Not Quite What She Expected
By Nye North
(The author fully realizes that the style of clothing used in this story would be almost impossible to wear in ‘real life’. This is however a work of fiction so reality can be overlooked. Hope you enjoy the tale.)
Twenty-six year old Gail Shaw listened to the man sitting opposite her at this her third interview for the position of Personal Assistant to the ruler of the sheikhdom of Tiawuk, situated in the southern tip of Saudi Arabia.
“The position is yours if you wish to accept it” the man, dressed in traditional Arabian clothing, told Gail.
Barely thinking about any possible consequences she accepted the position. Gail had checked on the internet for information about Tiawuk and had discovered that it was officially named ‘The Sheikhdom of Tiawuk’, comprising a land-locked area of close to fifteen hundred square miles with a population of close to a half million people, many being foreign workers and was situated on the southern tip of Saudi Arabia and autonomous ruling. The area now known as Tiawuk had been handed to the man who was the original sheikh by the ruling family of Saudi in 1968, a distant relative of the king, who claimed the land was his by fact of being his tribal homeland. The land had been considered little more than desert until the mid-70’s when it was discovered that the land was virtually floating on a sea of oil. She also found out that the original sheikh had passed away just a few years earlier and replaced by his thirty-four year old son.
“Before you finally accept the position I would like you to view the video I am going to show you” the man said.
Gail, thinking mainly about the well-above usual salary she was to be paid, hardly glanced at the screen while the video played and if asked later about all she could have told anyone that it was something to do with how women were expected to dress and behave in the sheikhdom. Two weeks later, having said goodbye to family and friends Gail arrived in Tiawuk’s at the international airport in the capital of Namo. She quickly passed through immigration and customs, her new position helping her on her way. Gail barely noticed the disparaging looks her mode of dress was bringing. Her first impressions of Tiawuk were that it looked very strange. It all looked very clean and nice but Gail found the way the Tiawuki women dressed rather strange even though she expected them to wear traditional Arab dress in the form of a burka or chador. Her earlier internet searches had told her that when the new, much younger sheikh, had taken over and drastically changed the female dress code that there had been a great deal of opposition, oddly enough from the males, the females barely even getting a mention. The opposition had been quickly defused by the sheikh with the offer of a year’s salary to each and every Tiawuk male national.
And so here she was at the beginning of an adventure. Her own ‘Arabian Nights’ tale was how she thought of it. Friends and family had warned her that everything would not be a bed of roses and she would be expected to dress ‘correctly’, which she interpreted as meaning wearing ‘not too revealing clothes’. Having picked up her many bags and passing through customs Gail went through the door and into the terminal. Immediately she saw a man holding up a sign with her name on it. The man, dressed in a similar mode as the interviewer, greeted Gail when she introduced himself and simply turned and headed towards the door of the terminal. Outside they were met by a second man standing beside a large car.
“Welcome to Tiawuk Miss Shaw” the man said. “I hope you have a very pleasant time while in our country” although to Gail’s mind he did not sound over-enthusiastic in his welcome.
Gail was driven in the limousine through the city which, from what she could tell through the heavily tinted windows, was modern in appearance and she was a little surprised at the number of skyscrapers there seemed to be. All she knew of her living arrangements was that she would be housed within the sheikh’s palace. The first sight of the palace shocked Gail. It was, in her view at least, immense. From the outside it appeared to be made from blue glass. Once inside Gail was again shocked on seeing the ‘art’ hanging on the walls, what she thought to be rather lurid paintings and photos.
“I trust you had a pleasant and comfortable flight on our international airline?” she was asked yet again, this time by the man waiting at the door for her.
“It was very pleasant thank you” she replied.
“Good. Good” he said before guiding her into a room and asking her to sit down.
“Would you like to see where you will be housed?” Gail was asked.
“That would be nice” she replied.
Led through many corridors and twists and turns Gail became totally lost as to where the starting point might have been. Once they had entered an area containing several rooms the man walked over to the desk which sat against one wall and pressed a button on it and a few moments later a woman entered. He spoke to the woman in their own language, leaving Gail with no idea of what was said before turning to face her.
“Jemimah, who is your maid, will show you around your quarters” he said “I hope you’ll find it comfortable” he told said before continuing to address Gail. “Jemimah speaks perfect English and will help you dress in our local clothing”.
Gail was amazed at its size as Jemimah showed her around, although she told herself she would not be spending much time here, she intended to spend much of her pleasure time around the pool she had been shown. With the tour over Jemimah asked Gail if she would like her to run a bath as she must feel dirty after all the travel. This being a novel experience she said that would be fine. Her bath over Gail spent the rest of the day relaxing as she recovered from the flight. It seemed that Jemimah was always ready to assist in any way she could, this discovered by Gail when she went to empty her suitcase only to find the job done and her clothes hanging in the biggest wardrobe she had ever seen. She also noticed some clothing that was not hers and on looking at them realized that they were the type of clothing she had seen from the internet as being the type of outer clothing worn by the local female population. Recalling the man’s last comment she guessed the clothing was what she would be wearing the next day.
After a good night’s sleep Gail was woken by a gentle shaking of her shoulder. On opening her eyes she saw a black clothed figure standing beside the bed indicating that her bath was waiting. Bath and breakfast over the woman, who Gail guessed was Jemimah, helped Gail to dress. Everything felt strange but eventually she was deemed ready to leave her quarters. Jemimah handed Gail a folder and on opening it she found many sheets of paper. These she found were mainly about how she was expected to act and behave. She only glanced through most of the matter but was not too happy on reading of the many restrictions that would be placed on her once she was fully dressed in the correct manner, being told that what she wore at present was only a temporary measure until she visited a boutique to be correctly attired to the Sheikh’s wishes.
A limousine picked Gail and Jemimah up and throughout the journey Gail was staring out of the car window which, although heavily tinted, still let her see out. The scene was not exactly as she had thought it would be.
“This is where we are headed” Jemimah informed Gail, pointing through the window on the side she was seated.
Turning her head to look out the other side of the car Gail could see a large building that looked much like any shopping mall in London did. Soon the chauffeur entered the underground car park. As soon as the car was stationary the chauffeur exited the car and quickly opened door on Gail’s side.
Once inside the mall Gail was not sure what she was expecting to see, something out of an Arabian fairytale maybe, but instead found that she was standing on a tiled floor. Jemimah knew the name of the boutique they required and escorted Gail through the shopping centre until they came to the place she was looking for. They entered the boutique to find themselves in a small foyer. A woman came forward and made a series of signs to Jemimah.
“We are to wait here until called for” the maid informed Gail.
They sat waiting for some time until finally a woman came through the door and escorted the pair deeper into the boutique. Once Gail had entered another room the woman closed the door. The woman pushed her hands through the slits in her abaya and, using a computer the woman wrote a message which she showed Gail. ‘My name is Fatah and I will be in charge of your dressing today’ the message informed Gail.
“But I thought I was already dressed” Gail responded, getting no reaction from the woman who indicated Gail would have to write a message if she wished to ‘say’ something, which she did.
‘No. What you are wearing at present is only something to allow you to be bought here’ Fatah let Gail know through another message. Gail continued to read: ‘The position of your employment requires you to be dressed in the manner known as ‘Working Female Grade 2, which is the highest and strictest grade’’.
Gail’s unasked question as to why Fatah did not speak to her but used messages was explained by Fatah. Gail immediately wanted to know what that entailed and Fatah bought up a short video for her to watch which explained the rudiments of what was compulsory wear.
‘What happens if I refuse?’ Gail asked using the computer. Gail was told that there are really only three alternatives and these were explained to her. ‘Not much choice is there?’ was Gail’s typed remark. Further messages went on to explain to Gail that the only males women were permitted to speak in front of was their father, husband or brothers, so to make things easier for all concerned, meaning somebody having to remove and replace the gag each time circumstances changed, the law had been framed so that females were gagged on an almost permanent basis and that was how she would be while she was in the country. The messages also explained about how for women a man’s voice was also considered awrah to those from outside of the same male family members, so again the law stated that females would be kept deafened all the time by the use of special earplugs. Gail was becoming more and more concerned as the messages outlined these restrictions.
Gail now took the time to look around the room. There were outfits of various types hanging on every wall and she walked over and felt some of them. Several minutes passed before two women entered the room. As with Fatah these women were gagged beneath their head coverings but must have given some kind of signal to Fatah as the three women began to undress Gail. Through more sign language Gail was directed to a shower where she was joined by one of the now naked, but Gail noticed gagged, women who proceeded to scrub Gail from the top of her head to her toes. A cream with a smell that made Gail feel ill was smeared over her body with heavy concentrations on her head and pubic areas. Gail was absolutely mortified when, as the cream was washed off, all her hair disappeared down the drain. She screamed as she watched her hair disappear down the drain.
Without further ado the two women, using large fluffy towels, dried Gail off and led her back to the centre of the room where Fatah patiently waited. A garment of clothing was produced, this having been lifted from a hanger on the wall. The garment was handed to her and it was indicated that she should put it on. Inspection revealed the garment to be a body suit of some kind. Gail shook the garment out and finally worked out how to put it on. At first sight Gail thought the bodysuit way too small but being made of spandex it stretched as she pulled it over her body. Fatah indicated that Gail should leave the hood of the bodysuit resting against her chest for the present time. Gail watched as Fatah, using a computer, typed a message which she indicated she should read. ‘You are now going to be introduced to awrah. This requires you to be denied both speech and hearing to comply with the law. I would like you to view carefully the short video that is going to be shown’ the message stated, Gail’s eyes going wide as she read the words.
On cue Fatah began to run the short video which did little to calm Gail’s nerves. She was petrified at what might be going to happen. Before arriving in Tiawuk Gail had expected to be required to wear some kind of what she thought of as ‘traditional Arabian dress’ but the content of the video, much the same as the one Gail had virtually ignored at her final interview, told a much different story. The video revealed that the new, younger sheikh liked the style of dress women of fashion wore in the early years of the twentieth century and had incorporated this into the State’s female dress code. With the video ended, Gail wondering what was to happen, her attention was returned to the computer monitor by Fatah. ‘Please be seated in the chair to your left’ Gail read, her eyes then following the pointing finger of Fatah. Yet another message appeared on the monitor. ‘You are firstly going to be fitted with a gag. The type now used is fairly comfortable once you get used to having your mouth filled all the time. It is far easier to wear long term than the older style ball gag that needed to be removed at meal times. Following the fitting of the gag you are to be fitted with earplugs that will leave you totally deafened’.
Another woman, to outward appearances dressed exactly as the other two, entered the room. Again nothing was said. This woman simply walked over to where Gail was seated in the dental chair and opened Gail’s mouth. Close to an hour later a deeply shocked and now mute and deaf Gail was assisted from the chair. After the gag, along with its feeding tube, and earplugs had been inserted, the hood section of the bodysuit had been drawn over Gail’s head, leaving only her eyes slightly visible behind the light mesh over them. The only other ‘features’ in the hood were the point where the feeding tube poked out of the gag and the ends of the breathing tubes that had earlier been inserted into Gail’s sinuses showed. The gag and ear plugs had been filled with a resin that had some kind of sound absorbing mixture in it. Also the fact that the space between the double walls of feeding tube down her throat and into her stomach were filled with the resin meant that as air was unable to pass over her vocal chords added to the loss of voice as did the additional padding full of the same type of resin that covered the ears inside the hood.
Fatah took hold of Gail’s elbow and guided her across the room. One of the women who had left the room for a short time re-entered pushing a rack full of clothing to the centre of the room. Gail had by this time guessed that how the women were dressed was something similar to what she was to wear and it seemed to give them little room for movement although they did seem capable of doing their job efficiently. Gail looked beseechingly at Fatah as an assistant carried an item back to where they stood and Gail could see from the way the woman carried it that the piece was fairly heavy. The item, a corset made of a combination of calico and Kevlar, was fitted about Gail’s body. With the very stiff looking garment now encircling Gail’s torso, the two women began the tedious job of threading the lace. Having threaded the lace the women took to the lacing procedure with enthusiasm, placing hooks at various points on the lace and pulling it taut, doing this several times up and down the garment until they were satisfied with its tightness.
Gail looked at her reflection in the mirror hanging on the wall opposite her. She was extremely shocked to see how small her waist now appeared, noting how her breasts were made to look much bigger than their natural size by the ‘shelves’ on which they were now perched and seeing how they heaved with each intake of breath. The shelves were designed to hold the breasts high on the chest, pointing straight forward. Fatah moved closer to inspect that the corset was fully closed. Gail’s eyes followed her as she tried to see what she was doing behind her. The corset covered Gail from hips to her armpits at the sides and rear while the front left her breasts uncovered. Fatah then had one of the other women trim the excess lace before crimping and sealing the ends. After having pulled the chastity strap attached to the corset through Gail’s crotch she attached it to catches on the front and back of the corset. Gail read a message that gave information about the chastity strap.
One of the women now fetched further items from the trolley, Gail quickly finding out what they were as her dressers led by Fatah fitted her with black nylon crotch length stockings and shoulder length black gloves made of leather. ‘Footwear comes next’ a message on the monitor informed Gail moments before she was guided to a high seated, backless stool where it was indicated that she should sit. Fatah indicated to one of her assistants to fetch the boots and carried them over to where Gail was seated. When they were shown to her Gail was amazed at the height and narrowness of the heels and she wondered at whether or not she would never be able to walk in such high heels. It was explained to Gail through messages that this height of heel was that required to be worn by all females classed as ‘Working Female Grade 2’ under Tiawuk law to wear. It was only now that Gail fully understood what she had read and seen pictures of on the internet about the Tiawuk style of dress as designated by law. Thanks to the laws instituted by the new and younger sheikh the female dress code was a little more than that of the early twentieth century with aspects of fetish and bondage thrown in, the outer garments being the only ones anything like what Gail thought of as ‘traditional Arabian dress’.
With her face hidden from sight by the hood nobody saw the look of horror that never left Gail’s face as the women began fitting the footwear. The thigh length boots were closed by a zip up the inside leg before a strap was pulled over the tab and locked using an electronic lock controlled by a computer. Assisted to her feet and with her dressers gripping her elbows Gail stumbled and wobbled on the skyscraper heels a full six inches in height, forcing her to walk almost on tiptoe. When indicated to walk a few paces her terrified eyes said no, but the hands holding her forced her to do as requested. At a signal from Fatah the assistants gradually reduced their grip on Gail till she was, albeit slowly and unsteadily, moving on her own.
Next Gail was fitted with her dress, this made of heavy grade cotton black in color. Fitting the dress was probably one of the quicker parts of the whole procedure. To enable the dress to be fitted Gail was returned to the seat where the boots had been fitted and after she had sat Fatah’s assistants slid the dress over Gail’s feet, pulling the lower part of the skirt up as far as her knees, adjusting the unopened part as they went. The remainder of the dress was reasonably easily lifted as far as the shoulders, the next more difficult job being getting Gail’s arms into the tight sleeves. With this part of the operation achieved the pair slowly closed the zip from knee to neck up her spine. Gail was forced to keep her feet together while her dressers completed the closure of the dress by shutting the zips at each forearm. Once fully fitted the dress covered Gail from her ankles to under her chin, the stiffened neck section making movement of her head rather difficult and preventing her from looking at the floor with any ease When told to walk across the room she stumbled as she attempted to take her first step, the leg hugging skirt preventing a pace longer than six inches in length.
Fatah fitted a three inch wide metal belt around Gail’s corset reduced waist and closed the rear clasp before using the electronic locking system again on the clasp. This was followed by the fitting of two inch wide metal bracelets at the wrists and above the elbows, these again electronically locked. Gail watched her reflection as Fatah now moved to stand behind Gail as one of the assistants handed her another piece of metal while the second assistant waited with her own piece of metal. Continuing to look at the mirror Gail saw Fatah hold the piece she had been handed against the back of her neck, covering her to the base of her skull. By the time Gail realized what was happening it was too late. Once Fatah was happy with the position and fit of the metal piece she had the second assistant hold it in place while she moved to stand in front of Gail and take the other piece from the other assistant. Fatah now placed the piece of metal at Gail’s neck, lifting her chin as she did so and adjusted its position. When happy with the fit she pushed on the front piece as the assistant pushed on the back piece, their actions locking the two pieces of metal together. The neck brace as Gail later discovered it was called, covered most of her shoulders and its top edge covered her gagged mouth, a hole allowing the end of the feeding tube to protrude while at the rear it rose to the base of her skull. Another look of horror appeared in Gail’s hidden eyes when she tried to move her head, finding that the metal brace held her head with no option but to stare straight ahead.
The fitting of the face mask was next. Not wanting any further covering over her face Gail wanted to object but had no way of doing so. Moving behind Gail, Fatah fitted the rear half of the mask, made of rigid plastic, into position. This part came just forward of her ears and the large wad of sound absorbent resin contained in it would serve to further eliminate any chance that Gail might have of hearing any sound while dressed in the required manner could be easily seen as Fatah moved it into place. Satisfied with its position Fatah directed one of her assistants to hold it in place while she positioned the front half of the mask. The outside of the front half of the mask was featureless apart from a mirror finished strip of clear plastic five inches wide and an inch and a half deep to permit a limited amount of vision, two holes at her nostrils and a hole to permit the feeding tube to exit. Gail watched as best she could as the front half of the sphere shaped mask was bought towards her face, Fatah ensuring that the breathing tubes that protruded slightly from Gail’s nostrils poked slightly through the nostril holes. This set-up ensured that the wearer was forced to draw each breath through the tubes. With the fitting of the mask completed and locked, on looking at her reflection in the mirror Gail could only see out of the small area directly in front of her eyes.
It was now time for Gail to be dressed in her outer garments. The first of these was an abaya. Fatah showed Gail how the abaya was constructed. With difficulty she saw that it was comprised of what appeared to be thick, heavy duty calico with ‘batwing’ type sleeves, black in color and as it was fitted Gail felt its considerable weight. The head/face covering that was fitted next was far from what Gail expected. It was nothing like the scarf that was tied around the head and pinned in place to cover all but the eyes, commonly called a niqab. The covering that was used to cover Gail’s head was more like a hood, fitting closely to the face. The whole thing, after covering the head widened to form a kind of cloak that fell to the waist. This was made from the same material as the abaya and adjustments were made so that the small area of gauze to permit breathing was in the correct position, as was the open area to permit vision. Gail was finding that breathing was now a major accomplishment.
Gail was now shown a message. With some difficulty she read: ‘You are now fully dressed in the manner of a Working Female Grade 2 as required under Tiawuk law’. Gail was led from the room towards the door of the dressing room. Just before she passed through the doorway Gail was stopped and she watched as a hand passed through her limited field of vision towards her head. Suddenly everything turned a shade of grey. What had happened was that Fatah had pulled down a layer of gauze on the hood to cover her eyes so that Gail would be correctly attired for when outdoors. She saw a person she assumed to be her maid standing in front of her and she began to escort Gail from the boutique. Progress was slow as Gail made her way to the car where, after assisting her into the car, Jemimah belted her in. Seated in the car all Gail could see was the rear of the seat in front of her. It was only now that the full enormity of her situation hit home. Here she was in a strange country unable to speak or hear and hardly able to see, virtually reliant on a maid she barely knew.
After a short drive Gail found herself being helped from the car back at the palace. With Jemimah at her side to help her walk and balance Gail entered the building where they were met by a man who signaled that Gail was to follow him. She soon saw that she was now in an area that looked like offices and was led to a desk where a hand on her shoulder signified she should be seated. Her attention was bought to a monitor on the desk where a message awaited her reading. ‘Good afternoon Miss Shaw’ was the opening words and Gail read on. ‘This message is to give you a brief explanation of how you are to are address His Highness Sheikh Hassan’. It continued. ‘On every occasion you enter the presence of His Highness you will give a small curtsey. If he enters your presence and you are seated, you will immediately stand and give a small curtsey. If speaking directly to His Highness your address to him will be Your Highness. If speaking to a third person about His Highness, that is the term you will use, His Highness, as in His Highness will see you now. Speaking to him is of course in the figurative sense. At all times His Highness will at all times refer to you as Miss Shaw. Your hours of work are flexible depending on the needs of His Highness. Your maid has instructions to have you ready to be called by seven o’clock each morning and you will remain in readiness until ten o’clock at night. I understand from His Highness that most days your hours of work will begin at nine in the morning and end at five in the afternoon’. Gail acknowledged that she understood. A further message then appeared. ‘Somebody will be here soon to teach you how to use the system’ it read.
As Gail sat at her desk waiting the light changed and she realized it meant somebody was standing on the opposite side of her desk. Her first reaction was to attempt to look up but the neck brace stopped her doing that so to see who it was she had to stand. Standing opposite her was a young man who was grinning broadly. He indicated that Gail should sit then used the monitor on his side of the desk to communicate with Gail. ‘Miss Shaw?’ the first message asked and Gail let him know that she was that person. Another message appeared. ‘It’s nice to meet you Miss Shaw. My name is Jake Preston and I am here at the request of His Highness to show you how to work the communication system you will be using as his PA’. When invited to do so Jake began showing her the working of the system. By the time he had completed his task, close to an hour later, Gail felt she knew how the system worked and told him so. At the same time she hoped her would soon go as peering at the monitor through the veil had given her a headache.
It was the next day before Gail finally met her employer. On first seeing him she barely recognized the Sheikh as, for some reason, she expected him to be wearing traditional robes and not a faded pair of jeans, sneakers and, oddly she thought, a Norwich City Football Club replica shirt. On realizing who had just passed her by Gail rose and did a quick impression of a curtsy to his back. His Highness called Gail into his office and, after receiving a smile from him, remembered she was supposed to curtsy to him again on entering his presence. Gail was invited to sit in the chair opposite him and watched the monitor as she waited for a message. ‘How are you settling in?’ were the first words she read.
‘Well I’ve only been here about twenty-four hours but so far everybody seems to be trying to help me settle in’ she replied. ‘How are you finding your outfit? I ask because many of our foreign female workers find it very confining and restrictive at first’ His Highness asked next. ‘I am indeed finding it restrictive but I’m sure that over time I will get used to wearing it’ Gail replied, hoping she had given the answer he expected.
His Highness laughed as he replied ‘You are not the first and I’m sure will not be the last to find that. In fact your outfit is one of the things I wanted to discuss with you this morning’ he wrote.
Gail was not impressed by the message that she read from His Highness. In it he said that although she was attired as required by law, he personally liked his female staff to be even further restricted and asked how she felt about this. Gail thought hard before answering. She thought that although what had been written was in the form of a request, she guessed it was in fact an order and answered ‘Your Highness. I’ll be happy to dress and act in any way you deem appropriate for your Personal Assistant’. His reply rather stunned Gail when she read ‘I’m glad you think that way Miss Shaw. I will call your maid to escort you to the garage where a car will be waiting to take you to be dressed in the manner I see fit for you’.
Gail quickly found herself back where she had been dressed. Gail was stripped until she wore only the bodysuit. She was shown a message that informed her that her employer, by this time guessed at by Fatah and her assistants to be His Highness, wished an immediate further inch reduction in her waist measurement with at least a further inch reduction within six weeks. On reading the message Gail shook her head, an action which had no effect at all on her dressers who began to lace the new corset around her torso. It again covered her from hip to armpit and, to Gail’s dismay, slightly cinched her breasts at the chest, causing them to balloon into round spheres. With the corset fitted and laced closed Gail stood panting for breath as she watched her breasts heave up and down with each tiny intake of air she was forced to take. She was fitted with the same stockings as previously but she noted that the gloves were a different pair, being latex instead of leather.
Next Gail was fitted with her new footwear. Again a message told her what to expect and again no amount of head shaking made any difference to her dressers. She blanched at the sight of the thigh boots that would soon cover her legs in leather. Her first sight of them made her certain that she could never stand, let alone walk, in them. Fatah and an assistant took a leg each and eased the boots up Gail’s legs, forcing her toes into an almost straight line with her shins as her feet were made to adapt to the ballerina ‘en Pointe’ pose the boots enforced. Gail indeed found standing almost impossible with her heels held seven inches from the floor by the thin stiletto heels. With one of the assistants at each elbow Gail was forced to attempt to walk around the room and after some half an hour she could mince along without assistance.
Gail watched as Fatah showed her the new dress she would be wearing, not black but pale blue, leaving Gail to wonder why. The skirt, from mid-thigh to ankle was made of double thickness cotton with a layer of calico between them. The accompanying message said that the non-stretchable calico would prevent the wearer from taking steps longer than those prescribed for her, which in Gail’s case at this time was to be four inches. With the help of her assistants Fatah quickly had Gail in the dress. When instructed by yet another message Gail walked around the room, quickly realizing that with her greatly limited stride she was going nowhere in a hurry.
After having fitted Gail with her belt, now nearly four inches wide and tight to her corset waist size and the bracelets Fatah showed Gail the neck brace to be worn. At first glance it did not look any different from the one worn previously but once it was fitted differences were felt by Gail. In the front the new brace was higher than the earlier version covering her nose with holes to allow breathing and another where the feeding tube protruded as before. The sides of the brace rose across her cheeks to cover the ears with the back of the brace again reaching the base of her skull. Gail soon discovered that she was again permitted no movement of her head. The same mask was fitted before the abaya and hood, again in pale blue. If she had been able Gail would have seen that this new abaya had a zip running down the back from neck to waist but it would be hidden from sight by the ‘cape-like’ part of the hood. From the moment it was placed on her Gail could tell that the abaya was heavier than the black one she had worn earlier. She was given no explanation about the abaya and also thought that the hood was also different from the one she had arrived wearing. The abaya was indeed different, consisting of two layers of cotton with a thin layer of latex between them and did not have sleeves, only a small slit for the hands to be pushed through. The hood was of similar design except for a small area around the nose where there was only a single layer of cotton through which Gail was forced to draw the air she needed to survive. At the eyes the hood had a thin layer of gauze, giving Gail another layer to peer through.
A message that Gail had difficulty reading through the veiling in front of her eyes appeared on the monitor. ‘You are now dressed in your work clothing. I am soon going to put you into arm modesty and I hope you are not going to fight me because if you do the result will be a painful shock with a taser. The position your arms are to be held in at all times you are not in the office is rather stressful and in the beginning, until your shoulder muscles get used to the strain, painful. With your arms so confined it will be impossible for you to make any kind of communication with any person, including your maid. In addition you are to be further isolated by the addition of two more layers of material at your eyes. The second layer will be compulsory while in your quarters. The third layer will be required wearing whenever you are outside of the office or your quarters. With this layer in place you will be virtually blind, able to see little but blurred shapes’.
Absolutely petrified at the thought of having a taser used on her as to the best of her knowledge that was a very painful experience, Gail stood quietly as the zip at the rear of the abaya was opened. In what little peripheral vision she had she thought she saw another women enter the room. The woman was Jemimah who, at the instruction of Fatah, began to pull Gail’s arms behind her back. Before she really knew what was happening her hands, fingers bent into a fist over the top of her thumbs, now trapped between the palms and the fingers, were enclosed in stiff leather mittens. Once she felt her hands let go she tried to straighten her fingers but the mittens had no give in them.
Hands took hold of her forearms and slowly bent Gail’s arms at the elbow. The hands moved to hold the elbows and gradually forced them upwards towards Gail’s neck. Fatah stepped forward and placed a sheath around Gail’s arms while the maid held them in position. With the sheath in place Jemimah began to tighten the lace that ran its length, the action forcing Gail’s elbows ever closer together as well as pushing her wrists ever higher. At a signal from Fatah that the sheath was now tight enough and by which time Gail’s elbows had been pushed together Jemimah took the metal band handed to her by one of Fatah’s assistants and closed it around Gail’s wrists before lifting her arms a fraction higher so she could get the small knob of the inner side of the band to slip into a hole in the back of the neck brace. Feeling her arms now let go Gail tried, unsuccessfully, to relieve the stress on her shoulders. Jemimah took a slightly larger metal band from the assistant and placed it around Gail’s arms just below the elbows. Once it was closed the maid pulled down on the band, forcing Gail to arch her back, so that the knob on this band would mate with the hole on the rear of the belt. Gail’s arms were now held in what the Sheikh called ‘arm modesty’ and with the two bands attached to the brace and belt there was absolutely no way for Gail to relieve the stress on her shoulders, her arms would stay where they were until somebody released them.
Gail’s attention was yet again bought to the monitor. Squinting a little through the veils to read what it said, she read: ‘Your arms are now held in the modesty position requested by your employer. You are reminded that the arms will be held in this position at all times you are not working. In a few moments the next layer of your veiling will be flipped down into place and will automatically lock electronically, the only key to which will attached to the computer in your office. You are again reminded that this layer will be worn at all times while in your quarters. After giving you a few minutes to adjust to the wearing of this layer of veiling, the final layer will be flipped down and will again automatically lock. There will be two keys for this layer, one that your maid will hold and use when you have entered your quarters, the second will be attached to the computer in your office. This layer is compulsory wearing at all times you are not in your place of work or your quarters and will leave you very little vision’.
Gail could scarcely believe what she was reading. Her shoulders were already in agony after just a few minutes of being held where they were and she wondered how she could possibly survive having them held in the stressful pose for many hours. Her mind was already trying to work out if there was any way she could break the contract as the way she was being forced to dress was nothing like she expected, thinking the Sheikh was some kind of sadist to expect women to be subjected to ‘his’ kind of dress requirements. Gail watched her reflection as Fatah lifted her hand towards Gail’s left breast and saw her begin to peel away what looked like a layer of tape. Once Fatah removed her hands Gail struggled to read the words that had been hidden under the tape and them being in reverse made the job even harder. Eventually Gail deciphered the words that were in a cursive script. Miss Shaw were the words embossed on the abaya.
Gail then watched as the person she thought to be Jemimah lifted her hands towards her forehead. It turned out that what Gail had assumed to be some fancy stitching on the hood was in fact the remaining two layers of veiling. As the first of them dropped across her eyes Gail’s vision was greatly reduced as she was forced to peer through a number of eighth of an inch circular holes in front of each eye. Each hole was separated by almost the same amount of material. Jemimah pressed hard against the cloth and Gail felt it as the eight electronic locks on the flap of material engaged. She had scarcely become accustomed to how little vision she would be permitted while in her quarters (she recalled that this was where this layer was to be worn) before everything went almost black as the outer layer of veiling was lowered across her eyes and Gail felt the pressing as the locks on this veil engaged. She wanted to cry out for the layer to be removed but the way she was dressed prevented her from making any kind of reaction visible to those watching. Behind the layers tears ran from Gail’s eyes which only made the vision problem worse as she tried to adjust her mind to the fact that whenever she was away from the office or her quarters, her vision would be limited to what she could see through the six (although she could not count them) pin-head size holes in the material, these designed to line up with some, but not all, of the holes in the underlying veil.
Gail was given a few minutes to adjust to her latest imposition before the now mute, deaf and virtually armless and blind felt pressure on her bottom as she was encouraged to move forward, something she did reluctantly and with great trepidation perched on her toes as she was. Jemimah guided her Mistress from the boutique to where the chauffeur driven car waited. The driver helped the maid strap Gail into her seat, using belts at lap, over the shoulders that connected to the lap belt, across her knees with a further strap that was affixed to the floor of the car going around her ankles, all of these leaving Gail unable to move more than an inch or two. The next thing Gail knew was that she was back in the office, this only after the two layers of veiling were lifted.
With her arms now released from their stressful position, Gail was rubbing them in an attempt to regain blood circulation. She suddenly noticed His Highness standing in the doorway to his office so did a quick bob that she hoped passed for a curtsey. He nodded his head before quickly turning away so that she would not see the smile that spilled across his face. Gail sat at her desk and began checking for any messages that may have arrived during her absence. To her surprise there was one from Jake Preston and it took a few seconds for it to register as to who he was although she knew she knew the name. When she recalled who he was she wondered why he had left a message, after all, she had not contacted with a problem. Gail read the message, which simply asked her to telephone the number left in the message. This she did. She found using the system slow and annoying but Jake did not seem worried. When she finally discovered why he wanted her to contact him, Gail was rather shocked. She began giving excuses. I can’t talk to you, I can’t hear you, I will barely be able to see you, and so she went on. Jake on the other hand dismissed all her excuses. ‘I’ve been in the country for over seven years’ he told her. ‘I’m quite used to going out with women who are dressed in the manner you are’ he continued. When Jake realized that Gail’s excuses were weakening his message simply said ‘Just get your maid to take you to the Eastern gate by seven o’clock tomorrow evening. I’ll meet you there’. With that he was gone, leaving Gail no chance to say anything else.
Gail decided to ignore Jake. That was until later in the evening when she was sitting, watching as best she could through her veil, some television show she could neither hear or understand as the titles on the screen were in Arabic. It was at this time that she reconsidered about going out with Jake, anything must be better than sitting in this room alone. At least with Jake she would be with another person. Gail, realizing she had no way of giving her maid the instruction of where to deliver her the following evening, vowed to do so as soon as her arms were freed at work the next morning. Following on to her promise to herself, Gail did indeed give her maid the information. Strangely the day passed slowly. Finally it came time to end the day’s work and she waited for her arms to be put into their stressful position, reluctant to object in any way due to not wanting another zap from the taser.
Even from five o’clock it seemed to take ever so long for the two hours to pass until seven. Finally, fifteen minutes before seven, Jemimah took hold of Gail’s elbow and helped her rise from the chair and slowly walked her through the building to the eastern gate. Gail could see little of where she was going and knew she would never be able to find the way on her own even if it had been explained to her. Gail only realized something was happening when the light changed as the gate was opened. A different hand, the touch was much less gentle, took hold of her elbow and guided her forward, with Gail assuming she was now with Jake. A short walk and she was helped into a car and belted in. To Gail it seemed quite a long time before the car stopped and she felt the belts being released and she was assisted from the car.
Gail could tell by the slight movement of the abaya that she was outdoors and the wind was blowing. Try as she may she could not make out any details of her surroundings through the tiny holes in the veil. Jake had in fact taken her to a small park close to the city centre where many females were taken to exercise. Unknowing to Gail, she was just one of some twenty or so women being slowly led around the park by their escorts, be they husbands, brothers or just friends. With Jake’s hand at her elbow, persistently applying pressure, Gail could only shuffle forward on her toes. Ten minutes later Jake returned Gail to the car, this action leaving her disappointed at the thought that her trip out had been so short. However some fifteen minutes later Gail was again on her feet, this time unable to see that they were now in a large shopping centre, although on being jostled a few times Gail guessed there were other people present. One thing she could not see was that on the occasions she felt the pressure leave her elbow was that Jake was filming her, this so that at some other time, while in the office, she would be able to see where she had visited.
The next morning Gail began to receive a number of e-mails from Jake. On opening them as they arrived she saw that each contained an attachment which turned out to be a short video. At first she thought they were just shots of where he had taken her the previous night. That was until she saw her name on the front of the abaya. It was her in the videos. Gail was busy watching one of the videos when His Highness arrived at the office. She was so engrossed that she did not know he was there until receiving a message on the internal contact system asking her to step into his office. On entering the presence of His Highness Gail curtseyed as deeply as she could. Her attention was directed to the monitor on the side of the desk she was facing. She read the message and gave an honest answer. Another message appeared. ‘I would appreciate it that if, in the future, you confined the reading of personal messages to the thirty minutes from midday’ were the words Gail read.
Gail continued to slowly adjust to the confinement of her clothing. One thing that she did find hard to adjust to was the weekly reduction of her waist measurement by the corset and the ‘loss’ of the use of her arms each afternoon and over the weekend was something she did not find any easier as the weeks went by. A good point was, especially on the weekends, was being with Jake. During their almost daily message exchanges he had told her a little about himself and she now knew he was thirty-two years old, was born and bred in Brisbane Australia and had lived and worked in Tiawuk for seven years.
Another slight change that Gail found annoying and had no way to let her maid know was that Jemimah left the third veiling layer down more and more while she was in her quarters. After some three weeks of this happening Gail plucked up the courage to ask His Highness if he had ordered this to be done. His reply was that, no, he had not issued any such order and suggested that Gail ask her maid why this was being done as he did not think the maid would have simply forgot to remove the layer. After contacting Jemimah using the internal communication system she found out that a ‘Mister Preston’ had asked the maid to insure that ‘her Mistress’ was kept in this state. On finding this out she reported this to His Highness who enquired as to who Mr. Preston might be. Gail explained as best she could, that he was a man who had been taking her out for the past weeks. On hearing this His Highness informed Gail that ‘Mr. Preston’ had the right to order the maid to leave her in this manner.
As the weeks rolled past Gail, to her surprise, discovered she no longer tried to speak or expected to hear any sounds. Finally, as her brain accepted these facts, she came to realize that what she had seen of the Sheikhdom was about all she was going to see due to the way she was required to veil, which with the third layer of veiling covering her eyes almost permanently whenever away from work or her quarters, left her virtually blind. Due to the fact that Jake had made it possible for him to order that all three veils were left covering Gail’s eyes whenever she was not in the office meant that even though Jemimah had left the lights burning brightly Gail was almost blind. She sat thinking about what Jake had written to her a few days earlier in their lunch-time ‘chat’. That had been that having completed the seven year residential qualification he was going to apply for Tiawuki citizenship. Gail’s also thought that from what he wrote he was suggesting that the pair live together. Although she did not know a lot about the laws in Tiawuk Gail was fairly certain that the only way they could do this was to get married. Another drawback from Gail’s point of view was that in Tiawuk married women, except in exceptional circumstances, were not permitted to work, so this would mean having to give up her job.
Dismissing the idea of marriage at the present time from her head Gail turned her thoughts to what she would like to be able to do when her five year contract ended. She had worked out in the past that the salary she was being paid would, at the end of the contract, amount to a sum of over $390,000 American dollars, the currency her contract was written in, which she had worked out to amounting to over a quarter of a million pounds sterling on which she was not paying any tax or spending as everything she required was supplied under the terms of her contract. In her solitude Gail sat thinking how she could work things out, the best solution being to try and convince Jake to delay wedding plans until her contract expired and she would be free to return to England, taking him with her where they could finally get married, after which they could spend some time, maybe two years, enjoying life and maybe starting a family.
There was however one thing that was a flaw in Gail’s marriage thoughts due to a fact she was not aware of. If Jake gained his Tiawuki citizenship, he would, as a Tiawuki male and under the law of the Sheikhdom, be fully entitled, if he so wished, to demand, his wife dress in ‘the appropriate manner’ no matter where in the world they were, which would mean Gail being dressed as she was at present.