Short Story 3. Trafficked - Nigella's Winter
Updated: Jul 8, 2019
By NR Gurney.
Nigella Winter was a fairly ordinary girl from a poor Romany Gypsy family. She was aged 21 and living in the alternative Green Dimension. This is a peculiar world where everything is green, including the skins of others. Finally, in this world a mysterious green mist covers the ground, but more about that later.
Right now she was living in the small country known as “Celtishia,” where her family had fled too in order to avoid persecution from the Egyptian menace.
Nigella had beautiful blue eyes, and long flowing but wavy black hair, which tonight was held in a simple bun. And this would not seem all that alternative until you bear in mind that her skin was also the usual pale green, which complimented her slim figure.
She was dressed up in a pair of black hot-pants, with the upper part of her thigh showing. Her legs were stunning and often had men check them out. Her top consisted of a simple white t-shirt that exposed her arms as it hung loose from her shoulder. Her parents hated it. But she didn’t care.
It wasn’t that Nigella was usually a uncaring person, it was just that this would be her first time really to have fun. She was young and carefree, and had just graduated from school, which was compulsory till twenty-one in her country. Like most excitable young women, she was looking forward to a wild night out on the cider. Nigella was fed up with being boxed up at night and having to do homework, and keep to the rules.
The evening had been arranged with her friends for weeks to celebrate the end of the exams. But even then it carried its stipulations from her over protective parents and family.
“No later than mid-night my girl,” warned the mother.
Nigella knew better than to deliberately cross the mother, (at least in public.) So she decided to play along.
“Yes mum,” came her reply, with her fingers crossed behind her back. Because tonight was the night she would get up to mischief and catch up on all she had missed for years.
The night out started fairly smoothly as she met up with her friends in the Barbican area of the city. It was to be the usual pub crawl, where they went from venue to venue and consumed a half pint in every one.
Now here she was sitting in the third pub, when she was approached by a man. Pretending to wait to order from the bar, he looked across at her and attracted her eye. Then he looked away.
Nigella had not expected this, and was a little disappointed until he looked back and smiled. She smiled back, and once again he looked away pretending to be shy.
She was about to say hi, when the bar maid asked him what he wanted. He signalled for her to lean over, and whispered something in her ear. The bar girl, known to Nigella as Tiffany, looked in her direction, and smiled approvingly.
Tiffany got the drinks, and then took the money from the man. He returned to his seat alone in the corner near the door. Then she walked over and put a half pint of cider in front of her. “From the gentleman, to the preety lady,” she said, “he thinks you are smoking hot.”
Nigella enjoyed the compliment, smiled back at him, and raised the new drink to say "thank you." But immediately she returned to conversation with her friends.
When the drink was gone, she returned to the bar to get another round.
“Same again?” asked Tiffany.
“Yes,” she said, “that would be cool.”
Tiffany got the drinks, but didn’t ask for any money. This was considered unusual.
“How much do I owe you for the round?” asked Nigella feeling confused.
“Nothing,” she replied, “the smart gentleman over there has already paid for you again. And your friends this time." Tiffany sounded impressed as she continued. "His name is Paul Smyth, and he is from respectable noble stock.”
Nigella had not expected this, as she came from a poor gypsy family. The idea that someone grand, would find her appealing was something she had never considered in even her wildest dreams. She was overwhelmed by the stranger’s kindness.
“Why don’t you go and thank him?” Tiffany hinted. “I’ll take the drinks to your table.”
Nigella had been well brought up and should really have been wary of strangers bearing gifts. And maybe it was the alcohol that affected her judgement. But she agreed without thinking things through.
The truth was that Nigella had known Tiffany for a few years now, as she regularly used to come in and drink even when she was under age. She was known to be a bit of a rebel. But Nigella trusted her.
“Paul Smyth is handsome,” thought Nigella. “I’ll go and say hi, for courtesy sake,” she responded to Tiffany. And with that she made her way nervously over to where there was a spare seat next to him.
“Can I join you?” she asked as she placed her cider on the table.
“I thought you’d never ask’ he replied.
And thus began the rest of evening in his company. During this time, she established that he worked for the government, in a military capacity having just graduated from a top military school. Nigella was impressed, not least by his success but also by the fact he wore smart clothes, and spoke with a posh accent.
The talked all night about how Nigella had just signed up to serve herself. She had been motivated by the coming war, and wanted to do her bit. Now a week later, she had been granted a place on a team, with training due to start. At the end of the evening he walked her back to the monorail station, and asked to see her again. She agreed instantly, as she was so flattered.
After a simple kiss "good night," the date was arranged for three nights later. He would pick her up from outside the caravan park.
The following day, Nigella awoke to some flowers that had been delivered for her. They were everything she would have wanted. Mostly yellow and clearly expensive. The note simply said, “from x.” She knew that this was from Paul.
Nigella’s mother however did not. And she had looked at them, and was now beaming with delight. “A secret admirer eh? I know that Peter in van seven was interested in you.”
Nigella said nothing as she didn’t like the boy concerned. “I have a much better looking man now,” she thought to herself, as she fantasied over his handsome green face, and muscular arms.
The following evening some fruit arrived and then some chocolates. She got more and more flattered by his attentions.
Two days later she was collected, at the agreed point and time, in a big black limo, with a chauffeur. The man, (Paul) sat in the back cuddling her, while they were taken back into the Centre of Devonport for a posh meal. At the end of the night, while full up with sparkling cider, they went for a ride in the limo to a point over-looking the cliffs.
Nigella of course knew the real reason she had been taken to the cliffs, involved sex. And she was happy to consent, as she had been desperate for some time to lose her virginity. Nearly all of her friends had lost theirs, and she felt like the odd one out.
So here she was on the Cliffside, surrounded by the green mist. Feeling warm, and relaxed under the influence of alcohol. In her mind, this seemed like a great time and place, with a great thoughtful person, who spoiled her with quality drink and presents.
She trusted him. And so, very quickly the kissing turned into more, and as their green skins entwined, they became increasingly physical with each other. An hour past quickly.
Having made love in the back of the car, while the driver made himself scarce, Nigella was smitten and convinced she had found the right person. And when Paul told her there might be a problem, and she would have to “be patient” for them to be together permanently, she was determined to wait it out. Besides she was starting military training in a few days’ time.
At the end of the evening, they exchanged details on their Tech-Tabs, by bumping them together. They would see each other in secret, whenever they got the chance, and not disclose the relationship with others “for now.”
The military training was to take place just north of Bristol. And she was delighted to be going somewhere different. Devonport was now getting boring to her, as her wild gypsy spirit was taking over. Once again she wanted to travel more, and see more, and immerse herself into other experiences. Her boyfriend Paul seemed supportive of this, whenever the subject came up.
As soon as the training started, she was informed she had been excepted to the unit belonging to a “Freida Sophie Smith,” who was well known. But Paul seemed to hate her. She was referred to as "the whore, and foreigner." He even applied she was "unfit to lead a team."
Nigella was disappointed, when Paul said he could help her to “do better than serve with that woman,” and it would mean serving overseas.
"Nothing is too good for my woman," he assured her.
Once again she was thrilled. She wanted the best opportunity, and her boyfriend was promising just that. With his connections, he said he “could arrange it" but she must keep it “quiet to avoid making others jealous.”
Perhaps it was some sort of naivety, but Nigella didn’t see anything unusual about this. In fact, she thought this showed his “caring nature.”
The training itself was extremely physical for her, and had her learning to climb, swim better and quieter, and also to shoot guns accurately. During this time, her muscles expanded and she started to put on weight for she was very thin before enrolling, due in part to her poor background.
And when things got bad, she would pick up her Tech-Tab and speak directly to Paul about what was bothering her. He usually came across as sympathetic. And they would talk for about ten quality minutes before a voice in the background usually called him away. She reasoned that he was usually “busy that way.”
Every night during her training she would seclude herself just to secretly look at his picture on the Tech-Tab. And whenever she looked, she remembered the passionate love making they had indulged in, and she reflected on how “hot” her man was. But the fact remained, Nigella was struggling, and she was on the phone to him every day, looking for support when the subject of her placement came up.
“I have been allocated to Freida Sophie Smiths new unit,” she said one day. “Well it appears that the Oracle Girl will be there too.”
“When do you join them?” he asked, looking a little worried.
“In the next few days," she informed him. "There is a chance we will see early action.”
From the holographic image in front of her, Nigella could see Paul sit up in his seat, and reply, “then there is no time to lose.”
“How so?” she asked.
“Well.” He looked aghast at her. “I thought you wanted to join me on the continent? Doing the undercover stuff, you know? With me?”
“I do,” she responded. And then repeated, “I do.”
“Then here is what you must do,” and he outlined his plan in detail. And it involved the upcoming attack on Cadiz, that was being planned, and whose details he had some access too.
On the day in question, the raid went fairly smoothly. As per the plan, her small unit accessed the gate, opened it and then let in the other troops. Then as they surfaced she pressed a hidden pouch on her uniform, allowing fake blood to emerge from her as she floated to the surface. As it was mixed with a sedative, she then passed out making it easy for people to assume she was dead. Whilst unconscious, somebody fished her out of the water, while the gun fire kept everybody else busy. This had all been agreed.
Two days passed before Nigella Winter awoke in a small room, expecting to see Paul by the side of her bed. Instead there was nobody. She had no idea, where she was, and knew something was wrong. She was alone.
“Paul, are you there?” she called out, and Paul entered the room. He was holding a big wad of money, and talking to a very aggressive looking thug.
“For the merchandise,” he said pointing at Nigella and laughing at her.
“But Paul,” she protested. But the man she cared about just laughed at her, and spat in her face. She was shocked and confused. And asked, but why did you..?"
Then he struck her face with his fist. And Nigella instantly realised that the person she thought was so wonderful now turned out to be a cold man. He was actually full of deceit and lacking empathy for her plight, as the strange thug started to undress her and force himself upon her.
An hour later, there was no sign of Paul Smyth, her secret lover. But she had seen other men, and all of them had “made sport’ with her as they said.
She had had no choice. She was bruised, and had a bloody and broken nose from where she had struggled. She was feeling confused and humiliated, and still didn’t know where she was.
Eventually an older green woman entered, and started to take care of her wounds. Applying lotion to soothe the pain.
“It always hurts most the first few times,” she said. “But if you want to live, then learn to comply.” It seemed like a warning.
The woman took out what looked like a ledger and showed it to her. It was full of costs for conversations and even the drinks in the bar where she first met Paul. Everything she could think of was there, with receipts, and interest added.
“You have debts to repay” said the woman,before adding an ultimatum. “Settle up now or go to the brothel.”
Finally, Nigella realised what had happened, she had been trafficked and trapped. And she had no way to repay. She knew she was trapped.
Nigella and the controller arrived at the brothel with the hour. Although she still didn’t know what city she was even in, as it didn’t look like anything she had seen before.
In the brothel itself, there were many other girls, all looking scared. Most of theother girls were scantily clad, and seductively displaying their green flesh. Some were tied to posts, and a few were in cages.
Meanwhile, a few of the others walked freely, but looked like emotionless zombies. All had black or red lipstick, and nearly all had large circular numbers attached to their bodies as a means of identification. Nigella was number 13. Many of the women had bruises caused by their controllers. Nigella had bruises from clients as well.
Her own controller was somebody called Tamsin, and Nigella discovered she came from the City of Barcelona. She herself was also violent, but Nigella could tell it was more to keep herself alive from the owners who truly pulled the strings.
For most of the time, Tamsin placed Nigella in a cage that was suspended from the ceiling, with a small and smelly mattress. She only got out to “service the clients.” There were usually about six of them a night who would select her from among the many other caged women. Every sexual encounter meant more shame.
She was away from her family. She was at the mercy of others. Alone. Living in her dire conditions, and faithless.. Nigella hated it there, and wanted to die. She even started to plan for it.
The abuse went on for weeks. Every day was the same. Sleep, and sleeping with men she hated. Men who smelt, and men who cared not for her. And it took its toll emotionally, for she was at the end of losing hope.
Then something odd happened.
It started as a usual day, with a small meal of rice. "To keep your strengh up for later," said her controller.
But then she felt a sense of calm, instead of panic. Only she wondered if she was just getting used to things. It didn't last long, and she ate what she was given out of hunger. And the clients arrived and started to ogle the other women. She was placed back in her cage to wait.
For what seemed like an hour nothing happened that could be considered unusual. Then suddenly, there was a weird trumpet sound. A strange but somehow familiar sound that seemed to make her shiver, and yet felt like the sound of liberation. And then in came a Celtishian military unit, busting through the door with stun guns, and other more dubious weapons. It soon became obvious they were very proficient in combat. They were also angry, and were not hesitating to use force against the management and their thugs.
The strange and mysterious military unit soon overcame her captors, and started to intimidate the clients into silence and submission. Whereas previously they had all been raucous, now most pleaded to be released to avoid their family’s shame, while others now sat quietly scared and ashamed. Two however decided to try and fight, and they were soon over powered, by men who looked a bit like smugglers and pirates.
One of the clients got hit with a knuckle duster when he tried to disarm the soldier. The other client got a well-placed kick in the groin, followed by a gun-butt from a very heavy looking machine gun. He collapsed to the floor.
Sarah looked across the room from under the sheet in her case, and was shocked to see people she knew, including “that Freida Sophie Smith.” She realised to her horror, it was her old unit that was now liberating her. And the girls she had been encouraged to hate who were leading the charge.
The arrival of her old unit was a shock to her, and she knew it was the end of her ordeal. But then she looked and saw “that Sarah Salter girl,” (The prophet from the Mist-Less Dimension.) And now Nigella felt unworthy and unclean. For this Salter girl, with half pink and half green skin, was known to allegedly listen to the Whisper himself. Despite her gothic appearance, she was also known for honesty and solution finding. People looked up to her, and many claimed she had been “sent to help them.”
But Nigella also had other concerns at this moment. For one thing, she knew that she had tried to manipulate herself into a position of power through desertion of her post. And she now wondered what the consequences would be. Was she going to prison, or about to face the death penalty, as her controllers had often threatened?
A voice could be heard commentating in the background, and she recognised this as another familiar face. She looked up to see a fellow team member Denise La-Rooche, working in a journalistic capacity taking images using her helmet-camera. She was following the girl she recognised as Sarah Salter. They were making her way toward her, and pointing her bow at her controller. Both looked angry.
“One move and I let go,” Denise saw Sarah threaten the female controller.
“I know,” the woman replied, now on her knees begging, “but please don’t. I had no choice see?” And her controller then held up her hands to show that they also had hand cuffs on, and what looked like self-inflicted knife cuts. It was like she wanted to be arrested.
Meanwhile Nigella was still covered by that dirty sheet, and looking out at all that was going on, when she started to feel her cage lower. ‘You are safe now, Nigella,” a familiar voice said. And then she saw the prison married couple she knew desperately picking the lock to set her free.
She looked up to see some female wearing a pirate’s hat, and her previous commanding officer coming towards her, carrying a clean blanket for her modesty. She was overwhelmed and didn’t know what to say. Out of both embarrassment, and some mysterious sense of new found respect she allowed her to speak first.
“You are one of us, and we don’t leave you behind,” Captain Sophie Smith tried to reassure her.
“Leave me here,” she said, “it is better that way. Can’t you see what I now am?”
“No we just see you Nigella,” Denise now tried to assure her, as Nigella started to struggle. She was desperate to run away, to somewhere. Anywhere.
But Sarah Salter now stood in her way, trying to reason some sense into her.
“You are not what people define you as. Sure it can influence it, but your past experiences will not determine your future.”
“But I will face charges of desertion, and leaving my post in battle?” she asked as a question.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Sarah responded. “Nobody blames you, this was the fault of your abductors.”
“But I thought he loved me,” she protested. “When we communicated… But it now seems, he has regularly told that lie.” She had heard similar stories over the weeks from two other girls.
Her former superior Captain Sophie-Smith, however, wanted to know more. She leant in closer to Nigella, and just asked her directly. “Nigella, I must ask you, but exactly who did you think loved you?”
Something inside her told her that this was her chance. She decided to take it and come clean. “His name is Paul. Paul Smyth,” she clarified. “He is the son of a top commander. We messaged each other every night, for about three months.”
She had spoken out, into good hands. And with those words she knew she was safe, or at least the process towards safety had begun.
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You can find out more about the characters in this story, and the Green Mist Dimension by reading Neil's books
Green Mist Rising - Book 1 on Amazon and Kindle
Green Mist Singularity - out in July 2019