(Author's updated note: This story is now pretty dated, but it was written in 2006 for a contest. It was written for an alternate universe hosted on a website that doesn't seem to be up any more, but DejaView will still show it if you really want to read those stories. I would recommend not, unless you really like "snuff" stories...
The basic premise of the story line was that a genetic problem had led to far more female humans than men, with the expected result from supply and demand. When published on A.S.S, it was well received with a few "too much background" and a few "couldn't understand" comments, which to me seemed to be mutually exclusive. At any rate, I have made no changes byond adding this updated note.)
Author's note: This story is set in the shared "White Slave Act of 2000" universe, about 40 years in the future, and discusses it at length. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to www.darkeroticfiction.com and read any story there. Read it first; much of this won't make any sense if you don't have the background. I'm all about B&D, but that story-line is too dark for me. This is my answer.
I was the first resident in the dining area, just like most days. Even at my age I was healthier than most of the other residents and could still move around on my own, and just couldn't stand to sit in my room any longer. Every morning, as soon as the clock said "6:00" I was out of there. I needed a walker -I'd finally given up on just using a cane a few months back- but other than that I was ready to go anywhere they'd let me.
These days that wasn't very far. Every one of us was here because of medical problems, and the staff fussed over us until I wanted to use the cane on them. In fact, that was one of the reasons I'd fought against the walker so long. I couldn't very well pick a walker up and use it to clear some breathing room, now could I? Still, the staff was as pleasant as they could be. I'd been other places, and I appreciated the effort that management had gone to, to hire staff that liked helping others. Either that, or the staff was paid well enough to pretend to like it. I was pretty sure that we had some of both kinds here.
Dammit! I hated staying here, doing nothing every day until my mind went, or (even worse) I found myself "of whole mind" but trapped in a useless body that couldn't do anything, which would, of course, lead rapidly to my mind going...
Being helpless -against my will- had always been one of my greatest nightmares, but that hadn't happened for a long time. Of course, being helpless -with my consent- had once been one of my greatest pleasures, but, well, that kind of thing hadn't happened for a long time now, either.
Note to self: When Georgina gets here, try again to talk her into smuggling a gun into my room. I'd been trying to talk my granddaughter into that for almost twenty years -I started that almost as soon as I woke up in my first "home", which happened soon after I fell down the stairs at my last real home, and my children recognized that they couldn't take care of me any more.
She didn't want to think about her grandmother blowing her own brains out, but lately I thought I was making some progress. I'd been idly musing (after ensuring that she could hear my mumbling) that perhaps poison wouldn't be TOO painful, if I had to do it that way. Silly girl. She may have three degrees, but she's barely 40. I've spent more than twice her lifetime learning how to manipulate those around me.
Never mind; Georgina won't be here until after lunch, anyway. And I've got my job to do.
I run the home's gossipvine. The other old biddies have to ask the staff how Samantha is doing, or why we haven't seen Michael for a while. I don't have to. After ten years of watching them, I can tell how everyone is doing, just by how they look when they come in for breakfast.
Mrs. Smithers -she won't answer to Mary; it's too informal- looks like shit, almost literally. Good. Another week or so, and they'll be taking her breakfast to her, in her room. I'll enjoy telling everyone that her colon is acting up again.
Others trickle in, pretty much in the same pattern as every other day, everyone going to the same table they always sit at. Not much changes around here, which is why my spin on our social scene is so popular. I sit alone, by my own choice. I almost always found my own thoughts to be more pleasant than their mindless chatter. Uh, oh. The Johnsons hadn't come in, and it was almost seven. Not that anyone cared about the time -we would all get fed whenever we showed up- but this was very unlike them. I waved my hand. "Jim!"
When our waiter (Jim was not just a waiter; he was far more than that, but pretending that I was enjoying a delightful breakfast at a corner cafe along the Seine always helped my blood pressure) had walked over and leaned down, I whispered in his ear "Are the Johnsons okay?"
Another thing that Jim wasn't was stupid; he had a lot of things to keep track of, and he had benefited directly from my observations more than once. Jim looked at their table, pulled his talker out, and started mumbling about their room number. I hoped that this wasn't one of those times. The Johnsons kept to themselves, but I liked them.
The Johnsons really kept to themselves. In the five years or so that they had been here, they never had family visits, and didn't fit in with the other residents. They were so much younger than the rest of us that they probably couldn't fit in, but they didn't even try. But, they were always together. If you saw one, you saw the other. I'd often wondered idly if they used the bathroom together.
Ah. There they were. I watched as they sat down and ordered, then did their weirdness thing. Their easy friendship was something I always enjoyed seeing, but ... They'd order breakfast and then without words they would each grab a slice of toast and offer it to the other.
This time I could see her eyes and they twinkled with inner amusement when she noticed my fascinated stare.
I blushed when she winked and deliberately bit into the toast he offered her.
I couldn't stop my smile. But, I couldn't help wondering, either: Five years I'd been an observer of their ritual -and I didn't even know their names. Would I ever know the story behind their morning toast?
I couldn't stand it any more. This place is driving me insane. They won't let me leave, they won't let me do anything, they won't let me die ... Hmmm. Maybe they can die? Maybe I could talk Georgina into smuggling in enough dynamite to blow up the whole home? I can't stand it. I've got to do something. I reached for my walker, and got up.
When I got to the Johnsons' small table, I gave them "Sir, Madam, the lord of the manor is very strict about seating for his formal dinners. If he extends an invitation to an event, you would do well to be on time. Embarrassing him by not attending would be unwise. Now, I would hate to see you flogged for your ignorance, so I sent one of the servants to collect you. I do hope I never have to do so again!" finishing as prissily as I could manage.
They had been smiling at me when I came up, then frowning as I chastised them, but now Mr. Johnson started laughing. "So, you don't mind us getting flogged, you just don't want it done for ignorance?"
"Certainly not! A good flogging for anyone who was late would brighten up everyone's morning! But, it should serve a purpose besides entertainment, shouldn't it?"
Jim had watched me get up and change tables, of course. Sometimes I felt that he never took his eyes off me. I wished he would watch Georgina half as much as he watched me. Georgina was much prettier than I was, and I thought it high time she had some children. Now he walked over, but this time he didn't lean over, and he didn't whisper. "Jasmine, please! You're upsetting the other residents."
I didn't whisper, either. "Well, they shouldn't have to worry about it. If they are on time and follow the rules, then they won't get flogged." Then I lowered my voice so that only Jim and the Johnsons could hear me. "much." Now, Mrs. Johnson was laughing, too.
Back to harassing Jim. "Master, would you like to give me a flogging?"
"Yes," he growled, "but I don't think it would make you any more reasonable."
I cocked my head. "Jim, what would you give to make me reasonable and obedient?"
He put his hands together and lifted his face in prayer. "Anything, God. Whatever you want."
I tugged on his shirt until his ear was in front of my mouth. "Spend enough time with my granddaughter to give me some great-grandchildren, and I'll do anything you want."
When I let Jim back up, I could see the change in Mr. Johnson's eyes. Always before, when he had seen me, he had seen old Jasmine Burke, an old person, useless and ready to die. Now, he looked at me with a man's eyes, and saw a woman, a fellow human being. Being 97 just meant that I was no longer as attractive as I once was, and maybe had some health problems.
He got up and pulled out the chair in front of me; one that to my knowledge had not been sat in since old Abe had died five and more years ago, leaving no one at that table until the Johnsons joined us a month later. "Please, Jasmine, join us for breakfast. Jim, when her breakfast arrives can it be brought here?"
"Certainly, Fred. It would be my pleasure to do so."
I sat down and pushed my walker away, and Jim helped push my chair to the table.
"So, you are Fred..."
He reached across the table to his wife. " ... and this is Sarah. She has been keeping me happy since the day we met."
.... There is more of this story ...