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I like to write and I like to party, but mostly just the writing. Disclaimer: A lot of these stories are true ones. The memory of growing-up in and around Killybegs. When you hold a mirror up to small communities, sometimes there are those who don't like the reflection. Capote knew this only too well. If you find the refraction just a little too much and would like the angle of incidence changed in your favor, please email me at georgevial@hotmail.com and I will be happy to make a name change here or there.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Short Story of Love

After loading the last of the vines and brush into the back of the Ford pickup, he looked across to her, where she stood gazing into the cleared brush. Her long brown hair lay to her shoulders, the profile of her face, in view, showing off one blue eye, her thin shoulders hung erect, upright posture, T-shirt clinging to her small breasts, he craved to taste one between his lips. Her torn jeans hung about her waist like the finest fashion elegantly on display.

As he called to her she turned her gaze from the brush toward the sound of his voice. She’d worked hard all day with him, cutting vines of poison ivy and unwanted bushes from her grandmother’s backyard. She looked at him now, as if for the first time that day. From the heat of the work, even though it was only April, he had peeled of his sweater and bore only a white under shirt. He still held the chain saw and the veins rippled in his arms from the weight of it. Effortlessly he had wielded it all day. His eyes, she just couldn’t figure out; they were blue as hers, yet they now seemed fathomless, she found herself unable to discern what story they told.
Warmly a sensation arose deep inside her. Her face began to blush and she adverted her eyes from his face. He approached her, all the time keeping his eyes fixed on her face, he stretched his hand out to her proffering the keys.

“You wanna drive?”

“Yeah, sure,” she replied.

They bundled into the cab of the Ford. He couldn’t keep his mind of her, how she had labored all day with the capacity of many a stronger man. This was no prissy girl and he liked that.

She stared through the windshield, at the road ahead, as she gunned the truck’s ignition. She could feel his eyes burning at the side of her face, but she dared not meet his.

“That’s about the last of it” he started.

“Yeah, Grandma will be pleased” she returned.

The truck drove off and the noise of the old engine was the only sound in the cab as the truck moved slowly along the gravel road. Both were keenly aware how far away they were from another single soul and the tension of the isolation and the possibilities it brought seemed to thicken the very air inside the truck.

He too could feel warmth spreading through his body, centering in the groin and radiating out. Rather than let her see him blush, he cracked the window letting in some welcome fresh, cool air. All the while she kept her eyes solidly fixed on the road.

After a while he spoke again. “It’ll be good to finally get this over with.”

“Yeah, sure, wonder what else Grandma might have us do?”

“Dunno” he replied.

The silence crept in again. He knew they were approaching the fork in the road where it turned back towards the camp area and dining hall, where she would take her leave. He lacked the courage to throw his arm around her, make her stop the truck, embrace her and make love to her like wild animals out among the wilderness. If only he could have read her thoughts, that would have become the reality. Instead it lay dormant inside each of the other’s fantasies.

As they reached the fire pit, where they were to discard the vines and brush, he felt a pang of regret inside at the loss of the moment not seized. He helped her up into the back of the truck and began tossing out the debris of their labor.

She pulled a vine causing him to slip, falling towards her. She caught his arm, felt the tense muscle underneath her hand, held it for a mere sensuous second and propped him upright.


“Don’t mention it.”

With the truck now cleared she drove it back up to the shop and parked. She carried the gas can and he the chain saw to the concrete pad, where he began taking off the case to clean the innards of the tool. She watched his small, strong, delicate hands working over the chain and body of the saw and imagined what else they were capable of.

A few minutes later he was done and she drove them in her car back to the dining hall. Her Grandma greeted then smiling asking how the chopping and clearing went.

“Fine” they both replied.

She smiled at him, a smile that seemed to belay to him she felt as he did and perhaps this was not the time, but that another would come and they would not lie again to themselves.

“I better be getting back to the city, I’ll see you later Grandma, give me a call,” she said to her Grandma all the time looking at him, smiling.

“See you later Erin, it was nice seeing you again,” he said returning her smile.

“Yeah it was fun, see you again.” She said as she reached out a hand towards his face, and with the gentle touch of someone who has loved another for years, put her finger to his eye and cleaned a little saw dust from the corner of his eye.

His eyes at this moment met hers is a distinct fusion of the soul for a few moments and somehow he managed to get out the word “Thanks” across his lips.

“Sure” she replied and walked towards the door, waving goodbye without looking back.

He walked to the sink and began to wash his hands. Her Grandma started to talk to him and he nodded and said “Aigh” in all the right places, not really listening, but watching her car disappear down the road and out of his life ‘till the next time they met.

Days later her skin and his began to burn from poison ivy, but this physical irritation was nothing compared to the emotional burning hidden deep inside these two estranged souls that had sought and found, but not taken the love that was offered.

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