Friday, August 6, 2010

Oak Cliff Confidential: Chapter 10

  Sharon graciously accepted the glass of vodka lemonade, and then chugged half the contents in three seconds flat, because why waste time with social etiquette when serious drinking is on the agenda? “Well,” she said to Hexom, watching as he instantly refilled her glass and thereby won her heart forever, “I’ll try to remember everything that happened that day…”

  The screen did an arty dissolve, although this may have just been the alcohol, and suddenly we have been transported a quarter century back in time. It’s a pleasant fall day, a little on the crisp side (which, with this being Texas, “crisp” means the temperature is not in the triple digits), but with lots of sunshine and happy, clueless birds tweeting to one another because there’s nothing else for them to do. Only many years later, when the air pollution in Dallas can no longer be ignored, will the birds stop singing and become bitter.

  The camera zooms in on a charming high-school couple, sitting as they are in a booth of the local soda shoppe, sharing something cool and frosty. On the left we have our beloved Sharon, dewy and still mostly innocent, her hair freshly washed, dried and ironed, smelling of vanilla beans and a slight dash of garlic. Her pretty skirt crinkles a bit as she adjusts her seating, leaning forward to clasp the hand of her paramour.

  On the right we have Trainsley Biggerstaff, boyfriend extraordinaire, with his perfectly-coiffed hair and crowded letter jacket. He is smiling broadly, flashing his picket-fence teeth, as he has just pronounced his undying affection for young Sharon, and he can tell by the manner in which she is gripping his hand that perhaps they will be reaching third base in the very near future.

  “Oh, Train,” sighed Sharon, making sure that she gushed loudly enough to catch the ears of several nearby, somewhat-jealous girls on the drill team, “You are just so dreamy and swell. I can’t wait until the Zucchini Festival tonight, where everyone will see that we are meant to be together.” Sharon then made a swooning noise, and pressed her lover’s hand even harder.

  Trainsley’s grin widened even further, almost to the point of inspiring carnivorous fright amongst those few who were not in love with him. Perhaps fourth base was now not entirely out of the question. He would have to ensure that tonight’s festival activities included some accidental placing of zucchini near his crotch for comparative and inspirational purposes.

  They continued to hold hands and sigh for a bit, as the jukebox played something sappy and at least three of the jealous girls wrote horrid things about Sharon on their napkins, and then passed them about, giggling and squealing in sadistic delight.

  Suddenly, the door to the soda shoppe was flung open, nearly breaking the cute, tinkly bell as it was unceremoniously shoved against the brick wall. Three girls marched in, loudly smacking their pink bubble gum, so you knew they were trash, and clad in outfits which explained that leather was central to their couture.

  The girl in the middle, Theresa Thomas, was clearly the leader of this snarling little pack, as she had the biggest tattoo, the tallest leather boots, and the sluttiest lipstick. (Theresa lived on Hampton Road, and everyone knew those girls over there put out and then had to go to “clinics” for some damage control.) Theresa snapped her fingers, and the two underlings immediately raced to a booth on the far side of the room, scaring off the two occupants who would one day embrace their lesbianism and open a bed-and-breakfast they built themselves.

  While the underlings wiped down the table and generally prepared for the comfort of their queen, Theresa slowly strutted across the tile floor, smacking her gum and flipping off anybody who dared to stare for longer than two seconds. (Even though it was very clear to any of the future psychologists in the room that Theresa actually craved the attention and wasn’t displeased at all. All slutty girls just want to be loved.)

  Sharon, thoroughly ready for Theresa to get wherever she was going so Sharon could once again be Trainsley’s only focus, was quite surprised when Theresa turned to look at their table. And then stopped in her tracks, a lecherous leer spreading across her trampy visage.

  “Train!” squealed Theresa, and then practically ran to their table, leaning on the end so that her barely-contained breasts were now bouncing about just above the now-forgotten shared soda glass. “Fancy meeting you here! I figured you’d be off doing something with your muscles!” Theresa glanced briefly at Sharon, her eyes making it clear that that “something” did not include girls with vanilla-scented hair and crinkly skirts.

  Sharon was aghast. Partially because Theresa and her trashy friends simply clashed with everything that Sharon was wearing, but mostly because Theresa had dared to address Trainsley in a far more intimate manner than was appropriate. They hardly knew one another! Then Sharon’s horror was increased exponentially by what happened next.

  Trainsley nodded at the slut. “Hey, Terry. How’s it going?”

  Sharon’s jaw dropped. This was just too much. They had nicknames for each other? How could this be? She closed her mouth, then said sweetly, “Train, isn’t it about time that we got to that thing?” She tilted her head slightly to the door.

  Theresa popped a very loud bubble. “The Zukey Festival ain’t gonna start til tonight. Where you gotta run off to?”

  For the first time that she could recall, Sharon felt an urge to take the life of another human being. Just because. She would learn to nurture and cherish this passion. But that would come later.

  Sharon smiled primly, forcing her facial muscles to obey. “Well, Theresa, I’m sure you have some lovely stories about avoiding jail and all, but we really must dash. Trainsley promised to help me with a few things we need to do before the festival.”

  Theresa again glanced briefly at Sharon, completely dismissing her, and leaned in toward Trainsley instead, lowering a pendulous breast to within millimeters of the hairy knuckles on his right hand. “How ‘bout it, Train? You really wanna go somewhere that I’m not? You sure weren’t in any hurry last Saturday.”

  Sharon’s mind raced. Last Saturday? But Trainsley had choir practice at the church that night. Granted, Sharon had thought it was an odd time for praising the Lord, but she hadn’t really worried about it. Until now.

  She realized that she was still clutching Trainsley’s other hand. She quickly released it and stood, barely able to restrain herself from shoving that nasty Theresa to the floor where she belonged. She faced her suddenly mysterious boyfriend. “Train, let’s go. We’re going to be late.”

  Trainsley carefully slid his hairy hand out from under the dangerous dangle of Theresa’s pendulum. His face slightly coloring, he moved past the smirking trollop with barely a nod.

  But Theresa wasn’t finished yet. “That’s okay, Train. You know where to find me. And you know that I’m always happy to be the caboose on your train.” Then she laughed and went to join her equally snickering slut sisters.

  The bell tinkled again, with less potential violence this time, as Sharon and Train exited.

  As soon as they were around the corner, away from prying and gossipy eyes, Sharon whirled on Trainsley. “WHAT was that all about, Mr. Biggerstaff? Do tell.”

  Pawing at the ground with his foot, Trainsley muttered “It’s not what you think. She’s just making it sound that way.”

  Sharon crossed her arms. “I’m listening.”

  Trainsley sighed. “It all started when I couldn‘t figure out where to put my pole…”

Click Here to Read the Next Chapter.

Click Here to read this story from the beginning.

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