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As I went about Monday, I couldn’t avoid thinking about how things might change in the near future. There was the prospect of some sort of wealth, which came with mixed feelings. The check in my wallet was just the beginning. Now that I didn’t have to worry about an income for a while, I decided it was time to ask Gwen to be my wife.
After delivering my Monday morning lecture, I kept my student appointment. The student was struggling with the mathematics required. We discussed the problem as I saw it from his homework and test results. I promised to arrange a math tutor and offered an hour every week if he needed additional help with the physics.
I drove to the bank and met with the manager. He made recommendations about how to manage the money and I followed his advice. I wanted some cash in my pocket and a few hundred dollars was provided.
I headed to Mike and Gwen’s, arriving just after noon. Gwen was walking toward the house from the direction of campus. I approached from the opposite direction. I parked and waited for her. We hugged briefly and went inside. The living room was much more organized than when I’d arrived the previous day. The clothing was gone. There was a pile of crumpled newspaper and packing boxes to be burned. Mike had been busy.
Before Mike had driven to California, she had visited with Gwen’s folks and had picked up some items Gwen wanted, mostly clothing but also a couple of photo albums. A shipment of framed artwork had been delivered that morning. Most were Gwen’s work. Some were by her father and aunt. She asked me hang some of the paintings. Gwen selected about a dozen pieces and placed them on the floor at the desired locations. I went out to get a hammer and some hooks at a nearby hardware store.
After getting the supplies I needed, I stopped and bought deli meat, bread, and Cokes. As soon as I returned, the ladies stopped work and we ate. After lunch, the women got back to cleaning and organizing. I hung the artwork.
By dinner time, the house was mostly cleaned and organized. The paintings were hung and the place was looking like a home. There was still a few boxes to deal with and a few curtains to be hung, but the ladies decided those could wait for another day. Mike and Gwen showered in the downstairs bathroom and I cleaned up in the master bath. Then I convinced them to go out to dinner on me.
When we went outside to get in my car, the old man was standing next to it. His Corgi was nowhere in sight. In the daylight, I got a better look at him. He was dressed similarly to the previous night – hat, glasses, light jacket, scuffed shoes. Today, he carried a shiny black cane with a brass handle. The crucifix I originally thought ornate was instead tawdry. The lines in his craggy face were much more pronounced in day light. He looked older than I had originally thought. I guessed he must have been in his late seventies, maybe eighties.
As we approached, I greeted him politely, ‘Good evening, Mr. Pollock.’
He began yelling at us. Berating us as sinners doomed to hell and damnation for our wicked ways. When he called Gwen and Mike whores, and me a whore-monger, I was stunned. The ladies were aghast.
I quickly recovered my wits and maneuvered the women around him into the car. We kept our distance from him while he ranted. Once Gwen and Mike were in the car, I began to walk around the front to get in the driver’s seat. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the cane being raised over his head as he stepped closer to me. When the cane began to come down, I managed to lean back, away from his swing. The brass handle struck my left instep. He didn’t raise it for a second swing but instead hooked my left shin and pulled my leg from under me. I went down and braced for another strike. When he raised the cane for another strike, I kicked his legs out from under him before he could hit me again. He fell to the sidewalk, landing on his back.
Several neighbors had witnessed the entire incident and two rushed to us. One woman pulled the cane from Pollock’s grip and tossed it out of reach. Another checked to make sure I was alright. Mike and Gwen clambered out of the car and helped me up. My shin hurt and I could feel blood running down it, but the instep was excruciating. They helped me to the front of the car and I leaned against it, keeping the weight off my injured foot.
Pollock took a few moments to recover. The fall had knocked the wind out of him but he seemed otherwise uninjured. He was soon looking for his cane. The neighbor that had tossed it out of reach told her daughter to run off with it. Pollock wasn’t to be deterred. He tried to force his way toward me but several more neighbors had arrived and a couple of men restrained him.
I kept a wary eye on him while I removed my shoe. A few minutes later, sirens sounded in the distance and two police cars turned onto the street from opposite directions.
Pollock had been on a non-stop tirade since the moment he caught his ataşehir escort bayan breath. The men restraining Pollock backed away and let the police take over. Despite their best efforts to calm the old man, he kept screaming and cursing and making accusations that made no sense. When a police sergeant took him by the arm to walk him away, Pollock took a swing. Pollock was forced to the ground, face down, and handcuffed. They were not gentle.
Over the next hour, the police interviewed everyone there and fortunately got an accurate picture of the incident. I was asked if I wanted to press charges. Though at a loss to understand why Pollock had attacked me, I really didn’t want to see him arrested. The sergeant explained that train had left the station when the old man took a swing at him. Anything I did would just be added on. I still declined to press charges.
By the time the police left, almost two hours had passed. Pollock left in police custody, handcuffed in the back of a patrol care, still ranting. My foot throbbed mercilessly. Gwen and Mike helped me to Mike’s car and drove me to a nearby hospital emergency room. My foot was iced down while I waited. X-rays showed two hairline fractures in my instep. I left with a cast and crutches.
We stopped for dinner at a nearby drive-in. Hot dogs, fries, coleslaw, and root beer in frosted mugs went down nicely. Gwen, Mike, and I talked about what had happened over our food. I told them of the confrontation the previous night. The ladies worried about Pollock and what he might do next. They had never seen him before.
Mike drove me back to campus and the two of them escorted me the short distance to my apartment before hugging and kissing me goodbye. Parker was reading in the living room again. He looked up briefly but didn’t comment. Just shook his head.
Once again, I was exhausted and fell onto the bed without changing. Sleep found me in minutes.
I had two classes Tuesday morning and time for lunch before meeting with Dr. Evans. I had no idea what was going to transpire but knew I wasn’t looking forward to it.
When I arrived at Norman Bridge, a Navy vehicle and its driver was parked nearby. In Dr. Evans’ outer office, an ensign sat in a chair, trying to charm Evans’ secretary. She ignored him.
‘Dr. Evans said to send you right in, Jonas,’ she told me.
When I knocked, Evans bade me to come in. He sat behind his desk, reading some papers. He had company. A Navy captain occupied one of the two guest chairs. Evans pointed to the other chair without speaking and continued to read. After a few minutes, he put the papers down and looked at me.
‘Jonas, this is Captain Duren, USN. He’s here to talk to us today about my project and another research project the Navy is interested in.’ Evans began. ‘Why don’t I let him explain?’
Duren leaned toward me and offered his hand. We shook and he sat back. ‘You wrote a paper earlier this that has attracted some attention,’ he began. ‘I’d like to talk about that but first I want to talk about the project you’re on now. Do you know what the apparatus you’re building is for?’
Evans answered. ‘He’s only been given the instructions he needs to fabricate the assembly. Only I and two others know what it is.’
I looked at Evans and smiled. He looked disconcerted. ‘It’s a device for detecting very faint, ultra-high frequency sound waves,’ I answered. Evans’ mouth hung open in shock. ‘I thought you knew I work with Dr. Augustus on his high frequency experiments and that’s why you asked me to fabricate the device.
Duren pressed on. ‘Do you know the purpose of the device?’ he asked.
‘No. But I imagine it can be used for several purposes. If the Navy is funding it, I assume there must be some military application.’
Duren never even blinked. Evans was visibly agitated. I enjoyed seeing him on the defensive instead of one of his abused assistants. I wondered what other project members have to say if questioned by the captain.
Duren continued without reference or reaction to what I had said. ‘Now, let’s talk about your paper on anomalies in ultralow frequency sound spectrum. Tell me how you found these.’
‘There’s not much to tell. I worked for Dr. Augustus on his high-frequency experiments. Toward the end of the school year, I became curious as to whether the findings held true across all frequency ranges. So, I made some adjustments and ran the experiments at very low frequencies. I found some anomalies from the calculated results in the ultralow frequency ranges. I ran the experiment several times, always with consistent results. I was graduating in about six weeks. I wrote a brief detailing the findings and gave it Dr. Augustus. There wasn’t much to it. I didn’t have time to experiment enough to develop a theory to explain what was going on. All I did was document the results and suggest it as an avenue for further investigation.’ I told him.
‘Your findings became of interest in certain escort kadıköy circles.’ Duren told me. ‘Have you settled on a research topic for your dissertation?’
‘Not yet. It’s only my first semester and my current work load keeps me pretty busy. I’ve been thinking about it but haven’t settled on a research subject.’ I responded.
‘Your findings have been replicated but no one has taken up researching the matter.’ Captain Duren told me.
‘I haven’t seen a paper confirming my results.’ I pointed out.
‘There hasn’t been one. As you already pointed out, you only wrote a brief that wasn’t published. Only a handful of people read it.’ Duren told me. ‘If you’re interested, the Navy will fund the research. Are you an experimental physicist or theoretical?’ the captain continued.
‘I lean toward experimental. I like hands-on work. I don’t want to spend my life in front of a chalkboard.’ I told him.
Duren looked at Dr. Evans and nodded. Some unspoken agreement had already been reached.
Evans spoke. ‘You’re off my project effective immediately. Provide a written summary of your work to date.’
Evans continued. ‘I think this is an appropriate research area for your dissertation. You’ll need to write a proposal that can be presented to the committee for approval. Since it examines previously unidentified anomalies and it’s being fully funded, I don’t foresee any problem getting it approved. Dr. Peaks will assume responsibility for overseeing your research. He’ll contact you with a meeting time. He has budget details and will recommend assistants from the third and fourth year undergrads.’
It was Duren’s turn now. ‘You’ll spend the rest of the afternoon with Ensign Parks. He has some questions you’ll need to answer.’
Evans waved me off. When I got up to leave, Duren escorted me. Ensign Parks quickly rose to attention and saluted the captain. Duren saluted and introduced me. The ensign didn’t offer his hand but told me to follow him. We went down the hallway to an unoccupied office and I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening answering questions about family, friends, acquaintances, political views, organizations I belonged to. Some I thought downright silly. Others were intrusive, annoying, and potentially embarrassing.
When we were done, the ensign offered a ride, which I accepted. He didn’t ask where I wanted to go. He just directed the driver to Mike and Gwen’s. I found it odd that he knew I would be going to Gwen and Mike’s. I also found it odd that no one commented on my newly acquired cast and crutches.
When I got out of the car, it drove off immediately. Pollock was sitting in a rocker on his front porch, glaring in my direction. If being chauffeured in an official Navy vehicle impressed him, it didn’t show.
Before I could get inside, a woman called out to me and hustled my way. She was a short, stocky woman in her mid-thirties. Her mousey brown hair was confined with a red and white bandana. Stray hairs were abundant. She wore baggy denims, a short-sleeved blouse, and a sturdy pair of work shoes. She was dressed for gardening or heavy cleaning.
‘How are you doing?’ she asked. ‘I see your foot is broken.’
‘Hairline fractures. The doctor says it will be fine once the cast comes off. But no weight on it for a week and then I go back and get a walking cast. The crutches go then.’ I told her.
She offered her hand. ‘I’m Jessica Finch. I live next door,’ she said, pointing to the house next to Mike and Gwen that didn’t have a ‘For Sale’ sign.
‘I’m Jonas Taylor. My friends just moved in here,’ I said, pointing at the house.
‘Yes, I saw them over the weekend,’ she told me. ‘I stopped by and introduced myself this morning and we had coffee. Michele and Gwen were very nice.’
‘How well do you know Mr. Pollock?’ I asked.
‘Not well, really. He walks the neighborhood and talks to a few people. But he keeps to himself mostly. His wife died before we moved here. He’s lived here for a long time. I understand his was one of the first homes built here. He’s always been a little different but never did anything like yesterday,’ she told me.
‘What do you mean by different?’ I asked.
‘He’s very religious. You can’t have a conversation with him without some mention of God and sinners, damnation, etc. He’s kind of apocalyptic, believes the end is imminent. I find it a little creepy but he’s always been harmless enough. What did you say to him before he hit you?’ she asked.
‘Good evening, Mr. Pollock.’ I told her.
‘You had met him already?’ It was more a statement than a question.
‘We met Sunday night when I was walking home. He was walking his dog and we had a short talk. It started off friendly, but he became unpleasant pretty quickly.’ I told her. ‘He said some things that kind of angered me and I was a little short with him. But I certainly didn’t give him reason to be afraid of me or do anything to provoke an bostancı escort assault.’
‘He’s in foul mood from what I understand,’ she told me. ‘He yelled at my son and his friend when their baseball went into his yard. He’s never yelled at any of the kids in the neighborhood.’
We talked for a few more minutes before her son approached. He stayed back a few steps and waited for his mother to acknowledge him. She introduced him as Eli. He looked to be ten or eleven.
‘Mom, Dad needs you to help him,’ Eli told her. ‘He has to go to the bathroom.’
‘OK, tell him I’ll be right there.’ Eli ran off. ‘I’ve got to go. It was nice meeting you.’
‘Jessica, can I ask one more thing before you go?’
‘Sure,’ she responded.
‘There are a lot of for sale signs on this street. Do you . . .’
She interrupted me before I could finish my question. ‘The war took a big toll here. Most of those signs are in front of homes of widows,’ she said. She was fighting back tears.
‘I’m sorry. I should have guessed that without having to ask.’ I apologized.
‘I have to go,’ she said.
I awkwardly made my way up the stairs to the front door. Gwen opened the door when I knocked and stood aside so I could get in. Once inside, she closed the door and held me tightly. Mike came out of the kitchen and gave me a peck on the cheek.
‘How did you get here? I hope you didn’t walk.’ Gwen said.
‘No, I got a ride from campus. I’ve been here for a few minutes. I was outside talking to Jessica Finch for a few minutes.’ I told her.
‘We met her this morning. She stopped in to introduce herself with a plate of blueberry muffins still warm from the oven. We made coffee and visited for a bit. She’s very nice.’ Mike told me.
‘The old man has been on his porch watching the house all day. It’s creepy. Every time I look outside, he’s just sitting there staring at the house.’ Gwen told me.
‘I don’t know what his problem is,’ I said. ‘But I’m afraid he’s going to make more trouble.’
‘Are you hungry?’ Mike asked. ‘We ate dinner already but we saved a plate for you.’
Over my dinner, we talked about our respective days. I told Gwen I was off Evans’ project and would be starting the research for my dissertation next semester. Gwen was excited and wanted details. I gave her a brief overview but told her I didn’t know much and wouldn’t until I began experimenting.
We also discussed the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Gwen wanted to invite five of the women in her old dorm. I had four students that couldn’t get home for the holiday because it was too far to travel. My father had already told me he had six plus his girlfriend. I decided to also invite Pete and Tony which meant about twenty-two if everyone came. I suggested hosting the meal at Mike and Gwen’s. The kitchen was bigger and would make meal preparation easier for a big crowd.
We went into the living room and tuned the radio to listen to music. Gwen and Mike built a fire and the three of us sat together on the couch. I put my foot up on a pillow on the coffee table. The meal and the fire soon had me drowsy. I fell asleep with Gwen’s head on my shoulder and Mike sitting next to me reading a magazine.
Before long, I was enjoying a pleasantly erotic dream. My cock was erect. A hand held it in a firm grip near the base and a feathery light touch was caressing the head. It was an exquisite sensation. I could feel the smile on my face as I enjoyed the sensations fueling my arousal.
Slowly, it dawned on me that I wasn’t dreaming. My cock was hard. A hand was gripping it. Fingers were teasing the head. I opened my eyes. Mike was asleep next to me, her head on the arm of the couch, her feet pulled up under her, taking slow even breaths. The reading lamp had been turned off and the magazine was on the floor. Gwen was on her knees in front of me. One hand was gripping the base of my cock, exerting a little downward pressure to pull the skin taut, exposing my cock head. Her other hand was gently caressing the head. Teasing me.
I reached down and unbuckled my belt and then undid the button at the waist. Gwen looked up at me and smiled. ‘Shush. Mike’s asleep.’
I took my casted foot off the pillow on the coffee table and put it on the floor. Gwen released my cock and grasped the waist. She pulled my pants down when I lifted my butt off the couch. As soon as they pooled at my feet, she returned to stimulating my cock while gazing up at me.
The fire had died down somewhat but there were still flames that flickered and air gaps popping as the logs burned. Her face was almost completely hidden in shadow. Only the fire light reflected from my white cotton shirt reached her face.
‘Let’s go to bed,’ I whispered.
She shook her head. ‘No, this is what I want tonight.’
Gwen raised herself on her haunches and leaned forward. The hand teasing my cock head joined the hand at the base. I felt her tongue lick me, starting at the glans and moving slowly toward the tip. I gasped and closed my eyes tightly to savor the feeling. Gwen pulled my cock forward and her tongue crossed over the tip and moved slowly down my cock, opposite where she had started. I gasped again when her tongue reached the glans.
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