Friday, 12 July 2013

Two Boys One Wagon One Secret PART 2

Another time Chops says,

“You like Mary Jane Baker, don’t you?”

The quiet across the road causes Beans to look back at Chops who has stopped walking. His face is so red you can’t see his freckles. He’s so angry he’s sputtering,

“D-d-d-don’t say that again. It’s not true.”

Beans starts laughing realizing it is true from the reaction and continues ambling through the ditch singing.

“Phil and Mary Jane up in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G...”

“And don’t call me Phil.”

Beans is not listening and scurries up onto the road. Waving to his partner ignoring his discomfort, he yells out,

“C’mon, let’s head into Mr. Harnett’s. He’ll be expecting us. If we hurry, we can still do the other way, at least down to the old gravel pit, there’s always some there.”

Chops has forgotten Mary Jane now and Beans is the only person that can use his real name besides his parents so he hurries to catch up as Beans heads into the bachelor’s lane.

“Yeah and there’s always some of those soggy rubbery things, at least one. Did you ask your Dad yet what it was?  Mine told me to forget about it, that I’d know soon enough, whatever that means.”

“No, but I asked my brother. They’re called condoms but Dave says everybody calls them rubbers.”

Chops has caught up with his friend as he ponders the new information trying to visualise a pair of boots that small. The lane they’re on is dirt and winds through a dense wooded area for about a couple hundred feet until it opens to huge fields on either side. The rich soil is green with new shoots of wheat perfectly aligned, running parallel to the road on one side while the other field grows wild with grass, purple clover, white daisies, yellow buttercups, legumes and other herbaceous plants that will eventually become fodder. The ground is still damp from yesterday’s rain, the bouquet of worked earth permeates the air causing the boys to stop more than once to breathe deeply and comment on how good it smells.

 The road eventually splits in two. The lane to the right narrows as it continues for 500 feet ending at a farmhouse. Two stories with a verandah in the front, one story kitchen in the back. The yard is thoughtfully groomed but there are no flowers. Mr. Harnett lives alone. His sister and her husband live down the other road.

A large barn and two smaller out buildings are arranged strategically behind the house. The wooden shingles are weathered as grey as storm clouds, the doors are painted bright red. The property reflects the owner’s pride.  A brand new Chevy Apache sits beside the house facing them as they approach the house. The truck’s double headlights seem to stare at them. A tall bushy haired man is polishing the chrome bumper. Without turning around he says,

“I was wondering what you two rascals might be up to, you’re usually here before this.”

Wiping his hands on the cotton cloth, he stands to face the boys. Mr. Harnett towers above them and if not for his perpetual smile he might seem foreboding. Instead he’s a person happy with his lot. The three chat for a bit, the man teasing the boys, the boys curious and asking about the new truck. Mitchell soon sends them off to the front steps where he has placed this week’s empties.

“Goodness, your wagon is full, think you can fit some more in there?”

Chops is toting the returnables to the cart. Bean waves back saying,

“We’ll carry them if we have to. Thanks a lot Mr. Mitchell, you’re a swell guy.”

Mitchell grins as he watches the lads tuck some of the bottles in upside down between the others, Beans ending up carrying three as they head out the lane. Both boys gaze at him briefly as he gives them a wave returning to his polishing. Chops tugs on the wagon as they come up the slight rise that leads to the wooded area. When they are about twenty feet away from the edge of the woods, the sun that had been hiding behind a cloud bursts out and glints off something metallic at the edge of the field causing both boys to look up. They stop at where the hay field meets the woods. Tire tracks suggest a vehicle has driven across the culvert and through the uncut grasses. The field extends for a good distance, the land is tilted and slightly hilly, except for the antenna, the vehicle is hidden from their view. The ten year olds are filled with curiosity. Chops says,

“Those tracks weren’t there when we came in.”

Beans sets the bottles down beside the wagon.

“And we know it isn’t Mr. Mitchell.”

“Could be his brother-in-law.”

“Naw, his truck was at the house, I saw it across the way.”

Boys are given to wild imaginations, rumours are given more head when something mysterious enters their energetic minds. Chops is the reader, his thinking more creative.

“Suppose it could be whoever stole Jason Lawson’s horse?”

The fact that it would be the unlikeliest of hiding places did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm. Instead it fuels on the possibility of intrigue. Beans is the action one.

“We could go see.”

“I don’t know Beans, what if it is a thief or worse, thieves?”

“C’mon, we’ll just sneak along the woods and see. If it’s strangers we’ll come back and tell Mr. Mitchell, he’d want to know.”

“Okay, but you go ahead and be quiet.”

The wagon gets pulled closer to the tall spruce that borders the road. The boys enter the woods keeping the field on their immediate right. Watching where they step so as to be quiet, they get closer to the edge of the field. A womanly shriek stops them dead. It sounds like she’s in pain. It startles the two so keenly that Chops almost wets himself. He quickly turns around to head back but is stopped by a hiss.

“Wait! It sounds like a woman and she could be hurt.”

“I don’t care. I’m scared. Let’s go.”

“Don’t be a sissy.”

Beans moves forward slowly, Chops reluctantly following. Voices and groaning can soon be heard and they drop to their knees. Crawling towards the sound they come to the very farthest rim of the field. Forest thick with evergreens line the opposite side.
A white Pontiac is parked at the crux of the right angle of field and woods. The nose of the car faces them, both doors wide open. From below the passenger’s door, tangled in the long grass are four legs. The two feet pointing up have bright nails, something black and lacy hanging from the ankle they can see. The feet pointing down are shod with black shiny shoes, dress pants scrunched about the ankles, the toes digging in the dirt. The car rocks with the same rhythm as the thrusting of the heels. The boys cannot understand what is happening. So shocked at what they see, they are mesmerized by the moaning.

A piercing yell almost causes Beans and Chops hearts to stop scaring them so intensely. They hold their breath. They want to hug the earth they’re so frightened but are frozen by what they see. The car is heaving back and forth more rapidly. A man’s head appears in the windshield bent unbelievingly back, the eyes tightly shut, lips stretched into a grimace, spittle flying from its mouth as it exclaims, “Yes baby, yes baby, yes baby…”

Suddenly everything stops, the head disappears, the feet stop moving, the car settles down. They boys stare at each other with total disbelief.  The two innocents have yet to experience an orgasm and for the life of them cannot fathom what they have just seen. There is mumbling coming from the car, nothing they can discern.  Chops stares at Beans now, wondering what they should do.  A womanly voice urges softly but commanding, “Okay, get off me now.”

The lads are stunned when they see the man stand up before bending down to retrieve his trousers. It’s Horatio Glendenning, their school teacher. A young lady sits up in the car tugging at the black fabric at her ankle, placing the other foot gently through.
Standing behind the man the woman wiggles the tight panties into place. When she moves aside to straighten out her dress her face is in full view.  It isn’t Mrs. Glendenning. They don’t know who it is. Chops is interrupted by a soft blow to his shoulder. Beans begins to creep away.

“Let’s get the dickens outta here.”

They are almost running when they get to the wagon. Beans tosses the three empties he’d been carrying into the ditch.

“We’ll get those next week.”

Standing behind the wagon he gestures for Chops to start pulling while he pushes. The boys are soon scooting down the wooded lane. Veering to the left the two head directly home, ignoring whatever empties might be had along the rest of the way. There are too many questions.  Their innocence can’t explain why the woman had to put her underwear back on or why the car was shaking, or why the man was repeating himself. They deduce that their teacher was punishing the woman for something.

The conversation drifts when they turn into Beans driveway heading for the garage. Unloading the wagon in silence, each boy is preoccupied with his own thoughts. Looking to Beans for the answers, Chops asks,

“What are we going to do?”

“Nothing right now. I’m going to talk to my brother Dave about this.”


 Even though he is only fifteen, Dave, like his brother and father, is big for his age. He made it a point to “run into” Mr. Glendenning at the Farmer’s Market one Saturday morning in July.  When the boys start back to school in the fall, they never fail an exam. Chops is the first one in his family to get an A+.
Next week join us when Cynthia Shannon, a freelance editor, does a guest blog on editing.

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