“So what's this all about?” Mum enquired.
“My costume for the dance.” I admitted.
“You chose this?”
“The outfit yes but it was luck of the draw who we got to play.”
“Yeah Max has to be Gab's sister!” Bern just about gloated.
“So, how did the weekend go?”
“Well I only crossed the line with a length to spare.”
“You'll get a reputation.”
“What about you?”
“You are looking at the new Champion of Flanders!”
“Yay!” I screeched.
“Well done Mrs B!” Bern agreed.
“See, there's life in the old boot yet.”
“Never doubted it Mum.”
“And George confirmed that we're doing the Feminin again.”
“See you in the morning.” I called out to Connie as I closed the bakery door behind me.
I wish I'd thought to bring some trousers with me, I always feel exposed cycling in a skirt. Its not far up to Rech and once on the cycle track I wound my battered steed up to a faster than usual pace. Not that I kept it up for long as I found myself holding my skirt down after it blew up to reveal all to anyone looking – not that anyone was about.
Whilst in theory I know where the von Strechau's live I realized when I arrived that I wasn't at all certain where I ought to go, which door to knock on. I found the door where we went into the restaurant but the ‘Geschlossen' sign offered no hope there. I got off the bike and pushed it into the main yard, no immediate help in sight.
I looked around, a couple of older cars were parked haphazardly off to one side, a few chickens were scratching away in the middle. There was an ornate staircase leading to a huge door, which was clearly no longer in use. In short there was nothing to help me.
I looked about to find where the voice was coming from.
“Up here, I'll meet you at the white door.”
I looked about and found the door in question. I pushed my bike over the rough cobbles, scattering the scrawny chickens in the process. The door swung open.
“You can park your bike there, I thought you'd changed your mind.”
“Nice er castle.” I mentioned as i entered the building.
“It's a dump, grand pa won't let us sell so.” He shrugged, “that the stuff?”
“Come on then, Gran's in the sitting room, we'd best stop off, she gets cranky.”
I meekly followed him inside, clutching the bag to my chest. Up some stairs, along a corridor, through a hallway, then I detected a television nearby. My host pushed open a door and ushered me inside.
“Gran, I've brought a friend.”
“Well let's see them then, come on in.”
Max gave me a gentle shove and I stepped into the room properly.
“Well, well, well aren't we the shy one, what do they call you girl?”
“Erm Gaby, Gaby Bond Frau Strechau.”
“She's the Weinkönigin I told you about.” Max added.
“Nice to meet you Gaby Bond, I don't know what you can possibly see in this one but there again I fell for his grandfather.” That seemed to tickle her as she gave a short chuckle.
“Boys, always so easy to embarrass.”
“We've got school stuff to do Gran.”
“School stuff, is that what they call it these days?”
“Well you'd best get along then, be careful of this one Gaby Bond.
“Erm wiedersehn Frau Strechau.”
“Goodnight my dear, Max give your Gran a kiss.”
He bent down and gave her a peck on the cheek.
“Come on, lets get out of here.”
“I heard that young man!”
I was out of the door hard on his heels.
“She always like that?”
“Only when we have company, she's worse the rest of the time. Come on.”
We returned to the hall and Max led the way upstairs. Now before you get the wrong impression about this place let me just say that the inside is not the dark and dingy place I might have alluded to. The TV was one of those wide screen things and everything was in good repair, yes there were pictures of old relies on the panelled staircase but there were fresh flowers all over the place.
“Come on, this way.” he encouraged as I dawdled, “we can use the guest room.”
We stopped at a door and Max opened it for me.
“We won't be disturbed in here.”
That sounded ominous.
“So, lets get on with it.” He suggested nervously.
“Er right, you need to um strip off.”
“If you say so.” He grinned.
“Just to your knickers.” I added hastily.
“You sure about this?”
“100%” I stated.
He was a bit tall for the role in reality but I thought I'd done a reasonable job.
“You want to think yourself lucky, I had to get a fringe cut in.” I flicked the hair above my eyes.
“But shave my legs?”
“Essential, no self respecting girl has hairy legs.” I waved a leg at him to demonstrate, well he doesn't know.
“And do these have to be so big?” he hoisted his not inconsiderable chest.
“Absolutely, it's a big part of the story, the size of her chest, you look great.”
“I feel stupid.”
“Think yourself lucky you didn't get Anju!”
“So we done?”
“Yup, oh bugger is that really nine thirty, I need to get home.”
“That's a bit slow, it's nearly ten to.” Max advised.
“I'll get Dad to drop you home.”
“I've got my bike.”
“It'll go in the back, give me a minute to get changed.”
He wasn't wrong; my old Schauff was easily swallowed by the Cayenne that Herr von Strechau drives.
“Thanks for helping Max, he was really worried about it.”
“That's um okay, I quite enjoy costuming.”
“I seem to remember you looking spectacular at the Preiser's place a few weeks back.”
It's the first time I've ever been inside a Porsche; I'm not sure what the appeal is. Not that I'd say no if someone was offering of course but its really not that much different to any other car.
“Left here, it's the first house on the left.” I directed.
“Ah yes, I see your fathers car.”
We pulled up and I waited for Max's dad to drag my steed out and pass it to me.
“Thanks for the lift, I could've ridden though.”
“My pleasure, I know you think nothing will happen but think how I'd feel if something did, there was that taxi driver murdered just the other year.”
“And don't forget what I said about coming to the restaurant.”
“I won't, tschuss.”
He gunned the engine and took off into town.
“And just where do you think you've been to this time?” Mum demanded when I slipped into the house.
“You finished there over three hours ago.”
“I er went up to Max's to help him with something for school.”
“Von Strechau's boy? And you couldn't call?”
“Sorry, I didn't know the time.”
“Look young lady, you know the rules, we hadn't got a clue where you were.”
“ You could have called me .” I mumbled.
“What was that?”
“I take it that was you in the four wheel drive?”
“His dad brought me back.”
“Can I go?”
“I guess so, we'll be watching you missy.”
“Mu-um.” I moaned.
“Oh and don't forget you're running on Saturday.”
“The new fitness track?”
“I thought that was weeks away.”
“Nope, this week and as I've got the weekend off I'm gonna do it too.”
The rest of the week was singularly uneventful, except of course I was wearing a skirt and working at Thesing's. The things I do for money!
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 13.10.09 © 2009