This is the 8th vignette for the book, A Twinkle in the Eyes of God, the new Monk Buttman Mystery. In this one, Monk visits his friend, Duane. Unfortunately, Monk, then known as William, is not on good terms with Duane’s wife, Leslie.
I very cautiously knocked, well aware that Duane’s wife, Leslie, would not be happy to see me at her door. She considered me a bad influence, along with Carleton, on her husband. And truth be told, I kinda was. Then there was the matter of my outburst the last time I was in her company when the subject was a wife’s fidelity to her husband’s wishes came up. I don’t remember what prompted the conversation, only that due too my deteriorating home life I’d made a complete ass of myself.
And not for the first time.
Leslie Jorgenson, arms crossed after she opened the door part way, glared at me.
“Um, I came to apologize about my behavior, Leslie. I’m sorry for what I did and I promise to be more respectful in the future,” I said, hoping she would believe me. And I did mean it; it’s just that sometimes I don’t think before I blurt.
Leslie’s glare did not diminish. “Duane’s out back, Will.”
“Thanks.” I stepped back, getting ready to walk around the house.
Leslie stepped onto the porch. “One more thing, Will Bohrman,” she said, her hands now on her hips. “I hear anymore nasty comments out of your mouth and you’ll find a load a buckshot in your behind! Do we understand each other?”
I slowly backed away knowing she’d probably like to shoot me right here and now.
Duane and Carleton were, as Leslie said, out back standing next to Duane’s new toy. It was a sleek speedboat with a blue sparkling paint job and silver sparkling stripes down the side. It had a white interior and two big Evinrude outboard motors hanging off the end.
Duane handed me a beer as I passed him, my hand following the contours of the boat. “Man!” was all that came out of my mouth.
“Sweet, huh?” he said.
“I don’t know,” I answered, as I checked out the motors. “Looks like a good way to get yourself killed.”
“Christ Will, don’t be such a wuss. You sound like Leslie,” he said.
Carleton laughed at that. “Speaking of the devil, I’m surprised she let you back on the property?”
“Outside of threatening to shoot me, Leslie and I are on the best of terms,” I assured them.
Both burst out laughing.
“Anyway,” I said, trying to limit their mirth at my expense, “I’m surprised Leslie let you buy this in the first place.”
Duane shook his head. “That’s because you’ve forgotten how to charm a woman, dumbass.”
“It’s not that I haven’t tried,” I whined.
That only produced more laughter.
“It’s not funny, goddammit!” I tried to sound tough, mainly or because both Carleton and Duane were bigger than me and hardly concerned I might be a threat.
“All right, no need to get your panties in a bunch, Will.” Carleton took a swig of his beer. “Just havin’ a little fun’s all.”
“And,” Duane added, “if Leslie hears you going off, she might well indeed shoot your ass!”
They laughed at that too.
I did the only smart thing I could think of and climbed up into the boat. I figured that was more interesting than once again plowing through the wasteland of Willie’s failing marriage. It did the trick.
Duane’s enthusiasm could not be contained, and soon he and Car were in the boat with me as he pointed to every feature the boat had. His girls came out demanding a ride in daddy’s new boat, while Leslie stood on the back porch, her arms again crossed and a scowl on her face. Duane took notice.
“You always bring out the best in Leslie, Will,” he chided.
I shrugged while looking over at Duane’s less than thrilled wife. “Maybe the girl’s are right; time to take this baby out.”
I figured the boat was a better way out than buckshot.
©2020 David William Pearce