Scott Free, Part 1 of 5

Scott Free, Part 1 of 5

By Portia Bennett

Introduction: The year is 2076, not that is extremely important. The story takes place at the same time as Five Love Stories en Brochette; much of it at the same time as the last chapter of that story. It has been almost six years since that story was published here. In that story, Scott Adams is briefly mentioned in a couple of sentences near the beginning, and once again in the epilogue. Wren Phoenix thought it might be nice to know a bit more about Scotty Adams. I’m sorry Wren that it took so damn long to get around to it.

This starts out as a very dark tale. There is physical abuse, and there is a murder. That won’t be any secret when it happens. The murderer is pretty obvious. Scotty Adams is a resourceful child caught in a very nasty situation. If you read Five Love Stories en Brochette you know that things work out, so that’s not a big secret. However, how did things work out? That’s where this little tale in five parts takes us.


 

This work is copyrighted by the author and any publication or distribution without the written consent of the author is strictly prohibited. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters to persons living or dead is coincidental.


 

Scott Free

 

Chapter 1

Scott Adams peered out the window of the school bus as approached Kneeland. It was a beautiful drive through the second growth redwoods, fir and spruce, and the beauty wasn’t lost on Scott, but he saw it almost every day during the school year. He probably knew just about every boulder, curve and pothole along the narrow two lane road. They just counted off the minutes before he’d return to the misery of what was home to him.

There were six more stops before he had to get off, and there were at least that many more after he got off before the end of the line. The bus would go almost all the way to the Mad River before it let the last of the children off. Mr. Kinnear, the driver, lived a couple of miles beyond on Maple Creek Road. The bus would spend the night, then Mr. Kinnear would retrace the route, picking up the middle school children he’d left off the afternoon before.

Eureka and McKinleyville Schools had finally come to an agreement that everyone on the east side of the Mad River would go to McKinleyville; while those on the west side would go to Eureka. It didn’t make much difference. It was a long trip regardless of the school district. He’d gone to elementary school in Kneeland, and that was much closer to home; however, he still had to be bussed.

‘It must be hot in the Valley’, Scott thought as they exited the fog that had rushed into Eureka from the cold Pacific Ocean earlier that afternoon and had been chasing them since they departed Winship Middle School. If one lived elsewhere they wouldn’t realize how boring the climate on the north California coast was. The average temperature varied only a few degrees between winter and summer. Summer days seldom got out of the 60’s. Winter days were mostly in the 50’s. The winters were wet, especially back in the mountains where Scott lived. Scott liked to keep track of the weather, and he logged the daily rainfall figures. Eureka got about 40 inches of rain a year, but back where Scott lived they got closer to 70 inches. And, it sometimes snowed.

Scott actually lived on the Mad River side of the mountain, and the fog was frequently stopped by the ridge they were now travelling over. They had climbed to a bit over 2200 feet at Kneeland. Finally, he was nearing his stop about a half mile past where Fickle Hill Road joined Butler Valley Road.

“See you tomorrow, Scotty,” Jimmy Kincaid said as Scott shouldered his book bag.

“I guess,” Scott replied. It certainly beats the alternative, he thought.

Jimmy Kincaid was a good friend. His parents were quite well off, and had built a rather opulent, solar powered home on a ridge about a mile further down the road. There were quite a few very nice homes in the area, and many of them were environmentally green. One that was located up the Mad River in the Butler Valley area was supposed to be something. It was owned by a couple of professors who taught at Humboldt State. He’d read about it in a magazine his mother used to subscribe to. The house used solar and wind power, and was nearly self-sufficient.

Scott was very lucky in many respects. He had a number of good friends, both male and female. One would have thought looking at him, that he might have been subjected to bullying. But that was not the case. He was small for his age. He was fourteen, but looked twelve. He was androgynous at best, and if he tried, could have passed as a girl. That mistake of gender identification had been made more than once, but he didn’t mind. His hair hadn’t been cut in several years. He kept it clean, but it really needed a trim, but that was something he couldn’t afford. He hadn’t yet reached five feet in height, and puberty was nowhere in the near future. That didn’t seem to bother him, either.

“’Bye, Scotty,” Diane Wilkes said as he got ready to get up. The bus was coming to a stop at the dirt road that led to his home. It was a good half mile back to the structure that was his home; if it could be called that.

“’Bye, Diane, see you tomorrow.” She got off at the same stop Jimmy did. They weren’t an ‘item’, there were few ‘items’ at fourteen, but they were good friends, and they were very worried about Scotty. They had good reasons to be worried.

Scotty waited before crossing the road. Just because the bus’s red lights were flashing didn’t mean that traffic would stop. Not that there was that much traffic on Butler Valley Road. It had just been the week before when a little girl had been hit crossing the highway in Scotia. The lights had been flashing on that bus, too. But it didn’t matter to the drunk who’d hit her. He’d said that he couldn’t see her or the bus because of the dense fog. Actually, the sun had been quite bright, but the road was shaded by the giant redwoods along Old Highway 101. The driver had been denied bail. It was his third DWI in three years. His license had been suspended two years previously. That accident had hit pretty close to home. Fortunately, the girl would survive.

A car did stop, and Scotty waved at the driver who waved back. She was an attractive woman, probably in her 60’s. Scotty had seen her driving on Butler Valley Road, before. She drove a nice car. It was one of those all electric cars that was becoming very popular since the technology breakthrough in battery development. He’d heard that it was now possible to get close to two thousand miles on a charge. His father’s car was lucky to get 300 miles, not that his father drove it very far. Most of his driving consisted of getting his disability check at the Kneeland Post Office before heading to the grocery store in Myrtletown to get groceries, cigarettes and beer – lots of beer.

The unpaved road to his house followed the contour around the mountain for most of the way. There wasn’t much up or down to it. He looked at the tracks, and could see that there hadn’t been any vehicles since that morning. That meant his father was probably still passed out in the recliner where he’d left him that morning.

The stench of cigarette smoke as he entered let him know that his father was or had been awake. He was awake, smoking a cigarette, drinking a beer, there were several empty cans on the floor next to the lounger, and watching one of the reality court shows that he loved to watch and kibitz.

He wasn’t aware Scott had come in. “You should have hit her harder, you dumb shit,” he shouted at the screen. “Stupid bitch’s just a trouble maker; doesn’t know her place.”

Scott started to clean up the mess his father was creating around his chair. The ash tray, at least his father used one, was overflowing and a smoldering butt was lying on the carpet. It didn’t really matter that much. It just added one more black spot to the several hundred that outlined his chair.

“Where you been, you little shit?”

“I just got home from school.”

“Yeah, that’s right. I forgot. What’re you going to do when school ends next week?”

“I’m going to summer school. Remember, you signed the papers. I’m going to take some science courses. I want to be able to go to college someday.”

“Yeah, and I’m going to be president of the United States. Get me another beer.”

The side-by-side refrigerator-freezer was one of the few nice things they had in the house. Beer occupied much of the refrigerator side. The freezer side was packed with TV dinners. It was the only house Scott had ever known. It was a 16’ wide by 40’ long, double wide manufactured home probably built at least 40 years before. It had certainly seen better days. One of the best things about it was that his bedroom was on the opposite end from his father’s. He grabbed a can of Olympia, opened it, and returned it to his father.

“I gotta do my homework. I’ll fix dinner in a couple of hours.”

“Sure,” his father grunted while taking a swig of beer.

Scott hadn’t been exactly honest with his father about summer school. It didn’t start until two weeks after the end of the spring semester; however, the last thing Scott wanted to do was spend two weeks with nothing to do with his father. He would frequently go into blind rages after consuming a couple of six packs. His father was seldom sober, and if he was sober, his disposition was only marginally better than if he was drunk. Two months before he’d hit Scott in the side for spilling a beer. He’d caught Scott totally off guard. The pain had been severe, and he had to sleep on his back for almost a month. It hurt to breathe. He was still a bit sore.

A couple of months before that incident his father had almost literally thrown him into a wall because of some minor infraction. His left hand had hit the edge of a doorway. His hand was swollen and bruised for weeks and he still had trouble gripping things.

The fact that Summer school didn’t start until two weeks after the end of the spring semester wasn’t the only thing that Scott hadn’t told his father about. The school busses didn’t run in the summertime. His first class didn’t start until 9:00 AM. It ran until 11:00 AM. His afternoon class started at 1:00 PM and ended at 3:00 PM. Scott figured he could hitchhike to Myrtletown in the morning. There was pretty good traffic in the morning, at least enough that he had a good chance to pick up a ride. He could take a bus from Myrtletown; however, that would still leave him a mile to walk. If he could get to the far end of Myrtletown, we would have only a mile to walk. Getting home shouldn’t be any more difficult. He had it all worked out.

He finished his homework before returning to microwave his and his father’s dinners. There wasn’t much else to do. His father was right where he’d left him. Although he knew he’d gotten up to take a leak about an hour earlier. His father was asleep before he finished dinner.

************************

Jake Adams had worked for years in one of the local plywood mills. The lumber industry in the area had suffered since the logging of much first growth redwoods had ceased; however, clear-cut logging was still being conducted in the plantation Douglas fir forests and yellow pine forests. Jakes job had been to move pallets of plywood from the production line to the warehouse. While moving a pallet of plywood across the yard he collided with another yard truck carrying logs to the lathe that peeled off the thin veneer of wood that would eventually become the plywood. Neither Jake nor the other driver would confess to any misconduct; however, there had been a bit of horseplay going on. Jake was thrown from his yard lift, and his leg was fractured.

Of course, had Jake been wearing his seat belt like he should have he might have avoided being thrown from the yard lift and fracturing his leg. To Jake’s benefit, he had not been drinking, smoking pot or partaking in any recreational drugs at the time. The post-accident drug test was negative. He was already a heavy drinker, but had managed to show up sober for work.

Workers’ compensation paid for his medical costs and his indemnity, i.e. being paid while he wasn’t working. He collected 60% of his salary, and it was tax free. That was pretty good. He was paid not to work. From Jake’s point of view, things were pretty good. Then the ambulance chaser corralled him.

By the time the trial came around Jake was essentially 100% recovered; however, he was never seen without a cane or crutches. His lawyer was very good at what he did (screwing insurance companies) and Jake was awarded a considerable settlement, permanent disability, and a sizable monthly check Well, sizable enough that Jake decided he would never work again. Besides, if he did go to work, the payments would be cut off. The lawyer got half of the initial settlement.

Scott’s mother was pleased with the settlement as she saw it as a way out of their miserable existence in the mountains. Elaine had worked at the same mill as Jake. She worked in the dispatcher’s office. Jake had never been able to keep a girlfriend, and it didn’t take too long for any woman he dated to see through the thin layer of civility he presented. He hadn’t been able to bed a woman except for the whores he picked up along Second Street in Eureka. Jake had seen Elaine around the plant; however, their jobs seldom crossed paths, and face it, she wasn’t a woman that many men would take a second look at. Maybe that was why when Jake had a few too many beers at a company picnic that she took Jake back to her shabby apartment in McKinleyville. There was a bit more to it than that, though.

Sex ruled their lives for quite a while. He got all he wanted for a change, and she was able to get some pleasure from the act every once in a while. They married in Las Vegas. It was the first time Elaine had been outside Humboldt County, and her first time in an airplane. She got pregnant six months after they married.

Several years before, in one of the few sensible moments in Jake’s life, he’d bought five hundred acres of recently clear-cut land just off Butler Valley Road. He’d inherited some money from an aunt who had hoped that he might put it to good use. Jake had moved an old double wide manufactured home in, dug a well that brought in enough water to live on, and put in a septic tank. The electrical was already in as the road had terminated at an old logging camp. The wires had to be reconnected and restrung, but he had power, a roof over his head, 500 acres of naked mountainside, and a rapidly diminishing bank account. It was also 25 miles to work.

When Elaine moved in she tried to make the best of it. She might not have loved Jake, but at least her biological imperative was being fulfilled. Scott’s arrival was probably the happiest day in her life up to that point.

Chapter 2

“Can’t you shut that baby up? I’m trying to watch ‘Judge Jessica’ in here.”

“I told you he’s teething. He hurts and has a fever.”

“Well shut him up. I can’t concentrate on this show.”

Elaine did her best to sooth her little boy. He briefly nursed, although he’d just nursed a little over an hour before. She coated his irritated gums with a preparation the doctor had prescribed. In a few minutes he was out. She placed him on his back in his crib, turned out the light, and left the door slightly ajar.

“Jake, honey, why don’t we put this place up for sale, and move closer to town? I need to be closer to work, and you need to find a job. There’s no reason you can’t work. Your leg’s fine.”

“Why would I want to do that? I got all this free money coming in. We’re comfortable with what you make.”

“Look, this is my land and my house, and I’ll do with it what I want. Besides, if I sold the land, it might disqualify me from getting my disability.”

“But,” Elaine responded, “you could get a couple of hundred thousand for the land, and we could get a nice house in Myrtletown or Freshwater or even McKinleyville. And, we wouldn’t be way out here by ourselves. I could have some friends, and Scotty would have friends in the same neighborhood. He won’t have anyone to play with except for those children in the daycare in Kneeland where I leave him.

“You need something to do besides drinking beer and watching television.”

“Look, if you don’t like the way I live, you can just move out. You knew where I lived when we first started going together. If you go, take that screaming kid with you.”

Elaine knew she’d be better off keeping quiet for a while. She’d thought she’d seen something redeeming about Jake when they first started going together, but more than likely, it was just the sex. Elaine was not pretty. She wasn’t even what one would say in mixed company, cute. She lost her virginity in high school to another virgin who’d heard she was an easy lay. She’d thought he was nice, and gave herself to him in the back seat of his parent’s car. They’d been to a party where she realized afterwards that there had been a lot of knowing glances between her date and some other boys at the party. She also realized that the punch had been spiked. It gave her courage to make that bad judgment. He never spoke to her again.

After getting her associates degree from the College of the Redwoods, Elaine quickly got a job with one of the remaining lumber industry plants in the area. The interview had gone very well, but the thing that she didn’t realize was that one of the things that tilted the scales in her favor was that she was not very attractive. She would not be a distraction to the other workers.

At the time, she lived with her mother in Blue Lake. Her father had been killed in a logging accident when an aptly named ‘widow maker’ (an old broken branch knocked loose by a falling tree) struck and killed him. The only good thing was he was killed instantly. He had no life insurance; however, there was a death settlement through the workers’ compensation coverage his employer had.

Elaine’s mother worked at a quick stop gas station on Old Highway 299, walking distance from their little clapboard house. She barely made enough money to make the payments, but with Elaine working and the death settlement, they got by. At least they did for a while.

Both her parents had been heavy smokers, something that was not unusual among the working class in northwest California in spite of all the admonitions against smoking. To Elaine’s credit, she never picked up the habit; however, when she was home, she was inundated in cigarette smoke. It was something she’d lived with all her life. As long as she could remember, her parents had what they called ‘smokers’ cough; however, it was apparent a few months after her father’s death that what her mother had was far more serious. The doctors confirmed what Elaine had feared and her mother had been denying for years. She had advanced lung cancer. There wasn’t really anything to do other than make her as comfortable as possible for the end that was less than a year away.

Before her mother passed away, they agreed that the house should be sold, and the money used to pay for the medical, nursing home, and hospice care. She lived a little longer than was expected, and all that did was deplete the existing funds. Elaine was left with less than $50,000 dollars after all was taken care of. The cost of death was very high.

Elaine was 34 years old with little to her life other than her work at the plywood mill, going to the theater in Eureka, and spending Friday nights in one of the bars surrounding the square in Arcata. She never got drunk, danced a few dances with some of the locals, and went home alone. No one ever tried to pick her up; much less, make a pass at her. Her biological clock was ticking.

She knew who Jake Adams was. She would talk to him every once in a while when he came into the dispatch office. Jake had been considering a job change within the company, and was trying to find out it would take for him to get a commercial driver’s license. Jake was not a very attractive man. He was a few years older than Elaine, something she was able to find out rather quickly. She also discovered that he was single. He wasn’t much taller than she was, had a pot belly, smoked like a chimney, and wore wife beaters that exposed a very hairy body. He did have proportionally rather large hands, and Elaine wondered if there was anything to the old adage.

After more than ten years of exchanging glances and a few comments, Elaine decided to take a chance. The company picnic was coming up, and she would make a move on him. After all, there was no one else out there. She was pretty sure Jake was not gay. She’d even walked in on him and a couple of the other guys in the maintenance shop tacking up the newest calendar from one of the tool companies. It displayed a scantily clad young woman, and the guys were figuratively drooling over her. Jake seemed to be the one making the most sexist comments. What she didn’t realize was that among men those who talked the loudest about sex were seldom the most knowledgeable or proficient.

As company picnics went, it was a pretty good affair. It was definitely family oriented with games for the children, plenty of food, and plenty of soft drinks and beer. The company had commandeered a large part of the picnic area of Mad River Beach County Park northwest of Arcata. The salaried employees, wearing chef hats and aprons, were responsible for the cooking and serving. This was how management showed their appreciation to the wage earners. They were barbecuing ribs and chicken, and there was more than an ample supply of fixin’s.

“Hi, it looks like you could use a beer,” Elaine said as she set a cold can of Olympia on the picnic table. “Mind if I sit here?”

“Er, no, Elaine. Go ahead.” At least he knew her name. There wasn’t anyone else at the table.

“Having a good time?” Elaine asked. By this time Jake had drained most of the beer.

“I guess so. Those ribs and chicken certainly smell good.

“I was just going to get some. May I fix a plate for you?”

“Sure, I like dark meat.”

Elaine returned with a plate piled high with barbecued chicken thighs, baked beans and corn on the cob. She also placed another beer at Jakes place. Then she retrieved her own plate of much lighter fare. By the time Jake had reduced his plate to a pile of bones and stripped corn cobs, Elaine had brought him two more beers. Then she brought him some desert and another beer.

By late afternoon things were starting to wind down, and a cold wind was blowing the fog in across the sand spit that separated the Mad River from the Pacific Ocean.

“Jake, it’s getting cold, and you’re in no condition to drive. Why don’t you let me take you to my place? We can get your truck later.” Much later, if things work out, she thought.

“Sure. Gotta take a leak first,” Jake said as he got rather unsteadily to his feet. “Whoa, I must’a drunk more than I thought.” He staggered his way to the restroom.

It must have crossed Jake’s mind what Elaine was thinking about. After all, he lived miles back up the Mad River. She certainly wasn’t going to drive him all the way back to his place. They arrived at her little apartment in McKinleyville in about 15 minutes, and she led him straight to her small bath where she turned on the shower. Jake seemed oblivious to her presence as he relieved himself once again. Before it had really set in as to her motives, she had joined him in the shower. She was probably as aroused as she’d ever been in her life. It probably had a lot to do with the anticipation that had been building in her over the afternoon.

Not really having had anything to compare him to, other than what she’d seen in some magazines, she was not too disappointed in what she found as she lathered him up. He was very ready as she led him to her bed. God, he was hairy!

She had him lie on his back and proceeded to rub her body and small breasts on his belly and chest. He was thrusting upward with his hips, searching for her entrance. She eased back, and for the first time in 16 years was joined to a man. When she came, the power of the orgasm was far beyond anything she’d expected. For the first time in his life Jake Adams didn’t have to pay for sex with a woman.

There was no stopping them after that. They fucked like the proverbial minks, or was it rabbits. She moved into his mobile home a month later. They never used protection.

*************************************

I guess you probably figured out that Jake’s not a very nice guy. Not very nice? No he is evil, pure and simple. Scott has to get away, but how? He is small and weak, but he is smart. We shall see.



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