Dorothy May

Dorothy May

A Story by Tegon Maus

"I like you... you can read," Dorothy May said, reaching for my hand, her southern draw a little more saccharine than in the beginning.


"Dorothy May, get your a*s in here," the woman shouted toward the back of the house, placing her hands on her hips.

The dog began to bark again, moving forward a step or two with stilted, halfhearted interest.

"That's enough Bruno... I see 'em," a young girl in her early twenties said, in a faint southern accent, turning the corner. 

My concern had been with the dog and to be honest I didn't look at her right away.

As she came closer, I was stunned by her appearance.  Standing about five foot, two her shape was... pear... to be polite, very pear to be accurate.  Her small shoulders appeared tiny, dwarfed by the width of her hips.  Dressed in a pair of black shorts, and matching knee high socks, I was surprised she didn't teeter, balanced on equally small legs and feet.  Her breast were little more than mosquito bites, pressed tightly against a bright blue, spandex, tube top.  

Her hair had been colored a bright, strawberry red, cut close to her features.  Her face was...  I shudder to think of it even now... there was no polite way to say...  unusual at best.  A  pale, deeply freckled skin accentuated by protruding teeth made her not outright ugly,  but the word homely didn't seem close enough to the target to count.

"Momma don't read none, so I'll sign," she said, sashaying closer to Ryan while keeping eye contact with me.

He pretended not to notice, handing her the clipboard.

"Thank you," he said, removing the customer copy, giving it to her.  He then inspected the damaged jamb, running a hand over it.  "Okay, I'll do the door, you handle the windows."

Ryan removed the old jamb, replacing it with a new one that Lou had placed on the truck that morning while I removed the glass from the broken windows.

Much to my personal discomfort, Dorothy May and her damn dog hovered just outside of arm's reach the entire time.

"Broke 'em right good didn't he?" she asked, walking back and forth, pointing to the windows, fanning herself with a piece of paper.

"Certainly did," I said to be polite, continuing to remove the shattered glass, trying desperately to hurry.

"Can't blame him none," she said earnestly.

I ignored her... politely.

"Threw a damn chair, through that one, poor jealous b*****d."

She was trying hard to draw me into a conversation but with a mere glance from Ryan and I knew better. 

"I threw him out like yesterday's paper.  Took it hard,"  she said firmly, pushing her shoulder in my direction.  Tattooed in a floral banner across her left shoulder in black ink,  the words Billy Bob Forever.  Hand drawn across it with a ball point pen, a blue X.

"I'll get it taken off proper like, I'm a model so..."

"Beg your pardon?" I asked stunned by her pronouncement.  I shot a quick glance in Ryan's direction.

I was relieved when he motioned for me to continue, openly as curious as I was now.

"Goin' on nearly two years," she said coyly, turning a flirtatious shoulder in my direction, batting her eyes.

I didn't know what to say, how to move the conversation forward.  I was still trying to wrap my head around the word model. 

"Momma too.  Not so much now, but when she were young, they couldn't get enough of her hands," she said pointing.

I couldn't stop myself.  My head turned slowly toward her mother of its own volition.

The round woman shifted her weight, holding out her right hand as if to have it kissed, turning her head away shyly.

"You might know her from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit addition... dominated it for years.  Momma was big in the nineties,"  Dorothy May said, nodding proudly.

A little panic washed over me as my forehead suddenly broke out in beads of sweat, pushing my heart into my throat, forcing my mouth to open in an effort to breathe.

"Swimsuit addition?" I struggled to say.

"Not just them, she done been in all the big rags," she said, wrapping her arms around her mother.

My mind had filled with a hundred images of this woman before she discovered food, none of them pretty.

"Hand model?" Ryan asked, thinking much faster than me.

"One of the best," Dorothy May spouted happily, "and it runs in the family."

She began to hop up and down, removing one of her socks, revealing a very attractive, diminutive foot. 

"Foot model," Ryan and I said at the same time.

"Dorothy May outta clear 100k this year, easy.  She ain't got no time for no two-timing men folk," her mother groused.  "Put them socks back on Dorothy May.  You gotta protect my investment."

"Yes Momma," she said obediently, slipping the sock back onto her foot.  "Can't be none to careful...  Momma says models have to have soft, "unworked" hands and feet,  swears by not lifting nothing heavy.  Don't never do any kind of housework just in case."

"Sounds reasonable," I offered, trying my best not to laugh out loud, returning to the windows.

"She would know," Dorothy May said.

"Damn straight," her mother said resolutely.

We reset the door, replaced the windows and cleaned up, the entire job taking a little over two hours. 

"You boys done a fine job, just two more little things.  Can you read this for me?"  Dorothy May said, sliding close to Ryan but handing a piece of paper to me.

"Pardon me," Ryan said firmly, pushing past her for the truck.

"I'm awaiting," she voiced softly, now standing much to close for my comfort.

I read the paper as quickly as possible.

"It says," I began, opting to paraphrase.

"No baby face.  I don't want to know what it says... I wants ya to read it ta' me," she said, placing a hand on my arm.

"I beg your pardon?" I asked confused.

"I wants ta' hear them words.  Can ya'll read or not?"

"Of course I can.  What kind of a question is that?" I asked trying to hand the paper back.

"Well then, what are ya lallygag for?  I'm awaiting," she prompted, pushing herself closer.

"Warning," I began.  "Failure to appear or pay bail amount on or before court date may result in either a warrant..."

"That's right good.  You know what all them words mean?" she asked with a large smile, now stroking my arm.

"Yes, it means you have a ticket and the police are looking for you," I explained, pulling free of her touch.

"Oh, not me honey bear, their looking for Billy Bob," she said sweetly moving a few steps away, looking me over closely.

"I have to go," I said, slipping the paper onto the nearest piece of furniture.

"Momma," she suddenly yelled at the top of her voice.  She held her right hand under her chin, rocking her shoulders back and forth, looking at me like she was sizing me up for a new suit.

"What?" came an equally loud and irritable response.  Mrs. Wardell turned the corner from down the hall once more.  She stood  hands on hips, impatiently waiting for the reason for her summons.

"Momma, I think I'm gonna get me a city fella," she cooed.

"Make sur' ya pick a good one darling.  I had me a city fella once an' he could be a b*****d... wash this, clean that.  Had to let em go when he weren't no good in bed," she offered sincerely.

My throat went dry.  My head suddenly pounded and felt as if there were a hundred different terrible things happening in there at the same time.  To this day, at that moment, I believe I had a stroke.

"I've got to go," I repeated, desperately looking around for Ryan.

"I like you... you can read," Dorothy May said, reaching for my hand, her southern draw a little more saccharine than in the beginning. 

© 2016 Tegon Maus

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Another amusing story from you, Tegon! You have a great capacity to entertain the reader. I hope your book sales are coming along well. I've been thinking about you and wondering how you were doing.

Posted 2 Years Ago

Wendy Seames Garner

2 Years Ago

I have lymphedema in my left arm. The lymph node was removed after breast cancer. So now I can't f.. read more
Tegon Maus

2 Years Ago

I'm Very sorry to hear that Wendy. I hope you feel better and that you get the chance to rest. Ser.. read more
Wendy Seames Garner

2 Years Ago

When we were first married he built and flew airplanes. One day a plane crashed, not badly damaged .. read more
Tegon, when I began to read this I could see you were drawing on your work experience to fit in your characters but it turned out to be much better than that, I could see and hear both women and your descriptions of how the men felt were spot on. Short but great example of how to use dialogue to hold the reader.good work my friend.

Posted 2 Years Ago

Tegon Maus

2 Years Ago

Thanks Will !! Nice of you to say ! I loved the whale video on your face book page ! It was gre.. read more
Will Neill

2 Years Ago

No worries Tegon, Yeah I would love to know how they do that whale thing, I think its added to the s.. read more
Tegon Maus

2 Years Ago

Thanks Will very kind of you. I don't get the chance to do "nice" work very often but enjoy it whe.. read more

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2 Reviews
Added on January 10, 2016
Last Updated on January 10, 2016
Tags: Tegon Maus, Dorothy May, freckles, city fellas'


Tegon Maus
Tegon Maus


Dearheart, my wife of forty nine years and I live in Cherry Valley, a little town of 8,200 in Southern California. In that time, I've built a successful remodeling /contracting business. But th.. more..