Day Fool's April
Apart from a brief flashback, all of the events in this piece may or (far more likely) may not have occurred during a period of a little over three hours on the morning of April 1st 1985. It's set in a large and luxurious home in an unspecified London suburb. Names have been changed partly in order to protect the guilty, but mainly to facilitate the creation of really dreadful puns.
I was so excited. I just couldn't contain myself. And if you had a husband like mine, you wouldn't be able to either. Although it was early, I was wide awake. But I didn't get up. I was good in bed. Because if past performance was anything to go by, Wolf was about to burst through the door and produce something incredible from his navy flannelette dressing gown.
No, not that. I know what you're thinking. Get your mind out of the gutter! It was my birthday. OK, so I'm forty-nine, but I still get excited because he always comes up with the goods present-wise.
Wolf did burst through the door and I faked as if to waken. Just as a side note I feel compelled to mention that I still get excited in bed, he always comes up with the goods and I never need to fake it. But Wolf wasn't about to produce anything incredible from his navy flannelette dressing gown on this occasion. He was already dressed for work. True he was fast approaching sixty, but he's still a very elegant man and was looking great in his sheepskin coat. He approached the bed, looked at me gravelly and announced
"I'm so terribly, terribly sorry my dear, I've..."
He hesitated at just the wrong moment. I was concerned. After all these years was he about to prove to be no more than a sheep in wolf's clothing? My imagination went into overdrive. What was he eventually going to blurt out?
"I'm so terribly, terribly sorry my dear, I've been having a torrid affair with your sister."
"I'm so terribly, terribly sorry my dear, my mother's flat is being fumigated and she's going to stay with us for the week."
"I'm so terribly, terribly sorry my dear, I've forgotten to put the toilet seat down again."
"I'm so terribly, terribly sorry my dear, I've been having a torrid affair with your brother."
"I'm so terribly, terribly sorry my dear, I've decided to change my name to Holly and join the Dagenham Girl Pipers."
But he finally went on to bleat sheepishly
"I'm so terribly, terribly sorry my dear, I've not been able to buy you a birthday present this year."
Thank the Lord he wasn't going to change his name to Holly. That would be so embarrassing. Our surname is Day, so his full name would become Holly Day. Plus, did he really think the Dagenham Girl Pipers would sign him up him at his age? There were several additional plusses. No affairs with siblings, no elderly mothers to put up with and I was delighted that I didn't have to put the seat down. But no present? I'm a very experienced lady so I wasn't about to become hysterical. I composed myself and replied
"That's alright my dear. As long as I have you I don't mind."
I was nauseated by my schmaltzy response but he wasn't.
"I knew you'd understand. It's just that we've had a very poor first quarter and I couldn't afford to pay any bonuses."
I won't lie, it was a blow. He was the boss. Why couldn't he just pay his own bonus? I wasn't bothered about the others. It probably wasn't any of their wives birthday today anyway. I was still under control and responded
"Of course you couldn't even just pay yourself a bonus. What sort of example would that set?"
A bloody good one actually, but Wolf was overwhelmed by my magnanimity. He approached the bed and kissed me tenderly on the cheek.
"That's the reason I married you. You're so kind and considerate. And I'll make it up to you. You'll see."
Yes, but not today. He should never have bought the stupid sheepskin. It would look better on the sheep and he could have used the money he saved to buy me a half decent birthday present.
"I know you will. If anyone can turn things around it's you."
"Yes, that's just what I'm going to do. But I'll only be able to do it because I've got a woman like you behind me."
And with that he was gone; off to restore his company's fortunes. I was so touched. He'd almost reduced me to tears. The bastard.
A lesser woman might have spent the day in the bedroom eating chocolates and drinking champagne, but as Wolf hadn't even managed to produce a box of Black Magic or a bottle of Asti I dragged myself out of bed and had a swift shower. I dried myself off and sat in front of the dressing table mirror. I was heartened by what I saw. My lips were full and my teeth were so pearly white that I could still easily front toothpaste commercial. My dark brown hair remained lustrous. My little button nose was still as cute as ever and my blue eyes sparkled. I've said enough. I could go on about my waspish waist and gravity defying breasts, but I'd come across as boastful. I then painted up my lips and rolled and curled my tinted hair. For some unaccountable reason I had the sudden urge to go out on the town. But it was half past seven in the morning and in view of the UK's restrictive public alcohol consumption laws of the time I decided to stay indoors. Then just as I was coming to terms with the fact that I was effectively a prisoner in my own home the doorbell rang. The postman perhaps? I hastily pulled on a fresh pair of panties and donned my floral mulberry silk kimono style dressing gown. As I raced downstairs I tied it up tightly to ensure I was respectable.
Once in the hall I fastened the safety chain and opened the door to find that there were three strange men standing in the vestibule. The two at the back were muttering excitedly to one another. The one at the front whose profile I could make out through the narrow gap was clearly the eldest; short and thin with a sallow complexion. His hair had receded, but he'd let it grown out at the back and sported a mousey coloured pony tail. His beady eyes were set deep in his skull. He was thin lipped and his nicotine stained teeth were broken and uneven. His large nose was more a beak than a nose and packed with unsightly hair. Like his mates he wore denim dungarees, safety boots and a white shirt.
"Good morning madam. We've come to fix your sink. May we come in?"
With all the birthday excitement I'd completely forgotten that Wolf had booked a plumber to fix the blocked kitchen sink. The smell had been driving me mad for a couple of days now, so I was pleased to see them, but I wondered how it could possibly have become a three man job. I closed the door to take off the safety chain, opened it properly and gestured them into the hall.
"Yes, I suppose you'd better, but may I ask how it takes three of you to fix a blockage?"
The eldest workman shrugged his hunched shoulders and replied
"Them's the rules. Madam. I don't make 'em. Francis is the engineer, Roger's the apprentice and I'm Bill the supervisor."
I decided I'd better introduce myself too.
"And I'm April, the blocked sink owner. But couldn't the engineer do the job on his own?"
Bill was astonished to hear my suggestion.
"Not on your Nelly! Well, he could, but where would your daughters and granddaughters be years from now if we didn't train young lads like Roger here to unblock the sinks of the future?"
I had to agree. The prospect of a post-Millennium planet ravaged by the stench emanating from malodorous sinks was too grim to contemplate.
"I see your point. They'll need Roger to service them. But what about you?"
"I wouldn't want Roger to service me, love. He's a good lad, but not my type."
I laughed at his feeble joke firstly because I'm polite and secondly because I believed that if he liked me it would encourage him to encourage them to get on with the job.
"Would you like to follow me and I'll show you where it is?"
It turned out that he would.
"Yes ma'am. Follow the lady, lads."
They all managed to miss the doormat and wiped their boots on the Axminster after which I led them to the kitchen.
"It's the main sink."
The engineer shuffled to the front and had a quick look. He was an altogether different cup of tea. Much younger, well built and classically tall, dark and handsome. Through pursed lips he drew a sharp intake of breath that indicated that the prognosis would not be favourable.
"It doesn't look good April. This very unusual model. I can fix it, but it'll take time and it's going to cost you."
I didn't like the sound of that. I didn't own a credit card and hadn't had access to a bank account since the wedding. Not that it mattered though because whenever I wanted something Wolf always provided the cash. As far as I was concerned, obtaining cold hard currency was a non-issue. He would hand over whatever sum I wanted, or if I was still asleep when he left for work, he'd leave it for me in our secret hiding place. He had a morbid fear of the taxman and lived in dread of a domestic spot check. But today for the first time he had nothing to fear from the Inland Revenue. I'd been left with nothing.
"How much are we looking at?"
"Probably north of 100 nicker."
Bill by name and bill by nature. I was shocked. £100 plus to mend a minor blockage? I couldn't believe it, but I knew plumbers didn't come cheap so I replied rather weakly
"But I can't afford to pay over a hundred pounds."
Francis tried to help.
"Don't worry; we'll call it a round hundred for cash."
It didn't help.
"You don't understand. I can't afford to pay you anything."
Bill looked set to burst.
"You're kidding! You live in a mansion like this and you haven't got a ton in loose change?"
I was embarrassed and blurted out
"I'm afraid my husband's had a very bad quarter and didn't get his bonus. Apparently we're broke."
"Well this is a right state of affairs. What are me and the lads supposed to do if you can't pay?"
I tried to stall in order to give myself time to think of something I could give them in lieu of the money.
"Couldn't we come to some sort of arrangement?"
As I was trying to think on my feet, my first thoughts were of shoes. This was nothing new. A lot of my first thoughts were about footwear. I knew I was down to my last 194 pairs of heels so there was clearly nothing to barter with there. As I was thinking about my equally wretched boot collection Bill butted in.
"You mean you could offer us something in return for our services?"
He then gave me a look and made a gesture that suggested he didn't have a simple exchange of goods for service in mind. I was so disgusted I even forgot about the shoes!
"What sort of a woman do you think I am?"
As usual Bill wasn't lost for words.
"You're all fur coat but no knickers!"
But then Roger opened his mouth for the first time.
"I think April is a lady of temporarily reduced means who would prefer to keep up appearances until her ship comes in."
I felt pleased that he'd tried to stand up for me, but all he'd really succeeded in doing was making me aware of just how awful things could become. I would have liked to get in touch with Wolf, but he visited clients on Monday mornings. It was up to me to make a snap decision, but at that moment I genuinely couldn't think of any disposable assets that might be of use to them. Again I tried to play for time.
"That may be true, but as Francis is going to do the job, he's the only one who I'll talk business with."
Bill was in like Flynn.
"No, no, no dear. That's not the way it works. We have our rights. Negotiate with all of us or there can be no deal. We're in the Union."
Bill was bargaining for their collective rights. This was no more than I'd expected, yet a crushing blow nonetheless.
"I thought you might be."
"So we have to do this all proper like. We all agree you owe us 100 quid, right?"
I really wished I knew less about shoes and more about the dark art of the plumber.
"It still seems a lot, but yes, I'll agree to that."
"Good, we're getting somewhere. Now you tell us exactly what you have in mind to remunerate us with."
I had an out, but I wasn't thinking straight. Shoes could be back on the negotiating table, but they didn't grow on trees. Yes, I kept them on shoe trees, but they didn't actually grow on them. If they did grow on trees I could pick a few pairs for them to sell. Pears did grow on trees, but I'd need barrows full to make up a hundred pounds worth. I was babbling in my mind. All I knew was that I didn't want to open the bargaining process. But Bill was insistent.
"How are you going to pay us April?"
"You know full well."
"I need to hear it from you."
I was too confused to think of anything I could willingly part with and I couldn't bring myself to say "shoes" so I caved in.
"I'll wank all three of you off!"
I'd be doing it for Wolf. But Bill rejected my opening bid out of hand.
I was still in my comfort zone. Francis was an absolute hunk and I suggested
"Hand jobs for you two and oral for Francis because he's the one who's doing the work."
Bill was unimpressed.
"We've already been through this. Remember? We're in the Union."
I would have cheerfully upped the ante for Francis alone, but I knew Bill wouldn't go for it.
"Alright then. Hand jobs for you two and oral for Francis. Plus I'll take my top off."
I wasn't particularly hopeful. My floral mulberry silk kimono style dressing gown was costly, but didn't leave much to the imagination. The workmen had been enjoying a free view of my breasts straining against the thin material since I'd let them in. Bill gave me short shrift.
I glanced at Roger. He was actually a decent looking lad, but rather gangly and his complexion was dreadful. In a few years he'd fill out and his eruptions would disappear. I'd be quite happy to give him the full Mrs Robinson treatment then. I decided that if I gave him a blow job I wouldn't have to look at his spotty face. And if I could do him, I could do Bill too. It was time to go all in.
"Alright. You can all have oral. But that's my final offer."
Bill hesitated and for a moment I thought I would get away with it. But he regained his composure and replied.
"I'm going to confer with the lads."
They shuffled off to the far corner of the kitchen and started whispering. Unfortunately I couldn't make out a word. Bill led them back and broke the news.
"I'm afraid your offer falls well short of our requirements. We've agreed £100 for our labour. Down at the docks we could get a working girl for £10 quid an hour and she'd do the lot."
I was furious and shouted
"I'm not a whore!"
He sneered triumphantly
"Really, then why are we haggling about your price?"
He had me beaten. I realised that I was about to become a prostitute. All I could say was
"I'm worth a lot more than £10 an hour."
Bill moved in for the kill.
"So you agree to have full sex with all of us?"
It was all over bar the haggling.
"I suppose, but not for £10. High end is £100 an hour."
That told him. I might be about to become a prostitute, but not a common one. He had to agree.
"Look, I'll admit you're a posh bird, but let's face it, you ain't no spring chicken. When you start getting on a bit the rate goes down. So I'd say thirty tops."
I made a quick calculation. At £30 an hour they would be able to fuck me for a solid 200 minutes. I had to get the rate up.
"Well, I'm only thirty-nine. I've got to be worth at least fifty."
That at least would limit them to a couple of hours. I could cope with that. Yet Bill wasn't convinced and again announced
"I'm going to confer with the lads."
Off they went again. This time they were more animated. I couldn't hear very much, but Francis definitely mentioned that I was gorgeous. Roger excitedly agreed and I thought he added something about it being his first time. Bill led them back and to my amazement was prepared to compromise. A smile actually crossed his thin lips.
"They said they're prepared to split the difference and accept £40 an hour. That'll take care of the tip."
So the three of them would fuck me for three hours and at the end I'd get twenty pounds. I was effectively lower than a prostitute in the tenner an hour bracket, but after the hard bargaining I was grateful for small mercies. I smiled back and replied
"That's very generous, but let's just forget my tip and call it two and a half hours."
Bill looked at me quizzically and barked
"Our tip. Three hours at forty quid an hour is £120. Minus the ton, leaves a score for our tip."
I should have known. I was going to be defiled relentlessly for a full three hours, and I'd have to pay them for the last half hour! Somehow it just didn't make sense. I was crestfallen, but managed to retort
"It'd better be a good job then."
Francis reached over and put a hand on my shoulder.
"Don't you worry love. I'm the best!"
I wanted to assume he was being kind, expressing an opinion about his plumbing skills and enquired
"Will you let me know when you're finished?"
He may well have been bragging about his plumbing abilities, but Bill didn't give him the opportunity to answer and rudely interrupted.
"Are you serious? Do you think we're going to shag you on our own time?"
He then brushed Francis's hand from my shoulder and took hold of me by the wrist. I was frightened. His grip was firm and I realised how naïve I'd been. I'd had the notion that they'd get to work while I made them a cup of tea. We'd have a bit of a chat and get to know each other. From the very little I'd heard from Francis and Roger, they'd soon become quite personable, and Bill would mellow. All three of them would be complimentary about my appearance. Bill might become a bit vulgar, but I could accept that.
Francis would complete the job and I'd begin to flirt with him. There would be some light petting and I'd be taken in his powerful arms and carried effortlessly upstairs. He would then kick open the bedroom door and gently lay me across the king-sized divan. Of course the door would have been ajar. He wasn't the sort of gentleman who would knowingly commit an offence in violation of the Criminal Damage Act of 1971. He was however the sort of gentleman who would cast off his boots, slide out of his dungarees and show his lover that he had boldly gone commando. He'd then rip open his shirt with scant regard for the buttons to display his sensible brilliant white vest. This too would be ditched and I swear, his prowess would be such that he'd even take his socks off! In his booming bass voice he would tell me that he loved me truly, madly, deeply and somehow we would both know that a nightingale had started singing in Berkeley square.
Alright, afterwards I wouldn't lay in his powerful young arms for an eternity. Or even a moment. Someone would take a pot shot at the nightingale and Francis would hastily pull up his dungarees and take off to allow his short, thin, repulsive boss to violate me.
As thing actually stood, the boss was on the verge of dragging me upstairs to my bedroom where he would surely start my defilement. It could only be a matter of time before the others would join in. I attempted to be defiant.
"Well it's a quarter to eight now. You've got until ten forty-five. And not a minute longer."
Bill tightened his grip and turned to Francis.
"Right. There's no time to lose. I'm going first!"
If you told me earlier that I would end up agreeing to being fucked by such a revolting specimen, I wouldn't have believed you. If I had, I would have been disgusted. But now I was relieved. It's the timing. A moment ago I was expecting to be gang-banged for three hours. But he hadn't said "Follow me lads!" This scenario was so much better. As he dragged me towards the stairs I resolved to make the most of a very bad deal. When we were out of earshot I said