So here’s my third excerpt from Wild Rides published by Dirt Road Books. See what you think. Don’t worry, the erotic part comes later.
Excerpt from “Sgt. Rae”
Sgt. Rae was so strong she could carry me at a run through gunfire and smoke and exploding mines. Two years later, she’s that strong again. With just one hand, she can keep me from getting away. Even her voice is enough to stop me at a dead run, so it doesn’t matter that she can’t run anymore. And anyway, I’d never want to run away.
I’m smaller, but I’ve got my own kind of muscle. A mechanic in an armored tank unit has to be strong just to handle the tools you need, and if you’re a woman doing the job, you need a whole extra layer of strength. I’m not an army mechanic anymore, but I can still use tools. Sgt. Rae isn’t an Army Sgt. anymore, but she’ll always be in charge. At the town hall where she’s the police and fire department dispatcher, they tell me she’s got the whole place organized like it’s never been before.
In our house, or in the town, I’m supposed to just call her Rae these days, and mostly I remember. I’m just Jenny. In the bedroom, we don’t need names at all, except to wake
each other when the bad dreams come, and whisper that everything’s all right now. Or so close to all right that we can handle it, as long as we’re together.
Out here, though, on this trail I’ve made through the woods and across the stream, we play by my rules, and that means I’m Specialist 2nd Brown and she’s the ball-buster Staff Sergeant, even though neither of us has any use for balls. She’ll be coming along the trail behind me any minute, coming to see what new contraption I’ve constructed. What she expects is something like the exercise stations I’ve built for her in every room in the house, chinning bars
and railings and handgrips at different levels, and in a way that’s right, but with a different twist. She expects I’ll want her to order me to drop and do fifty push-ups or sit-ups, or run in place until I’m panting, but this time I want something else.
I check the gears and pulleys one more time, even though I already know the tension is set right. It’s my own tension that’s nearly out of control. The posts and crossbars are rock-solid, while I’m shaking in my old fatigues, so nervous and horny that I can’t even tell which is which.
I hear the motor now. I could’ve made it run quieter, but if you’ve been where we’ve both been, you want to be sure you know who’s coming around the bend.
She’s crossed the rocky ford in the stream where no regular wheelchair could have gone. I salvaged tracks from old snowmobiles at the repair shop where I work, and they’re
as good as any armored tank tracks, even though they’re made of Kevlar instead of steel. Fine for this terrain, and even the steel kind got chewed up in the desert sand in Iraq.
Mustn’t think about the desert now. Here in New Hampshire, green leaves overhead are beginning to turn orange and red. This stream flows into a river just beyond our house, and
we can watch canoes and kayaks pass by—no desert in sight. This is home. We’re together. Safe. Except that safe isn’t always enough, when you’ve known—had to know—so much more.
Now I hear Sgt. Rae veering back and forth through the obstacle course, steering the mini-tank around trees, stumps, boulders, right over small logs. With a double set of the tracks on each side, the only way to steer is by slowing one side while accelerating the other, and that takes
strength. I think of her big hands on the levers, the bunched muscles of her arms and shoulders, even stronger now than in the army because she insists on a manually powered chair anywhere but in these woods. Gloves help, but her hands get calloused from turning the wheels. Calloused, and rough, even when she tries to be gentle… Anticipation
pounds through my body.
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Good luck with your Charity Sunday, Sacchi!ReplyDelete