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Author Topic: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!  (Read 5422 times)

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Offline Stan'

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Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« on: November 18, 2012, 07:03:04 PM »
"Stop moaning, Juron.  This place is perfect.  Look at it.  It's like something out of a TV show.  Big houses.  Perfect lawns.  And they don't even have Russian winters over here.  You get a little snow in December but nothing like back home.  Trust me.  You're going to be thanking me when we move in to our new home."  Mikhail had only seen his new house through photographs, and the real-life tour had yet to happen.  The car continued passed their new residence, down a couple of streets until they arrived at a large looking manor which seemed to tower over almost everything.  When the vehicle stopped, he opened the door and held it until Juron herself got out, before closing it and rubbing his hands together.  It was November, and the cool Canadian breeze felt like a summer to Mikhail, who spent most of the year in the cold climate of Norway.  He was already missing the place, he enjoyed living by the coastline -- even if he did have to wrap up in four layers of clothing to go for a walk.

Their bags had been taken straight to the house, probably dumped in the hall.  Not that they had brought much with them, anyway.  His new boss had told him that they should only pack a suitcase each, as everything that they would possibly need would be provided for them already.  For him it was fine, but he wasn't sure if it was easy for Juron to limit herself to just one case.  She was a woman after all, and Mikhail had went on enough holidays with one to know that his part of the suitcase was always very small indeed.

Waiting for them at the front door was their tour guide, leaning against the wall with his arms folded, a leather jacket rolled up at the sleeves with green-coloured camo trousers tucked in to a pair of boots.  Mikhail quickly noticed the silenced handgun strapped in to a holster which hung loosely around his waist.  "Morning."  He said in the south German accent that the majority of people here spoke.  "Welcome to Vankuver.  I'm Dietrich Schneider... I suppose you could say I'm the sheriff of this town.  Not that I'm really needed -- we don't have any trouble makers here."  He pulled himself away from the wall and opened the door for them.  "The Governor is upstairs... she has your house keys.  She also wants to go over the laws and rules of the town.  Won't take long, I promise.  I bet the pretty lady is just dying to start baking some cakes in her new oven."

"Oh, she certainly is."  Mikhail said, putting an arm around her and pulling her close to him.  "Isn't that right, dear?"  He asked, placing a quick kiss on her cheek.  "Juron is a wonderful cook."  Mikhail broke their embrace when Dietrich turned around and began to walk up the stairs of the large main hall, opening one of the doors on the landing and motioning for them to go in.  "Laura, will you tell the Governor that her new home-owners have come to pick up their keys?"  Dietrich asked the young woman behind the reception desk, as Mikhail sat down in the waiting room couch.

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 08:57:24 PM »
Juron wasn

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 06:44:28 PM »
Mikhail had been aware that convincing Juron to throw away her entire career (and hobby) was tough.  This was something she had been doing for a long, long time.  And although she wasn't exactly making it on to the front page every week, it was something which she loved.  People were reading her words, her column slowly creeping towards the front few pages instead of near the back where it had once began.  Her editor was having faith in her work, it looked like she was only a few stories away from a front page headline but then Mikhail dropped the bombshell.  He asked her to come with him, to pack a single suitcase and leave their little one-bedroom apartment, to say goodbye to her friends and family, to the job she worked so hard for.  He knew it was a big ask, and he had prepared himself for the word 'no'.  For her to shake her head and tell him that this time she couldn't follow him.  That he was on his own.  But she didn't.  She said yes.  And it took him off guard.  He remembered stumbling over his words, saying "...umm... what?..." about half a dozen times before finally locking their lips together in a kiss.  A new life.

"Maybe being a little housewife will do you the world of good... it'll keep you out of trouble... and you staying out of trouble will keep me out of trouble.  We know what you can be like sometimes."  He said, pressing a finger against her nose and pushing her head back a little.  By this point, Dietrich had said his goodbyes and closed the waiting room door behind him, leaving Mikhail and Juron alone with the secretary.  It didn't last long, as they were told to go through and meet Mikhail's new boss.

"Fraulein Knapp, nice to see you again."  Mikhail said, closing the door and sitting down on one of the two chairs in front of her desk.  He spent a few moments looking around her office, crossing one leg over the other while clasping his hands together over his groin.  He hoped they wouldn't be here for long, he was dying to get to their new home, put his feet up and crack open a beer.

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 01:40:03 AM »
Adalinda Knapp smiled sweetly at the couple as they entered her office and took up their seats across from her desk.  She

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 07:26:14 PM »
At this moment in time, there were no reasons to doubt Adalinda's intentions.  The place looked great, everyone who lived here looked like they were loving it.  While it was unusual that the place was run by Germans, when the location of the town was in Canada, he could understand why it was here.  The area was known to be rich with a special oil which only a few companies were permitted to extract.  Adalinda's Bavarian mining company were one of the first to set up shop, and it meant they also had the prime spot.  Mikhail had been brought on board due to his experience; while mining wasn't exactly a speciality of his, he was a hard-working engineer and a good team leader.  He couldn't wait to meet the guys he'd be working with.

Mikhail didn't bother to read most of which he was signing.  Most people made the mistake, they had bought in to Adalinda's faux friendliness and were just eager to get settled in.  With his name now scribbled on the upper line, he passed the paper over to Juron for her to sign it as well.  A few moments later, a knock at the door was followed by the re-appearance of Dietrich, carrying a bunch of papers clamped on to a clipboard.  The German looked at Adalinda and gave her a quick nod to see if everything was set.  The rules and regulations of the community would have to wait; they didn't want to scare Juron and Mikhail away.  Dietrich understood that many of them were strict, and some were downright unusual and confusing.  Yet it was Adalinda's town.  She made the laws.  He only made sure that they weren't broken.

Dietrich seemed to be carrying one other addition, something which he hadn't been carrying before.  On the other side of his body, clipped on to the belt which his gun was attached to, was a small box with a gas symbol on it.  Mikhail saw it, frowning at his observation yet not thinking anything of it.  "Dinner is ready, my dear."  Dietrich said, giving Adalinda the code-word to release the knock-out gas in to the sealed room.  The sheriff's hand ripped open the small box on his person, and pulled out the rubber mask, shoving his face in to it and quickly adjusting the straps to keep it secured.  A few moments later, Mikhail was out.

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 01:20:40 AM »
Adalinda sat there silently with a knowing smile on her lips as she watched Mikhail sign the papers she

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 07:55:23 AM »
Underneath the desk, next to the button that Adalinda had just pressed, was another one which would kick-start the extractor fans on the walls.  It wouldn't take long for the gas to be gone from the room, but Dietrich wouldn't remove his mask until he was certain that it was safe to breathe once more.  "Why do they never read the small print?"  Asked Dietrich, shaking his head and wandering over to her desk.  He picked up the documents and looked over the parts which Juron and Mikhail had failed to read, sniggering beneath the gas mask.  "People these days.  So careless."

Dropping the pieces of paper back on the desk, he gave it to Adalinda to file away for safe keeping.  With most of the gas now having escaped through the vents, it was safe to open the door to the reception area.  It was time to take these two to their new home and get them all suited up.  He opened the door and popped his head out.  "Laura, could you be a star and phone for Erich to come and help with these bodies?"

Dietrich left Juron while he picked up Mikhail and tossed him over his shoulder, grunting a little at the weight of the man.  "We'll have them looking like respectable members of the community in no time, my dear."  He said to Adalinda, walking out with Mikhail and popping his mask off at the same time.

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 12:17:21 PM »
As soon as both Mikhail and Juron were unconscious Adalinda had hit the second button to get the fans working so they could remove the gas masks that had been put over their faces. The knock-out gas had been something they

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2012, 07:13:57 PM »
For Dietrich, it had been another long and uneventful day.  Being the sheriff of the town -- as well as being on friendly terms with Adalinda -- meant that he did not need to wear some of the stupid attire or those stupid belts with the stupid faces.  Everything about this was stupid, but it's what Adalinda wanted and he was happy to see her happy.  Sure, the entire thing was a little unnecessary and a lot of planning had went in to make it as extravagant as possible.  The perfect little society was Adalinda's idea, and in order to make sure that they did as she wished -- she had secured a rather sophisticated piece of explosive around their waists, which was both slimline and waterproof.  Going for a shower would not set it off, something which the original models were prone to doing.  The belts reacted to emotion, and whenever a resident began to feel negative emotion then it flagged up on their system.  There were two kinds of "bad" emotions.  One which was brought on by a moment of frustration or annoyance, where Dietrich or one of his goons would check to see if everything was OK.  And the more serious "violation" emotion, where a man or woman attempted to either remove the explosives or did not "play along" with the society standards any more.

There was a gray area amongst it all.  There had been times where a sudden burst of frustration (or as Dietrich put it "breaking character") had caused the explosives to detonate with a mere few seconds warning.  The security system wasn't perfect, and they weren't in any kind of position to just let their best workers blow up because they swore by accident.  Every few months, they were constantly upgrading and improving the system so that it worked better and there were fewer fireworks.

Dietrich had been notified of an "amber mood" status for Vanessa Montand, and he had been dispatched to check it out.  He drove to her house and jumped out of his jeep, rolling up the sleeves of his leather jacket and clearing his throat.  He pushed his finger on to the bell and took a step back, waiting for the lovely housewife to answer the door.

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2012, 12:46:48 AM »
Vanessa Montand already knew who was at her door before she even got there to greet her
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 12:48:42 AM by Peebs' »

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 05:41:13 PM »
Dietrich leaned on the door frame as the pretty housewife answered the door, looking a bit of a mess with the food mixture covering her clothing.  He raised an eyebrow at her story of having broken the blender, and he shook his head with a sigh.  He dug deep in to his back pocket and pulled out a little notepad, scribbling down something which she couldn't quite see.  "This is the second time your mood status has wobbled... I'm a little concerned that you're becoming a bit of a trouble-maker, Mrs. Montand."  He said, brushing passed her and walking towards the kitchen where the source of the explosion came from.  Just like she said, the blender had caused quite a mess and a quick look at it brought back the diagnosis that she needed to get herself another one.  "Yeah, you're going to need a new one."

Dietrich looked around and scratched beneath his chin.  "While I'm here, I may as well do your weekly household check, hmm?"  He asked, walking back towards the front door.  "I'll only be a minute."  He walked down the path and climbed back in to his vehicle, searching through some folders until he picked out the one for the Montand residence.  It was a thick collection of photographs, documents and profiles of the house and those who lived inside it.  Each household underwent weekly checks to make sure that the house was being taken care of, and that there were no secrets.  The last thing they wanted was for one of them to be building some kind of weapon that would help them escape from the place.  When he returned to the house, he looked for Vanessa and gave her a fake smile as he approached her.  "Well Mrs. Montand, shall we begin?  I see last week you were scored... a B-.  A rather low score, don't you think?  Didn't we agree that the minimum we expect is an A?"

He shook his head and made a 'tutting' sound under his breath.  With his pen, he began scoring her on the state of the various rooms, giving the poor woman a rather unfair kitchen score even though he hadn't given her enough time to mop up after the blender incident.  "Another unflattering score, Mrs. Montand.  B.  I'm afraid I've got no choice but to ask you to attend two sessions of home economics class.  How do you think your husband would feel coming home to a messy house?  After he's been out working all day to put food on your table... or in your case... on the walls and the ceiling."

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 12:08:50 PM »
Vanessa crossed her arms under her breasts, the slightest frown furrowing her brow as Dietrich pulled out that little stupid notepad of his and began to scrawl whatever it was he was judging her upon

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 06:12:09 PM »
Dietrich hovered his hand above the plate of cookies that had been pushed his way, choosing which one he would take.  There was always the danger that one of the housewives had poisoned their food that was offered to guards, but they must have known that that was a death sentence for themselves as well.  By the time the poison actually took effect, the guard would have pressed the detonate button on the small remote that they carried about with them.  It registered with the closest belt in proximity, and it only took a second to press it and it was bye bye wifey.  Dietrich picked one of the smaller ones and took a bite out of it, smiling slightly as he chewed on the lovely biscuit.  "Well Mrs Montand -- as always, you get an A+ for cooking."  He said, dumping the other half of the cookie back on the plate.  "I'll see you at class."  With that, Dietrich walked out of her house and back in to his jeep, rubbing the back of his neck and yawning.

When he got back to his office, he had the job of filling out the paperwork to have Vanessa registered for her home economics class.  The amount of writing was crazy for such a simple thing, but they had to make sure that everything was on file.  Each individual worker had an entire filing cabinet to themselves, and when that was filled up another one was dragged in and put right next to it.  Everything from their weekly grades to the amount of classes they had attended.  Once Dietrich had completed the forms (there were six pages for that silly little thing!) he straightened them up and laid them out on his desk, sighing back in his chair.  Women.

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2012, 01:43:06 AM »
When Vanessa arrived for her class, she wasn

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2012, 06:20:17 PM »
Dietrich hated these things.  He didn't know why he was wasting his time, trying to show these women how to behave well and act the way that Adalinda wanted them to act.  The big problem was that he wasn't a woman.  He didn't hop around in a big dress and rubber gloves all day, so he had absolutely no idea what it was like to actually do what they were supposed to do.  Dietrich was lucky if he had washed a pair of boxers in his life, let alone an entire load.  That's what women were for.  "Right.  Quiet."  He said, rubbing the bridge of his nose between his eyes, obviously nursing some kind of headache.  He suffered the same thing every time he was due to teach these classes.  It was just as well that Laura was there to give him some backup in case he veered off of what they were to do that day.  "These classes seem to get bigger every month.  What's wrong, ladies?"

The sheriff wore his usual gear, although he had hung his leather jacket up on a hanger as he came in.  He held his hand out for Laura to slap the registration list in to it, then he proceeded to call out the names of the women who were there.  Each one was to say "present" in a cheery voice.  Satisfied that everyone was here, he handed the clipboard back to Laura and cleared his throat after it all.  He had noticed that a few of the women turned around in confusion when Juron's name was called out, they had clearly not been introduced to her yet.  "Ladies, I want to introduce to you Mrs Juron Kirechenkova, she's just moved in to the neighbourhood and has had a little trouble... 'settling in'.  I'm sure you can all relate to that."  He said, walking over to her and putting an arm over her shoulders.  "Let's all make sure she leaves here today with a nice big ^_^ on her belt, shall we?"  He said, giving a fake big grin that the ladies were expected to wear most of the time.

He let go of Juron, and walked back to the front of the class again.  "Now let me explain what is going to happen today.  First of all, we'll have a little inspection -- make sure you're all very pretty and looking like little darlings... then we'll go next door to the kitchen where we have some dishes for you to clean up."  Vanessa and Dunya knew that there would be hundreds of absolutely filthy dishes waiting for them from the staff canteen.  "So if you'd like to all stand up... Laura will grade you."

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2012, 07:46:10 PM »
The thing was, more women were in need of showing up to the classes because the regulations seemed to rise every time Adalinda felt like making the women of Vankuver work that much harder to

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2012, 01:25:16 PM »
As the women walked through to the kitchen area, they were greeted by the hundreds of pots, pans and plates that had been used to feed the security guards.  Old, left-over food was glued to the plates, and they'd be able to tell right away that they were in for a very long afternoon indeed.  Dietrich hated this part, it was boring -- then again, the whole thing was boring -- and he was always a little nervous around the newbies.  They were more likely to trigger their explosives, and act in the wrong way.  They weren't quite used to their new surroundings, and it was always why he got some of the other guys to check that they were doing OK.  Particularly when they awoke to discover they were wearing big dresses and a bomb around their waist -- he was always hiding on the other side of the town.

"Please buddy up and find yourselves a sink.  One of you washes, one of you dries -- each gets a turn at doing both."  Dietrich said, sitting on a table and sighing as he spoke.  He chin rested on the open palm of his bent arm, pointing over to the various sinks.  The dirty dishes were in the centre of the room, and while there was no way of actually making sure that each of them did the same amount of dishes -- he could tell roughly who was doing more.  At each sink were two pairs of rubber gloves, washing-up liquid, various sponges and a couple of dish towels.  Everything you would possibly need to leave the plates dry and spotless.

"Hey Laura."  Dietrich whispered, bobbing his head for her to come over.  "Why don't you be a little darling and put on an apron and rubber gloves, and go and help the girls wash the dishes, hmm?  I bet you're so bored of walking around with those files all day.  Here..."  He said, reaching his hand out, two rubber gloves dangling from between his fingers.

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2012, 03:29:08 PM »
The kitchen was an absolute pit. Juron could hardly believe her eyes at how disgusting it was, it seemed like nobody knew how to clean their plates off before letting them sit and get more gross than they already were. It was a major pet peeve of hers, always had been and she always considered herself lucky that Mikhail didn

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2012, 03:47:54 PM »
He watched her storm off to one of the sinks, shaking his head at her reaction to it all.  Slowly, he rose from his seat and walked to where Laura had ended up, placing a hand on her shoulder and leaning in towards her ear.  He was about to speak, but he pulled back ever so slightly so that instead of a whisper, his voice could be heard by most of the women in the room.  "Laura, look around you.  The other women know how to behave..."  Well, clearly not, otherwise they wouldn't be here.  "...you don't see them shouting and cursing.  Now either act the way you're supposed to, or I'm going to have to get one of those belts and put it around your waist.  And I'm sure there's a few women here that would love to see that."  He walked away from her, rubbing the underside of his nose to dampen the effects of a sudden itch.  "And remember ladies, I don't want to see any dirt on those plates."

The door opened, and in walked a younger man in a uniform similar to the other guards.  His thick brown hair had been slicked back, his dark eyes seemed to look at each of the women, and the faintest of smiles appeared briefly as he caught a glimpse of one in particular.  His dull, green uniform displayed a rank that showed superiority over most, although he wasn't important enough to be on first-name terms with Adalinda Knapp.  In his hands -- like everyone else on the payroll -- was a couple of clipboards and documents.  "Dish washing duty?"  He asked as he walked over to Dietrich.  "Don't we have machines for that?"

"Why use a machine when you've got people like Laura?"  Dietrich asked, smacking her backside hard.  The sound echoed off the walls, but he pulled himself away quick enough so to avoid a punch to the face.  "What's up, Karl?"

"You're wanted at the mine.  Couple of the guys were asking for you."

Usually, Dietrich would have questioned what they wanted, so as to not waste his time.  But being stuck here on home economics duty was the last thing he wanted to do, so he almost jumped at the chance to swap.  "Great.  The schedule is on that clipboard there."  Dietrich pointed to one of the ones on the table.  "You know the drill.  Finish the schedule, then give them a nice slap on the bum and send them on their way."

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2012, 05:13:06 PM »
Dietrich

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2012, 05:27:18 PM »
He knew that Dunya would be in this class, and it was the reason why he volunteered to be the one to give Dietrich the message.  The two of them were... how would one put it... 'friends' with one another, a relationship that was completely frowned upon in the strange society they lived in.  Karlheinz didn't buy in to Adalinda's little dream of each woman acting like the loyal housewife, waiting for her husband to return at the end of a long day.  And he also knew that Dunya didn't particularly care for the man she had been paired up with.  Yet here she was, forced to share a bed with the wrong man.  Sometimes, he wanted to just run away with her.  But he couldn't.  Because that belt around her waist made sure that that wouldn't happen.  Until they figured out how to remove it from her waist, neither of them were going anywhere.  "I saw your husband, Mrs Pskova.  He's pretty busy, and I think he'll end up sleeping in his office again.  Such a shame that he's not coming home to a pretty wife such as yourself... how he's missing out."  He smirked, playing the little role that both of them were forced to play.

None of the other women seemed to be paying much attention to what they were doing, even Laura appeared to be too focused on the dish-washing to listen or see what they were doing.  But he wasn't going to take any risks.  As far as everybody was concerned, the pair were on separate sides.  He didn't know if she told any of the other women, other than her best friend Vanessa.  Apparently, she frowned upon the idea of Dunya risking her life to have an 'affair' -- if you could call it that -- especially under the watchful eye of Adalinda and her goons.  Yet she had managed to cover their backsides on more than one occasion, and she was grateful for it.

"Is is such a bad thing that I didn't have to check to see if you were in home economics today?"  He joked, his voice having lowered in volume by a few notches.  At the same time, he had made sure that the two of them were as far away from Laura as possible.  Couldn't have her hear anything she wasn't supposed to.

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2012, 12:05:22 PM »
Dunya shrugged, twirling a finger through a loose lock of dark hair that rested over her shoulder
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 12:06:20 PM by Peebs' »

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2012, 06:45:03 PM »
Karlheinz was cut off part-way through the single word which he wished to speak, Dietrich sneaking up from behind him and placing a firm hand on his shoulder.  It caused the young man to jump, his heels definitely leapt a few centimetres from the ground.  Clearly, Dietrich's visit to the mine had been cut short for some reason, and he had returned to 'teach' the class that he had been assigned.  Apparently, they were on to his game and everyone in this camp was determined that he wasn't going to get out of home economics class.  "Karlheinz, stop distracting the wives from their work.  They're here to learn, not gossip.  I thought that's what their little housewife club was for."

The young man was clearly frustrated, although he knew he'd get to see Dunya later on tonight.  Dietrich whisked him away from his post and told him to go do something else.  Grudgingly, he did as he was asked and walked out of the classroom to go find something to do.  Dietrich's attention returned to the women, and he began to circle the room to check on how they were doing.  For the most part, they seemed to be doing fine.  It wasn't rocket science -- they were simply washing and drying dishes.  A lot of dishes.  Still, they had barely put a dent in the total load, though he did smirk to see that Laura was pulling her weight.  He looked at his watch and sighed, turning towards his chair and sat down.  "Let's get these dishes clean before lunch, we don't want to be here all day.  If we don't finish the to-do-list by this evening then that means you're all coming back tomorrow to make sure it's done."

He paid a lot of attention towards the new girl -- Juron.  He was curious to see how she was coping with the new scenery, and the new rules that had been imposed on her.  These things took time, and they only gave out a couple of second chances.  Dunya knew a thing or two about that.

After a short while of resting his eyes, he stood up and stretched his limbs.  "Right, is that us nearly done?"

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2012, 01:29:09 AM »
Washing dishes was a piece of cake for Juron, it wasn

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Re: Cakes and Skates Don't Mix!
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2013, 05:48:03 PM »
It was good to see that most of the dishes had now been cleaned, and they were neatly stacked, ready to be taken back to the kitchen.  They were right on schedule, which was a good thing for everybody involved.  "Their list?"  Dietrich questioned, placing his hands on his hips and raising an eyebrow her.  "Don't you mean your list, Laura?  Or do you think that's the end of your punishment?  Oh, no.  I'm enjoying this too much to stop it right now.  So once you and the rest of the wives finish these dishes, you're going to bring them in to the classroom.  Have them split in to teams of two again."  With that, he wasted no time in leaving the German woman to do as she was asked, not caring if she threw another tantrum because she was going to still be involved in it.

*     *     *

"Mathieu, this is the life.  Really, I don't know why Juron thought this would be a terrible place to live.  I've got a great job, a big house and a wonderful neighbourhood."  Mikhail had realised that his job required little effort, and it usually involved sitting on his back-side all day with his feet up, making sure that every one else was doing their work properly.  The computers at his desk all displayed the correct status, everything was green and nothing was flashing when it wasn't supposed to be flashing.  He had quickly struck up a friendship with Mathieu Montand, and they both seemed to talk more about their wives than anything else.  Sure, there was always the danger that the explosive belt around their waists would go off, but there was little chance that the men were going to set it off.  They all loved it here, and while the work could be long and boring sometimes -- they knew that at the end of the long shift, their darling women were going to be waiting for them with a nice big smile on their faces, the dinner on the table and a couple of cold beers in the fridge.

"Well... just be lucky that you're not married to Vanessa.  I swear, every time I come home and she asks 'how was my day' -- and kisses me on the cheek -- I know for sure that she's just about ready to hit me with the frying pan when I tell her how great it was.  If there's one woman out there that's not housewife material, it's Vanny.  I've had a couple of close encounters..."  He patted the belt.  "...and there's been a few times where I've took a deep breath and closed my eyes.  But that's what their little home economics classes are for, right?  To make sure they act the way they're supposed to and not cause them and their husband to blow up!"  He smirked, sipping away at his coffee as he looked at his watch.  "My two hour break's almost over.  Better get back to work..."  He sighed, standing up and returning to the mine, whistling as he walked.

 

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