flats

I told myself every day that, in these difficult times of high unemployment and, as a recently made redundant man of 55; with no recognized trade or skills, and with no other vocational qualifications, as such, I was lucky, very lucky, to have found another job at all…



Even this one…



Well, I had to tell myself something! I mean, you have to try and stay positive, in the face of adversity. Right?



Well, I was facing adversity…



When it came to reminding myself, though, as to just how very lucky I had been in finding another job in these tough times of such high unemployment, my new employer, Mrs Hilary Harper, won the metaphorical ‘cigar’, hands down. And, Mrs Hilary Harper, ever since having won the ‘cigar’; not only, did she have me light it for her, but, she had me kneeling at her feet, and holding the ashtray for her, as she puffed away in cool contentment and smug satisfaction, and blew the smoke in my face…



My new employer – 40-something, spiky blonde haired, short and plump, acerbic-tongued, Mrs Hilary Harper – was always ‘harping on’ at me, about just how lucky I was. About just how grateful I should be, to her, for my “Brand new start.”



So, at a time when literally dozens of other unemployed men; many of whom, were younger, fitter, abler, and had better qualifications than myself, had come knocking on her door asking for a job, why had Mrs Hilary Harper chosen me? The answer, I thought (though my employer said different…), was because I must have been the only job applicant who was desperate enough – daft – enough…



… Desperate enough and daft enough, to accept the condition – the ‘Special Clause’ – as stipulated in the Job Description of my Contract of Employment…



‘Harper’s Conference Catering’ (Mrs Hilary Harper, informed me during my job interview), catered (primarily) to small and medium size businesses and other organizations. Providing them with morning and afternoon refreshments at their venues: during their meetings; social gatherings; conferences; conventions, etc…



And so it was, that; on the basis of the satisfactory completion of a 1 Month Trial Period, I started my new job – my “Brand new start” – working for Mrs Hilary Harper, at Harper’s Conference Catering.



That was 6 months ago, now.



6 months, of… well, suffice it to say, that I fervently wished that I had never met Mrs Hilary Harper, and that I had never even heard of Harper’s Conference Catering.



Every day, I scanned the local newspapers, looking at the latest job advertisements. But, invariably, and seemingly inevitably, there were never any job vacancies that I could apply for with any real hopes of success.



At least 3 times a week, I visited the local Job Centre. To plead, to pester, to harass and cajole the Job Centre Staff into helping me to find another job — any job! I was prepared to accept any position, I assured them, to escape from my present, unspeakable – hideous – employment. But, as always, their answer was the same — they were “Very sorry, but&nbssp;we have no suitable jobs to offer you, at the moment…” And, always, at seeing my obvious desperation to leave my present job, they issued their standard warning; that, due to the Government’s latest crackdown on Social Security Payments, I could expect to receive no Unemployment Benefit, or any other Welfare Benefit Payments, if I was to simply leave my job of my own accord.



So, I was stuck. But, to say that I was stuck in a rut, doesn’t come close…



Harper’s Conference Catering, were nearing the end of a 1-week contract, at the City-Break Hotel and Spa, in Liverpool.



It was 2:50 p.m. on Friday, and the final day of the ‘SPOILT!’ Company’s Annual Convention.



‘SPOILT!’, are a Ladies Fashion and Cosmetics Company, specializing in (from what I have seen and heard during the past week) just about anything and everything, for ‘discerning’ females wishing to be fashionably caparisoned; and otherwise pleased, prettified, and pampered – essentially, spoilt – with a myriad, mind-boggling array of latest fashion outfits and accoutrements.



Attending this year’s ‘SPOILT!’ Annual Convention, at the Liverpool City-Break Hotel and Spa, was a 30-strong contingent of exclusively female ‘SPOILT!’ Boutique Managers, headed by the Convention organizer, Miss Hazel Morgan.



And, I mused absent-mindedly, that; from all that I had seen, heard, and experienced during the past week, the 30-strong contingent of exclusively female Representatives of ‘SPOILT!’, were nothing but a bunch of supercilious, haughty, insufferable – maddening! – arrogant spoilt brats, themselves…



“David!”



I jumped, at the sudden, harsh and authoritative voice of my employer, Mrs Hilary Harper, interrupting my sad and sorry, and decidedly resentful musings…



“David. Stop your daydreaming! I can finish off in here, now,” she said, finishing the arrangement of crockery and cutlery, etc, on the 4 Serving Tables. “Go and help Petra and Claire to bring in the trolleys with the afternoon refreshments. Our lady clients will be here now, at any moment… Go on, David! Hurry up!” she hustled and harried me, shrewishly.



I could have assured my employer, that; based upon my experiences of the past week, there was not much likelihood of any “lady” clients showing up any time soon… but I knew when to keep my mouth shut. “Yes, Mrs Harper,” I replied compliantly, and I hastened from the Hotel Lounge that had been specially set aside for the week’s duration by the Hotel Management, for the exclusive use and convenience of the Representatives of ‘SPOILT!’, while they attended their Annual Convention.



“Ah! There you are, David… We’ve been waiting for you,” said Petra, one of Mrs Hilary Harper’s two young female assistants, as I entered the Still Room in the Hotel’s kitchen. “Where have you been, you idle sod… skiving again?”



“Here, David, make yourself useful,” instructed Claire, Mrs Hilary Harper’s other young female assistant, indicating the very heavy tea urn and 2 large coffee pots. “Come on, stop fiddling and farting about, you useless lump – we haven’t got all day!” she adjured waspishly. “Our clients are going to be standing around, waiting for us… Load these heavy things onto the trolleys for us,” ordered Claire bossily. Without demur, I did as I was told — where Petra and Claire were conncerned, I had soon learned that it was best to obey them at once. I knew just how snappy and uppity – bitchy – that bratty pair could get, for no apparent reason at all.



Mrs Hilary Harper’s two young female assistants (who I knew were still in their early 20′s as, on numerous occasions I had heard them both peevishly complaining to our employer that; as they had proved themselves to be very valuable assets to her Company, they shouldn’t have to wait until they were 25, to be earning full wages), loved, and never tired of bossing me — their middle-aged, male underling — about. Petra and Clailaire absolutely revelled and gloated in the total, unquestioned authority that Mrs Hilary Harper had invested in them, over me.



And this: the blatant, patently obvious fact, of Petra and Claire’s bossy, bratty, dominant and domineering superiority over me, was – to my great shame and humiliation – plainly evident, and there for all to see.



Upon returning to the Hotel Lounge, with our 3 refreshment trolleys heavily laden with tea, coffee, cakes, biscuits, and a selection of dainty (or, ‘fussy’, as I thought of them) sandwiches; with the crusts removed, and cut into triangles, we saw that the first members of the 30-strong, exclusively female Representatives of ‘SPOILT!’ Ladies Fashion and Cosmetics Company (spoilt brats, more like!), were indeed already gathering in the Hotel Lounge, with a view to partaking of their afternoon refreshments (don’t you know!).



Afternoon refreshments, lasted from — sorry, I beg your pardon: ‘were served’ (don’t you know!) – from 3:00 – 3:30 p.m.



At first; in the initial, frantic rush of service, it was ‘all hands to the pumps’. All 4 of us: Mrs Hilary Harper, Petra, Claire, and; last, but not least – yeah, right! – myself, poured cups of tea and coffee for the ‘SPOILT!’ Representatives, as and when they proffered their cups to us to be filled.



On either side of me, I saw that Petra and Claire were smirking their silly, immature faces off, as they gazed at the faces of the ‘SPOILT!’ Representatives, who took dainty little bites from the dainty little triangular sandwiches that they held in their perfectly manicured fingers, as they waited to have their cups filled.



But, Petra and Claire smirked even more; giggled, even, as they studied the various expressions on the faces of the ‘SPOILT!’ Representatives, as they – every single one of them – looked down their noses at me…



Some; regarded me with mild, sparkle-eyed amusement; some, eyed me with utter, sneering contempt; and some, with expressions of vast, withering disdain, upon their faces… Faces; that even I was forced to begrudgingly admit to myself, were a walking, talking, glowing testament, as to just what could be done with a bit of ‘lippy’ and ‘slappy’… Faces; that were an effective advertisement and an alluring demonstration, of the expertly applied skills of their cosmetic trade.



Convention dress, for the ‘SPOILT!’ Representatives was relaxed and informal; with the only stipulation being that they all wear the ‘SPOILT!’ Company T-shirts that were provided for them. Their T-shirts, came in a wide variety of pastel shades and bright colours and, with multi-coloured lettering, they were emblazoned with this year’s Annual Convention Theme Logo: ‘SPOILT!’ — FOR CHOICE!!<



The ‘SPOILT!’ Company’s Convention organizer, Miss Hazel Morgan, was brazenly looking at me – openly appraising me – as she waited to be served her cup of tea. Miss Hazel Morgan, was an attractive, blonde-haired woman of about 25 and, to who; with her charming, bubbly, engaging personality, organizing and motivating her ‘SPOILT!’ colleagues came quite naturally. She was about 5 feet 8 tall, and she had a full, curvaceous figure, with legs ‘to die for’. Miss Hazel Morgan: stylishly and elegantly dressed and caparisoned from head to toe in the very best that ‘SPOILT!’ had to offer, she was the perfect advertisement for promoting ‘SPOILT!’s exclusive range of finery and frippery.



Presenting her tea cup to my employer, to be filled, Miss Hazel Morgan gushed effusively, in her plummy, posh accentented voice. “I absolutely must congratulate you, Mrs Harper! You really have looked after us all so marvellously well, all week. And, I can promise you, Mrs Harper, that we shall certainly be availing ourselves of your rather splendid…” after glancing over at me, again, Miss Hazel Morgan continued “… your… ‘facilities’, in the future…”



Just as soon as the busy, initial rush for afternoon refreshments was under control, and when most of the 30-strong contingent of ‘SPOILT!’ Representatives were milling about the Hotel Lounge area with their chosen refreshments — eitheer sitting down at the Lounge tables, or standing and chatting amongst themselves in small groups — I saw Petra and Claire’s amuseed smirks widen, to undisguised, malicious, gleeful grins, when my employer, Mrs Hilary Harper, said, “I think the girls and I can manage here now, David… Well, off you go, then, David! You know what to do!”



“Yes, Mrs Harper,” I replied, dejectedly and disconsolately, but obediently and compliantly… And, in strict adherence, to the terms of the ‘Special Clause’, as stipulated in the Job Description of my Contract of Employment…



At hearing the familiar, despondent tones of abject misery; all too evident in my dispirited, doleful voice, the silly, smirking, cruel grins of Petra and Claire widened even further, in proportion with their escalating malicious merriment… And, with their sense of wicked anticipation – as they waited for ‘the fun’ to start…



“OH! This, is so much better than a pay rise, isn’t it, my dears!” I overheard Mrs Hilary Harper, inquire of her 2 young, gleefully grinning female assistants, Petra and Claire, in a rather squealing and girlish-sounding voice, that seemed to take 30 years off her.



This, was the part of my job – my “Brand new start” – that I hated and detested… Was the reason why I tirelessly and desperately searched for another job — any job â— that would be my ticket out of my present, unspeakable – hideous – employment, at Harper’s Conference Catering.



What had I been thinking? What had possessed me?



Why did I, so unnecessarily – needlessly – land myself in this awful mess? Why did I trap myself, in this horrible, unspeakable – hideous – predicament?



What had I been thinking? What had possessed me?



Why, within just a few days of having been made redundant, had I gratefully grabbed with both hands, the very first job that was offered to me? Yes; I believed that beggars couldn’t be choosers, and that jobs would be scarce — as my dismaal failure to find alternative employment since, has clearly proved… But, why, oh why did I not take advantage of the Statutory 6 months of Unemployment Benefit that I was entitled to claim, and take the time to find a better job? Hell! Any job would have been better than this!



What had I been thinking? What had possessed me?



Above all: why had I been so quick to agree, to Mrs Hilary Harper’s Terms and Conditions of Employment – or, more specifically – to the ‘Special Clause’, as stipulated in the Job Description of my Contract of Employment?



I mean… it was one thing, to agree to obediently submit to the unquestioned superiority: the dominant and domineering – tyrannical – total authority, of Mrs Hilary Harper’s 2 bratty female assistants, Petra and Claire… But, it was quite another thing – quite another thing, altogether – to agree to… to agree to submit myself, to… Oh! What had I been thinking? What had possessed me?



I had acted in haste. Now, I repented at leisure…



I had no sooner stepped from behind our Serving Tables and into the Lounge, amidst the 30-strong contingent of the ‘SPOILT!’ Company’s exclusively female Representatives, when one of their sharp-eyed party became aware that I was now ‘available’…



Immediately – and with the most galling, infuriating, exquisite arrogance; that really got under my skin, and that made my blood boil with bitter, bubbling, seething resentment – in that universally understood gesture of beckoning, the ‘SPOILT!’ Representative derisively double-clicked her fingers at me… And, she made sure to speak to me – before any of her ‘SPOILT!’ colleagues also became aware that I was now ‘available’ – to secure my ‘services’ first… “Footboy!”



Oh! Those women – those ‘SPOILT!’ Brats! They were insufferable – maddening!



‘Footboy’!! ‘Footboy’? I was old enough to be her Dad!… Footboy!



How disrespectful. How demeaning. How belittling. How… humiliating! Gillian — I knew that to bbe her name; and I also knew the names of all of the other, exclusively female, 30-strong contingent of ‘SPOILT! Representatives, from listening to their incessant, mind-numbing, shop-talk conversations, for all of this past week — was standing in the middle of the Lounge, wwith a cup of tea in one hand, and a chocolate eclair cake in the other. Gillian was, as usual, in the company of the same 2 ‘SPOILT!’ colleagues whom, apparently, she already knew, and with whom she usually chatted to during their morning and afternoon refreshment breaks. Their names were Phyllis, and Julie.



With a perfectly manicured, clear varnish-painted forefinger, Gillian arrogantly beckoned me to approach her — or, perhaps a better and a more accurate way of putting it, would be that she summoned me to report — to herself, andd to her 2 ‘SPOILT!’ colleagues, Phyllis and Julie. “Come here, footboy…”



“Yes, Miss Gillian,” I responded, obediently and respectfully… And, in strict adherence, to the terms of the ‘Special Clause’, as stipulated in the Job Description of my Contract of Employment…



I told myself: in my clutching at flimsy straws of scant consolation; in my looking for the elusive silver lining of the low, dull grey miserable cloud that I lived under, that, at least it was Friday… At least, the ‘SPOILT!’ Annual Convention would break up, later on today… And, at least, this would be the last that I would see, of Miss Hazel Morgan, Gillian, Phyllis, Julie, and all the rest of the 30-strong contingent of ‘SPOILT!’ Representatives — or, as I always thought of them — €” the ‘SPOILT!’ Brats… Unless, of course (and — Heaven forfend!) I was so unfortunate, as to be still working forr Harper’s Conference Catering this time next year, when the ‘SPOILT!’ Ladies Fashion and Cosmetics Company’s Representatives would (according to Miss Hazel Morgan) return to the Liverpool City-Break Hotel and Spa, to attend next year’s Annual Convention.



Gillian – I beg your pardon: ‘Miss’ Gillian (don’t you know!). ‘Miss’, was the polite and respectful prefix, that Mrs Hilary Harper had instructed me to use, when addressing her lady clients – was not actually fat, as such, but she was, nevertheless, a quite ‘substantially-built’ woman. Big boned and big breasted, I suppose I might describe her… without being over-indelicate, in my description of her rather full figure. I’d say she was about 30, and she was about 5 feet 9 tall, with long, glossy, reddish-brown or chestnut hair, that she wore tidily plaited behind her back, hanging in thick ropes. In normal circumstances, I might have found Gillian quite attractive. But these, were not normal circumstances…



Phyllis, was aged about 40, with neck-length, dark brown hair and, at about 5 feet 6, she was not as tall as Gillian. And her physical build, too, was near the other end of the spectrum; being almost pixie-like. Although Phylis did carry a little extra plumpness around her bottom and her tummy, this was certainly not to her detriment; it only seemed to enhance her physical attractiveness, and to accentuate her mature, womanly allure – her sex-appeal – in general.



Julie, I thought, was possibly the youngest woman of the ‘SPOILT!’ party. She was also, I thought: by far, and without a shadow of a doubt, easily the most beautiful of all of the 30-strong contingent of the ‘SPOILT!’ Company Representatives – of whom, it had been my great misfortune to have been made ‘acquainted’ with, over the past week, as they took their morning and afternoon refreshment breaks.



Julie, I thought, was sylph-like, in her flawless beauty… Olive-complexioned, of slim build, and slightly shorter than Phyllis.



Julie, had dark-brown eyes, and very dark – almost black, lustrous, slightly longer than shoulder-length hair. Julie had worn her hair, this past week; either parted to one side of her head, and held in place with a matching pair of hair-stays; or, as she wore it today, with her hair-stays employed differently, in holding her hair in place on top of her head, in what I thought was an extremely attractive, elegant, chignon style, that served to endow her with an aura of youthful, feminine sophistication… Which, sadly, only lasted for as long as she remained silent – for, this aura of sophistication was instantly dispelled, and the admirer tragically disillusioned, when Julie spoke; in her native, broad scouse (Liverpool) accent… Julie was on her home turf, here, and she was Manager of the ‘SPOILT!’ Ladies Fashion and Cosmetics Boutique, in Liverpool City Centre’s ‘Shankly’ Shopping Arcade. Just as soon as I was in the immediate presence of Gillian, Phyllis and Julie, Gillian ceased beckoning me, and, by way of her exquisitely arrogant command, she simply pointed her perfectly manicured forefinger, downwards, at the Lounge carpet of the Liverpool City-Break Hotel and Spa. “Footboy, assume your ‘service’ position. You know, how we want you… How you are to serve us…”

“Yes, Miss Gillian,” I responded, obediently and respectfully… And, in strict adherence, to the terms of the ‘Special Clause’, as stipulated in the Job Description of my Contract of Employment…



Oh! Those women – those ‘SPOILT!’ Brats! They were insufferable – maddening!



The way they so casually, so complacently, so arrogantly, ordered me to my ‘service’ position – the ‘service’, as stipulated in the ‘Special Clause’, in the Job Description of my Contract of Employment…



How disrespectful. How demeaning. How belittling. How… humiliating!



Fighting against, and barely overcoming, the by now all-too-familiar, almost overwhelming and irresistible impulse to flee — and say to hell, with the serious consequuences of doing so – as instructed, I obediently and compliantly sat down on the Lounge floor, in front of the commanding and expectant Gillian. I then spread my legs open, in a wide, accommodating ‘V’ shape.



As if it was the most natural thing in the world: as if it was the most mundane and unremarkable of ordinary, every-day occurrences, not a single one, of the rest of the 30-strong contingent of ‘SPOILT!’ Company Representatives, who were blithely chatting away to each other as they so congenially passed the time of their 30-minutes long, afternoon refreshments break, so much as batted an eyelid, at the decidedly singular scene before them… Not a single one of them, so much as raised an eyebrow – as though at something even in the slightest untoward – as they nonchalantly sipped their tea, while casually and carelessly and complacently observing the use that I was being put to by some of their ‘SPOILT!’ colleagues; as I sat, with my legs wide-open, in an accommodating ‘V’ shape, upon the carpeted Lounge floor of the Liverpool City-Break Hotel and Spa.



Oh! Those women – those ‘SPOILT!’ Brats! They were insufferable – maddening!



The way they looked down on me – down their noses… The way – the infuriating, blood-boiling way – that they viewed my ‘service’, to them, as if it was something… that was entirely normal and perfectly proper. As if it was something, that they had been naturally accustomed to, all their lives. As if it was something, to be expected; that they were actually ‘entitled’ to – their ‘Birthright’…



How disrespectful. How demeaning. How belittling. How… humiliating!



In knowing the appalling nature of the trauma that was coming, I braced myself – both mentally, and physically – for the imminent and inevitable commencement, of my, by now, all-too-familiar, heinous ordeal…



In knowing the appalling, unspeakable – hideous – nature of the trauma that was coming, I braced myself, against the onset of my diabolical ordeal… Against the casual and complacent, careless and uncaring treatment (abuse), and against the horrendous and intolerable affront to my self-respect (humiliation), by the ‘SPOILT!’ Company Representatives. Abuse and humiliation, that was also a flagrant and appalling contravention of the Human Rights Act… Sadly, they were Rights, that my employer, Mrs Hilary Harper, had smirkingly and smugly informed me that I had actually waived, upon signing my Contract of Employment – with its ‘Special Clause’ – in the Job Description.



The very moment that I had assumed my ‘service’ position, and had sat on the carpeted Lounge floor of the Liverpool City-Break Hotel and Spa; with my legs spread wide and accommodatingly open, Gillian prepared to avail herself, of my ‘service’… Gillian turned her broad back and her ample bottom on me and, positioning herself carefully, she stood between my wide-spread, ‘V’ shaped legs, close to my vulnerable ‘tender parts’… Alarmingly close!



Gillian popped the last of her chocolate eclair cake into her mouth “Mmmmmm,” she said, and she licked the smears of chocolate and cream from her fingers. “Sit still, footboy…” ordered Gillian, “… if you know what’s good for you…”



“Yes, Miss Gillian,” I replied, obediently and compliantly… And, in strict adherence, to the ‘Special Clause’, as stipulated in the Job Description of my Contract of Employment…



Now, the dreaded, awful – hideous – moment, was upon me, as Gillian rested one (sticky fingered!) hand on top of my head; as a means of useful support and, as a convenient aid to steadying, and carefully positioning herself…



In a well-practised manoeuvre, Gillian then shook and shuffled her right foot in such a manner as enabled her to loosen, and then ease her heel free from her closed, soft black leather, thick rubber-soled shoe (loafers, I think she wore). After pausing just a moment, to steady and balance herself, Gillian slipped her large, broad, dark hosed right foot from her shoe… Gillian then proceeded to raise her right foot – freshly released from within the confines of her closed, soft leather shoe – behind her and, I watched, mesmerised, and in a sort of horrified fascination, as Gillian’s right foot reached, inexorably… reached up, and up, and up… until she felt the pads of the toes of her large, broad, dark hosed right foot, reach my waiting and compliantly proffered face… Until she felt her foot, reach ‘service’.



Gillian, having unerringly and effortlessly found my compliantly proffered face with her reaching (reaching, for ‘service’) right foot, immediately then sought the familiar, conveniently protruberant resting place – my nose – with her toes…



(My employer, Mrs Hilary Harper – or ‘Harpy’, as I thought of that lady – had told me at my job interview, that “Your short stature, David, is actually your biggest asset… It is exactly, what makes you so perfectly suitable for the new position that I have created. Your lack of height, David, will facilitate ‘service’ proceedings admirably, and will make life so much easier, for our lady clients,” she had enthused, at having found the ‘perfect employee’. Business had been picking up, ever since…)



… And, I felt a great and distressing – all-but unbearable – weight of pressure, when Gillian then rested the ball of her right foot; placing it firmly and squarely, right onto the bridge of my nose…



… Now; for extra grip, and a more secure ‘anchorage’, Gillian closed her long, dark hosed toes, in a tight and grasping – enwrapping – hold, around my nostrils. And, while my shocked brain was still numbly registering the first; but, by now, all-too-familiar, whiffs of her pungent, decidedly unpleasant foot scent, she firmly pressed her arch over my eyes, and she firmly planted her big and blocky heel against my upper-forehead, in a rock-solid, immovable grip…



… So as: to take maximum advantage, of the natural curvatures of my facial and cranial contours. So as; to rest, and to lean back upon. So as; to recline, and to outrageously use my compliantly proffered face and head, as a convenient support upon which to relax…



… So as: to rest her considerable weight — to “Take the weight off” and, to  œTake a load off” — were 2 of Gillian’s customaryy phrases, when availing herself, during the morning and afternoon refreshments breaks in the Hotel Lounge, of my ‘service’…



…So as; to ‘luxuriate’…



I barely had the time, in which to register – or, rather, re-acquaint myself – with the revolting, tangy, sour-vinegary smell of Gillian’s long, nostril-cupping, dark hosed toes, before I was ‘obliged’ to focus my attentions, upon a rather more critical, and ‘pressing’ problem… more serious, even, than being ‘obliged’ to breathe in the pungent, darkly aromatic fumes, from Gillian’s tightly-gripping, clutching, nostril-cupping toes…



With all of the neck muscle and upper-body strength that I could urgently and desperately summon, I focused my frantic attentions, and I began to concentrate my wholehearted efforts, upon the critical emergency at hand: that, of supporting Gillian’s appallingly burdensome weight… Gillian’s resting, relaxing, leaning, reclining, pressing weight, increased: gradually, cumulatively – inexorably – as she further relaxed, and as she further reclined… As she further ‘luxuriated’…



After mere moments, I was struggling and straining – despairing.



Panic-stricken.



I was ‘obliged’, to engage in my Titanic, humiliating struggle, with all of my might and mind… I was desperately – maniacally – pressing my face into the sole of Gillian’s large, broad, blocky-heeled, dark hosed smelly foot, in an unsustainable and, ultimately, futile and un-winnable battle… I was ‘obliged’ to do so, in a colossal – Herculean – bid, to prevent the unthinkable… To stop myself from collapsing backwards – to avert certain, and disastrous consequences!… To prevent collapsing, like some kind of grossly over-burdened scarecrow finally and inevitably giving way, under the intolerable weight of some perching, careless and uncaring gigantic bird.



Oh! Those women – those ‘SPOILT!’ Brats! They were insufferable – maddening!



What was Gillian trying to do to me? She was stressing me out: ‘obliging’ me to inhale the decidedly unpleasant fumes from her dark hosed, gripping, clutching, nostril-cupping toes… She was pulverizing my nose, with the heavy, stressing pressure, of the ball of her broad foot… She was crushing my forehead, with her ‘anchoring’, blocky heel… She was straining my neck, with the steadily increasing, cumulative weight and pressure, of her leaning, resting, relaxing, reclining – ‘luxuriating’ – posture.



How disrespectful. How demeaning. How belittling. How… humiliating!



After a dreadful, stress-filled, humiliating eternity (though, it could only have been a few nightmarish minutes, at most), ‘relief’, was soon at hand…



After being ‘obliged’: to inhale the tart, acidic, sour-vinegary fumes from Gillian’s long, dark hosed, nostril-cupping toes… Of being ‘obliged’, to support her considerable, steadily increasing – cumulative – weight and pressure: straining every ligament and sinew almost to snapping-point, in an almost super human, tendon-tearing, muscle-rupturing effort; desperately and frantically pressing my compliantly proffered face into the firmly ‘anchored’, broad and fleshy sole of her smelly, dark hosed foot flesh as hard and as forcefully as I possibly could, to prevent certain – disastrous! – consequences… it was Julie, who came to my ‘rescue’…



Though of course, I knew all too well, by then – near the end of that appalling and miserable week, of the ‘SPOILT!’ Company’s Annual Convention – that, it was not a rescue, in the conventional sense… For, far from my wretched, unspeakable – hideous – ordeal being over, it was only to be a classic case, of ‘Out of the frying pan, and into the fire’…



Julie – who, I had noticed, had been constantly shifting her weight from foot to foot, in her steadily worsening discomfort; due to standing around in her latest fashion, 4-inch spike-heeled, bright-red pumps – asked Gillian to let her “Have a turn of the ‘footrest’.”



From the lowly vantage point of my ‘service’ position, I had been aware (despite my ‘preoccupation’…) of Julie’s evident distress, gradually taking its toll… Aware; as it had escalated from a mere, mildly concerning discomfort, to a relentless, apparently agonized, all-but intolerable, near frenzy of footsore agitation… Aware; of Julie’s restless, pain-relieving, foot-to-foot weight shifting in her 4-inch spike-heeled, bright-red pumps… Aware; of Julie alternately easing first one, olive-skinned bare foot, and then her other, in grateful, sigh-filled momentary relief… Aware; of Julie rotating her ankle, flexing and splaying and scrunching her tired, sore, pink-painted toes…



Aware (from my experience, this long, miserable week); of what was coming – the footsore Julie’s importunate, frantic follow-up: her urgent and animated entreaty, to the leaning, resting, relaxing, reclining – ‘luxuriating’ – Gillian… “Come on, Gill! Don’t hog the footrest. My feet are killing me!”



Gillian – being a very considerate and obliging sort of person – with good grace, and appreciating the need to share-and-share-alike, with her ‘SPOILT!’ colleagues, she acceded to Julie’s desperate request, and she relinquished the ‘footrest’.



After all, Gillian knew (and so did I!) that there were many others, of the 30-strong contingent of ‘SPOILT!’ Representatives, who wished to avail themselves of the services of the ‘footrest’, before the end of their 30-minute, afternoon refreshment break. And my relief, now, was immense, at the sudden release of the awful stress and strain: of the terrible trauma, of bearing the almost intolerable, steadily increasing – cumulative – weight and pressure, of Gillian’s leaning, resting, relaxing, reclining – ‘luxuriating’ – posture, as she at last removed her large, broad, blocky-heeled, dark hosed smelly right foot, from my obediently proffered face.



After slipping her right, black, soft leather, thick rubber-soled shoe back on, Gillian then stepped outside of my accommodating, wide-open, ‘V’ shaped legs… “He’s all yours, Jules,” invited Gillian generously.



Now, it was the footsore Julie, who prepared to avail herself of Harper’s Conference Catering’s “Rather splendid ‘facilities’” – of the ‘footrest’…



Julie wasted no time – time, was of the essence! – in following Gillian’s example. Julie carefully positioned herself: turning her back on me, she stood inside the ‘V’ shape of my wide-open, accommodating legs, with the 4-inch spike-heels of her latest fashion, bright-red pumps, close to my vulnerable ‘tender parts’… Alarmingly close! “Don’t move, footboy. Or else!…”



“Yes, Miss Julie,” I responded, obediently and compliantly… And, in strict adherence, to the terms of the ‘Special Clause’, as stipulated in the Job Description of my Contract of Employment…



Oh! Those women – those ‘SPOILT!’ Brats! They were insufferable – maddening!



The callous, cruel way they treated me! The way – the galling, infuriating, blood-boiling, getting-under-the-skin way – that they so casually and carelessly made their appalling, unspeakable – hideous – ‘use’ of me. Using me, and then passing me along, from one to another, like a convenient and comfortable piece of soft furniture!… Like a pouffe!



How disrespectful. How demeaning. How belittling. How… humiliating!



I mentally prepared myself, and physically braced myself, as bravely and stoically as I was able — foor I knew, full well; from my numerous previous ‘exploits’, this long, miserable past week, just exactly what to expect — of the olfaactory onslaught that Julie was about to subject me to, as she gratefully availed herself, of the ‘footrest’. Of all of the 30-strong contingent of ‘SPOILT!’ Representatives, it was Julie, who had the stinkiest feet… Despite the highly singular hardships of my humiliating predicament, it was hard not to admire Julie’s pert little behind, as her buttocks stretched the already taut and bottom-hugging confines of her very short, bright-red skirt, right in front of my face… And it was hard, not to appreciate the shapely thighs and calves of her bare, olive-skinned legs, that tottered, slightly, as she balanced rather precariously on her 4-inch spike-heeled, bright-red pumps, that: to my eyes, seemed to glow – as though in ominous warning… Like 2 danger signals; foretelling of the imminent threat of great and dire peril.



For, now, my trepidation eclipsed my admiration, as I watched Julie ease her bare, olive-skinned right foot from her slightly tight-fitting, 4-inch spike-heeled, bright-red pump. Balancing even more precariously, now, on just her left foot, Julie gratefully accepted the helpful, steadying assistance of her concerned and considerate colleagues, Gillian and Phylis who, standing to either side of her, held her by her elbows, by means of aiding her somewhat awkward manoeuvre. And, I had but a brief moment, in which to register the sight of Julie’s bare, olive-skinned sole as it gratefully and urgently zeroed in… on Mrs Hilary Harper’s “Rather splendid ‘facilities’” – on her ‘footrest’.



Julie’s penchant of wearing latest fashion, high-heeled shoes, I saw, was exacting a painful price… Julie’s heels, her toe pads, and the balls of her feet were rather red and angry-looking and, those red and rather tender-looking areas of her feet, contrasted starkly, with the olive-skinned colour of her arches. I saw also, the smear of greasy moisture on her sole, that was like a thin film of over-used cooking oil… Julie’s feet, were not only tired and sore and achey, but also hot and sweaty, and… stinky.



Now, my harrowing and unspeakable – hideous – ordeal, began in earnest…



Julie’s right, bare, sweaty, greasy, stinky foot, gratefully – seemingly gleefully; as though it had a mind of its own – urgently took ‘possession’ of my obediently proffered face. I shuddered, in the throes of a spine-tingling revulsion, as Julie did her ‘thing’ — as I knew she would!….



(All of Mrs Hilary Harper’s lady clients, I had come to know – whoever they were, and from whatever Company, or social gathering – seemed to have their own, personal, ‘trademark’ quirk… Their own, personal – unique – little ‘thing’, that they did, when occupying the ‘footrest’).



… Julie’s rather frantic movement caused her gold, ‘SPOILT!’ anklet to glint and gleam as it caught the light from the overhead spotlights in the Hotel Lounge, as she gratefully indulged herself, in her usual – ‘trademark’ – pain-relieving procedures, at the ‘footrest’…



Squeezing my nose, between her sticky and clammy – toejammy – big and second toes; sliding her toes, in a wiping motion… Wiping, as though to thoroughly impregnate my nose with her noxiously pungent foot stink – so that she can be sure that the anguishing aroma of her foot scent will be with me, always… Sliding her greasy sole, firmly, up and down my obediently proffered face; rubbing, massaging… Tracing her sole, from heel to toes over my nose, mouth and chin, over and over… Bringing the underside of her bare, flexing, splaying, wiggling and scrunching, distressingly stinky toes, to the twin air intake portals of my twitching, involuntarily dilating nostrils…



Cupping them.



And, although I had prepared myself mentally, and braced myself physically, to face the horror of what I knew was coming as bravely and as stoically as I could, I knew my efforts to be puny and futile. For, there was no effective defence, against the diabolical, devastating – hideous – olfactory onslaught, of Julie’s stinky feet…



It was an instinctive, defensive, self-preserving reaction: to try to at least inhibit and minimise the overwhelming invasion of the highly offensive waves of Julie’s stinky, fetid foot fumes into my involuntarily dilating nostrils, by breathing in through my mouth. But, breathing in through my mouth did not seem to help — seemed counter-productive, in fact… My tongue; the sensitivve lining of my mouth; my throat lining, drew in and seemed to absorb like a sponge, the greasy, palate-coating fumes from the nausea-inducing stinky toes of Julie’s bare foot. My palate, tongue, throat lining; all felt as though thickly coated, with a gag-inducing, slimy, membranous film; which was the cloying cocktail of contaminants, that comprised Julie’s toxic-toed, nasty, stinky foot fumes.



The sickly sensation was so unbearably acute, as made me want to retch – to want to unceremoniously deposit the entire contents of my stomach, onto the carpeted Lounge floor of the Liverpool City-Break Hotel and Spa. And; upon becoming afflicted by the onset of such severe, stomach-clenching, breath-depriving gagging spasms, it actually seemed the lesser of two evils, to breathe Julie’s nasty, stinky foot fumes in through my nose, instead… Which is what I did…



Minutes, dragged by like months… I was in a world of unspeakable, diabolical – hideous – torment.

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