Dunes Cabin, a short story by Rico.Viejo. Date added: 2012-06-21. Times viewed: 1919.
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- Intro: More came with the cabin than he thought.
A letter from a lawyer notified Gene that his uncle—who'd died—had left him a cabin on the Outer Banks. Gene's wife refused to leave the city—too many parties to go to, a full schedule of luncheon engagements (and a lover)—Gene was to go there and find someone to sell it. So Gene took the car and drove, alone, south.The cabin had a very close neighbor, but the two cabins were completely isolated. His uncle's cabin consisted of one sparsely furnished room. Way back in the dunes, it had only electricity, which must have cost a fortune to run in. No phone. Water was carried in. Liquid waste went into the sand, maybe after spending some time in hay or sawdust. Out in a tiny shed, there was an odd machine for incinerating poop, which the people next door also used.Maybe the woman—Gene had seen a woman peering out of a window when he came, walking (nothing but that and dunebuggy access)—would buy it. Gene saw no earthly value in the cabin; there was nothing worth anything in it; it was only a tax liability, he felt. He'd check with her before he left—which was to be right away.The woman was tall, thin, pale, and blond. Low-breasted. Gene guessed she was a year or two older than him. She was wearing a spinach-green, long dress that ran from her chin to her wrists to the ankles of her bare feet with unpainted toenails. "Oh! How nice it was that Mr. Edwards had someone to leave the cabin to!" She was glad to have a neighbor again: someone to (continue to) pay the electric bill. Because she had no money. She traded yoga lessons, belly-dancing lessons, whatever she could do, for vegetables and nuts and fruit—and bottled water. "Would he like some sun tea she'd made from leaves she'd collected from bushes in the dunes?"Gene had some tea with her and sat on the couch in her tiny room and listened, fascinated, to her utter nonsense. She believed in all sorts of gods, spirits, ghosts, "little people" (they hid in the dunes), and angels. Gene assumed she'd include the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus in her pantheon and thought it odd there were no imps or demons—nothing "evil." They snacked on carrots and on cucumbers they had to break with their hands on the edge of the table (no knives). He let her prattle on—he'd never met anyone as addled as this before. Fascinating, in one dose. It grew dark. She lit a cannonball warning light she must have picked up at a road-construction site.Gene was thinking of leaving and wondering how easy it would be to get across the dunes to his car. He had no flashlight and it was highly unlikely she had one. The door opened and a man wearing a 'headlight' stepped in, carrying two jerrycans. "My water," said Angela (the woman). "Could you go, Mr. Edwards? I have to thank this nice man for the water."There was enough light for Gene to find his way to his cabin. He fumbled his way in, fumbled up a lamp and pulled a chain, and had light. He scrounged around for an oil lamp or flashlight, while listening to the braying laughter and delighted yelps coming from next door, and found one flashlight with dead batteries. He checked the brass single bed for bugs, turned out the lamp and lay down on it. He'd found no magazines or books. "What the hell did Uncle do when he was here?" he thought. "Not ... !"Aunt Edna, who'd run off with a younger lover and shot herself after she discovered her lover's only interest was in her husband's money, would not have come here—this Gene knew. So Uncle Fred had come here to fuck: Angela, next door, and probably some previous nitwits Uncle had sheltered there. "They sure are having fun," Gene thought, judging from the noise. "Maybe he should ... But where do you find women like that? At guru-retreats, at food co-ops? He'd have to ask Angela where she came from."Early the next morning, the sun through the window and Angela's tapping on the glass awoke Gene. Angela walked in and took over. When she saw Gene looking around, she said: "Out in the dune bushes," and pointed out the door. When he came back she was sweeping out the cabin with a half-gone broom. "Come eat," she said. "I've chopped up some cabbage.""I wonder who brought the cabbage?" thought Gene, imagining a previous night of noisy sex next door.
At breakfast, Angela stopped munching to sip some tea then said: "Oh, my! I really love to fuck. And so many nice, generous men like to, too. Do you?""Um, yes," said Gene.
"I consider fucking a primitive form of dance. I believe that's how dance started: fucking, standing up.""And yoga, too," contributed Gene."I knew you'll make a nice neighbor!" She then went on, at length, to explain what being a White Witch meant to her, how her purity kept evil away."And pregnancy and disease?" wondered Gene.Gene hung around for another day, in spite of himself, in spite of the job he had to get back to in New York. He explored the dunes with Angela, who shaded herself with a large black umbrella.After dinner, 'the vegetable man' arrived, and Gene had the pleasure of lying in his dark cabin and listening to them fuck. 'The vegetable man' had a particularly deep laugh which, under other circumstances would be pleasant—even infectious—but annoyed the hell out of Gene. It amazed him to discover a sick feeling of jealousy in him, a heavy desire for Angela—for any woman. He was glad when the man finally shut up and left so Gene could get some sleep.Angela roused him for breakfast, again, in her cabin. They had a torn-vegetables salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Gene found himself broaching the subject: "What if he set up charge accounts for her at the local stores and had the bills sent to him?""That's really not barter, is it?" Angela protested. Besides, she liked the fucking part. Maybe he could go to town and take the recycle with him. She could use a watermelon and some kale.Gene had to make two trips, dragging an Ikea bag he had in the car, to deliver all the vegetables he'd been inspired to buy. Angela was pleased, but upset: potatoes had to be cooked; bread was cooked; a lot of the vegetables would spoil before they were eaten—she'd put them out for the "little people." He'd have to take the bread and potatoes back to town, get rid of them there. But Gene had earned his way into her bed for the best sex he'd ever experienced. He found himself yelling and laughing uproariously. And wearing himself out with her.The next day, in town, he called his secretary, explaining he was in North Carolina looking after his uncle's estate and it was going to take much longer than he expected. And he'd tried calling his wife without success and there was only a pay phone and he had an appointment and would she try his wife and let her know he was fine and would be home in a week or two? Among the groceries, when he returned, was a paperback of Walden he'd picked up at the drugstore.When Angela saw the book, she grabbed it and ran outside. Gene looked out the door and saw her heading off across the dunes. "Desperate to read something," he thought. After a while, he missed her, and went looking for her. Her location was given to him by flows of wind carrying bits of paper. When he reached Angela, the book was totally shredded. His questioning look at her evoked the word 'filth'.Gene knew he had to get back to the city—at least for a while. How would Angela get along while he was away? No problem: they'd know he was gone and would take care of her. "Would he be coming back?" This question stung him: he'd deceived himself into thinking she loved him, she needed him, she wanted him back, for he was in love with this deluded, illiterate, incredibly sexual woman.Gene delayed his departure a day too long. As he and Angela were having their 'afternoon fuck', they were disturbed by the light of a video camera, the flashes of a regular camera. The pictures were being taken by Gene's wife and a big, tanned, handsome young man. "I'd hoped so," said Gene's wife, "that you were just like your uncle. I want a divorce. You can keep the cabin and the car. Phil, here, is also a lawyer. See you in court."
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