BREAKDOWN!

Sylvain put the phone down gently and called Manuela, her trusted Spanish maid.

“Two guests for the weekend, arriving this afternoon.”

“Si señora.”

IMG_7815

“Run my bath, Manuela, with rose petals and perfume.”

“Si señora.” She flashed her Spanish eyes with what could be taken as annoyance?

IMG_7822

Relishing the gorgeous luxury of her marble clad bath chamber, Sylvain basked in steamy solitude before her guests arrived.

IMG_7579

Meanwhile on a quite country lane. Sindy’s car had coughed, spluttered and halted abruptly. She tried everything to get it started (except fill the empty petrol tank) She was miles away from the nearest phone box, Sindy was stranded in the deserted back lanes and getting a little bit scared.

IMG_7965

Frantically she waved at the next passing car, close to tears she sobbed,

“Please help me, I’ve broken down!”

fullsizeoutput_9e5bLuckily they were NOT serial killers (?) just a couple of chaps ready to help a distressed damsel.

“Hop in sweetie, we’ll take you to a phone.”

Flustered, Sindy was suddenly aware they were driving a very shiny, expensive two seater sports car so it was a very tight squeeze, Sindy immediatly felt safe with these handsome ( and rich) strangers.

IMG_7962

Sylvain took her aperitif in the west wing.

“Los guests have arrived señora.” Manuela was on front door duty as well as waitress, chambermaid and general dogsbody.

“Good, show them in.” She said impatiently, before she even had a chance to pick out her favourite chocolates.

IMG_7837

“Julian darling, it’s been so long, you are as handsome as ever.” As they kissed twice in the continental fashion, complementing each other in affectionate gestures.

“Sylvain, the one and only true beauty, we have so much to catch up on.”

IMG_7845

“Tristan, I’ve heard all about your adventures, such a hero, when is the book published?”

“Sylvain, I haven’t started writing it yet, ha ha, you must help me decide on the title.”

“Ah, I see you have brought your tennis racket, we shall play tomorrow…and this time I will beat you!”

“Not before I beat you first young lady!” As he tapped it against her posteria in a overly familiar fashion, amongst jovial laughter all round.

IMG_7846

Sindy coughed

“And who is this?”

“We found this poor thing all alone and stranded in the middle of nowhere, her cars broken down.”

“So….no one knows where you are, no one at all?” Sylvain raised an interested eyebrow as she appraised the pretty blonde girl.

“Er, no…er, please may I use your phone, I must get a machanic.”

The three pairs of eyes devoured her innocent freshness ( were evil intensions afoot?)

IMG_7849

Manuela dialed a local garage ( or thats what she said she was doing) and spoke so fast Sindy could hardly understand her, although she didn’t actually mention her car, something about ‘sacrificio’.

“Its a mini.” Sindy added, trying to be helpful, just as the maid slammed the telephone down abruptly.

“When are they coming?”

“Later, pronto, mañana…..” She shrugged, “They are veerry busy.”

Sindy was a little disappointed until she looked around at the luxury and refinement of her surroundings, she’d never been in such a beautiful house before.

fullsizeoutput_9ed9

Sly winks and nods were exchanged, unbeknown to Sindy the handsome duo had unscrupulous plans for our sweet heroine.

*We all trust in strangers at times of emergency, hoping they are upstanding citizens

IMG_7858

Manuela led the expected guests with their luggage to their room, leaving the unexpected one sharing some soft centres with the hostess.

IMG_7863

“So do you live here all alone? ” Sindy scoffed between small talk.

“My husbands have all …gone.” Sylvain replied casually.

“Husbands? How many have you had?”

“Six, the first was a Swiss General but I was only 14, then the Russian Count, followed by the Maharajah – such a sweet man but his children …. were difficult.” Sylvain had a far away look as she recalled her past life.

“Oh!” Sindy was easily impressed and her curiosity was whetted, “Where…are they….did you divorce?

“All dead, I am a widow.” Said Sylvain abruptly as she elegantly rose and left the room.

IMG_7861

Immediatly Manuela entered with refreshments, Sindy didn’t usually drink wine in the afternoon but it would be rude to refuse, wouldn’t it?

She was getting quite comfortable, pampered in the lap of grandiose luxury.

IMG_7877

Smooth talking Tristan kept her company and shared some chocolates so she didn’t feel too guilty finishing off the whole box. He was so handsome, Sindy was seriously falling for his charming ways, thrilling in this real life adventure just like the Mills & Boon books she loved to read.

IMG_7868

“Tris, will you come and play with my balls?” called Julian, who seemed keen to rescue his companion from pretty Sindy’s charming and innocent clutches.

fullsizeoutput_9e08

“I’d love a game of boules with you Julian.” Tris jumped up to follow his games partner outside just as Manuela refilled Sindy’s glass, she had lost count how many times she’d emptied it, who was keeping score anyway?

IMG_7875

Dusting the surfaces in the garden room, all semed quiet in the house, Manuela had seen many strange sights and odd goings ons, usually with willing participants; this time was different and she was having second thoughts, a crisis of conscience perhaps?

IMG_7916

“Ah there you are, you’re not trying to escape again, tee tee.” The now tipsy Sindy pounced (or staggered) over to this handsome smiling young man, grabbing his arm to steady herself, and stroking him affectionately.

IMG_7900

“I want to thank you so much for rescuing me, you were like a knight in a shining sportscar, ” she gushed, “Maybe we could go out together and get to know each other better?” Sindy had got some dutch courage from somewhere and her bold advances took him by surprise.

“Oh sweetie, ” he gently untwined her pawing hands, “I’m taken and haven’t you got a boyfriend, Barry, you told me all about him earlier.”

IMG_7903

Sindy had forgotten that bit and stood crestfallen and a little bit fuzzy headed as he made his speedy escape back to the sunny lawn and Julian’s ball game.

What a fool she’d made of herself, her romance novels never ended like this, he should have held her in his strong arms and whisked her onto his yacht after a quick marriage at Gretner Green.

Drunken Sindy had tears whelling up in her eyes.

IMG_7906

Manuela tutted from the dark corner of the large room and muttered in her native tongue about the folly of youth.

IMG_7911

Handing her the ( slightly soiled) duster to dab her tears, “Telephone this Barry, he take you home, you shouldn’t be here after dark, it’s…..dangerous.”

IMG_7931

Half an hour later, the familiar rumble of a motorbike was heard , Sindy grabbed her coat and ran outside at full pelt.

“Oh Barry, take me home now…hurry”

“What’s up Sind? We were all worried when you didn’t show up, even your mum called me!”

“Oh Barry – you are my true hero.”

fullsizeoutput_9edc

Later by the pool.

“What happened to that girl?”

“She has gone señor.”

“Shame, we could of had some fun with that one.” They laughed while handling their fruity cocktails.

IMG_7949

Sunday night with a cold beer, some praline chocolate cake and all her house guests now departed…

IMG_7888

Sylvain puts her tired feet up and dreams of the crisp Alpine air and the holey cheese of her childhood home.

IMG_7886

And the moral of this story is – always tell your mummy where you are going.

©Juliette Dodd 2000

 

Talent Show – Variety

A week before the talent contest, Barry dropped round at Sindys house casually handing her a bag full of his dirty laundry.

“Just a few more bits Sind darlin’, it’s only ’til I get one of my own, did you wash my lucky pants by any chance?”

IMG_6049Sindy had been rushed off her feet, ironing his socks and folding his going out shirt when she had discovered some incriminating evidence that he may have been up to his old tricks and decided to confront him.

“Barry, have you been ….gambling again?”

He was deep in her fridge with his mouth full of her secret stash of chocolate bars.

“What?” He answered in a confused way, then saw the playing card she was holding up.

“No, of course not, Sindy believe me, I don’t do that no more.”

She studied his simple face for the tell tale signs of deceit but he held her gaze steadily while munching away and her suspicions were quelled.

IMG_6059

“Oh Barry, don’t you ever eat at home?” She lovingly filled the bag with his freshly pressed clothes as he rummaged in her cupboards for the hidden crisp stash. Sindy had the best snacks and Barry was a very lucky man.

IMG_6060

Fast forward to the night of The Ritzys Talent contest. The enigmatic owner and tonights compare Darius, introduced the next contestant as ‘Magic Barry – The man of Mystery.’

The ladies in the audience cooed their appreciation at this fine figure of a virile young man, Barry lapped it up, basking in the adoration with a half hidden smug smile.

He had been secretly practicing for ages and now it was the big night.

IMG_6068

From out of nowhere a magic wand suddenly appeared in his hand as Barry began his performance using exaggerated gestures, all the while keeping a totally straight face.

A magic box was placed on the green baise table as the wand tapped it three times while he incanted the magic word ‘ALACAZAM’ .

IMG_6083

The shocked gasps rippled across the awe inspired auditorium as he slowly opened the magic box revealing……

IMG_6087

BARBIE!

IMG_6092Ta-da

Barry’s first magic trick was incredible and the crowd went wild, especially after he carefully closed the box and deftly tossed it around on all its corners, there were absolutely no holes or gaps (maybe mirrors… but nothing was ever proved)

fullsizeoutput_99c8

Barry’s next trick involved three cups and a real egg, this got even more gasps from the amazed audience as the egg disappeared from the table.

IMG_6108

Only to reappear under his magicians Fez!

WOW! What a talent, how did he do that?

Although the cheap seats at the back couldn’t really see very much, even so they clapped loudly with the rest.

IMG_6116

Just to show off Barry miraculously conjured not just one egg cup, but three.

Goodness me, this man had talent!

IMG_6122

Barrys final trick was a classic slight of hand card illusion, asking a random lady from the audience to name a card, he magically produced this exact one ( the Queen of Hearts) from the pack. The back row were seriously unimpressed which, in hindsight, was not his best choice of tricks, it always went down well in the pub but sadly not in a theatre of this magnitude.

IMG_6124

Barry the ‘Man of Mystery’ was unceromniously ushered off the stage as the set needed to be changed while the interval rush for the bar kicked off. He didn’t even get his full applause but Darius reaped the profits.

Suitably refreshed for the second half, the curtains opened and welcomed to the stage the ‘Many Faces of Max’ – Impressionist extraordinaire.

Laughter peeled loudly as he stumbled and bumbled around as Benny Hill.

IMG_6134

His Tommy Cooper was hilarious, especially as Max used some of the same tricks as Barry but they all went terribly wrong to the great amusement of the now tipsy audience.

Barry was the only one not laughing.

IMG_6136

Max even got an encore for his inspired performance as the popular and precocious child star Bonny Langford, singing her heart out very loudly

“I’m just a girl who can’t say no…..”

They were rolling around the aisles in merriment and one old lady even had an unfortunate accident because she’d drunk too much in the interval.

IMG_6147

Darius introduced the hot new singing sensation KSSK ( vaguely pronounced Kissed) with their amazing vocal version emulating the popular Swedish group ABBA.

They had a phenominal stage routine with sycronised arm waving and everything.

IMG_6150

Their rendition of SOS was …almost …in tune.

When Sindy hit the high notes, the rest gave her some harmony almost loud enough to drown out the wavering finish.

Nonetheless, the girls flounced around the stage as if they were superstars and everyone could see how much they were all enjoying the limelight.

fullsizeoutput_99fd

They were just going into their second song ‘Waterloo’ when, for some unknown reason the microphones stopped working.

Darius ushered the confused performers off to stage right with a fixed grimace of a smile on his weary face.

It had been a long night.

IMG_6159

The final act for this frenzied and strangly laughing crowd was a total surprise to Old Mrs Sindy, who was sitting in the second row next to the lady who had wet herself earlier. She’d only come to support her darling daughter but now was amazed to see on stage, none other than her new gentleman friend, Sir Charles!

IMG_6167

“Hello Sargent Life Guard, have you seen Her Majesty the Queen recently?” asked Sir Charles.

“Yes, I have”

“And did she offer you a beverage?”

“Yes she did.”

“What was that drink?”

“A gottle of gear.”

IMG_6172

“Ho Ho, my wife has just come back from a holiday in the Caribbean?”

“Jamaica?”

“No, Trinidad actually.”

“I say, I say, I say, did you know that my dog has no nose?”

“No nose? How does he smell?”

“Awful”

And it truly was an awful performance, everyone could see his mouth move, even so Sir Charles probably received the loudest and longest amount of applause of the whole evening.

IMG_6166

Now we have all witnessed the variety of entertainers, who would you pick to win the contest?

 

©Juliette Dodd 2020

HOUSEMATES

* Authors note – adult themes explored, do not read if you are easily offended – if you are offended then get a bloody grip, they are just toys! *

~*~                                            ~*~                                            ~*~

Madam Sylvain, Head of House was overseer of all the goings on, including the visitors and Housemates.

Firm but fair was her motto although her cold demeanour was often taken for disinterest, she had her own reasons for holding up a barrier to others.

Presiding from the inner sanctum of her stately Office, she kept the others under check and was held in the highest esteem, almost reverence by the ladies, most of whom where from the Old country, like herself.

fullsizeoutput_910d

His regular visits were the highlight of Max’s mundane life, this was the only time he could truly be himself, indulging all his whims and fancies without judgement or criticism, exploring his feminine side was his greatest pleasure.

fullsizeoutput_91b8

Mistress Felina knew his needs perfectly and purred and pandered to his inner softie.

It was hard being such a masculine hunk of muscle having to keep up the appearance of a raging testosterone oozing, pumped up heart throb with rippling biceps and really cool hair.

All he really wanted was to be a girl wearing pretty lacy pink dresses and picking flowers, skipping and playing hide and seek.

Mistress Felina supplied a safe place to act out his fantasies, she knew what all little girls loved best, she was the best Nanny.

fullsizeoutput_91b9

After shaving his legs and chest Max anointed his taut body with rose scented lotion relishing the softness of his bronzed limbs, it was his happy time and no one could spoil it for him while he was safe in the House.

fullsizeoutput_91b6

Mistress Felina got on with the usual chores and did the laundry run after every visiter, lotions, creams and perfumes made a lot of mess and clean linen was part of the whole experience.

IMG_3577

In the kitchen, which was only for the residence, all the Housemates relaxed and refreshed themselves between visitors, a heated discussion was under way.

“Ze washing machine is broken, again, we need new one.”

“Not again, iz too bad, you load it too full Felina.”

“Do not blame me Selina, you don’t check ze pockets, too many rubber bands and coins, you broke it!”

And so it went on, each blaming the other for breaking the washing machine, the room was filled with sour faced ladies while the dirty laundry piled higher and higher.

fullsizeoutput_91b2

Breaking their blaming stalemate, Petra entered the kitchen,

“Madame has called a meeting, everyone must come to the Office, NOW!”

An almost audible intake of breath was heard as they immediately sat to attention and gathered themselves in a rather worried way.

“But Sonia has a visitor.”

“Go get her, Madam summoned us all, come now it is urgent.”

Squabble forgotten, one stormed off to fetch their comrade while the others made themselves presentable, they all knew how much Madame abided scruffiness and mess.

IMG_3619

Tapping her fingers impatiently on the Office desk, she redialed again, still no answer.

“Scheisse!” She muttered, obviously annoyed she slammed the phone down.

It wasn’t often Madam Sylvain lost her temper so this must have been something very important.

Composing herself she waited for the Housemates to arrive.

IMG_3371

“Madame, zis ez a serious problem, ze washing machine, it ez broken.” Felina knew someone must tell Madam and she wanted to be the first.

“Och nein!” Madame Sylvain was now visibly irked.

“That new man, get him to fix it, use you head Felina, don’t trouble me with trifles.”

“Ja Madame.”

fullsizeoutput_9107

It wasn’t long before the room was filled with beautiful women all standing to attention around the desk.

“Gut, I have called you here, we have a very important visitor arriving soon, everything must be perfect, you will not let me down.”

“No Madam.” They answered in unison.

“And he will have an entourage, a whole weekend and I want everything running smoothly, do you all understand.”

“Yes Madame.”

IMG_3355

“Madame, which room will they be using?”

“All of them.” They all gasped together.

“Even the Greek room?” Selina asked.

“Especially the Greek room, this is a very special event and I demand perfection and I expect complete satisfaction for the whole party. You are all the creme de la creme, the most gifted in your field, we are the best House in the whole of Europe, lets make it the best in the World!”

“Yes Madam.”

IMG_3356

“But with dirty washing …” Muttered Selina smiling.

“This is NOT funny, I have no time for your jokes, get it sorted immediately.” Her reaction took everyone by surprise and they stepped back terrified as Madame Sylvain stood up, almost hissing her annoyance.

“We will get it all ready now Madame.”

“All will be done as you wish Madame.”

“But what about the Pink Boudoir?”

“All rooms will be in use, it’s a specific request, even the Nursery. Now go, leave me I have important phone call to make to Zurich.”

The ladies filed out of the Office and rushed to discuss the meeting candidly together in the Kitchen, except Sonia who rushed to release her visitor before another death occured.

IMG_3366

The next day Neville was summoned, he could only come after work and had great difficulty hiding his building excitement at the prospect.

Even Barry had noticed him clock watching and pacing around eagerly all day.

“What’s up with you Nev, you got a hot date or something?” Barry quizzed.

“NO, erm… seeing a bloke about a new bike down the pub.”

“Can I come, I fancy a pint away from Sindy, a lads night eh?”

“No, it’s….he’s a loner, doesn’t like strangers.” Nev lied.

“Sounds bloody dodgy to me, be careful Bruv.” Little did he know the secret life his older brother was hiding.

IMG_2819

Arriving as soon as he could, after showering and changing his pants (being ever hopeful – he was once a boy scout ) Neville was ushered into a small utility room near the back door of the House.

“Mend this, eet is broken.” Mistress Petra was as abrupt and direct as always, he quite liked that she was so dominant and he really wanted to please her.

IMG_3683

Luckily Nev had worked with an electrician as one of his many jobs after leaving the army, although he was quite talented in that field but could never settle in any place long enough to start a business.

Left alone to solve the problem, the house now seemed unnervingly quiet.

The Laundry room was filled with his favourite things – ladies frilly undergarments, although some of the items were a rather strange design and other of an unusually large size. Nev was in his element, the inner sanctum of this House of women with all their private things. He was deliriously happy.

IMG_3700

Meanwhile Max had escaped the Pink room and rushed down the corridor to dodge his pursuer, giggling loudly at the thrill of this simple innocent game, he too was deliriously happy.

IMG_3427

The hectic stomping and giggling outside disturbed Nev whose curiosity had got the better of him, peeking out of the laundry room door he saw a disappearing figure in a flowery dress and oddly familiar blonde hair.

 

IMG_3415

Intrigued he watched as they entered another door which immediately slammed shut accompanied by loud squeals and more giggles.

Nev dared not follow, he was both curious and a little bit scared to uncover the secrets of the House and to be caught in the act of prying would have meant immediate expulsion.

IMG_3423

“The brushes have worn out!” He muttered to himself after delving deeply inside the inner workings of the kaput washing machine.

‘That’s easily fixed.”

Nev masterfully returned all the components back to their rightful place and turned the dial, smiling smugly at the familiar noise as it begun filling with water, humming back to life as he stood back to survey his handiwork.

IMG_3701

Outside the door Petra’s voice echoed loudly,

“Found you!”

“You can’t catch me,” a high pitched squeaky voice replied.

“Enough, come back here, Maxine.”

“No, you catch me if you can, you’re It, you’re It.”

IMG_3432

The noise made Nev look out again, this time he spied Petra marching the blonde haired figure up the hallway…but it was a man…in a dress.

Neville was both shocked and relieved.

He wasn’t alone.

There were others like him, the same as him, at last he felt like he had almost found his tribe.

IMG_3442

Clearing up the laundry room, Nev couldn’t quite work out what this strange thing was, it looked exactly like a baby’s romper suit but massive, how very peculiar he thought and couldn’t imagine any of the glamorous ladies wearing such a thing.

What do you think it is?

IMG_3706

What else will he see in the House?

Who is the secret VIP guest?

And what goes on in the Greek room?

 

©Juliette Dodd 2020

New Job

After the unfortunate incident while on the bin rounds, the whole crew got the sack unexpectedly; luckily there was always plenty of work around for fit and strong young men and they started the new job together at first light on Monday morning.

“Are you sure you know where we’re going?” Barry asked Tom, the only one with a HGV drivers licence.

“Yeah man, don’t fret, its cool.” Tom was always so laid back.

Barry had his usual swagger on, he loved being the leader of the gang, none of the others really cared, except his brother Neville sitting in the back hoping he’d get a dry seat on their return.

After a good half hours drive they finally pulled up on the roadside next to the most massive pot hole they’d ever seen.

“Quiet around here, isn’t it?” Barry lit his pre work fag and surveyed the scenery, clement for the time of year, the weak sun made the days task less arduous already.

“How long will this take, you reckon?” Barry was looking for a dodge.

“Be done by lunch, easy.” Tom replied, three men for one hole, a doddle!

Neville was trying to warm his frozen bones up and started unloading the gear, silently grumbling while the others had yet another smoke.

“What’s Up Nev?” Barry called over, he could see the expression on his brothers face and knew he was the opposite to happy.

“I don’t know about you two but I want to get this job done fast and get back to the depot, its bloody freezing.” Grumbled Nev, who didn’t own a warm overcoat, well not until payday comes anyway.

“Ok, ok don’t get your knickers in a twist bro.” Barry had a cruel streak, especially where his older brother was concerned, probably from years of childhood resentment being the small one.

“What are we shovelling first, the sand or the hardcore?” Tom didn’t know, and neither did the others; they’d all fibbed on their application forms about past experience, they didn’t have a clue so made a guess.

“I’ll do a few barrows of sand and you get the hardcore.” Barry ordered confidently, although neither was the lighter task, the sand took longer to shovel being so fine.

A bit of teamwork and they’d got into a good rhythm, the winter sun warmed their backs as they paced their mornings workload.

Then the chat turned to the fairer sex and Nev went quiet, he’d been back a few months now and still hadn’t met anyone; none of Sindy’s friends liked men with beards and with his odd ways, they thought he was a strange one.

Poor Neville

“So the holes filled in, now what?”

They all looked at each other for the answer.

“Get it flat?”

“Oh… yeah, maybe?”

All morning the road had been deserted but in the distance a lone figure walked steadily towards them.

Neville was the first to spot her.

A vision of leather clad loveliness, her haughty expression seemed to stare straight past the bright orange overalled lads, as she steadily marched onwards.

“So you reckon we should shovel some of this back then?” Barry questioned, Tom nodded and they started digging out the pile again.

“It’s a road not a mountain, you daft git.” Tom chuckled deeply.

Neville couldn’t help himself staring, like an enchantment had come over him.

He thought she was beauty personified and he was totally smitten; if there was such a thing as love at first sight, this would be the closest he’d ever got to it.

Aloof yet enticing, incurious and beguiling, she was the woman of his dreams.

“Good morning Miss.” He had to say something, anything to get her attention.

“Do you need a hand there?”

“Nein danke.” She retorted, glancing at him for an instant.

“Ah, bist du Deutscher?” Neville had picked up her accent immediately.

“Ja, ich bin Deutsch.” She seemed pleased.

“I lived in German for a while, Berlin then….” He trailed off as she popped her letter into the Post box and turned to go.

“Er…have you got any…odd jobs that need doing?” Was all he could think to say, it seemed to work as she stopped and turned to inspect him closer.

“Ja.. yes, can you mend ze blocked sink?” She stared into his very soul with her deep dark eyes.

“Of course I can, Miss.”

“Gut, then come to ze house…zat one,” she pointed through the leafless trees to a large concealed mansion and with those abrupt instruction she turned and marched off.

Neville stood enraptured, starting after her and relished the last of the sunlight glinting in her chestnut hair as the click clack of her heels faded up the road.

All this was duly noticed by the other two, who nudged and winked at each other, ginning widely Barry couldn’t help but feel a bit proud of his elder brother, fast work indeed!

“Nice one Nev, you’re a dark horse, I didn’t even know you’d been to Germany!” Said Barry while giving him a big pat on the back.

Neville didn’t really talk much, even to his own brother, about his past life travelling the world after the army, he was a very private man.

“Yes, but it was a pretty dark time and I don’t really remember much.” He suddenly came over extra quiet as the flashbacks smashed around his head like ping pong balls and made him shudder.

The hole was filled in and even a bit of extra sand on top so the lads were pleased their mornings task was completed.

“Who forgot the broom?” Barry moaned.

“You did.” Tom and Nev shouted in unison.

So much for taking turns, Barry loved his brother but not as much as he loved his comfort; it was a cold bumpy drive back to the depot. Barry hoped they’ll get allocated some power tools soon and do some proper digging with loads of noise.

Later that afternoon, eager Neville had biked over to the mysterious mansion in the trees, up the long crunchy gravel drive and stood nervously by the front door.

It seemed to take a long time to be opened after he’d knocked, he could hear her heels click clack steadily along an echoey hallway and what he thought was a distant scream.

“Come, enter….follow me to zee kitchen.”

“I’m Neville…” he stammered nervously although she didn’t seem to be interested in introductions.

The corridor was indeed long with many closed doors and dark passages leading off in every direction; as he walked swiftly behind the stoic Fräulein, Neville had the uncanny feeling he was being watched.

What is in this house and who is this mysterious German lady?

I hope you are brave enough to find out.

©Juliette Dodd 2020

New Year – part 2

In the early hours of New Years day, a raucous car load of drunken revellers sang on their way home; too far intoxicated to blush at the filthy sailors songs, the girls cackled and joined in at the chorus….

“Friggin’ in the riggin’,

“Friggin’ in the riggin’….”

Oh dear was that…yes, the familiar sound of a distant siren!

As the flashing lights got brighter, Burt stomach sunk as he slowed down and stopped…they were only a half mile from home too, bugger.

“‘Ello, ‘ello….been to a party have we?”

Burt wound his window down and tried to act sober.

Barry also wound his window down and waved a bottle of Pomagne out, offering it to the Policemen jovially.

That didn’t help the situation one little bit.

“Can you all step out of the vehicle please.” The policeman wasn’t in a jovial mood, having to do the worst night of the week.

The inebriated gang of party goers tumbled out of the car into the cold night air, grumbling and arguing, they were so close to home as well!

“How many drink have you had this evening Sir?”

Burt honestly had no idea, he was an old sailor and counting was for wimps or the army.

“Just blow into this for me Sir…until I say stop.”

“I’ve had 15 bottles….Happy New Year.” slurred Barry as he clumsily stumbled over grabbing the policeman sleeve while still tightly holding onto the open bottle with the other hand.

“Want a swig?” he kindly proffered before swinging around and staggering over to the car.

Meanwhile the girls had cornered the fresh faced young constable, being new to the beat, he’d been allocated tonights duty ‘for experience’ purposes.

“Oh, you’re so young?”

“…and handsome.”

“Can I try on your helmet, oh isn’t it heavy?”

“Let’s feel your muscles….what a big boy!”

“Madam!” he shrieked, “Remove your hand at once.”

As the ladies drunkenly tussled over the helmet this suddenly without warning escalated into a full on cat fight.

All was all becoming too much for poor Barry as his head spun with the still flashing lights and screaming, not to mention the evenings mixture of beer, cocktails and Pomagne.

“Man down.” Burt shouted as he grabbed Barry just in time, the girls immediately forgot their squabble and rushed to help their fallen comrade.

“Right, you’re all nicked, down the station with you.”

The girls wailed and used some very foul language indeed, even Burt was shocked.

It wasn’t long until they were all under the fierce unforgiving fluorescent lights of the Police station, slightly swaying as they steadied each other, Sindy and Barbie listened to the officer recount their recent behaviour.

Shamefaced they realised there would be consequences, Sindy’s mother would be informed, they may even be mentioned in the local newspaper.

Tears welled but to no avail.

‘And what have you got to say for yourself, my good man?”

Burt was getting his turn, he knew by past experience to not say anything, he didn’t want any more trouble than he was already in.

Barry was surprisingly still standing, although not very steadily.

The misdemeanours were listed aloud as Burt listened silently, wishing they’d booked a taxi but it was too late for ifs and buts.

Barry could contain himself no more and made full use of the complementary police issue bucket, much to the disgust of the young Police constable, who almost gagged along with him.

“With the breathalyser result as well as your statement, I have no other option than to charge you, but being your first offence in this county the court may be lenient.

Burt, you’ve let us all down.

Burt – charged with being drunk in charge of a vehicle and speeding.

Barry – charged with being drunk and disorderly and vomiting on a Police officer.

Barbie – charged with sexual assault of a Police officer and disorderly conduct.

Sindy – Disorderly conduct

Happy New Year

A fool learns by their own mistakes and wise man learns by others – Don’t Drink and Drive.

©Juliette Dodd 2020

Old Year – part 1

The end of another year, Burt reflected on all his past adventures as he travelled back from an emotional London trip, visiting the old family. This was the first Christmas he didn’t have a lady companion around for a very long time.

He had tried to get into the festive spirit but there was only one kind that warmed his lonely heart tonight.

Meanwhile at Sindy’s house, she’d woken up especially early to get the sprouts on before Barry came round for Christmas dinner. Everything was prepared, Sindy was very organised and wanted to impress her boyfriend with her culinary skills.

Barry duly arrived bringing gifts and became very excited at the prospect of carving the turkey: he really wanted to impress Sindy with his manly knife skills.

“Oh Barry.” Sindy was certainly impressed ( and maybe even a little scared) as he brandished the sharpened blade before deftly slicing the (slightly dry) breast, brushing away the turkey crumbs until he had quite a few almost whole slices to display.

Barry tried hard to disguise his look of sheer repulsion at Sindy’s slightly brown coloured greens, he wasn’t quite sure what vegetable they were originally but hoped the gravy will help.

Meanwhile in another part of town, Max and Barbie were breaking up, tensions were fraught and emotions were heightened by the pre luncheon alcohol consumption.

He didn’t get her the gift she had been hinting heavily at the last month and she was too spoilt and selfish (apparently!)

Christmas was over

Just before the old year ended there was one last chance to grab a bit of happiness and that was at the New Years Eve party.

Barry sang in the shower as he splashed on his new Christmas aftershave, it wasn’t quite ‘The best a man can get’ or even the one that ‘Drives women wild’, not the ‘Mark of a Man’ because Barry is a man who doesn’t have to try too hard.

The party was swinging

Music and dancing as the revellers toasted each other and the New Year.

Barry’s brother Neville surprised everyone by bringing his saxophone for some mellow jazz.

An impromptu accompaniment from Tom’s acoustic guitar; he always had a few adoring groupies, being very popular with the alternative ladies.

Not to be outdone, Burt got his horn out, he couldn’t resist showing what a real man could do.

Catching the eye (and ear) of a lonely love sick lady who was a teeny bit drunk already, steamy suggestive glances were exchanged.

As the evening progressed more toasts where made, Ken and his Hair salon girls turned up late, better late than never Barry toasted, even though he didn’t particularly like Ken, it was New Years after all!

The room stopped chattering as Stacey loudly marched in with a serious drum roll as the clock struck 12 to jubilant shouts and whoops from the excited revellers.

“Happy New Year!” Burt was the first to grab the two willowy girls for a big bear hug and copious kisses, always an opportunist, he was being greedy.

Mindy ( Sindy’s best friend) had her date all sorted, she hadn’t let him out of sight all evening as the rumour Barbie was single was scary enough to take drastic precautions.

“Happy New Year!” Barry and Sindy toasted each other, then the rest of the room as the drunken happiness spread to everyone for the first of January had begun.

Stacey kept on banging that drum as she marched off first footing down the road, her Scottish tradition to spread luck and prosperity as well as a few more drinkies on route (this party was nearly dry!)

To be continued in – New Year – part 2

©Juliette Dodd 2020

A Fistful of Dollies

Big Gun Barry was in love, his wild and roaming heart had been skilfully lassoed by the charms of Big Chief Howling Wolf’s twin daughters ( Big Gun Barry wasn’t fussed which sister he married to tell the whole truth y’all!)

After many a Pow Wow and quite a lot of liquid fire water persuasion followed by some serious sessions on the peace pipe, Big Gun Barry had agreed to become a Brave; the only way the Chief would let him marry his beloved daughter(s)

Once the initiation period was over the wedding ceremony would commence, in three moons time – on the condition of a large dowry payment of course; daughters were a precious commodity.

Big Gun Barry was, as usual, broke.

Pretty Pocaharder was eager for the sacred matrimonial ceremony, Pocalonger couldn’t wait for the nuptials.

Big Gun Barry was beside himself with frustration, he needed some mega bucks and fast.

Time to seek out his old partner.

The man with one name ~ BURT

The deadliest and quietest gunslinger in the West.

“Beautiful mornin’ Ladies.” Always the perfect gentleman, Burt doffed his hat to the respectable towns women of this busy trading outpost called Stiff Men’s Creek.

Half way between the plains and the Mountains and not too far from the desert, this far flung ramshackle town was always full of roaming settlers, prospectors and sometimes even outlaws!

Barry had to drop his rootin’ tooting’ cowboy name and take on a new tribal one (it was part of his initiation)

He wasn’t very happy to be re-Christened ‘Little Gecko,’ it just didn’t have the same connotations but it was the first animal to be seen at the naming ceremony, so be it.

“If that’s what you want?” Burt was a bit surprised at how far Barry would go to get a bride (or two).

“Yeah, but I still need to make some big dollars quick, any ideas Burt?”

“We’ll have to go back to Bounty hunting ‘cos I know you hate mining.”

The God fearing Church going ladies were chatting loudly about the gallery of villains on all the ‘Wanted’ posters, so very ugly, what awful crimes and how they should find redemption if they only saw the light and mended their thieving ways.

“Why, I do believe you’re not a real Injun?” One lady questioned Barry who was busy trying to find the bottom of the bottle.

He just growled his annoyance, he wasn’t a happy Barry!

‘What is the New World coming to?’ thought Burt, as he saw so many females on the posters, Pear Heart, Della Rose, he was sure he’d had a dalliance with at least one of these naughty ladies.

‘Belle Starr!’ Burt whistled at the $750 reward, she sure looked familiar!

“She’d sort our finances out a treat.” He quietly folded up her poster for later viewing.

In his despondent stupor Barry wasn’t convinced, he had a double dowry to find; Burt thought he was just being a little bit greedy.

“This is more like it, $100,000 for ‘The Butcher’, what a nasty piece of work, I’ve heard all the terrible tales about him.” Barry needed big funds and quickly.

He longingly thought of affording a third bride to rub his feet while the twins were tending his other areas.

Naughty Barry!

“Good afternoon Miss.” Greeted Burt as the very prim but very pretty School Teacher walked past; Barry was too lost in his own personal bourbon fuelled fantasy to notice.

The school house was right next to the Church, although mostly empty as this town had no children at present.

As he sat drinking coffee and studying the poster it suddenly clicked, Burt was sure he knew the teacher’s friend, she looked a little too familiar but he just couldn’t place where from.

He now recalled she used to have dark haired, although that was a very bad picture of her and it was a while ago back in Frisco.

Meanwhile in a secluded stable behind the school house, the stealthy figure of Murray Steel was silently saddling up a fresh steed.

( Tongue twister, the faster the better)

Murray was her willing slave, he adored his Mistress more than words could say, he would do anything she asked.

Love is the only motive.

Dressed in matching jeans and shirts, her real identity heavily shielded, this mysterious and deadly female was on a mission to rob the next stage coach before it even reached Stiff Men’s Creek.

Gold and plenty of it, the only real commodity way out in the wild West; you could buy a thousand acres, you could buy a whole town, no one messes with the highest payer.

“Be careful Belle.” Murray called as she galloped off through the sparse trees.

He would take the rap for her, thats how much he loved that wicked, wicked lady.

Burt turned a blind eye at the School house stables when a very fast horse and rider swiftly dismounted inside the gloom, he wasn’t a vindictive man and Belle had been mighty kind to him when they were ‘friends.’

A short while later that same day, two very respectable Church going Ladies walked along the empty one street town towards the deserted school house.

“Careful Belinda, I hear footsteps.” Alerted the School teacher to her companion.

They began loudly singing hymns to cover the chink chink of gold coins.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me….”

“Good day to ya.” Greeted the rough handed cowboys.

“May the good Lord be with you boys.”

“I once was lost but now I’m found….”

“..was blind but now I see….”

And the school house door slammed shut.

….To be continued…..

©Juliette Dodd 2019

Bank Holiday Bike Ride

It was not the sunniest day for a British Bank holiday but Barry was determined to take his girlfriend Sindy for an extra special day out whatever.

After a long and chilly ride they finally arrived in the seaside town of Hastings, amid the deafening rumble of hundreds of other bikes. Barry was glad to get off and stretch his legs, Sindys side car ride had been slightly more comfortable.

Barry couldn’t wait to have a look around and see all the other shiny fast motorbikes lined up in the seaside car park, every make and model from this country and abroad, it was bikers heaven.

In his element, Barry was almost lost in the mechanical delirium until a rather bored and slightly whiny voice broke into his beautiful daydream.

“Barry, I’m hungry, lets get some chips.”

“Ew, you’ve put too much salt on.”

Just the way I like them thought Barry, scoffing the lot.

“Can we go to the beach now, the sea looks lovely.” Sindy pleaded.

Not really quite what she expected but, yes they were on the beach.

Next stop, down at the amusement arcade, Barry splashed his cash – for a pocket full of loose change, he was feeling lucky.

Sindy was impressed, even more when he swaggered over to a one armed bandit and won at the first pull.

‘Wow’

“Ooh Barry, you’re so clever.” she cooed at his prowess.

“What about that one,” as she pointed to the shooting range, how could he refuse; as he grasped the barrel and laid aim…hit, hit, miss, miss..miss…oh dear, next time maybe.

Another try, Barry hated losing, as he took a very careful shot….

“Sindy!” he almost squealed.

“Don’t be a silly, I’m just getting some coins.” She tutted, but too late, he’d been put off his flow and lost the game.

“I just wanted some crisps,” she said innocently, how could Barry be cross with such big blue eyes?

“Oh Sind, you’re my best girl.”

It was true love.

Barry soon got stuck into a really flashy loud pinball machine as Sindy gazed around the busy arcade, she was more eager to get on with enjoying the sights and sounds of what this holiday town had to offer.

“Not long now Sind.” Barry could sense her frustration but the huffs and puffing sounds she made got louder.

Was Sindy bored?

A little, maybe

Barry quickly made it up to her with some chocolate and a fizzy drink; this day was filled with sensations from all directions.

Oooh Spangles!

“Just one more game before we go.” Promised Barry, he was desperate to please his lovely girlfriend.

“Oh ok then, you smooth taking bastard,” she joked, nudging him firmly in the kidneys.

A quick canoodle and Barry was back on form, showing off his ultimate arcade skills, after years of wasted pennies and wrist exercise, it had all finally paid off…he’d get THE PRIZE.

“Oooh you won one!”

“Just for you Sindy.” As he proudly handed her the revered trophy.

A Pink Flamingo

“Barry, my hero”….she fluttered and giggled at the gift, while Barry’s chest puffed up like a pigeon on heat.

King of the Slots

The day was getting late and the sun wasn’t planning on showing it’s head.

“Time to go back home, Princess, ” Barry ushered his best girl back outside into the daylight, away from the bright flashing lights and hypnotic, repetitive tunes of the amusement arcade, to his waiting chariot.

©Juliette Dodd 2019