FS Title

Four Star
Part Five


The rest of the drive to Lautenthal was pretty much painless except for a short diversion at Clausthal Zellerfeld. I think we were both pretty happy when I finally set the handbrake.

"I'm knackered!"

"Well I think you're great" and Jools grabbed me around the neck for a quick snog.

"Give o'er, someone might see."

"Hmm, I suppose we ought to go inside and organise getting back to Braunlage."

"And give Den a call"

"I'll ring Den while you sort transport."

We went into the 'Hotel Goldener Lamm' and while Jools found a seat I headed to the reception.

"Ach die bus Fahrer ja?"

"Er Ja"

The next bit was in German but I've translated for you.

"One of the passengers told me what happened, I hope they are both okay"

"Me too, they are old friends"

"The coach company have a new driver on their way, he should be here later this evening."

"That's good. Is there a taxi we can get to take us back to Braunlage?"

"Neh, neh, neh. I will drive you but first you must eat."

"Thanks er?"


"Nena and my colleague is Julia"

"Well dinner will be about thirty minutes, here use 214 and freshen up."

"You don't have to"

"But I think you appreciate it yes?"

"Thank you Brigitte."

"And after dinner we take you back to your own bus."

Back to Engrish!


"Bitte schon"

I walked back to where Jools was now waiting.


"Well I need to use the lav before the taxi gets here."

I shook the keys to 214 in front of her.

"No problemo, Brigitte will drive us after we eat and we've got a room to freshen up in too"

"Chr.. Er Nena, you are something else!"

"I try"

The Golden Lamb was a small, family run place unlike our four star splendour but to be honest room 214 wasn't much different to our room in Braunlage, maybe a little smaller.

"I'm gonna grab a shower" I announced.

"I'm okay with a quick sploosh,” Jools noted, watching me disrobe. "You know Chris, it weirds me out a bit when you do that."


"Get undressed. One minute you are one good looking babe, the next you are a weird thing with your man bits down below but still the babe up top."


She came and gave me a hug.

"Never mind me, go get your shower."

We were of course more than the half hour getting sorted but I felt a bit more human even if I was wearing the same stuff.

"Ah Nena, you are better?"

"Ja, vielen danke Brigitte. Hier ist mein freund, Julia."

"Hi, thanks for the use of the room"

"That is okay"

"Well thanks anyway"

"I haf a table for you, come"

Introductions over, Brigitte led the way to the restaurant. The passengers were just placing drinks orders, a few looked a bit worse for the long and for some emotional day but we were universally greeted with smiles.

"Here", Brigitte indicated a table just far enough from the punters that we could have a private conversation. "You would like drinks?"

"Bier bitte, Jools?"

"White wine for me please Brigitte"

"Bier und weiss wein" she confirmed before leaving us.

I was feeling a bit awkward, not because of how I'm dressed but I guess as its a bit embarrassing being treated as though I've done something special. By the look on Jools face she was having similar feelings.

The hotel might have not been as grand as our lodging this week but the food was just as good. Oh and it turned up with admirable speed! The downside was that the emotional and nervous tension of the day had reduced my appetite and I was unable to do the meal justice.

We were finished eating and savouring a cup of coffee when Brigitte came over with a bloke in tow.

"You enjoy?" I think she was using English for Jools sake.

"Excellent thank you"

"Your replacement is here"

"John Reynolds" he offered, coming to join us.

"Nena Ziegler"


"Nice to meet you girls, and thank you for stepping into the breach."

"George und Maureen are gut friends, we were glad to help."

"Well thanks anyway"

"You are on your own?" Jools asked.

"'Fraid so, I'm sure I can manage."

Why do I set myself up?

"What is the rest of the programme?"

He retrieved a scrap of paper.

"Lets see, Berlin Tuesday, Wednesday's Goslar and Thursday is some steam train."

"Hmm, we do the opposite days"

"What are you thinking Nena?"

"Well we are two on our bus, if we changed the plan slightly we could help John"

"I dunno" Jools shook her head.

"Just an idea"

"John? What do you think?"

"I think you've done enough between you already"

"I'm going to ring Den,” I told them.

"So what do you think?"

"Its up to you, I'm sure given the circumstances the office will be okay with it."

"You sure?"

"Yep. You do realise that one of you will have to stay there if you do it?"

"I never thought of that"

"Well I'll leave it to you"



"He left it up to us, where's John?"

"Just gone to get a coffee. I can see by the look in your eye that you want to do it."

"Well it'd be a shame for the passengers, they've already had a big upset."

"You're just a big softy. So how we gonna do this?"

"Well one of us had better stay here"

"We'd best talk to Brigitte then and we don't have any clothes?" Jools reminded me.

"Come on then, lets go find them."

"Hi ladies"

"You are ready to depart?" Brigitte asked.

"Well that is what we need to discuss"


"We would like, or at least one of us would like to stay to help John, but of course we would need a room"

A stern look from Jools halted the rejoinder from John.

"The hotel it is full" Brigitte informed us. "The room you used even has now been taken."

"That's that then Nena"

"Einer moment bitte, whichever one can stay with me, I haf a Zimmer frei"

"That is very generous Brigitte"

"Das ist gut?"

Jools shrugged, "okay by me"

"You girls sure about this?" John asked.

"It is not a big problem, we can meet Dennis at the ersten halt then we only need to follow each other."

"I could do that on my own"

"True but if there is a problem? Who knows?"

"Okay, you've convinced me"

"So, who will stay?" Brigitte asked.

Now that was a leading question!

"You go Nena, I'll stay" Jools volunteered.

"Neh, you should go with Dennis, I will stay for John."

"Excuse us a moment" Jools tugged me towards the door and propelled me outside.

"What are you playing at Chris?"


"Well leave me here then."

"I think it would be better if I stay, we have to reschedule the WA trip and stuff, you are supposed to be learning the tour remember? All of our stuff is sorted so you don't need to do much."

"You sexist pig"

"Now what did I do?"

"Stay then! I'll give Brigitte your bag to bring back" Jools was clearly in a strop.


"Don't you Jools me, Christopher Hornby." with that she stormed back inside.

Geez, women! I'll never understand them. I give her the easy job with no hassle and she throws a wobbler!

I followed her back inside a moment later.

"Everything alright?" John enquired.

"It is fine"

"So, I will fetch my auto" Brigitte departed and Jools just looked at me daggers.

"Tell Den that we'll meet you at the railway in the morning."


I'm sure even John picked up on the tension between us.

It was with a feeling of loss that I watched Jools and Brigitte drive away. What did I say? What have I done? What I have done is maroon myself in the middle of Germany with just the clothes I'm stood up in - which just so happen to be women's. Which of course wouldn't be a problem if I were a woman!

"Fancy a drink Nena?"

"I don't think so"

"Brigitte will be at least an hour,” John pointed out. Well I guess it won't hurt.

"Er oh right, okay then, a small bier bitte"

"Sit yourself down I'll fetch 'em over."

I really was feeling vulnerable; I don't think I felt this way even that first time I appeared as a woman. My mind kept returning to Jools last words to me 'you sexist pig!' how the hell could she lay that one on me?

"Here we go, one beer for the lady, coke for the driver" he joked, sitting down opposite me.

"Thank you"

"So, we need to sort out what we are doing tomorrow I guess."

"I suppose,” I answered distractedly"

"So what is this train thing then?"

"It is a steam train ride, have you the itinerary?"

"Well it's a bit vague, apparently I'm supposed to ring the station to book it tomorrow."

Bum! I'd forgotten about that what with Den booking ours on Monday.

"I will have to ring the railway in the morning, also we need to tell the passengers of the change."

"I think some have already gone to bed, the morning will be okay."

"It is included?"

"Lets see" he checked his paperwork, "er," he quoted from the sheet, "half day to Wernigerode with optional steam train to Drei Annen Hohne Fifteen Euro"

"Well they'll get a bonus then, I wonder if it is sorted? Damn!"

"For a German you speak very good English"

"I er spend a lot of time with English tours, also I went to University at Nottingham" well there wasn't a lie there was there?

"Well I'll see you at breakfast? I 'm bushed, they dragged me off a double header to Spain to come up here"

"Güten nacht"

"Night Nena"

John left me at the table to await Brigitte; most of the bus passengers were gone by now leaving me to nurse my beer alone.

Another German interlude that I've translated for you.

"Nena, sorry I was so long, I can see you are tired. Come, my flat is only a short way."

"Sorry I think I just dropped off"

I got up, collected my bag and cardi and followed Brigitte out into the now cool late evening air. To be honest I was too tired to take in most of what she was saying as we walked up into the village proper. I did catch that George had spoken to Den but she didn't have any more details. I was a little afraid of what Jools might have said on the drive to Braunlage so I avoided asking.

"Ach so. My apartment, come on in"

Maybe the apparent preoccupation with that Japanese comic stuff took me by surprise but it was otherwise a fairly typical German abode.

"Sorry for the mess" the place was spotless compared to chez Hornby!


"Er, okay, white no sugar"

"Make yourself at home."'

I selected a chair and had barely seated myself before she was back.

"Won't be long. We'll have a drink and then sort you out with a bed."

"Thanks for this, you didn't have to."

"I don't think you are a murderer, it will be nice to have someone to talk to."

"Well thanks all the same"

The kettle chose that moment to announce boiling water so our conversation was interrupted while she went to make our drinks. I took the opportunity to examine my surroundings. There were the usual things, telly, stereo, a computer shoehorned into a corner but the dominating theme was what I think they call manga. Is that all the time is, the clock over the fireplace showed it to be five past ten. The bookshelves were crammed with Dvd's and brightly coloured books, a variety of figurines decorated most flat surfaces and on the walls, a collection of stills from I presume, the animations.

"Here we go"

"Thanks, you are into the cartoons?"

"Anime, yes for my sins"

"I've never seen so much"

"I've been collecting since high school, some of my friends have lots more though."

I sipped at my coffee.

"So, how come you work for an English busreisen?"

"I studied there and I did experience work with the company. If they need help like this week, I help out."

"Ah but you are too modest, you have a licence for driving reisebusse also."

I blushed at that. I was pooing my pants when the traffic cops came over this afternoon.

We spent a few more minutes in idle chitchat but my eyes were starting to go, it has been a long tiring day.

"Schitzer! Your bag, I left it in the car"

"Its okay, I can manage tonight."

"Neh, I will lend you some nightclothes, we are the same size"

"But...." she was already gone!

I finally climbed into Brigitte's guest bed just after eleven, I was a little bit weirded to be wearing a pair of silk pyjamas over my bra and pants, I didn't dare undress further - just in case! I was out almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.

I tossed and turned, my dreams seemingly rooted to the concept that I was abusive to Jools, everything I said was wrong, taken out of context and if I tried to explain myself it got worse. Not only that but I was always dressed as Nena not Chris, each time more girly than the last. I woke up with a start after one episode where I was dressed in a very lacy outfit with lots of flounce and ridiculous strappy sandals.


Waking up to see someone staring at you is never good, waking from a nightmare to find someone looking at you is enough to make you wee yourself! I didn't quite but not far off. Instead I just screamed.

The light flashed on and Brigitte came in.

"Nena, you okay?"

"Uh, there was a face"

She looked around the room,

"Ach it is only my mask, see"

I looked to what she was now holding, in the light it was clearly a mask but in the dark it had looked really very real!

"Er sorry for waking you, I was having a nightmare and then I woke and saw." I pointed to the mask.

She giggled a little seeing where I pointed.

“That is only Minato, she is lifelike no?”

“A bit too lifelike in the dark.” I managed a weak grin.

"You want a drink or something?"

"Um no thanks, I'm okay now. Go back to bed Brigitte, I'm fine."

"Okay, but if you want I am only next door. I turn the light?"



Sheesh! Talk about embarrassing. First the bad dream then screaming at a rubber mask, I must be going daft. Mind you I think I already have, why else would I be dressing as a woman? I lay there again, now unable to get back to sleep. I glanced across the gloom to where ‘Minako' was sat on the top of a dresser, what am I like! My dream now forgotten my barely conscious thoughts turned to other things, I hope I can sort the train after saying I will. Its going to be odd with a different driver to Den, John seems okay if a little blunt, mind you he was tired last night.

To be continued.

Maddy Bell 23.11.05


Pictures of Nena have been generated using Ania's 'Cherie' Fkiss doll on Angy-Chan's template and are Copyright 2004. They are used with permission, if you'd like to see more go to www.acharsi.prv.pl

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