11. A First Dawn Overground

11. A First Dawn Overground

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



I don’t know how it happened, but it did.

Oh dear diary, it was so quiet and warm and wonderful and everything good all rolled into one almost unbelievable experience. And it happened.

After the showers we looked at each other and yawned. I yawned first and like a copy-cat Timmy followed suit.

Let’s just see how comfortable this bed is,” I suggested, with no other thought than dong just that. After a warm and steamy shower a strange and almost stultifying weariness seemed to sweep over me. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a mixture of contentment and tiredness before.

You took the words out of my mouth,” he replied, “I’ve come over so sleepy I could even sleep in a rock pool!”

That last is a saying we troglodytes have, meaning we could sleep in impossible situations. After all, a rock pool in the depths of Paradise Hell would consist of a great deal of rock and very little water, and that would be cold, like ice.

Very gently I lowered myself, still dressed in the rather fetching little dress that I was wearing, onto the tempting bed and curled up almost straight away, oblivious almost instantly to anything but the amazing way that the bed seemed to want to adapt to every curve of my body with a luxurious and gentle softness. I didn’t even know that Timmy had joined me and that when he did he, too, was dressed in the clothes from the wardrobe. Back in our hovels we would have removed our day smocks and pulled on a night smock, identical but for the fact that it was meant for the hours of darkness.

But back to the here and now. Within moments I was asleep and so, Timmy told me afterwards, was he.

And I was barely conscious of how my mind sought adventures in this unknown world, how my eyes saw me walking along clad in the exotic dress that revealed to anyone who chanced to look my way that my legs were bare from above the knee down. They were never like that in Paradise Hell, for the smocks that we all wore almost reached our feet and with-held from searching eyes any hint of our flesh. It had been ingrained in us, from childhood, that if we let others have intimate experience of such things as our legs there might be an explosion of lust that could lead us astray. I’d never been sure how that could happen but was sure that my elders probably knew more than me.

But in my dreams I was clad in that short and brightly coloured pleated dress, and everywhere I walked there were people staring at me. Was it my skin, that had never been cleaner, that attracted them? Or my hair? Dry after my shower it gleamed like something magical. There must have been a special potion in the waters from the shower that had added lustre to what had never been particularly dull.

Then Timmy was by my side and more people than I thought could possibly exist anywhere stared at us as we sauntered by, admiring our every move. And he was handsome. His hair, almost as long as mine and just as exotically shiny, smelled of sweet and wonderful things that were beyond my experience, and I ran my fingers through it whilst the same time managing to walk at his side.

It was while we slept and dreamed that our first night above ground came and went, and we knew nothing about it. But nobody, no matter how tired, can sleep for ever unless they are resting in the cemetery cave, and I woke up, still on that wonderful bed and with Timmy snoring next to me, one arm resting on my waist.

I felt refreshed. I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite so awake and fresh as I did that morning (and I was to discover that it really was morning). There was a noise in our room, not a threatening noise but one I had never heard before, and a voice accompanied it, a quiet voice that formed itself into words.

Breakfast is in the refectory,” it said several times.

What is breakfast and what is a refectory?

I nudged Timmy, and he yawned along with me, and opened his eyes.

What’s happened?” he asked.

Apparently,” I replied like the know-all I wasn’t, “breakfast is in the refectory.”

Her climbed off the bed and lookd at me, smiling. “I feel fantastic,” he said, “what about you?”

Double fantastic,” I grinned at him, and I climbed off the bed and joined him, standing rather than lying. I had so much strength surging through me that I could probably have picked him up and run round the room, carrying him. A silly thought, I know, but I’ve always been prone to those.

What next?” he asked.

I was about to tell him that I didn’t know when there was a rattling sound on our door, and it opened.

Sorry to barge in,” said a smiling Kim, “but maybe you don’t know about meal times? Breakfast is between eight o’clock and ten o’clock, and as it’s almost that time I thought I’d check on you. You’re right sleepy-heads, aren’t you? You must have been truly exhausted when we arrived here!”

What’s breakfast?” I asked.

She smiled almost sympathetically. “I’m sorry. I should have explained,” she said, “but yesterday evening when I came round to tell you the pair of you were enjoying yourselves in the shower and then, the second time, and I find this hard to believe, you were both fast asleep on the bed!”

We didn’t know…” I replied, ashamed of our bad manners. “We were so tired,” I added lamely.

Well, no harm done. It you’re ready we can go the refectory now. It’s just a posh word for dining room where you can choose how you want to start the day. There are cereals and all manner of continental-style pastries, all of which are delicious, or there are cooked things. Come on! There are slippers in the wardrobe.”

What are slippers?” I asked, sounding, I’m sure, unbelievably naive. But back home we had always gone bare-foot, which is how we arrived here.

She showed me, and with her standing close to me I was almost overcome by her beautiful smell. And she’d said she was forty years old. I found that hard to believe when I glanced at the brightness in her eyes.

Come on, then,” she said brightly, “the others are mostly there already!”

And we walked along behind her, past the reeption desk and to a door that was open. There was an addictive aroma sweeping towards us as we entered a large room filled with tables and chairs set out in neat little groups.

Help yourselves to food,” said Kim, pointing “and there’s plenty of tea and coffee.”

I looked at her, confused.

What are tea and coffee?

© Peter Rogerson 23.02.21


© 2021 Peter Rogerson

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Added on February 24, 2021
Last Updated on February 24, 2021
Tags: light, clean, breakfast


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..