There was a cocotte named Grethel who wore shoes with red rosettes and when she walked out with them on, she turned this way and that and thought: "You certainly are a pretty girl."
Grethel could do this as she, like many young women, was blessed with the kind of beauty that could turn the head of an old man. Hers was a limited beauty, her figure was slim and her smile engaging. Her face may have been plain but she was practised at the art of sultry, sexy, fluid movements that gave the old man a hint that if he were indeed a very well behaved old man, he may be lucky enough for her to offer him a little more than a glimpse of her red rosettes.
Grethel may have been accomplished at the art of seduction but she was not complacent, she knew there were many young women ready to step into her red rosette shoes. So she would put on her red rosette and her black dress and promenade about the pool as if she were stepping out on the high street for all of the society men to follow her with their eyes and for all the society women to glare at their men watching her. It didn't matter to Grethel that she never really left the household, she took as much pride in every swish of her hips and every flick of her hair as she would have had she actually been on Las Ramblas. Indeed it was because she never left the household that she had so much time to practise every sway this way or sashay like that.
Grethel was surrounded by the finest luxuries and the most decadent of pleasures but the pleasures and luxuries were not for her benefit. Her master provided well for his guests servicing their every need and whim. Her master repeatedly reminded her how lucky she was to be surrounded by such opulence. He would lavish her with praise when she used her sultry sexiness to ensured his guests were happy but his anger would erupt violently if he caught her scoffing a snack or sipping a drink when the guests were not about.
Some people are not lucky enough to have choices in life, but Grethel was clever enough to tease out options and opportunities when there appeared to be none.
Now Grethel lived in a rather unusual household. Her master was a rather unusual man with unusual tastes and desires. He was a man of action and discovered he could use his peccadilloes to make a lot of money from weak men who were not as bold as he in asking for the unusual. Do not think of him as a service provider, rather think of him as a cruel and ruthless man who cares only for his own success and the fulfillment of his own pleasures.
When Grethel was completing her morning duties with her master in her master’s room, he mentioned to her that a special guest would be coming later that day. A guest who had never visited before so she should ensure his evening was exceptional.
So Grethel brought out a pair of the master's finest, lining up the pair to inspect them. The finest were fresh young things the master had recently collected from his supplier. She cast her expert eye over the pair, they would need a lot of work to be ready for the master's guest. She knew the most delicious, the most delectable young thing was the one plucked in the greatest moment of happiness, prepared with tenderness and served with delight.
Once more she cast her eye over the two young things. She decided to start with a little role play, a little performance. She placed herself between the two lovelies, their fine young bodies accentuated by their simple skimpy outfits. She gave them directions as if they were making a film, not an amateur home video but one with a story. The story of young angels casually, even carelessly, enjoying their own game when suddenly in came their lord and master, and he was delighted to see the trio twisted in unison of desire and display.
Again, commanded Grethel, do it again with more feeling, more sultry, more seductive, gentler, slower and more intense.
Grethel enjoyed their game, she was caught up in the moment. She thought to herself it would be better if she helped the two young things a little more. She should show them some more of the skills she had learned in her master's house. He would, after all, be pleased with her if the two turned out to be the finest young things he had ever served up to a guest.
She gave them both a little champagne, just a little taster of what was to come, then she started directing them in her movie again. Their lord and master, she told them, had come home and was asking for them to put on a show for him. He had come home hot and tired. Hot and tired and frustrated from a hard day at work. (What does he do at work? A plantation owner? No, a banker.) It was hard being the lord and master. There was a constant expectation of his wisdom and insight as he was surrounded by the lazy and the idiotic. How he was home it was their job to entertain him.
Grethel was delighted by the response she got from the two, they were as much involved in the performance as she was. They ran their fingers up and down her naked torso as she removed her top. Their bodies rubbing against hers, their soft breasts pushing against her naked skin. She thought of all those excitable nerve endings in the erogenous zones of her pair of young things. She thought about touching their breasts, she imagined sucking their nipples and diving down between each of their legs. She wanted to excite the pair, the wanted to devour the pair.
OK, she directed again, we are going to show our lord and master how we would like him to touch us. We are going to explore our bodies for him, showing him where to touch and how to touch so that when he does touch us he will drive us wild. When he steps over to our side he will know just what to do. And even if he doesn’t get it right, you will be driven wild. Show me how it looks when you are getting driven wild.
Grethel felt an anticipation she had not felt for a very long time. Not since she was a young girl, before she was brought to her masters household. She didn’t have much excitement when she was young, her father was always so very angry. The moment of joy she remembered was when she found a little secret place with the old book of fairy tales she had rescued from a pile of books put out with the bins, a book that was small enough to hide from her father. The best story was the one with a cook that had her name, Grethel. She imagined herself as the cook enjoying the feast she had prepared for her master, eating his roast chicken and drinking his ale. In the old story just when she thought the cook was going to get it for her greed, she tricked the guest and the master into a fight. She couldn’t remember the details too clearly but she did remember one chasing the other into the night waving a carving knife while the cook watched enjoying the second chicken.
This wasn't an old story. The two lovely little chicks doing as she directed, touching themselves, touching each other, stroking, pinching, playing with each other, these two weren’t a pair of birds, they were young women, girls. Every command she gave, every cajole, every urge wasn’t her preparing the for a feast. It was grooming.
For a while nothing was said. The girls stopped touching and lay back.
Grethel knew nothing about the girls, they had shared a room for nearly a week but she hadn’t even asked the most basic questions.
“Where you from?”
“I don’t know if we are meant to talk about that.”
“Nah, it’s alright.”
“When grew up in Constanta.”
“By the sea.”
“You been there?”
“No, I had a friend who talked about it all the time, talked about going back to the beautiful beaches and the wonderful old town.”
“Yes, but it is not all pretty holiday time place. There are many streets the tourists don’t see.”
“You have family there?”
“I don’t know.”
“Ah. I see. I don’t have any family anymore. Funny, isn’t it. I could walk to the town I grew up in in less than a day, or maybe two days. I don’t know. I have never gone for long walks, I don’t know how far I would walk in a day.”
“I used to walk all day, not out of town, just up and down the beaches.”
“Yes, when the weather was nice.”
“And where are you from?”
“She doesn’t talk.”
“Jesus, you are right. How long have you been here and I didn’t even know she doesn’t talk.”
“The master said I have to look after her. We are family now.”
“The master is not your family. Don’t ever forget that, he is never your family.”
“He is worse than the uncles that used to come visit. My mum used to tell me to sit on the sofa next to uncle, sit close to him, under the blanket. Then she would leave the room. I don’t know when it began, it always was like that. Then daddy would come home, drunk and angry. The uncle would go away, they always went when daddy came. but it wasn’t any better. The uncles touched me, poked me, pushed me but daddy hit me. Poke. Hit. Maybe the poke was better because if I did what the uncle wanted he didn’t hurt me. Daddy was always angry.”
Grethel lay back on the large divan, she pulled the sheet about her. The three of the lay in silence, they knew not to ask questions. It was Grethel who broke the silence several minutes later.
“Was it like that for you?”
“No, we were poor, very poor. We didn’t always have enough to eat and I hated going to school in broken shoes. I had a pair for almost a year that the bottom flapped open, flip, flap, flip, flap. Imagine that, my biggest worry was broken shoes. Now look at me.”
“Why are you here?”
“They got my papers, I got no money. They say my family never paid for my passage, I have to work back the money I owe them. I think my family did pay but what can I do?”
“We met in the back of a truck, I sat next to her talking, talking, talking and she listened. Every now and again she smiled. I told the man she couldn’t talk, the man told the master. Maybe it is true, she had never said anything to me either. But she cries in her sleep.” She turned to her companion, she stroked her hair. “You cry in your sleep.”
“Do you have people here?”
“I have a cousin in London.”
“Do you know his address?”
“So all you need is some money and your papers. Would you take her with you if you could.”
“Then we must find your papers.”
Once again the three lay in silence. Grethel knew where the girls’ papers were, they were in the locked drawer in the master’s desk. She had seen him put important documents in there before. She knew where the key was, it was in the little box in the unlocked drawer. All she needed to get the girls’ papers was to get into the master’s room. The problem was the master was always in his room, or the room was locked. He always locked his room. She couldn’t remember a time when his room had been unlocked. Never. She would have to do something dramatic. Blood, maybe. No. Break something. The master would get cross, then when he was cross she could sneak in. But the master would probably be cross with her. Then she wouldn’t be able to sneak anywhere. Or she could tell the girls, but then if he caught them they would be beaten. They weren’t used to beatings. They didn’t know the trick of leaving your body before the pain started. The trick had to be before the first moment pain or your body might call you back. The trick had to be to not worry about the pain, don’t be afraid just know it will happen, and it will end. She couldn’t risk the girls getting hurt, she was doing this to protect the girls.
“You are strong and beautiful.”
The girls both looked at her but no words were spoken, no questions asked.
Their reverie shattered by the sound of the bell, that fateful gong informing Grethel her duty was upon her. Her duty, and if she was clever enough she could use this new guest as a distraction to get the master out of his room. If she was clever like her namesake in the story: Clever Grethel.
At the door stood a young man, slightly nervous about coming to a place such as the master's for the first time. When Grethel laid eyes on the young man she realized what she had to do. She told him to wait a moment, just a moment. She went back to the girls, leaned in the door and whispered an instruction.
“Make the sounds of noisy sex, moan and spank each other.”
She went back to the nervous young man waiting at the door. She smiled at him coyly. She stepped up, he was at least a head taller than her. She started unbuttoned his shirt. She slipped it over his muscular arms, exposing his beautiful muscular torso. This was a sportsman, his body was toned and strong. She wondered if he was a fighter, probably not. He might have been in better shape than the master but he wouldn’t stand a chance against a vicious man like the master. Except in running away. This boy could run away fast, that would suit her plan. She helped him unbuckle his trousers. She leaned close to the young man and in a quiet voice warned him about the master. She warned him about the master's truly cruel intentions for his visit. She told the young buck to listen to the sounds from the play room. The play room, such an ironic name, she said implying horrors, horrors of commands, horrors of demands and pain. Everything, she confided, everything in the play room was about pain. His eyes grew wide as he listened to her words, and listened to the sounds coming from further in the house. He was afraid as nothing is more harrowing to the young buck than a rutting steer having his fill.
She whispered her warning to the man, to listen to the sounds, to hear the smacks, to hear the strokes. Those were the sounds of the master preparing for him. He was there for the girls, for the girls to feast on his inexperienced cock but the master had other ideas. The master was planning to run him through with the master's truly massive cock.
And so the young man hurriedly dressed again.
“Sorry, I think I have made a mistake.”
And he ran from the master's house.
Grethel rushed back to the two girls.
“Quick quick, go hide in the bedroom.”
Then Grethel called the master pleading him to come quickly for the guest had done a runner. He had taken all three them and had his fill but did not pay his respects. Grethel banged on his door, calling him to sort out the guest as there was not a penny in payment.
The master rushed through to the play room, he found it empty.
“Where are my girls?”
“I don’t know. Listen, you can hear his car starting.”
“Oh no, that bastard cannot take what is mine!”
The master rushed out the house, to his car to give chase to the poor guest shouting: “Give me back what is mine!”
Grethel did indeed feel clever.
“Quick, get your things I am going to find your papers.”
The master had left his door open, she crossed to his desk. It was easy. She found the key in the little box inn the top drawer. Easy. She found their passports and an envelope of money in the locked drawer. Easy. She took half the money then put the envelope back. She closed the drawer, locked it, put away the key. She stood looking at the closed drawers. It was not so easy after all. She couldn’t move. If she gave the girls their papers the master would know it was her. He would fucking kill her. It was not so easy.
“Did you find them?”
Grethel looked up at the girl in the doorway. She was dressed and ready. She was smiling at her. It was a smile of hope. Grethel held out the papers. The girl didn’t do anything, she stood in silence at the door watching the tears trickle down Grethel’s face.
“You can come with us.”
Grethel just shook her head slowly, still holding the papers out. They might have stood like that until the master came back had not the silent girl pushed passed her friend, taken the papers from Grethel and led her friend away.
Out the front door.
Into the suburban night of South London.
When the police came a week later they found her badly beaten. They took her to the hospital. They asked her questions. Questions, and more questions, but Grethel did not answer. The police watched the master for a while but then they lost track of him. The police passed Grethel on to social services but they lost track of her. Her social worker thinks she might have been from Romania as she spoke of going to Constanta.