tagChain StoriesTales from Snippettsville Issue 02

Tales from Snippettsville Issue 02

bySnippettsville Group©

Hello, and welcome to the second issue of Tales from Snippettsville, Short Stories From A Small Town.



If you want to know what it's all about, go to Snippettsville Group

If you have any feedback, and let's face it, as writers we all love feedback, just click on the author's name, in blue at the head of their piece. If you want to make a general comment on the group, click on the group link above.

Contents of Issue 2
Rip Henderson by MathGirl
A Natural Viewpoint by Alex de Kok
A Stranger Rides Into Town by jon.hayworth
The Ghost by Quasimodem

Illustrations
Header Picture, (c)BlackSnake, 2003
Footer Picture, (c)Alex de Kok, 2003

Now read on...


* * * * *

Rip Henderson by MathGirl

When she returned to the diner kitchen, Hannah noticed a man standing in the alley. She couldn't see his face but recognized the leather vest, filthy jeans, bowed legs, and tatooed arms of Duane "Rip" Henderson.

Henderson was, at the age of twenty four, a junior high dropout, unemployed and probably unemployable, losing his hair, and poorly groomed. He usually rode a decrepit Harley hog but had been rejected for membership in the rather tame local pack of Hell's Angels wannabees. The sleazy bikers felt that Rip failed to meet even their bottom-feeding membership standards. Never a good speller, Rip had a 'Born to Rase Hel' tatoo on his forearm.

He maintained a very basic standard of living as the local purveyor of illicit botanicals and pharmaceuticals, also being his own best customer. Henderson had an IQ of about drafty room temperature when sober, but he was seldom not under the influence of some mind-altering substance. He often bragged that he never mainlined drugs because he was deeply religious, but he was unable to explain how and why his religion condoned all methods of illicit drug administration except intravenous. It was generally believed that he was just afraid of needles.

Rip was the only member of Saint Anne's congregation that the kindly Father Morrison refused to accept for confession or communion. He knew that Rip would lie at confession, and he refused to give wine to someone who was already under the influence of something or other. In fact, the good Father wouldn't even speak to him. Rip had been expelled from the Catholic Teens for Christ some years earlier for passing around pictures of animal pornography (human-poultry) at a Sunday evening meeting of the youth group. The priest had said that Henderson made him embarrassed to be a Roman Catholic. Father Morrison derived considerable comfort from the certainty that Henderson would burn in hell, but he felt vaguely guilty for feeling good about it. Rip's own mother, Elvina, hadn't spoken to him since the vivisection of her cat, Frieda, when Rip was twelve.

Everyone knew Henderson dealt drugs, including the local cops, but he had a low cunning that somehow enabled him to avoid the law. Actually he had been caught several times, but the only thing that had ever stuck was a simple possession of cannabis charge for which Rip had done a thirty as a guest at the Snippets County Honor Farm.

He had served the full month and left that institution with a bad sunburn from field labor, a hatred of racial minorities, and an acute case of hemorrhoids. It seems that Rip had shared a cell with one Raymond "Sugar Ray" Stallings, a three hundred pound African-American gentleman with chronic attitude maladjustment. Sugar Ray, having a long history of problems with anger control, was in jail awaiting trial for assaulting his own ninety three year old great grandmother with a straight razor during a dispute over her Social Security check. He had reached the jail after receiving treatment for a stab wound to the abdomen caused by a knitting needle in the hand of an unexpectedly quick Granny.

On their first evening as cellmates, Mr. Stallings politely inquired of Mr. Henderson if he would rather be "the husband or the wife" during their stay together. After some quick thinking, Rip stated that he would prefer to be the husband, definitely the husband. The good natured Stallings laughed heartily and said, "Okay, mothafucka, you be the husband and I be the wife, but you still be the one who get fucked up the ass. Now git them drawers down, Hubby."

Rather than directing him towards the path of good citizenship, the experience had left Rip Henderson embittered.

Hannah worried about what business Henderson might have in the alleyway behind her diner.


* * * * *

A Natural Viewpoint by Alex de Kok

Jack reached for her but she wriggled away, giggling. "Later, sweetheart. I promise you'll get no sleep until we're both exhausted, okay?"

"Promise?"

"I want to make love as much as you do, but I've never been to Green Lake before, we're only here for one night and I would like to explore a little before the light goes."

He laughed and raised his hands in surrender. "I'm convinced. Come on."

They walked for twenty minutes or so and both enjoyed it, as much for the anticipation they were building as for the beautiful scenery. It's pretty well wooded around Green Lake, with rolling hills, so they were going uphill as much as down. The hills mean the lake has a lot of little sandy coves, popular with the boat owners for picnics. And other pleasurable activities.

Some of the coves are almost invisible from the paths and Jack was startled suddenly to hear a moan. Thinking someone might have fallen he led Sally off the path, grabbed a pine branch to stop himself falling and peered over the bluff. About to call out to ask if anyone was hurt he stopped himself. Whatever else they might have been feeling the couple on the beach certainly weren't hurting.

The girl – and from the slim build and red hair he suddenly realised it was Molly from the diner – was on her back, her legs hooked behind her lover's back. He – whoever he was – was thrusting rhythmically into Molly. Sally was just behind Jack and couldn't see. She realised something had caught his attention and eased forward.

"What is it, Jack. Is someone hur - ? Oh! Oh, my!" Sally's eyes were wide as she grinned at him.

Molly didn't appear to have heard anything, but she must have caught a glimpse of movement because suddenly she was looking straight up at them, fifty feet above her. Incredibly, she grinned and gave a little wave. There was no doubt in Jack's mind that she knew who was there. No doubt either that she was enjoying herself. She put her fingers to her lips in a shushing gesture. Jack nodded and waved and he and Sally eased themselves back to the path.

Sally's eyes were sparkling and she was fighting a fit of the giggles. Jack took her hand and they moved away from the bluff. Spotting a little grassy hollow Sally took his hand and tugged him off the path.

"Lie down," she said. "I want you. Here. Now!"

As if he was going to argue! He lay down and Sally hitched her skirt up so she could straddle his legs. She loosened his belt and unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans.

"Lift your ass!" she ordered.

Amused, he complied and she grabbed his waistband and jeans and boxer shorts were around his ankles in a second. Sally lifted herself and unhooked the waistband of her wraparound skirt, casting it aside.

Surprised at the absence of panties he raised his eyebrows in silent query.

Sally grinned. "I've been thinking about this all day. I took my panties off earlier; they were soaking." She reached to the hem of her sweatshirt and stripped it off over her head. No bra.

His prick was hard by now and Sally eagerly impaled herself, settling to his root with a sigh. She glanced up at him with a contemplative look.

"Who was that with Molly?"

"You know something? I have absolutely no idea."

Sally smiled again. "I wonder if she'll tell him she saw us?" she laughed. "Enough of them. Let's fuck!"

* * * * *

A Stranger Rides Into Town by jon.hayworth

Through my rain spattered visor I read the sign, Snippetsville Pop 2006 – do the town council have a hot line to the midwife and the undertaker? I mused - the last number was freshly painted.

The town looked like the set for a low budget road movie, the Diner was on the main street, and next door stood a general store. There was even a ubiquitous, beat-up Chevolret pick-up truck, parked down the street. Outside the Diner stood a Kenilworth cab-over with shiny chrome hubcaps and a pretty custom paint job.

I looked around, half expecting to see the Snowman striding out of the Diner. I was wet and cold, at least this town could satisfy my needs for a cigarette and a hot coffee.

Pulling off my helmet I walked into the store for a packet of cigarettes, I had run out an hour back when I stopped to shelter from the rain under an interchange on the Interstate.

"You're a stranger to these parts," said the man behind the counter.

Although his words had sounded like a statement I decided to treat them as a question, "Yes just up on vacation, do you know some place where I can find a room for a day or two?"

"You from out-a-state? New York or maybe even Boston."

I smiled, "England."

I pulled out a cigarette and concentrated on lighting it to choke off my laugh when he said, "New England ain't far from Boston I knew you was a Yankee."

"I mean England across the Atlantic."

"England Europe!" He gave a low whistle, "And you come all the way to Snippetsville. If you want a room best place to go is McGuire's Diner, Hannah will know who has a room." American courtesy has never ceased to amaze me, and on this occasion Jack Carr kept to its best traditions, leaving his shop to escort me the few yards into the diner. I just hope none of the good folks I met ever come to England and ask in the local shop for change to use the telephone.

The shopkeeper introduced me to Hannah McGuire as, "This guy just rode into town from England Europe and he needs a room."

His words conjured-up visions of the trusty BMW, its engine never missing a beat as it crested Atlantic rollers for three-thousand miles.

Hannah looked me up and down, "You're the one who rode the bike into town – well you look cleaner than Henderson and you don't smell none neither."

I must have looked puzzled because Jack whispered, "Rip Henderson was the town's biker. One of Hannah's little mistakes if you know what I mean – right now he's in the county jail." I love hearing small town gossip!

Hannah returned with the coffees I had ordered. "You don't smell, you look clean, and you have an honest face. A room will cost you thirty bucks a night. You can park your motorcycle out the back."

I unclipped the Krauser panniers and carried them into the Diner. Hannah led the way to the rear of the building and showed me the room. I was pleased to note the sheets were clean, and the paintwork better than in a lot of rooms I had slept in since coming over to the States. I made a snap decision, "I'll take the room for a week – time to explore the country round here."

"You going to stay for a week?"

I surmised from her incredulous tone that few people stayed in Snippetsville for that length of time

* * * * *

The Ghost by Quasimodem

The closest thing to a ghost, found in Snippettsville, slouched over a stool at The Roadhouse bar, late one night. He was a gray, rumpled man, drinking neat scotch and taking in the ambiance.

"I've had enough!" declared the shapely redhead wearing yellow sandals, a matching thong, and a tube top that barely covered the prominent tips of her breasts.

The bartender seemed unimpressed.

"Nothing will ever induce me to go to bed with Jim Cargrew! He's . . . " She took a big breath, then continued, "I don't care what contract Kevin loses! I won't be a . . . a . . . sales gimmick!

"Do you know where the Greyhound stops?" she inquired.

The bartender shrugged and kept wiping glasses.

"It's always the same with Kevin," the woman declared. "You'd think I'd be . . . I'd grow . . . feel . . . er, ah . . . I don't know. . . . "

"Accustomed," supplied the gray man at the end of the bar.

"Right!" she smiled at him.

That single smile revealed an attractive woman in her late twenties.

"It's just that he wants everything his way. It gets so bor . . . er . . . frus . . . um. . . ."

"Fatiguing?"

"That's it! Fatiguing. Then I learn our vacation is actually to dangle me as bait in one of his business deals. I feel so . . . er, um. . . ."

"Manipulated."

"Manipulated, thank you. If I only had some place to go. Get a few hours to myself, to . . . er . . . sit and . . . er . . . um. . . ."

"Contemplate?"

"Is that too much to ask?"

"Seems nominal."

"I think so, too! But, Kevin is so . . . so. . . ."

"Demanding?"

"Is it really selfish to want your way once in a while?"

"Only if you'd planned to become a martyr."

A throaty chuckle bubbled from the woman, "That wasn't my intention," she sighed, then looked blankly ahead. "Which way is that Greyhound depot?"

"When are you due back at work?" the gray man inquired.

"Oh, I don't work. I've been looking after Kevin. I'm not too clever about work, but I'm a whiz at housekeeping."

"Ever consider becoming a housekeeper, or maid?"

"Women don't hire maids who look like me," she smiled, bitterly, "and men have . . . ah . . . what's the word?"

"Ulterior motives?"

"Exactly!" she agreed, wrinkling her nose.

"If you really enjoy quiet times, you might consider my place. What kind of pay do you get?"

"From Kevin? Occasionally he buys me a present, like clothes, or perfume. Living with him, I don't need much."

The gray man cast a curious eye over the woman's scant costume.

"Kevin's a cheap bastard," he pronounced. "I'd rather have a more formal arrangement. Room, board, salary, and a regular day off. We can negotiate that, later.

"I'm a bit of a slob when working on a project," the gray man admitted. "You best look the place over before you commit yourself.

"Paramount," he declared, "is, never touch my desk, or disturb me while I'm working. Your part is to see that we aren't starving, nor condemned by the Board of Health." He raised an eyebrow, "Sound fair?"

"Well, sure, but. . . ."

"But?"


"While you were finishing my sentences . . . with just the right word . . . It made me . . . you know?"

"No. That word you must supply."

"Well, damn it, I'm horny!"

"Oh."

"You do anything about that?"

"Not contractually," the gray man's lips twisted. "By mutual consent, certainly!"

"Good!"

"With Kevin away, this'd be a good time to fetch your luggage, though."

"Too right!" she agreed. "Er, should I know what you do?"

"Presently, I'm preparing a history of Snippettsville."

"Whatever for?"

"A local businessman has pretensions as an author. He will publish one this fall."

"What's that to you?"

"I," the gray man explained, offhandedly, "am a ghostwriter."

* * * * *

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