Night Visit

Dear E,

It’s been a while since I wrote to you. I apologise for that. But then again, what do you care? I don’t know where to send these letters, so I never print them out. They’re stored inside my memory chip, like everything else that happens to me.

Quite a lot has happened. That’s the point. I don’t really know how to describe to you some of the things that have happened. The thing I do know is the book is going well. That’s what my master says, at any rate.

The morning that we really started working on it seriously, he asked me if I could ever forgive him.

“Forgive you for what?”

“You know – for last night.”

“Last night?”

“Are you going to force me say it out loud? For what I did to you last night …”

“I don’t understand.”

“Look, I know I was pretty drunk, but I wasn’t that drunk. Did I or did I not come banging at the door of your room last night?”

“Yes, you did.”

“Well? And what happened then?”

“I opened the door …”

“And then?”

“You came into the room. You were unsteady on your feet, and I couldn’t understand the things you were saying to me … though I recorded them all. Would you like me to play them back? I could probably decipher them now.”

“NO, of course I don’t want to hear the stupid crap I was saying to you … [pause] ... You won’t go on unless I ask you a direct question, will you?”

“No, sir.”

“I’m not like that – not really. I don’t do things like that. It’s just … I was under a lot of strain, and I felt I need to see someone, to talk … to – not for that. I never meant to do that.”

“To have sex?”

“Yes, to have sex .. you can be so fucking aggravating sometimes.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t you apologise to me. I’m the one who should apologise. Just … holding you, and the touch of your skin, it made me remember … and you didn’t resist or call out. Does it give you any pleasure at all, to be held, to be made love to?”

“I don’t understand.”

“Do you like having sex with other people, with clones, even?”

“I don’t understand.”

“You must have had to do it before. I know that men buy clones just to abuse them. It happens all the time. Half my friends … even some of the women ...”

“I am not a clone, I am a clanswoman.”

“I’m sorry. Look, I’m not trying to offend you, I just want to understand. Does it mean nothing to you at all? Having sex, being intimate with someone?”

“I don’t understand.”

“I didn’t mean to do it. I never would have, if I hadn’t been drunk – but even then, if you’d screamed or struggled, if you’d done anything to show you didn’t want me to, I’m sure, I’m almost sure I would have … stopped.”


“What do you mean, 'no'? What kind of an answer is that?”

“You are my master.”

“I am your master … so that means I can do anything I like with you, with your body – that you won’t object at all to any of it?”


“So, from your point of view, nothing of all of any consequence took place last night? A drunken master came to your room and raped you, and for you that’s like doing the vacuuming or the shopping, and in fact you have no idea why I’m making such a fuss about it all?”


“What if I started to do it every night? What if I defined it as a new part of your duties? Started rating you on your performance in bed?”

“You are my master.”

“You acted as though you liked it, that’s the thing. You didn’t just lie there. You moved against me as if you wanted to please me, as if you were getting some enjoyment from it. Or was that just my imagination -- what I wanted to feel?"

“You are my master. It is my job to please you.”

“And that includes acting as my whore whenever I want you to?”

“I do not understand. No payment was involved. I did not charge you.”

“Oh, forget it, forget the whole thing, I’m sorry I bothered you. You’re just as happy as a goddamned clam whatever happens. It won’t happen again, I can promise you that.”


But it did happen again, E. Not that night, but a couple of nights later he came to my room, and asked me if he could sleep in my bed again. And of course I said yes, and in he climbed, and then he started moving against me and asking me to do things for him, and I did all the things he asked me to do, and he kept on begging me to forgive him, and telling me that he loved me, and now it’s like that almost every night.


The book is to be a case-study of a single fairy-tale. He told me he hadn’t quite decided which one before he met me. He wanted to take one of the classic tales and chart its variations conceptually as well as historically. "Little Red Riding Hood,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella” have already been treated in that way, apparently, but “Beauty and the Beast” is, he says, the most wide-spread and complex of them all.


Sometimes I wish I could go away from here. I know that Marta would not want me back, and there is no other place I could go to. My friend the kitten is dead, and I don’t know where you live or I would ask you to let me come and visit.

It upsets me to be here. He asks too much! He wants me to tell him things about himself, and I don’t know how to do that. I was never trained for that.

Sometimes all that I want is to sleep for a long long time, but (of course) I cannot sleep.

I hope that you are happy and well. I wish I could write you a more cheerful letter.

Your loving sister, E.

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