Group Story: ICE MOUNTAIN, A Chirstmas Tale

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Group Story: ICE MOUNTAIN, A Chirstmas Tale

Postby Christmas Knight on Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:10 am

Okay, I'm going to steal a page from Nostalgascape's book and start a group story. Same rules, please don't contradict another person's story line or quarrel. I should be fun. I'll start with the back story;



The year is 1942 and our story takes place in the fictional town of Silver Pines Vermont. Sliver Pines was a skiing and winter fun desitination in the 1920s but the Great Depression hit it hard. Times have been tough for the residents of this small town and many of its young men have gone off to war.



Our story begins on a cold crisp December morning. Jim Enright, Sliver Pines' Inn keep is up early and preparing breakfast for his one guest. A mysterous man who appeared late last night in the middle of a snow squal.
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Postby Christmas Knight on Sat Nov 03, 2007 10:17 pm

Jim opened the back door to the inn and took a breathe of fresh morning air. He loved a winter morning after a snow shower. The world looked so clean and fresh. He had slept well despite the fact that he was woken at 2am to admit his only guest. Jim was a bit hesitant at opening the door at that hour, but times were tough and he wasn't about turn away business.



This visitor was strange to say the least. He wasn't from around here, in fact he was a foreigner. He was tall blond man wore a gray trench coat and hat. He hair was very short and spoke with a thick Swedish accent. There wasn't time to talk or get more details at the time so today would be Jim's opportunity to satisfy his burning curiosity.



Any way, Jim got back to work, he broke a few eggs over the sizzling hot frying pan and placed two slices of bread in the toaster. The coffee pot was brewing as he pulled the fresh strips of bacon from the icebox. It was almost 8am and his guest would be coming down soon and he would undoubtedly be starved.
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Postby Christmas Knight on Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:01 pm

Jim's wife Mary entered the kitchen as Jim was pulling the bacon off the stove. She had grabbed her apren as if she was ready to start breakfast. She was suprised to see Jim already cooking. "Morning honey, what's the occasion? Is it my birthday?" Jim turned with a smile and said "No, it's not your birthday, we have a guest." "Really" Mary replied with widened eyes, "when did this happen." Late last night, during the storm. I didn't want to wake you." Jim said as he returned to preparing the meal.



"Well, that's odd. Is he a skier? Could this be a sign that things are changing for the better." Mary hoped. "Well, lets not get too exicted" said Jim. "Lets just treat him right and see if word gets out, you want to set a table in the common room?" Mary was quick to her task as she removed the place setting and china from the closet and headed into the next room.
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Postby Christmas Knight on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:09 pm

"Good morning". A loud voice came from the front hallway of the Inn. "And Merry Christmas"... Jim looked up and went into the common room. Who was yelling Merry Christmas, it was only December 1st. Jim's eye's squinted as a large smile took over his face, it was Tom Holbrook. Tom was dressed from head to toe in full Santa Claus regalia. Tom was a farmer that lived up the road from the Inn. Famous for his generosity and more famous for his yearly playing of Santa Claus for the local kids down at the Church. He was certainly prefect for the job, since Tom was 300lbs, 6 ft 4 with a long white beard that was real. Tom took a lot of ribbing about the beard during those hot summer months, but he didn't care. It was worth it to create the illusion of being the real Santa Claus and see the looks on those kids faces.



Jim was always happy to see Tom. The man was always quick with a joke and full of good cheer. "Tom", Jim yelled back "Or should I say Santa. What brings you this far south of the North Pole so early?" Jim hurried up to shake his burly hand.



Mary looked up from her housework and just rolled her eyes, she knew Tom was good man but his positive attitude was often a bit much. Mary couldn't understand how Tom could stay to high all the time when the town was in such financial trouble. But then again, it wasn't Tom that was hurting financially; he had nothing to do with the recreation or service industry. He crew his crops and milked his cows and did just fine. He owned about 1000 acres and he did well.
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Postby Dudley on Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:52 am

It was also bacon and eggs on the menu at the Silver Pines Diner, inside Silver Pines proper. But to go along with "Rabbi" Roscoe, Caroline was serving him up only an omlette with fried veggies like mushrooms and peppers in it. Maxwell House, black, double sugar.

Thing was, since she started to make the omelette, others had seen it and gave the thing a whirl. Started to make a whole new menu subsection for her.

It was Tuesday morning, and the two of them were planning what to see Friday night at the movies...'the rabbi' was even talking about going to the next city to see that new film, CASABLACNA, with Bogart in the lead...but Caroline was thinking maybe ROAD TO MOROCCO...it was still in the next town, and she always laughed at Bob Hope.

No hurry. They could kick it around. The thing was to be with each other.

The sun was reflecting off the snow and shone into the diner window with a vibrant glow. Roscoe could see it light up all the knife cracks in the wooden counter where years of sandwich bread had been cut. He felt it warm his arm and smiled. Caroline thought he was smiling at her and looked at him extra long.

Roscoe went with it and took the time to stare back.

They had met after he returned from the War. Guadalcanal. He lost a foot and came home to run his uncle's garage. Uncle Wally couldn't handle the place with his lungs, and sat outside and held court while Roscoe ran things inside.

It worked well for them both. Wally was friendly with the older set, and did the cash register. Roscoe had the Dorsey music playing while he worked on the rack for the younger kids who were juicing up those old Model 'A's.

And then he met Caroline. Long blonde hair past her shoulders. A Veronica Lake wave that drove him crazy. And these green green eyes that could make him forget to breathe.

He actually stopped right in his tracks the first day he went into the diner, and she was glued to the floor, staring back, unable to move any closer to the coffee pot she had to take over to Carlson to fill up his cup.

If anyone else was in the place, they never remembered it.

And slowly, gingerly, the two started to romance.

Roscoe wasn't a real rabbi, but he was reform Jewish and used to giving out sage advice..old family tradition, in fact...his grandfather, a real rabbi, had to be a black smith to make ends meet.

She was so worried about taking him home to meet the family. Christmas was HUGE in her house, and what would Mom and Dad think? What would Roscoe?

As it was, there were no problems. Roscoe was 'jake' with Jesus, he said. 'Home town boy makes good.' That got a nervous laugh over the Sunday chicken. The parents were really won over when her bably brother Dicky went under the table and tapped the prosthetic foot that attached above the ankle and asked what it was.

"It's where they cut off my foot..." replied Roscoe.

"WHY did they do that????"the kid was wide eyed. His parents and Caroline open mouthed with shock.

"To take my lucky rabbi's foot.." Rosoce whispered dramatically.

The table roared with laughter, and the two were officially a couple.
Last edited by Dudley on Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:31 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Dudley on Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:56 pm

Tom caught the eye rolling and started to mock scold, like a store Santa who had caught a kid in an obvious fib:"Now, MARY...don't roll those eyes at me like that...especailly when you have the first customer here in many an long week..."

Mary straightened bolt upright.'How did you know??"

Tom started to sing;"HE KNOWS WHEN YOU ARE SLEEPING, HE KNOWS.."

Mary scowled, stared into his eyes and pretended to be ready to bean him with her frying pan. Tom knew enough to knock it off.

"Honestly Mary. Guy comes into this town at 2 in the morning and wakes up about nine people to find YOUR place? How LONG do you think it would take for folks to notice? I imagine real estate values have already started to go back up..."

Mary sat down and laughed. Jim was right. His 'can do' attitude was catching. "Okay, Mr. Positive Thinking. Give me some good news. What makes you happy today, besdies your usual small town charm?"

"I have thought of the best idea since I-Don't Know When. WHAT is the biggest movie of the year so far? What is STILL number one on the radio? You can't ESCAPE it!"

"DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS?" guessed Jim.

Tom made a flapping noise with his lips in mock contempt.

"Holiday Inn...it's been around since SUMMER...and WHITE CHRISTMAS is the biggest song on the radio STILL..."

Jim still didn't see....

Tom took a deep breath to keep his cool. It didn't work. He was still too excited.

"We run a set up like Holiday Inn during the Christmas time. We get a bunch of you guys to hammer out some special deals and get some activites set up and send out some flyers to southern California newspapers and get some folks up here.

"The defense industry out west took a LOT of folks out there and they are making decent money..and they MISS...."

Tom took his arms and spun around the room.

"ALL of THIS..."

Jim and Mary started to smile.

"They want to hear those sleigh bells in the snow..." Tom continued, with not even a touch of irony.
Last edited by Dudley on Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dudley on Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:57 am

Terry was being passed by trucks on the highway and didn't care. He was about 200 miles from Silver Pines now, and GETTING there was the big deal.

The Caddy started to hit snow about forty miles north of the Mason Dixon line, and he was taking no chances. Not with the load in the trunk and the back seat. It had been a while since he had driven through winter, and even with a car the size of a football field, Terry wanted to take it easy. Besides, getting pulled over was not his idea of a good time.

He sighed inwardly. The car radio would be no help either. Just country and western, or god forbid COUNTRY SWING..Ugghh...It was God's curse of him for being born in New Orleans...NOBODY had any good jazz...at least on the radio...

But his army buddy, Roscoe had called and invited him for Christmas. Terry wasn't fooled. Roscoe had fallen hard for that blonde chickey and wanted his pal as best man. He was sure he would be asked. That brought back a smile as he also found his turn off.

Roscoe had told him all about the whole Christmas deal. The decorations. The turkey. The songs. The WHOLE TOWN.

The two had even conspired to get Christmas presents for everyone..especially the kids...times were still tough, and the kids could USE some nice presents for a change. The trunk was full of gifts and boxes that had to be delivered to Roscoe's along with the Caddy.

Which was another reason to go at the speed limit. White cop pulls over a speeding Negro in a Cadillac with dozens of boxes in the back. Tell ME that won't get you doing the rockpile, Terry thought to himself.

He remembered back to Guadalcanal, where he first met Roscoe. The Japanese rifleman popped out of that bush and plinged off the guy beside him. Then just STARED at Terry and Terry KNEW what was going through his head;"YOU are the first black person I have ever SEEN..."

He had gone through that look before too often not to recognize it.

That stare and it's pause were enough for Roscoe over on his left to take aim and send the Japanese guy to his reward.

Pling. Just like that.

The rifleman never knew what happened.

At the time, Terry and Roscoe thought it was the funniest thing going. Never failed to get a laugh. They became friends and Terry had Roscoe down to his house when they both got out of hospital, and Roscoe returned the favor.

For Terry, it was always Japanese, never Jap. He had no use for racism..even against the enemy. Now, back in America, neither was really sure that the whole story was that funny anymore either. It didn't seem to get the laughs it did in the army.

But would it KILL somebody to play ONE Duke Ellington song on the radio??? Something? Anything???

He punched in the buttons on the radio to different stations..a new option with the Delco radio he hadn't seen before.. Autry/Crosby/slush/Jack Benny...yeah, LEAVE Benny. HE was funny.

Jack Benny and his tight wad rep reminded him of the Monopoly game in the back. It would be fun to take on that family. He liked the yellow lands...Marvin Gardens. Not as bad cost wise to set up as the green or blue lands, but more punch rental, then the reds and oranges.

Sorry was less then two bucks, but this was more fun..you could sit back and let a game go well into the night and have a real good time getting to KNOW a family. Worth every penny of the three bucks.
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Postby Christmas Knight on Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:39 pm

As Tom was continuing to pitch his idea. Footsteps could be heard coming down the front stairs. "Our, guest", Mary whispered to Jim, jumping to her feet scurrying to greet him and guide him toward the dining area. The conversation was interrupted now as Both Tom and Jim turned their attention to the stranger. "Welcome Sir, Welcome Sir, to best holiday location in Vermont, heck in the country, Welcome?" Tom bellowed as he rose and began to walk toward the man with his large hand outstretched in an unmistakable sign of friendship.



The stranger stopped for a moment, looked Tom up and down in his Santa Claus suit, changed his direction and proceed to walk around him, ignoring his extended hand. Exchanging only a condescending smirk and the words, "yes, thank you" in a strong European accent. The stranger's destination was one of the breakfast tables in the dinning area. Pulled up his chair, opened the morning paper that was next to his place setting and buried his head in it, not saying another word. Mary, hurried to the fetch the coffee pot and fill the stranger's cup. The stranger was dress in a black double breasted suit. His long blonde, almost white hair, contrasted against his clothing. He was very fair skined with icy blue eyes. He had chiseled facial feature, much like a male model. He carried a black brief case with him, that he placed carefully under the table.



Tom, was a bit shocked, he had never received that type of reaction to one of his shows of hospitality. He turned and looked, wide eyed and surprised, at Jim still seated at the table closest to the kitchen where they were previously speaking. Jim was grinning from ear to ear. He had never seen someone treat Tom like that. He thought the expression of shock on Tom's face was hilarious. "Good morning, Mr. Johanson, I trust you slept well." Jim called out to the disinterested stranger. Johanson, ruffled his paper, continued reading and once again said, "Yes, thank you."



"Oh, a conversationalist," Tom blurted out followed by a loud laugh, "we need another one of those in this town." Tom had regained his composure and was back to his jovial self. "Tom, come with him into the kitchen, there's something I want to show you," Jim beckoned to Tom, making a head motion toward the door. Tom complied and they both moved into the next room making small talk along the way.



Jim burst into laughter as the swinging door closed behind them. " You should have seen your face, Tom. That was priceless." Tom was smiling as well, "You know, Jim, he threw me for a loop. I know I'm wearing a Santa suit, but I never had anyone treat me like that."



"Don't take it too personally Tom, he's a foreigner, from Sweden. Mr. Ivan Johanson's his name. Don't know why he's here, but I aim to find out." Jim said. "Do think he could be interested in "Ice Mountain", you know the ski resort?" Tom asked, eye's gleaming as he pictured his big time revitalization ideas become a reality. "I don't know,Tom, but lets not jump the gun here, let me find out some more information. In the mean time, you take off and spread the word around town that everyone should treat this guy like gold. Lets make sure, if he is interested in the resort, nothing about this town will change is mind." "Good idea, Jim," Tom responded, "I'm going to sneak out the back. I will talk to you later."
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Postby Dudley on Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:23 pm

"TERRY!!!!"

Roscoe was out of his seat in the diner with lightening speed and the two men hugged like lost family.

Caroline grinned. The two got along like brothers. She was amazed at how they were in tune with each other. She had spoken to Terry over the phone lots of times when the three of them were putting together the plans for Christmas.

What Caroline didn't see was Roscoe touching his ring finger and looking Terry in the eye.

Once.

Terry winked back.

Perfect. Terry had the ring.

"Okay, Terry come over and meet Caroline in person...and..over here...The Three Wise Men..."

But there were only two...

Roscoe took this in. For every morning, for as long as anyone could remember, three ex high school teachers came down to the diner for breakfast and a session of solving the worlds problems. Ben, the ex English teacher, Vern, the ex Math teacher, and Bernard, the ex Science teacher.

Vern, the ex math teacher, thin and big glasses, came over.

"Roscoe, it might not be the best time, but do you and your friend have a minute? Ben didn't come down for his diner breakfast this morning...he was a bit pale yesterday...we're worried."

"Who looked pale?" It was Tom, still in his Santa suit." Hey, this must be TERRY...welcome to town.."

Another round of hugs. Vern bidded his time.

"Tom, we haven't seen Ben. Could you come to his place with us and check it out? Maybe it just means that we wind up taking him over some pancakes..but..."

Tom was serious. And nodded.

****************

He was sitting in a big easy chair. There was a painting across the room in front of him. The turntable had a 78 of Mahler on it. A sherry was by the ottoman. He had a big grin on his face.

Tom took a pulse, but knew before he even touched the skin as cold and white as marble. Ben was dead.

"What's the picture? A daVinci???" asked Tom.

"Tintoretto.." replied Terry absently.

"Original??? It HUGE!"

"No, no..the original is like the size of two parking lot spaces. In the Vatican I think...but it's beautiful, isn't it???"

Vern didn't understand."What was it doing in front of him??"

Roscoe found a dictaphone on the table with PLAY ME written on it.

He obediently hit the switch.

"Boys. Good morning. At least it will be when you read this. Listen. Dr. Walker had me in last week...says that valve of mine is about to go. Now, I know...he SAVED me last year..but it hasn't been the SAME..I'm missing things, can't remember..it's like paint flaking off a car..and this time he doesn't see me surviving or even coming back.

"The pressure on the chest is starting to come back...so I'm going out, surrounded by what I love..I have the Christmas painting of Tintoretto and I'm doing Mahler's 4th, and I will leave with the dawn tide. I love you guys. Merrry Christmas. You're the only family I ever had.."

The disc stopped.

Tom cried without shame."I loved that man. My favorite teacher. I was validictorian in high school because of him. He made the classics come alive..Oh, god..."

Terry moved into the next room and halted dead in his tracks."Guys, just WHAT did Ben DO???"

"Nothing..." replied Bernard."He was RETIRED...why???"

"Dig this..."

In the next room a snow bank of paper work lined three walls and most of a writing desk. Orderly neat paperwork.

On the wall above the desk and over the paperwork were three clocks. Central, Pacific, and Eastern time. The wall beside the door had a map of America with dozens of pins in them. Stacks of train schedules.

A phone rang.

It was only then they noticed there were four phones on a side table.
Last edited by Dudley on Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Dudley on Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:44 pm

Caroline was pouring coffee for everyone and leaning with her elbows on the counter in the diner."Run this by me again. I'm not getting it."

Ninety mintues after the guys left, they returned with Doc Walker and tried to explain what they found. Caroline was suppying coffee for the debriefing and trying to make sense of it with the rest.

Roscoe backed up and ran through it a second time. "Ben was a charity. Registered. The whole number. But not the conventional one you'd think of. What he really did was line people up.

"Okay, here's the basic steps of what he did...it simplifies the whole thing, but not that much..

"Say you had a flood. Ben had made a file of everybody with excess inventory everywhere. Read ALL the local papers. AND the Wall Street Journal. Both the New York and L.A. Times. He subscribed to them and wrote their subscriptions off. Legit expense.

"He'd phone you up, with your flood, ask what you need. You tell him you need blankets.

"He phones up a factory that has a LOT of blankets. He read about it in the paper. Kept it on file. Asks them if they want to donate to the flood. They say sure. They can write it off. He'll even give them a reciept.

"So then he tells 'em to have 'em down by the train depot by tomorrow nine a.m. He would take it from there.

"Phones up the railway and asks if they would like to ship some donated blankets to flood victims for a tax write off.

"Guess what they'd say...

"Gets back to the folks looking after the flood victims who need the blankets, tells them what time to get the blankets and what train they are on.

"And then he knocked off for the day and listened to "PEOPLE ARE FUNNY".

Everybody was silent and awestruck over the simple genius of it all.

"One old guy, just sitting at home..with some railway time tables and newspapers..and time." Caroline was in admiration.

" A bit MORE then that, but not MUCH more..yeah...It couldn't have been DONE even ten years ago, but everybody is connected now in the country...the radio and papers are everywhere, and you can ship anything cross country." Observed Vern." Glad he was on OUR side..he had a genius to him.."

"And we unleashed it..." muttered Bernard.

"What do you mean??" aksed Vern.

"Think back. First week after he retired. We were all sitting here. Remember?? And you asked him what he was going to DO now that he wasn't a teacher anymore, just another old cranky man?"

And then it clicked. Vern stared off into the distance looking at nothing, just remembering it ALL now..

"And he turned and said.'I won't let that happen." Vern told no one in particular. "I won't let it. I'll STILL keep making a difference.."

Vern started to well up.

Tom was still taking it hard."Okay. Here's what happens. I want his obit in every paper in the state. There's about 12, right? And we hit the New York Times and the L.A. Times and The Wall Street Journal. I want ANYONE who would want to come, who ever loved, or was loved by the guy to KNOW...to be able to come home and say good bye. I don't care about cost. I'll sell some cows. Sell some land. We do it. Agreed?"
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Postby Dudley on Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:08 pm

Tom took a seat beside Doc Walker.

"So what was cause of death?"

Doc had horn rimmed glasses and a pencil thin moustache. He could pass for Groucho Marx on YOU BET YOUR LIFE or one of the doctors in the ads who say that eight of ten of them who smoked perfered Camels.

Doc Walker took a slug of coffee and stared ahead. "Heart. You should SEE the pics. But there was something else. Been reading up on this disease we're just starting to get a handle on NOW.

"Won't bother you with the name..sort of sounds like 'old timers'. Sands away those wrinkles in the brain that do the thinking. Talk over the fence from Hollywood is that John Barrymore fella who used to do silent movies probably had it when he died. But he thought he was just becoming an old senile fool and drank himself to death rather then be laughed at as a simpleton.

"It was coming for Ben and he KNEW it. I mean, WHAT was the LINE about 'paint flaking off a car' MEAN anyway??? So he stays home rather then go back to Emergency and just dies...It was a good exit. I know, not for US, but heck, how many guys don't even have the sense to leave the party when the booze is done?"

"Can you DO that?? Just DIE??" Tom whispered quietly.

"A lot of the Indian tribes thought so. And our boy would have felt it coming...just like he said. You'd probably heard the stories about the old chiefs going out to die. Be happy he did THAT and didn't want a viking funeral..or one of those Hawaii jobs with the burning boat.."

That made Tom smile warmly. And he wasn't sure he wouldn't have tried to give it to him.

God rest you, merry gentleman, thought Tom.
Last edited by Dudley on Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dudley on Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:44 am

Barney the mail man came in with a cardboard box.

"Is there ANY reason you guys can think of that would account for a retired school teacher getting THIS MUCH mail in two days?"

Nobody could think of anything.

"See, it never really had a chance to PILE UP until now, but when I stop to think, that man has been getting mail like this for YEARS...and he SENDS out almost as much himself...weird.."

Now Caroline was REALLY puzzled."You guys said his charity stuff was all on the phone, so what's this???"

She went over to check out the first stack when the phone rang behind the counter.

"Can you get that, please Terry?"

Terry was glad to.

"Hello...yes...Mrs. Clarkson...how can I help you??"

Mrs. Clarkson was the town cryer/gossip vendor/walking news wire. Caroline's eyes widened and she made gestures with her hands.

Too late.

"You say that there is a Swedish spy AND a negro in town??? My, my...is that a GOOD thing or a BAD thing???"

"Okay, so you don't know for SURE if the nice man at the inn is a spy, but like you say, WHAT ELSE would he want with our town?? And we DO have to be nice for him, I guess, so the REST of the spies can come to town to rent rooms...I can SEE that...

"Now..tell me about the negro..."

Caroline was wide eyed with terror. Roscoe wanted to laugh. Doc Walker had to bite his lip not to burst out in a loud gaffaw.

"..okay, came into town with a Cadillac. Handsome as that Herb Jefferies man...dear, who IS Herb Jefferies???

"Okay, plays cowboys and sings with big bands..I guess that's not bad..no, no..I'm from Hawaii myself...I don't think ANY Herb Jefferies movies played there...who am I??? I guess I'm that negro that drove into town.."

Terry let out a good natured laugh designed to defuse any embarassment. "I apologize, love. You know, Roscoe told me SO much about you...yes, Roscoe. HE'S the one I drove the car up here for..yes, yes, a delivery..the car was MUCH cheaper in Atlanta..No, I really DO come from Hawaii...Mom and Dad live there...

"What did Roscoe SAY?? Well, we were saying one day about cooking, and I promised to make him some REAL pecan pie...NOT the stuff that gets passed off up here...and HE said YOU loved the stuff, would DIE for a REAL piece...about how GRATEFUL you would be...and I said when I drove that Caddy up, I would have to have you over at the diner and MAKE you some...just for you...your own pie...

"Why??? Well, he said about how SMART and well versed you were...how you APPRECIATED education and culture. How you have your finger on the pulse of this town?? WOULDN'T I just want to get to know such a woman and get her ON MY SIDE???

More laughter. By now, everyone was breathing easier.

"Come on over to the diner...I'll make it in front of you...no, that's because there is a whole bag of real pecans in the trunk..have some for the walk home too...that's right. Come over right now. Bye."

Terry hung up the phone and walked away like it was just another afternoon. As if to himself, he said:"I always found the shortest distance between two people was between a good meal."
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Postby Dudley on Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:57 am

The wild turkey was starting to come out of the brush. It was a wiley bird, but the garbage and corn that Dodger had left out was too much for the tom to resist.

In her blind, Dodger chuckled softly and with an emotion that approached pure scorn.

There was NO way she was going to knock off her annual turkey bagging. So who CARES if some spy had taken a room in town, like old What'sHerFace said?

The only way to eat turkey was to kill it yourself and be THERE when it was dressed and given back to you. The only way.

And then, just as she was exhaling and getting ready to squeeze NOT pull the trigger and sent the bird to critter hell, WHAT happens??? Why that nudnick Jim and his priss wife Mary are IN her blind, asking her what she was DOING!

"I'm *&%$ waiting for a street car, what does it LOOK like what I am doing??" Dodger was mad now.

Jim made a face and took the rifle from her shoulder. "Dodger, Dodger...have you EVER had store bought turkey?"

"Are you TRYING to be funny, Jim???"

"No. Straight up serious. We want you to come over to our place. Have a real big fat juicy bird that is raised to be eaten...just try it out...until that guy over there is long gone...What can it hurt??"

Jimm pointed to the Inn behind the blind. From where they were crouching, it would be a clear view for the guest to see the turkey killed. NOT good tourism...especially with some guy who was just getting to KNOW America. Jim could only imagine his expression as the bird was gunned down and one of the 'colorfull townsfolk' jumped up and down and whooped in glee.

Yes. Just perfect.

"Dodger..." Mary had her nicest smile on now."Remember the last church pot luck??? How you licked the gravey bowl clean?? Best gravey you ever had??? That was from a store bought turkey. They are making it SOOOO nice and rich now..so full of flavor and plump."

"See, THIS is where we are going WRONG..." Dodger spat out."We little by little lose the things that make us SPECIAL..that DEFINE Christmas to our parents...and should define it for US..and BAGGING our own turkey.."

"Doesn't have to HAPPEN anymore.." interupted Jim."THINK about it...two years ago you were out with a cold for two weeks after you bagged that bird. Billy was forever pulling bits of metal out of his teeth..so were you...last year the thing was so scrawny it took two..and you had to let the one get cold while you cooked the other..tell you what..TRY it..we're having one for supper TONIGHT..and we want you to try it out with us..."

"And WHERE did YOU get the money for a turkey from the store???"she gleefully shot back.

"The guest payed in cash. And we want to impress."

"Okay. We try it YOUR way..but if Mr. Spy gets on my nerves, it's every gal for herself..."

She paused.

"That gravey was REALLY from the store bought turkey??? Oh MAN..."
Last edited by Dudley on Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
Run run Rudolph, Santa's got to make it on time..
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Postby Dudley on Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:29 pm

Hector leaned back and enjoyed the sun coming through the window. It was warm on the other side of the glass where he was. Sort of like spring, but you didn't want to go out side. It wasn't stuffy and the sun make your face almost tickle when it shone on it for a long time.

Beautiful. Hector smiled and decided to get some more sleep in his seat. He was full...and happy...

Then the knocking came. Quietly, but still there.

More knocking.

Hector sighed. Oh well. Duty first.

It was Tom. He had left the diner and was knocking on the window of Hectors cab.

Hector sighed and rolled it down. "Where do you need to go???"

"Can I climb in for a minute?? We need to talk.."

Hector motioned to the back, but Tom decided the front seat was less risky.

"Hector, do you know where you ARE this morning?"

"In my cab...why???"

"Hector, you are parked on the lawn of town hall again. Last week when you were drinking in the cab on nights, you wound up at the gravel pit.That was REALLY out of the beat from where you usually wind up.

Now, normally, it wouldn't be a big deal. We know where to find you, and if we need a ride we can shove you over and just leave the money on the dash.

"But Hector, we have a TOURIST back in town again..so I'm going to ask you to let Tillie do the driving for the next few weeks..I have a plan."

"A TOURIST???" Hector was all ears.

"Yeah. And he doesn't KNOW you just pull onto someone's lawn when you get enough egg nog and just sleep it off..if we want to get OTHERS we have to take a big city attitude to this..and we need you sober.."

Hector sighed.

"There is more..I talked to Doc Walker..you're starting to show the effects of the drinking. If you don't quit, and quit NOW, you are going for liver damage."

Hector stared through the windshield."I've tried to quit. It never takes."

"Doc Walker thinks he has an answer. He doesn't think you are weak or evil. He thinks it's a disease and can be cured."

Hector turned and looked at Tom for the first time.

"He thinks it's like a poison..you have to take some time to get the poison out of your system. He calls it 'detoxification'...just like when the Jensen kid ate too much Rat Kill and they had to slowly get it out of his system. Same deal. He figures you hole up at the Inn for a month. Work every day. Eat right. The detoxification part should take about two, three weeks."

"THEN what???"

"We train you to stop wanting it...he calls it 'behavior modification'..stop the behaviors that make you want to drink. Quit you on the slippery slope before you get on it.."

Hector in a very small voice, said;"Okay. Let's try it. C'mon. You can take me over to Tillie..at least the liscense stays in the family.."

Hector shoved over in the front seat and Tom got in.

"No sense making this a fare...you're only paying yourself..or me..which is the same thing.."

"Hector, that is so confusing it's almost profound."

The cab slowly turned off the town hall lawn and drove towards the bright noon sun.
Run run Rudolph, Santa's got to make it on time..
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Postby Dudley on Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:23 pm

"Okay...all bets in.." Caroline announed."Roscoe says twenty to twenty five minutes..Do we have any others who want to contest that???"

Nobody else wanted to add to the plate full of change and some bills on the table.

Caroline reached over and gave Roscoe a peck on the cheek."Okay, hon...bye..and good luck.."

Rosoce made a great show of counting down the time as the second hand made it to the top of the diner clock, then dashed out the front door when it touched 12. Mabye a dozen people cheered and waved.

Terry gave Caroline a questioning look.

"It's for the Salamander Sisters..."she replied."Well, actually only one..Nettie is the one who DISTRUSTS gas powered cars..she still thinks the steamer is fundamentally more SOUND..so Bell goes with Roscoe or anyone else she gets to do the drive. Show me the gifts."

Terry took her outside to the Caddy and opened the trunk.

"What do you want to see first?"he asked sweeping his hand over the crammed trunk.

"His gifts..the Parker pen set and the Agatha Christie book."

"Sure, sure..right here in this plain brown box...now WHO are.."

"The Salamander Sisters??? Their REAL names are the SALANDER sisters..their father made a fortune in pharmacy stuff..but as they got OLDER then started to take on the looks of..well..lizards...the name sprang up..and they are both so good natured and both kind of liked it and never got mad...Oh, TERRY this is BEAUTIFUL.."

Caroline leaned over and gave him a big hug and kiss. The two paused and stared for a second. Even in Vermont, this hug and kiss was a big deal.

Caroline stepped back and said:"Now, Mom and Dad.."

"Right here..."Cross Creek" for Mom and the shaving set for Dad...AND the REALLY good coffee I told you about...from Jamica...Blue Mountain..so mild, it's almost tea, and GUARANTEED to leave your Dad's sensitive stomach alone for awhile.."

Caroline made an 'ooohh'ing sound like a little kid.

"Now tell me what the BET is about.."Terry's voice took on a high pitched note of frustration.

Caroline laughed."Okay. I've made you wait long enough..See, crates of oranges used to be really expensive before they had those refrigerated rail cars..still are for a lot of folks here..and the sisters were the only ones who could AFFORD to buy the oranges and bring them into town by the crate all winter.

"So someone would get paid to take Bell down to the station and get the crate, but she would make them go about ten miles an hour there and back and it would take all DAY..she would also leave that HUGE orange crate RIGHT ON HER LAP...it would almost CRUSH her, and the guys who were doing the driving would TELL her she could put the oranges back in the back but she would say it was HER load, and she didn't want to ADD to the weight of the car..."

Terry was laughing now."And Roscoe thinks he has a way of getting the job done in twenty minutes???"

"Uh huh...and the money on the counter says he can't..hope he makes it..it's close to ten bucks..Now, tell me about Dicky.."
Last edited by Dudley on Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Run run Rudolph, Santa's got to make it on time..
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