Last month, I posted the beginning of a short story giving you the option to vote if you wanted to read the rest of it.
Well, the results of the vote are in... and the majority of you said 'yes'. So here's the rest of Brandon's tale.
Read in the full story below.
Brandon's Walk of Shame
Brandon shuffled along the quiet pavement in the centre of the village. It was early morning before the school run. The air was still fresh as dozens of cars hadn’t passed by, pumping out fumes.
It was late Spring, and the sun was climbing into the sky, half-awake. Birds huddled on branches now littered with lush green leaves and sang their morning songs.
Far away in the fields beyond the village, baby lambs would be frolicking in the fields, flitting between daffodils and fresh-water becks. When the wind blew in his direction, Brandon could almost hear their playful bleats.
But he wasn’t in the mood for newborn idyllic Spring mornings. He had to get off the street before anyone — too late.
He saw a Royal Mail car parked up next to a red pillar box several yards down the road. The pillar box still had the ER insignia on it, and he asked himself when they’d get around to changing them.
He was in the middle of the street in front of the sandwich shop window that he often bought his lunch. He looked at its large laminated menu on the inside of the glass, and dreaded to think what Mrs Watkins would say if she saw him right then.
Luckily, Brandon was known as a good-looking chap. He had the chiselled jawline and vibrant green eyes that could give him a career in modelling if he wanted it. Several desperate talent scouts had asked him during his student years, but he’d always declined. He was blissfully unaware of his good looks. There was more to life than standing around looking pretty. Then again, he had to wonder if only someone who was good-looking would think that.
His skin tone was slightly darker than the average for the region, thanks to his Italian heritage. And he kept in shape, running, going to the gym, and swimming, so he cut a lithe figure and had good muscle definition. He was comfortable in his skin, that was for sure, and didn’t understand people who weren’t. Again, he had to ask himself if others who weren’t as blessed as he would think the same.
But if anyone saw him right now, they’d get a good look at his honed physique and olive-coloured skin. They’d see more of him now than if he’d spent his whole thirty-two years on the runway. Unless he’d branched out into doing porn shoots.
The gentle breeze tickled the hair on his bare buttocks, and he shifted the cushion he was holding back there to scratch it.
He held another cushion over his crotch, covering the money shot. Apart from these two furnishing accessories he’d snatched from the green leather chair in Mrs White’s bedroom, he’d be completely naked.
He knew very well that being naked in the middle of the street was a criminal offence. Being a solicitor, he was up to date on such things.
His jeans and designer shirt, along with his underpants and socks, were on the floor next to Mrs White’s bed. Her husband, who worked on the oil rigs in the North Sea, called around 5 a.m. to explain he’d be back in half an hour.
Mrs White had freaked out. She didn’t want a big divorce and was comfortable living in that four-bedroomed detached house while playing around on the side. She shoved Brandon out of bed and screamed at him to go.
Brandon wondered why he hadn’t thought to take his clothes, but Mrs White’s screeches were so deafening, he thought people might think he was doing something bad to her.
Plus, he was still half-unconscious, having been violently kicked out of his post-coital slumber.
Something sharp dug into his the sole of his left foot and he wished it wasn’t broken glass. He lifted it up and saw a particularly sharp bit of gravel dug into his skin. After pulling it out, he dropped it back on the pavement and glanced around.
A car door closed, and the post-man got out of his van. Thankfully, he was staring at his phone and hadn’t seemed to notice Brandon standing in front of the sandwich shop window with everything on display.
The postman didn’t bother with the post box. Instead, he wandered to the greengrocer’s a few doors down the street with some letters in his hand.
He chuckled at something on his phone, then put it in his pocket and read the addresses on the envelopes. He pulled several out of the small pile and then posted them through the closed green door.
Brandon questioned why the postman was delivering mail so early. He didn’t get his own post until it had gone 2 p.m..
The postman was nearly back at his van when he looked up as if he’d been aware of something but hadn’t seen it.
His eyes fell on Brandon.
Brandon instinctively pushed himself up against the sandwich shop window, as if by doing so would help him disappear.
But it didn’t.
The postman gawked at him, and Brandon could almost see the cogs in the postman’s tired brain take in what his eyes were witnessing.
This gave Brandon enough time to inch along the side of the sandwich shop towards an alleyway that lead to his house.
The postman wiped his mouth with his free hand and then started laughing. Evidently, his brain had caught up with events.
‘What the bloody hell…!?’ The postman couldn’t finish his sentence. The hysterics took over, and he doubled over and gripped his rotund stomach like he’d been attacked with a severe quick on-set stomach bug.
Brandon took his chance to run down the alleyway, a narrow gap between two near-ancient buildings, one being the sandwich shop and the other a knitting store.
He sprinted as fast as his bare feet would let him on the flat, cold stone slabs. He’d abandoned the idea of hiding his modesty with the cushions, and his arms swung at his sides to help him move faster.
He’d chosen to run as fast as he could rather than protect his integrity. He’d decided he’d already lost that. The postman would no doubt tell the whole village.
It was a quick run to his cottage, and thankfully, he didn’t bump into anyone else. However, he saw a few net curtains flicker as he streaked past.
He got to the safety of his sandstone cottage’s cream-coloured door, panting as he wasn’t used to running so fast so early in the morning. He then tried the handle. Naturally, it was locked. His key was inside his trouser pockets, which were lying on Mrs White’s bedroom floor.
Well, they were probably hidden somewhere now, as Mr White would nearly be home, and his dear wife would be pretending everything was fine and dandy.
Brandon cursed in frustration at being naked and locked outside his own home, at Mrs White for leading him on and then kicking him out, and at Mr White for being so bloody blind that he couldn’t see his wife was playing away every time he did a stint on that oil rig.
He sighed. The sun was higher in the sky. The day was beginning, and more and more cars were driving on the roads.
He was going to get caught bollock-naked in the middle of the village, and he would become a laughingstock.
Nothing much happened around here, so ‘Can you remember the time Brendon Reeves was caught starkers outside his house?’ would quickly become legend.
Everyone would talk about it. He’d never live it down. He’d have to sell up his home and solicitor’s office and move away. Find some other idyllic village to live in, if he could afford it. House prices had rocketed since Covid.
Maybe he’d have to move into a city. The idea filled him with dread. He avoided cities at all costs. Of course, he would have a better job or business if he lived in a city, but the idea of inhabiting a polluted hell hole made him want to scrunch up his face as if he’d just swallowed a big fat bluebottle.
The male voice made him jump, and he spun around, making sure the cushions covered his back and front. He couldn’t see the source of the voice, so spun around again.
The neighbouring cottage had a stable door, and its top half was wide open. Mr Forrest leant out, smiling. His eyes ran up Brandon’s tanned, hairy thighs. ‘Looks like you’re in a pickle there?’
Brandon spun around to face him. Mr Forrest was in his fifties, was an NHS manager in a hospital nearby, and had a wife. Though Brandon had always felt Mr Forest’s wandering eyes and questioned how committed Mr Forrest was to his marriage. Brandon had also spotted a few men hanging around when Mrs Forest visited her mother in Cambridge.
That lead Brandon to wonder if anyone in this village was faithful, and that resulted in him realising he was as much to blame for the village’s infidelity as anyone else, seeing as he’d been humping Mrs White all night.
‘Need your key?’ Mr Forest asked, after his eyes had travelled up to Brandon’s face.
Key? Of course! Brandon had left one with the neighbours on either side in case he ever needed a spare. He nodded at Mr Forest, as his throat was too clogged with shame for him to speak.
Mr Forest took his time in his kitchen and came back to the open stable door and handed Brandon the key. He had to drop a pillow to take it and chose the one hiding his backside. He didn’t fancy giving Mr Forest a free frontal show.
With the key in hand, he thanked Mr Forest and went to his door and opened it. He felt his neighbour eying his buttocks as he jumped inside and closed the door.
He dropped the cushion when his front door was safely closed and gasped for some breaths. What a palaver? He’d crossed the whole village completely starkers, save for two cushions. Well, only one now as the other was on his doorstep outside. He’d been spotted twice, once by the postman and the other by this neighbour.
The antique clock on the oak mantelpiece showed it was nearly 6 a.m.. He’d normally be getting up to go for his daily run down by the river. But he wouldn’t today. He’d had enough excitement.
He traipsed across the carpet with his dirty bare feet and decided he’d best get a shower and decide what he had to do that day. It was Thursday, after all. He probably had meetings in his office. Hopefully, no one would ask him about any rumours of him being naked in the middle of the street. That certainly wouldn’t do. He’d deny everything, of course. It wasn’t like anyone had any photographic evidence. There weren’t any CCTV cameras in the village, and then he wondered if there were any.
No. He was pretty certain there weren’t. He’d just deny, deny, deny. The old politician’s tactic. Even if the allegation was true, you deny.
God, he was glad he wasn’t a politician.