(Picture Submitted by Lady Julia)
Arafin © 2009
They had driven all day and part of the night, having spent too much time at the party. Intending to reach their next gig by noon tomorrow was now a foolishly unrealistic goal, so a gas station phone had been used to make a foolishly unrealistic excuse to the club owner. Was it accepted? They would find out in the afternoon. Their schedule was not as full as they would have liked it to be, hypnosis stage shows these days being a dime a dozen, but they still offered something others did not, ….. a chance for members of the audience to think they were making love with one of the hypnotists. This tactic got them work in places where they would otherwise have been unwelcome and made them unwelcome in places they would otherwise have gotten work. It was a trade off and anyone’s guess as to whether it was a wise one.
The road was nearly invisible now through the howling tempest of rain and wind and the lights from oncoming transports presented a heart stopping agony of blindness and fear. Several times the old Cadillac had nearly found the ditch. Too tired to drive any longer they turned off the highway onto a frontage road at the next town and began searching for a motel. This would mean yet another phone call to the club owner, but hey, he was probably so ticked off with them by now that they had lost the gig anyway.
With no motels displaying “Vacancy” signs anywhere to be seen, they pulled into a gas station and inquired as to where they might find a place to stay. A gap toothed teenage boy with multi-colored stegosaurus hair shuffled in from the pumps and spoke with a drawl so disingenuous that it was laughable. He was putting on an act and he was terrible at it. “Yawl kin try the Cherry Top down the ole’ highwayyy, ……… but it’s plum weeeee-ai-yurd!” He rolled and fluttered his eyes when he said this, dislodging little clumps of cheap mascara onto his sweaty face.
They paid for the gas and took notes for how to find the “Ole’ Highwayyy”, dashed out into the rain, and were gone. Exhaustion had set in hours ago and although the car was now freshly fueled they were both running on fumes. Windshield wipers frantically bashing against sheets of water, defroster trying to breath fire against foggy glass, the Caddy pushed away into the night, weaving it’s way like a blind man through back streets and tangled turns. At last an old road with cracked pavement snaked off towards utter blackness, it’s signpost long ago fallen to ruin and now resting peacefully among soggy weeds.
“How far did that punker say it was?” she asked as he peered forward into the tumultuous gloom.
“He said fifteen miles.” The words fell out of his tensed mouth like flakes of ash dropping from a cloud of volcanic doom. Trying to see the road and stay on it was the most miserable of tasks. How wonderful it would be to rest in a bed! “Damn, this road is a mess!” Pothole after pothole was irritating both of them, and it was wearing away their usual good nature. Mile after mile they pushed on, the Cadillac taking the beating like a trooper. At times it would bottom out, sending a brief flash of orange sparks scurrying forth like soldiers being sent out of the trenches into withering machine gun fire of relentless rain. The promised motel could not come too soon.
After what seemed like hours, (but was probably less than one), a bright red neon sign announced the presence of The Cherry Top Motel. The rain seemed to lessen as they exited the car and walked hastily into the office lounge area. It was dingy and sparsely lit. An old red vinyl clad sofa tried to hide shamefully against one wall, it’s covering having seen far better days. Above it hung a fluorescent on black painting of a cowboy riding a giant wild boar. The logo “Cherry Top” was finally understood by the ridiculous vision of his bright red hair. Clearly meant to portray a rodeo clown, this piece of art, (if one dared call it that), was beyond cheesy. It was downright vulgar in it’s ugliness. The young woman drew a disdainful breath in while stifling a laugh. Behind the desk sat an old native woman with hair in pastel blue curlers. She eyed the young couple as if she were a cougar eyeing a pair of unsuspecting lambs.
“You want a room?” she queried with absolute seriousness, the obvious stupidity of her words irritating the man to the very brink of explosion.
“No!”, he spurted sarcastically. “We just want to use the pool!”
“Ain’t got no stinkin’ pool, sonny. But for you I’ll make a special deal and let you roll around naked on the wet grass!” And with this she let forth a raucous gaffaw that sounded for all the world like a cross between a donkey braying and a bear scratching it’s claws on a blackboard. This did not impress the weary and dripping couple in the least, but the young woman withheld her wrath long enough to sign them in and obtain a key. She would join her husband in a tirade once they had gained access to a room with a shower and a bed. What a day it had been!
Fears that the room would be as tacky as the rest of the establishment proved unfounded and instead the pleasant surprise of newly renovated and spotlessly clean quarters greeted their tired eyes. Flinging suitcases upon the bed they hurriedly unpacked and headed for the shower. Ten minutes later they were ready for bed and soon fell fast asleep, the renewed lashing of rain and wind outside a thousand miles away. Dreamless depths engulfed them as their worn bodies slowed to the crawl of bottomless delta sleep. And as they slept, many miles down the road behind them, a great gust of wind ripped a tall aspen tree from it’s roots and sent it across the wires that supplied power to the motel. Blackness came which could take days for power crews to repair.
Morning arrived clear and cold. Although the storm had blown out in the night the lack of electric heat had made the room so cold that breath could be seen if one expelled sharply. The young couple longed to be on their way, grateful at least for a night’s solid rest. However, upon undertaking the process of checking out they had learned that the road was severed in both directions by a washed out bridge ahead and downed power lines behind. An irate inquiry revealed that no other roads connected this forlorn location to the rest of the world. They would just have to wait it out for a few days. There was some good news, and that was that a generator would soon be up and running, providing enough electricity for light. Heat would be another matter and everyone would have to make do with other means. A fireplace had been lit in the lounge and to this the old native woman, the young couple, and the only other guests, two middle aged salesmen, made their way. The warmth felt good and as bodies thawed so too did conversation.
At first the salesmen lamented about the state of the roads in these parts which was followed closely by a long story from the native woman about the old days before the interstate had been built and this road had been the main course of travel. The couple were bored to tears and offered little more than the odd head shake of agreement or hum of consent. Then in a moment of boyish mischievousness, he turned to his wife and whispered, “Let’s have some fun with these yokels and hypnotize their brains out! Let’s really mess with that old woman!” Her quick and evil grin let him know that his idea had been accepted with enthusiasm, and they set about bantering with the others in the room, using purposely lowered volume of voice and strangely confusing patterns of language. The young woman walked back and forth in front of the salesmen as she spoke, making sure that their eyes never left her long legs covered in black fish net stockings, flashing like deadly serpents about to strike their naughty minds. The young man stood directly in front of the old woman and mirrored every move she made, whether it was as slight as a brush of the hair or as pronounced as a stretch of both arms. Within less than ten minutes the two salesmen were out like two low wattage light bulbs and the old native woman was nodding like a willow frond in a gentle breeze. Now the fun could begin.
First his wife gave suggestions of extreme arousal to the two salesmen which she then anchored to the unlikely trigger of seeing the old native woman stand and walk. Next the young man tried to give suggestions to the old woman that she would fall in love with the first two men who showed sexual interest in her, but a curious thing happened. With every word he spoke, the old woman began to raise her head higher and higher, until at last she was facing him directly with eyes wide open. Very wide open. He tried to stop speaking at this point but found he could not. He was prattling on uncontrollably as his wife asked what was wrong. In an instant the old woman waved her hand high in the air and shouted a single word in a tongue long forgotten in that area, and as if hit by a bolt of lightening, the young woman fell silent as stone and just as immobile. Her husband fell silent as well and stood in front of the old woman with his eyes shut tight. Try as he might, he could not open them.
The old native rose and walked close to the young woman, stretched slightly so as to be closer to her ear, and whispered for a long time words both secret and powerful. Now she strode to the husband and whispered into his ear the same ancient phrases. Both husband and wife stood like statues unable to move, and both were quite, quite unaware of what was about to happen. Faint sparks of electricity began to dance at their fingertips as the old woman resumed her perch upon the worn vinyl sofa. The two salesmen now appeared to awake, yet with the most odd and disturbing expressions of deranged glee on their faces. They looked at the young couple without appearing to see them.
Suddenly the old woman clapped her hands and the show began. The young man walked quickly out of the lounge as the others all followed, the old woman cackling to herself with crazed abandon. Straight like a beeline to the newly renovated room the young man went, and once inside he lay belly up across the bed. Now his wife mounted his face and began rocking back and forth across him as if riding a horse in a rodeo while he clutched at her with his hands and probed at her underwear with an insatiable tongue driven mad with the most profound lust. The two salesmen clapped their hands in mock jubilation and began to dance a macabre jig, their eyes still lunacy wide as if possessed. The young couple moaned and writhed as the last shred of their consciousness understood the cruel joke the old woman was playing on them. She had done this many times before, of course, and for nearly seventy years since the time her grandmother had taught her the magic of her people so primeval and so strong. It had been her grandmother, last official medicine woman of the tribe, who had, as legend told it, ensorcelled a young cowboy who had made fun of her in front of her friends. He had then mysteriously dyed his hair bright red and ridden a very large pig about town while proclaiming his undying love for the old woman.
The day passed in laughter for the old native woman, in bedazzled idiocy for the two salesmen, and in terrible unsatisfiable desire for the young hypnotist couple. How they ached to release! How they would have given anything, absolutely anything, to orgasm and fall into sleep. But that was not their fate, and all day and for part of the night they thrashed and groaned, gyrated and whimpered, till at last the old woman let them slip into dreams. Dreams of what they had just experienced, yet with an even stronger haunting presence of the medicine woman’s mind overpowering their own. In the morning the power was back on and the bridge ahead repaired so that the young couple could continue on their way, but not before apologizing through horrified eyes full of tears to the grinning old proprietress of the Cherry Top Motel.