The Paul & Jenny Stories Pt. 17jbyPAUL C©
The Paul & Jenny Stories Pt. 17j: The Batting Order Ch. 10
Lynda tucked her blouse into the waistband of her jeans and cleared some beads of sweat from her brow with a finger that she wiped on her backside. We smiled at one another, she took a couple of deep breaths and I opened the door.
Paul's mother, Mary, stood on the far side of the bar with her hands on her hips.
"There you are." She stormed. "You were gone so long. What have you been doing?"
"I was just showing her around." I replied indignantly.
"We are getting very busy in the main marquee." Mary went on, ignoring my remark.
"I was just coming back." Lynda said, I could feel her fingers on the back of my thigh.
"Perhaps it would be best if Jenny came back with me for now." Mary said, heading towards the home team dressing room. "Keep watch while I use the loo."
There were some portable toilets in a corner of the field and some public toilets in the playing field next door but most of the women connected to the cricket team used the ones in the home dressing room.
Beyond the playing field was the village primary school. Paul had gone there. I hoped I would teach there one day. I wanted to live in Paul's grandfathers house and teach in that school.
I showed Lynda where everything was and explained the workings of the water heater to her. Being an archaeologist she should be at home with it. The water in the tea urn was bubbling and I explained that was free to the teams and their guests. I showed her the list of bar prices and said I would come back and change the beer barrel for her if she wanted me to. She huffed at that.
"I was working in a pub in Bristol, before." She started.
Before she had been taken to the old barn in the next valley tied up and gang raped. What a fool I was.
The tears welled in her eyes. She'd never cried about that before or about what had happened to her in Egypt. Not in my presence anyway. She was crying now. I held her tight. Ran my fingers through her hair and made soothing noises.
"What's wrong." Mary said from the changing room doorway.
"It was something I said." I blurted out.
I was crying.
"Brought back some memories." I continued.
Mary's face softened and she walked closer.
"I'm sorry." She said.
"It's alright, Mrs Wagstaffe." Lynda lifted her face from my hair. "It's silly of me. Three years ago now."
"It's not silly." Mary said placing her hand on Lynda's shoulder. "I think you were very brave at the time and now. Both of you."
It had been a while back. I had forgotten the pain from Tommy's prick as he had forced it into my anus. Then the humiliation of being made to kneel before them and push the handle of a broom up inside myself while Tommy and his cousin had laughed. Tommy's idea of revenge for our tying him up and forcing one up his ass as punishment for him raping Paul.
What a fortnight that had been. In Northern Ireland whilst on a Girl Guides camping trip I had lost my virginity to Paul. Paul had been raped by Tommy. Carole and Jo had been raped by Small. Then Paul had been mauled by a Black Panther. And to cap it all I had been forced to give blowjobs to the three members of the Rogers family.
They were all dead now. Small, the Rogers family and the panther. But we weren't. We were alive.
"Are you going to be all right?" I asked, holding Lynda at arm length and looking into her eyes.
"Yes." She sniffed. "I will be fine. I'll stay here."
I was doubtful but allowed Mary to take my arm and lead me around the boundary markers to the main marquee. The air was full of the sounds of mobile generators and the laughs and screams of the children as they dragged reluctant parents around the stalls. I noticed Ian's beer glass was empty and picked it up. He was waving to me so I held it up in what I hoped he would take as a guesture that I was going to re-fill it for him. I looked out across the cricket pitch to where Paul was standing.
Something inside me was turning somersaults. Now and again all I had to do was look at him and I fell in love again all over. I wanted him.
I looked at the scoreboard. Ten overs gone and they were sixty-two for one. I couldn't see us winning this game.
I couldn't see us winning this game. That Jerry was very good. Jim had taken Len and Harry off to save some overs for later and Tony and Arthur had replaced them as bowlers. They were both fairly accurate but neither was particularly fast. Jerry was enjoying himself.
Crack. Another ball dispatched to the boundary.
We needed to do something to get rid of Jerry. Another ball heading towards the boundary. This time it was intercepted by Ian. He stooped, picked it up and threw it in to Steve in one motion. The other batsman hadn't been expecting that and was ambling through for a run. The ball thudded into Steve's gloves and he whipped off the bails with the batsman still three yards away from safety.
Every team member joined in. The batsman didn't look to the umpire for his decision and started walking back towards the pavilion.
We all crowded around Steve and Ian. Thumping them on the backs and shaking their hands.
"Was that what you wanted?" Ian asked as we walked back towards our fielding positions.
He belched and I caught the smell of beer.
"It is." I confirmed. "That was great. Keep it up."
I could see Jenny. She was standing in the entrance to the marquee. She was holding a glass of beer in her hand.
"See you later." Ian said, heading in her direction.
I watched as he took the glass from Jenny and drink from it. He drank again and handed the empty glass back to her. She took it and turned away. I saw his hand rest for a second on her backside but she brushed it aside. Good for her. I turned back to the game.
Arthur was bowling to the new batsman. The ball was well pitched up and he drove it towards me. I fielded it and threw it in to Steve. Another run to them. That was good. It was the end of the over and it meant the Jerry wasn't facing the bowling. If we could keep the new man batting then we might be able to reduce their scoring rate.
I wonder what Jenny is doing.
I was given the task of making sandwiches and rolls for the team's break between innings. Shirley was making and selling cups of tea and cakes and sandwiches with Mary. Stephanie and her mother, Gillian, were working behind the makeshift bar that had been set up. The men were standing three deep at it while the women and children were taking their cups of teas and cakes and sitting at the tables and chairs which had been set up along the boundary markers.
The far end of the marquee was full of flowers and vegetable produce on display. This was the annual flower show as well as the cricket match and the judging had taken place in the morning. I could see the red, green and blue cards that had been placed in front of the displays that had won this year.
Outside the marquee were the tents and stalls for the side shows. There was a rifle range, hoopla, roll a penny, catching plastic ducks with hooks, a coconut shy and others. I hoped Paul would get the chance to take me around them between innings.
David was standing at the bar talking to some men. Every now and then I caught him glancing in the direction of Shirley. She would occasionally glance in his direction but would quickly turn her head away if he were looking towards her.
I bet she had gone to visit him this morning. I didn't know whether I envied or pitied her. David was in his fifties. He was still a good-looking man and he had a fascinating history. He had told me parts about his adventures in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. He could have hardly been seventeen years old when he had gone with his parents and his Uncle Alistair to rescue their friend Rodrigo's parents. Reading between the lines, as he wasn't explicit, he had lost his virginity to a young girl who had been shot during their escape and had died in his arms during the voyage in the little fishing boat from Malaga to Gibraltar. Then he had joined the Army during the war and had worked with his father and uncle in one of the small, secretive departments set up by Churchill to fight the war on every level. He had spent a lot of time in the Bahamas and on other Caribbean islands and in Miami. After the war he had settled down in the accountants firm his father was a partner in and married Mary. One final recall to service during the Korean War had resulted in the death of Steve's father.
Strange that Steve's mother had never married again. She still lived in the small cottage they had shared. A lovely little place, just by the Old Catholic cemetery. Steve had moved out into a flat in Taunton a couple of years back. She must get lonely, living alone like that. She wasn't an old woman either. About forty-eight, Paul had said, just a year or two older than his mother. She couldn't have been man-less all this time, not if she had a tenth of the sex drive of her son. She needed investigating.
That girl Sally had wandered in as was looking disinterestedly at the exhibits on display. There was something about her I didn't like. She was attractive, I suppose. Her dress was short and hugged her body too tightly. Her breasts were a size too large. Or perhaps she was helped there by some careful corseting. She had a pretty face I suppose. Small and round but her nose turned up too much. Her lips were too full and her lipstick too pink. She looked cool. Even in the warmth of the marquee. I could feel a bead of sweat running down my spine. My anus needed scratching. She looked as if she had never scratched hers in her life.
I looked down at my pile of sandwiches and rolls. That should be enough for their tea. There was a burst of applause from outside. There had been plenty during the time I had spent making these sandwiches but this one was different.
A young boy of about seven or eight ran in and went up to a man standing at the bar.
"Dad. Dad." He exclaimed excitedly. "He's scored a hundred."
The man looked down.
"Who?" He asked.
"What's the score?" The man asked.
"One hundred a forty-two for four." The boy looked pleased with himself for remembering.
"How many overs left?" The man continued his interrogation.
"Ten." The boy blurted out breathlessly.
I think that had been the capacity of his memory so I was glad when his father didn't ask for more.
"I best get back to my stall." The man said, reaching through the crowd and placing his glass on the bar.
"This score will take some getting." Another man said loudly to David. "Is that son of yours in form?"
David's reply was lost in a sudden increase of noise from around the bar. Somebody had told a joke at the far end. It must have been good from the response it received.
"It's too hot in here for this milk." Mary said, suddenly appearing by my side. "Will you take them across to the pavilion and place them in the fridge for me, please Jenny."
"We have some in the cold trays behind the bar." She continued. "But these will go off before we get around to using them."
"Of course I will." I replied.
"Two of the ladies on the WI stall are going to give us a break on here before the inning ends. Hurry back and Shirley can help you take the food across."
She had everything planned it seemed.
There were eight pints of milk in the crate. They were heavier then they looked as I found out as I bent to lift them.
"Can you manage?" Shirley asked.
I was conscious that Sally was watching me so I threw my head back.
"Of course." I confirmed. "I'll be right back."
I stopped outside the marquee and rested the edge of the crate against my thighs.
"Do you want a hand with that?"
Sally was standing by my side, watching me.
"I'm going that way." She continued, placing her hand on one end of the crate.
"Thanks." I replied, resisting the temptation to turn her offer down. I still didn't like her.
I took hold of the other side of the crate and we walked around the outside of the boundary markers towards the pavilion. Suddenly a cry went up. Tony was writhing on the ground hold one of his knees. The players were crowding around him.
"What happened?" Sally asked me.
"He got in the way of the ball." The same lad I had seen in the tent said as he was passing us. "The big man hit it."
The players were waving their arms and calling to the far side of the ground. I saw the two members of St John Ambulance climb into their Ambulance and start it up. It drove slowly out to the middle of the pitch. A stretcher was brought out of the rear and many hands helped to lift Tony onto it. The Ambulance drove even more slowly from the pitch and some men opened wide the main gates from the field.
"Poor Tony." I observed.
"Yes." Sally replied.
We carried on in silence.
There were three local lads standing at the bar. It looked like they were trying to chat up Lynda but hadn't got anywhere. Their faces brightened as we walked in then darkened again as they recognised me.
"Hello lads." I said, taking the crate from Sally and moving behind the bar. "Sally wants you to put this in the fridge. She's scared it will go off."
"Hello Jenny." One of the lads said. "Who's your friend?"
"She's with the opposition." I replied.
"Hello love." Another of the lads called Larry had moved between us and the doorway and was eyeing Sally up and down.
"What do you want?" Sally snapped, taking a step towards where I was standing with Lynda.
The atmosphere in the room had suddenly changed. It was heavy, menacing. I looked at Lynda. I could tell she was sensing it as well. I took her hand in mine.
There was a sudden burst of applause from outside. The three lads looked at each other then at us.