It was the spring of 1938 when Giles showed me the bordello. It was, he assured me, no ordinary place of sex. Having lived in Paris all my life, I didn't think there was anything I hadn't already seen or done. But, with conviction, he told me that what I'd find there was unlike anything I could or would expect. Cleverly, he never told me exactly what it was, so not a week later the power of curiosity found me returning to that very spot.
From the outside it looked like just another downtown middle-class brownstone, well hidden by virtue of it's anonymity. At the door I was greeted by a humourless woman who, wrapped in an Oriental kimono, welcomed me while seeming very wary of my presence. The interior lobby did feel much like the bordellos I'd visited in the past, the air strongly hinting of alcohol and perfume. I awkwardly explained that I was looking for something 'different', and that I'd been told this was where I should come. The nameless Madame nodded in understanding, and after settling the financial terms, led me to the uppermost floor of the building.
"No regrets, sir," she said enigmatically before leaving me in front of the bare wooden door.
I knocked uncertainly, but getting no response, I finally decided to let myself in. The small room beyond was fairly dark, the only real light coming in from the unclean windows. The scent of something vaguely stale pervaded the air, and I noticed a pile of loose material bunched in the far corner. There was virtually no furniture apart from the low bed and a narrow backed wooden chair next to that. Here she sat, one leg stretched out while her chin rested on the opposite knee. She appeared to be enveloped in some sort of all-encompassing woolen shawl. With my eyes still adjusting to the relative darkness, it was hard to pick out any more detail than this.
"Do come in," she said softly, her voice strangely accented yet quite melodious.
Closing the door behind me, I approached with some trepidation. This was all rather different than my previous experiences at these places.
"Um, hello," I said gamely, "nice to meet you. My name is Gregory. May I ask yours?"
She lifted her head, revealing her bright eyes, her sandy blonde hair short and unkempt.
"My name is Anachiel," she said. "Why don't you undress. You can put your clothes on the bed."
It was then I noticed that it wasn't a shawl she was wrapped in, it was the folded length of long, grey-feathered wings.
"But, you're..." I stammered, genuinely shocked.
Anachiel, as if to further confirm the point, drew back her wings, exposing her lean naked body.
"Please, do undress," she offered, "unless it is your intention to simply gawk."
"Oh, right, sorry."
Incredible as it may sound, I did indeed step out of my clothes while Anachiel watched me with an impassive expression. When I was finished, she stood up, revealing herself to be half a foot taller than myself. Her body was slender, feminine in shape but strangely lacking in breasts. I also had the impression of something unusual between her legs, but I didn't feel right in staring.
She smiled, her face pretty and sharply featured, almost elfin. She trailed a fingernail along my chest in a seductive manner.
"Why don't you take a seat," she said, motioning back to her now vacant perch. I obeyed.
Anachiel knelt down between my parted knees, her wings unfolding on either side of me. She took my manhood in her slender fingers, gently stroking it, teasing the glans with her tongue. I was so nervous and unsettled that I thought I'd never achieve an erection, but by the time she took me fully into her mouth, I was hard and eager. I brushed my fingers through her soft hair, enjoying the pleasure of her expert fellatio. Lifting her head, she milked the first drop of pre-cum from the tip of my organ. I let out a small moan, causing her to grin.
"How would you prefer to take me," she asked, "here on the chair, or on the bed?"
"Oh, uh, on the bed."
It was when she stood up that I received my next shock. Dangling from the juncture of her legs was the unmistakable shape of a flaccid, uncircumcised penis. Anachiel must have noticed my reaction.
"Oh, didn't you know," she said, lifting her phallus with one hand to show me the smooth rounded lips of her labia. I suppose, with everything else, I shouldn't have been surprised. Reaching out, I traced my fingers along the supple flesh between her legs, even pushing a digit up inside the warm confines of her vagina.
"You have a nice touch," she said, stepping out of my reach.
Climbing up on the bed, she crouched on all fours, wings outstretched. I stood behind her, running a hand over her the slender frame of her back. She looked at me over her shoulder.
"Go ahead," she encouraged, "take me as you will."
"Shouldn't I, you know, use protection," I asked, aware of the typical habits of these houses.
"I assure you, I'm incapable of carrying either children or disease," she replied, "you have nothing to fear."
I had no doubt she was telling the truth, though some part of me still fought to find some excuse not to follow through. Ultimately, I crouched over her, lining my erect cock up to the opening of her cunt. Lowering her head, Anachiel pushed back, our mutual thrusts forcing me up inside her. She gasped as I rammed myself more fully within her humid vagina.
I remained still for a few moments, letting her get used to my size. I ran my hand over her unusual shoulder blades, from where her wings sprouted. I caressed her skin down to her chest, over her sides and down to where her prick emerged from the place where normally would be a clitoris. She was already half-hard, and she quietly moaned at the instant of my touch, swiftly becoming erect in my grasp.
Forcing her flat on the bed, I began to fuck her in earnest, her cunt now moist from her own arousal. Though I might be ashamed to admit this, my hand remained on her hard erection, masturbating her in time to my coition.
"You don't have to do that," she said breathlessly, her face turned to one side on the plain white covers.
"It's OK, I want to."
I could feel myself close to the edge of coming, and from the smear of pre-cum that oozed from the tip of Anachiel's prick, I knew she was too. Her breath was coming in ragged gasps, her wings twitching. I wanted to extend this as long as possible, but after nearly ten minutes of vigorous thrusting, there was no putting it off. Suddenly Anachiel muttered something incomprehensible, and her penis throbbed in my hand, her semen spitting hotly onto her stomach and the bed sheets below. I could feel her vagina rhythmically contract around me too, deftly eliciting my own orgasm. Clenching her tight, I came hard, my ejaculate ruthlessly invading her tender insides.
Exhausted, I lay over her for a while, my softening erection sliding out from her vagina. She looked at me with a smile on her lips.
"I did say you had a nice touch," she said lightly.
"This is all wrong," I said, rolling off her, my euphoria lifting. "Surely I've committed some sort of blasphemy."
"You're being too hard on yourself," she told me, curling her legs beneath her. "It's no greater sin than what you'd do with any other woman in this brothel."
It was then I noticed the loose feathers that had fallen onto the bed. In the cold light of reason, I looked at her anew and was disturbed by her condition. She wasn't merely slender, but quite frail, and her wings were in a less than pristine state.
"You weren't lying when you said you carry no disease, were you?"
"Of course not," she replied.
"And yet, you are dying," I nodded towards the pile of feathers that had collected in the corner of the room. "I'm right, aren't I? How can you even be here? And why do this to yourself?"
Anachiel sat up, face turned away from me.
"I don't deny I am dying. I don't deny that I shouldn't be here," she said finally. "But, there is nothing else I can do. My state is only a foreshadow. Your world is on the verge of madness, Gregory. If you would heed my advice, I would tell you to leave France -no, leave Europe entirely before the turn of the decade. There is a war coming unlike anything that's ever been visited upon humanity."
I didn't know what to say. The last thing I expected when entering this brothel was prophecy; in that respect, Giles was entirely correct about what I would find here.
But, despite some very black times, the world didn't die, and I expect neither did Anachiel. I have no knowledge of where she could be now, but certainly there is not a day I don't think of that strange encounter a dusty old attic, and what transpired there.