Valley of Sinners Ch. 02byEgmont Grigor©
SO FAR: A jobless and sensitive young man becomes innocently associated with a bubbling woman in her late forties who lives alone on a vineyard out of Auckland, New Zealand. Nash is attracted because she drives a beautifully re-built and upgraded 1939 Chevy pick-up and draws him from his 'shell' with ease. Hope Honeybun's interest in young Mr Carson is that he writes a little and seems to have a worldly sense so installs him downstairs as resident author and commissions him to write a novel based on her colorful and turbulent life, much of which spans the time she has lived in the valley. There is a story, including sins, for Nash to discover.
It is a little before seven when Hope and her 'protégé' Nash Carson enter the golf club. A few people are at tables just drinking, but most will stay on for a meal.
"Hello Hope...hello Mrs Honeybun."
Hope briefly visits these people who greet her, trailing Nash by the hand. Introductions are made with Nash being called "my young man from the city who's going to write a family history for me." She appears to be known by everyone which seems rather strange for a city guy like Nash where it's usually to know even most of your immediate neighbors.
"Hope!" screamed a woman behind the food serving counter. "Come now or only scraps will be left for you."
As they walk to the servery, Hope whispered: "This is Maggie Tait; she and her Basil live just behind us on the other side of the hill. They have a lovely little sexpot still at home called Alayna. I'll arrange an introduction for you when you are ready."
"Thanks, but right now I'd like dinner."
"Good, you are my kind of guy."
It is a typical Kiwi golf club. A bar stocked with a good selection of beer and cheap wines. The room is filled with tables with seating for eight, gambling machines are at the far end of the room behind a screen and the 18th green is immediately below the wall of windows. On other walls are photos of past patrons, presidents and honors boards. Sponsors notices also abound.
During the next hour the reasonably quite assembly became noisier as the liquor in willing bodies became entrenched, When Hope and Nash left another two hours later the noise was deafening as more people had arrived after their eating at home with their families.
Hope attempted to explain to the newcomer Nash. "Friday nights end up bedlam, with not all couples who arrived together going home together."
"Oh, the fellows stay behind for more drinks?" Nash queried slyly.
"Oh, don't say I'm going to have to teach you about the birds and bees," Hope laughed.
"Nah, I knew what you were on about; just winding you up a little."
They arrive home and Monty merely gave his mistress a courtesy call before being all over Nash.
"Monty likes you," Hope said thoughtfully. For a moment it appeared she was going to kiss Nash goodnight. But she started up the stairs, turned and said, "Breakfast on the table at 6:30. This is country living."
Nash eyed her breasts, thinking they were big enough to become really lively when set loose. "Right, I thought it might be earlier?"
"No, but I'll be out on patrol at 5.30. You can come if you like."
"Yeah, good idea; get fresh air into my lungs," Nash yawned, without knowing what she was on about.
"Right, I'll pop in and wake you at 5:20, but if you have a boner showing expect to be doused with cold water."
Hope continued up the stairs, leaving scarlet-faced Nash in her wake.
Although having downed six glasses of merlot, Nash remained awake fretting over his perennial problem: whenever he begins a new job -- sometimes even before he starts -- he worries that it might not be the right move in the best interest of his career.
What career, you mutt head? Here he is lying awake in a strange room, where a vet used to neuter cats and cut the tails of little puppies back to stumps. Outside is a dog that appears determined to bond with him while upstairs is a woman who seems so affable and motherly yet is an enigma because she's not yet revealing her true self to him.
Did it matter she is perplexing?
Of course not!
Is he a problem to her?
Definitely not as with Nash Carson, what you see is what you get!
Then what the fuck are you doing in this house? A good question, he decides.
He is in the home of Mrs Hope Honeybun because she has a rebuilt 1939 Chevy, she had big boobs and wandering eyes but above all, she talks to him as if he's a somebody.
Is that all? Come on, Nash baby, the truth.
Um, this is rather embarrassing.
Oh come on, Nash; who's listening?
All right, she's come into my life and immediately confirms that she's a somebody. I knew that at the outset because she drives an awesome looking '39 Chevy. But who else would take a loser from the workforce, talk to him as if he is a somebody, and then invite him to her home in the country? So in trepidation this loser goes to her abode and what does he find? She lives in a mini-mansion in her own vineyard. Now is that a somebody or is it what?
Nash becomes more focused. Hope has asked him to fictionalize her life story, which he would have done just for a bed and tucker, simply to break the monotony of his mundane life. She offered five hundred smackers to write down the words -- EACH WEEK he works on it! Boy, is she somebody. Then at the golf club she towed him around between tables, introducing him to her friends as if he were her son. Cool as a cucumber is she; she is she one cool lady.
The urge to urinate is message from the bladder. An immaculate bathroom with toilet is within nine feet of his bed, but Nash, scratching his crotch, decides to go outside and pee into the grass as he images a cowboy would do when sleepily emerging from the bunkhouse.
It's moonlight and Monty comes up and licks his legs. Nash decides he must become less friendly with Monty to ease the avid attention he's attracting. He lifts his limp penis and begins spraying the grass, having to waggle it all over the place because the damn hound is dancing around trying to gulp down some of the streaming fluid. Although Nash succeeds in keeping the flow away from the dog's snapping jaws he warns, "Don't you try tonguing me in the morning, Monty!"
Returning to his room Nash thoughtfully puts his underpants back on. No need to invite being doused in cold water by madam in the morning, he reasons.
Nash sleeps fitfully and awakes from his last dream just after dawn in a cold sweat. He'd been trapped in the ladies' restroom at the golf course by Hope and her golfing buddies. They strip him, tied him to a sofa, and form a queue, all lifting up their dresses and holding their panties in their hands. He tries screaming for help, but no sound came from his mouth. First to straddle him is Maggie from the kitchen -- Hope's neighbor. Before lowering herself on to Nash's erection she giggles, "My, what a big one, just the right fit for my daughter."
Nash had tried screaming again, 'Help! Help!' But no sound came from his mouth.
A cold shower and a leisurely shave helped slow Nash's thumping heart. Dressed and finishing off a mug of coffee, he heard a light tap on the door and before he can call 'Come in' the door swings open and Hope stands there in surprise looking at the empty bed. She refocuses and sees him on a chair with his boots on the desk.
Gosh, he thinks admiringly, she really has big breasts. They appear ready to burst from her shirt, the top three or four buttons being undone. She's wearing jeans, cowboy boots and a Stetson and looks, um, very young for her age. He boggles: she's carrying a gun.
"Good morning," she said brightly. "Enjoy sleeping alone?"
"Good morning." He didn't have the ancillary question knowing she'd know he usually slept alone -- she was an intelligent woman.
Hope turned and left the room so Nash followed to be almost knocked to the ground by Monty who jumped up at his chest. Nash caught him and then dropped the mutt who tried to lather his face.
Hope emerged from the garage carrying another gun and handed it to Nash.
"Know how to use a shotgun?"
"Is this a shotgun?"
"Oh Christ, I should have known; you're a Townie of course."
Nash knows that people who live in urban centers -- called Townies by country folk -- are not carriers of the plague, but the inflection put into the name 'Townie' certainly indicates that a notion similar to that was in Hope's mind.
Taking the firearm, Nash said, "Nice gun," but was ignored. So he tried to speak with authority. "Where do I get the bullets?"
"Cartridges, not bullets. Your gun is already loaded with two of them. Please don't shoot yourself in the foot."
Nash almost dropped the gun in fright. A couple of times he'd had a toy rifle in his hands, but never a loaded real gun.
"Er -- um -- I would appreciate some tips."
"Wait till we get between the rows of vines where I'll brief you."
They walk forty feet and were between the rows of leafy vines.
Hope eyed him. "We're on patrol to protect young grapes and the vines that give them life. This morning our targets are rabbits and the occasional hare. The gun I have handed you is what we call broken -- you can see the backs of the two cartridges. Please keep your gun broken until you spot a rabbit within firing range -- for you that will be within 50 feet.
"You have a double barrel twelve gauge shotgun. It's old, but well maintained. Now look at the triggers -- there are two of them. It you miss your target with the first and firm pull of the trigger, you slip your trigger finger out and slip it back behind that first trigger and pull it towards you to give the furry blighter and backside full of lead pellets with the second action. You must remember to have the butt of the gun tucked firmly against your shoulder otherwise the recoil will do two things: it will thump the butt against your shoulder, bruising it, and smack metal against your trigger finger, ripping skin from it. So -- butt firmly against the shoulder. Never forget that."
Hope paused to ask Nash if he understood all of that. He replied it was straight-forward.
"Right, look at me. See how I carry my shotgun at this height? I see a rabbit, so in an almost continuous fluid movement I eye the rabbit, throw the gun up to just under eye level while with this hand snaps the barrels shut and that automatically sets the safety lever, so I flick that open like this. As I see the end of the barrels cover the target I gently press the trigger. It I miss, I try again by pressing the rear trigger. Got that?"
Nash said yes, thinking fancy getting a shooting lesson from a neat looking woman like this instead of an unshaven, red-eyed male smelling of whisky and old sweat. He wondered if there was anything he could teach Hope? Probably not, she appeared to be the consummate woman.
"Right, we are almost finished. When you have fired both barrels, break open the gun like this -- don't take too much notice of my gun as it is an over and under type, see how the barrels of this gun are vertical rather than side by side like yours? When you break open the gun the spent cartridges will automatically eject over your hand. Pick them up as we run an environmentally sensitive operation here. When reloading, always keeping the barrels pointing away from you and anyone else."
Hope ran her fingers over her chin, looking directly at her raw recruit.
"Are you comfortable about this? I won't feel happy about letting you loose with a loaded shotgun if you have any misgivings."
Nash briefly eyed her right breast, thinking she'd have to be careful not to get that one in the way of a recoiling shotgun butt. If she did he'd be just the guy to rub in garlic or arnica to inhibit bruising.
"Um, oh no problems. Everything's sweet. Your instructions are ever so precise and clearly understandable. Please proceed."
That response seemed to cleanse Hope's doubts. She smiled and continued the briefing.
"Before pulling the trigger, make sure that no person or other animal is in the line of fire, which includes well beyond your target or coming into your line of fire from the sides. It also means only shoot when the rabbit or hare is out a bit from the vines as we don't want you cutting the vines to shreds or blasting grapes. To sum up, make sure that no other living things are in line of your target, throw the gun up smoothly while snapping the barrels shut against the stock. Flick the safety lever open. Ease the butt snugly against your shoulder, eye your target and as the front of the barrel cover it, pull the first trigger back smoothly and relatively gently. If you miss, dip the barrel while moving your forefinger through to the second trigger and as your lift tip of the barrel to point right at the rabbit or hare, fire again. Let me see you go through those series of actions, but don't pull the triggers.
The novice shooter performed well.
"Okay, too much barrel wobbling at the top. Now do it again -- but DON'T pull the triggers."
Nash threw the gun up four more times.
"Good, very much better. If you only try to shoot rabbits fairly close to you I fancy you'll get one of them. Here are six more cartridges. That will be enough for today. Remember, don't fire unless you feel comfortable about it. I'll go into the block behind the house -- be aware that I am there. You just patrol these vines on the flat. Don't venture on to the hillside today. Understand?"
"Yes -- don't shut the gun until I'm preparing to fire, be smooth in my movements, don't squeeze the trigger jerkily or too hard and keep the butt against my shoulder when firing."
"Good, that's it. Don't shoot anything but rabbits or hares. You may disturb a pheasant or two, but ignore them. I'll chain Monty up as I pass the house. See you in an hour or so. Don't shoot yourself!"
Hope later told Nash that less than five minutes after they parted she heard a single blast. She remained slightly nervous until hearing a second blast two minutes later, which confirmed that Nash remained in one piece.
An hour later, Hope spotted Nash when she was walking down the hillside to the house carrying a bloodied rabbit by the ears.
"Break open you gun!" she called.
"Don't have to; I've fired all eight cartridges!"
"Do it -- it's a good habit to develop!"
"Right, teacher. Done it. I shot four!"
Hope came up to the triumphant young hunter. "Congratulations, that's an excellent haul for a novice."
"I did better than you," he crowed without realizing he'd been given the patch where rabbits tended to be most numerous. "Will we have rabbit pie?"
Hope felt the rabbits.
"This one will be do; the others you must gut and behead, and cut across into three pieces, bag each piece separately and then put into the old freezer in the garage. They will do as occasional dog tucker. Put the guts and heads into other bags and leave them inside the freezer on the right-hand side away from the dog tucker -- they'll go out on rubbish collection day which is Wednesday."
"Gut them?" Nash asked weakly.
"Yes, you're not a Townie now. Country Boys have to know how to gut and goodness knows what else. I'll show you by doing the first one. Or, if you wish you can go inside and hide while I do everything."
Nash, looking pale, said he would watch and then do the rest. "I know I have to take the good with the bad in life, and I rather like being called a Country Boy. It seems to have more class than being called a Townie."
Hope smiled, and grabbing his left ear lobe and waggled it affectionately.
After finishing up, Nash let Monty off the chain and went inside to shower and change clothes. Hope had gone ahead to do the same thing. As he entered the living room he heard her call to him: "Nash, come up. I want to show you something."
Your tits? he grinned.
When she cut into the demonstration rabbit a squirt of something from inside it landed on her chest, and she paused to wipe it away, her left breast jiggling as she tried to wiped herself clean. Nash wondered would she ever open her shirt or dress to show him what she had.
When he finished his butchering and showered again and changed his bloodied shirt, Hope was waiting on the landing, dressed in a blue shirt and jeans skirt. The shirt was buttoned to the neck.
"You haven't seen around here, so here we go. This is the guest room, not used a great deal and in here is the former second bedroom that I had converted into an office. We shall work in here on wet and or windy days and outside if you wish on other days -- the orchard is a great place. You will have exclusive use of that laptop computer."
"It's a very nice, airy room."
"Yes, I had the iron roof replaced with that glazing up there, and then the abutting ceiling space closed off and painted white to maximize natural light. It's a wonderful workroom.
"Both of these bedrooms share the bathroom that lies between them. My bedroom has its own en-suite. Want to take a look? I have been rushing around tidying up."
"Why thank you. There is nothing I'd like better to do."
Hope glanced at him, as if wondering whether that was a genuine comment or sarcasm. He was looking at photos on the wall of two young girls.
"I've got more up-to-date ones in my dressing room. Come take a look."
The bedroom was very feminine, ivory walls, pale blue drapes and a pink and white frilly bedspread. The plush carpet was cream.
"Why thank you. I understood most men hate pink in a bedroom."
"I would question that. Skin is often pink."
Hope giggled and blushed.
"Through here is my dressing room and beyond that is the en-suite. And here is my estranged family. This is my ex, Albert, then this one is my eldest, Claris, who is a branch manager of a bank in Christchurch; this is Bette, the brains of the family who is a lecturer at Otago University and this is my baby, Lisa."
"A fine looking family, even Bert doesn't take a bad picture. Lisa looks rather cute."
"You should see her now; she's filled out a bit and wears very chic clothes. Now fancy that, she's your age. I would rather her being with you rather than those soulless executives fighting their way to the top that she seems to land herself with in Sydney."
"Lisa may have a different opinion about that."
"Oh, I don't know. I reckon she would think you were rather cute."
"That's not promising, as women think their male hairdressers are cute and most of them are homosexuals."
"Oh, my youngest is not into deviants, Lisa is a hot-blooded heterosexual, believe me."
Nash decided that conversation would be going nowhere, so turned and exclaimed that the clothes gave the impression that he was in a fashion store.
"Well, I do like dressing up a bit. Are you into women's fashions?"
"Not really, my experience is really limited to what I see when I wake up in the morning after getting lucky."
"Oh, I see. Then what about this?"
Hope unzipped a hanging bag and gently extracted a beautiful cream satin gown with a plunging neckline and slits up the sides. A top layer of satin was gathered into folds down the bodice to finish under a wide satin tie at the waist.
"That's a truly beautiful gown. It must look lovely on?"
"It does, so I've been told."
Hope zipped the garment back up. They then looked into the all-white en-suite with a vase of lavender on the double washbasin bench top and then went down to breakfast.
After clearing away Hope said it's time they went on a road trip though the district, with a stop in the village to pick up provisions. They would stop briefly at the regional centre, longer if necessary if he wanted to shop or to go to a movie. If he went to a movie she would wander around the shops and then visit the botanical gardens.