Minuet In G, Chapter VII
Alice finds the playroom
While Gerald was at work, Alice decided to use the time available to get online and shop for shelving and such to turn the basement into their wine-tasting room. They had been discussing it over breakfast, and Alice had said, “Wouldn’t it be fun if we could create a vaulted ceiling, and kind of a faux rough plaster finish?”
“We could do that by using chicken wire as a form, and laying plaster over it, then painting the whole with one of those sand paints, that is meant to leave a stippled finish,” Gerald replied, “but don’t you think we ought to see what kinds of units are available first? We don’t want to build anything that we’d have to tear out to make room to get the units in.”
“Oh, right. I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll dig out the latest copy of Wine Spectator, and see if I can find a URL address for one of the suppliers. I suppose I may as well get prices, too, while I’m at it.”
“I suspect we can afford anything we want to get, “Gerald replied, “but we may as well get it as inexpensively as we can.”
So Alice sat at the breakfast table, her second cup of coffee cooling beside her laptop, and drummed her fingers, waiting for the page to load up. Eventually, it did, and the room shown on her screen was absolutely stunning. It was furnished floor to ceiling in one area with bins, that appeared large enough to hold a case each. Next to them was a counter, with cupboard doors beneath, and individual bottle racks above, also extending to the ceiling. She counted the rows and columns, and did some quick multiplication. Twelve by twenty-four, she mused. Why, that’s two hundred eighty-eight bottles! Surely we wouldn’t need anything nearly as extravagant as that.
She closed the window, and opened another web site. This one was more like what she was looking for. They showed individual units that were intended to be mixed and matched and put together to function as a whole. She got out her credit card, and placed an online order for their catalog, with a paper copy to be sent to her for the postage charge of one dollar. Perusing the online catalog, and looking at sample assembly instructions, she soon realized they would need a way to attach the various racks to the wall, once they were assembled and placed upright.
She wondered what that might entail, and picked up her coffee mug, heading to the basement, to see what the walls looked like, and to see just what it might take to attach things to them.
Just inside the door, at the top of the basement stairs, was an old-fashioned double push button switch, just like the one that operated the piano. She pressed the top button, and was pleased to see a light bulb dangling from a wire, and dimly glowing, about halfway down the stairs. Well, that certainly wants to be a higher wattage, she thought to herself, as she began to descend the stairway. When she was almost down to the bulb, and it was at eye level, she realized why it was so dim. The bulb was an old one; so old it had a point on the top, where the glass had been sealed after pulling a vacuum. Because it was glowing so dimly, she was easily able to look directly at the filament. It was a single wire, bent into two large elliptical loops, with both ends extending upward into the base. There was a small oval paper sticker on the side of the glass, and she read it from the light shining through. “50 W EDISONGEM 114V,” it said, in three lines. Alice was thrilled, and suddenly had a distinct recollection of her father telling her that light bulbs and radio tubes didn’t like to be switched on and off too frequently. “… because of the current surge,“ he had said. “Think of it like when you fold a garden hose in half, instead of turning off the faucet. When you first unfold it, you get a sudden spurt of water, before it settles down to a normal flow.” He had also told her they didn’t hold up well if vibrated or quickly moved while burning. She slowlycontinued downthe stairs beneath it, being careful to not create any air movement that might set it swinging.
When she reached the bottom of the stairs, she paused, and looked around her. To her left was a fairly large open room, with what appeared to be plaster walls. She judged it to be roughly the same size as the living room, which was directly above it. She briefly wondered why there was no basement beneath the dining room, but did not think more about it. To her right, she could see the exposed stone masonry of the original basement, and a relatively new-looking oil burner, electric water heater, and what she guessed to be about two hundred fifty gallon oil tank. Well, she thought to herself, it would be easy to put up a wall, and divide the basement into two rooms, with the furnace and all that in a utility area, and the rest as a finished wine-tasting room. I wonder if there’s room for a small closet under the stairs?
She turned to her left, and walked purposefully to the back of the stairway. Leaning against the wall, she started to poke her head around the corner, to look under the stairs. As she did, she felt the wall against which she had placed her hand begin to move. She stood upright suddenly, and pressed more firmly against it. The hidden door opened with a slight creak, and she giggled to herself, as she thought of recordings she had heard of the beginning of the old radio program, Inner Sanctum. She tried to see beyond the door, but it was pitch dark.
For a moment, she considered feeling for a light switch, but suddenly thought, Oh sure. That’s just what I need: to put my hand on top of a brown recluse or black widow spider and get bitten. So she went back upstairs for a flashlight. As she ascended the stairs, she thought once again about changing out the bulb, so while she was rummaging in the unpacked boxes in the middle of the kitchen, she dug out a new one hundred watt bulb. On second thought, she said to herself, I’ll take the whole package of four down. Probably all the bulbs in the basement are antique.
Armed with the four new bulbs, and a flashlight, she descended to the basement once more.
When she shined the flashlight into the hidden basement room, what met her eye intrigued her even further. She quickly shone the flashlight on the wall, and finding a light switch, pressed the button to turn it on. The entire room was instantly brightly lit, by six bulbs evenly spaced along each wall at the ceiling, and five more mounted in the ceiling itself.
In one corner of the room was a large copper tank, about three feet in diameter taking up the entire space from floor to ceiling. It had a valve and a gauge at eye level on the side of it. From the gauge, copper piping led out across the ceiling, and down to various apparatus in the room. Each pipe had an individualvalve on it. Clearly, they were intended to be operated individually, or simultaneously, as whoever controlled the valves decided. In the center of the room was a metal-topped table, with belts attached to its edges, that were obviously intended for strapping someone to it. The floor was sloped slightly toward the table from all sides, and there was a drain in the center of the floor, beneath the table.
One of the machines was at the foot of the table, and Alice looked at it carefully. It was on wheels, and attached to the overhead piping by rubber hoses. There were two hoses. One went to the pipes connected to the copper tank, and another went to a pipe that passed into the wall back toward the furnace room. The machine itself consisted of a round drum, with a flywheel on one side, and a connecting rod on the other. I reminded Alice of the connecting rod on her toy train engine when she was a child. The other end of the connecting rod attached to what was clearly a sliding mechanism, and mounted on the end of a rod extending from the mechanism, was the largest, but otherwise most realistic rubber dildo Alice had ever seen. It was about nine inches long, and about two inches in diameter. Every vein on it was clearly delineated, and the head was encircled by what appeared to be a retracted foreskin. At the tip of the head, here was even a urethral opening, and it appeared to be functional. Oh, my God! thought Alice. This has to be the room in the notebooks! And I’ll bet that other hose is connected to the water line, and can function as a douche. Oh Lord. This is just too, too much! Gerry has just GOT to see this. I wonder f we can restore it? I wonder how it would feel to be strapped to that table, and … She felt a familiar stirring in her crotch as these thoughts went through her head, and she might have begun indulging in a little self-pleasure, had she not noticed a desk across the room, with a drawer slightly ajar. There appeared to be the edge of something caught in it, as if someone had hurriedly closed it on a piece of light cardboard. She crossed over the room then, and yanked at the drawer, until it became unstuck, and opened. Inside, she found a notebook, very similar to the one she and Gerald had been reading from upstairs. Intrigued, she opened it at random, and began reading what was written in purple ink with the loveliest handwriting she had seen since her grandmother died, and she no longer received her cards and letters
"He was in a good mood today, and very playful. After he fastened the straps, he disrobed before me in a kind of a dance. Then, he left me, and I heard him running up the stairs. Soon, the strains of Mozart’s Minuet In G were reverberating through the floorboards and into the ceiling. I have always liked that piece. His new improvements to the vacuum tank have reduced the hissing sufficiently that they don’t interfere with the music at all, even when the G key is played, and the full vacuum is let into the tank.
When he returned, he put on the biggest one, and inserted the machine between my legs. He didn’t put it in or turn it on right away, though. He teased me with it, and used the suction cups on my breasts, until I was so wet, I could feel my own juices running out.”
Alice had been leaning back, with her buttocks resting on the edge of the desk as she read. She glanced up, and saw two hoses hanging down over the table, with what appeared to be rubber-rimmed glass cups. Oh my, she thought. Wouldn’t that be interesting. She looked down at the notebook once more, and began reading again.
“Then he finally put it in, and it felt just oh, so good. His idea of hooking it to the hot water was a grand one; it was not the least bit cold, and felt so incredibly real. He turned the machine on so slowly, though, that I thought I would go out of my mind. And then, when he took down the flogger, and took the suction from my breasts, and proceeded to start softly flicking them with the tips of it, I could feel the butterflies beginning in my core.”
Alice stopped reading once more, and looking around the room again, suddenly realized she had been so overwhelmed by the machinery in the room, she hadn’t noticed all the things hanging on the walls. She closed the notebook, and, laying it on the table, proceeded to slowly walk around the periphery of the room, looking at all the things hanging from the walls.
One wall was taken up by what must have been the most impressive collection of hand cuffs, leg cuffs, collars, leashes, spreader bars, and nipple clamps she had ever seen. On another wall were whips, canes, floggers, crops, and paddles, There was even an old rug beater, and a wire screen flyswatter, with cloth sewn at the edges, like the ones she remembered everyone using when she was a very young child. On the third wall were lengths of rope in long loose coils. She touched one, and was surprised to find it was made of very soft material; either silk or cotton, she wasn’t sure which. The fourth wall was taken up by chains and padlocks, of all sizes and varieties. There were also three metal devices that Alice assumed must have been chastity belts of some sort. Beneath the light switch, there was a hook with a key ring, containing only one key. Alice suddenly realized all the locks must have been keyed the same. How convenient, she thought, and giggled.
She glanced at her wristwatch, and suddenly realized she had been in the basement nearly a full hour. Oh, goodness, she thought, it is amazing how much time you can burn up, reading porn. She giggled to herself again, as she gathered up the notebook, light bulbs, and flashlight, and prepared to return up stairs.
Leaving the room, she switched off the lights, and closed the door behind herself. She stopped and looked back at it. Now that she knew where to look, she could see a very thin line where the false wall met the real one. She immediately began to think of ways to conceal the room. I wonder if we could get my friend Laura to paint a faux window there, that would hide the door crack? I s’pose she’d have to know about the room, though, to do it. That might not be such a good idea. Unless, maybe we could get to play with us in there first. Alice felt herself becoming aroused again. Oh, Lord! She thought. I am on a really short fuse now that I’ve read a little. Well, I really should go wash the breakfast dishes. And my filthy hands, she amended, looking at down at the dirt on them from the long-closed room.
She ascended the stairs once more, and laid the notebook, flashlight, and light bulbs on the kitchen table. She got a saucer down from the cupboard, and laid the antique Edison bulb in it. There, she thought. that wayit won’t roll off the table. Gerry will be really surprised when he sees it. And just wait till he sees the twenty nine more in that room!
After she washed the breakfast dishes, and wiped off the table, Alice used the barely damp cloth to wipe off the outside of the notebook.
Glancing at the cloth, she was surprised to see purple ink on it. She picked up the notebook, and took it over to the kitchen window, where the light was strongest. By gently tilting it back and forth, she was able to make out the faint traces she had almost inadvertently removed. “Sarah Etheridge, Her Book” was neatly lettered in two lines on the cover. Oh my, thought Alice, I wonder if she was keeping it at the same time as her husband? What was that date, when Miss Wilson was there? Setting the notebook back down on the table, she ran upstairs, and retrieved from the bedside table, the first notebook they had found.
Arriving backin the kitchen, Alice laid the two notebooks side by side.
She opened the one written by Daniel Etheridge, and feverishly turned the pages, quickly scanning each one, looking for the pages she had been reading the day before. “Here it is!” she said, triumphantly, and quickly turned back to the first page for that entry, looking for the date.
Finding it, she opened the newer notebook and began feverishly flipping pages, searching for dates. Much to her chagrin, the first half of the notebook was entirely undated; the earliest date she was able to find was in the middle of 1910, and that was nearly halfway through the notebook. She closed the notebook in frustration, and decided to make another pot of coffee, while she pondered how to do a side-by-side comparison, without having to read them in their entirety. Though, that would certainly be interesting, she thought to herself. And then, I wonder why here are no date entries prior to 1910, when all the rest of the entries seem to be dated? Intrigued, she opened the notebook once again, and flipped to the first dated entry.
“24 August 1910
Adoule has been so kind and loving , ever since Father’s accident. He really is a good person, and perhaps he is right; it is high time I was on my own. After all, I am nearly thirty. I’m just not used to making decisions, though. Father made them all for me.
Adoule has decided that his idea to create machines for the playroom will work, provided he can invent a way to store some of the vacuum created when we use the player function of the piano. He says he thinks he can run a vacuum line from behind one of the keys, down to a tank in the playroom, and says he can make what he calls a “check valve” that will allow air to travel only one way. He explained to me that the piano works on vacuum, because pumping the bellows required less effort than having to pump against both a spring and air pressure. He also says the springs on the bellows provide the same amount of force every time they are forced open, and don’t get tired the way my ankles do when I’m playing the melodeon. I asked him if it wouldn’t be easier to make the basement work on electricity, but he was concerned that it might be dangerous, if one were to accidentally come in contact with the motor and the basement floor at the same time.
I am looking forward to his making the machines. Then he will be able to do more things to me at the same time, because machines can do one thing, while he is doing another. He is so inventive, kind and loving. He brought me flowers yesterday, for no reason at all. And when we are playing in the basement, I can tell he really is afraid of hurting me. It was a shock, though, losing Father, even though he married that horrid Ellen Wilson. I really did love her, and would have done anything for her. And the way she treated me still brings tears when I think of it.”
Alice felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end as the germ of a thought began to coalesce in her mind. Oh, my God, she thought. I wonder if Ethridge was her maiden name! She was fascinated by reading Sarah’s notebook, and absently taking a sip of her coffee, returned to the written page.
“7 September 1910
The police were here again today, while Adoule was at the office. They kept asking me questions about whether Adoule and my father got along. I told them that I had not seen him and Father together since the wedding, so I had no idea. I assume they got on well enough; they worked together every day at the accounting firm. Adoule never came home saying anything that would indicate they did not get along.
Then they wanted to look at the carriage once more, so I sent them out to the carriage house, with instructions to be sure to latch the door when they were finished snooping about. I don’t know why they are so insistent about this case. Adoule says it was an accident with the traces tearing from age, and the carriage brakes failing. I believe him because he is very good with machinery, and would know if something had been tampered with.
8 September 1910
Adoule has surprised me with a wonderful birthday present. The vacuum machines are completed ahead of schedule. We went down there yesterday evening, and after strapping me to the table, he applied suction cups to my breasts. They were drawn in, and the nipples went up into the hoses. When he turned off the suction, and let the air back into the line, he actually had to tug on them, to get them off again. Afterward my nipples were so incredibly sensitive, that I could feel myself having little contractions even before he put the rubber instrument up in me. And then when he turned it on, and it just began sawing in and out, without slowing down or stopping for breath, I almost blacked out, it was so intense. While it was going in and out of me, he was playing with my breast with one hand and had the other on my magical spot. It was absolutely amazing. I almost chaffed my wrists, I was straining so at the leather belts.
He has another machine which looks interesting, too. It has a socket that holds the handle of a flogger, and when turned on, swishes back and forth at a great rate. I have no doubt that anything placed in the path of the flogger strands would soon become beet red. We didn’t use it to play with, but he told me that when it was my turn to be in charge, he’d like to be locked in the pillory and have that used on him, while I take his member in my mouth.
Adoule has taught me so many things. I love that I can take his member in my mouth, and by varying the speed and suction, control how excited he gets. And I love when his seed comes spilling into my mouth. The taste and texture never ceases to amaze me, and makes me drip with desire for him. He tastes different from any woman I have ever tasted. I am unable to decide which I prefer; his hardness and tangy taste, or a soft woman and her sweet saltiness. I think I shall continue to enjoy both for as long as life will allow me.”
Alice stopped reading, and flipped the book back to some of the undated portions, to see if she could figure out why all of a sudden the entries were dated. Just at random, she began reading.
“I still don’t know what the date is. I’d guess it must be Late August; the heat is almost unbearable. Father brought home a few of the new fans, invented by Westinghouse, and they help considerably, if one sits directly in their path. Ellen came over again yesterday. Her brother has removed all the calendars in her house, too, so she is never quite certain of the date and can’t tell me, but she was certain it was Wednesday, because her brother reminded her of her weekly piano lesson. We worked on the Schubert Sonata in G Major, and she was almost able to keep up with the roll at normal speed. I believe she will be ready for a recital in two or three more weeks.
After the lesson, we retired to the bedroom, and found that by placing the fan on a chair and a pile of books, we could get it to blow across ourselves. I was still too hot in my shift, and removed it. Ellen did the same, and we slept for half an hour in each other’s arms.
When we awoke, I was surprised to find that somehow in our sleep, we had each gotten our hands onto one another’s knickers. My intimate parts were quite swollen and very wet, as were hers. Without moving my hand, I twisted my face to hers and kissed her. She opened her mouth, and sucked my tongue deeply into it, and I felt myself becoming even wetter. I couldn’t control myself and pressed myself into her hand. She returned the favor by gently caressing me with her fingers, and soon I had the most soft and loving release of the tension down there. I wanted to do something nice for her, so I gently rolled her onto her back, and slid her knickers to her lovely ankles. She protested, but only slightly, and when I inserted two fingers inside her, the protests turned to sighs of need and wanting more. I bent down and intended to just kiss her soft curls, but once my face and mouth were so close to her womanhood, I could not stop myself from putting my tongue out for just the tiniest of tastes. She moaned then, and I saw myself as if from above, outside my body, burying my face in that most intimate of spots, and sucking her warm, hard nubbin between my lips. She started shaking all over then, and I felt her close down upon my fingers as she cried out.
When she relaxed, I finally worked up the courage to tell her what had been on my mind for several weeks. I said, “I love you, Ellen, and I am yours.” She surprised me by saying she loved me, too, and my heart felt so full I thought it would burst.”
Alice slowly closed the notebook, and sat at the table, staring at nothing.