Friday, 16 January 2015

CLEANER II: Chapter One - Part Eleven


Melissa was waiting for me in the main room, hands clasped in front of her, the sides of her mouth turned up, her eyes alive with emotion. I felt tremendously nervous but one foot still went in front of the other, carrying me fully into the room as though there was no longer any force that could stop me.

“Well,” said Melissa.

“Yes,” I replied. “This is it.” I swallowed. “Are you ready to become someone else?” I paused, finding it hard to get the words out, the intense feelings I had wrapping a constricting grip around my wind pipe. “Are you ready to become me?”

The hesitation she made seemed unnatural but then she said, “Yes. Yes I am.” She smiled. “It’s almost... scary.”

We both giggled but our nerves quickly stifled it.

I went to my handbag and unzipped it; sifted through. “In here’s my money and traveller’s checks; my debit and credit cards.” I lifted a little piece of paper I’d tucked into the wallet. “On here are...” My tongue felt too big for my mouth suddenly but I got a little shiver of delight in my nether regions. “They’re my pin numbers.”

Melissa stared at the scrap of paper.

“With these you have control of – well... I’m giving you control of my money.”

In my crotch the moisture and heat blossomed but in my head I felt a splintering, like the start of a migraine.

“Not all of it of course,” I said. “Not everything. But far more than we’ll need for the months that we’re away. Enough for you to make all the decisions about what we do and where we go.”

Melissa nodded and looked like she might speak, but she said nothing. There was a long moment in which I enjoyed, but questioned, the slow gentle sizzling in my knickers, then she did speak. She said, “Of course I will have control of the money. I’ll be Dahlia. You’ll be Melissa. You’ll work for me. I’d be a bit of an idiot to leave you in control of my money if you’re just my cleaner.”

We stared at one another, the moment full of potency. There was a hint of mirth or even irony around Melissa’s lips but I couldn’t be sure. I started to nod, hesitated, then finished it.

“And this is my bag,” said Melissa, gesturing to her own. It was bulkier than mine and far cheaper looking; rather threadbare. Mine was a Radley handbag. Hers looked like she’d bought it off the market a year or two earlier. “There isn’t a lot of money in there I’m afraid but after we switch fully, you’ll have your wages. That will give you some pin money.”

I considered that; considered the fact that I’d never been without a free flow of money in any part of my life; and shuddered inside, even as my arousal grew.

She handed me the bag. I took it and swapped it for mine, then I slung it on my shoulder. I felt the exchange as another irrevocable step and I realised that this wasn’t going to be a sudden switch as such. It was a drawn out process that had started the minute I began over-eating and increased as we walked into the hair salon. Further pieces had fallen into place with the clothes and glasses and now with the money. The transformation wasn’t about to happen. Not at all. It was already happening and was well on its way toward completion. Any further weight gain or loss on either of our parts would be cosmetic. Right here; right now; we were about to become one another.

Another long empty moment of trepidation and increasing sexual tension.

Then Melissa, with a sense of dramatic occasion, said, “I give you my life. I hand it to you. You can be Melissa Chapman from now on.”

I tried to giggle but the suddenly serious pall on the room trapped it in. I found myself nodding at her. “And I give up being...” A great crackle of tension rose up into my shoulders and came out in the form of a strangled exhalation. “I give up being Dahlia Western. You can try it on for size. I don’t want to be her anymore. I want to be you. I want to be Melissa. I want to work for you.”

“You’ll work for me.”

“You’ll be my employer and I’ll just be...”

A long silence, then Melissa said, “My cleaner.”

I nodded.

We looked long and hard at one another. If real magic had been involved then here the sparkling enchantment would be passing between us. Even without it I felt myself being diminished, almost as though my stature were being reduced. She seemed to stand taller; prouder; as my own posture turned in on itself, my shoulders drooping, my chin lowering.

“I’m Dahlia Western,” she said, her voice strong and full of determination, her eyes shining. “I’m Dahlia Western.”

I nodded, the arousal in my crotch spiking higher and higher as I looked her in the eye and said the words, “And I’m Melissa Chapman.”


  1. I think this is first time we knew Melissa's last name.

    I winder how long it will be before Dahlia loses the thrill and realises Melissa's life, the one she's taking over, isn't all beer and skittles and how long before Melissa begins asserting her new status more forcefully.

    This is the biggest step so far. The handing over of the PINs to Dahlia's accounts even though it seems she has enough sense to keep some back.

    Robyn H

    1. Yeah. There's no turning back now!

      Or is there?

  2. I love the scene, but I have to quibble (I know I hate myself already) with one bit, who brings their cleaner on vacation, what do they say Melissa is doing there if someone asks? Or will they just brazen it through.

    1. I can't believe you just quibbled me!!!!


      You make a good point but ye have little faith, don't ye.

    2. I'm ashamed of myself :(

  3. Great chapter as always. Although I think it may be too early for the truly spooky nature of the swap to make itself apparent. It's a very powerful scene as they "officially" give up their lives, but I was expecting something like that much later in the story.

    And yes, like the previous commentator, I am beginning to wonder about the "who brings their cleaner on vacation" bit. Given the remarkable suspension of disbelief that the rest of the story requires this seems like a minor thing, but it is often minor inconsistencies that destroy the best of plots. I guess renting a villa is an easy way out, even though they tend to come with cleaning stuff already.

    At the very least, as they relocate to a different hotel, wouldn't it make sense for the new Melissa to stay at a cheap 1-star b&b, while the new Dahlia gets a presidential suite at a fire-star hotel? It just wouldn't make sense for them to continue staying together - especially with the old Melissa now controlling the finances - I am sure there are other ways she can spend her money rather than paying for her cleaner's expensive accommodation.

    1. Another quibble???

      Heh heh.

      You're quite right. No one takes their cleaner on holiday. Some evolution is going to be required for sure.

    2. Personal trainer, its still credible? For now anyways

    3. She's certainly qualified to be a cleaner, but is she qualified to be a personal trainer? I think the new Dahlia deserves only the best trainer there is!

    4. Yeah. I don't see her as a personal trainer. Her fate will take a different path.

  4. There is a way to keep the new Melissa busy as I mentioned before. She can be hired as a maid to the hotel where the new Dahlia will be staying.
    In an tourist island like Rhodes there are lots of foreigners working in domestic positions, mostly from Eastern Europe.
    'Dahlia' could negociate with the management so that 'Melissa' can work as an apprentice maid without wages to start with. Anf of course stay with the domestic staff in their quarters. And there would be no problem of working permits on anyting like that since 'Melissa' has a EU passport.
    Monica G.

  5. And something else I forgot to mention. Melissa in Greek means Bee. So 'Melissa' could be encouraged to become the 'busy domestic bee' she should be.
    But of course Emma decides at the end of the day.
    Monica G.

    1. There is logic to this and I may have been considering this already. Good points.

  6. I think that this did have to happen now, to make their position clear when they moved to the new hotel. At one time gentlemen travelled with their men (and ladies with their maids) and such personal servants stayed in the servants quarters in hotels. something similar can happen here

    1. With what I have in mind this had to happen now. Bearing in mind we've had an entire book of their tentative explorations, this next phase is about pushing on recklessly quickly.

    2. Yes, quite apart from the practicalities the internal dynamics feel right (to me).

    3. Who knows how fast things will go - in little spurts probably. But hopefully it will be satisfying.

  7. Mmmhmm - Vintage Emma uncorked! In al seriousness, I cannot wait to see how this all unfolds. The helplessness that Dahlia (now Melissa) will feel and how much this feeds her growing excitement I feel could be a big part of this going forwards. It is her desire to eventually return home as Melissa, already a passing thought, that will need to be nurtured. Or maybe she simply will have no choice. A great many possibilities and very enthralling :-) Mike W