Family Fun

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
How colours affect lives.

Submitted: September 20, 2015

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Submitted: September 20, 2015

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FAMILY FUN

Looking at the row of houses from the outside they were identical, but if you were to venture inside you would find they were exclusively different due to the habitants. They were known by the colours of the front doors. There was the yellow family, the green family, and the red family, and last but not least the grey family. The paper boy had written on his list the above colours, nobody seemed to know what the real names of the householders were, however one thing they did know was, that they all got along pretty well.

 

The Williams family dwelt in the house behind the yellow door. They hadn’t really wanted to have a yellow front door, but at the time of building the designer had decided that the four houses should have different coloured front doors. One might wonder why this was so. The designer never said, and some opined that he was just trying to be clever. Meanwhile, the Williams, who had purchased the house before the front door had been painted, put up with having a canary-coloured entrance to their home. The son Philip and daughter Norma were teased at school about how well they sang, because of the colour of the front door.

Mr and Mrs Freeman and their son Colin occupied the house that had an emerald green door. They considered the door a stroke of bad luck, as Mrs Freeman’s grandmother thought that green was plain bad luck, and everyone had been brought up with that idea in their minds regarding the colour green. Mrs Freeman had done everything she could to get the colour changed, but to no avail - the designer had chosen green, and green it would have to stay.

The red door was the brightest scarlet ever seen. Mrs Bagley, a single mother of a daughter Jane and a son Alan, wasn’t all that keen on the colour and at moments thought it might make the house look cheap and nasty. She also would have liked to exchange red for another colour, but she made no fuss and did her best to ignore it.

Last but not least, Mr Prosser and his son Vincent lived in the house with the grey door. The father and son were as discreet as the colour of their front door. Mr Prosser had grey hair and drove a grey car. He was really quite colourless. It made some people wonder what came first: the colour of the front door, or Mr Prosser in his greyness.

 

The young people who resided in the houses were known to each other, but were not on intimate terms. There was a gym and swimming-pool in the vicinity, and they often saw each other there. The only thing missing was, they had no idea of how to approach each other. Every one of them was switched on to some machine or other, and when they weren’t actually physically active, they were speaking into their precious pieces of plastic. The summer months were not so bad because everyone was outdoors at the swimming-pool or playing tennis. The closest relationship was formed between Philip Williams and Colin Freeman. The two boys became inseparable when they were on holiday, and they got up to no end of tricks. As they got older their tricks became a lot more serious.

“I think we ought to do something really good, so that we’ll be remembered for a long time,” Philip said to Colin.

“I agree, but we need a good motive for carrying out such a daring act. Well, what do you think we could do?” Colin asked.

“I was in bed the other night thinking about something my parents had said. They would be quite well off if they could get the insurance money from something happening to the shoe shop.”

“Do you think they were serious?” Colin asked.

“Oh, yes, they were serious all right. Things haven’t been going too well for them in the last couple of years. They’ve had to sell one of the other franchises they had, so now all we’ve got is the first one. You know, the one in the town centre.”

“So, what you’re saying is that we carry out a job on your parents’ shop. They get the insurance money and we get, if we get caught, a spell in a young offenders unit. Thanks very much Philip, but I don’t think so,” Colin finished.

“We don’t have to get caught. Anyway, I’ve got a plan. Would you like to hear it?” Philip offered. “If we clean out the shoe shop, then we can sell the shoes, and with the money go travelling, and my parents will get the insurance, and then everyone will be quids in. A good idea don’t you think?” Philip said.

Colin said, “Will your sister Norma be in on this?”

Philip stared at his friend, and said, “Are you mad or something? She’s as daft as a brush. How could she possibly be in on a serious project like the one we’re about to carry out?”

“Oh, nothing. It’s just that, as I’m an only child, I thought she might be.”

“Well, she isn’t. So, forget about Norma,” Philip said.

“When are you thinking of putting the plan into action?” Colin asked.

“As soon as I’ve managed to get the customers for the shoes, then we’ll grab the money and run for the airport. I suppose you’ve got a valid passport, haven’t you?” Philip asked his friend and colleague.

 

On the night of the robbery, both Philip and Colin were ready and waiting for the street to darken and be empty of the general public. Philip had stolen a key from his mother and had opened the shop from the stock room at the back. They had managed to use the shop’s van, and very quickly filled it up with boxes of shoes in all sizes. In an incredibly short time, the shop was empty of shoes in their boxes. Philip knew the alarm combination and there were no unnecessary loud sounds breaking the silence of the night. Colin had got hold of anyone who wanted to be in on the robbery, and had got them to meet with him and Philip in an abandoned sweet shop in a village. The goods and money changed hands quicker than could be imagined, and as the new owners of the stolen footwear drove off in their cars and vans, Colin and Philip were happily counting their ill-gotten gains.

Colin waved as Philip drove off in the shop’s van to a field where he set fire to it. Colin got onto his motorbike, which they had put into the back of the van with the boxes, and then made his way to the field so that he could pick up Philip and take him home.

 

Jane and Norma (Philip’s sister) led simple lives. They attended school from Monday to Friday, but that was all they did as regards their academic lives. From Friday evenings until Sunday evenings, they were out and about spending their pocket-money like mad. The shopping centres saw them frequently, and many other young people of the same ages. It was really quite fascinating how many clothes they were capable of purchasing, when life in general was not that cheap. After the robbery, it took Norma’s parents a few months to collect from the insurance. They had a real battle on their hands to get the money that was rightfully theirs.

 

The money came and Norma was given some of it to entertain herself with Jane, who had a driving licence and a car, and said, “Let’s go on a trip, you’ve got the money and I’ve got the means.”

“OK, but have you any idea where we could go to?” Norma asked her friend.

“I was looking at YouTube the other night and saw a programme about Scotland, and as we’re studying it at the moment, I thought it might be great to pay a visit to the other side of the border. Well what about it?”

Norma, who was not the best of students, said, “Fantastic, but when shall we go?”

“There’s a half-term holiday coming up in mid-February, and it would be a good opportunity to get away from here. If I stay here, my mother will have me working in the driving school as her free secretary, and I’ve had enough. Do you think your brother and Colin would like to travel with us?”

“I don’t suppose so. They’re older and have their own things,” Norma said.

“Anyway, give it a thought, and if you find somewhere else to go, give me a bell, OK?” Jane said as they parted company. Norma was lazy and not given to thinking much, except about her clothes and make-up. Jane’s mother was giving her driving lessons, but from one class to the next she’d forgotten all that she’d learnt.

 

They set out for Scotland on a dark Saturday morning while the rest of the world was asleep. Jane’s brother, Alan, was just turning into their road after being out all night, when he saw Jane and Norma in her car. Philip and Colin had kept low profiles since the robbery, and were behaving themselves - apparently. Alan wondered if he should tell Philip about seeing Norma out so early on a Saturday morning.

 

Jane had the Sat Nav switched on and Norma was supposed to be keeping an eye on it. They drove on and on, till they were in Northumberland and near Hadrian’s Wall.

“Right. I think this is where we ought to stop for the weekend,” Jane said.

Norma stared at her friend and said, “I thought we were going to Scotland. Why are we here?”

“Don’t you remember our latest history lessons? They were all about the wall and life around the wall. Now, let’s go and find a place to stay till tomorrow evening.” Jane said, getting out of the car.

The two girls had no difficulty in finding a place to spend the night. There were plenty of Bed and Breakfast houses and small hotels. They weren’t short of overnight stays. They got into a bed and breakfast, and went out to a nearby restaurant for lunch.

 

The bedroom was warm and comfortable and they returned to it happily. Jane, dressed in her pyjamas, sat on the bed reading out loud from the brochure their landlady had given them. “Hadrian’s Wall goes right across the country. It is suggested to use public transport rather than take the car, no one must walk on the top of the wall. Walk side by side, and use the pubs, shops, and restaurants in the area.” Jane finished reading, and then said, “Shall we go and take a look at the wall?”

Norma, who was enjoying a film on the television, said, “What now? I’m watching this film.”

Jane, who knew Norma of old, said, “We can go out later if you prefer.”

Norma lay back, and said, “That’s all right by me.”

When Norma woke up later having fallen asleep while watching the film, Jane had gone for a walk by herself. She hadn’t driven all the way to the wall just to sit and watch television. She left a note for Norma telling her that she had gone out.

 

Jane walked as far as the nearest village and looked in the windows of several shops and pubs. She went into a café and ordered a cup of coffee and a piece of honey-and-fruit cake. When it came, she was delighted to find that the cake was home made.

A young man spoke to her, “Hello, I’m Charlie and I’m from the Midlands.”

Jane said, “I’m Jane, and I’m here with my friend Norma. We’re from the south coast. We’re up here to look at the wall. Is it worth a visit?”

Charlie took a sip of his coffee, and replied, “I should say so. I’ve been up there all day, but my friend Bobby was keener on a girl he’d just met, rather than going up after lunch. So, here I am. It’s getting a bit late now to go up there, so I’m waiting till tomorrow to see more of it”

“I think we’ll be taking a bus that goes up. It’s recommended to use public transport. Is that how you went up?”

“Yes, it is, and far easier than going by car or walking.”

They sat exchanging personal information about work and school, till in the end Jane’s mobile rang, and it was Norma.

“Hello, it’s me. Where are you, and I’ll come and meet you?”

“I’m in a café not far away, and I’m chatting with a very nice man, who’s also up here on a short trip.”

“Didn’t your mother tell you never to talk to strange men?” Norma said laughing.

“I knew there was something I’d forgotten,” Jane replied.

Norma found her way to the café and got talking to Charlie as if she had known him all her life. Jane thought she was giving away too much knowledge about herself.

 

Red and grey are two colours that always go well together. And so it happened that Jane and Alan’s mother, Helen Bagley, whose residence had a red door, sooner or later had to meet Arnold Prosser, who lived behind the grey door with his son Vincent. The weekend Jane and Norma took off for the North, gave Helen and Arnold the opportunity they had been waiting for. Vincent was spending the weekend with his mother and her new husband. The red and grey pair had worked it out that they could either stay at home or go away. Either way was OK, as it meant they would be with each other, and free of their children and anything remotely related to them.

 

Helen and Arnold set off on the same Saturday morning as Jane and Norma. They went in the opposite direction from the girls. Alan got home to find a note left by his mother informing him of her trip to Wales with Arnold.

 

Alan couldn’t believe it. His mother and Arnold Prosser having a romance! He sent out a message to all his friends that Saturday night was party night.

 

The shoes had sold so fast and so well, that the purchasers got in touch with Philip and Colin, who were still at home, having decided to stash their money away, instead of going on holiday, to allay suspicion.

“Colin, how do we get hold of more shoes?” Philip asked his friend.

“That would be awkward so soon after the previous job. Ask our customers if they’ll accept a different kind of shipment. My parents have the perfumery, and they also stock many different kinds of goods. It would be easy to get rid of a shop full of beauty goods.”

Philip sat and thought, and then rang their main client. “Shoes are out for the moment. Too soon after our last job. We can do a nice line in expensive perfumes, toiletries, etc, which would go down well with the ladies. It’s all top of the range.”

Philip heard voices talking in the background, and then, “OK, will next weekend be all right? We’ll meet at the old place.”

“Good. Hope you’ll be ready to spend some money. Some of the stuff is more than expensive.”

“Yes, we know that. See you next weekend.”

 

Mr and Mrs Freeman never spoke about their business in front of Colin, hoping that he would prefer a different type of work. When the Williams’ shop had been robbed, they had installed many alarms, so as to make it sound like a symphony orchestra when triggered off. It wouldn’t take much to set them off. Philip and Colin decided to force entry on the Friday night when Mr and Mrs Freeman were out having dinner with friends.

Philip and Colin were making a great effort to get into the shop but the alarms began singing out, and the boys took off for home. Colin slipped indoors and into his bedroom, and got into bed to watch a popular programme on his own television.

Philip rang up his associates, “Colin’s parents had the shop wired up with alarms and when they all went off it sounded like an orchestra. Sorry about this, but they didn’t tell Colin the premises were smothered with alarms. We’re worried they might have also set up a CCTV camera.”

“What a dirty rotten shame. We enjoyed working with you.”

Philip felt angry and frustrated. How was it possible Colin knew nothing about all the alarms?

 

Alan’s party was set for eleven o’clock at night. Nevertheless, due to information re the party had gone out on the internet and the other young people’s web sites, a large group began forming long before. Alan opened the front door at eleven, and there was a general stampede to get inside and at the alcohol and food. There were no boundaries for the visitors, and they ran around like a lot of headless chickens from room to room, many of them were destroying everything they encountered in their wake. Alan was busy getting drunk and dancing to the most raucous music you ever imagined. The house was completely trashed, but Alan and his close friends were not at all bothered. Everyone was having a good time. Why worry about the house? Some of the guests were bouncing on the beds, others were having pillow fights till the pillows split open and feathers were everywhere. Doors were wrenched off their frames, it seemed that nothing was left intact.

It was only when police car sirens were heard that any of the revellers made a move to leave. The disaster was carried into the garden with pieces of furniture littering the lawn and the flowerbeds.

The police soon took over and caught hold of some of the party goers. “Whose house is this?” one policeman asked.

Alan stepped forward and said, “It’s my mother’s house. She isn’t here because she’s gone to Wales for a holiday.”

“And you thought it would be a good idea to let rip with her property,” the policeman said.

“Well, not exactly. I didn’t think it would get so boisterous. I suppose I’d better tidy up this mess,” Alan replied.

“A lot of hands will be needed to clear this terrible mess up,” the policeman said.

“My sister lives here as well. I don’t know what she’ll say when she sees what’s been done to her clothes,” Alan moaned.

“Where is your sister?”

“She’s gone up to Scotland for the weekend,” Alan said.

“Have you got an address for your mother?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Then one of us will stay with you till she gets back,” one of the policemen said.

 

The reactions from the Freeman and the Williams families were to be expected. Both families were outraged by Alan having a party while his mother was away for the weekend. They went round to see Alan and asked him if he needed food or drink or somewhere to sleep for the night.

 

Philip and Colin were impressed by the disastrous state of Alan’s house. They wanted to go and see it for themselves, but their parents prohibited it.

 

Jane and Norma spent Sunday visiting Hadrian’s Wall with Charlie. His friend had already met a girl, so poor old Charlie had to accompany the two girls. They had a good time imagining themselves as Romans. They saw the museums, the Archaeological sites, and managed to go on foot some of the way. The restaurants were good, and so the trio had lunch in a restaurant that served the traditional food from that part of the country.

 

The girls bought presents for themselves and their families to take back, and began the return journey when it was getting dark.

 

Jane saw her home come into view when it was dark. “Something’s wrong! There are no lights on in the house.”

“Perhaps there’s been a fuse gone,” suggested Norma.

They got out of the car and went to the front door and saw the police tape going across the front door and round to the sides. A policeman came out of the shadows and said, “What have you got to do with this property?”

“I’m Jane Bagley, and I live here with my mother and brother Alan.”

“Your brother had a rave here yesterday evening, and his guests have trashed the house. We’re waiting for your mother to arrive back. She went to Wales as far as your brother knows.”

Jane said, “Can I get some clothes?”

“We’d rather nobody went inside the house for a while.”

Norma said, “It’s all right, Jane, you can stay with us. We’ve got plenty of room.”

“Where’s Alan?”

“Your brother’s staying with Colin Freeman, the family in the house with the green door.”

“That’s great! Looking after himself as usual,” moaned Jane.

Jane and Norma walked to the yellow door, which was opened by Norma’s mother.”

 

Arnold Prosser and Helen Bagley got back home at around midnight on Sunday. Helen was left speechless on seeing her wrecked home. Arnold said to her, “You can come and stay with me till it’s all been refurbished. You never know, the police might be able to get some of the parents of the teenagers to pay for some of the damage.”

“Arnold, you’re so kind. I really do appreciate it,” Helen said, as she kissed him on the cheek.

 

Some bright spark suggested that the bright front doors had a negative effect on those who lived in the houses, and in record time all the front doors were painted in black gloss paint.

 

It took away the paint-box look that the street had had before. 


© Copyright 2020 Georgina V Solly. All rights reserved.

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