Shake and Bake

byAlwaysHungry©

Greetings, friends. This is a contest entry. As the story unfolds, you will find a dash of exhibitionism, a smattering of BDSM, a dollop of group sex, a hint of incest, and more than a few erotic encounters. It is also a dramatic tale of crime and intrigue. I hope that something in there tickles your fancy, because I need to win that big 5 vote from you. Ready? Here we go.

Saturday


I was dreaming of love when I heard the sound. It took me a few seconds to get my bearings, and to identify the rumbling as coming from the world outside my head. I thought at first that someone was revving up a Harley outside my window. For a second I was angry, then anxious -- in these parts, having bikers outside your home is generally problematic.

As the seconds ticked by I discarded these thoughts, because the rumbling kept getting louder, too loud for a bike, and now it was joined by shaking. It was dark in my place, the kind of dark you don't find in a city dwelling. I could hear the furniture vibrate and move across the floor, waking me enough to put two and two together and realize that this was an earthquake.

I can never remember whether you are supposed to stand in a doorway during an earthquake, or whether that is actually more dangerous. I opted to remain frozen in place in my bed as the contents of my little house thrashed around for what seemed like a long time -- perhaps as much as ten seconds -- and then the quake subsided.

I picked my way carefully in the darkness through my re-arranged furniture until I found the doorway and got out of the house. I worried about possible aftershocks, which could be even bigger than the first round of shaking. It was plenty dark outside as well. It must have been overcast. I couldn't see any stars. I could only speculate on what my little abode might look like inside.

After 15 minutes or so of standing sightless in the rural silence with a chilly breeze pricking at me, I went back inside. The aftershocks didn't seem to be coming, and there wasn't much I could do until daylight. I felt along the wall for a light switch, flipped it, and was not surprised that no light came on. I navigated by touch until I found my bed again, and crawled between the sheets to get some fitful sleep.

I was awakened by a pretty hefty aftershock. Opening my eyes, I could see enough dawn to illuminate the utter chaos as my furniture did another tap dance. I chose a likely path toward the door and bolted outside the house, then stood a safe distance from the building until the jittery ground came to rest.

After another 10 minutes, I ventured gingerly back into the house. The roof had collapsed in the back where the bath was. I tried the tap in the kitchen sink, and one lonely drop came out. I knew that water must now be my primary concern. It was cool at night, but the daytime temperatures would be in the triple digits. I needed to get a little closer to civilization, because no one was going to come way the hell out here to fix my water supply anytime soon.

Now, let me explain my problem to you. I'm an aspiring writer. I want to hone my craft and get published and recognized and so on and so forth, but I find it very difficult to make any headway because there are just too many damn distractions in life. So I had propped up my willpower a little by isolating myself in this little rented house in the middle of nowhere, in a community that has no name, although it lies in the vicinity of the bustling metropolis of Annette, California. The US Census Bureau has no information for Annette. It barely exists. But, as I would learn, it sits right atop the San Andreas Fault.

To keep the distraction level down, I had arranged not to have a car. If I had a car, Bakersfield would be within range, and its nightlife might have tempted me. So I stayed put most of the time. I had a friend who lived down the road in Cholame, and he would run me in to Bakersfield once a week to shop for groceries and the like. The rest of the time I was supposed to be writing.

I had neglected to factor the danger of earthquakes into my plans, and now you can see my predicament. I tried my cell phone, but it was dead. I had read just the other day that the phone companies were switching from copper cable, which carries its own electricity, to fiber optic, which doesn't. So I was stuck in the boonies with no water, no power, and no phone.

I took stock of my available supplies. In the refrigerator,I had a 64 ounce bottle of cranberry juice, which was mostly full, and a boiled egg, which I ate. A few apples in a bowl on the table were good for a bit of rehydration. I stuffed the bottle and the fruit and a bag of tortilla chips into my backpack and set off down the road toward Cholame. I wanted to cover as much distance as I could before the temperature started to rise.

Walking through this country gave me a much greater sense of the desolation of the place than did driving. It was all hills and grass, hills and grass, the grass mostly brown but occasionally greener if there was water nearby. The greener areas were usually fenced in and populated by rather morose-looking cattle, who looked more morose than usual today. They were probably waiting for water to be pumped to them by electric pumps, which were out of commission for the time being.

The hills were curvaceous in a way that struck me as somewhat sexy -- but of course, living all by my lonesome was beginning to make a lot of things seem sexy. I hadn't been with a woman for -- I did the math in my head. Three months. Two of those months were due to my recent writing experiment. The month before those was just bad luck.

Cholame was about 16 miles away. That was maybe five hours of walking, and the later hours were likely to be pretty bad from the temperature standpoint. I wondered what my chances were of catching a ride.

I was about an hour into my trek when I heard the murmur of tires on pavement, drawing steadily nearer from the direction I had come. I turned and waved at the oncoming vehicle, hoping to look urgent but not crazy. Hopefully people were feeling public-spirited, since the earthquake had put us all in dire straits.

The car, a late model Chevy Blazer, slowed as it approached. A young couple sat in the front seat, checking me out and conferring. As they got closer, they drove more slowly and kept talking. Finally they came to a stop in front of me. I guess it was my lucky day.

The back door opened and I got into the vehicle. I discovered that I was sharing the back seat with a 40-ish woman. She gave me a slow grin, saying, "Hi. I guess we're all in some trouble, aren't we?"

I nodded soberly and replied, "Looks like it. Are you folks headed for someplace that has water?"

The driver turned to me and gave me a look that seemed a strange mixture of frank interest and mistrust. He was a young Hispanic fellow with tousled hair. "Yeah, but we don't got enough gas to get there. Do you know where we can get some?" His companion in the front seat also turned to inspect me. She was a thin brunette, wearing mirrored sunglasses that hid her eyes. She had a nice smile, though.

"I have a friend who has a small ranch outside of Cholame. He might have some gas," I replied.

"Good," he said. "Are we headed in that direction?" I nodded. He put the Blazer in gear and we headed down the road.

My companion in the back seat introduced herself. "Hi, I'm Hannah," she said, extending her hand. I shook it, noticing that her grip was confident but her skin very soft. Her fingers felt delicate and sensual. She had shoulder-length, light brown hair, and was tall and on the heavy side. She was dressed in a close-fitting burgundy top and leggings that accentuated her rather bodacious curves.

From the front seat, the brunette said, "I'm Miranda," and the driver said, "Milo." I introduced myself as Ty. My given name is Tyler, but no one calls me that.

Before long we came up to Highway 41, and I directed Milo to turn right, which took us right through Cholame, which is comprised basically of the Jack Ranch Cafe and the James Dean Monument, the spot where James Dean wrecked his car back in 1955. You'd be surprised at how many people find this interesting. I guess compared to the countryside around it, it's fascinating.

I directed Milo to turn off on a side road. We came up over a little hill to see my friend Benny's ranch, looking deserted. His spread consisted of a weather-beaten house, a couple of trees, and two sheds. I couldn't see any of his cows. I guessed that they were on the other side of the hill -- I remembered there being a little gulley, with some shade trees that might give them some relief from the heat, which was starting to come on pretty strong.

We pulled into the circular driveway and all scrambled out of the Blazer. I walked up to the front door, banged on it a few times, and hollered "Benny!" But it was clear that no one was home. I peered in the window: it looked pretty messed up inside. Although the house itself was intact, the furniture was all over the place, and not much of it was right-side up. Benny must have done the same thing we had -- took off to find some civilization.

I turned to my new companions and shook my head. "Let's have a look in the sheds. Maybe he's got some gas back there," and led the others to the nearer of the two sheds.

This shed did not look promising. It was mainly empty, with a few cardboard boxes piled up in a corner. A manual push lawn mower looked like it hadn't been used in years and had the rust to prove it. I opened up a few cupboards, just to be sure, and found them empty. Then I heard the sound of tires on the gravel outside. "Sounds like Benny might be back," I said.

We turned to go out and discovered that we had company. Four men stood in front of the entrance to the shed, big ugly fellows wearing sleeveless T-shirts and jeans. None of them were Benny. One of them was a couple of inches taller than the others, missing some teeth and wearing a Dodgers cap. He turned out to be the talkative one.

He gave me a grin that didn't look especially friendly, and said, "What are you doin' here?

"I'm a friend of Benny's," I replied.

"Who's Benny?"

"He owns this place. Who are you?"

"I'm just a guy that needs to get into Bakersfield. There ain't nothin' to eat around here, and me and my friends are startin' to get hungry. We saw you got a car out there."

Milo stepped forward and entered the conversation. "Yeah, we got a car, but it's full up. What's wrong with your car?" He sounded a bit belligerent, which I thought might not be the wisest tack to take for a guy who looked like he weighed about 140 pounds.

The guy in the hat looked down at Milo and said casually, "Nothin' wrong with our car. Maybe we jus' like your car better. Suppose you jus' relax here for a while, and we'll take your car."

"That's not gonna happen," said Milo, and I saw his body tense up.

"Oh, it's not?" said the hat guy, and took a step toward Milo. Suddenly I heard a loud bang, and the big fellow was grabbing his right shoulder and there was little gun in Milo's hand. "Jeez, he fuckin' shot me!" shouted the big guy.

"Back off, all of you!" Milo was waving the gun at all four of them, and it seemed to have the desired effect, because they all took off. The guy in the hat had a big red stain that was spreading down the side of his T-shirt, and he was swearing at the top of his lungs. They all headed for the driveway and jumped into a shiny new blue Honda, which roared to life and sped out to the road.

I took a second look at my new gun-slinging acquaintance. "It looks like you just nicked him. You must be a pretty good shot," I observed.

Milo sucked his teeth. "Hell, no. I never shot nothin' before. He's just lucky."

Miranda moved up close to him and said, "Jesus Christ, Milo, where did you get a gun?"

"I've had it for a long time. It was my dad's. I thought we might need some protection, because of the earthquake. Seems like a lot of things ain't workin' and people are actin' weird."

I wasn't following Milo's reasoning very well, so I took the opportunity to let my gaze wander to Hannah. She was a big girl, as tall as I, which is to say around six feet. She was pleasingly plump, or at least pleasing to me, and carried herself with confidence. I wondered whether she could whup the guy in the baseball cap. Hannah saw me looking and smiled to let me know she was looking back. There were some intriguing aspects to this situation, but the weather was getting uncomfortably warm, Milo had just shot some guy, and we still had the problem of gas for the car. "Let's have a look at that other shed," I said, and the others followed me over to it.

This shed didn't have gas either. We found tools and a little make-shift office with a mini-fridge that wasn't cold anymore, but there were some bottles of water inside and a six-pack of Modelo Negra. I didn't think Benny would mind if we borrowed these, so I picked them up and we headed back to the Blazer. Hannah and Miranda were trying their cell phones, and not getting any joy.

Miranda coughed and said, "Milo, we should get out of here. Suppose those guys get some guns and come back."

"You got a point," admitted Milo. "We ain't finding any gas here anyways."

We all loaded into the Blazer and headed back toward the 41. "What about that cafe?" asked Hannah. "Maybe they have a generator or something."

"They might," I said, and when we reached the highway, Milo turned right and headed back toward the Jack Ranch.

When we got within eyeshot, Miranda said, "Wait, Milo, slow down. Isn't that the car those guys were driving?"

Sure enough, the gleaming blue Honda was parked outside. Milo slowed and turned around. "I don't think I want to meet up with those suckers again." Everyone agreed with that. "Ty, you live around here, right? Do you know where we can find a gas station?"

"Well, I don't know if it's going to be open. But there's one on the other side of those hills, at Highway 33."

"Do you think we can make it there on about an eighth of a tank?"

"How good is your gas mileage?"

"It's pretty good. Let's give it a shot."

We set off to the northeast on Highway 41, but as we climbed into the hills, we began to encounter earthquake damage to the road. There were big fissures in the pavement, and in some places whole sections of the highway had split off and collapsed. Milo slowed way down but kept driving, weaving from lane to lane to avoid the cracks. At times he had to slow almost to a stop and drive across a crack, and we all kept our fingers crossed. We were fortunate to have the Blazer's high clearance.

Miranda passed around some dried fruit and little bags of trail mix, which I augmented with my tortilla chips. I had a little cranberry juice left as well. As we were munching away, Hannah turned toward me and asked, "Ty, what brings you out here to the middle of nowhere? Did you grow up here?"

"Nope. I grew up in San Jose. I'm trying to become a writer, so I stay out here to get away from distractions."

"Wow. Is it working?"

I smiled. "A little bit."

"What sort of things do you write?"

"I'm trying a little of everything. Detective stories, science fiction, spy novels, erotica. Maybe I'll write about this adventure we're having right now."

Hannah grinned. "What will that be -- erotica?" We all laughed.

"I took some classes on writing. Stuff like how to use a setting, how to develop characters, that sort of thing. I'm actually in the middle of trying to write a novel about the Cold War."

"Sounds interesting. I read all the time." And with that Hannah turned her body to lean against the door on her side, stretching out her legs and laying them across my lap. She was wearing attractive wedge-heeled sandals, and her toenails were cobalt blue. It seemed like a rather flirtatious gesture, especially in the middle of a natural disaster. I tried to keep my mind off sex. "How about you, Hannah? What brings you to this tourist paradise?"

"Miranda and I have family up in Oakland. We're on our way to visit them. We were car pooling with Milo up from L.A. and we decided to take the back roads."

"You and Miranda are related?"

"She's my half sister."

From the front seat, Miranda asked, "Anybody want a warm beer?" We all did.

Taking a pull from my beer, I asked, "When did you leave L.A.?"

"Yesterday afternoon. We were staying in a motel in Maricopa last night when the quake hit."

This last piece of information raised some uncomfortable questions in my mind. Milo had said he brought his father's gun because of the earthquake, but unless he somehow knew in advance that the quake was going to happen, he must have had some other reason to bring a gun along from L.A. And why the back roads? There wasn't much to see in these parts. A few hundred miles of brown rolling hills looks just as good from the freeway.

I took another swig from my beer and realized that despite my attempts to think of other things, I was getting hard. Hannah's big luscious legs were laying right on cock, and she was sort of flexing them in a way that felt nice and provocative. I didn't want my arousal to be obvious, so I tried to shift my hips a little to take the pressure off. Hannah responded by scooting her ass a few inches in my direction, bringing her calves into even closer contact with my burgeoning erection. She seemed nonchalant about it, but the chances of it being an accident were pretty slim.

I thought about looking over to meet her eyes, but I didn't want things to get any more complicated at this particular moment. I prefered not to know for sure what was going through her mind. Then she kicked off her sandals, and slowly began to bend her legs. Her toes were on a direct trajectory for my now-rigid cock, when suddenly there was a big thumping noise, and the Blazer jerked and came to an abrupt halt.

"Shit," said Milo, turning off the engine. He opened the door and got out, followed by Miranda. "Ty, could you pass me my sandals?" asked Hannah.

"Sure," I replied, handing them over to her, then both of us disembarked as well.

The Blazer's front wheels were wedged into a sort of crevasse in the pavement, which might have been small when Milo began to drive across it, but the weight of the vehicle had caused it to widen, and the road had partially collapsed on the far side of the rift. Fortunately, Milo had been driving only about 2-3 MPH, or the result could have been much nastier.

The four of us gathered around the front of the vehicle to assess the situation. Finally, I said, "Milo, if you put it in reverse and the rest of us push, I think you can get out of there."

"It's worth a try," said Miranda.

Milo got back behind the wheel, and the rest of us positioned ourselves to push. The sun was approaching its zenith, and the metal of the car body was stinging hot. Milo switched on the engine, and we felt the transmission engage, so the three of us pushed for all we were worth. We got nowhere. Milo backed off on the accelerator, then revved it up again. We all strained once more against the car body, and suddenly it was rolling back up onto the pavement.

The two women and I paused for a moment to catch our breath, then climbed back into the car. We were all sweating from the exertion, and the air conditioning was a tremendous relief. Hannah plucked at her tight burgundy top, and said, "Jeez, I'm soaking wet."

Miranda replied, "How many times have I heard you say that?" and snickered. I wondered if that was supposed to be a double-entendre, but no one offered to enlighten me.

Milo resumed his cautious journey along the quake-ravaged road, and Miranda passed out bottles of water from Benny's shed. She asked Milo, "How are we doing on gas?"

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