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It was the same time of every day that the door was opened and the same disgusting slop was shoved into the room. And each night when the bowl was to be collected, it was taken back just as it was given. All the while the hunger within his belly grew more and more fervent until it physically pained him to move. Once such day, the door opened and the bowl was shoved in. Before the door could close, he spoke.
“Wait.” He could smell the difference. This time as the couple times of past they had sent a woman.
“May I have drink?” He asked, painstakingly turning his body towards the bars to the cage.
“We…haven’t drink.” She replied and meant to shut the door when he spoke again.
“Miss. May I go outside?”
“Why not? Surely, everyone is allowed to go outside. Why can I not?”
“Because Lord Nolan said so…”
“Do you listen to everything he says? You’re able to think for yourself.”
“Stop… I’ll get in trouble… just…just eat your food and leave me alone.” At that, the door shut and the bolt locked. Dark eyes glanced upon the bowl. Soon he would indeed eat. And he’d eat until he stuffed himself.
“Wait…. what do you mean?”
“You cannot tell anyone I told you Mary. Lord Nolan will kill me.”
“I promise not to tell.” Sighing, she laid back against her pillow.
“He made me dress up in these strange costumes and sit still for hours while he painted me. It was very odd.”
“He’s obsessed with you…”
“Even Lady Nolan said so.”
“She told me that he calls my name when they share intimacy. She knows. And she told me that once he got what he wanted that she would kill me.” Mary’s pretty clear blue eyes widened.
“No…impossible. This makes no sense.”
“I know. I know but…please believe me. These costumes grew more and more revealing Mary. He finally told me he wants to paint me as a black venus. I can’t go through with it.”
“My God…how many other maids has he done this with?”
“I don’t know but I would assume those we’ve never seen or heard from again. Those that mysteriously left or disappeared in the middle of the night.”
“Zadie… maybe you should make a break for it and try to run. You’ve gotta get away from him. He’s a predator.”
“Mary I’m not like you. I can’t just freely walk out of here. You know that. You KNOW that.” Biting her rose colored lips in frustration, her only friend turned then to her nails.
“I just can’t go through with that.”
“We have got to figure out a way to prevent this.”
“Right but what?”
“I don’t know. Let me think on it.”
Weeks had past and the visits became more and more frequent. Each and every time he became more and more insistent and demanding of her to remove articles of clothing, even when she pleaded with him to allow her to keep them on. The most thus far he’d managed to get was her bare shoulders and her legs. And should she have it her way that was all he was going to ever see.
Today it was raining and Lord Nolan had stepped out for a business meeting at another estate. Given a chance to breath and recollect herself, she set about her duties, starting with the fetching of the bath water. Things had gone well until half past noon. It was time for high tea in the Lady’s viewing room and she had just brought the small cakes and sandwiches up from the kitchen.
“You.” Turning, she found Lady Nolan with a furnace poker.
“You scheming bitch.”
“M-madam what is this about?”
“Your little friend told me all about it… your little trysts with my husband!” The crushing blow of Mary’s betrayal was no match for the rising fear of the poker now inching closer to her.
“Madam… I assure you… it’s not what you think it is. Please… I would not be so bold as to disrespect you in your house.”
“Well then let us ask him when he returns. If it is true, I will punish you myself.” Leaving her speechless, she gripped the tray.
“I’ve painted her. Just as I’ve painted you.”
“For what reason My Lord?”
“It would do well for our guests to see our slaves would it not? We have paid a hefty price for them and I expect to see some sort of return on my investment.” At that, the woman fell silent, narrowing her eyes on her.
“Yes…in the kitchens. Perhaps one as my guests and I have low or high tea and another to tend to other duties. But to be framed completely nude for all to see. Preposterous. We’ll be the laughing stock of Hawthorne. It’s simply just not done.”
“Would you like me to put you then in a frame? How the Ladies and Gentlemen would talk then of my display of affection.” The woman grew red and stiff.
“You mustn’t joke at a time like this darling.”
“I wasn’t joking.” She bit the inside of her cheek.
“If you must, put it in the furthest back corner. Perhaps the gentleman’s lodge.” He gave a charming little smile and winked at her.
“Of course my love.” As she began to walk away, he turned to her and his smile disappeared as if he’d never before had it.
“I told you to keep your mouth shut.” He hissed lowly, anger starting to set into his features.
“I…I didn’t…think she would say…say anythin’ My Lord…”
“You don’t think much at all do you? Well, I have the most fitting punishment for you.”
“S-sir please…” He drew nearer until only she could hear him.
“When I’m done you will know how to close those thick tempestuous lips of yours.” He withdrew his presence and carried on down the stairs like nothing had every happened. Feeling fear paralyze her and tears well up in her eyes, she quickly dashed down the stairs and shot out through the side door, eager to be away but for a moment. He was going to kill her. Damn Mary. Damn it all.
“Why do they have you in there?”
“They label me a monster.”
“I’ve heard…how sad.”
“Thank you for the bread and soup.”
“You mustn’t tell anyone I brought it down here. I’ll get severely beaten or fired.”
“Your secret is safe with me.” To his pleasure, he’d enticed the girl into the room and now they sat face to face with bars to separate them. She eyed him curiously.
“Are you one of those Oriental people?” She asked out of complete ignorance. Realizing, she blushed a pretty rose color and glanced down at her hands.
“I’ve never seen one is all. Sorry. Don’t mean to offend.”
“No offense taken. My origin is in a land far east.”
“What’s it called?”
“A name that no longer exists my dear.”
“Oh…well, may you tell me what is it was like?” Smiling sadly, he gladly told her stories of his homeland, the memories of long since past.
“It was a time of splendor and beauty. Much like the renaissance of the French.”
“Ah… Sir… I have a question.”
“Yes, what is it?”
“Is it true that you drink people’s blood and rip out their hearts afterward?” To that his stomach growled but he laughed softly in reply.
“Only to those tho most deserve it my dear.” He teased with a grin.
“It’s not fair. You’re normal like the rest of us. Yet they have you chained down here like an insufferable beast. I wish there was a way to free you Sir.”
“Well, I surmise that we must find the key to unlock this thing first. It must be somewhere.”
“Let me think on it and come back. They normally change girls for the feeding but I’ll see if I can come instead of another. We’ll get you outta here okay? Into some nice clothes and living a nice normal life.”
“That would be lovely. And very much appreciated.” The girl smiled and her eyes lamented at her having to leave but she curtseyed nevertheless and saw her way out. EAT. HUNGRY. EAT. Inhaling deeply through his nostrils, he swallowed down the pain in his stomach. It felt like it was eating itself and soon he was sure to go raving mad from hunger. He needed to eat. Sooner than later.
The smoke of the cigar wafted up thick and heavy, its smell sweet yet earthy. Glasses clinked, half full of brandy, wine and the finest of champagne. It was in this fray that she stood, hands shaking as they held a china tray.
“Fill up our cup Negro wench. Lazy bunch of brutes.” A short small rattle tinkled in the room and she was forced forward. Gripping the tray to filth, she felt her eyes well up with tears. She could do nothing but obey, lifting her hands to pour more drink into the already inebriated man’s cup.
“My, Alex perhaps we should put our slave wenches in branks also. It’s a most humiliating and comical fare.”
“What did the bitch do?”
“You know how women are. They can’t keep their mouths closed.”
“The only time I see it shut is when it’s situated on my knob.” The men started growing red in the face with laughter.
“That is the only time isn’t it? It’s a shame they don’t know their place otherwise.”
“Well? Go on then man. Tell us what the slag did.”
“She could have greatly embarrassed my wife and I. She could have put this entire household at risk of expulsion from high society.”
“Oh? Prey tell how?”
“I’m sure you’ve heard of these kind of beings. They have an insatiable sexual appetite. It’s a wonder they don’t go around carrying bastard seed more often.”
“I have heard that they like those of their kind are most wild. Uncivilized and with no self control. Sex crazed beasts they are.”
“It’s only for the benefit of the holder. Let him have his fun should he not get his end way with his wife.”
“I wanted to paint her. Instead of being an obedient little girl, she disobeyed me and had word of it get to Charlotte.”
“Oh? Is that what she did? Most inappropriate.” He lifted a thin chain, having been twirling it in his fingers and tugged sharply, forcing her to jolt forward.
“Her actions deserve a healthy flogging. A branding of both breast and buttock and maybe even a limb severed. That would be most appropriate for her offense towards me.” At the talk of the it all she began to tremble, drawing a twisted little grin from him.
“But, I, damn it to say, quite fancy her. Everything about her I shouldn’t want. Everything about her should repulse me. But in fact I find myself randied by the littlest thing she does. It drives me mad.” Another tug of the chain and her hands went up to her neck, encased in a crude iron collar.
“I’ve tried to be patient with this one Gentlemen. But she refuses me every opportunity she gets. As though she thinks she has the right to refuse.” Closer and closer he pulled her until she stood right next to him. She whimpered but could do nothing else, saliva starting to dribble down her chin. The contraption she held on her head was made of iron with a single band of it around the whole of it from front to back. Separating into two bands to go around her nose, another solid band of it held the lower part of her jaw in place. She didn’t know what manner of torture this was but the pain was nearly impossible. A sharp spike pressed against the back of her tongue and one little move forced it to slice into her.
“Allow me to show you the object of my creative and most personal desire. Since she would not allow me before, perhaps now under a more suitable and submissive position will cause no fuss.” The men lifted the wine and brandy to their lips, watching amusedly as he pulled the many pins holding her dress together apart, ripping off the cheaply made shawl that covered her neck. She whined, begging, tears now blinding her. Her fingers shook so hard against the table that she had to grip the tray tight to stop them. Reaching behind her, he took off her plain black spencer.
“Here man, let me help you.” To her horror, one of the older gentlemen grabbed hold of her hands and forced them flat on the table, allowing Lord Nolan to get up. Letting the chain to the collar around her neck go, he breathed almost a sigh of relief at the sight of her stays and chemise. Shaking with a most dreadful invisible cold, she could do nothing as he unlaced the short stays and forced the collar of her chemise down, baring her breasts to view. She squeezed her eyes shut, her cries uneven and broken. She stiffened as his hands came to take them roughly, squeezing and playing with them each.
“Magnificent. They are like globes of heavy black jade. Kissed sweetly with the darkest coloring at the nipple.”
“Alex haven’t you tortured her enough now? The poor wretch will surely faint not much longer.”
“Admit to me that you wouldn’t like to study her? Tell me you would not like to examine her? Paint her?”
“I suppose for medicinal reasons I’d want to examine her. I’m most curious about the origins of the negroid breed.” Finally, he took his hands away from her and the man removed his from hers on the table. Leaning in, he whispered something into her ear and demanded her to leave thereafter. Once the door had been closed and the clinking of glasses ensued once more, she slowly walked down the hall, her spencer in her hands. Her short stays were just as he’d left them, unlaced and hanging down from her sides. And her chemise was barely put back up over her chest. As she walked, she felt his breath on her neck and the warmth of his words as they sliced into her.
“The next time you disobey me I promise you this punishment will be as child’s play. When I want you for my non-creative needs, I shall call. And should you desire to live, you will come.”
A/N: This gave me chills when I wrote it. Wow. Just wow. Yeah. We have some vocabulary here so I'll put it below as well as pictures. This was a heavy chapter. Lord Nolan makes my entire skin and soul crawl. I was reading up on the history as I was creating the first chapter and found it interesting that in Britain, the 'abolishment' of enslaved persons actually 'happened' in 1807. However, as we alllll know that didn't mean diddly daddily SQUAT. The actual end of enslaved torture-I mean- labor happened sometime around 1837 I think. I might have a date wrong there but definitely in the 1830s. About 30-35?? years before America 'did'. I thought that was interesting indeed. Some of the language is as it was used in those days and the beliefs/ideologies were indeed VERY backward and twisted. *sigh* This was deep. Let's take a moment. Breathe. Okay and update~
branks- an instrument consisting of an iron frame surrounding the head and a sharp metal bit or gag entering the mouth formerly used to punish women who gossiped or talked too much. Enslaved people of African descent were also put in branks as a way to humiliate, break and torture them.
a vulgar british slang word for a male member
slag- british slang for whore
end way- slang for having sex
Randy/Randied- sexual arouse/to be sexual aroused
spencer- A short jacket, often with long sleeves and with a high neckline.
I'll add Zadie's maid uniform. It has a black spencer so y'all see what it looks like.
short stays- mm think of these as like those short crop top bra/bralettes nowadays lol. These were shorter, lighter bones stays, mostly made out of cotton. Mostly worn during the summer months as it was lighter.