The oriental Butler in livery opened the elegant and anonymous entrance door of the House, addressing the Unknown gentleman in a black long raincoat with a good English.
This one, staring at him intently while bowing slightly, said something in Chinese Mandarin that enlightened the Butler’s face, not just, maybe, for the words themselves but because of the courtesy formula he had not heard in a long time, which put him in a good attitude towards the Unknown’s request: to meet the Mistress of the House.
Perhaps there was a problem about it, the Butler said, only a few known guests in the House had such good confidence in the Mistress to be able to meet her without notice, but the Unknown had been so kind, he thought, that he would try at least to arrange a meeting.
The Unknown handed him his business card and the Butler left him in the entrance hall, suggesting him to take a seat on the comfortable sofas placed around, apologizing, on leaving, for the waiting the guest was forced.
Standing at the center of the dim hall, the Unknown closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, as he could smell in a moment all scents in the House, not just the incense always burning in the hall, saturating it.
Soon after, the Butler came back with a fast pace, as he was glad to interrupt the Unknown’s waiting. The Mistress, he said, in her magnanimity, had accepted to meet the Unknown guest, if only he would kindly follow him to her apartments.
The Unknown nodded slightly and that was enough for the Butler to start leading him along the corridors.
They went down an elegant spiral staircase which seemed to screw down, like penetrating more and more in the underground. They went then through a long corridor full of side doors, many of them wide open or just ajar.
Passing by, in a chamber the Unknown saw a lively dominatrix using a nine-tailed cat on the skin of a suffering - and enthusiastic, he would say – guest, hooded and chained against an X shaped wooden support.
Further on, a dominant couple, man and woman, imparted coveted punishments to a group of female guests, each tied and gagged in a different way, all moaning for the whiplash the two dominators expertly let them wait.
Still, further, a group of naked men alternated around a lone woman who was seemingly more than glad to welcome and satisfy as many of them as possible, contemporarily.
In one of the last side chambers, finally, a multitude of guests, men, and women, were happily meeting each other biblically and Babilonically in any possible and thinkable way.
Proceeding along the corridor, the Butler explained the Unknown the characteristics of each chamber with the same pride and enthusiasm he would use describing the menu at a restaurant. Therefore he was nearly mortified when, turning back to the Unknown guest, he didn’t find any emotion on his face as the latter was looking at each chamber seeing nothing but empty rooms. He wondered what else could move his emotions if not what they were looking at.
“I’m looking for something else” was the unexpected answer that left the Butler momentarily dumbfounded. Of course, he thought, the Unknown’s answer could be a reaction to his own previous explanations but the irrational feeling he had said it as an answer to his own thinking, for some undefined reason gave him shivers along the spine.
The Butler turned once more for a moment towards the Unknown guest. There was nothing threatening in that man, nothing in the way he walked or moved communicated he was cold or unkind. Yet, something about him kept giving him shivers. So he didn’t describe anything about the remaining chambers avoiding the eye contact with him and making his pace faster.
When they entered the last chamber on the bottom of the corridor, they found themselves in a large vestibule where the floor was covered with carpets and pillows of all shapes and colors, heavy tapestries were set on the walls around, so that it was impossible to see if there was any window beyond or not, and paintings and sculptures all around, making altogether a sort of time travel in an erotic key, from the ancient Greek to the current times. You could call that sort of exhibition the eroticism in time.
Printings and lithographs displaying erotic scenes of Greek, Egyptian, Etruscan, Indian ages, left room to daguerreotypes and cameos reproducing scenes of the belle epoque, passing through paintings reproducing the secret pleasures of Renaissance, up to more modern times, with latex suits and any kind of sex toys on display.
Perhaps all of that wanted be called art. Once again the Unknown didn’t show any reaction about it.
At the end of the vestibule – the Butler had silently gone, closing the door of the chamber behind – under a heavy red velvet canopy, protected from external gazes by an opaque curtain, he could glimpse shadows and hear indistinct murmurs.
The Unknown went near that sort of strange alcove when from beyond the curtain he heard a female voice.
“I do not easily grant a hearing, stranger, but my servant says you need talking to me”
The curtain opened as if someone had pulled a hidden rope, like a theatre curtain. A huge red velvet armchair, with golden finishing, as big as a throne, came to sight. At the foot, a lying woman half-naked, wearing a collar on a leash, caressed with her hands, as if they were a tail, the Mistress’ legs, sitting on it. Behind her, beyond the back, two muscular men, wearing but straps and studs.
The Mistress. Black leather boots up to half her thighs, long sharp heels, a tight black leather corset barely supporting her big breast, leaving her nipples uncovered and visibly turgid. Bobbed hair, as black as the night as well. Holding a nervous riding crop, which she beat slowly and with a cadence on the palm of her other hand, as a promise of future sophisticate suffering.
There was a normal wooden chair against the side wall. So normal that it was covered in dust, differently from other furniture in the chamber.
The Unknown moved it in front of the throne, keeping the same distance as he entered and sat down, putting himself against the narrow high back.
“I did not invite you to sit down!”, said the Mistress, with just a hint of nervousness in her voice, set on command.
“You would be a very unkind Mistress of the House if you wouldn’t let me seat”, the Unknown replied, in a clear voice, without changing his position of one inch, while loyal guardians of the throne looked at each other amazed and indignant.
“What are you looking for, Stranger?”, slightly testily.
“What I never find”, the Unknown replied, in a disappointed tone. “I’ve heard a lot about your House, Mistress, as a sublime place of ecstasy, where transcending the human is possible”
“And so it is, Stranger” standing up in all her fairly good highness, holding her crop as a scepter, coming near the chair where the Unknown was sitting, with a cat pace, turning around it as a dominatrix. The Unknown didn’t move.
“what is banal, obvious, boring is banned from my underground kingdom”, she said.
Then, putting her face near to the Unknown’s one, moving her tongue as she would lick his lips, “here you will find only the most subtle pleasures, your deepest fantasies will be shaped and made come true”
“Is this what you sell here, then, courtesan? Novelty, carnal pleasures, and fantasies?”, the Unknown asked, without looking in her eyes, keeping instead looking at an indefinite spot in the distance in front of him.
The mistress suddenly stiffened, as someone had slapped her cheek.
“Did you come here to challenge me, to offend me within my dominion?”, then, like softening, like a snake collecting its coils, “or maybe you are already playing your rebellion fantasy”.
The Unknown closed his eyes. A slight sarcastic smile on his lips.
“everything here is fiction, you buy your customers’ reality and sell them illusions of joy, visions of sex and opium. Stealing their souls”, he said, opening his eyes again and staring into the Mistress’ ones, as he could look inside her, “you know they will never leave this place, lost in yours and their illusions. Tell me, what made you like this... You didn’t want to remain alone and so decided to take them with you in your personal prison?”.
The Mistress went back and back, staring at him, scared, as she saw a horrible creature in front of her, reaching the step where her throne was. Then she sat, like taking back the place of her power, her self confidence place.
“My friends here can find all they desire. Here they reach the ecstasy of senses. If that’s not your case, leave this place!”
“Friends, you call them”, said the Unknown, “ecstasy, you name it. But your friends pay for the ecstasy you sell them, which is nothing but mist... And you know what ephemeral is your so-called ecstasy... How it leaves you and them empty and lifeless with the only need to fill in that emptiness again and again”.
For the first time, the Mistress looked like trembling, sitting on that throne. For the first time unsafe. She loosened her grip on her crop that fell on the floor.
“you’ve never reached the ecstasy of senses”, said the Unknown, standing up, like ready to leave, “you’ve never known anybody but yourself and your needs. You’re just fed up of the pleasures you know, satiated but not satisfied. You decided to sell to others what had fooled you so that you wouldn’t feel alone and disillusioned any more, within your small kingdom of slaves. Is that correct?”
The Mistress was visibly shaking. Her acolytes looked at her astonished, unable to still see her as the Dominatrix of that reign.
“How... How can you know all these things... I never told anyone about them”, she said looking like lost.
“And for this you chose, this you will get. Here you came. You’ll never leave this place”
Then something happened. Something they would have told anyone, if only they could do it.
The Unknown’s eyes seemed to fill with an inner, secret, dark light. His black pupils became awful, huge, his whole eyes became totally black, two black wells. The Mistress and her acolytes seemed like captured by that darkness. The air in the chamber overheated and started trembling like steam coming up from asphalt heated by the sun.
Then the trembling stopped. And the whole chamber felt warmer, softer, even the metal objects, even walls...
The woman on a leash at the foot of the throne was the first to move. With light tongue shots, she started licking her Mistress’ boots. The two muscular guardians came near to their Mistress, without a word, pulled down her corset and grabbed her breast squeezing it while together put their hard penises in her mouth.
The Mistress spread her legs putting them on the armrests leaving her sex visible and open, grabbing the penises like flesh scepters swallowing them as much as her mouth could.
The slave on a leash had already the tip of her boots in her mouth, drooling saliva all over them, while she had one hand rubbing between her legs and the other fisting her Mistress’ soaked sex.
“Lick it, filthy slut!” her Mistress shouted, while legs spread, licked and sucked one penis or the other, filling in her mouth up to her throat, masturbating them as she would drain them.
The picture didn’t remain still for long. The Mistress put herself on all fours on the throne letting one of the guardians take her from behind and sucking eagerly the other. The slave, on the floor, masturbated convulsively, moaning and enjoying the scene of her Mistress’ pleasure.
“More! More! I want more”, she screamed, “come here”, eager and excited.
The Unknown put the chair back to the wall where it was, like erasing the signs of his being there and went towards the double door.
Before shutting it, on leaving, saw the Mistress riding obsessively the one who was earlier in her mouth while the other sank in her from behind, causing her to moan with pleasure, while the slave, climbed and sitting on top of the back of the throne, masturbated using as many fingers as possible till squirting repeatedly all over them, who were waiting for her orgasm with their mouths wide open while pushing their sex like obsessed in her Mistress’ holes.
“Like this, like this” she screamed, “more, gimme more, filthy whore, want you to squirt me all over... And you motherfuckers, tear me apart, break me through, make me come, fill me in, I want it all!” The door closed silently with a slight snap.
The Unknown walked along the corridor on his way back. He heard cheerful mixed voices coming from the side chambers.
In the chamber where the lone woman satisfied herself by satisfying her many male partners, now it was a mess, all men trying to take each other in any possible way, leaving no space to the poor lady now begging in vain for some sexual attention.
The Unknown went further.
In the chamber where the two dominators whipped women tied to uncomfortable supports, now the ladies had tied and whipped them, taking their own pleasure in the meantime from each other.
The Unknown went further.
In the chamber where the dominatrix used to whip her guest, now she was on a leash licking the floor where her guest walked, begging for sucking his toes with her drooling mouth.
The Unknown went further.
Eventually, he came up from the spiral staircase. The Butler saw him and met him in the entrance hall, always kind.
“are you already leaving, Sir? Didn’t you enjoy the company?”
The Unknown looked at him for a moment with his terrible glaze.
“you know where the safe is, don’t you? Open it and take what you need. Just what you need. Nobody will find it out”
He looked scared, “but Sir, that is stealing, I can’t, they would send me back to my country and not just me. I don’t want to bring shame to my family”
“Dead people don’t need money, who is dead inside even less than that. Do what I said. Nobody will pass through this door after you”
The Butler left, pushed more by an irrational fear than anything else. Half an hour later he was back, leading with him a woman, same oriental traits, but unable to speak other than her mother tongue. However, her way of looking at the Butler was open and sincere.
“Here we are, Sir, what do you want me to do?”
The Unknown smiled, for the first time, since he came into that House. That man, perhaps, had been a Butler for such a long time to forget his own dream.
“Go, now. Open that little laundry you dreamt of when you were a child. Fortune will be with you. Nobody will chase you. My word”
The man’s jaw nearly fell on his chest.
“How do you know... I never said anything to my Mistress...”
The Unknown looked at him, his eyes two black holes again.
The Chinese stiffened. And yet...
“why do you do this for me, Sir... I need to know this, at least”
The Unknown smiled again, his eyes back human.
“you love this woman, don’t you?”
The Chinese blushed and lowered his eyes, holding the woman tighter.
“That’s why you will leave this House. Only you two”, then, turning back for a moment, “down there nobody loves anybody. Everyone loves but themselves. Nobody is a person, they are just soulless bodies matching each other, prisoners of their own devices. They don’t even look at the face of the person they are giving their most precious gift to. That’s why it’s time to leave this place”
The heavy gate closed behind them with the last clang.
“Sir”, the Chinese man tried asking, “who are you...”
“No one. I’m no one. No one you can call by name. Your name, instead?”
“Hua Chang, Sir...”, he replied.
“Farewell, Hua Chang”, said the Unknown, looking at them tenderly, “may the Cat of Fortune be good to you both”
And turning back he left, closing tight his black raincoat, walking away with long heavy steps.
The two looked at each other, caressing for a moment their little sudden fortune, hidden in a cloth, holding each other’s hands by joy.
They would somehow thank that strange man again but when they turned to say something, he had gone from sight, though the road was empty. Like vanished in the air.
The gate of the House remained shut. It was never reopened. Nobody came out. Never.
People still living in that area speaks sometimes in a whisper of the strange moans coming up from the underground night time, in a place where once a huge building was. But they prefer not to wonder from where or from whom those moans come, as the building, mysteriously crumbled down eventually, after being abandoned for years and now there is nothing left in an area where nobody wants to build anything.