20 Jul

Part One of this tale is The Sports People.

Part Two is The Real Simone

Part Three is A Drink in Time

Part Four is A Sunday Lunch for Three

Part Five is Salutary Tales and Downright Lies

Part Six is The Monster Next Door

Part Seven is Quizzing the Night Away

Part Eight is Truth and Lies

Part Nine is The Very Short Skirt

Part Ten is Simone in the Shadows

Part Eleven is To Kill Or Not to Kill

Part Twelve is The Toytown Cemetary

Part Thirteen is A Slightly Naughty Suggestion


BOY AND GIRL photo: Emo Boy And Girl 2zyla90.jpg

Now then, young David, what are you up to for the next ten days?” asked Mr Potts. Paula looked at her father with raised eyebrows. He wasn’t famous for asking questions about the future. He was, in short, a take one day at a time sort of guy.

Nothing much,” admitted David. “My folks wanted me to join them on holiday, but I don’t fancy it. They’ve gone to the Norfolk Broads for a couple of months and the last thing I wanted to do was go there … without Rusty.”

Your dog?”

David nodded. “He died, you know. I knew him all my life,” he said quietly, “and it never crossed my mind that he’d die before me. But he did, and all the holidays my family had were on the Broads with Rusty. I don’t want to go there without him. Not yet. I … I couldn’t bear it.”

Two months is more than a holiday!” exclaimed Paula. “It’s a vacation from life!”

Well, this is the first time they’ve gone for so long. Dad retired and so he’s got all the time in the world and says he’s going to make the best of it while he’s still got the strength to do it..”

So you’re dead against holidays?” asked Paula’s dad.

No! Just on the Broads at the moment, without Rusty! I’m sure I’ll feel … less sad … one day. People do, don’t they?”

Mr Potts nodded. He’d lost the love of his life, his wife and Paula’s mother, and he still found the grief hard to cope with when his mind trailed back to the times they’d spent together, and the things they’d done.

We’re going off for ten days,” he murmured, “nothing as romantic as the Norfolk Broads, though, just a caravan near Skeggy. You can come if you like.”

Paula’s eyes opened wide. “Can he dad?” she almost chirruped.

I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t mean it, lass,” said her dad. “But as I say, it’s nothing fancy. Just a change from home and a chance to get drunk without the neighbours watching!”

You never get drunk dad!” exclaimed Paula.

His eyes twinkled. There was a lot this daughter of his had to learn, though he had to admit he rarely had more beer than he could comfortably accommodate soberly.

I was thinking about you and David,” he murmured. “You’re only young once, you know. Well, lad, what about it?”

There was nothing on planet Earth that David would have wanted more than spending a week or ten days away from home in the company of Paula. He wasn’t really sure, being only eighteen and sensible enough to know his limited emotional experience, but he reckoned he must love her. If he didn’t it could only be because he didn’t really know what love was. He knew deep inside that there were still things about his own heart that he had yet to discover, but if there was, somewhere and hidden, a deeper feeling then he almost feared discovering it.

After all, he’d loved Rusty.

Boys do love their dogs.

Then he remembered that it would be more than the two of them. Paula’s dad would be there too, and being a dad he would have eagle eyes on any perceived threat towards his daughter.

What’s his attitude to holding hands?

Or kissing?

He became suddenly aware of an awkward stirring in his underwear when it crossed his mind that sharing a caravan holiday with Paula would mean sharing the same small home with all the intimate proximity that might offer. An image of he lying close enough to touch her at night, with her father snoring heavily nearby, flashed through his mind, and that awkward stirring became so obvious that Paula’s eyes opened wide when she glimpsed it and he was thankful that her dad’s back was turned.

When you’re eighteen there is usually only one dominant driving force, the one that makes you get up in the morning and the one that sends you hurtling through every day, and in the driving seat of that driving force is an over-abundant supply of testosterone. Not that any young man sees it that way at the time. All he knows is that he’s greedy for life … and aren’t girls pretty?

Pretty enough to want to touch.

Pretty enough to kiss.

After all, he thought with all of his mind that he loved Paula. If it wasn’t love he was hard pressed to know what it was.

Maybe lust?

Or weren’t they the same thing?

How could anyone expect him to know!

Well?” asked Mr Potts. “If you’re at a loose end, I mean…?”

Is it … all right…?” stammered David, keeping his legs crossed.

I’ll be there, don’t forget, to keep you in line,” joked Paula’s dad with a wicked twinkle in his eyes. Has he noticed what’s happened to me? Is he teasing me because of it? “But if you’re coming with us you’d best go and pack right now. I’m thinking of going tomorrow. It was a last minute thing, that caravan. Granddad Potts got let down by a punter and it’s going spare for a few days, so I said we’d go, keep an eye on it, fix anything that needs fixing…”

Fix, dad?”

Well, it’s not as new as it was, as you know, and it might need a bit of screwdriver…”

I might have guessed,” murmured Paula. “A working holiday!”

It’s probably in perfect order,” declared her dad. “You don’t have to come if you don’t want to…”

You mean, I can stay here with David?” grinned Paula, knowing every detail of the shocked expression that would form on her father’s face before it happened.

Doing what?” he asked, mildly.

I’ll leave that to your imagination,” she replied, suggestively thrusting her adequate chest in the direction of the younger man.

Well…” said her father slowly, “I guess you’d best come with me. You never know … a curtain might need a few stitches or the floors a bit of scrubbing…”

That’s all he wants: slaves!” moaned Paula.

We’ll come, Mr Potts, and thanks ever so much for inviting me,” put in David, needing to confirm the adventure before it was prematurely cancelled.

I know,” smiled the older man. “It’s Paula: she’s a wicked tease!”

She’s lovely, sir…” murmured David, unable to stop himself.

© Peter Rogerson 20.07.14




  1. pambrittain July 20, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    That is so asking for it. I went on a short holiday with my boyfriend and his parents. The first evening, he put hickeys all over my neck. Terribly embarrassing.

    • Peter Rogerson July 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

      I had to check hickey in the dictionary. It’s a new one on me – and yes, I have vague plans for lovebites

      • pambrittain July 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

        Good grief, my boyfriend wasn’t a vampire. How about love sucks, and you can take that any way you wish. But, I know you love your wife, so for you, it could only go one way.

  2. Peter Rogerson July 21, 2014 at 8:03 am #

    I guess it’s all in a name… over here the marks are known as lovebites although lovesucks would be a more accurate name. I’ll have to get my characters experimenting…

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