The Tragedy of Perception

A reluctant athlete

In which Sally and Roland perform outdoors.

In the kitchen of 17 Misconception Boulevard, Sally Softly and the half‑dressed chief constable were standing beside the coffee machine. Above the gurgling machine, the muffled exchanges of the three visitors in the living room could be heard.

Sally was deep in thought about this man on the sofa whom she had deduced (by “scientifically examining the facts”) was Peter’s half‑brother. She then felt Roland Wise’s hand scurrying over the back of her leg. She recalled that look on his face as he got up off her in the living room—got quickly up off her and then sighed with relief. She pictured him with Peter on the golf course, both laughing about her. She shuddered again at the thought of their trickery, then grabbed Roland’s shoulder, said, “Right—we’ll start in the garden,” and pushed him towards the back door.

He seemed reluctant, “The garden—”

She tugged at his arm while warning him, with a playful smile, “We’ll have to be quick mind—”

His legs started to tremble, “But—”

She looked at his reluctant expression which appeared to be expressing disgust at the idea of having sex with her. And something about his expression incensed her even more than usual (—Right. I’ll get them both back for this. Wants to have a laugh about me, does he? Well, let’s see him laugh about this—). And she tugged more firmly on his arm, saying, irritably, “Come on,” and slipping his underpants down over his buttocks with her other hand as she tugged him towards the door.

Roland—holding onto his underpants—appeared to be somewhat flustered, “But, but—”

But she was not having any of this; she opened the door, snapped, “Get out there,” pushed him out through it (Roland still dressed in only his shirt, underwear, shoes and his chief constable’s hat—for he was still apparently unaware he was wearing it) and as they stepped out through the door, Sally’s smirk triumphantly returned at the thought of Roland’s marathon performance around the garden.

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