"We of the National Abolitionist Society declare the 27th of September to be the First Annual Free Your Slaves Day in the United States of America."
Senator Lana Lang (D-Kansas)
“Happy Free Your Slaves Day!”
Clark awoke to a grinning Bruce as morning sunlight streamed through the bedroom curtains.
“Thanks.” Clark stretched his arms above his head, his eyes sparkling. “Do I get breakfast served in bed?”
“Whatever you want. Your wish is my command.”
Clark’s smile lit up the room.
When the National Abolitionist Society had proposed a symbolic Free Your Slaves Day for September, Bruce had been as excited as his slaves. He wanted to give them a taste of freedom even in this small way.
“So, what do you want to do?”
Clark grinned. “Dick, Alfred, and I held a war council last night. We want to get a bunch of chores done right away, and then play for the rest of the day.”
“So I’ve got a full docket?”
“We’ll help,” Clark smirked.
& & & & & &
Bruce joined in the good-natured teasing down in the kitchen as Alfred cooked.
“Are you sure you wouldn’t want me to take over those duties today, Alfred?”
“Heavens no, Master Bruce. I should like to keep the Manor standing in one piece, thank you very much.”
Bruce joined in the laughter with Clark and Dick, having no illusions about his cooking skills.
After a delicious breakfast of blueberry pancakes and maple sausage, Bruce heartily plunged into the chores alongside his slaves, even wielding a toilet-cleaning brush.
“Didn’t think I could do it, could you?” Bruce asked Clark as he emerged from their bathroom in mid-morning.
Clark laughed as he finished changing the sheets on their bed. “I figured you were capable of scrubbing a toilet.”
“Damned right I am. Did you think Alfred let me get away with no chores while growing up?”
“I don’t know, do princes clean toilets?”
Bruce pitched in with laundry and dusting, then asked when they were finished, “So, what’s for fun?”
“Trapeze routine!” Dick’s eyes sparkled.
“Well, that’s easy…”
“It’s a whole show!”
Dick nodded vigorously. “Costumes, music, the works!”
And it was just as Dick had said: glittering costumes, peppy music piped in, and a routine that he, Bruce, and Clark performed for Alfred, who enthusiastically applauded.
Dick was in seventh heaven, every inch the showman as he flipped and swung and bowed, his two partners “pretty darned good”, which they took as high compliments.
As all three bowed at the conclusion of the show, Bruce wondered what was next.
“Alfred’s choice,” Clark said as he wiped his face with a towel.
“After you’ve showered, gentlemen, I wish to enjoy high tea as luncheon today.”
“Sounds good to me,” Bruce said.
He got a crash course in the proper way to serve high tea, and his family sat in the library at the table used for Dick’s lessons.
Bruce brought in the teapot with the yellow rose pattern, and teacups were made of delicate bone china with the same pattern.
Alfred had ordered a plethora of cakes from an excellent bakery, all reminiscent of English pastries, scones and tea cakes, including fresh strawberries with clotted cream. After everything was brought in, Bruce joined the happy party.
“Earl Grey?” Clark asked as he sipped.
“Of course,” Alfred said.
“A lunch of cake is awesome!” Dick said, happily taking another cake.
The adults smiled, and Bruce had to admit that a lunch of sweets hit the spot.
“And what are our plans for the afternoon?” Bruce asked.
“Just some quiet relaxation,” Alfred said. “Each to his own devices.”
“Clark, isn’t there something you’d like to do?”
Clark’s eyes glittered. “Yes, but that’ll come later.”
After lunch, Bruce insisted on cleaning up by himself, allowing the others to enjoy a well-deserved afternoon of leisure. He hummed to himself as he washed and dried the dishes and put them away, the radio on low.
He was glad to be home, though Jovara had certainly been…interesting. He and Clark had picked up some handy tips. They didn’t use the paddle set every day, but it hadn’t gone unused, either.
His groin itched as he thought of paddling. Oh, yeah. Maybe they could play tonight?
A news bulletin caught his attention.
“Senator Lana Lang is pleased with the success of Free Your Slaves Day. Reports are coming in from all over the country about Masters and Mistresses allowing their slaves unprecedented freedom. Here is Senator Lang”:
“I hope that we can establish an annual day such as this every year until the actual Day of Jubilee, when the collars and manacles are permanently removed.”
Bruce certainly hoped to see that day come soon.
He joined his family in the living room for a quiet afternoon, and after an inquiry about dinner, Dick bounced up and said, “Pizza!” to which everyone agreed. Bruce splurged on four large pizzas so that everyone could choose, and there would be plenty of leftovers.
He enjoyed the crunch of pizza crust as he ate his slice of red pepper pizza (Dick’s choice), the spicy burn just what he wanted as he wondered what Clark’s thing-to-do would be.
After dinner, Alfred and Dick settled in to watch TV in the living room as Clark said, “Come upstairs, Bruce. I have something to show you.”
“Okay, I’ll be up as soon as I put the pizzas in the fridge.”
Bruce put the leftover pizza slices on plates and wrapped them in clear wrap. He cleaned up paper plates, napkins, and cups, then headed upstairs and went into the bedroom.
“Okay, so what’s the big surprise…”
Bruce stopped short as he saw Clark, draped in a yellow silk robe, gently whacking one open palm with a pink-lined paddle.