Playing House

((Prompt from …I took it in a bit of a weird direction))

He was a rich man, a man of class and influence.  Her? She wasn’t wealthy and she certainly wasn’t influential either but she was stuck in the gleeful ignorance of knowing none of this.  She waddled, flat foot, about the Georgian home, her hands cocked aloft, raptor like. He followed behind her, studying her splay footed gate, the awkward out turn of her right foot.  His eyes lingered at the quizzical bend in her spine. She moved through the home with the grace of a drunk marionette puppet.  
     She entered the light of the vaulted living space, supple sun shifted through the front windows.  She twirled like an I’ll flung dreidel. “Oh it’s just like the pictures!” She sighed. He smiled coolly, looking her up and down.  “I’m so glad you responded to my add” his voice was worn and warm like aged leather. “You’re exactly what I’ve been looking for.” She pressed the layers of her skirt bashfully, “Oh, yes I’m a very good house sitter.”  He arched his way to the vibrant red loveseat and sat, placing his ankle delicately over his knee. Like a magnet she skated across the floor and flopped down beside him, “and maybe,” her eyes like a doe, “something more?” She sat captivated by his pale yet ruddy complexion, his soft ruby lips.
    He stood up suddenly, stalking over to the window, “Oh no, Caroline.  No, that would never do. There are things…dark things.” He shook his head and swallowed the afternoon air.  She gasped, gazing deeply into the complicated soul she imagined underneath his brooding slate suit jacket. “Any who” he swiveled abruptly “here’s the key, it opens every door in the house.” Caroline reached her manicure towards the dainty skeleton key, just as he retracted his hand, “every door” he continued, turning back to the window, “apart from one”.  Her eyes swam again with whimsy. “So, do feed the cat and help yourself to whatever is in the fridge.” 
       That evening, Caroline found herself restless, with curiosity, with lust, with questions that needed immediate attention.  She ripped the sheets from her body and grabbed the key. Frantically she began unlocking door after door. Each springing open.  She stopped, panting in the corridor. She heard something, a low guttural giggle. She silenced her breath and stepped sideways on the floor boards.  Still she followed the sound. Her heart as a pill stuck sideways in her throat, she approached an ornately carved door. It’s lintel was cut criss-cross, like a Jack-o-lantern. The laughter was deafening now.  Hands shaking, she tried the key, no latch, no turn. The door remained locked. She couldn’t go to bed now. She slammed her full and substantial weight against the door, which burst off its hinges. Caroline collapsed into the mysterious room.  There what she saw, she couldn’t first explain. A plushy sky-blue chair gaped open mouthed, the floor splattered and slashed with polka dots and checks. Then, from the corner, he peeped his head, the man who’d appeared so charming before, suddenly…transfigured.  Caroline clawed towards the door. “You’re” she wheezed “you’re, you’re Pee-Wee Herman”, her eyes were swept away with tears, her throat dry, and body shaking. Pee-Wee walked towards her…”I know you are, but what am I?” 

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