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Another BigCloset TopShelf story. Charlene arrives at 'Season House'.
Tales of the Season : Charlene's Story
Tales of the Season : Charlene's Story
It was a glorious summer morning in New England. Bright blue skies, with those puffy clouds that take on whimsical shapes in the sky. Jane Thompson stood on the train platform as she had so many times before. She surveyed the area one more time, then asked Joan to move toward the end of the building.
"If you are at that end and I am at the other we should be able to locate Mr. Hawkins quickly." Jane Thompson informed her new senior student.
This was also one of Jane's little tests. It would move Joan just out of the safety of Jane's gaze so that she would be more on her own. Jane always liked to make sure her charges were competent in their masquerade when a new student was arriving.
Jane was dressed in her Headmistress outfit as she liked to think of it. She wore a plain black skirted suit with a white high-necked blouse, Black hose and black pumps with a three-inch heel. She also had her hair pulled back into a tight chignon to give her that 'stern' look. Her makeup accentuated an 'all business' attitude to her look. 'Just right to keep Mr. Hawkins a little off balance' she thought to herself.
Joan was also suitably attired as the 'big sister'. She wore a knee length cream dress with delicate lace trim on the sleeve cuffs and around the hem. The hem held out by a petticoat to give the dress a little younger look. Matching cream stockings, off white low-heeled sandals and off white gloves with lace around the wrist completed the image of a young well-bred girl. Her hair and makeup were simple, yet completed the image of innocence that was just right for this morning's trip to the train station.
Jane heard the whistle first and then the clanging of the railroad gates signaling the arrival of the train. A quick look at her watch showed the train to be three minutes late today.
"Not bad! They seem to try to stay near the schedule." Jane noted to herself.
Very few people got off the train this time of the morning so there was very little trouble locating Charles Hawkins.
Charlie collected his travel bag and checked around his seat to make sure he didn't forget anything. The train finally stopped and the conductor reminded Charlie that this was his stop. Charlie thanked him and grabbed his bag and headed for the exit.
As he stepped off the train he noted what a beautiful day it was. He stepped away from the train and went to stretch when...
"Excuse me. Are you Charles Hawkins?" A girl about Charlie's age asked.
"Yes I am. Why?" Charlie replied.
"Let me introduce myself. I am Joan Carlson and Ms. Thompson would like you to follow me" Joan stated. Then she turned on her heel and started off toward Jane.
Charlie was surprised. He just gets off the train and a cute girl comes up and introduces herself and asks him to follow her. He noticed she was moving away quickly so he reached down and grabbed his bag and took off after her.
"Hey! Wait up!" Charlie hollered.
Joan never slowed her gait. She knew she had to get Charlie to Jane quickly. When they arrived Joan did the introductions.
"Ms. Thompson? I would like to introduce Mr. Charles Hawkins. Mr. Hawkins? Ms. Jane Thompson, Headmistress of Thompson Academy." Joan then curtseyed and stepped back.
"Hi! Please, call me Charlie." Charlie offered his hand to Jane Thompson.
Jane grew quite stiff at the simple 'Hi!'. She looked at Charlie with some disdain, then took his offered hand in a slight shake. "We will have to do something about your manners while you are here! That is no way to greet an elder. Is that all of your luggage, Charles?" Jane asked.
"Um..no..um...there is another large bag to be unloaded." Charlie replied.
"Give me the claim ticket. I'll get a redcap to collect your bag and have it delivered. We don't have time to wait, the train was late and we need to be on our way. We have a lot to accomplish today young man. Now, children! Follow me." Jane spun on her heel and located the nearest redcap. She gave him the claim check and instructions to have the bag delivered to Thompson Academy. Then she reached into her purse and gave the man some money to handle all the arrangements. That completed, Jane once again took off for the parking lot at a fast clip.
She was pleased to note that Joan’s footsteps were right behind her. That meant that Charles was hurrying along too. Things were running according to plan so far.
Charlie noticed the large Lincoln Town Car that Ms. Thompson walked up to. Brand new and not a speck of dirt on it! He placed his bag into the trunk, then was motioned into the back seat. Joan sat up front with Ms. Thompson.
So far, this Academy place wasn't what he expected. Ms. Thompson seemed strict, but he was expecting drill sergeants to be waiting for him. Not a well dressed lady and a cute girl! If this was part of the academy life, Charlie could get to like it!
The ride back to the mansion was done in silence. Jane always did this to keep the new student wondering what would happen next. She always watched the facial expressions in the rearview mirror. Those emotions told her a lot about the student and where they were mentally at the moment. She noted Charlie in deep thought and then he looked at both her and Joan and a smile came to his face. 'Gotcha!!' Jane thought. 'He has relaxed, thinking that maybe this place will not be so bad. Little does he realize...'
Charlie spent the rest of the trip looking out the window and enjoying the countryside. It looked different from a car than from a train.
"The countryside is quite beautiful." Charlie stated, hoping to get a conversation going.
"Yes, it is." Jane replied
Charlie was surprised by the short rather curt answer. What was she upset about? He couldn't control when the damn train got in! I wonder what her problem is?
"Are there many students at the academy, Ms. Thompson?" Charlie asked
"Just you and Joan." Came the short reply.
Charlie frowned. It didn't seem like Ms. Thompson wanted anyone to talk while she was driving. He figured he had better be quiet until they arrived at the school.
Another twenty minutes and Jane turned into the driveway of ‘Season's Manor’. She enjoyed her work and now it was time to get started. Jane stopped the car under the carport and clicked open the trunk.
"Charles please grab your bag and follow Joan to your room. You have a few minutes to refresh yourself before we have a short talk and then lunch." Jane told the new student. She then headed up the steps and into the house.
Charlie grabbed his bag and looked at Joan. She was standing there looking impatient at having to wait for him. Charlie decided to ask a question. "Is she ALWAYS like this?"
"Ms. Thompson? Good heavens no! Sometimes, she is in a bad mood!" Joan replied. "Follow me. I'll show you to your room." With that, Joan headed off for the steps with Charlie hurrying along behind her.
Charlie didn't mind following the girl, it was only recently he had started to notice girls and he noticed that Joan had nice legs! His view as they ascended the stairs was a teenage boy's dream! Long legs, lots of frills bouncing and hips gently swaying as Joan walked up the steps in front of him. His reverie stopped suddenly when Joan halted in front of a door and opened it.
"This is your room while you are here. There is a bathroom at the far end. Joan entered the room with Charlie to show him where it was. Please refresh yourself, Ms. Thompson will want you in a few minutes." Joan told Charles and then turned and left the room, closing the door behind her.
Charlie was suddenly all alone. He was so shocked when he first saw the room he couldn't believe he was actually supposed to stay there! Then this Joan person showed him a bathroom and left! The worst part of it all was that this looked like a girl's room. The walls were done in a rose pink with a wainscot border of delicate roses. All the trim and the furniture were white and had ruffles everywhere. The bed was a canopy bed with a pink canopy and a pink and white ruffled comforter on it. There was a doll and a small pink teddy bear sitting in front of the small pillow on the bed. Even the pictures on the wall were delicate renditions of young girls in an older period of dress.
Charlie decided he did need to use the bathroom. When he turned on the light, he had another surprise; the entire bathroom was pink too! Charlie looked around in disbelief. He decided he would ask Ms. Thompson if a mistake had been made in which room he was to use. Charlie used the bathroom, being careful not to mess things up in case he had to change rooms. As he was heading out the door, there was a knock on the bedroom door.
"Umm...Just a minute!" Charlie looked for a place to dry his hands; finally deciding his pants would work for now. "Come on in!"
The door opened and Joan entered. "Ms. Thompson will see you now. Please follow me." Joan then turned and left the bedroom. Charlie stood there for a second and then realized he should follow her. When he reached the door, she was waiting for him at the top of the stairs.
"This way please." Joan said and proceeded to float gently down the stairs. The only sound she made was the rustle of her petticoat. Charlie followed her without saying a word, though a bit more noisily, down the stairs. When they reached the bottom, Joan pointed to a closed door at the end of the hallway. "The last door on your right. A word of warning, knock first and wait for Ms. Thompson to ask you to enter." After giving Charlie that one bit of information, Joan turned and walked the opposite way down the hall.
"Thanks! Umm...Joan." Charlie said to a disappearing Joan. He then took a deep breath and turned toward the closed door. It is amazing how long that hallway suddenly became! He knew he had just come in through it and it hadn't seemed so long. Charlie figured this is how a condemned prisoner feels on his way to the electric chair.
By the time he reached the closed door, Charlie was shaking, visibly. He had to sit on a bench across from the door for a minute to gather himself and stop hyperventilating. He had never been in this much trouble before and the consequences of his actions were finally starting to hit home. Moreover, the image of Jane Thompson really did unnerve him.
Charlie finally got control of his emotions and stood up, walked to the door and knocked twice. It seemed like forever and Charlie was thinking he should open the door and look inside. He was thinking he may have knocked on the wrong door. As he reached for the doorknob a voice from inside said 'Enter!'
That made Charlie jump. He then turned the knob and opened the door to see what his next six months to a year would hold.
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