By Cindy and Walt
Well that was an interesting breakfast. I wasn’t sure whether I had been fired or quit. Either way Jeremy and I had severed our business connection. I thought at the time that we both were relieved that it was over. I helped him plan for his resort project, and he had no need to work out some complicated financial arrangement with me. He had agreed to purchase my surplus building material. His new foremen, whoever that might be, could use in the construction of the cabins. He also agreed to purchase my trailer to use when he hauled them away.
We got to the Hardee’s first two days after all that was decided. He and Alice were still triking with me. We were still racing into the darkness very early in the mornings. “I’m going to buy breakfast even though I beat you fair and square,” he said.
“I never refused a free meal in my life,” I said. I was wondering when the other shoe was going to fall. I knew there was another shoes since Jeremy enjoy his meal more, after he beat me and I had to pay.
We were at the corner table a few yards from the SMP officers when he said, “I hired Carlos as my foreman.”
Before I could stop myself I asked, “You did what?”
“He built your two cabins, so he knows how they were constructed,” Jeremy said.
“The new ones are nothing like the first ones,” I said.
“So, all the interior fixture and utilities will be the same. Your plans for the trees can be adapted to those cabin plans easy enough,” he said.
“Well that’s true. Hey he has to work and you can use his expertise,” I said. “I get rid of all the crap I have left over from the church project, so it’s a no brainer.”
“I have no use for your models, but I will buy them at fair market prices and resell them,” Jeremy offered.
“No thanks, they are pretty far from anything, so they will make a good workshop,” I said.
“Right,” Jeremy said with a smile, which was out of place.
“I will not dignify that with a response,” I said.
Jeremy went to the bathroom before we left to ride the trikes home. He must have written the note on a sandwich wrapper at that time. Because he slipped it in my pocket, before I sat down on the low fiberglass seat of the orange trike.
The pile of dirty clothes were about to take over the house. I looked at the bathroom where the washer and dryer would be installed that very afternoon. I had no choice but to wait for the delivery. I don’t know that it would have made any difference in how I spent my day. I didn’t have a plan when I woke and I didn’t have a plan half way through the day either.
The call from the delivery men came shortly after 1 PM. The machines were installed and working shortly after 1:30. The men weren’t even out of the drive when the first load of underwear was in the machine. It filled the machine to capacity. My panties were small but the white tee shirts took up some space. I also had a while blouse I included.
I had waited so long for the delivery that I had time to buy laundry detergent and dry bleach. In other words I had waited impatiently for the machines. The washer was a bit noisy. I noticed it when I went to the door to greet Jeremy whose note had informed me of his intention to stop by after lunch alone.
“So Jeremy, what brings you to the Country Store?” I asked.
“I feel bad about sticking you with those two cabins. So I thought I could use one for a shop as well as you. I’ll give you 65k the day you deliver me a clean deed. I know both cabins are on the same deed now, so separate them and I’ll take either of them for the 65k.” he explained.
“Is there a condition that I don’t tell Alice?” I asked.
“You knew that was going to be a condition of whatever I came here to do,” he said.
“I figured you were just coming to get laid which I couldn’t figure out since Alice was all into the sharing thing,” I said.
“She is ok but I know a girl or two who don’t share her enthusiasm for sharing,” he explained.
“It’s a done deal. I’ll get your deed and you can just add the two grand you owe me to the purchase price of the leftovers from the church,” I said. I wasn’t at all worried about having Jeremy for a neighbor at the cabin. He knew the worst of my secret. There was nothing he could find out any worse.
“You want me to install your gun rack in the truck while I’m here?” he asked.
“Don’t let the boobs fool you, I think I can handle it,” I explained using my new favorite line.
“Well, I did kind of tell Alice I was coming to help you, so if you don’t mind,” he explained.
“Okay, I’ll get it,” I said. It was a rack like the ones almost every pickup truck in the county had. It also installed in fifteen minutes. Jeremy had coffee while he warmed up after the job. Then he left without any more time spent feeling me up. I wasn’t at all disappointed.
I washed and dried clothes all day and into the evening. It was quite an experience I hadn’t done laundry on that scale, since I worked in the laundry at the correctional facility.
I’m not sure if the memory of the women’s prison was sparked by the laundry or by the SBI car pulling into my drive. I recognized him for what he was before he even got out of the car. He was too well dressed to be anyone I knew at that time and place.
“Miss Seabold?” he asked’
“That would be me detective,” I said.
“Good guess, Detective 1st grade Garcia,” he said.
“You are looking into Jose’s murder and his friends informed you that he was showing them pictures of me?” I asked.
“Yes, how did you know?” Garcia asked.
“The parents of Jose were friends of mine. Until those kids told them he was involved with a grown woman. They put two and two together and got seven,” I said. “So I’ve been expecting you.”
“So you weren’t involved with Jose?” he asked.
“Not at all. Jose stalked me. I found out about those cell phone pictures, just days before he died. The kids should have told you that Jose had sent them nude photos of a different woman. Mine were shot without my knowledge or permission. The other woman looked right into the camera.”
“Do you know who she is,” he asked.
“She was Joan Bradshaw. She was killed by her husband probably on the same day as Jose. I’m surprised you didn’t connect the two before now,” I said.
“We have been investigating looking for a connection. So was he seeing her or stalking her,” he asked.
“She obviously posed for those pictures. My guess is he was doing more than seeing her,” I said. “I feel somewhat responsible for his death. The two of them met while visiting me in the hospital,” I said.
“It is my understanding that Jose was a casual laborer of yours, They say he was doing work around the house, while you were recovering from a bike accident?” he asked.
“That’s right and Joan was my instructor for a drawing course. I am still enrolled in that course at the community college,” I said.
“So Jose’s family blames you?”” he asked.
“For the wrong reasons but I expect they would be just as pissed knowing I knew about Jose and Joan but didn’t tell them. If I had, he be might still be alive,” I explained.
“Well that’s about all for now. Oh I almost forgot, Agent Morris sends her regards.” He paused a few seconds before walking out the door. He acted as if that was supposed to rattle me. I chose not to acknowledge his statement.
When the cop left around 6 PM, I went back to my laundry. Hoping to finish before midnight, okay that is an exaggeration but it was well after dark when the machines stopped for the evening. I knew I would be good for a few days at least.
During the evening I worked on the sketching again. I was almost through with the lessons, but I didn’t have any idea how I was doing with them. I might be doing great things or I might be just a hack. I couldn’t tell without some help, but I also didn’t care. If I wanted to make sketches and give them away, I could. I was about to get an injection of 68k into my legal account. There was almost double that in the grease pit. Best of all my expenses were low, really low.
With that in mind, I put the sketch pad away and aimed one of the video cameras at the rear door. I pointed is so it picked up the back door and shots of the backyard through the glass. The other one I aimed in the direction of the opening to the kitchen and bath. Kind of a security system of my own.
It was 10 PM so I decided to watch a little online TV before bed. I scrolled down to a Tattoo competition show. One of the judges was giving a guy hell because he couldn’t do a black and gray tattoo. I really hadn’t learned to do a complete black and gray drawing or a portrait. The sketch was far from a finished drawing. That’s what Joan was doing when she was killed. Not a sketch, it was planned as a black and gray portrait.
Without Joan I would have to teach myself how to do a decent black and gray portrait. It became my mission and my obsession to learn to do decent black and gray portraits. Not just drawing, but portrait quality work every time.
I didn’t know a single person in the area that did black, gray, and white drawing on paper. There was a place where people did black and gray pictures almost daily.
I fell asleep planning my next move. Yes, Joan and Jose were back again. Joan became more insistent that I have sex with Jose. My problem was that the sex games Joan and I played were in my mind but in the dark of night they felt real. They felt so real I stopped visiting chat rooms. I just didn’t need them at that moment.
Joan was just as pushy dead as she had been alive. She was experimenting with having Jose touch me while I was high on her body. It was not something I looked forward to doing, but somehow I did look forward to the feelings he brought out in me. When the two of them finished with me I came just like always. Not only did I cum but both of them did as well. Joan straddled my face when she came. When it was over my face felt sticky. Jose masturbated and spilled his semen on my breast. I woke up in the middle of the night with a film covering my breasts. I rationalized both feelings and then forgot them. There was the usual puddle on the sofa. Even before Joan and Jose started to visit, I had bought a plastic mattress cover for the sofa where I slept.
It had been clear to me for sometime that I discharged lots of vaginal lubricant when I orgasmed. Now that I had a washer and dryer, I knew that I would be doing my sheets pretty often. When the morning came I went back to my regular routine. I put wood on he fire, then started the hot water heater.
I dressed for the morning ride, then while I waited for Jeremy and Alice I used a number two lead pencil to draw a whiskey bottle sitting in the window with light behind it. There was about an inch of whiskey left in the bottle. When I got through I found the proportions all wrong.
I did the morning race and then breakfast with Jeremy and Alice. “So how is the project coming along?” I asked Jeremy.
“It’s doing real good,” he said. Tom got the lumber for the first house cut and milled. Carlos and his brother Juan took a while to get on board but now they are working really well on the project. The climate here is not all that hard on posts in the ground. Not too much rot and no insects to amount to anything. We have been digging the post hole and inserting the post then letting them soak in a poison solution they use in Mexico before pouring the concrete ball that holds them in place.”
“I wouldn’t volunteer that to anyone from the EPA,” I suggested.
“You probably have a point. I think they will finish the cabin in a few days. It should have about ten days labor in the building of it,” Jeremy said.
“That should still give you a healthy profit,” I said. “Not to mention the profits from the concessions like water and waste disposal.”
“Don’t forget the small convenience type store, we are going to be running.” he said with a smile.
“Is there a charge for the fresh air?” I asked.
“Would you consider the removal of kitchen garbage aiding in the quality of the air?” he asked with a smile.
“I hadn’t thought of that as a service, but I suppose it could be,” I said.
“Yes, even a clean up of the cabin when they leave, and again before their next use. We are going to do everything,” he said.
“It does sound as though you have thought it out,” I admitted.
“I have,” Jeremy said.
“I hope when you build the cabins, you don’t waste your money on closets,” I said with a laugh.
“We have one small closet to store the clothes which they are wearing at check in.” Jeremy was laughing as well. “How about you? Do you want to come see the first cabin when it is complete next week?” he asked.
“Try me again next week, I might go along. Today I can’t say what is going to happen next week. My plan is to see a man about a tattoo,” I said.
“Oh My,” Alice said. “You are having a tattoo done?”
“Most likely not, I am going to learn a little about how to just apply ink. If I get it down, one day you might see some drawings I make,” I said smiling.
“Then we can say I knew her when,” Jeremy said. “When she wasn’t a starving artist.”
“Something like that,” I replied.
“Well I need to get back to make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do. Are you sure you don’t want to come be the job foreman for me?” Jeremy asked.
“Not right now. If you really get in trouble, you can count on me,” I said.
When I got home I showered and dressed in my favorite clothes, my white thermal short sleeve shirt. My big over sized red sweatshirt, then white bikini panties and thick but soft jeans. From the Internet I knew the tattoo parlor in College Hill didn’t open till noon, so I went shopping for a shotgun. One I could leave in the truck.
I already knew that it was possible to purchase the shotgun and take it home with me. Which made the idea to purchase a shotgun appealing. I stopped in a gun shop in a shopping plaza outside of College Hill. I brought a pocket full of cash since I knew even cheap shotguns weren’t really cheap anymore.
After looking and holding all the shotguns, I asked to shoot one. It was the cheapest short barrel 20 gauge available. It went off when I pulled the trigger so I paid for the store to run a cleaning rag down the barrel, before I got it, and the cleaning kit for just under 300 bucks.
I filled the magazine with buckshot, checked the safety, then placed it carefully into the gun rack. One of my requirements was that it not look like a tactical shotgun. I didn’t need the SMP pulling me over, just because I looked like a member of a militia.
I felt better for buying it, but didn’t really feel as though I needed a shotgun in the truck. It did look at home up there. In a traffic accident it might give me one hell of a bruise as it went sailing through the air.
I had a nice salad at one of the College Hill restaurants, which appeared to cater to well financed college kids. The salad wasn’t bad, but I knew it would have me in the lady’s room before long. Salads always did that to me.
I made it to the Tattoo Parlor at 1 PM. When I went in I was met by a woman a few years older than me, which would put her in her early thirties, I thought.
“Can I help you?” she asked with a thick southern drawl.
“I would like to speak to your best tattooer of black and gray tattoos,” I said. I made sure I said it loud enough to be heard by anyone hiding in the back.
“I’m Eddie,” a guy who walked up said. “You interested in a black and gray tat?”
“I am interested in looking at your portfolio,” I replied noncommittally.
“Sure,” he said producing a leather notebook with pages and pictures inside. They were sketches on skin good sketches but still sketches.
“They are nice, but not what I’m looking for. Do you know anyone else around here who does black and gray portraits?” I asked the girl. “Puta,” the artist said.
“Cocksucker,” I replied. He looked like he might come after me. I wrapped my hand around the Bic pen with the skull on the non-pointed end. If he came at me, he might find an extra hole in his chest. I guess it was something in my eyes, or the way I repositioned my body that made him change his mind.
He shook his head then returned to the rear of the shop. “Damn lady, you got balls,” the receptionist said. She wrote down a number on a stick up, then handed it to me. He is retired but he still does a tat now and then by appointment only. Learned to do tats in prison. He was doing a twenty year bit, so he had time to practice.”
“Thanks and honey, don’t let that cocksucker beat you down,” I said.
“Too late, I’m married to the cocksucker,” she said and laughed.
“Then I sure hope it was a big cock you fell in love with, cause I’m sure it wasn’t his disposition,” I said as I left the shop.
“Luis,” I said when he answered the phone. “My name is Rose Seabold. I would like a meeting with you please.”
“You the one called that cocksucker at the Tattoo Parlor a cocksucker,” he asked with a laugh.
“That would be me,” I said.
“Meet me at the park on Central across from the Senior Citizen’s Tower. And bring a dozen donuts. Glazed, not filling.” he demanded.
“Do I bring coffee,” I asked.
“No, I’ll bring the coffee I hate that restaurant crap,” he said.
I went through the drive thru at the local Krispy Kreme. I knew there had to be one in a college town, and sure enough there was. It was only five blocks from the park.
I sat the box prominently on the bench beside me. I saw the old man with the thermos at least thirty feet before he reached me. “You could have gotten closer to the door,” he said.
“I figured you needed the exercise, if you were going to eat all those donuts,” I said.
“I’m going to have one now, the rest I’m going to let age a little,” he said. “Now Viv said you wanted a tat?”
“No, I want to talk to the best black and gray tattooer I can find,” I said.
“Why,” he asked removing two coffee cups from his pocket.
“I’m trying to learn to draw. I want to draw pen and ink pictures. One pen one bottle of ink on paper. For that I need to learn shading,” I said while he poured the coffee.
“You know you could do that with different colors of inks and different thicknesses of tips,” he said.
“Yeah but they wouldn’t be authentic. They would be gimmicks not the real deal,” I said.
“It took me twenty years to learn all I know. Even if I wanted to teach you, I don’t have twenty years,” he said.
“Nor do I,” I said. “I’m practicing proportions now. I want to learn shading and line control next.”
“Well you at least know the words. Draw me a picture of that tree,” he said. I reached in my coat pocket and removed my Bic pen and a note pad. I had the pad just in case he asked me to draw something. The page was about 4×6 inches.
I sketched the basics of the tree, and tried to fill in enough detail to make it realistic. He took the drawing away from me after a few minutes. “It’s a fucking cartoon tree,” he said with a laugh. He took my pad, then drew a hell of a lot better tree in half the time.
“Okay, you are a real artist and I probably will never be, but I can be a good craftsman with your help,” I said.
“I use the computer at the library downtown to email my grandson. I can only get out once a day. Even that causes me great pain if I stand for more than five minutes at a time. Too much time bending over in the joint, I guess. Got some kind of disk thing they tell me.”
“I will help you. I will answer all your questions, but the price is one brand new laptop. They have WiFi in the building, and I have a friend who is a genus with that shit. So the price is a brand new laptop, tomorrow,” he said. “All it has to do is send and receive email. Maybe check out some porn sites. Be at that bench close to the entrance with the laptop.” He stood, picked up the donuts and walked away.
I was thrilled. I went immediately to the Walmart in College Hill and bought a computer. I picked up a HP laptop for almost the same price as the shotgun. I wanted to get us both scanners but they were just too expensive. I thought I would just tell Luis what we could do. Then I could get him one on Ebay and have it delivered to him.
I went home feeling good about things for a change. I was still sad, but I had hope for a new life.
“Luis,” I said into the cell phone. “I have your computer and I’m going to order us both simple scanners. I think I will get them on Ebay and have one shipped to you and one to me. Is that okay?”
“That is fine. What time will you bring the computer tomorrow?” He asked.
“You tell me, I’m pretty flexible,” I said.
“Then why don’t you stop by Burger King and bring a burger?” he suggested. “We can meet for lunch that way. Like I said my back is so bad, I don’t get out much.”