Secret Daddy(8)By: Lucy Wild
“He didn’t answer my letter,” Erica replied.
“You mean you didn’t go see him?”
“I didn’t dare.”
“You need to be more bold,” I said, getting to my feet. “I’ll go up there now and speak to him if you like?”
“Are you sure?” Erica asked. “I’m not sure that would be wise.”
“What’s the worst that could happen?” I asked. “He can only say no, right?”
I left the theatre ten minutes later with directions up to George Atherton’s house. I had no idea whether he’d let the group put the play on but my logic was that there was no harm in asking, especially asking in person. It was easy to ignore letters and phone calls, it was far harder to ignore someone standing on your doorstep and batting their eyelashes at you. That was exactly what I intended to do.
I went home first, rummaging through my boxes to find an outfit that was suitable. Something a bit low cut should work, show off a bit of cleavage, maybe that skirt I normally wore in the summer. It was red and clung to me, working to show off my hips in the best possible way. I paired it with a blouse, deliberately leaving the top button undone. I wore sheer tights. It might have been a warmer evening than last night but it was still September in the north of England.
The walk up to his house was pleasant enough. As the town fell away, I found myself on the edge of a quiet lane that ascended up a hillside towards trees. Just before the trees, there was a turning on the right and I followed it, seeing a house appear further up on the hilltop overlooking the town. It was once a magnificent building, that much was clear. But it was equally clear that it had been neglected for a long time and the closer I got, the more dilapidated it looked.
The front garden was overgrown, a few tiles were missing on the roof and the window frames desperately needed replacing. It was the perfect house for a misanthropic playwright to hole up and scowl at the world. I doubted he ever went out, probably just sat in front of a rickety old typewriter with an overflowing ashtray and a half drunk bottle of whiskey, endlessly redrafting a follow up to About Last Night.
Apparently, he’d not written anything since. It had been his debut play, a huge hit, bringing in enough money to buy him somewhere palatial and filled with servants. Instead he’d remained right there in that farmhouse, closing himself off from the world after the death on stage. But that was nearly twenty years ago. It was strange to think I would have been just three years old when it happened. Surely that was long enough to give consent again? And weren’t we in with a good shot? Who better to put on his famous play than the drama group in his hometown?
I pushed open the gate and walked up the path, doing my best to avoid the nettles which drooped towards me on either side. I took a deep breath before knocking on the door, going over my speech one last time.
“Mr Atherton, I’m sorry to disturb you but I’ve come to ask a very important question.” Then push my arms together and shove my chest forward and he’d be putty in my hands. Hopefully.
I gave it about thirty seconds before knocking again. Listening, I couldn’t hear anything inside but there was a noise coming from the back of the house, a thudding sound that I couldn’t identify. Walking back to the lane, I took a few steps across to the gravel drive that swept around to the back of the house, not wanting to risk my tights on the jungle of his lawn.
I walked up the drive as the sound grew louder. In the back yard, I found the source of the noise. A topless man was chopping wood, an axe held high above his head as he brought it swinging down onto a log, splitting it in two. I had been about to say something but the sight of him brought me up short. He was more than six foot tall, his arms bulging as he gripped the axe, his chest nothing but muscle. Sweat poured down him as he leaned for the next log, putting it in place on a stump before lifting the axe again.
The sight of such a masculine figure made my heart skip a beat. My insides tingled as I looked at his arms, imagining them wrapping round me or perhaps holding me in his lap to spank me. I blushed at the thought, fanning my face as I took a step towards him, in awe at the sight of such rugged machismo. He was pushing forty but he had the body of a much younger man. Only the flecks of white in his hair gave away his true age. That and my maths skills at working out how old he had to be to have written his masterpiece twenty years before.