Saturday, October 12, 2013
Dear Jon - Chapter # 11
Hello all! My name is V.L. Locey. I am a self-published and traditionally published author that lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with my husband of over twenty-two years, my daughter who is seventeen, a herd of dairy goats, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, two dogs, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree. For more info and links about me and my work, check out the Bio tab up above.
Being a fan of music – and many other things - from the 40`s - I thought it would be keen to include the links to the songs mentioned in this story. Here`s Perry Como singing Long Ago and Far Away. Feel free to play them as you read for atmosphere or wait until you’re done.
The next day was Sunday. Nothing was doing as the good folks were off at church, praying to God to help cure the queers and dykes. Or, perhaps, they were praying for their own souls for once. Andrew and I had spent the morning eating a lazy breakfast then napping on and off. Well, I napped. Andy just pulled energy from that invisible well four year old boys seem to possess. The previous night had been another bad one for the kid. Darkness seemed to make him miss his mother worse, so we cuddled and cried and battled each other until dawn pinkened the sky.
Afternoon had crept up on us. I was sitting on the front porch having a smoke, looking like someone who had been up all night. Andy was playing in a mud puddle the deluge had left behind. The radio was on inside. Exhaling a lungful of fine Turkish, my bleary eyes widened when Ross Coleman pulled into the driveway. Seeing that blue truck made my blood pump a little faster, I won`t lie.
Andrew left his horse in the mud to run and greet Ross. I sat where I was, arms dangling over the knees of my home trousers. Ross exited his truck. He was in denim work pants, a short-sleeved button shirt of tan over a t-shirt, and loafers. His hair was windblown and his cheeks dark with whiskers.
“Skipped services today, Ross?” I asked as he walked up to me.
“Let`s just say the pastor and I don`t see eye to eye on a few key things. I have something for you,” he said. I couldn`t help but admire the way those denim`s cradled the weight of his crotch. I lifted my Pall Mall to my lips.
“How`d you know where to find me?” I asked, smiling at Andrew as he jumped back into the puddle he and his pine Trigger had found. Wind rustled through the willows, the tree`s sorrowful tendrils scratching our vehicles lightly. The winged terrors were busy in the creek pinching fish for sport probably.
“I asked Janice at the diner. Janice knows everything. She`s the switchboard operator during the day. So, do you want to see what I brought you?” he asked, folding his arms over his wide chest. Tossing what was left of my smoke to the yard, I stood up. Ross eyed me up and down. A shiver of delight tickled my spine when his eyes lingered on my mouth for a moment.
“I`m not asking for handouts, Ross,” I said, glancing at my nephew mucking it up. His play pants and shirt were sodden and crusted with mud. I`d have to send him to the creek to play with the geese before I could let him inside. It crossed my mind to wonder if Betty ever let him get so grimy. Shit. I also had laundry to do. It looked like I was going to have a date with the Maytag in the corner of the ratty kitchen first thing in the morning.
“It`s not a handout.” With that he turned and walked to the truck. I followed, hands in my pockets, eyes on the ground. Looking into the bed of his truck my eyes widened when I saw the easel lying on its side. “My sister used to dabble before her son came down with polio.”
“Sorry to hear that,” I said. Ross reached into the truck to pluck the easel out.
“So were we, but, it`s not like he`s the only one. I keep hoping they come up with a cure,” he said, easel resting on his shoulder. “In the passenger seat is a bunch of oil paints and a couple blank canvasses. The paint might be dried up, it`s been a few years since they`ve been used.”
“Thank you” I murmured. He smiled at me.
“It`s my pleasure. So, where do we want this set up?”
I led him inside after fetching the oils and canvasses, feeling a little shame at the condition of the bungalow. The screen door slammed closed behind us. Andrew could be heard in the front yard shouting directions to his soggy wooden steed.
“Over in the corner,” I said. Ross placed the easel by the window. I put the canvasses behind the sleeper sofa. The sun had shifted now but in the morning it would be perfect for painting. Ross turned to find me smelling a tube of light oxide red. I felt a blush rise to my face. “You think I`m some sort of hophead, don`t you?”
“Not at all,” he said with humor, “You should see what I do with sawdust.”
“Would you like some coffee?” I asked, placing the oils down on the radio stand.
“Yes, I would.”
I smiled then waved him into the tiny kitchen. Bustling around like a nervous housewife I filled the tarnished pot with water and scooped grinds into the basket. I lit the gas range to boil the water. The blue flame flared up wildly under the percolator before it calmed. Turning to face Ross, I found him chuckling at me.
“You`ve got red on your nose, Rudolph,” he said. I swiped at the tip of my nose, smearing the glob of paint over the back of my hand. That made the big man laugh even harder. “That didn`t help much,” he chuckled. “Let me,” he said, walking over to me while extracting a nicely folded handkerchief from his back pocket.
It was my pleasure to allow him to clean the paint from my face. It was also my pleasure to let him kiss me after our eyes met and held. My rump plastered to the back door, Ross held my chin in his handkerchief and tasted my lips. His tongue was insistent. I acquiesced with a sigh. He took. I gave. His fingers clutched my chin more tightly as the kiss deepened. The honk of a goose right behind me made me jump. Ross danced backwards. There we stood, both breathless, our hearts thundering in our chests, laughing nervously.
The coffee was perking along nicely. Andrew raced by outside, calling to George and Gracie. The noisy waterfowl followed the boy with flapping wings around the house.
“So, we have that out of the way now,” Ross said, rolling his dirty handkerchief in his rough hands. “What next?”
“Would you like to stay while I burn dinner?”
“I would like that a great deal,” Ross said, grey eyes igniting.