Holy Hanna! I haven't been on here in a few, anyway, another non sexy story. Next story will contain all sorts of that stuff.
So, here I am on my way to a yard sale on a windy day in May. A teenage girl on a bike decides she just doesn't have to energy to go around me. I hear a faint 'I'm sorry', like it was whispered on the wind. I would smile, but I wince.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" I overreact by screaming like a girl.
"You ok?" My sister asks, mockingly.
"God-damn-it! Since when is it ok to let kids ride bikes over people?" I'm not angry, just annoyed, at the blatant disregard of my presence on the sidewalk.
"You big girl, it's your fault that you stopped her with you shoulder." Reminders are nice of whose fault it wasn't.
"Ok, so my cat like reflexes aren't up to par this morning." I tell her as I make a "Bruce Lee" pose.
"Just don't try to embarrass yourself any more, ok?" Sarcasm when I was hoping for sympathy, for my poorly done pose, not the pain I am still feeling.
"Let's get what you wanted to get and jet." I want to sound stern, but I don't. We continue walking.
"Jet? Do people really say that anymore?" More jokes from her, she isn't the only one that could give it as well as she gets.
"I do, that's all that matters." I say as we walk up the sidewalk farther away from her car.
"Doris has the biggest and the best yard sale every year. I just don't want you getting us kicked off her property." She tells me with a hint of seriousness.
"That will never happen and we both know it, no matter how bad I act or screw up." I am confident, as we make our way up the block towards the gathering of people looking over another person's things that they don't want and figured that if someone else wants it so bad they can pay one dollar for it. The house we walk up to is old, huge and scary. My sister and I used to live three blocks from this house where Doris Lieberman still lives. She was old when we were kids and she is still old. When I was growing up I used to hear the neighborhood kids saying Mrs. Lieberman was a witch, a vampire, a alien, or a ghost. I used to believe she was all of these. Then my grandmother, Kathy moved in with us when our grandfather died when I was ten and my sister was seven. My grandmother became Doris's best friend and eventually moved in with her. They were a pair. Visits to grandma became adventures in time. We grew up hearing about their husbands and how good looking my sister and I were becoming. The day my grandmother died was sad for not for just our family, but Doris as well. We have always considered Doris a member of our family ever since.
My sister, Lucy is twenty five now and she is a loan officer at the local bank here in Greentown, Georgia. It's one of those not too big, not to small towns. We are what the smaller towns refer to as being one step from being as big as the capital. Our father divorced our mother five years ago and lives with his new wife in Florida. Our mother still lives in this town, she has remained single, but she has told us she has a few men in waiting. My sister said they are internet fuck buddies. Something I wished I didn't have to hear or picture. I really thought things would have been different with my father should be the one trolling the internet for pussy and my mother should be married again. It's strange how things work out.
Then there's me, Alan Scott, I am twenty eight, about six foot tall, brown hair, blue sort of hazel eyes, I keep in shape, just not good shape. I am a writer and have written three New York Times best sellers. I have written that series about superheroes from yester-year coping with today's society. I write under the pen name of Lewis Lane, it's my little in joke. I never thought my book would take off like it has. People have referred to it as a "Harry Potter with super powers, adventure through time, and a fun tale." It pays my bills and lets me work my own schedule. I have also been investing wisely, just in case. I have never made a pubic appearance or had my picture put on the back of my books. Not because I like my privacy, but because I to screw with people. No, seriously, I like my privacy.
The house we approach is one of those three story numbers that looks like that one house from the movie 'Psycho' and I think it's been around for a hundred years. There's a iron gate that opens up to the brick walk leading to the front porch. Right now, it looks like one of those yards you see that you think is a yard sale and it's not. You realize that there is so much lawn decoration, you would think there should be a limit to how many wooden silhouettes of the guy leaning against something , the woman bending over to garden, or pink flamingos you could display. In this case, it really is a yard sale. As my sister and I make our way through the gathering crowd, and we are soon recognized.
"Oh my, there you are." As Doris makes her way slowly towards us as we are making our way to her.
"Lady, you know why I am here, just show me the goods." I say as I lean in to give her a heartfelt hug and peck on the cheek.
"Honey, my goods haven't been shown to anyone in years, but if you really want to see, come back later tonight." She laughs as she reluctantly lets go of me, to give my sister a hug.
"I have to apologize for Alan, he just broke up with his girlfriend about three months ago and he's a little desperate." As my sister is hugging Doris.
"It's ok, I haven't flirted since last time I was asked to show my goods. Trust me it's been more than few years." She smiles and lets go of my sister to take my arm. She guides me up the old brick walk, with my sister following. Now I start to feel the other reason my sister talking me into coming here. Doris is in very good shape for being some where in her sixties, I think she's in her sixties, I really can't tell. She's doesn't seem to have aged a day since that day I met her. Standing at five foot five with light brown hair, golden brown eyes, and a dimpled smile. She had to be a heart-breaker in her early years. She has a voice that makes her sound 30 years younger,
"Alan I was wondering if you and your sister would help me run things here? I will give you, your pick of whatever you want." She tells us, with a smile.
"I would really love to help, but I have plans at three." I quickly and quietly say with my head hanging down. I don't have plans at three, it's ten thirty now.
"My grandkids, you remember Sam and Sarah? Well, they were supposed to help me today, but their flight was canceled due to bad weather. It would help me out a lot. Please, don't make a old woman beg." She sounds pleading, still smiling.
"Oh come on big brother. There's a damsel in distress and you aren't going to help? What happened to the heroic nature of yours?" She says smiling me and jabbing me in the ribs.
"My heroic nature died the day I realized that Santa isn't real." I laugh.
"Saying things like that puts you on the naughty list, you know." Doris tells me smiling.
Lucy and Doris stare at me, waiting. It's like they know I don't have plans. I have a feeling my loving sister volunteered me to help. I was never asked, it would have been nice to be asked. Lucy had time to ask. When she picked me up from the airport on Thursday, she had time to ask. That same night I got in, I stayed the night at her house, she had time to ask. Last night when we went to the bar with my old friends from the area to meet with hers, she had time to ask. I better give them the answer they want to hear.
"Ok, I'm in, I will just call my people and let them know I can't make it today." I say with a smile, trying to win back some of that lost heroism.
"Good, we will have a great time I promise, there are lots of single women that come to these things, plus I have a cellar full of wine." She smiles at me, as pulls me toward what looks like her table with three chairs and one of those huge patio umbrellas. This looks like where the haggling is to be done.
"Really? Think you pop one of them bottles open?" My sister ask, nonchalantly. She's trying not to sound interested in the wine, but she really is.
"There's a few bottles and glasses under the table." Doris points.
"Mind if I wander around?" I ask as Lucy and Doris sit down and pull out the glasses. They look like they are ready to do business or drink themselves blind. Either way, they are ready.
"Sure, darling, pick something good before it's gone." Doris pulls the cork from the bottle and pours three glasses. Yes, they are starting, very early.
Waving off the wine for later, I walk around. It's a trip down memory lane. All the stuff that used to belong to Doris's first husband is here. The war stuff that used to hang on the walls of her house.
I hear the most wondrous, womanly voice whisper on the wind that tickles at my ears, from the east. I turn as fast as I can to see where that beautiful voice came from, just to see no one there. I decide to walk towards the direction I think I heard the voice come from. I stand next to a table with knick-knacks and various types of swords. I remember those swords hanging from various walls through out the house. Samurai swords, broadswords, knives, and shields. Doris's second husband James, was a collector of weapons and such. I always wanted to play with them when I was a kid. I think about grabbing a few of them now, but I see something I have never seen before. A old train lantern. It's dusty, rusty, and green. I laugh to myself about a comic book character I used to read about. I pick it up without thinking, then I turn it around, upside down, and back to upright. It's got nicks and dings. It looks well used. I remember my father telling about railroad and trains. His geek obsession was trains. Go figured.
I walk towards the table where my sister and Doris are getting drunk. I totally forget that I have the train lantern by the handle, in my hand.
"I see you found something, stud." Doris says, laughingly.
"Yeah, I guess. It sort of called out to me. I never saw this sitting anywhere in your house, where you been hiding it?" I am still confused about why I haven't let it go. I see my sister haggling with a woman about the price of some candle holders. I thought I hear Lucy say fifteen. I could be wrong.
"I had it in the basement locked in that old safe. I thought it was time to get rid of the damn thing." As, Doris rolls her eyes and hands me my glass. I take my drink from it as I set the lantern on the table. The rest of the day isn't as eventful. The wind starts to become still and soon there's not a cloud in the sky, but it's still cool. Sure we were buzzing by the end of the day, but Doris made a crap ton of money. Lucy and I helped pick up the yard and moved everything into the garage. Doris offered me a spare room for the night, which was cool, and I took her up on it. My sister is taking home a few of Doris's old throw rugs, very nice ones too. I should know I helped my sister load them into her car. Doris is on the phone by eight calling up a few friends and family for a small get together. I saw a few cousins I haven't seen since I left for New York. Yeah, that's where I moved too, with nothing, but a dream, a final draft of my first novel, and over twenty thousand dollars that Doris gave me. I paid her back when I finally got published. Yeah, I didn't ask where she got it and she also told me not to ask. I assumed it was her first husband, Harold's pension from the army. He was a major when he was done serving his tour, then he joined the C.I.A. I assume they had a nice little nest egg. As the night wears on, Lucy and a few of her friends and our cousins decide hit the local bar, by eleven. As everyone left, Doris offers up the rest of the house for anyone who shouldn't be driving and makes everyone promise to stay the night. If they do and she tells them she will cook up breakfast in the morning for everyone. Everyone agrees, since Doris is an awesome cook. They all walk to that bar, since it's only four blocks away. I am not much for the bar scene two nights in a row. Trust me, they tried their damnest to get me to go. I said next time I will go and the first round would be on me. I stay so Doris and I catch up with each other.
"You still haven't told Lucy about your writing, huh?" Doris asks me reclining in her big chair with a glass of wine. We are in the living room of her house. It's huge, with old furniture. I see she moved the TV above the fireplace, on the mantle. She takes amazing care of her house.
"Yeah, I told her the last time I visited." I say sitting on the couch with a glass of wine.
"What did she think about that?" She asks.
"Well, by that time she had bought the first two and read them. She didn't believe me until I showed her the prototype copy for the third book. She was going out of her mind by that point, but said she would keep the secret." I said taking the final sip, finishing the glass.
"I'm guessing she doesn't know about the money you borrowed from me?" She asks as she rises and finishes her glass.
"Nope, she doesn't know, only we do." I rise as she walks up to me and takes my glass from me.
"Another glass?" She asks with a sparkle in her eye.
"Yes, please. You want to know another secret?" I ask as I follow her to the kitchen.
"What's that?" She asks as she pulls out another bottle and uncorks it.
"I have finished the forth book." I tell her.
"What? I thought you said it was a trilogy?" She pours and refills both of our glasses.
"Well, it's a prequel to the trilogy, giving more back story and such." I pick up my glass and take a drink.
She walks into the living room with the bottle and her glass. I follow.
"That's really interesting, but I have a question for you." She slurs as she sits on the couch and puts the bottle down on the stand.
"What's that?" I sit on the other end of the couch and take a large drink.
"We could do something, then we would have another secret to keep." She's gazing at me dreamily, I think.
"Like what?" I am blushing with fear. Oh my god is she going to say what I think she's going to say?
"Like sex." She guzzles down her glass, finishes it, then picks up the bottle, as she slides towards me. I am speechless. I think of her like family and never even had those kind of thoughts about her. By the way, that's not what I thought she was going to say. I thought she wanted to hook me up with her granddaughter, who just turned eighteen.
"Doris, my dear, I think you have had too much wine." I notice she is drunk. Now, I noticed? What a moron I am.
"I'm not as drunk as you think I am." Doris's head then falls squarely in my lap, while she was in mid-slide. I think she passed out. I lift her arm that has by now dropped the bottle of the wine to the floor with a mild bump. I let go of her arm drops quickly as if it was in Saturn's gravity. With a heavy sigh I move around as not to wake her. She has a great body for a sixty year old woman, I think she's sixty one, I can't remember. There is no way she can be older, heck I almost swear she had the body of a twenty one year old model. I manage to move out from underneath her without waking her. It involved me literally scooting my ass down the floor and lift her up. I end up sitting on the floor, I pick my glass up, that I had put down to move and finish the glass. I stand up and without thinking I pick Doris up and carry her up the stairs to her room, I lay her down, and flip on the light. I remove her shoes and place her in bed. No fuss. I cover with a blanket and switch off the light. I walk down stairs clean up and when I am done I look at the clock. One o'clock. The big standing clock chimes as if it has a voice of it's own. I make my way up stairs, to the room Doris gave me. I switch on the light and see that lantern sitting there on the chair. I get ready for bed and all the time I feel that someone is watching me. I strip down to my boxers and tuck myself in bed. I stop as I am about to turn off the light, I look at the lantern, and turn off.
I hear that heavenly whisper again, like the an angel, or beyond that. I smile and quickly fall asleep.
That following morning I wake up to the smell of bacon, eggs, French toast, and pork sausage. There must be a crap ton of food to make that amazing smell so strong. I stand up and with out thinking I walk towards the door and open it to see Lucy standing there, in mid-knock. She stares into my face for a second and scans my body up and down. I notice one of my sisters friends standing next to her doing the same thing. I think her name is Jane. I break the awkward silence.
"Hey, did you guys crash here to last night, cause if you did I didn't hear any of you come in."
"Yeah, bro, we did, and Doris is down stairs cooking for an army." She smiles nervously.
"There is a lot of food, and hot coffee." Jane adds.
"Yeah, I will be down in a few." I say as I shut the door. Lucy stops me.
"By the way, I don't think Jane would mind if you came down in what you are wearing." She tells me with a wink as she finally lets me close the door. I dress quickly in the jeans and shirt I was wearing yesterday. I don't bother with socks or my shoes. I open my door this time happy to see no one there to greet me. I make my way down stairs to the huge dinning room where there have to be thirteen people eating and talking. I get looks from my sister, Jane, and Doris. As I see Doris she makes eye contact with me and motions me into the kitchen.
"What's up?" I ask when I walk into the kitchen and spy a plate of bacon.
"About last night, I want to say I'm sorry, and to tell you thank you." She says with a nervous smile.
"Doris, I consider you family and I would never take advantage of you. We can just forget about what happened last night." I say as I swipe a piece of bacon.
"I can't believe I threw myself at you, I was acting like a girl over half my age, it's been so long since I have sex or a boyfriend, since Jared passed away. I know we flirt and play around all in fun. I feel so bad, cause I too, consider you family. I just....I just want everything to be ok between us." She almost sobs.
"Doris, it's fine, I promise." I say as I step towards her for a hug, which she accepts.
"Oh, one more thing. Your sister and her friend were talking about you earlier." Doris says with a smile, a wink, trying to dry up her tears, and reluctantly lets go.
"Yeah, they saw me in nothing, but my boxers." I am nonchalant as I reach for another piece of bacon. I smile, grab a plate, some silverware, and pile on the food. She just shakes her head laughingly as if she can't believe what I just said. I make my way out to the dining room.
Breakfast goes by quickly. We all talk, mostly catching up, then at some point the planning begins. The family reunion is being planned and Doris offers her place, as she does every year. I am starting think it's an excuse to get everyone together, tell the same stories about family members, and get drunk. I excuse myself and take care of my plate. My phone buzzes in my pocket. It's my mother. She left for the weekend with some guy she met on one of those online dating sites. They went to Florida. I can't get over it. I answer my phone.
"Hi mom." I say sheepishly as I make my way through the front door, and out on to the porch.
"How's everyone there Alan? How did the yard sale go? How's Doris?" She asks as I remove a pack of smokes from my pants pocket. Eight left and a lighter is what I find when I open the pack.
"Fine. Good, she made over a thousand dollars. She's great." I tell her. I pull a cigarette out put into my mouth.
"Have you quit smoking yet, Alan?" Sternly asking. I light it and take a deep puff.
"Nope. Have you gotten tired of finding jerks on those dating sites?" I mockingly ask, as I put the smashed pack back into my pocket.