I downshifted my “71” Harley shovelhead to second gear. Bang! Pop! Bang! The hail was the size of marbles. “Darn!” I mumbled to myself, “I’m actually glad I’m wearing this stupid helmet!” Then I spotted a covered bridge, just ahead on the left, about an 1/8th mile down a side road.
I shut off my Harley and leaned it onto its kickstand. I set the helmet on a wood beam and dried my face with a towel from a no name motel. As I listened to the hail bounce off of the old bridge’s wooden roof, I reached into my right saddlebag and retrieved a new bottle of Jack Daniels. I broke the seal and took a big swig. I welcomed its warmth as it flowed down my throat. I made my normal face, which meant it was good, then I took another swig. I set the fifth next to my helmet and I began to survey my situation. “I have a roof over my head.” I chewed off a bite of jerky. “I have food!” I grabbed the bottle and gulped down another swallow. “And I’m getting warm!”
The wind howled, the hail came and went again, and the old bridge creaked but stood firm. As I walked to the center of the bridge, I remembered one of the ghost stories my Grandpa Chaney use to tell me about the old covered bridge that was down the road from his house. I burst out laughing because the stories were aimed at keeping me from playing on the aging structure, but instead, they excited my curiosity. I sighed, “Now all I need is a good woman!” As a chewed on the now softening jerky, I remembered my first girlfriend. She gave me my first kiss on that old covered bridge. The next summer, she screwed my brains out underneath it. The hail stopped for the last time while I scratched my balls as I pissed with the wind through the rails.
A scream raised every hair on my body and I darn near choked on my jerky! I ran to and peered over the opposite railing. I spotted a woman hanging onto the center pylon. Her screams were piercing! I cringe at the roaring water below and my stomach rolled over because I hate foaming water. I looked away, spit out the jerky, took a breath, then I look back down because I’ve never back down from danger! I slid over the rail and climbed down the ancient stone pylon.
It took forever to pull her out of the rushing brown death. Just when I thought she was safe, she screamed again. I took one look and yelled, “Run god darn it! Run!” I brace myself. A wall of angry brown water pinned me against the pylon. My fingers lost all feelings, my lungs began to burn, and I started to gray out. Suddenly my head was above water. The air tasted fresh as mint. I opened my eyes.
She had a worried look. “You’re a brave man!”
I gasped, “Are you alright?” I gasped for another breath. “Am I freakin’ dead?!” With her help I climbed back over the railing to safety. I got my breath back, then I looked at her. “What’s your name? And how in heck did you get into that?!” I gestured at the raging brown creek.
“Mary Kay Kelly.” She shivered. “What’s yours?”
“Luke. Luke Chaney.” I grabbed my blanket out of the saddlebag. After I wrapped it around her, I took a corner and began drying her face. “Mary Kay that’s a foxy name.” I glanced down at the thundering brown water. “How did you end up in stinking creek?” Mary’s weak smile was captivating.
My gut-instincts have rarely been wrong over the past 49 years and I’ve learned to pay close attention to them. As Mary spoke, my gut-instinct’s was telling me that something was definitely wrong. “My house is just up the road.” She pointed away from the main highway. Not one to pry, and ignoring my gut-instinct’s tellin’ me to run like heck, I helped her onto my Harley.
As I piloted the Harley around the curves, I could feel that this fox, who called herself Mary Kay, had rode before. She pointed and I pulled onto the long lane leading to a small log cabin. It was well weather-beaten from decades of sun and rain, but it seemed stout enough.
As I followed her through the door, the warm moist smell of fresh bread and baked turkey calmed my nerves. She went through a door. I walked around the small, but cozy, living room till she returned with some clothes. “I hope you don’t mind, but I need to shower first.” I nodded; she smiled. “Would you start a fire? It’s a bit chilly in here, don’t you think?” I nodded again. She went through another door. I stepped outside and retrieve some logs. The fire was burning nicely when she came out. “Oh, that’s perfect!” She stepped through the other door and came out shortly with some clothes for me. “Your turn!”
It was a modern bathroom and I took a long hot shower. My every muscle was sore. I’ve never fear death, but I was darn glad to be alive! I found some shaving gear so I shaved my neck. As I began trimming my beard, I reasoned silently, “Hey the fox is darn pretty; couldn’t freakin’ hurt!”
With dry clothes on, that fit pretty good, and my neck shaved, I hollered, “What do ya want me to do with my wet rags?”
Mary bounced through the door. “My, my, aren’t we handsome!” I couldn’t freakin’ believe it, I felt my bearded face blush. She quickly picked up my wet rags and walked out. I am an old fart, so when I found some Old Spice aftershave, I splashed on a fair amount on my raw neck. I stuck my tongue out at my ugly butt mirror image, then I walked into the living room. Mary hollered, “I’m in the kitchen!”
I followed her humming. The kitchen table was set… and there was three candles burning in the middle. My gut suddenly felt uneasy. For what it was worth I seated the pretty fox, who jumped to her feet the instant I asked for a refill on my coffee, and she hardly sat down till I finally told her, “Mary, please sit down!”
My wise old Grandpa Chaney always said, “There’s only two ways to a man’s heart. One is through his empty belly!” The meal was delicious, my belly was satisfied, and I was starting to relax. She put the dishes in the sink, then we walked into the living room and sat down in front of the warm fire. She poured two glasses of warm brandy, then she handed one to me.
It’s funny; I hadn’t noticed just how darn perfect Mary was till I saw the fire reflecting off of her brown eyes. I continued to gaze into her eyes as we exchanged stories about ourselves. She was easy to listen to, and she was easy to talk to, and she was very easy on my eyes, and her peaceful ways caused me to let my guard down completely.
Around midnight the fire was low again. I tossed another log on and stirred the ashes. I was surprised when Mary kissed my cheek. My sitting down beside her was the only advance I had made all evening. I suddenly felt young and ornery again. We smiled. I leaned towards her. She met me halfway. Each kiss was longer than the last. Soon our passion was hotter than the fire. Her hand casually brushed over my dick, which was as hard as stone. She stood, took my hand, and led me to her bed. I felt like I was dreaming.
The next morning, I had never felt so good, so peaceful. The chickens’ clucking contently outside the window caused me to grin. Mary’s silky black hair was lying across my chest and it smelled like lilac. I kissed her soft forehead. I spied the corner of her mouth quiver as she fought not to smile. I whispered, “Good morning.” Then I kissed her lips of honey….
A couple of hours later, she jumped up. “Last one in the shower is a freakin’ rotten egg!” I chased after her. It was the first time I’d seen her naked in the daylight… I ran faster!
I was on a permanent vacation from my last dead end job and I had some cash stashed away, so I was in no hurry to go anywhere, and the next two weeks were a biker’s heaven. We rode the Harley everywhere and we talked about everything then we’d ride some more. We even talked about the deaths of her husband, Bill, and her daughter, Debbie. One day and for no reason, my gut suddenly told me that I had to get the heck out of there! But my gut calmed down when Mary posed. “You know riding your Harley makes my pussy wet!” She ran her hands across her breast, then she ran them down between her legs and moaned.
Four more weeks passed by. I drank in her beauty like a homeless wino hiding in a wine cellar. One day I just told her exactly how I felt about her. She told me how she felt about me. The next day we went and got our blood tests. Two weeks later as Mary walked down the aisle, my gut-instinct shouted, “Get-the-heck-out-of-here!” Well, a force greater than me said, “I do!” And the preacher pronounced us, husband and wife.
I lifted Mary Kay Chaney’s white veil, her bright eyes were full of love. Her lips tasted like honey. I swept her into my arms and carried her out of the church. The church bells were ringing and a few old church members were tossing rice on us as I sat her down sidesaddle on the Harley. Mary laughed. “No sirree! I want you between my hot burning legs!” She threw her leg over and tucked her wedding dress around her legs. She smiled sexily, “Come on Mr. Chaney, climb into the saddle, I need to ride!”
I kissed Mary and I ran my hand between her legs. She moaned, then she laughed as I threw my stiff leg over the Harley and fired it up. Mary squeezed me tightly with her legs and began rubbing her hands between my legs. I laughed as I guided the Harley away from the church. As we wound down the old highway, I could hear her wedding dress flapping in the wind. She continued to hold me tight. The Harley purred. I’ve never felt better.
I parked the Harley in the usual spot and let the kickstand rest on the flat rock that I laid there weeks earlier. Mary put her hands on her hips. “My feet haven’t touched the ground since I left the alter and–!” I swept her into my arms and carried her to the door. She opened it. I carried her through and shut the door with my foot. As I carried her to the bedroom, she laughed sexily, then she bit my neck like a she wolf. I laid her down on the bed as if she was a porcelain doll, then I pounced on her and bit her neck while growling like a lone wolf.
Our passion was just getting good ‘n’ warm when Mary pushed me off of her and stood up. “I want to show you something!” Confused, I followed her to the fireplace. She pointed. “Behind that stone is my inheritance.” She carefully pulled the heavy stone out and laid it on the floor. She reached in and came out with a handful of gold and silver coins. I gasped. She poured them into my hands. “These were to be Debbie’s… they’re yours now.”
“I didn’t marry you for your–!” She put her fingers to my lips. I could feel her pain. I kissed her trembling lips. “I don’t need your freakin’ money! I only need you!”
“I know… that’s what I love about you.” She smiled sheepishly.
I frowned. “Is that all you love about me?” Then I rubbed my stone hard dick against her leg.
Mary grinned sexily. “Last one naked is a freakin’ rotten egg!”
I helped her get out of her wedding dress and let’s face it; I am a freakin’ rotted egg compared to her fabulous body. We made love, then we walked bare assed naked into the kitchen for a snack, then we experimented on the kitchen table. All night long we made wild love like the newlyweds we were.
When I woke up the sun was near white. Mary leaned over me, her black hair tickled my chest, then she kissed me. I could feel her tongue to slide into my mouth – suddenly, her tongue became freakin’ hard and it ran all the way down my throat – I began gagging! I pushed her away. She was smiling and I realize that whatever it was that was freakin’ gagging me – wasn’t Mary’s sweet tongue! When she waved goodbye, my darn gut got a strange feeling. I grabbed for her. Something would allow me to freakin’ move – I felt like I was having a hellish nightmare and I couldn’t wake up! I grabbed for my darn mouth, but again I couldn’t freakin’ move!
Now, I’ve never passed out in my entire 49 years on this beautiful blue and green planet. Heck, I’ve never even been knocked out! But darn it, everything went freakin’ black! I could hear voices. None made any darn sense! The gagging sensation went away as quickly as it had begun and I was able to breathe again. Suddenly Mary was beside me. She smiled. “Wakeup Luke! Wakeup my lone wolf!” Her voice sounded angelic.
The sun was burning white and my eyes were totally blurred. I squinted to see. No dice. I tried to move, I couldn’t. Like I said before, I’ve never backed down from danger and I ain’t afraid of freakin’ death. I thought aloud, “What ‘n the freakin’ darn heck is going on?!”
A fox’s voice answered, “Mr. Chaney? You are in the hospital Mr. Chaney! Do you understand? Please don’t fight the restraints!”
Totally confused, I fell back onto the bed. “Where’s Mary?”
“Mary who? The children found you laying half dead on the creek bank! But there was no one else!” The fox’s voice sounded confused.
I forced my right eye open. The light blinded it. After an eternity, it began to focus. A nurse in a white uniform smiled at me. I looked around while forcing my left eye to adjust, then I look back to the nurse. “Where’s my wife? Where’s Mary?”
The nurse smiled. “Sheriff said you had no passenger that he knew of! He said you were traveling alone – weren’t you?”
I sat up as far as the restraints would allow me and shouted, “My wife Mary Chaney! Her maiden name was Mary Kay Brown! Where the heck is she?!” I suddenly felt like a freakin’ wimp and I fell back onto the soft bed, and I fell asleep.
When I awoke the only light in the room came from a reading lamp. The nurse stood when she heard me stir. “Mr. Chaney, please be still. You are a very lucky man!”
“I don’t believe in freakin’ luck!” I growled angrily at the pretty nurse. “Only freakin’ wimps believe in luck. I make my own way!”
The nurse’s smile was genuine. “Do you believe in guardian angels?”
You know, I couldn’t answer that because I have been in a few fixes where something more than freakin’ luck, or skill, saved my hairy butt from being permanently tanned. The nurse sat back down and continued reading her book. I fell asleep again.
The next morning, the doctor removed the restraints and examined me. An elderly nurse spoon-fed me a sweet oatmeal and milk mixture. Then the local Sheriff stopped in. He looked like he was near retirement, or past, and not too freakin’ friendly. When I asked him about Mary, he glanced at the old nurse, then he looked me straight in the eye. “Mr. Chaney, I am Sheriff Brown! I don’t know what kind of sick joke you are playing, but it’s not funny!” He took a deep breath. “Mary Kay Brown was my daughter! She’s been dead better than 20 years now. She was swept off that darn covered bridge by a flash flood. Her body was found two miles down-stream.” He sighed heavily. “You are very lucky to be alive Mr. Chaney.” He turned and walked to the door. “Bob’s Harley shop has your motorcycle. Your gear is at my office.” He disappeared through the door.
Under my breath I stated, “I don’t believe in freakin’ luck!”
I looked to the elderly nurse. “How long was I out?”
“The first time, Eight days!” She tried to put the spoon in my mouth. “You slept ten hours last night.”
“Why was I in restraints?”
“You had quite active dreams.” She blushed.
“What in the heck did I gag on?” I pushed the spoon away again.
“Your airway tube. When you arrived you were trying to eat your tongue…! You are very lucky to be alive!”
I growled, “I don’t believe in freakin’ luck!”
The next day, I caught the only cab in town to Bob’s Harley shop. A squirrelly man wearing prescription safety glasses greeted me. “You must be Mr. Luke Chaney. I’m Bob Givens, the owner of this hog shop.”
I shook his hand. “Yeah, where’s my Harley?” I looked around.
“Back in the rear. The only thing wrong with her was a little brown water in her. I dried her out and put some fresh oil ‘n’ gas in her; I even tuned her up. She runs great!” He opened the small garage door. I spied my Harley. Bob adjusted his glasses. “You do have insurance? Don’t ya?”
“Yeah, I got great insurance through the Bro’s club.” I sat down on my Harley and looked dead into Bob’s beady eyes. “What do you know about Mary Kay Brown?”
Bob lifted his worn leather hat and scratched his baldhead. “Only that she was killed about 20 years ago or so, in a flash flood… if memory serves me, she was swept off that same covered bridge you were… and do you know… you were found within a few feet of where her dead body was found?” He smiled evilly. “You’re darn lucky!”
I growled, “I don’t believe in freakin’ luck!”
Bob pulled his hat just right. “Did you really talk to Mary Kay Kelly’s ghost?” He licked his greasy lips. “She was one fine fox!”
“What happened to Bill and Debbie Kelly?” Suddenly my gut yelled that I should get the heck out of this darn town!
“My god, you did talk to Mary Kay’s ghost!” Bob loosened the bandanna around his neck. “Debbie fell off the bridge.” He sighed. “Bill dove in to save her. He could’ve too, except the water was only four foot deep… his freakin’ neck snapped when he hit the creek’s rock bottom.” Bob made a twisting motion with his dirty hands. “Bro died instantly, and Debbie drowned beside his dead body before Mary Kay could get to them. Some say Mary Kay went totally stir-crazy and spent all her waking hours cussin’ the creek from the bridge. Some say the creek just got tired of her cussin’ because it wasn’t freakin’ flash flood season the day she was swept off of that old covered bridge.” He smiled evilly again. “Like I said, you were found within a few feet of where they found her dead body!”
“Was Bill or Mary rich?” My gut was screaming so loud that I had to clinch my teeth.
Bob slapped his knee happily. “They was so darn poor they didn’t have indoor plumbing; heck, they didn’t even have electricity! If it weren’t for the church down the road taking up a monthly collection of food, they would have freakin’ starved!”
“Wait a minute! Is the Sheriff, Mary’s father?”
“When Mary Kay Brown married Bill Kelly, he was a biker, our local asshole Sheriff Brown turned his back on his own daughter.” He shook his tiny head. “And the freakin’ pig made sure that Bill couldn’t get a job anywhere in the state!” Bob grinned. “Heck, the bastard ain’t never spoke her name since she died, till you came along.”
“You gotta business card? I’ll have my insurance broker contact you and settle up the bill.” Bob handed me his card. I stuffed it into a shirt pocket, then I fired the Harley.
My first stop was at the Sheriff’s office. I walked in and was greeted by a very young woman officer. “Can I help you sir?”
“Yeah, my name is Luke Chaney. I came for my gear.”
Her mouth fell open. “You’re Luke Chaney?!” She stuck out her hand. “I’m Susan! Did you really talk to Mary Kay’s ghost?”
I waited till she let go of my hand, then I forced a smile. “I don’t remember… but I do need my gear.”
Everywhere I went in this back-asswards town, the diner, the gas station, and even the library, everyone knew who I was. After reading the local newspaper’s account of Mary’s death, I realized that I had learned more from the townies. It was gettin’ late so I went the local inn and got a room.
I couldn’t sleep… Mary was constantly on my mind. After I watched the sunrise, I took a shower. As I rode out to the covered bridge, I had this terrible feeling of déjà vu! I stopped at the foot of the bridge. Memories of Mary flooded my mind. I sped across the spooky old bridge without stopping and headed up the road. Suddenly there it was… the lane… the log cabin. I guided the Harley to its normal spot and I let the kickstand rest on a flat rock. I stared at the rock… the feeling of déjà vu began eating at my gut. Suddenly I had a hundred freakin’ questions and all of the darn answers were inside. Like I said, I’ve never feared the unknown, so I stepped through the open front door.
I was greeted by dust and cobwebs. I walked into the kitchen… the kitchen table was gone; in fact, nothing was as I remembered! I went into what I thought was the bathroom. Near as I could tell, it was a small bedroom. I went back into the living room and I looked at her bedroom door. As I walked towards it, a tiny chill ran up my back causing the hair on my nape to stand up. I hesitated. Then I opened the door and stepped in. Except for the cobwebs and dust, it was exactly as I remembered. I sat down on the old bed. It creaked loudly, but it held my weight. I began wondering about Mary? Now I’m not want to show my emotions, but tears were streaming down my face till I remembered… the fireplace! I jumped to my feet and almost ran to it. I stared at it. I grabbed a familiar stone. It was loose. I laid it on the floor. I could scarcely believe my freakin’ fingertips. I scooped up a handful of coins and brought them out into the dim light. Tears of joy and sadness fell onto the handful of gold and silver coins.
Both saddlebags were bulging and the pockets on my leather jacket were full. I took one last look at the old cabin as I turned onto the old road. The wind in my face was as fresh as mint. I stopped in the middle of the old covered bridge. I reached into a pocket and came out with a large gold coin. I kissed the coin. “Thanks Mary Kay Chaney! I’ll never forget you.” I tossed the coin into the peaceful creek.
“Where are you going?” Came Mary’s voice from behind me.
I looked and gasped, I thought you were—!”
“Dead?” Mary laughed happily. “When I married Bill, my father put a hellish curse on me and my inheritance! And when Bill and Debbie died–!” She kissed me with her honey sweet lips. Her hair smelled like lilac. She climbed onto my Harley and squeezed me with her legs and arms. “When you married me you broke my father’s damnable curse… and now, I am free to spend the rest of my life as your wife!” She licked my ear. “And I am freakin’ horny!”
Now I’m not one to argue with a beautiful fox, especially when she’s my woman, so I fired the Harley. “Mrs. Chaney, where would you like to go?”
Mary Kay giggled, “That-a-way!” She pointed back towards her cabin.
As I throttled my Harley, I heard myself moan, “Oh shoot!”
by Kim Glassman
Attention Adult Reading Class Teachers! Contact me at the above email address for conditons and permission to use "The Covered Bridge" in your class. Caution: Adult Situations!
I hope you enjoyed “The Cover Bridge” and I hope to hear from you soon! I have but one question, “At the end, was Mary a ghost or real?” Email me your answer at:
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No part of this short story may be copied, reproduced, or translated into another language or format, without the prior expressed written consent of: Kim Glassman; PMB 8484, P.O. Box 2428; Pensacola, FL 32513
“The Covered Bridge” Copyrighted © 1998 By Kim Glassman