"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
The sky was filled with stars, and Mookie was overwhelmed. She had literally never seen a spectacle like this in her life. She was awestruck. There was one flaw, which she pointed out to Chet.
"Just a shame about that the streak of clouds up there," she pointed out.
Chet was a bit confused. "Uhh.... That''s not clouds, that's the Milky Way.."
"I always just thought it was a story parents told their kids.... So it really exists?"
"Stare at it for a minute, you can see you're looking at thousands of individual stars. Um, where'd you grow up again?"
"Atlanta, Gee-Ay, with some time in Athens. I never knew.... The sky could be so beautiful...."
"Quite a bit of beauty down here, too," said Chet, and kissed Mookie's neck. She drew in air and kissed him back.
"Up here somewhere.... There." A hand grabbed a pair of heavy clippers off the wall of tools in the workshop.
Mookie stripped off her shirt, kneeling over Chet, who did the same thing. Smiling, she removed his boots, too.
At the front of the MG, slightly shaking hands located the brake line on the left and gave it a snip, holding a pan underneath to collect fluid running out.
Nude, Mookie and Chet explored each other's bodies with their hands, their mouths, rubbing, tasting, sucking, experimenting on each other, finding where and how to bring pleasure.
The right brake line was now severed. One last thing, what they always forgot about in movies...
Mookie moaned softly, her legs wrapped around Chet's waist. It had been too long, and Chet felt too good. His firm movement inside her would bring her to ecstasy much quicker than she would have believed. My god, she thought, this shy cowpoke is gonna give me multiples! She gently bit into his shoulder and held him tighter.
The parking/emergency brake should have been unbolted, not severed, but locating the bolt in the dark would have been too much of a challenge. It had taken some work, but the cable had been conquered.
A steer stopped and observed. Mookie and Chet watched and giggled. "He can't figure out what we're doing, " laughed Mookie..
"To him, we're in the wrong position. You wanna remedy that?"
"Happily." Mookie rolled over and said, "C'mon, stud bull...."
The pan full of fluid was poured into the waste barrel. There, not a bit of residue..... And not a moment too soon.
Ma came out and asked, "Roger, what are you doing out here?"
"Jus' gettin' some air, Ma. I had a bit to drink at our little show tonight, thought I'd get my head a bit more clear before going to bed."
Ma smiled and said, "A couple aspirin and plenty of cold water, that'll put you right in the morning."
"So is that girl staying around here?"
"I couldn't say. Obviously she can't anchor down, and she does have a destination, but it is nice having a woman to talk with --- an intelligent one --- and while she does have definite city ways, she has good manners and works hard, even if she needs instruction. You know, she told me the only thing she knew how to cook until today was frozen pizza! Can you imagine?"
"What if her and Chet were cuddlin' up together?"
Roger received a pointed glare. "That is no business of mine. Certainly not of yours. Am I clear?" She smiled with slightly vicious humor. "Besides, what if the two of them did pan out? Would it bother you to have a wild -haired, fire-breathing city girl as a sister-in-law? Why she'd probably be spending each weekend in Salt Lake so she could perform! Maybe she could train Briannna and they could do a double act, haha!"
Roger looked enraged. "I don't want her near my daughter!" he shouted. "I don't like her near this family at all You let a crazy person onto this ranch, soon she'll have all of you crazy, too!"
"Lie back, baby. This is all on you," Mookie told Chet. Mookie was straddling his legs, preventing him from moving to a great extent. He found this intriguing. Then she took him in her mouth, and he had to remind himself to breathe. Or think, for that matter. He decided to just worry about breathing, and thinking could go hang.
Five minutes later, the center of the universe relocated, just for fifteen seconds or so, to southwest Wyoming. The relocation was short, but beautiful.
"I'd say we'd stay out there all night, but discretion says not to."
"Understood. Showing up at breakfast with sand in our clothes, with that 'freshly laid' look everyone has.... Yeah, a bad idea. Besides, I want to try and be useful in the kitchen if I can. I feel like such a feeb trying to get anything done, I've gotta ask directions for everything....
"You're helpin' out , though, and that means a lot to Ma. Just the extra hands are an aid, even if it's whisking eggs or frying sausages."
"What time should I be down to help?"
"No, that's all wrong, see. That's when you're getting home from being out all night partying."
Chet wrapped an arm around Mookie and held her close. "You are a city girl, aren't you?"
"Born and bred.... Cowboy."
Chet stacked the blanket up where it belonged. He told Mookie, "I wish I could spend the night with you. Wake up with you in my arms."
"Discretion rears its ugly head again."
They kissed goodnight again. Mookie said, "Ma has coffee going at that hour, right?"
"You'd better believe it!"
They crept in and headed for their respective rooms. Sighing, Mookie worked out how to set the alarm clock, stripped down, got in bed, and fell into a deep sleep within moments.
Around 5:30, just at daybreak, a small four-cylinder engine fired up in the workshop. The driver let it idle for a couple minutes. It was a small engine, only generating about 75 horsepower, but considering the weight of the vehicle, that was all that was really needed. With it's short frame, tight steering, and weight-to-power ratio, the 1966 MG Midget was a blast to drive on both mountain curves and open road. So what if you'd never put a tow package on it. It only held two people anyway.
Time for the test drive. This little thing had to get to Oakland, California, and the driver wanted to make sure it would. The driver gunned it down the long drive to the highway, did a fairly stylish slide onto the pavement, and opened it up. The driver needed to add fuel, that was the ostensible goal.
The brakes felt soft, and getting softer. The MG was heading into town at fifty, twenty too fast. The brake pedal was now officially useless, kaput. The driver grabbed for the hand brake: it flopped around uselessly. The MG was approaching a traffic light, one of two in town. The driver downshifted and laid on the horn. Out of desperation it swerved to the right, avoiding the cross-traffic.... But not the light standard on the corner. The MG pulled a Stuka into the post, bringing the front end into the driver's compartment and the pole down on top of the vehicle itself.
At about 6:40 Ma demanded, "Would you go get Pappy? I know he's tinkering with Mookie's car out in the workshop." Mookie was finishing the first thing she'd ever made on her own: hand-made biscuits. Just by the smell of the dough, she could tell these would be a thousand times better than the crap that came in a tube. Since she'd wakened, she'd also learned how to collect fresh eggs and bottle-feed infant calves. Well, no such thing as a useless job skill....
Brianna came back and announced, "He's not there, and the car is gone too." Ma rolled her eyes and muttered, "That man...." To Mookie, she said, "I apologize for my husband, but he's off joy-riding your car somewhere. Thought I was done with this...."
""Ma, I've noticed that there's a tension between you and Pappy over the subject of anything built by Morris Garage. Would it be prying if I asked?"
"The short story? I didn't know I'd have to contend with three mistresses , all named MG. He'd be tinkering to all hours, leaving me alone in bed. I finally convinced him that as they died, he would sell them off, get rid of them, and not try to keep them running. We finally became an MG-free house."
"Then I showed up," Mookie said glumly.
"Oh girl, don't be like that. That was just the boys looking to help out a good-looking woman on the side of the road. It wouldn't have mattered what you were driving: they're all good mechanics and would have lent a hand. That was sheer coincidence."
"Hope this is coincidence. The sheriff's are here.."
"..... The belts, even those old lap belts, saved his life. The pole missed him by a couple inches, though, so he was lucky there.."
"But how is he?" asked a tearful Ma.
"To be frank, you'll need to build wheelchair ramps for him. The engine came forward and fractured both his legs. He got a mild concussion from the windshield. He'll be in the hospital for about a week.... Enough time to buy the lumber and build those ramps, really. He'll be in a chair for a couple months, then teaching his legs to work right again.."
"But is was just bad driving, right?" asked Roger
"Brake failure, by the looks of it," said the deputy. "No skid marks anywhere."
|Ford F-150 4x4|
"You're worried about your car, and Pappy's in the hospital?" sneered Roger.
"I rebuilt those brakes myself, and they were just fine when they rolled into that workshop. There's something screwed up here. If those brakes failed because of work I did, I want to know it, because I'll be your indentured servant for the next ten years." (Admittedly, ten years access to Chet didn't sound bad, but still....)
"Tell you what. Ma, Brianna, Roger, you all take the F-350. We'll take the F-150 and catch up with you at the hospital. We'll learn what we can.."
"I don't know if I can face Pappy right now. It's gonna hurt seein' him laid up the way he is. I'll get measurements for ramps and I'll see you all at the hospital. I'll take my Chevy," said Roger.
It was easy enough to find the MG in the impound lot: no other vehicles had come in. Mookie
|Ford F-350 4x4 (dual tanks)|
The way the frame was bend made her job that much simpler. The wheel wells had flexed upward at the front, exposing the whole assembly. She checked the master cylinder (no fluid-odd), the pedal line, the calipers, the pressure lines----
A nice clean cut through the left front brake line.
"Chet!" she called out. "We need a deputy and a camera. This is officially a crime scene." While he went inside to retrieve both objects, she checked the other side and found the same thing. The emergency brake had been cut; the cable looked as though it had been gnawed in half. The deputy arrived and took photos where Mookie instructed him, much to his annoyance: Strange-looking women aren't supposed to be giving orders to sheriff's deputies, even if they are right.. She had nailed it, though: someone had made sure the car would be unable to stop under any circumstances.
Chet was standing next to a Volkswagen van, an obvious hippie-mobile, kicking the side of it. Mookie could sympathize with the gesture, and also began kicking the van.
"What are you doing?" asked Chet.
"Helping," replied Mookie.
"I'm not in the mood for jokes, ma'am. Someone tried to kill my Pappy, and---- "
"It wasn't your father they tried to kill. It was me."
"But why would anyone want to kill you?"
"Who'd want to kill your father, a wonderful man like Pappy? Riddle me this, Batman.
"It was me they wanted to wreck hard. It wasn't his car, it was mine, and everyone knew that. It was a fluke he was driving it, probably just taking it on a quick joyride, supposedly to make sure he'd fixed it right. You're angry? Me too, and also paranoid. It was supposed to be me driving Reginald..... " And she burst into tears at the loss of her fickle mechanical friend.
Chet held her close. After a while, he asked her, "What was it's name again?"
"Re-Reginald. How'd you know I'd named my car?"
"Everyone who drives an MG ends up naming it."