CHAPTER #4 THE DRUGSTORE COWBOY
I performed my best dance of the evening when another browsing couple happened to stop and look in the display window. They became the second audience for the soon to be famous Cassandra Liltkey, Flamenco dancer extraordinaire.
I was so caught up in the dream of being famous that I failed to notice the couple disappear from my display window stage. When I opened my eyes, they were running in the direction of the Torez Mexican restaurant. It’s their loss.
I was so engrossed in the dance I failed to notice water seeping around the front doors.
When the doors pushed open from the pressure of a foot of water, I stopped dancing and gasped.
“Mr. Dickerman,” I yelled.
“Call me Bill,” I said for the tenth time that night.
I looked up as the Flamenco Gypsy pointed. I gasped. A six-inch column of muddy liquid was turning my very tidy, well-stocked drugstore into a lake.
“Are you okay Miss Liltkey?” I spoke, even voiced, like it was nothing out of the ordinary. I didn’t want to frighten her.
She stood big-eyed on her twelve-inch display platform, while an ever-growing parade of chocolate liquid pushed its way through the front doors. Outside, the rising water rushed by at a frightening pace.
In the few seconds it took to have our little exchange, the drug store sat in ten inches of flood.
I walked out from behind the counter, stepped down into the freezing liquid and sloshed my way across the room to the glass front doors. I struggled to push the left door closed and snapped the latch, locking it to the floor and ceiling at the same time. By the time I began on the second door, the outside water level was up to Miss Liltkey’s sweet and beautifully slender ankles and she was standing on the platform. Although I tried, the incoming water pressure insisted that the right door be left unlocked.
After a moment of frustrating attempts, with the water level creeping half way up my thigh, I abandoned the effort, waded over to the gypsy woman and turned around.
“Get on. I’ll ride you piggy-back to the stairs.”
“Mr. Dickerman, this is highly inappropriate.”
“Otherwise you’ll have to wade across on your own. By the looks of things outside, we’ll need to get upstairs pretty quick before we get swamped.”
“No thank you,” she said. “I’ll make it on my own.”
I turned and watched as she hiked up her bright red Flamenco dancing dress mid-thigh, stepped down into the water and gasped.
“Cold?” I asked.
“The stairs are back there.” I grabbed her sweet little hand and sloshed her across the room. For a split second she tried to pull away, but I held on tight and stepped her through a quagmire of floating Pampers boxes, bobbing greeting cards and those stupid crocheted doilies I’d been carrying because Mrs. Peters, who made the doilies, was my best customer.
I led the Flamenco dancer past an entire armada of floating plastic bottles of that damned dish washing detergent. I’d been forced to put the detergent on sale in a never-ending attempt to draw the public away from the despicable new mall on the north side.
Once on the stairs, out of the waist high water, to my disappointment, the Gypsy woman released not only my hand, but also her sexy dress she’d been holding up higher as the waters rose.
I’d gotten a good look at those silky milk toast thighs and a glimpse of one deliciously round buttock, red thong panties covering almost nothing. Although everything below my waist was frozen solid, it was a hot moment.
My thoughts should have been on the wholesale destruction of my swamped drugstore. I was ruined.
I should have been wondering if we were going to get out of the mess alive, but I wasn’t. My thoughts were on one thing only. I wanted another glimpse of those strong dancer thighs and thong panties. Oh yummy.
When the gypsy stepped through my door a few days ago, my long forgotten hormones kicked up a notch. A small notch, for sure, but it had been too many years. To my delight my libido was slowly coming out of its catatonic inactivity. It had been a long, long time.
It was way before the Big Super Drug Mart had moved in on the north side. It was back in the days when Fredrick’s and me were the only drug stores in the area. It was when the money flowed in like the muddy waters of the Yuba. Although Fredrick’s had closed up shop some years ago and gone south by way of the wintering snow geese, it was still hard to stay afloat once the chain guys moved in.
It was long before Lucille, my loving wife of twenty-two years, suddenly fell dead on the floor of her bathroom. The doctor said it was a heart attack. A heart attack! Weren’t women supposed to have the babies, leaving the heart attacks to us men? It had been a shock, not only because I loved her, but because I was suddenly alone again.
The day the gypsy showed up, that ever-elusive sex drive went from almost nothing to zipity-do-da.
It began long before anything started chipping away at my soul and my very livelihood. Dickerman’s drug store was all I had. My entire manhood was directly connected to how well the store performed and my manhood –until earlier that week and more specifically earlier that evening– had looked more than a bit shriveled.
Since my extremely underinsured store –who could afford good insurance anymore– was three feet under rapidly rising water, one part of my entire manhood was again looking extremely shaky. But, and that was a big but, another kind of manhood in my pathetic little life was coming alive once again. Getting a good, long gander at Cassandra’s silky thighs seemed to help dissipate the certainty of the disaster.
After who knew how many years, ol’ one eye was climbing back into the driver’s seat.
The overall situation was dangerous. I had no idea how high the water would rise. If it rose to the height of the levee my hidden upstairs apartment would be swamped. Instead of the comfortable digs I had prepared so many years ago and cleaned once again yesterday afternoon, we might be forced to spend the night on the roof.
With all of the considerations, all of the implications, so many potential dangers, did I have any of those things in mind? There was only one thing on my mind, one prevailing thought coming through my high-voltage power lines. For the first time in eleven years, since before Lucille died, I actually felt a slight tingle down there. No, it was more than a tingle.
The feeling was something I had come to accept might never occur again in what remained of my pathetic life. To my delighted surprise, me, the drugstore cowboy felt the beginnings of a long forgotten erection.
“Let’s go upstairs,” I said, hearing a slight, but very recognizable nervous titter to my voice. I hoped the Gypsy woman hadn’t noticed.
I led the way, unlocking the door at the top of the stairs.
As I flipped the switch in the storage room, the light in the room, the street lights outside the little windows at each end of the loft, every burning globe within my sight, flickered, dimmed, then dropped the whole town into a darkness I hadn’t seen in years.
I wanted to grab her right then and throw a sloppy kiss on her tight little sexy lips. I wanted to take her there in the darkness, on the floor, unannounced, uninhibited, but alas, me, the ever-predictable William H. Dickerman reached into my pocket and fished out one of those cheap Bic lighters I was forced to carry in my store. The days of Zippo’s were long gone.
The first strike and the space flickered into my dim shadowy storage room filled with thirty years of stacked boxes and discarded display tables.
I stepped across the room and lifted three boxes off a stack. “I think I have some candles.” I dug into the fourth box and pulled out a handful of long slender dinner candles and another fist of cheap plastic holders left from a Christmas special five years ago.
One at a time, I lit three candles, jabbed them into the holders and handed them to the Gypsy woman. She placed them on the floor in the middle of the room.
I sat on a box of shampoo within the circle of light while Miss Liltkey sat on a deodorant crate on the opposite side of the three minuscule flames.
“What do we do now?” she asked.
“I could kiss your entire body one little square inch at a time. We could lay right here on the floor and have wild sex.” I didn’t say those things, but I thought them.
In the few moments it took to get settled, my maleness had miraculously grown for the first time in years. I wanted to use it quickly before it faded back into its self-imposed obscurity. I wanted to do so much with the Gypsy woman, but I hadn’t a clue as to how to broach any subject, much less the one that was so much on my mind. I also wasn’t sure if I could handle the almost certain rejection.
She was thirty years my junior for God sakes. What would a sexy young woman want with an old fart like me?
Instead of swooning her, taking her, having my way with her, I said with that same nervous titter, “We’ll have to wait until someone comes by with a boat.”
There was an exceptionally long pause then I said, “We may be here till morning.”
“Oh great,” she said. “Who’s going to feed my cats and chickens? For that matter, who’s going to save my animals?”
I nervously fiddled with a candle. “I think we’re pretty well stuck here for the night. I wish there was something more I could do.” I really didn’t wish I could do anything more. In fact, I liked the situation we were in just fine. My only question was, how was I going to get the Gypsy woman into the same mood I was in?
The great Yamelda Keating shouted over the pouring rain, “get that fucking light out of my eyes, you idiot.”
I was beyond crushed. I’d seen her on TV so many times. I’d seen her beauty, especially her body, in particular her ever so perfect tits. I’d seen her pleasant news anchor demeanor, though I didn’t really know what the word demeanor meant. I’d seen her in more newsworthy situations than I’d seen Tammy in bed, but I’d never seen nor heard Yamelda Keating utter one unpleasant word, much less a cussing one.
No woman had ever said anything like that before and gotten away with it.
Well. . . okay, there were those two bar fly sluts over in Woodland last month. They couldn’t keep their little filthy mouths shut, but they didn’t count. The entire bar ended up brawling over those two. I sported a shiner for a week.
No woman, especially my ultimate babe, Ya-melt-a, tits-to-die-for, Keating, had ever talked to me like that. I was ready to backhand her. Maybe I should turn her over my knee like I’d done to Sara. Sara loved spankings. It turned me on to whack her butt. Sara couldn’t get enough, but for the last year she’s been in some Napa mental ward after trying to commit suicide.
When I tried spanking Tammy, I almost chased off the only decent pussy I’d gotten for eight months after Sara. I was always a quick study when it came to women. I learned spanking was only for a few, very special babes.
Just the thought of spanking Yamelda boiled my blood. It made the hairs on the back of my freezing neck stand at attention. As expected, my Johnson, though it was also freezing its butt off, rose to the occasion.
I sat at my end of the canoe wanting to say something cool to my dream woman, but not knowing what, so I said nothing.
The canoe tangled itself in another tree, knocking the flashlight out of my hand and overboard, almost pulling me into the icy water with it. While I struggled to get untangled, I watched the beam flip and spin, rotating into the depths.
Once out from under the tree the pitch darkness of the night enveloped us. Had I blown any chance with the great Yamelda?
I came back to attention when the boat slammed sideways against a house and bucked in the boiling water.
I was yanked from regret and forced to concentrate on keeping the canoe upright. It took a few minutes to slide past a series of shadowy monoliths until we came to an open area surrounded by the mansions. Holy shit, we were on the Tenican Heights fourth fairway. The richest community Marysville had to offer and I was stuck with Ya-melt-a. It was a burglars dream, just like we’d planned. I only wished Sun Dog were there.
The boat bucked and swirled across the open lake for ten minutes until it beached itself in front of the only house not submerged in ten feet of water. It was that ramshackle Stalworth house with its small barn out back. Dog and me had been here many times.
There was no sign of life. It couldn’t be a more perfect staging ground. It was centrally located and still had lots of exposed earth to bury any goods I happened to accidentally come across.
I sat in silence, not forgetting about the shivering Yamelda. My all time ultimate dream had turned into a nightmare because I didn’t know what to do with her.
After a minute at a complete loss for ideas, I simply ignored her and got out. I lashed the canoe to a small oak standing in three inches of water a hundred feet from the house and walked toward the front door. Half way up the walk, I realized Big Tits Keating had fallen into step behind me.
There I was, the great Ya-melt-a, babe-of-all-babes, was completely and totally mine, and I didn’t know what to do? I couldn’t believe myself. What would the boys at Clancy’s think? I had the ultimate, numero-uno, top-of-the-heap woman in my grasp and I didn’t have a thing to say. I sure as hell wouldn’t tell anybody.
It never happened before. I’d always had the gift of gab with women. At Clancy’s they said I had the touch.
Like any normal citizen, I knocked on the thick hardwood front door. After no answer, I knocked a second time, then a third, each try getting louder. When I heard no movement or saw no lights, I tried the front door. To my amazement, it was unlocked. To look good in front of Yamelda, I opened the door cautiously and yelled into the darkness, “Anyone home?”