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One Toe Across the Line (3)

7/1/2004

As planned, the primered red Econoline rumbled to a halt
at the intersection twenty-five minutes after Mr. Mike’s
Lincoln drove past it back into the city. With the radio
blaring some sad sack cowboy song, I watched Doreen Brumlevy
creap back further into one of the shadows of that forsaken
station. We each watched and listened as the van shifted
gears, crawling its way back toward the station entrance
before idling to a stop. It blocked my view of the slithering
Ms. B. The singing cowboy grew suddenly quiet as the van
turned slowly into the drive, sweeping its headlights
across the deserted station. Like a Wisconsin whitetail,
Doreen Brumlevy froze stiff in its light.
<br>

A big man, even by football standards, had Gwendlyn cowering
at his exodus from the van. Standing six five in a drunken
stupor, he confronted her. Then a second man emerged positioning
his shadow next to the first. Though nearly equal to the
first in height, the second man's shadow was leaner;
bull dog trim.
<br>

With a clank and heavy roar, the side door of the van slid
open as a third man was seen stepping out into the night.
I recognized him immediately, a willowy wraith, it was
none other than Sargent Dan Huml; a friend indeed coming
to the aid of friend in need.
<br>

Life times earlier, I had found him laying face down in a
muddy pool of water, mistaking him for dead. Shouldered
and retreating to our evacuating hughie, my corpse had
caught second wind and the rest, as they say, is history.
<br>

“More than willing to help, ” he had laughed when I told
him of my plan, “more than willing.” At a company reunion
we had once again become reaquainted. Soon after that I
introduce him to the woman he would later call his wife,
my sister, and later still, call his ex. But by that time,
Dan had become one of those friends who sticks closer than
a brother.
<br>

The forth man to step out of the van was different from the
rest. Short and wirey, there was a distinctive wabble in
his step as if one leg were shorter than the other. I knew
he went by the name, Stitch, but I had never met him. Scarred
as a child by a harvesters knife, poverty stricken parents
had done their best to mend the wound. But the scar became
a life time reminder of the days of migrant farmers son.
<br>

“Lookie what we got ‘ere boys. Ooowie! A fine look’n momma.
Lost yer way ‘ome ‘ave we missy?” Stitch’s voice was the
easiest to distinguish. Speaking in a Spanish slur, Doreen
would later confess him as to being the most frightening
of the fearsome foursome. Seeing him step from the van,
a participant that I had not extended an invitation to,
sent a chill up my spine as well for I feared his lack of restraint.
Stitch was a loose wire who always carried his tail high.
<br>

“Where’s Nick, ” Doreen squeaked, pushing her erect torso
as far back into the doorway as possible.
<br>

“Nick who? Aint no Nick here lady. Any of you boys ever hear
of a Nick.”
<br>

“Nick?. The only Nick I know of is Nick Stupensky over on
Washington Avenue?” teased the second man, Jim Rubbens.
Rub’s claim to fame was having stood toe to toe with a little
known fighter called Casius Clay. He had put the brash black
boy on the deck before being put there himself. Though a
menacing figure, Jim Rubbens was as slap happy, easy-go-lucky
of a person as one could ever hope to meet.
<br>

“Nick’s dead you bozo. Don’t you remember he never came
back from that second stint in Nam.”
<br>

“Oh ya. Forgot. Nope. Can’t say we’ve ever heard of your
Nickie, lady.”
<br>

It was obvious, even from twenty yards away, that any composure
Doreen had mustered up to ask the question had suddenly
vanished along with her imaginary husband. Use to first
class luxuries, she had never encountered the likes of
these bruts before. I can truly say that I doubt Gwendlyn
Brumlevy had ever been so completely terrified.
<br>

“Nick’s my husband and he’ll be here any minute.” Gathering
some poise from unknow places, Doreen played her bluff.
<br>

“Husband hu? I think daddy done dumped you off. What ‘ca
do, go and nag him once too often? Hu? Shit, I got a woman just
like you back home. And she don’t know just how good she’s
got it either. But weeze knows how to deal with them sorts.
Don’t we boys?" A small round of grunts noted agreement.
"Weeze justs slaps ‘m ups side the head a few times.
Funny how yuz women git real hospitable when ya get slapped
upsides the head three or four times.”
<br>

At that, Doreen let out a screem that could have been heard
a country mile –that is if anyone lived within a country
mile of the place; but they didn't. I had chosen the
location deliberately and only those standing in front
her, and myself, ever heard it.
<br>

“Ooowe, we got’s us a screamer, boys. I like a woman with
spunk.” In unison the four men advanced slowly toward her
laughing to themselves.
<br>

“Stay away from me. My husband is a very powerful and rich
man. If you lay a finger on me–” Lost for words, Mrs. Brumlevy
clasped her mouth and gathered her mothers dress tightly
around her.
<br>

“I’m shaking in my boots lady. Shit, dressed like that I
doubt if your old man has enough clout to get himself out
of a parking ticket.”
<br>

“Ma’am, he must not think too highly of you to leave you standing
out here in the middle of nowhere this late at night. Why
is that?"
<br>

“Bet ‘ca he’d even sell ya to us if we offered him two bits
and a bottle of beer.”
<br>

“I could pay each of you a hundred dollars, ” Gwen blurted
out in obvious desperation.
<br>

Another round of laughter reverberated into the night.

<br>

“A thousand dollars. A thousand dollars each. A thousand
dollars for each you. Just drive me back to town and I’ll
have it wired to you first thing in the morning.”
<br>

With that I feared she had played a hand stronger than my
own. Gwendlyn Brumlevy had defaulted to the only thing
she had ever needed to remedy any situation too tough for
her to handle otherwise, daddy’s money. Thankfully, Dan
was not so materialistically oriented.
<br>

“Sure lady. And I’ve got a Rolls parked in my garage.” Another
round of snickers reverberated off the walls of the old
station. “Now, take your dress off and let us have a peek.”
Dan’s voice was calm yet authoritative.
<br>

As if the point needed emphasizing, the sight of a metallic
blade swinging out into Stitch’s outstretched hand took
all strength out of Doreen’s legs. Slumping down in the
doorway I could here her beg.
<br>

“Please, I’ll do anything you want. Just don’t hurt me.
Please don’t hurt me.” The woman began to cry as Stitch moved
to stand in front of her.
<br>

“The dress lady. Take it off or I’ll cut it off. And, if you’re
good, and I mean real_good, maybe we’ll even think twice
before taking you back to town with us. ‘Cause you know,
lady, if we take you back into town, we’ll have to introduce
you to all our friends. We’ll just leave you tied up real
pretty like in the back of the van and everyone can come out
and fuck you at their leisure. One by one. The whole fucking
bar will fuck ya and we’ll only charge ‘m a nickel each. How’d
you like that? How’d you like a night of noth’n but fuck’n?”
<br>

Evident even to a deaf, dumb and blind man, Gwendlyn had
undoubtedly fallen into a state of conscience preserving
shock. The whining tears disintegrated into sobbing hysteria.
<br>

“Shut up bitch or I’ll give you something to cry about.”
Stitch kneed her. At that I began to doubt my strategy but
before I had a chance to make it across the road, Dan pulled
him back.
<br>

“Give her some air, man. Come on lady, stand up and do like
you were asked.”
<br>

Stitch again tried to force his will, “Strip them fuck'n
clothes off, bitch. And do it real nice and slow. Be nice
about it and maybe we’ll just leave you here after we’re
done with ya.”
<br>

The biggest of the four shadows move over to help Doreen
to her feet. Her legs were unsteady but finally locked in
place. “Come on lady, before Stitch goes ballistic. Be
a good girl and do as he asks. Just start undo’n those buttons
and I’ll see to it that he don’t hurt ya none.”
<br>

Peeking out from behind the van I could see that the once
proud Mrs. B. had totally lost her bitch motif. Standing
in front of the four men, illuminated by the van’s headlights,
she was lost in a sheltering haze. The realization that
this wasn’t the friendly little fantasy she had imagined
for herself, Gwendlyn Brumlevy was fighting for her sanity.

<br>

She. had no way of realizing that her situation was not nearly
so desperate as it seemed. Still, I could divine her thoughts.
What had gone wrong? Why had she been so foolish? What had
she expected to find that she didn’t already have at home?
Why had she given all that money to that little weasel Nick?
This wasn’t what she had asked for. And she had been specific.
No pain!
<br>

“Last time I’m gonna ask you, bitch. Strip!”
<br>

“ALL RIGHT! I heard you the first time.” Gwendlyn Brumlevy
had surfaced for air, deciding to briefly face her captors.
Pass-mir-nicht was the call and Mrs. B. was playing out
her bluff hand. “Just don’t hurt me. Please. I’m a good woman.”

<br>

“Stop your yap’n lady and get on with it. Danny. You still
got that camera in the glove box.”
<br>

“Huh? Ya why? Oh! Ya. Great idea Let’s have some pictures.”
Laughing and clapping at the idea, the thought of it sent
Gwendlyn’s regained composure begging.
<br>

“No. No. Please. Please. Here, I-I-I’m taking it off.”
Stained by dirt and perspiration, Mrs. B. unfastened the
midriff belt and began fingering the first button of the
old dress. Made of rayon and caught in the harsh light of
the van, the fabric flowed over her figure in a mind numbing
tease. “J-J-Just be patient. Please. I’m trying my best.”
Weezing a sniffling nose the top button popped free of its
loop. Time had stopped for the woman who had been so concerned
with its passing.
<br>

“Ya, that’s it momma. One button at a time. Come on now, real
slow like. We know you want to show us those tits. Every woman
wants to show her shit off, especially good look’n bitches
like you.” It was just a hint of affirmation, but it plainly
added life to proud Mrs. Brumlevy.
<br>

“Talk to us momma, ” piped in Dan, returning with the 35mm
complete with flash and a second roll of film. I began to
ponder how much the retrival of those pictures was going
to cost me.
<br>

“Ya, talk to us. Tell us that you want to show us your tits.
Do it like you mean it or we’ll throw you in the back of the
van right now and take you back to the club house. I’m sure
you’d like to meet the rest of the boys.” With that, all hope
of rescue vanished. Gone were all the illusions she had
of finding a way out.
<br>

“You don’t really want to see an old woman without her clothes.”
It was a bare statement said without jest.
<br>

“Hey lady, I don’t know what your old man threw you out of
the car for, but it wasn’t for being fat and ugly like Jimmy’s
old lady.” Jim slugged Dan’s shoulder hard enough to careen
him into Stitch.
<br>

“Hey fuckhead. Don’t be talk’n about my old lady like that, ”
Jim warned.
<br>

Undoing the third button, about mid-chest, Doreen mumbled,
“I can’t do this.”
<br>

“Shit lady.” Stitch lunged at Doreen but Warren, the biggest
shadow there, stepped in his way.
<br>

“My momma had big breasts. She always wore those big ugly
white bra’s.” I thought of the bra’s that I had seen in Gwendlyn’s
closet earlier that night.
<br>

Lightning fast to see a possible benevolent benefactor,
it was Doreen who stammered, “As big as mine?”
<br>

“Never saw ‘m ma’am. Maybe.”
<br>

Taking a gulp Doreen mustered up enough courage to add,
“My babies liked my breasts.” With the forth and fifth buttons,
the same unimaginative bra Warren’s mother had worn now
became florescent in the van lights. “My babies use to fall
asleep on them all the time.” Doreen had shut everyone and
everything out of her world except for the boy/man standing
directly in front of her. Her words sounded as far off as
the interstate, almost as if someone else had spoken them.

<br>

“Git on with it and quits stall’n. Show us what that fuckhead
of a husband been look’n at all these years. Show us them
tits, ” Stitch continued to demand. With two large hands
Warren, clasped Stitch’s arms and picked him up off the
weed lined pavement. Sitting him back down in front of the
van, no words were exchanged as the big man turned and walked
back to stand in front of the woman once again gathering
her dress in close to her.
<br>

"Don't you be feared ma'am. Stitch aint
gonna hurt you none if you keep on do'n what 'ca
was do'n."
<br>

Clasping the lucent material at her stomach, Doreen slowly
released her grip allowing the dress to fall open just enough
to reveal one of the white cupped breasts.
<br>

“That’s it, momma. Show us those tits, ” someone yelled.
Slowly, Warren reached out to Doreen like a child its parent.
Hesitant at first, Doreen released her grip and held his
hand. The dress parted.
<br>

“That more like it. Take a picture, Dan.” The bright flash
strobed the front of the garage like heat lightning. Then
another. Doreen was a frozen piece of ice. Slowly Warren’s
hand parted the dress for her.
<br>

“Wow. What a great set of knockers, ” the big man gently
gasped, stepping to one side of her in order to get a better
view.
<br>

“You’re a real blast from the past, lady, ” Jim chimed.

<br>

“They remind me of a stupid kid who use to steal things off
his neighbors cloths line.” At that things happened rather
rapidly. Jim, who had been leaning against the van next
to Stitch, flew at Warren, slugging him hard in shoulder.
“You asshole. You’re the one. That was my mothers underwear
that you were stealing. I remember it. She use to get so damn
mad she could spit. We never did find out who was stealing
them. What on earth did you do that for, fatty?”
<br>

“Shut-up assholes.” Stitch again showed his impatience.
“Drop the dress lady and show us what you got.” Surprisingly,
there was no hesitation in her movements this time. Doreen
straightened her shoulders and allowed the slinky piece
of cloth to flow off behind her.
<br>

“Satisfied? Do I remind you all of your mothers?”
<br>

“Shit no lady. In my fathers wildest dreams my momma never
looked so good. How many rug rats did you say you had?”
<br>

“If you are inquiring as to how many children I have, two.
My son Jonathan and my daughter Denise.” I had to hand it
to her, Doreen was playing her cards like a Las Vegas card
shark. Bringing her children into the picture even announcing
their names she was hoping to hold their slipping morals
at bay. But it didn’t work.
<br>

“Tell me lady, is Denise as hot as her mother.” Ramming herself
erect, I saw a mothers eyes flash fire toward to the one who
had dared speak it. Like the Killdeer, Ms. B. turned them
away from her young and drew them to herself.
<br>

“You think I’m desirable then? Do you men really think this
old lady still can still turn a few heads?” Without prompting
from Stitch, Doreen scooped out one mound of fleshy mothers
fat and juggled it in her hand. Dan’s camera flared bright.

<br>

“Gawd, lady. Nice tit. Show us the other one.” It was Warren
speaking again, this time acting as if he had never seen
a breast before. “Nice tits. Sssshit! Real nice tits.”

<br>

Doreen bent at the waist, slowly unhooking each of the half
dozen or so hooks at the back of the bra. We all watched and
waited. With one hand holding the large sculptured cups
firmly in front while the other, slowly, teasingly, finally
fingered free the elastic clasp behind her, we all watched
in silence. Lost in a trance, Warren uttered over and over
to himself, “Nice tits. Damn, lady, Nice tits!” The big
man had always had the habit of going soft in the company
of women. I think Doreen quickly perceived that and turned
all her thoughts and attention to him only. What the others
did was of no concern to her now. She now thought of this one
as her protector.
<br>

“Help me?” Doreen moved toward Warren and nodded for him
to pull the bra away from her. Warren was no virgin but he
was ever reluctant. “I’m not going to hurt you. Help me off
with my bra and I’ll let you keep it.” For effect, I watched
as Doreen bent down into the light, securing each cup in
her hands before wiggling the shoulder straps free and
standing back up.
<br>

“Hey, Warren. You need some help?” teased Jim. Warren’s
thick fingers tugged at one of the straps, careful to not
to touch flesh, only fabric. Finally, the bra fell free.
<br>

“Wooooowie. We’ve gotta live one here folks. Come on momma,
shake’m for us.” Gwendlyn nearly came back to the surface
at that. Caught somewhere between conservative mores
and secretly hidden desires only occassionally dreamed
of, I watched the forty-nine year old woman slowly shake
her shoulders.
<br>

“Good gawd almighty. Shit lady, shake'm some more."
Someone blurted. "Take a picture, Jimmy, you stupid
twit. Take a gawd damn picture.”
<br>

What occured next was more than anyone could ever have imaged
the bitchy wife of the great Mr. Brumlevy ever performing.
It seemed that the more excited the men grew the less inhibited
she became. Doreen Brumlevy was warming to the fact that
perhaps public nudity wasn’t such the nightmare she had
always thought it to be. Bending at the waist, she cinched
her shoulders and swung her breasts before standing back
upright. The crowd went wild.
<br>

“The panties, lady. Take off those panites, ” Jim breathed
hard.
<br>

“Do you like my panties? I’ll bet none of you boys ever saw
a pair of panties like these before.” Modeling her hips
in a slow pelvic wave motion, it told me that Gwendlyn was
now in full retreat. Zippered half way down either side,
Doreen slowly knotched each fastener down its pathway.
Pastel green in color, they had been made with a tummy tuck
elastic V-panel in front.
<br>

Whether she had once been to a burlesque show or had seen
it performed in some Hollywood movie, Doreen performed
for each of them. With a little hesitation, the front panel
of the panty finally fell open. The crowd quietened.
<br>

As instructed earlier at the house, Doreen’s legs were
nylon gartered in everyday beige. Standing above brown
open toed pumps, the candy carmel colored hose and heavy
irory garters pried two more flares out of Dan’s camera.
<br>

With two slow deliberate fingers, Doreen slid the hip hugging
panties across her thighs and let them fall to her toes.
<br>

“Who wants my panties?” Jim pushed Warren aside. On bended
knee, Jim looked straight up into Doreens thick curling
bush and strobed another picture.
<br>

“Tell you what lady, give me your address and I’ll send you
some pictures.” Dan’s offer surprised me as well as Doreen.
Noticeably cautious, Doreen grabbed at the thought she
hoped was being offered.
<br>

“You aren’t going to me then?”
<br>

“Tell me something first. If the cops were to pull up right
now, what would you tell them was going on out here?”
<br>

Doreen Brumlevy may have been bred the rich bitch but that
didn’t make her stupid.
<br>

“I don’t know what you are talking about, officer. The boys
and I were just having a little fun. There's nothing
wrong with a little fun is there, officer?”
<br>

“Show us your pussy first momma and then we’ll think about
leaving you in one piece.” For a brief moment, Gwendlyn
came back to life. The woman was again caught between being
that prudish house-wife and the hopes that a little less
restraint just might leave her untouched. Awkwardly,
Doreen squatted in front of the truck as Dan finished his
first roll of film.
<br>

“I suppose this what you want?” she bark in thoughts of shaming
the speaker for asking.
<br>

“Don’t move lady. I’ve got to reload the camera.” Dan, too,
was caught up by the sight. “You must have been one hot bitch
when you were younger.” Doreen accepted the compliment.
<br>

“Thank you. May I get dressed now?”
<br>

Stitch wasn’t so easily pleased. “Play with your pussy,
lady. Show us how you use to turn on that old man of yours before
you went and pissed him off. It would do your old man some
good to see you holding your pussy wide open for the camera.
It just might even be enough to make him realize just what
a wild piece of goods he's got here. Come on, bitch,
show us your cunt. Brush aside that mop of hair and open up
those big pussy lips of yours for all the world to see. Show
us where your old man's been shove’n that dick of his
into all these years.”
<br>

Without anyones notice, Warren moved to position himself
back behind the Stitch once again. A mamouth hand paralized
Stitch’s shoulder.
<br>

“Drop the blade, Stitch.”
<br>

“Fuck you, man.”
<br>

“Drop it or I’m going to hurt you. We didn’t come here for
this. It’s time that we leave the lady to herself.”
<br>

Stitch had not been part of the original equation and I didn’t
know how he had weasled his way into it. I imagined that boys
had been boys and things had been said that would have been
better left unsaid.
<br>

“Put him in the van, Warren.” Dan walked over and handed
the discarded rag back to the woman. “Get dressed, lady.
And then get on your knees and pray we don’t come back.”
<br>

The lights dimmed as Jim fired Detroit iron and the crying
cowboy went back to singing his sad song right where he had
left off. Warren closed the sliding door as I retreated
to the other side of the road.
<br>

“Where should I send the pictures?” I heard Jim ask her.
<br>

Clutching her dress in front of her, Doreen looked down
at the purse that lay beside her. Dan picked it up and pulled
out two pieces of plastic, jettisoning the purse back into
the doorway. “Doreen Gwendlyn Brumlevy. Born nineteen–”
Dan hesitated as he figured the years. “Gawd, you are an
old bugger. Old enough to be my mother –and she’s dead.”
<br>

“Let’s go, Dan, ” pleaded Jim as he wheeled the van’s headlights
into the corn.
<br>

“Lookie here, man. Seeze here that momma just had her fifty-forth
birthday last week. Maybe we should give her a belated present.
Give me that pen on the dashboard.” Writing her address
on the back of his hand, Dan dropped the cards at Doreen’s
feet and turned away.
<br>

“Come on. Let’s get out of here before somebody drives by
and this bitch starts yelling , ” pleaded Jim.
<br>

“The pictures will be in the mail –Mrs. Brumlevy. Hope your
old man gets to them first.”
<br>

Without another word, the van turned and headed back in
the direction from which it had come. As I sat there watching
a woman too dumb-founded to move, I wondered if that last
bit of demeaning had been necessary. She seemed no longer
concerned that someone might drive by but rather stood
there in the darkness choking her garment between those
wonderful breast, mumbling in a soft teary voice words
too muffled to distinquish.
<br>

Careful not to reveal my shadow, I sank back into the corn
and worked my way back up the hill to my own van. Silently
pulling out into the night, I left Doreen to her tears and
stole back toward the city.
<br>

Riding up over a ridge five miles east of the old station,
Warren’s van sat gingerly exhaling blue plums of smoke
out into the night air. I rolled to a stop behind it as four
wide smiling faces jumped out to greet me.
<br>

“Well how’d we do?” Dan was the first to ask. “This should
cost you big bucks, but I’m feeling overly generous at the
moment.” Surprisingly, he pushed two rolls of film into
my hand. “I’d say we’re getting close to even.”
<br>

“You owe me nothing, Dan –and you never have. We both know
that. So stop holding it over my head.”
<br>

“But you owe me, ” added Stitch. “Big time. Could that bitch
really have given us each a grand for taking her back into
the city?”
<br>

“Oh I don’t doubt it. She’s rich like no one you’ve ever known.
But there’s just one catch.”
<br>

“Ya? What’s that?”
<br>

“Her husband keeps her cash poor. The only thing that separates
her from you and me, buddy boys, is that piece of plastic
Dan threw back at her feet. Here, it’s all I’ve got.” I handed
Stitch four one hundred dollar bills and four fifties.
“You guy’s went beyond the call of duty. Divide it up amongst
yourselves. You were worth every penny of it.”
<br>

“Hey, Nick, ” Dan roared as he snatched the bills out of
Stitch’s hand. “You must really be hot for this dame. Ain’t
never seen you so free with the money. You gotta a thing going
with that lady that you didn’t tell your old friends about?”
<br>

“Nope. Sorry if that disappoints you. Like I said, the woman
just wanted a weekend to remember.”
<br>

“Well, I don’t know about no weekend, but we certainly gave
her an evening to remember. Didn’t we boys.” A familar round
of gunts again moaned in agreement.
<br>

“Ya, Nick. And to think we owe it all to you. What you got planned
for her next. Anything we could help with? How about a good
old fashioned gang bang?”
<br>

“Tell me something, Stitch. Was that an act?”
<br>

“An act? Shit man, I would have banged that old lady in a second.
You’re a fuck’n fool if you don’t nail her yourself.”
<br>

Dan held out an open hand for me to shake but somewhere between
Nam and now I had learned that there are times when a handshake
is not enough for a man. Pushing it aside I gave my brother-in-arms
a hug before asking him one small favor.
<br>

Returning to our respective vehicles, I pulled out first,
turning back westward on that deserted highway.
<br>

“HEY FUCK HEADS! Open the fuck’n door, ” Stitch screamed
in vain at the rust riddled old van as it pulled away without
him, reversing its direction before leading me back to
Mrs. Jonathan Brumlevy.

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