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A Lowland Adventure - Mr. Maxwells' Vacation

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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Graeme’s Girls
Only the Best for Discriminating Connoisseurs

(Photo’s and additional details available on verified request)

Dossier #1038
Name: Jitu
Age: 29
Height: 4’ 11” (1.5 m.)
Weight: 94 lbs. (42 kgs.)
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Black
Nationality: Indian, Andhra Pradesh
Language: Telugu, English
Personality: Very bright, shy and retiring
Background: From a small village in India, cheerful, submissive, caring. Worked as nurse’s aide in an elder-care home near Glasgow.
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
[Episode 16]

Jessie’s Confession

Jessie looked at Maxwell in shock. How did he know? How dare he command her to reveal a personal secret?
Alex just continued looking her in the eye, holding her gaze, never doubting she would obey him.
Jessie felt powerful emotions deep in her soul. Then she realized that she had to obey.
“I did lie. I apologize.”
“I accept your apology. Now tell me the truth.”
“Yes, sir.” (Jessie didn’t know she was going to say sir, but it seemed very natural, somehow). “I belong to one internet community that I go to very frequently. It is called CruxTalk.” Alex’s eyebrows raised slightly, but he said nothing. He just waited for her to continue.

“It is a BDSM site, with a lot of stuff about crucifixion and a lot of other stuff as well.” Alex’s stare pushed her on to a rapid confession.
"I 'joined' aboot five year syne an I have been very active, posting some stories of my own, reading others, and viewing B&D images."
Jessie stopped. She lowered her eyes.
Alex finally spoke, “And?”
“And? Weel, yes. I have several ‘friens’ there and have private conversations often.”
“Is your identity secure?”
“Oh, Yes! Very! I have a short screen name. As a joke, I say I’m From The Northern Forest, a secret reference to the Forest Park. But there is nothing to trace me. No phone or email or address.”
Alex looked at her for a moment. His expression was a mixture of concern and pity.

“Jes. Don’t you think having a user name of Jessica1984 – your real first name and year of birth as well as your real birthday in your profile, would give a stalker with experience and resources an easy route to identifying you?”
Jessie’s mouth dropped open! How did he know that?
“But…How?...I don’t.”
Alex smiled and proceeded to relieve her confusion, “Have you noticed Guards Commander in CruxTalk?”
If anything, Jessie's jaw dropped more. Alex was a member of CruxTalk! She had most certainly noticed him. He had joined about a year ago and was a prolific story contributor. He has recently posted an exploration of the power exchange between a master and a slave, which had been amazingly insightful. It had also stirred a powerful erotic feeling on her part.
“Yes. Ye're are a very talented writer. I like “A Master’s Touch” very much.” With that. She again lowered her eyes submissively.”
“Thank you. It was challenging to make authentic. I’ve never been in a dominant/submissive relationship, let alone a master/slave one.”
“Really? That's hard to believe. It was right on target! Totally believable.”
“And you know from experience?”
Again, the quick eye lowering. “Aye, I do.” Somehow. Jessie felt herself coming closer to confessing all to this man she’d only met two days ago.

“I’d like to hear about that. I only ask Jes. I do not use command.”
Jessie looked deeply into his eyes. A voice, deep inside, coming from an area of deep hurt, repeated, no, no, it only leads to disaster. But, it did not matter. She was determined to take the chance with this strange American.
“I’d like to tell ye.”
He reached out and took both her hands in his. “Thank you. Take your time. And only what you wish to share.”

Jessie stared for a moment into his eyes. This was crazy! So he was on CT? She had never trusted the whole story to anyone, not even her former master. She knew she had to keep it secret. If someone knew it all, they could hurt her so badly! But Alex seemed so strong and commanding and yet so gentle and caring. It already felt as if he knew everything about her
And so, Jessie McTaggert began to tell this stranger from Wisconsin her life's story.

We will respect the privacy of this young woman by omitting the irrelevant details. Instead, we will provide a summary of the salient issues for this story.
Jessie talked about her family life growing up. It was clear that her relations with both parents were strained. But that is all we shall say. By the time she was entering her teens, she already had fantasies of bondage and victimhood. She’d often dreamed of being Andromeda, chained naked to a rock, waiting for the monster to come and devour her ‘girly parts.’
In her later teens and early twenties, he experienced two serious yet ultimately unsatisfactory kinds of relationships with young men.
In the first, it would be plain vanilla. The men courted her conventionally, and any sex was very conventional. Jessie would soon tire of this and break it off. She did feel bad, dumping the boys who had done nothing wrong and, in a few cases, were very sweet to her. But being with them was utterly unfulfilling.
In the second, she would, at some point, share with the young man her secret desire to be a slavegirl. In these cases, it would quickly dissolve into a complete and total disaster. Most young men had no idea how to handle the situation and were too bound up in their male egos to try to learn. They’d read her confession as meaning they could abuse her freely and take advantage of every whim, with no concern for her feeling. There is a world of difference between wanting to serve someone who cares for you, accepting chastisement as a measured part of your discipline training, and being just a random punching bag.
By the time Jessie had reached 30, she had pretty much despaired of ever finding a fulfilling relationship. At about that time (she was working from home on the computer, so she spent a lot of time online), she discovered Cruxtalk. She was astonished and pleased to find stories and images that fed her desires and fetishes. But more so to find people who had similar, “unusual” interest and who had come to accept themselves. She made “friends” and felt part of a community. However, loneliness and the lack of the kind of physical contact she craved continued to eat away at her.
Then, two years ago, it happened. There was a man she had known for several years and regarded as a purely Platonic friend. He lived several hours away, so they rarely saw each other but had kept up a stimulating (intellectual, not sexual) relationship by phone and email. One day he sent an email asking her to come to his house for dinner.
Jessie was very much taken aback since she didn’t think he had any romantic interest in her. Then she chided herself for assuming his intentions were any other than intellectual companionship. The man just wanted a chance to spend an evening in casual conversation with a good friend. She realized that she felt the same way though it must be said that she had not wholly abandoned the thought of someday finding a soulmate.
So she dressed nicely, not provocatively, and jumped in Clio III (she always owned a Renault Clio and gave them successive roman numerals – the one she'd driven Alex in was IV) and went to his town.

Jessie hadn’t seen X in person (we'll keep his identity out of this, it isn't needed) for over six months and had never been to his house. It's in a remote place, way up in the hills, and lost in the thick vegetation with windy moorland outside. It was tucked far back from the road, surrounded, front, back, and sides by casually overgrown garden. When he opened the door, Jessie was surprised that he was more handsome than she remembered. Perhaps it was maturity; maybe it was the fact that she hadn't seen a man she cared about for a good while. He greeted her warmly with chaste kisses on the cheeks and showed her around the house. The place was large and well-decorated, with a cozy, warm feeling, masculine, but not hard or cold as so many men seem to like.
It was clear that X was proud of his home, as he described how he had made changes and customized parts. He was eager to show it all to Jessie and delighted when she showed more than a polite interest. Only once, when they passed a door under the stairs, did his approach change. Jessie, assuming it was a coat closet, went to open it and hang up her Mac. X hurriedly grabbed her arm and gently closed the door.
“That’s just the cellar, Jes. Nothing to see down there. You can hang your coat over here.”

The dinner, which X cooked himself entirely from scratch (as he told her), was delicious. The conversation was even better, lubricated by generous pours of a fine claret. Jessie felt the warmth of her feeling for X noticeably growing between the excellent food, fine wine, and sparkling conversation. However, the voice inside her, now grown strong from experience, was repeating, Don’t, don’t don’t!. It only ends with hurt!

After dinner, X brought out the chocolates and some Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge®. Between the decadent chocolates melting languidly in her mouth and the strong orange-flavored liqueur on top of many pours of claret, Jessie was quite lightheaded and losing all inhibition. Neither person wanted the evening to end, but neither could broach the subject and break the long-established chaste communication pattern. At last, feeling the lateness of the hour, Jessie began to rise, thanking X and saying how it was a long drive home.
But as she attempted to stand, Jessie almost lost her balance and had to grab the table with both hands. X jumped up and put his strong hand on her arm to steady her.
“You can’t drive at night like that,” he said as their eyes met.
The electricity in that look was palpable, but there was just a bit too much history to overcome. Jessie resisted, but X insisted she stay in his spare room for the night. Only somewhat reluctantly did she consent.
As they were walking to the stairs, A mischievous compulsion came over Jessie. X was always very serious, almost professorial. She had always enjoyed teasing his serious side in a friendly way. As they passed the cellar door, she turned aside and opened it. The dark stone steps leading down were at first forbidding, but, fortified by much wine, Jessie said, “Whit derk saicrets have you hidden doon here?”
16-02 hd_1532.jpg
She flipped the light switch at the top of the stairs and hurried down the steps just ahead of his frantic calls for her to halt. Jessie was gleefully bantering at X as she reached the bottom, looked around, and then, suddenly, went utterly silent.

The room itself was utterly conventional. It had a dank, damp smell of stale air, as did most cellars. The room was a relatively long rectangular space, bare rough, once-whitewashed, walls; ceiling likewise, about 10’; concrete floor; no windows. Lit by three bare pendant lightbulbs.
It was the furnishing and equipment that struck Jessie dumb.
A rack of hooks on the opposite wall held whips and strange things. In a bucket, a collection of canes. On the right side was a bench, and above it hung sets of wrist and ankle-bonds.
But it was the center of the room that captured and held Jessie’s attention. A sort of concrete platform, square, raised from the floor, with a pair of heavy iron rings with short chains attached set towards the corners on the side opposite the stairs. There was another pair of iron rings with short chains, set in the floor.
Above this platform, there was a metal support, merely a pair of bars coming down from a concrete beam, with a cross-bar between them with chains and rings.
X came up softly behind her. “I’m sorry you had to see this, Jessie,” he apologized. “It’s something I shared with a special friend years ago. Then she moved to Newfoundland, and I haven’t been down here since! Come on back upstairs.”
He gently took her arm and pulled her toward the stairs. But something had been stirred in the girl at that moment that wouldn’t be denied. Was it her years of private fantasy finally becoming irresistible? Was it too much wine, breaking down any inhibition?
Whatever the cause, Jessie shook her arm free of his grasp and walked over to the rack of whips. She stroked the gleaming surface of a leather flogger as if it were still the skin of a living animal, sensing how, in the hand of a skilled master, it would indeed spring back into wild, flesh-tearing life. The scent of the tanned hide liberated by fresh oil set her heart pumping - and her mind racing, 'gin he's nae been doon here for years, has this thing been polishin itsel?' She smiled inwardly, turned, and faced X. Unconscious of her movements, she spread her feet a little, stuck out her small chest, and cocked her hips just so.
Jessie licked her lips and, staring straight into X's startled eyes, said,
“Wud ye care tae gie me a wee demonstration?”

After that, Jessie was reluctant to go into the nitty-gritty details, and Alex was loath to push for them. Jessie and X developed a Master/Slave relationship, satisfying the erotic desires of each. For the first time in her life, Jessie was living the sexual life she had always craved.
Jessie went on the describe what the typical trajectory of every early relationship was. Excitement, exploration, mutual discovery. Both partners were intensely involved. Ways found to overcome the distance with long drives, cheerfully undertaken. Jessie had never felt so alive or so fulfilled. The bondage, the pain, the adopting of slave positions, the scorching hot sex after an impact session, all seemed to be the life she’d always wanted.
Of course, over the months, the long drives were more tiring, the petty differences were more noticeable and harder to ignore. Most sadly, the initial heady rush of a new and very intense physical relationship cooled. All that was normal, Jessie told herself. As time went on, she adjusted her expectations and felt content in the role of occasional, remote slave. There were times when Jes noticed that X's heart didn't seem in the part. She would then try, even harder, to please, to submit, even more, to beg for more pain and show some greater respect. It would seem to work, but it sapped her energy and enjoyment.
After about a year, it was apparent, but unstated, that all was not right. One day, Jes arrived at X’s door on a Friday morning, prepared for a long weekend together. Despite her inner worries, she expected an exciting time. She was ready to make it very special. She would win back his enthusiasm!
Standing at the door, Jessie removed her trainers. Under her overcoat, she wore only tight cut-offs and a tiny crop top. She knocked softly. While waiting, her whole body trembling with anticipation, her mind retreating into the slave mindset, Jessie listened. Footsteps, the bolt was drawn, the door opened, X’s soft eyes.
Jessie shrugged off the coat, knelt on the hard stone step, and raised her crossed wrists toward him, offering a pair of metal cuffs. “Your slave is here, Master.”
X took a moment to take it all in. Then he said, “Oh, Jes. I’m so sorry. Please, stand up and put your coat back on.”
He drew her gently to her feet and led her inside to sit, side-by-side, on the ottoman. Puzzled, frightened, Jessie felt her eyes moisten.
"I'm so sorry, Jessie. It's not you. It's me."

From that point, the reader can probably fill in the ensuing details almost as accurately as Jessie. Tears flowed freely, mutual respect and affection were pledged, and blame bravely shouldered on each side. Two hours were required for the emotional baggage to sink beneath the tears, and at last, each party was calm and resigned. As such couples usually do, they both agreed to a need for space and time - decided to stop seeing each other - if only for the time being. They promised to keep in touch.
X made the obligatory offer to put Jessie up for the night, and she made the obligatory declination. Best if she drove right back now. Jessie walked to the door with X behind, clutching her coat tightly around her now embarrassing skimpy costume. Opening it, she saw her shoes on the step and wanted to cry again. Somehow she held it in. She put them on and turned to X to say goodbye. As is always the case in this situation, neither had the slightest idea how to do so. They ended, hugging, but with a fair amount of distance between their bodies. No kisses, of course.
Jessie got in Clio and began to drive. It was only midday, so the road was clear, but her tears made it hard to see. By the time she got home, she had a pounding headache. She took a bunch of powders and went to bed. She slept fitfully until the following morning.
Jessie tried to keep in touch, but X didn’t have his heart in it, and soon, all communication ended.
Few persons can let the end of a once valued and precious relationship occur without attempting to discern the cause and fault. With Jessie’s spectacular failures at earlier relationships and her natural self-effacement, she quickly concluded that the breakup was all her fault. Her assumed reasons ran a wide gamut: she was too demanding; she was too submissive; she had tried too hard; she had taken him for granted. Of course, she was sure the core reasons were her own shortcomings.
Whatever the reason, the end of the affair was devastating to Jessie’s self-worth. Here it was. The ideal partner. The one in a million that shared her weird interests.
If it couldn’t work with X, she could never have a relationship. At 32, Jessie McTaggert resigned herself to perpetual singularity. She was finished with relationships. That was ten months ago. Though she didn’t say this, her contact with Alex was the most with a man since X.

Somehow, Jessie got all the way through that without a tear. Maybe, she was adjusting to her life alone, she thought. She looked up at Alex's face and saw a tear run down from his eye. Then she lost it.
 
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Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
Now that was quite an interesting chapter.

Was it real life revealed in fiction, or the other way around?

How did Alex know? How does anyone know?

Makes one think. Should I be changing my CF name? Is from a “northern forest” any more identifying than from “a blue state”?

How easy is it to fall under the spell of an “x”, and a secretively exotic world of pain and slavery? And why is it that such things end?
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
I apologize for the late posting. I only just remembered that an episode was due today. Enjoy more exploration of our character's souls

[Episode 17]

Confession is Good for the Soul*

Alex had listened in concerned and thoughtful silence, as Jessie completed the history,
Alex thanked her for her honesty and courage in the telling. He understood the courage it took. Finally, he assured her that his respect for her was increased, not impaired. “I always kinda liked your persona on CT, but I had no idea of your background.
Jes thanked him. Then something he said struck her.

I…Hing on! Ye telt me ye're frae Madison, Wisconsin. Guard Commander's frae Detroit, Michigan! Ye canna be him!”
Alex smiled again. He just waited.
“Ochhhh. Ye leed.”
“I maintained my secure identity…as you should have.”

Jessie lowered her eyes in the admission of her error. But the Scottish lassie still had plenty of feisty determination. A thought occurred to her, and she looked back up at Alex and said, with a twinkle in her eye. “A lat ye see mine, noo ye mun lat me see yourn.”
“Ah, Yes,” said Alex, coughing, clearly caught off guard. “That would be fair, indeed. My story is slightly similar, though much shorter and simpler.”
And so the American began to tell his own journey through unusual desires and urges.
When he was just a young boy, six, or seven, Alex was a very lonely child. Again, we respect his privacy in not detailing the reasons. In his aloneness, he began to have fantasies of being a captured prince and being tortured. So far before puberty, the fantasies had no overtly sexual aspects but seemed to tap some deep need. As he passed ten, self-awareness grew, as did the intensity of the dreams. Now, for the first time, females began to enter his thoughts. They were much like the witch in Hansel and Gretel, who would torment and consume a soft boy. Though, as years passed, these witches soon became prettier and more shapely.
By the time Alex had turned twelve, his fantasies had shifted in two ways. First, the victim’s changed from him to the woman/girl. And the torments moved more to her “girly parts” as Jes named them. Sex and intercourse were still in the future, but his excitement was now sadistic rather than masochistic. In a way, the helpless soft boy victim morphed into the vulnerable, soft woman.
In his teens, Alex felt the usual pressures to conform. The girls his age began to develop bodies that aroused him. His mind was still harboring fantasies of capture and torture of women. When a girl was particularly cruel in her rejection or ridicule of his advances, he would play in his mind the terrible agony he would put her through in his secret dungeon. There she would beg for mercy, beg for him to take her, beg to satisfy his desires!
Except for buying some magazines and later surfing the internet, he never acted on his desires to dominate. The women he encountered all seemed to need to act liberated and assertive, and he learned to accept that. His wife insisted on having her way, and he did not wish to fight.
In the later years of his marriage, Alex increasingly used the internet to satisfy his urges. He watched videos, viewed images, and read stories. Shortly after joining CruxTalk more than two years ago, Maxwell began writing down his cravings in fictional stories. With extensive research and some educational feedback from submissive readers, he learned more about being a dominant, even a master. But everything was in fiction, theoretical. He had strong doubts he could pull it off in person, even if he did meet the right girl.

Thus ended his story. He fell silent. As he and Jessie had done through both confessions, they sat quietly, looking at each other. Alex’s last word’s hung in the air like a dense fog: “If he met the right girl.”

Both had exhausted themselves with giving and receiving the confessions, with each recognizing in the other some of their own deep hurts.
Then, as if of one mind, both leaned forward and put their arms around the other. The hug that followed was warm and loving but not erotic. Each felt small sobs. They clung to each other. Two souls, struggling to stay above water, helping to hold the other up.
Then Jessie broke it off. A deep-seated fear tore at her. Sentimentality like this led only to disappointment and hurt. She must control her stupid urges, she thought.
Alex was a bit surprised as Jessie pulled from the embrace without explanation and looked away. He worried that he had been too forward with the hug. He had thought she was equally interested. But he recognized that he was always shit at reading a girl’s feelings. Remember Dorothy! He must have gone too far.

He pulled himself together and began to think about the problem at hand rather than his burning desire for this lovely lassie.
“We need to put together all we know to find Sorcha,” he said. Jessie looked back at him with sudden enthusiasm on her face. Damn! He thought. How can anyone think clearly looking into those eyes?
“Do you know? Was she a member of CT?”
Jessie wanted to help, but that dangerous hug was still bothering her. Once again, she wondered how much she could trust this man, especially with her friend’s secrets.
“I…I dinna raelly ken for sure,” she hesitated. “Yon’s somethin ye'd expeck she'd keep tae hersel, I guess.”
Alex sighed. He had messed up. His desire for this remarkable young woman had blinded him to the need to maintain her trust if they were to work together on this. Now he had to convince her to trust him again.
“Jes. I’m sorry. I know I seem to be constantly prying, perhaps invading your privacy. And, I’ll confess that you fascinate me and make me want to know more about you.”
Jessie smiled. At least he was honest about that, she thought.
“But I have no personal interest in Sorcha. I don’t know her; I’ve never seen her – except maybe a momentary view of her backside as our man was carrying her away. However, I know she's in danger! I need to know about her to help her. If I know why he chose her, it might help me profile him. Please, you need to help me.”
Jessie looked into Alex’s eyes and saw sincerity. What he said made sense.
“Aye. Ane time, aboot six months syne, we were bletherin online, an CruxTalk cam up, an we fund oot we were baith on it; she’d bin on langer nor me.”
“Did she tell you her screen name?”
“Aye. We thocht it a lauch that we'd baith bin on an didna ken ilk ither. So we exchanged screen names, so we cud follae ilk ither.”
“You gave her yours?” Alex seemed concerned. Then he quickly asked, “So what is her name?”
“Bagirz69.”
“What was she like online?” asked Alex, pulling out his laptop.
“She telt me she looed it, she wis online as aften as she cud be. But I noticed she didna post muckle, just short replies, an 'likes' of ither fowk's work. I dinna think she had a wheen o confidence whan it cam tae writin.”
“Hmmm,” said Alex, pecking away at his laptop. “You're correct in terms of her thin amount of posting. But if you go through all this, you can pick up a lot. I’ve already begun to sense her personality here.”
Jessie said nothing. Could Alex, in a couple of minutes, glancing at Sorcha's posts, understand her friend? Jessie didn't understand her.
“Oh-oh!” said Alex, concerned.
“Whit is it!?”
"Two things, actually. First, about three weeks ago, she posted one of her few long pieces. She was enjoying a beautiful day and telling how much she enjoyed her home. In some detail, she described walking from her cabin to 'the Queen's Way,' and then landmarks along that road. Anyone who knew the area would know where she lived!"
"Och, my God! You said twa?”
“Yes, the day she emailed you that she was going away, she posted the same message on CT. God, this guy is good at covering his tracks!”
“But that disna pruive onythin. Naturally, she’d post that.”
"It was precisely the same message: cut and paste. No one does that unless they are posting in a bunch of places. And even then, there would be some personal note, especially on the one to you. Didn't you notice that it was very impersonal, coming from a friend, particularly a female friend? You girls tend to include pleasantries and talk about feelings, unlike a guy who sticks to a concise, almost cold message. I'd bet my reputation that a man composed this message."
“Then Sorcha raelly has bin kidnapped! Whit can we dae?”
“The next thing for me to do is read all her posts here. I want to see what our man saw when he was stalking her. Then, what I do is sit back and think my way into his mind. The whole process will take at least a few hours. You might want to read a book.”
“Nae, I need be aff hame. I’ve got a life o ma ain, d'ye ken?”
“Home? Alone? I won’t let you, Jes. Stay with me. You’ll be safe.”
“Sin whan dae I need a man to wautch ower me? Wha appinted you tae be ma warden? I'm awa the noo."
With that, she stood up, grabbed her coat, and headed for the door. Alex called futilely after her.

“Dammit,” he said after the door closed behind her. “I’ve got to do better with her. I wish I knew how to speak to the lassie! She’s even more attractive when she gets her Scot’s temper up!”

Jessie hopped into Clio and drove home at a speed that she would have upbraided Maxwell for maintaining. As she unlocked her door, she thought back to the ease with which Alex had picked it. Gingerly, she looked in and saw nothing amiss. Quickly locking the door from inside, she thought it might be a good idea, as Alex suggested, to get a slide bolt and a security chain. Jessie went and turned on every light in her place while checking every nook and cranny. Fine noo, she thought, dinna let yon daffy American sceer ye, lassie.
Jessie made herself a cup of hot chocolate and sat at her desk, beside the tall bookshelf. Her eyes were tired after the long day (and, to be honest, some crying). Donning her headphones for some Gregorian Chants, and turning on her computer to do some work, she put on her readers. Suddenly, she was very conscious of the fact that her back was to the door, and she wouldn't hear someone opening it. A shiver went down her spine. Despite every bit of independent resistance, she wished that Alex was with her now with all her heart.

Alex turned to his laptop and reviewed Sorcha’s posts on CruxTalk and also found some references to other websites she frequented. Tracking those down, he obtained an even more complete picture of the girl. Yes, the mystery man could quickly have learned everything he needed to know of her.
Closing the laptop, he poured a fresh, lukewarm mug of coffee, sat in the comfortable chair, closed his eyes, and began profiling.
Alex had learned early on in his profiling work that you had to give the subject a name, and preferably one that carried a similar association for you as the subject.
Maxwell let his mind free to wander. It skipped from subject to subject, from relevant to totally mundane. Out of the mix, he began to think back to one of his favorite novels, The Quiet American. He had always felt empathy for the American CIA agent named Alden Pyle, who tried and failed at doing good for the Vietnamese. But Pyle wasn't what caught his mind, nor Thomas Fowler, the British journalist in his fifties. No, Alex's mind insisted on thinking of the English author, Graham Greene, and his ability to construct complex unbreakable plots.
That’s him, thought Alex. Our target shall be Graham.

Jessie tried to concentrate on her work, but nameless, formless visions of intruders filled her mind. Large, dark men, coming for her – looming over her while she worked! Every few moments, she looked over her shoulder, expecting to see hulks coming, intent on hurting her.
17-00 Alone.jpeg
She wished that Alex was there with her. He was a rude pig at times, treating her like a child. She could take care of herself. Yes, of course, she could. What made Alex so invaluable?
It would just be nice if he were here. They could chat, and she'd forget about a nameless bogle in the cupboard. It was very cute how Alex didn't even try to hide his attraction for her. Then she caught herself. No, Jessie, she thought. You've been bitten by 'love' before, and it is pure shite! But the imaginary men wouldn’t stop creeping up behind her!

Now that he had a ‘name,’ Alex could put together a picture of his target and begin to work out his M.O.** With his eyes still closed, Alex spoke freely into his cell phone recorder.
“I’m above medium, husky build, smart, very smart, indistinct - I blend into a crowd. I like it that way. I can observe and be unobserved. I watch the girls, ignore me, do not look handsome or sophisticated or rich (if only they knew how much money I have now!), no, their favors are for those who can pay well for their attention. The youngest and most attractive, they're just whores, do anything if the price is right.”
Alex halted and opened his eyes. It was going well, he thought. But, he had to pause. He always had to take breaks from the mind of his targets. It was too dark and evil to remain in their thoughts for too long.

*Confession is Good for the Soul – Scottish proverb, origins unknown.

**A modus operandi (often shortened to M.O.) is someone's habits of working, particularly in the context of criminal investigations.
 
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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Jitu's Story:

It is so easy for migrant workers to disappear in Scotland. Few cared about them, and many resented them for taking local work (though locals rarely would perform the tasks they did). Jitu, 29, from a village in India, was a very petite girl with a cheerful, submissive personality. A trained nurse in India, he worked as a nurse’s assistant at a care home for demented old folk in Strathaven earning more than she could at home. The institution was close enough to Glasgow for the families of the inmates to drive without undue effort. And it was far enough that infrequent visits could be excused. As a result, it was always filled to capacity with a waiting list.

Jitu’s work consisted of the lowest and most unpleasant tasks available such as cleaning up the beds of the residents who had wet or soiled themselves. Nevertheless, she always maintained a positive attitude and cared deeply for the old people she served. Jitu's training in India had focused on preventing the communication of infection diseases. On a few occasions, she'd mentioned to the professional staff that there were measures that could be taken in the home to protect the most vulnerable residents from the spread of respiratory infections. They had dismissed the concerns of this 'ignorant foreigner' and told her to concentrate on her job of cleaning up the shit.

Jitu’s work permit has expired, and she’d been threatened with deportation in the generally ‘hostile atmosphere.’ When she failed to turn up for work one night, her employers don’t report her, they guess she’s either been arrested or gone to ground. They knew if they reported her missing, they’d just be in trouble for continuing to employ her.

A valuable prize for Graeme as several of his customers disdained Western girls in favor of East Indians.
 
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Fossy

Tribune
Jitu's Story:

It is so easy for migrant workers to disappear in Scotland. Few cared about them, and many resented them for taking local work (though locals rarely would perform the tasks they did). Jitu, 29, from a village in India, was a very petite girl with a cheerful, submissive personality. A trained nurse in India, he worked as a nurse’s assistant at a care home for demented old folk in Strathaven earning more than she could at home. The institution was close enough to Glasgow for the families of the inmates to drive without undue effort. And it was far enough that infrequent visits could be excused. As a result, it was always filled to capacity with a waiting list.

Jitu’s work consisted of the lowest and most unpleasant tasks available such as cleaning up the beds of the residents who had wet or soiled themselves. Nevertheless, she always maintained a positive attitude and cared deeply for the old people she served. Jitu's training in India had focused on preventing the communication of infection diseases. On a few occasions, she'd mentioned to the professional staff that there were measures that could be taken in the home to protect the most vulnerable residents from the spread of respiratory infections. They had dismissed the concerns of this 'ignorant foreigner' and told her to concentrate on her job of cleaning up the shit.

Jitu’s work permit has expired, and she’d been threatened with deportation in the generally ‘hostile atmosphere.’ When she failed to turn up for work one night, her employers don’t report her, they guess she’s either been arrested or gone to ground. They knew if they reported her missing, they’d just be in trouble for continuing to employ her.

A valuable prize for Graeme as several of his customers disdained Western girls in favor of East Indians.
So easy to disappear from 'the system' - 'Graeme' has really struck a rich vein of supply in this part of the world ... where will poor Jitu end up ...
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
It's pitch dark in the Northern Forest, the wee toun's in Loch Doon (a mythical place the Scots regularly vanish into for some weeks after Hogmanay, though all the more so this year), not a moose is stirring ... I'll fix myself a hot chocolate ...
 
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