London, England - May 1906.
The fine day had begun slowly, but soon the steets were crowded with people and carriages. Clara, a young lady of twenty one years, walked down the steps to the servant's entrance of a grand house on one of the main streets. She knocked on the door: through its glass she could see maids rushing around trying to get their work done. She knocked again, but there was no response from within. She noticed a rope hanging beside the door and pulled it. She could hear a bell ring inside. One of the maids stopped and opened the door.
"Yes, how may I help you?" She asked. She was dressed in a light blue dress with a white bib apron over it. She wore boots and was taller than Clara.
"I am here for the job."
The maid looked her over. "You are to short."
"I am just perfect." Clara answered back.
"Well, you may come in, but I warn you, you are too short. Her ladyship wants tall girls. Not small brats." The maid remarked, and opened the door for Clara.
Clara followed her into the room and stopped at the table that was by the stairs. The other maids were about as tall as the one who had let her in.
"I am bringing this girl up to see her Ladyship." She said.
"Please hurry down again, we do need you down here Emma." Said the female cook.
"Yes I will." Emma replied and started to walk up the stairs.
Clara followed her up the stairs and through the door to the main hall. Clara had never been into a large house before. Her old lodgings were just a small room, and that was it. She followed Emma across to the door on the other side.
"What is your name?" She said.
"You will have another one when you get back out again Clara. Wait here." Emma replied.
Emma opened the door to the living room, and went inside. "Your ladyship, a girl Clara is here about the job." She said. A short break and then the answer: "Send her in."
Emma came back out and told Clara to go in . Clara slowly entered the room. Emma closed the door after her. It had two large windows on the far side, a fireplace in the middle of the wall, and some sofas and a table. In a chair next to the window sat a woman dressed in blue. The woman stood up; she was tall as the other women.
"You are to short Clara." She said.
"I am just perfect, my lady." Clara answered.
"Tell me why do you apply to work here? Is it the money or the need to have a place over your head?"
"It is both, my lady."
"Take off your coat. "
Clara took off her coat, and the woman walked around her. Clara looked down as the woman inspected her, she could feel the woman's eyes examining her.
"You have large breasts." The woman said.
"Thank you, my lady."
"Your waist is thin. And you are to short."
"....Thank you, my lady."
"You are just perfect." The woman said.
She rang a bell, and Emma entered.
"Please take Emily to your room, and give her a uniform. She will be perfect. And make sure she stays in the room until tomorrow." The lady said.
"But my name is . " Clara started to say.
Emma dragged Clara out of the room.
"Yes my ladyship. " Emma said, and closed the door behind her.
"But my name is Clara!"
"Your name will be Emily while you work here. If you don't like your name, then leave. If not stop being a brat. Emma said to her, and yanked her hair.
"Yes Emma." She whimpered.
They walked up two flights of stairs to the servants quarters just beneath the roof. Emma's room was small; it had a large bed in the middle of the room, and a wardrobe on one side and a chest in front of the bed.
"Please take off your clothes." Emma said, locking the door behind her. Clara started to undress, and soon stood in front of Emma in just her underwear. Emma took her clothes, and placed them in a small bag. She took out a dress identical to her own and a white apron.
"Put this on." She said.
Clara stepped into the dress, buttoned up the front, and put on the large white bib apron.
"I see that we need to shorten the length of it." Emma said.
"Now what?" Clara said.
"As you heard, her ladyship wants you to stay here till tomorrow. I must make sure of that." Emma said, and opened the chest.
"Because it is her ladyships wish to do so. Now be quiet." Emma took out some rope, and quickly tied Clara's wrists behind her back. The rope was clinched, and knotted tightly.
"Why the hell are you tying me up? I can stay in here without being tied up." Said Clara angrily, twisting and turning.
"That is what they all say. Curiosity killed that cat, Emily. Now be quiet!"
Emma pushed a large wadded cloth into her mouth and secured it with another long strip of cloth. She tied a rope around her chest, above and below her bust and secured it tightly behind her at her elbows. Clara knew that the fight was over. Her hands were useless, and she couldn't scream for help.
Emma took Clara, and pushed her into the bed. Clara landed on her back; Emma grabbed her booted feet and tied them at the ankles, making sure the rope also went through the heels of the boots. She rolled Clara over and tied her feet to her wrists.
"Now stay here and be a good girl Clara. This is just your trial." She said, and kissed Clara on the cheeks.
Clara tried to say something, but it was useless. Emma hurried out of the room, and locked the door behind her. Clara tried to fight the ropes, but Emma had tied them securely and all the knots were out of reach. She could feel her boots pressing into her bottom. Thoughts raced through her head. What sort of trouble was she in now? And what kind of trial was this?
Chapter 2: The Mistress
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