tagNovels and NovellasFall of '69 Ch. 06

Fall of '69 Ch. 06

bywilderness©

Sweaty and panting, Becky and I rested against the hayloft ladder until the rush of orgasm faded, and we floated back to earth from the incredible Land of Euphoria.

Unwrapping her legs from around my waist, Becky whispered, "Okay Doc, put me down."

I kissed her with passionate gratitude before letting her go.

"That was fun," said Becky, patting my butt cheek.

Fun? Fun wasn't what I had in mind. I didn't want sex to be just about fun with Becky, so I upped the ante, "It was more than fun. It was amazing."

"It felt great. Thank you." Wiping between her legs with her panties, she said, "You came a gallon."

Another errant shot at fatherhood, when would I learn to control my dick? She didn't seem concerned.

"Sorry. I bought condoms..."

Instead of heading home, Becky headed for the far end of the barn, while pulling on her tee shirt. "So Doc, how long are you planning to stay?"

Was she giving me the brush off, already? This was not the homecoming I had envisioned. She seemed to be turning away, instead of turning my way. Obviously, what happened with Lisa in the truck had renewed her conviction that I was not monogamous material. Or maybe, all of a sudden, she wasn't ready for monogamy.

"I'm here as long as you want me to be."

I should've said, 'I want to stay with you forever', but I wimped out.

Sliding open the barn door, sunlight burst in, and Becky darkened into a silhouette with a long shadow. "Mmm, I forgot how much I've missed this place." She spread her arms and legs out wide and her shadow formed a ragged X on the cobblestone floor.

I stepped up behind her and stared out at a vast plane of nothing. "What is there to miss?"

In my questioning tone she heard a genuine lack of appreciation. "You're a city boy. You wouldn't understand."

Reacting with irritation, I didn't pursue the issue. In hindsight, I should have talked to her about what she was feeling. Instead, I walked back to her Chevy and got in. The keys were in the ignition, and it started on the first turn. The gas gauge showed less than a quarter tank of fuel.

I yelled, "Beckster, it needs gas. Can I take it for a spin and fill it up?"

She remained in the doorway, facing the sun. "Yeah, go ahead."

Destination: Elder Forks. Distance: 10 miles. Cruising speed: Bat-out-of-hell.

The road was mine. Not a truck, tractor, or honey wagon in sight.

It was dinner time, and I imagined all the farmers and their families huddled around their dining room tables, talking the latest fertilizer gossip or maybe arguing about which tractor plowed the straightest corn row.

Why was I here? Oh yeah, I was in love.

The bustling hamlet of Elder Forks had a four-way stop at the only intersection. A grocery store stood on one corner. A bar, a church, and a gas station occupied the other three. Everything a man needed conveniently arranged in the center of town. Other ancillary businesses, such as a barber shop, hardware store, and Post Office, filled the remaining wood-frame storefronts.

The gas station attendant -- a resident Goober -- gave my car a curious once-over. "Fill 'er up?"

"Yeah, sock it to me, and check the oil."

"Sock it to you?"

"Fill it up."

Tired of sitting, I got out and leaned against the fender. "What do you do for excitement around here?"

"Depends, what kinda excitement you want -- huntin', fishin', or drinkin'?"

"Man, so many choices! How do you decide?"

"Well, huntin' and fishin' depends on the open season. But drinkin' is always in season, and it takes less time and energy."

With a basketball sized beer belly, Goober didn't appear to expend much energy below the elbow. Lifting the hood, he asked, "Where'd you get this here car, Son?"

It is always best to tell the truth, but I wasn't in the best of moods. His snooping question irked me, and I really don't like being called 'Son' by anyone who's not my father. "Topeka auto auction. It was a steal."

"I bet it was."

"You bet your sweet bippy, it was."

"My what?"

"How's the oil?"

He slammed the hood closed. "Oil's good. That'll be five bucks."

If I'd been paying attention, I would've noticed his mood swing from curious to suspicious. Instead, I didn't think about it until, about a mile down the road, I heard the siren and noticed the flashing lights in my rearview mirror. A small part of me wanted to stomp on the gas, but I acted the law abiding citizen and pulled over.

At first glance, I would've sworn the officer that stepped out of the patrol car was Goober -- alias garage attendant, quick change artist, and Blue Meanie. The fact that his weapon was drawn arrested my day dreaming and sent a chill down my spine. My window was already down, so I clutched the top of the steering wheel, keeping both hands in plain sight.

"License and registration, Please."

I gave him my license and then, under his watchful glare, dug through the glove compartment. "I don't have the registration."

"Is this your car, Donny-boy?"

Donny-boy? Was he trying to piss me off, too? "I think you already know the answer, Ocifer."

"What'd you say? Are you being a smart-ass with me, Donny?"

"No Sir. That wouldn't be fair, Sir."

A few minutes later, while Officer Goober-twin blabbed on the two-way radio, sending coded messages to his dispatcher, I sat in the back of his squad car -- handcuffed and bloody lipped -- pondering the error of my ways. Of course, this was all Becky's fault, not mine. If she hadn't given me the brush off, I would've been in a better frame of mind and stayed out of trouble.

Eventually, we headed in the direction of Becky's farm.

I waited in the car while Officer Goober-twin rang the doorbell. He waited impatiently, chewing on a cigar stump and peering in the front porch window. No one seemed to be home. Next, he tried rapping on the door with his nightstick. Maybe the doorbell was broken.

After a few minutes, Becky finally answered the door, wearing a bathrobe, along with a towel wrapped around her hair. Obviously she'd been in the shower.

Becky smiled and greeted him like an old acquaintance. They chatted a while. From the seriousness of their faces, I guessed Becky was catching him up on the bad news about her brother, Jeremy, missing in action in Nam. When they both turned toward the squad car, I knew the conversation had finally gotten around to me.

Officer Goober-twin motioned for her to stay put, and then waddled to the car and let me out for the perp-walk.

As I emerged from the car, Lisa joined Becky on the porch, wearing only a towel around her slim torso. The two of them should've looked sexy. Instead, picturing them in the shower together, washing each other's backs – etcetera -- I felt repulsed. Or maybe I was jealous.

Becky broke my conjecture by declaring, "Yes, I let him borrow my car. Don is Lisa's boyfriend."

"Sorry about the misunderstanding," said Officer Goober-twin to Becky, as he led me back to the car, still in handcuffs.

Struck dumb as a fence post, I looked back over my shoulder at the girls.

Lisa flashed open her towel. "Don't be long, Doc."

After leaving the farm, my chauffer did not speak for about 5 miles. Then he adjusted his mirror to give me the evil-eye. "Rebecca is a good girl. I knew her grandparents. They were fine people."

Feeling guilty for some reason, I kept quiet.

"I smelled marijuana when she opened the front door. Don't fuck up her life, Donny, or I'll fuck up yours." He paused long enough to light a new cigar. "You understand me, Son?"

Refusing to meet his mirrored stare, I watched the monotonous fields pass by. "Yeah, I got it."

"Good. We got a peaceful, law abiding town here. I want to keep it that way."

Our conversation was over, until he parked behind Becky's Chevy. He removed my handcuffs, saying, "Remember what I said and we'll get along just fine. Have a good evening, Donny."

He drove off without a wave good-bye, and I thought we were friends now.

Sincerely sorry for the trouble I'd caused, I made a U-turn and headed back to town, because I realized I hadn't yet caused any real trouble. Therefore, wrongly accused, I wanted to correct Officer Goober-twin's mistake. The corner bar offered the perfect opportunity.

Half the barstools were taken up by humans, but the place smelled like a barn. There should've been cows as well. No stalls were visible, but I couldn't see everything from the front door. Country twang blared from a jukebox in the corner by the pool table. Two young men, leaning on pool cues, looked my way. One of them said something unintelligible, and the other laughed.

When I approached the bar, the bartender strolled over, drying a glass and wearing a sour puss. He didn't say anything, just nodded at me to acknowledge my arrival.

"What kind of draft beer do you have?"

"Cold."

"I'll take one."

He filled a mug, and asked, "Where'd you get the fat lip?" probably afraid I was going to cause trouble in his law-abiding-town bar.

"I slipped on a cow pie and hit my lip on a tractor fender."

He laughed out of surprise, like he'd never heard that one before. "Funny, you don't look like a dairy farmer."

"I'm not. That's why I had the accident. I was driving by a field, saw this tractor, and tried to cop it for a joy ride, not knowing what the hell I was doing."

I rubbed my swollen lip. "Crime doesn't pay."

The bartender smiled a little. "Sure don't." He placed the mug of golden elixir on the bar, and said, "Since you've seen the error of your ways, the first one is on the house."

"Thanks." After saluting him with his gift, I held it against my busted lip and moaned with pleasure. My first pull drained half the contents. "Wow... that hit the spot. I didn't know how thirsty I was."

"Yeah, 'thirsty' is a good name for it."

A television hung in a corner, and made me think of something important. "You watching the World Series?"

"You bet. Tomorrow, game 4 at 2:00."

"The Mets are going to sweep the rest."

Behind me, I heard, "Bullshit!"

I hadn't noticed the pool players approach, although the manure smell did get stronger.

The leader, who was as wide as he was tall, asked, "Where'd you come from? You from New Dork city?"

I guessed his mother must've been inseminated by a Brahman bull in a freak veterinary accident.

He cleverly declared, "The Mets suck."

His buddy laughed, but his eyes didn't.

Suddenly, a baseball bat appeared on the bar, and I had the feeling we weren't starting a game of 'flies and grounders'.

The bartender growled, "I don't want any trouble, Jack."

I'd bet money the bull-man's last name was Ass, but decided it was too early in our relationship to inquire.

Jack Ass poked my shoulder with a thick finger, declaring, "He started it."

Trying to ease the tension, I turned around on the stool and smiled. "I just like rooting for the underdog."

"They suck," Jack Ass repeated. Obviously, his bullish ancestry made him conversationally impaired.

His friend embellished for him. "They're all fags. They suck cock."

"That enough! You two, get out of my bar!" The bartender rapped the counter hard with the bat.

Jack and his pal scowled at me, and then reluctantly backed away. They didn't head for the door; instead they went back to the pool table, somewhat subdued.

"Thanks," I said, turning back. "I think you saved my life."

The baseball bat went back under the counter. "They're all talk. Don't worry about them."

"If you say so."

Edgy after the confrontation, I left a nice tip, picked up my beer, and walked over to the jukebox -- situated near the pool table. 'Show no fear and fear will disappear', that's my motto. Unfortunately for me, sometimes fear is a healthy reaction and sometimes I can be self-destructive.

I looked through the musical list -- nothing but country and western. "Where's all the rock-and-roll?"

"Rock-and-roll is for long-haired hippy fags."

He was close behind me. I kept my eyes on the selections. "Jack, you've got a lot of hostility bottled up. The army could use angry men like you."

No reply. I think I hit a nerve. "Yeah, this shit war would be over quick, if they sent a couple thousand Jack offs to Nam."

"Damn right, it would be!"

Jack didn't grasp my jack-off reference. Just as well. He seemed to calm down, and I lost my desire for a fight.

"Your shot, Jack."

He returned to the game.

I dropped in a dime and picked a song fitting my situation -- "Don't Come Home a Drinkin'".

Loretta Lynn told me what I should do:

You'd been out with all the boys And you ended up half tight But liquor and love They just don't mix Leave the bottle or me behind And don't come home a drinkin' With lovin' on your mind

Without looking at my new friends, I headed for the door. "You guys have fun. Take Loretta's advice. I am."

Halfway to my car, Jack stormed out, and yelled, "Did you just call me a jack-off?"

"What? No way. Why would I want to get my ass kicked?"

He didn't have an answer. He just waved at me with his pool cue. "Don't piss me off!"

"Don't get pissed off when the Mets sweep the Orioles."

I got the finger.

I gave the finger.

He actually smiled.

I actually got in my car and drove away in one piece. Life was good.

The night was clear, and no moon brightened the sky. I'd never seen so many stars. Their brilliant points of light sparkled like diamonds on black velvet. Some were so distant and tightly packed together, they formed celestial clouds.

After parking the car back inside the barn, I sat on the front porch for a while and star gazed. Whenever I'm confused or upset, being outdoors helps me put things into perspective. My problems become infinitesimal when compared to the vastness of Creation. I become humbled and calm. Belief in God is renewed, somewhat. How could all this complexity be just a random combination of elements?

I wish God had left a signed instruction manual, so we'd know His plan for humanity. From childhood, I was taught the Bible was an infallible book. But, because it was written by men, and men are not perfect, I had doubts. My doubts in a higher moral authority were the cause of all my poor choices, because I always chose what I wanted.

Becky appeared from around the corner and sat beside me. "Nice night."

"Yup."

Quiet seconds passed.

She added, "Chilly, though."

I slid over until our legs touched and then put my arm around her. She laid her head on my shoulder.

Kissing her hair, I said, "Lisa might get jealous."

"I'm sorry for telling Sheriff Cummings she was your girlfriend. I panicked."

"Cummings? I though his name was Sheriff Goober."

"What? Why?"

"It's not important." I hugged her tighter. "Cummings said he smelled dope when you opened the door."

"Oh my god! He did? Lisa smoked some pot while I was in the shower. When I got out, she took a shower. I searched her stuff and found a bag of dope. So I hid it in the basement. Now, she's mad at me."

Ignoring the part about the weed, I asked, "You didn't shower together?"

Ignoring my question, she lifted her head in panic. "What did Sheriff Cummings say?"

"He told me not to corrupt you."

"What did you say?"

"Too late. I already had."

Becky punched my shoulder. "You did not say that!"

"Well, I feel like I have." With uncharacteristic guilt churning inside, I added, "I've been a bad influence on you."

She put her head back on my shoulder without comment, which only intensified my remorse.

Finally she said, "You've been both a good and bad influence. But I was free to choose what I've done. I don't feel sorry about any of it. I feel more alive now than I ever have before... and I trust you."

My curiosity was peaked.

Then she kissed me gently. "What happened to your lip?"

"I fell down while in police custody."

I kissed her back, and the night suddenly felt a lot warmer. "Beckster, I don't want to be a bad influence."

She cradled my face in her hands, and said, "Its okay. I'm tired of trying to be perfect all the time. You've set me free in more ways than you can imagine."

"I'm in love with you."

"Don't say that. You don't know me well enough."

I took that to mean she didn't know me well enough. At least one of us was being rational.

Matter-of-factly, Becky commented, "You've been drinking."

"Just a little. After being handcuffed in the back of a cop car, I felt like a badass. So I went to the corner bar to blow off steam and drank one beer. I met a couple of friendly guys, joked around a while, and then I wanted to come home to you."

"I was worried when you didn't come right back." Becky stood up and held out her hand. "Let's go inside."

The kitchen smelled like home cooking. My stomach rumbled with anticipation.

She opened the refrigerator, saying, "I already ate. I'll cook a couple of hamburgers for you."

"Where's Skinny?"

"Upstairs -- sulking. Why don't you go up and see if you can talk some sense into her. Get her to eat something."

I laughed. "Me? Talk sense?"

"Well, give it a try, anyway."

It was a juvenile fear, but I realized Lisa scared me. She had an erotic magnetism, a formidable sensuality that I had too often found irresistible in the past. So I climbed the stairs with a wilting sense of confidence.

"Skinny?" I called, from the second floor landing.

An irritated voice answered, "What?"

I followed my ears to the open door on the right -- Becky's old room.

"Is everything," I turned into the doorway and saw her lying naked on her stomach, "all right?"

She didn't move. "No. I need my pot. I can't deal with life straight."

For a thin girl, she had a nice ass -- two round, firm handfuls.

"Come downstairs and eat something. Life is better on a full stomach."

"I'm not hungry."

"You need to eat. I can see every vertebra in your spine."

"So what. Maybe I'll just starve myself to death."

Knowing I shouldn't, I stepped in and sat on the foot of the bed. "You're acting like a spoiled brat. Did anyone ever tell you you're self-destructive?"

"You're not my daddy. I'll do what I want."

"If you act like a brat, you get treated like a brat." I spanked her one time, hard.

"Ow!" She rolled off the bed and rubbed her ass. Tears welled up, but she didn't say anything.

"Get dressed and come downstairs," I said, and left.

I entered the kitchen to the pleasant sound of sizzling beef.

Becky pointed at the table. "Sit and eat some potato salad while the burgers fry."

I ate a forkful and then drank a swallow of the beer she'd opened. Domesticated life definitely had its perks.

Flipping meat, she said, "How'd it go? I thought I heard her yell."

"I told her she was acting like a spoiled brat. Then I spanked her, and told her to come downstairs and eat."

Turning around at the stove, Becky gave me a look that suggested I had three eyes. "You spanked her?"

"Just once. She needed it."

Shaking her head, Becky returned her attention to the stove.

A minute later, Skinny shuffled in -- barefoot and wearing a baggy nightshirt with a picture of a teddy bear on the front. The shirt was so loose that the neck opening fell off one shoulder. Her eyes remained downcast and her expression downtrodden. This was not the wild Skinny from earlier today. She was into a new scene, had become a new personality.

Silently, she moved opposite me and faced the table, as if waiting for instructions.

"Is that your shirt, Skinny?"

Without eye contact, she mumbled, "No."

Becky hadn't seen Lisa enter the kitchen. Smiling, she turned around and then her happy expression abruptly transformed into one of puzzled concern when she saw the submissive nature of our previously audacious acquaintance.

"That's my shirt. She can wear it if she wants. It's okay."

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