Mata Hari

I awaken alone in bed, but it doesn’t trouble me in the slightest. I’m in an apartment provided to me by my lover, an officer of the German Hussars who has no doubt gone back to his work. He knows I’ll be gone for a few days.

I haven’t told him where I’m going or when I’ll return. He doesn’t care so long as I come back to him to strip naked and satisfy his carnal lusts. He needn’t worry as it’s a desire we both share.

I have another lover back in Paris, a French general who leaves me breathless. I’m susceptible to a military uniform of any rank. It makes me go all weak in the knees.

I tend to hire myself out to any military officer of any rank and nationality who is interested in what I have to offer. And they’re all interested in what I have to offer. I’ve served as courtesan to numerous men, many of whom are officers who serve in the military. It pays me well and they frequently set me up in locations such as this one.

I must admit I’ve been known to extend my favors to the enlisted men for free. I like to convince myself that perhaps it’s an act of charity, knowing they make far less than the officers. But to be honest I believe it’s the uniform, regardless of who’s wearing it. I’ve been known to give it up to several enlisted men in a single evening after giving them all a little dance while removing my garments.

I’m looking forward to my trip to Paris as this French general greatly excites me. His power to send men onto the battlefield to their deaths is intoxicating. What’s more, he knows how to treat a woman with my carnal desires. But war is a terrible business, especially the one that is now being fought.

France and Germany have tried to drag the entire world into a meaningless conflict… well, meaningless in my eyes. As a citizen of neutral Holland I can go wherever I please. And I often go so long as there will be a uniformed gentlemen waiting for me at my destination to satisfy my needs. I always seem to have someone waiting for me.

As I bathe in a luxurious tub in my apartment I find myself thinking back to how far I’ve come. When I was 18 I answered a newspaper ad for a wife for an officer in the Dutch colonial army. We lived in Holland and I bore him a son. Then he was posted to the Dutch East Indies. I willingly went along with him.

While we were there I bore him a daughter. But our son died and he took up a native wife along with a concubine. He was a violent alcoholic who used to beat me, especially when he caught me flirting with the other officers. So when we returned to Europe I left him and went to Paris on the assumption that all women who leave their husbands go to Paris.

I began to earn a living as a model and a circus performer. I rode horses bareback under the name Lady MacLeod. I had choosen to use my former husband’s last name.

I saw another female performer ride them naked, which intrigued me. I could not help noticing all the attention she received. So I tried my hand as an exotic dancer, ultimately taking the stage name Mata Hari.

In the Dutch East Indies I had studied Javanese dance. I concocted some story about myself, changing the details of my birth and early years. I became an instant success, especially since I would strip all my clothes off and flaunt my body. Although I was not a very good dancer I used provocative movements of the orient which were quite fashionable at the time.

It wasn’t long until others began to imitate my presentation, often doing them much better than I ever could. There were those who started to question the authenticity of my performance. But by then I did not care. I was popular, and I was often called upon to perform at social events all across Europe.

During that time I often hired myself out at intimate gatherings and parties. I twirled and danced as I removed my clothes until I was in a complete state of undress. I was very self conscious of my small breasts.

I always wore some sort of bra until the final act. But I remained in great demand. It gave me the opportunity to meet many men in uniform, some of whom ultimately became my lovers.

To supplement my income I began hiring myself out as a courtesan. I took up with many a man – especially those in uniform – and I traveled a great deal. It made my former life as a wife to that horrible Dutch officer MacLeod seem so long ago and so very far away.

As I soak in my tub I find myself thinking of Georges. He will probably want a report, although I have nothing of interest to offer him. He hired me to serve as a French agent in the fine art of espionage. But that is the least of my concerns when I am in the apartment provided to me by my German lover. All I am interested in is his uniform, his wonderful male member that penetrates me and all of the attention he bestows upon me.

When I finish my bath I quickly dress before making my way down to the train station. My thoughts are only for my French general now… although I will be more than happy to entertain anyone in uniform should I get the opportunity. After all, I’m an equal opportunity harlot.

–I’m in my room at the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris when I hear a knock at the door. My heart quickens with anticipation that my lover has arrived. But it is immediately dashed when I see who is waiting for me out in the hall.

Several soldiers await me as though I’m someone extremely dangerous. It is evident they are not here for my charms. I’m immediately put under arrest.

I’m shocked to learn they believe me to be a double agent. Apparently there are some German intercepts that supposedly detail the help of a certain spy. Somebody believes I am that spy, and I soon find myself being locked away in prison to await trial.

I come to learn that the penalty for such a crime is execution by firing squad. I am absolutely innocent. Only now do I begin to regret passing up the advice of so many… but only a little.

My friends warned me about taking on so many lovers in uniform, especially those who are deemed to be on the other side in this world conflict. But what should it matter who I make love to? Are my exotic performances and carnal passions about to condemn me to an abrupt and ignominious end?

I fully expect Georges to come set the record straight. But he never comes to see me. He’s the one who recruited me to spy for the French in the first place. But it was something I never took seriously, certainly nothing so traitorous as to become a double-agent serving the German government.

He has always played a shadowy part in this business. It occurs to me I haven’t seen him very often. I sense a conspiracy.

Someone needs a scapegoat and I’m the most available. I’m nothing but a harlot. But now that I need Georges the most, he is nowhere to be found. Sadly I will never discover that he is the double-agent and will later be arrested.

At my two-day trial I’m accused of giving information to Germany, resulting in the deaths of over 50,000 soldiers. None of it is true. They are unable to produce any actual evidence against me.

Some believe the ink I use as part of my make-up in my performances is some sort of secret ink. That and my ability to travel freely convinces them all of my guilt. The military court perfunctorily sentences me to death.

I simply cannot believe it! I’m accused of treason. But in this climate I have no ability to proclaim my innocence.

How ironic. It seems my harlot ways have finally caught up to me in a most unique fashion. I’m to pay a terrible price for it.

What saddens me is that I will no longer experience the pleasures of that glorious part of the male anatomy as it fills my hungry sex. I will miss the attentions of those kind and generous officers who now fight on opposite sides of the war. And I will miss the attentions of those kindly young soldiers as well.

Several months pass, leaving me with a faint hope my innocence will be discovered. But it is a vain hope. Soon word comes down, bringing me news of the day of my execution.

There will be no appeals. It is unavoidable. I will now face the firing squad.

They want me to confess to crimes I have not committed. They wish me to beg for my life. But they are in for a disappointment. I will not go out like a coward.

My pride remains intact and I am resolute. I will not admit to a deed I have not done. It no longer matter that proclaiming my innocence falls upon deaf ears. My appointment with the firing squad is set. I treasure the few remaining days I have left.

On a cool October morning I am awakened by the nun who tells me I must prepare for my execution. The prison doctor oversees me as I slip into my stockings. The nun scolds me for showing too much leg. What does my appearance matter if I am about to die?

I decide I will display myself in any manner I deem appropriate. I deliberately slip into a long coat that temporarily covers my mostly naked body. The nun scowls at me, but she sees the determination in my face and does not press the matter. Besides, my executioners are waiting, and it is best for her not to tarry over something as mundane as my attire.

I’m taken by car from the prison across Paris to the barracks of the old fort at Vincennes. Twelve Zouaves have been drawn up as my firing squad. I examine each face as I’m escorted across the courtyard.

When they make eye contact with me I look at each one with a knowing smile. I bare them no grudge. They are only doing their duty.

As I look at each one I allow my eyes to glint with a promise I will not be able to fulfill. Were I not soon to be executed I would give each one a performance along with some personal attention. It would be something they would remember to their dying day.

My slit moistens as I long to feel one of their hardened members one last time between my legs. But it is not to be, certainly not on this particular day. So I will hold my head high.

I’m offered a blindfold, but I firmly decline. If I’m to be executed then I wish to look into the eyes of my executioners. I wish to see their faces as they kill me.

There is no need to bind me either. I willingly follow the officer to the exact spot where I will soon breathe my last. I give him a lustful look as well, but he chooses not to make eye contact with me.

The Zouaves take up their weapons, and I find myself panting heavily for breath. My nipples are exceedingly hard as a wetness sets in between my legs. I feel a strange excitement at these uniformed gentlemen who will soon be sending me into the next world.

I tremble with anticipation as I feel a shortness of breath. Is this what it feels like before one sheds their mortal coil? I’m more excited than I am frightened.

I smile coyly, eyeing each one as though gauging who I might enjoy the most if given half a chance. After all, why should I not flirt a little? Soon I’ll be dead and it will no longer matter.

The officer declares, “Present arms!” My breath catches in my throat. It is time.

I’m asked if I have any last words. So I allow my coat to fall off my shoulders, presenting my own “arms”. I give them one last look at who I truly am as I reveal my small, heaving breasts and exposed slit. I can’t help hoping that perhaps more than one of my executioners will discharge something more than just the rifle in his hands.

“A harlot, yes!” I proudly proclaim. “But a traitor, never!”

My last declaration does not move anyone. But I did not expect it to. Still, I see something in the eyes of a couple of those Zouaves. It makes my nipples harden even more knowing they may be lusting after me.

“Ready…!” the officer declares.

I hear the sound of a dozen chambers being loaded with lethal cartridges. I tremble as I defiantly thrust my chest out. I wish to offer them a tempting target as I proudly lift my chin up.

“Aim…!”

A dozen weapons rise to fixate on my nearly naked, quivering body. I stand resolute without flinching. My breath catches in my throat.

In that last moment I notice the greenery of the trees and the whiff of the fall air. Wars may come and soldiers will die, but the seasons are inexorable. I realize with a hint of sorrow that I shall never witness the next snowfall or the beauty of another spring.

Then the officer drops his sword with the command, “FIRE!” The volley is deafening. I feel the bullets penetrate my chest.

Amazingly I am not killed instantly. But the bullets deprive me of my ability to stand. I slowly crumple to my knees, my life ebbing away.

I find myself coughing up blood, indicating my lungs have been punctured. I briefly glance down to see that my right breast is shattered. I determine that one of the many shots has struck me below the navel, quite near to my dripping sex. Too bad I will never learn who fired that particular shot.

With my head held high I stare with incredible calmness at the men who have just killed me. Somehow I remain upright a moment or two longer. But the damage is too great.

I fall over backwards, my knees doubling up underneath me. ‘So this is the how a harlot comes to her end,’ I think to myself. ‘She is executed by those she would have given her favors to.’

I look up at the October sky as my life flashes before my eyes. My last memory is of that officer in the German Hussars who set me up in his apartment. Sadly I will not be returning to him as he had hoped.

The officer slowly approaches my body. Seeing that I’m still alive he draws his revolver. ‘Go ahead,’ I think in defiance and resignation. ‘Put this harlot out of her misery if you must.’

The last thing I feel is the muzzle against my left temple. Then I hear one last, lethal discharge. My suffering is at an end.

2011; 2019 (written May 24 ’11; ed. Apr 4 ‘19 by riwa)

(Picture added for illustration purposes only.)

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