Tag Archives: Marcy Peterson
Mister McIntyre’s Secret
I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know what I was wearing. I remember a flash of small white polka dots on a sea of black. Some little pill box hat. My face got flushed if I thought about Miss Peterson pulling up the stockings that clipped to the garters under the dress. Every thought in my head made me blush. Every memory of the past few hours and every expectation about what was to come in the future.
We were walking down the street and she hailed a taxi. It was something I was never able to do. People always seemed to walk in front of me and take mine. We were going to the train station. I sat, still wet under my dress and frilly underwear. I wanted to stop being wet desperately, but thoughts were attacking me like Miss Peterson’s fingers and having almost the same effect.
I followed behind Miss Peterson, the world a blur of men in suits and pretty women. She bought tickets, she bought magazines and cigarettes. I shook my head to coffee after she asked me the third time. She had a smile as she looked at my hazy confusion, like she’d just won a bet.
On the train she sat in front of me, legs crossed and reading the French Vogue. She smoked, she radiated sexiness and power. I wanted to radiate that. Apparently all I radiated was a signal that I was obedient.
As I watched the city fade into trees and water I realized I still didn’t know where we were going. Some of the landscape seemed familiar, but I was not very well travelled. As the stops shifted from odd Indian names to things that ended in Hampton I started to realized exactly how fancy the place I was going was. Then it was more people, more following Miss Peterson into crowds. Busy train station, a shiny black car waiting for us. Tinted windows and a quiet ride.
We arrived at the most unlikely of places; a stable. I followed Miss Peterson into the place, trying to walk on heels I was already clumsy in the hay and grass. Miss Peterson met a young woman who was my age with very large pouting lips and curly copper hair pulled back in a ponytail. The two exchanged a few words and the girl’s eyes narrowed on me.
She walked over to me and looked me up and down. She had pinkish white skin that was covered in freckles. She seemed to be constantly pouting and frowning and bratty. She said nothing, but started walking giving me a nod that said to follow her. We walked through this strange world of horses, which I’d never really been up close to but seem almost alarmingly large and powerful. I almost couldn’t look at the rippling muscles of the animals because they seemed so nakedly masculine.
We came to a huge wall that looked like an outdoor theater, but as we entered I realized it was some kind of track. I wondered if it was a horse race, but it seemed the wrong size. We walked past men in white suits and women in elaborate dresses with huge hats. These people were rich and probably famous. I hadn’t read enough of the gossip column to really know who was who. We walked and walked and then there he was sitting in a booth wearing a suit I had never seen and sunglasses of all things.
Mister McInytre in a blue stripped seersucker suit. He looked like a movie star. To his right was a younger man in a white suit who was very thin and had sharp almost feminine features. His blond hair was combed back dramatically and he wore a bright periwinkle ascot. The girl led me to there booth and the two men stood up to greet me, which made my face flush. Looking up at Mister McIntyre, who towered over me I had to squint in the sunlight.
“Abigail. I’m glad you made it.” he took my hand and held my arm out so he could look at my dress.
I squirmed as he looked me up and down. He was touching me. He was looking at me. He was showing me off. I looked down. I wanted to crawl out of the spotlight. Then as sudden as I thought that the vision of Marcy on top of me popped into my head for some reason and my knees almost buckled.
“Marcy did a lovely job.” he said looking at the man next to him who gave a begrudging shrug of approval.
“Abigail, this is Chase Daniels.” he fair bow smiled noncommittally and then took a pair of opera glasses from his pocket and looked at the field.
“And of course you’ve met Gertrude.” mister McIntyre said, and as he moved towards her the pout melted a bit and her eyes got larger.
“Say hello to Abigail, Trudy.”
Her snotty facade gone, the girls green eyes sparkled above her high freckled cheeks. “Hello, Abigail.”
I smiled. I tried to smile politely, but it may have came out as a little too happy at her change in attitude. I realized that Mister McIntyre had the same sway over her. It was strange to think of that. I watched their body language, how she teetered next to him, wanting to be at his side, but knowing her place at the moment.
“I… I’m going to get a pop. Would you care for one, Abigail?” she offered, her cheeks reddening at the forced kindness. Mister McIntyre smiled and put his hand on her shoulder. This caused her body to tense.
“Oh, yes. Thank you. A coke, please.” I said, politely.
She walked off, her eyes on mine communicating something, maybe ownership?
“Have a seat Abigail.” Mister McIntyre motioned to a chair beside him.
I sat down, I remembered Alice in Wonderland suddenly because that’s what I felt like. Looking out at the field I realized it wasn’t a race but some sort of jumping and riding competition.
“Dressage.” said Chase, pronouncing the word with a certain French flair.
“Pardon?” I said, wondering if he was telling me something or asking me something.
“Dressage; horse ballet. It’s expensive to learn, insufferably boring to watch and taxing on the animals. We all love it.” his dry sarcasm hanging in the air coldly.
“Marcy’s been doing it since she was a girl.” said Gertrude, suddenly startling me. She handed me a coke and her eyes were somewhat less aggressive. She looked at the seats and I realized I’d taken hers. She shrugged and sat down next to me.
Just then out on the field I saw her. Marcy Peterson in gray riding pants and a crisp white shirt with a vest. Her little hat and her tall black boot and her little whip. There was something about it that was so formal, so neat and tidy, so imposing. I wanted to see it up close, examine all the details of it. I wondered what it felt like to wear those tall heavy boots and to straddle a horse like that. Looking to my left I saw similar questions in Gertrude’s eyes.
“Have you ever done it?” I asked her.
Gertrude smiled. “Nope. But I tried the outfit on. The boots are a pain, but you feel wonderfully… constricted.” she give me a look then that made me bite my lip.
And so we all watched. Ladies sitting up tall rode their horses around, making them bow and dance and do all sorts of poses both graceful and unnatural. The first few minutes were interesting as Gertrude explained the scoring to me. Then we got to see Marcy go. She got a nine, which from what I was told means “very good”. After that things got a bit boring. I turned to see Gertrude nodding off. Chase took out a little book and was silently reading. Only Mister McIntyre watched from under his dark sunglasses. I was sort of glad I couldn’t see his steely blue eyes because I wouldn’t be able to relax at all if I could.
Then it was over. Polite clapping, someone won something. I’d stop being able to follow it as my eyes got heavy in the sunlight and boredom. Then we were up with the milling crowd, making our way out. At some point Mister McIntyre left our group and I was ushered by Chase and Gertrude to the car I’d been driven in. Then we were off.
Another long drive. Chase was deep in a book, I think I saw Oscar Wilde on the cover. Gertrude was pouting and watching me like a cat watches a canary.
“So you’re Jacob’s secretary.” she said flatly.
“Y… yes. I’ve been working for Mister McIntyre for a while now.” as I said his name the two of them looked at each other and smirked.
We arrived at a huge house and I followed the two through a huge wrought iron gate up a cobblestone path to the front door where a butler met us. If I was Alice in Wonderland before now I was little orphan Annie wide eyed at the lavish place.
We came to a large drawing room, complete with fainting couches and a fireplace. Books lined the walls and there was large globe in one corner. McMcIntyre was there, standing next to Marcy. It felt so strange to see the two of them. I can’t remember ever seeing them together before, but there they were. He towered over her as they spoke, just out of ear shot.
My hands felt cold, I wondered what they were talking about. Marcy’s strong eyes and confident sarcastic grin were gone. She looked down when he spoke to her, just like I did.
Mister McIntyre didn’t look pleased, he was asking her a series of questions and she was answering with meek yeses and noes. She looked so much younger like this, with her riding unifom and her hair pulled back. She fidgeted under his gaze and fingered her riding crop.
As I watched I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Chase, smiling at me.
“Jacob told me that you were here to record the proceedings of our little meeting. I know you are used to a typewritter, but I couldn’t carry one all the way out here so just use this.” he handed me a five by seven black moleskin notebook and a heavy expensive looking silver pen.
“What am I supposed to write?”
Chase moved in and whispered conspirotorally. “Well, ‘Mistre McIntyre’ is going to…” he searched for the words “fuck Marcy and probably Gertrude” he smiled “and possibly me.”
My eyes grew wide. I stopped breathing. Was be kidding? I was young and inexperienced and innocent, he was probably playing a joke on me. A sharp crack brough my attention back to Mister McIntyre. He’d taken Marcy’s riding crop and was flexing of in his large hands. Her eyes were saucers as he gave the thing a practise smack against his hand.
Chase continued. “You should start now. I think Mister McIntyre is about to do something interesting with Marcy’s riding crop. Just write everything down as you see it, as if you were recalling a dream in your diary.”
I blushed as I opened the book. He knew, this stranger knew. All of them knew my every secret. As I looked up I saw Mister McIntyre move in on Marcy. She backed up against the wall and he was on her. I gasped and covered my mouth. I knew I should be quiet. They didn’t notice me. He was pressed against her and she squirmed. My legs closed tightly. I felt the weight of Chase sitting next to me on the couch. I saw Gertrude sitting on a chair watching Marcy and Mister McIntyre the same was I was.
My hands shook as I opened the notebook. I put the pen to the paper as I watch and wrote down every dirty detail.
Mister McIntyre’s Secret
April 19th, 1964
Half asleep, rolling around in my worn white sheets. The clock says I have a half an hour before I have to get up. My heart is already starting because of a half remembered dream.
In the dream there is a large lavish hotel room. Rich crimson and gold wallpaper, a huge bed, gilded chairs and lavish mirrors. Mister McIntyre is standing in front of the largest mirror straightening his tie. He is in his black suit, the one he wears to big meetings. His shirt is harsh white and he is wearing his cornflower blue tie. He is freshly shaven, his hair is parted neatly and slick. You can count the comb lines.
Marcy Peterson, his mistress, is walking out of the washroom. A slinky low cut black dress. Her black hair long and silk soft falling over her shoulders.
He towers over her. He stand almost six foot five and she, like me, is just over five feet tall. He leans in and they kiss, at first tenderly and then his hand is in her hair, pulling her back so he can kiss her neck hungrily. Her eyes are glazed with pleasure.
He picks her up and carries her to the bed. Standing over her he takes off his jacket and folds it neatly on the night stand. He then methodically rolls up his sleeves exposing his muscular hairy arms. He loosens and removes his tie, she sits up on the bed eagerly wanting more of his lips but he pushes her down.
Picking up the phone he presses one button and I answer.
“Abigail I’m going to need some rope.”
“Yes, sir. Right away.”
There I was at the door, dressed in my mousy brown skirt and my beige top with my hair in a ponytail and my glasses falling off my nose. Two thick coils of rope in my hands.
That’s what I had written in my diary that morning on the train into work. That’s what I had went to finish at lunch when Mister McIntyre came in. I left my sandwich on my desk and slipped my diary back into my drawer. Mister McIntyre called me in to take a letter. When we were finished he sat back in his hair and made a little steeple with his fingers the way he did and he rocked there and looked at me.
“I’d really prefer if business acquaintances didn’t call the office.”
I swallowed hard. Stupid heart revving up again. I wished he didn’t look at me like that. That examining look that makes it so I can’t move, but I can’t stay still. Deer in headlights doesn’t even start to explain it.
“You handled it well, though I’d prefer if you didn’t use anyone name on the phone. You never who is walking by.”
“I’m so sorry, sir. I will never happen again.” I wanted to crawl away. I wanted to cry. I wanted to get on my knees… on over his knees.
He cleared his throat. “You did fine, I’m just explaining the protocol for the future. You always exceed my expectations Abby.” and with that he turned around and looked out his window, the sign that I was dismissed.
I turned, scampered out, but just before I closed the door his voice pulled me back.
“What was that you were writing?”
Fear, icy and numbing my fingers on the doorknob.
“You were writing something as I came in, what was it?”
Lie. Make up anything. But I knew I couldn’t. I can’t lie to Mister McIntyre. I wouldn’t. He’d probably see through it anyhow.
“Nothing, sir. Just my diary. I… write in-” he cut off my mumbling.
“Speak up, Abby.”
“My diary, sir. I write in it at lunch sometimes.”
He considered this.
“What were you writing today?”
The panic was in my throat and I couldn’t speak. I felt like I was alone in an alley with a gang of thieves. No where to run.
“Just… a stupid thing. A dream. It was nothing-”
He cut me off again.
“Dreams can be very interesting, Abby. Haven’t you heard of the work of Jung?”
I didn’t know what to say. I just begged that this was the end of the conversation.
“Bring it in here. Leave it on my desk. I want to see what kind of dreams you are having.”
He didn’t say anything. There was silence. There was more silence. I looked up and his eyes were on mine. I almost never look him in the eyes and the power of that icy blue made me let go of the door knob.
“Bring it into my office and leave it on my desk.” he said, standing up and picking up his hat.
“I’ll read it when I get back from lunch.”
He walked towards me. His body suddenly close. He slipped past me, his chest brushing against me, the smell of him, the hugeness of him. Then he was gone. My legs were shaking so much I almost couldn’t sit down. The blood was draining from my body. I was starting to hyperventilate.
I wanted to go home, but I knew I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. There was only one thing to do, it wasn’t even a choice. I would put my little pink and purple striped diary on his desk. I would put it there and it would sit there on his big dark wood desk next to his fancy pens and his big black telephone and all of his newspapers and business things. My heart and my dirty thoughts just waiting.
And so I held my book to my chest and marched in feeling naked. I put it down and my eyes stung. I walked out and closed the door and sat back at my desk.
And then I waited.