Sunday, February 23, 2014

Story: Like Mother, Like Daughter


An epistolary tale by The Nerdly,  based on three vignettes in French by Hanna, femme de chambre

Dear Hanna,

You asked in your last letter how I came to be Gabrielle's  full-time maid. I hope this will answer your question.

Gabrielle and I were roommates at college, where we played D/s  games together. We especially liked to play the game of mistress and maid. Gabrielle was always the mistress, and I, always the  maid. Since we were impoverished college students, my maid's uniform was blue jeans with a white tee shirt, and Gabrielle's mistress clothing was the same.

As you know, Gabrielle moved to Strasbourg after college to take a position with the École Nationale d'Administration, the ENA. I accepted a junior management position with a firm in Paris. Having  so enjoyed the D/s games we had played in college, we agreed to continue them after graduation. To play the game, I travelled to  Strasbourg on the weekends to serve as Gabrielle's maid. She  expected me to wear a proper maid's uniform and carry a serving tray, and also to act as a chambermaid and iron her clothes -- in other words, to serve as her maid of all work. We played this game for two years. There were occasional aggravations, but I didn't mind. I was always able to juggle my two lives so that I  met the high expectations of both Gabrielle and my boss at my "real" job.

I'm sure you're wondering why I always played the role of the maid and never the mistress. The answer is found in the photo that I'm enclosing with this letter. The photo is sort of a family secret that I found when I was settling my mother's estate after she died. The maidservant in the photo is none other than my mother. She  had to become a maid, much to her shame, after she and my father were divorced.

This photo has had a profound effect on me. When I'm playing Gabrielle's maid, I imagine that I'm my mother, devotedly serving her mistress. I admit that I'm proud of my mother in spite of her humble occupation, proud to wear the same uniform as she, and proud to wear the same white apron. But Gabrielle took no note of my pride and just treated me like an object whose sole purpose was to serve her.

My situation changed about six weeks ago. As I'm sure you know, the graduates of the ENA -- the so-called "énarques" -- are treated as the cream of French society. They get the best jobs and perks.  Gabrielle began to consider herself an énarque, even though she's only an employee of the ENA and not a graduate. She began to believe that she too deserved some perks, such as a full-time maid, and began to hatch a plan to make me that maid.

One day, she told me that she had invited a guest over and that I was to order two dinners from her favorite vegetarian restaurant. I complied with her order and was setting the table for dinner when the doorbell rang. Gabrielle told me that she would answer the door and that I was to go to the kitchen and finish getting the meal ready to serve. I was then to wait in the kitchen until she rang the little bell that she used to summon me.

About a half an hour later, Gabrielle rang her bell, so I picked up the serving tray and took it in to the dining table. As I entered, I saw my assistant from work, Fabienne, seated opposite Gabrielle at the table. Fabienne's clothes contrasted sharply with mine: she was wearing a smartly-tailored gray business suit, while I was wearing the plain black livery of a maidservant.

We stared at each other in total astonishment. You can imagine what happened next. When Fabienne recovered from her surprise, she began to mock and make fun of me, much to Gabrielle's amusement. Fabienne knew that she had the power to humiliate me -- her supervisor -- without fear of reprisal, and she clearly relished this power.

I dropped my gaze -- as a proper maid should -- when I regained my composure. Of course, Fabienne made a snide remark about my display of appropriately servile behavior in front of a social superior, such as herself. My legs began to quiver like a trembling leaf, and tears streamed from my eyes, but I managed to perform my duties as Gabrielle had taught me. In the eyes of my assistant, I had become a nonentity, a being worth less than a turd. I had to satisfy her every whim and bear her every humiliation, without batting an eyelash. All that mattered was Fabienne's pleasure.

Once Gabrielle had dismissed me after dinner, I went to the kitchen and vomited on the floor. I knew that I had just forfeited my middle-class existence. I was no longer a maid only to Gabrielle; I was now a maid in Fabienne's eyes and would soon be a maid to everyone.

Gabrielle came into the kitchen after Fabienne left and ordered me to clean up the vomit with my hands. She said that it was unacceptable to waste good food like that. At least she didn't mention the starving children in Africa. When I had done it as well as I could, she had me get on all fours and lick the floor clean. She told me not to worry: since it was my vomit, it wasn't contagious.

I returned to Paris that evening and learned at work the next day that Fabienne was delirious with joy as she told everyone that her boss had become a maid. I couldn't bear any more humiliation, so I submitted my resignation and left work for home. Gabrielle had anticipated this and had left a message on my answering machine.   She offered me a job as her full-time maid. I bowed to the inevitable and accepted her offer. I became a servant whose life was controlled by the tiny ring of Gabrielle's bell.

But I was to suffer one more indignity. Gabrielle and Fabienne became friends after that fateful dinner party. When Gabrielle learned that Fabienne had been promoted to fill my old position, she invited her over to celebrate her promotion. Of course, I had to wear my black maid's uniform as I carried the serving tray under the haughty gaze of my former assistant. I was obliged to give Fabienne the révérence, the slight bow that acknowledges that she is my social superior and, as a consequence, is entitled to my respect. Of course, she owed me no respect at all. We no longer belonged to the same caste. I had become the assistant whom the supervisor no longer concerned herself with. I existed solely to serve the pleasure of my mistress and her guests. Otherwise, I didn't exist.

In spite of the catastrophe that befell me, I consider it a point of honor to have become what I hadn't dared to have become my mother's daughter.

Hugs and Kisses,


P.S. I just had a terrible thought: what if Gabrielle "loans" me to Fabienne?

(Edited by C. Lakewood)


  1. Dear Camille,
    This is one of my favourite stories, I can read it again and again. I only wish it were longer and more detailed.

    Bill A

    1. Yes, that is the bane of a lot of my favorite stories - they tend to remain unfinished. Or are too short. Or suddenly go in the "wrong" direction. It's so hard to find the "right" story the temptation to start writing them is always there, at least for me.

    2. This was well written and just needed things slowed down with much more detail. It had a great concept. Amazing how similar these stores are on the one hand but yet unique in many ways, each with their own distinctive rich flavor.

  2. Delicious.

    The progression from fascinated hobby to full-time existence is what really makes this story.

    Like Bill above, I only wish it were longer.

    1. Yes, very much so. Incidentally, that is exactly what I really like about your old story called Substitution Games - this gradual progression from game/hobby/disguise to full-time life. I've seen that you recently commented on the changingmirror forum where I posted that story. If you are indeed planning to write a new version, I'd be more than happy to share ideas if you need help.

  3. An enjoyable story, I especially like that Gabrielle and her mother were both maids and despite her supervisory position she easily accepted her true role.

  4. Gabrielle "lending" her to Fabienne sounds absolutely great. A week under Fabienne's thumb could be horrendous. Getting up at 6 and going to bed at midnight, or later; doing all sorts of humiliating chores (licking her feet clean, attending to toilet duties, etc.); providing sexual services and, why not, getting the odd slap, some nasty whipping and/or nipple pinching.

  5. She could have simply fired Fabienne...