Thursday, February 13, 2020

Jim Heightly and Miss Lily (Part 2 of 2 Parts)

dontravis.com blog post #375

Courtesy of Pixabay.com
Last week, Jim Heightly's little world was turned on its end by a new man in town. A burly, handsome Arkansan who caught Miss Lily's attention. Let's see what happens next. 

*****
JIM HEIGHTLY AND MISS LILY

           For a while, it looked as if nothing was going to change, and for Jim that was about as bad as having something change. He kept waiting for it… whatever it was going to be. Then the day, or to be more accurate, the night arrived when the world tilted. At two o’clock closing, Jim started up the stairs, but Miss Lily’s hand on his arm put a halt on him.
          “What?” he said.
          “Other plans tonight.”
          “What other plans.”
          “I’ve invited a gentleman friend upstairs. You’ll have to go home tonight.”
          Jim turned, stared into Pistonrod’s dark eyes, and croaked, “Gentleman?”
          “Now don’t make a fuss, Jim. I’m thinking on hiring Mr. Peston as a bouncer. We need to talk over turns.”
          “You never had a bouncer before. Why now?”
          “Ain't you noticed things getting a little wilder? Had two fistfights just this one evening.”
          “In the parking lot. You have people busting heads every night. Never needed a bouncer to handle them.”
          Miss Lily laid a pale hand on her bosom. “We don’t want the Stateline to get a reputation, do we?”
          “Rep—”
          “Now, Jim. Don’t make a fuss. Go on. Skidoo. See you tomorrow night.”
          “Miss Lily, you don’t wanna do this. This fella’s never gonna be more’n a grease monkey in somebody else’s garage. Heck, I bought you a new Jukebox and put that new neon sign up. I—”
          “Honey, it ain’t always about the size of a man’s wallet,” Mis lily said with a blink of her big eyes.
          “If you’re just gonna talk about a bouncer’s job, it oughtn’t take long. I’ll hang around and—”
          “Now, Jim. You go on home. Scoot. Shoo!”
          His ears steaming, Jim stalked out of the now empty honky-tonk into the cool night air. He didn’t know why, but he took a seat on a stump underneath Miss Lily’s bedroom window as the parking lot emptied of cars and pickups… and a bike or two. Pretty soon he was sitting in the dark not much relieved by the new red neon sign he’d bought.. How long did it take to make a deal to hire a bouncer?
          Then he heard sounds that let him know Pistonrod was already auditioning for the bouncer's job… by bouncing up and down on a mattress. Pretty soon came the sounds that sometimes caught the ear of passing motorists, except this time it was Miss Lily doing the moaning and screeching.
          “Oh, baby, gimme more of that piston!”
          Right then, Sasquatch, a big, shaggy dog of uncertain origins hit the fence separating Jim from the back of the place and raised a ruckus. If Big Foot walked on all fours, he might well have been one. Friendly until now, old Sas turned on him. Just like Miss Lily.
          A harsh voice came from the upstairs window. “Who’s there? Jim, is that you? I already told you to get outa here. You don’t skedaddle, I’m gonna call the sheriff. Go on, git!”
          Jim did, but he took the time to kick out the headlamps on Peston’s black Ford-150. For good measure, he did the same to Miss Lily’s brand-new Buick LeSabre. He got in his panel truck and tore out of the parking lot, screeching and leaving burnt rubber on the asphalt as he made a hard right toward town. And somewhere on that nine-mile drive, as he was seeing red and mouthing threats, the fuse blew or the circuit-breaker tripped… whichever. He almost wrecked the truck pulling a U-turn in the road and scorching pavement all the way back to the Stateline. He roared into the parking lot and skidded to a halt, bailing out of the seat with a 30-30 in his hand. Without even thinking about it, he shot out all the downstairs windows. Then he took out the neon bar sign he’d paid good money for.
          Miss Lily’s voice screeched from the upstairs window. “Jim Heightly, have you gone plumb crazy?”
          Jim noticed old Pistonrod didn’t make a sound. Neither did Sasquatch, for that matter. Two peas in a pod. All show and no go. Yellow right down to the quick.
          Finding he was out of ammunition, Jim rummaged around in the back of the panel truck and found several jugs of the unadulterated stuff he sold… damned near pure alcohol. He pulled out a couple and jogged to Peston’s truck. Emptying the contents of a jug all over the cabin of the pickup, he tossed in a lighted match and stepped back is it caught and flared. Still not finished, he repeated the process on Lily Stopperscale’s Buick. How about that… she wasn’t Miss Lily no more.
          “I’ve called the cops, Heightly!” she screamed from the upper floor. “Now you’ve done it. You’re going to jail.”
          His cork totally popped now, Jim yelled back. “And you’re going to hell.” With that he flung his last jar against the side of the building and tossed a whole book of flaming matches. The wall went up like it was just waiting for the chance. Lily let out a real yell then, and Jim thought he caught a more masculine screech. Should he go round back and set fire to the back entrance?
          A wailing siren in the distance made up his mind for him. He jumped in the panel truck and roared out of the parking lot. Hesitating just a second, he turned east and crossed the state line into Arkansas. That’d stop the country cruiser for the moment, but he was just delaying things. They’d get him sooner or later.
          And Lily Stopperscale? Hell, she had insurance out the gazoo. She’d build the Stateline bigger and better than it was before. But she’d sure as hell have to find a new supply of liquid goods.

*****
I hope we all learned one thing from this story. Never--but never--plug a 150-watt bulb in a 50-watt socket.

Until next week.

The following are buy links for the recently released The Voxlightner Scandal.


Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Don Travis: Don Travis: Impotent-Chapter 7-Finale (A Serial No...

Don Travis: Don Travis: Impotent-Chapter 7-Finale (A Serial No...: Don Travis: Impotent-Chapter 7-Finale (A Serial Novella) : dontravis.com blog post #374     Courtesy of maxpixel.net So their experi...

Jim Heightley and Miss Lily (Part 1 of 2 Parts)

dontravis.com blog post #375


Courtesy of Pixabay.com
Sure got a lot of comments on my serialized novella, Impotent. Also got a bunch of hits. Thanks for tuning in and beefing up the statistics, guys. By the way, for the uninitiated, to me “guys” is a gender-neutral nouns, so my female readers (and I’ve got some because I’ve heard from them) shouldn’t feel left out when I use the term.

Today, we go lighter. It’s a little short story that came to me while I was daydreaming the other morning. Here’s part one:

*****
JIM HEIGHTLY AND MISS LILY

          Jim Heightly. A 150-watt bulb in a 50-watt socket. Everyone in the little Oklahoma farming town of Lynchpin knew one day the fuse was gonna blow. He’d go twenty-four hours straight before crashing to recharge his batteries. Jim was a “delivery driver,” or so he claimed. His 56’ Chevy panel truck looked like hell—brown paint chipped and front bumper awry… back one missing altogether—and smelled like burnt motor oil, but it purred under the hood like a tomcat contemplating a pussy. And when Jim tromped on the accelerator, it yowled like that he-cat had caught what he was looking for.
          At five-eleven with husky shoulders and muscular thighs, Jim boasted a mop of untamed honey-brown hair, and a nose somewhat crooked from a teenage brawl. That nose must have looked good to some because Jim was considered “presentable.” At least by the ladies. He went through the available damsels one by one, but none of them stuck for very long.
          Until he met Miss Lily, that is. Everyone in town knew her as Lily Stopperscale, but to Jim she was “Miss Lily.”
          Miss Lily—a former waitress and exotic dancer who’d saved her “tips”—opened a bar out on the state line where thirsty workers from dry Arkansas could cross an invisible stripe on the highway and slake that craving. Miss Lily’s Stateline Bar served the cheapest alcohol, and everyone is this rural county knew exactly the cost of every drop no matter where it was served. The highest places were in town, but they at least sold food along with the drinks. Not the Stateside; you went there for booze, jukebox dancing, flirting… and a fistfight if that was your inclination.
          Jim Heightly was one of the reasons Miss Lily sold so cheap. He didn’t mooonshine but bought from those who did and delivered to his own customers. A middleman, he called himself when he settled up with the county sheriff at the end of each month. Jim knew all the stills and shiners and bought from only the very best, the “delicious to the last drop” kind. Well, maybe not delicious, but that last drop sure as blazes held the same punch as the first one.
           Most bars in the county bought Jim’s white lightning to cut drinks, but that was the only product Miss Lily served. She poured the stuff straight from brand bottles without fooling anyone. Nonetheless, the price and the “old west” atmosphere of the Stateline kept them coming.
          Jim didn’t set out to become involved with Miss Lily. In fact, he didn’t know he was until he overheard a couple of boozers in the bar speculate on whether the two of them were an “item.” Not long after that, Miss Lily came over to his table and plopped down. Spurred by the eavesdropped conversation, he took his first good look at her and decided she was a fine figure of a woman. He’d heard that phrase somewhere—didn’t know or much care where—and thought it fit her to a whopping T. Heavy on top and bottom with a wasp waist separating the two. A pile of frosted brunette curls on her head and huge, black eyelashes hovering over a pert nose and big glossy lips just added to the pleasing mix. Jim’s ears went deaf to the loud talk, the shuffling of feet, the laughs and occasional coughs. The place no longer stank of beer and cigarettes smoke and stale sweat, and raw, unpainted planking. It smelled like the rosewater Miss Lily wore.
          That was the moment—the very instant—Jim Heightly fell in love. He didn’t know when—or if—Miss Lily reached the same conclusion; he just knew their three o’clock tumble in her apartment over the bar after closing that night ended with a yowl that woulda done that old tomcat justice. It was the best summersault he could recall in all his thirty-three years.
          After that, Jim’s life fell into a strict pattern. He bought his wares in the morning, delivered them in the afternoon, and spent the night at Miss Lily’s establishment until the two o’clock closing. Then… well, it was tomcatting time. People claimed that tourists passing by on the two-lane paved highway in the dead of night wondered at the size of felines in the area from all the caterwauling going on in that oak-planked building with a bar sign on top.


          There’s some that say Jim’s 150-watt lifestyle caused the problem—although Miss Lily didn’t seem to be suffering any. Others claim Rod Peston’s coming to town brought things to a head. Rod moved in from Hot Springs, Arkansas, took a job at Clancy’s Auto as a grease monkey, and it didn’t take him more’n two shakes of a lamb’s tail to find the Stateline Bar… and Miss Lily. Except he called her Miss Stopperscale.
          The first time Jim came barreling through the door and spotted Miss Lily sitting at a corner table with a big, brawny stranger, he stopped dead in the sawdust on the floor. Miss Lily claimed she put the stuff down to soak up spilled drinks and catch misses to the spittoons scattered around the place… mostly out of the way so they didn’t get kicked over. Jim figured she did it because it dulled the noise. The Stateline was a rowdy place, somewhat akin to a rodeo, clowns and all.
          At any rate, when Jim halted in his tracks, Miss Lily cast him a glance and gave something between a grin and a grimace. Some claimed Jim blanched, others swore he turned beet red before marching over and demanding what was going on?
          “Honeybun, sit yourself down and meet the new fella in town. Jim Heightly, meet Rod Peston. You can call him Pistonrod. Everybody does.”
          Such was the power of Miss Lily’s—or Miss Stopperscale’s, if you prefer—introduction that the two men actually shook hands. In so doing, both managed to graze Miss Lily’s ample breasts looming over the table. But they didn’t exchange a word. None were needed. The whole place fell hushed. Even the jukebox chose that moment to moan its last. Nobody moved. Nonetheless, a gauntlet had been thrown down and picked up.

*****
Reminds you of two roosters sizing one another up, doesn’t it? Are we about to have a cock fight? Tune in next week. Oh yes, better tell everyone I know that piston rod is two words. But allow me some poetic license, please.

Until next week.

The following are buy links for the recently released The Voxlightner Scandal.


Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

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