Thursday, January 7, 2021

Dumber’ a Dead Tree Stump (Part 1 of 2 Parts), Post #143

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Today, I’d like to return to storytelling. There follows a short (two part) short story that I hope you’ll like.

* * * * *


I was on the hunt for Flatnose Kelly. Usually the town queer wasn’t hard to find, unless he was hid off somewhere with one of his tricks. His real name was Eugene, but everyone called him Flatnose because he usually had it tight up against someone’s belly when he did his thing. Dunno what he got outa doing things like that for guys, but I guessed he liked it or else he wouldn’t a done it.

Today, I was kinda hard up because me’n my buddy Darcel had hung around all afternoon, and the sight of him laying flat of his back in the grass at the park wouldn’t get outa my mind. His shirt and pants—shorts actually—had just laid right close to his body outlining things so it didn’t take much imagination to figure out what was beneath them. Course, we’d gone skinny dipping lotsa times, so I knew what everything looked like for real, but every once in a while a sight like that just stirred me up. And that’s why I was looking for Flatnose.

I found him down by the creek holding a fishing line over the water. Don’t think it even mattered to him if he got a bite, much less caught a fish. Flatnose was one strange dude. He was a couple of years older’n me and Darcel, and he was all right in the looks department, but no one claimed him as a buddy because of what he done. To be fair about it, I don’t really know who he did it for. I mean, you heard talk around the high school, but sometimes talk’s just that, talk. I didn’t believe half the guys when the claimed to get to home base with this girl or that gal. Far’s I know, it could be that way with Flatnose too. All I can tell you for sure was that three or four times, he’d sent me to the moon. He always claimed I had a good one, but that was probably just talk. I’d seen just about every guy in school necked as a jaybird in gym class at one time or another, and they all looked about the same. Some longer, some fatter, but let’s face it, a prick is a prick.

“Hullo, Frankie,” he said when I plopped down beside him on the bank. “Where’s Darcel?”

I shrugged. “Off somewhere doing his own thing, I guess. We’re not joined at the hip, you know.”

He looked at me through pale gray eyes and gave a half-smile. “Might as well be. Probably like to be joined a different way, truth be told.”

“Now why’d you say that?”

He shrugged back at me. His cork bobbed in the water, but he paid it no mind. You see Darcel, you know Frankie’s not far behind.”

I poked out my lower lip and nodded. “Yeah, we’re good friends. Buddies.”

“Just not the way you’d like.”

“Why you always talk to me like that?” I demanded, my blood rising.

“See one, you see the other. What else can I think?”

“No wonder you don’t have any friends.”

“Sure I got friends. Got one sitting here right beside me.”

“Crap,” I said and flopped on my back.

Like I hoped he would, he laid a warm hand over me.

“And my friend’s got a friend. A big friend.”

I just kept my mouth shut and let him do what I knew he was gonna do. I kinda jumped when he pulled me out of my stretch pants, but lordy, did my eyes fly open when he put his mouth on me. Wasn’t anything felt much better’n that. Not even bagging a six-point buck during deer season. I just sucked air and let him have at it.

When it was over—all too soon for me—he pulled my stretch pants back in place, but I just lay there, my bones gone soft and my muscles syrupy. After a while, I stretched like I was just getting up in the morning and yawned.

“Thought the Sandman got’cha for a minute,” Flatnose said.

“Nah. But it felt like I was waking up.” I kinda shook my head. Every other time Flatnose had pinged my pong, I couldn’t wait t get outa there. Now I was talking to him. “What do you get outa that?” I asked.

He shrugged—something else he was good at—and thought for a minute before answering. “I dunno. Making you feel good makes me feel good.” He swiped his face with a freckled hand. “You know, for a few minutes there, nobody matters more to you than me. What I’m doing for you, you know. It’s kinda special. And that makes me special.”

He pulled in his line, and I saw there wasn’t a worm on it. That nibbling fish had gotten the whole worm without getting hooked. I thought about that for a minute.

Was I getting the worm, or was I getting hooked?

 * * * *

Frankie seems to have maneuvered the first part of the story okay. He gets excited by his friend and gets his ashes hauled by someone else. What gives?

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Twitter: @markwildyr

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 Until next time.


 New posts the first and third Thursday of the month at 6:00 a.m., US Mountain time.

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