The only violence in this chapter is in the description of Quinn's war wound and Will's on duty injury.
I apologize for not posting anything for so long, I was dealing with bad migraines for about three weeks from late April to mid-May, and my muse apparently decided to take a hike, leaving me with four pieces partially written. This is the first of those I've managed to finish.
My name is Quinn Kimball, this bit is the story of the journey we set out on to find a new home for us away from the cities. There will be more tales to tell, but it seemed important to set down our journey to our new home before it could be forgotten and lost.
By we/us, I'm referring to myself and my business partner of the last twelve years and a bit, Willis Hansen.
The three room shack in the hollers of West Virginia where I grew up was never a place where I felt comfortable. I didn't understand why until many years later. I left there the day after I turned 16, carrying a piece of paper that my drunken idiot of a father never even bothered to read before he signed it. The paper simply stated that I had permission to join the armed forces, so I headed over to Richmond, Virginia in the cheap panel van my dad had picked up and given to me for my fifteenth birthday. I'd been driving farm vehicles since I was twelve.
Yeah, since I was twelve, I was never big in the muscular sense but I've been 5'9" tall since I was eleven years old, and knowing how to drive farm vehicles meant that I could earn bits of cash here and there by helping out farmers doing various kinds of heavy farm work.
Anyway, I was in the army for about six years, then was badly injured in a battle in Iraq. The injury was serious enough that I was discharged.
The machine gun that ended my army career nearly ripped my lower left leg to shreds, you know, chunks of broken bone and muscle everywhere. The medics there wrapped my leg up to keep what was there semi-intact, then I was airlifted out of the area, then flown to the US where they operated. I spent a year going in and out of hospitals, doing rehabilitation and physiotherapy to get my leg working semi-decently.
As far as I know, I have five different plates and several rods and pins in that lower leg now, but I can walk fairly well, with only a slight limp.
Well, I met up with Will while I was in for one of my physiotherapy visits, he'd been a cop in Richmond for about three years when some young punk with a double barrelled shotgun used it and pretty much blew his right foot away when another cop tackled the kid from behind.
Will was in for a physical exam and to be fitted with a prosthetic foot. The city had given approval for him to try the new Flex prosthetic foot, and he was walking back and forth across the reception area of the physio department so he could get a good feel for how it worked. They had originally asked him to walk back and forth in one of the exam rooms, but Will had complained that he needed more space to really test it.
I eventually got called in to my appointment and didn't think about Will until I nearly ran him down in front of the hospital as I left afterward. The end result was that we wandered over to a coffee shop a block or three away and chilled over coffees for nearly three hours.
Two days after that, using my beat up old van, Will and I started our own company, Kimsen OddJobs, "We do the work you don't want to do or can't". That involved landscaping, junk collection, various bits of painting, indoor and outdoor, grocery/materials deliveries, etc.
We may not have moved all that fast compared to many other people, but Will and I were never afraid to do an honest day's work, and my six plus years of service in the army and his three years plus in the police force meant that work wasn't too hard for us to find. The other thing that helped us a lot is we didn't inflate costs, we'd obtain any items we needed and charge for those and the labour, that was it.
Yeah, that got us a lot of dirty looks from some construction crews and other trades workers, plus we always did the work in a reasonable time frame. Some of the construction crews didn't like that we'd get materials at a cheaper cost in many cases because of our connections, although we never used those connections (military/veterans or police) to take advantage of anyone. We had lots of veteran and police clients.
Well, that's how things were until this last winter, I turned 36 on April 5th and my leg's been aching a lot more than usual.
Winter is a bit slower for us, although we usually can find enough jobs to keep us in the black by a narrow margin. Neither one of us has a lot of bills, in fact, we've shared the same three bedroom house for over eleven years because it made preparing for work easier.
Oh, I really can't forgot the big change in my life, can I? At some point while I was serving over in Iraq, I finally realized what had been "off" in my life for so long. I found myself watching women as we roamed around, not sexually, but because I wanted to be one of them.
Yep, that marked the turning point for me, although I didn't start to do anything about it until after Will and I bought that house.
I finally got off my butt one day and went to see a doc at the VA clinic about it. After seeing two or three more doctors, I settled down and started talking with Doctor Sheila Wren, then obtained my first prescription for androgen blockers and estrogens about four months after that.
I don't know a lot about my family's medical history, but my mom, her two sisters and dad's sister all were big busted. Well, over the next few years, I got to see that for myself, as I eventually ended up having my own 42Ds alongside a 27 inch waist and 40 inch hips.
Three years ago, I had my navel pierced and a tattoo of a flying angel inked on the back of my left shoulder with both of our names under it.
Will's a bit younger than I am, he'll be 34 on August 11th. He, too, was born in the hollers and left as soon as he finished school.
I already told you that Will and I have been living in the same house for eleven years. Well, we've shared a bed for the last six of those. It seems that the more I changed physically, the more Will found himself drawn to me, and Will is a nice, big guy, 6'2" and 220 pounds or so. It hasn't mattered to him that I still have my wiener, it's pretty much out of service but a bit of fun with Will can produce some lovely orgasms.
Since we started the business, I've done a fair bit of studying and now have a carpenter's licence and I am a licensed roofer and glazier as well. I did most of my studying through night school and online courses. Will took classes as well and is now a licensed mason and plasterer.
I'm not sure why, but we didn't get very many jobs this last winter, and we've decided that we need a change. We closed down the business and spent the last few days deciding what to take and what to leave behind, then we rented a 20 foot U-haul truck. We spent most of yesterday loading the van and the U-haul truck with the items we definitely wanted, then called a realtor to set up the house and contents sale.
After we had finalized the arrangements for selling the house and its remaining contents, Will climbed into the front of the U-Haul truck, I hopped into the van, and we were on our way, rolling out of Richmond on the search for our new home.
Will and I had talked a bit about which direction we would go. When I mentioned that I felt something pulling me to the west, he figured that was just fine by him; twenty minutes after we drove away from our former home for the last time, we joined the flow of traffic headed southbound on Interstate 95 until we reached Interstate 85, then headed southwest until it connected to Interstate 40.
The hours passed fairly quickly as we moved at a steady speed of 70 mph along the interstate, the only stops were when we needed to use a washroom or wanted something to eat. We'd driven out of Richmond shortly after 10:30 AM; by the time we decided to stop for the day, it was nearly 6:30 PM and we were just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. We'd traveled close to 500 miles already.
I suppose that we could have gone farther, but aches and pains from our injuries many years before had us feeling pretty tired. We managed to find a fairly decent motel, booked a room together, then grabbed a suitcase each, locked up the vehicles and headed inside for the evening.
In all honesty, we were tired enough that we decided we weren't going anywhere, so we called up a pizza joint, ordered our favourite pie, meat lovers with double cheese, mushrooms and green peppers. When it arrived, I answered the door and paid the young man, giving him a tip as Will grabbed the pizza box from him, then the two of us closed the door and settled down on the bed with the pizza open between us.
The pizza boy left with a big grin on his face, it seems my sweaty t-shirt had given him quite an eyeful.
The pizza was gone within 45 minutes, and soon after that, we were in bed. We were asleep within a few minutes, snuggled together.
I have no idea what woke me up, but I was out of bed not long after 4:30 AM.
I woke up Will and a few minutes later, the suitcases were loaded up, the key had been handed in and we were back on the road.
We were travelling faster this time, often reaching speeds of 90 mph. Thanks to the police scanner we had installed in the van about five years earlier, we were able to avoid the speed trap that had been set up nearly sixty miles west of Knoxville near a town called Cookeville. We drove past the deputy sheriff watching his not so trusty radar gun, then picked up the speed again a mile or so down the road.
We stopped long enough to have some breakfast at an IHOP in Nashville, then we were off once again.
We were almost in Jackson, Tennessee, when I had the sudden urge to turn north on State road 70. I followed it for a few miles, then noticed a car on the side of the road and pulled in behind it. Will had followed me and had stopped behind the van. He climbed out and walked up to my door, then I stepped out of the van and the two of us walked up to the car, we were going to take a look inside.
Just as we walked past the back bumper, the driver's door opened and a young woman stepped out, followed a moment later by a young man exiting the vehicle on the passenger side. The young woman, heck, she was a girl, maybe sixteen or seventeen years old, smiled nervously at the two of us, then spoke. “We was heading up to Clarksville last night when the car stalled in the middle of the road. It took both of us almost 45 minutes to get it off the road, then we sat in the car through the night, covered only by a light blanket so we wouldn't get cold.”
Will smiled back, saying, “Well, let us take a look, we've both fixed our van now and then when something went wrong.” He headed back to the van, opened a panel door and grabbed a fair sized tool kit, then returned to the car and popped the hood.
It didn't take him very long to find out that the engine had been on its last legs for quite some time. In fact, it was soon quite obvious to him and to myself, when I looked it over, that the only way this car would run again would be with a whole new engine installed.
Will chuckled, then shook his head. “The straight truth, kids, is this car is going nowhere. Half of the carburetors are cracked, the fan motor is shot, the fan belt almost worn through, and that doesn't take into account that the gas tank has several pinholes in it, same with the oil pump and the radiator. The tires are almost completely bald, your muffler is broken, heck, this thing belongs on a scrap heap.”
I quickly nodded, agreeing with Will, and the two kids slumped against the side of the broken-down car.
The young man, perhaps twenty years of age, asked, “So how are we going to get to Clarksville now?”
I replied, “I can take one of you in the van along with your gear, Will can take the other one in the truck.”
So that was how we ended up going out of our way to Clarksville that morning. The girl was fairly quiet, although I did find out that her name was Rita and the young man was her boyfriend Ryan. There had been a ferocious row at her home in Jackson late the evening before over her going out with Ryan, which ended in her being thrown out of the house with only the clothes on her back.
Perhaps ninety minutes after we had set out, we pulled into the driveway of what looked like a small two or three bedroom clapboard house. The kids got out, grabbing their gear, then walked to the door and knocked. Will and I stepped out of our vehicles, then waited a minute or two. The door finally opened, revealing a disheveled looking woman, clad in a robe that didn't quite cover her long cotton nightgown.
When she saw young Ryan, she grabbed him and hugged him tight for a moment, then let him go.
The woman spoke to Rita, saying, “I know my nephew here, but I don't believe I've ever met you, girl, so what's your name?”
Rita blushed briefly, but told the woman her name, told her about the car breaking down on the way up here the night before, then pointed to us and informed her that we had helped them to get here after they had spent the night inside the car perhaps ten miles out from Jackson.
Ryan's aunt, who then informed us that we should call her Billie Jo, led the way into the house. Will and I quickly locked the vehicles, then entered, taking seats on an old, worn couch in the living room. Billie Jo headed into the kitchen to put on the kettle and grab some cookies.
We didn't stay for very long, just long enough to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and make sure the kids would be fine.
It was 11:15 AM when we left Billie Jo's house, with her address and telephone number added to both of our cell phones.
We resumed our travels, heading to Interstate 24, then connecting to Interstate 40, where we headed west once again. We were hitting speeds of 90 mph fairly often, going a bit faster than most others on the interstate; except for an occasional pit stop and one break for food, we maintained the pace through the rest of the day, eventually stopping at a Motel 6 in eastern Amarillo just before 8 PM.
When we were in the motel room, we both had a good chuckle as we realized we hadn't seen a speed trap all day.
There was a burger joint not far from the motel where we pigged out a bit and returned to the motel later feeling rather stuffed.
After a quick shared shower, we snuggled up together in the bed and were soon asleep.
We definitely slept well that night. I didn't wake up until nearly 8:30 AM, I must have had close to ten hours of sleep, which is unusual for me. I woke Will up a few minutes later, and after dropping the keys off at the office, we were rolling before 9 AM.
We continued to travel along Interstate 40. I'm not sure if there's any way that I can explain it, but as we left the motel, I had told Will that we would reach our new home some time today. Like yesterday, we stopped at an IHOP for breakfast, then continued heading west.
We reached Santa Rosa, New Mexico just before 11:30 AM, then turned onto state road 84 heading southeast to Fort Sumner. From there, we took another road, heading south and then southwest, until I pulled to the side of the road and stared across it at a brand new bright red barn.
Will pulled up behind me, then stepped out of the truck and walked up to ask me why I had stopped. When he looked in my window, he could see the wide grin on my face, then laughed as I pointed at the bright red barn and said, “Will, over there is where a new town will be born, a town named Acceptance, a town where everyone will truly be welcome and accepted. We're home, Will.”
Will walked back to the truck, climbed in and we soon found a driveway, then followed it up to a sprawling ranch house. At a guess, I figured the house to have at least five bedrooms, perhaps six, and I could see at least two sheds between the house and the barn.
Seconds after we pulled up beside the house, an older man opened a door, stepped out and walked over to us, shaking our hands, then he pulled me into a hug. He had a deep tan, honey brown eyes and coal black hair tinged with silver falling midway down his back.
I couldn't be sure, but I believed he was a Native American. There was just something about him that spoke of communing with Nature.
While he was greeting us, a pretty young woman came out of the house, smiled at us and said something quietly to him. He turned and invited us into the house; we followed him and the young woman into a rather large open space kitchen, then sat down at a small table.
The man spoke, smiling at us, “Hello, Quinn, hello, Will. Welcome to your new home.”
I was stunned. Neither of us had named ourselves. How did this man know our names?
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.