My Brother’s Dominatrix

Women's Fiction

When 45-year-old Phil dies of an unexpected heart attack, his straight-laced sister Sarah is shocked to find he’s left everything to his dominatrix. Sarah is his executor so she steels herself. She contacts Angelica Belle and together they visit the Chapel of Rest. But who is the body in the coffin?

Extract from Novel 

‘Philip was our little brother…’ I glance at his portrait propped on the easel beside the coffin, while the horseshoe of family and work colleagues wait expectantly. I must stay focused.

‘When he was seven…’ I recount a funny story of Phil’s escapades. I tell them of his fascination for volcanos, his obsession of Star Trek. When I get to the part about me and my sister dressing him up in a tutu, they laugh. I want to howl. Perhaps it was our fault?

Phil always insisted he wanted a humanist funeral – it’s called a civil ceremony now. Funny, I thought that was just weddings. He’d joked he wanted ‘Highway to Hell’ played at his funeral, but my sister Penny vetoed it. She’s a Christian, she’s allowed one veto.

‘Phil was well regarded at work.’ His work colleagues nod encouragingly. An older lady dabs her eye with a tissue. ‘He was kind, patient, always at the end of a phone.’

I could tell them the truth. I could stand here right now and tell them his dirty little secret. But I don’t. Instead I signal my son and Pink Floyd’s Breathe floats through the speakers while images of Van Gogh’s paintings fill the screen.

This is supposed to be a time for reflection. My eyes travel across the heads of people and I find myself counting, thirty-seven, thirty-eight. Fifty percent family, while work colleagues cluster together in solidarity. Are they Phil’s friends? Lurking at the back are others I can’t identify.

Afterwards I invite people to stay for a cuppa and a chat. People hover waiting to speak to me. They gush with condolences, clasping my hand and engaging me with earnest eyes as they tell me how wonderful Phil was.

‘His knowledge was second to none,’ says one woman. ‘If ever there was a problem I’d say, “well I don’t know, but I know a man who does”.’ Her mouth opens wide as she laughs. There’s lipstick on her teeth.

I smile back. I scan the room locating my daughter. She’s offering around plates of biscuits. I want to check the time but my watch has slipped around my wrist. Why don’t they just go? I have so much to do. An appointment at the bank to try and ascertain what assets, if any, Phil has – more than likely it will be debts. After that I’m meeting with my brother’s dominatrix.

Glossary of terms acquainted with during executorship

Civil celebrant – master of ceremony at a humanist funeral (when she says, ‘I really want to get to know your brother,’ tell her a pack of lies)

Dominatrix – takes the sadistic role in sadomasochistic sexual activities (and sole beneficiary of brother’s residue estate)

Hypertensive heart disease – high blood pressure – might explain blood pressure armband found in wardrobe

Insolvency – when the estate is insolvent (to be applied for before or instead of probate)

Nitrous – something that can make you high. Glue sniffing has obviously moved on.

Poppers – dilate your blood vessels and cause your anus to relax (the things you can find out on google…)

Probate – what I have to apply for as executor of the will

Pulmonary thromboembolism – heart attack

Submissive – compliant, yielding, spineless, deceitful…

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