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8/28/2008

Oklahoma Bound - The Kid - Part 6

Please Note: Links to the previous episodes are in the top left panel. However, Saturday before last, I published a slightly edited version called "The Story So Far" which makes the first episode's relationship to the Past Lives series invisible. The link lies between the Fourth and Fifth links on the left. So you can choose. Follow the Cardinal links on the left to see it with the unmodified First Episode, or click on the Story So Far link and then the Fifth to read it just focused on The Kid.

And now ... Episode 6 .. of .. The Kid ...


The engines roared to life as the pilot opened the throttles and sent his aircraft hurtling down the runway and up into the stygian black of the East Kansas night.

The Kid felt everything. Every bump in the runway. The sound pounded his chest like fists. Every sense was on edge and keen to its purpose. He saw, felt and heard EVERYTHING.

It was always like this after a kill. He felt like he was dancing on the edge of his knife. Jumpy and alert. Tense and elated and high as a kite. He felt the plane ease off the runway and pull him down, into the seat, as she climbed into the night. He felt the thumps as the gear locked into place under the engines. As the airliner thundered and roared, higher and higher into the night, he forced himself to slow his breathing and relax, just relax. Easy. Just slow it down and take it easy.

The engines throttled back some, settling into a lower pitch and volume.

"Can I get you anything?"
"Nah. Thanks anyway."

She noted that that was the first time he had said anything even remotely polite.

"Say, wait a minute. You got any gum? I could use some gum."
"I may have. I'll check and see."

As the Stewardess moved to the rear of the plane, he watched her with an interest he hadn't displayed, previously. This was his time of peaked interests, on all levels. This is when he would have sex. After a kill. Typically, this was the only time he was interested in sex. He was afraid of women. He was intimidated by the thought of being seen, naked, by a woman. Afraid of ridicule. The bigger boys at the orphanage had made fun of him. And so did the girls, because the boys had told them things about him. Too pale. No body hair. Too small. 'Little Dick' they called him. And his uncle, before that, had ridiculed him all the time. Made him feel dirty and obscene. That's why he kept his body free of hair. His uncle had been hairy. Very hairy. He didn't like touching hair - he didn't like the thought of someone touching hair on him. Back in Chicago there was a hooker he knew. She kept her body free of hair. He would see her after a job. She never said anything. She never charged him anything, either. Not after the first time, anyway. He sensed fear in her. He had no idea why.

"Here's your gum, Sir. I hope you like DoubleMint."
"That's fine. Thanks."
"Can I get you anything else?"

He stared at her for a moment.

"Do you like working for the airline?"
"It's okay. People seem to think it's glamorous, somehow, but after a while, it's just a job. Why?"
"Oh .. I just wondered. You're very pretty and you're very good at your job. You must like doing what you do."

He patted the empty seat next to him; an invitation to sit.
She sat down, hesitantly, in the empty seat.

"Oh, I like it well enough .. it's just that it keeps me away from my son too much."
"You're married?"
"Not anymore. That's the only reason I could get on with the airline. My husband was killed in the last days of the war. We got married in '44, when he was home on leave. He went back and I never saw him again. All I have left of him is his son. My son."
"Just the two of you, then?"
"No, my Mom stays with us. She watches Jerry, that's my son, when I'm out of town."
"That's hard."
"Yes, it is. Which is why I'm leaving the line. That and the fact that I'm tired of hiding the existance of my son from the airline. You can't be married and be a Stew; it follows that you can't have kids, either. So this is my next to last westbound. On my next trip out, my Mom and Jerry are coming along. We're going to live in Vegas. I have a job waiting in one of the new casinos."
"Yeah?"
"Yes, I'm going to be working in the money room. Counting money."
"Hey, that's a good job. Who do you know?"
"I..I'm sorry, I have to see to the other passengers now. You do understand, don't you?"

"Yeah, not a problem. Talk to ya later."

She rose and walked to the back of the plane, checking on passengers as she went.

He sensed a fear in her. He didn't understand her fear, either.

He leaned back in his seat, a headache starting to grow, behind his eyes. He was coming down from his adrenalin high. Best to try to get some sleep. There would be no dreams. Not for a while. There never were, after a job. It was the only time he slept well.

He woke to silence. He sat up and in doing so discovered a blanket had been placed over him. His hand went to the pocket with the knife. Still there.

"You looked cold so I covered you with a blanket. You're not too warm, are you?"

"No, I'm fine. Are we on the ground?"

His voice had taken on a flat, hard note that made her cringe inside.

"Yes. We're in Oklahoma City. We be taking off again in just a few minutes. We'll be flying into the dawn on the way to Albuquerque."

"Are we pickin' any people up here? Any new passengers?"

"No, no new passengers. Just the one couple got off, that's all. Why?"

"Curiosity. That's all. Just curiosity. I'm a very curious kinda guy."

He sat back in his seat, felt for the knife in his pocket, and, reassured, stared off into the west where the faintest tinges of light began to touch the sky.

Flying into the dawn. Something nice about that. Nah, get that shit out of your head. Keep it straight. You can't get mixed up with no tail. You got places to go. Albuquerque and then Vegas. You got people to see. Starting with that guy, Sully. Vegas. Things will be good in Vegas. Real fuckin' good in Vegas.

23 comments:

jientje said...

Good morning Lou!
You are a master in building up suspense and then taking another turn in the story. I loved how you spiced it with all the right ingredients.
And yes, there IS something nice about flying into the dawn I think ...

www.ayewonder.com said...

Excellent installment, Lou. You left your reader right on the edge of their seats. You could feel the at odds emotions of fear and attraction. It was extremely well written and conceived. I don't know why but I fear for the stewardess.
And you had me reaching for dictionary.com because I'd never heard the word, stygian.

Shadow said...

hiya lou! some more glimpses of who the kids is... loved this one. and the 'flying into the dawn'. keep going.

jientje said...

You've got your readers standing at the end of a road, and that road splits into three, maybe four different roads. And YOU know which road YOU ( the writer) are going to choose, but I as a reader already know that each road will also have small and dark alleyways ...
Interesting, I love it!

Christy said...

You tease! You know we all thought he was going to do her.....

Maybe later?

Nicole said...

Beautiful piece of work!
Looking forward to see the next one.
Guess that will be a juicy one :D

LceeL said...

jientje: Good Morning, Jientje. I'm glad you like it.

ayewonder: To me, 'Stygian Blackness' has always felt like impenetrable dark and gloom. And the word derives from the River Styx, one of the 5 rivers in Hades, the one that souls are ferried across on their way into Hell. I thought it appropo.

shadow: Thank you, I will. A couple more months, I think.

jientje: Actually, after next week episode, I'm a little stumped. I know where he has to get to - and I know most of how he gets there, but there are still some things I can't see yet.

Christy: I can't tell you that. It would give away too much of the plot line.

nicole: Yes. Next week is going to be special.

Michael said...

Hey I am a newcomer to your stories but I really enjoyed that, I too was right on the end of my set cant wait till the next episode, oh by the way I am a follower

witchypoo said...

Thank you, Lou. This is my treat to myself with my morning coffee.
The Kid is always special.
I'm not overly fond of body hair either, not that it moves me to shave my legs, I just wear long skirts in summer.

Patsy said...

So will the stewardess who is headed to Vegas and the Kid end up together? ---- I know you won't tell me, but her fear of and intrestest in him makes me wonder. Good writing :)

Joyce-Anne said...

I'm on the edge of my seat wanting more. Can't you start writing bi-weekly entries?

LceeL said...

Michael: Thank you, Michael. I am flattered. Good bowling, sir.

witchypoo: I don't much care for it either. I always say - No grass grows on a playground - no hair grows on my chest.

patsy: Thank you. And I'm not telling what happens concerning her. At least, not yet.

joyce-anne: I thought about that. But then it would be work - and rushed. And I do want to take my time. You know, Slow and deliberate. Like an old sheriff - or something.

redchair said...

Hi Lou,
I love how this segment came together. I also like the little tweaks you made. Well done.
Vikki

Hyphen Mama said...

It always ends before I'm ready. I guess that's the key.... leave them wanting more.

LceeL said...

redchair: Thank you, Vikki. If not for you - he wouldn't exist.

hyphen mama: I'm thinking about writing these episodes longer. Maybe when he gets to Vegas the episodes will get longer.

Sandy C. said...

Whoa. I honestly felt like I was sitting on the plane with them. I felt the engines in the seats, and envisioned the different skies. Brilliant imagery Lou :)
I really cannot wait to read what unfolds between these two!

maggie's mind said...

All day long I wanted to get here to read this, and finally I did, and you did not disappoint. Awesome installment. Awesome. Is it next Thursday yet? ;)

LceeL said...

Sandy C: Thank you, Sandy. I love the phrase "Brilliant Imagery". Makes me feel good.

Maggies Mind: I am so glad I did not disappoint.

warriorwoman said...

I'm with Christy - I thought he was going to get some as well.

Elizabeth said...

I was waiting for a Mile High Adventure. ;)

Jientje said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

I suspect we'll hear more about the stewardess! ;)

Employee No. 3699 said...

I'm finally catching up after my cold and work assignment from Hell.

Another great chapter! I'm fearing for the stewardess now, but I guess I'll have to wait to see if that fear is warranted.