tagMatureMiss May

Miss May


Maybelline Bigsby stood on her front porch, listening out for Lee "El" Jr's car.

Summer was almost over, and whatever business an eighteen year old college boy got up to left El little time for his home or mama. He promised he'd slow his rambling long enough to visit today. Now the daylight was waning, and May didn't hear so much as a hint of El's missing muffler.

May sighed, crushed out her fourth cigarette that hour, and stole a glance next door. She could see Lurleen Sommers sitting on her wooden deck, smoke rising above her lawn chair. Lurleen's five kids splashed in the above-ground pool. Lurleen occasionally stood up to scold them.

Lurleen had hinted that raising five kids with five delayed child support checks was a hassle, but May envied her. No matter how many of them left the nest, there would always be grandchildren or offspring of all kinds and sorts filing in and out of Lurleen's trailer. After Lee Harvey ran off with that cheerleader, May only had El. Now El was leaving as well.

El was decent at language arts but soft with anything involving science or numbers. Thanks to his football scholarship he'd been handed a chance his mama and daddy could have only dreamed of—well, if his daddy had seen the forest for his cheerleader whore.

Lighting another cigarette, May took another look at her empty front yard before balling up the empty pack. That was when she heard the thunderous rumble.

El slammed the Dart to a halt. He got out and spit a brown glob on the ground.

"I done warned you about people and loud noises round here El," May said. Despite the gravel in her tone she was happy El had fulfilled his promise.

El gave her a bear hug. "Good to see you, Mama."

"I got a new recipe I'm gone try with that leftover chicken," May said, patting him on the back.

May basked in the moment. According to Lurleen, little moments, even quick hugs, were the best things you could rely on these days.

The peace was interrupted when she heard another door close. Someone new emerged from the Dart.

"Oh, Mama, I brought somebody I want you to meet. This here's Shirley-Lynn. She's a friend of mine."

"Hi there," Shirley-Lynn said, offering her hand to shake. May looked the uninvited guest, some waifish dishwasher blonde from God knew where, up and down. Not wanting to be rude, she returned the handshake.

"Pleased to meet you," May said, forcing a smile. "Well, ya'll come in. New recipe. Chicken."

May led them inside. With the exception of the kitchen and bathrooms, the interior was blanketed with burgundy shag carpet. A couch was fixed against a rear window, another in front of the television. West of the living area was the kitchen island, and beyond that the table where May and El had spent years dining by their lonesome. May and El's rooms were at opposite ends, each with their own full bath.

El and Shirley-Lynn took a seat at the window couch. "You're gone love mama's cooking," El said.

As May brought out the thawed chicken leftovers, her peripheral vision caught El putting his arm around Shirley-Lynn's bony shoulders. 'Friend of mine.' Right.

She started the stove. "So how'd ya'll meet?"

"Shirley works over at the Walmart with me," El said. "She's also the cheerleader captain."

"That's right," Shirley-Lynn said, smiling.

Work. Football. They'd known each other a while, but this was the first May ever heard of any Shirley-Lynn. Did El have a reason for waiting to introduce her? Was he hiding something from his mama?

"Must be nice having so much in common," May said.

"There's something else too, Mama," El said.

El, I swear to God above, if she's pregnant...

"Shirley's going to Hartland U, too, Mama!"

"That's right," Shirley-Lynn said.

"Mmhm, us two are gonna be close by each other, like a couple roommates," El said.

A measuring cup slipped from May's hands, shattering on the floor.

El's head perked up. "You okay, Mama? Need help?"

"That's alright," May said, reaching for the broom, maintaining her hospitable smile. "Shirley-Lynn, who you kin to?"

"I'm a Carter," Shirly-Lynn said.

"Carter. Which Carters?"

"The Daisyfield Carters," Shirley-Lynn replied.

May made an effort to hide her reaction. She'd hoped Shirley-Lynn belonged to the uptown Archton Carters. When they weren't fighting in bars, the Daisyfield Carters ran drugs and bootleg cigarettes up and down the interstate.

May observed the way El had his arm around that girl. Now he seemed to be—no, not seemed to be, he was pulling her closer.

There was a time when El told May everything. Now it was clear he'd been up to heavy business with this Daisyfield Carter girl. Daisyfield Carter girls moved fast.

May finished sweeping the glass shards into a dustpan. On the other hand, she thought, she had no room to judge Shirley-Lynn of the Daisyfield Carters. After all, May conceived her precious Lee Jr. the day she turned eighteen, during a post-graduation celebration. On that evening she declared that nothing was ever going to hold her back anymore, especially when she let Lee Harvey Stukes take her to that secluded spot by the lake.

They went in the backseat. Kiss, fondle, disrobe, tip in, one thrust, splat, and it was over. That was enough to give her the bump. When Lee Sr. found out, he'd pledged his life to her. Then came the fateful day when he went college touring, promising May that his daddy's savings bonds would provide a great future.

May was left to fend for herself and El, but having a son didn't make her destitute. She danced at The Gentleman's Cove, meeting ends with the fives and tens hitting the stage. Her stage name had been Miss May.

In-between making money and raising El, there were many gentleman callers from within and outside the county. Some were one-night stands. Others were potential stepdaddies. But the stepdaddy contenders left, same as the one-nighters.

Regardless of whether the men stuck around, those were May's glory days, when she held the title of hottest piece of willing ass in Archton. She could go to any bar, whether it was a saloon on the rural outskirts or the Applebee's, and have men buying her drinks with her 'magic fuck me' stare—a move she might as well have patented.

The ensuing years were not kind, however. Her dancing days ended prematurely. The line of men dwindled. Soon May went to bars and spent two, sometimes three or four hours with no one paying her any attention.

May wasn't sure if she disliked Shirley-Lynn or envied her, but maintained her smile throughout dinner.

"Well, me and Shirley are gone head on," El said when the plates were in the sink.

"Well hey now, wait a minute, ya'll just got here," May said. "Sit with me and talk longer. We can find us something on the tee-vee."

El shook his head. "Sorry, Mama. Shirley's daddy don't want her out after dark."

Her son had never been a good liar either. He broadcast his dishonesty by averting his eyes and curling his lip in an awkward half smile. May doubted a Daisyfield Carter gave a damn about any curfew, or if there was one at all.

"I got ice cream. That cake from your birthday's still in there," May said, gesturing at the fridge behind her.

But Lee and Shirley-Lynn were leaving. El gave her a goodbye hug. Shirley-Lynn gave her an awkward side one. The door closed. El's car rumbled and shook.

May was alone again.

She looked at the dirty dishes in the sink. "Ya'll could've at least helped me clean up."


"Hey, Lurleen," May called from her trailer's corner, "mind if I sit with ya?"

"Come on round," Lurleen hollered back. She was still watching the kids while burning through another cigarette.

By now the sunlight was a dying crimson on the horizon. Darkness would settle in a few moments. May took an empty lawn chair seat next to Lurleen's. Neither said anything for a stretch.

"Something eating your mind?" Lurleen asked.

"Too much," May replied.

Lurleen was six years May's senior. In contrast to the younger woman's solid red hair, Lurleen sported gray patches, and she was also more worn around the eyes. Combined with how she often stared into the middle distance, she looked like a rugged survivor.

"Tell me," Lurleen said.

"Can't say."

"Dunno how or don't want to?"

"Dunno how."

"Let's plunder."

May sighed. "I've grown old, Lurleen."

"Really? Couldn't tell by looking at you," Lurleen said.

"Maybe not, but I see it every time I walk past a mirror," May said. "It's creeping in my bones. There was a time, Lurleen, when I didn't feel that way."

Lurleen reflected a bit. "Know what I think?"

"What's that?"

"I think..."

Lurleen jumped to her feet, causing May to flinch. "Pretty sure I think I see you trying to drown your sister, Laurence Cobb Sommers! Nuh uh, that weren't just playing! Don't you backtalk me! Okay, ya'll know what? Uh uh. Out the pool. Now. No. You watch that backtalk, missy! It's dark anyways. Ya'll go on inside now."

The five children filed past May and Lurleen, disappearing through a sliding glass door. When they were gone, Lurleen sat and lit another cigarette.

"How old are you now, May?"

"Almost 37."

Lurleen scoffed. "Almost...! Maybe you ought to hush up with that talk. You know what the saying is now, doncha? Thirty's the new twenty?"

The older woman took a deep drag, tilted her head back and blew smoke into the evening air. "Actually. Y'know what? Lemmie ask you another question. Whatever happened to Miss May?"

Before May said anything, Lurleen offered a cigarette from her dwindling pack. They were the unfiltered kind and not May's favorite brand, but she accepted the ciggie as a friendly gesture.

"Whatcha mean?" May asked.

"I mean that wild thing named Miss May who shook her bare ass on stage," Lurleen replied. "Whatever happened to her?"

"Miss May retired," May said, remembering the night in question. "I was up there shaking my bare ass, way you put it, and I was about to get a tip from some well dressed gentleman when I spun, twisted and broke my ankle. You could hear it crack over the music."

May exhaled smoke. "It weren't never right after that. Meant my dancing days was over. I still walk with a little limp at work."

"Miss May didn't quit after that though, did she?" Lurleen said. "She was the talk of the town. I ain't judging, by the way."

"I wouldn't be offended neither way," May said. "Course when it weren't just lust I was looking for El a daddy. You see how that worked out."

"And now that boy you worked hand and foot to raise right's going to college," Lurleen said.


"Purty young thing he brought home with him earlier."


"Like her enough?" Lurleen asked.

"She's a Daisyfield Carter," May replied.

"Well, that answers that question, don't it?" Lurleen chuckled.

Then her smile faded. "You know what your problem is, May?"

"What's that, Lurleen?"

"You're too selfless. Yeah, there's such a thing. You've spent so much time worrying over your boy you haven't taken any out for yourself. There's two kinds of growing old, May: an outside and inside kind. All the stress is gone speed up the inside kind, where you're wrinkled and achy under your purty face."

"What'll I do?" May asked.

"I know you're upset over El and his hoochie," Lurleen said, "but think of it in a positive way. With him away you get more time to yourself. You need to take that time and give yourself a day all for you."

Lurleen stubbed out her cigarette and lit another. "With all this built up bad as it has, I think tomorrow'd be perfect."

"I am sposed to have tomorrow off," May said. "Kacie's making every excuse to call in, though"

"Then stand your ground if you get a call," Lurleen said. "Tomorrow belongs to you, May."

Breaking glass made both of them jump.

"I'm gone skin me a youngin alive," Lurleen said.

"Well, I reckon I'd best get going then," May said.

Lurleen nodded. "Take my advice, darling."

She opened the sliding glass door, stepped into her trailer, and screamed. May stubbed out her cigarette and took her leave.

Back inside her own home, May washed the dishes, though her heart was nowhere in it. By then the last of the sunlight had vanished, leaving the windows blackened. May helped herself to a frozen meal and the television.

She listened for El's Dart. Thirty minutes of mindless reality television passed, then an hour of it, an hour and a half. She sat through a show called Strip Crisis, where a loud host berated strip club owners who were up to their eyebrows in negligence.

The Gentleman's Cove had been on this show after May's stage accident. Frank, her old boss, was six figures in debt when the show featured him. After his problems were supposedly fixed, Frank promised to change his ways.

Except he didn't. Frank was stubborn that way. The Gentleman's Cove was shut down and the Strip Crisis host boasted about it in a followup episode. The building was now occupied by a stationary store.

Exhausted, May retired to her room. Finding herself too restless to sleep, she gave up and switched on her bedroom lamp. She thought back to the earlier conversation with Lurleen.

Almost unwittingly, as if an unseen force moved her, May walked to a small corner desk.

She opened the bottom drawer, pulled out junk, and removed a towel. There, hidden from the world until now, was May's complimentary copy of Nasty Girls.

May took the magazine back to bed with her. Nasty Girls was one of those cheap and quick porn rags, all photo spreads and no articles or letter columns, not even ads. Each pictorial had questionnaires that were translated into Spanish, French and Swedish under their English blurbs.

May opened the magazine up to a single-paged photo of a girl wearing nothing but a sexy pout. Her breasts were large and perky with light brown, pancake areolas. She held her knees and parted her thighs, exposing a shaved pussy to the camera.

Above the photo was a large headline in an almost Comic Sans font: "MISS MAY."

The pictorial ran for six pages. Some were full page shots while others were split into two panels. Miss May got more daring for the camera as it went on, positioning herself in several erotic poses. She was spreading her pussy lips open by page two. Page three had her inserting fingers. By page six she was impaled on a beige colored vibrator.

Each picture had the fabricated questionnaire beside it. Miss May had never given any interview. She showed up, did as the accented camera man directed, dressed, and collected her $435 check.

"How excited are you to be here?"

"You have no idea how dripping wet my pussy got when I saw the ad! I couldn't wait to clean out my locker and cum down!"

May had been twenty-three during the shoot. She couldn't recall cleaning any locker.

"What's your favorite place for a man to stick his hard cock?"

"My ass, of course! I'm addicted to anal."

The one time a man ventured there, he swore it was an accident. May knew better.

"What's the wildest thing you've done sexually?"

"Getting gangbanged at a party. I drank so much cum that night my tummy ached!"

May often wondered about group sex. Though it was a frequent fantasy in her younger, wilder days, her sexual encounters were always one-on-one. She'd never even had more than one partner in the same month.

Eventually May grew tired of reading about this strange girl who used to be her, yet was never her at all. She pushed the magazine aside and took a long shower, hoping that the warm water would drain her enough for much needed rest.

Once done, she stepped out and reached for a towel. Curiosity caught her. She walked to the medicine cabinet mirror.

At first May thought the shower had left her looking clearer and fresher, but as she studied herself in the glass she wondered. Perhaps Lurleen's advice triggered an effect, or maybe the truth was evident: the woman staring back at May didn't look as bad as she pictured.

Compared to the photos in Nasty Girls, this face looked tired but not necessarily 'old.' Gravity had begun its toll on her big tits, but the sagging was slight.

Her biggest flaw, she felt, were her stretch marks, which ran in faded rivets down her stomach, breasts and thighs. She'd had them since El's birth. If anything, the magazine did a good job of erasing them, but right now there was no denying motherhood's impact.

Miss May from Nasty Girls had shaved her pussy. In the years that followed, Maybelline Bigsby regrew her red curls. She trimmed the edges, refusing to let it run wild, but she'd kicked her habit of shaving it all. Besides, pubic hair itched as it returned, and May had enough problems.

Overall, May felt that whatever there was to complain about was minuscule. She'd aged a bit, but her looks remained.

The thought was comforting enough that May was able to sleep.


"What the...goddammit!"

That was the first phrase May spoke when she awoke to stifling, uninhabitable hell hot air in her bedroom. She managed to untangle herself from sweat soaked sheets.

Her panties and nightgown stuck to her like glue as she hurried to the thermostat, which read a whopping eighty-nine degrees. She put her hand over every vent in the double wide, feeling nothing.

"El, what's with the heat?" May asked, opening his door. El's bed was made and his belongings were undisturbed.

"Enjoy your whore," May said.

May opened all of the trailer's windows, which did little to alleviate the problem. Then she picked up her flip phone and called El. There were three rings before a groggy voice answered.


"El? It's Mama. Where you at?"

She heard moving springs. "Oh, uh, um, m,mama. Uh, I was over at Jake's and—"

"Cut the shit, El. The house is burning up."

"Burning up? Like, whatcha mean, Mama? Fire?"

"No! The air's done quit."

"Who's that?" Shirley-Lynn asked in the background.

"It's Mama," El whispered, keeping his voice low.

He cleared his throat before talking louder. "Uh, Mama, um, not real sure what I can do. Um, Mr. Frink mentioned something about the air unit? Might wanna call him."

"I guess so," May said.

"Mama, you alright?"

"Sure, fine, El, other'n it's hot as the deepest oven Hell's ever had!"

"Maybe you oughta call Mr. Frink, Mama. I mean, it's not like I don't wanna help, but, but it'll be a while 'fore I can get there."

Of course not, May thought. You gotta have one last roll with your Daisyfield Carter bitch and then wash off the pussy smell.


"Thanks, El."

"K, love y—"

May ended the call in disgust.

Billy Joel Frink worked for a heating and air company and lived just a few trailers down. With any luck he'd be close by.

"Hello?" Billy answered.

"Billy? Oh, thank God."

"You alright, May?"

"No. The air ain't working. You mentioned something to El bout the unit?"

"Oh, uh, yeah. I told him you were gonna need to get that looked at."

"Yeah, well, this heat's unlivable. Could you come over and have a look at it?"

"Hold on." A pause. "Yeah, I might be able to swing on by."


By then the heat was beyond intolerable, so May went outside. The warm summer air was a small relief compared to the slow cooker indoors.

May sat on her porch. Right now there was nothing to do but wait, so she fished out a cigarette and put it to her lips.

As she waited, and smoked, and waited, she reminisced.

While May was accepting that Lee Harvey Stukes wasn't coming back, Billy Joel Frink filled the void. He'd been a good man, better than some of the other contenders, especially since he was older. He was also nurturing to El. She harbored hope that the relationship would evolve.

Alas, it didn't. Billy got called to Iraq, and by the time he returned he was back with his estranged wife and their son. May had to relegate their fleeting romance to a casual acquaintance.

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