Educating MadeleinebyJ G Parkes©
Miss Gorton's Academy For Young Ladies was situated in Clapton, west of the River Lea on the fringes of East London. It was quite an imposing building – or rather, buildings. Four Georgian houses had been adapted for the purpose, with interior walls knocked down and connecting corridors. There was one front door, reached from the street by two steps, the remaining doors having been changed into windows. Each house was three-storey and boasted its own protuberant porch, creating an impressive facade.
Education had assumed a greater importance than ever before, especially amongst the rising throng of the new middle class. Although Victorian fathers considered it important for their sons to be given the benefit of superior knowledge, they were determined to ensure that their daughters should be taught charm and grace and feminine accomplishments.
As a result, establishments such as Miss Gorton's Academy sprang up all over the country, though most of them - and some would argue, the best - were located around London. The girls' education was limited to needlework, letter writing, deportment and piano lessons. There was also some discussion of current affairs and religion played an important role in the proceedings.
"Oh," sighed 18 year-old Madeleine Fairbairn, as the girls returned from church. "I hate Sundays. They're always the same. Nothing but boring services and devotion to prayer. Does God really need it all?"
"That sounds blasphemous," chided one of the other girls.
"Maybe it is, but I'm past caring whether or not my soul goes to heaven after enduring all those sermons."
Madeleine was an attractive, self-possessed young woman of medium height, with a well developed figure. When she spoke her accent was definitely that of a Scottish maiden, though it amounted to nothing more than a gentle burr. Born and bred in Glasgow, her voice betrayed none of the harshness associated with that town, partly due to her upbringing, but also because four years of finishing school had almost eradicated her native dialect.
As with all the other girls, Madeleine was wearing the fashion of the day, a wide skirt with a horsehair petticoat to provide the necessary fullness. The narrow waist perfectly suited her figure and she was fully aware of the envious looks cast by some of the plumper girls. The one aspect that displeased Madeleine was the muted colour of brown, though its plainness was slightly relieved by cream trimming.
"It's so boring here," sighed Sarah Hanford, as they climbed the stairs to the top floor. "We're never allowed any male company. At home I'm constantly attending balls and dinner parties. Here we do nothing but practice the piano and take endless deportment lessons."
"And attend church," sighed Madeleine.
"Marching in two by two," moaned Florence.
"Like the animals going into the ark," muttered Sarah.
"Not exactly," said Charlotte Harris. "Half of them were males."
There was a smattering of laughter. The girls disappeared into their rooms. There were thirty pupils at the school, ranging in age from 14 to 18, and each had the luxury of a private bedroom, for which their father paid a handsome annual fee. There was not a great amount of space, but it was sufficient and privacy was usually to be valued. The regime practised by Miss Gorton was one of discipline laced with tolerance and visits between rooms were allowed, though not after lights out at nine o'clock.
Madeleine sank down onto her bed and unbuttoned her boots. She gratefully pulled off the right one and wriggled her toes, relishing their freedom. The door still lay open and a girl slowly walked in, a frown on her face as she read a letter. Mary Buchanan hailed from Dumbarton. Dark-haired and doe-eyed, she was more reserved than her peers, but still managed not to be isolated from the group. She slowly sat on the bed without taking her eyes off the page.
"Bad news?" Madeleine enquired. She pulled off her other boot and repeated the grateful toe wriggling.
Mary shook her head. "No, on the contrary. My sister writes to tell me she's engaged."
"Then why the frown?"
"Miss Gorton has been reading it. She's made a comment here about the spelling and deleted several words."
"She really can't do that. The letter's addressed to you." Madeleine slipped out of her dress. "It's private and personal."
Mary snorted. "Try telling her that. She's in charge of us and feels it's her right and duty to censor our correspondence."
"You ought to be more devious," said Madeleine. "It's no good being straightforward and honest. You have to beat them at their own game. Servants can be useful allies."
"I don't have enough money to bribe them."
Madeleine laughed. "Bribery! You really are naïve. You've been here long enough to know how to handle the servants." She stepped out of her horsehair petticoat. "A favour here, a threat there can work wonders."
"I daren't. I'm too afraid of being found out."
"In that case, your letters will always be read by the dragon. I'm going to get washed before tea." Madeleine continued undressing.
"Um." Mary stood up and wandered out, still gazing at the letter in her hand. "It's so unfair."
Madeleine, now completely naked, shrugged on an elegant, full-length robe, picked up a neatly embroidered toilet bag and headed for the washroom. There were two other girls in the room when she began her toiletry, but they both left after a short while. She looked critically at her face in the mirror and ran her fingers over her delicate skin. Beginning with her cheek, she worked her way down to her neck and then further still to her breasts, which she gently caressed, feeling the nipples harden beneath her exploring fingers.
Easing the robe off her shoulders, she saw her breasts reflected in the mirror. They were rounded and shapely, firm and upstanding, offering pleasure to the eye and touch. Madeleine knew that most men would be delighted to have the opportunity to do what she was doing to herself. She was being prepared for marriage, as indeed, they all were. It would be a good marriage, meaning her husband would be respectable, socially superior and financially stable. Whether he was young, handsome and passionate mattered not a jot to her father. An acceptable husband would almost certainly be dull, for an exciting disposition was the enemy of suitability. Such a man would take what was his without appreciation or offering anything of himself.
Of course, it was unseemly for a well-bred young lady to be thinking intimately of relationships between men and women. Such thoughts were meant to be the prerogative of servant girls and country wenches. The daughters of rising middle-class men, such as James Fairbairn, were denied the knowledge that would engender promiscuous behaviour. They were to be virgins until marriage and then have to cope with the complexities and embarrassments of the wedding night.
At least, that may have been the intention of Mr. Fairbairn, but in the case of Madeleine, he was to be thwarted, though he remained unaware of the fact. It was true that no man had yet got near her, except in her dreams, but she was not without knowledge. She had known a good deal about what a man did to a woman for all of two months.
It was a day when Madeleine saw fit to throw a tantrum in the middle of a piano lesson, refusing to repeat a set of scales for the sixth time. The resulting punishment was confinement to her room without any food for the rest of the day. By the time it came to settling down for the night the pangs of hunger made sleep impossible. No matter how many sheep she tried to count or how tightly she closed her eyes, there was no relief from the gnawing feeling in her stomach.
Finally unable to stand it any longer, Madeleine decided to risk even greater punishment. Quietly slipping out of bed, she donned her robe and crept out of the room, pausing in terror as the door gave a protesting squeak, which seemed loud enough to wake everybody in the house. She began breathing again as a heavy silence descended once more.
Cautiously feeling her way forward in the near darkness, Madeleine located the head of the stairs and carefully edged her way down. A gaslight in the street provided a little illumination through a fan-tail window above the front door, but it also cast deep shadows in the corners of the hallway, adding to the young girl's apprehension. Who could tell what fiendish devil might be lurking in the inky blackness?
Madeleine safely reached the bottom and briefly paused. There was no sound in the house. Treading warily, she made her way through a pass door to the rear of the large house, where the servants were quartered. It was also where the pantry was to be found. She was not too familiar with this area, the young ladies being discouraged from fraternising with the lower orders. However, a few lessons in household management had been given in the kitchen.
There were a number of doors leading off a narrow passage and Madeleine struggled to remember which led to her goal. Her problem was compounded by an almost stygian blackness, broken only by a faint glow coming from beneath a door about half way along. A low moan seemed to come from that direction. Madeleine cautiously moved on, but was brought to a sudden halt by an even louder moan. It sounded like a woman in distress. Perhaps one of the servants had been taken ill. If so, this was no place for a pupil to be found; who could tell what punishment might be meted out?
Madeleine hesitated, uncertain whether it was hunger or fear tightening a knot in her stomach. Another moan followed by heavy panting. There was also a regular creaking sound from...from what? Madeleine frowned in an effort to associate the sound with something familiar. Of course! A bed. Most beds creaked if the occupant turned over or moved; most beds in the school, at any rate. What could the servant girl be doing to make such a noise? Maybe she was thrashing around in pain.
Concern for another human being in agony overrode any consideration of her own precarious position and Madeleine pushed open the door. She was greeted by the sight of a naked girl with an equally naked man on top of her. Their bodies were locked together and moving in rhythm, hence the creaking bed. The girl's eyes were closed, whilst the man's concentration was fully on the intimate act he was performing. Neither was aware of the night-gowned figure in the doorway.
Madeleine quickly and quietly closed the door, stood a moment, thinking, then slowly opened it again just enough to be able to see what was happening on the bed. It was turned sideways to the door and she had a clear view of the two naked bodies. The servant's legs were spread wide and the man was between them, thrusting with something attached to his body. Attached? Madeleine was uncertain. Perhaps it was part of him. Men were not the same as women, she knew that much, but the exact difference was a mystery. Perhaps it was this. Also, she noticed, he had no breasts. She touched her own through her nightdress.
"Fuck me, Fred!" the servant murmured. Madeleine remembered her name was Nancy. "Harder. Push your cock right in. I want it all. Deep as you can get it. Come on, fuck me!"
This last was spoken more forcefully and louder. Madeleine felt a dampness in that most private part of her person. The same part, in fact, that was being invaded by Fred as he thrust in and out of Nancy. He was breathing heavily.
"God, Nance," he gasped, "your cunt feels so soft and velvety. I could stay in there forever."
The servant laughed. "Not if I know you, Fred Dixon. You'll soon be letting go of your load. Oooo, yes!" She reacted to a deep thrust into her vagina.
Madeleine watched, wide-eyed, feeling her secret part reacting to every thrust she witnessed. She was getting heated and wet. Her fingers began to probe through her nightdress, searching for just the right spot where....oh, yessss! That was it. A hard little protruding bump tucked in beneath her bush. She pressed it with her finger and gently rubbed it with a circular movement.
As she did so Fred withdrew from Nancy's cunt and pushed his penis into her face.
"Lick it clean," he commanded.
Nancy took it into her mouth, tasting her own juices on her tongue.
"God, you don't know how good that feels."
Nancy took his cock out of her mouth and looked up. "Not likely to, am I? But I know how good it feels doin' it to you."
She resumed her licking and sucking, making the penis even harder, if that was possible.
Fred groaned. "I'm going to come."
Nancy released his penis and he re-entered her, pushing into her cunt as far he could go. She gasped as she felt the head of his penis against the wall of her vagina. He began his final rhythmic thrusts to reach a climax.
It was then that Nancy saw Madeleine watching from the doorway. She gave a low, strangled cry. "Stop, Fred!"
"Not now, not now," came the urgent response. The man kept up the rhythm, but suddenly went rigid. He rapidly and volubly breathed in and out as if he had just finished a race, while the girl gave a long sigh.
Madeleine stood transfixed, not wanting to stay, but unable to move. The man became aware of her presence for the first time.
"Bloody hell! Who's this?"
"One of the pupils," gasped the servant, whose name was Nancy.
"Shut the bloody door before somebody else comes," the man ordered.
Madeleine obeyed, leaving herself inside the room. She was unable to take her eyes off the man as he climbed off the bed. Although he was only of average height his body was trim and his arms muscular. A mop of blonde hair topped a ruggedly handsome face. He noticed her wide-eyed stare and chuckled.
"First time you've seen a naked man, eh? I doubt whether it'll be the last, a pretty little thing like you."
He put out a hand in Madeleine's direction and she shrank back against the wall.
"Lay off her, Fred." Nancy sat up in bed, pulling a sheet around her. "She's only a kid."
"Old enough from what I can see."
Madeleine drew her robe tighter to her body.
"She's jail bait, and you know it."
"I think she fancies me. Eh? What do you say, girlie? Cat got your tongue?"
"I....I was hungry," Madeleine murmured. "I came down for something to eat."
"You can eat this, if you like." Fred offered his now flaccid penis. "You can soon make it hard enough to fill you."
"Fred, don't be crude. Remember she's a lady."
Madeleine fancied she could detect a sneer in Nancy's voice.
"I think I could make her forget that for a while." He grinned at Madeleine.
"What....what were you doing?"
"Having fun, love. Man and woman fun."
"It's something they don't teach you here," said Nancy.
"What kind of fun?" Madeleine enquired.
"To put it crudely....."
"Making love," Nancy quickly interjected.
Fred grinned broadly. "Yeh, that's it. Making love."
"How?" Any embarrassment the schoolgirl had felt at being confronted by a naked man was quickly evaporating.
"Blimey!" exclaimed Fred. "Don't they teach you nothing at home?"
Madeleine shook her head.
"Nice girls remains ignorant abaht the birds and bees, Fred," explained Nancy.
"Maybe this one's not such a nice girl. She's curious."
"So, are you going to answer my question?" asked Madeleine, calmly, though she could feel her heart pounding. She had read about forbidden pleasures in a 'penny dreadful' magazine, which was barred from Miss Gorton's Academy, but nevertheless circulated round, miraculously appearing from nobody knew where. Although scenes of horror, danger and madness were vividly described in such stories, there was never any detail about the sexual act.
"This bit of equipment," Fred pointed to his nether regions, "fits nice and snug right in there. Your secret place, as yer might say." He indicated the same general area on Madeleine; the area where she was feeling distinctly wet. "Fancy a demonstration?"
"That's enough, Fred," snapped Nancy.
"I think she does."
"Leave it. You get out, miss, and make it quiet. We don't want the whole house wakened. And for God's sake, don't tell anyone what you saw tonight. It's more than my job's worth. If I get dismissed because you can't keep your mouth shut, I'll never get a bleeding reference."
"You don't need to worry," said Madeleine. This was a secret she certainly intended to keep to herself. "Goodnight."
She left the room, quietly closing the door, and made her way back up the stairs, all thought of her hunger gone. After reaching the safety of her bed she burrowed beneath the covers, her whole body quivering with excitement at her adventure.
She lay awake for a long time, contemplating what she had seen and learned that night. The realisation came to her that she had gained some power over the servant, which could be put to good use one way and another. She smiled in the darkness as her fingers slowly began to explore that secret place which was so desired by men. A warm glow spread through her body.
Madeleine gazed at herself in the mirror and saw a fully grown woman instead of the gawky schoolgirl who had stumbled into Nancy's room two months earlier. The desires that had been faintly stirred by the events of that night were now raging torrents and she wondered how long she could contain them. Soon she would be leaving the Academy for good, returning to the bosom of her family and a dull life waiting for marriage.
The doorknob rattled and Madeleine quickly drew up her robe as two girls entered. They were younger, recent arrivals who had little in common with the more established residents of the Academy. Madeleine gave a fleeting smile in their direction and returned to her room, but stopped outside another door when she heard Charlotte's voice. Upon entering, Madeleine was greeted by the sight of all her friends gathered round the bed, listening to Charlotte reading from a penny dreadful. The text almost took second place to the gruesome or heavily romanticised illustrations.
"Have you already started?" Madeleine indignantly demanded.
"You were taking too long," Sarah replied.
"We've only just started." Charlotte held up the magazine to show Madeleine the first illustration. "There's a storm and a girl in bed. Varney, the Vampyre, has just appeared in her room."
"She cringes in terror," gurgled Florence.
"But she's unable to withdraw her eyes from his marble looking face," Charlotte continued. She began to read in a hushed voice, but with great dramatic intonation. "Her long hair streams across the entire width of the bed. As she has slowly moved along she has left it streaming across the pillows. The pause lasted about a minute – oh, what an age of agony. That minute was, indeed, enough for madness to do its full work in. With a great rush that could not be foreseen, with a strange howling cry that was enough to awaken terror in every breast, the figure seized the long tresses of her hair and, twining them round his bony hands, he held her to the bed."
"Oh, dear," murmured Mary, completely caught up in the drama of the story.
"Then she screamed – Heaven granted her then power to scream. Shriek followed shriek in rapid succession. The bed clothes fell in a heap by the side of the bed – she was dragged by her long silken hair completely onto it again. Her beautiful rounded limbs quivered with the agony of her soul. The glassy, horrible eyes of the figure ran over that angelic form with a hideous satisfaction – horrible profanation."
Madeleine began to see herself in place of the girl. The figure was a blur, without form or substance.
"He drags her head to the bed's edge. He forces it back by the long hair still entwined in his grasp. With a plunge he seizes her neck in his fang-like teeth; a gush of blood and a hideous sucking noise follows."