Moondance [Blinking Star]
It's Windy on Mars

* * * * * *

Sherri Jilek
    [Blinking Star]
Confusion by Julie Lance
By Julie Lance

"Roy, she’s a doll, a living doll! It’s too bad she’s my cousin."

George clucked, then cast a glance at Roy. "Maybe she won’t go to waste after all, huh?" He jabbed Roy in the ribs as they briskly walked side by side down the sunny residential street. Above, birds crooned the music of spring. "If she’s as good looking as you say, I’ll give it a try," Roy curled one half of his mouth upward into something like a vertical smile.

They increased their speed toward the destination of Catalpa Street…toward George’s Aunt Millie’s house…and toward Aunt Millie’s niece. Renowned for her beauty, Mary Aldridge was visiting on spring break from her eastern college campus, and was the cause of all this excitement.

Roy & George were a habit, following slavishly a thought…a thought that spurned men into action as much as war. That thought was a female, but worse, that thought also was a conquest.

When nervous, Roy had the habit of raking his hair the way one would rake their fingers through gold coins. His hair, with its hint of strawberry frappe, he knew, was a favorite with the ladies, and to touch it and fondle it reassured him of his prowess.

"Tell me again, George. What does she look like? Give me the details."

"They’re no different than the last 50 times I’ve told you!"

"Tell me again anyway. I never tire of good stuff."

George answered, "To think that creature used to be a pest while we were growing up. If I had known how she was going to turn out, I would have let her join the ‘boys fort’.

"Come on! Come on!"

"She has dark hair to her waist," George began.


"A plump rear-end."

Roy rubbed his hands together as though dice were in his gathered palms. "Yea, yea, keep going."

"Her eyes are big and brown and kind of sleepy looking, you know, like Marilyn Monroe and what Hollywood calls ‘Vaseline eyes’."

"Yow! I love her already"

"She’s got lips too. They’re like pillows, big and soft looking."

"Pillows and Vaseline eyes," Roy mused, "Baby! Where have you been all my life!"

"That’s not all, she’s also got legs," George continued, then whistled a wolf whistle.

Roy answered with something like a growl.

"And…" Here they stopped and faced each other. George’s eyes rolled up into his head as though he was trying to peer inside his skull. "And she’s built!" He gestured with his hands to prove his point.

Eruptions of sound, like a battle cry went forth from Roy, followed by, "Hey! Wait a minute. You forgot her walk. How does she walk?"

George cleared his throat in a self-conscious manner trying to assume an air of gravity. "She walks," he articulated solemnly, "like an invitation."

Now she was food for all Roy’s hunger. Ravenously, he laughed, then roughly pulled at George’s shoulder to hurry on toward the momentary object of his existence.

The last block toward Aunt Millie’s house was lined with mature Catalpa trees. Their stems presented a stiff woody regiment, bursting into large-leafed bouquets overhead. It was as though the tight strict trunk softened in its feelings as it progressed upwards and allowed an expression of itself to escape the top. Nests were visible in the branches and occasional tiny frantic chirping betrayed the nests’ contents.

Approaching the front walkway, Roy glanced down at the pavement, avoiding the cracks. Not normally superstitious, today his senses were so acute he wasn’t going to risk the least omen of bad luck by stepping on a crack now that he was so near his goal.

Roy William Flint considered himself far above the teeming mass, when in reality he was common as a house spider. Though handsome enough to draw considerable attention because of his good looks, behind that curtain the stage was empty. He was the monologue addressing himself, an audience of one, but the sound of his single applause puffed the feathers of his malehood and caused him to swagger. He raked the sides of his hair again, his fingers noticing the smoothness of the gold coins.

"Remember," George cautioned, pushing the doorbell, "she’s not your regular girl." Accompanying this last statement, George tapped his temple with his right forefinger.

"Smart girls don’t scare me," Roy answered, "they just slow things down a little." He winked and it was at that moment the door swung open and he stood face to face with the goddess of his dreams. He saw her as he preconceived her. She was a ravishing beauty.

"Mary Aldridge," she said, offering her hand.

"Roy Flint," he answered, joining his hand to hers.

She noticed his hands were smooth and wondered if he labored with his mind instead of his hands.

With a twist, Roy began to carry the back of her hand toward his lips. Quickly, she removed her hand from his before it reached his mouth.

A look of irritation slid across Roy’s face.

Already it begins, Mary thought…the seduction, the possession, and the woman expected to go along with it all. She offered kindly, "I know kissing hands once flourished, and capes over mudpuddles. But that was before rocket ships and computers. Won’t you come in?"

In spite of her rejection of his intention, Roy’s anger had passed and he stood now in open awe of her beauty. His eyes traveled up and down her body, one, two, three times. They lingered longest on her chest.

My sex appeal is being scrutinized, she said to herself with some resentment, then stepped back and to the side of the entrance. "Please," she offered, with a sweep of her arm inward.

With the sun fully behind them, their shadows preceded them, falling long and full onto the white tiled hallway. Mary greeted her cousin with a hug, then looking past the two men into the open morning air, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "Spring is wonderful, isn’t it? I think the air is sweeter in spring than any other time of the year. Don’t you agree?"

"Spring is for love," Roy answered. "That’s the time we’re suppose to be most interested in the opposite sex according to the biology books. Am I right?"

What a disappointment, Mary thought, he’s a cliché. She offered a motion of ‘follow me’ and led the way down a flight of white carpeted stairs that right-angled half way down then emptied onto a shiny white oak wood floor. Across the room sunlight streamed in through thin airy curtains of white Swiss eyelet. One panel had been pulled aside as had the heavy glass sliding door behind it. Soft fresh air filled the room. Issuing through the screen door, they entered onto a large redwood deck fringed in ceramic pots of brightly colored flowers. Several long wooden containers held assortments of spring bulbs in rich vivid palettes. Narcissus, daffodils, and red and yellow champagne tulips graced the area. "Have a seat," she offered, gesturing to several lounge chairs strewn with comfortable looking cushions.

A Stellar Jay screeched noisily from an upper limb of the oak tree overhanging a portion of the deck.

After lowering themselves into the seats of their choice, Roy continued, "You’re even better looking than George said you’d be. He told me you were gorgeous, but I didn’t think you’d be this gorgeous!" Leaning back, he ran his fingers through his strawberry frappe hair. "I’ll bet you have lots of dates, don’t you?"

Let’s get past this, she thought. "More than some, less than others," she answered. "So, tell me, Roy, what is your little town like? From my first glimpse, it seems peaceful…and it certainly is pretty."

"I’ll show you what it’s all about if you aren’t doing anything tonight. That will take about five minutes." Roy paused. "Then we can concentrate on spring. How does that sound?" A grin spread across Roy’s mouth as he eyed Mary sleepily…a look Mary knew was suppose to be taken for intimacy.

You expect me to lower my eyes shyly, don’t you, she thought. Or cover my mouth and giggle like a foolish silly girl. "Tell me," she responded rather loudly, leaning forward and clasping her hands between her knees in an intentionally unfeminine posture, "what do you think about Capital Punishment, Roy?"

A confused twisting wormed abruptly over Roy’s face. Then, with a shake of his head almost too subtle to notice except to the very sensitive, his face softened and that slow sleepy look played again upon his eyes. "Capital punishment doesn’t have anything to do with spring, or spending an evening together."

Mary cast a glance at her cousin, George, wondering why he had brought this one-track minded man to waste her time and needle her senses. Then looking again at Roy, she recalled an article she had read herself to sleep with the night before. It reported the latest findings from a space probe to Mars…with an eye to eventual human settlement there…or a glimpse at primordial history.

She narrowed her milk brown eyes and spoke in a false whispery way, trying to keep the sarcasm out of her voice. "I’ll bet you didn’t even know an important fact, Roy…the news that now the whole world knows. No I’ll bet you don’t even know that it’s very very windy …hundreds of miles an hour windy, on Mars."

With a helpless look, Roy turned his attention onto George and received for answer only a shrug from George’s shoulders. Turning again to Mary, he lost his composure. "Who the hell cares about Mars?"

"If not Mars, then what?" she answered calmly.

After blinking several times as though to clear his vision or his thinking, Roy hurried to his feet. "Come on, George, let’s go."

As they found their way out and were onto the sidewalk below and before a word was exchanged between them, there came to them a pure soprano voice of a young woman above them, no doubt Mary, singing a song…something about an evil bumble bee in the garden’s heart.



I graduated from San Francisco State University with a teaching credential, but soon after turned to freelance writing. There was additional training and a diploma from Redding Ridge Institute of Writing for Children and Teenagers, but my writing gravitated naturally to adults. I've published articles in local and national magazines and am currently under contract with Nova Science in New York for a non-fiction novel entitled, When God Cries (Portrait of a Child Slayer). Moondance is my first voyage into the Internet. Ms. Jilek email address is:

It's Windy on Mars  ~  Greyhound
The Woman Whose Lover Kept Leaking Her Love
Dance of the DNA

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