Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fire Girl (Part 1)

     For Kym --- Love and Kisses

     At least the MG had chosen someplace vaguely civilized to overheat this time.  Through the heat-shimmer, she could make out structures, including what  may or may not be a gas station.  This may mean water and coolant, although she suspected those weren't the problems.  It was her opinion the car was angry with her.
     Five tire patches.  The loss of a belt that had taken two days to be shipped in, leaving her sleeping in a garage lot in the meantime.  And ever since the badlands, overheating every 250 miles or so  She rested the toe of a Doc Marten on the rear bumper and muttered, "Reginald, you suck.."

Fire Girl (Part 2)

     Mookie surreptitiously had looked around the workshop and noticed both white gas and kerosene sitting in big jugs.  Maybe she could talk Pappy into filling her jugs: it would save that much more money.  Her busking money was how she was eating.  If the MG had no more problems (Reginald, you bastard, behave), and she ddn't eat, and she put all busking money in the tank just to be sure, she should arrive in East Bay with a cushion of, oh, fourteen dollars.

Fire Girl (Part 3)

     Mookie and Chet held hands walking through the desert scrub.  Partially because they wanted to, but partially to keep Mookie from doing a header.  A lifetime of sidewalks had not prepared her for the humps and dips of a night stroll in the badlands.
      "Try lifting your feet when you walk," suggested Chet.
     "Like this?" said Mookie, swinging her heels high.  "I feel like a cartoon character marching.... Oh my God."  She'd let go of Chet's hand and was staring in the sky, as though a phalanx of UFOs was landing

Fire Girl (Part 4)

Depending on one's driving style and disdain for the police,  home (in Evanston, WY) is an hour to an hour and a half to Salt Lake City, where Pappy was hospitalized.  While she understood the value of cattle in the area, is was still country that made Mookie wonder, "What was it about here that made them decide to stop and build homes?"

Fire Girl (Part 5)

     They arrived home around 3:30.  Roger's truck, along with both Roger and Brianna, were AWOL, much to Chet and Ma's frustration.  The assumption was they'd headed in to visit Pappy, disregarding time and chores that needed to be done.  Mookie headed for the hen-house and gathered eggs, then began feeding calves: grain for the older ones, and formula milk for the infants.  She'd learned all this in the morning between breakfast and the deputies showing up.

Fire Girl (Part 6)

     Mookie sat with her hands in a death grip on the wheel, staring straight ahead.  Then she keyed the engine, dropped the tranny into gear, and shot into the merge lane, jumping into the fast lane as quickly as possible.  To Chet, she said, "We have to catch her.  She'll die if we don't."

Fire Girl (Part 7)

     Even though  she was directly in front of him, Roger asked if they'd located Brianna.   Mookie and Chet gave each other worried looks; Brianna had a look as though she was waiting for entertainment to start.
     "I want to pray for the both of them while we're here. It seems like the right thing to do, " said Mookie.  "Kneel?"

Fire Girl (Part 8)

   Mookie ended up staying on the ranch  for another six or so weeks, loving almost every minute.  (Cleaning the nursery pens  wasn't high on her lists of fun activities.)  The activities most people would find appalling were fascinating to her, like calving.  It was late in the season so there were a few  left to be whelped,  but she helped with them all.  Pappy, supervising from his chair, commented on how Mookie was the first damn woman he'd ever seen that hadn't tossed cookies while taking part in the process.  She never assisted in slaughtering, which was done partially for the ranch and mostly for a couple local markets.  She just.... No.  Not happening.  She learned how to butcher, cutting to large portions, then portioning to sections for the store butchers to bring to workable pieces, but slaughtering was right out.  She was glad to be of use in the processing, though, saving Chet and Roger quite a bit of time.  She also learned about using the small smokehouse they used for personal use.  She developed a taste for homemade jerky which replaced her Slim Jim fixation.  Store-packaged  jerky would never cut it after having "fresh" jerky, somewhat thick-cut, and smoked and spiced by their own recipe.  Her vegetarian friends  on both coasts didn't know what they were missing.

Fire Girl (Part 9)

     "Pump the pedal a few times, then crank her."
     "What about using some white gas as starter fluid."
     "Just some regular gas in the carb, if it needs it."
     "The timing's gonna be off by a year."
     "Accounted for.  We just want it to turn over and hold any kind of idle."
     "What are you doing?"
     "Is there a god of British cars?"
     A pointed look.. "There is only one God, and He is almighty, Roger."
     "I do know that.  Bad joke.  I apologize."