The Possibilities - Desire - A Collection of Short Stories (8 page)

BOOK: The Possibilities - Desire - A Collection of Short Stories
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There was no mad pounding like the
movies men seem to love so much, there was only this man above her, moving
agonizingly slowly with absolute control over his body, his eyes impassioned
and blazing with intense desire.  She wished that it would never
end.  When he had reached as far as he could possibly go, it was Pat who
became the wild one, shrieking and clawing in her pleasure as her hips writhed
and drew from him the fiery essence that scalded her inside.

She tucked her head in the hollow of
his throat and listened as their hearts pounded, his weight delicious and
welcome on her own body.  It had never been like this for her before, and
she had the dawning realization that it would never be this way again. 
What they had shared was a once in a lifetime experience, granted to very
few.  She sighed, more satisfied than she had ever been in her life, and
she traced his back lightly as she lay there, savoring the moment.

After they had recovered, Brian
shyly showed her, larger spring-fed pool where they could bathe, and they took
a great deal of pleasure in washing the swamp from each other’s bodies. 
Later, they moved their camp to the new hummock and set up the shelter, using
fresh ferns beneath the poncho.  Brian cut a new trench around the shelter
and they lay the sun fresh blanket atop it.

 

THE
FEAST

 

Brian managed to shoot a brace of
ducks for their dinner while Pat collected firewood for the night, and then
more for the signal fire should it be needed.  She occupied herself with
mindless chores as she savored the fantasy that was Brian.  When he
brought the ducks back and prepared them, she went to the big spring fed pool
and bathed again, using a sliver of a bar of scented soap she had found in the
suitcase she had abandoned at the old campsite.

While the ducks were roasting in
their foil wrappers, stuffed with the fruits, berries, and tubers Brian had
collected, they made love on top of the blanket they would sleep beneath that
night.  Brian was tender and called her name over and over as he slowly
built towards their mutual bliss.  At the final moment she felt her soul open
up in joy at the same time she felt the sadness.  It was not the same, it
would never
be
the same for them again. Both of them knew it.

The ducks were delicious, and Pat
was amazed at how Brian could wrangle such a gourmet meal from the beautiful
but desolate swamp.  They cleaned up their cooking mess and made the
campsite ready for night. There were no clouds and they remembered the flare
gun and flares in their watertight case, keeping it handy as they sat by the
campfire and spoke quietly about their lives.  When it was time for sleep,
Pat eased beneath the blanket, nude and ready.  Brian crawled in moments
later and she reached for him eagerly.

She was surprised when he stayed her
hand, and even more surprised when he cradled her head in the crook of his
strong arm and lay back on the waterproof bag they were again using as a
pillow.  “When this is all over,” he said in a strange voice, “you’ll go
back to your husband and your children and your life.  This will all be a
dream and I’ll be far away.”  He turned onto his side and gazed down into
her limpid eyes.  “I can’t tell you how much you mean to me, I don’t have
the words.  I
can
tell you this:  I won’t cheapen what
happened between us with ‘comfort’ sex.  What happened between us was
magic, something special I’ll never forget.”

He was silent for a long moment
before he spoke again.  “What we did is against everything I believe in,
what I stand for, and I should be ashamed of myself.  I’m not.  I’m a
grown man and I’m not ashamed of what I felt and what we shared, but I know
it’s not a forever thing.”

Pat didn’t know what to say, her
feelings huge and inexpressible.  He had said what needed to be
said.  Suddenly she was exhausted, by the efforts of the day, their
lovemaking, and the residual trauma of the crash.  She fought to stay
awake, but her eyes closed anyway and she fell asleep in the warm safety of
Brian’s arms.

On the fourth day they were packing
the duffel bag with the things they would need on their trek through the
swamp.  Brian had estimated their position as best he could on the map,
and had decided to head eastward.  There was a park service road marked
there that was the closest to their estimated position.  There had been
absolutely no air traffic over their area in four days.  It was more than
evident that the small crafts transponder had been damaged.

Brian had done his best with the
waterproof bag, lining it with plastic he pieced together with a half roll of
duct tape he had scavenged from the aircraft and then filling it with the sweet
spring water.  They stumbled and waded through dense thorny thickets, and
at one point they hit solid ground that was covered with kudzu. Brian said that
the kudzu was a good sign that they were approaching civilization.  He
explained that all Kudzu originated from five plants that were imported to New
Orleans by a botanist who intended it for use in stopping soil erosion. 
The stuff grew like wildfire and now stretched across the southeastern
U.S.  It was a nightmare to walk through.

 

NO
CONTACT

 

Towards the end of their second day
of walking that they heard the engine of a small plane puttering above and to
the east of them.  Excitedly, Brian removed the flare gun and one of the
five flares from the waterproof case and fired it into the air.  They waited
breathlessly for the plane to circle back around to them, but it never came.

“Did you see that flare Jake?” Don
Williams asked his buddy. They were flying a section of power line, checking to
see if the Kudzu abatement crew needed to come out.  The crap grew so fast
that they had to fly the line at least once a month.  Once it started on a
tower, kudzu could destroy the huge power transmission towers in literally no
time at all.

“No,” Jake said, ‘but you’d better
mark the GPS location, we’re running on fumes.  When you’ve entered it in
the flight log, get on the horn and see if you can find out if they’re looking
for anyone out here.  If nobody else is interested, we’ll come back and
check it ourselves.”  Don did as he was told.

“I can’t believe they didn’t see that,”
Pat moaned miserably.

“Where there’s one plane, there’ll
be another,” Brian said affably.  “Why don’t we settle here for the
night?  I saw some squirrel’s nests a little ways back and I can make us a
pretty good supper…you look bushed.”  Tiredly, Pat agreed and sat down
where she stood. Within an hour, Brian was back and cooking the squirrels in
the ragged pieces of tinfoil.

He looked up at the sky in mid-bite,
dropping his squirrel and racing to the flare gun.  Fumbling the case
open, he loaded a flare and fired it into the air before Pat even heard the
sound of the helicopter.   Within minutes, the Sheriff’s Department
helicopter was on the ground, and they were saved.

Pat was crying as she watched Brian
get in the patrol car for his ride to the airport. Their goodbyes were said,
and they had exchanged phone numbers and addresses, though they both knew the
information would never be used. She turned and walked back into the motel Paul
had booked for her…he and the boys were ecstatic that she had been found, and
they were on their way up from Jacksonville, where they had been waiting
anxiously for word of her since the day of her disappearance.  Her heart
was filled with gratitude and love for the special man in the funny green hat
and what they had shared together in the depths of the Okefenokee, but her life
was in front of her, and she would very soon be reunited with the man she truly
loved and the two small boys that were the most important things in her life.
She wadded up the paper with Brian’s name and address and tossed it into a
nearby wastebasket.  She wouldn’t contact him again, but she would never,
ever forget him.

 

SPANISH MOSS AND HONEYSUCKLE

CHANCE
MEETING

 

“I said
no!
” Gillian said to
the crude drunken biker with the massive arms and foul body odor, pushing him
away from her.  His huge paws had been rubbing on her body since she
arrived at the biker bar, and she was mad as hell.  No one made a move to
help her, they were afraid of him.  She knew she was in the wrong place at
the wrong time…but she had come here for a good reason.  Gillian knew that
she was dressed more than a little wild, but she was angry because the way she
was dressed didn’t give anyone the right to manhandle her.  True, she
accepted the fact that when she went to the biker bar dressed in low cut tight
jeans and a tee shirt cut just below her firm braless breasts she was going to
get a lot of attention.  She craved attention in the worst sort of way and
she accepted that some of the guys staring at her were not going to be the guys
she wanted to hang with…but looking was one thing and touching was something
else again.  She swung with her long strapped purse and connected with the
Neanderthal’s hard head.  Something inside it shattered with a tinkle of
broken glass, and she thought it might be her compact.

She had drawn a small trickle of
blood, and the bald Neanderthal touched the side of his head, drawing back his
hand with blood on it.  He grinned at her in a frightening way, and began
backing her into a dim corner.  Gillian was in deep shit, and she knew it.
She prepared to swing yet again when she noticed a sudden silence in the bar
behind her.  The Neanderthal licked his lips and his eyes shifted
nervously from her to the silence behind her.  There was a fierce flame in
his eyes, but it seemed to slowly flicker out.  Suddenly, Gillian was more
afraid of what was behind her than she was of the mean bastard in front of her.

Spinning quickly, she turned to see
what had silenced the bar and her mauler.  What she saw froze her in her
tracks.  He was tall, probably six-one in his stocking feet, and he wore
faded jeans, a black pocket tee shirt, and a worn leather bomber jacket. 
His feet were clad in a pair of Acme walking heel cowboy boots that were
scuffed and a little down at the heels.  He didn’t have the massive
muscles of the Neanderthal, his were long and ropy and just plain dangerous
looking.  Wavy black hair shone in the dim light of the bar, and a lock of
it fell over one eye or rather, the patch where an eye used to be. 
Apparently the stray lock didn’t bother him, because he made no effort to tuck
it back into place.  He had a square jaw with a day’s growth of stubble
still on it, a nice complexion, and dazzlingly white teeth that barely showed
through the tight grin on his face.

One piercing blue eye showed out
from under his thick black eyebrows, and he simply stood behind her, saying
nothing at all.  The silence extended, and there was no sound in the
bar.  Gillian noticed a small black metal insignia with white writing and
red trim pinned to the chest of the worn bomber jacket.  The white letters
spelled out ‘1
St
Ranger Bn’.  It was a scroll, and there was
something faintly familiar about it, she had seen it before. Then she noticed
the man’s unearthly stillness, she couldn’t even tell if he was breathing.

                            
   

Neanderthal was the first to break
the silence.  “Just havin’ a little fun here, Ranger,” he said nervously,
“I didn’t know she was your woman.”  Trying his best to maintain his
dignity, the scarred bald man stood erect and walked warily around the quiet
man and out into the parking lot.  It was still so quiet inside that
everyone could hear the sound of the old shovelhead Harley being kicked to life
and roaring away into the night. 
His woman?

The sound came back in the bar, and
everyone went on about their business.  The bartender popped the top on a
Corona beer and inserted a twist of lime in the neck, passing it to the quiet
man.  “Thanks buddy,” he said quietly, “that’s on the house” and then
moved off down the bar to serve another customer.  The quiet man, never
having said a word or even acknowledged anyone else’s existence, took his beer
and moved to an empty single table at the back of the bar.

Gillian grabbed the closest
waitress.  “Who the hell
is
that?” 

“I don’t know honey,” the pretty
waitress said, tugging at her blouse to make her cleavage stand out a little
more.  “The guys just call him Ranger, I’ve never heard anybody call him
anything else.  He spooked me at first, but he’s been coming in for nearly
a year now, always sits at the same table. Never says a word to anybody, never
bothers anybody.”

Gillian was confused.  “If he
never bothers anybody, why was everyone so afraid of him?  This whole
place got quiet as a graveyard when he came in.”

The waitress laughed, and Gillian
could tell there was a story coming by the way the waitress leaned against the
bar and put her tray down.  “The man that was messin’ with you?”  It
was a question so Gillian nodded her understanding.  “He’s Joel Truax and
he’s the meanest sonofabitch that ever come out of the swamps of Northwest
Florida.  He’ll fight at the drop of a hat and laugh while he’s doin’ it.
I guess it was the second or third time Ranger came in here, dressed just like
he is tonight.  We had an old drunk that used to hang around here, Mike
somethin’ I think his name was, and he was a Viet Nam veteran who only had one
leg. Joel was slapping old Mike around and making fun of his missing leg. 
Mike couldn’t take care of himself anymore, too old and too drunk to care I
guess, and everybody here is scared shitless of Joel Truax.  Anyway,” she
said, pausing for a breath before rattling on, “Ranger come in the door and
stepped between Mike and Joel.  Joel bellowed and rushed him, and I swear
to God, I saw it myself and I still don’t know what Ranger did, but Joel was on
the floor and there were some serious dents and scars scattered about his face
and shoulders to add to his collection.  Ranger never said a word, just
picked old Mike up and took him outside.  I talked to a bunch of people
that were here that night, and not one damned one of ‘em could tell me how
Ranger done it.  Ever since, Joel Truax keeps his distance from the man.”
Gillian thanked the girl and gave her a five dollar tip for her time, and then
ordered a Corona, with a twist of lime in the neck.

BOOK: The Possibilities - Desire - A Collection of Short Stories
13.09Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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