Drama Fiction

Lancelot sat on the porch, fanning himself from the early summer heat. Sweat excreted between his brow, over the ridge of his manly nose, over his philtrum, moistened his juicy, warm lips, slid down his smooth chin, licked his salty neck, dribbled over his bare chest and snaked its way towards his unbearably orgasmic belly into the warm furnace of his groin.

It was so hot.

He eyed Guinevere inside the house, vacuum-cleaner in one arm, newborn son in the other.

“Lance, can you take Merlin for a while while I finish the housework?” she asked.

Lancelot slowly put his beer down and slid out of his sticky seat, feeling the heatwave following him into the living room. He gently pried the tiny infant from Guinevere.

“Who’s a pretty boy then, eh?” smiled Lancelot, gently bobbing the baby. The baby laughed and cooed.

Guinevere gleamed at Lancelot’s natural instincts with newborns. She stood close to him, adoring her son’s reaction to all this wondrous attention. As she stood near, Lancelot noticed the smell of her unwashed hair, how it frizzed and stood up defiantly in the scorching summer heat. He liked that.

They didn’t even notice Arthur come in until they saw him standing in the hallway, looking deadpan.

“Hi honey! How was your day?” asked Guinevere, coming over to kiss his rough cheek.

He swerved away. “Why is this place such a mess?” he retorted.

Guinevere felt smarted. “I’ve…I’ve been nursing little Aphrodite all afternoon…she fell over and grazed her knee while playing in the sandpit.”

“Indeed,” he replied with little interest. He noticed Lancelot wasn’t wearing a shirt. “I’m going to the porch, someone bring me a beer,” called Arthur as he slunk towards the outside.

“Wait! Say hello to little Merlin first!” urged Guinevere as she headed towards the kitchen.

Arthur turned back round reluctantly and looked as his son, still cooing happily in Lancelot’s arms.

“Oh yeah, hi,” said Arthur with not much effort, vaguely waving his fingers in the baby’s direction.

“Little Merl misses his da-da, don’tcha?” said Lancelot, suddenly turning all mushy. “He wants a kiss from daddy!”

Arthur paused, hesitated, considered and debated, then finally, awkwardly, he walked over to Lancelot to be close enough within grasp of the baby.

Lancelot carefully piled the bundle into Arthur’s arms, and at once the baby became terrified and distressed, and kicked and resisted his father. He began to squall.

Arthur quickly dumped the baby back to his companion’s arms. “Lancelot, I can’t do this,” he said testily, and zoomed towards the porch.

“Is the baby alright?” Guinevere came running from the kitchen in a big, white, mumsy nightgown, hair messed about everywhere, with a cold unopened beer in her hands.

“He’s fine,” assured Lancelot. “But I’m not sure that he is.”

They both looked at Arthur.

He was slumped on the porch with his back to them, his head buried in his hands.


That night, Guinevere and Arthur lay in the bed in the sticky heat. The emotional distance between them was stifling.

“Why is Lancelot here all the time, pretending to play mum?” growled Arthur, after Guinevere returned from soothing the baby for the third time.

“He’s not pretending, he’s helping me feed Merlin while I’ve got my hands full.” She wanted to add “If you were around more often…”

“Bollocks, it’s unnatural. Everything he does is just unnatural.”

“You know we adore Lance! You’ve never had a problem with him coming over before.”

“Yeah, well, this time he’s gone too far. The way he looks at you…”

“If you were around more often” said Guinevere, speaking up suddenly, “then I wouldn’t NEED him to be here! You’re never here to help me!”

“Listen, Lance would come and see you even if he didn’t have to! I mean, gosh, he would make a pass at you even though you look like - ”. He cut himself short.

“Even though I look like what?” prompted Guinevere dangerously.

“Never mind.”

“No, go on, even though I look like WHAT?”

“Even though you look like a…a…frumpy meringue pie!”

The baby started crying again.

“Is that thing going to cry all night?” complained Arthur. “We’re never going to get any sleep.”

“That 'thing' is your SON!” cried Guinevere, nearly choking with tears. And she fled from the room, this time to stop both herself and the baby from crying.


The warm days grew warmer and Arthur’s heart grew colder, and he finally resolved to visit a psychologist to sort out his problems.

“I think my friend is attracted to my wife,” Arthur confided to the psychologist. “What can she do to fix this?”

The psychologist leaned back in his chair and asked Arthur to list the symptoms. Arthur indulgently took the chance to share every resentment he ever had with her, even negligible things like “The time she organised our daughter’s birthday party and didn’t ask me for help. It was Lancelot who helped her bake the birthday cake and they got to cut it up while I stood there like an idiot.”

“Are you affectionate towards your wife, Mr Smarta?” queried the psychologist.

“If you mean sex, of course,” defended Arthur.

“And what about other, non-sexual forms of contact?”

“What do you mean?” asked Arthur, irritated.

“Do you call her up from work every now and then, take her out to dinners without expecting sex in return, give her cuddles, make her feel beautiful while she is feeling vulnerable and settling in her role as a new mother?”

“I work damn hard to keep my family safe and well,” retorted Arthur, entirely avoiding the question. “I don’t see what cuddles and romantic dinners have got to do with putting food on the table!”

The psychologist scribbled something in his notebook.

“So what do you want from me?” asked the psychologist.

“I want you to make her obedient, get her doing her share of the housework without my friend interfering and flirting with her, doing things behind MY back,” said Arthur urgently. “I need to know she isn’t going to…isn’t going to…”

“Cheat on you?” suggested the psychologist. Arthur silently dug his head to his chest. “Why would she even consider that?” questioned the psychologist.

“That’s NONE of your business!” exploded Arthur, surprised by his rage. “Look, you don’t really understand my case, I’ll take care of this myself.”


Arthur drove home like a madman as all sorts of demonic fantasies flashed through his mind. He would find them sitting together on the couch, holding hands, or worse, sprawling around in his marital bed, her big, white, meringue nightgown pushed up halfway against her fleshy midriff. Admittedly, he didn’t fancy his wife as much these days, yet he couldn’t stand the thought of another man owning her, touching her, making her feel wanted and beautiful, validating her femininity, proving her power to give pleasure. HE OWNED HER, he thought. It was HIS RIGHT to make her see that, make her see reason that she OWED HIM her loyalty and devotion, to make herself pretty for HIM, to put on some make-up every now and then, for heaven’s sake. Was that too much to ask?

He screeched the car in the driveway, raced up the stairs and bolted through the door. The smell of delicious cooking hit him in the face like one of those pie-in-the-face gags.

Lancelot and Guinevere were in the kitchen together, he was shirtless (AGAIN!!), dangling a piece of spaghetti over his sensual mouth, about to lick it with his long, salacious tongue.

“Careful,” laughed Guinevere, “don’t burn yourself.”

The door banged shut.

Guinevere spun around and beamed at Arthur, obviously happy to see him. “Hi honey! Glad you’re home. We’re just making some lunch for you. Are you hun-”

“What’s he doing here??” asked Arthur darkly.

Guinevere and Lancelot flinched, confused by Arthur’s accusation.

“What do you mean?” started Guinevere. “He’s here to help me cook lunch…it takes a lot of preparation and - ”

“I want him out,” ordered Arthur, his voice dangerously low.

Guinevere blinked. “Why?”

“You know why. Now get out.”

“Mate…you’re being unreasonable,” started Lancelot carefully.

“You fucking stay out of this, I’ve seen the way you look at her, get OUT.”

“What’s gotten into you mate?”

“Don’t you MATE me, MATE,” parodied Arthur cruelly, “Now I SAID GET OUT –BEFORE I CALL THE COPS!!

Lancelot quietly put his shirt back on and stepped outside in the blazing summer heat.

The door slammed shut.

A wave of nausea hit him as he heard the terrible fight erupting between Arthur and Guinevere, the sound of pots and pans crashing to the floor and her voice hoarsely crying and shouting for some compassion and understanding.

He never felt so helpless in his entire life.


After that fight Lancelot was never allowed back in the house. And no other ‘hired help’ was allowed for Guinevere for that matter, not even a nanny to help take care of the children. “Why waste money on help when you’re here all day to do it by yourself,” said Arthur callously, not realising that housework with two small children takes more than just convenient appliances to do it all for you.

The unforgiving summer heat transitioned to the temperamental breeze of autumn, and little Aphrodite’s birthday rolled round again. This time, Arthur was determined to help in the kitchen, but found that ‘gently cracking and beating two eggs’ was too much for his clumsy hands, and he quickly gave up on it, suggesting instead that he ‘go mingle with the guests’.

“As you wish,” said Guinevere. She didn’t want to let anything ruin her daughter’s birthday today.

So off Arthur went, glad to be rid of domestic duties, and started chatting to the pretty well-made up mothers of Aphrodite’s friends who Guinevere couldn’t really stand but agreed to have them over anyway out of politeness.

Inside the kitchen Guinevere carefully finished icing the cake and wiped the benches clean. The over-full sink would have to wait till after the party. If Arthur complained about the mess, so be it, she thought with suppressed anger.

She lit the birthday candles, and was so chuffed at how it looked. Six beautiful birthday candles lined up like soldiers with orange flamed heads. Her daughter would be absolutely delighted.

So what they look lovely, it probably doesn’t taste that good said her inner voice.

Be quiet! I’m doing my best, okay? This is my daughter’s birthday, not his!

And with that quick pep talk, she carefully picked up the cake platter, and proceeded to the living room.

Arthur was still chatting to one of the pretty mothers, complimenting her on her lovely dress.

“Red really suits you,” said Arthur in a smooth and charming way, lightly tapping her bare collarbone.

“Gucci,” she replied.

“Really?!” said Arthur, impressed. He didn’t know what ‘Goo-Chi’ was, but it sounded very expensive. “I wish my wife would wear something like that…”

Guinevere entered the living room just in time to hear Arthur’s commentary, and to notice his lingering finger on her collarbone. Unfortunately, she became so transfixed by that appalling sight that something inside her faltered, and she tripped and fell, sending reams of beautiful cake smearing against the newly vacuumed carpet, and platters of food raining down as she reached out to the tablecloth for support.

“Mummy!” shouted Aphrodite.

“Bloody hell,” cursed Arthur, “now look what you’ve done.” He yanked her arm to pull her up.

“OWWWWWWW!!!” screamed Guinevere, feeling sharp pains shooting down her twisted ankle. She was mortified and embarrassed, feeling exposed as a total, utter failure, her life literally spiralling out of control, laughing in her face, taunting her with the messiness and failures of her womanhood - failing as a mother, failing as a wife, but above all, failing at not being true to HERSELF.

I may be mumsy and frumpy she thought, but by God motherhood has made me strong! She stood up using the chair for support.

She didn’t care who was listening now, who was observing her terrible state of ungainliness. “Listen up, Arthur Smarta, it’s OVER. I don’t want you in my house ever again!”

“Honey, you’re over-reacting,” dismissed Arthur sheepishly. “You’ve had a bad fall.”

NO!” she screamed back. “For too long I have put up with your abuse! I will not bring up my children like this!”

The guests were agog, relieved that they weren’t having this ugly debate in public.

“But you’re my wife - ”


Arthur considered restraining her, but thinking better of it, did as he was told. The guests left quietly after that, some of them hurriedly taking the unspoiled leftovers, trying their best to wipe the cake from the floor with paper napkins, but smearing it more and more into the carpet.


The trees discarded their leaves now, standing naked and bare against the billowing snow.

Guinevere stood on the porch, hugging her best friend from behind. “Such a beautiful afternoon,” she observed with calm contemplation, wearing a grey woollen sweater two sizes too big, and messy hair pinned back in a bun.

Her friend smiled back. “Yes, a beautiful afternoon indeed,” agreed Lancelot.

January 29, 2021 22:06

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.