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This is a "Peaches" story. Those of you who follow my writing know what that means. I wrote it for her, for her birthday and she said I could share it with my other readers.
Truth is stranger than fiction. Everybody says so.
But some truth seems like it is
So what do you do then?
You know what I'm talking about. It's happened to you ... maybe
many times. You find yourself in that situation where you're
thinking "What the heck is going on here? Can this be real?
Is this really happening?"
Of course, usually, those are short term situations. You're
sliding across the ice toward that semi, anticipating the crunch of
metal while you stomp uselessly on the brake pedal. Or maybe
you're being robbed, and are looking down the barrel of a gun. Or
you're delivering a package and this babe opens the door naked, and
pulls you inside demanding to be sexually satisfied.
No ... wait ... that's just in a story I read. That's real fiction. Sorry.
But you get the drift. Not that I think everybody's been in a
crash, or robbed, but something
has happened where you've wondered if you were dreaming it or not.
Well, you might be interested to find out that sometimes those things
aren't just short term, quickie situations. I know, because I'm
living one right now. And it's been going on for five years. Or six years.
It kind of depends on who you talk to.
But you didn't open this file to listen to me (watch me?) babble.
You want to hear (see?) the story. So here it is.
I'm an author. You know that already. But I was an author
eight months ago too, which is why I was sitting at my computer in my
house on Elm Street in Brady, Oklahoma. It's a thoroughly
ordinary computer in a thoroughly ordinary house in a completely normal
town. It's not the kind of place you'd expect magic to take
place, or aliens to visit. But that's sort of what
happened. Again ... depending on who you talk to.
Anyway, I was typing away on the Great American Novel when there was a
knock at my door. That was unusual, because hardly anybody comes
to visit me. I'm a kind of private fellow. But it isn't
unheard of either, so I got up to answer it.
It was a girl. Young woman, actually, though she had many
girl-like qualities at first glance. I'll just tell you some of
the things I noticed, because looking at this young woman sort of took
your entire attention to do well, and hardly anybody does anything with
their entire attention. This is to say that there is much more to
her than I'm going to tell you about. This is just what I remember most
She had smooth, almost perfect skin, which was pale and had a spray of freckles
from one cheek across the nose to the other cheek. I know most
people think of freckles as a "marring" feature, but in this case
that's like saying the stars mar the night sky. That nose was a
little crooked, like maybe it had been broken. Her eyes were what
is commonly called hazel, but I remember blue and brown and gold and
green - all distinct and separate - but all at the same
time. Her hair was purple, a deep, rich blue-black shade
that I normally associate with black cherry soda in a glass. It
wasn't long, or short. It was just there, framing that face.
She was slim, and that included her breasts. I don't understand
all this bra cup size stuff, but I imagined my hands on them, as if
they were the support for me while I was doing a pushup (and yes, I
know how weird that is,) and my hands covered them completely.
What made them scream at me for attention was that her nipples were
pressing through her T shirt, making it clear she wasn't wearing a bra
of any size.
I noticed the T shirt had a picture and some writing on it. The
picture was of a scowling clown, who looked decidedly unfriendly.
The writing said "Breasts are more fun than any clown."
"I agree!" I said immediately.
Her voice was one of the things that was girl-like. I must admit
that, in the ten seconds that I had been in this young woman's
presence, my male body had reacted to her female one. As soon as
I heard that voice, though, I felt like a child molester.
"I'm sorry," I said, both wondering what I was sorry for ... and knowing ...
on some deeper level. "Can I help you?"
"I think so," she said. She was staring at me as if I might have
sprouted a third eye. "This is unbelievable." Her eyes
widened, and I saw her pupils dilate. Having some experience with
reading body language, my brain told me that was "interest" in
me. Being an author with what I consider to be a firm and loyal
following, one which I am very thankful for, I made the connection that
this was a fan who had actually found me.
That was ridiculous, of course. But I wanted to believe I had
been tracked down by a fan, perhaps my very first groupie. I mean
if bands can have them, why not authors? We like to party and
have sex too, you know.
In the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction department, it turns out she had tracked me down. And you
could even say she was a fan, but that would be stretching the
truth. At least at that point in time. And her interest
in me had nothing to do with my books. At least at that point in
"I can't believe you look so much like him," she said. Her voice
had a wondering, sort of awe-filled tone to it. That's important,
because it was the last time I ever heard her address me as if she was
And that is because I'm a thoroughly normal, un-exciting kind of guy.
"I'd be delighted to try to help you," I said. "But I need some
clue as to what you want me to do," I said.
It was truth-is-stranger-than-fiction time again, because she flowed
toward me and hugged me. She was a very strong girl, for as light
as she looked. And those semi-naked breasts felt hot against my
chest too. I continued to react to her as a man. I made a
conscious decision not to feel bad about it, even though there was a
fifteen-year-old sounding voice inside the delightfully soft woman in
"I like trying to help you," I said. "Please feel free to keep
asking me to help you."
I felt the most gentle, most unsuspecting, most innocent bump of her
loins against mine. I describe it that way because it happened
while she pushed herself away from me. It was kind of like she
used her whole body to push back, rather than just her hands. I
was reminded of a dolphin, which uses its entire body to do anything at
all. In other words, it wasn't a sexual thing she did. But
it was impossible for her to miss how my male body felt about her
"You're a dirty old man too!" she said, her voice suddenly huskier than
a fifteen-year-old girl's voice had any business being.
"I beg your pardon?" I said, playing innocent. I mean I didn't
have a leg to stand on. Actually, come to think of it, I suddenly
had three legs to stand on,
if you get my meaning. But I wasn't going to admit that to a
complete stranger, especially one who I wanted desperately to make a
good impression on.
Why was I desperate to make a good impression on her? That was
part of - is part of - her
special kind of magic.
Her eyes assumed a very wise look for such a young face.
"Never mind. It's not important at this point in time. I
just needed to meet you and ... make a decision."
"I see," I said, not seeing anything at all, but wanting to appear
wise. "And, having met me, what is your decision?"
"I haven't made it yet. I'm Tuesday, by the way."
"Tuesday," I repeated.
"Yes, like in Tuesday Weld?"
"You're better looking than Tuesday Weld," I said.
She gave me another one of those interesting looks, which is to say she
looked interested ... in me! It was kind of like getting poked
with a cattle prod. And I know, because that's happened to
me. Then she kind of ruined it.
"I like some of your writing, but not most."
"Be still, my beating heart," I said, rather underwhelmed by this "fan"
who was so un-effusive. Thoughts of other people who probably
didn't like my writing at all entered my mind. What if they found
me too? Those were the kinds of people who bombed medical clinics
in the name of peace and love. "How did you find me?" I asked.
"I'm very clever," she said.
"While I don't doubt that," I responded, "that is of little help in
determining whether I need to move, or hire a body guard or whatever."
"You don't need a bodyguard because of me!" she said, sounding injured.
"I believe you," I said. "But your answer was evasive, if not a
little proud. See the problem is that if you, who don't like most
of my writing, can find me, so too can those people who don't like all
of my writing, and might wish to do me harm."
"If you're at all like him, I pity those who wish to do you harm," she
said, looking around. She appeared to be distracted.
"Who is this 'he' you keep speaking of?" I asked.
"I can't tell you that right now," she said, evasively. "You
wouldn't believe me, and I'm beginning to think I want you to believe
"I believe that," I said.
She turned those gorgeous eyes on me and frowned just enough that I
knew she was frowning.
"You're not as clever as you think you are. I'm onto you, old
"How could you possibly be onto me? We just met!"
While I had no idea what was going on, here, I was having a pretty good
time being involved in it. She was just a pure joy to look at and
"You wouldn't believe that either," she said. "Do you have a
"Yes," I said. "But it's not for rent."
"I don't want to rent it. I just want to stay in it for a night
or two ... just until I make up my mind."
"Let me guess," I said. "If I ask you what you're going to make
your mind up about, you won't tell me."
"That's correct," she said. "I will, however, begin to share some
things with you if I think it's a good idea."
"Well I guess that beats taking a vacation in the Poconos," I said.
"What's wrong with the Poconos?" she asked.
"I haven't the faintest," I said. "Never been there. It's
just spelled funny."
"You're so much like him!" she fairly exploded.
"At least tell me who 'he' is," I begged.
She crossed her arms under those small breasts, with such large
nipples. "Do you promise to keep an open mind?"
"Of course," I said. "I believe an open mind is one of the most
important things to have. You can't put anything into or take
anything out of a closed mind. Anyone with a closed mind is just
taking up space for no good reason."
"All right then," she said. "You're so much like your
great-great-grandfather that it's almost creepy!"
"My great-great-grandfather," I said. Somewhat patiently, in my
own humble opinion. I had asked for a little help, and she was
"Yes. His name is ... was ... Jonathan Paul Rutledge."
"I know that!" I said, a little crossly. "Well, I know his name
was John Rutledge."
"No, not John," she said. "That drove him crazy when people tried
to shorten his name. He preferred Jonathan."
"Ahhh," I said, finally understanding. "You found his diary, or
journal, or whatever, and you want to sell it to me."
She blinked several times. It's the only time I've ever seen her
look even vaguely startled.
"No," she said, with exaggerated patience. "I've never had to
explain something like this before. And I'm still not sure about
you. I have pretty good feelings about you, but I need you to be
patient with me a little longer. I think it would be to your
advantage ... depending on what I decide to do ... to just roll with
things, at least for tonight. And if that works out well, I
promise I'll answer all your questions tomorrow."
"And you want to stay with me tonight," I said.
"I want to stay in your spare bedroom
tonight," she said, clarifying things that I hadn't even alluded
to. She was a very smart girl. Still is, for that matter.
"Okay," I said. "Deal."
"Just like that?" She seemed about to smile.
"Well you showed up out of the blue, apparently ready to ask to stay
the night. So if you trust me that much, why can't I trust you
"Oh, I don't trust you," she
said firmly. "I just think I can handle you."
"Even better," I said. "I was so hoping you'd want to handle
me." I smiled widely and stood back, sweeping my arm to invite
her deeper into my lair.
She didn't go out to the car to bring in a suitcase or anything, so I
still wasn't sure if this was just some random fan yanking my chain, or
if this woman actually had some kind of business she wanted to do with
me. She said she didn't, but then nothing she'd done or said thus
far had made a lot of sense. So I just went with the flow.
Like I said, she was a delight to look at, pretty in an offbeat,
Bohemian kind of way. She had several piercings in her ears, and
the hair on the sides of her head was Army short, with a shock of
longer dark purple that grew from the top to fall and cover one
side. Her lips looked delicious. And listening to her talk
was a little like ... I don't know ... maybe being in the wave pool at
a water park? I mean it relaxed me and excited me, all at the
"Want something to eat or drink?" I asked.
"Not now," she said. "Maybe later."
"Please. Sit down. Tell me about yourself."
And damned if she didn't. She told me where she was from and
where she had grown up. She talked about her brother and sister,
and her parents. There was a lot there, but it isn't germane to
this story, and I kind of want to think she shared private things with
me anyway, so I'm going to keep them private. Suffice it to say
that she was quite open with me, for a stranger, talking to someone she
knew to be an author, who might be tempted to use any or all of that
information in a book.
But then she told me about myself. She knew where I was from, and
where I had grown up. She knew I had a brother and sister too,
though she admitted she didn't know their names. She knew my
parents were deceased, and that I was divorced, and had grown
children. She didn't know their names either. It was
an odd mix of intimate and casual knowledge. Some of it I expect
she gleaned from my books. Most authors put bits and pieces of
themselves into their narratives, whether it be in a character's
personality, or the places things happen or whatever. And a
clever reader (remember she said she was clever) could glean a lot from
between the lines of the body of work of an author. Especially an
author of erotica, such as myself.
This is not to say I had ever been hunted down by a cute, adoring
female fan before.
And, come to think of it, she was a little short on the adoring
part. But she had some purpose for being here, and had asked me
to be patient until she wished to divulge it.
And I had nothing better to do anyway ... right?
So we talked. It was really kind of nice, because while I was
pretty sure she wanted something, I didn't know what it was, so I
wasn't worried about whether I could or could not provide it. I
didn't think it was a story. Lots of people want me to write
stories about them, or for them. They come up with their own
favorite fantasy, such as taking a bath in ketchup or something, and
then ask me to write that story. But I try to write things that
appeal to more than one person, so I usually turn those ideas down.
But she hadn't asked for a story, and I didn't think she would.
So I just enjoyed eating her up with my eyes. She knew I was
doing it. I could tell. I stripped her just as naked as the
day she was born, and then imagined walking around her, looking at
every inch of her beautiful body. I fantasized that she shaved
down there ... and that she didn't. I went through a couple of
scenarios involving hair that matched her head hair, or contrasted with
it. I imagined tattoos. She had one on her inner wrist of the
Rolling Stones tongue, and one of what I suspected was a fairy in a
ball of flames on one upper arm. The rest of her was covered,
though. I've always wanted to meet a woman who had the tattoo of
a dragon's head on her belly, with a long, split tongue reaching down
to tickle her labia. I had fun imagining that one on this
She seemed to take it in stride, but eventually she threw me another
one of those curve balls.
"Your great-great-grandfather looked at ..." She paused, and her
lips were ready to form the word "me." I swear that's what it
looked like. But then her lips changed and that 'm' became a 'w'
as she said "women the same way you're looking at me."
"I can't wait to find out how you know that," I said.
"Maybe it's time," she said.
"What makes you think so?" I asked.
"First you want me to tell you things, and now you want me to
delay?" She arched one, perfect eyebrow.
"No!" I said. "I just want to know why it's suddenly time."
She looked at me for fifteen seconds. Then she said "I think I
She didn't sound at all sure about that, but hey, a mangy old dog like
me will take just about any bone, you know?
"Okay, I'm all ears," I said.
But instead of giving me information, she wanted more.
"Do you have any of your great-great-grandfather's knives?"
I didn't know all that much about my great-great-grandfather "John,"
who I now knew (?) preferred the full name Jonathan. But I did
know he was one of the premier knife makers of his day. My father
had received some of his knives from his father, who of course was
Jonathan's son, and when he passed them on to me he made me promise I'd
never sell them, and that I'd keep them in the family. That
turned out to be a big promise, because it turned out that
Great-great-grandpa Jonathan's knives were worth a lot of money. I'm talking
tens of thousands of dollars here, at least for some of them. And
I was given two of them.
It suddenly became clear why Tuesday was being so friendly. She
wanted my ancestral knives!
"They're not for sale," I said, as flatly as I could without being
"Good," she said.
I was suddenly confused. "Beg pardon?"
"He'd be happy that they're not for sale. He made his knives for
individuals, to be used, not as things to be traded as if they meant
"You keep talking about him like you knew
him," I said, finally exasperated enough to push things a bit.
She ignored me. "May I see your knives please?"
"Are you a collector?" I asked.
She shook her head and purple hair flew. I wanted to touch it.
"No," she said. "Just trust me a little longer. You'll
understand everything in a short while." She blinked several
times. "Well, you'll know
everything. The understanding part may come later." She
yawned, of all things. How on earth could anyone be sleepy while
this was going on? Whatever "this" was. When she took her
hand down, she said "Please, I'd really like to see them."
I got up and went to my bedroom, where my weapons safe is. I
admit I looked to see if she'd followed me before I spun the dial on
the combination. Once open I got the boxes the two knives were
in, I closed and locked the safe, and then took the boxes out to the
living room. She was sitting on the edge of her seat, her eyes
bright, when I walked back in. There was no trace of languor
about her now. I sat down with the boxes on my knees. She
leaned forward even more and a very strange look came over her face.
"The top one. May I see it now, please?"
I started to open it but she held up a hand. "No!" She
seemed to be flushed. "Hand me the box, please."
I did, and watched as she examined it, turning it over and over.
"I can't believe this!" she whispered.
"What?" I might have said it a little loudly.
"This is amazing!" she said, clearly excited now. She finally
opened the box, stared at the lid - not the knife - and then seemed
almost to faint, leaning back against the back of the chair and going
almost limp. The presentation box that my priceless knife was in
balanced on her knees for a second, and then slid slowly toward her lap
as I got up to grab it. Her hands came forward and caught the box.
"What's wrong?" I asked. She looked even paler than usual.
"I'm fine. I'm a little freaked out, but I'm fine."
"I have to tell you I'm losing my patience, here," I growled.
"I know. You've been much better than I could have hoped.
That's one reason I'm excited about this now."
She sat back up, again on the edge of her seat. This time she
looked at the knife. She picked it up as if she knew how to
handle a knife, and examined it.
"Kennesaw boot dagger," she said. "Black walnut handle, six inch
double edged blade." She examined both edges. "Hasn't been
used much, for as old as it is."
"I guess none of my ancestors had to stab all that many people," I
said. I admit I was a little sarcastic about it.
"How did the tip get bent?" she asked.
"I threw it at a board when I was a kid," I said.
She looked at me like I'd kicked a kitten.
"When my dad found out, I got the worst beating of my life," I added.
"Good!" she said firmly. Then, as if my punishment was complete,
she closed the box and set it aside. "The other one now."
This one was treated differently. When I handed that one to her,
she paid no attention to the box at all. She just opened it and
lifted out the Bowie type knife inside. It was beautiful, with a
polished bone handle, with bits of lapis lazuli and turquoise inset
into the handle. The cross guard was brass. The clip point
was undamaged. Not even I had been stupid enough to try to throw
this knife, when I found it hidden in my parent's closet. This
one had been carried, though, and showed signs of wear.
"Wow," she said, seeming to weigh the knife in her hand. Again,
she appeared to be familiar with knives and how to handle them.
For such a large, heavy knife, she handled it with apparent ease.
"Fourteen ounce, Missouri style handle. It's dull as hell, but
you could shave with this if it was properly sharpened."
"Okay. I give. How do you know so much about my
great-great-grandfather's knives?" I asked.
"Hold that thought," she said. She put the Bowie back in the box,
closed it and handed it to me. Then she jumped up and ran to my
front door. For the first time I noticed she was wearing Converse
Allstars. They were hightops and looked like they had cartoons on
them. She left the front door open when she ran out.
Curious, I got up and looked. She was rooting around in the back
of her car. She came out with a cloth bag wrapped around a box
that was suspiciously sized like the ones we had just been looking
at. She ran back to my front door with it, but by then I was
again seated, acting like I hadn't been spying on her. She was
clearly excited now, flushed and almost wiggling like a puppy.
She sat and pulled a presentation box from the cloth bag. Almost
reverently she handed it to me.
"Look at the box," she said. She got up and reached for my box,
the one the Kennesaw was in, and held it beside hers. They looked
Mine had marks and the scars of years of being moved here and there on
it, but otherwise they looked like twins.
"Open it," she said, her voice just slightly higher than a whisper.
As I opened her box, she opened mine.
There was a Kennesaw boot dagger in her box too.
And it was the virtual twin of mine. Same wood. Same
design. Same sheen of carbon steel.
Except that hers was mint. There wasn't a scratch on it
anywhere. It looked like it had never been out of the box.
“This is priceless," I said, reverently.
"It's not for sale!" she said, her voice firm.
"Good," I sighed. I wanted to grin. "Where did you get
She sat down across from me, my knife on her knees.
"That's the part that's going to be a little weird," she said.
"But stay with me. This is incredibly important."
"Okay," I said. "Tell me where you got this knife."
She hesitated just for a second. Then, after taking a deep
breath, she said "Jonathan gave it to me."
"Jonathan," I repeated dully. My dream woman had just suggested
she was psycho.
"Look at both boxes," she said, calmly. "Look inside the top, on the
I did, but I already knew what she was talking about. There was a small brass disk inset into the wood there,
with initials inscribed on it, a stylized kind of writing that I'd
always thought was a J and an R, which I assumed stood for John
Rutledge. His knives were so special that they came with a
presentation box. At least that's how most of them had been
delivered. That was one of the things that affected value.
The knives themselves were worth a lot, but if you had the original
presentation box, that almost doubled the value. A lot of
people had tried to counterfeit those boxes, but they were made with a
special kind of hand-carved dovetail joints that were nearly impossible
to fake. That's because there was no glue involved. All his
boxes were held together by friction alone. And the other thing was that that little disk wasn't in every single box. It was in some, but not in others. Nobody knew why. That also made a difference in the worth of the set. Boxes that had that disk were worth more than the ones without.
"Do you know what that stands for?" she asked, pointing at the little
"John ... Jonathan Rutledge?" I said.
"No. That's not a J. It's a T." She looked at
me. "It stands for Tuesday Randolph. I made that box."
Her eyes stared straight into mine. She licked those delicious looking lips.
"In fact ... I made both of these boxes."
END OF PREVIEW
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