Tag Archive | character: mélanie

Haunted House 22 – Tap Twice For Yes

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Assignment


Mélanie waited until she was sure Jasper was gone, watching from the window while he got the horses in harness and set out.  She waited until the gate made a distinctive noise, clanging shut. Then she waited until her tea jostled her elbow.

“I’m… I guess I’m not alone, am I?”  She smiled; she didn’t want the house to feel like she didn’t want to be around it.  

Even if she wasn’t a hundred percent sure that the house wasn’t going to eat her.

“Dust cloth?” she asked.  “And something to clean windows with?”

The cupboard doors moved a little, seeming uncertain. Continue reading

Haunted House 19: Wardrobe

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: In the Henhouse


“You said…”  Mélanie washed the eggs slowly.  “You said that I had two assignments?  I suppose that I should do those before morning is over…?”

“Oh!  Thank you for reminding me.  Yes. When you’re done with those eggs, we can go upstairs and I can show you where to find the best clothes.  And then perhaps I’ll go out and do a little trading and give you some more time to yourself. Would you like that?”

“I…. I think I would be a little confused by that.  But I would not dislike it, sir.” She finished the eggs and set them on a tea towel that appeared next to the sink.  “Thank you, House. so… five outfits?” Continue reading

Haunted House 18 – In the Henhouse

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: The Yard


Mélanie froze. Oh, dear wasn’t the sort of phrase that normally led to angry owners, but there had been that one…

That had been a long time ago.  And that was not Jasper. “Oh dear, sir?” she breathed, as quietly as she could and still hope to be heard.

“Be careful, Mélanie, but come around to the side of me, if you wish.  Just be ready to duck…. ha.”

Those were not particularly calming instructions, but Mélanie did as she was told, of course, slipping to one side of Jasper to look at the chicken pen.  Hutch? No, the little building to the right was the hutch. But she didn’t know what the pen was called.

Whatever its name, the pen was one of the tidiest parts of the whole yard – nice, big, several roosting places, a mesh roof overhead.  Which made the thing sitting in the middle of the pen even more confusing. Continue reading

The Haunted House 17: The Yard

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Assignments and Plans


Jasper was still watching her.  It took Mélanie a moment to remember what the last thing she’d said had been.  Oh. Fun.

It wasn’t going to be too fun if the house ate her, was it?

She would have to worry about that later.  Hopefully, the house wasn’t telepathic.

Hopefully, her boss wasn’t telepathic.

“I’d like it if you had fun,” he admitted.  “That’s a better result than I hope for, but this life, I enjoy it.”

She wanted to see the yard, to do anything to move away from this sort of uncomfortable conversation.  Mélanie finished her food in three bites. “Can I clear your plate?”

“You can.  Eager to see the chickens and the horses?” Continue reading

The Haunted House 16: Serving

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Assignments and Plans


“Ah, Mélanie.”  It was as if Jasper had read her mind.  “It will all make sense to you eventually, I hope. Either that or you will start throwing dishes at me and demanding that you go somewhere else, which is also a possibility.”  He shifted like he was going to stand up and then sat back down. “Please, at your leisure, finish your meal.”

She looked at her food and, slowly, began eating.  It did taste good, certainly better than anything she’d been eating before she came here.  Of course, she’d made it, but she’d made it with fresh ingredients and the help of a cooperative kitchen.  Very fresh ingredients… “Do you steal food as well?”

Now, why had she asked that?

“Well, I have chickens, and I might have had to go out and steal some, but they came with the house, so I didn’t have to.   The rest, generally, I trade stolen goods for. I try to be more like Robin Hood and less like some evil taxman; for one thing, if I steal from the poor, the house gets very cranky with me.  For another, I get really cranky with myself.” Continue reading

Haunted House 15: Assignments and Plans

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Breaking Fast


Mélanie ate slowly, trying to wrap her mind around the man who had bought her. “If you… but that’s…”  She went back to her food. Eggs were better warm, anyway. And she had, feeling daring, served herself almost as much food as she served him.  

He waited.  That, too, would take some getting used to: not talking over her, not teling her to shut up, but listening.

She cleared her throat and tried again. “That’s, uh.  That’s you. Usually people buy a slave so that they can, you know, have someone to do the work they don’t want to do for them.”

“I did.”  He smiled at her.

It was the first thing he’d said that had really made sense.  Except – well, except she had a sinking feeling it didn’t actually make sense.


“I don’t want to sort through all that loot.  Also, I can’t keep myself company, and, while I enjoy this house, she is not the best conversationalist.”

“So… you bought me because you don’t want to inventory and sell stolen goods and you don’t want to talk to yourself?”  She thought that almost actually sounded reasonable.

“Well, that and, if I didn’t get you out of there, I was probably going to start breaking noses, and, let’s be honest, beating up a whole lot of people face-on is not really my normal M.O.  So I figured buying you with stolen goods got me the legal ownership of you without having to challenge someone or – more likely – trick him into challenging me, and it got you out of there and with me.”  He looked far too pleased with himself.

She honestly didn’t know what to do with that.  She tried, though. “So… you felt bad for me?”

“Well, yes.  You were naked, chained, miserable, and terrified.  Only a real asshole wouldn’t feel bad for you. But mostly I felt furious.”  Somewhere in the lighthearted words were steel.  “I might still go back and burn the place to the ground – after I figure out how to get all the slaves out, of course.  Places like that, people like that, are a blight on the face of humanit – of people-kind.”

He meant it, she could tell.  She sipped her coffee slowly. “If… if you wanted to bring that place down, I think I could probably offer some, ah, intel?”

He leaned forward, a smile sliding onto his lips.  “Yeah?”

“I mean, if you really wanted to – I’d certainly help any way I could.”  She took another long sip of her coffee. “I’d love to make sure it was never there again.  To watch that place burn to the ground. But I’ve been there long enough – and enough times,” she sighed, then recovered herself.  “-to know a lot more about the way they run than they think I do. So… yeah. I could help you a lot.”

It was just a pipe dream, she told herself.  He didn’t really mean it.

“This morning, you have two assignments.  The first is to pick five outfits for you, if you can find that many that you like and would like to wear, from my stores.  The second is to draw a plan of everything you can remember about the slavers.”

“Yes, sir.”  He had changed direction so quickly, she had to wonder if she had done something wrong. “Is there anything else?”

“No, that’s good.  We can talk more about sorting out the inventory this afternoon.”  He smiled broadly at her. “This is a good breakfast, thank you. And I’d like to show you around a little bit more, but perhaps after we go talk to the horses…?”

We.  She blinked at him.  “Yes, of course, sir.”

“Mélanie, did I say something wrong?”

“Did you – sir.  You’re the boss. I know that you like to be casual, but you are still the boss here.”

“You know, I was reading a management book the other day.  I don’t know, it ended up on my nightstand.”

“…Management, sir?”  If he kept changing topics, she was going to be completely lost.

“Back pre-apoc.  When you had a number of employees and you needed to make sure they were doing their jobs, were happy in their jobs, and so on.  I do believe it showed up after my last… employee.. had hysterics and threatened to set everything she could find on fire unless I found her someone else to work for.”  He cleared his throat. “Anyway. It was very clear on the point that, while managing people means that you are their boss, what it doesn’t mean is that you can do no wrong.  After all, you want the people working for you to be happy, no?”

He smiled at her.  It was a slightly terrifying smile, because it meant that he thought he was making a point.

“Sir…?” Maybe if she kept looking puzzled, eventually he would make sense.

Want more?


Haunted House 14: Breaking Fast

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Waking


They drank coffee together, smiling at each other and, at least in Mélanie’s case, thinking of how many ways the day could go.  If he were like her earlier masters…. but he wasn’t.

She cleared her throat.  “If there are things in the kitchen, I could cook breakfast,” she offered.  “And then you can tell me what, specifically, you want me to do over the next couple days.  I imagine,” she chuckled, a little nervously, but trying to still sound casual, “that you don’t want me to clean up the yard.”

“No, sadly, not that.  I think she would like it better – but I think she understands the need for the mess, too.  If you want to make breakfast, I won’t argue. The ‘fridge runs – you know what a ‘fridge is?” Continue reading

Haunted House 13: Waking

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: The House That Eats People


There was always the moment on waking when Mélanie forgot she’d been captured.

It was a moment where she would think she was in her own bed, that she should get up soon to take care of chores, and then she could have a nice breakfast.  Sometimes she’d start planning out what she could have – eggs from the chickens, had she bought bread from Mrs. Bittner across the street yet? Maybe some honey from the hives.  

Inevitably, she’d notice that something about the bed was wrong, that it was too hard or too cold or she’d shift and a chain would clink, or the sun would be in her eyes in the wrong direction. Continue reading

Haunted House 12: The House That Eats People

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Be Our Guest


The back stairs took up half of the space between the dining room and the kitchen.  “There’s also the grand stairs in front, but those are not safe to walk on. This place has an excess of staircases – not that there’s anything wrong with that,” he added hastily, as the stairs seemed to creak and shift under their feet.  “This isn’t the full tour, not by far, but it’s enough for the time being, I think. You’ve had a long day, after all.” He brushed his hand over her sleeve. “Do you want to sleep in my bed tonight, Mélanie?”

She looked at his face.  “What happens if I say no?”

“If you say no, then you sleep in your own bedroom, and both of us have slightly cold and lonely beds.” His smile took of the slight sting of his words.  “That is to say, nothing bad happens. I’d rather you be honest with me and take your time about coming to my bed then do it just because you think I want you there.” Continue reading

The Haunted House: Be Our Guest

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: The Tour


Mélanie was doing her best – with only moderate success – to not look too nervous or act too worried as Jasper led her into the next room.

The dining room was quite nice, beautiful in a way that looked like it probably belonged to the rest of the house, with well-polished furniture and not a speck of dust anywhere in sight.  Two chairs pushed out from the table as they walked by, and the china cabinet’s doors popped open.

“Oh!”  Mélanie couldn’t help a little gasp.  “That’s-” she took the hint and, as soon as Jasper sat down, did the same herself. Continue reading