Jolene's Castle

Jolene's Castle

A Story by SR Urie
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a story of a woman who's not very nice

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Jolene’s Castle

 

            The beaches of Carlsbad California seemed hidden below great dunes of white sand, secluded under the world where the water of the large, systematic waves colored the breakers with seaweed, seabirds, and seashells except for the occasional beachcomber strolling along the shore. Townhouses, apartment complexes, and occasional private residences were strategically located along the shoreline, paralleling the main drive of highway 521 until the road was swallowed up by the township. A cool, salty breeze flowed in from the West to the sweltering shoreline in the waning hours of the afternoon, the approaching darkness dragging in cool humidity with the writhing, roaring waves. With only a few clouds in the sky the normal sunset of orange, yellow and bright scarlet was denied for the day, leaving deepening blue above the white caps of the shimmering sea while the sun slowly hunkered down behind the horizon.

With sandals in hand, Barry’s toes dug into the sand as he squatted down, watching the water resist being drawn out with the retiring tide. His dark, brown hair swirled in the wind and his halfway buttoned shirt allowed the air to wash over his lightly tanned skin, cooling him even more. His khaki chinos were rolled up just beneath his knees and sand peppered the hairs of his shin. Tomorrow was Thursday, the beginning of his workweek; the front desk at the ‘Carlsbad Hotel.’ So many beautiful people streamed through the lobby,  especially on the weekends, many of whom interacted directly with him for their keys and for messages and various issues and appointments. Barry just loved his work although it was taxing at times, that’s why he got the big bucks - as people say. Standing up and enjoying the way the ocean wind helped cool him off, he turned to the steps behind him and started the climb up to the parking lot cul’-de-sac where his car awaited him.

            Sitting behind the wheel of his old Lexus convertible, Barry’s eyes looked up and met the gaze of a Hispanic woman standing next to a big white pickup. Not that it was any of her concern, but Barry preferred the company of his roommate Stephen; he had no interest in the buxom woman wearing only a bikini as she stood there with an empty wine glass in her hand. She had a wide face with big brown eyes with crows feet accenting her black eyelashes, though it wasn't apparent if the wrinkles were the result of constant smiling or sneering. It was the desperate look in her face that caught the young homosexual’s attention, an expression of fruitless despair that captivated her entire presence as she stood there, staring at him as the sounds of rush hour traffic passing flowed from the street above. It was as if she were waiting for Barry to do something; jump out of his car and kiss her, or stand and lower his pants for her blank stare, or reach into his back seat and produce a bottle to fill her empty wine glass. A feeling of self indignation emerged in his mind and it occurred to him that maybe she was just waiting for him to leave, especially when the woman opened the passenger side door of the pickup she was standing next to and withdrew a towel, which she covered her large, sparsely covered breasts with. An unwelcome memory of ridicule and of his hated, big breasted sister, similarly dressed in a scant swimsuit, came to Barry's mind, and he merely wanted to get to his kitchen where he could prepare dinner for his beau. Starting the motor of the Lexus, Barry shook his head and his attention away from the woman in the towel and the b***h that was once his older sister, backed the little car up, and sped away. There were more endearing activities than to dwell on bad times as a child or determine the motives of some woman that he had no volition for whatsoever.

            Jolene watched the cute little man drive away in his fancy sports car, relieved to see him go, but wishing he would come back and get her out of the mess she was in by taking her to his bed. The big F150 belonged to her husband George. George's body was hidden in the back seat of the cab, covered with a sheet and still bloody from the beating she’d given him with the truck’s very tire iron. His damned corpse had been back there since early Tuesday morning when he tried to rape her once again. Jolene brained him with the only thing that she could get her hands on, the long piece of iron from behind the front seat. Their daughter Claudette had been taken away from them by social services after Jolene was caught turning tricks in her living room while the twelve year old watched from her bedroom. George was in the process of being court marshaled from the Navy Reserves for misappropriation of funds and theft of government property. He would probably have been sentenced some time in federal prison if he’d made it to court just the day before. Too bad he was a little preoccupied being just a teeny bit dead in the back seat of his pickup’s cab, which brought a little smile to Jolene’s face as she lowered the towel from her chest and let the coolness of the sea breeze wash over her skin. She was waiting for that last flash of green from the sun as it fully set beneath the horizon of the Pacific Ocean.

            Yeah, good old George, her beloved husband who introduced Jolene to the best deal a girl could ever imagine, being a military dependent; in Jolene’s case being a Navy wife. When they first married he was an E-1 serving as a deck ape and Jolene was a high school grad, a genuine LA Latina with hot blood, a bad temper, and a hot body. She had dark skin and a strong jaw line, and her pleasant, cherub-like smile was an excellent front from her egocentric personality. Like any marriage the sex with George became mundane after time, Jolene had George several times before she suckered him to the church in downtown Los Angeles. After the first year of ‘wedded bliss’ George carefully asked her if she’d give up some to his LPO, his supervisor, for a little extra “scratch.” It wasn't only the jaded reference to money that upset her at first, but the allusion to a profession that was carefully hidden from Jolene in her childhood neighborhood,  sparking her rage as she drew her fingernails across her husband’s cheek. There was no more talk of such agendas until George went on his first WestPac deployment where Jolene was left behind and on her own.

She was vigilantly introduced to the social circles of the ‘navy wives club’ where swinging was the first page of the dossier, and keeping up appearances for the boys in blue that were haze-grey-underway, keeping America free was the bulk of the carefully written fashion magazine. During the time George was at sea Jolene had her fill of sex from just about every kind of man she wanted, all with the smiling approval of her contemporary girlfriends who indulged just as readily, if not more, than Jolene. She became a member of an elite sorority that centered on the woman’s pleasure as well as her advantage in playing field of romance. When the aircraft carrier George was on finally came back eight months later he was an E-3 and no longer a deck ape but an SH, ship’s stores technician. Now Jolene hadn’t any qualms at all to giving the supply officer any and every little diddle he wanted that would ensure George’s exemplary conduct on his annual evaluations.

            The green flash finally came, leaving what remained of the sun’s benefit to the promise of tomorrow’s morning dawn. Jolene’s flesh quivered in the chilly darkness and the memories of the many varied lovers the Navy provided over the years. Some men were officers, some were chief petty officers, and sometimes they were just sexy hunks that Jolene took a liking to. The money flowed, the sweat and juices were secreted and she took it all, happily and lustfully loving every drop. It was when Jolene turned up pregnant that the marriage started to fall apart. There was a question as to whose child it was; there was no question that the baby girl Jolene gave birth to was not George’s. When George’s indiscretion of government property was first discovered, screwing the department head was not going to make the problem go away; Jolene did it just the same. The marriage ended with George joining the Reserves and Jolene getting trained as a nurse, even though no official paperwork ever went through. The most she ever achieved was cleaning diapers in a rest home and working as a housekeeper for some rich clown in Carlsbad.

            Old ‘Sally’ was once a star in a major television show in the early seventies, but as far as Jolene was concerned she was just another old rich lady. All ‘Sally’ ever did was to sit in front of the TV and watch soap operas and silly old movies, and she drink brandy, gin, and cough syrup. In the evenings the pathetic, skinny little white woman with dyed hair had a load in her head, moaning and crying and whining about how it used to be, and in the mornings she had a load in her diaper. But she paid well and she didn’t ask too many personal questions, plus she didn’t notice all the hard cash that Jolene was able to steal from the old woman’s purse on a regular basis. ‘Sally’ owned a high rise condo just south of the Carlsbad city limits on the ninth floor of a twelve story building facing the ocean. When stepping out onto the veranda it was like being on the bridge of a luxury liner at sea with the land below not seeming to be there. Because the area didn’t have many houses, the stars put on a brilliant show every night that wasn’t cloudy. Every night the natural beauty of the sea and sand would put ‘Sally’ into a tedious bout of depression until she would drink herself to sleep. It was Jolene’s job to make sure ‘Sally’ passed out in bed with the proper protection beneath her nightie and help her to face what was left of her life the following morning; five days a week. It wasn’t the best career Jolene could hope for but it paid well and it was much better to take care of one elderly toddler than countless toddlers all in a row of wheelchairs at some rest home. Plus the fact that she had no degree, her prospects for promotion were limited, and it was hard to conceal her disingenuous work ethic.

Jolene was coming off of a weekend and was looking forward to escaping into the old woman’s apartment, away from the crowds of San Diego and the smell of her dear departed hubbie. She was going to show up early, making her appearance later that evening after ‘Sally’d had herself a snoot full and would be happy to not be “dwelling in solitude” anymore; Jolene would usually show up the next morning but there were mitigating circumstances at the time.

            Gloom of night started to deepen around her and streetlamps came on overhead in the little parking lot, allowing Jolene to see as she put on jeans and a chambray blouse. The smell inside the cab of the pickup was getting horrendous despite the fact her sense of smell had become almost nonexistent after  snorting all the cocaine she did over the years. She held her breath a few times until she reached the north side of town and once back on the highway she rolled the windows down where the stench couldn’t be directly associated with the white pickup that would soon be at the bottom of a ravine Jolene discovered some weeks earlier. Once she found the spot on the two lane highway she was looking for, she pulled over to the side of the road and waited until there were no cars driving nearby. Then it was simple enough to remove the wooden guard rails at the cliff face above the sea, and drive the white F150 and its treasured owner to the bottom of the Pacific; well at least far enough below the water that the truck wouldn’t be discovered for some time, hopefully long enough for Jolene to make her departure to environs Mexicana. Then the simple task of reattaching the guardrails in the dark was not too difficult for her.

            The walk back to town took a little over three hours. During that walk only a few cars passed and nobody stopped to offer a ride. It was unusual how bright the stars were, as if a certain portion of the sky was markedly brighter than the rest for some reason. By the time Jolene made it to downtown Carlsbad the reason for extra brightness to some of the stars came to light. A dazzling meteor shower had begun, sending dozens and dozens of flaming balls of fire shooting from the East side of the sky to the West in increasing, synchronizing, and relatively steady numbers. Jolene had seen meteor showers before, little groups of flashing stars that zipped from one area to another section of the sky. But they only lasted a little while and they always ended in some far off, unseen corner of the earth where the result was some mysterious cosmic phenomenon of no significance. This storm was different.

            As the zooming flames found purchase to some bizarre overhead trajectoral finish, they’d eerily explode in a rectangular blue flash of weird light that seemed to resonate throughout the whole stratosphere. The storm lit the sky in its illumination of the fiery meteors as they invaded the Earth’s atmosphere, but also with eerie reverberations that shook the frame of the sky like a rippling pond of water after pebble after pebble after pebble intruded on the still surface, leaving to sky to resemble some distant shimmering sea, as opposed to the California beach Jolene watched the sunset from earlier. And the storm didn’t appear to be subsiding, but to be steadily getting worse.

            Jolene walked down the main drag of Carlsbad, and like many people around her she was a little dumbfounded by the light show in the sky. It was only Wednesday night and there wasn’t a carnival going on in town or anything, so there wasn’t a large crowd flowing through the business section of Carlsbad, but there were a few groups of people walking around. There were couples and small clichés of teenagers, and a few people walking alone as Jolene was. It occurred to her that is was very likely that she was the only murderer walking around free in the small town, and as she remained unincarcerated as George was still undiscovered at the bottom of the ravine some six and a half miles away, a celebration was in order. She stopped in a small liquor store where a nervous movie star was so unsettled by the cosmic events of the evening that she could care less if the old man behind the counter of the store recognized her, let alone if Jolene did.

            Jolene stepped into the store after the celebrated woman climbed inside a car and abruptly closed the door. She gave the elderly black fellow that look with a thumb over her shoulder, saying ‘Wasn’t that …?” and the old guy just nodded his partially bald head with his hands outstretched from his shoulders with a ‘Yep, that was her alright!’ and an expression in his face of nonchalant acceptance that weird times do odd things to people. Jolene purchased a bottle of expensive cognac, and as she was leaving another celebrity entered the store, except this man was very concerned about being recognized. He held his hand up to his face so as to deny Jolene the benefit of seeing his nose or his eyes, as if her discovering his identity would change who he was or how important he was supposed to be.

            Shaking her head back and forth, Jolene allowed the man his personal vendetta of incognito and gingerly left, taking her brandy and her murderous act down the street towards ‘Sally’s condo in the light of the uncanny storm. As she passed a few more people on her way, she wondered if anybody could recognize the murderess in her as she’d recognized the famous actress at the liquor store. If Jolene passed anyone else of any significance, famous or otherwise, she didn’t know and she didn’t care. As she stepped up to the lobby of the high rise apartment building where the old television actress lived, it was evident that nobody had and that the coast was clear. As Jolene put the key into the lock and opened the door she anticipated her celebration of finally ridding herself of George. ‘Sally’ was on the veranda and drunkenly whining about the past and the solitude. Her face lit up when she recognized Jolene.  Jolene helped the poor old lady up to her feet and to a chair. She poured ‘Sally’ a big glass of the cognac and herself one, and the two women relished in the liquor as the storm continued to paint the heavens in an increasing fiery show.

Shortly after ‘Sally’ finished her brandy she fell asleep in her chair. Jolene checked ‘Sally’s purse and discovered a rather hefty sum of cash, eighty three one hundred dollar bills that apparently hadn’t been hidden before Jolene was to arrive the next morning. It was just enough to make her escape from Carlsbad, from her husband’s murder, from the Navy and all the ramifications of her past. Jolene could sneak back across the border in a few months and see her daughter, even take her back to Mexico if Claudette wanted. But for now it was time to leave, just as it was time for ‘Sally’ to cease her incessant whining in her solitude. The cushion fit nicely around the old woman’s face. 'Sally' jerked and struggled, but only just before it was over. It was almost as exhilarating as bashing George’s head in; almost. Jolene gasped as she set the cushion down on the deck of the veranda, finally free from her elderly employer, and she looked up into the sky with a smile of glee just in time to see an enormous blue flash.

It was a bigger meteor that invaded the cloudless sky, undeterminable in actual size, but clear in where huge explosions erupted on the road below the apartment building. The meteor show had continued to increase in intensity, but now the meteors themselves had increased significantly in size. To the analytical mind it stood to reason that the size of the storm, the sheer number and consistent increase indicated a larger source from which the meteors came, especially given the increased size of the fiery balls bombarding the landscape. The shooting stars matured from a bizarre storm to a maelstrom of a descending inferno, destruction the result of every flash of blue that became streaming balls of lava exploding like missiles from heaven. Jolene’s smile froze on her face as she watched what looked like burning bushes the size of oversize basketballs streaked from above to crash to the ground around Jolene's ninth floor perspective of the high rise building.

One meteor struck the middle of a large house about a quarter mile away, completely destroying it in flames. Another struck the highway, the same road she was on earlier as she held her breath against the stench of her murdered husband, that exploded so drastically there was only an enormous crater where the section of road was. Her whole being became enveloped with sheer terror and an acceptance that this night was not going to let her escape from her crimes. All her sins against God, man, and her husband flashed in her mind. Still Jolene held to her own personal desires, her own vendetta against everyone that had ever stood up to her acrid and selfish designs. She reached down to the end table where the bottle of cognac was placed after pouring ‘Sally’ her last drink, and raised a toast to the sky. She yelled with all her breath that if she was going to be killed by an act of God that at least she could take a lot of people with her, especially if they were innocents with nothing to do with Jolene’s vile life. Holding the bottle up she looked directly above her to see a meteor that looked more like the size of a VW bug shooting down straight for her. She shrieked defiance with every fiber of her body as the enormous ball of molten death piled into the top floor of the building and continued down, pulverizing the building - and Jolene's sneering form - until the sleek, tall high rise was just another crater like the apparent section of road from before.

The fire storm continued for another few minutes and then the meteor shower suddenly stopped. A little over four hours later it really didn’t matter how much money Jolene had stolen, how many Navy marriages she’d ruined, or how many rest home nurses hated her guts; not anymore.

           

SR Urie

 


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Wow! Intense. Grabbed my attention through the very last word. Very well written. Excellent.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow! This was quite the interesting read here!
Very enjoyable and full of action, wonderful detail and imagery.
I liked this alot, very well written too.


Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on November 9, 2009
Last Updated on May 18, 2015

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SR Urie
SR Urie

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