Lord Calgon

Remember these commercials from the 1970s?

Well, that famous “Calgon, take me away!” line inspired a fantasy story I’m working on. Here’s the opening.

Angelica hated Fridays more than any other day of the week. It was always the longest day. She worked for four hours in the morning, went to school in the afternoon, and took care of the twins in the evening. The third chore not only was a strain on her emotional well being, it strained her social life as well.

Friday is the day that people go out to party. It is the prime date day. Its the day that people finally get to relax after a hectic week. But not so for Angelica. Her parents belonged to a club that met every Friday night, and it was Angelica’s job, as eldest child, to take care of Rodney and Rebbecca.

R & R, as so many referred to them, were at that delightful age when they are a royal pain in the butt. Usually, Angelica would turn on a video for them and then call her boyfriend, Jim. But not this Friday. Jim and Angelica were no longer an item. He had broken up with her on Wednesday. It had been a long week.

Tonight, Angelica decided to do something more relaxing. After the video was turned on, she went to the bathroom and started a bath … a nice, warm, foamy bath with softening bubbles. As she eased herself into it, she could feel some of the tension start to lift.

She was just starting to really enjoy herself when there was a knock on the door.

“Yes?” Angelica said.

“Rodney’s pulling my hair!” cried Rebbecca.

“Am not!” Rodney retorted.

“Are too!”

“OK guys. Stop your fighting, and watch the movie. I’m trying to take a bath.”

“OK,” the twins mumbled.

“Arg.” Angelica said to herself, and eased a bit further under the bubbles. The white with gray poodle design of the bathroom walls stared at her.

Her mother loved poodles. She collected them. She had a poodle skirt, poodle towels, poodle wallpaper, poodle this and poodle that. In fact the only poodles she didn’t have were the kind that barked at the mailman and tore up the furniture. Her mother was allergic to dogs.

Another knock.

“Becca pushed over my train set!”

“Did not!”

“Did too!”

“Will you guys please be nice to each other for just a half hour!”

“OK” the twins mumbled.

It was only about one minute before there was another knock on the door.

“What do you want!” she cried.

“Nothing,” the twins mumbled. She could hear them scurry away.

After a moment of silence, Angelica closed her eyes and said, “Calgon, take me away!”

Suddenly she felt dizzy and sat up. She looked around. The white ceramics of the bathroom were now black. The sink was now gold, with black marble handles. Where her mom’s tacky poodle hand towels had been, luxurious, black towels were. The entire room had changed.

She closed her eyes again.

She opened them.

She was, most definitely, not at home.

There was a knock at the door.

“Yes?” she said tentatively.

“Madam, as soon as you are finished, Lord Calgon wishes you to join him in the dining room.”