10. A Lovely Warm Shower

10. A Lovely Warm Shower

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



Although Kim had told us that daylight was coming to a natural end and night was almost upon us, the light, when we stepped into the open beyond the cathedral’s cloisters, hurt my eyes, and I could tell, when I looked at Timmy, that it was painful for him too. But rather than create a fuss we decided to bear the torment as we followed the barely dressed Kim to the large building she had described as a hotel.

What is a hotel?

The hotel was mostly windows, but thankfully someone had observed us and the pain we were enduring as eyes unaccustomed to daylight were assaulted by it, and the windows had been shaded.

As for myself, I had never imagined that such a place could exist. There was a spacious lobby through which we were led, via what they called the reception desk, and at that desk a smartly dressed (in green, a beautiful shade of green unlike any green I had seen before) man was smiling at each of us before handing to us what he called a key.

What in the name of the Universe is a key?

Then Kim led us to the end of a long corridor and explained where we were.

She indicated rows of more doors than I have ever seen or suspected could exist anywhere under the Earth, and explained that we were to have a room each and consider it home for the time being.

Then she shocked me. The rooms, she said, would be cleaned every day for us while we were having breakfast, and if we required anything that wasn’t provided at breakfast time we were only to ask. Beyond every door, besides a bed room, there was an en suite bathroom, she said with a telling smile.

What in Hell is one of those?

Then, delicately, she suggested that we had attracted dust and grime during our journey and maybe we should take a shower and clean our flesh, clear it of the debris we may have accumulated in the dark subterranean world we had struggled through.

I was insulted. I looked at my wrist, and it looked clean enough to me. What did she mean by suggesting we were dirty?

I frowned at her, and she smiled back. Such dazzling teeth: such a captivating smile.

I love her,” whispered Timmy, and it was just as well that he added “almost as much as I love you…”

You will also find changes of clothes in the wardrobe,” smiled Kim, “travellers always need a change of clothing after a long journey, and due to your circumstances you were unable to bring any with you. I note you all choose to wear grey, but many other bright and cheerful colours are provided. I, as you can see, have chosen to wear rose red…”

It was pink by another name!

And she continued. “And there are varying styles,” she said, “I like to wear short frocks. I enjoy the feel of fresh air and sunlight on my legs, and my man says he likes the way I look. You will meet him. He is known as Philip, and he also likes the feel of air on his legs, so he wears shorts.”

What are shorts?

That’s enough,” she concluded, “but if there is anything you don’t understand, feel free to ask. Every room has a telephone that connects you with Reception.”

Gobbledegook! That’s what it was. Every room has a telephone? What in the name of Hell is a telephone?

So we opened our doors and entered our rooms.

The key was a card of some shiny material, and when we waved it at the device called a lock, there was a click and we could push the doors open.

It was fun doing that. Shut the door, wave the key and click!

Inside our room was a huge padded divan. Not a small bed shelf, that we had in our hovels in the troglodyte world that was all we had ever known, but a bouncy, soft, comfortable, wonderful thing we could stretch out on and close our eyes and even easily sleep on.

But before sleeping there was the en suite. I have never in my life dreamed such things could exist. A white cubicle with transparent walls and a perforated disk above where a person might stand.

Look,” I whispered to Timmy, and I stepped into it.

At that precise moment and without me doing anything a cascade of warm water sprayed down on me, and it was so fragrant and beautiful I didn’t want it to stop. I pulled off my already wet smock and slung it into a corner of the room and just stood there with water running down my skin, warming it, massaging it, exciting it, and when it finally tricked at my feet it was brown and dirty.

I saw what Kim meant when she had suggested we might need bathing.

Take your smock off and come in. There’s plenty of room for two!” I urged Timmy, and because he was lovely and because he could see how wonderful the shower was for me, he joined me.

I don’t know how long we enjoyed being washed by that warm water, but eventually we stepped out of it and grabbed what we assumed were meant for us to dry ourselves with.

I was ashamed when I looked at the towel that had started off white because it had dirty smears on it after I had dried myself.

We’re still filthy!” I exclaimed, “I need to wash again.”

So do I,” admitted Timmy, and we both returned to the shower, which automatically started washing us again. We rubbed each other because that proved the easiest way. I even washed his winkle, and he didn’t mind one bit!

In the end we must have become almost clean. When I looked at Timmy as he bent down to pick up his smock in order to get dressed I shook me head.

No. Not that,” I told him.

I opened the cupboard door we had been told about, and there were spare clothes in there, not smocks like we were used to but nice, pretty things. I chose a yellow thing with patterns on it and Timmy, thinking that possibly a pretty short dress might look wrong on a man, pulled on a pair of bright blue shorts. Somehow, I don’t know how, we chose the most appropriate styles in the whole collection.

My, you look good enough to eat,” whispered Timmy.

And you,” I said, “what’s happened to us?”

He smiled warmly. “We’ve got clean,” he said.

© Peter Rogerson 23.02.21


© 2021 Peter Rogerson

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Added on February 23, 2021
Last Updated on February 23, 2021
Tags: light, dirt, shower


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..