Sunday, May 19, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Welcome back. If you are looking for "heat", I am afraid you might be disappointed this week, but I must go where the characters take me. Enjoy, and don't forget to check out the other flashers--links are at the bottom of the post.
This weeks prompts: "He's staying with..." or show one of your MC's as disappointed or use: pizza, frigid, date. Or: sex on a carousel or use a key party or use leftovers in an interesting way. Use a cardinal - either the bird or the cleric.
I stood there for a few seconds watching the jeep's dust trail, before whatever spell he had cast was broken. I looked down and realized I was standing in the middle of a wide open area, in God knows where Kentucky, on someone's private property in nothing but my birthday suit. My bike and clothes were over a hundred yards away across the quarry, and I heard the distinct sound of several ATV's somewhere in the distance. I quickly put aside my disappointment about the brevity of our encounter, and ran back into the water. The rocks felt like they would cut and bruise the bottoms of my feet until I was deep enough to lunge toward the other shore. The muscles in my legs and arms burned as I arrived back at my bike, and quickly put my clothes on. I never saw the riders of the ATV's, but I could tell they were closing in on the quarry as I started the bike and fled down the overgrown road I had come in on.
Within minutes, I was back on the winding main road travelling deeper into the Appalachians that rose higher and higher around me. The woods on both sides of the narrow two lane road were so thick, I wondered what other secrets might lie behind the overgrown brush. About two miles down the road, I noticed an old metal sign, riddled with bullet holes and barely hanging onto an old fence post. It pointed to the left, and in faded white paint announced, "Connors Gorge 5 Miles". The intersection was hidden by a sharp turn in the road, and was almost as overgrown as the old access road to the quarry.
I pulled my bike over and debated whether or not to venture down the gravel road or continue the way I had been heading this morning. Were the nervous flutterings in my stomach a warning, or a tug on the strings of attraction that had somehow attached themselves to this mysterious kid from Kentucky? What the hell, this was why I set forth on this cross country drive to begin with--something different, something unexpected.
I slowly made my way down the road. It had not been grated or seen new gravel in quite some time. A canopy of trees spread over it at times blocking out the sun entirely. I could smell the stream that cut through the mountain beside me before I saw it. The road curved sharply and began a steep descent down into a valley. The bluffs of the mountain rose up beside me, and I had to navigate large rocks that had fallen and been left in the road. When was the last time someone drove through here, I wondered. On my other side, the road suddenly fell off, and I could hear the rush of water below me. The temperature seemed to drop the further I descended into the valley.
It seemed I had travelled much further than five miles before the road finally leveled off. I could hear the sounds of water getting louder, and as I turned another sharp corner I discovered the source. What I had thought to be a creek appeared more like a river in front of me. Hints of peeling green paint speckled the rusted steel trusses of the old narrow bridge. I hesitated for a moment, questioning the stability of the weathered wooden slats that provided the decking of the bridge, but continued on. I had come too far to turn back now. The clattering and creaking of the bridge mixed with the roar of the rushing water below added to my anxiety, and I felt myself relax when I had reached the other side.
As I turned alongside the bluff on this side of the river and continued to follow the road down the side of the mountain, I could see the source of the water's roar. Twenty yards from the bridge, the water suddenly dropped off the side of the mountain. Through the trees, I could also make out what must be Connors Gorge speckling the valley below. I continued to descend the mountain, until finally the road leveled off again. This time, when I emerged from the dense woods, the town spread out before me.
It was like I had been transported back in time. The road, although gravel, was much more maintained as I travelled, what I assumed was Main Street, although there were no street signs of any kind. An old mill was the first building with a large water wheel scooping up buckets of water from the river beside it. As I drove by the small stick frame houses, with their faded clapboard siding, several women stepped out on their porches and watched as I drove by. A few children played outside, and they too stopped what they were doing and watched me pass by. Although I waved to them as I went, they simply stared as if they had not seen an outsider in years, if at all.
I quickly arrived in "downtown", feeling people's eyes on me at all times. Although I spotted a few four-wheelers around, I did not see any cars or trucks, other than what looked to be a 1950's model ford pick-up rusting behind one of the homes. The four buildings which made up the town were built right next to the road, with raised wooden decking serving as a sidewalk. The largest structure was about a hundred yards long and took up the entire left-hand side of the town. It was a rustic bsrn-like building on a concrete slab, and had a rusted metal roof. The sign that hung above the doors read "Connor Company Store". Directly across the street were two one-story buildings and a large two-story structure. As I read the faded paint on their own signs, I saw the smallest of the three was the post office. The larger building in the middle was the Connor Café. The two story building had a faded red cut out of the Kentucky state bird, hanging from a pole above the door, reading Cardinal Inn. It was at this third building, that I pulled my bike up to the wooden walkway, and went inside.
A rusty iron bell rang over my head as I closed the door behind me.
"You kids best get out uh here 'fore I get my gun," came a voice from the doorway behind the counter. I could hear the creak and scraping of chair legs on a wooden floor, and decided I should announce myself before I being greeted by the aforementioned gun.
"Hello," I called out as I walked up to the worn wooden counter.
The shuffling and scraping wood against wood became louder until a large man filled up the doorway. He must have been at least six foot seven, and four hundred pounds. He wore a threadbare pair of bib overalls and a stained white t-shirt. The left leg of the overalls was tied in a knot where his knee should have been, and he leaned on a home-made wooden crutch as he shuffled to the counter. He lay the crutch across the counter and lowered himself heavily upon the stool behind the counter.
"Who are you?" came the curt question from the massive man.
"My name is Dillon Michaels," I replied as I extended my hand, which he ignored.
"What do you want?"
I awkwardly withdrew my extended hand, "I was hoping you might have a room available."
He did not look at the line of dusty keys hanging on the metal hooks beside the counter, or the old composition book on the counter, that I assumed contained the names of past guests, but rather he reached over and flipped the pages on the calendar hanging on the wall. It still displayed March, although we were now in early June. After consulting the calendar, he announced, "I guess I got a room you can use for the night."
"I was hoping to go ahead and pay for a week."
He looks back at the calendar, "Two nights, then you gotta be out."
Why?" I questioned.
He looked confused by my question, and then shrugged, "Remodeling."
"Alright, two nights, I guess," I agree, although I didn’t believe him for a minute. That give me plenty of time to find Bane again.
He grabbed a key from the hooks on the side, and an old oil lamp from under the counter. I looked questioningly at the lamp.
"We ain’t got no electricity, if that's what you's expecting," he announced as he put a book of matches beside the lamp. "The room is the first one on the left at the top of the stairs. The outhouse is out back, and I can have Vera heat up some water later if you's expecting a hot bath."
"Uh, that's alright," I responded, trying to get over the shock and thinking about the swim in the quarry earlier.
"That'll be ten dollars cash, and make sure you get outta here before dark day after tomorrow. That road you came in on gets dangerous after dark.”
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Sorry I missed out last week, but I hope you enjoy the continuation of the story this week. Don't forget to check out the other Wednesday Briefs' flashers listed at the end of the entry.
This week's prompts: "An ounce of prevention is worth..." or use: cauliflower, pastor, enable or "When will I see you again?" or dress your characters in blue or "Count sheep? I'd rather count..." or "My ... is so sore.... (fill in the blanks)
My skin tightened as I slid into the water. I could still taste his salt upon my tongue from a few seconds before. As soon as his abdominal muscles had begun to contract and his knees weakened, I withdrew and dove into the water. He still stood upon the rocks above my head convulsing and splattering the rocks with his own wetness. I laid back in the water and slowly paddled away from him as he regained his composure and dove in after me. Within moments he surfaced in front of me.
"What about you?" he asked with a genuine desire and urgency in his soft baritone voice.
"I'm fine," I lied still feeling a heated desire despite the icy cold embrace of the quarries waters. Uncle Jamie had taught me to always stay in control of every situation. I would not let myself lose it, even in this instance when I so wanted to do exactly that.
"You're a strange one, Little Pup," he says as he splashes water in my direction.
"Why do you keep calling me that?"
"I don't know," he tells me with a tilt of his head. "It suits you for some reason, and I don't know your name."
"Bane." I announced. "Bane Connor"
"Blaine?" he questioned.
"No Bane, as in 'The bane of my existence'"
"There is a story there." he says.
"Maybe I will tell you if I our paths cross again someday," I quipped as I started swimming toward the shore where I had left my clothes.
"Don't you want to know my name?" He called as he swam after me.
I had arrived at the shore. I stepped gingerly from the water, careful not to cut my feet on any of the rocks. I slowly turned, once again taking pleasure at the look of lust in his eyes.
"I don't know," I told him, "Biker Guy will seem much more mysterious when I write it in my diary."
"It's Dillon," he announces as he slowly follows me out of the water.
"Damn, now you've ruined the mystery," I smiled to let him know I was joking. People tend to take me entirely too seriously. I slowly gathered my clothes and threw them into the back of the jeep. I couldn't help but laugh at the look of confusion that crossed his face. "I like to feel the wind and sun against my naked flesh as I drive home."
"You're not afraid of someone seeing you?"
"This is all my family’s land, and trust me, they have all seen me naked."
"When will I see you again?" he asked, looking suddenly vulnerable in his nakedness.
"I doubt you will," I announced, although something inside told me something was different about this encounter. A thought at the back of my head assured me this was not the last time Dillon and I would cross paths. "I am sure you are just passing through. People don't visit Connor's Gorge, and they definitely don't stay here."
"I don't know," he smiled, "if everyone is as hospitable as you, maybe I should check out your little town."
"Suit yourself," I told him as I climbed into the jeep, careful to keep a towel between my exposed skin and the hot seat. "You might want to get out of here, though, before any of my uncles or cousins decide to show up. They have a slightly different idea of hospitality."
I don't know if he took my warning seriously, because I could still his naked body in the rearview mirror as I drove away. There is definitely something different about this one.