Word Count 1,965
This is just a silly little story in honor of bubble wrap appreciation day. I hope you enjoy it.
“Billy Bob would ya git over ‘ere an’ help out? We hafta get rid of this mash so’s no one finds it.”
“Dang Jim Bob! I wuz restin’ my eyes fer a spill. Can’t a feller get some shut eye ‘round ‘ere?”
We hafta get rid o this and get this ‘ere batch to town and sold so’s we kin get that there present fer Sue Allen’s birthday, ya know that. Pa is countin’ on us.”
“Okay, okay, let’s hurry an’ pour this stuff out in the back of the mine and head on over ta the saloon with this new batch.”
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“Tell you what. After we finish with this fence I’ll race you over to the creek. That cool water is calling my name.”
“That sounds like a deal to me. I never remember it being this hot in Boston.”
“Aw, Scott, you’re just use to them cold winter days in Boston. Why south of the border this would be considered a cold snap.” Johnny laughed at the look on Scott’s face. It was hot but not unbearable. Johnny was not about to let his brother know how hot he really was.
Scott pushed his hat back and leaned on his shovel. “I figure that we could be done in less than an hour if we hurry. That would give us plenty of time to relax and enjoy a nice swim.”
Johnny looked over at his brother, squinting from the sun in his eyes. “That sounds good to, “ umpf, “me.” Johnny said as he tightened a strand of fence wire and reached up to wipe the sweat from his face.
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Sue Allen walked up to the still in time to watch the backs of her two disappearing brothers. “Dag nab it all. How’s a girl suppose ta do the wash if’n these men don’t set up a boiler fer her ta heat the water?”
She then looked over at the still and the pile of wood sitting close by. She walked around the contraption for a minute and then a smile came to her face. ‘Why with a few adjustments I could have me a right fine laundry machine. That would teach them boys.’ Smiling, Sue Allen started working and converting the still so she could heat water and do the laundry.
She went to the creek to get the water to put into the tank with the temperature gauge. She wished this was closer to the creek but she knew that they had to keep in hidden. Val had told the boys that if he caught them building any of these in the area again that he would have them thrown into jail for good.
She couldn’t blame him though. The last one not only blew up the converted outhouse but it took out the back rooms of the post office and part of the livery. The horses all took off in a panic and it took two days getting them back. Everyone was about to lynch them but Val and Johnny stepped in and came up with a plan for them to work off all the damages and also not be allowed to make any more homemade whiskey.
She started heating the water after she got the tank filled. She watched the temperature gauge and decided that the clothes were really dirty so it wouldn’t hurt to make it good and hot. She threw some more logs under the boiler to make it real hot. Then after thinking about it she added the soap to the boiler so it would be hot also. She put in some extra since there was a lot of water and the clothes were filthy.
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“Murdoch thank you so much for taking me to town. That new shipment of material was perfect. I have enough material to make several dresses for church and the social. Mr. Baldamero really knows what Johnny likes. The shirts that he ordered were perfect. Johnny is really going to like them. He is so much harder than you and Scott to buy for.”
“Well, my dear, our tastes aren’t as colorful as John’s is.” Murdoch had to smile. Johnny’s taste was quite a bit brighter than his or Scott’s. Personally Murdoch would never wear anything as bright and colorful as Johnny’s but he also couldn’t picture Johnny wearing something as tame as his and Scott’s clothes either.
“Let’s take the road that runs down by the creek. I have a feeling that the boys will end up there today. It is hot and it shouldn’t take them too long to fix that fence. I can tell them about the auction that is going to be held next month.”
“That would be great and I could show them the things that I bought.” Teresa was excited to see the look on their faces when she showed them the things she got.
Murdoch just smiled and clicked the horses into a faster gait. He knew that shopping and women seemed to go hand in hand but he didn’t want to disappoint her and tell her that the boys wouldn’t be excited about the purchases. The boys and he could go in the store and buy what they needed and be out within fifteen minutes. Teresa took over two hours. He was happy to be heading home. He needed a break from all that shopping.
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Johnny jumped off of Barranca, throwing his clothes as he made a mad dash to the creek. He had to stop and pull off his boots so he could finish taking off his pants. He looked back and laughed. Even though Scott was trying to beat him he just couldn’t allow himself to throw his clothes all over the place like Johnny. He threw his clothes in a pile. Not a wrinkled pile but not folded either, he was in a hurry.
Johnny beat him by less than a minute into the water. It was cool and clear. Just right to have some fun and relax in.
Once Scott was in the boys were at it, chasing and dunking each other. Even though they worked hard that morning they still had lots of energy to play. They enjoyed each other’s company and were having fun.
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Sue Allen was sorting the laundry when she started to hear a rumbling noise. At first she thought they were having another earthquake but soon realized that it didn’t sound like one. She turned trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. Her hand went to her mouth and she froze.
Steam was pouring from the boiler. The whole thing was shaking and rumbling. She wasn’t sure what she should do. When the thing started hissing and rumbling even louder she took off running. What ever possessed that thing wasn’t going to get her.
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Johnny and Scott had just pulled each other under the water when a horrific boom echoed across the creek. They both let go of each other and came up out of the water. They stood in the creek looking around. Just then a shadow blocked the sun.
The boys looked up and gasp. A cloud of suds floated over them and started to fall. Before they could move they were covered in suds. They both started for the bank.
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Murdoch and Teresa were almost to the creek when a loud boom echoed threw the valley. Murdoch had trouble getting the horses under control. When he finally did he saw Johnny and Scott’s horses race by.
Murdoch flicked the reins to get the horses to run. He knew his sons were at the creek.
“What was that?”
“I don’t know honey but we are going to find out.”
Just as they came around the bend by the creek Murdoch pulled the horses to a stop. Both he and Teresa’s mouths flew open. There, were the creek should be, was a mountain of suds.
They sat there staring at it. “What is that Murdoch and what caused it.”
“I’m not sure. You stay here while I go see what it is.”
Murdoch set the break and looked when Teresa gasped.
Two mounds of suds where coming up out of the creek onto the bank. A light breeze was starting to blow the suds around. That is when Murdoch noticed a tuff of blond hair on one mound of suds and a tuff of black hair on the other.
The breeze would blow suds off parts of the boys and replace it with more suds. That is when Murdoch realized that Teresa was sitting there watching too. He reached out faster than he thought possible putting his arm around her with his hand covering her eyes.
Teresa was sitting there with her mouth hanging open when everything went dark. She realized then that she was staring and that Murdoch had put his hand over her eyes.
“Teresa, turn around.” That tone of voice left no room for any arguments. Teresa reluctantly did what she was told. She was smiling though as she kept picturing her two bubble wrapped brothers emerging butt naked out of the creek. She knew that she would never forget that sight.
“I’m going to see if they re alright. You stay here and keep facing the other way young lady.”
“Yes sir.” Teresa had a hard time keeping the giggles from escaping.
Murdoch tied the reins and climbed down. He made his way through the suds to his boys. “Are you okay?”
“Uh, yes, I guess so. What happened?” They both answered in unison.
“I don’t know. I heard a loud explosion and then found this. Do you boys have any ideas what caused this?”
“No sir. No idea.”
“Do you boys know where your clothes are?”
“Mine should be in a pile somewhere around there.”
“Uh, mine should be…. well they should be in a straight line from the road to the creek.” Johnny blushed when he said it.
Murdoch started chuckling. “How about you boys find your clothes. I’m going to move the wagon around the bend so Teresa doesn’t see any more than she has. Since your horses took off you’ll have to ride back with me. We’ll find out what happened later.”
“Teresa saw?” Both boys gasped.
“Everything,” Murdoch laughed at the looks on his sons’ faces. He couldn’t help but laugh all the way back to the wagon.
“I’m sure glad that I kept my clothes together.” Scott smiled at his brother with his eyes twinkling from the teasing.
Johnny stared at his brother for a moment and then quick as lighten had him on the ground. “Not if I find them first.” He was off looking for the clothes and laughing.
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The still was eventually found. A tearful Sue Allen explained what happened. Everyone had a good laugh. Everyone that is except for Billy Bob and Jim Bob. They were too busy cleaning up a huge mess. Funny thing is that they never built another still again.
Happy Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. :>)
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