BAD MOON RISING-Chapter 1, Part 2

BAD MOON RISING by Stephen Pickering 
Chapter 1 – Part 2

The trees were menacingly close to the edge of these rural roads and their leafless limbs seemed to reach out trying to pull the car into their dark and unforgiving home. Carl managed to overcome the laws of physics and keep the trees waiting for another chance on another day. Carl let off the gas, shifted easily into fourth gear and let the speed drift down to 50 mph for the rest of the trip to Mountainville. Yeah, their mom thought they were going to Stonington, but Stonington actually had a police department and Gary did not want them snooping around his “business”. The plan was to meet Gary at the Walker Estate near the Haystack Mountain School in the Mountainville section of Deer Isle.

This was a short but exciting ride for Sam. The excitement, if you could call it that, would not end with the ride in his brother’s muscle car.    Carl gently shifted down through the gears as he turned down the dirt road that led to the Walker Estate. The branches of the large spruce trees that lined either side of the road created a canopy that blocked the now receding daylight. The dirt road became a tunnel that separated two different worlds. Sam and Carl left the world of the average and the normal and entered the world that was usually the domain of the privileged and carefree.

Carl drove slowly as if he were letting a thoroughbred race horse cool down after a hard run. The Roadrunner was indeed a thoroughbred and the Walker Estate used to have a stable of riding horses so this was as it should be, Sam thought. Sam especially liked the Walker Estate. Not for its 6,400 square feet of living space, its three field stone fireplaces, the eight bedrooms, six bathrooms and a huge screened and covered porch overlooking Southeast Harbor and Whitmore Neck.

Sam had never been inside the sprawling estate and seen the two stainless steel kitchens with its three dining rooms, its maple and oak floors and the magnificent double staircase that looked as though it should have been in an English palace rather than a summer cottage in Deer Isle. At 14, he wouldn’t really have noticed the fine architecture and ornate wood trim. Sam had heard his father call the place a summer cottage. To Sam, cottage meant a structure that was a little bigger than a camp. The Walker Estate was nearly six times bigger than the home he and his family shared. He liked this place because his father used to come here as a boy and mow the huge lawn and tend to the riding horses. He liked being in this place and imagining his father at the same age as he.

Sam wondered or tried to imagine what his father thought about life in general at 14 years old and more specifically, did his father’s expectations as an adolescent match the results that he achieved as an adult or did they fall short. He wondered if the Korean War, that eighteen month detour in his father’s life, changed his planned course. He wondered if the Viet Nam War would be over before he turned eighteen. It certainly seemed as if it would last long enough to swallow up his brother Carl, who would be eligible for the draft in four months.

Sam’s fear of fighting in a war in a foreign land was normal enough. What wasn’t normal was that he and Carl were about to get a firsthand look at what happens in war; what can happen when your very existence is at stake; what can happen when a soldier’s training takes over and puts the normal human mores and rules that govern civilized lives into a little locked safe for just a few minutes. Just a few minutes that would undoubtedly alter Sam’s and Carl’s future. The future that they hadn’t planned yet but surely had thought about. They would be unable to do anything but watch, with no control, as the course of their lives was perversely rerouted by driving down the tunnel between two worlds.

Carl carefully backed the Plymouth around the corner of the boathouse. Carl wanted to be able to see who was coming down the driveway before they saw him. The owners surely wouldn’t arrive until after Memorial Day but he didn’t know how often the care taker checked on the place. He could quickly escape parked this way.  He knew his car would be recognized but at least he would have time to come up with a story as to why they were there. Besides, they were only trespassing and there weren’t even any signs prohibiting that. Screw the people from away. Carl would roam around Deer Isle wherever he liked. This was his home. Not many could say that their families had lived here for ten generations. He was entitled, at least that’s the way he saw it.

            Carl had tuned the radio’s AM dial to WMEX in Boston. That seemed so odd to Sam. The only radio stations that played rock music for Maine listeners in coastal Hancock County were in Boston, Massachusetts. WMEX and WRKO. A five hour drive from Deer Isle but less than 150 miles across the Gulf of Maine. “Badgeby Cream had just started. A short song but the opening bass riff played by Jack Bruce totally enthralled Sam and he could do nothing else for the next couple of minutes but listen.

Carl liked music just fine but he liked beer more. He reached under the seat for that last bottle of Michelob that he had saved from last weekend’s six pack. Not being twenty one didn’t stop Carl’s ability to acquire beer. All you needed was to know someone who was of legal age and willing to break the law for you. They were easy to find in Deer Isle and Stonington. The biggest hurdle was having money. Isn’t that always the biggest hurdle in any endeavor?  It certainly seemed that way. Today, Carl’s beer money was being converted to pot money. Carl and his friends saw pot as a harmless recreational drug and they saw no danger in using it. Peace, love and dope had been the mantra as the 60’s ended. The mantra did not include money. You needed money if you wanted dope and the people in the dope business were more dangerous than the drug if you got between them and the money.

            Eight new Ford pickups with two men in each truck were just now crossing the light green suspension bridge that connected the mainland to Little Deer Isle. It almost looked liked a parade but there was nothing festive about this group. They were the dark clouds of the impending storm crossing the Eggemoggin Reach.

            It was twenty five minutes before four in the afternoon. Gary was not going to be there until four thirty. Normally Carl would have driven around awhile before arriving at the Walker Estate, but gas had just gone up to thirty cents a gallon and the Roadrunner got only seven miles per gallon. Carl needed to conserve his cash. He lived off the money he earned with his father lobster fishing in the summer. He had an occasional weekend job in the winter working on a scallop dragger or loading trucks at the Co-op. He preferred not to work in the winter but he would have to work full time soon enough.

            Carl reached over and turned up the volume. “Love Me Two Times” by the Doors was playing and Carl loved the Doors. Sam said, “I like this song too.”  Sam sounded like a puppy dog trying to get his master’s attention. Carl laughed, “You don’t even know what the song is about.”  “I do too!” Sam stated indignantly.  What the song is about, Sam thought to himself. What did he mean by that?  It’s a cool song. What more is there?  Carl chuckled to himself. Carl wasn’t about to explain blowjobs to his little brother. Not that Carl had experienced that sexual pleasure but he was aware of the concept.

Gary Grover had bragged about Naomi Findlay’s expertise in that particular sexual act. Gary had done a lot of things that Carl hadn’t. Well, if you believed Gary’s stories and Carl was inclined to believe about anything Gary said. Sam summed up Gary with one word. Asshole. Arnold Peterson felt the same way as Sam about Gary but neither had ever heard the other use that particular word. They both used it quite often but not in the brief exchanges between father and 14-year-old son. That was as it should be but very soon the prospect of Sam hearing his father refer to someone as an asshole would be so minutely insignificant compared to what Sam and Carl were about to witness from their father.

            Fontella Bass was in the middle of belting out “Rescue Mewhen they both noticed a new Ford F300 Camper Special four wheel drive pickup emerge from the tree lined driveway and make its way slowly in to the large semi-circular parking area. It was a pale yellow truck with a camper secured in the body. It was a cloudy afternoon and the sun was beginning to set but there was enough light to see that the two men in the truck weren’t from Deer Isle. The Rhode Island license plate should have been their first clue but all the two boys noticed were the two men staring back at them. The men had long hair drawn back into ponytails. The driver had a long scruffy beard and the passenger had a more neatly trimmed beard.  Carl took the last swallow of his beer, slid the empty under the seat and prepared to leave.

            Frank Silveira was the passenger in the Ford truck and John Silveira, Frank’s brother, was driving. Frank was the president of an outlaw motorcycle club known as The Slayers. They were over six hours from their Warwick home but they were not lost. “Somebody supposed to be waiting for us?” John asked. “No,” Frank said. Frank’s “no” was cold and ominous. John knew not to pursue it further. John also knew that whoever was parked in the blue Plymouth was not going to have a good evening. “You and O’Shea can greet our visitors,” Frank said.

Click HERE to read Chapter 1 – Part 1