Disclaimer: Although Montrose, Colorado and Glasgow, Kentucky are real towns, the people and addresses in this story are fictional and any one or place that may be similar is coincidental. This story contains seems of two women in sexual scenes.
By M. E. Tudor
Kelly Dean smiled as the Grey Hound bus passed a field with several lilac bushes dotting it. Bob, the guy she had bought her bus ticket from, hadn’t lied. Lilacs do grow wild in Colorado. Kelly studied the formations of rock that came in various shades of brown, red and orange. She was in awe of the severe landscape changes she had witnessed from the minute she had entered the state.
First there had been the prairies of eastern Colorado with the mountains on the far distant horizon. She watched as the mountains seemed grew up out of the ground as they moved closer to them. They stopped briefly in Denver. Kelly got off the bus just long enough to take in the city lights unobstructed by the windows then returned to her window seat towards the middle of the bus. When they started again, night had fallen, clouds had rolled in and the mountains they were passing through were ghostly shadows rising up on either side of the road.
There was a point when Kelly was finding it hard to breathe and a young woman who had sat next to her in Denver explained that there was less oxygen at the higher altitudes and that sense of breathlessness was common for people who were not acclimated to being at the higher elevations. The woman had not asked Kelly where she was coming from, she just smiled and said that it had taken her a few weeks to get used to being at the higher altitude and assured Kelly that she would do the same.
The bus driver announced to everyone when they had officially crossed the continental divide and explained that they would be going down the mountains and to not be alarmed by the smell of the brakes getting hot. He assured them that everything would be fine but he did say they would stay a few minutes longer at some of the stops to allow the brakes to cool. Kelly thought this was curious thing to tell everyone until they started down a particularly steep decline and the stench of the burning rubber became evident. It was somewhat alarming to think the brakes might fail but Kelly reminded herself that these drivers bring people through these mountains several times a day. Convincing herself that everything would be okay, she tried to relax and sleep but just couldn’t make herself relax enough.
The sky cleared, the moon shone down on the mountain tops and reflected off the snow caps. Kelly had been to the mountains of Tennessee many times but they paled in comparison to the mountains that made up the Rockies. She had seen pictures but she still couldn’t believe how huge they were in reality.
Kelly napped a few times as they rolled into Grand Junction in the early morning hours. She woke fully when she saw the way the sun was reflecting across the mesa. It was fascinating to see the mountains in the east in shadows as they waited for the sun to rise fully over head. She got a cup of coffee at the Grand Junction Greyhound terminal and sipped it as she watched the sun peak over the mountains and change the color of the landscape. She was in awe of the way the light changed what had appeared to be a dull brown to shades of pink, orange, brown and red with splashes of green and gray where trees and sagebrush were growing.
They were coming into Delta, Colorado when Kelly first noticed the lilacs growing in people’s yards. When they left Delta on the way to her final stop in Montrose, that was when she saw them growing in the fields along the road side. She had the strongest feeling that this was going to be her new home.
When Kelly got off the bus at the station in Montrose she took a deep breath of the clear mountain air. She got directions from the Greyhound clerk to the nearest motel. He told her it was less than a half a mile up the road from the Greyhound station and pointed her in the direction she needed to go. She walked in the edge of the road then on the side walk. She could see further up the road was the actual town of Montrose.
She had decided she would pay for a month in advance at the motel. This would guarantee that she would have at least a month before she would have to make the decision about what to do with the rest of her life. Would she go back to her former life or start a new life? She had not expected to be so terrified of the decision but the realization of what both would mean were starting to set in. A realization that had not occurred to her when she started on this journey but now she was going to have to come to terms with the decision she had made quite suddenly a few days ago. She shook off her thoughts and focused on the small motel that laid before her.
Kelly approached the motel that looked a bit run down but not real bad. It was painted a rust color that set it off from the purple-gray mountains in the distance and the gray sidewalks and streets surrounding it. Kelly pulled open the door that was the same color as the building with a large window in the middle of the upper half of the door. She studied the cluttered desk that was behind the counter where a slight woman who appeared to be in her sixties sat smoking a cigarette and reading a gossip magazine. Kelly cleared her throat. The woman looked up at her, “Can I help you?” She asked as she brushed a stray gray hair that might have once been black out of the way of her gray eyes.
Kelly smiled nervously, “I’d like to look at your rooms.”
The woman raised an eyebrow, “You want to look at my rooms?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Kelly replied with her slight southern drawl.
Marge Wilson studied the younger woman across the counter from her. Most of the people who came in here didn’t ask to see the rooms. They just wanted a place to sleep for a week or two while they worked on the farms or construction sites. Marge almost told her that she would have to take a room without looking at it if she really wanted it but curiosity got the best of her and she decided to show her the only room she had available. “Give me just a minute.”
Marge slowly made her way up from her chair. Her arthritis was making itself known this morning and making her move slowly so it wouldn’t hurt so much. Marge studied the woman out of the corner of her eye as she made her way over to the keys. She seemed nervous and out of place. She was probably in her late thirties or early forties. A bit plump around the middle but she had a pleasant face. Her reddish-brown hair, dark blue eyes and freckles spoke of Scottish or Irish decent and her accent said she had lived in the southeastern part of the country for awhile. Her fleshy face had a sculptured look to it. Marge imagined that she had been a very handsome woman when she was younger. Her clothes were wrinkled like the woman had been wearing them for a few days but they were relatively nice, simple Levi jeans and a pink button up blouse. She had a black purse that hung on her shoulder and kept dropping down making her put it back on her shoulder. Marge came around the counter and motioned the woman to follow her.
Kelly was a little wary of how the woman had studied her. She didn’t think that woman thought that Kelly had noticed but she was hypersensitive right now to all that was going on around her. She was very far from home and a little afraid, yet excited at the same time.
Marge led Kelly along the front of the motel to the third door from the office. She opened the door to the small efficiency. It had a queen sized bed with a bedspread in Native American designs. The room was painted an off-white that looked more like yellowish brown from the cigarette smoke stain left behind by many smokers who had stayed in the room. There was a small kitchenette with a refrigerator, stove, sink, cabinets, and a coffee maker. There was a tiny bathroom with a shower stall, toilet and sink just off the kitchenette. An old nineteen inch television set was sitting on a beat up dresser that had three large drawers. There was small night stand next to the bed with a lamp and telephone on it. Two chairs and a small table sat against the wall opposite of the large picture window that was covered by heavy drapes that Kelly suspected had been off-white but were the same yellowish brown color of the walls.
“How much?” Kelly asked as she looked around the room.
“One hundred fifty a week and only local phone calls.” Marge stated, crossing her small arms over her chest and waited for the woman’s reply.
Kelly nodded. She hoped that with paying cash she wouldn’t have to give very much information about herself. “I’ll take it.”
Marge nodded and headed back to the office with Kelly following her. Marge went behind the counter and shuffled through some papers. She gave Kelly a short form to fill out and a list of the rules. Kelly filled out the form listing her name and her brother’s address as her former address. She pulled out six hundred dollars in cash from her purse and handed it to the woman for a month in advance.
Marge looked at the large amount of cash and then at the woman, who had come into her office in crumpled clothes and no suitcase. She gave her a mean look and said, “Now there ain’t going to be any trouble going on, right?”
Kelly smiled, knowing that the woman was probably thinking she was some kind of drug dealer with that much cash readily available. “There won’t be any trouble, I promise. I’m just here to take a little vacation.”
“Okay.” Marge said and handed Kelly the key to the room over the counter, “Just keep in mind that I’m kin to the sheriff and I won’t hesitate to call him.”
Kelly tried not to swallow nervously. She didn’t like the thought that the sheriff could be here visiting often but if she kept a low profile she wouldn’t have to worry about it. “Really, you don’t have to worry about anything. I’ve been saving up for this trip and I just want some peace and quiet.”
Marge nodded but still eyed Kelly warily. She pulled out two towels and a wash rag from under the counter and handed them to Kelly. “I don’t clean the rooms until after people leave. There’s a broom, dustpan, mop and mop bucket by the refrigerator. There’s Laundromat down the street.”
“What about grocery stores?” Kelly asked as she picked up her towels, put the key in her pocket and swung her battered purse over her shoulder.
“There’s an Albertson’s three blocks up that way,” Marge said pointing to the south into town, “and there’s a Wal-Mart but it’s about a mile further down the road.”
Kelly nodded, “Thanks.”
Kelly was about to push her way out the door when the woman called out, “Oh, by the way, my name is Marge. Let me know if you have any major problems, water leaks and the like.”
Kelly smiled, “Okay, Marge.” She pushed her way out the door and headed to her home for the next month.
Kelly closed the door behind her and locked the two locks to secure the door. She turned around and surveyed her new home. She had lived all of her life in large spacious homes surrounded by family. Now she was far away from family in a small efficiency no bigger than the master bedroom and bathroom of the home she had just left. The biggest difference was the lack of tension. There was no one there to make demands on her or to berate her for anything she had done that day.
She put her purse down on the night stand next to the bed. She looked longingly at the bed then down at her wrinkled clothes. She was torn between taking the mile hike to Wal-Mart for new clothes or lying down and getting the sleep she had not had for two days now. The needed sleep won out over the hike. She stripped down to her panties and hung the rest of the clothes up on the few hangers that were available. She pulled back the bedspread covered in Native American designs and crawled beneath the cool sheets. Within minutes she fell into a dreamless sleep that lasted the entire day and into the night.
When Kelly finally woke again it was dark outside. The clock on the nightstand said that it was midnight but her watch next to it said it was two in the morning. She picked up her watch and changed it to match the time on the clock. She sat up and threw her short legs over the side of the bed. Her toes just barely reached the cold floor. She shivered when she realized how the cold the room had become since she had laid down the afternoon before. She stood up and padded her way over to the heat and air conditioner unit under the window. She turned the heat up then pulled back the curtain covering the window behind the heater just enough to let her look out into the parking lot of the motel without being seen. It was quiet with just one of the other rooms that she could see having a light on.
She went to the sink and opened the cabinets above it until she finally found the one that had glasses, plates, bowls, and a salt and pepper shaker. She got down one of the glasses and filled it with water. The water tasted similar to the city water she got back home.
She looked through the other cabinets and found a coffeemaker, two mugs, a pan and a skillet. In the drawers next to the sink were silverware, a spatula and a soup dipper. She decided to check out the rest of the apartment. As promised she found a broom, dustpan, mop bucket and mop next to the refrigerator. The refrigerator was empty. There was no food in the cabinets with the exception of a small amount of coffee, a small sugar canister and a few packets of powder creamer.
The bathroom had a small traveler’s size bar or soap, a traveler’s size bottle of a generic shampoo/conditioner and two rolls of rolls of toilet paper.
Kelly went back to the bedroom area and turned on the small antique television. It had a cable box on the top of it and Kelly found that it had most of the cable channels she was familiar with. She was most interested in the Weather Channel which actually had the forecast for Montrose showing on the local weather segment. It promised that the following day was going to be warm and sunny with a slight breeze. The temperatures were expected to be in the sixties by mid-afternoon which was not all that warm to Kelly.
She rummaged through the small closet/pantry that she found next to the refrigerator and found that it had a tabletop ironing board and iron. Kelly set the ironing board on the small table against the wall in the bedroom area and turned the iron on. She ironed her clothes and sprayed them with the perfume that she had in her purse. They weren’t clean but at least they wouldn’t be so wrinkled when she went out later.
When Kelly finished she sat up in the bed and looked through the local phone book to see what kind of businesses were there until she fell asleep again. She woke again at seven-thirty Montrose time. It would have been five-thirty back home and her usual time for getting up and starting her day back home. She got up and looked out the window again. This time there were several people milling about, getting into vehicles and leaving. Mostly men that appeared to be construction workers. There were a lot of Hispanics which was interesting to Kelly because the Hispanic community where she came form was still very small but growing.
She went into the small kitchenette and started a pot of coffee. She went to the bathroom and took a shower which really refreshed her. After her shower, she made herself a cup of coffee, all the while sitting with just the towel wrapped around her. For the first time in many years she was not waking to the demands of other people. She didn’t have to do anything for anyone but herself. She wondered how things were going back at her house without her there but she shook off those thoughts. She doubted that any of them were thinking good thoughts of her. They were probably angry that their slave was not there to serve them. She doubted than any of them had given a thought to her whereabouts or even worried that she might have been in danger. Granted she wasn’t in danger but it would have been nice to think that there might have been someone who might have been worried about her but she knew that there wasn’t. The only thing the family she had left behind would be thinking about would be the inconvenience she had caused them by not being there.
Kelly made herself shake off her thoughts and get dressed. The Wal-Mart was at least a mile away and that would take her about twenty minutes to walk the distance. She got dressed, feeling better about wearing her pressed clothes, even though she had been wearing the same outfit for three days now.
She drank a cup of the coffee which was fairly nasty then stepped outside the apartment. It was somewhat crisp outside but not terribly could. She slung her purse over her shoulder and began the walk to Wal-Mart.
Marge watched the new woman walk past her office. There was something about her that she couldn’t quite put her finger on. Marge shrugged her thin shoulders and turned back to the local news. She had paid her a month in advance and as long as she wasn’t selling drugs or prostituting, Marge didn’t care why she was there.
Kelly sat down on the bench in front of the Wal-Mart and tried to keep from panting. It had taken her forty-five minutes to get there. She couldn’t believe she was so out of breath and that it had taken her so long to walk it. Granted she wasn’t in the best of shape but she walked around the jobsites back home all the time and never got out of breathe. Maybe it was that lower oxygen levels that the woman on the bus had talked about. She had no idea what elevation Montrose was at but she was sure it was well above Brownsville, Kentucky.
Kelly finally made her way into the store which felt very warm compared to the chilled air outside. The first thing she did was find the bathroom, she had always had a small bladder and had been terrified she wasn’t going to make it to the nearest bathroom, especially after she had passed the last gas station twenty minutes before she got to the Wal-Mart.
She studied herself in the mirror as she washed her hands. Her long auburn hair had streaks of blond and gray running through it and was splayed in every direction. She knew that she wasn’t going to run into anyone she knew out here so she decided she was going to dye it blond and cut it short. She studied her blue, bloodshot eyes and the wrinkles that surrounded them. The stress of the past several years had not been good to her, it was time to make some changes.
She went back into the store with a mission. She had been ready for change for a long time and now was the perfect time to make those changes because there was no one to stop her. She went straight the beauty isle. She picked up an ash blond hair dye, shampoo, conditioner, all of the toiletries, including decent toilet paper that the apartment lacked. She went to the women’s clothing department; she got two new pairs jeans, three button down shirts, which were her favorite style, three sweatshirts and a light jacket. She hadn’t gone shopping for herself like this for so long that she had forgotten what it was like to have fun shopping.
On her way to the check out she passed the book and magazine racks. She stopped and looked over the current novels. She found a book that looked like it would be a good mystery and a tourist book about Montrose. While she was there she felt that someone was staring at her. She turned and found another woman looking at magazines. She would have sworn that the woman had been staring at her but she appeared to be engrossed in the magazine she was looking at. She was an attractive woman, maybe forty, with an athletic build and strawberry blond hair. Kelly looked around to see if there was anyone else but there wasn’t. She headed to the check out where she found a map of Montrose and a local newspaper. She paid for everything with cash and left with
Pat Ryan followed the woman to the check out. She didn’t seem to notice Pat watching her this time. Pat watched her smile at the clerk and pay with cash for clothes she had bought. Pat paid for the home builder’s magazine she had picked up and followed the woman out of the store. The woman was walking across the parking lot of Wal-Mart with all her bags. Pat wondered where on earth the woman could have parked since she continued out of Wal-Mart’s parking lot and out onto the sidewalk that went almost to the other side of town.
Curiosity got the best of Pat and she pulled her black Jeep Wrangler out of Wal-Mart’s parking lot and headed in the direction the woman was walking. Montrose was a small town and new arrivals didn’t go unnoticed, especially not by Pat Ryan who made her business in new home sales created by people who came here from other places to live. This woman was obviously not from here because Pat had not seen her around town and Pat was usually all over town during the week. She was sure she would have noticed this woman before. She wasn’t sure what it was about this woman that caught her attention, other than that she was cute, but the fact that she was walking with all those bags really made Pat curious because she didn’t strike Pat as one of the working transients like the farm or construction workers.
Pat made herself stop following the woman and go on to Albertson’s grocery store to get her groceries before she headed back to her house in Ridgway. Pat parked her Jeep close to the front door, went in, got a cart and started going up and down the isles as she marked things off her grocery list.
In the coffee and tea isle Pat was shocked to find the same woman there studying the different types of coffees. She stopped at the tea section and picked up a few items, all the while watching the woman.
Kelly had never seen so many different brands of coffee. It was interesting that they would have such a different variety in a different part of the country. She was debating about whether to try one of the new brands or to stick with her faithful Folgers when the woman from Wal-Mart was suddenly standing next to her.
“The Mountain Organic is really good.” Pat said to the woman who turned suddenly to give her a surprised and slightly fearful look.
Kelly looked into the woman’s soft brown eyes that seemed to be searching hers. “Really? Thanks, I’ll give it a try.” She grabbed a bag of the ground coffee, smiled shyly at the handsome woman and moved away to the next isle.
Kelly’s heart was racing when she finally stopped in front of the sugar. She picked up a small bag then realized that she forgot to get creamer in the coffee isle. She wasn’t sure why the woman made her so nervous but she knew she needed some decent creamer. She slowly peaked around the corner of the isle and found it empty. She slipped down, got her creamer then headed to the vegetable isle. The woman was there but she didn’t seem to notice her. Kelly quickly got a few bags of salad and headed to the check out.
Pat had seen her out of the corner of her eye but decide not to look at her since she seemed to have scared the shit out of her in the coffee isle. The sky blue eyes had widened with fear and surprise when Pat had spoke to her which caught Pat by surprise. She hadn’t seen anyone look like a deer caught in the headlights in a long time.
When Pat finished shopping and was loading her Jeep she noticed the woman walking across the parking lot of Albertson’s. Once again curiosity got the best of Pat and she followed the woman until she saw her go into the parking lot of the Mountain View Motel. Pat knew the owner Marge Wilson. Marge, and her late husband Barney, had owned the motel for more than twenty years.
Pat turned around and headed south to the mountains. For some strange reason she was relieved to feel that the new woman had made it back to where she was staying safely, not that there was a big crime threat in Montrose. Pat shook her head at herself. Maybe it had been too long since she had been with someone and now she was desperately chasing after transients. She laughed at herself, turned her radio onto the local country station and headed home.
* * * * * *
Kelly looked out of her window for the black Jeep after she was safely locked inside. It scared her that who ever it was had followed her slowly all the way back to the motel. Surely Steve had not already found out where she was. The thought the she would have to face her husband again so soon terrified her. He was going to be furious that she had left the way she did.
Kelly put her new clothes and food away. When the police didn’t show up after two hours, she went ahead and dyed her hair deciding that she would lie if the police did show up at her door and tell them that she was not who they thought she was.
When the police never showed up that night, Kelly decided she was just paranoid and let herself fall into an exhausted sleep.
To be continued...
Back to the Academy