A Matter of Faith: Chapter 1-2

Calvo-de-la-Once

It’s Friday.

That means it’s time for another bite to this marvellous story.

Are you prepared?

I guess you are.

So here you are the new piece of the first chapter of A Matter of Faith.

Enjoy it.

Miss Iro was having tea in her living room. From the window she could see the excitement in the Grand Place. Brussels had also surrendered to American traditions of disguise and the entertainment of Halloween. Young and not so young ones ran and shouted imbued with the courage that provided a good disguise and a blood alcohol level that would make blush even the more permissive mother.

Miss Iro was not that kind of woman so easy to offend, so she watched it all with boredom. It was not due to a hectic life, lewd and frivolous. She just did not pay much attention to those things. She was one of those people who took life as it came without worrying if it were good or bad. If a bomb exploded at that moment in the middle of the square, her mind would only be able to develop a thought like, “What a noisy day!” She would place her dusty grey wig correctly to warm her bald head and then would continue with a another sip of her tea.

The wooden chair where Miss Iro sat squeaked when she shifted. The legs were thin and young bamboo. It was a beautiful manufacturing and a true piece of art. The seat was made of wicker lattice in which each hole was a perfect nonagon. Experienced hands had spent hours of their life to weave this lattice, as well as decoration and support. An old craftsman had fashioned the wood to find the balance between beauty and lightness. But surely, the designer of the chair never thought it would be used by someone the size of Miss Iro. Her buttocks spread on both sides of the seat like hand-pressed dough. The armrests disappeared phagocytised under the mass of flesh that joined her thick shoulders with those tiny, wrinkled hands. By lifting her arms, she felt a fine wooden splinter stick into her skin. And yet her face never showed a grimace of pain or discomfort, just the serenity of that “things are as they are.”

A wall clock struck midnight. The gongs reverberated in the room, causing vibrations in the glassware where she kept in her ancestral Victorian furniture. Tea waved twelve times in tiny ripples inside the cups. Miss Iro was going to take another sip when she found herself face to face with her reflection. Those gray eyes she saw every morning in the mirror stared back. Her nose, thin at the base tended to swell as it ended in a small lump, like a tiny perfectly round clown nose, but natural. She smirked for the first time in 364 days as the hot tea warmed her nostrils.

The bedroom door flew open. Fresh air swept into a room filled with old and decrepit air that fled in terror after an eternity of imprisonment.

The figure of a man appeared. He stood six feet tall. Not a single hair dressed his head. And it seemed that it wasn’t a fad, but a forced situation caused by a lack of possibilities. He wore a black coat wide opened and kept his hands inside his pockets with a non-threatening pose. His bare chest and nipples each sprang a silver chain that disappeared behind him. A couple of steps got him into the room. Then, two beautiful young women, whose only clothing consisted of few square inches of fabric strategically placed, appeared as the final destination of the chains that were hidden beneath the tiny silks.

“Hello Des,” Miss Iro greeted calmly leaving the teacup.

“Iro,” he replied, greeting, bowing and taking off an imaginary hat with great elegance.

He then went around the room looking at everything with feigned interest. The girls did not open their mouths. A slight pull of the chain and they followed him obediently not making any noise. For anyone else, it would have been strange, but Miss Iro was not “any person” and had long known the newcomer. She always had the ability to see at a glance the double meaning of things. Some people flip the heads and others flip the tails of a coin, Miss Iro walked over the edge. She was able to see the true role of the two concubines: a mere pledge and not outlandish attire.

“So long since the last time,” he said without bothering to give orders to the young. Just as you don’t need to order the skirt of a coat to continue the rest of the garment, there was no need to do it with them.

“Only the time you wanted,” Miss Iro replied.

“Touché, my dear, touché. Glad to see that Halloween is still wetting your wistle and your wits – certainly charming!”

“On the contrary, I see it hasn’t offered you discretion and restraint in your whims.”  Miss Iro said. He had not even looked at the girls, but they blushed.

“Oh, dear,” the man said with an effeminate movement of his right hand while he took his two companions in his arms and caressing them from the shoulders to the waist. “Why take vacation when your work is so… pleasant?”

“Touché Des, touché,” Miss Iro replied taking her tea cup to her lips.

Des paced the room observing every detail. Miss Iro followed him with a vague look, which is the look we use when we look at the front but we concentrate on the diffusive shadows that move at the edge of vision. She then noticed that he approached the fireplace.

It was the only place in the room, along with the tea table that had no dust. For the first time since the three visitors had arrived, the countenance of Miss Iro seemed upset when he picked up one picture that was on the mantelpiece.

“Why did you come, Des?” Miss Iro said. The tone of the question caused the two girls take a couple of steps back. Their master flushed the chain gently and they cried a little whisper that Iro did not know whether to identify as pleasure or pain, but inevitably it brought them closer to him.

“I guess you already know,” he answered leaving the picture frame in the same place where he had removed it.

“It’s too soon” she said spinning in her tiny wicker chair and each of the strands creaked in harmony with the fragile wood. “The poor girl does not know anything. She is not ready. Is there no justice?”

“Oh, dear,” he expressed in a pleasant tone. “You know there is quite well. The question is whether you have enough money to pay.”

—————————-

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