What Happens in Faulkner VirginiaA Story by Victoria Scott
A short story about...well just read it to find out.
Maybe it wasn’t the way that the mountains cast a beautiful darkened shadow upon the wooded lines of the forest that edged the small town in Faulkner, Virginia that attracted the attention of a great many tourists, but the way that when darkness suddenly creeps upon the wearily travelers that walk the marked roads in search of any place of comfort or rest can look upon the majestic view of the houses, etched along the lane, with picturesque smoke coming from the chimneys, and glorious candlelight placed on the windows. Whatever the case may be, it offered a sense of comfort, vivacity, and vulnerability that supplements the friendliest of towns with charm and care. Down the lane one would find the general setting of a town, an auto shop, a grocery market, gas pumps, a pub, one small family friendly diner, and barber shop.
If one needed the typical practices of a dentist of doctor then it would take a rather difficult journey to achieve those needs, so often was prayer used as an instilled healer so to simply save the price of gas on the venture of actually driving into the city to obtain the luxury of medical care, or clothing, or anything of practical use, which these country people considered extravagance, whereas city people viewed as necessity. It was of this nature that I speak, the distorted views of both country and city living and the run in of the two.
Clarky Monroe, a lad of nineteen, had grown
up the country mouse, he wore his overalls that were too small and came up half
his calves as he had grown a whole foot over the summer.
Marlow Dobkins was eighteen years of age; she is consequently our city mouse. Back in Boston, Massachusetts she was the wild child of the city. She was incredibly pretty, her dark hair that flowed in long tresses down her back, her jet black eyes always containing a glint of evil as she looked about and eyed her next prey conspicuously.
What she was doing in Faulkner, Virginia is beyond the reason of anybody, for she had, in a moment of mischief and dramatic flair, run off with an older man she didn’t even like, she just knew him to have a grand mess of money and a very nice automobile which she enjoyed riding in. He was handsome, and renowned as having an incredibly terrible reputation. She went with him because she was bored with Boston, bored with the men, bored with the same conversation, she was sure that no one was bored now as she was sure her reckless act was now the talk of her hometown. She could not have foreseen the car breaking down in the city. She promptly cried out to her lover that she was not having a good time and she left him by the road. And whom should the first person be that should cross her path but Clarky eating an apple with one hand and the other hand shoved in his overall pocket in a boyish way.
He saw her and quickly looked the other way, aghast if she should speak to him. When he did finally look at her again as she made her way towards him to ask him a question, he felt something inside of him, sort of like a chemical change the way her black eyes glinted in the sunlight and her hair was elegantly swept up, and her lips pasted with dark red lipstick making her look far more advanced in age than she was. She wore a form fitting black dress that was appropriate for where she was from. She advanced upon him,
“Excuse me there? Where am I?”
Clarky didn’t say a word just looked at her with the same stunned expression as the day his father shot a skunk and while he was skinning it accidentally set of the spray on both of them.
“Where am I?” she asked louder.
“Faulkner, Virginia.” He said.
“Thank you. Who might you be?”
“Clarky Monroe.” He shuffled his feet uncomfortable, the apple still dangling from his hand.
“Clarky? Well anyways I need to find the nearest cab or something, I am Marlow Dobkins.”
“What you be needin a cab for?” he asked out of curiosity.
“Because I need one.” She stated coldly. Clarky went silent once again.
“I ran away from home with my lover, his car broke down and I need a ride.”
Clarky looked astonished at her, and blushed despite himself at her story, and also besides felt a small pang of irrepressible jealously, which I have thusly labeled, but he, in fact, had not.
“Back thataways, Jim Auto could give ya the ride I’m sure.”
“Could you walk me there?” she pleaded.
Clarky nodded, trying to be chivalrous as his mom had taught but very uncomfortable. As they walked in silence Marlow reached into her pouch and retrieved a cigarette.
“You want one?” she asked thrusting the box in his face.
“No, thank you.” Said he in response.
“Good for you, nasty habit it is, but all the real woman seem to be smoking them and I like the smell.”
Clarky remained silent and just walked on.
“You don’t say much do you?” she asked looking thoughtfully.
He shook his head.
“I’m glad, far too many men out there who have way too much to say that never has anything to do with anything. They think they are the better for it I’m sure.”
“I think we believe the same about woman.” He stated flatly.
She eyed him wearily.
“Maybe so.” They walked on in silence once again.
“You know what I think string bean? I think you’re uncomfortable around me.”
“Maybe not maybe so.” He shrugged, his lack of response and attention to her made her angry, but she consoled it with another cigarette and covered it with the masked façade she consistently used to make one believe she was a hard woman.
“Why? Is it cause I’m different, not use to seeing real woman? Faulkner, never heard of it, must be a small town with girls who believe in the same ole generations ago belief that women should be the complete example of gentleness and feminine nature. Ain’t me though. I’m wild, and hard.”
Once again Clarky remained silence.
“Well string bean, you’ve done it, you’ve proven yourself chivalrous in every sense of the word by letting me insult you and your town.” She said sarcastically. She pulled out a small canteen offered it to Clarky who refused silently then took a long draught before continuing.
“I bet you don’t even dance.”
“Do you know what dancing is?”
“What about music? I like Cole Porter.”
“You must have been born in the eighteen hundreds.
“1899 to be precise.”
Now she went silent. She was getting impatient with him for she did not feel entertained as they walked on in prolonged silence. Clarky cringed on the inside with every word she said, because even though he could read the hardness of her existence in her eyes he still felt that strange stir within him.
They continued the way in complete silence, Clarky bid her farewell at the Autoshop then turned back the way he had come. Marlow watched him go, his silence sending into her the ultimate feelings of guilt. He didn’t say much, but one was easily assured he was happy being who he was; but he wasn’t any fun in her opinion, he was droll and unassuming, and not the least bit exciting. In response to all that had happened she lit another cigarette.
Marlow was to be in Faulkner, Virginia for two days since Jim Auto had the weekend off and his wife wasn’t comfortable with him driving around an incredibly attractive woman from the city who made it obvious she was rendered to seduce every man she saw. The only one she didn’t seek out was Clarky. She didn’t like the way he made her feel; a mixture of guilt, and longing to be something like him. She ran into him inevitably at the diner. She didn’t want to show signs of defeat in her wicked character so she sat right across from him, her eyes flashing.
“Hello there string bean.” She said. She wore a red dress today; her lipstick was a brighter shade of red, and her dark tresses her half piled on top of her head, the rest flowing down her back.
“Hi.” Said he. The second he had seen her walk into the diner his breath had caught and he was still working on trying to recover it.
“Come here often?” she asked.
“Wow, exciting.” She said drolly and yawned.
“It doesn’t need to be.” He said. He often wondered back to their first conversation on the road and pondered why she was so bitter and mocking, and he often wondered why this didn’t detract the feelings he was beginning to have for her.
“You’re a strange character ya know.” She said shaking her head.
“Why won’t you say anything to me?” she finally asked.
“Because I only say things to people I trust, because people who I don’t trust they make fun of who I am and try to change me.”
She was hurt, but didn’t let it show, she only laughed uncomfortably.
“What you don’t trust me.”
“No.” he had to admit.
“Can’t say as I blame you, I have met more than enough men with character that trusted me; it was a big mistake on their part.” She chuckled.
Clarky sipped his coffee and watched her. She glanced away not liking his fixed gaze.
“You look like you can see my soul.”
“I don’t know, maybe seeing right through you is easier than you thought.” He said. He stood up and walked out not trusting himself even around her. He walked on back down that lonely road that led to his father’s farmhouse. His heart panged him till finally it felt it should burst,
“I love her, God help me.” He sighed.
Clarky, a precious innocent boy, deserved the best, his character was outstanding, his temperament was even, and he had the heart of a saint. And the day he found out that the girl he had ever loved had left, which had been expected, it nearly crushed him. No word of parting from her deep red lips, no glance from her dark eyes. Clarky did marry one day, a small woman, and he loved her dearly, he forgot all about Marlow Dobkins. He only remembered a vague memory of a woman long ago who might have meant something to him, but Marlow never forgot Clarky, to her he was the only man she could never win, the only man that made her feel guilt in the hardened heart she kept to herself.
I wish I could say she went onto better things, she never did, unfortunately news came later that the ship she was being carried on across to Europe had sunk and she had disappeared. Clarky looked at the name on the newspaper that bore the tragic news and as he put it aside he sat thoughtfully back in his arm chair, he recalled a woman that might have bore that name, with beautiful red lips and dark hair, wicked eyes and a deceiving smile. A woman with a cold heart, and the breath of cigarette smoke, but even her perfect facade could disguise what she really was,
Oh well, Clarky thought to himself, it's just a dream anyway.
© 2012 Victoria Scott
Added on July 18, 2012
Last Updated on July 18, 2012
About“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33 Hi :) I really hope you enj.. more..
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The throbbing of one's heart.