Careful Drivers

When Josephine wrecks his car, Martin decides to teach her and her mother a humiliating lesson.

Martin Halliday liked his cars, he always had a top of the range sports car and changed it every year. With a well paid job in the city he could afford to and besides he didn't have any other expensive interests or a family to keep. But strangely he was not one of those people who constantly doted over their car and polished it ever weekend, whilst he enjoyed driving and owning expensive motors they were, at the end of the day only large lumps of complicated metal. If his car got scratched or dented, it was just a fact of life to him and he took it to the garage to be repaired.

Backing out of the drive of his modest bungalow one Monday morning in the Toyota Celica he had purchased some three months earlier, he noticed his next door neighbour was having trouble starting her car . Being the good Samaritan he got out and went to see if he could help.,

"Having trouble?" he asked, walking down the drive as Mary Mitchell began to lift the bonnet of her ageing Ford Escort. Her daughter Josephine sat looking glum in the passenger seat.

"Damn thing won't start," Mary replied in frustration

Martin couldn't help but eye her up, he didn't speak much to his neighbour but at 5' 8" with curly brown hair and 38C breasts she cut quite a figure. Despite the fact that she was in her mid forties she had lost none of her looks and amazingly her daughter was the spitting image of her although being only 19 she definitely looked younger and her breasts were not as large as her mother's. From his infrequent conversations with Mary, Martin had learnt that she had lost her husband some years previously and since then she had not exactly struggled to make ends meet, but on the other hand neither was she particularly well off.

"We were just going on holiday," she told Martin as she looked over the engine without really having a clue at what she was looking at. "It's our first one in ages."

"Get in and turn it over," Martin suggested, "and I'll have a look at it," as he watched her straighten up from under the bonnet and walk round to the driver's side.

Several minutes later Martin said, "I think the electronic ignition has packed up, there is no way your going anywhere in it, today."

Mary looked heartbroken and glancing through the windscreen Martin could see that Josephine was close to tears upon hearing the terminal nature of their car's problem. It was clear to him that they had been looking forward to this holiday and had just had all their hopes dashed.

"Tell you what," Martin announced without a second thought, "take my car."

Mary looked dumbfounded.

"But it's brand new," she began when she finally found her voice, "and its so expensive, what if we scratch it, or worse?"

"Oh it's only a car," Martin replied offhand, "and it's insured. Please take it and enjoy your holiday."

"Well, if you're sure", Mary said uncertainly.

"Sure I'm sure," Martin told her, "Come on I'll give you a hand to transfer your luggage."

In a matter of minutes Martin had removed what he wanted from his car and installed the holidaymakers and their luggage. He quickly explained the layout of the switches and knobs before handing Mary the keys. Josephine sat excitedly in the passenger seat, she had often watched Martin in this car but never dreamed she would get to ride in it.

"I'll get your car fixed," Martin said as Mary started the engine.

"Gosh thanks," was all Mary could say as she revved the engine. She was almost as excited as her daughter.

"Oh, and one more thing, Mary," Martin added. " This is important, it's only insured for drivers over 25 years of age, so only you must drive."

"No problem," Mary said as she engaged first gear and just as she pulled away she shouted, "Thanks again."

Martin watched his car disappear up the road and then smiling to himself he went inside to phone a taxi.

A week later Martin had got their car fixed and had gone to work in it a couple of times, much to the amusement of his colleagues who joked about his poor taste in vehicles. Not that it bothered him one bit, in fact driving round in the old Escort was quite a novelty for a few days but it began to wear off after a day or two so he returned it to Mary's drive and resorted to taxis for the rest of the week. On the day of their return Martin was working on his computer and got quite engrossed in what he was doing. Only when he looked at a clock and saw that it was half past seven did he begin to wonder where they had got to. Several days earlier Mary had phoned to check that everything was alright with the house and told him they would be back on Saturday afternoon.

"Probably stuck in traffic," Martin muttered to himself and returned to his work. It was nearly nine when the doorbell rang and Martin went to answer it. Opening it, he could immediately tell from the look on Mary's face that something was wrong. He couldn't see Josephine's face as she was stood several feet behind her mother in the gathering dusk.

"What's the matter?" he asked worriedly.

Mary paused nervously before saying, "It's your car."

"What's happened to it?" Martin asked with a sinking feeling as he followed Mary onto his drive. His question was answered when he saw his car, even in the twilight he could make out that the passenger side was scratched and dented right from the front to the rear, the headlight was broken and the mirror was missing, all in all it looked rather a mess. But Martin was more concerned about Mary and Josephine.

"Are you two OK?" he asked.

"Y-yes, we're fine," Mary answered hesitantly, " but your car.."

"Never mind the car," Martin interjected, "as long as you're not hurt. Now if you come inside and tell me what happened I'll get onto my insurance company first thing Monday morning."

Both women followed him back into the house and into the lounge where Martin directed them to sit on the sofa. Martin made them all a coffee and then got Mary to describe what had happened. As her recounting of events progressed Martin couldn't fail to notice that they were both extremely nervous. Josephine sat there in silence, biting her nails and fidgeting whilst her mother was constantly wringing her hands as she spoke. By the time she concluded Martin was convinced that Mary was not telling him the whole truth, the trouble was how was he going to get her to admit this.

But he had little time to dwell on the matter because Josephine suddenly blurted out, "Mum you've got to tell him the truth."

"JOSEPHINE, be quiet!"

"Tell me what?" Martin asked in an angry voice.

There was a stony silence and both women stared at the carpet.

"Well?" Martin asked again.

"It's my fault really," Josephine started.

"No," her mother interrupted, "I shouldn't have let her."

"Let her do what?" Martin asked by now getting very irate.

"It was me," Josephine said quickly. "I was driving." And as Martin seethed she quickly related how she had begged her mother to let her drive on a country back road . Mary had finally relented and Josephine got behind the wheel; unfortunately they had hardly gone half a mile when they came round a blind corner too fast and swerved to avoid a tractor. The car had slid off the road and bounced off a tree before demolishing a fence. The farmer with the tractor had at least towed the car out for them. Martin lost his temper at this point and threw them both out of his house before he did something more serious he might regret later.

Three weeks later and Martin was sat in his car heading along the motorway, he was humming contentedly to himself, he had spent a lot of time sorting things out and now he was going to have a bit of fun. The day after he had got his bent car back he had calmed down sufficiently to think clearly and spent all day pondering what to do. Mary and Josephine came round to his house in the afternoon to apologize but he dismissed them curtly, he was no longer angry but decided to make them sweat. He took Monday off work and started to organize things. The garage came to collect his car and he came to a settlement with the farmer and sent him payment. This only left him trying to think how he could teach his neighbours a lesson they wouldn't forget . When he eventually came up with a scheme he rang Mary explained what he had done and got her to admit that both her and her daughter owed him for getting them off the hook. He then went on to tell her that they both deserved to be taught a lesson at which point Mary started to protest. But when Martin suggested that his insurance company might like to know what really happened she quickly relented and listened as Martin told her what he wanted her and Josephine to do the next day. As he drove along he thought about the two as they had looked at him anxiously, earlier that morning, when he had knocked on their door and presented them with two train tickets to Crewe . They were both mystified but Martin didn't wait to around for them to ask the inevitable questions instead he walked off telling them he would meet them at Crewe station at 1 pm.

Martin was brought back to the present as he saw the motorway exit for Crewe and it took him only 15 minutes from there until he was stood on the station platform, having parked the car, awaiting the arrival of Mary and Josephine's train. Their train pulled in a few minutes later and Martin spied the two women as they got off and looked around anxiously. He walked up to them and pleasantly asked, "Good journey?"

Still puzzled they both replied that they had and before they could ask any more questions he told them to follow him and led them out of the station across the road outside and into a multi-storey car park. Neither of the women had any luggage and all Martin had was a large shoulder bag which appeared to be virtually empty They then all trudged up the stairs until they reached the twelfth and final level. Martin led them out into the open air and over to the only car in sight, his.

Mary could contain herself no longer. "What are we doing here?" she asked tentatively.

"Well its very simple," Martin began, turning to face Mary and her daughter. "Here is my recently repaired car..."

"But," Mary started.

"Let me continue," Martin cut her off. " Josephine is now insured for my car so she can drive it legally and she is going to take it back home for me . You will go along to make sure she behaves."

"I'll make sure she does," Mary earnestly assured him.

"I'll know you will," Martin smiled, " because I want you both to put all your clothes in to this bag!"

There was a stunned silence.

"What did you say" Josephine asked quietly

"I said 'Put your clothes in this bag'," Martin repeated.

"Why?" Mary asked incredulously.

"It's simple" Martin explained, "You two bent my car and cost me a lot of money through fooling around. I covered for you to save you getting into serious trouble so now its time you learnt a little lesson, you're both going home completely naked in this car. That should ensure that your daughter drives extremely carefully shouldn't it?"

"Please," Mary begged

"You have a choice," Martin told her. "I can tell the real story or you can start stripping."

Mother and daughter looked at each other for a few seconds then Josephine stared at the ground as Mary looked back at Martin with pleading eyes.

"What's it to be?" Martin asked folding his arms and leaning back on the car.

Mary looked away and nobody moved for thirty seconds and then sighing quietly she put her handbag on the car bonnet and began to take off her coat

"MUM!" Josephine cried, "what are you doing?"

"What does it look like?" Mary snapped back.

"You're not going to do this are you?" Josephine asked in amazement.

"Yes I am, and so are you young lady," her mother retorted, "we don't have a choice, if Martin tells the real story we'll be in big trouble."

"No way," Josephine retorted as her mother handed her coat to Martin, "my clothes are staying on." .

"No they're not," Mary snapped angrily as she kicked off her shoes, " even if I have to strip you myself."

Josephine knew her mother didn't make idle threats and deciding that removing her own clothes was preferable to being forcibly stripped so grudgingly she started to undo her coat but not before giving Martin an evil stare. Martin just smiled in response as he put Mary's coat and handbag into his bag and then tossed it to land at their feet .

Leaning back on the bonnet of his car he said, "You can put the rest in yourselves," and then watched as they disrobed.

Mary bent down to pick up her shoes at the same time as Josephine threw her coat in the general direction of the bag, closely followed by her own shoes which left her barefoot . Mary said nothing but picked up the discarded articles and placed them in the bag before standing up again. She then reached to her side, undid her skirt and allowed it to drop to the ground revealing a plain white slip . The skirt remained there whilst she crossed her arms and in one movement pulled her jumper over her head showing that the slip was a full length one. She stuffed the jumper in the bag and then retrieved her skirt from the ground around her ankles. As she stood up straight she grasped the hem of her skirt and was about to pull it over her head when she stopped.

"What are you waiting for?" she enquired of her daughter who stood motionless in her bare feet.

"Nothing," Josephine snapped and began to undo her jeans which in a short space of time were in Martin's bag, a long tee shirt worn under her jumper obscured the view of her panties. Mary waited until her daughter's jumper was on its way over her head before pulling her slip up to show the plain white bra and knickers she, herself, was wearing along with a pair of tan coloured hold up stockings. Both items entered the bag simultaneously. Josephine paused again but a withering glance from her mother was all the persuasion she needed to take off her tee shirt and hand it to her mother. Martin appraised both women as they stood in front of him in their underwear. It was clear that they had both dressed for comfort when they put it on, not planning on having to display it as they were now . Josephine wore a pair of bright red knickers along with a black bra, she had evidently put on the first things that came out of her underwear drawer. Mary's plain white items at least matched but that was about all one could say for her somewhat matronly undies. Both women had stopped undressing and were staring at Martin, in their minds they were hoping that he wouldn't make them go through with this but their hopes were soon dashed.

"Don't let me stop you," he laughed, which was enough for Mary to reach up and release the catch on her front fastening bra and slide it down her arms allowing her 38C breasts to swing free. Throwing it over her shoulder she then slipped her hold ups down her legs and one at a time put them over her shoulder as well. Finally she placed her thumbs in the waistband of her knickers and slid them down to her ankles revealing her neatly trimmed pubic hair in the process. Completely naked, she put her last garments into the bag and Martin couldn't help but notice that she had certainly looked after her body and in different circumstances he would have complimented her on it. It was then that Mary noticed Josephine hadn't moved.

"Get a move on," she hissed angrily. "I don't want to stand here like this a moment longer than I have to."

"NO!" Josephine answered emphatically, "I'm not doing it."

"What!" her mother asked.

"I told you," she retorted, "I'm keeping these on."

To Martin's amazement Mary didn't even answer her daughter. She took two steps towards her and then grabbing her by the hair dragged her over to where Martin was leaning on the car bonnet. In fact, so surprised was he, that he only just managed to get out of the way as Mary threw Josephine face down across the bonnet and quick as a flash undid her bra. Before Josephine could put up much of a fight her knickers were yanked down past her knees and pulled off her kicking feet. Still held by her hair Mary heaved her back to a standing position and tugged her loosened bra down her arms in one swift move to leave her daughter as naked as she was herself. Martin was speechless for several seconds as he looked at the women. Mary stood panting slightly from her exertions, and with her anger subsiding was feeling more than a little self conscious about her nakedness, her hands crept to cover her body. Josephine was mortified, more at what her mother had just done to her, than the fact that she was naked and just stood shaking her head. Martin collected his thoughts and eyeing the two in front of him, spoke.

"Excellent," he began, "Now all you need to do is take my beloved car home," and reaching into his pocket he produced the keys. He disarmed the alarm with the key fob button as he walked round to the drivers door. He then opened it before looking at the decidedly apprehensive females stood in front of the Toyota. When they didn't move he joked, "Not in a hurry then?" which immediately caused the pair to move, Josephine round to the driver's side and Mary the passenger side. Both slid into their respective seats and automatically began to put on their seatbelts, Martin generously closed Josephine's door for her but not before getting a good look at her naked body, he then motioned for her to wind down the window. This she had trouble with as she looked for the window winding handle, then remembering Martin's car had electric windows, she put the key in the ignition and pressed the appropriate button. Martin crouched down to speak to them and found himself looking across the car at breast level! Maintaining his concentration he addressed them.

"All set?" he asked trying to sound nonchalant and not stare too much at their nude forms

Mary mumbled, "Yes," and Josephine nodded in agreement .

"Good," he continued, "Then I'll just run through things for you. All you have to do is drive this car the three hundred miles or so back home, its that simple." He paused as both women nodded before adding, "When you get home, park it on my drive, lock it, post the keys through the front letter box and then come round to the back door., Got that?"

"Yes," Josephine answered

"Right then, I don't need to remind you to drive carefully and to save you the trouble of looking there is nothing to cover yourselves with in the boot or in the back, so don't bother looking."

"We'll be off then," Mary smiled at him in an attempt at bravado.

"Just one more thing before you do," Martin responded as he reached into his pocket once more. He drew out his wallet he continued, "You'll find the old girl is a bit low on fuel so here is £20 to fill her up."

"We're not going to a petrol station like this,." Josephine said in a shocked voice.

"If you don't, you won't have enough fuel to get home," Martin told her in a matter of fact voice and without waiting for a reply he turned and gathering up the few items of discarded underwear from the car park. Placing them in the bag he zipped it up and without a backward glance headed for the lift. As he did so he heard the car engine start up and a few seconds later it moved off.

Josephine and Mary drove down the first few levels of the car park in silence both deep in thought. The same things were going through both their two minds, driving home naked would not be too bad, but the filling station, well that was something else.

"How is the fuel situation?" Mary asked breaking the silence .

"Not enough to get home," Josephine answered flatly and they resumed their silent descent. They exited the car park and drove down the road which the signs told them headed for the motorway. Unfortunately being in the middle of a busy city meant they had to frequently stop at traffic lights where traffic pulled up on either side. They both found themselves pushing down into the car seats as far as they could and Mary soon adopted a position with her left arm across her breasts and her right hand over her crotch. Josephine who had to drive couldn't do this, so instead she positioned her hands near the top of the steering wheel and drove with her arms out straight. This a least obscured the view of her naked breasts from the side. They had heart stopping moments on two occasions, both at traffic lights, once when a van pulled alongside and the passenger could look right down at Mary. The second time was a large lorry and this time the driver of that vehicle could have got an eyeful of Josephine if he had looked down .Fortunately neither did, or at least if they did they, kept it to themselves and they reached the motorway without incident. They relaxed slightly as they drove up the slip road and joined the traffic on the busy motorway itself, but both knew they had to fuel the car at some stage of the journey. Travelling naked in an expensive car, or any sort of car, was not something Mary wanted to repeat in a hurry, Martin was right when he said that without clothes they would be extremely careful. Mary found herself constantly looking across to the speedometer to make sure Josephine was adhering to the speed limit, she also couldn't fail to notice the steadily dropping fuel gauge. They were both concentrating on this, not really wanting to believe that Martin would leave them short of fuel but as the journey progressed they became acutely aware of fact that if they didn't spend the £20 note which Mary had carefully put in the glove box then they wouldn't get home.

Finally Mary broke the ice by saying, "What are we going to do for fuel?"

"I don't know," Josephine replied, "but we're going to need some soon."

The next 10 minutes or so saw them working out what to do, and the matter became all the more urgent when the low fuel warning light began to flash. They both knew they were only postponing the inevitable so Josephine took the slip road at the next junction and left the motorway. Mary had suggested this on the grounds that the motorway services were always busy so if they found a smaller garage there was likely to be less people about. They drove for about ten miles, passing several filling stations which they decided were too busy before Josephine pointed out that the fuel situation was getting critical.

"We've no choice," she informed her mother, "We have to go into the next one, however busy it is."

"You're right," her mother agreed sadly but before they had much time to discuss it further another filling station came into view. Josephine took a deep breath and swung the car into the entrance managing to pull up at the pump furthest away from the cashier.

She turned off the engine and staring straight ahead said, "Now what?"

"Fill it up of course," her mother replied observing that there was only one other car at that station and nobody seemed to be taking any notice of them.

"Me?" Josephine squealed in horror, "Why me?"

"Because you're the driver" Mary answered hoping to stay in the car.

"No way."

"Well one of us is going to have to," Mary added knowing how stubborn her daughter could be.

"Well its not going to be me," Josephine retorted and to emphasize her point folded her arms over her naked breasts.

"Look" Mary said in desperation, knowing that their inactivity would soon attract attention, "You fill it, I'll go and pay."

Josephine pondered the point briefly before saying, "OK" and undoing her seat belt leapt out of the car. She decided she was getting the better end of a rotten deal and was determined to get it over with as soon as possible. Bent over she made her way to the back of the car and grabbed the pump, as its internal mechanisms whirred into life she removed the filler cap and quickly stuffed the nozzle into the car filler. Still crouching, hidden between car and pump she looked up as she squeezed the trigger and watched the counters begin to roll. It seemed like an eternity as she watched the pump and wondered if it would ever reach £20 . Twice she glanced round nervously to see if she was being watched but much to her relief she wasn't. She released the trigger as it approached the magic £20, it actually stopping at £19.84 which she decided was near enough, replaced the filler cap, she hung up the pump and very quickly dived back into the safety of the car.

"Your turn," she said to turning to her mother, "Its pump number six, £19.84,"

Mary turned red with embarrassment as she thought about what she, a respectable middle aged mother, was about to have to do. With shaking hands she got the £20 note from the glove box and said, "Get the engine running," before opening the door and running straight across the forecourt towards the door which led to the shop and the cashiers desk passing a grey haired old man filling his Nissan Micra, still the only other car on the forecourt. Josephine watched, with almost a sense of triumph as her mother streaked by the man, breasts bouncing and bottom jiggling, she definitely had got the better deal here. He broke into a broad grin as she went by and Josephine could clearly see his head turn to follow her through the shop The cashier, who was extremely bored, looked up from his paper as he heard the door open. The sight that met his eyes nearly made him fall off his stool, as an attractive and completely naked woman rushed up to his desk. He stood there open mouthed as she slapped £20 down in front of him and gasped,

"Pump six, £19.84, keep the change."

She then turned and headed the way she had come with the cashier only able to utter, "Do you want your vouchers?" as he stared after her. He got no reply as she was already out of the door.

On exiting the shop Mary almost collided with a van driver who had just pulled up to buy some cigarettes. She managed to swerve round him as whistled and called "Nice body" after her.

Rather perversely she felt a sudden flush of pride at his comment and found herself calling out, "Thanks."

But this was instantly tempered when she saw that the old man with the Micra also had an old and extremely angry looking wife who had just got out of the car and was blocking the way .

"How disgusting," she spat in contempt but Mary wasn't stopping to argue about it and altered course to pass between the next set of pumps. She wasn't quite quick enough, however, to avoid the old woman swinging her walking stick and catching her across the backside. Mary howled in pain and clutched her bottom as Josephine started the engine . She made it to the car a couple of seconds later and Josephine made a sharp exit even before Mary had even closed her door.

"My bottom," Mary cried trying to rub it as Josephine returned them to the motorway.

Back at the garage, the van driver and cashier were discussing recent events with big grins on their faces. The old man came in to pay and once he was sure his wife wasn't watching smiled and said, "Bet she'll have trouble sitting tonight."

The van driver agreed and the cashier laughed as he dropped Mary's 16p change into a charity box.

The naked women regained the motorway some 15 minutes and, rigidly observing the speed limit they gradually got over the humiliation of the service station, although Mary still rubbed her bottom occasionally .Now all they had to do was get home.

"The hardest part is over," they thought to themselves and relaxing as best they could tried to enjoy the rest of the journey. Josephine switched on the wipers as it began to rain. Forty-five minutes later, with the rain pouring down, they were beginning to sweat again, Josephine hadn't noticed at first but eventually it dawned on her that the car was trying to wander onto the hard shoulder. The further they went the more difficult it became to keep the car in a straight line until Josephine was having quite a struggle with the steering wheel which was getting heavier and heavier. This coupled with the heavy spray from the other traffic made her extremely nervous.

"What's the matter with it, Mum" Josephine wailed

"I think we could have a puncture" Mary replied trying not to think about changing a wheel on the side of the motorway without clothes, "You'd better pull off"

Josephine did as she was told and they slowed up and stopped switching on the hazard warning lights as they came to a stand. Neither of them said anything, both contemplating what they were about to have to do.

Josephine broke the silence by asking, "Do you know how to change a wheel?"

"I've got a rough idea," Mary replied

"Good, I'll let you get on with it then," her daughter responded.

"Like hell," Mary snapped. "I had to go and pay at the filling station."

"And I had to fill the car," Josephine reminded her.

"OK.. ok," Mary conceded, "we'll both do this." And reached into the glove box to find the manual. They spent the next few minutes studying the relevant pages, working out the position of the jack etc. and exactly who was going to do what . Every now and then the car was rocked as a large truck thundered throwing up huge clouds of spray which was more than a little disconcerting as they carried on preparing. Plan agreed, they looked at each other grimly,

"Lets do this before some good Samaritan stops to help us," Mary said.

"Yep," Josephine agreed as she operated the boot release. "On the count of three" and then together they counted "1, 2, 3" before opening their doors and diving out of the car.

Sticking to the plan. Josephine went to get the spare from the boot, whilst Mary went to the front near side wheel and began to remove the wheel trim. Josephine managed to wrestle the wheel from the boot with the rain beating down on her bare back. She got it out just in time to be covered in spray as three trucks thundered past in quick succession, not pausing, however, she wheeled it round to where Mary had just managed to get the trim off . Tossing it on the verge behind her she looked up at Josephine and asked, "Wheel brace?"

"I'm getting it," Josephine answered and scurried back to the boot to return with it and the jack very shortly. Mary tried to loosened the wheel nuts as Josephine positioned the jack under the car.

"I can't move them," she said despairingly after a moment of heaving. Josephine came and joined her and putting their combined efforts into it they managed to get all four nuts freed. The rain was coming from behind them assisted by a strong wing and beat down on the naked backs of the pair as they jacked up the car. They would have been soaked to the skin under normal circumstances, but without clothes to start with this was a little difficult for them . The trucks continued to pass at frequent intervals causing plumes of spray to carry right over to their side of the car which all but drowned them on several occasions. The only good thing was that the spray and rain did a good job of obscuring passing driver's view of them and also meant a lot of them were concentrating more on their driving than happenings on the hard shoulder. The wheel changing progressed without further incident and 5 minutes later they were throwing flat tyre, jack and wheel trim into the car boot. Seconds later they were both in their respective seats hair plastered to heads and dripping wet. Shivering, Josephine started the engine and as they moved off Mary took the liberty of turning the heater on full blast.

The rest of the journey passed without incident and typically, about 2 miles further down the road they passed out of the rain and into bright sunshine. Neither of them commented but they were both warm and dry as they neared their home. The tension began to build up as they turned into the estate where they lived, again no words were spoken but both Mary and Josephine were wondering who was going to be in their gardens at this time of the day. A glance at the clock showed them it was 6.30 PM, they hoped that at least most people would be eating. This proved more or least correct as they turned into their own road. There was only Mr Yates in the end house visible and he was too busy mowing his grass to notice them pass by. Josephine edged the car into Martin's drive and as far down as she could get it before turning off the engine.

"Lock it up, post the keys through the front letterbox and then round to the back door, he said, didn't he?" Mary asked confirming what seemed like curious instructions.

"That's right," Josephine agreed and without further ado they both slipped out of the car, Mary went round the back straight away whilst Josephine crouched as low as she could, scurried to the front door, posted the keys and then hurried to join her mother. Mary was about to tap lightly on the door when she noticed there was a note pinned to it . With a sinking feeling she reached out and pulled it off, it was addressed to "The careful drivers". Mary did not appreciate the humour in this as she ripped it open and read the contents. It didn't take long and she groaned as she finished reading.

"What is it ?" Josephine asked arriving at that moment. Mary just held out the letter to her which she duly took. She then read it herself.

Dear Ladies.

Hope you had a pleasant journey.

I didn't tell you at Crewe, but I've booked myself into a hotel for the night. Will be back early tomorrow, have a nice night.


"What now?" Josephine asked glumly as she screwed up the letter and tossed it away.

"We're not beaten yet," her mother announced determinedly. "Follow me." Two minutes later they were at their own back door having climbed over the garden wall between the two properties. It did cross Mary's mind that it would take a lot of explaining if they were caught in this situation. How to come up with a plausible excuse for being stark naked in your back garden along with your daughter having driven three hundred miles was not something she fancied doing. To make matters worse if they told the truth they'd be in even more trouble. But they were nearly home now she thought and her spirits were raised as she reached down to the plant pot by the back door where she hid the spare back door key. But her elation turned to horror as she lifted the plant pot and instead of finding a key all she saw was another note from Martin. It simply said "I've got this key." And she slumped down on the doorstep shaking her head.

"The fucking bastard," she said dejectedly. "The rotten fucking bastard."

Josephine was shocked and momentarily forgot their predicament, she had never heard her mother swear like that before. But this was soon pushed from her mind by the fact that they now faced the prospect of being locked out of their house all night, penniless and completely naked . Josephine sat down on the doorstep next to her mother without speaking, it was going to be a long night.

The End