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Best Served Cold
by Valentina Michelle Smith
Gloria glanced at the dashboard clock as she drove up the driveway. She was early. As she drove up to Regina's home she thought to herself that her old friend had done quite well. Judging by the size of her home, Regina must be somewhat more than slightly successful. The house was rather large and was situated on a sizeable parcel of land in the country. Gloria tried to estimate the price tag and could not believe it was worth less than seven figures.
She parked her car and walked up to an impressive double door. She pressed the doorbell. A female voice from the intercom just above the doorbell button responded. "Tuckett Residence. Who shall I say is calling?"
Gloria spoke into the intercom grille. "This is Gloria Marshall. I have an appointment with Dr. Tuckett."
"Thank you, Ms. Marshall," the voice answered. "Dr. Tuckett is expecting you. I will be right there."
The door opened. A tall woman wearing a maid's uniform greeted Gloria. "Please come this way, Ms. Marshall," the woman said. "Dr. Tuckett is in the solarium and asked me to bring you to see her. May I take your coat?"
"Thank you," Gloria replied, unbuttoning her coat. The maid took her coat and hung it neatly in a roomy closet. "Please come this way, Ms. Marshall," she said, leading Gloria to the solarium.
As Gloria followed the maid to the solarium, she glanced about at the understated luxury of Regina's home. The tasteful appointments all bespoke quality, causing her to revise her previous dollar estimates upward. Gloria also marveled at the maid's bearing in her severe uniform, especially the stiletto heels she was wearing. Her steps were short, sure, and fluid. Doubtless she had a lot of practice.
Regina rose from her seat as Gloria entered the spacious solarium. "Gloria," she said, extending her arms to embrace her old friend, "it's so good to see you. Did you have any trouble finding me?"
"No trouble at all," said Gloria, returning the embrace. "You certainly have a lovely home."
"Why, thank you. Please, have a seat. Would you like something to drink?"
"Mineral water, perhaps?"
"Of course. Beverly," she called, beckoning her maid, "please bring us some Perrier. Would you like ice, Gloria?"
"Yes, please," Gloria replied.
"Fetch some ice with that, Beverly."
"Right away, Mistress," Beverly answered, bustling off to get the drinks.
Gloria sat down in the comfortable chair, taking in the solarium. It was an airy room, full of plants, enclosed in glass that let the sunlight stream in. "I must say, Regina, I knew that you had done well for yourself, but this is beyond my expectations."
"I worked hard for my wealth, so I intend to enjoy it. This room is one of my favorite parts of this house." Regina paused to light a cigarette. "I understand that you have been successful as well."
Gloria frowned a bit. "I wish that were true. I do have an important position at my firm, with a good deal of visibility and responsibility. But it seems like I am hitting the glass ceiling."
"Oh? Why do you feel that way?"
Before she could answer, Beverly returned bearing a silver tray with crystal tumblers and a bottle of Perrier water. Using tongs, she deftly scooped ice cubes into each tumbler and poured mineral water into them. Bending her knees, she held the tray at a convenient level for Gloria, and then Regina. She pulled herself erect, she said, "Will there be anything else, Mistress?"
"Not at this time, Beverly," Regina said. "I'll ring if we need anything. Just leave the tray here."
"Very well, Mistress," Beverly replied, placing the tray on the table and then leaving the room.
"Regina, I continue to be impressed," Gloria said, sipping the cold water. "That maid of yours is a gem."
"Indeed. Beverly needed a lot of training, but she has become absolutely efficient over the years. Now what were you about to tell me, dear?"
"Oh, let it pass. I was about to whine and complain about my job. I'm sure that it will bore you."
"Not at all. I am greatly interested, especially about this glass ceiling you have encountered."
"It's frustrating," Gloria said. "I'm one of the money managers for a financial services company. The deals I have put together have far surpassed any of my colleagues' efforts. And yet, when promotion time comes, I end up being passed over for someone of less experience and far less profitability."
"Let me guess," Regina said. "The promotion always goes to a man."
"Exactly. Most of the other women have quit in disgust. I'm about ready to do so myself. But it's the same at all the financial houses. Promotions go to the good old boys."
Regina exhaled smoke and stubbed out her cigarette in a nearby ashtray. "My dear," she said, "you do so much to earn money for these people. Why don't you do some of this for yourself?"
"I wish I could," Gloria said, "but the kinds of deals I broker require large amounts of cash. I have some investments, of course, and they have done well, but I simply don't have the capital to strike out on my own."
"Have you looked for backers?" said Regina. "Perhaps you could deal on behalf of independent investors for a reasonable fee. Surely you could earn more then your pittance of a salary."
"Yes, I have tried. The Old Boys' Club is still alive and well in the financial world. An independent woman plainly does not get the investment needed to operate. I tell you, Regina, this is frustrating."
Regina sat back, contemplating. Then she decided. "Gloria, what if I were to tell you of a group who would be willing to back you?"
"I would say that I hope you aren't playing some cruel joke on me."
"This is no joke," said Regina. "You can see that I have done quite well for myself."
"So I see. I would love to know how you accomplished all this."
"I have licensed the rights to a number of patents I own to several pharmaceutical firms. This has made me an independently wealthy woman."
"How did you manage to secure the patents?" Gloria asked. "I thought that the rights to any research were controlled by the research lab."
"Normally this is true," Regina said, "but I received backing from an outside source to establish my own research facility. My recombinant DNA processes have made a fortune for my patrons and for myself as well. I have sufficient wealth to satisfy all of my needs as well as my whims. Now I only research those areas which interest me."
Gloria shifted in her chair. "So who are these mysterious benefactors," she asked, "and would they consider adopting me?" She laughed at her own joke with a hint of bitterness.
"That," said Regina, "is precisely why I have invited you here today."
Gloria stared at her old friend. "Are you serious?"
"Absolutely," was the reply. "Gloria, what do you remember about me from college?"
"Well," said Gloria, "you had a reputation for being somewhat aloof."
"I believe many referred to me as the 'Ice Bitch', and that was one of the kinder names."
"I never did, Regina. After all the losers I had for roommates, you were positively wonderful. The others just didn't understand you. They thought you were " She hesitated.
"They thought I was a lesbian, didn't they?"
"It was mostly the men. They didn't understand why you weren't more social, why you always had your nose in a book or in the lab."
"Typical male arrogance. The poor little dears can't possibly imagine why any woman wouldn't just throw herself at their feet for the chance of gratifying them sexually. In their feeble little minds, any woman who does not behave so foolishly must be a lesbian."
"I know that you aren't," said Gloria. "You just didn't have any use for them."
"I still have very little use for men. But let me continue.
"I had made quite a name for myself in the area of recombinant DNA research. I was very well regarded. But, like you, I found myself encumbered by the glass ceiling. The world of science is also one of male chauvinism. I soon realized that the Boys' Club so feared a successful woman that they would never let my accomplishments advance beyond a certain point. And, like you, I was thoroughly frustrated.
"Then, some years ago, I was approached by two women from old money families with a very tantalizing proposition. They would finance an independent research lab for a percentage of any profits I would generate. In addition, I was to pursue a specific area of research that would remain our exclusive property, not to be shared with the world. I agreed. The results are evident."
"I should say!" said Gloria. "But what was this particular area you kept to yourself?"
"It was a means of utilizing recombinant gene therapy to enhance estrogen receptor sites."
"You've lost me, Regina. I don't have any idea what you mean."
"Well, dear, you know that estrogen is the hormone which causes a girl to become a woman. It stimulates breast and hip development as well as other physiological changes. Estrogen works on areas of the body called receptor sites. My research was aimed at enhancing the action of estrogen at these sites."
"I still don't understand how this might be useful. Nor do I understand why your sponsors wanted you to pursue this line."
"Perhaps a small demonstration is in order," said Regina. She pulled on the bell cord to summon her maid, who promptly answered.
"How may I serve you, Mistress?" Beverly asked.
"Beverly, please remove your clothes," said Regina.
"Very good, Mistress." And with that, Beverly pulled off her uniform to reveal a petticoat and camisole. These she also removed, unveiling a brassiere that strained to hold her breasts in check, as well as lace panties worn over a garter belt suspending fishnet stockings. Beverly reached behind her back and unhooked the bra, letting her breasts fall out over her chest. Finally, she dropped her panties to the floor and stood in front of the two women, clad only in a garter belt, stockings, and stiletto heels.
Gloria stared in disbelief. Beverly had a penis! It was a small, flaccid thing, certainly incapable of achieving an erect state. But this was definitely male plumbing.
"Thank you, Beverly," said Regina, "You may dress."
"Yes, Mistress," said Beverly, who began pulling her clothing back on.
"You see, Gloria," said Regina, "estrogen receptors are present in both men and women. A male treated with sufficiently high dosages of estrogen will soon develop breasts. My therapy enhances and accelerates this process, as well as causing hip development and changes in skin texture, hair growth patterns, vocal cord structure, and other areas."
"So Beverly is a man," said Gloria.
"A feminized male," replied Regina. "A feminized male slave."
"I don't understand why a man would let you do this to him."
"Beverly didn't exactly give her permission to be feminized. This was done against her will. And she was exceedingly headstrong. Her training was a formidable project. But once she realized that she could go nowhere in society, and that she depended upon me for her continued existence, she became much more cooperative. Now look at her. She is a perfect, docile servant."
Gloria still had a hard time believing the evidence in front of her eyes. "Doesn't she resent what you have done? How can you trust her?"
"Let her tell you for herself. Beverly, come here please."
"Yes, Mistress," said Beverly. She was once again fully clothed. Now Gloria noticed some of the male characteristics that had not been totally feminized. Beverly's chin was a bit square and her shoulders somewhat broader than those of most women. But without the knowledge of her former male state, these anomalies would go unnoticed.
"Beverly, tell Ms. Marshall how you feel about being feminized."
"Of course. I am grateful that my mistress has honored me by making me a feminine male. To show my gratitude, I must devote my life to her service."
"And you don't resent this?" Gloria asked.
"My mistress takes care of me, and provides me with food and shelter and clothing. How could I resent such generosity?"
Gloria turned to Regina. "I still don't understand why Beverly still has a penis. If you wished to make her a woman, why did you stop there?"
Regina said, "I'll let Beverly tell you. Beverly, explain to Ms. Marshall why you still have that limp member."
Beverly cast her eyes downward as though she was ashamed. "That is to remind me of my former status as a male oppressor. Men are evil creatures who abuse women and treat them like property. Even though my mistress has made me more feminine, I must always remember that I was born a cruel, wicked, oppressive male."
"Thank you, Beverly," said Regina. "You may perform your household duties."
"Yes, Mistress," Beverly replied, hurrying off to her chores.
Gloria was silent. Regina said, "I know you must have many questions. You also don't know which to ask first. So please allow me to elaborate." She took a sip from her tumbler, then continued.
"I'm sure that you are curious as to my benefactors as well as their motives. They are both wealthy daughters of established families who were exceedingly disenchanted with the men who had courted them. They were disgusted with men who sought to use affection and courting as a means to gain control of their wealth. They were aware of my research as well as my regrettable situation.
"They, as well as I, sought to exact a form of revenge upon the male sex. They each desired to enslave, dominate, and feminize a male. They both felt that to place a man in the position of being the very sex he had oppressed and to then force him to serve their every whim would be a most satisfying form of retribution.
"My dear, it was a heady experience to equip and to staff a research facility. I had seemingly unlimited resources at my disposal. And I made a deliberate choice. The technicians and scientists I hired were all women."
"How did you get away with this?" asked Gloria. "I thought sex discrimination in hiring was illegal."
"The Federal authorities seem to have no interest in so-called 'Reverse Discrimination'," was her reply. "And eventually we did hire a few token males. Beverly was one of them."
Regina continued, "The process we discovered turned out to be rather simple but elusive. By enhancing the estrogen receptor sites of a male's body, we can transform his body form into that of a female in less than one month.
"The first step of the process is an orchiestomy. Our subject will no longer need testes, and the testosterone will only interfere with the estrogen. We then administer the gene therapy and estrogen intravenously. The results are dramatic. Beard growth is totally reversed within hours. Noticeable breasts sprout by the second day. Muscle mass diminishes and the hips widen and flare to female proportions. The structure of the voice box is also affected, producing a feminine quality. By the time our subject wakes up, he is no longer male."
"Wakes up?" asked Gloria?
"Yes. The subject is unconscious during his metamorphosis. Exercise during the transformation could inhibit the process, especially in the area of muscle loss. We certainly would not want our newly minted ladies to look like body-builders. No, I much prefer a feminine, non-muscular appearance.
"In any event, once our sleeper awakes, she is subjected to behavioral modification to render her docile. Given the shock of discovering her transformation, this process is not difficult. We soon break any remaining vestige of male spirit she may have. The result is a totally obedient slave eager to serve her mistress."
Regina smiled. "My dear, you have no idea just how gratifying it is to subject a member of that hated sex to the social repression we women are expected to endure, and to have that same male wait on me hand and foot. It is delightful!"
"I can imagine," Gloria said. "But what does this have to do with me?"
"I'm just getting to that. Armed with my discovery, my patrons and I have each enslaved and feminized a male. The proceeds from my other patents provide a healthy cash flow. We knew that there were other women like ourselves, women who had been the victims of a misogynistic system. So we invited a few of them into our sisterhood. We give them the power and the opportunity to become independently wealthy in their own right. And we facilitated their own personal revenge by enabling them to acquire their own sissy slaves.
"The first new members of our circle were recruited from the scientists and technicians I employed. They, of course, knew of other women desirous of revenge. Our sorority has expanded to fifteen members. We nurture our new sisters and exchange favors with each other. And I would like to invite you, my dear, to join our sisterhood and expand our ranks to sixteen."
"I'm no scientist," Gloria protested. "I don't know how I can help you."
"Your knowledge of finance is what we want," said Regina. "We shall provide the capital you will need to broker your deals. Of course we expect that you shall collect reasonable fees for your services. We shall all benefit from this."
"I am tempted," said Gloria.
"And there is another reward, beyond the merely financial. You shall be able to exact vengeance on the sex that oppressed you all these years. You shall have your own sissy slave. Think about it! Think of the power you will have over this hated male!"
Gloria considered the prospect. She was indeed angry at men. She hated having to report to a nitwit manager far less capable than she. His only qualification was being born with male genitalia. She had more than her share of industrial scar tissue from competing head-on with her male counterparts. But despite her far superior abilities and accomplishments, she was consistently passed over for promotion and recognition.
All things considered, her decision was swift. "Very well," she said. "Count me in"
"Excellent!" said Regina. "Welcome to The Sisterhood."
* * *
Regina was as true as her word. Each member of The Sisterhood pledged a minimum of one million dollars to Gloria's new enterprise. Gloria's first act was to tender her resignation to the brokerage that employed her. She had wanted to give two weeks notice, but Regina talked her out of it. "Would they give you any notice whatsoever if they chose to terminate you? You no longer need them, Gloria. You no longer need pay deference to any man." So Gloria simply marched into her supervisor's office and quit, effective immediately. The stunned look on the face of her former boss was priceless. All he could do was threaten that he would never hire her back. She left the brokerage triumphantly, remembering the encouragement she had from Regina. "Don't worry about him. You will be so successful that eventually he will be knocking at YOUR door."
Gloria set to work by incorporating a private bank. All of the Sisterhood made deposits equal to their pledges. Armed with this capital, Gloria began making trades. The bank's assets grew phenomenally, far outperforming the market. After six months, she could show a return far better than thirty percent. She immediately re-invested this return, compounding the net worth of The Sisterhood's private bank. Within a year she had amassed a fortune for the Sisterhood's bank, and was a multi-millionaire in her own right.
Keeping current with the world market required fast, dependable access to worldwide information. Gloria hired somebody to set up and maintain a computer system to provide such information, as well as a database to keep track of the trades she made. She had wanted to hire a woman for this position, but could not find one with the qualifications she needed. She had to settle for a man.
Jeff Bishop did not quite fit the image she had of a computer geek, but he certainly knew his stuff. He set up a small office network with a powerful server and communication links to all of the major financial markets. Gloria had to admit that Jeff's efforts made her work much easier. She could now analyze market conditions and make trades faster and more efficiently. Jeff was also quick to learn the financial end of the business. He displayed a talent for the market she would not have expected from a techie. But she insisted that he train a woman in the technical end of his work. She felt an obligation to nurture a female.
* * *
Regina came to call on Gloria. It had been two years since Gloria's introduction to the Sisterhood. She now lived in her own country home; not as elegant as Regina's, perhaps, but far more luxurious than her previous dwelling.
Gloria poured Perrier over ice and gave the glass to Regina. "Thank you, Gloria. Do you mind if I smoke?"
"Feel free. Just use the ashtray." Gloria did not smoke, but her home was equipped with scrubbers and a powerful ventilation system. The smoke was drawn into the scrubbers and fresh air was maintained.
"You know, Gloria," said Regina after lighting her cigarette, "you really should get a maid. I know I couldn't manage my house without Beverly."
"Perhaps I should," said Gloria. "Right now I don't think I would have the time to hire one."
"My dear, " said Regina, "why on earth would you wish to hire somebody? I mean that it's high time you collected your revenge. Don't you think it's time to get a sissy slave?"
Gloria paused for a minute. "I suppose I should," she said. "But I have no idea how to proceed."
"The experience of The Sisterhood will be helpful. First, we need to select a subject."
"I have always wondered how this was done," said Gloria. "Doesn't anybody ever notice that these people are missing?"
Regina smiled, savoring her role as Gloria's mentor as well as in anticipation of feminizing yet another hapless male. "We normally target a subject with few connections; a loner with no family and few friends. Then we arrange an 'accident', something that destroys the body beyond recognition. It's easy to make a nobody disappear."
"All right," Gloria replied, "how do I go about finding such a nobody?"
" What do you know about that fellow you hired?" Regina asked.
"Jeff Bishop? Now that you mention it, he might be a perfect candidate. He has no family and keeps to himself. He has no real social life. He spends his evenings playing computer games and watching videos."
"Splendid!" said Regina. "Let us arrange the unfortunate demise of Jeff Bishop."
Gloria hesitated. "I don't know, Regina. He HAS been quite helpful. I don't think I could have set up the office without his help."
"My dear Gloria," said Regina with just a hint of exasperation, "Bishop may be the finest employee you could ever hope to find, but he is still a male. Remember, if he were in the position of power, he would use you without a second thought."
"I suppose you are right," said Gloria. "Come to think of it, he was very reluctant to train Barbara about the computer system. He thought she couldn't understand it. The arrogance!" Once again there was fire in Gloria's eyes. Bishop now represented every man who had ever abused her. He was the lover who dumped her. He was the succession of undeserving men that had been promoted over her head.
"Regina, let's do it."
* * *
Barbara had left for the evening when Gloria summoned Jeff into her private office. "Have a seat, Jeff. I wanted to have a word with you."
Jeff sat and accepted the offered glass of mineral water. Jeff would have preferred a coke or something with a little bit of flavor to it, but these broads seemed to be in love with this stuff. For himself, he couldn't see much sense in paying big bucks for a product he could just as easily get from the tap.
"Jeff, I just wanted to thank you for everything you have done here. Your system has made us a lot more efficient. And profitable."
"I'm glad I could help, Miss M." said Jeff. "I love working with computers." He took a large gulp from his glass and set it down. "This system was a pure pleasure."
"I'm glad you enjoyed it. We're going to be making a few changes here, changes that will effect you, and I wanted to discuss them with you."
"Changes?" said Jeff. "This isn't a layoff, is it?"
"Not at all, Jeff. In fact, you will be fare more intimately involved with the business than you could possibly imagine."
"That's a relief!" said Jeff. "So what kind of "
Jeff never finished his sentence. The powerful drug Gloria had put in Jeff's glass now had its desired effect, rendering Jeff unconscious. Regina certainly knew her stuff. Gloria picked up the phone and dialed. When Regina answered, Gloria simply said, "Got him."
"I'll be right over," was Regina's reply. Gloria set the phone back into its cradle. The first phase had begun.
* * *
Jeff awoke to unfamiliar surroundings. He was in some sort of a hospital room. Restraints prevented him from moving. By moving his eyes around he could see intravenous bags suspended above the bed. Presumably they were dripping their contents into his veins, but he could not see for sure.
He had no idea what he was doing there. Had he been in an accident? Was it a heart attack? The last thing he remembered was talking with his lady boss. Did she know something about this? He tried to speak, but his throat and mouth were far to dry to allow him to make sounds.
"Well, back among the living again, are we?" The voice, which sounded familiar, came from behind him. "Don't worry, you will be up and about quite soon." The speaker, whoever she was, quietly chuckled.
A straw was held to his mouth. He sucked in the flat tasting water, allowing the welcome moisture to bathe his mouth and throat. "Thank you," he said. His voice sounded funny.
The mysterious woman walked into view and started removing the IV's. She looked familiar to Jeff. Where had he seen her before? Recognition came as she loosened the straps binding him to the bed. This was the woman who visited his boss lady so often.
Regina placed a strap of some sort around Jeff's neck. Then she said, "Let's get you out of bed." She reached under Jeff's arm and hoisted him to a sitting position. Then she swung his legs around and helped him to stand. "Your strength will return shortly," she said, "Now walk this way."
Jeff held on to Regina's arm as she guided him to the mirror. Something just did not feel right. He was still somewhat groggy from whatever it was they had given him. He felt as though his body's center of balance had somehow shifted. "How long have I been out?" he asked. There it was again! What was wrong with his voice?
"A little over a month," Regina said, allowing the shock of her statement to sink in before shoving her charge in front of the full-length mirror.
"A month? How could ?" Jeff's question was cut off by his own surprise at the image he now saw reflected. His chest now sported a set of firm breasts, each crowned by a perfect nipple. His waist was much thinner, flaring to a set of wide, feminine hips. His hair now hung down below his shoulders. As for his body hair, what was left was a small tuft of coarse pubic hair. "What have you done to me?" he cried. Then he realized what was so strange about his voice. It was now that of a woman.
"What I have done," said Regina, "is reverse the effects of testosterone poisoning in your body. You have been re-shaped into a much more pleasing image."
Jeff placed his hand over one of his breasts, as though he could somehow make it vanish. It was real. Under other circumstances he might have found the feeling pleasant, but in his current state it just did not register. He dropped his hand down to his crotch, not knowing what to expect. The feel of his penis gave him some comfort. He then felt for his scrotum. It was empty. "My balls!" he cried out in horror!
Jeff's body was suddenly consumed in intense pain. His knees buckled as he fell into a heap on the floor, the burning pain suffusing his body as if every nerve ending was being pierced with a hot needle. It only lasted a second, but felt like an eternity, leaving him too weak to rise.
As he struggled to gather the strength to arise, he heard another voice, that of his employer. "That was not very ladylike of you to touch yourself there," Gloria said. "Only a little slut would touch her private parts that way. That's what you are, you know; a little slut!"
Jeff weakly pushed himself to his knees. He was shaking as he staggered to his feet. "How ?"
Gloria showed him the remote control she was holding. "Pain stimulation via nerve induction. It causes no permanent damage, but it is excruciating. I can control the intensity and the duration. The control collar you are wearing is the receiver."
Jeff reached for the collar, only to feel another bolt of pain sear through his body. He barely managed to stay erect. "Don't bother trying to remove it, slut!" said Gloria. "It is locked, and I have the key. Now come to the mirror."
Jeff's hesitance was rewarded with another jolt of pain. "Do not hesitate an instant when I give you an order, slut. Now come here!" Jeff did not hesitate. In the mirror, he saw the collar around his neck. There was a metal medallion like a dog's tag attached to the collar. It had one word engraved on it: SLUT.
"From now until I say otherwise," Gloria said, "your name is Slut. This is the only name you will answer to."
Jeff protested, "You can't do this to me! My name isn't " Once again intense, burning pain coursed through Jeff's body. He collapsed.
"Get up, Slut!" Gloria commanded. Still shaking from the last bolt of pain, he brought himself slowly to his feet. "Now," said Gloria, "tell me your name."
"Jeff, err " The correction came too late to avoid another dose of pain. Tears welled up in his eyes as he said "Slut! My name is Slut."
"Say it again," Gloria commanded.
"Slut! My name is Slut!" He winced, half expecting another spasm of pain to wrack his body.
"There, now," said Gloria, "was that really so difficult?"
Sobbing in fear, Jeff asked, "Why are you doing this to me? What did I ever do to you?"
Gloria whirled and savagely pressed the controls to send more pain through Jeff's body. "Because you are a man!" she shouted. Jeff struggled to remain on his feet while Gloria continued her rant. "All of you men think you are so superior. You think you can lord it over women, keep us barefoot and pregnant. Well now, missy, you are going to find out just how a woman feels!"
Gloria stood inches away from the person now named Slut. "You will find out exactly what a woman must endure. You will be my little serving wench, Slut. You will wear the clothes I give you to wear, live where I tell you to live, and do the work I tell you to do. All of your male illusions of superiority will be shattered. Do you understand me, Slut?"
Jeff hesitated, and was rewarded with more pain. "Yes," he said weakly.
"You will address me as 'Mistress', Slut. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Mistress," said Slut. There was another brief jolt of pain.
"I want to see more enthusiasm, Slut. Do you understand me?"
"Good." Gloria still held the remote, but her demeanor softened a bit. "Slut, you look like something the cat dragged in. And you smell like you haven't bathed in a month. Follow me to the shower. I mean now, missy!"
Slut followed Gloria out of the room and down the corridor. She was still naked, but Gloria seemed unconcerned. Gloria opened a door and motioned Slut to enter. Inside was a small room with a locker, a bench, a table, and a stall shower off to one side. "Get inside the shower, Slut. You will find shampoo, conditioner, and soap inside. Scrub that filthy hide of yours clean."
The warm water felt good after the pain. Slut took some shampoo and worked up a lather in her now voluminous hair. She had no idea how to take care of so much hair, but at least it would be clean. She rinsed it out and applied conditioner, again rinsing. Then she started cleaning her body. She ran the lavender-scented bar over her wet skin, allowing the foam to build. Finally she could explore the changes that had been made to her body. The feel of her wet, soapy hands as they ran over her breasts was somehow exciting, especially as she passed over her nipples. She was surprised at just how sensuous this could be
She lathered her arms. This was a shock. While Jeff had never been particularly muscular, he at least had a firm upper arm. It was now sleek and somewhat flaccid. As she continued cleaning herself she encountered her now slim waist and flaring hips. She had a hard time believing that this was her own body.
She turned her attention to her legs. Her ankles were a good deal slimmer than she remembered, and her feet also seemed to have shrunk. Again, her muscles seemed to be soft and weak.
She had waited until the end to clean her crotch. As she soaped up, she felt her scrotum and penis. Her testicles were now gone, and her penis was flaccid. She tried to stimulate it but it refused to become erect. She moaned in despair.
Pain! A brief jolt of burning pain ran through Slut's body. Through the glass door of the shower, Gloria was observing her every move. "I told you that a lady does not fondle her private parts, Slut! Now rinse off and get dried. We have work to do!"
Slut emerged from the shower. She took one of the towels from the bench and dried herself. "Take the other one to dry your hair," said Gloria. Slut wrapped her towel around herself and toweled her hair. It was tangled despite the conditioner.
Gloria directed Slut over to the table where she was instructed to brush the tangles out of her hair. Slut took the brush and proceeded to work it through her hair. The tangles were painful, and she managed to pull some hair out of her scalp before she had finished. An occasional jolt from the remote kept her focused on the task. After what seemed like hours, Slut's shoulder-length hair was free of tangles.
Slut had no time to admire her hair. Inside the locker, she found the clothes she would be wearing. Gloria instructed Slut to first put on the black lace garter belt, and then to roll up the fishnet stockings and pull them smoothly over her legs. "Be careful not to put a run in them!" Gloria warned Slut. Despite her care, she managed to snag three stockings before successfully getting one on a leg and hooked to the garter belt, each snag followed by a shot from the remote.
Lace high-cut panties followed the stockings. Then came the brassiere. Slut fumbled with the snaps, finally closing them and adjusting the straps. It was a push-up bra, hardly needed with the ample breasts Slut now had. She then pulled a petticoat and camisole over her head, followed by a rather skimpy maid's uniform. Finally, Slut was given a pair of four-inch high heels. She started to protest, but decided against it. The memory of pain by remote control held her tongue. As she stood for the first time in heels, she felt more off-center than ever. She had to arch her back to maintain her balance, causing her breasts to jut out even further.
"Come to the mirror, Slut," ordered Gloria. Slowly and wobbly, Slut made her way to the full-length mirror. When she saw herself, she gasped, choking back tears. Her cleavage was thrusting out from under the low-cut bodice of her uniform. The lace from her petticoat was just visible from under her short skirt. Her shoulder-length hair framed the lace cap she wore. She looked like a refugee from a bad porno film.
The door opened and Regina Tuckett entered, followed by a tell woman wearing a maid's uniform far more conservative than Slut's. Although this woman was also amply endowed, the neckline of her uniform was much higher, showing only a hint of her cleavage. The skirt was also longer, reaching to her knees. Her hose, unlike Slut's fishnet stockings, was tan. "I see that you have your little sissy dressed, Gloria," said Regina. "But she really must learn to apply make-up and manicure her nails. She must learn to maintain a proper standard of appearance. Perhaps my Beverly can show her what to do."
"I agree," said Gloria, "Beverly's appearance is always impeccable. She would be the perfect teacher. Beverly, would you like to show my little Slut how a lady should look?"
"I would be honored to, Mistress Gloria. That is, if Mistress Regina approves."
"Of course I approve," said Regina. "Train her well, Beverly." She then turned to Slut. "You would do well, missy, to heed the advice my Beverly gives you. She has been my maid for many years now, and knows how to behave herself. Like you, she was once a male oppressor, but we helped her to overcome that flaw. She knows how to show gratitude for the great favor we have granted her. In time, you shall also realize just how generous we are being."
Regina and Gloria left the room, leaving Slut and Beverly alone. "Come and sit at the vanity," said Beverly. "I'll show you how to fix your hair and apply your makeup. Then we can do your nails."
Slut sat at the table and Beverly sat down next to her. "Is it true?" said Slut. "Were you once a man?"
Beverly cast her eyes down. "Yes," she said, "before Mistress Regina made me a feminine person, I was an oppressor. I'm so glad she changed me!"
"How can you say that?" said Slut. "How can you possibly be glad? We were raped!"
Beverly glanced around nervously. "Not so loud! The Mistress might hear you!"
Slut noticed the velvet choker with the cameo that Beverly was wearing. She had seen it before, but only now did she realize what it was. "That's one of those slave collars! Your Mistress has you wearing one as well!"
"Of course she does," said Beverly, taking the tone of a teacher lecturing a petulant child. "My Mistress must maintain control. If I should misbehave or somehow displease her, she punishes me. But she hasn't had to punish me for a long time." Beverly delivered that last bit with a hint of pride.
Beverly explained the application of makeup to Slut, showing her how to use foundation, concealer, blush, eyeliner, eye shadow, and lipstick. She had Slut remove and re-apply the makeup several times for practice. Once Beverly was satisfied, they moved on to Slut's nails. They had grown during the month she was unconscious. Under Beverly's guidance, Slut filed and shaped each nail, applied a base coat to each nail, and then a clear topcoat. "You must remove the polish every other night," Beverly told her, "so that air can get to your nails. Otherwise your nails will become Brittle. Now let's do something about that hair."
While Beverly was showing Slut how to manipulate a curling iron, Slut asked, "So who were you before you were changed?"
"I told you, " said Beverly, "I was a male "
"That's not what I mean," Slut interrupted, "I mean, who were you? What was your name? What did you do?"
Beverly answered nervously, "I try not to think about it. My name is Beverly. That's the name my mistress gave me, and it's the only name I need. My mistress is so kind to me! She lets me sleep in a real bed and not on the floor. And she gives me real food to eat, not dog food like some of the other mistresses feed their slaves."
Beverly paused for a moment, brushing Slut's hair before she continued. "I was a student at the University," she said. "I was in the doctoral program for biochemistry. I worked here at nights to pay for my tuition and rent. Dr. Tuckett was doing some exciting research. I lived in a cramped little apartment with broken plumbing, erratic heat, and loud neighbors. I mostly subsisted on macaroni." She seemed to have a far-off, wistful look in her eyes, as though contemplating a lost paradise. "My mistress took me away from all that. I live well and am cared for."
"But don't you regret not being able to become a scientist?" said Slut. "Aren't you angry that she has stolen your dream?"
Beverly answered, "It doesn't pay to think of such things. I am a slave. My only value is the value my mistress places on me. As long as I please her, she cares for me. So forget whoever you may think you are. You are a slave. Be content."
Slut was silent as Beverly continued to fix her hair. "You must do this for yourself every morning," Beverly told her. "Your appearance is an important reflection upon your mistress. A well-groomed maid is a sign of her status and importance."
"How can they get away with this?" Slut asked. "Won't somebody notice that I disappeared? Didn't anybody notice it when you vanished?"
"The Mistresses are clever and powerful women," Beverly said. "They choose subjects who have no family and few contacts. In my case, I was an orphan. Mistress arranged an accident in which I seemed to die." A strange look came over Beverly; a look of deep, mournful sadness mixed with stoic acceptance. "Nobody questioned the circumstances of my apparent death. Nobody cared. My male identity just ceased to be, and life continued without me."
Beverly then regained her ebullience. "Listen to me, talking such nonsense when I have a generous mistress to provide for me! You will soon learn just how lucky you are, little miss."
Gloria and Regina once again entered the room. Beverly quickly leaped to her feet. Slut took this as a cue and likewise stood. Gloria inspected Slut, who stood with her eyes cast down. "Well, Slut," said Gloria, "has Beverly taught you how to fix your appearance?"
"Yes, Mistress," replied Slut in a deferential manner. Gloria raised her eyebrows in some surprise and turned to her mentor.
"You see," said Regina, "once the slave has been shown that she has no hope save pleasing her mistress, she becomes remarkably co-operative. You should have no trouble with conditioning her."
Gloria looked back at her slave. She had expected more resistance. In fact, she was just a little bit disappointed. But the way Slut now stood before her, averting her eyes, Gloria was convinced of her success in breaking this slave's spirit. The feeling of success Gloria now felt was intoxicating.
"Did you have a nice talk with Beverly, Slut?" Gloria asked.
"Yes, Mistress. Beverly taught me how to put on makeup and fix my hair and nails. I hope you like it, Mistress."
"Why do you want me to like it, Slut?"
"Because my appearance is a reflection on you, Mistress. You are an important woman, and deserve a properly groomed slave."
"I will expect you to be groomed properly at all times, Slut. Do you understand this? No matter how difficult the task I give you, your appearance must always be flawless."
"I understand, Mistress. I hope you will give me the chance to serve you. May I never disappoint you."
"Very well, Slut. You may serve me. But understand this!" Gloria tapped the remote, sending a shot of pain through Slut's body. "You are only on probation, missy! I will not hesitate to punish you if you fail me in any way. You shall have to prove yourself to me every moment of every day. Do you understand me?"
"Yes, Mistress!" Slut replied, once again fighting back tears.
Regina drew herself to Gloria's ear and whispered, "Remember the velvet glove that covers your iron fist, my dear. Balance strength with tenderness."
Taking Regina's advice, Gloria softened her tone, taking the edge out of her voice. "Come with me, Slut," she said with a smile, "It's time for you to see your new home." Slut followed Gloria out of the room. She wobbled a bit on the high heels but managed to keep up with the rapid pace Gloria set. It was difficult to maintain this speed; she had to take short steps in order to maintain her balance.
They rode the elevator to the basement. Gloria retrieved her coat, and then handed Slut a dark raincoat. "Put it on," said Gloria. Slut buttoned up the coat, fumbling with the buttons now on the opposite side of the coat. Gloria then attached a leash to Slut's slave collar and led her to the garage. It was not really necessary. The remote in Gloria's possession gave her far better control of Slut that a leather strap possibly could. But the psychological effect of being leashed was undeniable. This final insult stripped Slut of any vestige of dignity, and she meekly followed her mistress to the car.
The drive to Gloria's home took 45 minutes. Slut sat silently throughout the trip. Gloria glanced over to her a few times. She appeared to be shrinking into her seat, cowering, as though she was trying to hide. The road soon led to open countryside. Gloria turned up a long driveway on a wooded piece of ground and drove up to the garage adjoining her home. She led Slut through the back door and into the kitchen.
Once inside, Gloria removed the leash and hung it on a peg by the door. "Don't even think about running away, Slut. A buried wire that will activate your collar surrounds my property."
"I promise not to run, Mistress," Slut replied.
"Good. Take a look around the kitchen, Slut. I will expect you to prepare all of the meals, and keep this kitchen spotless. You may use the dishwasher, of course. This is the pantry over here," Gloria pointed to a spacious pantry adjoining the kitchen, "this is the refrigerator, and the freezer is here."
"I want you to see something, Slut," Gloria said. She pointed to two dog dishes on the floor of the kitchen. "Pick one of them up." Slut stooped to retrieve one of the dishes. It had a name printed on it: SLUT. "You have behaved well so far, Slut, so I don't think we shall need these. But leave them on the floor just in case."
"Yes, Mistress," Slut said, again stooping to replace the dish. Gloria was confident that her implied threat had its desired effect. She then proceeded to show Slut the remainder of the house and the areas she was expected to remain in unless summoned. Here was the laundry and ironing room. Now she was shown the areas she was expected to keep clean and dusted. Finally, she was shown her quarters.
The small room she would be occupying was bare of furniture, save for a vanity, a chair, and a mattress on the floor. A small bathroom adjoined the room. "You will be given sheets, of course, and I expect your mattress to be properly made up before you begin your duties each day." Gloria opened a closet, revealing a dozen uniforms identical to the one she now wore, as well as shelves holding underwear, hose, and shoes. "You will be responsible for keeping your uniforms clean and pressed, Slut. Remember, I value proper grooming."
"Of course, Mistress. I will make you proud of me."
"See that you do," said Gloria sternly, "or you know the consequences." She held the remote in front of Slut, her fingers playing lightly over the controls."
"I understand, Mistress!" Slut said, her eyes wide in anticipation of another painful punishment. But Gloria smiled, refraining from administering a painful lesson.
"Well, my little Slut, I think it's time for dinner. Get your ass down to the kitchen and prepare a meal. I want a soup course to precede the main course, and a light dessert. Get moving!"
"Yes, Mistress," Slut answered, and she scurried back to the kitchen. As Gloria listened to the frantic clicking of Slut's heels, she smiled to herself. Yes, indeed, this is sweet revenge!
* * *
Dinner proved to be a pleasant surprise. Gloria fully expected that Slut's first efforts in the kitchen would be disastrous. This proved not to be the case. Slut displayed a formidable culinary talent. The soup she prepared was just the beginning. At first glance it appeared to be standard tomato soup, doubtless prepared from the condensed soup in the pantry. But the taste was far from mediocre. A pleasant mix of spices, chiefly basil but with a hint of sage and the mellow richness of cream balanced the tangy acidity of the tomatoes. The main course proved even more toothsome. Bay scallops had been sautéed in a buttery sauce with just a hint of garlic and cayenne pepper, and were served on a bed of angel hair pasta. This was complemented by tarragon carrots and minted peas. The dinner rolls were warm, doubtless fresh from the oven, and were served with herbed butter. The final triumph was a simple dessert of melon and peach slices accompanied by a sweet and tangy dip.
Gloria finished the fruit and dabbed her mouth with the corner of her napkin. She was clearly satisfied. She rang a small bell to summon Slut, who had withdrawn to allow Gloria privacy while she ate. "That was remarkably good, Slut. I am pleased."
Slut seemed happy. "Oh, thank you mistress! I was so afraid that you would be angry when I had to use canned food and dried spices. Fresh food is so much better!"
"If that was all from preserved food, I can hardly wait to see your skill with fresh ingredients."
"Oh, it will taste so much better, mistress. I'm sure you will like it."
"Perhaps," said Gloria. "That will be all this evening, Slut. Bring me a small cognac, then clean the kitchen and you may retire."
"Yes, mistress," said Slut, who began clearing the dessert dishes. She quickly bustled off, and then just as quickly returned with a snifter of cognac. "Will there be anything else, Mistress?" she asked.
"Not tonight, Slut. I will be retiring soon."
"Very good, Mistress," Slut replied. She took the remaining dishes into the kitchen. Gloria picked up her snifter and proceeded to the library.
Slut soon had the dishes washed and put away, and the kitchen was clean. She turned off the kitchen lights and proceeded to her bedroom. She was about to enter when the now-familiar sensation of burning pain throughout her body made her stagger to her knees. She looked up to see Gloria holding the remote, an angry scowl crossing her face.
"Slut," she scolded, "look at your makeup! It's a disgrace! Your lipstick is smeared and your nails are chipped. Fix it now, missy!"
"But Mistress, I " Her protestations were cut short by another searing bolt of fiery pain.
"Listen to me, little slut!" Gloria said angrily, "you are not to contradict me or argue with me. Not ever. Is that clear?"
"Yes, Mistress," Slut said.
"You know what happens when you contradict me, don't you?"
"Just remember, my little slut, your situation can always deteriorate. Remember that I have an empty kennel in this house. You can be my maid, or you can be my bitch. The choice is yours. Now get on your feet and get in your room!"
Slut leaped to her feet and entered her spartan quarters. At Gloria's direction, she sat at the vanity and repaired her makeup and nails. Gloria inspected the final results.
"Much better. You almost look presentable. That is the standard of appearance my maid must maintain. I expect there will be no further lapses. Understood?"
Yes, Mistress. I will not disappoint you."
"See that you don't." With that, Gloria left Slut's diminutive quarters, closing the door behind her. Slut waited for the footsteps to fade in the distance. Then, she collapsed into the mattress and wept bitterly.
* * *
Six months later, Regina Tuckett called on Gloria. She rang the doorbell. The door opened and Slut greeted her. "Mistress Regina, how good to see you. My mistress has been expecting you. Won't you please come in?" Slut's ebullience was decidedly infectious, and Regina could not help but smile. The former computer nerd had been transformed into a bubbly, enthusiastic maid. "May I take your coat?" asked Slut.
"Please do," answered Regina, handing Slut her coat. Slut hung the coat in the hall closet and then escorted Regina to the courtyard.
Gloria's home was built in a Spanish style; all of the rooms opened onto a central courtyard. The courtyard itself was enclosed by a reinforced tempered glass roof, which kept the elements out and permitted the sunlight to enter. The effect was much like Regina's solarium.
Gloria rose as Slut led Regina into the courtyard. Regina marveled at Slut's sure, steady gait across the terra cotta tile, betraying not a hint of wobble in her five-inch stiletto heels. "Regina," said Gloria, embracing her friend, "it's so nice to see you. Won't you sit down? Would you care for some refreshment? Some tea, perhaps?"
"That would be fine, dear," Regina answered. "I would especially enjoy some of your maid's herbal tea."
"Of course," said Gloria. "Slut, please fetch some tea for Regina and myself. And bring some cookies, too."
"Very good, Mistress," Slut replied, running off to prepare the tea.
Regina looked approvingly at Gloria. "Gloria, you have done wonders with your Slut. I can hardly believe the difference."
"I have you to thank," Gloria replied. "The Sisterhood has made this all possible."
"Even so, Slut has been conditioned in record time. You should be proud. Do you find it necessary to punish her?"
"Not lately. After the first few weeks she adapted easily to each new task I set her. She now does all of the laundry, the dusting and vacuuming, and she prepares all of the meals. I gradually increased her responsibility to the point that she now manages the house. She orders all of the groceries and supplies and schedules all of the household repairs and services. Why just last week she had the plumber in to replace a broken toilet. She is most resourceful."
"That is impressive, Gloria. Perhaps its time you showed her off to some of our other Sisters."
Gloria reflected a moment. "Excellent thought. Perhaps a dinner party. But who shall we invite?"
"Might I suggest Elaine and Evelyn. They and I founded the Sisterhood. They would love to see how you have conditioned Slut. And you could show off her culinary artistry."
Slut returned to the courtyard bearing a silver tea service and a tray of cookies. She poured tea for Regina, asking, "One lump or two, Mistress Regina?"
"None for me, Slut; and no cream. I wish to savor this herbal tea of yours." Regina picked the delicate cup and saucer from the serving tray, as well as three cookies. She sipped from the cup. A contented look washed over her face. "Excellent, Slut. Thank you."
You are welcome, Mistress Regina," slut said, pouring tea into another cup which she then served to Gloria. Gloria preferred a lump of sugar in the herbal tea. She savored the aroma, rich with mint and chamomile.
Regina took a small nibble from one of the cookies. "Why, this is delightful! What do you use to make these excellent cookies, Slut?"
"Lavender, Mistress Regina," Slut beamed. "I'm so glad that you enjoy them!"
Gloria said, "Slut has planted a small herb garden behind the kitchen. This is where she obtained the fresh herbs she uses. As I said, she is most resourceful."
"Then I see no point in delaying," Regina said. "Gloria, you must give this party."
"I agree, Regina. Slut, how would you like to prepare a small dinner party for some of the other mistresses?"
Slut seemed energized by this suggestion. "Oh, may I, Mistress? I would be so honored to serve your friends! I do so want to make you proud!"
Gloria smiled. "Very well, Slut," she said, turning to Regina. "When do you think would be a good time?"
"Regina answered, "We usually get together on the second Monday of each month. Why don't we meet here?"
"That would be next week," Gloria mused. "Should be no problem." Turning to Slut, she said, "Slut, do you think you can prepare a dinner party in a week?"
Slut was beaming. "Yes, Mistress, of course. It will be the finest dinner I ever prepared."
"Very well, Slut. Make the preparations and do a good job. If the party is a success I shall reward you."
"A reward, Mistress?"
"Yes. Make me proud and I will let you sleep in a real bed instead of the floor. And if you make me especially proud, I shall reward you with a real girl's name."
"Oh, thank you mistress! I will make you proud! Don't worry!" Slut seemed so excited she was almost jumping for joy.
"Calm down, Slut," said Gloria, "save all of that enthusiasm for the party. Remember, though, if you embarrass me, I will have to punish you. And if you embarrass me in front of my friends " Gloria's voice trailed off, implying a severe threat.
"Oh, don't worry, Mistress. I will make your party so successful that you shall be the envy of all your friends."
* * *
The week passed quickly. Slut had apparently thrown herself into preparations for the party. It seemed to Gloria that she was busier than ever, baking pastries, ordering food and other supplies. Amazingly, not one other area of Slut's household duties suffered a bit. Slut was the epitome of efficiency.
Finally the night had come. Three luxurious cars pulled up to Gloria's home. In each was one of the founding members of the Sisterhood, each accompanied by her feminized slave.
Gloria noticed that as each woman emerged from her respective car, she led her slave by a leash. The leashes were attached to the control collar each slave wore; all save Elaine, who attached the leash to the rings piercing her slave's nipples. Gloria heard that Elaine had been exceptionally vindictive in seeking her revenge upon men. The rumor, it seemed, was true.
Slut welcomed each of them and hung their coats in the closet. Then she escorted them to the courtyard to meet Gloria and enjoy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. The leashes had been removed and each slave stood behind her respective mistress, ready to serve her.
Gloria was a bit nervous. Here were the matriarchs of the Sisterhood. Evelyn and Elaine had both inherited their wealth. They both had the arrogant air of an aristocrat who had never lifted a finger to earn a cent; rather, they took their wealth and position as the natural order of things. In some ways Regina seemed just as aloof, but hers was the attitude of one who had struggled for her wealth and position. She sipped at her glass of wine as she produced a long, thin cigarette. Beverly was quick to produce a lighter, as was Elaine's maid, Jamie. Evelyn, the third founder, seemed to prefer small cigars. The air in the courtyard soon resembled a nightclub scene from a 1930's movie despite the best efforts of the air scrubbers.
The smoke seemed to have no effect on Slut as she diligently kept each glass full and replenished the supply of hors d'oeuvres. Gloria felt a wave of pride and relief as Slut attended to her guests.
"Well. Gloria," said Elaine as she signaled her maid, who produced a jeweled snuffbox for her mistress, "you seem to have trained your maid adequately. With time she might even equal my Jamie's standards." Elaine opened the snuffbox to reveal a white powder clearly not snuff. She took a pinch and inhaled it sharply. Gloria guessed that the powder was probably cocaine.
Gloria replied, "I have all of you to thank for this. Without the Sisterhood I would have never been able to achieve this success."
Elaine lit another cigarette and said, "We were delighted to help you, Gloria. And we are grateful for your help as well."
"That's for certain," Evelyn chimed in. "Your financial wizardry has increased our wealth immensely."
"Thank you," said Gloria, enjoying the praise being heaped on her.
Evelyn continued, "Yes, your Slut seems to be well trained. I do wonder, however, if she has been completely broken."
"What do you mean?" asked Gloria.
"What she means," said Elaine, "is that we wonder if your slave is completely obedient. Will she truly obey your every whim without hesitation?"
Gloria smiled. She was prepared for this, thanks to Regina's warning. Tonight would be a test for her and her slave. She was confident that her demonstration would convince them.
"Slut," she called, "come here."
"Slut appeared instantly. "Yes, Mistress?"
"Slut," said Gloria, "my guests seemed to have gotten their shoes dirty. Clean them up. With your tongue, Slut."
"Mistress?" asked Slut?
"I told you to lick my guests' shoes clean. Do you understand me?"
"Yes, I understand," she said. She remained still.
"Well, Slut, are you going to obey me?"
Slut hesitated for a minute, and then said "No."
There was a gasp. "What did you say, Slut?" Gloria demanded. "Are you refusing to obey me?"
There was no hesitation now. In fact, there was defiance in Slut's voice. "Yes. I refuse."
Gloria produced the remote. "Slut, I am very disappointed in you. You have embarrassed me before the Sisterhood. Now you must suffer the consequences." She pressed the button.
There was no response.
"Battery dead?" asked Slut, not bothering to disguise the sarcasm in her voice.
"I don't understand," said an astonished Gloria. She continued to press the buttons to no avail. Slut began to laugh.
"You might as well stop wasting your time, Gloria." Slut said. Her deferential demeanor was now gone. In its place was a tone of bravado. "I disabled that foolish thing the first month I was here." Gloria's face betrayed her bewilderment as Slut continued. "I rigged a little vibrator in the slave collar so I knew when to fake a pain reaction. But I don't have to play that game anymore."
Slut reached behind her neck and unfastened the slave collar, dropping it on the ground. "The lock I can't pick hasn't been made yet," she gloated.
Bewilderment gave way to horror as Gloria said, "I don't understand! How could you "? She was interrupted by the sound of crashing glass. She spun around to find Regina unconscious in her chair, the wineglass fallen from her hand. The other women were similarly insentient in their chairs.
"Excellent, " said Slut, "the drugs I laced your food with have taken effect. That's the nice thing about herbs. They mask the taste of knockout drops." Gloria wanted to say something, but was unable. Her legs gave way as the room seemed to spin about her. Then there was darkness.
* * *
The harsh smell of ammonia wafting just under her nostrils abruptly thrust Gloria into consciousness. Her vision was blurred. She struggled to move but could not. She was sitting upright and effectively restrained to permit no movement other than her head.
Her vision gradually cleared. She was still in her enclosed courtyard. Her guests were all conscious and seated in their chairs. They were all secured with dozens of plastic straps. The chairs were all arranged in a circle so that each woman could see the other three.
In the center of the circle stood Slut. She no longer wore the ridiculous maid's uniform she had endured these past months. Now she wore a one-piece black outfit. Her gloves and flat-heeled boots were also black, and her hair was pulled back in a ponytail. The holster at her waist holding an automatic pistol only enhanced the air of menace she now exuded.
"How long " Gloria stammered, still feeling the after-effects of the knockout drops.
"Just a few hours," said Slut. "Certainly not the month you kept me unconscious."
"Slut," said Gloria, "just what "
She moved so fast that Gloria was taken completely by surprise. The gun was now unholstered and pressed against her mouth. A black-gloved hand forced Gloria's jaw open. She tasted oil as the gun barrel was thrust into her mouth. "Let's get something straight right now. My name is not Slut. My name has NEVER been Slut. You will not use that word when referring to me. Dig?"
Gloria nodded. The gun was withdrawn. She tasted blood. Something hard was in her mouth. She felt with her tongue. It was a tooth. "What do you want me to call you? Jeff?" she asked sarcastically.
The woman in black laughed. "Diana," she said. "Goddess of the hunt. Yes, I think that will do."
Diana laughed again. "By the way, Jeff isn't my name either. That's the name the Feds gave me when I entered the Witness Protection Program."
Gloria blinked. "Then who are you really?"
Diana smiled, replacing the gun in her holster. "My real name is Joe Rossi." She paused for a moment to let the name sink in. Glimmers of understanding began to appear on the faces of each woman. "That's right. You heard that name before. I'm the guy who fingered Salvatore Mancuso and brought down the whole Mancuso organization."
Elaine started shouting, "That's a lie, you worthless little slattern. Now cut us loose!"
Diana walked over to Elaine and backhanded her. "Lady, you are definitely not in any position to demand anything." She stuffed a rag into her mouth, stifling any more outbursts.
"Our slaves!" Evelyn asked. "What happened to them? What did you do with them?"
Diana smiled again. "Your former captives have been liberated. I took the liberty of transferring your assets to accounts I set up for them." She turned to Gloria. "That was quite convenient of you to put all of that data in your private bank's database. I now know the name, location, and assets of every member of the Sisterhood."
"That system is protected!" Gloria said. "There is no way anybody could have broken it."
"Anybody except me," Diana said. "I designed that system, remember? I put a few convenient back doors in the system for my own convenience. Looks like they came in handy, no?
Diana paused to cut the end off a cigar and light it. She rolled it in the flame to produce an even light and drew smoke into her mouth, letting it linger for an instant before blowing it out. She held it up, seeming to admire it. "Havana. Pre- Castro. Expensive as hell but worth it. Gloria, you really should have supervised the household budget more carefully. It's just shameful how I spent your money."
Diana poured herself a drink, an amber fluid, neat. She sipped. "Ah, single malt Scots' whiskey. Excellent." Another sip, a puff on her cigar, and she sat. "Now, where to begin?"
"You know," Diana said, "I once had a list of things I promised not to do if I ever became an Evil Overlord. One of them was that if I was going to kill my archenemy, I would never say, 'But first, I have something to tell you.' and then proceed to bore him out of his skull; I would simply shoot him. But here I am, Darth Vader in drag, and I find that I have something to tell you. My revenge demands it."
She took another sip of whiskey. "I was just another pimply computer nerd when I hacked into Mancuso's system. He had a mainframe in one of his 'legitimate' businesses. I opened it up and had a little fun, but I made a real rookie mistake and Sal's boys traced me.
"Anyway, Sal recognized talent when he saw it. He scared the hell out of me, then he brought me into his business. I learned a lot, and soon I set up Sal's business to be more efficient than ever. I had his entire operation online, especially the gambling and narcotics. Sal could transfer data and funds anywhere in the world. He was always ten steps ahead of the Feds. The Feds tried to break into our system to get evidence, but never succeeded.
"I became one of Mancuso's top lieutenants. I had it all; wealth, power, and women. But one special girl caught my eye. Her name was Annie. I must have caught her eye, too, because we got married. She was a great woman. We had just bought a home and were planning a family when I got busted."
Diana paused, taking another sip. "The Feds put me away on some minor charge. Normally it wouldn't have netted more than a fine and probation, but they were trying to squeeze me to rat out Mancuso. But I kept quiet. That's the rule of silence; keep your mouth shut, do your time, your family gets taken care of, and you have a job waiting for you when your time is up." Diana sucked smoke from her cigar. Her disposition was turning grim. "Only that's not how it worked this time. One of Mancuso's sons decided to hit on my Annie. When she refused him, he beat her up."
Sadness and anger now tinged Diana's voice. "He beat my Annie so bad she died of internal bleeding. That bastard killed my wife! And did Sal Mancuso do anything? No! This was his son! He did nothing!"
Her rage was fiercely apparent as Diana continued. "When I found out what happened, I went to the Feds and told them I was ready to talk. I sang like Pavarotti! I told them about the back doors I put in Mancuso's system. I opened it up like a can of beans and gave them all the evidence they needed. Sal and all his goons got put away, and his organization was crushed.
"That's how I got into the Witness Protection Program. They gave me the name Jeff Bishop, a new social security number, some cash, and sent me on my way. I made a living doing some odd computer work until I was hired to put your system together."
Diane rose. Her drink was finished, and her cigar was now burned down to a stub. "You broads didn't have any idea just who you were fooling with. You thought I was just another faceless, nameless geek. That mistake cost you. Just like Sal Mancuso's mistake cost him.
"You see, ladies," she said, sarcastically, "in order to have my revenge I find it necessary to kill you. And after I am done, I will seek out the twelve remaining slaveholders in your sisterhood and execute them. Their prisoners will be liberated, of course.
"So you see, everything you built has come to nothing. You will all suffer the fate you tried to impose on your captives. You shall become un-persons. Nobody will ever remember you, nobody will mourn your passing, and nobody will ever know you were here. And the Sisterhood will be gone."
Evelyn, who had remained silent, spoke up. "You can't do this. Our slaves are not capable of caring for themselves. They depend on us for everything."
Diana turned to answer her. "Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I have transferred all of your assets to your former prisoners. They are all financially independent. The only reason they ever cooperated with you was because they had no other option. I gave them the option of freedom, and they all took it."
"But my slave was loyal to me!" Evelyn protested.
"Loyalty," said Diana, "is a quality appropriate for dogs, not humans. Despite the way you mutilated us, we all remain human."
Panic was taking its toll as Evelyn shouted, "You'll never do it! You can't kill us in cold blood! You just don't have it in you!"
"Sorry to disappoint you, but I do have it in me," said Diana. "I've killed before. You don't rise to the upper echelons of organized crime without making your bones. So don't tell me I can't do it; I already have."
"Well, ladies, the time has come to conclude our little party. I'd like to say it was a pleasure, but that would be a lie. Now, who wants to go first?" Diana held the gun in her right hand. She walked around the circle of chairs, stopping briefly at each one. She stopped at Elaine. "I think we'll start with the coke fiend, eh? Pleasant dreams."
Diana held the gun to Elaine's temple and squeezed the trigger. The side of her head exploded as the pistol's sharp retort assaulted the eardrums of everyone in the room. Evelyn began to wail hysterically. She was begging Diana to spare her, but to no avail. Diana squeezed off another round through Evelyn's skull, silencing her for all time.
She turned to Regina. "And now the good doctor," said Diana.
Regina's reaction was not one of panic. She hawked and let fly, catching Diana on the forehead. "From the heart of hell," Regina said, "I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee."
Diana wiped the spittle from her brow. "Defiant to the last. And a literary quote as well! You are a surprising woman, Dr. Tuckett." Diana held the gun to Regina's face. "I've read Melville too. One little item you forgot. Ahab died." She squeezed the trigger, sending a lead projectile into Regina's brain.
Now there was only Gloria and Diana. Diana walked over to the woman who had imprisoned and enslaved her. "You know the real irony of all this, Gloria? If you had told me about the men who shafted you, who used you and left you in the dust, I just might have helped you get revenge. That's something I understand, babe. I could have hacked into their credit records, bank accounts, credit cards, phone bills, you name it, and we could have ruined them. But you had to go take your rage out on me. I never did a thing to hurt you. Hell, I set up your bank's system! And how was I repaid? You mutilated me! You cut my balls off and turned me into this!" Diana pointed to her breasts. "I'm a man!" she shouted, "and look what you did to me! And that damned pain collar!"
Diana turned her back to Gloria. "In a way, though, you have done me a favor. The Feds think Joe Rossi is dead. They'll never think to look for me now. But this," she said, pointing to her crotch, "is far too high a price to pay."
Diana turned back to her former captor, now her captive. She held the gun to her head. Gloria was saying something almost inaudibly. Diana strained to hear the words.
She recognized them. Gloria was repeating an Act of Contrition. The words stirred memories in Diana of days gone by, of nuns teaching young Joe Rossi the words to this prayer as part of his religion training, of Saturday confessions in preparation for Sunday communion, of First Friday Mass at school and no breakfast until after communion, of Stations of the Cross all through Lent. She never knew until this moment that Gloria had been raised Catholic. Gloria, the self-professed atheist, was now finding comfort in a prayer she learned as a child.
Diana let Gloria finish the prayer before squeezing the trigger. In the silence following the gunfire, Diana wept.
* * *
A nondescript sports utility vehicle wound its way over the mountain road. Diana gripped the wheel securely, one hand on the gearshift lever. She kept one foot on the clutch pedal at all times, ready to shift gears whenever the gravel road demanded it.
The cabin was a safe house comfortably distant from the city and suburbs. The three former slaves she had liberated had stayed there in the last few weeks following the grim event that had freed them. They waited while Diana tied up a number of loose ends.
Diana had disposed of the bodies in a graveyard that the Mancuso family had often used for similar purposes. Each woman's grave was in plain sight, marked by headstones bearing bogus names. The blood and gore had been cleaned from the courtyard, and the bloody furniture burned. The gun Diana used was torched into pieces and buried with the corpses.
Certain other matters needed attention. Gloria's bank was bought by a holding company that Diana controlled. The daily bank operations continued, so the remaining members of the Sisterhood had no inkling of the transition, or of what had transpired at Gloria's country home. Bills were being paid automatically. In a few months, the dead women's homes would be sold.
Diana pulled the SUV in front of the cabin. She walked to the door carrying a leather briefcase. Beverly met her at the door and welcomed her in.
The former maids all looked different now, dressed in jeans and sweats, a far cry from the uniforms they had worn for so long. They all sat down with Diana at the kitchen table.
Diana opened the briefcase and handed each of them a manila envelope. "These contain the things you need to start a new life. There's a birth certificate in your new names; Beverly Masters," she looked at Beverly, "Jennifer Fox," she said to Evelyn's former slave, "and Carol Muller," she said, indicating Elaine's former prisoner. "You also have Social Security Cards, bank accounts, credit cards, and passports." Diana grinned. "The passports all have some stamps on them. You girls have been traveling abroad these past few years. I also set up credit reports with all of the agencies that show financial activity for several years. Nobody will ever suspect that your new identities are anything but genuine."
Beverly spoke first. "Diana, we don't know how to thank you. If you hadn't helped us we would all still be slaves. Now " her voice trailed off.
"Now," said Diana, "you are free. And you are all sufficiently wealthy that you need never lose your freedom again."
"Freedom!" said Carol, reverentially. "It sounds so good! It feels so wonderful!"
"How did you do all this?" Jennifer asked. "I can understand how you changed the bank stuff, but like, birth certificates, passports, social security cards, like, how did you manage that? That's all government stuff."
Diana smiled. "I had good teachers. The Federal Witness Protection program. I watched everything they did to give me a new identity." She tapped the side of her head. "It helps to have a photographic memory and total recall."
Jennifer said, "Well, however you did it, thank you. I owe my freedom to you."
"Have you made any plans?" Diana asked.
"Well," said Beverly, "I'm going to go ahead and get the surgery to become a complete woman. I think I can find a competent surgeon. Jennifer is going to get it as well."
"What about you, Carol?"
Carol said, "I don't think I'm going to get the surgery. I still need to hope that I might someday "
"You don't have to say it," Diana said. "I understand. Despite the way my body looks, I'm still a man. I don't think I'll ever like what those bitches did to me."
"I've been female too long to ever go back," said Jennifer. "I don't think I would know how."
"I did some of the research on Tuckett's process," said Beverly. "I don't think it can be reversed. The gene splicing that boosted the receptor sites makes them resistant to testosterone therapy."
"That's kind of what I thought," said Diana, "but I can't give up hope. Who knows, maybe some sharp grad student might just get an internship at Tuckett's labs and find a reversal for the process. One never knows."
"If you mean me," said Beverly, "I just might at that. I think I'd like to get back to my studies. But all of my transcripts are in my male name."
"I took care of it," Diana said. "I hacked into the school records and re-named all your transcripts to Beverly Masters. I don't think you should have many problems. And now you can afford to study full time instead of picking up spare change working part time."
Beverly leaned over to give Diana a hug. "But what are your plans, Diana?"
Diana's eyes narrowed a bit. "I don't plan on having a life. At least, not yet. There are still twelve slaves being held by the surviving members of the Sisterhood. I intend to seek them out, free them, and execute their captors. I must do this to fully realize my revenge."
"Let us come with you," said Carol, "I want to help."
"No you don't, Carol," Diana replied. "You don't want to come with me. In order to get my revenge, I must kill all of the Sisterhood. Believe me, you don't want to start killing if you don't have to. Killing changes you in ways that you wouldn't like."
The silence was so thick it could have been cut with a chainsaw. Then Diana smiled. "Let's not dwell on such ugly things, girls. Freedom is beautiful. Let's enjoy ours."
"Amen," said Jennifer. "Diana, we owe it all to you. How can we ever pay you back?"
"Don't pay back, Jen. Pay forward. Live free and stay free."
They had already packed. Jennifer, Carol, and Beverly all left the cabin to ride back to the nearby town with Diana. They would each depart the town separately, in cars Diana had obtained from several different locations. They were on their way to new lives as free women.
©1998 Valentina Michelle Smith
© 1998 by Valentina Michelle Smith. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, compilation design) may printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without express written consent of the copyright holder.