Osric sighed as he pushed open the blood red door of the Ruby Room. He muttered a litany of complaints as he stripped the rumpled sheets from the large four-poster bed with its luxurious red velvet drapes. With practiced ease he deftly replaced sheets, threw the plush comforter over and artfully arranged the mounds of cushions. His muttering became more agitated as he spied the fine spray of talcum powder across the rouge carpet. Grudgingly he began to vacuum the delicate white powder. He swore as something became caught in the head of the vacuum cleaner. Osric pulled the offending black lingerie out of the machine. He keyed the room name into the computer pad on his cleaning cart to show the last girl who had worked in the room. The computer informed him the name of the girl. Osric thought that was strange considering the girl only ever wore blue clothing in accordance to her religion. However, the name of her client made sense, he had a fetish for wearing women's underwear and today's were black lacy knickers.
Osric shrugged and placed the knickers in the cart. The next stop after he completed the Ruby Room was the Gold Room. He stocked the hidden drawers in the floor of the gold coloured room with padded walls and floor. He increased the heat another two notches for the following client. He knew that Rambures, a reptile, had problems with the humidity when dealing with this particular client, so he made sure the bottles were filled with ice water for her. Being able to anticipate the girls' needs was rewarding for Osric, since they tended to tip generously for small things like that.
As he left the Gold Room the long limbed Cordelia startled him. The eight-foot statuesque woman scratched Osric's head with long fingers and smiled at the complex's cleaner. Cordelia was fond of the grumpy cleaner although he could be surly, he was always ready to help if there was anything the workers required.
”Osric, darling, I’m in the Azure in two hours with Mr.Froth. Could you be a love and put in extra towels for me? He wants me to bathe him and I suspect I will be getting wet.” She smiled broadly her silver teeth contrasting with her golden skin.
”Not a problem,” he replied, his voice gruff and sharp.
Cordelia's smile broadened and she strode down the long softly lit corridor.
Pushing open the door of the Verdant Room, Osric was greeted with the smell of damp soil and leaf mould. This was the room Osric disliked most, since it was always a challenge to clean and he was a creature who liked things to be particularly neat. When it boiled down to it you did not really clean the Verdant Room, you just tidied it up. He raked the leaves and mulch into a pile in the middle of the softly lit room, then began to water the wide array of plants, shrubs and flowers that lined the room. Suddenly he squealed at the top of his voice and leapt away from the plants. A massive hairy spider was busy devouring a hapless insect. Osric grabbed for a duster, but his attempt to swipe at the eight-legged menace was futile as he was unwilling to come out from behind his cart.
Timandra stalked into the room, her feline pupils widening in disbelief as she discovered the small janitor shaking and whimpering behind his cart. "What's the problem Osric?" Her voice was a mixture of a growl and purr at her surprise to find him still in her room.
Osric turned his huge eyes to the lithe humanoid, her pelt shimmering in the dappled lighting "S-s-s-s-spider", he stammered.
"Is that all? No problem." Timandra spied the offending arachnid and gracefully skewered it with her long claws. With delicate care she began to crunch on the feebly struggling animal with her sharp canines that were normally hidden behind surprisingly human lips.
Osric fled room, his wings fluttering nervously, while Timandra consumed her snack. He lent against the blue metallic wall of the corridor, his heart racing and his whole body shaking. He had seen some weird stuff here, spiders still scared him senseless.
He tried to get his mind back on the job by continuing into the Rose Room. There was little to do in the pink, gas-filled room full of plump cushions. The elastic webbed harnesses attached to the roof gave a weightless feeling, without the expense of using the anti-gravity unit of the White Room. He grumbled as he detangled the harnesses and felt much better with something to complain about. He muttered more as he restocked the hidden drawers, removed some soiled covers and replaced the spent batteries, feeling much more like himself.
Still grumbling, he was heading to the Azure Room when Thaisa called his name. She came hurrying down the hallway, her short legs moving double time causing her six breasts to jiggle against the silver gown she wore to enhance her vivid blue skin.
"Osric, Virgilia wants you to do the Dark Room now, we have a new girl starting tonight. Her name is Goneril," Thaisa spoke quickly, puffing slightly.
Osric just nodded and muttered about the lateness of the arrival of this information and the upsetting of the planned rota. Thaisa just nodded. She did most of the messages for Virgilia, the madam, and she was used to Osric's grumbling and poor communication skills.
The jet black door slid open as Osric approached. It was a foreboding entrance meant to push the mind into the dark side of nature that the room's name indicated. The rubber tyres of his cart squelched on the matte black floor, deadened by the extra soundproofing. He began the routine of the Dark Room by checking all the leather equipment, rubbing dubbin into some of the cuffs that were a little hard. He hung the whips and crops on the appropriate hooks, refreshed the candles and added a handful of pegs. He had finished sweeping the floor and was polishing some of the metal work when the door hissed open. Spiked heels clicked on the floor.
Osric was focused on his polishing, but spoke briefly. "Hello, you must be Goneril. I am Osric, anything I can help you with, just ask."
There was more staccato clicking of heels, a sort of bizarre tap dance routine. Osric figured that Goneril must have more than two legs, at least six if he was any judge. He stuffed his rags and polish in the bucket and turned to greet the newest recruit properly.
He dropped the bucket and lost control of all his bodily functions. Towering over his diminutive frame was the most monstrous, black hairy spider he had ever seen, its body covered in red PVC and buckles. It peered at Osric cowering in the corner, a massive head full of black beady domed eyes. Osric's vision began to blur. It bent down towards the hapless cleaner, pincers flexing, a dog collar and leash dangling. Osric gurgled and screamed before everything went black.
When Osric came to, he was looking at a pale blue sky filled with fluffy white clouds. There was quiet conversation around him. He recognised Cordelia and Timandra's voices. Slowly it dawned on him that the clouds skimming across the perfect blue sky was in fact the ceiling of the Azure Room. The silky texture against his wings cemented the idea as he visualised the royal blue satin-covered circular bed. The conversation ebbing around him became clear.
"What the hell was Virgilia thinking? Bet she didn't even warn him." Timandra's voice came as a menacing growl.
Cordelia spoke. "We all know he is terrified by spiders."
Sarcasm dripped from Timandra's voice "Of course he is! He's a big fly!"