woensdag 11 februari 2015

The Woman in Red: Chapter 15

15. Inspection by the Board.

         ‘How’s your apprentice, Katarina.’ The Baroness looked at her in an arrogant way, a habit she couldn’t resist, even with her daughter. She had acquired this pose that intimidated most of the people. Her severe looks and the sour face gave her the expression of an old and rigid lady. Somebody who was used to be right.
            Katarina had sipped at her glass of red wine before she answered. ‘He has to think this over, Maman. After all, this is not strange. I think he will get on board. It’s an exorbitant fee, he has asked, and that will be the deciding factor.’
            ‘It would be a pity of your time, we urgently need new blood. Our clients now and then want something different. I trust your insight and expertise, in this case. May I assume he will be ready for the Great Party. You’ve got less than two months, and they will pass very fast.’ The Baroness pushed a button on the video player while she pointed at the sofa Katarina could sit on. With the remote control, she started the video her daughter secretly had made.
            A screen appeared with the naked bodies of Katarina and Jean-Pierre. Their love game, a horny reaction on the creative music quartet, was played for them in all their colors and sounds.
            ‘Mmm, beautiful body,’ was the Baroness’ first reaction. She fasted forward till the moment Jean-Pierre came into view. ‘Richly blessed,’ she continued the inspection.
            Katarina just drank further of her wine. She was used to her mother’s examinations of the new recruits before they were allowed to join their undertaking. However, she thought it was odd she felt a bit of irritation at the usual remarks her mother made.
            ‘Have I already disappointed you once? I know my task, and I’ve kept my promises. Haven’t I?’
            ‘Have I said otherwise?’ The Baroness felt in one or another way the displeasure of her daughter. ‘Katarina, you know the rules, no feelings for the workers. How good they may be. Is that understood?’ She obviously waited for a confirmation of her daughter.
            Katarina frowned. ‘Of course I know.’
At that moment, Madame Thérèse Dupont entered the room. ‘I see you’re admiring our young stallion.’ It was a frivolous remark of the mundane lady, maybe not appreciated by the Baroness, but because of the financial support the woman gave, it was tolerated.
            ‘I think he’ll make a lot of money, he’s very talented. Look at the way he…,’ She couldn’t finish her sentence. Katarina pushed the eject button to stop abruptly the video.
            Katarina took the cassette out of the device and hurried away without looking back or saying a word.


            Jean-Pierre couldn’t relax. His thoughts made over time. He was thinking about his getting acquainted with Katarina. Was this all a coincidence of had she put her eye on him before he spotted her? He searched for his mobile phone, but didn’t find it. Strange, he would swear he had put it in the pocket of his coat when he had left his house.
            A few minutes later he was again calculating and counting. He once had seen a movie where the principal actor was offered an opportunity to become rich in a short time. There was always a terrible catch in such things. Was this also the case? He couldn’t know now. On the other side, he knew his world. For a change, it could be good to earn a lot of money.
            He looked through the window. Where was he? How had he arrived here? It was all in the name of love and the surprise Katarina had prepared for him. Was this really so? So many questions and few even no answers. It intrigued him, for reasons outside his control. What a world was this? It wasn’t just any old brothel from the harbor. A castle with a baroness, with everything that it implied. A sophisticated world which paid generously for his pleasures. Beggars can’t be choosers.
            Jean-Pierre was preparing to go to sleep. It had been a long day for him with lots a lot of emotions. He decided to postpone his decision until the next morning. Maybe then he would see clearly. It didn’t take long before he sank away in puzzled dreams. Nightmares about women dressed in red, noble ladies covered with long stoles that changed a certain moment in very long snakes twisted around their naked bodies and penetrating them in ways you couldn’t imagine.

© Rudi J.P. Lejaeghere

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