This is part 3. The first two chapters can be found on Vocal starting at : https://vocal.media/stories/the-other-one
Mike looked left and right. The street he was in was one of those wide, new ones, with trees and landscaping designed to let you know that only expensive people should tarry there, unless you were one of the people who cleaned up. There was no one else in sight.
Lacking inspiration from the surroundings, Mike looked the school fence over once more. The gate, which was a large black iron one, and wouldn’t have looked out of place at the entrance to hell, was closed. A camera, speaker box and push button was situated at a convenient height next to it.
Mike made up his mind. He was close now to Her, he somehow knew that, and an iron gate wasn’t going to stop him. Pushing his borrowed bike away, he secreted it behind a convenient bush. Then, glad he’d stopped to dress up before he left, he smoothed down his jacket and walked back to the gate.
~ * ~
Mother Superior Overseer Mary Strikt was busy praying when her secretary knocked on the door.
“What is it child?” she asked, resisting the urge to take stronger action. She had been going through assistants rather quickly lately, and this one showed at least a modicum of promise. “I am in prayer, you know - I don’t wish to be disturbed at this time.”
“For give me Oh Mother Overseer,” said the young woman, pulling at her habit. “There’s a young man here, he says he is a wealthy investor, and would like to look around.”
“Who?” Mary stood up and put her whip to one side.
“He says he is Micheal Strobowsky, he owns some social media company, and he is interested in enrolling his daughter.”
“Is he now?” Mary nodded. Social media was the invention of the devil, and as such, this man could be useful to her school. She took her seat behind her desk and nodded. “Send him in.”
~ * ~
Mike stepped into the large office somewhat nervously. He had never been comfortable around religion, assuming that any deity worth their salt would be disapproving of most of his life so far. This school though, was more unnerving than he’d expected. The corridors echoed, and the only noise he’d heard, other than his and the nun’s footsteps, had been strange chanting from the classrooms.
This office was even more unnerving. It was a large, plain, room. The floor was some kind of dark polished wood, and the walls were solid white, with the sole exception of some kind of, rather creepy, symbol painted in deep red on the back wall. He didn’t know what it was, except it certainly wasn’t a Christian cross.
Slap bang in the centre of the room, behind an enormous wooden desk, sitting in something that was more than a chair, less than a throne, was a thin, stern looking woman. She was dressed in a slightly fancier habit than the single nun who had escorted him into the school, once he’d managed to blag himself past the gate.
Her outfit was made of a finely cut black leather, studded with small stones that could not be diamonds.
The nun, the head of the school he’d been told, stood up in one smooth motion and smiled, an expression that looked like she was trying on for the fist time.
“Please, Mr. Strobowsky, have a seat.” She pointed at another chair, sitting in lonely isolation on Mike’s side of the desk.
“Ahem, well, thank you.” Mike lowered himself onto the chair. The sister looked on, and then sat herself.
“Now, how may The Holy Mother Synthia’s Puritanical Boarding School for Young Girls, (aged eight to sixteen) help you?” she asked.
“Well, ahem, I have a young daughter, and I, er, heard this school, I mean, a frien… acquaintance of mine, recommended this place. I was wondering if I could take a tour. I didn’t mean to take up your time of course. Maybe your assistant?” He gestured behind him. The other nun, from what he could tell beneath the robes, had seemed quite young and friendly.
“Oh, every parent deserves my full attention, I can assure you Mr. Strobowsky,” she replied.
“Please, call me Mike,” Mike said. He’d made up the name on the spot, and was rather regretting it. He was even more scared someone would ask him to spell it.
“May I ask who your acquaintance was… Mike?” she asked, cocking her head to one side. Mike felt as if she was looking into his soul.
“Ah… I would rather not.”
“Very well.” She paused. “It’s just, well, this school is extremely… selective on the girls it takes. Background checks are required, and other restrictions also apply.”
Mike waved a hand dismissively. “Oh yes, I know, my friend told me all about it.”
“Did he?” An eyebrow was raised.
Mike felt as if he’d just failed a test.
“Well,” he said, “in strictest confidence of course. As a potential patron too,” he added for good measure. Throwing the lure of money into the equation.
“And what of your daughter? How old is she?”
“Oh, er, yes, Alice is, er, ten now. Yes, ten.”
“She is a little old for entrance to our establishment at ten,” the nun said. “However, it isn’t unheard of. Assuming she’s strong enough.”
Strong enough? Mike resisted the urge to frown. Time to go on the offensive. He leaned forward and put his hands together. “I can assure you, Alice is up to the challenge. As am I. Now, how about that tour? Or is everything I’ve heard here a lie?”
The Mother Superior raised her eyebrow again, but then nodded. “Very well,” she said. “Though you will have to sign an NDA before you leave. I hope you understand.”
“I would expect nothing less,” Mike said, outwardly calm. Inside he was screaming.
“Very well. This way.” The woman stood up abruptly. Mike was startled to see she had acquired a long, coiled, black whip from somewhere.
Standing, he followed her out into the hallway. Her footsteps clacked sharply on the floor, and, looking down, he thought he saw tall black stilettos underneath the robe. He frowned. Surely nuns didn’t…?
She stopped at a large wooden door and turned to face him. “What is behind here is confidential, I’m sure you understand.”
Trying to appear at ease, despite his increasing alarm, Mike nodded. “Of course.”
Reaching into her robes, Mother Mary pulled out a metal chain, not unlike what you would expect on a prison officer. At the end was a large ring, jangling with iron keys of medieval design. Selecting one, she inserted it into the lock and turned, then pushed the door open and stepped through.
Behind was a large hall. Overhead, chandeliers straight from ancient times, laden with candles, illuminated a scene that he would usually assume was the result of smoking something illegal.
Groups of girls were gathered in different areas, listening to nuns or participating in actions that were alien to Mike’s experience.
He looked to the right.
A group of students, they had to be no more than nine, were dressed in short leather outfits. A nun was pointing, with a long barbed stick he noted, at a picture of a naked man on the wall. She seemed to be highlighting tender areas to assault. The girls were taking notes on tablets and laptops.
To his left four older girls, well into their teens, were standing around an intricate design chalked on the floor. They were chanting in a language Mike didn’t know.
“Keep up please.” His attention was drawn back to his guide.
“Ah, yes. Of course.” He stumbled on.
“This is our general hall,” Mother Mary pointed out. “Usually of course these lessons would be in their own classrooms, but whilst the renovations are being carried out we are slumming it. Ah, here we go.”
They had arrived at a large archway. Beyond it, by some strange optical illusion, he could only see dark.
“After you please,” Mother Mary said, gesturing.
“Of course.” Pulling at his jacket, Mike stepped through.
He was in a torture chamber. A literal torture chamber, with rack, iron maiden and all of the traditional pieces of equipment. A group of year twelves were gathered around a restrained naked man who was in the process of having his belly slit open by one of them. Again, notes were being taken.
“Here of course, is where we get to the nitty gritty,” said Mother Mary, stepping in behind him. At the same time, two nuns, very large and burly nuns, stepped forth and glared at him.
He looked at the Mother Superior. “What’s going on?” he asked.
“Mr. Strobowsky,” she replied. “What are you doing here?”
“I told you, call me Mike,” Mike said. He went weak at the knees.
More to come. Feedback welcome.