Warnings This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to persons living, dead or otherwise is purely coincidental. The ideas and thoughts that follow are pure fantasies. In real life, at the very least they would be unpleasant and probably illegal. Fantasies are like that; daydreams where we can contemplate and imagine the sensations without suffering or inflicting the pain, despair or humiliation.
"How dare the bastard humiliate me like that? Treat me like a common servant? Me, Claire Summerfield! Just because I told him I'd done enough work for one day and threw the trowel, handle first into the sloppy mortar and ran off, he thought he had the right to spank me. Of course running only delayed my punishment for it didn't take him long to catch me but I did get a punch into his face before he sat on that low wall, where everyone walking the coastal path could see him pull my trousers and knickers down, and watch while he pasted my arse with his hard bloody hand. Utterly disgusting and degrading; I was never meant to be a builder's labourer and wouldn't be one now if it wasn't for my sodden father and mother. How could they do this to me? Their only child, and pretend it was for my benefit?" Tears streamed down my face as I lay on the bed muttering curses at the people I was forced to live with, and at my parents and the choices they gave me.
I should start this tale several months earlier. Stupidly I tried shoplifting an expensive designer trouser and jacket outfit from a well-known, high-class London boutique, a store that adhered strictly to their policy of prosecuting all thieves. The store detective arrested me and, after a humiliating trial, the court fined me £1,000 plus costs and by the time Daddy added the expense of a lawyer to my bill, the total came to over £3,000, which almost cleaned out the little I had in my savings account. Perhaps the worst part of the whole affair came later. After being found guilty, the magistrate asked for reports on my character before sentencing me and two weeks later the interviewing probation officer gave about the bleakest report that she could. "Claire is a promiscuous, idle, rich girl, trying to keep up with the jet set, attending parties, getting drunk, and sponging on her parents and others," she told the judge. While it may have been close to the truth, she painted it in the blackest colours and I'm pretty sure she wanted me under her control for a while and expected me to spend a considerable number of hours on community service. At least the lawyer wangled me off that, but daddy had a scheme his own.
After dinner that Wednesday evening, he ordered me into the lounge and I expected another of his speeches abhorring my behaviour and saying that he expected me to mend my ways, but mother and he had decided enough was enough. They were ready to kick me out. Already they'd confiscated my credit cards and with a balance of less than two hundred pounds in my savings account, I would have money enough for only a few days unless I could get work and a place to stay.
"Sorry Claire, this is the last straw as far as we are concerned. You have brought our good name into disrepute and the publicity has made us the laughing stock of our friends, therefore, your mother and I, have decided that you will not remain here as part of this family and we will no longer support you financially. At twenty-six years old you should be making your own way in life or be married and bringing up a family. However, we've decided to give you a choice. I admit it is not much of a choice but it is time you learned to make your own way in life even though it may involve some hardship, and we hope that, in the end, you will see the error of your past behaviour and lead a better life. The choice is a simple one between two options, either you leave and find your own way in life, whether that be as a working girl or on the street," that shocked me, "Or you can go and live and work with Ted Jones on his farm in Wales and be a labourer when they start building our holiday cottage on the Pembroke coast. There you will be in a safe environment, have a roof over your head and food in your stomach but..." He paused for emphasis. "You will have to work and it will be ordinary, physical work. Workman type work; work you have abhorred and despised in the past but have no experience of. Once the house is built, we will let you stay there for a nominal rent and the payment of the taxes and utilities. Those are the choices. You have until Sunday night to make up your mind. Monday morning you will leave this house with what you can take in the car and you can arrange to collect the rest of your stuff when you've found a place to live. If you decide to go to Wales, we'll see your car has a full tank of petrol but apart from that don't expect any other favours from us." Daddy and Mummy both looked grim as he made he announcement.
"You can't mean it Daddy! You're disowning me. You intend to throw me out on to the streets, almost penniless or send me away to live and work like a common peasant, with a family of farmer builders in some godforsaken wilderness? Mother can't you change his mind?"
"No dear, I actually suggested it. We think it will do you good to have to work to earn enough to keep yourself and being in a remote area, you will be less likely to get into any more trouble. The Jones's are reliable hard working people who we are sure will keep you under control better than we can and will integrate you into their family. We had a long talk with them when we finalised the plans for the house last week while we awaited the probation report."
All my further pleadings and promises, met with the same response, "Be gone by Monday," and repeats of my misdeeds. I stormed off to my room. For the remainder of the week, I alternately sulked or pleaded with them to reconsider, but by Sunday morning, I knew there was no chance of that and I had to make the choice of taking off on my own and trying to get a job or taking a chance on the Jones farm and possibly being able to worm my way back in the near future. Knowing I now had a criminal record for theft, no previous work experience and no qualifications, the only work I could see me getting was that of a street whore and I wasn't really prepared to demean myself that far. That only left the 'Jones option' unless I could find another person willing to take pity on me.
My mind vacillated from one option to the other until, at another meeting with my parents on Sunday night, I was forced to give them my answer and, when my further pleas for forgiveness were rejected, I opted to go to Wales. I'd tried to stay with friends but the resultant publicity following my court appearance, and I suspect quiet words from daddy, turned them against me and they'd given the feeblest excuses to refuse me.
I'd only met the Jones's once when we went to buy the derelict old house on the cliffs overlooking the sea. In fine weather the site was idyllic and buying the house was the only way we could acquire the land ostensibly to restore the building. As our architect warned us, "That is not practical because there is too much structural damage, but the council will eventually sanction its demolition on the grounds that it was an unsafe structure, so we can build the house you want, subject to various regulations." In fact we were limited to a stone walled three-bedroom, two storey house but at the moment, only the demolition and site clearance had been completed.
Ted Jones served for many years as the local builder and when he married Gwen, he inherited a small farm with fields that surround the house we bought. They had one son, Len, who I'd never met but who now did most of the building work.
Arriving at the isolated farm, weary after a long drive in the rain, Ted and Gwen greeted me quietly and welcomed me into their family. I tried to respond in a friendly way but inside I fumed that the place was plain and dull and more like a prison. Ted helped me with my cases and showed me to a country style bedroom with a single bed, austere by my standards but clean and with ample storage space for the stuff I'd brought. It would do until I found a way to escape and return to civilisation. "We eat at six and the bathroom's just across the hall. You'd do well to use it straightaway otherwise Len will want to be in there to clean the mud off himself when he gets back in half an hour or so. The rain over the last week has made everywhere a quagmire and he'll be in a mess." The advice went unheeded and I unpacked first and had just started to shower when Len hammered on the door and yelled for me to get the hell out of there." He cursed when twenty minutes later I emerged and gave him the 'fuck you' sign with my fingers. It signalled the start of our enmity.
I soon found that being part of the family involved doing chores. "Set the table please Claire and then strain the potatoes." These were things I would never do at home but Gwen, in her quiet way, made it clear that I was expected to do my share of the housework and Ted suggested that next time I should heed any advice he gave me. Len came down late for dinner in a bad mood and glared at me but a look from his mother curbed any comments until later. Meanwhile I carried on a conversation with his parents, mainly about my journey and what I would be expected to do but my mind kept wandering to how I was going to free myself from this yoke of work and get back to a more normal life.
"I cooked so you two can do the washing up while father gets the fire going in the lounge," Gwen ordered, "Len knows where things belong."
.... There is more of this story ...