Internet Pals

 

Internet Pals

by Janet

internetfreundinnen

Read the original German version of this story: Internetfreundinnen

Leipzig

Like every night promptly at nine Silke was sitting at her computer. She waited for her friend Yasmin, the only friend she had. Everybody else, the gang and the girls from the sports club where she had played handball for years, shunned her. As if it was her fault that her father was out of work, it was not her who was sacked. Until recently she went to school. Now at 19 she had completed high school, and like so many of her age she waited to be enrolled at university. It was like she was hanging in mid air, as if nothing was settled. She didn’t have a friend to whom she could confide everything. She looked pretty good but who wanted to go out with someone like her, one who lived in poverty and had nothing but a beautiful face and long blond hair. She was proud of her hair, treated it well and with great care. Otherwise she used little cosmetics, wore only lipstick occasionally and even more rarely a little eye make-up. Now she watched the Messenger list and waited. The radio played the latest hits as background.

Silke could hear her parents quarrelling behind the wall. As always about money, and as always they got louder and louder. She took the headphones from the shelf, this continuous arguing was more than she could bear. It was always the same: they were fighting, her father made a stroke and then went down to the pub. Sometimes her mother had got a black eye, sometimes not. Why her mother stayed was a mystery, and why she never reported him even so. But it has to be settled between the two of them, Silke would not again interfere. She had done it once, and her father had beaten her as well.

“Where has Yasmin got to?” she thought just before a Bing sounded with a cheerful “Hello, dear!” appearing on her screen. Yasmin spoke fluent German, her mother was raised in Cologne. Silke replied with “Hello my beautiful one!” She was always happy with Yasmin online. The two chatted almost daily with each other. This chat showed to be rather different from the previous ones. Yasmin came to the point very quickly:

“Silke, my parents would like to invite you for a visit. You’ve got the time and you can spend your holiday here. We have plenty of space and it’s going to be really wonderful with the two of us together.”

“Well all right, but how is it supposed to turn out, I mean at you in Rifan it is quite different from here. Well, I mean I don’t really know if I’m ready for that.”

“You mean because of the burqa and things like that? Don’t worry, everything is quite relaxed, and you’re going to stay with us who are not that strict. Okay, in public you have to wear it and when we have visitors as well, but dad and mom really are relaxed. You just have to do like I do, so no problems!”

“And how do I pay for the flight, we’re broke remember!” Silke was, as always with the subject of money, a bit angry. She was so tired of repeatedly being reminded that she had no money. “Then I have no clothes suitable for wearing at your place, so forget it!”

“Silke, dad says he is going to pay for your flight. It was a birthday wish of mine!” Yasmin had apparently planned everything in advance. “Clothes you can borrow from me, we are about the same size. And you’ll stay here in a room of your own, right next to me. Everything is settled, please say yes!”

To get away from here for a few weeks was indeed a tempting idea, and ultimately it was not some savages in a jungle. So why not?

“Okay, but first I have to be sure everything is prepared. Perhaps your dad could make a short call. I don’t need to ask my parents, but I would like to have a word with yours.”

Yasmin asked Silke for her phone number, and soon after it rang.

When Silke picked up the phone she was greeted by a friendly male voice:

“Good evening Silke, it is Faid speaking. I’m Yasmin’s father. Please talk to my wife, she speaks better German than me. Please come as soon as possible, we are looking forward to meeting you.”

Silke was still smiling from listening to Faid’s broken German when a female voice sounded:

“Hello Silke, Miriam here. How are you?”

“Fine, thank you. You too?”

“Yes, I am doing really well, but please call me mom and no formalities. We see you as family.”

“Thanks mom, but I’m a bit surprised, please tell me more.”

Miriam and Silke talked almost an hour on the phone, then everything was settled. Silke would travel in four days. She decided to wait for the day of departure to tell her parents. Her mother would probably be sad and her father angry but the prospect of a nice holiday made her bury any remaining doubts. She would leave and she would make sure she would have a good time in Rifan. From their chats she knew that in Rifan some very strange customs prevailed but this didn’t frighten her. Yasmin was her friend, Miriam a very nice woman and Faid appeared to be very friendly as well. Silke was looking forward to her holiday.

On Wednesday she received a registered letter, she opened the envelope and found in addition to the ticket a short letter.

Dear Silke,
Here is your ticket. Please come without any luggage, and dress only very simple. Your clothes and everything you need here is waiting for you.
We are going to pick you up at the airport and wish you a pleasant flight.
Love from Faid, Yasmin and Miriam

She had two days to sort out a few tasks. On Friday she told her parents that she would go and stay with Yasmin for some time. As she had expected it came to a huge scene, her mother became hysterical and her father tried by force to stop her from travelling to what he called “the Kafirs.” Silke fled from the apartment and took the first bus to the airport. When she checked-in she noticed it was a first class ticket for a single flight. She did not want to go back immediately anyway, so she just enjoyed to sit comfortably. Soon after take-off a flight attendant brought her an orange juice, and later lunch was served. After four hours the plane came down in Rifan.

Rifan

The arrival

The plane arrived on time. Silke had no luggage to wait for which made her one of the first to head for the arrival hall. Through a glass window she was able to observe the hall. Heavily veiled women in burqas, men in casual Western dress and some wearing uniform gave her a first impression of her holiday destination. She stopped and looked with a mixture of fascination and doubt at the women. Soon she would appear like them. How would she feel? It was too late to turn back now, she gave herself a mental kick and continued.

The passport control was quickly over, and now she stood somewhat lost in the main hall. Is she going to meet Faid, Miriam and Yasmin here? Puzzled and worried she looked around. They had agreed to meet here and now she stood here as ordered without being picked up, in the strict sense of the word. Two women was approaching her. The taller woman was shrouded in a dark burka with silver ornaments, the smaller was wearing a white one with a few red flowers. Apparently the two slowly but purposefully headed towards Silke. Directly in front of her the smaller woman bowed and gave her a note:

“Welcome to Rifan, please follow us for a proper welcome. Yasmin.”

Silke at first was slightly surprised, then she nodded and followed the two women towards a door. It seemed to her they both walked very slowly and with a bit of shuffling, but she didn’t really think about it. She as well found it strange that Yasmin greeted her with a note, and when Silke wanted to embrace her she made a deprecating gesture. Different countries, different customs, Silke thought while walking through the double doors.

They entered a bright and very inviting little hall. There was a bar, tables with food and drinks and even a large video display. There was only women in the hall, most of them unveiled.

Miriam and Yasmin removed their burqas. Silke immediately observed why the note was necessary: Both were gagged. The gag was removed by a member of the staff and now Silke was heartfelt welcomed in plenty of words. The three sat down at a table and Miriam ordered a small meal and something to drink. They did some small talk which made Silke feel more comfortable and safe. She felt sure it was going to be a good holiday.

Yasmin told her she as promised had brought the clothes for Silke. Miriam asked her if she would wear a gag as well like it was required for the women living in Rifan. Silke nodded with mixed feelings. On one hand she didn’t want to make trouble and to a certain extent to be seen as a stranger, on the other hand such a gag looked terrible problematic. But she had already promised on the phone that she would live just like Miriam and especially like Yasmin. The two girls went into a lockable compartment. Here Yasmin got the items ready while Silke undressed. She was standing naked in the middle of the room and overlooked the various pieces of clothing. Yasmin pointed to the couch making Silke look puzzled. “You’ll wear a nappy like we all do. First wearing a gag you have trouble saying you need to use the toilet, and second it takes forever until you are sufficiently undressed. Further, you can’t make it on your own anyway. So lie down please.”

Yasmin spoke kindly but not to be contradicted and quickly Silke’s abdomen was skilfully heavily packed. It felt very strange, but not nearly as unpleasant as Silke had feared. Yasmin was busy at her feet, wide straps were fitted around her ankles and locked. She turned Silke on her stomach, where she fitted more straps around her waist. Soft silk was wrapped around her legs. She now had on baggy harem pants which below the ankle straps enclosed her feet like sacks. Yasmin by her hand pulled Silke up from the couch and put a wide slip over her head that reached almost to the floor. The slip was made of silk as well, it was very soft and wide. Silke was used to wearing crude fabric, the silk caressed her all over. Now Yasmin presented a floor-long caftan to her, she put it on and Yasmin closed the hooks at her back. The caftan was plain dark blue with golden stribes at the end of the long sleeves and on the collar. Silke sat on the couch while Yasmin put what looked like a pair of soft closed slippers on her feet. They shoes seemed to be for indoors use only with soft soles which gave little support. When she got standing she noticed that the shoes were connected with strong leather straps. This explained the odd slow gait of the women. Yasmin was ready with a white burqa for Silke decorated with small blue flowers. The two girls were dressed similarly. Bright colours were for unmarried girls only, at marriage it changed to dark colours. This Yasmin told Silke like she explained the letters embroidered above the eye slit. This was the code for her father’s family, and from this their address could be determined. Like this women could always be identified. Finally Silke pulled on the white gloves which Yasmin held forward. Silke looked at herself in the mirror to see the standard outfit of a young Rifan woman. The nappy and the shoes bothered her but the rest she liked very well. She felt adorned by the soft fabric enveloping her. A truly enjoyable feeling. The girls headed back to Miriam. While the two crossed the hall only the very observant eye would notice how insecure Silke walked. She was happy to be seated again though. Miriam suggested that they should return to the main hall soon, Faid would soon arrive to fetch them. Silke would walk between them and simply do what they did. Now Silke had to put on a gag as well and she was covered in the burqa. A white haze appeared in front of her eyes and she saw everything a little blurry. Glad she was guided between Miriam and Yasmin they went into the main hall. It was not very far but to Silke it seemed far. She too took up the slow slightly shuffling gait, after a few meters it went quite all right. Surely she was not as skilled as her two companions but she didn’t fall behind.

Faid entered the hall and looked around searching. He discovered the three before they could recognise him. As he stood before them the three shrouded figures bowed, Silke as told looked to see what Yasmin and Miriam did. Even he bowed, just a little though, and they started following him. Although Faid walked slowly they had trouble keeping up with him. The group reached the car. Silke was amazed seeing it was an expensive limo. Apparently Yasmin’s family was wealthy, in Leipzig often she had not even money for the bus. Faid helped the women enter and then secured them with multiple belts. Silke was sitting in the passenger seat with two belts crossing over her chest and in addition a lap belt to fix her completely, she felt as attached to the car. Faid drove swiftly through the city. Silke saw a number of buildings, Faid told in a few words what she saw. She tried to ask a question but the gag prevented it. “Mmmmfff” was the only sound heard.

The ride ended in front of a whitewashed bungalow. Faid unbuckled the belts and they went into the house. Gag, shoes and burqa were removed. Faid was now able to welcome Silke with a warm hug. “I am very happy you have arrived. I hope you have a good time with us. Please feel like a daughter in my home, you’ll have everything you need.” He really was happy she was with them, his warmth was real, Silke enjoyed being treated so kindly. Miriam suggested her to be shown around in the house.

From the corridor they went into the study, here Faid spent a large part of the day. If necessary Miriam assisted him by doing as he told. She had her own desk behind an opaque curtain. At the moment the curtain was drawn aside, when necessary it could quickly be drawn closed. Next to the study was a modern kitchen. Everything was very shiny and clean and it was equipped with all sorts of appliances. Silke loved to cook, she was looking forward to using this kitchen. Next was a large living room with a separate dining area. One side of the room was a large window. A beautiful garden was in view.

From the living room there was a door to the bedrooms. The first was the bedroom of the parents, next was Yasmin’s room. It was a very large room, almost as large as the entire Leipzig apartment. Silke marveled at the large television, the French bed and the assortment of consumer electronics. There was a computer, several game consoles, an expensive stereo and a variety of phones, there was just about everything. A paradise for gamers and chatters. In this room as well the wall towards the garden was glass throughout. Large mirrors covered another side of the room to make it appear even larger. The mirrored wall concealed Yasmin’s wardrobe and storage space for everything else. A door opened to an ensuite luxurious bathroom. Marble everywhere, a large bath and all the luxury one could think of. Silke became more and more surprised, she was only used to a simple shower. She was looking forward to a long bath. Yasmin’s room was followed by three simply furnished rooms to be used for guests. At the end of the house, which was built in U-shape around the garden, was a room with various fitness equipment and a small sauna.

Miriam was preparing the dinner with help of the two girls. The dinner consisted a very tasty rice dish with chicken, served with freshly baked bread and salad. The family chatted relaxed during dinner, something very different from the often oppressive silence Silke experienced at home. Everyone showed good appetite. When the meal was over they quickly cleared the table and put the dishes in the dishwasher, here was no washing by hand.

Miriam had noticed Silke’s expression as they were in the bathroom and asked “Would the two of you like to bathe? I am going to fill the tub while you two undress.” Silke was thrilled and Yasmin liked it as well. When Miriam then said “I’ll stay with you so you don’t do anything foolish,” it made Yasmin roll her eyes and nod. The two girls undressed in Yasmin’s room. Silke was happy to get rid of the nappy. They stood there naked, two pretty young girls with attractive bodies. Yasmin took Silke’s hand, kissed her and said “It’s wonderful you have arrived here, I am so happy.” She continued “You have a great body, a bit slim but we’ll manage that. Mom is a very good cook.” She took Silke by the hand into the bathroom. Miriam had prepared a bubble bath which was smelling of perfume and was comfortably warm. Silke with pleasure let herself sink into the heap of foam, letting the snug warmth envelop her to the throat. While resting in the tub she heard twice in quick succession the sound CLICK. Miriam smiled at her and took her right arm which was then cuffed as well, now having both arms chained to the tub. She was able to relax but was prevented from touching herselves. Now she also understood why Yasmin had been rolling her eyes.

With a small bucket Miriam was pouring fresh warm water over the two girls. Then she rubbed the two with a solid sponge. Silke was initially slightly uncomfortable by being bathed like a baby, it didn’t last long then she began to enjoy it. Simply lying back and be spoiled, it was like Paradise to her. “We could also be sleeping together in my room, what do you think?” Silke opened her eyes and nodded. “Sure, your bed is wide enough.” She watched Yasmin’s hair being washed, then came her turn. Miriam next took Yasmin out of the bath, towelled her and rubbed her hair dry. Silke was alone in the bathroom for some time, she would have liked to have her hands free, but the cuffs were not to remove. Miriam then came to handle her likewise.

In Yasmin’s bed was a hooded figure. A kind of wide sack extended to the neck, over the head the figure had a bag cut wide. Silke winced at the sight. Would she be sleeping like that? The very thought made her shudder. With all due respect to foreign customs, this was going too far. Miriam took her hand and caressed it. Silke calmed down but was still quite sceptic. From the bed came a muffled “Cuckoo, I’m a bogeyman!” Yasmin laughed and straightened up. Her fears dissipated, it was obviously not as bad as it looked. She let Miriam prepare her for the night. Her hands disappeared into thick padded gloves, she got a nappy and Miriam helped her into a sleep sack. The sack was made of soft fabric, very spacious and felt comfortable on the skin. At the neck it was closed tight but not squeezing with a wide leather strap. Silke could not free herself without outside help. As she lay next to Yasmin Miriam pulled the bag made of silk over her head. She was now completely covered and all sounds reached her attenuated. She heard a “good night” from Miriam and felt something like a hand stroking her gently.

Yasmin snuggled up to her and close against each other the two quickly fell asleep.

The first day

Being gently stroked made Silke woke up and she opened her eyes. A blue-green dim light was all she could see. Still dazed from sleep she remembered the night before and her night dress too. She had slept well, much better than she anticipated. The large sack reaching her neck had not bothered her, it enveloped her without confining her. Even if her head too was completely enclosed it had not robbed her of her sleep. Only the thick gloves were a little uncomfortable, the nappy was hardly felt while lying down.

“Good morning, you sleepyhead,” Yasmin said freeing her head. “Well sluggard, are you feeling refreshed?” Dazed Silke yawned and nodded. Yes, she had slept very well and apparently very long time. Skilled Yasmin unbuckled the neck strap holding the sleep sack closed making Silke able to go to the bathroom. Here Yasmin removed her gloves. Silke washed, and Yasmin helped her put on the clothes for the day. A nappy, the baggy harem pants, the long slip, a golden caftan with black ornaments at the neck, cuffs and hem, and black gloves turned Silke into a girl from Rifan.

The two went into the living room, Miriam meanwhile had prepared the breakfast. As Faid entered the room Yasmin went to him, knelt down and kissed his right hand, her father then took her hand and gave her a kiss on the forehead. Silke wanted to do everything right and she as well knelt before Faid and kissed his hand. Like Yasmin she was embraced warmly and kissed by him.

They sat down at the well equipped table. In Leipzig Silke’s breakfast was often just a slice of bread and a glass of milk, here she did justice to the food. There were cereals, various kinds of bread, cheese, sausage, in fact almost everything.

Faid was pleased that she liked the food, and above all he was pleased Silke was willing to adapt to their lifestyle. “Silke, it’s good you are here and it pleases me immensely.” She smiled to him. “Thanks, I am pleased to have been allowed to stay with you. I like it here.” The last sounded like “I li i er” because she was chewing on a piece of bread. Miriam suggested that while Faid completed a few things outside the home she and the girls quickly did the housework.

The unusual clothes presented some problems to Silke. She quickly found out that with the very wide pants it made no sense to take long steps, the excessive fabric trapped her legs. It made her trip like with the shoes she was wearing outdoors yesterday. It went better than she had anticipated. She swept the floors in the rooms Miriam and Yasmin had cleaned. The women were quick to complete the work, everything was clean. Miriam left to see to the flowers leaving Yasmin and Silke alone in the living room. “I have an idea,” said Yasmin. Silke looked inquiringly at her. “You have found out already that you can’t speak speak in public, in such situations we use a sign language. Do you want to learn it?” Silke wanted to, she could not talk while gagged and she had already asked herself how the women made themselves understood. The two sat opposite each other on two large cushions. Yasmin now began to explain the signs to Silke. She raised her right hand and showed her gloved palm, a “stop”. The hand stretched straight forward “continue”, left and right were shown likewise, all this with all fingers together. The hand raised with the fingers spread in a V meant “should we sit down?” Two fingers up, the other bend, “should we kneel?” So it went on, Silke felt like in school when practising words. Miriam observed the two were busy and took a book. Silke quickly learned the many signs, Yasmin said she would soon be fluent. Faid wasn’t yet back, it seemed to take somewhat longer.

Silke felt how the pressure in her bladder was getting increasingly stronger, she could hardly take it. Softly she said to Yasmin: “You know, I have to go.” Yasmin’s response was: “Guess why we wear nappies.” “But I cannot do it, it won’t work.” “Silke, here at home I could unwrap you but it’s not possible on the move and it’s not that terrible.” The last Yasmin said gently but it was clear Silke wouldn’t get any further by adding something. It so happned as she gave in to the pressure.

Faid came some time later. When he entered the room the women got up standing and bowed deeply. After he had greeted Miriam and the girls with a hug he said “Now I don’t have to work let’s drive to the city. I had a good business, we now can enjoy ourselves.” The girls went to Yasmin’s room to prepare for the city. Yasmin selected for Silke a pale blue burqa with small white clouds, and for herself a pale blue as well embroidered with small white roses. “Look, I have embroidered it myself, it took endless days.” The stitches were fine yarn and very delicate made. Silke was very impressed and said so. “Oh, I have plenty of time and it isn’t that difficult.” The girls put on their gags, Yasmin had selected an inflatable gag for her. Silke felt how her cheeks bulged and at a sign from Yasmin she tried to say something. She managed only a sort of hissing. From Yasmin’s mouth too came only this hissing after she had put on her gag. It was not the type of gag Silke had experienced yesterday, this was made like a mask covering the cheeks. Silke looked in the mirror to see that her face now was half covered, over the mouth and cheeks black leather was stretched. The black gloves had by Yasmin been exchanged for white, the white were thicker than the black. They took their burqas and went back to the living room. Faid and Miriam was waiting for them. Miriam wore a deep dark blue burqa embroidered with golden stars. She was gagged as well and was already wearing the shoes. The girls put their shoes on too, Faid checked the fitting of the gags and Miriam helped them to cover in the burqas. Silke now had to look through two small blue openings in front of her eyes, this burqa had no eye slit. The openings only allowed her to look straight forward. The short strings with which the shoes were connected she already knew from yesterday and with small steps she followed to the car. Here she was this time placed at the back next to Yasmin. Faid put her belts on which tied her firmly to the seat.

They reached their target, Faid found after a little search a parking space in a parking garage. He got the women free from the belts and went with them to the lift. On the ground floor they got out, they were in a shopping arcade. Shops, offices and clinics lined up together like in every major city in the world. The only difference from other cities was that no women’s voices were heard and all the women wore burqas. The burqas were all different, but they made the women look the same as if they were invisible. Silke was aware that she now belonged to these shapeless mute creatures, that she too now was anonymous, silent and clumsy. She walked next to Yasmin, it was difficult for her to keep step. Although Faid walked very slowly the women had difficulty following him. The strings between the shoes were not much longer than 20 centimetres, Silke felt how much this shuffling tired her. As Faid entered a shop he pointed to a free sitting space at the shop entrance. Relieved Silke seated herself on a cushion. It didn’t last long before Faid took her on. They entered a shop for consumer electronics. Faid and Miriam Faid waited near the cash register while Yasmin took Silke to the latest games. It was a very good opportunity to use the sign language, the two girls selected games using many signs. They took the games to Faid who paid for them. Silke saw no women behind the counter here as well, this was apparently for men only in Rifan.

“I would like to show you the park if you’re not too tired Silke.” Silke was indeed tired but also curious, and signaled a yes. “You learn quick, that’s important.” They went back to the car. Silke enjoyed much to be able to sit again. The pain in her legs subsided and she tried to look outside. Through the blue fabric and the tinted windows she could only see outlines looking like in every city everywhere. Cars, trucks and houses she found not very interesting anyway. Her jaw and cheeks felt numb, and the inflatable gag too gave her a bit of a struggle. But overall she felt good and the park excited her. How could a park exist in this arid surroundings?

The car stopped in front of a huge hall. They got out and Faid got the tickets. The park was laid out inside the hall. At an area the size of ten football fields were trees, flowers and streams. It was pleasantly cool in this green oasis and the air fresh and clear. When Silke inhaled this air through her nose it was like a cool drink. In the park there were paths and seating. An electric mini train drove through the park. Faid took the women to a stop, placed Yasmin and Silke in two seats next to each other and put them in belts. The girls were fixed to the seat like in the car. The train moved slowly making Silke and the other women able to enjoy the entire park. It was like a stroll through a forest with the track passing trees and going along the streams. After nearly an hour they came back to the stop, the women were freed from the belts and walked with the men again. Yasmin and Silke too walked behind Faid who was alone receiving them. Miriam was sitting on a bench, clearly visible with a steel bracket tightly holding her to the seat. Next to her sat a woman in a burgundy burqa accompanied by a girl wearing a bright yellow burqa with red roses. They were locked to the bench as well. Faid unlocked the bracket, Miriam got up and bowed before him. They walked all together into a kind of pavilion where trees and flowers were exhibited and explained. Silke had never been much interested in biology but she looked at the exhibits while Faid made brief statements. After leaving the pavilion they remained in the park for a while seated on a bench, and then they drove home.

Silke was glad to get rid of the gag and the shoes and it was nice to be able to see clearly again as well. “Just a clean nappy and everything would be perfect,” she thought while laying the table together with Yasmin. It surprised her that she had hardly noticed the nappy during the trip, should she have been accustomed to it so quickly? The table was set, the menu was a kind of stew served with bread and vegetables. For drinking they had fresh squeezed orange juice. Despite the women just after coming home drank a large glass of water Silke’s mouth still felt like lined with rubber and dried-up. The orange juice did good, made the rubber taste disappear and the dry feeling as well. The food was very tasty and well seasoned, they all did justice to the food. After the table was cleared Yasmin proposed that Silke and her should try out the new games. Silke would rather like a shower, she felt increasingly uncomfortable in the nappy and was very sweaty too. Miriam offered to help her undress making the two of them head for the bathroom.

Silke showered thoroughly and she hadn’t noticed Miriam coming into the bathroom and now was waiting for her. When she came out of the shower she was a little startled by seeing Miriam. “Silke, I want to make you a proposal. It’s not beneficial that you are hairy down below, first because you sweat more, and secondly the hair quickly gets dirty and entangled. How do you like that I shave you? Even your skin is red and I would like to put some cream on.” Silke considered for a few moments and then nodded. Her crotch was shaved carefully, and Miriam removed the hair at her armpits as well. Then she thoroughly towelled Silke, combed her hair and rubbed a good-smelling oil into her skin. “This is good to avoid broken hair, it keeps the hair soft and supple. Please lie down on the couch, here comes the cream.” As a first Miriam creamed Silke from neck to toe while she said mostly to herself “You have a very rough skin, but we’ll get that fixed”, then she took a different cream for the crotch area. Silke got a fresh nappy, and Miriam helped her with the rest of the day clothes as well. Fresh and clean she went to Yasmin who was well on her way hunting aliens. The girls were playing for some time, then Miriam came in and they were put in the sleep sacks for the night. After the hoods were fitted Miriam stroke their heads and wished them good night. Silke tried whether she could sense Yasmin through the thick gloves and the fabric but it was not possible. She felt nothing, the thick soft gloves made this impossible. Yasmin cuddled up to her and they both fell asleep immediately.

Three months later

Silke was sitting in the garden, the housework was done and she had time to think. Like always in the garden her head was covered with a thin scarf matching the colour of her caftan. The scarf went over her shoulders and small pieces of metal sewn into the hem prevented it from lifting.

She sipped the chilled orange juice which made her look at her glove. For about three months her hands had been permanently covered, she had been covered entirely. If she now saw a woman in Western clothing she seemed as a stranger that looked weird to her. She, who used to love to wear jeans, felt good in this clothes, even the nappy did no longer bother her. “Being gagged and wearing these shoes is more appealing now,” she thought with a smile. Three months in which she had changed from guest to daughter in the house of Faid. He was like she had always wanted a father to be: Quiet, cheerful and always restrained. Compared to him her real father was a savage. She envied Yasmin a little having these parents and this home. It was wonderful here. Miriam, a dear mother whom you could trust everything, and Yasmin, the sister she has always wanted. Here she lived almost like in a golden cage, but she did not miss the freedom. In Leipzig she could do whatever she wanted, go anywhere at any time, but most of time she had been alone. Without money she couldn’t do anything, without money she had no friends. She wanted to study but then didn’t know how to provide for herself. Probably she had to forget about studying, so there was no need to return. Her parents had enough in themselves, she would neither miss them. Silke’s mind darkened when she thought about her parents.

Miriam had told her she could come to her with everything, she nodded decisively under her veil. Yes, she would go to her and ask if she could stay. When she had made her mind up she felt better. She got up and with her now familiar small steps went into the house.

Miriam and Faid were in the office. Silke knocked the doorway, Faid looked up, smiled at her and said, “Why be so formal, you’re not a guest. Please come and sit down with us. No, please go to the kitchen, make some tea, we will be coming to the living room. “Silke bowed slightly and went into the kitchen. Tea, biscuits and the tableware necessary she placed on the living room table.

They sat down at the table. Miriam looked inquiringly at Silke. “Silke, what is it with you, you look so serious.” Silke took her courage in both hands and told them what had been going through her head while in the garden. She ended with “Please I want to stay with you if that’s possible somehow.” Faid stared at her long, his brown eyes seemed to look into her mind. He then said, “It is possible, but do you know what it means? You are going to be part of my household. You’re going to be like Yasmin and Miriam to me.” “Yes, I know, and that is what I want.” “Well, then I will go to the authorities to ask for documents. You’ll then no longer be a visitor but a woman of this country. Is that understood?” “Yes, completely understood.” She went to Faid, knelt down in front him, took his hand and kissed it. Faid drew her close as he did every morning and gave her a kiss on her forehead. Silke knelt in front of Miriam as well, then the two embraced and kissed each others cheeks. Faid called for Yasmin who was in her room. “Silke is going to stay with us. You now really have a sister and we have a new daughter. I have just become the father of a big girl.” At the last words he laughed loudly and the others had to laugh as well. “Great! This is fantastic, I’m extremely happy!” Yasmin took Silke in a squeeze. Faid after the tea went to the office, he now had something to arrange.

Silke had already begun to learn the local language, Miriam practiced daily with her. For girls, there were no schools in any case, the families taught their daughters at home. Miriam taught her to embroider and she also learned the local style of cooking. When she served the first meal she had cooked by herself it was favourably received. Faid was proud of his new daughter.

A messenger brought a letter from the German representation that was addressed to Silke. She left the envelope unopened for Faid to open it. The letter looked official, it was an invitation to an interview with an embassy employee. “Would you like to go to that?” Faid asked her. She nodded and he confirmed the appointment.

Miriam gagged Silke and helped her with her burqa. Now she was again a shapeless figure, shrouded in cream-coloured fabric embroidered with silver beads. Around the narrow eye opening Silke had embroidered a double row of beads, and one just above the hem as well. The identification code too was made of these beads and surrounded with a frame. She wore gloves of matching colour and on her fingers silver rings covered with stones. Faid gave her the rings the day after the conversation. They looked expensive and felt heavy. Silke was expected to wear them with the burqa from now on. Miriam helped her with her shoes as Faid came out of the office with a briefcase under his arm. Silke bowed in front of him and they went to the car.

Being fixed to the car was as always a little uncomfortable, fortunately the ride didn’t last long.

The German representation resided in a modern two-storey house. Faid guided Silke inside to a waiting area where she knelt on a pillow. She carefully arranged her burqa to make it fall flat to the ground and cover her completely. Blurred she watched another woman kneeling with a man sitting on a chair next to her. Faid seated himself on a chair beside her as well. They waited a few moments, then a man in a dark suit came. He addressed Silke and asked her to follow him. She remained on the pillow until Faid allowed her to get up. She quickly stood up, bowed, and followed the man as best she could. He took her to a room where a woman was sitting behind a desk.

Silke stopped, the woman went to the door and locked it from the inside. She took off her burqa and an attractive woman in her mid forties appeared. Mrs. Stein invited Silke to remove her burqa as well and after a few moments of hesitation Silke consented. She sat down in the visitor’s chair in front of the desk.

Mrs. Stein had Silke’s file in her hand and reviewed the data.

Then she looked up and said “So you want to live permanently in Rifan?” “Yes, that’s what I want.” Silke was gesturing in sign language Mrs. Stein understood. “Have you considered it thoroughly? If you renounce your German citizenship we cannot do anything for you. In Rifan women are without legal rights. You are going to belong to the family in which you live and therefore be inferior to the man who is head of the family.”

“Yes, I know and that’s all right.”

Mrs. Stein printed out a few sheets of paper, Silke signed the documents and then at the end of the month she was no longer German.

Mrs. Stein helped her with the burqa “I wish you luck.” Silke bowed and walked back to Faid. She gave him the documents and followed him to the car. Instead of driving home he drove to a shop. She knelt behind a curtain while Faid talked to a man. Silke understood only individual words: Gold, palace, fast. A woman came to her and inspected her. The woman was dressed in a plain dark blue burqa and wore heavy gold rings on her wrists, which were connected by a heavy chain. The chain rattled when she moved, and her feet were connected by a chain as well. Silke wondered whether this was what “gold” meant. Faid talked a bit more with the shopkeeper and then they went to the car and drove home.

After dinner Yasmin said “Hey, we are having visitors soon, it’ll be fun I’m sure.” Because of the visitors Faid gagged the women and they put on their burqas again. The two girls slipped into identical light pink burqas on which flowers made of dark red artificial pearls were embroidered. The eye slit was the size of a postcard and had small flowers embroidered on it too. Miriam wore a simple black burqa of shimmering velvet. Over the eyes it had two circular holes covered with black gauze. They waited in the living room for the guests. The door bell sounded and a young man entered with two women dressed in white burqas. The women bowed deep in front of Faid, likewise Miriam, Yasmin and Silke greeted the man. He turned to the women accompanying him and said “I’ll be back at eleven.” Then addressing all “See you later, enjoy yourself.” He left and the two women followed the girls into their room. Miriam accompanied them.

Inside all removed their burqas and even took the shoes off. From the white robes appeared two dark-skinned beauties. Their long black hair reached the shoulders and a dark brown complexion and hazel eyes perfectly matched the white caftan they both had on. Silke found them very attractive. It irked her seeing the two women had rings in the tongue and lower lip which were connected by a small padlock. She also noticed that around the neck both had a wide steel ring with a small ring attached at the front.

Miriam brought them something to drink, she had considered straws for the guests in their glasses. “This is Jayla and Nayda who we visit now and then. Their brother brings them like today, and picks them up again” Silke then spoke in the local language “Good evening.” Jayla answered “Hello Filk, fe feak Deutff, but befause of tfe lock only inartficufately.” Meanwhile she rolled her wide eyes. “Our hufband wanf it like tfat,” added Nayda. “Was he the husband of one of you?” “Yef, but fe are bofh married fo him,” said Jayla. Silke was observing that the two had their feet very wide apart, she could hardly turn her eyes away from the large bulge under their caftans. “Wouf you like fo foufh?” She sensed something hard like a cage move around the lower abdomen of Jayla. “We alwayf wear fhis cage, if’f not fo bad.” “How come that you actually speak German?” “We work af fecrefarie for him and he haf many German cuftomer. Nayda fpeaks French af well, and we bofh fpeak Englifh.”

The girls listened to music, talked and had fun. All four enjoyed their time together. Miriam came to say it was now time to say good bye. She permitted Yasmin and Silke to stay in the room. The girls embraced each other, Miriam helped them to dress and they left.

Miriam entered again, it was time for a long bath again. Silke’s skin meanwhile had become soft and mellow and her hair was perfectly cared-for. The girls undressed and went into the bathroom. The hot tub was waiting, they got in and were chained as usual. Silke was now accustomed to this as well, she did not like it though but she was really happy to bathe and being pampered. Miriam washed them, took care of the hair and left them for a while in the tub. Then she took out first Silke, towelled her, rubbed her with a cream and perfumed her. Silke was put to bed, inside the sleep sack she could only vaguely hear Miriam wishing her good night. Through the fabric covering her head she kissed Miriam’s hand when it stroked her. As Yasmin cuddled up to her she was almost sleeping.

Matters to be done

On Monday Faid received the papers necessary for Silke’s citizenship. He filled it out meticulously, transferred the fees and waited for the official acknowledgement of citizenship. He had been told that this would take two or three weeks, enough time to settle some affairs.

He telephoned his brother, and said that he would stop by tomorrow for a visit. On this occasion he would make an announcement to the family. Iram promised to bring the entire family together. Faid would arrive at noon in his hometown. As always he was looking forward to meeting his family. He had moved to Rifan long ago, from the small town and its closeness to Rifan City. Smiling he recalled his first days here in Rifan. After the tightly regulated life in Ilfaud it had appeared to him as if Rifan was a place of unlimited freedom. His family probably still thought it was too far out, they took him to be too liberal and irreligious. The latter was probably true, he was a convinced atheist and in his house no one would dare to worship any god.

He walked into the office, Miriam was kneeling at her desk. He tenderly kissed her hair and gave her some instructions. They would work hard today and leave early tomorrow at daybreak. The girls were busy with the housework, he saw with great joy that Silke was so well accommodated to their lifestyle. She had for long been his daughter in his heart, soon she would be on paper. Yasmin cleaned the floors, Silke dusted. Both were doing their work diligently and quickly, Faid watched them for a moment without being noticed. Silke had meanwhile learned to move gracefully in the women’s clothes, it was a joy to watch her. Faid pulled himself together and turned to the papers on his desk.

Silke heard Faid calling for Yasmin and herself. The two girls were waiting at the door until Faid gestured them. They knelt on cushions in front of him and waited for him to speak “We have plenty of work to do today. You two cook. Then pack your bags, tomorrow we go to Ilfaud for three days. Silke bowed followed by Yasmin. “Yasmin, you tell Silke about life in Ilfaud, I don’t want shame brought on me!” The latter he said strongly emphasised, Silke glimpsed out of the corner of her eye how Yasmin had turned red. Faid laughed and said “It’s good you have a burqa my sweet tomato. I haven’t forgotten the last time, have you?” “No, I have not,” Yasmin murmured very subdued. The two bowed and left.

“What happened the last time and what is special about Ilfaud?” “Dad’s family lives there and they are quite strict. Well, like here I walked about the house with my head uncovered and I was caught like that by a man. Then a bag of leather was put over my head and for an entire day I had to play blind cow. It was rather stupid somehow, that I had forgotten it I mean.” The girls were preparing lunch in the kitchen. They laid the table and Miriam and Faid joined them from the office. They meal went without haste, then the parents went back to work and the girls began to pack.

Silke was surprised how much Yasmin laid out on the bed. A sleep sack with matching head bag for both, eight thick cloth nappies, for each a pair of extra rubber pants, six slips, six pants, leather belts for the pants, three caftans with matching gloves and six matching burqas. Yasmin made sure that the eye opening of the burqas were small, she chose those with only individual holes for the eyes. On the light blue pair the holes were surrounded by an embroidered white ring, the burqa had small white flowers as decoration and the identification code was embroidered in white. The yellow pair had no decoration around the eye holes, they were besides bright yellow and without any embroidery except for the identification code on the forehead, this was yellow as well. The third pair was snow white and was embroidered with red, blue and green stitches. The circular eye holes were covered with thin gauze. Around them the embroidery was made with colourful stitches and the identification code was embroidered likewise. The caftans and the burqas were of the same basic color and were decorated similarly. Yasmin was searching for suitable scarves and unfolded one after the other.

She placed herself in front of Silke and showed her how such a scarf is fitted on the head. “Don’t panic, I’ll just do it for you.” Yasmin’s hair, her forehead and her chin to above the lips were completely hidden under the fabric. Silke asked if they would have to wear it like that in Ilfaud all day. Yasmin said yes, they would wear the scarf under the burqa as well. She went to the office shortly and returned with a rather grim expression.

“Shit! You probably have to blame me unfortunately. Dad want us to put on the stupid masks.” Silke looked at her inquiringly. Yasmin was searching the closet and suddenly exclaimed “TATAA,” she just couldn’t be angry long.

She had four leather masks in her hand. The masks had small holes at the nostrils and larger holes for the eyes. They looked like a black leather face. Yasmin started to fit Silke with a mask. First she held the lower part of the mask to Silke’s neck and buckled it behind, next a strap from the forehead down the back of the head was attached to the collar. Finally four narrow straps going above and below the ears were assembled at the back. Silke touched the mask, it was immovable and covered her entire face. In the mirror she saw a black leather face without a mouth.

Yasmin found four more black leather bags and a small box. Then she recounted everything and fetched Miriam. When Miriam had found everything in order the girls packed all the items. Only what they needed to put on tomorrow morning was placed on two pillows.

The family had early supper, they would have to get up early tomorrow. Miriam let the girls take a long bath. While the two enjoyed the bath, as usual tied to the bathtub with a chain at the wrists, Miriam sat down at Silke’s side. “You are going to experience that the customs in Ilfaud are stricter than here. Most of the time there we are going to be heavily veiled, and it won’t be that comfortable for you. Your father would like to introduce you to his family, it is very important to him. Silke we love you, you are a daughter to us and I’m sure you will not disgrace us.” She gently stroked Silke’s wet hair and then said “It is only the three days, then we have left it behind us. Be really brave, you two.” Yasmin took a sip of bath water into her mouth and gargled with it. She knew that Miriam did not like this. Miriam filled a small bucket with water and poured it over the head of Yasmin. “Hey, I can’t defend myself, that’s mean!” “That was the punishment for your bad manners, who have brought you up like this?” They all three laughed heartfelt. Miriam took the girls out of the tub and soon took them to the bedroom. “You may surf the internet for half an hour, but I’ll make you ready below.” With a fresh nappy and in a caftan the two lay on the bed and visited a few pages. Then Miriam returned, she first put gloves on Yasmin and then Silke and they both got into the sleep sacks which Miriam closed at the neck. She gave both a good night kiss, then the heads of the girls disappeared into the head bags. Silke sensed that Yasmin through the fabric kissed her on the forehead. The two snuggled together and soon fell asleep.

Ilfaud

The girls were awakened by Miriam. Silke had not slept enough and Yasmin as well found it too early to get up. Having bathed they laid the breakfast table, Miriam had made coffee and there was freshly baked bread. Faid urged the two girls to drink a lot, the trip would take several hours. There was orange juice and the three women were drinking in advance.

After the table was cleared Miriam accompanied the girls to their room.

She was going to dress the two for the journey.

The thick nappies they wore already, next came the items put aside the night before. First pants, then underwear. For the journey the girls should wear the blue caftans and matching burqas. After they had slipped into the caftans Miriam hooked them closed at the back of the neck. She took a cream and rubbed it on the faces of the girls. Silke looked amazed at her. “To reduce the sweating inside the mask.” They were gagged and then Miriam put their masks on. With each strap the mask became tighter, and as she had finished it was like glued to the skin covering from the hairline to the lower neck. Silke felt very uncomfortable in the mask, she hoped that this was showing. Next the scarves were fitted, they completely covered the heads except for a small area for the eyes. Here the mask was showing, the black leather and the inlaid rings of metal that made the eye holes was clearly different from the yellow fabric. Still the gloves and the burqa lacked. They were now two identical-looking yellow forms. Faid came in and took the girls luggage. He told them to wait in the living room.

After a while he entered the living room with Miriam. She was dressed in a black burqa and was wearing a mask and a scarf beneath the burqa as well.

The luggage was in the trunk, the girls were by Faid fastened to their seats. Silke thought of the safety belts in Germany while Faid first secured her tightly with two belts crossing over her chest. Then came a lap belt which was made just as tight. She felt her shoes being lifted and something pulled up around the legs to her knees. It was one of the black leather bags Yasmin had put aside. It reached above the knees where it was held in place by a drawstring. Finally came a belt across the thighs, and she heard a click. She sensed a lock on the outside of the bag which now was secured to the floor of the car. She could not move any part of her body any longer, not even turn her head as the collar of the mask prevented this. “Like this for hours and I’m stiff as a board,” she thought.

During the journey they listened to music. Silke dozed most of the time. When she opened her eyes she saw only the bright yellow of the burqa which made her have them closed most of the time. Sometimes the speed changed, there were a few short stops as well. She noticed how her limbs got numb but at some point she stopped sensing it. She sat motionless in her seat.

A loud rumble woke her from dozing. Faid had turned into a dirt road. After some minutes he stopped.

“We have arrived, I’m going in.” He looked for a moment at the tall white wall in front of him, then he entered. Nothing had changed, a spacious courtyard was surrounded by a large U-shaped building. The middle part of the building, opposite the wall, was the main wing with the living and dining rooms, to its right were the rooms of the women. The bedrooms of the men were at the back of the main wing. The left wing were the former stables and now contained the cars and store rooms. Faid went to the door of the main wing and entered. His brother had seen him arrive and now greeted him with a warm embrace. Since the death of their parents he was the head of the family, although fully respected by Faid he would rather live with his family in Rifan. He was pleased to see Imal and his family, but it was clear that this visit was no turning back. He was happy to arrive here and he was happy to leave.

Imal called for Sulay, his first wife. Like many men he too had three wives. Sulay took care of everything in the house, she was leading among the women. This she made the others feel occasionally, she was loyal to her husband. It didn’t concern him that she bullied the other women sometimes. The affairs of women should be handled among themselves.

Sulay came to the men, knelt down and waited. Imal allowed her to get up. Before rising she greeted Faid with a deep bow that made her forehead touch the floor. He thanked her and asked her to take care of his women as soon as the car got parked in the yard. He drove the car up in front of the women’s section, unfastened the straps and returned to his brother.

Sulay came to the car with two other women. They took one after the other Miriam, Yasmin and Silke out of the car and carried them on a kind of stretcher into the house. They were taken to a cell that was located in the corner of the main room. On two sides were bars from floor to ceiling, the other two sides were the walls of the room. Inside the cell the women were placed on soft mattresses. The burqa and the mask as well as the gag was removed and immediately Sulay tied the scarf back on again. Silke enjoyed lying there, the numbness faded and after she had got something to drink and eaten a few biscuits she began to look around. She watched the rest of the room, and likewise she was curiously observed from there. When she tried to say something Miriam quickly put her hand over her mouth and shook her head. Sulay sat like a guard at the cell door, Miriam was not sure if they were allowed to speak. After they have had a little time to refresh themselves Sulay came into the cell and put the masks on them again. Silke noticed that Sulay too was wearing a mask.

Although the room had no windows it was well lit. At one side below the ceiling was a row of wide light shafts. They lighted the room and served at the same time as ventilation. This room was both the bedroom of the women and the room where they took their meals. Silke could make out that several women were in the room, they were lying on mattresses or walked around. She also observed that two sides contained heavy doors. Apparently only Sulay had a key, she opened to a woman and locked behind her again.

Sulay entered the cell and told them they should go to the men. There is time enough for changing clothes, the girls are going to put the white items on. The eye holes of the burqa was right on top of those of the mask, but they were only able to see a little bit. Miriam was wearing a dark red burqa with silver stars embroidered, apparently just as expensive as Sulay’s black one with gold ornaments. Under the burqa they had put on matching caftans, scarves and gloves.

They slipped into the slippers Sulay had given them and followed her to the door. Sulay unlocked it, let the tree pass her into the hall and locked the door again. Sulay led the way, behind her came Miriam, Yasmin and Silke. The women walked in a line close to the wall, women running on the stone floor was ruled out. Silke tried to see something of the rooms they went through but she could see very little. With the masks it was only possible to look straight forward, if she turned her gaze just a little it became at once black. They came to a wooden grille with a door at the centre. Sulay rang a bell and a man came and unlocked the door. They bowed deep to him, he guided them on and they reached the main room of the men.

Sulay stopped just inside the door, knelt down and touched the floor with her forehead. The three guests followed her example. They were gestured to move closer and kneel down at the centre of the room. Five men were seated at a long table facing the women.

Imal greeted them kindly and wished them a good time in his home. He also told them that Sulay would personally take care of them. Miriam wondered if not “guard” would be more accurate. He now directly addressed Silke:

“Silke please show yourself.” She bowed and then stayed unmoving again. “I see you know how a woman is expected to behave, Faid has already told us something. I am happy that you have joined our family and I hope that we’re going to be a good family for you. My brother is a good man, obey him and he is going to be a good father. You now have new parents and a good sister in Rifan and us here as your family. I want to present to you a small gift to show that I am very pleased with what you’ve done. Sulay is later going to hand it to you. Tomorrow we are going to have a small celebration to welcome you.”

Silke touched the floor with her forehead and remained for a moment in this position.

Imal allowed them to go back to the women’s section. Sulay went ahead of them.

As they returned to the large room Sulay sent four women away. Silke wondered where they went. All now removed their masks. Silke was happy to get rid of it. Her face had become red, Miriam told her to remember to apply cream later tonight. This was not possible now because the scarves were immediately fitted again. After a while a woman brought several bowls with a rice dish. Miriam and the girls shared a bowl. Each of them had a spoon which they used to take directly from the bowl. There was clear water to drink. Soon they were all filled and the bowls and the spoons were collected and a woman brought them to the kitchen. She returned with the three other women. They now removed their masks as well.

Silke heard a loud banging from the door and looked inquiringly at Miriam. Miriam whispered to her that now a second door had been closed, the women were now locked up.

Sulay clapped her hands and all the women began to undress. Miriam quickly opened the little box which Yasmin had packed and Silke heard something rattle. When she had become naked she sensed something hard and cold touching her crotch and a chain was closed tightly around her waist. A chain was taken between her legs as well. She wanted to put her hand down to feel what this cold item could be but Miriam pulled her hand away and said softly “No, there you must never touch.” Silke turned to look at Yasmin, she was wearing this sort of disc as well and now she realised it was a chastity belt. When they next stepped out of the cell Sulay approached her. In her hand was something which at first sight looked like a chastity belt like the one Silke had on. At closer inspection it was seen that the disc was engraved with fine decorations and was fitted with a steel band around the waist instead of a chain. Silke now for the first time noticed that Miriam was wearing such a belt. Sulay nodded to Miriam and Silke had her belt replaced with the belt Sulay brought. It was wider than the first and fitted much tighter. Silke felt that she was now really locked up personally as well.

The women went to an adjoining room. Here were toilets and a large swimming pool. After they had taken a shower they went into the pool. Silke’s fair hair was widely admired, a few times she sensed a hand stroking her back. She observed the women as well. They all had a coloured drawing on the right upper arm, it seemed to be a kind of identification mark which Miriam and Yasmin had as well. Except Sulay all the women living here had a ring fitted around the neck. They played in the water and talked and laughed too. With timid words Silke was addressed for the first time here. She friendly answered all questions and asked some as well. The many names she could not remember but it was not that bad because the women were heavily veiled all day. They were anonymous behind the veils, Silke was now seeing how different they were. There were young and old. Their faces, normally hidden behind the masks, made each of them to an individual person. She was aware of that she too disappeared into this uniform image when she was veiled, something that still made her feel a little uneasy. Yes, she wanted to live in Faid’s home as his obedient daughter and wanted to abide by the rules, nevertheless she mourned her individuality. Beneath the veils she was a nobody, a woman like any other.

Sulay gave order to end bathing. All left the pool and took towels to dry. Before they went back to the large room they all cleaned their teeth and Miriam creamed herself and the faces of the girls. The cream dried up fast, it would not stain the night clothes. In the large room Sulay pointed to the cell and the three entered and were locked up. They put on fresh nappies and Miriam dressed the girls for the night. Sulay came to put them in the sacks. Silke and Yasmin snuggled to each other as usual and fell asleep immediately. Miriam was still awake some time. She missed Faid who normally was at her side.

Miriam became awake by noises from the room. The other women were awake and had started the day. There was a high level of activity but she had to wait for Sulay to free her from the night clothes. She still lay on the mattress, the bag covering her head made her blind and helpless. She lay and waited but nothing happened. Although she knew that it didn’t make sense she tried to unbuckle the strap that closed the body sack around her neck. It was not possible, probably it wouldn’t have been possible even without the mittens. They were not to be removed either, Sulay had secured them thoroughly. Miriam got up sitting, she hoped someone would notice her.

Sulay came into the cell and pressed her gently but firmly down. Miriam submitted, it made no sense to protest. Yasmin and Silke were awake too but stayed flat. They lay close together, through the fabric they could sense each others bodies. Sulay came to the two girls, she knew that Silke was in the light blue silk sack, Yasmin’s was white. She removed Silke’s head bag and put a finger to her mouth. Silke understood and nodded. Then she waited for Sulay to help her out of the spacious body sack, instead she urged Silke to stand up. Silke did this and Sulay gathered up the vast material making Silke capable of walking. Sulay took her into the bathroom after having locked the cell door again.

In the bathroom an iron ring attached to a solid chain was put around Silke’s neck. The chain went over a pulley under the ceiling to a hook in the wall. Sulay pulled the chain tight making Silke stand erect and unmoving. Now Sulay unbuckled the leather strap around her neck making the sack fall to the floor. With a quick movement Silke’s hands were grabbed and attached to the chain. She did not dare to complain. Sulay then opened a bottle of strong smelling oil and rubbed it on Silke’s body. Then she brushed Silke’s hair and rubbed this with the oil as well. She carefully checked Silke’s body to with a sharp knife remove the few hairs she found. The chain was unhooked after she had locked the chastity belt again. With a swift gesture she urged Silke to lie down. She wrapped Silke and took her back to the large room. Here they entered the cell and Silke was dressed in the trousers, slip and the white caftan she had worn yesterday. Outside the cell again Silke got a bowl of milk to drink and then she was fitted with a mask of white leather studded with pearls and a scarf of white lace.

Miriam and Yasmin were still lying in the cell. Sulay went to them and took off their head bags. Miriam recognised Silke by the caftan and saw she was wearing a special headscarf. She didn’t know what this symbolised and hoped to get an explanation from Sulay. Sulay said nothing and held a bowl of milk to her mouth. Miriam drank and then Yasmin was fed. As Sulay went out of the cell Miriam tried to get up. She was pressed down on the mattress again. Sulay then shortly left the cell. She gave Miriam and Yasmin their masks on and then fitted them with scarves matching the night sacks. The two looked at each other through the eye holes to realise they would not leave the cell. Yasmin crawled with difficulty to her mother and the two then knelt side by side on Miriam’s mattress. Silke looked at them from the other side of the bars, only a few feet away but completely out of reach. She wanted to go to them but Sulay had unbuckled the straps of her trousers at the ankles. She lifted the caftan, pulled up the pants and stood up. After a few steps she was stopped by Sulay and made to sit down again. Her hands disappeared in white mittens and were now unusable. Silke snorted furiously in the mask.

Miriam began to suspect what would happen. She tried to draw attention to herself but she could not produce more than a loud snort. She had managed to sit up at the bars and was trying to put her arms through them. Being inside the sleep sack she was prevented from this. Resigned she crept back to Yasmin, she couldn’t do anything. Yasmin seemed to sense what would happen to Silke as well.

Two women brought in a chair with armrests, Silke was seated on it and fixed like in the car. Leather cuffs around her ankles were holding her legs, the upper body was fixed with several straps. Wide leather restraints were holding her forearms to the armrests. She got scared and tried to get loose. She was only able to move her head making her give up.

Sulay had meanwhile brought a suitcase which contained everything necessary. She pushed Silke’s right sleeve upwards and secured it with pins. Then she took a kind of pencil and drew the outlines of the family coat of arms at Silke’s upper arm. As Miriam feared Silke was going to be tattooed. She still remembered exactly how painful this was. Yasmin as well shivered when she saw what happened. After the sketching Sulay produced a device that looked like a dentist drill, filled the needle with ink and began. Silke experienced a stabbing pain, it was like a thousand needles pierced her arm. She screamed but from the mask only an indistinct sound was audible. She tried to pull the arm away but the bonds held her relentlessly. It seemed as it would last hours during which the pain kept increasing, but after a little more than an hour Sulay had injected all the colours in the arm. The last colour was black which she used to write Arabic characters below the coat of arms.

Silke was half unconscious from the pain and crying in vain. Sulay looked satisfied at her work. A little fresh blood appeared from the drawing but that would soon stop. She took a camera and made some photographs, then the camera was handed to another woman who should bring it to the men. She unlocked the cell and Miriam and Yasmin crawled as fast as possible to Silke. Miriam put her face close to Silke’s and tried to comfort her. Whether Silke was able to perceive her words she did not know but she definitely knew her daughter was now aware of that she was with her. She heard Silke was crying inside the mask and she would have liked to dry her tears off. She could do nothing but be close to her and to clumsily embrace her. Yasmin caressed Silke as best as possible, it seemed to make Silke slowly calm down. The bleeding had stopped as well and Sulay pulled the sleeve back down and undid the straps. Silke stood up, Sulay ordered her into the cell. Then she unbuckled the neck straps so that Miriam and Yasmin were able to get out of their sleep sacks. They quickly got dressed and then took Silke in their midst. Silke rested between them and began again to feel a little better. Her arm was burning like fire, she wanted at the moment nothing but just to rest and recover.

For lunch the women had fresh warm bread and a stew with meat and vegetables. With the stew several women ate out of the same pot, Sulay placed a small pot in the cell. Silke was glad to be unmasked, not only her arm was burning, in addition her face felt as if an army of ants were running all over it. Miriam creamed her face once more, Silke’s sensitive skin gave her serious concern.

After dinner Sulay let the three women out of the cell and took them to the bathroom. Here they showered and Silke was again rubbed with the strong smelling oil. Sulay shortly left to return with another wife. Both were carrying some items.

It was underwear for Miriam and Yasmin who were both dressed by the second wife. Silke first got a nappy, next Sulay from the pile she had brought took a pair of white silk trousers and a silk slip which was snow white too. At the lower hem of the dress were inlaid gold threads, Silke enjoyed to have this comfortable fabric against her skin. Next she got a long white caftan with interwoven gold threads. After putting the robe on it folded on the floor. She made Sulay aware of this and Sulay showed her the sign for “good”. Silke got the white mask on again, then came the white lace scarf and gloves which like the mask were decorated with pearls. Sulay unfolded a beautiful burqa in front of Silke. It was white too, richly decorated with embroidery in gold thread and as the caftan spilled in folds on the floor. The burqa had two circular holes for the eyes around which a golden ring was embroidered. It was obviously very expensive. After Silke had put it on Sulay put her hands through two slits at the sides to bring Silke’s hands out. The gloves were meant to show in plain sight. Strings were attached at the slits which were now firmly closed around her wrists.

Silke got simple shoes on and Sulay took the three back to the large room. Miriam and Yasmin were again locked up in the cell, Silke was taken to the men’s section by Sulay.

They entered the main room. The two were alone for Sulay to prepare Silke for the celebration. First she took Silke to a raised podium in the centre of the room. She was gestured to kneel on it and when she was resting on the pillow Sulay fixed her with leather straps. Carefully she arranged Silke’s caftan to cover her feet, then the burqa was unfolded to cover the entire podium. Its hem scarcely touched the floor. She admonished Silke to sit still and above all not to straighten. Silke showed she had understood.

Finally Sulay took a thin large sheet of cloth and covered Silke’s head and shoulders. The little sight she had left now had a thin veil of gray added. Sulay told her she would return soon. Sulay went to the women’s section to bring Miriam and Yasmin. Both got a simple white burqa without any decoration. Miriam was to kneel to the left of the podium, Yasmin to the right. Sulay tied them down with straps as well and covered them with thin sheets. Their eye slits were covered with a mesh of thick thread with only small openings between which made it almost impossible to see anything, with the addition of the sheet the two were close to blind.

She did not know for how long she had been kneeling on the podium, it seemed to her as her mother and sister were with her but she was not quite sure. What would happen? Would they put her in pain again, worse perhaps? Silke was worried and scared. She did not see that the other women were kneeling behind her now, they were all dressed in a plain white burqa as well. Sulay made sure they all were on a line and admonished all to be quiet and unmoving.

The men entered the room. All the women bowed their forehead to the floor. Silke remained unmoving as Sulay had told her. She noticed that a man approached her, despite her dim vision she recognised Faid. She would happily have bowed in front of him but she was to remain motionless. Through the sheet she perceived him blurred.

Faid looked at her very happy. He was proud of her, she sat perfectly still and looked beautiful. He smiled as he observed her more closely. She reminded him of the young Miriam who had once been sitting here like this.

“Silke you are now for the first and last time permitted to speak in the presence of men. I am questioning you and you are going to answer.”

“Are you here by your own free will?”

“Yes father,” Silke’s voice was muffled by the mask and the clothes but she spoke loud and it was understandable.

“Do you want to live as my daughter in my home?”

“Yes father,” she almost cried out because she wanted it so intensively.

“Will you obey me, honour your mother and respect your sister?”

“Yes father, I will.”

“Do you want to live from now on as my daughter, carry the name of my house, and your new name too, as the only way to be addressed?”

“Yes father,” she had almost added “but why a new name?”

“Fine, I’ll take you into my house. You are going to be called Aysha from now on. Now tell me your name please.”

“Aysha.”

Silke’s path had now reached the end, she no longer existed. Aysha lived on in the house of Faid. What happened to her further on is another story.

In 2014 a sequel has been made. Read on in Life goes on.

Comments and criticism are welcomed, the copyright belongs to me.
24th April 2010
Janet
Janet_ro2000 ‘at’ yahoo ‘dot’ de

Translated from German to English by Bo_Emp

 

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