via flickr: jordi maggi

Geri read it every night. The book was fascinating. She’d been researching for a paper on attitudes and behaviour towards female servants in the nineteenth century, when her professor had recommended this book. It seemed boring and hard going at first, but once she was past the first couple of chapters, it seemed to gather pace, to settle into a rhythm that was more like a thriller than an academic text book.

Every night, Geri allowed herself a couple of hours in bed with the book. The lights down, the pages seemed to give off an unearthly glow. Normally, Geri would have questioned such a phenomenon, but that didn’t matter any more. She wasn’t supposed to ask questions, the book told her. She was supposed to pay attention to the book, to read it, to understand it, to let it all soak in. Her re-education was much more important than going out, or socialising, or spending any time in a public place. No, if she was to be a good maid, like the pretty girls in the book, Geri had to study, study hard – and visit her professor for testing, very soon…