"Afternoon Tea"

by Kurt - edit by Suzi


"Will you pour the tea dear, I will take two pieces of lump sugar and a
small drop of milk with my tea, please."

Aunt Aghnes, seventy-three years of age, a widow after her husband
Bernham who died ten years ago and left her with a large estate, two
hundred Arabian horses and more money than I can imagine, is the only
woman I have been afraid of all my life.  Most of my family think she is
a cold fish, but I am convinced that deep down there must be a heart of
gold. But I have never been able to find it.  Now seventy-three years of
age, she is sitting in a wheelchair.  She lives alone in her big house
with only her sixty-eight year old maid, cook and female companion
Clare.  She is big, real big, with big red round cheeks and small eyes
filled with life, the complete opposite of my Aunt Aghnes.  Together
they do what they can to keep the seventy year old man-servant and
butler, Albert, away from an easy life.

As a child, when everyone was much younger, I spent some of my endless
summers at the big house.  Since then I have done everything I can to
keep myself away from spending more time than necessary with my Aunt
Aghnes, but since Uncle Bernham died it has become a habit of Aunt
Aghnes to summon me to attend tea or lunch at the big house three or
four times a year.  This Sunday afternoon was one of these events.

"Now Axel, tell me, how are you managing?"

"I manage quite well, Aunt Aghnes. Thank you for asking, but I'm really

"You're over your divorce then, dear?"

"This September it will be two years since the divorce was final, Aunt

"So you are over your divorce then?"

"Yes, yes I should think so..."

"So you are not missing Elsa, then?"

"No...yes at bit.  Well not as much as in the beginning.  And not in the
same way..."

"Is that why you haven't married again?  Is it that you can't get over

"I...I...I don't know.  It's just...there hasn't been a woman that I
want to marry; it's as simple as that."

"Elsa came down last week, for a nice cup of tea."

"You had tea with Elsa last week?"

"Yes, and a nice long talk."


"I've always been very pleased with Elsa.  She is a girl after my own

"I know that, Aunt Aghnes."

"I'm sure you do.  She told me, among other things, the real reason for
your divorce."

"Oh, I see...eh.  She did what?!?"

"Keep your voice down Axel, there is no reason for excitement."

"But she promised..."

"Yes I know, but anyway she told me everything."

"She did?"

"She told me that it was your wish to become her slave that made her
want to divorce you."


"I can't say I blame her.  It is ironic though, but she must still have
some feelings for you."

"She does?"

"Can I have some bread dear?  Yes - I think so, but please don't get
carried away, she will never want to marry you again."


"No, she is engaged to marry a very nice man.  But she told me that she
thinks it's a pity that she can't have the best of both of you."

"I don't think I understand what it is you are trying to tell me Aunt

"Don't be silly, Axel.  She thinks it would be rather nice to have her
husband-to-be, as a husband; and you as her slave.  More tea dear?"

"Yes, please.  But that is an outrageous way to think."

"Why is that so dear?  Is becoming her slave not what you wanted to be
in the first place?"

"Well yes, but that was when we where married."

"It's quite impossible for a woman to be married to her slave, you can
understand that.  More bread?  Don't you want what you were asking of
your wife to be for real?"

"But what would her new husband say to such an arrangement?"

"Oh, he was with her down here, a very handsome man.  He actually
thought it might be fun and a good idea.  And as he said, if it doesn't
work, they can always sell you or dispose of you."

"Sell me or dispose of me?  What do they think I am?  An animal?"

"Please don't get carried away dear, there is still no reason for
excitement.  Surely you must know that a slave is nothing more than
property.  Two hundred years ago our family owned thousands of slaves,
and my library is filled with records of buying and selling slaves.  It
is hard to think that it's a surprise to you that slaves are property
to be used, sold and whatever one wants to do with property you no
longer have a use for."

"I know about the records in the library Aunt Aghnes.  But it is news to
me that the family once owned thousands of slaves."

"Where did you think the start of all my money came from?  Selling
Arabian horses?  That was just a hobby of dear old Bernhams, most of the
money came from buying and selling, and two hundred years ago, buying
and selling slaves was a part of it.  What did you imagine when you
asked your wife to be her slave?  Just to be HER slave for playing
around, or did you dream of being a real slave?"

"I really don't know anymore.  I guess it was to be a real slave, but to
be her slave."

"You are just as submissive as you mother, Axel; it is a pity you were
not born female, then you could find a bastard like your father to
marry.  As a male you are completely out of luck my dear.  You won't
find many women who will want to marry you and treat you the way you
want to be treated.  Most women want a husband they can look up to
and admire.  Only if she was married to someone else might she want to
keep you as a plaything or a slave."

"It is sad to say but I think you might be right, Aunt Aghnes, because I
haven't found anyone yet.  Can I have some more tea please?"

"Of course dear, please help yourself.  I think you know that when I
die, you're not going to inherit anything from me.  The estate and most
of the money is going to be tied up in a family trust, and the rest of
the money is going to your cousins, and to Clare and Albert if they live
longer than me.  Of course Elsa will have her share too, but not you.
And before you get yourself excited again I want to tell you, that it
isn't because I don't like you, but mostly because of what you wanted
Elsa to make of you.  Slaves can't own anything themselves.  But I would
like to give you something.  I would like to give you a chance, over a
period of six months, to find out if being a slave is really something
you would like to do for the rest of your life.  That way you won't rush
into accepting being a slave.  Later on it might be too late to find out
that you do not want to be a slave.

If you accept my offer you will be trained to be a slave by Clare,
Albert and myself.  I have chosen Albert, Clare and myself to do the
training because we are old and not looking attractive to anyone; if we
where younger and more attractive there might be a sexual preference in
your final decision to ether live like a slave or to forget about it.
So for six months you will be treated like a slave.  When the six months
are over you are free to leave if you should choose to do so, but if you
choose to stay after the six month period is up, you will be sold as
soon as we can get a decent price for you, and the money from selling
you will be given to charity.  If you choose to take my offer to be
trained and treated like a slave for six months, my solicitors will sell
all your possessions, settling all legal commitments you might have,
they'll close all your banking arrangements and on your behalf terminate
your employment at Stasia & Funkle.  Any profit from these actions will
be given to charity.  Should you choose not to live like a slave, but
like a normal human, you will not have any obligations to anyone but on
the other hand you will not own a penny to your name.  Should you choose
to leave after the six months are up, you will be expelled from this
estate never to return, and you will be shown to the door naked as the
day you were born, without money and
without a place to live and of cause without an occupation to support
yourself.  These are my conditions, do you want to accept them?"

"When the six months are up, will you then be selling me to Elsa?"

"If the price is right Elsa can buy you, but so can anyone else; I can't
guarantee who will become your owner."

"I see. I will...I would like to accept your offer, Aunt Aghnes."

"Good, let us begin right away, shall we?  More tea dear?"