The Nurse Diaries – Parts 38 and 39

The Nurse Diaries is very sweary. If swearing makes you wince, click away before you’re deluged with it 😉

Part 37 – Skanky Whores

fiducially The Warehouse Ho-House

There’s no real reason to delay. The Nurse calls Marianne with a proposition. Two hundred and fifty thousand Euros later, thanks to the services of the local legal eagle, she locks the door of Patisserie Katrine behind her, folds the key into a brown envelope and drops it through the lawyer’s door. Then she rubs her hands together briskly, smiles, and strides towards the docks where her new premises awaits.

The Nurse christens the business The Warehouse Ho-House, located conveniently near to the ferry, accessible to travellers as well as locals. Business proves brisk from the offset as people burn a trail to the new facility.

The premises itself is astonishing. The Nurse keeps the warehouse look and feel, leaving the walls bare brick and exposing vast steel beams. Everything else is an exercise in pure burlesque-cum-steampunk fantasy, inspired by her carefully decorated Dunbar flat. Again she relies on the rich, welcoming decorative style that hid her madness so well from her Scottish Agony Aunt customers. Purple damasks, magenta silks, emerald green satin and golden velvet. Super-expensive silk bedding, beautiful antique lighting by Lalique, stylishly-arranged 1950s German art pottery, costly Persian rugs. No wonder customers’ mouths hang open like dumb-looking fish when they first push the brass bell and Johnny Dieppe – expensively suited and booted – ushers them through the glossy black door.

The Nurse likes to do things properly. There’s no way she’s settling for second class girls, rubbishy whores who do the job grudgingly while rudely keeping their eyes glued to the ceiling or filing their fingernails. While clients are often bell-ends, as paying customers they have a high value. The Nurse pulls out all the stops to create a team of five classy whores whose talents are superior, whose looks are extraordinary, and whose unusual skills quickly command a great many Euros.

Janine is The Nurse’s first find. And what a treasure she is. Janine is absolutely tiny, a miniature woman with a funny-looking face a bit like a cat, all wide-spaced eyes, long white hair and turned-up pale pink nose. She also happens to have what must be the biggest boobs in France. The Nurse has no idea how Janine manages to balance without tipping forwards and face-planting the carpet. But manage she does, and the men adore her.

Beatrice is Janine’s opposite. She is fucking enormous. Standing six foot six in bare feet, Beatrice is a big favourite with the town’s shifting population of sailors and fishermen. You don’t spend most of your life being all rufty-tufty out at sea only to come home to a silly little slip of a whore like Janine. They want good, generous, big lasses, bold lasses, lasses that remind them of their strong, independent, bossy wives and girlfriends. Lasses who are happy to slap them about a bit. Beatrice gives them exactly that and everyone’s happy.

Maire is as fat as a house, a perfectly round ball of a lady who proves popular with men who like their girls soft, giggly, comfy and cosy. Her damp, pink creases enfold so many of the town’s males in just seven days that The Nurse has to hire a taxi to carry the week’s profits to the bank.

Johnny Dieppe makes an exceptional employee, perfectly suited to running a Bordello. His just-missed-the-real-Johnny Depp-by-a-whisker looks and gravelly voice breed trust and respect, and the whores adore him. He works front-of-house, meeting and greeting clients, taking cash and card payments. The Nurse herself sits just inside the door in a little nook, part-concealed behind a purple velvet curtain, wearing the marvellous outfits that are the envy of Dieppe’s women and providing a level of respectability to the enterprise. Luckily The French are rather more forgiving of whorehouses than the Brits, and the fact that lovely Katrine used to run the patisserie gives her new business extra gravitas. If Katrine thinks a whorehouse is a good idea, les Dieppeois are happy to run with it.

Johnny himself discovers the fourth whore, a splendid find. Soutra has spent a lifetime learning every move in the Karma Sutra off by heart, an incredibly bendy and flexible lady who spends much of her time tied in self-imposed knots that the men take great delight in trying to undo. The Nurse finds this baffling but decides it takes all sorts. Soutra is reluctant to abandon her original post at the entrance to the docks at first, but soon relents when she realises how much money she’ll make under The Nurse’s protection.

Last but far from least, Louisa joins the whore team. Louisa reminds The Nurse of her younger self. Louisa likes pain. She seeks it out, thrives on it, glows afterwards… and scares the living shit out of all but a wealthy few, those who thoroughly enjoy being spanked hard with a penis bone of a blue whale or a cat o’ nine tails made from kelp seaweed, woven by The Nurse for a laugh.

The Nurse proves an unusually talented temporary Madam, having absolutely no compassion and very little understanding of the way the human heart – or genitals – operate. Regular business does well from the start but when she and Johnny dream up a series of hugely popular Shagathons and Copping Off Competitions, the Euros really start rolling in. She’s thrilled to see the coffers filling up fast, even though the very thought of the sex thing still makes her wince.

Once the brothel is chuffing along nicely, operating on auto-pilot, The Nurse retreats, leaving the management to a particularly talented prostitute called Desire, a cheery black woman who is roughly the same size and shape as an actual brick shithouse. It’s a relief not to be so closely involved in the actual mechanics of the business. All the smells and flesh and groaning literally made her feel poorly. Yuk. At the same time she can’t afford to let herself get bored and restless. She knows her own limitations pretty well, realises she’s always in danger of revealing her true self by murdering some poor cunt or cutting a slice off someone’s arse while they’re not paying attention. While it would feel good for about five seconds to let rip, it would be a disaster.

Freed from the everyday grind of the Warehouse Ho-House, The Nurse sets her impressive intellect free and searches for problems to resolve in a profitable manner. The Chin Bib is her first invention, inspired by the beard, a facial hairstyle renowned for capturing crumbs and spills. She crafts the design to deal with the awfully messy end result of the Ho-House’s infamously good blow jobs. A simple affair, the Chin Bib sits beneath the chin, held by elastic around a whore’s ears, rather like a medical facemask. Spermy dribbles are efficiently caught and trapped by the Chin Bib before they slide down the chin of the whore and end up on the expensive rose patterned carpet or mulberry silk sheets. The Nurse’s invention is an instant hit at the Warehouse Ho-House and she soon creates tailored versions suitable for babies, then the demented. The Euros continue to roll in as the Chin Bibs sell like hot cakes far and wide. One day she sends a batch to a care home in Brighton, to an achingly familiar address that makes her poor homesick heart beat a little bit faster.

Walking the beach one day, The Nurse finds a dead animal. It’s hard to tell what animal it was. All that’s left is a furry front and back joined by a couple of flaps of mummified skin. She hooks it with a strong fingernail, dangling it in front of her face. Fuck, it stinks. But it’s also quite funny. It looks like a tiny tabard. Someone small, say a child, could wear it like a vest. Her mind whirs. Holy fuck. People hate it when their pets die. They miss them terribly. The Nurse wonders if people would like to have their dead pets turned into tiny tabards that their children could wear, either as part of the grieving process or just for fun, for ‘dressing up’. If a dog was big enough, it could be made into an adult-size garment.

She’s particularly excited about this one, since it involves recycling and re-purposing. But when she runs the idea past Johnny Dieppe he gets quite cross. She has never seen him vexed before. As a man with three dogs, he ought to be her perfect audience. It takes Johnny a while to convince his friend that most pet owners would find the idea revolting. Katrine is his friend, but still. He didn’t expect her standards to fall quite so low, for her to dream up such an insanely ugly idea, even though he’s starting to realise she’s actually a very strange woman indeed.

The Nurse decides to shut the fuck up in future and keep her ideas to herself. Johnny was well and truly rattled by that one, and it scared her. She doesn’t want him rattled, she needs him calm and trusting. Nobody must discover her real identity or suspect the smallest thing.

Part 39 – The Plan

Putte Hiding in plain sight

While working hard at money-making projects, The Nurse sets her imagination loose looking for a viable way to return to Brighton. Her biggest remaining foe, her most dangerous adversary, is The Inspector. She can’t relax until she has made him safe, and the best way to do that is to keep him under close observation. Thinking hard, she realises that if she ever makes it back home, she’ll need to hide in plain sight. Very plain sight indeed. Then she reels herself in. She has to actually get the fuck over the channel first.

These days The Nurse is fine for money. That side of life isn’t an issue. But how, exactly, can she use that money to get back home to Brighton? It is a brain fuck. She can’t just turn up in Newhaven, fresh off the ferry with a forged passport. For all she knows The Inspector is still keeping an eye open for her, sceptical about her ‘death’. There was no body, and without a corpse he can never be truly certain she’s gone for good.

She can’t pay someone to sail her over the Channel, because then she’d have to kill them and that would be far too conspicuous. She can’t fly home. She’d have to murder the pilot. As time passes a horrid certainty builds in The Nurse’s mind. To be totally safe and completely discreet, she’s going to have to fucking well swim back across the sea to Sussex. The thought of it makes her feel ill. Sometimes, though, you just have to bite the bullet. You just have to knuckle down and fucking well get on with it. She sighs, tucks her tummy in, holds her head high and factors her nightmare to end all nightmares into the plan. Then she does what she can to prepare for the coming ordeal.

Sucking the end of her biro and staring into the middle distance, The Nurse winces, shakes herself, and accepts something else she didn’t really want to acknowledge but finally has to admit about her foe. Her Warehouse Ho-House experiences have revealed the way forward. Once back in Brighton she is going to have to force The Inspector to fall in love with her, wrecking his famous sixth sense and putting him right off her scent, ideally fucking light years off it. So what does she need to fulfil her master plan? She makes a seven point list.

  1. Learn how to be loveable
  2. Create a seamless back story
  3. Learn to swim well without shitting herself or having a panic attack
  4. Swim from Dieppe to Brighton
  5. Pre-arrange a hiding place, food and clothing
  6. Hide until she has honed her plans to seduce The Inspector
  7. Carry out the plan, thus securing her own safety

Pulling her Katrine personality back on wearily, sick to death of it now the plan is finally underway, The Nurse sighs, stands, stretches, and strides over to the window, staring out at an approaching Newhaven-Dieppe ferry. Part of her wishes it could be that easy: buy a ticket, step on a ferry, get off at Newhaven, catch the number 12 bus and simply disappear into Brighton’s nutter-infested streets. On the other hand even if it wasn’t so stupidly risky it would be boring, almost too easy. The thing is, after a life like hers, with all the ups and downs, dramas and crises, merely boarding a ferry with crowds of ordinary bell-ends doesn’t appeal one bit.

The Nurse is looking forward to her big swim as much as most people love going to the dentist. But she girds her loins and ticks off each day on a discreet wall calendar, every month featuring a different kitten. She takes out then unfolds and refolds her special swimming costume countless times, a cantilevered affair made from extra-tough fabric, built with powerful long distance swimmers in mind. The sea is warming up and it’s time to get busy. Developing core skills – Flirting practice

As The Nurse’s Master Plan proceeds, she methodically acquires the core skills she needs. Inexperienced as she is, she’s well aware that love is about much more than the window dressing, the packaging, the skin, flesh, bone, and the wobbly, damp bits. Whichever way she looks at it, flirting skills will make or break her future.

To love someone fully you have to actually like them, respect them, appreciate them, and connect with them on a level that The Nurse just isn’t familiar with. Phil came close but they weren’t true friends. To be honest he was more like a blend of friend and colleague. That bloke in Middlesbrough, was it Steve? He was OK, she sort of loved him, but it was easy enough to leave him behind. Sacre bleu, the love part of the plan is proving horribly alien. It’s going to be a challenge, alright. The Nurse hopes she’ll be able to keep any lust to a minimum, but whatever it takes she’ll just have to endure it. She shrugs, accepts the challenge, and enlists Johnny Dieppe to give her flirting lessons.

At first she finds the whole thing completely fucking ridiculous, as embarrassing as it is grotesque. Standing limply in her new ‘pulling outfit’ as Johnny revoltingly calls it, The Nurse sticks out her bottom lip in that sulky-goldfish way that’s particularly French, the one they call a ‘moue’. But Johnny sticks to his guns. Yes Katrine, that look is lust personified. Yes, sticking your arse out and licking your lips at random times is a ‘thing’. Yes, it’s true, to a degree, that treating people mean keeps some of them keen. Nobody wants to look like a doormat, after all, whatever sex you happen to be. Yes Katrine, you do need to wiggle when you walk, look deep into their eyes, lean forward to accidentally-on-purpose touch their sleeve so they can smell your perfume, disappear leaving a little bit of mystery behind. Yes, all this guff fucking well works. Yes, it is tragic. Yes, humans are as shallow as fuck. But hey, c’est la vie.

Bearing her goal in mind. The Nurse grits her teeth. And emerges, forty tedious hour-long lessons later, as a newly fledged proto-flirt. The best place to practice her craft is the whorehouse, which she visits to observe the intricate social dance carried out by the ladies and the patrons, those discerning Dieppeois who pay over the odds for a lot more than a regular shag. Every time a client opts for the premium service, which includes a generous unlimited flirting package, The Nurse watches discreetly from behind the curtains in Reception. And learns.

Her early attempts at flirting in person are disastrous. Making eyes at real people isn’t as simple as it was with Johnny, who is more brother than lover. She is clumsy and clunky at first, laughing too loudly at strange times, wearing too much make-up, unbuttoning one crucial button too far and straying into ‘trampy’ territory. Johnny grits his teeth and keeps the pressure on. After a few weeks of on-the-job training he starts to see steady improvements in The Nurse’s flirting content and style. Practice makes perfect. As time passes Katrine becomes less scary, threatening and deranged-seeming and more like a proper flirt, someone who has flirted happily for their entire adult life without giving the mechanics of it a second thought, like riding a bicycle.

She’s getting there.

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