For Mason and Adena Fickle, enough was never enough. More and more, they went on looking for that next big thrill. The problem for them—one they never had too much trouble solving—was not necessarily “who” or “what” would contribute to their thrill seeking so much as it was “how” they’d keep their thrills fresh and challenging. And they didn’t experience simple thrills like clubbing with other swingers, swimming nude in a forbidden lake, or having sex in broad daylight out on the shoulder of I-80. These things the Fickles now considered boring.
The Fickles’ quest now was to be creative. And yet, it was one thing to be creative; it was another to be freaks, and it was quite another to be creative freaks.
The most exciting ingredient that the Fickles realized during their extramarital affairs was how they were able to keep it all secret in a township where everyone knew everything about everybody. Sure, the couple had friends who were neighbors, like Barbara and Bill Clemons down the block. And they even considered the Clemonses to be their best friends. But some things weren’t shared with even your best friends. After all, who would think of Mason as any more than a bespectacled accountant who worked for a Fortune 2000 company? A big deal in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
And who would think of Adena as any more than a housekeeper, a maid really, who cleaned guest rooms at the local Days Inn? Both of their occupations were less than exciting, and saw these two scurrying home at the end of a hard workday to indulge in some much-needed sleep, a deep sleep wherein they could go on dreaming about “someday” and that lucky lottery ticket.
But it was all smoke and mirrors. In fact, the Fickles were a lively couple, fulfilling those fantasies that were possible, like the night they lured an absolute stranger home—a bartender from the neighboring township. Brenda was her name; and, among other things, they all took turns sucking each other’s toes.
Or, there was that other absolutely possible fantasy, where the Fickles snuck onto the local high school grounds and did it on the fifty-yard line of the football field at midnight. Not to mention that these two even climbed up on their own roof time and again—at least a half-dozen times so far—to claim ownership of each other. Sometimes Mason was the “master,” other times Adena was in charge. For certain, these two were just the opposite of everything you’d envision, putting sex right up there next to oxygen on that must-have shelf in their minds.
And now it was springtime, when pollen mixed with hope in that fresh breeze. It was a time and a climate for new beginnings, young love, and colorful landscapes. It was a time when animal species appeared (as if from thin air) on the lawns, in the sky, and in the water. It was also a cue, frankly, for Mason to get out there and cut the grass like a good husband should.
“Hurry up, Mase. I don’t want dinner to get cold!” Adena called out to her laborer/lover, trying to be heard over the manual lawn mower. But maybe she didn’t notice the earbuds he had in place, or that he was pumping his favorite old-school slow jam, and singing like he had no sense—like it was himself, and not Lenny Williams, who was supposed to be the lead on the song. Mason was even a slight bit off-key. But he couldn’t have cared less. “I love you! I neeeeeeded you!
The song might’ve been Mason’s fuel as he pushed that machine so easily back and forth along their front lawn, trying to get the place in shipshape condition before the block-watch people made another complaint to the BMCB (Blue Mountain Community Board). Another issue altogether, that was.
“It’s bad enough they get a budget to operate their flimflam group of rednecks,” Mason later blurted out before chewing what he had forked into his mouth.
“Honey, take your time and enjoy your food. Don’t just wolf it down like that. You worked hard out there, the least you could do is relax while you eat.”
“I wouldn’t be wolfin’ shit down if I didn’t have to keep grass two inches high. I mean, who came up with that absurd rule? Grass should be less than two inches high. What if I don’t want my grass below two inches! It’s my goddamned grass!”
Adena lowered her head and concentrated on her next bite rather than look her husband in the eyes. Not just that she would agree with him, but that he looked so sexy when he was mad. It would bring on her untimely smile.
“And then they got the nerve to get uniforms. Uniforms! Navy shirts with bright white letters advertising BMCB like they the po-lice or sumpthin’. Shit—”
“Baby . . .” Adena tried to chill the flames.
“Baby,” Adena almost begged.
“This township ain’t but yae big—ain’t hardly no crime goin’ on here, ’cuz you know they’d have a lynchin’, as easy as they get away with shit around here. Not just up here on Blue Mountain, but down on Main Street, too.” Adena squeezed her eyes closed and hoped he wouldn’t. “Look at how they treated you for a damned parking ticket.”
He did go there. Jesus. Here we go again.
“That fat-fuck sheriff. I shoulda—”
“And her three fat deputies all stuffed in their cruiser—can’t even afford to fix the other one they usually stroll around town in.” Mason was so right. Calling a spade a spade, even in his heated tirade. One sheriff and her henchmen keeping total peace in and around East Stroudsburg, where everybody was already dependent on one another for resources, even if it was the need for somewhere or something to bitch about. The town had it all, plus a shitload of forestry.
Only because of terrorism, and those violent events that show up on the tube so frequently, had East Stroudsburg gone nuts with the preventive measures. They voted for additional manpower, and a budget for the trailer-size mobile unit that sat in the center of town.
“They don’t even have anybody to sit in that whale. It’s a ridiculous expenditure, with video surveillance, satellite dishes, and strobe lights. . . .”
The whale was indeed overdone for this small community, which had virtually no crime (not physical, anyway) and nobody to operate the vehicle—nobody but one sheriff and a few tagalongs. However, the whale did have another purpose, since it recently got hit with eggs and tomatoes, probably from angry farmers (or their sons) who protested against the new mobile precinct. Somebody even keyed the whale, scratching the waste onto its side.
“Why didn’t BMCB catch that act?”
Adena had to admit that Mason even got her all worked up when he went into specifics like this. And now, she even felt like commenting as his ride or die partner for life.
“Maybe they even had something to do with it?” Adena proposed. “You know how BMCB hates BWP. And you know some of them in BWP got farmers for cousins, friends, and whatnot.”
“You’re right. Especially since SPD thinks me and . . .” Adena appreciated Mason, including (or allowing) her into his bashing moment. She could see him easily gravitating toward the street slang you wouldn’t usually see or hear from Mason, the Fortune 2000 accountant.
“We should express our gratitude to BMCB on behalf of all the residents who don’t give a fuck. We should get them some handcuffs,” Adena suggested.
“Oh, hell no.” Mason barked. “We got more use for handcuffs than they do.”
“Since when?” Adena asked, amused at how the tone of this latest “town hall meeting” had taken a turn for the better.
Mason turned wide-eyed and serious. He put the chicken bone down and wiped his hands.
“What exactly is that supposed to mean, buttercup?” Mason flashed one of those phony smiles, the one where his lips were pursed and stretched back practically to his ears.
“Maybe it means you’re slippin’,” Adena said.
Mouth open, Mason stared at her in shock. And it seemed to be just the reply she expected. Anything to get off the BMCB subject.
“Wait a minute. Am I not satisfying you by not pulling out the toys? Or is this just something we both overlooked?”
“Well, you’re the one who’s always asking, ‘Whose is it?’ So . . . I leave it to you to call the shots.”
Adena let a smile slip out and Mason just broke out laughing. It marked the end of his rant and the beginning of a long night. Before the two finished dinner Mason suggested, “How about we have some fun tonight?”
“You call the shots,” Adena said again with the sparkle in her eyes. Little did the Fickles know, this was just one more step toward an experience that would change their lives.
Copyright © 2006 by Relentless Aaron. All rights reserved.