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Black Cat Friday (A serial story, adult content)
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Friday, October, 30th, 1953


Ben Larson poured his second mug of coffee of the morning as activities in town began clicking on Friday. He thought of the phone call that he received from Sheriff Larson on Thursday afternoon. It had been more of an apology than an explanation so Ben took it at face value. In his mind he felt that the fire last Monday was due to the owner having her house torched. He had learned through a confidential source on Adams Street that Chelsea had moved most of her personal property in with Bryan on Sunday after dark. Her pets had been relocated as well. By his way of thinking Chelsea was aware that her house was going to go up in smoke. (Now how would she know this if she hadn’t arranged for someone to torch it, he asked himself?) Ben felt that he should be privy to any information that Sheriff Grant might know. The best he could figure was that Chelsea had bought the Green Apple Place and then decided that she no longer needed it now the she was saddle up and riding double with Bran Dewitt. By burning her home she could pay off any money that she might owe and own the acreage free and clear. She could sell off the acreage or get a loan to build a new home. Ben and Ginger had discussed this and Ginger was in total agreement with Ben. As he pondered this he noticed something unusual that he was seeing through the window of his office. The crown of one of the prominent oak trees in the yard of the Carter Estate across the street was populated with a colossal amount of crows. (I have never seen so many crows in one tree in my life, Ben thought.)

“Ginger, look out the window at that tree in the yard of the Carter estate.”

Sheriff Grant sat in his office pondering his suspicions about the “burning out” in Hometown. He had no evidence that Ginger Boyd was involved with conspiracy to commit arson. Unless he was able to locate and question the Hatfield brothers there would be no point in confronting her unless some new evidence emerged. It was highly likely that Logan was the arsonist and he would not be available for questioning. The Hatfield boys had been suspects in at least two other crimes but there had been insufficient proof in which to charge them. (It is unlikely that Raymond Hatfield will ever return home, Grant thought.) Grant decided there would be no reason to “spook” Ginger Boyd anytime soon.

The three most faithful of the bench sitting geezers sat in wonderment in front of Carter’s store offering opinions on why so many crows had congregated in one tree here in town. Each of them admitted to never having seen so many crows in one tree. Floyd suggested they were migratory crows and were going south due to forthcoming cold weather. Horace spat a wad of tobacco out and then suggested crows were harbingers of something really bad that is about to happen. “Horace is right. That many crows in one place is a-never no good. If it ain’t an omen than I aint’t never seen one in my life,” Gilbert said.
 
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Constable Ben Larson decided something needed to be done about all those crows. One paying customer across the street had already walked over to complain about the crows. The square was becoming populated with onlookers. Cars were also stopping so the drivers could get a gander of that tree. Ben picked up the phone and called Elgin Carter, Hometown’s most prominent citizen. Ben didn’t want to do anything contrary to Elgin’s will.

“Elgin, one of those oaks in your yard is black with crows. I have never seen anything like it in my life. Go out there and take look. There must be a hundred or so up there. I can take the double-barrel out of the vault and go over there and pop off a round or two and scatter them if you want me to,” Ben asked?

“Ben, I’ll go outside and take a look. Just let-em be for the time being. They might just get a hankering to fly off before long,” Elgin said.

Elgin got up from his rocker to walk out into his front yard. His wife Alice walked outside with him. When they got an eyeful of the ungodly amount of crows in their tree Elgin decided the best thing to do was to call Ben to give him approval to scatter those bastards. The elderly couple went back inside.

“Ben, you get that double barrel out. Go across the road to my store and fetch a box of bird loads. Don’t waste the double-ought buckshot you have there in the vault! Just tell Sam to charge the shells to the town account. Ben, you carry as many shells as you need and you bust those bastards until they clear my property. The devil has roosted here and I aim to send him back to hell!"
 
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As Ben was walking across the highway to Carter’s store to fetch the shotgun shells Leon Wilson had decided he had a craw full of that lingering flock of crows. He fetched a package of Black Cat Firecrackers from a locked drawer in his office where he kept a loaded revolver. (The 500 count package was about the size of a brick.) Leon walked to the edge of SR 77 lit a fuse on one end of the open package then tossed it into the middle of the highway. Those firecrackers began to pop off like automatic machine gun fire. The package hopped, popped, skidded and jumped for about fifteen seconds until the last crackers popped off. There was a small cloud of gray smoke lingering in the air. Those crows had already begun to sound off with agitated caws. They had risen from that oak like an evil black cloud as they circled above the tree. All the folks on the square got both and eyeful and earful of ungodly excitement. The flock gradually began to fly to the north toward the school house on SR 105. Minutes later the flock would reach a grove of trees on Sandstone Lane. Elgin and his wife had watched the spectacle from the screened front porch of their antebellum home. Elgin would later say that he was very pleased with Leon’s crafty solution.

By eleven that morning a sense of normalcy had settled upon town square. Ben Larson got into the town patrol car to make his first rounds of the day. As he was driving along Elm Street he noticed a black cat dart off between a grass alley between two houses. When he circled the block he spotted that black cat once again. No one in town owned a fully black cat so he had not seen it before. This cat was as black as onyx. The reason no one in town owned a black cat was due to superstition. After making his rounds Ben drove to Webb's Diner to have lunch. (The town picked up his tab for his lunches thanks to Elgin Carter.)
 
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Conclusion

Ginger sat in Town Hall playing solitude during her pre-lunch break while Ben was at the diner. She tells herself that she’s had too much solitude in her life. She tells herself that she doesn’t want to become an old maid and live at home with her mother the rest of her life. During her post lunch break she plans to ask Ben to take her to Milan tonight so they can eat out and then get a room at the Holiday Inn so they can have casual sex. He has not asked her out in the past because she made it clear to him that she intended to become the sweetheart of Ryan Dewitt. Since plan A has not panned out she intends to go to a plan B. As Ben walks in she tells him there has been a phone complaint about a black cat on the prowl.

“Reportedly that cat crossed the path of Sadie Maples just after that flock of crows flew north. Sadie got bitten by a black widow spider in her sewing room not long after her encounter with that nefarious feline. She had to be taken to the clinic in Trezevant,” Ginger said.

“Yep, I heard that at the diner during lunch. First those crows and now we have a black cat on the prowl. I suppose it could be coincidence. I actually saw that cat twice while on patrol,” Ben says.

“Well I am going across the road to buy me a Coca Cola to have with my sandwich. When I get back I have something personal to discuss with you,” She says.

Ben is dumbstruck with silent wonderment wondering what personal matter Ginger intends to discuss with him. (She has been less than chatty all week for some reason he tells himself.) While crossing the gravel parking lot in front of Town Hall Ginger is suddenly confronted by the mysterious black cat right before she crosses Main Street (SR 77). She stops dead in her tracks petrified with fear. The cat raises its hackles then cuts loose with a ferocious hiss. She takes a step backwards as the cat leaps upon her face clawing her viciously. Ginger spins in desperation while screaming bloody murder. She twirls in circles while trying to free the cat from her face. When it is finally thrown off she runs blindly across the highway but does not see the oncoming pickup truck.

...............................................

During the six-o-clock hour Chelsea and Ryan arrive at Paris Landing State Park Inn on the Tennessee River. Ryan carries his overnight bag in one hand and Chelsea’s small suitcase in the other hand. He is dressed in his black turtleneck commando sweater that Chelsea bought him. Chelsea is dressed to the nines in the same dress and heels that she wore to work that day. When they reach the desk Chelsea is given a key by the clerk. When they reach the door to the room that has been reserved for them she informs him that he is about to meet her mother. She knocks three times gently. When the door is opened Eliza hugs her daughter passionately. Bryan is amazed at the similarity of their appearances. (She looks just like an older version of Chelsea he tells himself.) Eliza smiles then puts her hands on his face and brings her lips to his. The kiss puts him in an erotic trance. Chelsea joins in on the hugging and kissing. Both Chelsea and her mother start licking the sides of Bryan’s face simultaneously.
 
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Roll Eyes
 
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OK, read it all - gimme a day or two to think it over and I'll tell ya what I think.


...

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
~Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
 
 
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Thanks a bunch old buddy. Smile
 
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