This story might have been submitted some time ago – I’ve re-written it. It is inspired by a man I knew in my youth who traveled the country during the depression – if you are too young to remember that time – ask your folks. Oh, one more thing one last time: My login is “Jimmela” I write as Dirk Stimson – got it??
Jeremiah jumped out of the box car as it slowed coming into the rail yard. It was dusty. Jeremiah hated dust, but then, this is why this part of the country had been labeled “The Dust Bowl”. “Somewhere in Oklahoma,” Jeremiah mused. “Someday, maybe I’ll get a map and figure out where the hell I am.”
He had been on the road for six days and intended to be gone for two months. Jeremiah, his notebook and his camera. He was lean. At about six feet, he was muscular, not skinny. Years of physical labor had given him a rock hard stomach, large pectoral muscles, a strong jaw line and an understanding of what hard work really meant. He had angular features which were not unpleasant. Blue eyes set evenly on each side of a rather long nose. His mouth, however was soft, sensual. He had brown hair which he kept closely cropped.
It was 1934. Things were not going well in the U.S. of A. Mr. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had taken office the year before, telling everyone that we “have nothing to fear but fear itself”, yet bread lines still formed and in the Midwest and south, the dust blew and the people were picking up and heading to California.
Jeremiah did not like being tied down. He had chosen to freelance his writingand photography skills. He left New York telling his editor at Life Magazine that he wanted to document what the depression was doing to the ordinary folk. Not just in the big cities, but in the small towns and specifically out here in the farm belt. So, he had taken a train west to Pittsburgh. There he had found a camp of hobos, people on the road, either out of choice or necessity.
The next day he had joined some young men who were headed west, going to find work in California. They made their way to the rail yard, waited until a westbound train
had slowed and then jumped aboard an open box car. Jeremiah had made the jump easily. He was well fed, very fit and until that night, had slept in his own bed every night, unlike his traveling companions.
They headed west, changing trains a couple of times, ducking the railroad cops who would beat your head in if they caught you. He had stayed in other Hobo Camps, slept one night in what could best be described as a flop house in Missouri. And now, here he was, dusty and stiff, watching the train from which he had jumped moving out, gaining speed.
Now, here in this dusty place, he hoped to find yet more stories and a few more pictures for a spread in Life Magazine. He swung his pack up on his shoulder and picked his way across the rails out of the yard. He found himself on a road that was a black ribbon stretching north from the rail yards. “Good as any,” he muttered to himself and strode on to the asphalt.
It was hot. Dry, but hot. He took a swig from the army canteen that he carried and squinted at the sun and pulled his wide brimmed hat lower over his eyes . He kept walking. About a mile up the road he saw, off the road about three hundred yards, a farmhouse. The field between it and the road looked parched and the corn was stunted. He started across the field towards the house, figuring to get out of the sun as much as anything else.
As he approached the house he saw two children playing around an old truck tire, tied to a tree with rope. They were giggling and swinging back and forth. A boy and a
girl, about six and eight he figured. As he approached they stopped and stared. Jeremiah put on his most charming grin and waved.
“Hi ya!” He called. “Havin’fun?”
The two looked at each other and giggled then ran for the steps to the porch. As they reached the porch the screen door swung open. The woman who stood there had to be about forty, Jeremiah figured. She was a thin blonde going a bit to gray he thought. She wore a shapeless dress and an apron. She lifted a hand to her hair, pulling it away from her forehead. Jeramiah put on his grin again and moved to the bottom of the steps.
“Hello,” he said gently. By moving closer he could see that she was not forty. More like in her thirties. But the times and the troubles had taken their toll. There were lines in her smooth skin and the blonde hair had probably been luminous at one time but now was trending towards dull.
“My name’s Jeremiah Watson. Wondered if I could set a bit and talk to you and the kids” he said as he gestured to the two tykes now wrapped around their mother’s waist.
“You sellin’ somethin’ Mister? Cause if you are, we got no money.” He was startled by the voice. It was husky, pitched low and he felt it deep in his gut.
“No ma’m,” said Jeremiah, taking off his hat. ” I’m a photographer and writer from New York. latin sex tapes porno Come west to tell the story of what’s happening out here”
She looked at him, her mouth a slim line. Slim yes, noted Jeremiah, but her lips were anything but thin. They were a bit pouty and very sensuous. “What’s happening out
here?” She said it with a note of disgust and frustration. “Dust and depression, that’s what’s happenin’ out here.”
He saw that while her eyes had circles under them, they were a startling blue. “Yes ma’am,” he said. “That’s exactly what I want to tell all those folks back east. They got it hard, but I do believe for all of you, it’s a bit harder.”
“A bit?” The blue eyes blazed for a moment and then went soft. “I don’t know Mr. Jeremiah Watson. I never been back east. But this is as tough as it gets, I do believe. Well,” she said, gesturing, “come on up and set a spell. We don’t get company often, so you’re welcome.”
Jeremiah climbed the steps which squeaked under his weight. The two children peeked out from under their mother’s dress. As they pulled back on it he got a glimpse of strong, long legs. Jeremiah smiled at the woman. She smiled back. When she did, little dimples appeared on her cheeks. He blue eyes took on a deep shine and the lips were indeed sensuous. He got the idea that she did not smile very often.
“Get you some water? She asked in that husky voice. “‘Bout all we got, sorry to say.”
“No ma’m, said Jeremiah, staring directly into those blue eyes, unable to tear his gaze away. “Got my canteen here and that’ll do just fine, thank you.”
She motioned to an old rocking chair. “Sit down, you must have been walking for quite a spell in this heat.”
“Just from the rail yard. But it is indeed a hot day.”
She leaned back against the rail of the porch across from him. She crossed her arms over her chest and Jeremiah saw the outline of her small breasts under the dress. While it looked like she wore a slip, she did not appear to have a bra on and her nipples were clearly outlined above her crossed arms. “Come from New York, did you?”
“Yes ma’m. Been riding rails since Pittsburgh. Not a pleasant way to travel.”
“I bet it wasn’t,” she said and cocked her head to the left. “Why did you stop here?”
“The truth is it’s the first sign of life I’ve seen since I started down this road. Hope I’m not disturbing anything.”
“No, Mr. Jeremiah Watson. Not a thing. My husband left for California a year ago, said he’d send for us. Then I get a telegram from a cousin he went with that he’d been killed in a farm accident. That’s it. Neighbors have mostly packed up and gone that way too.”
“Oh. I’m sorry.”
“Nothin’ for you to be sorry about. That’s life, I guess.”
“May I know your name – and that of the children as well?” He took his notebook from his back pack.
She gestured at the little blonde boy. “That ‘un is David and the girl is Elizabeth.”
“Let’s see,” Jeremiah was making notes. “David about eight? Elizabeth about six?”
“You got that, Mister Jeremiah Watson. Got some of your own?”
“No ma’m”, he said and smiled at her. “Not married and no kids.”
“Well then,” she said and sat on an old porch swing next to the rocking chair. “What you want to know about us?”
“Well, let me start with your name.”
He could have sworn she blushed. “Louise,” she said. My daddy had a thing for French history and loved that name. He’s been gone for quite a while… Name’s Louise Thornton now. Come from over Sweetwater. Lousy name for a town that’s become so dusty. Married a farm boy and here I am.”
Jeremiah asked about life on the farm before the drought and the dust storms. He asked if he could take some pictures and shot the kids on the tire swing and then asked her to pose by the screen door and took about five shots of her, from across the porch and then close to get just her top half and her face which he found absolutely fascinating.
She seemed to really enjoy the attention he gave her, asking her to turn one way and then another, kidding with her to get her to smile and then quickly shooting the picture. Finally, he stopped, let the camera dangle around his neck and smiled at her as she stood in the doorway. They looked in each other’s eyes for close to a full minute before Jeremiah broke it off.
“Well,” he said, picking up his hat which he had left in the rocking chair. “I guess I better get on down the road before it gets dark. I’ll head on back to town.”
She kept staring at him. “It’s a long walk. Why not stay for dinner, such as it is. Then I’ll take you to town. Got an old Model A, but it still runs.”
“I don’t want to trouble you,” he said, but never took his eyes from hers.
“No trouble. Just some stew, but we got some meat for it.”
“Ma’am, Louise, I have not had a hot meal in two days. That sounds just fine. But, I’d like to wash up first. I’ve got half Oklahoma on my shirt and in my hair.”
“Pump’s out lezbiyen porno back,” she gestured. “Davie! Lizzie! Go show Mr. Jeremiah Watson where the pump and bucket are. Hurry on now!”
He followed the two skipping blonde children around to the back of the house. The field stretched behind the house for a half mile. Corn, more stunted corn. A small pen with some hogs and a few chickens pecking away at the dust. There was a shed back there as well, not a barn but a shed. He could see the Model A through the open door.
The pump and bucket stood just behind the house. There were some short steps leading up to the back door. Jeremiah put his hat on the steps and grinned at the kids.
“Thanks for the short trip. I’ll take it from here. You go on inside and help your mama.”
They giggled and ran up the steps, turning once to look at him and giggle again, then they were inside. Jeremiah stared after them. “What kind of life?” he muttered to himself. Then he stripped off his shirt and leaned on the pump handle, pulling it up and down until a trickle of water started into the bucket. He was careful to just fill it half way, mindful of the drought.
He stuck both arms in the bucket and brought water to his face and hair. He reached in again and again. The water was cold. Colder than he thought it would be in the summer. When he finally came up for air, there she was standing on the lower step looking at him.
He shook his head and smiled. “Didn’t think the water would be that cold!”
She continued to look at him. “Need a towel?” She asked.
“Well, I guess in a minute I could. Thanks!” With that he plunged his arms back in the water and washed under his arms and across his neck.
She watched the muscles on his back ripple as he washed. When he stood, his strong chest with a small mat of hair dripped with water. As he cleared the water from his eyes for the second time, she was beside him with a towel.
“You look like you’ve done some farm work yourself,” she said in that husky voice.
“No, just always been physically active. Did some day labor when I could get it to help with expenses.” He went to take the towel from her, but she held on to it. He did not want to tug at it so they stood, he with his hands on one end, she with hers on the other.
He finally broke the silence. “Am I going to have to wrestle you for the towel?” He grinned widely as he said it.
“No,” she said. “I’m sorry, got lost for a minute there.” But, she did not let go of the towel. Instead she moved closer to him. He dropped his end, beginning to wonder what was going on. She took the towel and began to dry his chest and neck. He bent his head and she rubbed his hair roughly. She was almost up against him now and he could smell her clean, soap smell. As he looked up from a half bent position, he saw the underside of her jaw and how her neck was longer than he thought. It was soft and the pulse in it was beating strongly. She stopped toweling him and he straightened, but she hadn’t moved.
Suddenly, he was face to face with her, a good head taller and only about six inches apart. He looked down into her blue eyes. She was breathing deeply and a bit fast for the little exercise that drying him required.
They stood like that for half a minute. Then she shook her head, making her blonde hair fall across her face. “I..I’d better go get the stew warmed or the young ‘uns will be out here jumpin’ and screamin.”
“O.K.” He said, surprised that his mouth was dry and he felt his hands shaking. She turned and went up the steps, looking back once and smiling. He had the towel draped over his shoulders. “She must have put it there,” he thought, but did not remember that at all. He took it and finished drying, realizing suddenly that he had grown hard and it showed through his jeans.
At dinner, the kids said little, staring at him from time to time and giggling. He smiled back and made small talk with Louise, trying to draw them into the conversation from time to time and having as much luck as you could with a six and an eight year old who had a stranger at their table.
As they finished eating, Jeremiah took a piece of bread that had obviously been baked that afternoon by Louise and mopped up the last of what was really a thin gravy. “Wow!” He said. “That was a scrumptious stew!”
She looked at him with that look he was becoming used to, her head down, looking at him as her blonde hair fell over her face and then lifting her head to look him right in the eyes. “You’re kind Jeremiah Watson, but I know what it’s like as to what it should be like.” She turned to the children. “Now, you two off to bed! C’mon now!”
As kids do, they argued and pouted, until Jeremiah took Lizzie up in his arms and asked Louise where she went. Louise pointed to one of the two open doors off the kitchen and Jeremiah swept her into the children’s bedroom making noises like an airplane. Lizzie giggled and held his neck very tight. He plunked her on the bed, but Louise came liseli porno in and told her to get outside and brush her teeth and get into her nightgown.
David sat at the kitchen table waiting. Jeremiah repeated what he had done with Lizzie. David laughed and Jeremiah deposited him outside and waited until the two of them had brushed their teeth by the pump and ran back in the house.
When they were settled in their tiny iron beds, Louise kissed them both. Jeremiah stayed at the door until they finished a simple prayer. Louise blew out the kerosene lamp that was between their beds and came to the door. He stepped back a step but she brushed by him, her hip touching his leg. He felt as if a bolt of electricity had gone through him.
They went silently into the kitchen. He helped clear the table and dried the few dishes. They looked at each other. “Care to sit on the porch?” She asked.
“I do indeed,” said Jeremiah. ” And would you care for a glass of wine?”
“Wine?” She said, looking at him in that slow way again.
“Yes m’am. Carried it all the way from Pittsburgh in my pack, hoping for an occasion to drink it and here it is!”
The two of them sat on the porch, he in the rocker, she on the porch swing. They listened to the crickets and a night bird or two. They drank the red wine from two tin cups that had held the kid’s milk during dinner. She got up from the swing and went into the house. A few moments later he heard a radio playing music.
She came out and sat on the swing again. “One of the few things we could buy after the crop failed,” she said with no bitterness. “I like to listen to the music, some of it coming from so far away.”
The radio began to play a slow dance tune as the announcer said “The music of Russ Morgan coming to you from the Ambassador hotel in Chicago.”
“Wow!” she said dreamily in that husky voice. “All the way from Chicago. Imagine that!”
“Ever been?” he asked, sipping the wine.
“Chicago?” She laughed, that deep throaty laugh. “Heavens no! Been to Dallas once for a farm show and to Tulsa for the State Fair, but that’s it.”
He listened to the music through a slight static. Then without thinking, he stood, reached over for her hand and said “Care to dance?”
She held back for just a moment, then rose and stood very close to him. “Dance? I haven’t danced in years!”
“Well,” he said reaching an arm around her slim waist, “what we got to lose?”
She looked up through her hair, threw it back and smiled. Her hands came up to his shoulders, one then slipping behind his back. They danced slowly, scraping on the wooden porch. He held her close, feeling that thin body against his. She reached her arm further around his back. He nuzzled his face in her hair.
The music stopped and they didn’t move. A commercial for Camel Cigarettes came on. She leaned back to look up at him. As she did, his crotch felt her lower body move into his. “I guess that’s the music for now,” she said, not moving.
“Ah, yes,” said Jeremiah, returning to the here and now. He moved a step back from her, and dropped his arms. “M’am – Louise, I guess I better be on my way. I’ll just hike, because I don’t want you leaving the children alone.”
She hadn’t moved. Just looking up at him. “They would be all right, I guess. Got nobody around and no critters either. But,” she hesitated, “It is late. Why not stay here and you can get going in the morning.”
“I don’t want to be any trouble.”
“No trouble at all. The shed’s got a room where the hired man slept when we had one. Nice bed. Nuthin’ fancy, but I bet it’ll be better than those box cars.”
He laughed. “Yes Louise, right you are. And I thank you. He tipped his cup at her and she clanked hers back as they drained the last of the wine. They stood silently for another moment. He felt the heat between them. “Now!” He said to himself. “Break this off now!” Aloud, “Uh, if you’ll show me, my pack’s at the back door.”
She took his hand in hers. Small hand, rough palm. He held it tightly as they walked in the dark around the house. He picked up his pack and she led him to the shed. She pulled a kerosene lamp from a shelf next to the car, took a box of matches sitting there and lit it. The soft light permeated the shed. She gestured to a door on the far side of the shed.
“That’s it. Bed’s all made.”
“Really?” he said. “How come?” He smiled in the soft light. “Did you know I was coming?”
“No, Mr. Jeremiah Watson, I did not. But I keep that room for any poor soul wandering down this road. But,” she gave him that look again. “I’m glad it was you.”
“And I am, too, Mrs. Thornton,” returning to the formal. “I guess I better turn in now.” With that he smiled one more time and walked across the shed. He opened the door, turned to wave at her and carried the kerosene lamp inside. The room was small, but the bed was roomy and there was a window on the side for air.
He slid out of his shirt and jeans, hung them on the bed post, put his boxer shorts and shoes on the floor and slid between rough cotton sheets. He was tired, and the wine gave him a buzz. He blew out the lamp and lay in the dark. He tried to think of the story he would post tomorrow, but Louise’s face and thin body kept interrupting his thoughts.