Story: The Maharani of Carriage O

7 Mar

After five months in India, you start to understand some of the rhythms of the railways–slow and incessant, and more enjoyable than you expect. Rather like tantric sex, or so Marc says, anyway. He likes to take the slow route. I’m more of a Ferrari girl. If you don’t get there quickly, you might never arrive.

This particular train was the overnight sleeper from Mumbai to Goa. After five months of temples, bazaars and trekking, I needed a change of pace: some relaxing beach time, a few massages, sunbathing, maybe a little bit of shopping in the market. Marc wanted to go to a full moon party, stay up all night, take something illegal, and then meditate his way down.

The trains have only one pace. Getting on one is not as easy as you’d think. First, you need to find the right platform, but the signs are in Hindi. There are always porters to tell you, but honestly, why would I lug a backpack for two miles along a main road only to hand it to some guy in a red shirt who will just try to get two hundred rupees off me for carrying it upside down over a bridge? Okay, so it’s heavy. It’s lined with chicken wire, in case someone tries to slash it and get my stuff, and I’ve got my Mac makeup and a travel hair-dryer just in case I end up at some ambassador’s party or something, eating Ferrero Rocher and champagne, and flirting with the MI6 guy. There would always be one. Hopefully a Daniel Craig lookalike.

Marc is no help of course. He always marches on and lets the porters surround me while I tell them I don’t need a help. He says I should just ignore them, but that would be rude, and I’m not rude.

When the train finally arrives — at least two hours late usually, and once we had to wait for twelve hours, no joke — you get on and find your seat. The proper hardcore travellers go third class, but I’ve never been brave enough, and it’s just not worth it on a sleeper train. You need to go for at least second class AC, and this time it was first class AC. It blew our budget completely, something like eighty US dollars for the journey. I had a big row with Marc about it. He wanted to take the bus. I told him I was taking first AC and if he wanted to do it another way, I’d see him in Goa. It’s something like 18 hours on the train from Mumbai. I was going to fly but that really would have cost the Earth. Marc kept going on about how we could live for a month on the train ticket.

The sleeper carriages are really cool. I mean, it doesn’t sound so cool if you’re not in India, but seriously, they are. You get a massive bed with sheets and a pillow. It’s so much better than InterRailing, where you get a seat that folds out and a half-sheet to crawl into. These are proper beds. You even get your own light, like on an aeroplane.

I really lost it with Marc when we were waiting at the platform. A beggar girl came up to us, and she was heart-melting. She had a metal ring, the size of a small hula hoop, and she was using it to do all sorts of gymnastic poses. So sweet. She could only have been eleven, probably younger, but they’re so small and thin, the beggar children, that you can’t really tell. She stood there, after she’d finished, and I went to get some money out. Marc just gave me a look and so I asked him what he wanted.

“Don’t,” he said. “You’ll just encourage them.”

So what if everyone says it’s bad to give to them? She was sweet. It’s my money. I gave her a five hundred rupee note, and he started to tell me off: That’s three nights accommodation, we could do this that and blah blah blah. I completely lost my temper, shouting at him, telling him he was selfish and mean and a cold-hearted bastard. I stalked off to the other end of the platform. All the men were staring at me, but that’s sort of par for the course, really. At least no one tried to goose me, which has happened about twenty times. Marc followed me. He looked pretty stunned, and a bit pissed off. When he caught up with me, he just tried to carry on with the argument. I’d had enough.

I told him it was over. Us. Our relationship. Six months of university, five months of backpacking.

“When we get to Goa, you can go and stay in a fucking ashram or whatever and I’ll go and book into a hotel,” I told him. Yelled. “And you can go to your fucking full moon party and get wasted and talk shit for hours and I won’t have to listen to it.”

He started bleating about our anniversary but I just walked back up the platform. The girl was gone. I felt a bit silly, and upset. The train pulled in and I got on, found the compartment, and sat down on the bed. It was pretty late anyway.

I wanted the top bunk, because there’s less chance of rats getting up there. I had managed to get my pack under the bottom bunk when Marc came in. I gave him a look, daring him to talk to me, and he just stood there, looking down the corridor, until I was ready to climb up. It was trickier than I’d thought it would be. There’s a mini-ladder next to the door, but it goes only half-way up, and although they put a metal handle next to the bed to pull yourself up with, I’m not that strong. I’m sure Marc was laughing at me. Idiot.

He was setting up his own stuff when this army guy came in, with his valet. Well, I don’t know he was his valet, but he didn’t speak much and he didn’t do anything except defer to the army guy. I should call him Tanwar really–that’s his name, as he kept telling us. “Lieutenant Tanwar Atwal, at your service.” He kept repeating that phrase. He was cocky in that way Indian men are, when they’re rich. He stood in front of his bed while his man made it up for him. He filled out his uniform really well, though, with lots of colours on his breast. He leaned on my bunk while he talked to Marc about something, cricket probably, and his hand was really close. It was sinewy, and I could see the muscles beyond his cuff. He could definitely have taken Marc in a fight, no question. I like fighters.

He had some whisky, which he passed round. It was pretty rough stuff but it made a good nightcap. I almost forgot I had dumped Marc on the platform and leaned down to wish him good night. He had put a picture of me on his pillow, which was really sweet. I almost said something, but the blood rushed to my head, and I felt really tipsy, so I went back to the safety of my bunk.

The picture is shocking though. No make-up, freckles everywhere, and my nose stud looks like it’s actually a spot. I’m sitting down, hugging my knees, and you can see my two toe rings and my ankle bracelet. I stopped wearing that in Varanasi, after a Norwegian guy said that only prostitutes in India wear just one bracelet. I remember girls at my school saying that and I didn’t really believe them. The Norwegian was so convincing though. I’m wearing my sleeveless Gap top, and this gorgeous jade necklace I got in Bali for a fiver. Marc says it’s not actually jade, but I don’t care.

He got me to wear all the jewellery I’d bought on the trip when we stayed in Agra. We’d been to the Taj Mahal and I persuaded him to let us stay in a slightly nicer place than the hundred rupee dives with squat toilets. I got out of the shower — a hot shower! Luxury — and I just had my towel around me. He was looking really hot and he gave me all my necklaces and earrings and silver and made me put them on. He made me stand in the middle of the room while he admired me, nude except for the jewels. The bulge in his shorts was worth it. Then he gave me a fantastic massage that made me wetter than I had been in the shower. And then he massaged me inside, with his thick, stubby cock. It was nice, but not as nice as the massage. He goes so slowly. Like he’s afraid of hurting me or something. Sometimes that’s nice, but sometimes I just want a good, hard, violent fuck.

My legs look okay, in the photograph. I got these sexy trousers, harem pants, in Agra; rubbish material — it says cotton on the care label (Ha!) but it’s probably viscose. There’s a really sweet elephant pattern around the elasticated cuffs at the bottom and it holds my bottom in really well. It’s dark so my thighs look okay too. My hair is the worst though — I got it hennaed in Agra and the colour is growing out. I keep seeing myself in the mirror and thinking I’m one of those fat, middle aged Indian men with purple hair and a dodgy moustache. Marc likes it — he says I look wanton.

He stayed up with Tanwar for ages, well past midnight, drinking and whatever. Tanwar had gone to London a few times and he had picked up some bits of slang. They were teaching each other swearwords. Marc is so vulgar. I’m sure he was buddying up to Tanwar just to annoy me. He didn’t even want to come here in the first place. He had this thing about Vietnam, but I said we could go there after. I love India. And now he was acting as though he was best mates with this hot Indian guy, while I was imagining ways to sew up his mouth.

Tanwar was hot; really hot. I drifted off imagining how he might feel if I kissed him, what his lips would be like, how I could make him hard and ready. He was a soldier and he had been posted up to Kashmir, which is really dangerous, he was saying. He was fit enough to run for miles in the mountains, and you can just imagine how his body looked: lean and sinewy and full of power. If anyone could pull off tantric sex, pulsing his cock inside me for hours, then it would be Tanwar.

They shut up eventually, and the compartment was quiet. I slid my hand down my pants and imagined Tanwar, and Marc, fighting over me. Naked. With huge hard-ons. Taking turns at me. First Tanwar, fucking me hard while Marc watched him, jealously, then Marc, trying to prove himself afterwards, then Tanwar again, a man machine, giving it to me twice. Showing Marc how a real man does it.

There were four green lights above the door which showed if the toilets were occupied. They lit up the beds ever so slightly, and I could just make out the valet on the top bunk opposite. I propped myself up to see if I could make out Tanwar on the bunk below him. There was a dark space, nothing.

I woke up when the train jolted. My sheets were twisted. I fished my phone out of the pocket next to the bed. It lit up with numbers: 2.13am. Apart from the noise of the wheels clattering on the tracks, it was quiet outside. I had expected lots of chaiwalas and food sellers coming up and down the train, shouting their wares, but there were none. I could hear someone snoring, and deep breathing from somewhere else. Then, something on my foot. A hand.

I froze. My stomach knotted in fear.

“I saw you were awake.” The voice came inches from my head, the other side of the steel rail that keeps you from falling out.

It was Tanwar. He put his finger to his lips and moved closer. “Your boyfriend is funny.”

“He’s not my boyfriend.” Even in the darkness I could see his dark eyes, wide as saucers, searching my face. He was desperately handsome, thick-jawed, clear-skinned. Beautiful, almost. He reached out with his hand and touched my face. Tenderly, like he was touching his revolver.

“I was watching you in the station,” he said. “You are proper rani, no? Maharani.” My tongue was tied in fear, and hope. “I thought you would be beyond my reach, and then you came to my carriage, and you looked at me, like I was a bull.”

He grinned. “I want to fuck my maharani.”

There was a jolt. I heard Marc stirring beneath me.

“Quickly,” he said.

I wriggled against the wall. He pulled himself up with his powerful arms and loomed over me. What was I doing? Marc was two feet below me. The valet was opposite. I couldn’t even tell if he was awake.

He grabbed my hand and pulled it down to his cock, still inside his trousers. It was stiff, and my fingers gripped it, feeling the fleshy bit underneath and the tiny ridges of muscle on the top. Longer than Marc’s but not as thick. He pulled at my harem pants and pulled them halfway down. I got one foot out, and he sank between my legs, fumbling with his button. There was another jolt, and the train began to slow. He looked to the side, at his sleeping valet, then back again and me and kissed me furiously. His lips were whisky, and Coke or Thums Up or something. There was a faint tickle of bristles on his chin and a flowery smell on his skin. As the train slowed and slowed, he drew away, and held still, his back arched above me. He held a finger to his lips. There was banging outside, shouting, a few doors opening and shutting. Marc was snoring.

I slid my hand up and down Tanwar’s cock. He bucked and grimaced, half his face in the green light, half in darkness. Still, concentrating, waiting. The train lurched onward and he breathed out, and panted. I worked harder at his cock and then he ripped his trousers down and slid it inside me. My pussy clenched on him, and he drove himself hard at me and I gasped. He gagged me with a kiss and rocked his hips on mine, commanding my cunt with his cock, filling me up. It was even better than I had imagined when I drifted off, when I saw him, wrestling Marc.

Then, voices. Outside. Tanwar whipped his head round, and began pumping hard. The bunk creaked in rhythm but I could barely notice, holding on to the rail as he took what he wanted, giving me what I needed. He held me, directed my pleasure, decided when I would feel the next wave.

Then, a hand on the door, rattling it. Tanwar kept going. I could hear his breathing change, deepening, and he slowed, and came, sucking in breaths as he filled my cunt with his come, and the rattling continued, and I could hear Marc moving below me, and wanting Tanwar to keep going, and he slowed down, as there was more rattling, and Marc and Tanwar’s hand, down below, at my clit, and I buried my face into his shoulder, his uniform and bit back my yelps of sweet agony as the pleasure washed over me.

The rattling stopped. The wave subsided. I tried to breathe normally, hoping there would be no more noises beneath.

Then, a cough. Marc. I could hear him move below me. Fuck. My thighs were still trembling. I twisted and Tanwar slid into the space between me and the cabin wall, still inside me. I lay on my side, pulling the blanket up and over, and hoping that the hum of the air conditioning and the rolling train would mask the noise.

Tanwar’s cock lay on my thigh, losing its stiffness, leaking more come onto me. His sweat mixed with the scent on his skin, and it drifted past, taunting me as it faded. Why was I afraid? Was it just embarrassment at the thought of being caught? Or more? I still don’t know. The sound of snoring returned. Tanwar slipped over me and down the rungs, and into bed. He said nothing. But he kissed me, as he loomed above me, making my stomach tingle. It was a kiss full of promise. I drifted back to sleep, nurturing the tingle, cradling it.

I saw him go. He got off the train three stops before Goa, in the middle of the night. He said nothing to me, just left, his man carrying his bags. I prefer it that way.

Marc apologised again in the morning. He didn’t ask how I’d slept. But he did lead me past the porters, and got a taxi instead of making us walk. He even paid for a woman to massage me on the beach. It was a lovely massage, almost as good as one of his.

I went to the full moon party, with Marc. And he fucked me against a tree while the music shook the branches. We’re going up to Kashmir tomorrow — our first anniversary. It will take two days on the train to get there, but that’s cool. I like trains.

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