tagLoving WivesAshes of Love

Ashes of Love

byPTBzzzz©

You made the debt and I'll pay the price.

An old country tune written by: Jack Anglin, Jim Anglin and Johnnie Wright. I added the question mark on the subtitle.

This one has taken me a while to get the way I want it. I wrote it about 4 months ago but was not satisfied with it, Oscar was a heel in that version (not what I wanted),

I lost that one to a computer malfunction and decided to begin from the beginning. The ending of the story as I originally wrote it this time disappeared into cyber space; never to be seen again. Over a three week period of time I finally finished it and set about editing it. I think the results are worth the effort. I hope you enjoy it.

Those who have read my stories know my style; I believe loving wives are loving wives. I find cheating distasteful and never write detailed sex acts.

If this is not what you are looking for you have been warned.

The writing and editing are all mine as usual.






1967

The night was wet. Not much of a beginning to a story: is it? But wait.

It was deep into autumn, the night was wet but it was not raining. Rather the fog was so dense that it condensed and dripped off the leaves. That fog had settled at about 12 feet off the ground. In a wooded area with recently fallen leaves all over the ground, this spelled trouble for anyone brave enough to try driving at anything greater than a crawl.

It was less than 30 minutes before midnight. There were no stars or moon out that evening. I was taking my usual shortcut along the edge of the forest that surrounded the lake. I worked the 3 to 11 shift down at the saw mill on the other side. Another mile and a half and I would be home. I was ready to call it a night.

I began to pull out from the side road when I stopped and rolled down the window further. The sound was almost inaudible. I stayed still and listened again, this time with the radio off. In the distance I barely heard it again. An engine was wound all the way out, tires were again screaming as if they were in immense pain. If there was a muffler on the car it had to be hollowed out. The sounds came closer and closer.

The forest was to my left; there was a long stretch of clear farm fields to the right. I saw the headlights a way off; they were bobbing and weaving manically as the road dipped and leaned to both sides. Sometimes the lights disappeared, other times they shot high into the sky or into the fields to the left or right. The car was doing well to hold onto that road at such a speed.

With absolutely no intent of slowing down the car went past me in a heartbeat and was gone. As the car moved down the road the motor never change its intensity.

My mind clearly saw the car as it went past. The midnight blue color was firmly etched into my mind. All you saw coming and going in the darkness were the lights; bright white in the front and crimson in the rear. Everyone in town knew that car.

Soon after the car had gone by the engine noise suddenly died. I heard a loud THUMP, followed by the sound of metal and glass being destroyed. Then there was silence.

I slowly drove into the forest watching the sides of the road for the scene of the crash. I rounded a long, slow curve and found dead deer on the outside of the curve. A short distance off I saw tail lights shining up into the fog from below the road.

As I got out of my truck I could hear her screaming at the top of her lungs "Two fucking deer, two fucking deer!" The sound of her voice was equal parts disbelief, anger and resignation that the accident happened.

I looked over the edge and saw the lights on inside the car. The door was opened. I could not see her in the darkness. I knew where she was because she kept hollering "Two fucking deer, two fucking deer!"

"Are you OK?"

"Two fucking deer, two fucking deer!" she screamed again. Soon I heard, "I've been better! ...guess I'll never drive my Mustang again." as she scrambled up the bank to the side of the road. It took her a few moments to catch her breath.

Her name was Melissa Jean Rafferty. Everyone called her Missy. Grandpa runs the saw mill; her mother is second in command. Between logging, growing trees and working the mill 9 out of 10 people in town owed their jobs to him. He is a humble man who treats everybody well.

Daddy, let's just say he is king of the hill. He is the preacher at the Shrine on the town square. That thing is more than a church; mega-church is more like it. The church runs the town and Daddy runs the church.

It took me a while to calm her down. When you stop to think, it was not at all a disagreeable task to hold her until the shaking stopped. The next words she said were "My Daddy is gonna kill me for wreckin' my car."

After a short pause "I need to get away from here."

I wanted to stay with her as long as I could, so I suggested we make tracks to the Quick Mart for some coffee.

As we drove I found out she had just broken up with her boyfriend before the crash. "The things he wanted me to do were disgusting. I am not that kind of girl; I want to be a virgin on my wedding day. He told me because we were engaged we needed to do them now. We need to find out if we are compatible, he said. This afternoon I saw him going into the Cozy Rest Motel with the town bike, Sarah Miller. He can just go and be compatible with her."

She sat and sobbed for a few minutes and spoke again. "We have to report my car stolen. He knew where the keys were; maybe they will pin it on one of his slime ball friends."

I sat there with my mouth hanging open.

She pushed it shut and told me to make the next left. Two blocks from Broad Street I pulled over as instructed and she got out. "You turn left here and drive 5 blocks down, turn toward Broad and drive back in this direction. I'll take care of the rest. All you need to do is report you picked me up in front of the bank."

I did as I was told; as I approached the bank she began to wave her arms franticly. I pulled over and she leaned into the truck and we talked for a minute. She spent most of that time thanking me for going along with her scheme. Then she climbed into the truck and we went for coffee.

Many sets of eyes were on us as we pulled into the lot. You could see the same thought on each of the faces. What is she doing with him, he is dirt poor."

I might have been poor in their eyes but I was due to graduate college the next week with a degree in Management. I figured it would be my ticket out of this one horse town.

Deputy Bunky came over quickly to rescue her from my clutches. She immediately told him to leave me alone and reported her car as stolen.

A waitress came over to the truck and asked if we wanted to order something, because they were ready to close. I ordered and paid for 2 coffee and 3 doughnuts. Just as the order arrived so did the Police Chief, her Mom and Dad and 3 other deputies.

It looked like the entire world was clustered together on her side of my truck listening to her story about breaking up with her boyfriend. She continued the story about seeing her car was being driven off as she came out of the house. She had to walk out to Broad Street where she found me.

I felt a light tap on my left shoulder "I thought that was you Oscar." the voice said. I turned to see her mother. Everyone at the mill just called her Betsy.

At the same time I saw Bunky lumbering up along the side of my truck. He was a little hard to miss at 6 foot 7 and 375 pounds. Before he could speak I hollered out to him "Hey, Bunky, Need a doughnut!" The look told me I was now dead. I still held it out to him as he walked away.

"May I?" Betsy said. I smiled and handed it over.

"Do you want some coffee?"

"Please." She replied.

I poured half into my thermos cup and handed the rest in the cup to her.

"Thanks, for taking care of my Baby...and the snack."

The investigation was soon over and Missy leaned over to kiss my cheek, "Thanks for everything." she said.

No one had asked me anything. I drove home the other way around the lake.



As you just read, I'm Oscar. My name is Charles Oscar Jones II. I was named after my grandfather, I never met him. I have heard that he was some sort of genius or hero or something. He died the month before I was born.

My home, here on the lake, was his place. My Mom and Dad were artists; they moved here when I was two. Between fishing and their garden and the money they made from their paintings, knitting and ceramics they had managed to make Grandpa's small amount of insurance money last for over twenty years. I went to college during the day and worked nights at the mill.

During my sophomore year Mom and Dad were killed on the highway in a snowstorm. A tanker loaded with gasoline lost control, crossed the centerline and exploded on impact with their car. Between the impact and explosion they never felt a thing. They were later cremated, placed in a single lead container and dropped in their beloved lake; always to be together.

I am not as destitute as many think. My only real costs are taxes, my tuition and gas to get to and from the places I need to be. In the last four years I have managed to save $24,000. That is my escape money, for when I leave this town. Just so you know I have no intention of selling my place, ever.

The next morning as I was fishing I heard a vehicle driving down my road. I couldn't see who was driving but the year of the truck and logo on the door identified it as one of the older trucks from the mill. I was not on the clock and they had no authority over me at my own home so I relaxed and continued fishing. I got lost almost as soon as I turned back to the task at hand; a fish hit my line hard and tried to get away. By the time I had reeled it in I had forgotten about my visitor. I turned to put the fish in the bucket I used for that purpose and saw a set of legs slightly off to the left. I followed them up and found Missy standing there with a paper sack and a couple cups of coffee.

As she handed me a coffee and doughnut she spoke "I came to thank you for last night. I know it was kinda wrong to report the car as stolen; we don't keep insurance on our cars to replace them in the event of an accident. Eventually I will get another, for now I can drive the old truck. Dad believes that having that insurance is praying for an accident; and Mom can afford to replace it at any time she wants. When they find it you may have it, if you want to fix it up."

I was a little incensed at her comments; I guess it was how she was raised. I took the fish back to my cabin and prepared it for lunch along with some of this year's potato crop. We talked for hours, until it was almost time for me to head to work.

"I don't mean to be rude, but I need to clean up to go to work. Tell me, why did you keep yelling 2 Fucking Deer?"

She blushed and shyly spoke, "There were two of them and that was what they were doing; right in the middle of the road."

I got a kiss on the cheek, a big smile and hug as she thanked me again for being there last night.

The old truck was gone before I left for work. The ride in was more pleasant than any before as I thought about our time together over the last hours.

After reporting to work I was called to the office. I was ushered into Grandpa's private office. Everybody just called him "The Old Man"; his given name was Chester Smith. He liked our name a lot more than Chester.

My first thought was "With all his money he can afford better than this." The office was straight out of the 20's or 30's. I bet he started with that furniture.

He gestured for me to sit, I waited for Betsy to sit and then did so myself. He began, "Your grandfather, Charles, was my best friend. He saved my life in the Great War. (WW1) You're a tribute to his name. We've been watching you since you started here. Your work is good; the quality and quantity is among the best here. I have spoken to your professors and they all give you top marks. Your foreman, Old Mike, is retiring next month; he chose you to be his replacement. We agree."

Betsy spoke up "Your actions last evening just confirmed what we always thought about you. We would be honored to promote you. By the way, this meeting was going to happen even before last evening."

I left the meeting a short time later. Mike was waiting by the door, we shook hands and he began to teach me his way of being a good foreman.

The company Christmas party was a few weeks later in early December; the only acceptable reason to skip it was if you or a family member died. I had been there for almost a minute when I felt a presence behind me; it was Missy. We were together for the rest of the evening.

I found out that the car was found three days after the crash. A road crew was sent to check out a report of a dead deer. While out of their truck they saw the Mustang. The police were through with it. I could still have it; if I wanted it.

I told her "Have it towed to my barn and I will look it over and decide if I want to fix it." One thing was certain; the loud exhaust had to go.

After the party we went to the Quick Mart for coffee and more talk. I almost choked on my coffee when she asked me "Would like to date me? I asked Mom if it would be OK."

Did that explain why Betsy was watching me a lot closer, and smiling? I thought it might have something to do with the promotion. I didn't want to embarrass myself so I took her hand and smiled. I'm not sure what my mouth might have done if I tried to speak.

We dated for the next 15 months before I proposed. I took her to see the completed repairs and modifications to the mustang. I helped her into the passenger seat to take a ride. After securing the seatbelt and closing the door I got in the other side. I turned and her held her hand and spoke "We met because of this car; I can't think a better place to ask you to be my wife. Will you marry me?"

She had been admiring the repairs to the car and looked up in shock. I nodded my head to indicate that I wanted her to look at the ring in my other hand. Her mouth popped open and her eyes were bugged out. "Will you marry me?" I repeated. I guess the huge hug was an affirmative answer.

I placed the ring on her finger and then slowly backed out of the barn. The ride to her parents was smooth and quiet. They knew we were going to bring the Mustang over when we had supper with them.

We surprised them when we walked in. Betsy asked "Where is the car, didn't you bring it?"

We escorted them to see it. I started the car you could barely hear it running. They approved.

I had spoken to Harold, Missy's dad, the week before about my intentions. He gave his blessings.

We sat down to dinner. As the dishes were passed I saw the flashes from the ring, soon Betsy noticed them too. She simply said "OH!" and motioned Missy to slide over to her.

"Did you know about this Harold?"

His answer was a smirk.

She poked him in the side with as much force as she could muster. "You will pay for this mister!"

The smirk got bigger.

There was soon a crying contest on that side of the table. Betsy whispered "Are you sure this is the one you want?"

The furious nodding of Missy's head said it better than words ever could.

After desert was served the ladies disappeared for the rest of the evening, when they came back the wedding and the rest of my life were planned.

We were married 5 months later. As we returned to my cabin Missy told me "Mom and Dad spent their wedding night here too!"

I had replaced the twin bed I slept in with a queen, I wanted a king but the room was too small. The bed was delivered and set up that morning.

A short time later the most beautiful sight in the world walked out of the bathroom and joined me on the bed. She was as naked as the day she was born and rightfully proud. The first time took forever, at least it seemed to. It was messy and painful for her. We changed the sheets, cleaned ourselves and proceeded to have three encores. We finally fell asleep at 3. She woke me at 6 and we had another round before falling asleep.

I woke at 10 to find her closely watching me. "Take a picture and it will last longer." I mumbled.

"I am memorizing it, no pictures to fall into the wrong hands that way." She giggled.

We showered together for the first time, dressed and headed out on the road to continue our honeymoon and the rest of our lives.





Missy was insatiable; I did my best to keep up.

Three months later I came home to find her crying. She refused to tell me, "Later..." was all she said.

In bed that evening she rolled over and whispered in my ear, "We are pregnant!"

"WOW! Wow! This is the coolest thing ever!" My mind was running at an incredible speed. That night we just held each other until we fell asleep.

7 ½ months into the pregnancy complications began. They had to take the baby a month early. She survived another week. Despite the efforts of the best doctors we could find, our darling baby slowly slipped away.

Missy was not the same after that. Her perpetual smile was gone. We both mourned for the loss.

After the doctor cleared her we resumed making love. We were back like always, she could never get enough, and I was hanging on for dear life on the wildest ride ever.

Soon there were little arguments, then they became bigger and bigger. Life became a roller coaster ride; one minute we were fighting like wild animals and the next we were screwing like minks. When we finished making love and expressing our love for each other we fought again. The cycle was never ending.

She went to see doctors; none of them could find physical manifestations of a problem. Finally after a particularly nasty fight I told her I couldn't live like this; we had to find out what was wrong.

The next day I returned from work to find she had moved back to stay with her parents. They were aware of our problems. For a week all she did was cry and sob about how much she missed me; then as quickly as she was gone she returned.

Things were better for a few weeks, and then we slowly started to slide back downhill. Six months later I warned her that it all had to stop. It didn't.

Now she never got up with me in the morning; she just lay there and sobbed or ranted until I was gone. If I tried to talk with her she turned away and ignored me, if I avoided her that was wrong too. When we were together she would begin a fight over nothing.

It all came to a head one evening in June. The next day I left the house; there were divorce papers, a power of attorney to transfer everything I left behind to her name and my wedding ring on the table beside my side of the bed.

I left town vowing to never return.

1971

Two weeks later I was in Marine Corp boot camp. Three months after all phases of my training were completed I was in Vietnam.

The next week we were taking a lovely stroll through the jungle when the world disintegrated around me. Bullets were coming from everywhere. When it was over all but one of the thirty three who attacked us was dead. He was now a badly injured POW. We had 3 dead and almost everyone was wounded; they said I was the worst.

The next week, when I was mostly conscious, I was visited by the battalion commander and a lot of other people. I was awarded the Silver Star and some other jewelry for my uniform and sent to Bethesda to begin repairs. Six months later I was re-assigned to a unit. I was soon headed to that great party in Pacific again. Now I was a sergeant, I was responsible for the men under me. The month before we were due to rotate out someone on the other side decided it might be fun to overrun our outpost. When it was all over we had 3 wounded, including me again. I was in much better condition than my last time; guess I learned to keep my head down a little.

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