The Lady in the Sack
A large glass of Mulled Wine
‘I’ve said you’ll be Father Christmas for the Toddlers Group Christmas Party.’
‘Well you said you had the week off, and the weather probably won’t be good enough to play golf.’
‘I’ll be hopeless, I don’t know any of them and I don’t know the names of the current toys they’ll be asking for …’
‘One or two of the mums are quite attractive.’
‘Why can’t one of the dads do it, and what happened to the chap who did it last year?’
‘The police advised against having him, he’s been caught in the public lavatories …’
‘It’ll cost you.’
‘How much?’ she smirked, unbuttoning her blouse.
‘So what have you got for me Father Christmas?’ Brenda’s partner Sally teased, as she walked into the staff room. Tony had just tugged the red trousers up over his Y fronts. ‘Gosh, they’re a snug fit,’ she added.
‘I only hope I’ll be able to sit down.’
‘You’ll be fine,’ she said, as she held the tunic so that he could insert his arms. ‘As each child comes up, we’ll get Mum, or Dad, to stand beside you. If necessary they can prompt, and in an emergency whisk the child away.’
‘How many are there?’
‘About twenty, so I reckon an hour will probably do it.’
She fastened the buttons and pulled the hood over his head. He turned to look to his side, but the hood was so large that it did not move. He mumbled something.
‘I said it’s dark in here.’
Sally laughed. ‘Just look ahead.’
‘Look who’s here, children,’ Brenda called out, as the door opened, ‘It’s Father Christmas.’
There were shouts of joy, cheers and clapping, and one person whistled. The sounds all came from the adults; the children merely stared, two small girls turned away; buried their faces in their mother’s skirts.
‘Ho, ho, ho,’ Tony chortled, as Sally led him to the makeshift sleigh and sat him down. He put his sack on the floor to his right and surveyed the semi circle of children and adults before and around him.
Sally clapped her hands. ‘Right, who’s going to be first to come and say hello to Father Christmas?’
‘And what’s your name?’
‘That’s a pretty name.’
‘How old are you?’
‘Have you written me a letter?’
‘No, but Mummy has.’
‘And what would you like me to bring you?’
‘Well I don’t know if I’ll manage all that, but I’ll do my best.’
It all went well. After each mini conversation, Tony would reach down into his sack and gather a gift, wrapped in shiny paper covered with reindeer and robins, and hand it to the child as it left his knee.
After the sixth child’s mother translated, and explained what a Martian Blaster was, Tony reached down and instead of touching the familiar square shape, found he was caressing a shapely ankle and calf. As he lifted the child from his knee, he turned his head and whispered, ‘You’re standing in the sack.’
Twice more it happened, so when next he delved, Tony ran his fingertips, up and down the back of the leg, as far as the knee, before he liberated the gift. That will have done it, he thought to himself, but when he again reached into the sack, the leg was still present. He whispered again, and this time slowly stroked the nylon-covered limb; raised his fingers until he felt the top of the stocking and the suspender holding it in place.
During each of the remaining visitations, Father Christmas ignored the build up, and his fingertips went directly to the naked thigh, which he stroked, as he questioned the child sat upon his knee.
As he completed the session, the final child having left a moist patch on his left thigh, he gathered up the sack and stood.
‘Father Christmas is leaving now children,’ Sally called out. ‘What do we say?’
‘Thank you Father Christmas and give our love to Rudolph,’ the chorus rang out.
Sally led him back to the staff room, where he explained about the woman who stood in the sack, and the steps he had taken to indicate that she should move. Brenda came in to help him change, and between the laughter, was acquainted with his experience.
‘All the children and their mums have stayed behind for refreshments, so no doubt you’ll be able to identify the culprit,’ Sally told him.
‘All I know is she was wearing a skirt, and stockings rather than tights.’
‘Without X-ray eyes, we’re not going to identify her, and we can hardly go round and ask,’ Brenda said.
‘Don’t worry,’ added Sally, ‘We’ll introduce you to all the mums, and no doubt when you look into the eyes of the lady in the sack, she’s sure to blush.’
Tony spent half an hour chatting to the ladies; he ignored the two fathers, and when he and Brenda went home at five thirty, he was none the wiser. As he drove into their road, Brenda told him.
‘Just think of it as your good deed for the day. That may be the most excitement that lady will get this Christmas.’
Having spent the best part of thirty-five years writing reports on such subjects as ‘Provision of Caravan Sites for Travellers’ and ’Aspects of Pest Control in the Urban Environment’, Roger Noons began even more creative writing in 2006, when he completed a screenplay for a friend who is an amateur film maker. After the film was made, he wrote further scripts and having become addicted, began to pen short stories and poems. He occasionally produces memoirs and other nonfiction. He has begun to perform his poems, and has just published ’An A to Z by RLN’, an anthology of 26 short stories. He intends by the end of the year to have followed that up with a novella.
He is a member of two Writers Groups and tries his hardest to write something every day. As well as CafeLit, he has had credits in West Midlands newspapers, The Daily Telegraph, Paragraph Planet, Raw Edge and a number of Anthologies.