THE RED HOUSE

11 Feb

The Holy Father Gray of the Corpus Hallelujah Monastery was a satisfied man. He knew how good life can be because he (with the assistance of a great number of ancestors going back to the Middle Ages) knew a thing or two about living.
It had started with the celibacy thing.
It had been someone in a pointy hat somewhere across the mighty seas who had first mooted celibacy. Some bright spark with an eye on God had suggested that carnal relationships between the genders must quite clearly be sinful because it was a distraction from more worthy activities, like praising and praying. So dictums had been scattered along with the worthless winds and holy men of God had been suddenly obliged to stop visiting the fair sex at the dead of night and instead turn their attentions to more worthy matters – or each other.
Each other had frequently turned out to be a favourite option.
Except, of course, at the Corpus Hallelujah Monastery where a long forgotten Holy Father had seen the folly of such an order and had established (with the able assistance of a dedicated group of Ladies of the Night) the Red House at the end of a verdant wandering path that led a short walk from the Monastery.
At first, of course, it had been nothing like a house. A shack would be a more appropriate description, a sturdy enough and weather-proof shack with accommodation for enough comely wenches to keep the monks at the monastery happy. But times had moved on since then and by the time the Holy Father Gray was in the monastery the Red House was a substantial brick and stone building equipped with an astounding number of bedrooms.
The nett result of the establishment of the Red House down the ages and contrary to pointy-hatted belief was in actual fact a reduction in sin. After all, what red-blooded monk was likely to offend the statutes of the Monastery if punishment was going to be along the lines of banishment for a period of time from the Red House? It was unthinkable! So would-be sinners thought twice and failed to sin. Prayers were said at precisely the right times. Their God was praised and beseeched and even slobbered on (in effigy) bang on the moment. And the Brethren took their turns to visit the Red House. That’s how it had been for centuries, and that’s how it still was.
There was, of course, mused the Holy Father Gray, a proper order in things, and he being at the top of the hierarchical pyramid, had first dibs. And first dibs meant quite a lot to both him and Busty Toplice, who was both busty and regularly topless. Busty had a heart of gold and she worshipped the Holy Father with much the same fervour as he worshipped his God.
And along with the worshipping came a shrewd understanding of what he most liked in life.
Like shimmeringly diaphanous garments on her luscious body. Like brief little frocks and skirts that prescribed interesting shapes when she twirled. Like splendidly laundered underwear that he could rub against his face, and sigh as he did so. And because those were the garments that the Holy Father liked to see then those were the garments she chose to wear when he visited.
Then there were other things, like cosmetics. He wasn’t so keen on obvious “war-paint”, as he called the more rampant make-up some of the ladies of the Red House chose to wear, and so she wore a tasteful minimum when he was due to pay her a visit. A little smudge of lipstick, maybe, and a dab of powder to deaden the shiny bits. And no more than that. Busty knew how to look both good and desirable because she fully understood that desirability lay more in the dreams of her man than what she daubed on her skin.
And because of her understanding visits were remarkably frequent. Like getting on for daily.
He would make his way down the prettiest of paths that led towards the Red House and slip in through a side door, where Busty, clad in things that both concealed the woman beneath and yet at the same time left very little to the imagination, would, smiling, greet him.
They would start with a little light conversation and a glass or two of wine before she would take him by one hand and take him to her own magnificently-appointed boudoir. Then she would help him out of whatever it was he was wearing and when he was naked run him a bath in her en-suite luxury bathroom.
It was the bath, he lied to himself, that took him to the Red House as frequently as he went. Back at the monastery hot water impregnated with fragrant bubbles was unknown. Indeed, the hottest water available was cold and made for unpleasant bathing, and the soap was more designed to accompany a scrubbing brush than be rubbed on fragile human skin.
But it was not the care with which she bathed his more intimate creases and dangly bits that he confessed to in prayers later, back in his cell, when he was alone with bis God. That care was best forgotten just in case it constituted a sin, which in his mind it just might. Yet he would have been mortally offended if she left it off the menu. It excited him, made him gasp and even sometimes moan, which made subsequent praying considerably more intense.
Which all goes to explain why he hardly ever sinned. The Red House would be there tomorrow but he was slowly wondering if his God still would…
So much, perhaps, for sin.
© Peter Rogerson 11.02.16

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