Set in a world where history diverged from ours in the 19th Century. Those who have are determined to keep it. Those who have not, try to survive. Exploitation is a fact of life. In the aftermath of the second world war, ordinary people finally got the vote. But here are those determined to return things to the way they were.
Bang the Drum
Pigeons roosted in the ornate ironwork of the arched Victorian roof. Below, the morning rush hour was subsiding. A few trains sporadically disgorged flocks of office workers running late, followed at a more leisurely pace by those starting a shopping day. Drum was partitioned from the rest of the concourse by tastefully embroidered waist-height banners. Named after the much-copied design of its tables, the cafe had been a mainstay of the station since its opening in 1868, built right into the original structure. Originally serving as a meeting point and first class lounge for the upper classes, nowadays it happily catered for old money and new. Its patrons drank extortionately priced coffee and ignored the travelers milling around on the other side of the cordon.
Nathan scanned the station for Deborah. He and Tom had almost reached the front of the queue. The maître d' gave him a smile of recognition, she was cute. Tom was engrossed in his phone as always. Typical sales guy. He asked for a drum and ordered lattes for the three of them, raising his voice to be heard above the din. She flashed him the same smile and told him one would free up momentarily. An echoing tannoy announced the Paris train would leave at 9:58. He checked his watch, it was 9:29. Time enough. He scanned the crowd again and spotted Deborah emerging from the restrooms. Her tailored black skirt-suit and razor-edged bob conveyed a no-nonsense image. She cut around a harassed mother trying to corral her brood and a clump of gap year kids sitting on their backpacks. They looked like cowboys or something - maybe it was a retro thing. Her stern glare was enough to burn a path through the aimless masses in her way. Nathan smirked. She ruled the bullpen with the same look. Glorious. Finally, she joined them and checked her phone.
“Should only be a minute.”
Deborah opened her purse. Nathan held up his hand.
“My treat. We’ve all worked hard on this.”
The maître d' reappeared with her trademark smile.
“Number five. I’ll bring your coffees over to you. Enjoy.”
* * *
It was a good thing she wasn’t claustrophobic. Margaret sat hemmed in by the metal walls of her wedge. One of four in this drum. She faced a quarter-circle of metal dominated by a rounded oblong of black glass about eight inches wide and ten high. Above the panel, a camera was angled downward to point at her face. Walls on either side closed in diagonally and met in a right angle behind her. LEDs on the ceiling and walls washed the cramped space in an even, clinical light. Another camera, mounted at head height, stared at her from the wall on the left. She gargled mouthwash until it stung and spat into the little dental bowl that was fixed below the camera. On her right was a screen showing a digital clock, the drum and wedge numbers, and a counter that read 21. She picked up the little water glass and rinsed, then spat that out too. For the comfort of the customers. It certainly wouldn’t do her much good. She set the glass back down in its place. A little chrome spigot refilled it automatically. She twisted one way and then the other, trying to get comfortable. Her shoulders ached from being hunched forward by the corner of the wedge.
* * *
They threaded their way between drums ringed by executive types and the well-to-do. Nathan nodded and smiled at a few people who mattered. Their table was a metal cylinder about six feet in diameter with four saddle-like stools spaced evenly around it. Nathan put down his briefcase and swung his leg up over the saddle. He was treated to a flash of thigh as Deborah did the same opposite him. A mechanism in the stool moved him forward so his pelvis and thighs were squeezed against the curve of the cylinder. Tom had managed to get through the whole process without interrupting his text conversation. Nathan leaned his elbows on top of the drum and looked at his colleagues.
“Is there anything last minute that we need to know about?”
Tom didn’t look up, “You got the brief on their likely questions?”
“Yes, I read it in the car. Okay, I’d like to go over the main points one more time.”
* * *
The motor hummed like an electric window and the oblong panel slid downward. An expensively tailored pin-striped crotch filled the gap. She reached out and unzipped it. She found the fly of the underwear and freed the penis, using her thumb to hook under the testicles and pull them out too. She could hear the muffled sound of a conversation above her. It was only semi-erect, the head still hooded. More work to do then. She shouldn’t even be in today, but Claire had bailed again so she was stuck with a double shift. You didn’t say no to the management in here. You did as you were told or there were consequences. She glanced at the clock – eleven and a half hours till home time. An hour till she could go below for a break. She scowled and leaned forward. She enveloped the covered head and applied pressure with her lips to hold it in place while she worked her tongue under the foreskin. She’d need to text to say she’d be late home. The kids were coming back today – no doubt with a ton of washing. Billy would just have to make their dinner. They didn’t come around much anymore, busy with their new lives. Billy thought they were ashamed of where they came from, that they were too good for the estate now. The penis grew in her mouth, ready for firmer treatment. What was it they said - ten thousand hours to become an expert? She pulled the foreskin back and began bobbing her head up and down.
Billy thought she worked as an office manager. He hadn’t worked a day in almost six years, ever since a robot took his job at the warehouse. Forty years old and already on the scrapheap. She’d gone into the Drum soon after. These days, it counted as a pretty good job. At least she didn’t have to look at them, feel the guiding hand on top of her head, like she would if she worked for an airline. Or get pinned under the next cruel eyed businessman, relentlessly fucked and eventually inseminated as part of the customer loyalty program for some hotel chain.
It leaked a drop of pre-cum. It wasn’t something she’d ever enjoyed, but after more than five years in the wedges, she’d grown to hate semen. The taste. The texture. Lumpy, watery, lukewarm slime – not ideal when she received over a pint of it in a bare week - but it kept a roof over their heads and was putting two kids through Oxford University. Anna and Jack wouldn’t have to struggle like they had. Breaking their backs or on their knees. They’d be part of the elite. It was fully erect now. The skin of the mushroom head stretched taut in her mouth. She sucked her cheeks in around it and tightened her grip on the base of the shaft. She started moving her head up and down in a deliberate, quickening rhythm.
* * *
Nathan sipped his coffee, he could feel his face flush as the mouth sucked him harder and faster - hungry for his sperm. He wanted to slow it down but the saddle locked him in place. When video had first become available, he used to get a kick out of seeing the faces that serviced him. He didn’t bother any more. After a while they had all seemed to merge. They were mouths. He looked across the table at Deborah. He focused on her lips, imagining her kneeling before him. She shot him a look of annoyance and stared him down, seeming to know exactly what he was thinking. He was getting close to coming. The mouth knew it too and sucked even harder. He grabbed the rim of the drum with both hands.
* * *
Margaret felt more blood forced through the tight ring of her grip. The shaft was rock hard. The head swelled and jumped in her mouth. Sour ropes coated her teeth and tongue. She kept sucking through each spasm until there was a final clench of muscles and it was done. She pulled back and closed her mouth, allowing the acrid semen to pool under her tongue. She lifted the testicles and felt behind them for the tube of the urethra, pressing with her thumbs and methodically working up the shaft until she squeezed a thick, white glob from the swollen head. Every drop. The Drum guarantee! She sucked it in through her lips and looked up at the camera, opening her mouth so the management and all the net pervs could see what she had. She closed her mouth and swallowed, grimacing at the rough aftertaste in her throat. She opened again and showed the camera her mouth was empty. The counter changed to 22. She put the shrivelling junk back in its underwear and zipped it up. The panel in front of her closed again. She slumped back against the corner and reached for the mouthwash.
* * *
Nathan finished his coffee. Now that he was done, he was anxious to be on his way. There was a contract to win. He thought Tom was finished although it was difficult to tell. He had kept texting the entire time. Deborah had her head tilted back and her eyes closed. She must have felt him looking at her.
“Don’t. Rush. Me.”
She held her breath, and gritted her teeth, bucking in her seat for several seconds before subsiding with a shudder. She opened her eyes and looked at them both. She let out a long slow breath. There was a soft click as the saddle restraint was released.
They dismounted and gathered their belongings. They still had ten minutes before their train was due to depart.
* * *
The panel slid down and a packed denim crotch invaded her space. This was a young one. Blue jeans with a big silver belt buckle, it was the in-thing right now. Jack had one just like it. Margaret pulled the zip down and released a bulge of familiar blue and white striped cotton. She recoiled backwards into the corner. Her two most beloved voices laughed and joked above her. She felt a wave of anger and disappointment. Hadn’t she taught them to respect others? Then she remembered the implacable gaze of the cameras. No refusals. No exceptions. She reached out with trembling fingers and pulled the elastic down. His veined shaft sprang out at her. A soft chime sounded and she picked up her phone. Jack. They’d just got to town and would be home soon. She texted that she loved him. The phone chimed again. A happy face. She looked from the phone to the purple head that twitched urgently in front of her nose. She let out a deep sigh. The head felt her breath and thrust forward, brushing her lips as he thrust his pelvis against the drum. She blinked at the tears in her eyes and opened her mouth for him.
When it was over she showed the Internet. She watched her anguished, tear-streaked face swallow his semen in the camera lens, no doubt recorded for the enjoyment of a million others - Gloryhole MILF Freaks Out. She found herself leaning forward again, bathing him in her warm saliva. Sucking gently as his erection died away, resting along the length of her tongue. Caring for him as she always had. As she always would. Above, she heard his excited voice review her performance to a peal of musical laughter.
When the glass slid closed, she slumped back in her corner and closed her eyes – cursing all the silent wankers who’d be getting off on this for decades – dreading the moment when later today, or tomorrow, or next year, Jack decided to check out the scene. She moaned when she heard the panel slide down again. Her gaze went first to the inner thigh, finding the café au lait birthmark that she’d always thought looked like Australia. It covered a prominent cord of muscle which led to an engorged clitoral hood that waited expectantly for her tongue. Below, crinkled coral lips gripped a tampon string, already wet with Sharon’s saliva from the wedge behind. She flinched as a hand slapped twice on the metal above her. The message was clear – get on with it. Her kind were just animals to them now.
* * * * *
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