Chpt 3 - My Grandfather's Pants

Chpt 3 - My Grandfather's Pants

A Chapter by Tegon Maus

Every werewolf movie I had ever seen now filled my head. Without intent or desire, I was a victim of an unwanted ability that now lay dormant within me... waiting for the next full moon or....



Chapter 3


If Friday night had gone by in the blink of an eye, then Saturday crawled by at a snail's pace.  As usual, I tended the store both Saturday and Sunday, the busiest days of the week, taking off Mondays and Tuesdays. With the customer counter running across the back of the store, dividing it into storage behind and general hardware on the other, it made it easy to keep an eye on the street. 

Connie had offered to come by... just to say hi and to see the store... so my attention was drawn to the front windows every time someone walked by. 

It seemed on this particular Saturday, everyone in town came into the store.

Suspended over the entry, sometime in the mid-forties, a small silver bell rang each time the door swung open, brushing it.  Each time it did, my heart soared in anticipation, carried on the sound of that bell only to crash in disappointment once more when it turned out to be anyone else but her.

As the afternoon dragged on, I became too busy to notice who was coming, who was going.  By three thirty, I was wishing I had paid more attention.  To my surprise, for the first time since Dad's passing, Mom and her friends stood under the bell.

"Mom... what's wrong?  Everything okay?" I asked, rushing to her.

"Can't a mother stop by just to say hello?" she answered, slowly stepping all the way into the store.

"Sure... it's just..." I caught myself, deciding it was better to let it go.  "Sure.  Come on in.  Can I get you something?  You want some water, soda?  I've got string cheese in the fridge in the office."

     "Oh, no, hon, we're fine.  We don't want to be a bother.  We heard Connie might be here and we wanted to give our regards, that's all," she said.  Her head bobbed around like a chicken as she took a mental inventory of the people in the store, standing on her toes to see over the shelves. 

I turned to follow her gaze.

"She's not here," I said.

"We missed her then?" she asked with disappointment. 

"She hasn't come by yet."

"Oh good.  Then we'll wait," she announced and all three charged for the back of the store as if I were giving away free samples of money.

"Mom, what's going on?" I asked as I followed their lead.

"Nothing, dear.  Why do you ask?" she said innocently over her shoulder, her purse looped on her arm.

"It’s something.  Why are you here and why do you want to see Connie?"

     Mom turned to face me, giving me that stern because-I-said-so-look.  Her two cohorts, each holding something behind their backs, looked to the ground, then at each other and then anywhere else to keep from making eye contact with me. 

"We were just in the neighborhood..." she began to lie.

"You don't drive.  You can't just be in the neighborhood without at least two bus changes and a day pass to get here.  So what's going on?"

"Ask him, Moraine.  It's time.  We ain't going to live forever... let's get it out in the open,"  Harriet barked with irritation.

Mom shifted uncomfortably, glancing quickly about the store to see who, if anyone, was listening.

"Jack," she said softly moving closer, straightening my collar.  "You and Connie... when you took her home... you... she..."

A look of consternation over took her as if caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

    "For God's sake," Harriet barked, pushing her out of the way, stepping way too close for my comfort.  "Did you do the deed?"

    "What?" I gasped, trying to step back.

    "Sex... you and Connie...  Did you do it or not?"

"I beg your pardon," I choked out.

"You like girls, don't you?  You ain't one of those damn Nancy boys, are you?" Harriet pressed.

"It's fine, if you are, Jack...  We... I would understand.  Really, it would be okay," Mom said with tears beginning to form in her eyes.

"Okay?  It would be a f*****g waste, that's what it would be," Harriet spit out, turning away to light a cigarette.

"You're not, are you?" Stella asked, putting a concerned hand to her mouth.

"No.. of course not... I like girls... I like them just fine," I protested.

"I don't buy it," Harriet puffed.

"Jack..." Mom started again.

"Mom, I promise you, I'm not gay.  I like girls... a lot."

    "I still ain't buying it.  Come on... we all know there's only one way to be sure.  Come on, boy, show me what you got," Harriet said with animosity and began to unbutton her blouse.

"Mom," I cried, looking to her to stop this insanity.

"Harriet," Mom said softly, placing a hand on her friend's shoulder just as she was about to remove her top.

"I can take one for the team, Moraine.  It's time we know if Bob handed down his talents or not.  Come on, son, drop them pants.  School's in session," Harriet shouted, pulling off her top from one shoulder.

"Good God, Mom.  Stop her.  She's gone nuts."

"Doesn't seem like Bob at all," Stella said with open disappointment.

"What the hell is going on?" I asked.

"Dear, your father... and his father before him...  had certain talents were women are concerned and as yet we haven't seen that particular ability show itself in you.  And if it has and you're hiding it... then we want to help," she sympathized.

I was embarrassed and shocked beyond words.

"Ah hell, he ain't got it," Harriet sputtered, thrusting her top back on again.

"Mom, I don't need any help... really." I struggled to form the words.

"Oh, no, dear, not you... we're here to help Connie.  She'll be the one who will need the help... if your dad passed on his gift."

"Gift?  What gift?" I asked, concerned what the answer might be.

"Last night... you get any?  Did you give it to her good?" Harriet asked, thrusting her hips toward me, puffing to the end of her cigarette.

"No," I protested, backing up again.

"He ain't got it, Moraine," Harriet hissed, waving a dismissive hand in my direction, stepping away to button up at last.

"Got what?  What are we talking about here?" I pressed.

No one spoke, all three of them just stood there.

"Go on tell him...  if he's a late bloomer... he'll know eventually," Stella offered, crossing her arms and nodding.

     "Jack, your father had an appetite unlike any..." she began.

"The man was a machine," Harriet injected, lighting another cigarette.

"Insatiable really," Stella offered, flipping her hand back and forth.

"Mom... I...  You can't possibly..." I was at a loss for words, my mind filled with confusion.

"You don't understand.  Your dad... he was relentless... there was no end... two and three... some times four times a day...   Outside, in the kitchen, in the garage, in the car, in..."

"In the trunk..." Stella offered, pointing a finger at herself.

"You know he asked, but I could never bring myself to do it," Mom said, turning to Stella.

"It wasn't so bad.  I kind of got to like it," Stella confessed.

"Are you telling me Dad cheated on you?" I asked in shock.

"Oh, no, dear.  He would never cheat on us, never," she soothed, patting me.

     "Never," Stella and Harriet said in unison, both with the same tone of affirmation.

     "Dad was sleeping with...?" I had to sit down.

"It wasn't like that... Harriet's husband had died in a car crash and she was devastated.  She cried almost everyday for two years afterward.  She was so lonely... Bob was so amorous and I was tired.  You have no idea how exhausting it can be... every time you turned around.  Well, it was a natural fit... Harriet had needs that hadn't been filled since her husband's death and your father didn't seem to mind... so Harriet felt better, your dad felt better and I was so relieved to have a break it was like Christmas in July.  It was a win-win... everyone was happy," she said with a smile.

"Dad and Harriet?" I gasped, pointing at the wrinkled, old, mean spirited, smoking gnome standing in front of me.

Harriet blew a smoke ring, allowing her face to take on a smug smile, bouncing her eyebrows in acknowledgment.

     "Well..." she hesitated.  "Even Harriet had her limits and after a few years, it only seemed natural to include Stella."


"Yes.  We switched off so everyone had a chance to recoup.  I had Thursdays and Saturdays... Stella took Wednesdays and Fridays... while Harriet took Mondays and Tuesdays and the odd day we weren't available.  She has always been the trooper," Mom said proudly.

I bent forward, leaning over my knees, trying to catch my breath.

"How could you... how...?" I couldn't form a thought with the pictures that had begun to push themselves into my head.

"We had needs, each of us.  Your father had ardent cravings that I... let me correct that... cravings that no one woman could fulfill.  He was a good man.  He didn't drink, didn't smoke, never missed a day of work, never lied, never cheated... he had this one little quirk... he was a..."

"A sexual dynamo," Harriet interrupted.

     "Oh yes," Stella agreed, rolling her eyes back in her head, fanning herself with the magazine she had been holding.

     "And you all shared him?" I choked.

"It was the only way to keep up with him," Stella offered with delight.

"We were a sexual tag team," Harriet said with pride.  "Heard of the big O... with Bob it was every single time... and I mean time, after time, after time."

"The three of you?" I said half heartedly, trying to make this fit in my head.

No one answered.

I looked up as they exchanged an uneasy glance between them.

"It was just the three of you... right?" I asked, standing.

"Well... Stella broke her leg in the mid-seventies and as brave as she was... she had to drop out of the rotation for a few months and we needed a replacement... so Harriet had a friend, Evelyn Gallo... a sweet woman really...  her husband had died sometime ago and she seemed a good fit...  before..." Mom's voice trailed off.

"Before?" I asked, afraid what might come next.

"She died... three times with her turn at the horn and she gave up the ghost." Harriet chuckled.

"Died?  She died?" I asked with disbelief.

"The doctors said it was her heart... it had nothing to do with your father.  It was just her time to go," Mom suddenly injected.

"Poor old thing couldn't handle the horn, but if you have to go... go with a smile on your face, I always say," Harriet croaked between puffs. 

"I'm afraid to ask... the horn?" I managed to mouth weakly.

"Cornucopia... the horn of plenty... it kept giving and giving... we had to call the damn thing something... it was like it had a life of its own... it was just attached to Bob," Stella offered with a shrug.

"Why are you telling me all this?  Why now?" I gasped, too embarrassed to look in her direction.  I had a pounding headache and my mind swirled.  A grotesque picture of a naked Harriet, with a cigarette hanging from her bottom lip, jumping up and down on my parent’s bed, kept popping into my head.

"Grandchildren, of course.  If you have the gift... it's possible that you will frighten Connie off before she has the chance to understand and I won't have grandchildren to spoil,"  Mom answered with a large smile, holding out her arms wide.

"Grandkids?"  I coughed, choking on the word.  My mind swung from one extreme to another... the thought of my parents as sexual beings was uncomfortable enough but that both Dad and my grandfather were satyrs was overwhelming. 

Every werewolf movie I had ever seen now filled my head.  Without intent or desire, I was a victim of an unwanted ability that now lay dormant within me... waiting for the next full moon or some external signal to trigger my transformation. 

"Hi.  I like the store.  Am I interrupting something?" Connie asked, suddenly standing there, Robert in tow.

     "Oh, no, dear.  As a matter of fact we were just waiting for you," Mom said, crossing the floor to give Connie a hug hello. 

"Look what we've brought you," Stella said, adding her hug on top of Mom's, handing her a rumpled magazine.

"Today's bride... I don't know what to say... thank you, I guess," Connie said before looking to me for an explanation.

"Don't ask," I said, holding a hand up in protest.

"You like sex?" Harriet asked, pushing herself up to stand in front of Connie.

"Excuse me?" Connie balked, stepping back.

"Yeah, she does," Robert snickered.

"Robert," Connie chided, slapping at him and everyone laughed.

"She got her foot caught in the window of his car," he said, encouraged by the reaction.  He snorted, pointing at me.

Connie's eyes suddenly grew larger with shock.

Instantly, the heat of embarrassment flush over me.

"Robert," she snapped, grabbing her brother's hand in an effort to dissuade him from continuing.

"He was wearing her dress and her foot was rolled up in the window and couldn't get out."  He laughed, pushing her away.

"I wasn't wearing her dress... it might have looked that way but I wasn't... really, I wasn't," I protested.

"Okay... that's enough out of you," Connie said, pulling Robert toward the front of the store.  She was beet red. 

I was certain I had the same appearance.

"Nancy boy," Harriet called in my direction as she, Mom and Stella gave chase.

"Jack, honey, why don't you have Robert help you for a minute and let us girls talk," Mom said, pulling him free of Connie's grip and sending him in my direction.

"Mom, don't...  Please I'm begging you," I pleaded as they scooped Connie up between them, heading for the front door.  "Mom," I shouted to no avail as they left the building.

 The bell over the door rang and this time it held a different sound.  This time it sounded like panic.

"You wore a dress," Robert teased, poking me with a thick finger.

"Yeah, I did, Robert.  You want some cheese?" I asked, placing a hand on his shoulder to guide him to the back of the store.

     Time slowed to a stop.  Each minute crawled by like an hour as I stared at the door, waiting for the sound of the bell and their return.  An hour came and went and then another.  It had grown dark and it was well past closing time. 

As a rule, my closing routine takes about twenty minutes.  This time around, I found myself doing many of the same things twice or more, until, out of frustration, I had to start at the beginning.

As I zipped closed the deposit bag, the last step in my daily routine, the sound of the bell washed over me, a harsh, unforgiving tone.  The door swung open with a bang.

"Connie," I said, going to her. 

She stomped across the floor, her shoulders set forward, her brow furrowed, matching her angry expression.

"Don't," she growled, pointing a furious finger in my face.  She grabbed Robert's hand, yanking him toward the door.

"He wore your dress." He giggled.

"Shut up, Robert," she grumbled and jerked him all the harder.

"I didn't do nothing," he returned, visibly upset, stumbling along in a effort to keep up.

"I don't want to tell you again, Robert... shut up," she shouted, stopping long enough to make her point.

Robert's head dropped and he pressed his chin to his chest.  His shoulders slumped, he now shuffled behind her.

"Connie," I pleaded, trying to catch up.

She made straight for the exit without acknowledging me or even slowing down.  I stopped at the door, allowing it to hit me as it swung closed.  She marched down the street, yanking Robert in an effort to make him keep up.

"See you, Robert," I called.

"Bye." He turned slightly in my direction, giving a half-hearted wave.

Connie jerked his hand, forcing him forward again.  Then they disappeared around the corner.

Mom and her fellow accomplices were standing on the sidewalk outside the store.  I hadn't noticed them until now. 

         "That went well," Mom said with a level

     of personal satisfaction.



© 2014 Tegon Maus

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This is an intense chapter. Being assailed by parental/senior sex advice is awkward to begin with, and Harriet just ground the feeling in with her bluntness. I like the sexual werewolf thing too. Great job conveying Jack's dismay at the situation.

In the beginning; "Suspended over the entry, sometime in the mid-forties, a small silver bell rang" What's the mid-forties part about?

Posted 5 Years Ago

John Lauterbach

5 Years Ago

I think I get it. The point of that passage (continuing a little further.) is that since Jack starte.. read more
Tegon Maus

5 Years Ago

No... It's a hardware store... handed down to Jack by his father, handed down to his father by his g.. read more
John Lauterbach

5 Years Ago

I think the location of your mention of the mid-forties is what threw me so hard on the rest of it; .. read more
All I can say is...poor Jack...I think.

Posted 6 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on November 24, 2011
Last Updated on February 10, 2014
Tags: Mom's secret, confessions, sex, talent, gift


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..