NO ONE WILL BE WATCHING US

We were driving down iconic  Route 66 in our convertible Volkswagen Jetta on our way from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, everything we owned being towed in a small U-Haul. On the floor behind us, sleeping in his carrying case, was our bulldog puppy, Ringo. 

We’d been on the same stretch of road for what seemed like an eternity without seeing another soul – nothing but miles of tall corn fields swaying in the breeze. We talked about everything, especially opening our new veterinary practice – a big step but one we were excited about. We even had the name picked out – “Carlyle Planned Pethood”. 

Rummaging through the glove box, I came across the White Album. “Hey, look what I found” I said to Doc, my nickname for my husband, showing him the CD. 

Excellent! Put it on, Babe.”

Opening the case, I discovered a forgotten joint, crushed but still viable. “Whoa! Check it out. This CD has a bonus track!”  

We lit up, getting higher and louder with each song. Putting on our thickest country twang, we laughed as we sang ‘Don’t Pass Me By’. And then there they were … those unmistakable opening funky get-down notes of ‘Why Don’t We Do It In The Road’. We were grooving in our seats, thumping on the car doors, digging the hell out of that song.

Suddenly Doc pulled the car over and turned up the volume of the CD. He looked over at me, sunglasses lowered on his nose and started singing “No one will be watching us … why don’t we do it in the road?”  

“Have you lost your mind? What are you .. some horny teenager?” 

“Well, I’m no teenager, I’ll give ya that. But here we sit .. a hot banging Beatles song, my incredibly sexy wife in a miniskirt and plenty of road. Listen .. Paul’s practically begging us to get out of this car and do it … IN THE ROAD!”

Slowly stretching my legs on the dashboard, I suggested doing it in the car. 

Doc laughed and leaned over to kiss me, whispering “we’ve done it in the car … a lot. C’mon, Becca!  Let’s get down (*kiss*) and dirty (*kiss*) and do it in the road (*long hot kiss*). 

Doc has this delicious way of making me melt like ice cream on a hot summer’s day. Pushing the ‘REPEAT’ button on the CD player, he grabbed a blanket from the back seat and we ran to the rear of the car. Laughing, Doc slipped off my panties and I wrapped my legs around his waist as we slid to the ground. 

Just as Paul reached the high note, we heard ”Pardon me, folks. Officer Matthew Jackson, Kansas State Police. As soon as you’re finished checking that tow hitch, you best be on your way.” And he walked back to his car singing “Why don’t we do it in the road”. 

We sheepishly got back into our car and drove off. Nine months later we named our first son Matthew Jackson Carlyle. 

NAR © 2018

SAVED BY THE BILL

“Well, hello there. I’m Archie … Archie the Armchair. And you? Ah, a pleasure to meet you, Reader. Please have a seat, get comfortable and let me tell you a little about myself. 

My family and I were purchased in 1964 by Vito and Connie Schembre for their new home in the Bronx. Connie kept a beautiful house, immaculately clean upstairs as well as downstairs. Like most Italian households, the basement was where the family really lived … fully furnished with a kitchen, dining area, bathroom and tv section. Connie had a nice sewing room where she spent many hours making costumes for school plays, clothes for her daughters and custom order dresses for a small clientele of local women. 

My parents combined to form one beautiful sofa, my big sister was a loveseat and my twin brother and I were armchairs. Together we were too much furniture for the formal living room so it was decided that I would join the other furniture downstairs in the tv section. Connie enjoyed her rocking chair while Vito preferred stretching out in the plush recliner. Seventeen year old Rosemarie loved her straw bucket chair (a hideous thing!) which meant I became thirteen  year old Nancy’s chair. She couldn’t have been happier; I was a big step up from a bunch of pillows on the floor! 

From my vantage point I could see everything that happened in the basement – Vito listening to opera, Connie frying her tantalizing meatballs every Sunday morning, the girls doing their homework at the kitchen table. I had a front row seat for every tv show the family watched. In fact, the only time Nancy didn’t sit on me with her legs curled under her was when she sat on the floor five inches from the tv to see the Beatles live on the Ed Sullivan Show. 

Oh, the memories! I snuck a peek when Rosemarie made out with her boyfriend Billy Mack. I held back tears when Connie meticulously stitched my torn seam. And I bet I’m the only one who knows that Nancy plopped on me, relishing her Oreos and milk …ON HER WEDDING DAY … IN HER WEDDING GOWN! How I wish I had a picture of that! 

Then the day came that the Schembre’s decided to move to a smaller house upstate. They had too many items for the new place so some things had to go. It was the scariest day of my life. The thought of going to strangers … or worse … being put out for the trash was unbearable. Suddenly Nancy’s husband Bill picked me up and put me in their van. Oh joy! I was going to live at Nancy’s house! And to make the day even better I overheard Nancy and Bill saying that one of Connie’s dear friends bought the rest of my family. They were all staying together!

Now I reside in Nancy’s Beatles Room donning a new beautiful coat of blue leather. And Nancy sits on me with her legs curled under her while writing her stories. I tell you, dear Reader, things couldn’t be better in my life.

NAR © 2018

THE BIG SQUEEZE

Remove everything from the waist up and put on a robe, opening in the front. Place your belongings in a locker and make sure to take the key with you.” 

Securing my robe, I walked out into the pleasantly decorated waiting room. There were comfortable chairs, tables with magazines, and a coffee maker with a variety of coffee, tea and a tin of cookies. Four other women were waiting their turn, flipping through magazines or simply resting, arms folded protectively across their breasts. One woman wore a distraught look meaning “Please, not again!”

I made myself a cup of decaf, choosing a delicate butter cookie as well. I sat and reflected on the number of times I’ve waited in this room. Once a year for the past 17 years I’ve made this dreaded trek, making promises and testaments with God which always proved to be unnecessary .. so far. 

After about ten minutes, a perky brunette in cornflower blue scrubs and matching Crocs came in the room and called out “Mrs. Thompson?” I rose and the brunette continued, “Hi. I’m Kelly, your radiology technician. I’ll be doing your mammogram today. Just follow me and we’ll be done in no time.”  

We entered the brightly-lit exam room, coming face to face with Darth Vader .. my nickname for the massive mammogram machine .. a sleek black, chrome and glass monolith standing like a sentinel in the middle of the room. Now here’s where two women who are complete strangers instantly become bosom buddies, so to speak. 

Kelly instructs me to slip my right arm out of my robe and reach up to grab the handle on Darth Vader’s side. “Now step in as close as you can,” Kelly says while lifting my right boob onto the flat glass plate emerging from Darth’s chest. Pulling and kneading my breast into the perfect position, she then pushes a button which slowly lowers another flat glass plate on top of my breast. I watch in morbid fascination as my once round and ample breast slowly flattens, spreading out and taking on the appearance of a water balloon about to burst. Satisfied with the positioning, Kelly ducks into a tiny glass booth on the other side of the room. 

“Take a deep breath, Mrs. Thompson. Hold it, keep holding .. now breath.” Kelly emerges from her protective booth and we repeat the process on the left side. 

“Ok, we’re all done. Have a seat in the waiting room while the doctor looks over the images.” 

Finally Kelly returns and says the doctor will see me now. More girl-on-girl time as the doctor manually examines my breasts with impossibly cold hands. 

“Everything looks perfect, Mrs. Thompson. Keep doing your self-exams.” I thank her, refraining from saying my husband enjoys examining me regularly. 

Dressing, I frown at the red bruises on my chest, then quickly smile knowing the girls still reign supreme.

I pass the front desk with a cheerful “Ta-ta, ladies. See you next year!”  

NAR © 2018

A BLOODY MESS

He hadn’t realized that he had past the point of no return until he found himself frantically searching the house for anything that would remove blood stains.

“Remove impossible stains .. wine, grease .. even blood. I found it!“ shouted Robert from the kitchen. Walking back into the parlor, his brother Daniel was still standing over the body of Stuart Barclay, Daniel’s business partner. 

“Great! Gimme that. We need to get this blood stain out of Meryl’s Persian rug before she gets back from her spa weekend. This is her favorite rug; it cost a fortune! 

“Danny, I think you’ve got bigger problems to worry about than your wife’s rug” replied Robert. “Stuart’s dead! I saw the whole thing. He lunged at you and hit his head on the mantle. It was an accident. Why don’t you just call the police?” 

“I can’t! It’s not that simple. He had evidence against me.” 

“Meaning?” 

“Stuart proved months ago that I was embezzling, forging last wills and testaments, other legal documents and he was gonna turn me in. He confronted me and I couldn’t let that happen!”  Daniel ran his hands through his hair.  “Listen, I knew he was having an affair so I had him followed. I have photos. I suggested he come over tonight so we could talk. It got heated and he came at me. You saw it with your own eyes, Bobby. Stuart and I reign over every other estate lawyer out there and this will ruin me. Now let’s just clean this rug and get rid of  Stuart’s body.” 

“What the fuck, Danny! How could you be so stupid?” exclaimed Robert. “Ok, don’t worry. We got thisI’ll scrub the rug and you look for a tarp in the basement. I have an idea. We’ll wrap Stuart in the tarp, put him in his car and you drive it down the back roads. I’ll drive my car down the main road and we’ll meet up near that ditch at Route 9. All we have to do is get him out of the tarp, place him behind the driver’s seat of his car and push it down the ditch. It’ll look like an accident. Then we’ll drive back here in my car. And Danny .. grab some rubber gloves, too.” 

When Daniel returned with the tarp and gloves, the rug was clean. “Good as new!” Robert declared. “Ok, bro. Let’s do this!” 

The brothers met at Route 9. Wearing rubber gloves, they removed the tarp, put Stuart in the driver’s seat of his car making sure the gear was in ‘DRIVE’, then pushed it down the ditch, watching it crash into a tree. On the way home, Robert tossed the tarp and gloves into an incinerator behind a condominium on Route 9. Everything went off without a hitch. 

As they drove back to Daniel’s, Robert cautioned his brother to speak to no one. As if! 

The next day the police discovered Stuart’s car in the ditch but there was no body to be found. 

That evening Daniel got a call. “Hey, partner. You’re a bigger loser than I thought! We’ve got some unfinished business to discuss.” 

Daniel turned white as a ghost. The caller was Stuart, the man he thought killed. 

NAR © 2018

#FSS