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Avenging Angel chapter 7

2022-10-21 00:41:38


Helen and Katrina and I next saw Olga Fyodorovna while we were gossiping over drinks after our regular gym session. Most days, the three of us exercised or swam for an hour after breakfast, calling ourselves The Dawn Chorus in memory of the successive mornings on which we’d appeared as star turns. Helen, formerly my friend Specimen Four, was adjusting to womanhood, but despite her best efforts she’d put on weight and her clothes didn’t look comfortable. Katrina, a blonde German girl who spoke fluent English, had been Specimen Seven. She was slim and lively and pretty, though whatever we we’d planned to do with the day, she made us wait while she painted a big lipstick smile over her mouth, donned a dust-storm of blusher, used enough hair spray to create a fire hazard and shovelled on more eye shadow than a 1920s silent film actor. When I told her she had a nice face and didn’t need to slap an inch-thick mask over it, she didn’t speak to me for the next half hour. She was one of those women who’re never comfortable unless they’ve prepared a face to meet the faces they meet; perhaps she wasn’t adjusting fully to her sex change. Helen, though she was no oil painting, was becoming content with who she was, at least from the neck upwards. As for me, my confidence grew with my bra size and I used makeup sparingly.

We dissected the flaws and foibles of the other women in the Recovery Compound, speculated about our futures, and reviewed the specimens we no longer saw.

“Specimen One died at the post.” Helen spoke quietly. “Heart attack. Did you know? Renate Grüber was disqualified. What a fall from grace for the Champion! And Specimen Six is still in hospital. Surgical failure.”

I hadn’t bothered to ask about them. Katrina inspected her nail varnish and shrugged.

“Also, I heard Specimen Three killed itself. This might have happened to any of us. But we, The Dawn Chorus, we are alive and well. It is perhaps a pity though that we cannot sing like birds.”

Katrina said she’d been bisexual when she was a man, and now she looked forward to returning to the world and finding a boyfriend. He wouldn’t need to be rich, just big, strong, reliable, faithful, with a steady income, and preferably a guitarist. She fantasised about a mop of fair hair, innocent blue eyes not quite hiding a spirit of mischief, a six-pack, and muscular forearms. I’d never been attracted to men, and nor had Helen, but we both encouraged Katrina’s dreams. I hoped she’d find an approximation to her ideal man some day, but she’d have to stop plastering her face with makeup if she was to snare him. How I might react to approaches from men I’d no idea. The prospect didn’t excite me, though it no longer repelled me as it had when I was male. I hadn’t regained any sexual interest in women, either. None of the upgraded specimens had.

“There’s that woman again.” Helen pointed a less than dainty thumb across the room. “Either of you know who she is?”

Katrina couldn’t recall having seen Olga Fyodorovna before; she was adept at suppressing uncomfortable memories. I shuddered to imagine her interrogation sessions when she was Specimen Seven.

“Olga Fyodorovna Matveeva,” I said, and repeated Mandy’s information. “Inference: she’s most of the money behind this place, which must give her a big say in how it’s run.”

“What motivates her?” said Katrina.

I shrugged.

“Former model, Russian billionaire husband, plenty of opportunities for abusive treatment. She builds up anger and resentment, inherits a shipload of money, meets Mandy Curtis and friends...”

“And bingo,” said Helen, “they find a location, build this complex, staff it with people who’ll keep their mouths shut, and start identifying males for starring roles at their Festivals.” She glanced at Olga Fyodorovna again. “She gives me the creeps, Clarissa. Our manhoods have been taken away and we’ve been upgraded to women, which must have been what she wanted. Yet she’s still eyeing us like a fox in a chicken run.”

- - - - - - -
A few weeks later, my new identity established, I was five feet nine inches tall and my measurements had become 38D-28-36. On a good day I could squeeze into a U.K. size twelve without suffocating myself or splitting the seams, but ninety-odd percent of the time I was a fourteen. If I could shed another couple of inches from my waist, I thought, I’d be close to ideal shape (hip-to-waist ratio about one point four) and I could assemble a better wardrobe. I didn’t suppose it would happen, though. However, I now had big firm boobs, which vied for best-feature status with my shoulder-length black hair and soft brown eyes. My bum wasn’t bad, either, and my legs were okay provided I didn’t wear short skirts; they looked better in trousers. Jeans suited me well if I wore a top that hinted at cleavage without displaying it. My feet were definitely the worst things about me, and despite the FDT’s assurances I didn’t believe even the smartest shoes disguised their shortcomings, though I’d acquired the recommended items - and handbags to match. I had my ears pierced and bought jewellery at surprisingly low prices: ruby (more likely garnet) ear-rings and a silver necklace with a ‘ruby’ pendant, a silver bracelet, a silver ring. Silver looked good against my skin, and rubies (even garnets) seem to suit brunettes.

I enjoyed dressing to look my best. Second glances and approving comments gratified me, especially from Mandy. She seemed careless of her own appearance (she could have done much more with her figure if she’d chosen the right clothes), but she was happy to commend mine, and she noticed details.

“You look gorgeous in that, Clarissa. Pretty necklace, too. I love what you’ve done with your hair.”

“I’ll never be a beauty but I do my best.”

“Don’t run yourself down. You’re really attractive. Lots of men would queue to date you.”

The comment disconcerted me. It was praise, but it turned my thoughts into the low-confidence channel: blind men, maybe, or old men desperate for company, or men who supposed a woman with second-rate looks would be grateful enough for attention to offer a free blow-job. I snapped myself back into positive thinking mode, but the idea of attracting men was disturbing. My near-obsession with my appearance had been driven by culturally-ingrained notions of feminine beauty and encouraged by others’ approval; however, none of the others were male, at least not now. But everyone knows that the purpose, the biological purpose, of feminine beauty is to attract males. I conceded that it would be gratifying, even exciting, to attract men, but I’d draw the line at intimacy.

I really had become a woman now, I reflected: Hello men! I want you to fancy me but I won’t let you have me! Soooo sorry! How conventional, how moral!

The inference made me giggle.

- - - - - - -
The Dawn Chorus continued to enjoy daily exercise followed by drinks and gossip, and the rest of the time we socialised, went to concerts, danced, read books, watched films, ate in the restaurant, walked in the grounds and gardens enjoying fresh air and flowers and birdsong, or whiled away hours in the salon. I enjoyed swimming more than I’d done during my time as a man because my body was now more buoyant; I could float on my back and relax and the novelty was sensuous. More generally, I hadn’t realised before my upgrading how a pair of boobs alters one’s balance (unless they’re small like Katrina’s). It should have been obvious: even if your bum compensates, your boobs bring your centre of gravity forward. It makes correct posture all the more important for a woman. I thanked the FDT for their relentless instruction.

We’d settled into enjoying carefree lives but we sensed impermanence; the idyll couldn’t last. Mandy was away, probably attending to business interests. I missed her because I wanted to ask her the questions that now haunted us: what next, and where, and how, and when? Notwithstanding the delights of the Recovery Compound we’d become edgy. I was sleeping badly for the first time since I’d left the hospital ward.

For Helen and me the edginess was exacerbated by Olga Fyodorovna, who appeared more and more frequently. As far as I could tell she never spoke to an upgrade. She sometimes issued instructions to the salon staff or the restaurant waiters, whose responses were swift and obedient, but she conversed only with members of the FDT. Covertly, I studied their body language.

“You know, Helen, everyone in the FDT kow-tows to the Russian Envoy.”

“I’d noticed. And have you clocked where they point while they’re talking?”

I hadn’t, though I’d seen them glance more than once at Katrina and two of the other attractive upgrades. They seemed to dismiss the rest of us. Helen shook her head.

“They nearly always focus on the four lookers, Clarissa: Magda, Jagoda, Katrina and you.”

The Dawn Chorus hadn’t befriended Magda and Jagoda because of language barriers. Neither Helen nor Katrina nor I could speak Polish or Serbo-Croat, and neither Magda nor Jagoda was fluent in English or German. They were agreeable women, though, who always greeted other residents with a smile and a wave. And as Helen said, they were lookers: Magda curvy and cheerful, Jagoda slender and dark and endowed with an aura of mystique. Comfortable though I was about my appearance – with reservations, notably my feet - I didn’t compare with those two; or with Katrina, small tits and excess makeup notwithstanding.

“Oh, come on, Helen, if the Russian Envoy and the FDT staff point at me it isn’t because of my looks.”

“Yes it is, Clarissa. Mandy’s right, you’re too ready to do yourself down. I wish to hell I had a body like yours. Or a dress sense like yours.”

I was flustered, partly because my best friend was showering me with envy-spangled praise, but mainly because I feared she might be right about Olga Fyodorovna and the FDT. Helen was educated, smart and observant. (She was also, alas, a frump.) Were Olga Fyodorovna and the FDT really focussing on me as well as the upgrades who were closest to the ideal of beauty? If so, why?

“You can’t know what their motives are, Helen. You don’t know what they’re thinking.”

“I do, love. I asked some of the FDT about it. They told me that the prettier the upgrade, the more she interests Olga Fyodorovna. And before you ask, they don’t believe Olga Fyodorovna’s a lezzie.”

I didn’t suppose she was; according to Mandy, she’d been married. Marriage to a man doesn’t guarantee heterosexuality, or course, but it makes it highly likely. However, assuming that the Russian Envoy’s interest wasn’t sexual, what was in her mind?

The Russian’s scrutiny encouraged Katrina to preen. I told her we should be suspicious of the attention because we didn’t know what it betokened. She took no heed and took to dressing provocatively when Olga Fyodorovna hove into view. Helen watched and shook her head.

Did the Russian’s scrutiny imply answers to our questions of what, where, how and when? If so, what were those answers?

We soon found out.

- - - - - - -
When Hiromi Takamitsu appeared in the restaurant at lunchtime a few days later I was doubly surprised: I hadn’t expected to see her again, and I hadn’t expected to be delighted when I did. She ran to me awash with smiles, bowed a greeting, and said she couldn’t believe what a lovely woman I’d become. My body became one big warm Cheshire Cat grin. I recalled how Jennifer, the former Specimen Five, had befriended her castratrix, Melanie, and I wondered how Helen would interpret this quirk of Stockholm Syndrome. I hugged Hiromi and bought her a drink. She sat beside me and ordered a meal. She was fatter than ever - some women pay no attention to calorie intake – but within minutes we were chatting like old friends.

“So, now you are Clarissa. You like it that you are woman?”

“If you’d asked me a year ago whether I wanted to be a woman I’d have said ‘definitely not’. Now, if you asked me whether I wanted to be a man, I’d say ‘definitely not’.”

Her laughter was a silver bell, joyful and celebratory. Her face lit with pleasure.

“You happy here... Clarissa?”

A small cloud of disquiet cast a shadow over my reply.

“Perhaps too happy, Hiromi. Helen and Katrina and I keep wondering what’s next. We can’t stay in this fragile paradise forever. Where shall we go and what shall we do with the rest of our lives?”

“Ah!” she said.

I thought the ‘Ah’ would presage an explanation or a conjecture, but she just gave a little giggle and ate her lunch. So I interpreted “Ah!” as Japanese for “You’ll see – I’m not going to spoil the surprise!”

“Tell me, Hiromi. Do you know where upgrades go when they leave here?”

“Some one place, some another place. It depend.”

“On what?”

“How they upgrade, how adjust, what management... What recommend.”

So you’re not going to elucidate further, I thought. I’m no closer to an answer than I was an hour ago, or a week ago. I wanted to keep probing, but there was another question I needed to ask.

“Hiromi, when you were planning the castration of my former self, you spoke to... to Laura. My erstwhile partner.”

She shook her head.

“No, Clarissa, Mandy Curtis see Laura. Laura tell her, ‘I like put his cock and balls in blender’. She angry. Mandy tell me, so I do as said.”
I nodded.

“Please tell me – was Laura in the audience when you were neutering me?”

She shook her head again, smiled, and went on eating. Maybe Mandy had told me the truth: I’d imagined Laura’s presence and her delight at seeing my male parts cut off and liquefied. The tricks of the mind! When I thought of Laura now, I imagined her as a friend. I pictured us shopping together, drinking coffee in busy cafés, laughing at the foibles of others, exchanging recipes. It was no longer possible to think of her as a lover.

“Specimen Five in the batch before mine, castrated by Melanie Siddall,” I said. “She was upgraded to Jennifer. Jennifer was here but she isn’t here now. I’d like to talk to her. Where did she go?”

Hiromi, her mouth full of food, shrugged and shook her head. But when at last her plate was empty she leaned over the table and confided:
“We like know how you really are as woman. Come with me, we see. Bring Katrina.”

She lit a cigarette and beckoned me to follow.

- - - - - - -
It was a warm room with a royal blue carpet and curtains but little furniture. Hiromi led us in and closed the door behind us. Two members of the FDT staff were present. So was Olga Fyodorovna.

“Katrina, Clarissa,” said Hiromi, pointing to each of us in turn.

“This I know,” said Olga Fyodorovna. “I now inspect.” She stared at us and barked: “Take off clothes.”

The FDT women gave us encouraging nods and smiled. Katrina started to undress, showing little embarrassment or even surprise. I hesitated, trying to hide my body as much as I could. Olga Fyodorovna didn’t appreciate my reluctance.

“Faster. Strip!”

When we were naked she walked around us, scrutinising each of our bodies in turn. Her face showed no expression. She stroked Katrina’s hair, felt at her abdomen, fondled her breasts, grunted, and then put her hand between her legs. Katrina flinched. When the Russian’s finger probed her anus, she flinched again.

Not a lesbian? I thought. Hah!

Then I was treated to the same examination: hair, abdomen, breasts, intimate parts. I shut my eyes and grimaced. Olga Fyodorovna grunted, then spoke in Russian to one of the FDT women, who answered in the same language, her voice respectful but grudging. Finally, she nodded to Hiromi.

“Good. They go with other two.”

She stalked out of the room, leaving the unhappy FDT women to explain. We were to leave the Recovery Compound in forty-eight hours, destination unspecified. We should use the intervening time to pack our belongings and say our farewells, but we must also make more purchases.

“Your bras and panties are pretty, but Olga Fyodorovna says you must also buy suspender belts and stockings. Full lingerie sets.”

We didn’t want to believe the implication. I felt betrayed, angry, frightened, sick. Pale under her blusher, Katrina started to cry.

“Look, I can find work,” I said. “I’m an experienced writer and editor. I have qualifications!”

Hiromi laughed and squeezed my breasts.

“For work you go to, these are qualifications,” she said. “And this, and this,” she added, her fingers invading my body in emulation of Olga Fyodorovna’s. She leaned towards me and whispered: “Dog enjoy cock and balls purée. Ate all up.”

I spat at her and reached up to scratch her eyes but the FDT women restrained me. Hiromi laughed and departed, leaving me boiling with impotent rage, my weeping friend beside me.

Along with Magda and Jagoda, Katrina and I had been bought and sold.

- - - - - - - -

During the first fortnight I refused to work so I was locked in a separate room, beaten every day, and starved. Katrina and Magda and Jagoda hadn’t resisted for long. They shared a room next to mine so I could hear them crying when they were off shift. Other sounds - male voices and laughter, female cries, tinny pop music – formed a continual backcloth. There was an all-pervading odour of cheap perfume, tobacco smoke, sweat, stale air and stale sex. The lighting was dim and dismal. After a few days I grew accustomed to the noise and stench, but I yearned for fresh air and quiet. And food. And an end to the beatings. An end to the nightmare.

What had become of Helen? At least she hadn’t been sold to this hell-hole. I knew modern slavery was widespread, but condemning it in the abstract is a far cry from experiencing it at first hand, so my venom was reserved for Olga Matveeva and Hiromi Takamitsu and Mandy Curtis. Anger and disgust at their betrayal fermented inside me. What did they imagine entitled them to buy and sell women as though they were livestock or second-hand cars, treating them as merchandise, trading them for use like lumps of meat? Given the chance I’d have killed them.

I missed the Recovery Compound, the Dawn Chorus chats, the freedom to walk under open sky, to enjoy books and music, to live as I chose. Longing and loss blended with misery and rage, an emulsion of negativity. Mechanically, I kept taking my hormone tablets.

After two weeks of resistance, weakened by hunger, physical abuse and futile anger, I was drugged and raped. The three owners took turns, smoking and drinking, joking and laughing. Two fucked my cunt, one my arse. He had to use lubricant; the other two didn’t bother, and my vagina remained dry until the first bastard had pumped it full of cum. Maybe the surgeon’s trick for providing lubricant from my prostate would have worked if I’d felt aroused instead of ripped apart. The pain was partly physical but mainly emotional. Shock and disgust paralysed me. My empty stomach tried to vomit while the three men were shagging me and I went on retching after they’d finished. They flicked fag-ash on to my abused body as they left.

I showered and scrubbed, shivered and sobbed, but it was no good; I was contaminated, hollowed out, worthless, no longer caring what happened to me. What difference could sex with strangers make now? I was sore, too. Very sore.

After that I shared the bedroom with Katrina and Magda and Jagoda. We weren’t allowed out of the building. We were indoors twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. No one told us what country we were in. We had no exercise other than heartless, robotic sex; ten hour shifts, five days a week; no privacy. When we weren’t working we ate, slept, washed and ironed clothes, and tried to support each other. We seldom exchanged details of the daily abuse and degradation we suffered, but at least we helped each other with hair and makeup and, for some girls, fake tan.

- - - - - - -
The house was big and busy. We’d all heard about such establishments so I knew it could have been worse. In many ways it was more like a British brothel than an allegedly typical sub-continental one: the rooms were cleaned, there were showers and towels and bedding in every work room, the clients had to use condoms for vaginal or anal intercourse, and violent men were ejected by the owners. But the noise and the odour were unrelenting, and the lighting was red as a cliché.

Every day, eight or nine of the twelve women in the brothel were available for hire. The owners kept ninety-five percent of our earnings, and unless a girl made over five hundred dollars per day she was beaten. Since each client paid fifty dollars for half an hour and we couldn’t charge extra for any service, the arithmetic was simple: each of us satisfied at least ten clients per day, unless one decided to stay for an hour and pay double. If a woman met her quota she pocketed a hundred and twenty-five dollars for her fifty-hour week while the owners grossed two and a half thousand from her earnings alone. According to rumour you’d be sold to a private buyer if you kept falling short of your quota, probably a sadist or a sex killer. Indeed, there was a steady turnover of ‘staff’, and not all the disappearances were suicides.

The little we earned went on condoms, clothes, makeup, sex toys, lubricants, perfume, cigarettes, and hygiene and cleaning products, which the owners provided; and, for those who opted for them, vodka and heroin, which the owners also supplied. Many of the women including Katrina and Magda preferred to numb their senses at the start and end of each shift. I was repeatedly tempted but I didn’t succumb: the more alcohol or heroin you needed, the greater your expenses, so the more you had to earn.

As long as we worked we were fed; the meals were deficient in quality and quantity but we didn’t starve. But there was no leisure activity: no television except porn films, no books, no music except the pap fed through the ubiquitous speakers, no gym or swimming pool, no café where we could sit and chat. We exercised as best we could, squats and crunches in our small dark room, when we weren’t exhausted. Usually, though, we were exhausted, physically and mentally and emotionally.

- - - - - - -
The clients were European, American, Japanese, Australian, Asian, occasionally South American, very occasionally African. When they arrived, the girls not currently in use paraded in front of them wearing only lingerie and shoes. Clients who tried to force unprotected sex on us or to inflict injury were seen through the hidden CCTV cameras, and the owners burst into the work room, beat them up and threw them out. Otherwise we had to submit to whatever the clients demanded. If we didn’t, the owners dealt no less brutally with us.

I understood the client’s demands if he spoke English, French or German; for other languages I learned to guess. After a week or two I could interpret “Spread your legs, whore”, “On your knees, bitch”, “ram that vibrator up your minge”, and similar endearments in half a dozen languages I couldn’t identify. Not all clients were like that, but many were, and my mind erected a shield of amnesia to cope with them.

How I missed Helen! I wanted to talk to her about my personal misery and my increasing concern for my friends. I thought Katrina was becoming addicted to heroin. Maybe Magda was, too, though her main refuge was vodka. Jagoda seemed close to clinical depression. Helen would have a better idea than I how to handle it. I was too preoccupied with holding myself together to be much help to the others.

I’d also tell Helen about the limits of Stockholm Syndrome; I’d never forget what the owners had done to me and I’d never stop hating them. Nor would I forget the bitches who’d sold us.

Some clients wanted to give pleasure; male egos are inflated if they believe they’ve made a woman cum. I never learned to fake orgasms realistically but my acting convinced most clients; they wanted to be convinced and they were only men.

It was nice when a client smiled; some even thanked me. In contrast, some had halitosis or body odour and many were drunk or drugged. The worst were those who wouldn’t tell me what they wanted. I’d try anything to make them shoot their loads fast so they’d sod off and leave me to face the next punter. As a man, I’d treated prostitutes as objects, so there was justice in men treating me as an object. But when I was a man I never presented myself to a woman drunk or smelly, and I always told them what I had in mind.

One day I serviced five clients in rapid succession and all five demanded blow jobs. Condoms weren’t required for oral sex and spitting wasn’t an option, so for nearly three hours I was on my knees sucking cocks and swallowing spunk. After each one I used an antibacterial mouth wash, which tasted worse than cum. After the fifth, who’d grabbed my hair and fucked my face, my jaw ached so much and my throat was so bruised I could scarcely eat or drink, let alone speak. My sixth client that day was fat and bald and pimply. He wanted straight missionary-position sex, which was such a relief after the jaw-busters I almost enjoyed it. When he left I burst into tears. Katrina and Magda hugged me until I stopped, then they helped me to dry my eyes and repair my makeup.

During that interlude I realised that we, the women, were the constant, the ones who were always there. It was as true of the real world as the brothel; women created continuity, were continuity, generation on generation, and all the abuse on earth couldn’t alter that. Men were ephemera, fleeting and unmemorable; for us, nothing more than paltry sources of money and a way of avoiding beatings.

“Men just cum and go,” I thought, and started to giggle. I didn’t stop giggling until I’d shared a half-bottle of vodka with Magda.

“While that fat sod was squashing me into the mattress I thought I’d end up seven feet tall and a size four,” I said, still sniggering.

One good thing about the life I was forced to live: those two unwanted inches had gone from my waist-line. Well, one had, anyway. Chronic stress is good for the figure.

- - - - - - -
You can grow accustomed to anything, as people in prisoner of war camps testify. Copying one of the more experienced prostitutes, a big German blonde called Uta, I started to greet clients with a welcoming smile and a wiggle of the hips, maintaining eye-contact, and I was chosen more often. Some girls couldn’t bring themselves to do the same. Katrina dragged herself in front of arrivals with stooped shoulders and downcast face and she often failed to meet her quota.

“Katrina,” I said, “if you can’t bring yourself to flaunt your body, try looking shy and innocent and give a tentative smile. Then the types who enjoy fucking teenagers might pick you. It could save you from beatings.”

She blinked and looked away, her false eyelashes glistening.

“My mind goes blank when I’m with them. I daren’t think about it or I’ll be sick. How do you cope, Clarissa?”

I told her the tricks I’d learned: let your mouth smile, your throat gasp, your hips thrust, your arms and legs wrap around him, but keep your mind on something pleasant. What would you like for dinner? Where would you most like to be? What about a holiday in the sun? If you could go shopping with unlimited money, what would you buy?

“And keep your sense of humour. There are always funny details, like when one of the straps on your damned suspender belt comes detached and you try to fasten it again without the client noticing, and it’s always a strap at the back so you can’t see what you’re doing; and when a client farts and you try not to laugh; or says he wants watersports but runs a mile when you order him to lie down so you can piss on him... And let’s face it, men are a joke provided they’re not violent. All great studs, totally in charge, while in truth the woman’s in control, draining their balls, making them collapse into soggy heaps and fall asleep, trying not to giggle when their dicks droop. Come on, Katrina, that’s funny.”

She wasn’t convinced, but she tried the innocent-girly act and acquired more clients.

I began to attract regulars. One morning I was lined up with three other women so an English-speaking client could inspect us, a middle-aged man with grey hair and broad shoulders. After he’d scanned the merchandise he said “I’ll have the brunette,” so off I went.
As he towelled himself after his shower he said “Get your tits out”. I took off my bra and he stroked my boobs and started to kiss them. His caresses were firm but gentle and I found them pleasurable. He seemed gratified when my nipples hardened. His cock followed suit.

“I’m Geoff,” he said. “What’s your name?”

“Cassie,” I said.

He grinned. “Your real name.”

I was ‘Cassie’ to all clients. Many didn’t bother to ask.

“Any time you come here for fun, ask for Cassie,” I said.

“Okay, Cassie, get your knickers off.” he said. When I complied, his eyes widened. “Great, you’ve got pubes! I like women who look natural.”

He ought to have noticed the pubic hair around my flimsy panties while he was scanning us, but you can’t expect clients to be observant. Nevertheless he seemed like a man after my own heart - as my heart had been when I was male. Geoff lay on his back and asked me not to take off my shoes or stockings or suspender belt. I put a condom on his cock and climbed on top of him. Fucking him that way would have been more comfortable if I’d been naked, but he was one of the many guys who’re turned on by stiletto heels and stocking tops. After he’d finished and I was cleaning him up he asked whether I ‘did domination’.

“Of course,” I said, echoing what experienced escorts had told me in times past, “but ‘domination’ can mean different things. You’ll need to tell me what you want and how far you want me to go, and we’ll agree a safe word.”

It occurred to me that Laura had said much the same during our bedroom games, but I still hadn’t grasped its significance. My former male self had been stupid and self-deceiving.

Geoff came back a week later, asking for whipping and ball-busting, and then again a week after that. Despite my oversized feet he was as obsessed with my shoes as he was with my boobs and pubes. On that third visit he lay face-down on the floor and begged me to stand on his dick and grind it into the carpet. After I’d trampled the penis for three or four minutes he shot his load over my stiletto heel. He enjoyed it so much he gave me a ten dollar tip.

“I didn’t ask for that service last time because I was embarrassed,” he said as I cleaned my shoe.

I smiled. “Nothing to be embarrassed about, honey. It was fun for me, too.”

Strange to relate, it was, in a way. It’s gratifying to be wanted, very gratifying to be appreciated, and no matter what job you do in life there’s satisfaction in knowing you’ve done it well. And Geoff would have been a gentleman if I’d met him socially. Anyway, what woman wouldn’t enjoy crushing a man’s cock under her foot?

“You’re turning into a genuine whore, Clarissa,” Katrina told me.

“While I’m here,” I said, “that’s what I have to be. And so do you.”

She was right, though, and it didn’t make me feel good. By forcing myself to adjust to life as a sex worker, overcoming or suppressing the misery of my first weeks there, I’d cheapened myself.

- - - - - - -
A few clients like Geoff were decent, as I’d started to realise. Previously, I’d been negative about all of them because of what the owners had done to break me in. Many flailed us with obscene personal insults and verbal abuse, but it was part of their pleasure. If you agreed (“Yes, that’s right, I’m a dirty little slut; yes, sir, this is all I’m good for”), they usually stopped. Once I grew accustomed to the language it was the proverbial water off a duck’s back. In any case, I’d treated whores that way when I was male, so what could I expect?

But some clients were truly unpleasant. Apart from bad breath, ugly bodies and faces, intoxication, clumsy use of callused fingers, and reluctance to say what they wanted, they made demands no woman could enjoy. I detested men pissing on me, especially when they tied me up and aimed at my mouth, or spitting on me, and it was horrible when they forced their fists into me. Even worse were the ones who tossed off on my face and made me keep my eyes open. If you’ve ever had spunk in your eyes you’ll understand. Men who wanted anal sex often chose me, so I was almost grateful for the abuse Mandy Curtis’s dildos had inflicted before the castration. Thanks to that I could take even the biggest cocks, though they still hurt enough to make me whimper, to the pleasure of their thrusting and grunting owners. Then there were the eccentrics who wanted to dress in women’s underwear, or be treated as babies, or have custard thrown at them, or do unexpected things with ping-pong balls or Clingfilm or lengths of elastic. They were a hoot. They served to remind us all that men are pathetic creatures who need to be indulged and cared for by their superiors, i.e. women. All men’s verbal abuse and nastiness is an attempt to compensate for their inadequacies.

One evening, after I’d already reached my day’s quota, I was forced to take a two-man booking. The clients had been drinking and had decided to share a prostitute. They spoke a language unfamiliar to me but made their wishes known. Soon I was naked on my hands and knees, one cock in my mouth and the other up my arse. The men chatted and laughed as they fucked me, probably exchanging opinions about my performance and character, and they spunked almost simultaneously so I had to swallow and wiggle my hips at the same time. Just as well women are good at multitasking, I thought, and started to laugh. Clients don’t like to think you’re laughing at them unless they’ve asked for humiliation, so I hugged them and told them I’d enjoyed them. One of the pair spoke a little German so I could make the lie understood, and they went away happy, slapping my buttocks as they departed.

When I’d escaped from the work room, had a meal and started to unwind, I found I couldn’t recall either of their names or appearances; not that I wanted to. Looking back over the past weeks I saw a pattern: I couldn’t remember details (including name) of any client who’d treated me as an object, but I could picture all those who’d treated me as a person while using me as they wished: Geoff, Heinrich, Pierre, Bryan... English, German, French, Australian... Maybe it helped that I could speak their languages. However, there were other men, of what nationalities I never knew, who ordered me about in halting French or English so I could understand them but made themselves unmemorable because they used me like an inflatable doll.

“It is so also for me, for all of us,” said Jagoda. “But I remember none.”

Perhaps Jagoda hadn’t become a whore to the core, as (according to Katrina) I had. Or perhaps her depression and passivity attracted clients who wanted a warm inflatable doll, something withdrawn and unresponsive, a sad puppy they could kick. Her makeup masked a permanent expression of horror. Innocence had been banished from her eyes, its seat usurped by suffering and despair.

- - - - - - -

Geoff or Heinrich or both must have said something good about me to the owners because I was increasingly recommended to clients who sought domination. The brothel’s dungeon was located where dungeons belong: in the cellar. Uta the German blonde led me down the dark stone stairs. She was a natural dominatrix who regarded me as apprentice rather than rival, so she enjoyed introducing me to the subterranean room.

I scanned the arrays of whips, straps, dildos and restraints, the St Andrew’s cross and the whipping bench, and recalled the Curtis bitch’s description of her friend Bethany, ‘Mistress Dedesa’, and her dungeon. I wasn’t a tall pale redhead with a legal background and a passion for inflicting cruelty but I reckoned I could use the equipment.

“Many men who want domination also like to watch lesbians.” Uta exploited my command of German. “Is it something you do, Cassie - fuck women?”

Unlike Katrina I’d never been asked for this service, so Uta’s question was a challenge. Had I ever fucked women? It depended on who ‘I’ was. Doug Hendry had fucked a lot of women but Clarissa hadn’t. Could she handle it? Well, if it was what a client wanted I’d have to. And Uta was okay. Experienced.

“I haven’t but I’ll try if I must. You’ll need to take charge, though.”

If I had to participate in a lesbian show I’d have preferred Katrina because we were friends, comfortable together. However, Katrina hated two-girl scenes. Uta grinned and her voice fell to a husky murmur.

“I will enjoy you.”

I shut my eyes and smiled with my mouth.

However, the client for my first dungeon session wanted only me. He was American or Canadian and he asked for heavy domination and humiliation. Hiding my nervousness, I gave him a safe word and ordered him to strip and kneel on the floor, then pulled his arms behind his back, handcuffed him and brandished a leather whip.

“Did I order you to kneel with your legs together?”

“No, Mistress.”

Six strokes of the whip on his back. He gasped. I snarled:

“Spread them! And keep your eyes on the floor! How dare you look at my face?”

He obeyed and muttered an apology and I relaxed into the game. Was this what amused Zsófia Kurtag and her kind? Over the next hour I gave him his hundred dollars’ worth, with interest. A few strokes of the cane on his cock made it shrink, and it shrunk even further when I kicked his balls. While it was absurdly small I tied him to the cross and called the other available women down to the dungeon to laugh at him.

“Smaller than my girlfriend’s clit,” said one. “Is he married?”

He said he was, so I asked him what his wife did for sex. Wasn’t she interested in it, or did she have boyfriends, or was she a lesbian? I used a leather strap and a wooden paddle to encourage the answers I wanted. Soon he ‘admitted’ that his wife and her boyfriend made him watch while they fucked, and when they’d finished he had to lick her out and swallow so no cum dripped on the sheets. After the cuckold-confession I untied him, tormented his arse with a vibrator, and then ordered him to lie on the floor on his back.

“Open your mouth. I need a piss.”

He obeyed. He’d gasped and squealed his throat dry during the previous hour so he needed a drink. He thanked me, tipped me, told me he’d had a wonderful time and said he’d be back for more. I told him I wouldn’t be as merciful on his next visit.

I never saw him again.

- - - - - - -
Specialises in domination and watersports. In times past I’d seen the description on prostitutes’ profiles and now it was tagged to me, though it didn’t stop clients demanding other services. If I had two dungeon sessions in a shift, with light domination on two or three other clients, I’d say it had been ‘a good day’ despite half a dozen encounters with males who had the charm and sex-appeal of hyenas. Fem dom games notwithstanding, women in brothels are victims of sexual terrorism, day in, day out: hunted, dominated, harassed, assaulted, degraded. In my e-mails to the Curtis bitch while I was male I’d made claims about the ‘naturalness’ of rape. The fact is that many men exist in a state of chronic half-suppressed rage against women and can relieve it only by trying to control them. Some clients made me so angry while I was submitting to their fantasies, notwithstanding my ability to detach mind from body, that the next masochist to cross my path risked serious injury. I had to restrain myself in the dungeon. Revenge wasn’t part of my job description and hospitalising a client would have been bad for business.

Geoff and Heinrich and the other regulars whose names I was happy to remember were a welcome relief. Of course I’d never have chosen them as partners, but they remembered I was human. Heinrich was imaginative, though, and Uta and I had our first two-girl session with him.
It was okay. I’ve never objected to fingering and licking women, sometimes I’ve even enjoyed it, and if Uta was surprised by my lack of clitoris she didn’t show it. To my surprise her tongue and fingers aroused me, and I discovered that the surgeon’s lubrication system was satisfactory after all. I wondered whether I might cum. I didn’t, but by the end of the session I believed I might some day. No need to wonder about Henrich, though. After Uta had strapped on a dildo, fucked me and faked an orgasm, he took her place, rammed his dick into me and finished in less than five minutes. After he’d thanked us and left, Uta and I stared at each other, hugged, and burst out laughing.

“Nice to have a cock that doesn’t go soft inside you,” I said.

“So, Heinrich stayed hard until the end?”

“I meant you! Difficult to tell about him. After you’d stretched me he hardly touched the sides.”

“Ah, you flatter me! I like!”

So the job had its lighter side. I could laugh and joke with Uta and one or two of the other girls, clients like Henrich were congenial, and I quite enjoyed dominating. But I’d never have opted for the sex industry. Many escorts and brothel workers in richer countries choose prostitution as a short-term career, making a good income for a few years without having to work long hours, though some are driven by personal difficulties. Globally, however, most prostitutes don’t choose; they’re coerced, or they’re victims of addiction or poverty. And as I discovered, most of the ‘staff’ in our brothel had been abused when they were children, usually by members of their own families. In that regard we were the global norm.

My secure personal background, coupled with my tendency to bend rather than break when the storms of life battered me, was my saving grace. I coped with prostitution without becoming drug or alcohol dependent or mentally ill. At least, not very. Nevertheless I sat in the bedroom many evenings after a bruising shift unable to decide whether to paint my nails or slit my wrists.

- - - - - - -
Grown adept at using dungeon equipment and strap-on dildos, inured to sex with Uta and other girls, I grew emotionally numb. Care of body and clothes became mechanical, a daily ritual. Helping the others with hair and makeup and fake tan, soaking up their laughter and tears, were duties I performed with the assiduous detachment of a junior administrator or a footman. It was this separation of body from mind or soul, of everyday demands from the life within, that tilted the balance in favour of nail-painting. I was never at serious risk of slitting my wrists.

But for some the balance swung the other way. Jagoda didn’t slit her wrists; she hanged herself.

Magda found her body swinging in the bedroom doorway. She screamed and went on screaming. I went for the owners, who cursed, slapped and punched Magda into a mass of chocking sobs that cowered in the corner, cut down the corpse, threw it on to the floor, kicked it to make sure it was dead, and dragged it out of the building to dump it in a distant back street or the countryside, cursing all the way. Their workforce was under capacity. They’d have to buy more girls, otherwise clients would be queuing. No one had closed Jagoda’s eyes.

To deal with Magda - and with Katrina, who was almost as distressed - I tried to shake off my emotional lethargy. My efforts were only half-successful. The language barrier was a handicap; Magda had learned some basic German and English but in her state of shock and misery she reverted to Polish. My own distress didn’t help. I remembered Jagoda as she’d been in the Recovery Compound – dark-haired, pretty, lively despite her aura of mystique – and juxtaposed this image with the ruined creature who’d hanged herself. The contrast epitomised all that was evil about forced prostitution, about slavery.

There was no time to mourn, little time for comfort; we had to keep working. Magda and Katrina dosed themselves with heroin and vodka at the start of their next shift. I coped differently, fantasising while I was servicing clients about what I’d like to do to the owners. Tied up in their own dungeon and facing a vengeful group of furies with knives, or perhaps me alone with one big blade, it wouldn’t be long before sharp steel found its way between their fifth and sixth ribs and their bodies were dumped in a back street as a sacrifice to the women whose deaths they’d caused. To Jagoda. Delighted by the passion I displayed while they were inside me, my clients left the brothel oozing self-congratulation. If they’d been able to read my thoughts they couldn’t have performed, let alone imagined they were good at it. All the Viagra in the world wouldn’t have stiffened them.

I unloaded as much of my grief and anger as I could by talking to my few friends. None of the clients picked up a hint of it; not because I was good at hiding my feelings, but because most men assume prostitutes have nothing on their minds except what they’ve been paid to do. In any case, they tend to be blind and deaf to women’s sorrows. Though there are exceptions.

Two days after Jagoda’s death, Geoff came to see me. I greeted him as always as he stepped out of the shower: a smile, a kiss, saying it was lovely to see him again, asking how he was, working towards asking what he wanted to do; but he interrupted my small-talk, stopped towelling himself, and said: “What’s wrong, Cassie?”

I told him nothing was wrong, whereupon he took my hand and sat beside me on the bed and asked if I wanted to talk about it. I felt tears start to my eyes. He put an arm round my shoulder and hugged me. His touch tore through my restraint and I cried on him.

“This isn’t right... I’m supposed to – “

“Shh. It’s fine, Cassie. I can manage without sex. I wanted to see you, but I’m not going to - ”

“That wouldn’t be fair, Geoff - you’ve paid for me!”

I told him one of the girls had died recently, and Katrina and I had shared a room with her so we were upset. Geoff sympathised and said he was sure the owners were saddened and had taken care to return the girl’s body to her family, but he was surprised her friends and especially her room-mates were expected to work so soon after the bereavement.

For a mature intelligent man, I thought, you’re absurdly naïve. But you’re a nice person. Shame you’re in the minority. If more men had the wit to realise what forced prostitution is like, or even made an effort to think about it, brothels like this would be burned down, or at least out of business. But most men don’t want to know. All they want is girls at affordable prices so they can empty their balls whenever they like.
I gave Geoff a hug and a kiss, made him lie face-down on the floor, and crushed his dick under my shoe until he creamed my stiletto heel. He was touchingly grateful. It was déjà vu, except his tip this time was twenty dollars.

- - - - - - -
Magda couldn’t work. We did our best to cover for her during the days that followed but there was no effective shield against the owners’ scrutiny. One owner had enough command of Polish to let her know she was up for auction. A couple of psychopaths had already made bids, he said.

“We buy new girls.” The owners leered at each of us in turn. “Fresh meat, more money. Maybe we auction you, too, all of you.”

On the following morning I was summoned to attend a youngish olive-skinned visitor in a dark suit and tie who was debating my market value with the owners. Remembering the previous day’s taunts I was close to panic. The visitor winked and smiled at me while his interpreter clarified the deal, which did nothing to ameliorate my terror. The owners decided I was worth more than he’d offered, so they ordered me to strip so he could examine me intimately. To my surprise he only glanced at my naked body, then walked around me without touching and offered a higher price. It was agreed. I was sold.

Trembling and perspiring, I wrapped a towel around myself and went to collect my few belongings, and the buyer insisted on coming with me; afraid I’d escape his clutches, I supposed. But as soon as we were out of the owners’ earshot he spoke to me in low, urgent tones. His English was excellent.

“Please forgive the deception, Ms Hendry, but I beg you’ll go on playing your part until we’re safely out of here. My name is Sergio Ortega and I’m your friend. Outside, three others are waiting to greet you. One is a friend you already know: Helen Bridges.”


A blaze of joy pierced the darkness of dread and raised my voice to a shout. Señor Ortega hushed me.

“Yes, Helen. She has missed you. Very worried.”

“I’ve been worried about her, too! But Señor Ortega, I can’t leave without Katrina. Helen will be just as – “

“I’m authorised to pay only for your freedom. I’m sorry.”

So someone’s authorised you, which means they’ve given you the money. Who? Not Helen. Hardly likely she could afford it.

“Then please tell the person who authorised you that either Katrina and I both leave with you, or I stay.” I thought for a moment. “You paid over the odds for me, from what I heard. So tell the owners that if they’ll sell Katrina for a reasonable price, you’ll take Magda off their hands as well since she’s no longer any use to them.”

“I cannot buy everyone’s freedom, Ms Hendry. Only yours.”

“I’m not asking you to buy everyone’s freedom. But either Katrina and I leave together, with Magda in tow, or I stay and you’ve wasted whatever you paid for me.”

I cringed at my ungraciousness, but what alternative had I? If I knew anything about the kind of people who authorised purchases of prostitutes then Señor Ortega wouldn’t dare waste their money. Helen’s presence was an odd quirk, but I wondered whether Señor Ortega had lied about it so I’d be willing to go with him.

He spoke into his mobile phone, gesturing me away with his free hand. I ran to the bedroom, grabbing Katrina on the way, and told her what was afoot.

“Gather your stuff, help me put Magda’s things together, and – “

“Clarissa, no, you do not know what – “

“He says Helen’s waiting outside for us.”

She looked as though I’d hit her with a blunt instrument but she started to collect her belongings. We could do nothing to persuade Magda, though. We supplemented our simple English and German sentences with mimes, making our meaning as clear as we could, but she stared first at Katrina, then at me, and then panicked and started to cry “No, no, no!” at the top of her voice. Months of enforced whoring followed by Jagoda’s suicide had left her in desperate need of professional help.

She wasn’t destined to receive it. Señor Ortega marched into the room and told us he’d secured a deal for Katrina as well as me, but Magda would have to stay; she’d already been sold and her new owner would collect her later that day. There was nothing we could do. We hugged and kissed her goodbye, hoping the best for her, fearing the worst. Then we left.

Señor Ortega hadn’t lied. Two streets away from the alley where the brothel stood was a mobile home, and waiting outside it was Helen.

Katrina and I ran to her and hugged her. She hugged us back. All three of us gave way to tears.
- - - - - - -