Sorry for my little hiatus. The adventures of Bane and Dillon continue this week. Although this is somewhat of a transitional scene, I hope you enjoy. I also will seem to have taken a rather liberal interpretation of the prompts, but it will become clearer in the coming weeks. Don’t forget to check out the other Wednesday Brief’s Flashers at the bottom of the entry.
This week’s prompts: "If you wish upon a star" and the alternate prompts are: use pea soup in your story or have your character make some sort of comfort food or "When I'm away from you, I feel..." or use an overdue book fine at the library or "My .... is bigger than your ..." or "round and round the mulberry bush" or "She slid her thumb gently across my lips and I thought I'd melt" or have your character Google something.
After the large man took my ten dollars and gave me a hand written receipt and room key, I made my way up the old wooden steps. They sang their own song of creaks and groans, muffled by the worn carpet runner which ran down the middle. At the top of the steps, was a small landing which stretched out over the front desk below. I turned left, and saw a door set into the corner of the hallway at an angle. An old wooden number one was nailed to the middle of the paneled door.
I turned the key in the lock and opened the door. A blast of stale, musty air that hit me in the face. Dust swirled in the light streaming through the front window, and a layer of the same dust coated everything in the room. The queen size bed sat in the corner facing the door. A faded wilderness print stretched across the spread. I threw my saddle bag on the bed and opened the windows. One of the windows overlooked the general store across the dirt road I had ridden in on, and the other looked out at the remaining valley and hills beyond on the other side of the inn. Some of the staleness in the air was immediately swept out by the cool cross breeze that came in off the river running through the valley.
I plopped down on the bed. The mattress was unexpectedly comfortable, and had the feel of the old down mattresses my grandmother used to have in her home. A puff of dust flew up on either side of me, though, as the bed accepted my weight. I pulled my cell phone out of my bag, and although it still registered the time, which read 5:00, I realized there was no signal. I powered it down, not knowing when I would have an opportunity to charge it again. I got back up and pulled the dusty cover off the bed, rolling it up and setting in on the floor. The tan sheets below seemed much cleaner, and I laid on down, enjoying the fresh air steadily blowing in through the open windows.
* * *
I don't know how long I dozed, but I was suddenly jarred awake by a familiar sound. Although familiar, it seemed out of place in this quiet valley. I heard what could only be several large vehicles and a honking horn. I quickly sat up and looked out the window to see a school bus as it stopped in front of the general store. Four other busses pulled in behind it. They had apparently come in from the opposite direction I had traveled earlier. Some of the young children I had seen earlier came running down the street to meet the busses as they unloaded their passengers. Several men and boys, ranging from what appeared to be about 12 years old through mid-60s, came streaming from the five busses. Many still had wet hair, as if they had recently showered. A few went into the store across the street, but most of them split off in various directions. I assumed they were heading to the homes I had seen on my way into town.
I found a t-shirt and a pair of shorts in Uncle Jamie's dryer and put them on. I could smell the deer steaks Uncle Jamie pulled out of the refrigerator before I entered the kitchen. I could feel my salivary gland kick in as I made the turn into the room. Uncle Jamie looked up at me approvingly and then I saw the worried look in his eyes I had begun seeing more and more often lately. It left almost as soon as it came as he simply said, "That's much better. Now set the table for dinner while I get the steaks on the grill."
I did as I was told, put the salad on the table, and then followed him outside. Unlike the town, all of our family homes had all of the modern amenities, including gas and electricity, but Uncle Jamie still preferred to cook on what he called his grill outside. It was a large circle of stones he had set and mortared about eight feet in diameter and four feet high. He did not use charcoal, but rather wood from the woodpile he kept piled next to it. Chopping down trees and splitting the wood was one of the ways he and Uncle Kevin kept their muscled upper bodies. I had seen him roast an entire deer on his grill, but tonight it was just the three large steaks.
"Uncle Kevin's coming," I announced as I heard the four wheeler in the distance.
"Yes," Uncle Jamie said, giving me that look again, "I hear him."
We stood in silence for a few moments, concentrating on the sizzling meat upon the grill. Uncle Jamie flipped them once, and starting placing them on the platter just as Uncle Kevin came riding over the hill. Uncle Kevin is about ten years younger than Uncle Jamie. He is actually closer to my age than Uncle Jamie's. It would kill me if I ever thought he or Uncle Jamie had any idea how many times I had masturbated to fantasies about him over the past few years. I was about six when Uncle Jamie came back to the Gorge, and brought Uncle Kevin with him.
I had heard my dad and some of my uncles talk about Uncle Jamie, and how he had left the Gorge a few years before. They seemed glad he had left, and they were not happy when he came back. No one knew they were coming. I was sitting on the front porch of the big house when they arrived.
A truck, I had never seen before, pulled up in front of the house. A man, who looked a lot like my father got out of the driver’s side. He was at least half a foot taller than my dad's six feet, and had his red hair cut in a low flat top. He wore a bright blue tank top, and I wondered if his large muscled arms would fit in a shirt with sleeves. His large chest and tight stomach could easily be seen through the thin material of the shirt, and his cargo shorts revealed legs like tree trunks. His entire body and face was covered the same red hair.
The other man who got out of the truck was built similarly to the first, but stood about eight inches shorter and was leaner. His dark chocolate skin was the first I had ever seen, and his close-cut hair was the color of the coal in the mines. When he looked over to where I sat and smiled, I thought to myself I had never seen a smile so beautiful. His deep brown eyes seemed to smile right along with his mouth. The red head told him to stay at the truck and made his way toward the house. I was frozen to the steps, immediately infatuated with these beautiful strange men. The red-head patted my head as he made his way up the steps to the house.
"You must be Bane," he said, "I'm your Uncle Jamie."
My aunts took me and all of the cousins to Uncle Terry's house that evening, but three of us snuck out and went back to the big house to see what was going on. My dad, all of my uncles, Grandpa Connor, his brothers, and Great-Grandpa Connor were all in the big living room. We had to hide in the bushes about twenty feet from the house, but we could still hear them inside. It seemed like everyone was talking and yelling at once. Then I heard Great-Grandpa's voice above all the others as he almost growled at them to stop. Everything got very quiet. I don't know what happened next, but a few minutes later they all started coming out of the house.
My cousins and started running back to Uncle Terry's house, but the next thing I knew, someone grabbed the back of my shirt and yanked me up. It was my father. I immediately knew by the look in his eyes I was in trouble. They were almost tinted red with anger. He threw me to the ground and yelled at me to get my brothers and get home. I did as I was told, and slowly shuffled home to the big house, dreading what was to come. When I got there, Uncle Jamie and Kevin had moved into one of the extra rooms, and dad was nowhere around. Nothing else was ever said about that night. A few of my uncles and Grandpa helped Uncle Jamie and Kevin build their house, and they moved out of the big house after a few months.
* * *
Uncle Kevin pulled his four wheeler up to the house, shut it off, and jumped off. He met Uncle Jamie and I as we were about to go back inside the house with the deer steaks. He grabbed Uncle Jamie around the waist as Uncle Jamie handed me the platter and leaned down to kiss Kevin tenderly on the mouth.
"Those look great," Kevin said as he looked at the platter. "I'm starving."
"You're always starving," Uncle Jamie joked as we made our way inside.
We each sat in our usual places around the table as I put the steaks on each of our plates.
"It seems we have a visitor to the Gorge," Kevin announced.
"Really?" Uncle Jamie asked.
"When I was dropping the men off in town this evening, there was a motorcycle parked outside the inn, and a young man was watching us from one of the windows."
I tried to keep the look of surprised excitement off my face. I knew it had to be Dillon, the guy from the quarry this afternoon. It seemed I would see him again, after all.
Check out these other Wednesday Briefs' Flashers.
Julie Lynn Hayes