed Mrs Dearlove up the staircase to her room. In the months he had been in her service he had never been in Madam’s bedroom as Miss Grayson felt it would not be proper to have a male enter the mistress’s bedroom.
“Stand by the bed.” she instructed him as she went to the mahogany tallboy “and take off your clothes.”
As he began to slowly remove his shoes Miss Grayson entered with various items in her arms.
“Oh do hurry William Madam’s mother will be here shortly and we don’t want her to find we have a male servant in the house.” she said in an urgent voice and turning to Mrs Dearlove said “I think these will fit him Madam, they are your former lady’s maid’s uniform, although they may be a little bit tight.”
“I’m sure once he is in this his new uniform will fit wonderfully.” she said returning to the bed and held up a long pale blue satin corset with long laces dangling from its eyelets.
William by this time had stripped to his shorts and gasped as she held it up to his torso, the full implication of agreeing to her proposal was finally beginning to emerge in all its horrible reality.
A corset I have to wear a corset he cried to himself.
“Yes dear boy” she said noticing the shocked expression on his face “I’m afraid wearing restrictive corsetry is among one of the many sacrifices we ladies have to make to make ourselves presentable.......and now as part of your new life you too will endure a similar experience. It may seem like torture at first but wearing such a garment has wonderful benefits, enhancing ones figure and promoting excellent posture for a girl. There is also a very practical reason for wearing the corset, to get into your new uniform you will need a little help to shape your body. And this is the very thing that will achieve the perfect shape.”
The boy felt a surge of terror rising up from within but despite this he knew he had to tread carefully to avoid arousing her ire.
“How long will I have to dress as a maid Madam?” he asked as diplomatically as he could.
“Oh only for mother’s visit, then you can revert to your normal uniform.” she answered absentmindedly as she untangled the corset’s laces.
Well, I suppose it could be worse. he thought, consoling himself that his humiliation would not last long.
“A few months at the most.” she added as she unravelled the last knot
A few months! The words shook him now realising he would have to dress like this for such a lengthy duration.
“Your shorts.” Miss Grayson snapped, indicating him to remove them and handed him a satin dressing gown.
“But..I ...you can’t mean.” he spluttered.
“I am quickly running out of patience, or would you prefer me to do it.” Miss Grayson said in a tone that left no room for any misunderstanding of her intentions.
After putting on the dressing gown he quickly slipped down his shorts, Miss Grayson held up a white satin panelled long legged girdle against the dressing gown trying to judge his size.
“This should fit.” she said and abruptly handed it to him, he looked at her blankly.
“What are you waiting for?” Miss Grayson said, a slight irritation in her voice as she commanded him “put it on....now.”
He turned his back to the women and under cover of his dressing gown he stepped into the heavy garment, struggling to pull it up.
“Oh dear there’s one of those horrible male bulges Miss Grayson.” Mrs Dearlove sighed pointing to the offending bump between his legs.
“Oh I’m sure I can fix that.” her housekeeper answered and without warning she grabbed the top of the boy’s new girdle and to his astonishment pulled it down leaving his totally exposed, paralysed with a mixture of shame and fear.
“As I suspected..... nothing too large.” she said in a contemptuous tone as she viewed his flaccid penis before snapping “Open your legs boy.”
Stunned, he silently and meekly obeyed her instruction and in an instant she had pulled his member down and tucked it tightly between his legs.
“Now close them tightly and pull up your girdle.” she ordered, he looked down and saw there was practically no male bulge, any sign of his manhood had disappeared.
“Much better Miss Grayson” Mrs Dearlove said as she ran her hands over the now smooth and even satin material and slipped it between his legs and letting her hand linger momentarily she gently rubbed his hidden bulge which caused him to emit a slight groan. She ignored this and turned her head to Miss Grayson and added “I would hate to have any unsightly lumps in case Mother wishes to inspect him.”
“Perfectly understandable Madam.” Miss Grayson replied.
She released him and nodded to her housekeeper, “Carry on Miss Grayson.”
Mrs Dearlove watched as Miss Grayson sat him at the dressing table and showed him how to roll up stockings and attach them to the girdle’s garters and after he had finished she marched him back to her mistress who wrapped the corset around him and as she tugged at the laces he felt his torso compress causing him to gasp.
“Yes it does have that effect, hold on to the bed post.” Mrs Dearlove said as she waited for him to grab hold of the bed post before resuming her task, he groaned once more as she tightened the stays.
“Oh don’t be such a baby.” Miss Grayson said sharply.
“Do you know William...” Mrs Dearlove said as she gave a final jerk to the laces “this is my mother’s corset, she gave it to me when I was about your age and was going through a tomboy phase. She insisted I wore it day and night for weeks, she said it would instil a more feminine attitude in me.”
She knotted the laces tightly, turned him around and inspected her handiwork before running her hands over the nipped in waist of her skirt and said
“And as you can see it really did work. There is nothing like a good corset to enhance one’s femininity.”
“Now my darling boy, how many petticoats would you like to wear?” she said.
“Petticoats?” he answered still trying to recover his breath.
“Yes I really want you to look your best when Mother arrives.” she said enthusiastically as Miss Grayson arranged several items on the bed.
“I... don’t ... I mean I...”he stammered barely comprehending what was happening.
“Yes..petticoats.” Mrs Dearlove explained as if talking to a child “you really will have to look as feminine as possible if you are to convince my mother your intentions are honourable.
“I think Madeline always wore four under this particular uniform, Madam” Miss Grayson helpfully pointed out to her mistress referring to Mrs Dearlove previous lady’s maid.
“Yes, dear Madeline” Mrs Dearlove sighed at the mention of the name and turning to William said “an excellent lady’s maid I trained her myself...to a very high standard.”
William had heard the servants speak of Madeline and how glamorous she always looked and how obedient she behaved.
“Is four acceptable to you William?” Mrs Dearlove asked the bewildered boy who now unable to speak merely nodded. “Excellent , I think the silk and taffeta ones Miss Grayson, the ones with the deep frilled hems.”
In a daze he felt the soft fabric being pulled up his stockinged legs and watched them as they settled the petticoats over his now uncomfortably reduced waist, in a matter of moments they had slipped the heavy duchesse satin black uniform dress over his head and carefully arranged the skirt over his petticoats. Mrs Dearlove pulled back his longish fair hair into a knot at the back securing it with hairpins and placed a frilled lace cap on his head to which she attached more pins to keep it in place. Meanwhile Miss Grayson was busy slipping his arms into a starched white frilled apron which she tied in an ornate bow at the back. The youth was still quite disorientated as Miss Grayson applied some light make up foundation to his face.
“Pucker your lips William.” she instructed, meekly he obeyed as she covered his lips in a delicate shade of pink lipstick, both women stood back to view the result of their labours.
“Madam should really change as I believe your mother is due to arrive in a few hours.
“Oh! is that the time?” Mrs Dearlove said glancing at the clock “Yes I suppose I’d better change. Something conservative I think, you know how Mother is Miss Grayson.”
“Yes Madam.” The housekeeper said deferentially. “Perhaps the grey silk shantung and the pearls Madam’s mother sent from India?”
“Excellent suggestion!” Mrs Dearlove said “you fetch it and the boy can begin undressing me.”
As they were speaking William caught a glimpse of himself in the large ornate dressing mirror, it took several seconds for him to realise that he was the feminine figure in the formal maid’s uniform staring back. Still not quite believing his eyes he moved his body ever so slightly and the petticoats peeking out from under the dress of the girl in the mirror swayed. He was horrified at the sight but at the same time could not take his eyes away from it. So mesmerised by the reflection he did not notice that both women had stopped talking.
“I see your new maid is quite taken with her new uniform Madam.” Miss Grayson laughed.
“Yes he does seem to like it.” Mrs Dearlove agreed as she and Miss Grayson approached him, “I find that pretty boys are no different from girls Miss Grayson. Put them in a delightful dress and they behave just like a girl. Isn’t that so William?”
The boy hung his head in shame, this was the most humiliating experience of his short life. Miss Grayson began fussing with the skirt of his uniform.
“You were correct Madam he has made the transition from houseboy to housemaid quite easily.” she said “once he is trained properly he will make a wonderful addition to the staff. Madam’s mother will barely notice.”
“Oh dear just look at the time Mother will be here shortly I’d better hurry. William you may as well begin your duties now, unzip me.”
The boy just stared at her blankly.
“Oh I see your confusion you thought you would be put to work as a house or parlour maid. Well Miss Grayson and I have been discussing that and I think that as you are dressed in a lady’s maid’s uniform you may as well be trained as a lady’s maid. Of course when my friends come for morning coffee or afternoon tea we will have you in attendance, my friends simply adore pretty servant girls. Now do hurry up ....like a good boy.”
She turned her back to him as Miss Grayson busied herself in her mistress’s closet retrieving her change of dress. William in his new three inch heels minced his way across the room and began unzipping her dress. She pulled it down over her breasts and it slid to the floor leaving her standing in her pale blue satin slip. She stepped from the dress and looked at him quizzically.
“Well don’t just stand there.” Mrs Dearlove said as if speaking to a five year old “you are a maid.... pick it up and lay it on the bed, then fetch me a steel grey slip from the tallboy, the third drawer down. Oh dear you really are slow so I will remove my slip this time. Now run along and try to be quick I haven’t all day.
Miss Grayson returned with a beautiful grey silk shantung silk creation and laid it on the bed.
“Yes he is a bit slow Madam.”Miss Grayson said as she helped her mistress with her slip “and rather ungainly but once we get him trained properly I’m sure he will make an excellent servant girl.”
“Yes and hopefully Mother will approve.” Mrs Dearlove said as they both watched her new male maid return with her slip.
“Approve of what exactly my dear!” A voice boomed from the door as its owner looked at the uniformed maid and as she sailed gracefully into the room she added “you never told me you engaged a new lady’s maid....and such a pretty one. Come here girl and let me have a look at you.”
“Mother! How delightful to see you.”
William felt his knees weaken.