By Wendy Christina De-Veryard
Vincent held Catherine's tiny hand in his as they walked through the tunnels towards Father's chamber, in companionable silence.
If Vincent tried very hard, he could almost imagine that the tiny hand was that of a childs. And if he succeeded in his thinking, he found that his heart did not race at the touch of her hand, his body did not shame him towards things that could never be. He would have been successful had it not been for the Bond through which he and Catherine spoke to one another without the need of words. Alongside his own, he could feel the gentle beat of her heart, and was able to distinguish the change in her thinking, whenever her heart rate accelerated as she dwelled on some impish thought, that usually involved him. Looking down at her, his heart flipped, her beautifully curved body in the figure hugging dress told him most definitely that she was not a child, and a deep sigh escaped his lips, as a spark of desire rippled through his body.
Looking up, Catherine's green eyes shone with love for him, he knew without a doubt how much she loved him, and found his throat constricted by a breath that would not exhale, so deep was his love for her.
"Do you know what it is the children are putting on for us tonight Vincent?" her lilting voice cut through his thoughts.
He smiled at her, "No, it is a closely guarded secret, but there has been much laughter during rehearsals, and I am sure we are in for something very different."
Arriving at Father's chamber, they found people mingling and walking towards their seats, and stopped to talk to several of their friends, until Kipper came forward to announce that the play was about to begin. As chatter trailed to silence, Kipper told them, "Tonight we want you, the audience to join in with us. We are going to mime, and you have to guess the names of the people we are acting out. All I am at liberty to tell you, as a clue, is that tonight's play is called The Name Game."
Then with a sweep of his arm in a bow, he slipped away as Jamie came out to start off, carrying a small bag. From it she took a handful of sand, and sprinkled a thin line of it upon the floor, then took up a toy microphone, and pretended to stand and sing, walking up and down upon the sand as she did so.
Looking from one to the other everyone frowned as Kipper stepped back to say, "Look at what she is doing. What was it she has left for a clue?"
"Sand?" Mary called out. Kipper nodded. "And so now the floor is?" Mary began to understand, "Sandy" she said, as the mime clicked into place, "I've got it, it's Sandy Shaw."
Jamie swept her arm before her and bowed, "Correct" she said, "That's one point to Mary."
Beginning to understand what they had to do, a rumble of infectious laughter ran through the audience. Jamie set up a few stools upon which she placed some coins. Then knelt behind the stools and waited as Kipper went from one to the other, with a toy gun, pointed it at her, and with her face filled with fear, she scooped up the coins into a bag, handed them to him, and he ran off.
"Why" called William, "I know what he is, he's a bank robber."
Jamie scrowled at him, "Whoever, heard of the name Bank Robber, think again", she laughed, " though you are on the right track."
William thought about it long and hard, as suddenly Mary cried out again, "Got it, of course, it has to be Robin Banks."
"Well done, now that's two points to Mary. Come on you lot, think, think." Kipper called.
Vincent exhaled a short sharp breath tinged with laughter, and wound his arm around Catherine, who told him, "This is rather good, I wonder where they got the names from."
"I wonder", he replied, "How many more they have of them. This is very interesting."
After half an hour, the children had successfully mimed through, Cannon Ball, Peg Legg, Coral Reef and Winnie Peg, before they announced a short interval, during which time tea for everyone was brought out, as the stage was set up by a whole host of children some dressed in costume while others used props for their clues, to begin the second half.
Coming back to stand in front, Kipper told everybody, "The following is a play, all the characters are someone else, by their actions you have to guess their names. There are five extra points to the person with the most points at the end. And an extra special prize for anyone reaching ten points or more."
A young boy named Sam walked along with a broom, swept the stage, heaping the dust into a trail, and walked along it, getting his feet very dirty. While Helena dressed in green with branches coming out of her head stood very still, Timmy draped himself up against a tall cardboard box painted to look like a house, while Daniel was dressed as a horse down on all fours pulling behind a cardboard box on wheels. David stood up pulling a similar cardboard box on two wheels. And finally Kipper dressed as a very tatty teddy bear used the toy gun to pretend he was shooting it, but instead of a bullet a small boy named Eric, ran out from the front of the gun, across the entire stage, bouncing off several areas, before disappearing from view.
All the children continued with their own mimes as they walked around the floor, and the audience began to piece the play together. Sam walked along the dust past Helena dressed in green, then got into the cardboard box pulled by Daniel dressed as a horse, who took him to a house where he pretended to climb up Timmy who was leaned up the wall, but was shot at by Kipper, though the bullet boy Eric, ran all around the stage bouncing off furniture. Sam then knocked at the cardboard house, out from which came Jamie dressed from head to foot, in a shimmering see through gown holding a doll dressed as a baby boy. She grasped hold of Sam's hand and together they walked across the stage, got into the cardboard box on two wheels and was pulled away by David in front, whereupon Jamie handed Sam the doll and he rocked it in his arms.
"So," asked Kipper "Start guessing." There was complete and utter silence. Kipper laughed, it was hard not to, their faces showed they hadn't a clue.
"Let's start at the beginning shall we?" Jamie came forward to tell them, "What did Sam do?"
"He swept my floor" Father chortled, "Then trampled in the dust."
"And he became what?" Jamie asked him.
Father thought about that. "Remember", said Jamie, "This is the Name Game, what do you think his name would be?"
Father's face lit up, "Got it, it would have to be Dusty!"
"That's it." Jamie told him joyfully, "But what do you think his surname is." At Father's frown she went on, "What was he walking along?"
Suddenly Catherine remembered she had heard this name before, and leaned forward to whisper into Father's ear. As his eyes shone with glee, Jamie frowned, "No conferring."
"Too late." Father told her, "I've got it now, his name is Dusty Rhodes."
"You can have half a point and Catherine the other half then." Jamie told him.
Kipper came forward, "And so Dusty Rhodes, walked along past...." he pointed to Helena dressed in green. By now Catherine was truly getting into the swing of things, and blurted out, "Past Teresa Green." (Trees are green), and Kipper clapped his hands, "Now we are getting somewhere, another point to you. And then he got into this cardboard box but it is something else, do you know what it is?" he looked eagerly up at Catherine, whose face beamed, "Actually," she told him, "I think I have worked it all out, save Eric running round after that gun shot. This is very clever, you must have worked on it for days."
"Weeks actually", Kipper told her, "So tell us then what you know."
Catherine shook her head, "That wouldn't be fair, let some of the others have a try."
Mary laughed, "I think that Dusty Rhodes has got into a cart pulled by a horse, and all I can think of is horse and cart."
"Keep that in mind, and you're almost there," Catherine told her.
"I know! And Catherine didn't tell me", Vincent cried out, "It has to be Orson Cart."
"A point to Vincent." Kipper cried. "Let's sum up. Mary has two points, Father has half a point, Vincent has one point, Catherine has one and a half points, William has one point, and Pascal has three points, well done Pascal." Pascal beamed.
"So onwards", Kipper called, "Let's get this show on the road. The story so far. Dusty Rhodes, walks past Teresa Green and gets into Orson Cart he then goes along to this house, and what does he try to do, to reach his girlfriend?"
Catherine could not help herself, in fits of laughter she called out, "he climbs up Dwayne Pipe." then clamped a hand to her mouth, "Whoops sorry" she told the others, "I got carried away." she blushed, and Vincent hugged her tighter.
Kipper laughed out loud, "Another point to you Catherine. And then the angry girl's father...., which is me and my name is what...?" he asked.
Looking at the tatty teddy bear outfit, Cullen could only think how much he reminded him of the thread bare carpet in his chamber and as he thought it, he realised, "I know", he cried happily, at last he had thought of one, "You have got to be Fred Bear."
Kipper laughed, "Correct, well done Cullen." then went on to everyone " So Fred Bear gets his gun and tries to shoot Dusty Rhodes, but the bullet....?" the question left unsaid he waited.
"Ricochets", Father cried out, "but what name is that?" Catherine gasped, so that was it! But Vincent was ahead of her and stealing his chance shouted, " It's Rick O'Shea." And Kipper taking pity on Father called out, "You two can share that point, half each." then turning to the rest of the audience continued, " But the bullet misses, and Dusty Rhodes knocks at the door of the house, and out comes who?"
Everyone looked at the shimmering see through gown, under which Jamie wore her usual clothing, and Elizabeth piecing it together called out, "Why that gown is Crystal Clear." Then realising what she had said, she laughed and laughed, interjecting with, "and.. That's.. her.. name." Everybody laughed, it was so funny.
"Well done Elizabeth, we didn't think anyone would get that one. Let's see how you do on the next one. The story so far. Dusty Rhodes walks past Teresa Green and gets into Orson Cart. Then goes to the house, tries to climb Dwayne Pipe, gets shot at by Fred Bear and Rick OShea, knocks at the house door, and then elopes with Crystal Clear and their baby. Then together the two of them get into what.....?"
"Why didn't they get into the horse and cart, that would have been simpler?" Father wanted to know, as his body shook with laughter.
"Probably because Fred Bears bullet killed the horse, didn't you see that, Rick O'Shea ran straight into him." William called back, his great frame convulsed in giggles.
"No I didn't", Father called back, "Kipper give William an extra point for observation."
"I noticed too", several people piped up, "can I have an extra point as well?"
Kipper shook his head, laughing loudly, "Sorry, but I will give William one, for mentioning it first."
"That's not fair" Father shouted, "I brought it up." Everybody laughed.
"Come on Jacob, it's only a game," Mary told him affectionately, hiding a smile behind her hand, "See if you can guess the next clue. Without Orson Cart, what else could they be riding in? It's obviously pulled by a person, because he isn't dressed as an animal. Huh!, I've got it!"
"Tell me, tell me!" Father rocked her arm, "You already have more points than I do."
An eruption of laughter followed, that included the children, as Kipper called out, "No cheating allowed. Mary what is it?"
"It has to be Rick Shaw." she called back joyfully.
"That's it." Kipper called, and so we come to the final part, as Dusty Rhodes and Crystal Clear head off into the sunset, Crystal Clear hands the baby to Dusty Rhodes and he looks down at the child and says...what?" Kippers face was wreathed in smiles, as he waited expectantly for the grand climax to their play.
A silence followed as each looked at the clues given. The doll dressed as a baby boy, the pride on Dusty Rhodes face said it all, "I know it, I know it!" Vincent stood up to speak, just as Father jumped up with his own idea. Looking from one to the other, they grinned, "On the count of three, well see whose first Vincent." Father told him happily, "One...Two...Three...",
"Ivor Son!" they chorused to the sound of thunderous applause, as Kipper stepped forward, joined by the rest of the cast, to announce, "I think they both deserve a point, for really I could not say who said it first."
"So", Jamie told them, "Let's add up these points then shall we, for we have a prize for the winner." Taking a pen and paper, Jamie began to add up the points, to finally announce. "Well we have two leading winners. Namely Mary and Pascal both with three points each, add five to that makes eight, so no-one actually exceeded the ten, that prize can be given away, either that or the cast will eat it" she giggled. "And Catherine and Vincent both have two and a half points. Father and William have two points each and finally Elizabeth and Cullen both have one point each. The rest of you didn't score."
"No" they called, "But we had a jolly good time. Thank you so much, children."
"I think", said Father, "that's the cue for a standing ovation." And taking the lead he stood up to applaud the children, quickly followed by the rest of the audience.
"Well", Kipper announced, brushing away a tear of joy, as the applause came to an end, "As we have two winners and only one prize, then our two winners have to guess one more mime. There must be no conferring from the audience." then turning to Mouse he called out, "If you would please."
Happy to oblige Mouse brought out from the shadows a rather old moth eaten rocking camel that Devin had brought him back from a trip to Tunisia, and Mouse proceeded to climb on and off the camel, making it rock so that it moved forwards. A hushed silence enveloped the audience as they looked first to Mary and then to Pascal, trying to ascertain upon which face enlightenment dawned first. Mary knew it had something to do with a camel, but what? Pascal knew Mouse rode a camel, but what was the name. "Can we confer between ourselves?" he asked Kipper, who nodded.
"Mouse is riding a camel." Pascal told Mary whom replied, "Yes, but let's not get confused with the name Mouse. I mean it doesn't sound right does it, Mouse Rode a ....Camel." She gasped! It had dawned on her as she said it, she knew what the answer was, at the same time as Pascal's face lit up, but because she was still speaking he got there a second ahead of her, "I. Rhoda Camel", he called, "It's an author of a book. I've heard of her before now I think of it."
Over the sound of applause, Kipper and Jamie got their heads together, and Kipper stepped forward, "We think that really that was a joint effort, Mary did know it but couldn't speak it in time, and so we have decided to offer the two prizes, one to each of them."
Everybody clapped, as Kipper handed Pascal a beautifully hand made blanket, sewn together in knitted squares made by the children, and Mary was handed a huge cake, baked by the children only that day. "So that's why there was a trail of flour all over my kitchen today." William called out and hearty laughter followed.
The play over, people mingled a bit longer to drink more tea and eat biscuits, eventually saying their goodnights and trailing away towards their own chambers, it had been a delightful evening, but it was growing late, and many had work the following day.
"Will you walk me home Vincent?" Catherine asked him, "Right up to my apartment?"
Vincent felt her mischief, and nodded happily. Usually he left her at the threshold as late as this. He could tell there was something on her mind.
Scaling the wall of her tower block, he met her on the balcony as she came through the doors from inside, "Come in Vincent, it is so chilly out here." she beckoned.
Vincent hesitated, "It's late Catherine, and you should sleep, you have work tomorrow."
"Pooh, work nothing. There are more important things Vincent. Please won't you come in."
Shaking his head, he told her gently, "Just tell me what's on your mind Catherine, and I will come to see you tomorrow."
Sidling up to him, Catherine slipped her arms around his neck, her face inches from his own, he gasped, "Catherine what are you doing?" as she whispered, "The children left a name out tonight. See if you can guess what it is Vincent?"
For too long she had waited for him to kiss her, she knew that he wanted to do, but always he held back. No longer would she wait for him. A mischievous glint in her eye, she stood on tiptoe and planted a fleeting kiss on his lips.
Desire flared in his heart, and Vincent shuddered, the touch of her lips on his enflaming him. "Catherine!" her name burst from his lips when at last she let them go, "Don't. You know this can never be!"
Catherine ignored him, "But Vincent, I am only play acting. You must guess who I am." she sounded hurt.
Looking down at her, his lips still tingled from the touch of her mouth on his, his blue eyes filled with a mounting passion that soon would not be denied. "I have to go." he told her, untangling her arms from his neck, but she slipped them down to grasp his waist, "Not until you have guessed my name Vincent."
Her eyes held his, and he became aware of her fingers pulling his shirt from his trousers at the back. The heat of her touch as it found his bare skin thrilled him, and he closed his eyes as a soft moan escaped his lips, and he brought his mouth firmly down to her own, drawing from her a passionate kiss that left them both breathless and wanting more. Much more.
Game forgotten, Vincent knew only the passion that drove him as their emotions swept them along on a crest of a wave, and he saw himself as through a mist lift her into his arms and carry her through to the bedroom.
Much later, as the sky herald the dawn, to find them wrapped naked in one anothers arms upon the bed, Vincent exhaled a deep sigh, and Catherine stirred sleepily beside him. "I never knew it would be like this Catherine." he told her kissing the top of her head.
"I did." she told him, happily. "But it was better than even I imagined." Then struggling to sit up, she told him, "Anyway, how is it that you got the prize before you told me the answer?"
Frowning Vincent looked down at her mystified.
"The game" she told him, "You were supposed to guess who I was miming, remember?"
He smiled and gathered her close to him, "Yes I remember, we didn't actually finish that game did we?"
"Oh yes we did Vincent, it went on all night, couldn't you guess who I was at all?"
Looking into her beautiful love filled eyes, he shook his head and grinned, "No, so tell me?"
"Vincent" she exasperated, "It was so obvious. I was Miss. Behaving."