Friday, October 7, 2016

Story: Time and Tide

I've posted a revised version of Jackie J's Madame Deville with a different ending and other changes throughout. With author's permission it has replaced the older version. Please take a look, I like the new version even better than the original one.

In other news, T.H.Enerdly reminded me of this little gem, still sitting in the now inactive C.Lakewood's collection of stories at It's based on another unfinished story, Manderley: Rosita's Arrival by Ashley Mortenson and Lady Charlotte de Winter, and was supposed to have three parts. Sadly, only the first part was ever completed. Still, it's very well-written and imaginative, as one would expect from C. Lakewood. I am re-posting it here for your enjoyment.

Time and Tide

by C. Lakewood

Part 1           Cassandra Rigsby leaned back in the red leather chair and sighed, partly in resentment and partly in resignation.  She looked unseeing at the dossier in her hand, then suddenly lurched to her feet and across the darkling study.  She flung the file into the fire with a grimace.  There were other copies,  of course, but at least no one would read that one ever again.... It had all seemed so delicious in the thrilling.  She had supposed it simply romantic derring-do, only theoretically dangerous.  It had begun as a Robin Hood-Raffles-Zorro sort of adventure and had now become a potential Philby-Burgess-Maclean disaster. She trudged up the stairs toward her bedroom and what awaited her there.  She glimpsed herself in the upper hallway's big mirror and paused, the image was chic and impeccably groomed...but her expression was now impossibly woebegone.
There were things to do before she headed off to "Marchfield" house to surrender herself to Amy -- the Hon. Amelia Alnwick -- who had been her good friend and social equal...until today.  She sighed again and entered the bedroom, flicking on the light to reveal the hideous uniform hanging there like a bird of ill omen. She grudgingly stripped to the skin and went into the bathroom and, as ordered, shaved off her pubic hair.  Then down the hall to her exercise equipment.  Again following Amelia's instructions, she worked out until she was running with sweat, then dashed back to the bedroom and huddled into her uniform. There was no bra or knickers, merely a cheap suspender-belt and a couple of once-white half-petticoats.  She put on and attached the pair of coarse black stockings and levered her feet into the black, imitation leather, t-strap shoes that were slightly too small.  Then came the dress -- black with white trim on cuffs and collar.  Last was the white apron, edged with pathetic imitation lace, and the ludicrous maid's cap.  The fabric throughout was some thin, cheap polyester that apparently couldn't breathe.  (She imagined she was sweating even more heavily now.)  How different it was from the silk -- and even the 600 tpi Egyptian cotton -- that she was accustomed to.   The skirt was very short, but not stylishly so, and the bodice was tight enough to minimise her breasts, but also coarse enough to irritate her nipples so they stood out, embarrassingly obvious. Amelia had clearly devoted a great deal of thought to this uniform.   Cassandra gazed into the mirror.  Her sweat-damp hair hung, lank and lifeless.  Later, it would frizz.  She was not a soubrette; she was a frump.   Then the long case clock downstairs struck the quarter hour, and it was time to leave.  ******************************       It was warmish out, and Cassandra was glad of that, for Amelia had not allowed her a coat. There was a breeze blowing between her moist thighs and across her bare crotch, however, and it made her wobble from time to time as she clicked down the shadowy street to the bus stop.  She carried only enough money for the one-way trip. There really wasn't much traffic at that hour, but, each time a car went by, she flinched and prayed she wouldn't be recognised.   When the bus arrived, she went through the next few minutes in a sort of daze...paying her fare, finding a seat, trying to be inconspicuous.  As her perceptions gradually sharpened, it seemed that many of the other passengers were foreigners, non-European even.  The bus stank of beer and suet and B.O. -- and it mortified her to realise that part of this stench was HER.   (Amy always referred to this thing as a "'bus" -- even when speaking, she managed to imply the apostrophe -- and, until now, Cassandra had found that amusing.) As reluctant as Cassandra had been to board the grubby bus, she liked getting off it even less.  When she stepped down onto the pavement, she was acutely aware that her appalling future lay only a 10-minute walk away.  Too soon, she was stumbling down the alley behind the big house and then approaching the servants' entrance, as befitted one of her new class. She rang the bell.  ****************************** Hours earlier, the Hon. Amelia Alnwick had put down her coffee cup and, in response to a timid knock, called, "Come in, Trina!" Her eyes downcast and shoulders drooping, a 30-something housemaid entered, curtsied, then waited submissively just inside the door, hands folded over her apron. ("There's not much left of the creature who was once the Rt. Hon. Katherine Grey," Amelia thought.  "But there is a morsel, apparently, and I shall enjoy reminding it of its past...and then....") "Trina, you've become slovenly lately and want smartening up." The maid looked up, apprehensively.  "I-I'm sorry, ma'am." Amelia smiled -- as Caligula might have smiled.  "I get the distinct impression," she cooed, "that you have not completely accepted your change of station, even after these months.  I think you are delusional still...." "Oh, no, ma'am...." "So.  You are arrogant, impertinent, and argumentative in addition?" "No...." "Then be silent."  Amelia sighed.  "You simply must try harder to learn your place....   Just then, the housekeeper, Edith Bramble, knocked and entered, bearing a small bundle. "Ah, perfect timing, Mrs. Bramble," Amelia purred.  Turning back to Trina, she ordered, "Strip yourself naked, girl, and don't dawdle." Though reluctant to bare herself in front of the two women, Trina also knew that any "dawdling" would cost her dearly. As Trina stripped, Amelia gloated.  "She's five years older than me," Amelia thought.  "At school, she'd been the 6th form goddess: trim, tanned, athletic...Head Girl, captain of lacrosse, AND of hockey, AND of netball....  ALL the juniors had the most frightful 'pash' on her, including me...."  She grimaced.  "Indeed, me perhaps most of all.  And the things she had made me do....  No, not 'made' me, for I did them willingly.  HA!  She looks quite different now: pale, a bit pudgy, washed-out, with an air of defeat hanging over her....  Just an occasional, feeble spark, which I must nurture awhile before treading on it yet again. Delicious!"   Trina -- the former Katherine Grey, Head Girl, etc., etc. -- stood naked before her, shivering slightly.  And she was clearly aroused, Amelia noted happily. "Now, you are surely aware that, since you entered into service with me, there have been certain changes at your former home, Charterhouse.  Do you know who the present owner is?" "No, ma'am." "'Tis Rupert Strangely-Brown, who once honoured you with his affections.  Tell me: what was it that you called him?" "I...I'm not s-sure I remember, ma'am...." "Don't lie to me, girl."  Amelia's tone was deceptively mild. "Well...I....  A 'scabrous satyr,' ma'am.  Oh, god!"   "Yes.  And I suppose he remembers, too...." Trina shivered. "In any case, he now owns the estate.  Things change.  But, on the other hand, some things stay the same." "Ma'am?" "Your former servants, for example, are still with the house." Trina blinked. "They are not, however, aware that you, too, are now just an ignorant menial like them.  But they soon will learn. "Tomorrow, girl, you will be seeing your old servants again.  But this time, you will be one of them -- the junior-most, in fact -- for you are going to work as a scullery maid in Rupert's house for a month.  Were you a kind employer, Trina?  I seem to remember that you liked to punctuate your orders with a switch.  How strenuous!  Well, I imagine that the servants, all of them to be your superiors, you in hand and instill some proper discipline.  And, of course, you will be...'performing' for Rupert...." Trina looked stunned. "The bundle that Mrs. Bramble has is your new uniform: a short -- very short! -- burlap smock and, for outdoors, a pair of clogs.  Scullery maids don't wear much there, and, of course, I imagine that, for certain duties, you won't be wearing anything at all.  We can't have you looking too drab, however, so we've dyed the smock pink -- I believe the shade is called 'shocking' pink." She was pleased to see Trina cringe.       "Rupert will allow you an hour a day to compose a report on what occurs to you there, which will be verified and sent on to me.  I shall expect full, excruciating detail...."  She smiled that smile again.

"A car from Charterhouse will pick you up later today; meanwhile, you may 'entertain' Mrs. Bramble."  Amelia gestured languidly.  "Dismissed."  

She poured herself another cup of coffee and turned her thoughts toward the new trainee maid who would be arriving later.    

And, eventually, Cassandra did arrive, escorted in by smug Mrs. Bramble.

Amelia preened.  "Ah, Mimi...."

Cassandra scowled.

"Tsk, tsk.  When you are addressed by your betters, girl, you will curtsey, answer promptly and truthfully, and address them as 'miss' or 'sir' or 'ma'am.'  And you will maintain a proper demeanour at all times.  Understand, girl?"

The new maid dipped clumsily.  "Yes, ma'am."

"So."  Amelia flipped open a folder lying on her desk.  Still want to go through with it?"

Cassandra curtsied.  "Y-yes, please, ma'am...."
"Then come over here and sign.  It's your admission that you are incapable of managing your own affairs and the petition to become my ward...for as long as I see fit.  Sign...and lose your rights...and your past 'indiscretions' will remain our little secret.  Hmmm?"
Cassandra's fingers twitched.  But then she took up the pen and signed where indicated.  When she put down the pen, she felt empty...powerless.
Amelia smirked like the schoolyard bully she had always been.  

"Goodbye, Cassandra; hello, Mimi.  You have now assumed that name, have you not?"

"Mimi" shivered.  "Yes, ma'am."  She felt humiliated, and yet there was something else....

"Of course," Amelia said, "though you have abandoned your rights, I suspect you are still clinging to your accustomed arrogance.  Well, we shall extinguish that in time, Mrs. Bramble and I, and, in the end, you shall thank us for making you a better, more humble, more useful person." 

Mimi held her tongue, but looked just a bit defiant.  Amelia noticed, with pleasure.

"Tonight I am entertaining guests for cards and a light supper -- Cecily Cardew, Guy Tarkington, and Sir Reynard Willoughby-Gore, all of whom you know.  Be a good girl, and I just may allow you to stay out of their way.  Once you have finished your services in the kitchen, you will go to my bedroom and wait outside the door until I retire.  You will help me undress, you will bathe me, and you will 'massage' me afterward.  And, all the while, you will talk to me about your feelings....  Now, go off with Mrs. Bramble.  She will instruct you in the precise nature -- the nuances -- of your duties here.  I advise you to pay careful attention, Mimi."

Mrs. Bramble exhibited a smile not unlike that of her mistress.  


  1. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm like it, like it a lot understated, menacing perfect.
    Jackie J

    1. Yes, it's a shame it was never finished.

  2. Someone ought to take this unfinished piece as inspiration.
    Not to complete the original, mind, but to write a story with a similar promise, and perhaps some similar elements (the burlap scullery uniform, for instance).
    Well, it's a thought.

  3. An appreciative readerOctober 8, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Blimey! How could you leave that incomplete? The psychology and the vindictiveness, wow! Thanks for the share, would be great to see where it goes next...

  4. Sadly, very good online stories that are left unfinished seem to be the norm.

    1. An Appreciative ReaderOctober 9, 2016 at 10:52 AM

      It's a tough gig writing... as of course you know very well!! I am trying to pen a story, maybe humbly submit it but I want to make sure it's finished first and I find the thing keeps growing out of my control... And then I feel lazy and return to reading the great stuff on this blog, which seems to be on speed since last month! :OD

  5. The only way someone is Right Honourable Firstname Lastname is being a member of the Privy Council...somehow I don't think that was thought through.