tagChain StoriesTales from Snippettsville Issue 10

Tales from Snippettsville Issue 10

bySnippettsville Group©

Hello, and welcome to the tenth 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 10
Grease Monkey by Seattle Zack
I Get My Looks From My Pa by Alex de Kok
Hometown Hotshot by Quasimodem
Every Town Needs A Roadhouse by PierceStreet

Banner, (c)Quasimodem, 2003
Header Picture, (c)Perdita, 2003
Footer Picture, (c)Perdita, 2003

Now read on...

* * * * *

Grease Monkey by Seattle Zack

Unable to keep still, Claire tapped her foot nervously. It was crazy to be here, but what choice did she have? It had arrived yesterday -- a photograph of them both in a passionate embrace, the neon motel sign and Carl’s Mustang clearly visible in the background. Block letters on the photo, simple and direct: “HANNAHS 3PM TOMORROW.”

She buried her face in her hands. Who could have found out? They had been so careful!

“Long time no see, Claire.” It was just Billy McClure from the Station. Filthy work coveralls, stinking of gasoline, grease caked under his nails. He eased onto the nearby stool.

She looked away, pretending to work on the crossword in front of her. “Take a hike, Billy. I’m meeting someone.”

“Claire Galveston now, huh? Big house up on Oak Hill? Must be nice.” He peered over her shoulder. “Word games? Don’t like words. I like pictures.”

Oh shit. Heart pounding, she froze, unable to speak. He took the pen from her hand and wrote on a napkin. “This is my pad. Just off Green Lake. You want the negatives, be there in an hour.”

“Billy? Please,” she whispered.

“Little Claire Lechner. Rich lawyer’s wife. Kinda old for you, ain’t he?” He lowered his voice. “Know what we used to call you in high school? Claire Lick-er.” He drew the word out with a lewd sneer.

Billy’s place was a dump -- appliances in the front yard, faded paint peeling from the siding. Shuddering, she knocked on the door. He had shed the coveralls but, alarmingly, was dressed only in boxer shorts. The main room was piled high with pizza boxes and beer cans. “Billy, what do you want?” She must be firm, resolute, take control of the situation.

He flopped down on the couch, insolently grinning. “I want you to suck me, Claire. Like you never would in high school.” Pulling his cock out of his shorts, he waved it back and forth.

Revulsion surged inside her. She shook her head.

“Way I reckon, don’t got much choice, Claire. Lawyer hubby gets them pictures of you and Carl, your ass is out of that fancy house in no time.” He snapped his fingers.

Claire closed her eyes. It was true; the prenuptial agreement was very specific about adultery. “You’ll give me the negatives?”

“That’s the deal.”

Queasily she knelt on the grubby carpet and took him in her mouth. She began moving her lips up and down his shaft, nearly gagging with disgust.

“Fuck, yeah … come-guzzlin’ slut … knew you was good at this.”

Desperately sucking harder, wanting it to be over, she fought the nausea welling inside her. Finally he groaned, spurting into her mouth, almost making her vomit. She ran to the sink.

“Wasn’t so bad, now, was it?” His eyes were half closed.

Frantically she rinsed her mouth, slurping the water straight from the tap. “Goddamnit, Billy, just give me the fucking negatives!”

He tossed a black strip on the coffee table. “Deal’s a deal.”

“Is this all of them?” she demanded.

“Nope. Got three more. Be here next week and I’ll give you the next one.” He smirked. “Oh, bring some money too. Say, a thousand bucks.”

She stared at him, furious, wanting to kill him -- his shit-eating grin, dick hanging out of his shorts. Without saying a word, she stomped to the door.

Billy picked up the TV remote. Perfect, just in time for SportsCenter. He laughed. It would be a pretty good month. And she didn’t know about the videotape yet. Hell, it might be a pretty good summer.

* * * * *

I Get My Looks From My Pa by Alex de Kok

The scar on my cheekbone from a bottle when I was fifteen, the broken nose from a headbutt when I tried to protect Mary from a beating. Why she'd never left him I didn't know, except that without any money she had nowhere to go.

After Pa broke my nose, I took off. I found work at first helping on a horse ranch near the Cimarron, then joined a logging crew on the coast. That was three years ago. I was nineteen now, knew more ways of dirty fighting than I had ever guessed existed, had money in my pocket and I had come home to keep the promise I made to Mary.

The Road House was quiet this early in the evening, only three or four customers. One of them my Pa, of course, drinking Mary's wages.

Mary came up to me as I moved to the bar. There was a fresh bruise on her cheek and my fists clenched. She moved nervously, mistaking my intent.

"What'll it be, mister?"

"Hi, Mary," I said gently. "I came back, just like I said I would."

Her eyes widened. "Alec?" she whispered, her hands clasped together. "Is it you?"

"It's me, Mary. Sorry I'm later than I planned."

She smiled tremulously. "You've grown, Alec."

I nodded, smiling. "Working in the lumber camps does that." I studied her, amazed that the life she led, and the senseless brutality of my father, had left so few marks on her. Pa had married her when Mary was just sixteen and I was ten, my own mother dead in a car crash, so that Mary was still only twenty-six. She had been good to me, and treated me as her own. It was thanks to Mary that my beatings from Pa hadn't been worse than they were. When I left I'd told her I'd come back to look after her one day. She'd smiled and said, 'do that', but I don't think she believed I ever would. Now I was back.

"Your Pa's in the corner," Mary said.

"I know. It's you I came to see. Are you ready to leave him, Mary? I've got a little ranch in Texas. It's not much at the moment, 'cos I was too busy putting a herd together, but there's a place for you there. If you want it."

"Leave?" she whispered, her eyes enormous. "I ..." She hesitated, then I could see the determination. "Now?"


She nodded, took off her apron and came around the bar to me. "Let's go."

We were half way to the door when I heard Pa's voice. "Where the fuck do you think you're goin'?"

Mary turned. "I'm leaving you, Jake. You've hit me once too often."

"You'll do no such thing! With this punk?" he sneered.

"Hi, Pa."

His jaw dropped, then rage spread over his face and he swung. I used to think he was a good fighter, but that was before I learned how. I stepped inside his swing, sank a fist into his gut, broke his nose with a head butt and hit him again so hard that he skidded when he landed. He was out. There was quiet satisfaction in me, but not the pleasure I'd anticipated.

Mary took my arm and we went to the door. Tom Holt, the police chief, was standing just inside the door, his face expressionless.

"Going to arrest me, Tom?"

He looked over my shoulder, then at me. "For littering?" he said, fighting a grin. "No. Just don't do it again, Alec. Okay?" He moved aside.

* * * * *

Hometown Hotshot by Quasimodem

A local lad grew to become a strapping, handsome man. Maybe he tended toward sarcastic repartee and cruel humour, but that was just his way. All Snippettsville loved Jack Portner, the banker’s only son.

“Jack?” the girl called, with suppressed laughter. “Were you riding the bus?”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Jack Portner, travelling Greyhound?” the girl snickered.

“Ah! Things aren’t always what they seem?”

“You on a bus,” she returned. “Things certainly have changed.”

“As a matter of fact. . . .”

“Yes?” gamin eyes sparkled upward.

“Er . . . my car . . . broke down.”

“Poor baby!” she laughed. “I’ll take you home.”

“Not yet,” he returned, sharply.

“You must tell them you’re home early, Jack. Surely you’re through arguing with your father?”

“That’s not it,” Jack replied. “I’d like a little time . . . look the town over . . . see what’s changed.”

“You were only gone ten months,” the sprite scoffed. “not twenty years.”

“Look at me, Millie,” he commanded. “Haven’t I changed?”

Millie looked as requested.

“You’ve more colour, and you’re a bit untidy, but then, you just stepped off a bus. I can’t expect you to look the same as when you left.”


“Now, where are you going?”

“To check on Willott’s Creek.”

“That’s the other side of the tracks.”

“Afraid the boogeyman will get you?”

“You’re home,” Millie declared, hugging Jack’s arm, “I’m afraid of nothing.”


“Pretty, isn’t it, Millie?”

“I’ve never seen it before.”

“No, really?”

“I’m surprised you could find your way here.”

“You think I don’t know my own hometown?”

“This is what you once called ‘Snippettsville’s comfortless rustic hickery.’”

“Shh! I didn’t come to hear you kvetch.”

“I realize that!” Millie murmured. “You must be real horny, bringing me here to neck.”

Harsh laughter escaped the man, then the couple clasped their arms about each other.

The sun set, twilight deepened, and the stars shone forth, while the couple concentrated upon one another.

Indeed, the man hungered for Millie, but was vastly changed. Vanished was his immediate ravening demand. In its place, Millie felt a slow stoking of her ardour, until they both erupted into a conflagration.

“Oh, m . . . my . . . goodness!” Millie panted, regaining her breath. “It was never . . . you . . . have changed. . . .”

“I’m exactly the same,” he declared, drawing on his clothes. “What’s different is, I’m not Jack.”

“Not Jack?”


“Don’t be cruel, Jack.”

“Not Jack, Earl!” the man exclaimed. “Someone must have pointed out Snippettsville’s most disreputable Danvers.”

“But you. . . .”

“Look like Jack?” he sneered. “Certainly! That’s my worst offence.”

The man rose to his feet.

“It happens sometimes in towns like this. One boy looks like his father, the pillar of the community. Don’t much matter what the kid does, he’s a golden boy.”

The man spun, pointing across Willott's Creek.

“On the poor side, another kid looks similar, has similar skills, but doesn’t get on any sports teams, or win any scholarship. Nobody will even give him a job. Why? Because he looks too much like his father. It scares the good folks.

“Get up,” Earl commanded. “No doubt, Jack will be home tomorrow. You’ll forget about me. I only stopped to visit my mother’s grave.”


The next morning, Jack Portner arrived home in his red BMW. Townsfolk welcomed him like a conquering hero, except for Millie DuBois, who seemed distracted.

Still, Jack’s father was conciliatory. Jack was his old self, settling into the well-worn grooves of hometown life.

Millie DuBois shocked Snippettsville by leaving Jack at the altar. Later, they learned she’d married someone on the West Coast, named Danvers.

“Didn’t some Danvers live around here?” Snippettsville wondered.

“It’s a big world,” they finally decided.

* * * * *

Every Town Needs A Roadhouse by PierceStreet

Eighty-three year old Agnes Carlson was normally quick to vault from bed as soon as she started to awake. Even though widowed and having buried one child, a car accident, she was usually eager to start the day.

Today, she reveled in the waking moments, remembering a wonderful dream from the night. She’d been at the Road House, taking dancing lessons. That much was true; she had been at the Road House the previous evening.

The Road House is an important part of Snippettsville culture. “What a name,” thought Agnes each time she drove into its parking lot. “Sounds like a dive. Guess it is, later at night.”

By day, the Road House, three miles outside of town, was a restaurant for passing motorists. Dinner time it also attracted families from town. Early evening, the place filled with teens attracted by the video games while the banquet room was often used by groups such as Agnes’ dance club. After ten, the teens were booted out, and the bar spilled over into the restaurant. The lights were dimmed and some tables were moved aside for dancing. Weekends, there was a live band.

In the dream, Agnes danced with Stanton James. He had moved back to town after recently losing his wife.

She hadn’t seen him since he came back from the war. He’d stayed long enough to woo his wife, Doris, and then they left for a life in Seattle, where a war buddy had promised him a job. The job started him on a promising career, and he and Doris rarely returned home to visit Snippetsville.

In the dream, Stanton was tall and distinguished. He’d been such a frail looking boy back in the ‘40’s. Too frail to send to war, the girls thought. The girls of Snippettsville couldn’t fight in World War II, but they found a way to contribute. If the government’s draft board regarded an eighteen year old boy as able to fight as a man, and maybe die as a man, then the women of Snippettsville would make sure he left town as a man.

The night Agnes spread her legs for him in the back of his Dad’s Studebaker out at Green Lake, she thought she was his first. She didn’t find out until later that her friend Doris had beaten her to him, so it was Doris he wrote to during the war and returned to marry.

Agnes didn’t find reason to complain. She’d had a wonderful time with him, and there were more boys to make men after Stanton shipped out. One returned to marry her, but he had passed a few years back.

Last night, recalling the dream, Stanton was there at the dance. Agnes and Stanton danced comfortably together. Later, in the parking lot, she invited him for coffee. “Funny,” she thought, “how behavior that would have been scandalous and suggestive for a younger woman, is perceived as innocent when you are in your eighties.”

They made out on her couch like teenagers. Her hands reached down and found Stanton was still a virile man. Almost as if her touch ignited something desperately needy in him, an almost violent passion erupted that would have shocked a young observer, had there been one. Their first time was on the couch, followed by another later in bed.

Agnes realized her body was responding to the dream’s memory. “I’d better quit this,” she chided herself. “There is no sex in your life, hasn’t been in years, and will never be again,” she spoke to herself sternly.

Someone touched her back. “Darling, are you awake.”

* * * * *

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