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2. The Locked Closet

2. The Locked Closet

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



The house was quite old, which is one of the reasons why May and Roger Drinkworth liked it. It had been built during an explosion of building in the very early years of the nineteenth century, but they hadn’t lived there for anywhere near the two centuries that had elapsed since then.

It was classically Georgian. Nice big rooms, and one of the four bedrooms had been converted into a luxurious bathroom by a previous owner, and efficient central heating made it snug and comfortable in the winter

It even had a cellar, a disused coal store below ground that May didn’t like at all because it was dusty and dark, and Roger pretended he did and said he had plans to convert it into a special room where he could pursue his hobbies when he had the time.

He didn’t seem to have any hobbies that needed that amount of space, so May crossed her fingers and smiled.

They’d been there two years, and Apple arrived. It had become quite the done thing to use fruit as Christian names, and both parents liked eating apples, so Apple she was, and she was followed a couple of years later by Frodo, so named because Roger loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy of books and thought it a splendid name. He’d wanted to call the baby Gandalf, but May wouldn’t hear of it, so Frodo was what the boy had on his birth certificate.

I’m the one who’s had the little mite in my belly for what seems eternity and I won’t have him called Gandalf,” she said, quite determinedly. She just about tolerated Frodo as a name on the understanding she might abbreviate it, and she did. To Fro.

That was their family complete. May didn’t want another pregnancy and to Roger a family involved no more than two children, preferably one of each sex, which they had with Apple and Frodo.

By the time the family had resided at No. 10 Portland Close (their lovely old house) for a decade the children were both at school, Apple being eight and Frodo being Six, and Roger had a well paid job in the council housing department. May, not wanting to be a stay at home mother when there was nobody at home for her to care for most of the time, became a teaching assistant at the Primary school where her children went, and everything was very enjoyable for the family. Even the neighbours were nice. The Crumpets were getting on and, being childless, made quite a fuss of the Drinkworth youngsters whenever they saw them.

The Christmas of their tenth year living at No 10 Portland Crescent was to turn out to be a rather odd one.

Roger knew one thing that would fill the house with laughter and that involved a tendency of May to find the very idea of men performing erotic dances to be a shade bluer than interesting. Indeed, whenever she came on references to troupes of male strip-tease performers she tended to go into fits of hysterics, and for this one Christmas and to mark their decade in the house he had booked for one such artiste to entertain May on Christmas Eve when the children were in bed, and it being Christmas Eve he hadn’t come cheap.

He was to come dressed as a caveman, and it was firmly understood that whatever his performance involved he was to keep his underwear firmly on. Roger had no intention of paying for his wife to be exposed to anything he prudishly considered to be obscene. He just wanted it to be amusing and artistic, though how a man could make his clothed body artistic he was hard pressed to understand. But the artiste who went by the name of Noddy assured him everything would be both pleasing to May and perfectly innocent.

I’ve got kids of my own,” he said, grinning, “and I don’t do anything I’d be ashamed of them seeing.”

He didn’t explain that his kids were both university students and rarely at home.

Well, if it’s all right with you, please don’t come before eight o’clock,” said Roger.

You’re the paymaster,” Noddy had assured him, “whatever you say goes. Don’t worry. I understand exactly what you want,” and they had left it at that, though Rogers, being Roger, had a sense of unease as he paid a large sum to the man.

It had been a special Christmas Eve in too many ways for him to list. The weather had been wonderful, the day starting with a crisp frost and continuing with a showery snowy morning before giving way to a sunny afternoon.

They all went for a walk that afternoon even though both children would have been happier staying in to watch a film on television, but Roger had his way and they went rambling for a couple of hours in woods not far from home, kicking up the snow and ostensibly finding things to add to their Christmas décor at home. They did find a few pine cones which would look fine sprayed with white aerosol snow and put with the collection of small things that the family had accumulated over the years and that they put around their Christmas tree every year.

The evening meal had been from the excellent Indian take-away a street away, and there had been so much that not even Frodo could put any more away, and he was famous for his immense appetite that went uneasily with his slim stature.

When Christmas Eve began to fade into night there was a palpable sense of expectation from the two children. Firstly, they had a pretty good idea what major presents they might be getting but secondly, they knew there were always little presents, stocking fillers, that sort of thing, that sometimes came to mean as much or more than the expensive things they’d asked for. And it was those small things that added a frisson of excited tension as the children’s bed-time came around.

Remember,” warned May, using exactly the same tone of voice and words that her own mother had used years earlier, “Santa doesn’t come if children are awake.”

Apple winked at her young brother but didn’t say what she was thinking, so Frodo said it for her.

You mean, we’re still supposed to believe in Santa Claus?” he said.

Now don’t say things like that or poof! He’ll disappear for ever in a cloud of misty logic and you’ll never see him again.”

Is that Christmas dinner I can smell coming a day early?” asked Roger when their two active offspring were tucked up in bed and pretending to be asleep.

I always do the meat the day before, as you know,” replied May, “I see no reason why I should be a slave all of Christmas day while you’re hitting the bottle before breakfast!”

Quite right too,” he replied, and winked at her. “I wonder what treat I’ve got for you tonight?” he asked.

I know you’ve got a secret,” she grinned, “you’re so transparent! I can see all the way to the bottom of you. What is it? A frilly bra designed to turn you into a sex maniac if I dared wear it?

It was getting too close to the truth for Roger’s liking when suddenly and totally unexpectedly a door that they’d kept locked for the past ten years because they’d never had the key in the first place was pushed open from the other side, and May gasped in real surprise.

What on Earth … there’s someone in the closet, and he’s coming out of it...” she gasped.

© Peter Rogerson, 20.11.20

© 2020 Peter Rogerson

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Added on November 20, 2020
Last Updated on November 20, 2020
Tags: Christmas Male stripper, children, locked closet


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..