I pulled up in front of a little roadside diner. I had made good time from the city and wasn’t due at my appointment for a couple of hours, so I decided to stop for a quick cup of coffee and maybe a bite to eat. Maybe it was the fresh air, or just being away from the hectic daily grind of the city, but I really felt good. This slice of Americana, maw and paw café seemed like the perfect way to start my day. I stretched my arms over my head and filled my lungs with the fresh, small town air as I paused outside the door.
The restaurant was filled with the most wonderful aromas I think I’ve ever enjoyed. “I’m tellin’ ya, no city restaurant ever smelled this good!” I thought aloud to myself. I flipped through the little three-page menu, but it was mostly in vein as I already knew what I wanted. Perched high on a shelf behind the counter was the most magnificent looking, golden crusted pie I ever laid my eyes on, “I gotta get me a piece of that ...”
“Hi-ya, sugah!” I jumped as the young, and very perky voice caught me off guard. “Ya gotta have a piece what?” she giggled and twirled the eraser tip of her seldom used pencil near the corner of her mouth. I just smiled sheepishly as I felt the color rush to my cheeks. Her nametag said her name was Mildred, but she didn’t look like a Mildred ... maybe a Susie or Cindy, but definitely not a Mildred! She was young, probably early twenties at best, her curly hair was pulled back in a pony tail, “So what-cha gotta hankerin’ for?”
“Coffee,” I said trying to regain my composure. “Coffee, ... and a slice of that pie over there,” I gestured toward the snack bar.
“Be right up!” she smiled and jotted down my order on her pad. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself as she walked toward the kitchen. After barely a minute or so she returned carrying a plate in one hand and a saucer and cup in the other. “Okay,” she said in a long drawn out voice, “One boysenberry pie,” she slid a huge wedge of the gooey treat in front of me, “and one pipin’ hot coffee!” As she turned to set the coffee on the table the cup shifted on the saucer and toppled over spilling down the front of my shirt. “Oh! My gracious! ... I am so sorry!” She quickly pulled out a small hand towel from her apron and tried to wipe up the mess, “Let me clean you up ... Oh my!”
“That’s o.k.” I blotted my shirt with the paper napkin. “I’ll just get another shirt before my meeting.”
“Oh no! You have a meetin’?” she was now frantically swabbing me with towels and napkins. “I’ll clean it fer ya,” she grabbed my arm and started running toward the kitchen, “We gotta a washer in the back here.”
“No, really. No problem, I’ve got time.” I tried to get her to listen to me, “Really, you don’t have to do this!”
“Nonsense! I won’t hear no more of it. I’ma go’na clean yer shirt fer y’all.” she continued to drag me through the kitchen. “It’ll be all done ‘fore ya know it.”
We were standing in a small room just off the kitchen with towels, aprons and table linens lining the shelves; in the back was a small washer and dryer. Mildred was trying to unbutton my shirt as I was trying to leave so I could buy a new shirt. Before I knew it my shirt was unbuttoned, untucked, and was pulled half way down my arms behind me. “What’s goin’ on here!” a voice boomed from behind us. “Millie! What the heck are ya doin'?” walking from the kitchen was a mammoth sized man. His silhouette filled the doorway and his shadow darkened the small utility room. He made a fist with his right hand and punched his left as he walked toward us, “I’ma go’na squarsh ya like a bug!”
“Skeet! No! It’s not what-cha think!” Mildred squealed.
I stood paralyzed, my shirt still hanging on my arms. Skeet stomped closer, wringing his hands in anticipation. He lunged and tried to grab me, I ducked under his huge arms bouncing off a stack of folded towels. I tried to run but he grabbed my shirt dangling behind me. I twisted and swung my arms and was able to free my self from my coffee stained garment. “I’m go’na pound yer head!” he yelled as I ran out of the room and out the back door of the quaint little restaurant.
I found myself in a small alley blocked by a delivery truck on one end and a tall chain link fence on the other end. I could hear Skeet lumbering through the kitchen. “Geeze!” I muttered. I ran toward the end of the alley, and the chain link fence. I pulled myself up onto the dumpster and leaped at the top of the fence. I struggled myself over the top only to find my undershirt caught and twisted on some sharp barbs. I wiggled and thrashed as Skeet grabbed the fence and shook it violently. He jarred me loose from the fence, and my undershirt.
I landed with a thud and winced as I stared up at my undershirt flapping in the breeze. Am I alive? I thought to myself, I don’t think I’m hurt ... I think. The ground felt warm, ... and lumpy! I sat up in a panic as I felt something move! “Oh no! ... Geeze!” I gasped as I stood up. I nearly panicked as I found myself staring at a very large dog, “Oh no! A dog? ... How could I land on a dog?” I squeaked pulling at my hair with both hands. “Just don’t wake up boy,” I whispered as I tiptoed away, “Why couldn’t you be a terrier?”
A low gurgling growl was my first clue that I was in trouble. “I hope he tears you apart!” Skeet yelled as the dog struggled to his feet. He hobbled, favoring his right front leg ... I still had a chance! I turned and ran across a dirt-covered lot, I could feel my heart racing out of control. I looked over my shoulder and found, to my dismay the dog was gaining on me. I sprinted toward the closest door I saw, the dog in close pursuit barking and growling all the way. I had no clue just how fast an angry dog on three legs could run.
I twisted the doorknob and the door cracked open but the dog grabbed my pant leg. I jumped and kicked, but there was no shaking the iron grip of his teeth. “Down boy! Down!” I called as I tried to escape. I carefully loosened my pants trying to get my legs out of harms way. The dog tugged backward throwing me off balance. I fell backward through the door, landing on my back and sliding across the floor. I lunged and slammed the door, then struggled to pull myself to my feet. I stared in disbelief as the dog mauled my trousers into oblivion.
The shrill sound of a scream jolted me back to reality; I spun around to see a young lady clasping her towel desperately in front of her. “Wait,” I said, “You don’t understand! It was the waitress with the coffee, ... and then the boyfriend, and the dog!” but she continued to scream even louder. I ran through the house looking for a door that would not lead back to the psychotic, pant-eating dog. I scampered through a couple rooms dodging furniture; barreled out the front door straight off the edge of the porch. I fell into a deep hole which had been dug in the front yard, for whatever reason.
Somehow I managed to land on my feet at the bottom of the pit. I spent just a few seconds pondering my current situation. “Guess I’m go’na have to climb,” I said nearly exasperated, as if there may have been another way out. I fell forward as I tried to walk, “Oh no!” I mumbled as I looked down at the ground. My feet were buried ankle deep in mud, and try as I might I wasn’t going to get out of this too easily. I wiggled and struggled, finally my right foot came popping out of the muck with a loud slurping sound. Only one problem, there was no shoe attached to my foot anymore. “What else!?” I moaned. After some effort I managed to loosen my left foot, same result ... no shoe.
I rolled onto my back in exhaustion after finally extricating myself from the shaft. “Now what am I goin’ to do?” I huffed as I tried to catch my breath. A truck parked close by caught my attention. I struggled to read the faded sign in the glare of the early morning sun, “Sy’s Septic and Cesspool Service?” I gagged as I gazed back into the hole and then at my legs, “I’m not getting’ those shoes!” I said, still gagging, “I gott’a wash off this ... mud!”
I walked across the empty street to a small gas station. I tried to find someone to help me, but the station seemed to be closed. I managed to find the restrooms around back, “Finally!” I breathed a sigh of relief as I reached for the doorknob. “No!” I grunted, “You can’t be locked!” I kicked the door in frustration, leaving a large and smeared, muddy footprint. “I can’t stay like this!” I yelled kicking more blobs of the sticky gunk off of me. As I stomped and flailed behind the station I noticed a sign at the back of the lot, Air and water ... Oh, thank God! Please, you gott-a work.
The cold water felt good as it drooled down my torso and legs leaving a pool of slimy goo on the ground. I didn’t care about my meeting, my shirt or anything else, I just wanted to go home. “Y’all didn’t think you’d get away, now?” Skeet stood right behind me, I never heard him coming. I moved away dropping the water hose. “Ain’t no getting away no more!” he lunged forward trying to grab me, everything was going in slow motion. My heart was pounding, I turned to run but my slimy feet had no traction, they were churning, but I just wasn’t moving! Skeet tripped on the hose lying on the ground in front of him and fell forward landing in the slimy puddle I had left behind. I fell off balance still trying to get moving, winding up on my hands and knees. Skeet was grunting and growling while wallowing in the mire behind me.
I felt a tug on the waistband of my boxers, I crawled forward frantically to get away. Skeet yanked on my shorts while trying to get to his feet, but only managed to remove them from my legs. I slipped and slid as I scrambled forward, finally regaining my footing. I ran as quickly as I could in wet, slimy socks stumbling around the corner. I saw a church just down the street and scampered in that direction. I could hear Skeet racing down the street behind me snorting like an angry bull. I scrambled through the church door, making sure it closed behind me. That’s when I realized I wasn’t alone …
“Sounds like you had one heck-uv-a trip!” Betty said, interrupting the onslaught of verbal flashback I had been uttering. She was my favorite waitress at the restaurant I frequented. She placed my order on the table, “So how’d you ever get out of there?”
“Well the town Sheriff was in the church,” I continued, grabbing a few fries off the plate. “When he saw Skeet barge through the door behind me he must’ve known I wasn’t doin’ nothin’. He grabbed one of the choir robes and threw it to me and told me to get to my car while he kept Skeet occupied.”
“How’d you know the Sheriff would be there?” she asked still setting plates in front of me.
“I didn’t,” I chuckled thinking back on the events. “I just headed to the first door I saw. I probably wouldn’t have gone in if I knew the Mayor’s daughter was having her wedding in there at the time. Just a coincidence.”
“You poor thing.” She said in a sympathetic voice. “Well you’re home, and everything is back to normal.” She turned to grab the glass of iced tea off of her tray when a busboy bumped into her. She stumbled and tipped her tray, dumping the glass down the front of my shirt. “Oh my stars!” she blurted. “Let me clean that up for you ...”
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After having had me in tears through your (3)"other" stories, (going through a box of kleenex) - you now have come up with tickling my funny bone! A naked man at the Mayor's daughters wedding! Now really! You are INDEED a great storyteller! You can make the Reader laugh or cry - That's talent with a capital "T"! Hope to read more in the upcoming Challenges... and also hope you took my advice and skipped over Intermediate and up to Advanced! (smile)
Very entertaining! Excellent job!