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Introduction: This is a sequel to ‘Marigolds, Martinis and Musk’ which was always intended to be a stand-alone story of folks living and working in an old-folks home remembering their life’s experiences, but I enjoyed writing it and several kind people said that they enjoyed reading it so eventually I dawdled headlong into another episode. And then another one.

Then I decided after a great deal of pondering to join these new episodes together here as Chapter Two, Parts 1 you don’t need any previous knowledge of ‘Marigolds’ although it would be nice if you could find the time to see how this started.

On the subject of baked goods I’m partial to a slice of Dundee cake, but if you like something with a little dash of something (such as apricot brandy) in the mix that’s up to you, I won’t tell.

Anyway before we go any further, some helpful tips. If you’re not into 1970’s motorcycles you might like to know that the Suzuki GT750 was always nicknamed the ‘Kettle’ due to the water cooling (or boiling depending on your perspective) which was unusual for those days. It was a glorious three-cylinder two-stroke beast that evokes memories for me just thinking about that radiator across the front. And if you don’t know what a ’99’ is, it’s an ice-cream cone with a stick of crumbly chocolate flake eased gently inside. Warm, melting chocolate between your lips at one end but cold and crisp at the other, surrounded by dribbling ice-cream. It’s always vanilla, but there we are.

Also if you’re ever asked, a ‘bap’ is a soft round bread roll suitable for the insertion of bacon or other fine food products. But that word could be applied to body parts that have a similar shape and texture, you get the idea…

One more thing; if this story appears on any site apart from dot com, it has been stolen. Publication and ownership rights remain with the poster Bray123. Ask your own damn readership to write free stories for you!

Are we sitting comfortably after all that confusion? Then we’ll begin.

* * *

Janice entered the old man’s room, pushing her little cart of cleaning materials. His breathing was laboured and she’d seen that many times before. You didn’t need to go to medical school to recognise that the last of his days were approaching. That little gurgling noise; it was a giveaway. Sad but inevitable, the end-story of every resident in the home.

He hadn’t spoken for a few days, when he’d called her ‘Helen’. Helen had been his wife who had died a couple of years back, clearly the old guy was starting to hallucinate and so what was going through his mind now was anyone’s guess.

She picked up her ‘Marigold’ rubber gloves from the top of the trolley, pulled them on with a snap and went to work. First, check the bin. It was empty, nothing had been placed in it since yesterday’s visit. Only an occasional sweet wrapper was ever dropped in by one of the nursing staff anyway. Yesterday was vacuum cleaner day, today was flat surface cleaning. She didn’t look forward to tomorrow which would be high dusting, stretching up to reach the curtain rails and door frames.

Taking her damp cloth and a dash of cleaning fluid she wiped over the ‘flats’. She went clockwise around the room in the routine that she had practised so often. Bed rails, tray, cabinet top, window sill. There was nothing to see outside and just a boring blanket of grey cloud today. Even when standing close to the window, all she could see on the other side was an oppressive brick wall. It was neat brickwork, but featureless. Only a thick plastic pipe right down the middle broke the monotony. Short side spurs indicated the location of toilets beyond the wall, each floor being the responsibility of a cleaner like herself. The architect had really worked hard on that design.

Looking down, she could see a tiny gravel yard. The management called the place a ‘garden’ which was an optimistic description for a sad area with a metal bench seat that was only ever used by smokers. The doorway was invisible from this window, so that people appeared as if by magic. There was a dilapidated wooden arch installed between the door and the seat, originally with a honeysuckle that was suppose to climb over it. The honeysuckle had long surrendered the struggle for life and now only a few weeds struggled to exist in this pitiful desert.

Janice continued quickly wiping around the edge of the television that was rarely switched on. Then she looked down on the old gent, wondering if he even knew that she was there. There was one way to find out.

She pulled the bed covering down and slid her hand inside his pyjamas. He was limp.

She moved her hand; a gentle squeeze and a tweak. Nothing.

This was a bad sign. Normally he would already be partially stiff which showed that at least he was aware of something. Slowly, sensitively she moved on him, trying to wiggle some life into it, but she was unable to bring him to anything like an erection. She had some tissues bahis şirketleri ready to wipe him down if he got carried away, although she wasn’t often caught out. She was skilled enough to stop before things got messy but tissues wouldn’t be needed today.

* * *

He had heard the door open, steps on the hard floor informed him of her approach. Clip, clip clop. His wife was here.

He had to think for a moment and that was very annoying. After all these years he couldn’t remember his wife’s name, ridiculous. Then it came to him. The most beautiful woman in the world. Helen of Troy — the face that launched a thousand ships. Of course, it was Helen, what was the matter with him? He was losing his mind.

The happiness of her approach was mixed with overwhelming sadness. Happy, sad. Happy sad.

She had a bottle of Ajax cleaning fluid. The scent was unmistakeable. She was cleaning the room with her Ajax. Ajax that defeats grease.

Ajax. The Argonaut who fought with Greece in the Trojan War, now fighting grease on worktops.

That was irritating as well. Ajax was a Greek, he didn’t fight Greece at all. Ajax fought the city of Troy. He was inside the wooden horse on the Greek side. The people who made the cleaner should have called it after someone who won the battle, not lost it.

Who defeated Greece? Someone must have done it. He had to think, concentrate. It wasn’t anyone from Troy, they lost the war. Someone else then.

Philip II, the Macedonian did it. He could hear the voice of his school history teacher explaining it all. Then his son Alexander the Great led the combined Greek and Macedonian army together across Turkey, Syria, Egypt, everywhere. They should have called the cream cleaner ‘Philip’, that would have made much more sense.

His bed moved as she rubbed the frame. If it had been possible to move his head he could have gawked down her cleavage. Swaying from side to side, right in front of his eyes. A magnificent sight that he never tired of watching. Massive great pendulous boobs with the rhythm of a Newtons Cradle, that desktop toy with ball bearings bouncing off each other. All that luscious pale flesh crying out for a kiss or a caress — or to have a face buried deep into it.

He could hear his history teacher talking. His name was Mr. Blackwood, but everyone called him ‘Hebenus’ which was the Latin word for ebony — the black wood. What a spiffing joke.

Hebenus was talking about Helen of Troy who had burnt the Topless Towers of Ilium. Everyone sniggered, what a rude phrase. But they were only look-out towers, without roofs. Helen had been seduced by Paris and abandoned her worthless husband. Made Paris immortal with a kiss, the Faustian bargain. Famed for her erotic dance to Bacchus the God of wine, the dance that taunted the thirty thirsty soldiers hidden in the Wooden Horse – Ajax and Odysseus included.

Ilium was the old word for Troy, Iliad meant ‘Troy Story’. Odysseus had a Friend in Horse. No, it must have been the horse singing ‘You’ve got a friend in me’ which was a con, it was full of enemies. ‘You’ve got a foe in me’ didn’t have the same ring to it. Oh fuck his mind was rambling, he needed to concentrate.

Count from one to ten, slowly breathe in. Pause. Breathe out again.

Now Hebenus was talking about Hermes, the messenger and protector of both travellers and thieves. Prometheus stole fire from the gods and was punished by having an eagle eat his liver.

Hermes delivered while Prometheus was de-livered.

Bloody school lessons, they were so confusing. How could he remember them at all when he struggled with the name of his wife?

Helen was pulling back his sheet and delving inside his pyjamas. Oh, he liked this part. Once there was a time when she would lower herself slowly over his face, soft tender skin of her labia against his mouth so that he could run the tip of his tongue along the length of her crease, tasting her delicate musk, lubricating her with his saliva. Then heavier and heavier, squashing his nose until he was suffocating. Then he would breathe out hard, blowing a raspberry past her most sensitive parts.

She would jump up squealing at the sudden vibration and then they would laugh together as they made love.

Her legs wrapped around his waist, feet locked behind behind him to make sure that he couldn’t escape or move too quickly, too soon. Languidly to begin with, enjoying every millimetre of intimate penetration. Then increasing pace until a collapse and exhaustion.

But those days were long gone. Nowadays she used rubber gloves which increased the sensation, he could feel her gaze upon him, admiring his stiffness. Usually she stopped right there, but from time to time gave him a fondle of his testicles — even deep between his buttocks and tickling inside his bum-hole — until he finally came.

Oh, she was glorious. A warm wet wipe to clean up his emissions and she was gone, leaving him to sleep away the rest bahis firmaları of the day. Man-size tissues. They never sold ‘Lady-size tissues’ though, why not?

Paris had seduced Helen. What a cad. What a city.

In Paris they had danced the night away in a dark smoky club on the Montmartre, just next to the Pigalle where all the buildings needed a red light in the window. Oysters for supper, Champagne all night long. Shopping for fancy lingerie in the afternoon in the boutiques, red lace and silk in very expensive but tiny quantities.

She had a black satin basque made to measure. He learned the difference; a basque was tailored to fit, but a corset had laces to adjust and tighten. It was just modest enough to wear out without attracting too much attention from the gendarmes. Underwear worn as outerwear, with material that you couldn’t quite see through. The cops looked — and looked again over their shoulders, but didn’t arrest her.

Stiff whalebones lifted her breasts into the ‘aim and fire’ position, a tiny leather miniskirt open on the side all the way up to the waist to emphasis the length and shape of her thighs. All finished off with a beret worn at a jaunty angle.

They took the funicular railway to the top of the hill, with all the lights spread out twinkling as far as the eye could see. A street artist rapidly painted her portrait in pen and ink, those glorious legs captured with a few swift lines. At daybreak they found their hotel, screwed, then slept, screwed and slept again.

But today he remained flaccid in her hand.

* * *

He woke, but couldn’t move. He could hear himself breathing, it was like a snore but he was awake.

He could see Helen dancing on a stage, a showgirl was showing her the moves, how to wiggle her chest and her hips in different directions. Hip-thrusts with her legs wide apart. High-kicks, spinning around to bend over, showing her ass. It should have been crude, licentious. It was, but it was also erotic and very tempting.

The tutor was wearing the bottom half of a white leotard that reached up as far as her ribs, glitter was sprinkled over her bare breasts and fake jewels glued around her pink nipples. She had been dancing a high-kicking number with a ludicrous feathered plume that rose out of her ass. The feather had since been removed by a gentleman in the audience using his teeth and now the woman was totally oblivious to the fact that several hundred people were inspecting her breasts; he wondered how long it took to become that confident. Usually strippers showed themselves in a moment of triumph and then wrapped up, but this was a different frame of mind as if she could happily walk along the street or catch the bus home and eat her dinner without covering herself.

Helen the pupil was in her close-fitting slinky black skirt with the split side. When she span round a thigh flashed free and when she stood, the bright lights penetrated the thin central panel of her basque to reveal the dimple of her navel and the sides of her décolletage. Side-boob and under-boob in equally fascinating amounts.

The showgirls were professionals who did this performance every night lined up on the stage – all the same height, but in order of breast size. Those with the largest in the middle and the smallest at the ends. There wasn’t a great deal of difference, all that female flesh barely quivered as they danced.. The girls were all wearing matching leotards and stiletto heels, with a couple of male dancers on the end of the line, shirtless with well-muscled physiques gleaming with oil.

It was something for the females in the audience to watch, but from the way they moved it was difficult to imagine that those men were at all interested in the ladies.

The singer, the star of the show had the biggest chest of all by a considerable margin and it had swung freely as she sang and danced the numbers about love, passion and partying the night away.

The audience had spent all evening watching a constant parade of thighs and asses framed by high-cut costumes and they were becoming jaded. But this woman who had been led up from the seats to have a go at the routine was one of them, a volunteer and was the sexier for it. The people leaned forwards once more to view the proceedings with interest. But Helen had been drinking a little too much wine and wobbled on her heels as she was shown the moves. Eventually she collapsed in a heap on the floor with her legs flying out, and the dainty chain that held the skirt together at the hip snapped.

The figure-hugging garment no longer hugged her. The showgirl fumbled to gather up the material and protect what remained of her modesty but Helen laughed. She stood and removed it completely showing herself to be wearing tiny thong panties that hooked high over her hips, snug over her mound.

Triumphant in her shoes and jewellery, diamond earrings glittering in the spotlight and a gold necklace nestling in her cleavage, she kaçak bahis siteleri accepted the applause from the audience. Then some buttons were undone and the basque flew across the stage. Frenzied cheering filled the air as her breasts were bared, nipples rising without the concealment of glitter or jewels. She managed to repeat the moves that she had been taught without falling again on her ass and her breasts swung and bounced whilst those of the trained dancer merely shuddered, sparkling in the spotlights.

As the music stopped she retrieved the wrecked garment and returned to her seat, soaking up the rapturous applause. Her eyes shone and her smile was as wide as the Seine. He wrapped his jacket over her shoulders; it was just long enough to cover her butt and even with the single button fastened at the front it was far too big and gaped open.

He was muddled and he hated being muddled. There were two Greeks called Ajax, the father called ‘Greater’ and the son called ‘Lesser’. It was Ajax the Lesser in the Wooden Horse. But it made no difference, because Ajax the Greater was a Greek as well, fighting in the same war against the Trojans. That Greater one committed suicide by falling on Hector’s sword. He had a shield made of seven cow hides. Everything was seven, the lucky number of the ancient world.

Seven hills of Rome, seven deadly sins, seven wonders of the world. If in doubt, it was always seven.

Seven nights in Paris. Did Paris spend seven nights in Helen of Troy? Randy bugger, bet he did. And more. Shagged her rotten.

The Rue du Coq d’Or, Paris, seven in the morning. Where was that from? It was the opening line from ‘Down and Out in London and Paris’, George Orwell telling a tale of the seedy lives being lived in those great cities.

This was fun, letting his mind wander. It was flying at a hundred miles an hour. Seven hundred miles an hour.

Seven seas.

Seven Seas of Rhye. Freddie Mercury, what a showman. ‘I stand before you naked to the eyes, I will destroy any man who dares abuse my trust’.

He would never abuse Helen’s trust, but he would readily stand naked to her eyes just as she stood naked before his.

It had been the second trip to Paris. Or was it the third — or the seventh? He tried to think but it was too difficult. They had been there so many times together, the holidays now merged into each other one summer after another.

He had been writing down his story of his life with Helen, it wasn’t yet finished but whenever he wrote more he would wake and find that his hands were empty. It was a great deal of effort, but nothing achieved. All just a stupid dream of endless labour. Like dreaming of waking up and getting dressed for work — and then the alarm going off for real and having to do the same thing all over again. That was enough to ruin anyone’s day. The Labours of Hercules; shut up, concentrate.

He hadn’t seen Janice with the big lips for a while — how long was it? It was too difficult to concentrate. His mind was going even faster. Janice the guitar player in the Electric Mayhem Orchestra. She had big lips, and big eye lashes.

Janice wanted to walk naked along the beach. She had told her mother that in one of the movies. Which one was it? It would have been beautiful to see her and Floyd Pepper together strolling along a beach. Floyd wearing only his Sergeant Pepper jacket with his dong hanging down, Janice with sand between her toes, the sun warming her bare body and the wind in her long blonde hair. Joyous in her natural state, in her birthday suit.

Janis Joplin, screaming and wailing at Woodstock, hippies bathing in the river without shame. ‘Take another little piece of my heart now, baby’. A cover of Erma Franklin’s hit but now for ever more a Joplin signature. Marigold gloves, rubbing cream over his bits. My word, didn’t anybody tell her?

Didn’t anybody see? She said she’d always been a dancer, she worked at fifteen clubs a day. And though she thought I knew the answer, well, I knew what I could not say. Abbey Road, his favourite album of all time. ‘Something’, the love song from George to Patty Boyd. ‘Something in the way she moves, Attracts me like no other lover.’ The song didn’t stop her from running off with Eric Clapton though. ‘Wonderful Tonight’, Eric’s tribute to her. Plus others of course. Like ‘Layla’. How could one woman have so many love songs written about her. She must have been a legendary screw.

His mind was racing, he was unable to stop it. It was like watching NASCAR where the cars were spinning off but the race carried on around them regardless of frantically waved flags. Only seven laps to go, this was no time to slow.

* * *

Janice gathered her cleaning gear back into the cart and left. A quick check to make sure that the buttons on her uniform were fastened; they came undone all the time. They weren’t proper buttons, they were poppers that snapped together and the dress didn’t fit too well. A standard garment issued to all the staff, hers was a maroon colour to indicate that she was ‘hotel services’ — a posh description for cleaner. The nurses wore the same thing but in blue, either pale or dark depending on their qualifications.

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