Historians steep the House of Rogerson in a rich history. "Where" ever do they get these stories?
Chapter Description: Robert Fölsch is a brush salesperson who thinks it's his lucky day.
Robert Fölsch wasn’t having a good afternoon. His current job as a Fuller® Brush Company salesperson required him to have reliable transportation, and that transportation, a recent turn-of-the-century clunker, wasn’t having any of that right now.
It had broken down in front of a recently built McMansion, which took up the entire cul-de-sac at the end of a long road.
Ever the optimist, Robert said, “Well, at least I made it to my next customer!” and pulled out his E-Phone® and called The AAA. He arranged for them to pick up the vehicle and inform him of which garage they dropped it off at.
He squared his shoulders, adjusted his tie, and admired his pearly whites in the rearview mirror before picking up his bulky sample case and exiting the vehicle. He ignored the high-pitched whistling sound and steam rising from the hood as he walked down the freshly paved walkway to the front of the McMansion.
After a short while, Mrs. Rogerson invited him in. She appeared to be a middle-aged housew-, um, domestic engineer dressed in a fifties-style Nelly Don dress and a teal apron decorated with hydrangeas. She wore her hair in a short, feminine yet conservative style and sported a pearl necklace.
“Have I entered the Cleaver household?” thought Robert, as Mrs. Rogerson would be a close match to June Cleaver from the series.
“So sorry to hear about your car being broken down, young man!” apologized Mrs. Rogerson for his troubles. “However, I’m thrilled that you made it, as I’m in dire need of a new vacuum cleaner!”
After she sat him on a couch and plied him with coffee and cookies, she cajoled Robert into revealing his entire catalog. June ordered several pricey accessories and one of his more expensive vacuum models. Happy that he was well on his way to meeting his quota for the month, Robert bid his goodbyes and waited for a taxi to pick him up.
Mrs. Rogerson allowed him the luxury of sitting on her front porch in a comfortable chair while he waited.
The taxi never came. He called up the service to see if they’d forgotten him, and found that there were no taxis to take him from where he was at. He shrugged his shoulders and attempted another one.
Several hours later, after the fifth taxi company turned down his request, Robert decided to walk the several miles down the road to the primary thoroughfare and hitch a lift. With his heavy sample case in hand, he set out.
After about a mile, his ankle pained him and grew progressively worse with every step. He sat down on top of his case to take a breather and examine it.
He could see nothing wrong with it physically; it didn't appear swollen or red. He could only feel a sharp pain when he flexed it. He called an ambulance to get him out of his situation. While it’d be more expensive than a taxi, he’d at least have them look at it in the ER and be able to get a taxi at the hospital.
The ambulance dispatcher was sympathetic to Robert’s cause and offered to have him picked up by the police as the ambulance didn’t run out to the place where he was at. This confused Robert, as he didn’t understand why no one would come out to pick him up. He swore softly at his situation as it started to rain.
The drizzle was just enough to soak him down to his undergarments, which made him miserable. Just as he was about to declare an emergency to get himself out of his predicament, a 1950s Cadillac Eldorado stopped next to him.
“You look worse for the wear, friend!” remarked the automobile’s occupant. It would turn out that he was Mr. Rogerson, on his way home after a long day at the office.
Robert painfully got up and explained his situation, to which Mr. Rogerson patiently listened and gave words of encouragement. He then offered Robert a ride back to town or the ER, whichever he preferred.
It thrilled Robert to find out that the Rogersons were such nice people! He thought of all the customers and people he met nowadays and their impatient, cynical nature. It was an absolute breath of fresh air to meet a genuine human being that put others above themselves for a change!
On the way to the ER, Mr. Rogerson had to stop at a small rickety bridge that was no longer there. The rise in water level was just enough to wash the remains of it out.
“There’s another way out, but it’s going to be flooded. Perhaps it would be best if you spent the night at my house while the water level goes down,” consoled Mr. Rogerson.
“I’m so sorry to impose on you like this!” apologized Robert as they got back into Mr. Rogerson’s vehicle. His ankle had gotten better, but it still smarted. He decided to “go with the flow” and accept The Rogerson’s hospitality.
“Think nothing of it, Robert! It’s the only decent thing to do in a situation like this. I believe we still have some clothing that my two boys left us when they moved out that’ll fit you.”
Robert reclined on the BarcaLounger; it was the perfect chair for his sore ankle and it only gave him the occasional twinge as he recovered. He wore a pair of rolled-up jeans, white socks, and a t-shirt. He watched the only TV in the entire McMansion, which was a restored Predicta Princess pedestal model. The black and white images on it were giving him a headache.
“Sorry for not having a modern flat-screen, Robert! We kept the old Predicta maintained to discourage our sons from being TV addicts while they grew up. It worked well, too, as they’re both successful business owners!”
“Oh, that’s okay, Mr. Rogerson! I must admit, I’m not one for watching these days, either. With a thousand channels, it’s still amazing that there’s hardly anything of value to enjoy.”
“Yes, it’s said that after eighty years, a person loses almost 5 years of their life to TV ads! That’s such a waste!”
Robert could only bob his head in agreement. He eventually fell asleep out of boredom.
It wasn’t a deep sleep, either; he thought he heard a discussion between the Rogersons while he dozed.
“Well, for his sake, I just hope it’s not a full moon! Why did you bring him back here, anyway?”
“It was the human thing to do, June! I just couldn’t leave him out there with a painful ankle and soaking wet, now could I?”
She sighed, “Yes, I can see your point and I’m happy that my husband is such a wonderful person to care for others!”
A long silence followed. Robert thought to himself that they must be hugging each other. He longed for the days when, as a young boy, he would often walk in on his parents as they expressed their affections for one another.
“Those were simpler times, that’s for sure!” he thought, and fell asleep dreaming of a happier, carefree time.
He awoke to the sound of thunder crashing loudly outside his window. A bright, very loud, swollen purple bolt of lightning crashed to the ground near him. It took out a tree and left a steaming pile of splintered wood in its stead.
He felt as frightened as a small child and swung his feet off the bed to seek comfort from his mommy and daddy. He landed on the floor feet first with a considerable thud that pained his sore ankle and brought him back to reality.
He realized he was wearing a set of pajamas decorated with famous cowboys from the 1950s on them. They were too big for him!. The rolled-up cuffs on the bottoms were held in place with a pair of safety pins. Whoever dressed him also rolled his cuffs up similarly. He felt the call of nature and left his room to find a bathroom for relief.
The tall halls of the McMansion made him feel like a dwarf. As he reached up and opened the door to the bathroom on its upper level, he didn’t notice that he was smaller. Approaching the enormous toilet and pulling down the elastic band of the pajama bottoms, he finally realized that the seat, had it been down, would present the danger of letting his diminished figure fall in.
After finishing up, he wasn’t able to wash his hands as they couldn’t reach the knobs on the faucet. He abandoned the idea and started walking back to his room to figure out what had happened and maybe find out how to reverse it.
The Rogersons were discussing as he passed by their door. Curiously, he stopped to listen and see if it could provide a clue to what had happened to him.
“Oh, that poor boy!” Said June, “Of all the nights, he chose this one to have a streak of bad luck! The curse has already affected him!”
“There's no help for it, dear! The curse is how we’ve stayed so young after all these years!”
“But he’s such a nice person! How can we do this to him?” she said with a flicker of doubt in her voice.
“Well, when’s the last time we had guests with no relatives or significant others, hmm? You look fabulous right now in your late thirties, but just think how much nicer it’d be if we’re in our late twenties again!”
“You’re right, dear! As long as there's no help for it, is the nursery still well-stocked?”
“Yes, but our new son will have to use cloth diapers. I simply won’t contribute to the destruction of our planet with plastic that lasts for centuries in a waste dump!”
“As long as you take part in his changing, I don’t mind. Cloth diapers have to be changed more often than disposable ones.”
“It’s a deal! Speaking of deals, let’s see if he’s still asleep. It’s always easier on them when they don’t realize what’s happening.”
A startled Robert hurried back to his room. He locked the door and hid under the covers, wondering what he could do to stop them from whatever it was they were doing to him.
The doorknob rattled a few times, and then Mr. Rogerson broke in by banging on it with his shoulder.
“Good thing they don’t build things like they used to!” he remarked. “If that door had been oak, my shoulder would be sore right now!”
The two walked over to where Robert cowered and shivered under his blankets. Sitting down next to each other, they put their hands out as if to comfort the young Robert.
“Now, now, Robert! It’s not all that bad. Just think of it as a new start on a second life!” cajoled June.
“Yes, you have the opportunity of a lifetime, Robert! I know I can raise you to be successful, just like our last two sons,” added Mr. Rogerson as he pulled the blanket back and froze Robert with a stare.
Another lightning bolt crashed down outside. While not as close as the previous one, it was still close enough to flash with the thunder it created following a scant second later.
“Please, no! Don’t do this! Please, please, please, please!” stammered Robert.
He felt a pair of hands on his shoulders; they weren’t there to reassure; they were there to drain his remaining years.
“Stop it! Please stop!” he called out helplessly.
Much to his amazement, they did just that. Mr. Rogerson chuckled mirthlessly, and June hugged Robert close for a motherly kiss on the forehead.
“Seeing you comfort a child makes me remember what we did a lot of when we were younger!”
“Yes, dear, I do as well! Let’s finish this and get to it!” she answered with a mischievous grin.
“Oh! I suppose you’re wondering why we’re doing this?” said Mr. Rogerson. “We’re werepedos!”
“W-w-werep-” stammered Robert, aghast; He'd heard of werewolves, but never a werepedo! It certainly couldn’t be a good thing.
“Must you waste time telling every victim our origin story?” asked June impatiently.
“Actually, yes, my dear. When the victim hears it, they become more terrified. It must be one of my fetishes, I’d imagine.”
June crossed her arms. “Well, make it short then!”
“Right! On the night of a full moon, June and I become enchanted with the power to turn back a person’s age,” he began.
June hastily interjected, “And we both get younger in the process!”
“I was getting to that. Have a bit of patience, my dear. You’re ruining it for me!”
June was about to urge him to hurry again, but thought better of it, and became quiet. She wanted him fully charged for what they’d do later!
Mr. Rogerson paused and finished lamely, “Right! I think that’s it in a nutshell, then. Ready, dear?”
“Yes!” she said confidently and loudly.
Robbie, clad only in a cloth diaper and sitting on a rubber play mat, looked up in awe at the Predicta’s black-and-white screen. He didn’t notice his bladder letting loose and wetting his diaper. The faint scent of urine floated over to Mr. Rogerson’s sensitive nose.
“Again, Robbie? Geez, I must have changed you three times today!”
June walked in, looking more radiant than ever. Being in your early twenties will do that for a person.
“I’ll get him, dear! It’s only pee and not poop, after all!”
“He must have been a virgin a few months away from becoming a wizard,” muttered Mr. Rogerson, also in his early twenties.
“Why do you say that, dear?” asked June as she picked up the fussy Robbie. He didn’t want to be pulled away from the TV.
“We’re supposed to be in our late twenties, not early ones! It’s not bad, I’ll admit, but things at the office will change because I’m too young to be treated as an older law partner!”
“We’ll manage, dear! I know you’ll do very well, despite your tender years!”
She walked away with her charge, who still wanted to watch the TV, and held out his hands towards it.
Robbie thought, ”Make me a baby, again, huh? I’ll make them both pay for that!” and promptly soiled his wet diaper. A smile of contentment lit up his face afterward.
It was going to be a fascinating next few years. He’d see to that!
“Puu!” he yelled and chortled with babyish gusto.
Mr. Rogerson groaned and June Rogerson just smiled.