Mountain Men

By amogaditano published January 10, 2019
amogaditano@gmail.com
Summary
Exposition for the beginning of a new series. Field Botanist Jim Holliday becomes a tenant for a remote cabin in Appalachia, owned by the severe Mr. Fredericks.

It may be hotter than Hell, and sweatier than a nun doing kegels, but there’s something incredible about West Virginia in the Summer. Far off from any coast or city, the Appalachians just roll over the landscape, showing the raw nature of the land. The trees grow gnarled and thick, pushing upwards undisturbed for generations. Valleys swoop low and unforgiving, like magpies trying to dip below and snatch at the scraps of civilization built in between. Wildflowers bloom in primal opulence, radiating further and faster than anything east of the Mississippi.

Yes, the Mountain State was magnificent in these days of Summer.

You couldn’t find these sights anywhere else. Literally. Appalachian mountains weren’t known for their open culture, nor proper road maintenance. It’s a miracle that I managed to reach this place, given the lack of signs. As I meander through to the point where the towns didn’t even have names - just mountain peaks and back roads to guess their location. This was the real country now. No reception, no Starbucks with wifi, with the road the only way out of here.

In other words, totally isolated.

Driving up in my toyota, I know I’m getting more than a couple stares as I pull up to a gas station. Only cars around here were trucks and farm implements - everything else was too swanky to be considered local, marking my obvious status as an outsider.

I drive carefully and slow until reaching a gas depot, old fashioned and rusted. The general store was weathered barn boards nailed together with hardly so much as a paint job since it left the mill. The front porch was built to sag and squeak, with a pair of old timers affixed to rocking chairs wrapped in denim and flannel. They stared openly with cautious amusement as I make my way towards the general store.

I pulled at the weathered screen door, stepping inside, dust and dirt flying as it slammed behind me.

The clerk looked up curiously from his weatherbeaten post, his coke bottle glasses bugging out even more than can be expected from his wrinkled face.

“Hi there. I was wondering if you can help me with some directions.”

“Well, that’s alright, son. Lots of city folk get turned around here. Now, if you’re trying to get back to Bluefield, you’re going to want to-”

“No, I’m not trying to get to Bluefield. I’m looking for someone around here - a Mr. Fredericks. Do you know him?”

The man behind the counter was stunned for a few moments, contemplating the question.

“Now, what business might you have with Red Johnny?”

“Well, as of June, I’m his lodger. I’m renting a room from him for the Summer to conduct some research here in the mountains.”

The clerk licked his cracked lips, sizing the stranger up.

“Well, your ‘Mr. Fredericks’ is going to be up the third right from here. Right at the road with the broken wellhouse, can’t miss it.”

“Thank you, Mister…?”

“Call me Calico. And son, just a bit of advice?”

“Yes, Mr. Calico?”

“Be a little more than… polite around ‘Mr. Fredericks’. Man’s a little… tightly wound, if you know what I mean? Know where you’re stepping around him, alright? Better to play with the dog than get bit, ya’know?”

“Yes. Thanks for the advice, Mr. Calico.”

“Just Calico, son, just Calico. Now, don’t be a stranger!”

*

After a good mile up the curves of the dirt road, I felt grateful to pull into what looked to be a driveway. Bumping and swerving my way up the mountain road was more than a little nerve-wracking. I could already predict that walking was going to be the preferred mode of transportation.

As the house came into view, I was impressed by its structure. A two story cabin, with solid porch, stone chimney, all the windows small and blocked with curtains. Incredibly simple by today’s standard, but still incredibly well-maintained considering the location.

I parked next to a weather beaten truck, looking like an antique with its 70’s bodywork. Stepping out I took a deep breath of that summer air of Appalachia, reinvigorating my spirit. What a time to be alive!

I knocked on the door, anxious to meet my host for the season.

When no one replied, I knocked again.

Nothing.

Suddenly, I heard a loud bang from behind the house.

Unsure of my course of action, I decided to follow it.

The backyard, where it wasn’t dirt, was filled with a healthy abundance of vegetables - ranging from heirloom tomatoes, string peas, beetroot, and potatoes, all divided into neat, deliberate rows. Everything hardy and filling.

The banging continued from a large, nondescript shed behind the garden. I wasn’t sure if I was trespassing yet, given that I wasn’t yet settled in as the tenant, but it was better than sitting out in my car waiting for Mr. Fredericks to come home.

Again, I knocked on the rough wood of the door. I heard the clatter of tools, an audible ‘shit’, and heavy footsteps approaching me. The door opened.

Immediate panic filled my mind as I saw the man in front of me. He was huge, for starters - at least 6’5”, with a bulging frame of fat and muscle that only manual could provide. His ruddy face was framed with long brown hair and a bushy beard, with streaks of unattended grey. Most concerning was his rubber apron and bowie knife in his hand, with no shirt and dirty jeans underneath.

He said nothing as he put the knife down on a counter out of sight. Immediate images of the hillbilly serial killer came to mind. But I swallowed. There has to be a better explanation.

“Mr. Fredericks?”

“Who’s asking?”

“My name is Jim Holliday. We spoke earlier in our emails about the room for the summer?”

Mr. Fredericks nodded, and thrust out his dirty hand. I thought I accepted the handshake, his grip vice-like and squelching.

“I’ll show you to your room.”

Taking off the rubber apron, Mr. Fredericks’ hairy pecs and muscled stomach seemed to pop out and bulge in its sweaty glory. I turned my head away before it became noticeable.

He walked in front in silence, as I followed behind.

“So… what were you doing in the barn?”

“Deer skinning,” he answered, without turning his head. I nervously glanced at my dirtied hand.

We entered the backdoor, into the kitchen, a blessed ten degrees cooler than outside.

Everything seemed so quaint inside, with its wooden furniture and faded decorations and linens. Even the sink was cast iron with a cracked enamel glaze. This was going to take some getting used to.

As we went up the narrow, squeaking stairs, I couldn’t help but to stare at Mr. Frederick’s ass in those jeans. They bulged out with a noticeable curve. His back was sweaty too. I couldn’t imagine a precious drop of sweat following the curve of his back and in between those -

“We’re here.”

Mr. Frederick opened the door, revealing a walk-in closet of a room. An ancient hospital cot, a wobbly desk with its wobbly companion, and a macrame owl were my only companions inside. I suppose I should’ve been grateful there were even outlets inside.

“There’s rules to this place. One: you stay out of our way, and we stay out of yours. Outside of mealtime, you don’t call on us for nothin’ or use or do nothin’ without permission from me. If you manage to do that, we’ll be fine. Two: we don’t smoke no weed or crack or whatever city rock here, so if you do that shit, too bad. Three: ya’ll stay out of the back shed. That’s where all my work is, and I don’t need some trouble started by someone who don’t know what he doing. Four: I’ll take the rent at the first of the month, cash or check. Ya’ll got that?”

I nodded, to indicate I understood.

“Good. We’re done here.”

“Wait,” I cried out. “What’s the wifi password?”

*

Dinner was tense around the table. For me at least. For everyone else, I seemed to provide no end of entertainment. Mr. Fredericks had three sons, whose arrival was accompanied by a chorus of whoops and barking. They apparently had been out hunting game, and had been more than successful. I decided to go ahead and introduce myself, thinking it was better to take the initiative. Sure, the father was a bit more intense, but maybe the sons were easier to talk with.

There was Mason, the eldest, with a stocky form and broad shoulders, looking like a younger version of his dad, but only reaching 6’2”. He had a brown hair with a beginner’s beard and hair down past his ears. Though, unlike his father, he was much more willing to spill out his thoughts, asking questions about me, like if my pussy matched my car.

Hunter, the middle child. He was shorter, about 5’10”, with very blond hair slicked back into a iconic mullet. He was more lean than his older brother, but positively a constant source of chatter, was or talking about how much poon there was in these woods, and how I looked like I was in dire need of some before my dick shrivels up.

Then there was Buddy. The shortest, at about 5’8”, similar to my height, and definitely the quietest. His hair was brown, kept at close curls underneath his cap, and much more chubby than either brother. He kept all comments to himself, barely meeting my eye, though he laughed along with his brothers’ jokes in a half-hearted manner. I immediately felt a stronger interest and affinity with him.

Mr. Fredericks, like before, kept quiet during the meal, though he gave his sons the side-eye with every dirty joke they made. It quieted them down a bit, but not for long. Dinner was a hearty stew of venison, mixed with summer vegetables and potato. A bit more reliant on salt and pepper than I would like, and the meat a bit more tough, but I was hungry.

As soon as I managed to choke it all down, I excused myself from the table, complaining about being tired from the long drive.

I consoled myself with the knowledge that at least I would be in the field for the majority of Summer.

*

“Pa, what’re we gonna do about him?” Mason asked, a hint of malice in his voice.

“We ignore him.”

“But Pa, can’tya see the opportunity? We got good, new flesh walking in the house, and you don’t wanna do nothing?” Hunter eagerly chimed in, leaning back in his chair to hide the half-chub in his camo pants.

“You going faggot, boy?”

“Ah, Pa. You know pussy’s the only thing for me. But traffic’s going stale on our site. The viewers want something new. Besides, if we put him in the hood and dress him up right…”

“Ain’t nobody touching him. We need that fag’s money. As long as he’s living here, we got income. You boys are just going to have to keep hunting and bring back something good.”

“But Pa, what about the Hag Heart? Can’t we just use it to make him…”

John Fredericks sent out a withering glare to his son Hunter, killing any notion of his plan.

“You will do as I say, boy. You will all do as I say.”

“Yes, pa,” the boys chimed in unison.

Mr. Fredericks forced down the rest of his meal, satisfied.

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