August 8, 1967 – Somewhere in Wyoming
Elmer slowly awoke from a dream in which a young female detective mercilessly interrogated him under an intense accusatory spotlight. She seemed convinced he was guilty of something; whatever it was, Elmer had an unsettling feeling she was right.
He cautiously opened his eyes. The blinding spotlight was actually the early morning sun shining through the windshield of his well-used 15-year-old Chevy pickup. Shielding his eyes, Elmer was surprised to find himself in a desert of some kind. He turned to look around and felt a twinge of pain in his neck; he had been sleeping in the driver's seat with his head tilted awkwardly against the side window.
As his thoughts cleared, he remembered that late last night the truck had begun to lose power and he had pulled off State Route 130 into an abandoned gas station at the edge of a small town, just west of the middle of nowhere. The town appeared doubtful; a dozen dilapidated dwellings and a tacky tavern that wouldn’t open until noon, and where a long-haired, fresh-out-of-college kid in bell bottoms wouldn’t be welcome anyway.
Elmer suddenly felt apprehensive. Where was Tilly? He looked down to find her curled up asleep next to him, her dusty bare feet against his thigh. At least she was still there, looking beautiful and innocent. Her long peasant dress was pulled up and tucked between her knees; her uncombed long brown hair was sweetly entangled with her left arm, which covered her face.
They had been sweethearts four years ago, back in high school, and he couldn’t help remembering the delicious and delightfully dissolute things they had learned to do together in this very truck during their two years of do-it-yourself sex education. Evidence of their homework still discolored the seats here and there. Those had been the best days of Elmer’s life, before Tilly had left for nursing school in San Francisco and he had departed for the State College of Iowa in Cedar Falls. EVERYTHING was different now.
Tilly and Elmer were beginning the fourth day of their confinement in his cramped truck on an unwanted road trip back to South Branch, Iowa, their former hometown. These days they couldn’t stand each other’s company for four minutes, much less four days. It hadn’t gone well so far, and they still faced more dismal days of stony silence alternating with acrimonious accusations.
Elmer got out of the truck and slammed the door, awakening the already grumpy girl. He poked around under the hood for a few minutes and when he came back, she was fuming.
“Give me your panties!” Elmer said in the most unromantic way possible, although the thought of her panties brought the hint of a smile to his face.
Tilly gave him a look of loathing. “Are you kidding?” she hissed.
She turned away from him and said under her breath, “What an asshole!”
“Damn it, Tilly! I need them to fix the truck!”
“You need my PANTIES to fix the truck? How stupid do you think I am, Elmer?”
“I don’t think you’re stupid, but I doubt you’re an expert on troubleshooting the fuel delivery system in a 1952 Chevy pickup. I would have used those pink panties Prudence left under the seat if you hadn’t tossed them out the window in Winnemucca!”
|File size:||4 MB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Gene Clements is an artist, architect, and educator. He began the Tilly and Elmer series by writing a couple of paragraphs about a frisky older couple. His friends thought they were funny and wanted to find out what was going to happen if he finished the story. Now they know, for better or worse.
Gene grew up in a small town in the Midwest although he now lives in California. He thinks he’s eighteen, but he’s really the same age as Tilly and Elmer. These stories aren’t necessarily autobiographical. Gene knows a lot of interesting people and has a prolific imagination; a dangerous combination.