Thursday, March 23, 2017

Story: Scrubbing His Record Clean. Chapter 1.

I would like to thank everyone who'd bought my new book, Her Most Remarkable Performance. While I am extremely pleased with the reception it has received, it also means I am under additonal pressure to deliver. While my next book I begin publishing today is different - for one, it's a TG story so it's not strictly "lady-to-maid" - it shares most of the elements you can find in my first novella - detailed social and cultural drop, relinquishing of status, de-education. Not to mention lots of cleaning. The new book will go live relatively soon and before then I'd publish several chapters here.

Scrubbing His Record Clean: From Manager to Office Cleaner

by Camille Langtry

Chapter 1

It was 8:00 am and, as part of my shift, I’d spent the past two hours cleaning the corridors and foyer of one of the new large office buildings in Kirchberg. It was a daily routine I'd become accustomed to over the past couple of months, ever since I'd fully recovered from my surgery: get up at 4 in the morning, a very quick bite to eat, an even quicker walk to the Metz train station to grab the 4:48 train to Gare de Luxembourg, a bus to Kirchberg, to arrive a mere 15 minutes before my 6 am shift with barely enough time to change into my cleaning uniform.

I’ve always been an early riser, but even for me, this schedule was increasingly tough. I had tried finding other options, but they all started much later and clashed with my second cleaning shift over at the Auchan shopping centre. Furthermore, the early morning office building shift paid 20 Euros an hour, not the standard 15 Euros that most other places did. With Vincent out of work for the past year, it would have been criminal to lose that extra income, even if that meant being tired and sleepy a lot of the time. So I took the bullet, did my two shifts like a good girl and returned to our small rented apartment in Metz, where Vincent was eagerly waiting for me to cook his dinner.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Story: New Employee. Chapters 18-19.

by BigBird74


I had not counted on a potentially hostile manager. One reason I chose this particular hotel, apart from being out of the way, was its supposedly genial and pliant manager. Something had obviously gone wrong and would have to be careful of this new woman, who obviously did not like head office butting into her local business. I was already tired by the time I had finished scrubbing the floor of the toilets and was expecting some kind of break, when Linda told me that I was expected in the laundry room. It looked like I was to get no relief from this onslaught of menial tasks. For the first time, I truly felt what being trapped felt like and my powerlessness to do anything about it. My life had been one of privilege, opportunity and choice. The best education money could buy had underlined the status gained through unearned privilege. But not in this scenario. Here I was in a trap of my own making. That said, I comforted myself thinking that there was still an open door. I could just walk out and never come back again.

For a moment, I let that thought circulate in my head. Perhaps I am getting in too deep and I need to run while I can? Still the downsides to running were many and deep: who would get blamed? Most probably me! What if someone looked into the bogus scheme and saw all the lies I had concocted? My god, were someone to actually lift the lid on this whole idea, I could be ruined. My stomach ached. This time not from that delicious flutter of uncertainty and humiliation, but from a sudden bout of anxiety. No, running could prove very costly, I would have to try and see this out as Marta!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Her Most Remarkable Performance is OUT!

After months of back and forth I've finally overcome my writer's block and published my e-book, Her Most Remarkable Experience.

I've spent more time on this novella than I probably should have both because of my inherent laziness and my tendency to over-research everything.  I've read hundreds of pages on the 1880s - from fashion, shopping, and wages to music and theatre, not to mention household management and servants. A lot of the details in this book are as historically accurate as was possible and, if you are familiar with the period, you will have no difficulty recognising some of the situations, names and even occasional words and phrases. There are also literary references thrown around that I am not going to spoil for you.

This is the first book I've published and I hope you enjoy it. I've tried to write a definitive lady-to-maid story I personally could enjoy reading and it's only you, dear readers, that can judge if I've succeeded.

I have created a My Books folder on top, which I intend to update in coming months.

You can order the book from Amazon (e-book and paperback) and from Smashwords. Please leave a review if you like it and don't hesitate to contact me directly or leave comments here.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Story: New Employee. Chapters 16-17.

by BigBird74


I enjoy putting staff in their place. Though I was new to this job and still had a great many things to learn, I felt that my naturally authoritative manner made me ideal for handling a large gaggle of women, none of whom seemed to have the slightest ambition or capacity for creative thinking. I know, I am being mean. But dealing with that group made me feel that they simply could not cope without me. How often had I been called upon to settle their petty squabbles and rivalries? Even among the lowest of my employees, I watched how cleavages would form between various groups. The job of a good manager, or so I thought, was to exploit these for the good of the company, or at least myself.

I smiled as I remembered putting that new maid firmly in her place. A day of cleaning the toilets and stairs would soon send the signal that I thought very little of her, even though she had received a commendation. The guy I had replaced was in thrall to head office and had jumped at the chance to be noticed. I was no such fool. Initiatives like the one involving that maid usually failed, though one could not be seen to actually oppose them. No, I had plans and ambitions of course, however one did not have to actively help either.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Story: Klavdia Kuznetsova. Chapter 3.

by Violet Carson
Chapter 3

The two weeks raced by. Klava heard from the letting agents that some Chinese tenants had been found for her house on the condition that they could stay for 12 months rather than the 6 she had initially hoped for. After careful consideration and considering that they hadn’t questioned the price she agreed. After all, if she didn’t want to remain in her new lowly paid status beyond the 6 months she initially planned she had money in the bank and was going to hide away enough means of accessing additional funds if need be. As much as she wanted to escape the trappings of wealth she wasn’t about to jump head first without some kind of parachute!
She had been in touch with the seedy Bill McDonald on behalf of her “cousin” Klava and had been able to provide enough documentation for her to be added to Andrews’s payroll. He had assured her that Klava would receive the minimum wage and that within a week she would have work at a university campus. Klava thanked him and felt relieved by the timing as this would give her a full week in her new flat to immerse herself completely in Klava’s new world.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Story: New Employee. Chapters 14-15.

by BigBird74


I sat gazing at the locker in front of me. I had just a few minutes before my supervisor would return and I had some difficult decisions to make. Though at first things had started out pretty much as expected, today was not proceeding according to plan. After leaving the hotel I had gone for some breakfast and then taken the cab ride to the hotel, which sat on the edge of town. The changes in my social ‘status’ were quickly becoming apparent. While not staring too much, it was clear that people had noticed the brown girl walking down the street. In the restaurant I was sat towards the back of the dining room, just a coincidence maybe, but I was hypersensitive to anything that felt ‘different’, reflecting any potential shift in my. Was it me? Or did the waitress seem almost bothered to be dealing with me? No smile. None of the pleasant chit-chat to which I was accustomed. Perhaps she was always like that?

Either way, my own sense of who I was and how I should behave was in tremendous flux and my hands almost shook as I reached for my knife and fork. It felt good to eat. I was hungry, but also food often acted as a great source of comfort to me and, right now, I was in need of a little hug. As I ate, I caught my reflection in a side mirror, making me to a brief double-take. Taken in isolation, my short, cropped hair would have been enough to startle me, but the cheap clothes and of course dark skin marked me out for all to see.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Story: A Maid for Malangton Hall. Chapters 13-14.

by Jackie J
Chapter 13

Everything prepared for Miss Stephenson’s dinner party the first carriage drew to a halt at the entrance of Malangton Hall.  Out stepped the reverend Jacob Jackaby, the vicar of the parish and his companion for the evening the church organist Miss Rothermere. Reverend Jackaby had never particularly liked Mrs Worthington’s lifestyle believing that a widow should not be so overtly happy and travel unaccompanied but, with a restrained tolerance, had always been grateful of her generous offerings at Sunday services.

In view of his already ingrained prejudice toward the merry widow the reverend needed little convincing by Miss Stephenson of Mrs Worthington’s financial demise when they met earlier in the week. Gratefully accepting the invitation of Miss Nightingale, the new Mistress of Malangton hall, to dinner, he was anxious to see how the vivacious Mrs Worthington was coping in her new position of housemaid. The spinster Miss Rothermere did not just dislike Mrs Worthington she actually despised her for her wealth and good looks and could not wait to see her having been reduced to the lowly status of housemaid.

Rosemary, having changed into a clean pristine uniform answered the door when the large bell rang. Expecting the first arrival to be Miss Stephenson Rosemary stood back a little shocked seeing the village vicar and his organist stood on the threshold?