THE SIDESHOW

Part One (Every Story Starts Somewhere)

by Zapped!

   I was in the local Blockbuster sometime ago, and came across a horror film titled “Side Sho” . . . It was one of those DVD’s that had good cover art and what sounded like a promising storyline. In the end, the movie totally sucked! However, it did manage to plant a seed for this next tale. The following story pays homage to that film, as well as Tourist Trap; Deliverance; and with a little bit of National Lampoon’s “Vacation” tossed in for good measure!   

Part one will set up the villainous characters, as well as reveal their location. It will also tell of how and why this sinister practice all began, so pay close attention!   

This is a backwoods tale of why it is sometimes best to keep your nose out of other folks' business. This is a horror story that is admittedly darker and far more sinister than my usual stuff. There are some hints of necrophilia in a few scenes, so if that bothers you - then don’t read it. If you’re looking for butterflies, puffy clouds and nice happy endings, then you better turn back now . . . It’s about to get fucking creepy.

[Since there are a lot of players in this tale, the author has kindly provided a Character Profile for them. Ed.]

 

How it all began . . .

   It was New Year’s Eve 1979, sometime around 11 at night, (as if anybody in this Podunk town were actually bothering to keep track). After readjusting the rabbit ears on his old black and white Zenith, Lester Grimly’s 6’2 frame sprawls out in his favorite easy chair. As he’s cracking open a fresh can of Schlitz, the man notices the glow of approaching headlights now spanning across the wall of his living room . . .

   “Living room” . . . now that’s a polite word. Out here in the backwoods of Georgia, the term might simply mean the one place in your mobile home where plastic sheeting covers most of the holes in the roof. Lester’s doublewide was no exception; with its broken and stained furniture, along with an unpleasant smell that reached well beyond the closed door . . . That offensive stench was a horrid combination of body odor, raw garbage and stale cigarettes . . .

   Lester eases up lazily from his dilapidated chair; its wooden frame creaks loudly in relief, as the fellow scuffs his blistered bare feet across the filthy wood floor. The man pokes his finger through a hole in his yellowed tank top and scratches an open sore, as someone outside begins to knock . . .

Bang-bang-bang . . .

   The towering man growls in his husky voice, “I’m coming,” before taking a heavy swig of his beer.

Bang-bang-bang . . .

   Lester shouts in a louder, much more agitated voice, “I said I wuz a comin' dammit!”

   The disturbed man yanks the wooden front door of his hovel wide open, with every intention of giving whoever it was a good piece of his mind! . . . That was until he saw the tan Stetson hat and the matching uniform . . .

   “Deputy Anderson? . . . What brings ya’ll out to this neck o' tha woods at such a hour?” asks the man with a surprised expression. “If I’m at home this late a night, ya’ll know we aint runnin' no shine.”

   “No sir, I’m not out here to run you in on liquor,” assures the deputy with a smile. The young man looks out into the light rain that was falling, before his expression turns serious. “Sheriff Connor needs you out there on Possum Holler Road. It looks like a bad one.”

   Lester digs some scraps of food out from between his yellowed teeth, before inquiring, “So what’s ole J.C. Connor got for me?”

   “Looks like a bunch a kids got drunk n' done lost it out in this rain. Someone found 'em wrapped around a big ole oak tree out yonder,” explained the deputy, before going on to advise, “Sheriff says ya’ll might want to bring 'yer new van, 'cause the hearse might not cut it this time.”

   Lester shows little concern as he continues to pick at his teeth. He finally manages to ask, “Did you tell my brother-in-law?”

   “Yeah, I done stopped by Wendell’s place just before comin' out here,” replies the deputy. “He’s gassin' up his tow truck right now.”

   Grimly lets out a deep sigh, before polishing off the last of his beer. (The dirty hillbilly tosses the empty can off into a pile of junk in his front yard, before belching beneath his breath in finality). Lester then looks out into the darkness with a sour expression, before he finally answers, “Well, I 'spose I’ll throw on some clothes and head on out in this rain then. You go on ahead and tell ole J.C. that I’ll be over in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.”

________________

   Possum Holler Road was only a ten minute drive away. However, even in this light rain, Lester Grimly chooses to take it slow and easy. That’s how folks operated down here in the south; slow or not at all. The man suddenly lets out a sinister chuckle as he thinks to himself;  . . . Besides, them kids aint gonna be goin’ nowhere!

   As the shiny black van crested a hill, the mortician could already make out the road flares in the distance. Their bright red glow cut through the darkness, only adding to the gloominess of the rain soaked roadway. A moment later, the van pulls up to the crash scene, where a young deputy motions with a flashlight to pull it over. Lester already has his window down, as he speaks out to the man in uniform . . .

   “Yeah . . . I’m Grimly. Sheriff Connor sent for me to . . . ,” Lester pauses in mid-sentence as soon as he recognizes that it’s his nephew, the rookie. “Oh hey there Ernest! … They got ya’ll workin' out here in the rain too, huh?”

   “Yes siree,” replies the deputy. “Sheriff told me it’s the best way to build up my experience.” Ernest then points to where two paramedics were standing beside a pair of discreetly-covered stretchers and advises, “Ya’ll go ahead and pull up along side that thar ambulance, Uncle Lester. From the looks of it, I’m fairly certain they won’t be takin' these folks to the hospital.”

   Lester pulled along side the idling ambulance and slams the column-shift into park, before proceeding to climb out. As the mortician did so, he noticed his brother-in-law; a true “backwoods” character by the name of Wendell Woods, arriving on the scene with his trusty tow truck.   . . . The mortician paused for a moment; as he watched the man appropriately nick named “Woody” turn a 180 in the middle of the road. The tow truck driver grinds through the gears lazily, before eventually finding reverse. As the tortured transmission makes the familiar whining noise of backing up, the deputy standing just beside the beast, carefully directs his papa’s rig toward the crumpled wreckage.

   Lester gives a friendly wave to his brother-in-law, before crossing the road. It was there that he found Sheriff Connor standing beside a drainage ditch and sizing up the carnage. Just beyond the portly sheriff were the twisted remains of what had been a metallic blue 67’ GTO. Two of the Pontiac’s double-stacked headlights still remained alight, in one last agonizing act of mechanized defiance. The familiar smell of raw gasoline and spilt antifreeze filled the rain-flecked air . . .

   “Looks like ya’ll got one helluva mess there, Sheriff,” observes Lester Grimly from just beside the man.

   Sheriff Connor nods his head in a bleak manner. “Yeah, she’s a pretty bad one Lester.”

The officer then points in the direction that the mortician had driven in from and explains, “Near as I can tell, they must have come flyin' over the crest of that humpy hill and caught too much air. The car started barrel-rolling a good fifty feet before it jumped this here ditch…Of course that big ole' oak stopped ‘em right quick.”

   Lester nods his head in understanding, before surmising, “Too much speed on a wet road, with one too many beers . . .”

   “Yep, I’m sure he was all liquored up; there’s beer cans all over the place and a broken bottle of vodka stuck right through the front seat,” reveals the sheriff, before he leads the man to the steaming remains of the vehicle.

   Lester looks through the mangled passenger side door, to see several firemen hunched over the opposite side of the car. The rescue workers were peeling back part of the vehicle’s roof with the Jaws of Life. Inside the wreckage was a rapidly-expiring young man that appeared to be of college age, at best. He was impaled through the chest by the steering wheel that protruded from the distorted dashboard just before him . . .

   “Christ, it smells like a damned brewery inside here,” observes the mortician.

   From just over Lester’s shoulder, the sheriff advises, “We found another guy in the ditch about twenty feet back, so he must have come out the windshield as it rolled . . .”

   The officer steps back across the ditch, before motioning to Lester to follow him over to the idling ambulance. There was one form that was already placed in a body bag, while the second was partially covered with a yellow and blue varsity jacket. The two paramedics stood beside the covered bodies in a calm, but professional manner.

   “This one definitely bought it,” said the sheriff, while giving one of the paramedics a nod to reveal the corpse. The medic pulled back the heavy coat to reveal the seriously damaged face of the male they had found lying in the road.

   Lester sizes the boy up and warns, “Impact distortion and road rash; he’s going to be a tough one to piece back together right there . . . Probably be a closed casket.”

   As the pair move on to the next stretcher, the medic unceremoniously recovers the male with his varsity jacket in the background . . .

   “Now this next one is a damned shame,” advises the sheriff, before pulling back the zipper of the body-bag. As he parts the heavy black plastic at the middle, the face of a young woman comes to view . . .

   “Goddamn J.C.!” exclaims the mortician, before leaning in for a closer look. “That there’s Leanne Fenton…” The female had shoulder length, dirty blonde hair, with a silky blue band that ran from ear to ear. Her face was quite attractive with soft, but defined features. She was wearing a yellow and blue cheerleading uniform and appeared to be in her late teens.

   The first paramedic states, “It’s weird, but we couldn’t find any substantial physical damage on the girl.”

   The second paramedic adds, “Near as we can tell, she must have died from internal injuries.”

   “Well whatever it was that killed her, it must have happened right quick,” suggests the sheriff. “Her eyes are still wide open . . .”

   Lester offers, “She almost looks like she could just jump right up and start shakin' her lil' ole pom-poms!” . . . The scruffy man continued to stare at the young woman with a look of reverie. He felt a certain sense of melancholy, in just the way that the emergency vehicles strobe lights reflected across her innocent face . . .

   Sheriff Connor zips the bag back up, sealing the poor girl into a world of final darkness once again. He then advises, “Their folks will have to come down to identify the bodies, so you might want to clean them up as soon as possible.”

   Lester lets out a tired sigh, before complaining, “Yesiree; I was all settled in fer the night too . . . Shit, I’ll be lucky if I get 'em all juiced up by noon tomarra.”

   “It’s a helluva way to start off a new decade,” observes the disappointed sheriff. As the portly man begins to walk back across the road, he turns to look back at the three bystanders and yells, “Oh and by the way; . . . Happy New Year, gentlemen.”

   The three lifted the two bodies up into the back of Lester Grimly’s van and after a few bumps and clanks; the steel legs of the stretchers finally collapse into place. (After awhile, the extricated driver would be placed beside his deceased peers). . . . Sometime later, the tired mortician walked slowly to the front door of his van, opened it, and then slumped back against the driver’s seat. (Lester remained in that position for quite a while, as he watched Wendell hook up the remains of the blue GTO). When the wreck was finally secured enough for the tow back home, Wendell approaches the black van and peers in through the driver’s window, hoping to get a glimpse of who was in the back . . .

   “Well, hey there Woody, how ya’ll doin'?” asks the mortician, before lighting up a cigarette.

   “What kind of goodies didja get tonight neighbor?” inquires the hillbilly, still looking nosily in the back.

   Lester looks around to make sure that nobody’s within ear shot, before revealing in his raspy lowered voice, “Two of 'em is males, but the third is a cute lil' blonde.”

   “Oh no shit,” whispers Wendell, before spitting a gob of tobacco at the ground. “Is she a looker?”

   Lester blows a smoke cloud off into the air before disclosing, “She got a real purdy face, but I won’t know the rest o' the details till I get 'er back to the shop!” . . . The creepy mortician takes a deep drag off his cigarette, before carelessly tossing it off into the road. In a hoarse, smoked filled voice he coughs out, “But I’ll tell you this; she’s wearin' one o' them cheerleadin' outfits, n' she’s lookin' awfully ripe!”

   “Hot damn Lester! . . . Let’s get it on!” urges the hillbilly, (while flashing his moldy green teeth).

   Lester fires up the van, but quickly warns, “Naw; they gots to come down n' identify the bodies first, but maybe I’ll let cha come down n' take a peek sometime after.”

   With that said, the mortician then pulls out into the roadway; leaving his brother-in-law standing there in the rain, with a big ole tobacco juice smile . . .

* * * * * *

Some alone time . . .

   Lester Grimly was in undertaker heaven. Sure he’d seen plenty of females come across his table over the years; some of them were even halfway attractive. But a gal like this was a certain rarity that only came around every so often, (especially in this southern hick town) . . . In fact; ole Lester considered a girl like this, just one of the guilty pleasures that came along with the business!

   Lester swallowed hard and began unzipping the body bag . . . (A drop of perspiration falls from the man’s chin to hit the plastic, making a noticeable “Thwip” sound). It wasn’t long before the beautiful female figure was revealed once again . . .

   “Hello there pretty lady,” the mortician said under his breath, (as if someone around might hear). “Sorry we had to meet under these here circumstances, but it’s a pleasure all the same.” Lester let his rough fingertips skim the curve of the girl’s cool cheek. Her pale skin was already ice-cold, but as soft and smooth as velvet. The attractive young female looked peaceful and relaxed, and apart from the non-blinking stare of her blue eyes, the corpse almost looked alive.

   As Lester removes a pair of earrings from the girl’s ears, he says, “By the way, Happy New Year my dear . . . for what it’s worth anyway. Now don’t cha worry, I’ll have y’all cleaned up in no-time.” . . . (The mortician turns to drop the earrings into a Dixie cup on his worktable, before reaching for his recently sharpened trauma shears).

   Lester swallowed hard as he parted his scissors. He began to cut away at Leanne’s sweater first; snipping in a straight line up the middle, until the blades arched up over her mountainous region. A moment later, he parted the halves of fuzzy material to find two cantaloupe-sized breasts that were cupped within a lacy red bra. The mortician gripped the melons within his hands, like an old man picking through the produce at a roadside fruit stand . . .

   “Humph,” grunts Lester with approval. “Very nice indeed.”

. . . The helpless blonde continued to stare up, unblinking, at the overhead examination light that probably would’ve blinded her under normal circumstances. With a far away look in her eyes, she remains unaffected by the creepy mortician’s advances . . .

   Lester unlaces the girl’s saddle shoes and pulls them off, before getting to work on her socks. A moment later, the mortician is in the middle of removing the cheerleader’s blue and yellow pleated skirt, when he stops as if to make a point . . .

   “You’ve managed to keep yourself in such excellent condition my dear, it’s such a shame to see that all go to waste . . . Let that be a lesson to ya‘ll: mortality is always jest around the corner.”

. . . The young blonde remained silent in repose.

   The undertaker pulled off the pleated skirt the rest of the way, folded it neatly and then placed it on his worktable for a souvenir. The man then ran his opened palms over the blonde’s feet; her little toes spring upward once his hands pass over them . . .

   Lester took his trusty shears in hand once again; three easy snips make short order of the teenager’s bra . . . As the elastic support straps release, her generous tits thrust forward, before wobbling off slightly to the side. The mortician peels the supportive garment away from her body with ease, to reveal a set of firm and ripe breasts; each one sporting a succulent nipple that pointed outward in their cool surroundings. Grimly soon finds himself lightly tracing each quarter-sized areola with a curious fingertip, as a deliciously evil smile spreads across the man’s face . . .

   The undertaker reaches for his trusty shears, and two more snips release a lacy red g-string below; the sexy undergarment is pulled from beneath the girl’s undercarriage and tossed to the floor. The perverted mortician then brushes his fingers across the springy blonde hairs on the girl’s mound, seeming to size it up. A moment later, the man spits on his middle finger before running it down through the female’s pink rubbery folds. He carefully presses his finger inside . . .

   “Mmm, nice n’ tight,” mumbles the man.

   Lester now licked at the salty perspiration that was running across his lips . . . Another drop of sweat rolls down his cheek and lands on the blonde’s flat stomach. The mortician couldn’t remember the last time that he’d been this turned on . . . He knew it would be difficult to inject this beautiful creature with formaldehyde and put her in the ground . . .

   “God dammit, she needs formaldehyde!” the mortician reminds himself beneath his breath . . . “It’s my job to preserve her!”

   Lester Grimly backs away from the girl and begins dragging his equipment over from where one of the previous young men had already been embalmed. With each return trip, the mortician would look over to the table where the cheerleader lay. Holy shit! . . . I’m having a hard time fighting off my urges with this one!

. . . One thing was for certain; the doors would remain locked and the shades would be drawn tight for the remainder of the embalming process!

* * * * * *

Unexpected guests

   It was around 10:30 pm, the following night, when Lester Grimly was startled by the chime of a ringing doorbell. The undertaker had been working into the afternoon hours, just preparing the victims of the tragic car crash from the night before. A waitress from the nearby diner had managed to stop by and drop off a “meal on the house” for the man’s efforts. Then around 2 pm, Lester even attempted a brief mid-afternoon nap right here in the funeral parlor. Unfortunately, he was awakened shortly after, by the prodding baton of Sheriff J.C. Connor! . . . (The officer had finally arrived with the parents of the deceased, to positively identify the bodies). . . . This was surely the most difficult part of the mourning process and a job that this mortician didn’t need to deal with. Lester was perfectly content with just restoring and preserving their loved-ones bodies.

…Well, at least for now anyway.

   Grimly tiredly rubs his bloodshot eyes. He couldn’t imagine who might be at the door of his little funeral home at this late an hour . . .

Apparently, Lester had completely forgotten about his previous invitation!

   The mortician unlatches the lock, twists the doorknob and pulls the door open. Wendell Woods and his son Ernest, were both patiently waiting on the other side . . .

   Lester greets the pair with, “Well hey there Woody… (Gives a nod)… Deputy Ernest. What the hell are you two rascals up to this evenin'?”

   “We was down at the traffic light tryin' to catch speeders, but daddy wuz gettin’ antsy,” reveals the deputy. “So we done drove over to the diner out on Route 12, fer some free entertainment.”

   “Oh yeah?” returns Lester, (while picking out some ear wax with his pinky finger). “Well did you find any?”

   “Oh hell yeah!” responds the older Woody, before spitting some chaw into his spittoon. “We was parked out front o' that thar diner, and little ole' Mary Coombs was cleanin' the plate glass winda' and them big ole titties was just a squishin' and a squashin' right on up against it!   . . . Man I tell you what; that redhead is a natural thing o' beauty!”

   “You know Woody, sometimes I wonder why it was that my only sister done married you,” pokes Lester in a rude fashion.

   “Well that’s cause 'yer paw held a shotgun to ma head, when he done found out I got her pregnant with Ernest right-char!” states Wendell rather matter-of-factly.

   Lester Grimly reminds, “Well if -n- he didn’t put a gun to 'yer head, then I surely would’ve!”

   Woody replies, “Oh I wouldn’t a doubted that fer a minute!”

   Lester decides to brag, “Well anyways, ole Holly Hallstrom stopped over around two, an done dropped off some pork-n-grits!”

   “Oh no shit!” replies Woody. “Now that Holly is a mighty fine woman. Ya’ll might better marry her off, before one o' these local boys gets hold of her.”

   “Yeah well, maybe someday,” replies Lester, (sounding rather unsure of himself).

   It was at that point that Deputy Ernest asked, “So how did ya’ll make out wit' those fool teenagers that done wrecked out on Possum Holler last night?”

   “Well, I done started on 'em at 2 in the mornin' an worked clear into the afternoon, but I somehow managed to piece 'em together the best I could,” assured Lester. The proud mortician then motions to the pair to follow him into the back. The trio walks through the darkened viewing area, before passing through another room containing empty caskets. But it was the room beyond that one, which the boy’s were hoping to see . . .

   The mortician opens the door to the embalming room and invites his anxious relatives inside. It was here, in the embalming room, that Lester Grimly did his finest work . . .

   You see: it wasn’t necessarily Lester’s choice to become an undertaker; his father actually groomed him into being one. “Grimly’s Funeral Parlor” had been a family owned business here in Hatchapee County for three generations now. If he himself ever had a son, then it was most likely that the boy would become a mortician as well. But regardless of how the man got into the line of work, Lester didn’t mind helping people cope with the loss of loved ones. The mortician himself once said, “Heck, if you really think about it; funerals is actually a service fer the livin' and not the dead.”

   The two rednecks surveyed the mess that was Lester Grimly’s embalming room. Various pans and instruments littered the nearby workbenches, while a stainless steel mortician’s table, with a gutter running along its outside edge, sat in center of the room. There was a sickly-sweet smell of sterility and embalming fluid in the air that most would find overpowering. But these good ole' boys didn’t mind; this wasn’t their first late-night visit to Grimly’s shop and it probably wouldn’t be the last . . .

   Lester pulls out a pack of smokes from within his shirt pocket and beats it against his palm. The undertaker lights up a cigarette, and then blows off a smoke cloud into the overhead lights. It wasn’t long after, that Woody asked the inevitable question . . .

   “So where’s our lil' princess at?”

   “She’s chillin' out in that thar cooler,” replies the undertaker. He then offers, “Would you two perverts care to take a look?”

   Woody urges, “Hell yeah boy, that’s what we all come over here fer!”

   From beside the hillbilly, his son Ernest reveals, “Ole' paw here been gnawin' at me all night to stop on by!”

   “Well alright then,” says the mortician, before he waves his guests over to the cooler area.

   Woody and his twenty-year-old son looked on excitedly, as the sealed chamber was opened and the steel tray was rolled out . . . (The elder of the two wiped some tobacco juice from his lips with the back of his hand, before smiling in anticipation).

   Directly beneath the men, was the plastic-shrouded body of a shapely young woman. Although covered, the girl’s features could be faintly seen through the translucent polyethylene material. Her lips were parted, as if she were letting out a last desperate gasp. The female’s torso was arched slightly upward, causing her naked breasts to press against the foggy plastic . . .

   Lester unzips the body bag; starting at the girl’s forehead and then slowly dragging it down to the tips of her pointed bare feet. The man then peels the two halves of plastic back, to reveal the girl in her entirety . . .

   The mortician had revealed a beautiful girl that appeared to be probably eighteen at best. The female’s skin was a pale blue, while her shoulder length hair was blonde and fanning out around her head. Her lifeless blue eyes were staring straight up at the ceiling. With the exception of some faint bruising here and there, the gal looked fairly normal and in fact; looked quite beautiful - if that was the proper word.

   “This is Leanne Fenton,” Lester began. “She was a senior at Brookfield High, and the daughter of Lucinda and Wilson Fenton . . . She was also a cheerleader for the Brookfield Beavers.”

   “She’s a beaver alright!” spouted Woody, with a little tobacco spittle actually landing on the poor girl. The redneck added, “A real stunner . . . and just look at them fine titties!”

   Lester admits, “Yes sir, they’re mighty fine indeed.”

   From just beside his father, Ernest stared at the poor girl as well. And of course, being a healthy white male, the deputy had also noticed her in a physical way:

…This Leanne girl was definitely pretty as a picture, even in repose, and I could easily imagine just how pretty she was in life. The girl had full and sensuous lips, along with these high cheekbones that flowed into a rounded chin. Her hair was a natural blonde shade that matched the light tangle of hairs on her pubic mound. Her breasts were these firm globes that still managed to hold their roundness, even though she was lying on her back. Although the pigmentation of her skin had turned bluish in color, her nipples held their rosy-hue and pointed outward at attention!

. . . Ernest swallows hard in his throat, as he feels a familiar stirring in his regulation pants. He then observes, “Well I gotta tell ye' Uncle Lester, ya’ll done a mighty fine job on 'er. She almost looks like she’s jest a sleepin' thar.”

   “Honestly Ernest, thar wasn’t a whole lot I had do to her,” confesses the mortician. “I went and done the gal’s makeup - not too much of course - but jest enough to accentuate her na'tral beauty. I done gave her full lips a reasonable shade of red lipstick. Then I rouged her nipples up to give em a lil' color, before applyin' the perfume to her body.”

. . . Ernest’s ears piqued at the mention of the rouged nipples!

   From just in front of the deputy, Woody looks up at the undertaker with an uncertain expression, as if to ask for his permission for something . . .

   Lester blows a smoke cloud off into the air, before looking back at his brother-in-law. With a crooked smile and a knowing look, the mortician says, “Well go on ahead, it’s not like she gonna jump up n' slap ya' or somethin'!”

   Wendell cracks a yellowish-brown smile and spit’s some more tobacco juice in his cup. He then tips his orange hunting cap and nods his head in appreciation before saying, “…Well I’m much obliged thar, Lester.”

. . . The redneck’s leathery paw starts at Leann’s abdomen and slowing glides up her toned stomach. Woody’s hand pauses beneath the rise of her breast to gently caress the skin there, before rising up over its generous swell to softly cup the bosom within his palm . . .

   “She sure is purdy for a dead girl,” admits Woody while continuing his own personal examination.

   “Pertiest dead girl I ever saw,” confirms Ernest from beside him. “Ya' know, it’s almost a shame ya’ll can’t keep her.”

   “Well, why couldn’t he?” asks Woody, now stopping his activities for the moment to make his point. “What if ya' stuffed and mounted her like a deer? . . . She’d make the sexiest trophy ya' ever did see!”

   “Naw, ya' can’t stuff a human,” says Ernest in disagreement.

. . . While Woody’s curious hand travels towards Leann’s pubic-region, the mortician across the table raises his left hand to his chin in thought. His idiot brother-in-law brought up a good point . . . What if I actually could keep her forever?

   It didn’t take long for the guests to notice Lester’s fingers drumming restlessly against the stainless steel table. Ernest was the first one to make a comment, “Uh-oh, looks like ole Uncle Lester’s got them rusty gears jest a turnin' in his head.”

   Woody looks up and concurs, “Yeah, that ole boy got that funny look in his eye again.”

   “Naw, 'yer paw done brought up a good point thar, Ernest; . . . why can’t I save her?” questions the mortician. “I suppose that if I come up with some special concoction, I could probably pull it off!”

________________

. . . And so from there it began. Through a series brainstorms and secret experiments, I honed my skills to eventually improve my craft. In the long run, this proved to be a good thing. . . . When the local textile mill shut down in the early nineties, what little business there was here in Shady Creek, soon faded away forever. Most of the population faded away too. Most of us folks that were left behind learned to fend fer ourselves. Hell, my family been doin' it fer generations!

   And as if we mountain folk weren’t portrayed as being creepy enough, the locals soon created their own ideas about what went on out here in the backwoods of Hatchapee County. Sure there were a few runaways and hookers that disappeared over the years, but they was just unruly types. Would anybody truly miss them? . . . Hell jest because I have a peculiar hobby, doesn’t mean that the rumors are completely true. Let them folks in town tell their urban legend stories; they still aint got no proof!

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

April 25th, 1992: Over Eleven Years Later

Small-town Blues . . .

   After a long hard week of working down at the lumber mill, Jimmy Ray Philips was ready to blow off some steam. The country boy had donned his best sleeveless flannel and “shit-kicker” boots, and was looking forward to some Friday night drinkin'. After somehow managing to avoid his old lady back at his trailer, (she had mistakenly dozed off while rocking their two year old to sleep), Jimmy stopped by the “Deep End Bar -n- Grille” out on Old Route 5. It was time to put his tolerance for beer and whiskey to the test . . .

   Here in Shady Creek, entertainment was hard to come by. It’s not that watching water evaporate is all that boring, but it’s pretty damn close. So “The Deep End” was the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night. It was your typical redneck bar; filled with drunken hicks that were either chasing young country pussy, or looking for a fight. There was a stuffed head of an impressively sized buck mounted just above the bar, while Lynyrd Skynyrd played from the jukebox in the corner. There was also a Confederate flag that hung proudly from another wall . . .

I told you, it was a redneck bar.

   Perusing the crowd, Jimmy could see that it was the typical Friday night regulars. He had just ordered his first beer, when he yelled to the bartender, “Hey thar C.J. How’s it goin’ tonight, ole buddy?”

   “It’s jest another Friday night fer me, brother,” replied the burly man. “Snuck out on the wife again, eh?”

   “Yeah, sometimes I need a break from the ole lady,” states the country boy, before asking, “Seen anything come in here tonight with potential?”

   As the bartender hands Jimmy his bottle of beer, he nods his head in the direction of the ladies room . . .

   Jimmy Ray whirls around in the crowd, to spot a young blonde that’s passing through the serving area of the bar. The woman wore a black T-shirt that was one size too small, and featured the iconic playboy “bunny ears” logo in white. (The gal had even tied a knot in the front, just to expose her toned tummy and deep belly button!) Hanging from her curvy hips were a pair of low-slung Levis that were faded just right. The woman’s dirty-blonde locks were parted in the middle and fell into tumbling waves around her shoulders. Her opened-toed sandals slapped on the concrete floor, while her full breasts slightly jiggled with the rhythm of her movements. She had the face of a pop star, and a body like “Daisy Duke”… (In other words; she was the kind of woman that every country boy longed for!)

   The redneck lets out a whistle in admiration and says, “Wooo~wee! . . . Do ya’ll got any fries to go along with that shake?”

   The woman turns her head with an annoyed look. She should have slapped the rude hick, but surprisingly flashes her pristine smile instead! . . . The gal stops in her tracks, shifts her weight to one leg and places her hands on her hips, as if she were experiencing a moment of recognition! With a note of curiosity now showing in her expression, the young blonde inquires, “Jimmy Ray?”

. . . That’s when the redneck finally recognized the woman . . . “Bobby Jo Simpson, is that really you?”

   “Well, well. I guess what they say is true; you send a boy off to fight a war and he’ll come back a man,” observes the female. “I’m glad to see that ya’ll finally made it home in one piece.”

   Jimmy reveals, “Shoot girl, I came back from Kuwait almost a year ago! . . . Where the hell you been hidin' at?”

   The girl replies, “Well, I just split up with my ex . . . Ya’ll remember Robbie Colburn?”

Jimmy: “The quarterback from Brookfield High?”

   “Yep, that’s him,” assures Bobby Jo. “Anyway, you know how jealous he always was, with other guys always checkin' me out. That control freak wouldn’t ever let me out of his sight, so ya’ll never would’ve seen me down here anyway.”

Jimmy: “Yeah, I actually forgot you were involved with that guy.”

Bobby Jo: “Well, it’s all over now; Robbie done threw me out.”

Jimmy: “He threw you out?”

“Yeah; I caught him cheatin', and he gave me the boot, so figure that one out!” complains the blonde. “Men . . .*Sigh* . . . Sooo, here I am back on the market again n' makin' the rounds.”

   Robbie always had a good eye, I’ll give him that much, reflects Jimmy to himself…But then again; he always was a jackass!

   In her perfect country-girl accent, Bobby Jo asks, “So handsome; do ya’ll jest stand around n' look good all night, or can ya' dance too?”


…That’s what I always admired about Bobby Jo; she was a country girl, with her country ways!
“Well I don’t know darlin', it’s been quite awhile since I cut a rug . . .”

   Bobby Jo tilts her pretty head off to the side and sexily rolls her eyes, before she assures, “Well, I’m fairly confident that I can get ya’ll back in the rhythm of things!”

   “Oh I’m pretty damned sure you could honey!” replies Jimmy Ray, before getting yanked in the direction of the dance floor. As the redneck follows behind his old high school girlfriend, he marvels at the sway of Bobby Jo’s hips and the way her Levis hug the curves of her ass . . .

________________

Four hours later . . .

   It had been a long night of drinking, dancing and catching-up for the two former classmates of Brookfield High. It was somewhere around last call, when Jimmy Ray popped the question, “So where do ya' plan to go from here?”

   “Oh I don’t know . . . I actually had to hitch a ride from some trucker just to get over here,” reveals Bobby Jo, before she brushes a lock of fallen straw-colored hair away from her eyes. Deep down, she was kind of hoping that this wouldn’t be the end of her night…

   Jimmy asks, “Well, do ya’ll need a ride home? . . . It wouldn’t hardly be any trouble.” (Secretly, the country boy wasn’t ready to go home to his nagging wife just yet either!)

   Bobby Jo plays with one of the buttons on the guy’s flannel shirt, before looking up at him with her big brown eyes. With a noted sweetness in her voice, the girl gets serious and reveals, “Look Jimmy Ray, I really like you. Why don’t we go somewhere for awhile and chat it up beneath the stars?”

Jimmy: “You mean like we did back in High School?”

Bobby Jo: “Yeah, come on . . . it’ll be fun!”

The country boy gratefully replies, “Now that’s the best idea I’ve heard all week!”

* * * * * *

Paradise by dashboard light?

   Out on Old Route 5, an F-150 4X4 turns off onto Possum Holler Road. As it picks up speed, the Ford’s big block engine rumbles through chambered exhaust pipes, its thunderous roar echoing throughout the surrounding woods. The pickup truck travels across the winding back roads, its headlights cutting through the darkness and leading the way to the intersection at Old Mill Road, where it cuts right.   …Just about a mile further down Old Mill, the Ford slows to pull off onto an old logging trail that’s hidden by thick overgrowth. Jimmy drives on through the knee-high weeds to find a clearing that was just perfect for privacy . . .

   In the passenger side seat, Bobby Jo looks out into the night with a mischievous smile. It appears that the twenty-four-year-old is sensing a bit of nostalgia:

. . . You know, it’s funny how every town has them. I’m talking about the Lovers’ Lanes, the deserted overlooks, the hidden street corners and all those other places that lovers go to have semi-public sex. As Jimmy is steering his truck into an old parking spot from our high school days, the memories are flooding over me. I remember the first time a boy put his eager lips to mine out here. I recall the feeling of loosing my virginity with another boyfriend, and the way he awkwardly pushed inside of me, at this very same spot. My skin is tingling in remembrance of such nostalgia; along with the anxious excitement of knowing I’m about to get suitably laid . . .

   Jimmy Ray finally kills the lights and turns off the engine. The sudden lack of mechanical noise is replaced by the sound of chirping crickets and belching frogs. The man stares out across the field before asking, “Well . . . here we are darlin' . . . So what did ya’ll want to talk about?”

   Bobby Jo didn’t bother to answer the guy. She simply leaned her body over the Hurst gearshift and pressed her willing lips to his; kissing him hard, and with a noted hunger.

   Jimmy’s question quickly dissolved into the sloppy sounds of their wet mouths working together . . . The redneck’s hands began exploring Bobby’s needy curves, but rather timidly. It almost seemed as if he hadn’t felt a woman in years . . .

   “When was the last time you had any?” asks the woman in curiosity.

   “It’s been awhile,” revealed the guy, rather sheepishly.

He lied.

. . . Jimmy Ray got it about once a week from his wife (if he was lucky) but he couldn’t very well tell Bobby Jo Simpson that, now could he? . . . I guess it’s a good thing I took my weddin' band off, before I went into the Deep End, eh? . . . Oh well, no harm no foul!

   Meanwhile, the young woman is thinking to herself,  Alright, it looks like it’s time to step up the pace! …Bobby Jo opens her door and urges, “Let’s go ahead n' get in the back, so we’re beneath the stars.”

. . . It wasn’t long after, that the couple was in the bed of the truck and getting in the groove. Jimmy Ray himself was even taken aback:

. . . There must have been something about gettin' it on beneath the stars, that really did it for Bobby. Maybe it was the calmness of the night and the subtle sounds of nature. Or maybe it was the simple foolishness of us repeatedly bumping our limbs against the bed of my truck!

   I had already taken off my pants, when Bobby took off her top and bra to show me her impressive tits. She asked if I liked her body and I confirmed that I did. In fact, I couldn’t help but lean in and grab hold of them, right then and there. Here I was kneading and sucking on this girl’s rack, right there beneath the moonlit Georgia sky. . . . Bobby let me suck them for a good long while too, before we stopped so she could pull off her jeans.

We laughed and giggled together, as if we were two teenagers in heat. Bobby Jo even managed to give me head for a bit, before lying back down and extending her nice legs out to their fullest length. She reached down and worked me inside her. (I didn’t have any protection, but we agreed beforehand, that I would pull out early).

   From beneath the hunk of a man above her, Bobby Jo was beginning to moan out loud. She was also trying to support the weight of her head within the palm of her hand, just to keep it from banging against the bed’s steel flooring! It was going to be a quick fuck; Bobby could tell just by the rapid speed of Jimmy’s thrusts. The lay wasn’t going to be anything special, and she probably wouldn’t cum, but it certainly felt good to have somebody working over her body again!

. . . Jimmy Ray was still pumping away between Bobby Jo’s thighs, when a ray of light suddenly scanned over their vulnerable position!

   Jimmy blurts out, “Oh shit! . . . I’m about to lose my wad, and it’s the fuckin' cops!”

   “The cops? . . . What the hell are they doing out here?” yells Bobby from beneath.

   “Shhh . . . Just stay calm, and don’t move!” warns the man in a lowered voice.

   “But I-”

   “SSSHHHH!” reminds Jimmy, (just as a funny expression begins to form upon his face!) . . . “I think he’ll - huh - pass on by, so - Uh - be perfectly - Unh - still . . . mmmMMM!”

. . . Jimmy Ray arches his back hard and his entire body tenses up . . . Blood filled veins suddenly form across his forehead, in the same way they lined his straining member below . . . The country boy quickly pulls his dick out of Bobby Jo’s steaming pussy, and just in time!

-Spwuuurt! …An unexpected stream of goo splashes across the girl’s beautifully flawless face!

-Spwuuurt! …Another line skims across her flat stomach to splatter across a magnificent breast!

- Spwuuurt! …Another load skids across her belly!

- Spwuuurt! …And then another!

. . . Bobby Jo let’s out a yelp in reaction, but Jimmy Ray quickly muffles her mouth with his hand. “SSSHHHH!”

   And so, that’s how the clandestine couple would remain; frozen in an awkward tableau and representing the missionary position! Their eyes were now locked in a fearful and continuous stare. It was at that very moment that Jimmy Ray realized just how truly beautiful this girl really was. Her big brown eyes, the mischievously furrowed eyebrow, that noticeable cleft in her chin that she was known for . . . Who could have known that Bobby Jo Simpson would be naked, right there in front of him, by the end of the night!

   The police car’s powerful spotlight continues to scan around the area where the lovers were parked. The beam of light illuminates the surrounding forest, causing tall eerie shadows to form behind the trees.

   Bobby Jo could feel the streaks of spunk now cooling on her body. One stream was dribbling down her neck, while another glob was pooling around her belly button. “What the hell is he doing?” she asked in terrified wonder.

   “He’s just fucking around with us,” surmises the male. “They’ll usually give a warning with the first pass.”

   After a few more tense minutes, the patrol car kills the spotlight, and slowly backs out of the trail. A second later, the car speeds off into the darkness . . .

   Jimmy finally straightens his aching back, before assuring, “Alright, it looks like he’s gone . . .”

   Bobby Jo let’s out a sigh of relief, before cracking up with laughter. “Oh my God! I think my frickin' heart skipped a beat every time that beam of light skimmed over our heads!”

   “Yeah, yeah . . . Lets just get the hell out of here before he decides to come back!” urges the man.

   “Wait, so that’s it?” questions the blonde with a frustrated look.

   The guy tosses an oily looking shop rag to the girl, to wipe her body off with. He then replies, “Yeah that’s it, what the hell were you expecting; breakfast in bed?”

   Bobby Jo gets a steamed look, as she begins wiping herself off. “Oh, so you think you can just use me like that?”

   “Jest hurry it up n' get 'yer clothes on, and then get in the damned truck,” yells the man, before warning, “I don’t want to have to remind you again!”

   Bobby Jo struggles to pull her jeans back on. She had barely clasped her bra together, when Jimmy started up his truck and shifted it into gear. “Wait! . . . (The truck lurches forward) . . . I said wait a minute, asshole!”

. . . The twenty-four-year-old blonde had barely climbed up into the 4X4’s cab, when the truck jerked into forward, and began rumbling through the overgrowth. The poor girl couldn’t understand what she said or did, to make Jimmy turn into such a jerk . . .

   “What the hell is your problem anyway?”

   “My problem?” replies the redneck, “How bout the fact that I almost got busted by the cops, out in the middle of a field?”

   “You almost got busted?” the woman probes. “How about the fact that we both could have gotten busted?”

Jimmy: “What the fuck do you have to worry about? …I’m the one that’s married here!”

Bobby Jo: “Married? . . . What the fuck? . . . You never told me you were married!”

Jimmy: “Well what did you expect me to do, tell you?”

Bobby Jo: “Oh my god, I can’t believe this shit! . . . You go to hell, Jimmy Ray!”

. . . The Ford truck suddenly breaks through the brush and turns back onto Old Mill Road. The growling 4X4 sends massive clumps of dirt tumbling across the roadway, as it drags a tangled mass of weeds behind it.

   Bobby Jo Simpson was steaming. He not only played my body, but he played with my heart as well . . . Christ; he played me period! . . . The twenty four year old couldn’t believe she let her guard down for just a moment. They had taken refuge in each other; made what could have been sweet love in the back of his truck . . . She had no one to blame, other than herself!

. . . Fuck that, this asshole knew what he was doing, the whole time! “Just drop me off right here,” requests the woman.

Jimmy: “What are you kidding?”

   “I said drop me off right here, dammit!” yelled the furious woman, before grabbing the stick shift herself and grinding the gears. A second later, she grabbed the steering wheel and yanked it to the right. The truck’s massive tires squeal, as it veers hard towards the shoulder of the road!

   Jimmy yells, “What the hell are you doing, you crazy bitch?” Before pushing the woman’s grappling hands away. The man finally gets pissed enough to steer the Ford off to the side of the road.

   “I’d rather walk the two miles back into town, than ride another ten feet with you!” reveals the woman. She gathers up her T-shirt, along with her open-toed sandals and purse, before jumping down from the interior of the truck.

   Jimmy pleas, “Come on now, don’t be foolish!”

   The angry woman yells back, “Fuck you Jimmy Ray!” . . . The blonde then begins beating at the truck with her heavy purse, simply out of spite!

   Jimmy slams the truck into gear, and tears off in a cloud of loose gravel and burning rubber; leaving Bobby Jo standing alone at the side of the road . . .

   The blonde pulls her shirt back over her body, and steps into her high-heeled sandals. By the time she was done, the truck had driven so far off, that she could no longer see its lights or hear its roaring engine. Once again, the poor woman was surrounded in the darkness by nothing more than the sound of chirping crickets . . .

   Bobby Jo was so pissed-off, that she actually was relieved that the truck had gone. However, one emotion was swiftly replaced by another . . .

   This sure is one lonely stretch of road, the girl thought to herself as she walked alone. She could have called her friend Carey; she would come to get her. But as everyone knew; there were more dead zones here in Hatchapee County than anywhere else in the state of Georgia . . .

   ‘Dead zone’ . . . Now there’s a good word for this shit-hole town, Bobby thought to herself. What am I still doing here anyway? . . . She had a girlfriend down in Florida; maybe she could head down there and room-up with her for a while. Maybe find a modeling job down there . . . People were always telling her that she looked like one anyway.

. . . But instead; here Bobby was . . . miles away from anywhere. She held little hope of finding another ride, even if she had the courage to accept one. But then again; the night sure was quiet out here!

   After awhile, Bobby started sobering up. The poor girl felt completely drained from the night’s unexpected activities. The purse she was carrying swayed awkwardly from side to side, regularly banging against her legs. . . . The surrounding woods seemed to draw in closer on either side of her, squeezing the road into a narrow path between thickets of darker trees. She was a country girl with no real fear of the night, but she thought she heard a whisper of wind, or the crack of a twig somewhere nearby. It seemed that the woods were awaking with her presence, and these strange stirrings made her walk along just a little bit faster . . .

   Bobby Jo had only walked another hundred yards or so, when she saw the lights. At first, the woman thought they were simply an illusion, and that she might be coming unglued! . . . And yet, there they were; twin beams of light approaching in the darkness.

The blonde’s heart skipped a beat, when it actually dawned on her that this could be the same deputy from before, now coming back to check up on them!

   The woman’s mind raced, now thinking up excuses as to why she would be out here in the first place. Then in a sudden moment of clarity, Bobby Jo considers, well hell - I’ll just use my feminine wiles!

   The headlights continued to twinkle through the trees, until the vehicle finally appeared in the straightaway ahead. The two rays of light eventually settle on the female that’s standing by the side of the road . . .

   Bobby Jo was blinded by the headlights at first, but as her eyes adjusted to the sudden brightness, she could tell that it wasn’t the police car. In fact, it appeared to be an older model black van that was all beat up . . .

   From up in the van’s front seat, the driver measures up the situation:

. . . I had headed on over to Old Mill Road, just after I got the call. They says there wuz some kids parked inna field out thar, over on old man Hubbard’s prop'ty. Ya' see; that’s how it is around these parts - us mountain folk look out for one 'nother.   . . . Anyways, it didn’t take all that long to find her out here, n' she looked purdy tired n' jest a wee-bit scared, when I spotted her standing thar by the roadside. I went on ahead n' waved at her to climb in . . .

   The woman opens the passenger side door and flashes her brilliant smile, before stating her case . . .

   “Please sir... I’m so sorry to be a bother, but I’d appreciate if you’d just help me out.”

   “Well what’s a purdy lil' thing like you, doin' out here at this hour?” asked the curious driver.

   “It’s sorta embarrassing, but some asshole dropped me off out here,” reveals the obviously frightened girl. “All I need is a ride back into town.”

   “Well that wasn’t a particularly nice thing for him to do to ya’ll, now was it?” considers the stranger. “I’ll be more than happy to give ya’ll a lift.”

   As the sexy blonde climbs aboard, the stranger sizes her up:

. . . Her slim body caught my eye along with that purdy face. I didn’t get all that good a look when she climbed in, but near as I could tell; she looked to be in her twenties. She had this golden blonde hair that was sorta like that thar movie star that done slept with Johnny Kennedy. I could see her firm tits just a strainin' at her lil' bunny shirt. …I bet she could be one o' them thar playboy bunnies too, if she went n' got herself outta this here town. Shit, even at my old age, I could feel my pecker jest a risin' in my pants while we was pullin' away

. . . There wuz no doubt in my mind, she wuz gonna make an excellent addition to my collection . . .

To be Continued with: A Few More Acquisitions


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