tagGroup SexThe Devil Comes Out at Night Pt. 01

The Devil Comes Out at Night Pt. 01


I never thought it would happen to me. You've heard that line before, plenty of times, spoken or written by otherwise good intentioned people who get swept up in something that shouldn't have happened. For example, the woman who finds herself, due to unforeseen circumstances, alone in a mountain cabin with three men. It's the kind of thing women dream about, I suppose, but I can only speak for myself when I admit that I've had that dream. Let's call it a fantasy. A crazy, never-gonna-happen circumstance that I've conjured up in my mind on occasion. The kind of fantasy that's fun because it's so far fetched you know it can never happen in real life. Not to you.

I'm a fifty year old married woman who's made a career out of being prim and proper. My husband and I are "child free," as we like to say. It's given me more time to get involved with our church, where I'm the secretary. I know everyone and everyone knows me. I wear plain-looking skirts that fall just below the knee, and tucked in blouses buttoned up high. I get a permanent in my hair every six weeks, just like my mother does, I use Aqua Net hairspray on my old fashioned hairdo, I wear chunky-heeled shoes no more than two inches high, my underwear looks like it time-traveled to me from a 1970 Sears catalog, and I drive a white Toyota Camry that's always clean inside and out. I tell you all this to try and make my case that I really am one of those "prim and proper", "otherwise good intentioned people." I'm as far from a slut as you can get. If you mentioned the name Margaret Norman and the word slut in the same sentence I have no doubt there'd be gales of laughter. There isn't a person in the world who would equate me with that kind of woman, except, now, I must admit, there are three men who might.

I never thought it would happen to me. I'm sorry for repeating that line, but, oh my gosh it's so true. I still don't understand how things went so wildly out of control. I'm intelligent enough to know that people have certain dark, unspeakable things in the back of their minds, things that are held in check, like those fantasies we spoke of earlier. But good people keep them there. Christian people keep them there. Happily married husbands and wives keep them there. Chaos reigns when those dark, unspeakable things escape and run free. That's what the Bible teaches us. I guess that night the four of us in the cabin all left our Bibles at home.

It was a lovely Saturday morning, blue sky and sunshine, with a little mugginess in the air. Jim Halvert had called me the night before, asking if we could leave extra early for the seminar he and I and two others from the church were going to attend. It promised to be a very businesslike and possibly boring seminar, all about church bookkeeping and finance. Jim is the church's bookkeeper. Our Minister, Reverend James, was going to attend, and his wife was going to join us, but he came down with a nasty stomach bug so the two of them stayed home and two of the church's elders took their place. It was all a bit of a last minute scramble. Jim told me about the two elders when he called to ask if we could leave early.

"Bob Smythe and Harvey Gantry are going to join us," he said. "Bob works finance at his company and Harvey's just a good set of ears."

"Oh, sure," I said. "Yes, that'll be fine. Why do you want to leave early? Is it a longer drive than I'm picturing?"

"No," Jim said. "It's supposed to be such a beautiful day I thought maybe we'd take some back roads and stop to take a short hike. Nothing strenuous, just an easy hike to a nice overlook with a big view of the lakes."

It sounded harmless enough, lovely really, so I agreed without hesitation. Jim said Bob and Harvey were already onboard with the idea.

The seminar was put on by a company that specializes in church management software. I thought right from the start that it was rather elaborate — a dinner, an overnight, and a full day of meetings at a nice hotel and conference center nestled in the Adirondack Mountains — but we had lots of questions about our new software and it seemed like a good way to get some answers.

The drive north was pleasant, me in the front with Jim, and Bob and Harvey in the back seat. We all had a nice chat about our families and church activities, and before we knew it Jim had guided us onto a back road, with sunlight flickering through the towering pine trees that scented the air. We passed a small lake that looked like it had leapt off of a perfect picture postcard, and a sign for PINE TREE MOTEL AND CABINS, the last little bit of civilization we saw until Jim pulled off the road and came to a stop in a rutted trailhead parking spot.

The trail was a delight, easily walked without much elevation change. I'd worn bluejeans, much to Bob's amusement, the first time any of the three men had seen me in such casual attire. I'd joked with my husband at home that I should wear a red plaid flannel shirt, but instead I wore a pale blue cotton blouse, tucked in of course, and white canvas sneakers on my feet. Bob smiled when he saw those and he kidded me, saying he had money on brown leather shoes. I told him I had brown leather shoes in my bag, I'd be wearing them for dinner that night and the seminar on Sunday. Bob wondered if I'd be wearing a skirt, stockings, "the whole works," as he put it. I remember blushing, but I don't know if he or Jim or Harvey noticed. It was embarrassment that I felt, embarrassment for being so predictable with my ultra-conservative appearance, embarrassment that an attractive man was talking about my stockings and whatever else "the whole works" was, embarrassment that I didn't have a good zinger of a comeback for him. He must have noticed my blush because he ended with something nice, saying he was just kidding and adding, very sincerely it seemed, "you always look lovely." Thinking back on things, the way I felt when he gave me that nice compliment should have been my first tiny clue that the day was heading in a new direction.

When we reached the overlook at the end of the trail I took pictures to show my husband. It really was a stunning view, not a huge panorama like you get from a mountaintop, but a seemingly endless vista out across the chain of lakes, greens and blues and sparkles on the water and fluffy white clouds in the sky. The kind of beautiful sight that makes you feel alive.

We all thanked Jim for the marvelous detour and started on the hike back to the car. That's when Harvey sprained his ankle. I watched it happen, twisted quickly on one of those ever-present tree roots that erosion has raised into a hazardous maze on the trail-bed. I'd been worrying about just such an outcome when it happened, four middle-aged adults pretending to be young, walking much too fast under the circumstances.

Harvey was in some pain, so Jim and Bob took turns being his crutch. We made very slow progress. The beautiful day was fading fast, and the trail seemed three times longer than it did when we hiked in. When we reached the car we realized it would soon be too late to make it to the conference center in time for the introductory dinner, so Jim put his car in gear and made what my father used to call a "jackrabbit start." The car bounced over a rut in the parking area and pirouetted out of control, coming to a stop with two wheels in a ditch alongside the road. We all got out and surveyed the situation. Jim and Bob pushed while I was behind the wheel. Bob and I pushed while Jim was behind the wheel. Harvey suggested using the car's jack to raise it up so we could wedge a branch or something under the tire to get some traction, but the whole bottom of the car was sitting on hard ground, beached like a whale. Everything we tried took time, and daylight was fading. Our last attempt with the jack ended badly, the front of the car falling off of it, landing hard on the rocky ground, bending part of the steering system. Phones were tried, but we were deep in the woods with no signal. We all decided PINE TREE MOTEL AND CABINS would be our savior. One of us could go and hope they had a car we could use to pick up the rest of us, or we could all go. Harvey said his ankle felt better, and it hadn't swollen the way a bad sprain can. We decided we'd all go.

The walk down that lonely, desolate road felt like a dream. That's how I remember it, anyway. Mysterious and quiet. For long stretches the only sound was our footsteps and our breathing. We were lucky twilight lasts so long in midsummer in the Adirondacks, although there came a time when the last dim light in the sky was disorienting, tricking our eyes, making the woods and the road even blacker than they were. It was after 10 PM when we arrived at the Pine Tree Motel. I was surprised to see so many cars parked in front of the long, old fashioned building. There was a light on in the office.

The nice woman who owned the place offered to call a tow truck, but the car needed to be fixed and we needed a place to stay. It was a midsummer weekend and she told us we were lucky she had one vacancy, a two bedroom cabin. The men graciously offered me a bedroom, saying they could make do with a double bed and the couch. The woman's husband drove Jim back to his car to get our luggage, and she led Bob and Harvey and me across the parking lot and down a twisting sandy driveway past tiny log cabins nestled under tall trees. There was one or two cars parked near each one, and lights on inside a few of the windows. The woman carried a flashlight and a lantern, lighting our way.

"Santanoni is our nicest cabin," I remember her saying. "Tucked away real private, with a real nice view of the lake you'll see in the morning. The nice family who rented it had a problem at home and can't be here 'till tomorrow afternoon. They spend a week with us every year." I asked her if there was a phone and she said no, just in the office, but cell phones can usually get a signal down by the lake. She pointed out the path with her flashlight. She brought us into the cabin and showed us around. It felt like a time capsule, dimly lit, with a rustic wood floor and a few well-worn rugs. The furniture was old and tired, there were dusty antlers on the wall, the round dining table was surrounded by tarnished chrome chairs with contact paper covering the cushions. "There's puzzles and some books if you like to read," I remember her saying. "Playing cards, a few board games. The old radio works, but it's just AM."

As she was showing us around, her husband's car pulled up outside, with Jim and our luggage. I was glad to have my overnight bag, it gave me a sense of security. Of course I didn't have the proper attire for sharing a cabin with three gentleman. No bathrobe, no full coverage pajamas. I was traveling light and had planned to sleep in my underpants and a t-shirt at the hotel, alone and private with my own bathroom.

The four of us walked down to the lake shore after the owners left, the trail lit by the flashlights in our phones. The cell signal was weak, but we were all able to have quiet conversations with our spouses, explaining the situation, promising to call again the next day when we knew more about the car.

Back in the cabin we all claimed our spaces, but the strange excitement of everything that had happened seemed to draw us together again on the couch and the two vinyl Lazyboy chairs. That's when Harvey reached into his bag and pulled out a full, unopened bottle of scotch. "I'm going to pretend it's medicine for my ankle," I remember him saying. "Anybody like to join me?"

I made fun of him for bringing a bottle to a church function, but all of us seemed ready for a few sips to calm our nerves after the unexpected evening. I'm not sure why, exactly, but I remember the conversation that flowed from that bottle, very clearly.

"I do like seeing a woman in bluejeans," Bob said, looking at me with his soft eyes after he'd gulped down a few big sips of warm scotch.

"Why Bob Smythe!" I said. "If you boys want to talk locker room I think I'll just go to bed. You'd better not talk about me when I'm not here, though."

"What's locker room about bluejeans?" he asked.

"It's not the jeans men like, it's what's in 'em," I said.

"That's true," he said. "It's just nature. Can't fight it, don't know why you women want to."

"That's what makes us civilized, Mr. Smythe," I said. "Doesn't your wife teach you that?"

"The last thing she wants is for me to be civilized," he said, winking at me.

"I'm not even going to ask what that means," I said.

Jim weighed in. "Blue jeans are fine, but pretty much any kind of pants look good on a woman."

"Jim!" I said. "Are you all ganging up on me because I wear skirts all the time?"

Harvey joined in on the topic. "You look good in everything, Margaret," he said.

"Thank you, Harvey. I know I dress conservatively. It's just my upbringing, I guess."

"The bluejeans surprised me, is all," Bob said. "I didn't expect you to walk out of the house looking so...different."

"Well..." I said, blushing, "...I do have a behind. Most women do. I didn't realize it would be a topic for conversation."

"That's the locker room for ya," he said, smiling. "Behinds are a popular topic in there."

He proceeded to pour more scotch into all of our glasses, my arm extending for a refill just like the others. I was happily letting myself slip into warm intoxication with three nice men in a lonely, quiet mountain cabin.

"This is nice," Jim said, "but I was looking forward to a swim in that fancy hotel pool."

"I know, that would have been nice," Harvey said.

"Did you bring your suit with you, Margaret?" Bob asked me.

"I did," I said. "The brochure made the pool look so nice. Like something in Las Vegas."

"Really? You were going to grace us with even more of your lovely self?" Bob said. "Now I'm really disappointed."

"Bob," I said, "does your wife know what a flirt you are? I never realized."

Bob winked at me. "You've never seen me away from that big Jesus window that looks down on us and keeps us proper."

"It is a bit imposing, isn't it," I said. "Especially on a sunny day. And you needn't be disappointed at not seeing me in my bathing suit. You can tell from these bluejeans I can't seem to stay on my diet."

"Nonsense," Bob said. "I'm mightily disappointed. There, I said it. How about you, Jim, Harvey."

"I shouldn't admit it," Jim said, "but yeah, pretty disappointed."

"That makes three of us," Harvey said.

I was quietly stunned by what was being said. I'm no looker. Fifty years old, with gravity ridden breasts, a too-big behind and a face and neck that seem to get lumpier by the day. I do still have shape, a waist that still goes in instead of out and legs that look good in the pantyhose I wear every day at the church office. My breasts may not ride as high as they used to but they're plenty big, if that's the main criteria with men. Maybe it is.

I took a too-big gulp of warm scotch. "What makes you think my bathing suit is any different than my work clothes? Maybe it's just as conservative."

"I'm not sure that's possible," Bob said.

"Well that's just mean," I said. "Do I really look that horrible at church?"

"Of course not," Bob said. "You always look lovely. But that's just the thing — lovely conservative women are the biggest teases. You keep so much hidden, it just makes us more curious. Men's brains just work that way."

"I'm beginning to learn," I said. "Do you all feel that way?"

"Yeah, Bob's got it right," Jim said. "It's the mystery that's so fascinating."

"Harvey? You too?"

"Yup. I'd have to say, if I'm being honest, you're one of the sexiest women in the congregation."

"Well that's just ridiculous," I said. "Now I know you fellas are pulling my leg."

"Hey," Bob said, "we're just telling you like it is. You wear those kind of clothes to avoid sexual thoughts, but really you just stimulate our imaginations."

I took another sip and felt the warm heat in my throat. "So what does that mean? Don't tell me every man who comes in my office is picturing me naked..."

"Don't women ultimately want that?" Bob said. "I mean, at a primitive, animalistic place, deep inside our brains? I know men do. We're just animals. The opposite sex brings out pure instinct."

"Ha!" I said, the smile on my face refusing to go away. "Are we? Just animals?"

"The best thing about being proper is being able to switch it off once in a while," Bob said. "It makes it that much more intensely exciting. My wife is that way. You know Jeana. A good wife, a good churchgoer, but she can cut loose, I'll tell ya. I won't give away her secrets, but they're...surprising."

"Bob! You shouldn't talk like that!"

"Well, some of it's common knowledge anyway. She likes nothing more than parading around in her bikini at our friend's camp, especially when it's a big cocktail party."

"Jeana does that?"

"Sure, there's nothing to it. Give it a try."

I had a pretty good idea of what Bob was asking for and I'm sure the look of surprise on my face was priceless. "You want...me to...wear my bathing suit? Now? Here?"

"It's just a thought. We could all wear 'em if you'd be more comfortable."

"No! That would be...less comfortable. "I'm just shocked you want to...see me...in mine."

"You brought it on yourself, hiding yourself year after year. You've piqued our curiosity."

I looked at Jim and Harvey. "All of you? You're really that curious?"

"Sounds nice to me," Jim said.

"I'd never say no to a woman who wanted to wear less clothing," Harvey said.

I took another big sip. "I haven't had any scotch since I was in college. I'm starting to remember why." I set my glass down and stood up, feeling the full hit of what I'd drunk for the first time. "Whoa!" I said. "That's good stuff!"

I walked quietly into my bedroom, closed the door, stripped off my clothes and put on my bathing suit. I remember thinking about how crazy it was to be doing it, but I did it anyway. I wanted those three men to see me in it, the real me, the not-all-buttoned-up me. It wasn't like it was a risqué bikini, I didn't even own one of those. It was a one piece, somewhat old fashioned, 50s style I guess you could say. My husband likes it because Marilyn Monroe wore one similar to it. It's white, with a shallow V neck and wide straps on the shoulders. It's a traditional cut on the bottom, meaning not too high on the hip, and on the front there's a hint of a skirt, with just a bit of the covering of my most private area peaking out, like white panties showing under a much too short white skirt. Describing it that way makes it sound quite risqué, but it's actually conservative by today's standards.

"I'm not staying," I said when I floated out of my room on a cloud of warm feelings from the scotch. "Just a fashion show and then I'm going to bed."

"Va va va voom!" Bob said. "That's what I'm talkin' about! I always knew there was a hottie hiding under those church clothes!"

"Get out!" I said, blushing, standing there for their admiration like a school girl. "It's just a bathing suit."

"Stunning, my dear," Bob said. He handed me my glass, already refilled with golden liquid. "What's the verdict?" he asked the others.

"Absolutely," Jim said. "Stunning is the perfect word."

"Agreed," Harvey said. "This dreary cabin just got a whole lot brighter."

"I've always thought you had an old fashioned look about you, and that suit really nails it," Bob said. "Just like a pin-up girl."

I was sitting on the couch again, something I'd thought I wouldn't do. The glass was warm in my hand. I took a sip to calm my nerves. I was trying to make sense of one of the handsomest men in the congregation saying I reminded him of a pin-up girl.

"I still think we should join you," he said, "so your lovely legs aren't so lonely out there by themselves.

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