Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 33 by Dellani Oakes


His older brother burst out laughing. Continuing to chuckle, he lifted Dollie, taking the pillow away. He hit his brother right across the privates with it and left with Dollie clutched in his arms. He came back in a couple minutes later, grabbing her clothing. He returned once more to help Luke to the privy.
"I'll understand if it takes you a while." He winked as he closed the door.
"Not with you out there!" Luke bellowed back.
"Want I should go inside? Just you and the chickens?"
"Shut up. I got to pee."
"Yee-up! I 'spect you do."
Luke could hardly touch himself to do his business. He needed relief, and soon, but not with his brother outside. That was the kind of thing a man did in private. Actually, it was the kind of thing a half-grown boy did, not a full grown man. Embarrassed by his need, he did his business and washed up at the outside pump.
"She damn near kilt me with that pillow," he mumbled to his brother.
"I know. Why you think I pulled her off? You got to talk to the girl. You know Patty told her stuff."
"Thank God." He sat down on the bed. Will handed him his pants. "I had this nightmare that we'd get to our wedding night and she wouldn't let me do nothin' cause she was scared."
"Got to admit, it's a bit of a surprise for a girl," Will said, helping his younger brother pull up his pants.
"I imagine so. I remember Uncle Wilt talkin' about it when I was about thirteen. Told me what to do and all. I sat there thinkin' I gotta do what? Girl will flat out kill me! Took awhile to get over."
Will laughed loudly. "Did he tell you the same way he told me? With a corn cob?"
"Shoot, yeah. I was powerful glad I wasn't put together like that cob!"
Both men laughed, slapping one another on the back. Will helped Luke to the kitchen table, settling him in his usual chair. Dollie was in the kitchen fixing breakfast.
"Where's Ma?"
"Down to the chapel. She set there most of the night. She and some of the family had a vigil."
"Wisht I coulda been there for her," Lucius said.
"She had aunts, uncles, passel of cousins, Granny Nation even come down the mountain."
"No kidding? Well, that's a miracle."
"She said she had to see for herself that the evil hell spawn was dead." His face clouded. "Said it right to Mama's face."
Lucius shook his head. "That weren't right."
"No, but neither's Granny."
They chuckled quietly. Dollie plopped a plate in front of Luke. As she turned angrily away, he captured her hand, halting her progress.
"Dollie, I do apologize. Never was my intention to upset you."
She nodded, obviously trying not to cry. She walked to the kitchen and got him coffee fixed just as he liked it. Will got his food next. She joined them a couple minutes later with her plate and cup. They said a silent blessing and ate their meals.
Will took the dishes to the kitchen and washed up. Luke and Dollie sat at the table with their coffee. He knew he needed to speak to her, but he felt awkward in front of his brother. Will started singing, creating enough of a sound barrier for Luke to speak more freely.
"Dollie, I know Patti told you some stuff and I'm glad. She can't tell ya what she don't know about." He took a deep breath. "It ain't my choice to wake up like that, it's a thing God's plagued men with since time began. Reckon Adam himself had the same problem. Men don't think the same way as women. We see a pretty woman and things happen. And waking up with the woman we love, well, our thoughts are gonna naturally go places they ought not to till we're married."
"Your mind just naturally goes right in the gutter?"
He chuckled softly, toying with his coffee cup. "Unfortunately, yes, Miss Dollie. Into the gutter and down the sewer like as not. By damn, you're pretty! I got to marry you soon or it's gonna half kill me!"
She put her hand over his, squeezing it comfortingly. "Girls get excited too. Course it doesn't show quite the same way." She blushed, ducking her head. "I didn't know what it was until today. When we were in the bed together...." She turned away, blushing a deep, brilliant red. "I wanted.... I wanted you," she whispered. "And that... !"
Luke brought her hand to his lips, kissing softly. "Don't never lose that innocence," he begged quietly. "It's one of the things I love most about you. Just do me a favor, darlin'. Unless you're gonna follow through, don't go beatin' me with a pillow again. Damn near made me explode."
Dollie blushed more, stifling a giggle. It burst forth, almost hysterical. "Oh, dear God! It did? Goodness, men are strange."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes


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