One Ridge Over – Part 2

Logging Road

(Continued from One Ridge Over)

This time he opened the gate careful to rattle the chain and make as much noise as he could. Halfway across the yard he saw a curtain peek open then close again, so he knew somebody saw him. “C’min”, came Emily’s voice from inside before he knocked.

He stepped into the dim light of the living room. Even if he hadn’t been there earlier and seen what he’d seen, he’d a known something was off in there. There was a damp thickness to the air-a musty whorl of tears, sweat, cigarette smoke and something rotten-sweet that he couldn’t place.

Emily sat on the couch, the curtains behind leaking just enough light to see.

“Your mom here?” he asked.

“Still at church…doin’ whatever.”

“Susan?”

“Stairs”, she said with a slight nod to the narrow staircase at the end of the room.

She had taken off the sweater that had completed the skirt as her regular Sunday outfit. Her titties showed almost clear through the undershirt that had gone a size too small for her over the summer. She wore a lot of sweaters and overshirts even in summer as Missy didn’t think she was old enough for a bra yet.

He stood frozen, eyes averted, the homework he had brought to share, forgotten. Her eyes too were elsewhere, settled on the low table with the full ashtray, two crushed beer cans and empty whisky pint. As he adjusted to the dim light he glanced and saw that her eyes were swollen and red, but the tears well gone. Without actually planning to, or even meaning to, he said “I seen….”

“Seen what?”

“I’s…here earlier. Come through the yard. Seen you and Susan…and Jimmy.”

“Oh”, was all she said. He dropped his eyes further looking directly at the toes of his ripped sneakers, one held on by baling twine.

“Where were you at?”

“Behind the big bush.”

The words were coming as singles-not as whole sentences.

“What did you think?”

“I wanted to kill him…I was gonna jump him and make him stop.”

“Good thing you didn’t. Onliest one woulda gotten killed is you.”

“I’m sorry.”

“But you wanted to help”, she said. “Come to my rescue.” Her voice was scratchy and heavy.

“Yeah, it’s dumb. I’m sorry.”

“Quit apologizin’. It’s sweet”, she said. “I’m glad you dint, but it’s sweet.”

He looked up to see a tiny smile cross her tear-swole face. He had seen her whipped bare ass over a bench, seen her hard nipples practically pushing through her undershirt. But only now, based on a single crooked smile and her white teeth, did his pecker tighten and push against his pants. It was the damndest thing!

His burgeoning firmness was interrupted by the sound of a door and soft tread on the stairs.

“Oh, it’s you”, Susan said her face heavy too, but more flushed than blotchy.

“Where are you going?” Emily asked.

“Out. For a walk.”

She gave nothing else as she headed for the door. He watched her, suddenly nervous at the electricity that come off of Susan that Emily had none of. He found he was holding his breath.

“He was here”, Emily said flat. “He saw.”

“Saw what?”

“He was behind the bush.”

She stopped and turned burning eyes on him. “What are you?”, she growled her face almost frantic with anger. “Some kinda perv?”

“No, it was an accident!”

“Did you git a good show?”

“Come on Suze, he didn’t know what was goin’ on…he was comin’ here for schoolwork.”

“Is that schoolwork?” She hissed pointing at his erection that hadn’t altogether subsided. “Is that for you? Here! You want a better show?” She commenced to yanking at her pants.

“Susan, you stop that! He saw our backsides, not our fronts. Don’t do that to him.”

But Susan was bound and determined even if trying her best to mind her sister a little bit. She turned and pushed her pants down. “There! You like that?” Susan was comely enough. Truth be told she was the prettier of the Brant sisters but no, seein’ her butt all purple and lashed and knowin’ that her face was flushed from crying didn’t please him at all. “You like that?” she croaked over her shoulder.

“No”, he said quietly. “I don’t.”

She pulled her pants up as quickly as she dropped them and faced him again. She nodded toward his crotch. “Is that for you then?” she asked her sister.

“He came here for homework”, Emily said evenly through gritted teeth.

“Why don’t you. Go ahead and do it. Put a baby in her you perv so in a few years you’ll have someone you can…”

“STOP IT RIGHT NOW SUSAN!”

The younger shut up and wiped the back of her hand across her eyes which had started to leak. To stop from saying anymore she spun and pushed her way out the door. He watched her cross the yard.

“Where’s she goin’?” he asked.

“Prolly up the walnut grove. That’s her happy place. Good place for her right now.”

“She’s pissed.”

“There’s more what goes on between her and Jimmy than jist takin’ a whippin’ now an’ then.”

“What you mean?” he asked.

She gifted him with another smile; this one sly, with her head puppy-tilted to the side. “You sweet little dummy. You don’t know, do you?” That smile again. This time she watched his pants push out toward her. “Come on…” She got up from the couch and led him by the hand, back through the kitchen and out the back door.

He felt strange being in the back yard again so soon after what had happened there. Even stranger to go and set on the bench. His Ma believed that everthing that happened in the world was still happenin’…or was still goin’ on in some kind of time wrinkles…he never could get it straight when she explained it, cause it was always late at night, but he was pretty sure she would say the whippin’ he saw was still happenin’ over and over if he jist had the gift of bein’ able to see it. He didn’t know about that, but he did feel weird settin’ there in the middle of it.

The river was shallow here and if not for the algae blooms he’d be able to count the rocks from one side to the other. He saw a couple of carp-big shadows cruising upstream-and watched the willows across the way standing straight in the weak current. Emily set close beside him. His nervous river-watchin’ was interrupted by her hand roughly rubbing over his lap. “You can’t keep it loaded and not shoot. You’ll get blood poisoning.”

“No I won’t!”

“It’s true”, she said, her hand work not helping at all.

He’d had boners before and knew how to deal with them. But he’d never had one with a girl. He sat rigid and straight-backed breathing in quick little bites as she rubbed her hand back and forth. She paused and flipped the tab of his zipper. “You know how to work this?” she asked.

He unzipped and made to reach in, but it jumped out of its own accord like a dog after a rabbit. “See now?” Emily said grabbing it like a corn stalk. “This is no good. I’ll take care a’ this.” She spit in her hand and rubbed down over the top of it. He saw it swell and felt a tickle deep below in his balls. She wrapped her fist around it and stroked clumsily.

“I like how it grows”, she said from a distance, as if talking about a flower. It wasn’t quite determination that showed on her face as much as wanting to get it right. He didn’t know whether to watch her or the carp so he looked out at the river and stole peeks down at his lap as if he was ashamed of his own pecker. It wasn’t a concern he had for long though. He slammed his eyes shut when he felt the rustling bubbles deep inside and grunted, hearing his juice spatter on the leaves between his feet.

“There”, she said. “Don’t that feel better?”

“It does.”

“You’ve done this before, right?”

“Sure. Never with a girl, though.”

“Here then. Let me show you something…” Before he could imagine what, she pushed her hair behind her ear and bobbed into his lap. She took him into her mouth and whirled her tongue about the top of him sucking gently at the same time. He rose off the bench slightly crying…”Whoa, whoa…” then settled as she slid her mouth down over the full of it. Then she pulled her lips back over it and sat back up leaving him hard and shiny. “Whoo…” he whispered.

“How’s that?”

“That was somethin’…” he said, then froze as the world tilted a bit. He caught the seat of the bench with his hands as it felt to be collapsing under him.  Where had she learnt that?

There’s more what goes on between her and Jimmy than jist takin’ a whippin’ now an then.

“Put that thing away”, she said. “You only get one shot today.”

He stuffed his rigid self back into his pants with difficulty and sat still while everything gathered back under him. She took his hand in hers without looking. “I don’t want to do no homework today”, he said feeling a little sick in his belly.

“Naw”, she said. “Me neither. I need to go up into the woods and gather Susan. Make sure she’s fine…”

As he followed her through the dim house to pick up his book bag he kept his eyes over everything but her walking right in front.

“We won’t be in school tomorrow”, she told him at the gate.

OK, was all he said. He didn’t want to get into the detail of it or know why. His mind spun with the possibilities that they neither could sit on the hard seats all day, they were too upset, whatever. He thought nothing of it, just suddenly wanted to head up the road.

“You have to give me a kiss now”, she said, her thick little fingers gripping his handlebar tightly. “We’re lovers now. You have to kiss me when you leave”. He kissed her, chastely on the lips–mouth closed and dry. “Bye”, was all he said.

The ride home was even more painful than he thought it would be as the thick heat settled, filling the hollow. It was fine though. He took his time.

—–

He didn’t mind Mondays. He was an early riser anyways and liked goin’ to school probably more than school liked him being there. Ma was at the sink pushing herself up taller to better see though the window. “It’s your uncle” was all she said.

He heard the boots clop on the porch. Uncle Mike, big enough that it seemed he should duck through the door wore the same checked shirt he’d had on since his wife died. The kitchen filled with the sweet, sour smell of the twenty head of straggly Angus he ran on the rented knob over opposite the church.

“You hear about the Brant’s last night?”

“How would I?”

“There were a fire.”

“A fire.“

‘We won’t be in school tomorrow’ echoed so clearly in his head he was afraid the adults would hear.

“Everbody OK?”

“Girls and Missy fine. Damn fool Jimmy Logan burned himself up. Musta been smokin’ on the couch and fell asleep.”

“Naw!”

“Good riddance to a waste of skin and bone is all I say.”

“Hush Mike. Stop that. He’s in school with the girls…”

He stared down at the cold, rubbery dollar-store waffles. He wished there was syrup instead of jist brown sugar.

‘We won’t be in school tomorrow.’

 

©TDR – 2017

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One Ridge Over

 

Fuckyeahabandonedplaces

He pushed his way in through the door that was held shut more by wild grapes and morning glory vines than any lock. Halfway open the top hinge silently pulled out of the punky frame and the door hung all cattywampus, never to be closed again. The inside was dim, the windows, broke or not, obscured by the thick honeysuckle vines that had already reclaimed the outhouse in back.

The forgotten rose pattern wallpaper hung in sheets dripping to the floor exposing the rotten watermarked drywall. Every shuffling step he took was answered by skittering in the walls that was either mice or chippies. In the middle of the floor, right where that rickety coffee table woulda been, was a hole down to the dirt-easy access for whatever groundhogs or racoons lived here.

Emily and ‘em had tried to remodel after the fire but money bein’ what it was back then-mostly lacking- left soon after. If she were dead, she would haunt this place, he was sure. But she wasn’t dead as far as he knew. Jist gone. Never to return in life and he wondered if he’d still be around to come and check after.

It had been a four-mile bike ride that Sunday morning, up over his ridge then down the rocks of dry Rooker crick, across the old logging trail then finally the red-dog flat of the river road. The dump-rescued Schwinn with the mismatched tires made the time quick, even with the book bag strapped across his back. Goin’ back would be tougher, but he’d worry about that later. Pretty much that way with everthing; later would take care a’ itself.

The Brant girls, living as they did just one ridge over, were as close to neighbors as any he had in school. They were the first ones for the school bus, huddled in the shelter at the head of the paved road, and the last ones off. Emily was his age-or in his grade at least-Susan a year younger though she didn’t seem it. Them, him and Emily, settin’ together on the bus now and again, wasn’t much a’ anything. He wasn’t much of a talker and neither was she. They’d set.

The river road turned to rutted dirt about a mile from the Brant’s house. He, and everbody else, still thought of it as the Brant’s cause that was the girl’s names. And their mother Missy-who Emily favored with her round cheeks and crinkly brown hair. Jimmy Logan, the girl’s stepdad, or more likely Missy’s live-in, had no part in any of their names.

Off the bike he felt the heaviness in the air-still as the inside of a bottle. Rather than open the whole gate for just him and his bike, he leaned it against a post and ducked between the two lower strands of bob wire. Had he opened the gate they might have heard him. It might’ve changed things. But he doubted it. As it was, he stopped halfway to the house, to this day not sure if he heard something in back. But he must have.

He snuck around the upstream side, because the closer he got and the more he heard, sneakin’ seemed the best course. At the corner of the place, he stuck his face through the branches of the big rhododendron, there it all was.

It was Susan closest to him. Emily herself out the further end of the bench. Course he was assuming because as they were-bent over the bench, their bottoms to him-he couldn’t see their faces. Both were bare-assed, Susan’s pants bunched at her feet and Emily’s skirt thrown up over her back. Both backsides showed hard use of Jimmy Logan’s strap. That moment, his attention was focused on Susan, whipping her hard-each slash met with a grunt as if she didn’t want to cry out. And her not crying pissed him off.

He couldn’t tell what Emily said to her sister, but it was something. And maybe Jimmy didn’t like it or maybe it was just her turn, cause he slid down a step or two and whipped the strap hard across Emily’s round backside. Her butt bounced at the force of it and her legs shivered when she tried to stay still. She wasn’t as good at being quiet as her sister and cried out over the river at every wicked stroke. He set himself, crouching by the bush as he was, and leaned on his back leg ready to launch himself forward. But the harsh crack of the belt-the violence of it-and Emily’s pained cries stopped him.

Fuckin’ stopped him dead, he thought looking through a sumac that grew through the back porch toward where the bench had been. He kicked at what looked like a balled-up rag on the ruined floor with the toe of his hunting boot. Turned out to be a dead squirrel-weightless and mummified by the heat of summer. He spit. What if he had…aw, fuck it. What good did it do now…

What he did do then was spin around and head back out the yard careful to stay on the low side of the road looking back over his shoulder to make sure nobody could see. The thick air of the hollow swallowed all sound and he peddled like a thief until he was a good bit down the road. Then he stopped. And listened.

Quickly he dropped his bike and flopped in the ditch with every manner of tick, chigger and spider as Jimmy Logan banged past in his puttied-up old work van going every bit twice as fast as he should have on that sorry road. Gnats whined, diving into his eyes and ears but he waited, unmoving, the grass tickling his nose, the thick air itself ticking, until the dust settled in Jimmy’s wake. Then, he stood up carefully and dusted himself off, chasing a cricket off his pants and a grasshopper off his shoulder. With one more look up the road for good measure he headed back to Emily’s house.

(Continued…)

Nightwinds

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He held his ear close to the window. The blasting this spring up the top of the hollow had knocked everything in the house cattywampus and it was near to impossible to open the windows easily in normal times. Now, what with all the rain, everything was swolled so that he’d have to break it to open it.

“I can’t hear you,” he whispered, a tone of desperation creeping into his voice. “Louder! Please louder.”

He squinted through the wavy glass but even with no lights in his room he could see naught but shadows outside where the winds whipped the chestnut tree that towered over their little house. Even from the second floor bedroom-which was really a loft, no more’n a half floor- Jimmer felt he could step right down into the yard. If he could open the window-which he coont. He was feeling that pull down below that allus came with the visitations. First time he thought he had to pee-then found out not. Not that at all.

“Hey! You still there?” he croak-whispered, his breath fogging the chilled glass as he pressed his eye against it.

“Jimmer? That you? Who you talkin’ to?”

“Nobody Maw.”

“You stay off that telephone with the storm comin’. We don’t want to get struck.”

Jesus, he thought. As if I had a phone in here. Then he noticed the strip of yellow light leakin’ in under the door. Quick as that, he tore the cover sheet off’n his bed and jammed it down there and scampered back to the window. Still nothing-except maybe a sharp “tic-tic-tic” on the glass which could just as well have been branches as fingernails.

GODDAMIT! He thought, immediately sorry for thinking the Almighty’s name in vain. He’d been doin’ that a lot and it coont be good. He kicked the sheet away and opened the door at the top of the steep steps up to his room. He felt proud of havin’ thunk to keep the hinges oiled so they made no sound opening.

For only about the hundredth time that day he wished Pap could have hung on awhile longer to help with Maw, but he knew near the end there he coonta helped hisself with his wheelchair and oxygen tank. Better this way, but Hell’s Bells this was a hard pill!

He tiptoed past the front room where she sat in the recliner that wouldn’t recline, her swole feet propped up on her walker. The TV was on to nothing but rolling snow and she listened to an old-timey gospel show on the radio. It was no challenge to sneak past and outside-lifting hard on the door because it too was off cause of the blastin’.

On the porch he whipped his head left and right looking for her. Ignoring the tilted steps, he hopped right down the ground. Was that a light over by the shed? Even in the pitch dark thrown by the blanket of storm clouds he could easily navigate out to the woodshed and around to the other side of it. Nothin!

Wait, though-not nothin’-cause he could see, if he looked off center, his shadow tossed weakly onto the rough plank wall of the shed. Prolly from the house he thought as he turned to look. But no, there she was, balanced on the eave right outside his window. “Goldarnit” he said trying not to cuss at a time like this. “I knowed you was out there.”

His voice became more urgent as did the pull down below. He bent his leg against the discomfort of his broomstick-hard erection pushing against the teeth of his zipper. “On man!” he sputtered as he yanked at his jeans. It was only his intent to let hisself out to breathe but he was so skinny-assed that once his pants were unsnapped they fell to the ground. He didn’t note the chill as he grabbed what was his fearfully engorged cock and commenced to work it while watching her above him. If he could only git that window open.

“Come down here” he hissed through gritted teeth. “Just the oncet!” But she didn’t move from her perch on the eave. Jimmer worked himself in silence, staring hard to get every glimpse he could of what he took to be the shimmering clean lines of her nakedness.

“You could do something here you know!” He was losing the whisper but kept his voice down just below the level of the winds. “I wisht you would!”

He thought she was watching-she was moving though. She was there-she was all there, turning for him, bending for him-right up till the moment when she wasn’t. When that moment came she just disappeared-melted upwards like smoke from a pissed-on fire and was gone into the starless black.

He made no more sounds but a finishing grunt as he spattered over the dry leaves, bending forward, vainly trying to keep the final spurts and spasms offn’ the pile of pants at his feet. Eyes screwed shut he drooled one single string to splash off his fist where his part-twitching-disappeared like a turtle into its shell.

He made no show of bein’ quiet when he yanked the stuck door open to reenter the house. He trudged past the front room where Maw, without looking up, told him “You shount go outside on a night like this Jimmer. I can hear the Nightwinds moving about. They take aholt of you and you’re a goner.”

A goner, thought Jimmer. That sounded fair. He’d buy that if she was sellin’.

Fish Prints

fish-print

And what would you have me do with these?

I’m thinking of adding color, he answered, shuffling gently through the rice paper portraits. Like on this one. I’d like some green at bottom like grass, it’s dark green, see? Then lighter green tendrils I guess-going from bottom to top.

Like kelp?

Maybe like that. Willow grass. You know? With the yellow flowers on top where they break the surface.

The younger man shrugged. What is this? The fish?

Carp.

Hmmm…aren’t they sacred in China?

This is Pittsburgh. Here they root in the mud. Then, turning his attention back to the print,  Maybe some gold color smearing down from the top like sunlight?

Why don’t you do it?

My son’s an artist, my father’s an artist. I can’t piss in a line.

You did these, he said waving his hand slowly above the prints like clearing suds from a pan of water.

The fish did all the work. I was a bystander.

What is it you do?

I make money.

A lot?

Plenty. But probably not enough.

Enough for what?

All of it…

Then you must try this yourself.

I’m sure I couldn’t.

Your son then?

Pfffft. He’s not my son anymore…he’s a grown man with his own cares…

Your father?

Long dead.

You should definitely give it a shot then. You seem to know what you want.

I’d like to. I just doubt that I can.

They regarded the prints silently.

I’d like to. I just doubt that I can.

You just said that.

I did?

Yes.

Twice?

Word for word.

Fuck!

He hurriedly gathered the prints and rolled them loosely, sticking them gently under his arm. He turned from the work table and approached the open window that looked onto the alley. The artist said nothing until the man had one foot out the window balanced on the dumpster.

The door, sir.

Pfffttt. He paused and looked back. Since we were talking about pissing…

Ah…yes?

The other night I awoke standing at my closet door. My dick was in my right hand ready to shower my shoes and most likely the bottoms of my hanging clothes when something-a passing car, a cloud skirting the moon-something flickered in the window and woke me. I was in the bedroom around to piss in my closet and not across the hall standing in front of the toilet where I had assumed I was. Huh! What do you make of that?

I’m sure I don’t know sir.

I had to stick my thumb over the hole on the end and scuttle into the bathroom where I thought I’d been all the time. Odd, don’t you think?

Odd, sir. Yes.

Welp, he said. Then just before he shifted all of his weight outside be paused and pulled a thick gold coin from his pocket and placed it on the window sill.

That’s too much sir.

For what…

A conversation…

Pfffttt. Watch where you piss then.

With that, he withdrew the second leg and was gone.

The artist could see no one in the alley. Up or down. The coin was heavy and well used-but lustrous just the same.

 

(The idea of the golden sunlight “smearing” was lifted from Jim Harrison’s “Mother Night”. Probably indirectly enough that no one would have noticed but, well shit…you know?)

 

“There’s someone here…”

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(Continued from Back to the Hollow)

“Looks like you found me”, she said.

“I think you knew where I was the moment I stepped off my porch.”

“You think I followed you?”

“No-I think you led me here…”

Bent and exposed over the log as he was, he was talking to the leaves and dirt between his hands. Lifting his head high enough to see over his shoulder wasn’t in the cards. He looked for her feet and found them behind him.

“Led you here?” she laughed a young girl’s laugh. “I’ve done everything I could to chase you away. To caution you away…” the log moved as she sat on it facing away from him…”but here you keep winding up.” She slapped him lightly on this upturned rump for emphasis. “What are we going to do with you?”

He felt a presence larger that the girl beside him but he scoured the upside down woods behind himself and could see nothing. But he registered that he usually didn’t see her either.

“What’s your name”, he asked on impulse.

“Tabitha”, she answered easily as if waiting for the query.

“Take me back with you.”

“Back? Where?”

“Where you live. Into the other woods. Through the keyhole.”

“Hah! There is no keyhole anymore.”

“Of course there is, you just moved it is all-or hid it. There’s always a way in.”

She went silent for a moment and he felt her fingers drumming on his butt as she mulled. She shifted into him slightly-he could feel a warmth against his hip.

“Daniel, Daniel….After we whipped you I was sure you wouldn’t be back. I branded you-left my mark” he felt her fingertip touch the tiny handprint on his cheek, “You came back. We came to your house, to whip you and actually do more…” She poked this time at his tight anus which twitched “and you came back….Makes us wonder if you’re coming back for more…”

“It’s not that I’m looking for more of that…”

“Mr. No again.” She slapped him harder on his ass. He yelped in surprise more than pain.  “You’re denying what you want even while chasing it.”

“No. I want something different. This life out here is shot for me. I’ve lived out here for close to thirty years and it’s been no bargain, let me tell you.”

“I bet. You’ve already lived in the dark almost a decade longer than I did…”

“I’ve had enough of it.”

“Everything you’ve gotten before you’ll get more of back there-you realize that.” As if for emphasis she dragged her finger across his asshole again and down between his legs. “That won’t be all, you understand, but there will be that…”

“What do I have to do?” he asked, undeterred.

“Accept it. Accept yourself. Back here you have to say what you mean. What you want, you say. Get it? Back here you have to be who you are.”

They sat in silence her hand resting on the small of his back where he folded over.

“Are you going to whip me now?” he asked.

“I never whipped you…well maybe a few strokes. You wiggled so sweetly…”

“Are you going to fuck me? “

“What would I fuck you with Mr. No? Huh? You doubt that I’m a girl through and through.”

“No.”

“You can get up you know.”

“What?”

“Nothing’s holding you. They’ve all gone off.”

He pushed off the ground and sure enough lifted himself off of the log. Hearing for the first time birds and a soft breeze whispering through the branches he pushed off the log and stood to stretch.

“Now look at this,” Tabitha said from her seat before him. He didn’t need to look; his hard-on stood straight out as if seeking the girl’s face. She took it in hand and pulled him close.

“There is a lot I can give you back here Daniel…as long as you ask for it.”

He asked for nothing right now, just let his head loll back as she gently touched her tongue to the head of his cock…

“You won’t be over quick this time, I hope…”

It had been almost four years since a woman had taken him like this. Even had he remembered it clearly it wouldn’t matter. This was different. Her mouth was beyond warm. Beyond soft. It was melting marshmallow falling off a campfire stick and wrapping itself around him.

He held her head gently and pulled her into him pushing himself deeper into her mouth. Moaning quietly he felt a growing weakness in his legs.

Veronica Palmer had run ahead of her boyfriend. He was a gym athlete-great on the treadmill but the contours of running, or even walking, trails left him in the dust. He had stopped in the clearing below where she had taken off up the hill. He was about to follow when he heard-then saw-her running back down.

“Let’s go!” she said grabbing him by the arm as she passed.

“What? Why?”

“There’s someone here.”

“So?”

“A guy. He’s…masturbating.”

“You sure?”

“Am I….?” She pulled at his arm again. “He’s standing bare-ass, pants at his ankles pulling on his dick. Is that masturbating?”

“Shit. You want me to go say something to him?”

He had finally begun to yield to her pulling when a sound of clicking filled the air. Quietly at first but louder as it seemed to get closer. “Keep moving”, she said. It sounded like sticks or switches clattering together but there was no breeze-nothing was moving.

“Come on”, she hissed as he slowed to listen-to try to get a handle on the noise. Cicadas? As the sound seemed to blanket over them she felt something tingle deep inside of her. As if a seam was rubbing her down there. “Come oooon”, she pulled him by the arm and was just breaking into a jog when-

“Ouch!” She jumped and grabbed the left cheek of her ass.

“What?”

“I got stung…or something. Come on!”

He watched her run in panic for a moment then felt a searing burn across his own ass. He yelped and jumped grabbing his behind.

“Bees!” he yelled, for what else could it have been? “Bees!”

She was faster than he but he did his best to catch up. He hated the fucking woods.

 

Back to the Hollow

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(Continued from “Venus and Mars Are Alright Tonight…”)

He had been a decent tracker as a boy. Could follow a wounded deer across both hollows and up all the creeks if need be. Wouldn’t even need to be wounded. The old men counted on him for this service as their eyesight went and they got more generally decrepit. It wasn’t hard for someone who knew the signs-who could tell when a leaf was standing on edge because something had trod along its stem and lifted it, rather than just spun that way onto the earth. Or when an old acorn had been kicked on top of a newly fallen leaf. That kind of tracking he could manage.

This kind, following someone that seemed to have no weight that seemed to float along on a cushion of air was something different. Any sign that he saw on the ground was wishful thinking. He let his eyes wander up into the scarlet red branches of the pin oaks for all the good then were doing on the ground. He started to get the feeling that the trail wouldn’t lead him anywhere. Which didn’t matter. He wasn’t following at all. He was being directed. Pulled.

Truth though, for what he was doing, he didn’t need tracking or trails. He knew where he was heading. He cut off the main trail early and crossed a patch that would have been impassable two months before. The winnowing of fall had begun in earnest and new paths appeared where there had been thick brush.

Not far along he noticed the silence that roared in and flooded the valley pushing in on his eardrums like water at the bottom of a deep pool. His breathing slowed and nothing moved but for a single tiny leaf at the top of a stripped maple twitching singularly in a disquieting way. He was about to step over a fallen tree when he felt…something in front of him blocking his way. He had a sense of her-but couldn’t feel anything until his lips pressed against his teeth. He opened his mouth and accepted the unseen kiss.

“I knew you would taste sweet”, she said spectrally coming together slowly before him.

“You could have tried it last night”.

“It wasn’t my place or time…”

Maybe this wasn’t either, because she slipped in and out of focus and substance. She seemed there, then she dissipated and he could see the woods through her, then she was gone-having shifted out of the way. He felt a push between his shoulder blades, gentle at first, then stronger-a pressure that pushed him down toward the log as his belt was loosened. He put his hands out to stop himself or grab at his pants but they were useless-pulled away from him as he was lowered firmly over the fallen tree.

He lay over the log breathing deeply and relaxing as best he could focusing on the blanket of leaves between his hands on the ground. He was conscious of the cool sunshine bathing his exposed ass and dripping between his cheeks and flowing over his balls. He wasn’t going to fight. He would be whipped, he might be fucked, but he wasn’t going to fight it.

“Where are you headed Daniel?”

“How do you know my name?”

She didn’t even acknowledge his question. “Where are you going back here?”

“I was looking for you…”

“Looks like you found me.”

 

Vodka and Melatonin- III

(Continued from Vodka and Melatonin-Part II)

“Are you up?” came her voice again-from far away.

“Huh? What…?” he asked confused.

He grabbed the hard seat of the chair feeling it beginning to shake beneath him. Or was it him shaking? He couldn’t be sure but was suddenly fearful of toppling over and have the clamps tear at his nut sack in the most gruesome way. He held onto the seat as if on a pitching ship.

“Hey!” she yelled shrilly as she banged the bed with her hip. “Are you not up yet?”

He started awake in his own bedroom, the morning sun bathing the room in a golden glow.

“I’m up for Chrissakes!”

“It’s about time!” his wife Pamela cried exasperated already. She was a blur of multi-colored spandex, nylon and grim determination. Jim rolled quickly onto his side away from her to try to hide his tent pole erection. Nothing pissed Pamela off more than him having a hard-on that she had nothing to do with.

“Remember”, she said “I have a 9 a.m. training with Silvio-but I want to get there early for the treadmill. Get a head start on my steps for the day. Then after the training I’m doing a weight set with Carla and will probably hang around for Michele’s Zumba class. I hate that shit but it will be a good cool-down and I haven’t seen Michele for awhile….”

Jim noted that this was the same word for word itinerary she had ticked off to him the night before. He knew she wasn’t informing him of anything-rather just stating her commitment for the universe to hear. He felt his hard-on deflating during her litany. The more she talked the quicker he deflated.  He could almost hear the high pitched whine of air squeezing out of a pricked balloon.

“…so I won’t be home until noon which will give you enough time to get that goddam motorcycle out of my side of the garage…”

“Indian”, he mumbled into the pillow.

“What?”

“1958 Indian”, he said for probably the hundredth time trying in vain to impress her with the bike’s vintage.

“Not. Giving. A. Shit. It’s a pile of pieces right now and I need to get my car inside. You have enough projects-finish that little car…”

“Karmann Ghia.”

“What?”

“It’s a 72 Kharmen Gia Cabriolet.”

He felt her eyes boring into the back of his head. “You have till noon to get that piece of shit motorcycle gone.”

“Have a nice workout” he mumbled after she had strode off and couldn’t hear him. He lay still until he heard the front door slam. Then her car door. Then the motor started and he heard the crunch on the gravel drive. Not until it went silent and he knew she was out on the road did he throw back the covers and sit up.

Sighing, he stood and looked down to where his once proud cock had swung like a broad sword to see it hanging low in defeat-like a flag with no breeze.

“Coward” he grumbled at it.

He picked his phone off the nightstand and entered the unlock code-which he changed every two days or so just because it drove her nuts.

He tapped a quick text: “U up?”

It quickly bounced back: “Yep. Coffee.”

“Alone?” he tapped?

“Yep.”

He scrolled down his quick dial list to where she was hidden near the bottom and tapped her name. She picked up on the second ring.

“Mornin’ Glory”, she said huskily.

“Hey-where’s Kimmy?”

“Charleston for a couple of days. Left yesterday.”

He was silent for a moment because he couldn’t remember if he’d said “Huh”-which was probably called for right then. Instead he said, “I dreamed about you last night?”

“Was it hot?” she asked.

“It was…complicated”, he said absently rubbing his balls where he still felt the dream-clamp.

“Complicated huh? You can’t manage complicated…”

“You were naked…”

“Getting better…”

“…and you had a little, flat ass.”

“Oh-it was a complete fantasy then!”

“Like I said, complicated.”

She laughed teasingly and he pulled his hand away from his pecker which, hearing her voice, seemed to awaken enough to lift its head and start sniffing around.

“Can you store the Indian for a while? Gotta get it out of here.”

“Told you she wasn’t going to let you keep it”

“Just for awhile.”

“She gone?”

“Till noon.”

“Give me half an hour”, she said and hung up.

He put the phone back and stretched, digging his knuckles into the small of his back.