Caught Red Handed: a very short story

A quick short story inspired by a photo that I found online... 

...apologies to the photographer and subject, I suspect you may not approve.

I stared at my stockinged lap guiltily and cursed every strand of nylon which clad my freshly shaved legs. No more than two minutes ago I felt fantastic... like these tights and this dress were made just for me. Like they were meant just for me. But now, as I sit with shame coursing through my veins I feel like an imposter. A fake. A fraud. A freak.

Mother let out a long audible sigh. I looked up towards her as she slid her underwear drawer shut before exhaling sharply through her nostrils as she closed her wardrobe doors. As she turned to look at me I returned my guilty gaze to my lap, unable to look her in the eye. “Well... let's have a look at you.”

I gulped and for the first time in god knows how many moments, our eyes met. I gulped again.

“Stand up.” she said. “I want to have a proper look.”

I cringed. All I want is to be left alone. Just for a moment. Just long enough to peel off this hateful outfit and...

“Please.” she insisted. “If you're going to borrow my clothes I at least want to see how they look.”

I removed my palms from beneath my lap and placed them flat on the mattress. I slowly and shamefully stood. I swear I felt myself physically shrink as my mother's eyes ate into me. Mother let out another sigh. I don't blame her. Words fail me too.

“Well stand up straight.” she asked. “I can hardly see what you look like stooping like that!”

I looked up at her, gulped and croaked an apology.

“I'm not looking for an apology Peter... I want to see what you look like... come on, head up.” she insisted in an almost chirpy tone.

I raised myself to my full height but still wanted nothing more than to shrivel and die. My eyes flicked between the middle distance and my mother. Her eyes flicked from my head to my feet and back again before something else caught her attention. “And I suppose you were planning on wearing these?” she asked knowingly as she crouched and picked up a pair of her shoes. Shoes which normally lived on the rack in the bottom of her wardrobe.

I gulped and nodded.

She sighed again. “Well I don't know whether to make you change or let you stew in your own juices.” she said in a disheartened tone. I murmured my preference, which I fully believe to be the most reasonable of the two options, but this only encouraged Mother to go the other way. “Well I think you should stew for a while.” she suggested. “Do these fit?” she asked, referring to the pair of black heeled sandals I’d selected.

I nodded. “Please mum.” I pleaded when she suggested I put them on. “I don't want to.”

“Well I assume you wanted to before I came home.” she retorted. “And you know how I feel about you doing things behind my back.” she added. “Now please Peter... put them on, and then we'll talk.” she insisted.

I told you it was short!

A-Z Story index 

Abigail's Party

Peter!” shouted his mother from the foot of the stairs.

What?” Peter shouted from his bedroom.

I need to go into town to get some things for Abigail's party on Saturday.”

OK.” he shouted back.

A moment later his mum shouted, “Well come on then, I haven't got all day.”

Can't I stay here?” he replied from his room.

No, you can help me choose a nice birthday present for her.”

Oh mu-um.” he moaned, “I'm busy!”

Busy playing that play station thing!” his mum retorted, “Now come on, I'm not leaving you in the house alone.”

But I'm ten!” he replied.

Well act like it and do as you're told!”

Peter turned off the play station and dawdled down the stairs to where his mother was impatiently waiting for him. “It's about time!” she said as he appeared, “Come on, we haven't got all day.”

His mum pulled out of the driveway and headed for the town centre. On the way she made small talk with her son but didn't get much of a response. “Oh give me some help Peter!” She blurted, “I'm only trying to think of something for her present, and seeing as you're the one who'll be giving it to her you really should help me choose something.”

Peter sighed impatiently, “Well I don't know what girls like.... a doll or something.” he suggested.

I think she's a bit old for dolls love.” she replied, “She's the same age as you... you don't want Action Man any more do you?”

I guess not.” Peter moaned.

What about getting a pretty dress for the party?” his mum suggested.

Whatever.” Peter replied unenthusiastically, paying more attention to the passing scenery that his mother's dulcet tones. “Girls like that sort of thing I s'pose.”

Well that's settled then... do you want to choose one?” his mum smiled.

What do I know about dresses?” he shrugged.

Well I'll help you if you like.” she suggested.

OK.” he moaned.