Is he flouting tradition or starting a new one?
Toward the end of November most normal Americans think of Thanksgiving as their holiday of choice. No so the hunters of Pennsylvania, where the opening of Deer Season easily drives all thoughts of turkey from their minds. One might go so far as to take the word back to it's origins: Holy Day. Truly a day of reverence; the schools are closed, as are many of the small shops. The woods around the small towns of the Endless Mountains ring with the report of rifles. This can be a sobering thought for the average denizen of the State, considering the amount of alcohol and other substances consumed in the hunting lodges and little shacks scattered throughout the woods.
Our hero Phil was a veteran of many such weekends of sportsmanlike bliss, his freezer had been regularly filled with venison for many years. He owned the full panoply of bright orange gear to identify himself as something other than a deer while he stalked his own game, drove large vehicle suitable for transporting his kill to the butchers and had an endless supply of stories suitable for swapping as he and his buddies swigged Bourbon and told ever more outrageous lies in preparation for the hunt.
That is until the Friday evening at the Moose Club when Phil made the announcement he wouldn't be joining the boys for Buck Day.
"You're not go hunting on Buck Day? Cried Lyle.
"Nope, got some other obligations." Phil was unusually taciturn.
"Impossible!" exclaimed Fred.
"Unthinkable!" swore Pete.
"Un-American!" Thundered Charlie. Charlie always did have an odd view of what was Patriotic.
But true. Lyle and Pete tried valiantly to convince Phil of his heresy and bring him back to the True Path, but Phil remained obstinate in his refusal. Considerable ingenuity and many pints of beer went into the search for what could possibly be more important than hunting, but Phil was not forthcoming. He had other obligations and that was that.
"Well, since you're not going hunting can we use your cabin?" Fred had finally come to accept the inevitable and was trying to find something good to come out of it.
"Sorry Fred, it's already taken."
This sparked a new round of questions, not to mention drinks, but once again Phil declined, refusing to reveal who would be in the hunting cabin while he shirked his patriotic duty to go out and kill a buck for America.
Did I mention there was a lot of beer flowing? The discussion was getting pretty silly by this point. Closing time left the boys no wiser as to what Phil's plans were for Buck Day, so they scattered to their homes (most fortunately in walking distance, it was a small town) still scratching their head in curiosity and disbelief.
Dorothy kissed Phil goodbye and wished him a pleasant weekend. From the moment Phil had proposed giving up hunting to spend the weekend as Phyllis, Dorothy knew just how strong his need to crossdress had become. Their occasional forays far from home to let Phyllis see the light of day had vanished with the advent of the kids. Small town life made it impossible for her husband to let his feminine side out of the closet for more than a few hours at a time under normal circumstances.
That Phil made a passable woman only made it harder for him in many ways, looking in the mirror sometimes emphasized what he was missing all to much. Strangely enough, Dorothy had never minded his obsession with the female despite her small town upbringing. She kept what she valued from the overly moralistic Church of her youth while cherishing the wider world of ideas she had entered with college. She loved living here and raising their children together, but there were some things her friends and neighbors would never understand.
Laughing a little at his attempts at secrecy, Phil picked up a rental car in Williamsport, then made his way to the cabin in the woods. His own car would be a dead giveaway outside the cabin if anyone he knew came along, so why take a chance?. Three days alone in the woods to enjoy life as Phyllis; three days of freedom! He unloaded the little rental, putting his suitcase on the bed and the ice chest in the kitchen area by the light of a lantern. No electricity out here, only wood fires and kerosene stoves and lamps. No phones, his cell was turned off in his dresser drawer at home, and no distractions from nature.
His feminine nature!
Phil knew the unusually warm weather would annoy his buddies, who were hoping for snow to track the deer more easily, but he was just as glad the night was warm and calm; no need to build a fire in the fireplace tonight. He filled the bottom of the wood fired hot water heater with kindling and lit a small blaze. While the water was heating he worked the hand pump to fill the reservoir above the crude shower in the cabin, then made up the bed with silk sheets and coverlet from the suitcases. He stripped out of his normal clothes and placed them in the drawer of the chest by the bed, then filled the other drawers with Phyllis' clothing for the weekend.
Too bad there wasn't a tub for a bubble bath, but one takes what pleasures one can when they're offered. He stepped from the shower and toweled off, still undecided as to what he would wear for the night. Silly to agonize so over which of the six panties he had brought, but at last the blue flowered pair were settled on his frame, quickly followed by it's matching blue bra.
Did pioneer women have matching bra and panty sets, Phyllis wondered. Not likely, but who cared. With the gel inserts in place and a snuggly nightgown over her, Phyllis lit a second kerosene lamp and placed it at the head of the bed. From the cooler she took a bottle of wine, a much better vintage than she usually drank, filled her glass, then opened a package of Camembert cheese and some small crackers. No sense in taking this pioneer stuff too far, was there? She settled into the bed and drew the coverlet over her breasts and settled in with a good novel. After a while a glow of immense satisfaction filled her as she blew out the light and slept soundly.
Morning filled the cabin with it's rosy glow, waking Phyllis gently. Again the joyful agony of picking an outfit delighted her; this time she chose a long Tweed skirt and bright orange blouse — on this of all weekends she didn't want to blend into the woods! While the coffee warmed she sat on the porch and did her makeup in the bright light of the sun, then settled the wig on her head and donned an a frilly apron to keep breakfast from spoiling her outfit. She ate on the porch, enjoying the songs of the birds and continuing the novel from the previous evening.
When the dishes were rinsed she donned a sturdy pair of tan hiking boots and spent the day tramping through the familiar woods, occasionally seeing a stranger in the distance but otherwise alone on her posted woodlot. The season didn't open until Monday so there was little chance of her hunting buddies finding her in the woods over the weekend. The sensation of hiking in a skirt, of moving freely with the weight of breasts firmly on her chest filled her with pleasure as she roamed the woods. Noon found her on the summit of a hill, overlooking the valley below as she ate her sandwich and sipped the pure spring water from her canteen. Life didn't get any better than this!
Dinner was chicken and sliced zucchini roasted over coals outside the cabin, along with more wine and rice pilaf from the kerosene stove. Pretty fancy for camp fare, but she had all the time in the world. She started another novel by the light of the lamps as the light faded and fell happily to sleep once again in her nightgown.
Sunday was a repeat of Saturday except that she went East along the trail instead of West. Relaxing again on the porch, she was just beginning to consider lighting the lamps when she was interrupted by a crashing in the woods. She stood, startled, and faced the source of the noise in consternation. Too late to hide, the stranger lumbering through the woods had seen her.
No — not a stranger — it was Lyle! Big, old, drunken, asinine Lyle!
And obviously, drunken Lyle.
"Well hot damn!" he slurred. Ole Phil musta been tellin' the truth about rentin' the place. Damn fool thing to do on Buck Day, though!"
Phillis stood frozen as she stared at her (his?) best friend. Could he really be drunk enough that he didn't recognize her?
Ask a stupid question. Of course he was!"
"Can I help you, sir?" she responded coldly. Amazing her voice would work at all! To steady her nerves she took the glass in her hand, refilled it from the bottle (pointedly not offering to share!) and took a sip. "I'm afraid this is private property and you're trespassing."
"Tresp..." He attempted the word several times but it was beyond his current abilities. "Aw shit, this here place belongs to my buddy Phil. I'm just checking up on it for him."
"I'm sure he appreciates your kindness, sir, but I came out here to enjoy the wilderness in solitude. If you would be so kind..." she gestured back in the direction he had come from. Damn, she might even pull this off!
"Jesus, you swallow a dictionary, lady?"
She took another sip of her wine and stared coldly at him. He started to turn and leave under her continued glare when suddenly his face lit up.
"Hey, you ain't waiting for ole Phil to come by, maybe?
Now wasn't that the living end? Lyle thought he was meeting himself for an affair. Dorothy was going to get a great laugh out of this one.
"Who or what I'm waiting for is none of your business, my good man! I wish you a pleasant good night, sir."
She turned away from Lyle and opened the cabin door. She heard a lascivious chuckle from Lyle as he took the hint and trundled off. By the time Lyle had told the story to the boys and the boys got through with it he was going to have quite a reputation.
Sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
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