Thursday, October 18, 2018

Don Travis: Artist and Model

Don Travis: Artist and Model: dontravis.com blog post #307     Courtesy of Pixabay Judging from the number of page views last week, Mark Wildyr’s guest post of ...

Don Travis: Artist and Model

Don Travis: Artist and Model: dontravis.com blog post #307     Courtesy of Pixabay Judging from the number of page views last week, Mark Wildyr’s guest post of ...

Artist and Model


dontravis.com blog post #307
  
Courtesy of Pixabay
Judging from the number of page views last week, Mark Wildyr’s guest post of “Hem and Haw” was well received. And he’s right (I did a reciprocal guest blog on his website, which was posted today), I didn’t give my readers his web address. It’s markwildyr.com. There, are you happy now, Mark?

Today, we’ll take a look at a story that Mark may well have written, as it hovers on the titillating side. I hope you enjoy it.

*****
ARTIST AND MODEL
            JAMES CARSON HAMNER, ARTIST
          That was the sign affixed to his front door. He’d had to seriously restrain himself to avoid adding an e to the word Artist five years ago when he first put up the discrete plaque. That’s the way he felt… like an artiste. Of the four words on that sign, Artist was the one that defined him. Certainly, more than the three names precedent. Those were mere legal necessities for signing contracts and paying bills. Ordinary, mundane titles for ordinary, mundane tasks.
          James Carson Hamner’s home reinforced that conviction. The front door to the north valley adobe opened directly into his large studio and gallery… his living quarters lay somewhere beyond. Work of his own making hung on the whitewashed walls. In one corner near the north-facing windows, he’d rigged dark curtains at right angles as a place for his subjects to pose. He disdained still life, so these subjects were living, breathing individuals.
          He’d had some interesting characters sit or stand in that alcove over the years. Most of them assumed he was homosexual and acted accordingly, either refusing to remove their briefs or flagrantly displaying themselves. Arriving at the same assumption, the women—he preferred voluptuous forms—were more casual, ergo, more natural.
          James Carson Hamner smiled, recalling Roddy the football player and Vincent the swimmer and Grace the tennis player. Among the many, these three remained uppermost in his mind… for varying reasons. He nodded and spoke to himself. “You and your naked glory brought me an even five grand…each.” Immediately, he was contrite. He did this for the art, not for the money. Still, one had to eat… even an artiste.
         The bell drew him to the front door where he hesitated a moment, taking pleasure in anticipating what its opening would reveal. He engaged his models through ads in the Journal, Alibi, and other local publications and interviewed them by telephone. He made a game of measuring the mental images formed by the voice on the line with the person arriving on his doorstep. He was pleased that they were often a close match.
          With a tingle of anticipation, he opened the door to take the measure of his latest applicant. Physically, the youth standing there was charming. Dark skin, black hair, and the brown eyes of a frightened doe. Bold, yet halting all in the same breath. He held the name Darius, an appellation as exotic and enigmatic as its bearer.
          James Carson Hamner invited the man-child inside where he inspected the boy’s driver’s license twice to confirm the charming youth was, indeed, eighteen… the minimum age he accepted for his models. He never exposed himself to possible recriminations from the law.
          He quickly reviewed the financial arrangements with the would-be model and then spent fifteen minutes talking the beautiful Darius out of his clothing. Then they argued over the boy’s boxer shorts.
          “Dear boy, I advertised for nude models. I made that clear up front.”
         “I-I know,” Darius stammered in his beautiful baritone. “But I thought I could keep some clothes on.”
         Near the point of giving up and sending this local version of Adonis away, he snorted. “Nude means nude… naked… sans clothing. Are you ashamed of what you’re hiding?”
         The boy blushed. “No, but… it’s private.”
         James Curtis Hamner threw down the piece of charcoal he held in his left hand. “Do you want the job or not? If you do, shuck the shorts. If you don’t, get dressed and go away.”
         Clearly distressed, Darius frowned, rendering himself hauntingly human instead of merely lovely. “I guess so.”
         He almost laughed aloud when his model turned away to remove his shorts, revealing two smooth, tan orbs. The boy hesitated a long moment before turning around. Breathtaking. James bit his tongue to keep from commenting on the vision standing naked before him.
         He met the youth’s hooded eyes. Darius swallowed hard. “You… uh, I don’t….”
         James Carson Hamner almost broke out laughing. He put a note of banner into his voice. “Don’t worry. Your virginity is safe. I won’t attack without an invitation.”
         “W-what if someone comes in,” Darius sent his gaze toward the door.
         “It’s locked. Remember, you had to ring the bell to gain admission. And if someone rings, there’s a robe on the table for you to cover yourself. Ready now?”
         The boy, standing with his legs apart, his fingers curled loosely into fists, nodded.
         James spent an enjoyable five minutes arranging the fetching boy in a semi-reclining position on the black shrouded sofa. Of course, this necessitated laying hands on that delectable flesh, but he was careful to stay clear of the area that would panic the boy.
         Satisfied at last, James walked to his easel. “You don’t need to hold absolutely still but try not to move more than necessary. Give me notice before you have to really move. You know, sneeze or scratch or the like.”
         James Carson Hamner totally enjoyed himself as he skillfully sketched the boy’s outline on canvas with the charcoal. As he started filling in details, he noticed the boy—whose head was pointed in his general direction—followed his movements with his eyes. Abruptly he switched and began sketching the boy’s groin, certain Darius knew where he now concentrated. He was right. Darius’s right leg twitched. He caught the alarmed look on the youth’s face as he realized something else was happening.
         James stood enjoying the drama. Once Darius had lost the battle, the handsome youngster lay back on the sofa attempting to hang onto an aura of defiance. But his semi-erection belied his struggle.
         The artist put down his charcoal, carefully wiped his hands on a rag and approached the boy. He watched as the fright in the soulful brown eyes died, replaced by another expression. Curiosity? Desire?
         “Not without an invitation,” he murmured.

*****
So tell me what you think. Did the quivering Darius succumb to modesty or to desire? Was the invitation offered or not? Answer that in your own mind… and then continue the story to the end you want it to reach.

Please get a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and provide feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

If you would like to drop me a line, my personal links follow:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to the Lovely Pines, which (as noted) was released on August 28:



Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and the first draft of The Voxlightner Scandal is about 90 percent completed.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Don Travis: Hem and Haw, a Guest Post by Mark Wildyr

Don Travis: Hem and Haw, a Guest Post by Mark Wildyr: dontravis.com blog post #306 ...

Hem and Haw, a Guest Post by Mark Wildyr



dontravis.com blog post #306

My new laptop computer arrived this week, and I got swept up in getting it up and running. Lo and behold, I looked around and found myself without a post, so my buddy Mark Wildyr stepped up to help me out with a re-post of the August 18 offering on his own website. I hope you appreciate his efforts as much as I do his offer. Enjoy his story.

*****

Hem and Haw

By Mark Wildyr

          I’d known Hem forever. That wasn’t his real name, of course. It was Jimmie. But everyone called him Hem. My name’s Karl, but to our world, I was Haw. We earned those monikers honestly from the time we were kids by constantly playing the old “After you, my dear Alphonse” routine. That started years ago and continues today. To wit: yesterday when we decided we needed a treat from the summer heat, we started our usual humdrum.
          “You wanna go to the diner or the malt shop?” Hem asked.
          “I dunno. You?”
          A shrug. “I dunno. Milkshake would be good.”
          “Malt shop makes them better.”
          “You think so? Diner makes good strawberries.”
         “Yeah,” I came back at him, “but I think chocolate shakes are better at the shop.”
          “Which one do you want?”
          Now it was my time to shrug.
          I’m not exactly sure how, but we ended up at the malt shop with chocolate shakes.


          The day I noticed how Hem's broad shoulders stretched the polo shirt he wore, the way I thought about him changed. But it wasn’t something I could talk about to him or anybody else. If I opened my mouth about that, he’d give me a black eye and never speak to me again. The black eye, I could take. Never speaking to him again… no way. So I held my tongue and being around him became exquisite torture. The only thing worse was not being around him.
          We were equal in age—almost to the same month—but the mirror told me I lagged far behind him in physical development. Life wasn’t fair. First time I reached that conclusion. I guess I lived a sheltered life.


          About six months after my epiphany, we were sitting on the floor in my family’s basement game room with a chessboard between us, concentrating on the game. At least he was. I was admiring anew his shoulders and his pecs beneath the thin shirt and the V of his torso. When he shifted position and spread his legs, I couldn’t help it. My eyes went right to the fly of his walking shorts. I swallowed hard and glanced up. His eyes bored into mine. I’d been flat-out caught eyeing his basket.
          “I been thinking about it, too,” he said.
          My mouth dropped open and my heart rate soared. “A-about what?”
          “Come on, man. I saw where you were looking.”
          “Was not. I mean, you didn’t. I mean—” Sweat trickled down my sides.
          “I’m not blind. You were studying my crotch,” Hem said
          “I… I….” I hawed.
          “That’s okay. I’ve checked out yours a couple of times.”
          “Y-you have?”
          “Sure. You interested?”
          “Maybe. You?”
          “Like I said, been thinking about it. You?”
          I watched his face as I answered. “Sometimes. I mean… yeah, interested. I guess.”
          “Me, too… I guess.”
          “What do we do?” I asked.
          “Dunno. This is new to me.”
          “Me, too. But what do we do now?”
          “Hell, I don’t know. You sure you want to do this?
          “Yeah… I guess.”



*****
Hemming and hawing, otherwise known as procrastination, has been around for a very long time, but these two guys take it to the extreme. Do you think they ever got together?

Thanks to Mark for coming to my rescue. I hope you enjoyed his story.

Please get a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and give me feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

If you would like to drop me a line, my personal links follow:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to the Lovely Pines, which (as noted) was released on August 28:



Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and the first draft of The Voxlightner Scandal is about 90 percent completed.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.




Thursday, October 4, 2018

Don Travis: MUDDY TOES (Part 2 of 2 Parts)

Don Travis: MUDDY TOES (Part 2 of 2 Parts): dontravis.com blog post #305     Courtesy of Pixabay Let’s finish our story today. Hope you enjoyed the two-parter. You will remem...

MUDDY TOES (Part 2 of 2 Parts)


dontravis.com blog post #305
  
Courtesy of Pixabay
Let’s finish our story today. Hope you enjoyed the two-parter. You will remember that we concluded last week’s post with the revelation that Mary Harcaswter’s ex-husband was paroled from prison some six weeks ago. The ex-con is under the impression that little Samantha is his daughter and has been demanding to see her. Now the child has disappeared.

*****
MUDDY TOES (Conclusion)

          Lights flashing, Sandy and Tom raced across town to the Park Street Motel, which was contracted out to the feds as a halfway house. The manager, whom Sandy suspected was a federal officer, heard them out before confirming Bill Robbins was a resident. He was to spend the last three months of his sentence at the motel. The residents were free to move about town during the day but were required to return to the halfway house for the night. So far, Robbins was an exemplary resident. No, he was not around right now, nor had the manager seen a small girl with him.
           After obtaining the model and make of Robbins’ car—a black 2005 Buick LeSabre—Sandy and her partner took off for the Robbins’ last known residence. The current occupant professed to have no knowledge of William Robbins but directed them to the house across the street.
          Giles Mimms, a man of wide girth and receding hairline, had lived at his address for twenty-seven years and recalled his former neighbor vividly.
          “Robbins was too smooth by half, in my opinion. Always knew he would end up in a bad way. And he done it, too. Now the wife, she was a dear.”
          “Why do you say he was going to end up in a bad way?” Sandy asked.
          “Putting on airs. Spending money like he had a printing press in the basement.”
          “How so?”
          “Fancy cars. Expensive vacations. Cabin in the mountains. Dressed Mary up like a million bucks. But by the time she ended up in the family way, he was already on the downslide. Poor woman practically went around in rags after that. Hope she’s okay.”
          “Do you know any of his friends or intimates?” Tom asked.
          “Nope. Kept to myself and minded my own business. But I kept an eye out. Tell me, did Mary have that baby? Boy or girl?”
          So the nosy neighbor knew nothing about a miscarriage. Sandy shook her head. “No, sir. She lost it.”
          “Dammit! I knew what he was putting her through would take its toll. Is she okay?”
          “She’s fine, Mr. Mimms. She’s remarried and has a beautiful daughter. In fact, that’s why we’re here. Someone took her.”
          “You think Robbins done it?” Mimms blinked and showed how sharp he was. “He thinks she’s his own, don’t he?”
          “Afraid so. You have any idea where he might go to hide out?”
          Mimms’ fleshy face collapsed into a frown. “Maybe that cabin I mentioned. He went up there a lot during the summers.”
          “Where was it?”
          “Somewheres up on Mountain Lake. Don’t have no idea where, though.”


          A search of public records sent Sandy and Tom up Mountain Loop Road to meet a county deputy at the intersection with Mountain Tarn Drive.
          “Robbins don’t own that cabin anymore. Got sold when he went to prison,” the deputy said after being briefed.
          “You know about that, huh?” Tom asked.
          “Whole community knows about it. Big news back in the day.”
          “Who owns the cabin now?”
          “Couple down in the city, but they don’t get up much.”
          “Anybody there now?” Sandy asked.
          “Dunno. My instructions was to steer clear until you got here.”
          “Well, let’s go check.
          They followed the deputy’s cruiser up a rutted dirt road. After a mile, the Jeep drifted to a halt and the deputy walked back to let them know the place was just around a curve.
          “Might want to walk from here,” he said. “Course, you can hear a motor from a mile away in these mountains, so he probably already knows we’re here. If he’s even at the cabin, that is.”
          Sandy and Tom bailed out of their unit and trailed the deputy through the forest. As they broke through the tree line before a log and rock cabin, there was no evidence of a LeSabre in the clearing. But there was smoke coming from the chimney.
          “Over there,” Tom said, motioning with his head. Robbins had pulled the Buick off into the trees. “He’s here.”
          The deputy covered the back of the building while Sandy and Tom approached the front. When they were in position, Tom pounded the door with a fist. “Police, Robbins. Open the door.”
          For a moment, Sandy thought they were in for a siege, but then the sound of a lock being thrown sent a surge of adrenaline through her, heightening her senses. She had her service pistol in her hand as the door slowly opened to reveal a pretty little blonde child in a play suit, her bare toes still caked with dried mud.
          “Samantha?” Sandy asked.
          The child nodded. Tom immediately snatched her to his chest and backed away from the door.
          “Mr. Robbins,” Sandy called. “Come on out. Samantha’s safe now.”
          “I’m coming. I’m unarmed. I… I just wanted some time with my daughter.”
          Sandy didn’t know what she expected, some dirty skell, maybe, but a handsome man with corn-tassel-yellow hair walked out the door with his hands up. He fell to his knees and went prone when ordered to do so without resistance. Sandy had one thought as Tom put the girl in her arms and bent to handcuff Robbins. She’d been lied to. Samantha’s resemblance to the man lying on the porch in front of her was too strong to be coincidence. Robbins was the child’s father. She was certain of that.
          They put the ex-con into the more secure county cruiser. Then they followed the deputy back down the mountain to the city. There were some things to be straightened out, but one thing was for certain. The Harcasters would be happy to see this cute little imp… muddy toes and all.

*****
Big relief! Sammy’s back home unharmed. But a mystery remains. Is she really the daughter of the ex-con or of the current lawyer husband of her mother? If it’s the former, why did the Harcasters lie about an abortion? I have a suggestion. Write the rest of Sammy’s story yourself. Come on, you can do it!

Please get a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and give me feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

If you would like to drop me a line, my personal links follow:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to the Lovely Pines, which (as noted) was released on August 28:



Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and The Voxlightner Scandal is coming along.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


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