In this next chapter of the backwoods novella BAT IN A WHIRLWIND, Ben stays over with pal Mickey for senior play rehearsal, much to Danny’s dismay.
To read BAT IN A WHIRLWIND, Chapter 8. PLAYING AROUND, right click here and select “Open,” or to download as a free pdf file to read at your leisure whenever, select “Save Target (or Link) As.” You can access the previous 7 chapters for reading or download from the chapter list on the book page.
BAT IN A WHIRLWIND
Excerpt from Chapter 8. – Playing Around
Before long we went over to Herb’s drive-in where the parking lot was a flurry of cars parked around and kids getting their orders from the pickup window. We gobbled a hotdog each, and while Mick took off to drag-race with Buck, who had a souped-up brown Ford, I went over to talk to Don and Patty, the most glamorous couple in our class, who were sitting in her red Thunderbird convertible. Everywhere I was reminded sadly of my beloved Annette. I’d recently read in Teen magazine that she had a white Thunderbird.
Patty thought it was great that I was out “on the town” at last, and I jokingly sang like Burl Ives, “John! John! The grey goose is gone, and the fox is on the town-o, town-o, town-o!” They looked at me strangely and then got my humor.
Turning serious, Patty said, “Benny, I been wanting to ask you something. Can I?” I shrugged assent. “Do Catholics believe in Jesus?”
Recalling the lines of the Apostle’s Creed about His Only Son J. C., I said, “Sure. He’s part of the Holy Trinity.” Here I recognized another opportunity to explain my faith and went on, “It’s God the Father, God the Son or Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. They’re all one.”
Patty and Don both said, “Oh,” and shared a skeptical glance. Frankly, I wasn’t very clear on it myself and was glad they dropped the inquiry.
Soon I moved over to sit in a car with Jackie and a couple other guys. They were smoking cigarettes and talking about girls and who’d done it with which one. The way I was so quiet, they probably thought I was a real stick-in-the-mud.
A flashy foreign sports car with Texas plates pulled up, and a young man got out. He was dressed stylish with tight pants and much ducktail on his haircut, looking a lot like Ricky Nelson. Jackie said offhandedly, “He looks queer.” I didn’t think so.
Then another guy, Claude from eleventh, said, “I hear there’s one in Texarkana that sits in his car outside the movie house.” I was about to ask one of what when Mickey and Buck came roaring back in their hot cars. Mickey had won their race.
We hunted up Bonnie from the cars all over the place and headed back to Alleene. Mickey exulted in his victory, carrying on about how Buck just didn’t know how to drive that heap of his. I remarked that going so fast must be more like aiming a car than steering it.
After dropping Bonnie off, we got back to find Mickey’s parents at the kitchen table. It warmed my heart how his father hugged him hi, and his mother too. I shook hands politely and noted with surprise that Mr. Wiley was drinking beer. He had a big belly over his belt. Mrs. Wiley, also pretty fat, offered me a Dr. Pepper and got us some pineapple upside down cake.
Mr. Wiley said, “So I hear you’re going to Tulane, ain’t it?” I described the scholarship they gave me and told about my plans to go to New Orleans and see the place soon as school was over. “Too bad our Mick here hasn’t got such brains!” he lamented.
Mickey winked at me as we sat down to have our cake off real china plates. His mother patted his head and said, “He’s going to Henderson State, you know. That’s exciting too, isn’t it, honey?” The closeness and warmth here in this kitchen was even newer and more wonderful than the whole dress rehearsal, dance, and socializing at Herb’s.
We went into Mickey’s room to hit the sack. It had real nice furniture and curtains, very unlike my own. When I undressed, I laid my clothes on a chair and made for his big double bed, naked as a jaybird. I never wore underwear or pajamas, and apparently Mickey didn’t either. His body was very nicely built, his prick about the same size as mine.
“Boy!” he exclaimed, “You sure are a hairy guy.” Then he looked straight down at my prick and exclaimed, “I’ll be damned! You’re cut. So Danny lied, that fucker!”
“Lied?” I wondered as I climbed onto the bed.
“Yeh! To win our bet. He didn’t think I’d find out.” Suddenly I understood better why Danny had sounded so serious telling me to keep my pants on. Climbing onto the bed too, Mick paused thoughtfully and then flopped onto his pillow laughing. “Now he owes me two!”
“So you already paid up?”
“Yep—because I believed him.” He sounded pissed off.
“What did you guys bet?”
He lifted up on an elbow and looked at me with a question in his greenish eye. “Oh, nothing much. Never mind.”
Having heard the same thing twice, I was now even more intrigued. But if it was their secret… Of course, I couldn’t help getting a mite jealous about Danny having a secret with Mickey, and them not wanting to let me in on it.