I can’t let it go without a comment, even if the subject does bore you. Yes, it’s the parliamentary debate on Article 50 – a travesty of democracy. The Conservatives hold up the UK as a model of democratic government but in fact it’s broke. My understanding is that MPs are delegates not representatives (or perhaps it’s the other way round) meaning that once elected they have the responsibility to vote in parliament using their knowledge and experience in whatever way they think is correct i.e. not necessarily according to how their electors want them to vote. The referendum changed that to some extent although it is not written into the UK constitution as such.
Since Leave won the referendum (on lies and exaggerated fears) I expected the Article 50 bill to be won by the government but what actually happened was, as I said, a travesty. To keep to the spirit of the referendum, MPs should have voted as their constituents voted so the bill should have had a small majority of Ayes not the overwhelming landslide it got. Of course I would expect most of the Conservative sheep to follow the government despite most of them being Remainers prior to last June. Corbyn’s decision to push his MPs into voting Aye as well just smacks of fear (of UKIP). MPs from the cities that voted to Remain should have voted Noe. The result is that we have a government that is working on behalf of the 52% of actual voters who voted Leave (that’s under 40% of electors). The 48% are left with little or no representation in parliament; certainly those of us living in England have none. The same will be true from now on as the negotiations get tricky and dirty and May and her befuddled followers will try to persuade us that the deals they are making are wonderful achievements while in fact being the equivalent of being relegated from the football league.
Now something more fun – the second part of Darkroom, a prequel story to Painted Ladies. The publication of the 3rd Jasmine Frame novel, The Brides’ Club Murder will be very soon, but in this story Jasmine has yet to decide that she is transsexual. (Sorry about the photos getting a bit repetitive – I need to get more done.)
Darkroom: Part 2
‘I’m sure that girl that was on the train is a tranny. Don’t you think so?’
Angela nodded. ‘Yes. She looked good but her dress wasn’t quite right. A bit too risqué for a night out in London. And she was on her own.’
‘I think she’s going to the club. She’s just left the station ahead of us.’
They stepped out on to the street and Jasmine was grateful for her fake-fur coat as the icy wind blew up her legs. They set off along the road with Jasmine visualising the map she had looked at on her laptop.
‘It’s around the next corner and then just a hundred metres or so,’ she said. They turned the next corner and Jasmine’s map-reading was proved correct. Directly ahead was the rectangular block of The Engine Shed illuminated by spotlights. Something did surprise Jasmine however. The street was almost empty. There was just one other couple, bundled up in long coats heading in the same direction.
‘Where’s she gone?’ Jasmine said, standing still and looking up the dimly lit road with old brick buildings on both sides.
‘The girl, the tranny. She was just in front of us, I thought.’
‘Perhaps you were wrong about where she was heading or perhaps she ran to get in out of the cold.’
‘Run? On those heels she was wearing?’
Angela chuckled. ‘Perhaps she’s better on heels than you are.’ She tugged Jasmine’s hand. ‘Come on. It’s too cold to stand around.’
They set off up the road to the club. Jasmine was eager to get inside, not just because of the cold but because she wanted to get into the spirit of the place and start dancing. They were about halfway along the street when Jasmine saw something glittering on the floor, catching the light from the club. She stopped to pick it up. It was a silver chain about ten centimetres long with red and white jewels hanging from it.
‘Look at this,’ Jasmine said, holding it up so that Angela could examine it.
‘It’s a clip-on earring.’
‘Yes, and I think the girl was wearing ear rings just like this – long, dangly and sparkly.’
‘I think you’re right. You know that clip-ons can be loose, you wear them yourself.’
‘She can’t have noticed that she’d dropped one.’
‘Not if she was hurrying to get inside and warm. Come on. Perhaps we’ll see her and you can give it back.’
Jasmine tucked the earring into her clutch bag and they continued the last few yards to the club. The entrance was in the middle of the long wall of the old engine shed facing them. As Jasmine and Angela crossed the road a black taxi drew up and tipped out a quartet of girls giggling and staggering on their unfeasibly high heels. They straightened up by leaning on each other and tugged their short skirts and dresses down their thighs. Tossing the shoulder-length hair of what were, fairly obviously, wigs and laughing loudly they headed for the entrance. Jasmine and Angela followed them through the narrow double doors and were given a nod by the bouncer standing guard.
They entered a narrow corridor with a ticket booth on the left and a cloakroom on the right. Jasmine ducked down to peer at the cashier. She was another lady with an exuberant wig.
‘Five pounds for each of you darling, since you’re both girls.’
‘She’s not a . . .’ Jasmine wasn’t sure how to describe Angela.
‘I know, love, but all trans people and real girls get in for a fiver before midnight, and you get a glass of wine or a fruit juice free.’ Did she think she or Angela was the trans-girl? Jasmine wasn’t sure but suspected she’d been read.
‘Oh, thanks.’ She handed over a ten pound note and took the tickets. Angela took her ticket and they moved across to the cloakroom. Jasmine was pleased to see that their coats would be kept securely for the cost of just one pound. She stuffed the numbered slip and her ticket into her bag. It was then that she became conscious of the music travelling up the corridor. With Angela at her side, she advanced towards the sound.
They stepped into a huge dark space. This was where steam engines had come to be cleaned and serviced. The roof was high above but invisible. Windows in the walls were blocked so admitted not even starlight. Some distance above their heads had been strung spotlights in red, blue, green and white and glitter balls which cast moving shards and pools of light across the floor while laser beams flashed above their heads. While the lights fooled the eyes, Jasmine could see that the floor was empty of people but in the middle, was a stage stacked with speakers and the DJ’s desk. At that moment, the DJ was standing idly while the Beegees blared out. Jasmine felt her limbs pulsing to the beat and looked forward to getting out on the dance floor but apparently, few others had the same inclination.
‘Where is everyone?’ Jasmine shouted into Angela’s ear.
‘I told you we were early,’ Angela said peering to left and right, ‘but there they are.’ She pointed to the left. People were clustered around a long, open hatch in the wall.
‘Ah, the bar,’ Jasmine said. ‘Let’s get a drink.’
They moved towards it, finding plenty of room. A male barman addressed them at a volume just audible above the music
‘What’ll it be girls?’
Jasmine spoke up. ‘The ticket lady said there was a free drink.’
‘That’s right. Red, white or orange.’
Jasmine glanced at Angela who nodded. ‘Two white wines please.’
The barman grabbed two wine glasses from the tray beside him and began to fill them from a bottle of white wine.
‘Your first time, girls?’ he said.
‘Um, yes,’ Jasmine replied.
‘There’s another bar in the quiet rooms over on the other side. Better if you want to chat or do other things.’ He winked.
‘Thanks,’ Jasmine replied, ‘When does the dancing start?’
‘You can start it now if you like. But it’s usually around midnight when the crowds arrive that the dance floor fills. It takes a lot of people to fill this place but we usually manage it. There you go girls. Have a good time.’
Jasmine picked up the two glasses and turned to Angela. Angela took her glass and sipped the wine.
‘It was free.’
‘We’re not here for the booze.’
Jasmine looked to left and right where there were small gaggles of people. They were mostly girls, T-girls, in their party frocks but there was a scattering of men, mainly single, eyeing up the girls or engaging them with chat up lines that made them giggle.
‘I can’t see the girl on the train,’ Jasmine shouted
Angela shook her head. ‘No, but it’s difficult with these lights to make anyone out. Let’s take a wander around.’
‘She could be over in the quiet rooms.’
Angela nodded as they set off on their walk of exploration.
There’s something touching my legs. A chair. The hand on my arm allows me to sag onto it and the leather glove moves from my face. I gasp, feeling the pain and pleasure of cold air entering my lungs. Nausea sweeps over me and I lean forward with my head on my knees.
‘Let’s see what we’ve got.’ A male voice, not rough, quite cultured in fact. Hands on my shoulders pull me upright. I stare into the darkness. A dark room. No light whatsoever, except. . . now there is.
He’s moved around in front of me and turned on a torch. It shines straight into my eyes. I blink and raise my hands to my eyes. My left hand catches my ear. I don’t why I notice this of all things but my earring’s not there. I check my other ear. The long chain dangles down to the collar of my jacket.
‘A pretty young thing,’ he says and steps closer, the torch still on me. I feel a hand between my knees, pushing my thighs apart. I resist. The hand withdraws and slaps me across the cheek. I gasp.
‘Don’t.’ he says. The hand returns between my legs. It pushes up, the fingers stretched out, seeking. The finger tips probe my thighs above my stockings, then press against my silk covered abdomen. The fingers dive, groping under my groin. They start to curl. He has my balls.
‘Ah. I thought I’d read you right, my dear. A tranny, complete and in full working order.’
He knows. My penis is straightening, stiffening. He squeezes. Tighter. I squeal.