Copyright © 2012 by Bradley Stoke
“Whatever thoughts, fantasies or conjectures you may have about working in a Brothel - especially a State Brothel - you should dismiss straight away. It really is no different to working anywhere else. You will not be expected to behave any differently to a secretary or personal assistant employed in any other business.”
Ana nodded. This was what she’d hoped to hear. Although her interviewer was just a little bit more flamboyant than most, - as befitted the Director of the largest Brothel in the country, - she had been afraid that he might have been far worse. Mr Madir was not a tall man, but when wearing his top hat he had a bearing and demeanour that more than compensated for his vertical disadvantage. His stubby fingers were either fiddling with his cigarette holder or, as at the moment, delicately holding a cigarette a small distance from his mouth. Although his fingers didn’t have the yellow stain of nicotine associated with a habitual smoker, there was a suggestion of roughness about them.
Ana had never visited the City of Blad before. She had never been very far from her home in Rif, a rural district in the heart of Alif renowned more for its wide open plains and sugar beet than it was for providing employment. She’d despaired of ever finding a job when one of her very many applications was returned not with the usual polite regrets but with an interview date. And now she was here, the interview was almost a formality. As soon as her duties were explained to her and the Director confirmed that she’d gained the requisite grades in her secretarial examinations, the tone of the interview shifted quite markedly from if she were to work as his secretary towards when.