The only thing that kept me from beating someone’s face in at work that day was the complete absurdity of it all. I manage a large do-it-yourself home improvement supply store. A hurricane was churning up the coast, and people were going insane with their over-preparation for the storm. The media’s “public service announcements” warned of Armageddon. The official forecast called for heavy rain with some river flooding. That happens some times. Usually the storms don’t have names. This one did.
Fear-mongering sells papers and air-time, so the local media outlets have gone nuts. “Buy ice! Get bottled water! Stock up on food! Buy flashlights and batteries! It’s the end of civilization as we know it!”
A hurricane that came through here when I was a child killed a family trying to cross a flooded bridge down the hill from my parents’ house. Right after I finished college, another hurricane turned some towns around here into islands for a few days.
Funny thing. Except for people who tried to drive through rushing water or who insisted on going back into their flooding homes to save one more thing, no one died. No one starved to death. No one was blown away. No levee broke. We’re north, inland, and uphill. And yet, people panic. It was like a feeding frenzy in a school of sharks at my store.
One customer was having a panic attack because we were out of plywood. “What can I do? What can I do? You have to sell me plywood!”
“I’m sorry, sir. We’ve out of plywood,” I said.
“What about flake-board?”
“The last skid went about an hour ago.”
“Get more!” he yelled.
“It’s been ordered.”
“When will it get here?”
“Some should get here Monday, sir. We have six trailer-loads of plywood, flake-board, and particle-board coming.”
“The hurricane will be here tonight! What am I going to do?”
“Sir, this far inland, you don’t need to board up your windows.”
“Don’t you tell me what I need to do! Are you implying I don’t know what I’m doing?”
“Sir, I would hate to see you waste money and cause cosmetic damage to your house to guard against a threat that doesn’t exist.”
“I’LL MAKE SURE YOU GET FIRED! I NEED PLYWOOD, NOW! I WANT TO SEE YOUR MANAGER!” the customer shouted.
“I’m the manager.”
“GET ME THE DISTRICT MANAGER!”
“I’ll give you the number for the corporate complaint department.”
“Will they bring me plywood?”
“No, sir. The complaint department is in California. They will investigate your report and take disciplinary action as required.”
The moron was practically in tears. “Why don’t you have plywood?” he wailed.
I was very proud of myself. I didn’t smack him, and I didn’t laugh. “Sir, certain irresponsible media outlets are making the threat from this storm out to be more than it is. The major weather services are calling for us to have heavy rain and some flooding, but minimal winds, nothing more than the gusts we get once or twice a year from thunderstorms.”
“But I need to board up my windows!”
“Where do you live?”
“Serenity Hills. Why? Are you going to deliver plywood to my house?” he asked anxiously.
“If you live up there, I doubt you’ll need to do anything special to weather the storm.”
The guy gave me a disdainful look. “Maybe you don’t care about keeping your family and your possessions safe, but I do!”
“Sir, you’ll do more damage to your house screwing plywood to your window frames than the storm is likely to do.”
“But what about the storm surges?” he shouted.
“This store is a hundred miles inland and five hundred feet above sea level, and you live on a ridge above us. I’m not sure storm surges from the flood in the Bible hit there.”
“You don’t know that! I want to be prepared!”
A fool and his money are soon parted. “Probably, you could use pressure-treated deck boards, sir. We still have racks of those left, but they’re all one and five-eighths inch premium select grade.”
“So they’ll be good and strong? Now you’re talking!”
An hour later, I was amazed at how much expensive lumber this moron and I managed to fit in, and on, his Mercedes SUV. Armed with enough top-of-the line tools and fasteners to start a construction business, this foolish homeowner left to secure his castle. I was tempted to sell him a roll of aluminum foil to make hats for him and his family, but I was afraid he’d buy it.
By the time I locked up the empty store and drove home, I was exhausted. Doing this work keeps me in shape, but even with all the heavy lifting I had done today, I knew I’d be okay in the morning. That’s not what wears me out. It’s the emotional strain of keeping myself and my staff from hitting obnoxious customers with a sledgehammer.
This was my weekend off. On Monday, the trucks would roll in, and we would face the Herculean task of re-stocking the store. I called my second-in-command, the acting manager for the weekend, to tell him what happened.
“Jake?” I said when he picked up the phone.
“Have fun tomorrow and Sunday,” I chuckled.
“That’s an understatement. There isn’t a sheet of plywood, flake-board, or particle-board left. We’re out of generators and flashlights. Picnic coolers and ice-packs ran out this morning, there are no more grills or camp stoves, no charcoal or propane – you name it, if it would have any usefulness at all in a disaster, it’s gone.
“Damn!” Jake said. “What will we do tomorrow?”
“Before I left, I grabbed some cans of fake snow from the Christmas supplies we just got in and wrote on the front windows, ‘Out of everything. Sorry.’ I think you should only open the main door and get your biggest guys to stand guard against the mobs. It was crazy today. One asshole even bought deck boards to cover his windows.”
Jake laughed, “I’ve been watching the news. The talking heads are ranting on about the Apocalypse, but real meteorologists say we’ll only get rain. Are you prepared for the storm?”
“Yup. Bought a bottle of sippin’ whiskey on my way home. That’s the supply I’ll need most over the next couple of days,” I laughed. “Oh, and if you need me tomorrow?”
“Tough shit.” Jake said.
“Right. Have your people do major housecleaning.”
“Oh sure, you wait until your weekend off so I have to be the bad guy making everyone do shit jobs. Classy move, Harry.”
“As General Manager, I’m delegating responsibility to you, buddy. Run with it.” My phone beeped. “Hey, gotta go, getting another call,” I said.
“Enjoy your days off, and stay dry,” Jake laughed as he hung up.
“Harry?” my new caller said.
“What are you doing, you old fart?”
“Not much, Ben. I just got home from getting my ass kicked at work.”
“People are nuts, aren’t they?” Ben asked.
“Guys from that gated community up the road from the store are boarding up their windows!” I said.
“More money than brains. Our siding contractors will make big bucks repairing the damage these idiots do,” I said.
“Wanna get a drink?” Ben asked.
“No. I’m heading to Suzie’s Sauce Shop. They’re having a hurricane party.”
“Let me grab a shower and clean clothes. I’ll be there soon.”
“I’ll save you a stool,” Ben said as he broke the connection.
Suzie’s is down the street from me. It’s a big building, with a bar and karaoke upstairs, and a club in the basement. My favorite spot on Friday nights is the dance club downstairs. The music is too urban for my tastes, but fun people hang out there, and the drinks are cheap. It’s also within crawling distance of my house, so I’m not tempted to drive when I’ve had a few.
It was raining as I walked, steadily enough that I was glad I had my hooded rain-jacket. “Hurricane Party in the Dugout,” the sign in the front window said. Normally, I have a beer in the neighborhood pub-type bar that serves as the main entrance, and then go downstairs, but the upstairs bar was nearly deserted. I headed to the Dugout dance club.
“Hey, Harry!” Ivan, the bouncer, boomed at me. “Here for the hurricane party?”
“I guess. What is a hurricane party?”
“I dunno. In Moscow, we didn’t celebrate on-coming disasters, but you crazy Yankees do weird shit. It should get wild. All drinks are at least one-third off. Drafts are only a dollar, and that hillbilly whiskey you drink is three-fifty for a double.”
“Sounds good, after the day I had at work,” I chuckled.
“There’s some nice eye-candy here,” Ivan observed.
“So I see.”
“Maybe you’ll get lucky.”
“Sure, Ivan. In my dreams. I need a drink.”
“Check out the shot-girls,” Ivan said.
“Yeah. You know Hana, that Korean chick who’s banging the cook? It’s her younger sister and the sister’s roommate.”
“What are they serving?”
“Red Headed Sluts and Harvey Wallbangers. A buck each.”
I laughed. “My roommate and I threw a Harvey Wallbanger party in college. We got seriously trashed. Some chicks danced naked on the table.”
Ivan said, “They can’t do that here. We don’t have that kind of club license.”
“You’re no fun.”
“Did I say I’d stop them right away? I might get busy and not notice for a while. Doing cavity searches on suspicious-looking women takes time.”
“I knew there was a reason you always smiled, you big Russkie pervert,” I laughed as I headed toward the bar.
Ivan was right. There were women of all types and ages, from girls who probably had fake ID’s to women who were more age-appropriate for me to hit on. But that wasn’t why I was there. I was there to have a couple of drinks with my old friend Ben.
Ben and I grew up together. He was the one who introduced me to Maria all those years ago. Ben and his wife were best man and matron of honor at our wedding. They were the ones who supported me most through the ordeal of watching the radiation and chemo fail to save my wife.
In our younger days, Ben and I chased a lot of skirts together, but neither of us had any delusions about our appeal to the younger and more desirable women at Suzie’s. Sure, we flirted with them, or tried to, but we were just a couple of old horn-dogs who liked to get together for drinks and laughs.
“Hey, Ace!” Ben hollered from his stool at the crowded bar. “A lager and a double Jack Daniels for Harry!”
My favorite bartender, a character everyone calls Ace Ventura because of his outrageous hairstyle, greeted me with his usual high-five. “How’s it going, Splinter-Pecker?”
“Every time I see you, I’m reminded that I’ve failed,” I said.
“I could have been rich if I had put money in hair gel stocks.”
“Watch the hair jokes! I like my hair. It’s a fashion statement. It says a lot about me.”
Ben snickered, “Yeah, that you’re a slimy bastard.”
Ace leaned over the bar and said to me in a stage whisper, “Guess who’s next drink is going to be real, real weak?”
“Fuck you, Ace,” Ben laughed.
“You’re not man enough for me. If we got together, you’d be the one on your knees,” Ace dead-panned, turning to get my drinks.
“Look at that,” Ben said, pointing to the TV over the bar. It was showing video of the torrential rains the storm was dropping.
“It’s gonna get wet tonight, boys,” Ace said as the collected my money. “I’ve been watching that all night. The storm turned inland, and it’s dropping a hell of a lot of rain. It’s supposed to stall right over us. You know how our storm sewers are.”
“Yeah, if we get an inch of rain, Main Street turns into a river,” Ben said.
“I know,” Ace replied. “Look!” he said, gesturing toward the screen. He grabbed the remote, turning the music down and the TV volume up.
“… streams and creeks are flooding. Viewers in low-lying areas are urged to keep watch on rising waters and to obey all evacuation advisories. Motorists and pedestrians are strongly cautioned to avoid standing or running water. This storm could dump ten inches of rain or more in our area over night. Folks, this is a bad one,” the weatherman said.
“Shit!” I said. “That’s a lot of rain.”
“Ten inches?” Ace exclaimed. “That’s almost as big as me.”
Ben ignored him. “If we get ten inches of rain, this town will be an island. Every road in and out crosses a bridge.”
“It was raining when I came in, but not that hard,” I said. “I wonder how it is now?”
A couple came downstairs into the bar, looking like they had been fished out of a lake. “There’s your answer,” Ace said. “Hey, Gary! Hi, Cheryl! Is it raining?”
The dripping guy said, “Not funny, Ace. Got any paper towels?”
“In the restrooms.”
The two squished off in the direction of the bathrooms to try to dry off.
“Damn, they look like they took a shower with their clothes on!” Ben laughed.
“We won’t get any more customers,” Ace said. “There goes my tip jar.” He went to tap a few beers.
“Did you see the shot-girls?” Ben asked.
“Ivan said they were Hana’s sister and the sister’s roommate.”
“Here comes the roommate,” Ben leered.
“Hi, boys,” a petite girl in a naughty schoolgirl outfit teased. Her silky-smooth skin was the color of caramelized brown sugar. “Who’s thirsty?”
“What do you have?” I asked.
“Ummm, B-cups. But my nipples are cute.”
Ace called over his shoulder as he was pouring a shaker of shots, “You’re not lactating, are you baby? What’s in your shot rack? Old Splinter-Pecker’s thirsty.”
“Splinter-Pecker? You poor man,” the dark-skinned beauty laughed.
Ben punched me good-naturedly in the arm. “Yeah, and don’t listen to his line about how at least he has wood.”
Ace chimed in, “More than you can say, Ben, according to your wife. Or was it your daughter who told me that? Hell, I slept with both of them so many times, I can’t remember.”
“It was his Dad,” I said.
“You’re right! That’s why he always liked to take me along when he went fishing,” Ace laughed. “Anyway, guys, meet Onyx. Onyx, honey, that’s Ben, and that’s Harry. I call him Splinter-Pecker because he runs a lumber yard.”
“Got any good deals on gopher wood?” Onyx asked.
“Gopher wood?” Ben wondered.
“Noah’s ark was made of gopher wood,” I answered. “Didn’t you pay attention in Sunday School?”
“No, I watched the girls.”
“Onyx!” a female voice called. “I’m out of Red Headed Sluts. Time to refill.”
“Do you have any Harvey Wallbangers, Jae?” Onyx asked.
“Hi, guys,” the Asian girl said. “Who wants a Harvey Wallbanger?”
“Harry does,” Onyx answered, pointing to me. “What about you, Ben? Oh, boys, this is Jae. Jae, meet Harry and Ben.”
Jae was dressed in a backless little black micro-dress, cut nearly to her waist in the front. She was taller than Onyx but every bit as sexy. She had the taught, lean, very feminine body of a dancer or figure skater.
“Hi, Harry! I have two Wallbangers left,” Jae said.
“I’ll take ’em.”
“What about you, Ben? Do you want anything?” Onyx asked.
“Maybe a mocha latte later?” my buddy leered.
“Hey, hey, hey,” Ace called over his shoulder as tapped a pitcher of beer. “Onyx is a classy girl. If she’s with a guy, he’s a real man, right, babe? I’ll bet neither of these old heads has twelve inches of love to give!”
“You don’t either,” Onyx said.
“How would you know that?” Jae asked.
“Ha!” Ace laughed.
“I saw it on his wife’s phone, okay?”
“Uh huh,” Jae giggled.
Gary and Cheryl came back from the bathrooms. They weren’t dry, but they weren’t making puddles on the floor anymore. “Ace, you gonna close early?” Gary asked.
“Why? Because it’s raining?”
“Yeah,” Cheryl said. “It’s bad. When we left the house, it was raining, but about halfway here it was like we were in a car wash. We got this wet running from the parking lot.”
Ace said, “You know Suzie. At least one bar in this building is open every day, no matter what. Last winter we ran the front bar on generators for two days after that bad ice storm. We’re here, even if there are no customers.”
“What the hell is that on TV?” Ben asked.
Ace turned up the volume.
“… disaster workers are preparing for the worst floods this area has ever seen. Debris in storm sewers and streams has made some streets and rural roads impassible, wash-outs have been reported, and the worst is yet to come. Authorities are strongly advising evacuation of all areas where flooding has occurred in the past or where water could rise. Citizens are urged to stay in their homes if they are on high ground. If you must travel, avoid ALL areas with standing or flowing water. Do NOT, under any circumstances, cross into areas marked by emergency barriers or signs,” the commentator said.
“Look!” Ace said, pointing at the screen. “That’s the car dealership on the other side of the bridge. The water’s knee-deep!”
“Holy shit!” Ben exclaimed. “That’s on my way home. Now what?”
“Go north a block, turn right, and at the third light, turn right again,” Ace said. “That takes you on the new bridge over the creek, so you’ll be okay. That street merges with this one on the other side of the hill, about a half mile south.
“I should go. The wife’s probably crazy with me being out in this.”
“Yeah, wimp out on us, Ben,” Ace laughed. “Seriously, be safe driving home. You heard what they said. Don’t drive through water.”
“Okay, Ace. Harry, can I give you a ride?”
“No, I’m good. I’ll wait for a break in the storm. I’m right up the alley.”
“Okay. See ya.”
The Harvey Wallbangers were a pleasant change from my usual beer and whiskey, and Onyx and Jae were more fun to look at than Ace.
My phone rang. It was Ben.
“Harry, it’s real bad. It took half an hour to go two miles. If I got out of first gear my windshield wipers couldn’t keep up. I’ve never seen rain like this. Water is backing up everywhere. They closed the new bridge after I went over, ‘cuz water’s coming over the road at the ends. Everyone needs to leave soon. They’re rescuing people in rowboats. You can’t use the bottom entrance to the bar parking lot, ‘cuz there’s water running in that street.”
“Hang on, Ben. Ace! It’s Ben calling. He just made it home. He says there’s water at the bottom of the parking lot.”
“Ivan!” Ace yelled. “Check the lot.”
Ivan bounded upstairs.
Ace turned up the sound on the TV again. “… mandatory evacuation has been ordered in some areas, but residents everywhere are strongly advised to comply with any requests for them to leave.”
“My wife has the same broadcast on,” Ben said. “You’re less than a block from the edge of the evacuation zone. Tell Ace he needs to shut down. I’m completely soaked just from running from the bar to my car. I gotta change clothes.”
“Okay, thanks, Ben,” I said, closing my phone.
Ivan came down the interior stairs, looking like he had been blasted by a fire house. “Stupid fucking American weather! The water is almost up to some of the cars in the lot, and they say it’s rising fast. We gotta close, Ace.”
Ace walked to the DJ booth and grabbed the microphone. “Listen up, everyone. If you’re parked in the lower portion of our lot, you need to move your cars right now. Flood water is rising. You can’t go south, but I think you can still go north. We’re open, so if you want to stay, great. If not, be smart and drive safely.”
Almost everyone left. The bartender from upstairs came down saying that she wanted to go home, since she hadn’t had a customer in over an hour.
Ace said, “I’ll explain to Suzie. Put a sign on the door that says I’m open down here. I know where you live. Some of those roads between the fields might be pretty iffy. Text me when you get home so I know you’re okay.”
Jae and Onyx busied themselves picking up glasses and empty bottles, and cleaning tables as people left. Soon, I was the only customer in the Dugout.
“I guess I should head out so you can close, Ace,” I said.
“Nah, it doesn’t matter. Suzie would castrate me if she found out I closed early. Someone might come in for a six-pack to go. Let’s play some pool. I can keep up with orders.”
I was in the middle of losing the third game in a row when we heard glass break, followed by a scream. The lights went off, along with the music and the TV. “What the fuck was that?” Ace said, as the battery-powered emergency lights brought harsh illumination to the room.
Jae and Onyx came rushing through the kitchen door. Both looked terrified. “Water is coming through the window over sink!” Jae yelled.
“What?” Ace said, pushing past the girls.
“What happened?” I said to the visibly shaken Onyx.
“We were in there loading the dishwasher, and I heard a noise. I looked up and saw water half-way up the little window above the sink. There was a crack going across the glass, and then water started leaking in, and then it just shattered!”
“Everybody out, now!” Ace yelled, returning from the kitchen. “Back steps! Move!”
I looked down and saw tendrils of muddy water running around my shoes. More glass shattered, and we heard more rushing water. With Ace hustling us, and Ivan leading the way, our group hurried to the emergency exit. As we passed the restrooms, water was jetting out under the doors. We were ankle deep. How could it rise this fast? How deep was it going to get?
“I can’t swim! How are we going to get out?” Jae moaned.
Ace said, “You’re all right, honey. The back door is higher than the bathroom windows.” He sounded more confident than he looked.
There stairwell was dry. Ivan led the girls and me to the top while Ace locked the security doors into the club behind him.
Huddled in the doorway at the top of the steps, we understood the enormity of the situation. The street in front of the building was under water. So were most of the steps leading from the sidewalk up to the entrance to the front bar, and the sloping alley was awash halfway from the street to where we stood. Since the Dugout was in the basement, the few painted-over windows it had were below pavement level, sitting in little wells. Those wells were now spillways for flood waters rushing through the broken glass.
“My God,” Jae cried, “how are we going to get home?”
“Where are you parked?” Ace asked.
“See that little red car?” Onyx pointed.
“The one with water halfway up the doors?” I asked.
“I only had three payments left,” Jae sobbed.
“Ivan? What about you?” Ace asked.
“Remember? My girlfriend dropped me off. I was going to ride with you.”
“Oh, right. I have to stay here until I call Suzie and tell her what’s happening. Here are my keys. Go see if my car is all right. If it is, park it over on the back lot of the bookstore. That’s uphill from where it’s parked now. ”
We watched as Ivan slogged off through the deluge. Ace called Suzie, and the girls huddled between us.
“The water’s still rising,” Jae whimpered. “How can it come up this fast?”
I said, “The creek is about two blocks away. It floods sometimes, but I’ve never seen it like this.”
There was a gurgling noise behind us. The girls and I turned just in time to see the doors at the bottom of the steps burst open, vomiting out a torrent of chairs, bottles, and water. In a heartbeat, the muddy water in the stairwell was at the same level as the flood in the alley. Jae almost knocked me over, throwing herself at me to cry.
“What the fuck was that?” Ace said, turning to look. “Suzie, we won’t be able to start salvage operations until we get some big pumps. … Yes, it’s deep. I’m on the top step of the emergency stairwell, and the water is at the second step. … No! Second step from the top! … Yeah, everyone’s out, and the front’s locked up. I’m going to lock this door before I leave, and I’ll be back at dawn to see what I can do. … All right.”
He put his phone away. “Poor old woman. She wanted to come over here and work on scrubbing the floor to get ready for tomorrow.”
“Now what?” Onyx asked.
“Now, I go home to sleep. It’s the last I’ll get for days. I only work here, but if this place isn’t open, I don’t get paid,” Ace said.
Ivan came splashing around the corner from the bookstore parking lot. “How do you drive that fucking thing, Ace? The wheel was between my knees!”
“Sports cars aren’t for everyone,” Ace said.
“This night sucks,” Ivan grumbled. “I’m soaked, and I left my phone on the bar. Now I have to wade around and … FUCK! That’s a lot of water!” he exclaimed as he looked down the stairwell.
Ace gave a hollow laugh. “Yeah, Ivan, there’s nothing we can do here. We can’t get to your place if the water is this high, so you can stay at my house. It’s on the ridge on the north side of town. We can make it in my car. My wife won’t mind, and Suzie could use your help with clean-up.”
“Can I use your phone to call my girl?” Ivan asked.
While Ivan spoke to his girlfriend, Ace said, “You ladies are welcome to stay with us, but I’ll have to take you one at a time. My car’s a two-seater.”
“I live up the alley at the top of that little hill,” I said. “I’m sure my place is safe, if anyone wants to go there.”
“We can’t stay here,” Onyx said, pointing to the water that was almost to our feet.
“I don’t want to drown,” Jae sobbed. “Does anyone know how to pray?”
“Honey, go with Harry,” Ace said, hugging the panicked girl. “He’s a nice guy, with a nice little house on high ground. In the winter, you can see the roof of this place from his driveway, and you’re looking down when you do it. Harry’s house is the safest place for you tonight.”
“Will you call my sister and let her know where I’ll be?” Jae sobbed, moving from Ace’s arms to mine.
“I’ll call,” Ivan said to Ace. “You need to concentrate on driving.”
Onyx took her friend from me. “C’mon, baby, calm down,” she said. “I’m with you. Lead the way, Harry.”
The five of us slogged up the alley in the cascading rain. There was no point in hurrying. We couldn’t get any wetter. When we got to Ace’s car, I asked him to call me if there was any way I could help with clean-up. Then the girls and I laughed at the spectacle of big Ivan shoehorning himself into Ace’s ridiculous little roadster. Eventually, they went splashing off into the night.
“Jae, honey,” Onyx said as we walked. “Are you going to be okay?”
We slogged a few more paces before Jae said, “I’m sorry. I know I’m a pain in the ass. I’m terrified of drowning. My grandparents died in a flood in Korea.”
I put my arm around Jae’s shoulders. “You’ll be safe at my place. High and dry.”
We walked up my driveway to my attached garage. I led us into the laundry room, where I kept some beach towels. “Don’t worry about dripping on the floor in here. It’s meant to get wet.” I handed them each a towel, and took one for myself.
I was drying my face when I heard Jae say, “Onyx! What are you doing?”
“Getting out of this damn wet clothing.”
I considered keeping the towel over my eyes, but not for long. Onyx’s rich skin tone stood in beautiful contrast to her lacy white bra and thong.
“I was going to say ‘no peeking,’ but I guess it’s a little late for that,” she grinned, toweling herself. When she was more or less dry, she started working on her rapidly frizzing hair.
Jae wasn’t having much success at patting the water out of her dress. Onyx laughed, “Girlfriend, you might as well face it. That has to go.”
“But I’m not wearing a bra.” Jae blushed.
“My white lace doesn’t cover much when it’s wet. In fact, it feels kinda clammy on me anyway,” she said, reaching behind her to unclasp her bra and tossing it onto the pile of her other wet clothes. “There. I’m sure Harry has seen boobs before, haven’t you, Harry?”
“See? And he’s still standing there, a perfect gentleman, waiting to invite us into his nice dry house,” Onyx said, her perky breasts jiggling as she dried her hair. She was right. Her nipples were cute.
“Fine,” Jae huffed. She reached behind her neck and untied the knot holding her dress up. Shyly, she lowered her hands, peeling the damp fabric off as she went. She hurried to cover her breasts with her hands, her wet little black dress catching on her hips.
“Oh, for God’s sake, girlfriend! You’ve been nude in front of a guy before.”
“You’re right,” the pale, slender girl sighed, revealing her soft-ball sized boobs to me as she wriggled her dress down off her hips, leaving her in simple black bikini panties.
“Bet you didn’t think they were that big, did you, Harry?” Onyx laughed.
“They’re not that big!” Jae blushed.
“On your body, they look big,” Onyx purred, moving over to stand next to her friend. “Do you like hers better, or mine?”
“I’m not dumb enough to answer that,” I said. “You girls are both beautiful and sexy.”
“Yeah, gorgeous,” Jae giggled, her firm round boobs quivering. “All my waves are washed out now, so my hair is all stringy and straight, and hers looks like she stuck her tongue in an electric socket.”
““What about you, Harry?” Onyx asked. “You shouldn’t drip all over your house.”
“I’ll clean it up later,” I said, trying to pat more moisture out of my sodden shirt and pants.
“What are your floors covered with? Laminate? Tile? Carpet?” Onyx asked.
“Mainly hardwood with area rugs.”
“I do the cleaning at our place. I know how much of a pain it is to deal with water on wood floors. You might as well do what we did,” Onyx said. Neither girl had made any move to cover themselves, so four lovely young breasts with four dark little nipples were bouncing in front of my eyes as the girls worked their towels in their hair.
I pulled my still-dripping shirt over my head and dried the damp skin of my chest and back. When I bent down to take off my shoes and socks, I found myself at eye level with a pair of slender pale thighs that touched each other lightly, leaving a slight gap where damp black fabric was stuffed between two puffy lips.
I turned and saw Onyx looking at me. She grinned, flipped her hair up off her neck and over her face, and then turned her back to me, presenting two firm brown globes with a bit of white lace disappearing between them. She bent over, supposedly to dry her hair, keeping her knees straight. She knew exactly what she was doing, showing her tiny dark star and lace-covered pussy to me, allowing them to sway back and forth with her upper body movements.
Quickly, I stood up, dropped my pants, and got to work on drying my legs, feet, and soggy boxer shorts. I forced myself to look out the window.
“I can’t stand this clamminess any more,” Onyx said. Her thong joined her other clothes, and she stood, proud and naked before us. She toweled between her legs, fluffed the thin line of black curls above her sex, and said, “That’s better. I felt like I had peed myself.”
Jae looked at her friend and then at me. Not at my face, either.
I glanced down. The outline of my thickening cock was visible through my wet underwear, but I wasn’t sticking up. Yet.
“Oh, fuck it!” Jae giggled. She pulled her little black panties off, revealing her completely bare womanhood to me. Not even a shadow of stubble showed on the pristine skin of her mound or outer lips, so full that they hid her sex. She threw her damp hair over her shoulders and pressed her naked hip against the one of her friend. “Now who do you like better?” she asked.
I didn’t know what game these two were playing, but it was difficult keeping old Johnson under control. He wanted to come out and join the fun.
Onyx struck a pose against Jae, rich dark skin pressed to pale, a petite, perky boob touching its hard little nipple to the equally rigid bud on her friend’s larger breast. “You might as well know, Harry. Jae and I are more than just roommates.”
“That’s cool,” I said, struggling not to firm up more. “I only have two beds, so I was going to ask if you two would share one.”
Jae giggled. “Not everyone knows about us, Harry, and we’d like to keep it that way for a while. This is kinda new to me.”
“She hasn’t spent much time on the dark side,” Onyx smirked, her eyes sparkling as she smacked Jae’s pale, slender ass.
“Let’s get you something to wear. I have t-shirts that should work.” I tossed my towel on top of the washing machine and turned to walk into the house.
“Wait,” Onyx said. “You’re still dripping from those shorts. Lose them, dry off right, and then you’ll be ready to go in the house. Men! Like damn kids.”
“She’s right,” Jae chuckled. “You’ve seen girls before; we’ve seen boys. From what I can tell, you’ll look just fine.”
I shrugged my shoulders, retrieved my towel, stripped off my wet boxers, and re-dried my lower half as nonchalantly as I could with half a hard-on. Then I led my two naked refugees into my home.
We paraded into my bedroom, and the girls chose shirts to sleep in, treating me to delicious views of two tender asses as they searched a bottom drawer. They borrowed my hair dryer and went to the bathroom across the hall from the guest room to clean up. I grabbed fresh athletic shorts and a t-shirt and headed for my own shower. When I got out, the girls were sitting on my bed.
“Who wants a night-cap?” I asked.
“What are you serving?” Onyx responded.
“I have beer and a new bottle of Mr. Jack’s finest Tennessee sippin’ whiskey.”
“Jae does dumb shit when she drinks liquor,” Onyx said.
“I do not! Well, yeah, I tend to lose my clothes, but there are no secrets there anymore. After almost drowning, I could use a drink.”
“Only one for me,” I said. “Remember, you were the ones feeding me Harvey Wallbangers all night.”
We went to the kitchen, and we all took a couple fingers of whiskey neat. In the living room, I sat on my recliner, and they lounged on the couch. We talked, wondering if everyone was safe, still shocked at how fast our evening hangout had been submerged.
After a while, Onyx pointed to a photo on my mantel. “She’s hot. Who is she?”
“That’s Maria, my wife.”
“Where’s she tonight?”
“In the den, in an urn on the windowsill so she can see the garden. Pancreatic cancer, very aggressive. I lost her about three years ago. That’s the last healthy-looking picture of her. She chose it herself to use at her memorial service.”
“Oh my God, that’s so sad! I didn’t know. Oh my God I’m so, so sorry,” Onyx babbled.
“It’s okay. We don’t all get equal amounts of time here on earth. She got a lot out of the years she had and gave ten times more in return. I don’t grieve much anymore. I’m just proud to say I knew her.”
“You really loved her,” Jae murmured.
“We were in love from the minute we met. When she got sick she fought like a pissed-off Marine until the very last day. She had been in bed for weeks. She asked me to bend down, and she kissed me and told me she loved me and to be happy. Then she closed her eyes and stopped breathing. She was still smiling.”
Jae came over and sat on the arm of my chair. “It’s okay to cry, you know,” she said.
“I know. I did a lot of it, more before she died than after. I’m grateful for the time I had. No one else got that. Just me.”
“Death is scary,” Jae said. “That’s why I was such a child outside. I feel bad about that.”
“Death isn’t kind. It’s okay to fear it.” She must have taken that as an invitation to sit on my lap. I held her as she snuggled against me. Soon she was asleep.
“She looks good like that,” Onyx whispered.
“What do you mean?”
“In the arms of a man. I’m the first girl Jae has been with, and she’s not sure whether she’s bi or just satisfying her curiosity.”
“Which are you?”
“I can enjoy a man, but there’s something about boobs and a soft, warm pussy….”
“I’m with you on the last part,” I chuckled.
Jae stirred after a while, and we went upstairs. The girls headed for the guest room, and I flopped on my bedspread. I don’t remember closing the door.
Brilliant early morning sun was coming through my window when giggling down the hall woke me. The girls were making some very interesting sounds.
Back in my day, I did some crazy shit. When I met Maria, I settled down, and concentrated all my lust on her, learning to please her as much as she pleased me. We enjoyed our time in the bedroom, and we did things our parents would never have done. Still, I had never had two beautiful strangers going at it in the guest room.
I needed to do something. It seemed weird to lie there and play with myself, so I went down the hall to see what was happening.
Onyx grinned when she saw me. “Jae, baby, look behind you.”
“Hmm?” Jae asked, turning her wet face to me. “Oh! Hello!”
Onyx said, “Join us, old man. Jae was talking about how she likes sucking cock.”
Old Johnson obviously understood the implications. Both girls watched as he grew inside my gym shorts.
“You don’t mind?” Jae asked her lover.
“Not at all. I know you how much you like dick, even though I’ve never seen you with a man. Go crazy. Have fun,” Onyx said.
Shedding my clothes, I decided I must have drowned in the Dugout and been spared the memory. Not exactly how I had pictured Heaven, but I could adapt.
“Hmmm,” Onyx said. “That pecker ain’t no splinter. Jae, baby, I’d better get you in the mood.”
Jae was on her back in seconds, propped on some pillows, and Onyx knelt between her legs, pushing and bending them for maximum exposure. “You eat pussy, Harry?”
“I love eating pussy,” I said.
“Bet you don’t eat it like a girl does.”
“No one has complained,” I said.
“Ever try dark meat?” Onyx asked.
“I’d like to.”
Onyx was already sopping wet, just the way I like a woman. I studied her as she began her attack on Jae’s smooth sex. Onyx had a tiny bubble butt, perfect on her petite body. Her skin was warm and alive in my hands. I reached between her legs and traced a finger over her wet contours, from the end of her landing strip to beyond her tight black star. This was going to be fun.
Palming a cheek in each hand, I bent over her and kissed her at the base of the small tribal design that ended just above the cleft of her ass.
“Mmmm. That’s nice,” Onyx muttered, tilting her pelvis and spreading her legs to give me better access.
I kissed the smooth flesh of each asscheek, licking and nibbling, and then pulled them apart and took a quick lick from her clit, over the rich pink of her inner lips, to her asshole and back.
“Damn!” Onyx moaned, “you’re pretty good at that for a guy.”
“I have always enjoyed eating a girl,” I said, spreading her lips to lick inside her. She was hot, with a rich, creamy taste. I hadn’t eaten pussy for years, not since Maria got too sick to enjoy it, so I was having a very good time. Old Johnson really wanted attention, but he had to wait.
I stopped to wipe my chin. Jae’s one hand was clutching the bedsheet, and her other was twisting her own nipple. It was obvious she enjoyed what Onyx was doing to her.
“You don’t have to stop that, old man,” Onyx teased.
Happily, I went back to work. Jae had cum twice from her girlfriend’s mouth, and I was trying to get a third one out of Onyx when she moaned, “Enough! God, I don’t know how much more of that I can take! Come over here.”
I walked on my knees to the side of them, my cock bobbing as I moved.
“Oh,” Jae said. “Yeah, I want that.” She reached up to catch a drop of pre-cum.
“Taste it,” Onyx said.
Dutifully, Jae licked her finger clean.
“Uh huh,” Jae giggled.
“Really,” Onyx said. “Let’s see.” She moved to me and licked me from my sack to my navel. “Our friend Harry is a vegetarian. Right?”
“Pretty much. It’s part of my ‘fit after fifty’ thing.”
“I’m not usually into it, but this night’s been pretty crazy, so….” With that, Onyx engulfed half of me, worked me around with her tongue, and then sucked hard as she pulled away. “Top that, baby,” she giggled to her partner.
Jae got to her knees in front of me. Her technique was very much different. Everything was slow, delicate, making love to it more than just giving me a blowjob.
“My turn,” Onyx said, taking as much of me as she could into her mouth, and jacking the rest vigorously. She did it for a few seconds, and then passed me back to her friend.
Never breaking eye contact with me, Jae resumed her slow worship of my manhood. They took turns on me like that for a while, playing with each other as they did. I would have been happy to have this continue all day, but old Johnson was losing patience.
As her friend slowly sucked me, Onyx asked, “If I help you cum all over her face and boobies, will you be done for the day?”
“Good,” Onyx said, attacking me once more. Again, she only worked on me for a few seconds, but each time she did, I got a lot closer to the end.
As Jae luxuriously bathed me with her tongue, Onyx watched, playing with her pussy with one hand, and Jae’s with the other. “You look good doing that, baby, working on that big old cock.”
Jae smiled, and then kissed and licked her way from my sack upward. When she got to my crown, she swirled her tongue around it, and then took me into her mouth again for more slow bobbing and sucking.
Onyx took an extra-long turn, sucking and jerking me furiously.
“Gonna cum soon,” I groaned.
Onyx pointed me at her lover, spat in her hand, and masturbated me purposefully. It didn’t take long. The first jet shot out so hard I thought it would bruise Jae’s cheek. Improving her aim, Onyx directed the second and third salvos onto the Asian girl’s waiting tongue, and rubbed the last few spurts and dribbles on her breasts with my cock.
“I haven’t done that for a while,” Jae giggled, taking one last suck on my wilting cock before busying herself with clean-up. “You’re right, Onyx, he likes his fruits and veggies.”
“I can’t believe I sucked your cock, Harry,” Onyx said. “I had pretty much given that up.”
“You could have fooled me!” I chuckled. “My God.” I flopped on my back on their bed between them.
Jae went to freshen up, and when she came back, she put on her t-shirt. “I’m still tired,” she said.
“I’m pretty much awake for the day,” Onyx said. “You know me.”
“You can sleep in my bed, Jae. I should start working on getting you girls home.”
Onyx and I found ourselves facing each other, naked in the guestroom bed together.
“You’d better not be the kind to, um, kiss and tell,” she said. “My regular job is being a cocktail waitress. Telling obnoxious guys that I’m gay shuts some of them up.”
“You ladies took shelter at my place. You slept in the guest room. That’s all I plan to say.”
We lay there for a while, looking at each other in silence. Finally, she said, “I’m not on birth control. I don’t fuck guys.”
“You been snipped, Harry?”
“No, Maria couldn’t conceive. It was a fertility clinic in Los Angeles that first found the cancer.”
“Single guys always have condoms,” she said, caressing a re-awakening old Johnson.
“Not this one.”
“Damn. Can I trust you, Harry? Can I trust you to pull out?”
“I did it enough in high school,” I said.
“So did I. Fuck me, Harry. Fuck me and keep your mouth shut about it.”
“Okay.” I pulled her wild hair back off her face. She had an industrial piercing in her upper earlobe, something I had seen many times, but never played with. “Is that sensitive?”
“My bar? No, actually it feels kinda cool. The dude who did it was right. He saw that my nipples were hard when he pierced me, and he said I’d love the thing.”
I nuzzled her wild curls with my nose, and kissed the upper tip of her ear, on the unspoiled skin between the piercings.
Using just the tip of my tongue, I licked that same tiny patch of skin. Then, I touched the center of the bar itself, pulling and pushing on it with feather-soft wipes of my tongue. I pulled back to look at her. Her nipples were at least as hard as they had been when she came on my tongue earlier.
She opened her eyes. “Yeah, that’s what the dude meant. Now I really want sex.”
“Oh, not yet.” I went back to playing with her ear with my tongue, pushing her hand out of the way so I could play with her one nipple. Between licks of the hardware, I whispered, “What’s the one thing that turns you on the most? What is it that will make you cum with a man?”
“That’s what I’d like to do with you.” I kissed and licked my way from her ear, down her neck and throat, and gently latched onto one cute, hard nipple with my lips.
“Let me be on top, okay? It was always kind of a favorite of mine. Plus, I can move my way. I don’t have any big toys, and it’s been a couple of years since I’ve had a real one.”
“Fine, if you’ll listen when I tell you it’s time to get off me, since I can’t cum inside you.”
She was already on top of me, holding my erection and wiping it back and forth over her lips. “Not a word, Harry,” she said, spreading her labia with her fingers and positioning me. “Not one word.”
I took some cherries in my high school and college days. Onyx was petite, like those girls were, but she was experienced enough to know what to expect. Still, she was tight enough to whimper as she worked her way down onto me.
“Damn, Harry,” she hissed. “I almost forgot what a real cock feels like.” She wiggled her hips a little, angling herself to get more comfortable. “Mmmm,” she said when she finally had taken all of me. “Now, remember, you can’t cum inside me. The last thing I need right now is an old guy’s baby!”
Onyx was petite, so I sort of expected her to be small inside, and it’s not like she screws guys all the time, but still! Her hot, wet tunnel felt fantastic, even when she was still. When she started to move, it got even better.
“Oh, God,” she hissed, lifting herself until I almost popped out, and then allowing herself to sink onto my cock again. “That feels so damn good inside me.”
I pulled her down on top of me so I could play with her breasts. Her nipples were already very erect, and sucking on them made them even harder.
“Fuck me, Harry,” she breathed.
I grabbed her cute bubble-butt in both hands and helped her to move on and off me. As I did, I felt her tight little cunt get even wetter. Soon, we were making loud slapping sounds from the joining of our wet flesh. Apparently, we were louder than I realized.
“Onyx, what are you doing?” I heard Jae say from the doorway.
“Fucking Harry. What’s it look like I’m doing?” Onyx moaned.
“But you’re a lesbian!”
“I’m bi. I told you that. Don’t question it, baby, just come in here and help me cum,” my new lover said.
Jae walked over to the bed and stripped off her t-shirt. Then she knelt next to us, and took turns kissing Onyx and then me. Each of us grabbed one of the Asian girl’s boobs, and Onyx and I fought for position to finger her.
I remember thinking that Heaven was a pretty nice place. That was the only way I could explain my good fortune.
When Onyx sat up again to fuck me hard, Jae started licking us where we joined. “Oh, God, baby, you’re going to make me cum!” she said. I wondered how much more of this I could take myself, especially when her vaginal muscles began squeezing me with her orgasm. She never stopped fucking me, though. When she was done cumming, she lowered her body onto mine again, and again, I suckled her cute breasts.
It wasn’t long until Onyx orgasmed again. This one seemed to last longer, possibly due to the fact that Jae had maneuvered herself into a position to be able to suck on her girlfriend’s clit. When the girl on top of me had recovered, she went right back to riding me hard, fast, and deep. I matched her, thrust for thrust. It wasn’t long until I felt my own orgasm approaching.
“You gotta get off!” I moaned.
“I did, you big old stud! Twice! But I’ll gladly go again. You just keep right on pumping that thing in my hot little snatch,” Onyx gasped.
“No, you gotta get off me! I’m gonna blow soon.”
“No,” Jae said, lifting Onyx off my quaking shaft. “I’m gonna blow.”
Her tongue worked on me as Onyx knelt beside her. Then Jae began to suck my cock purposefully, taking me as far into her mouth as she could without gagging. She was very good at it. I was at the end in a very short time.
When Onyx realized what was happening, she pushed her friend back and grabbed me in time to have my last real spurt land on her lower lip, and a few dribbles fall to her tits. When she saw both of us staring at the cum spattered on her, she sucked her lower lip and wiped her breasts with her fingers, licking them clean.
I probably would have dozed off if my phone hadn’t started ringing. I scrambled out of bed and got to it just before it went to voicemail. “Hello?”
“Hi. My name is Hana. Ace gave me your number. He said my sister Jae was there.”
“I’ll go get her.” Walking back to the guest room, I said, “Jae, it’s Hana.”
“Hana!” Jae squealed, grabbing the phone. “Yes, I’m fine. Onyx is here with me.”
“Hi, Hana!” Onyx yelled.
“She says ‘hi’. … Yeah. … My car’s in the flood. … You have my apartment key, right? … Can you bring us clothes? Everything, from shoes on up is either still wet or ruined. … Great, an hour is fine. Be careful. Thanks, sis. Harry will give you directions.”
She handed the phone back to me, and I told her my address, which she said she could find. I was going to put my phone back in my pocket, but then remembered that I was naked, standing in front of two naked girls. What a night.
I was out of the shower and dressed by the time Hana arrived. I took the clothes she brought to the girls’ bathroom and knocked. Onyx opened the door and showed herself to me one more time. Then she took the clothing and shooed me away. Hana and I packed the girl’s wet things into plastic bags for them to take home. I saw her looking, but Hana didn’t say anything about all my wet clothes mixed with theirs on the laundry room floor.
When the girls came downstairs, dressed in fresh clothes and carrying their borrowed bath towels and t-shirts, Hana said, “There’s only one way in and out of town right now, but a lot of roads around here should be open soon. I talked to Ace. He and Ivan are at the Dugout with Suzie. It’s still full of water and mud. They’re waiting to be pumped out.”
“I’ll probably go down there later to see what’s going on,” I said.
“Well, we’d better get going,” Hana said, grabbing the bags of wet clothes. “Thank you for putting up with my kid sister and Onyx for the night.”
“It was my pleasure,” I said, with what I hoped was an appropriately restrained smile.
“Say your goodbyes, girls,” Hana said. “I’ll be in the car.”
Onyx spoke first, when Hana was out of range. “I did some things in the last twelve hours or so that I didn’t think I would do. Like I said, I’m more lesbian than bi.”
“Do you regret what we did?” I asked.
“Not one bit. But don’t expect this to be a regular thing. I’m not saying it won’t happen again, but I’m not promising it will. Can we leave it at that for now?”
“Sure,” I said. I didn’t think I could keep up with these two on a regular basis anyway.
“Good,” she said, pressing herself against me for a very warm hug and kiss. Then she walked to the car.
Jae moved into my arms. “Thank you, Harry. Thank you for being strong for me when I was weak.” Nuzzling against my ear, she whispered, “Thank you for everything, Splinter-Pecker.” She kissed me, hard at first, passionately, but then more softly, until she moved away. “Maybe I’ll see you around,” she said, turning and walking away.