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High School Honey

by Bill Bowler

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Chapter 3: Flea and Floater

Floater was climbing into a helicopter with Marilyn Monroe and Abraham Lincoln. The blades whirred close overhead as they huddled together in the cockpit and took off. Marilyn was in a tight miniskirt and a clinging, very low-cut, see-through blouse with deep cleavage. She looked up at Floater and smiled warmly and then moved over and pressed up against him.

Slowly, still smiling, she removed her blouse revealing huge, spherical, milk-white breasts with pink nipples, and put her hand gently in Floater’s crotch. Floater soared in ecstasy as a wave of pleasure swept through his system but then, suddenly, he sensed that something was terribly wrong. A feeling of alarm gripped him, a sense of dread.

He looked over and saw that Lincoln’s face was distorted with jealous rage. When Lincoln reached into his coat and pulled out a carving knife, Floater’s alarm exploded into panic and he jumped out through the cockpit door in terror. He held his arms straight out and swooped downward towards the green, rolling ground below. As his speed increased, he leveled out and then ascended, decelerating, until he reached another peak and then arced over into another descent.

“Breakfast is ready!”

Floater heard his mother’s voice, disembodied and echoing.

“Come on. Wake up. It’s time for school.”

Floater opened his eyes. He tried to remember what he had been dreaming, something about flying. His bed felt heavenly, warm and comfortable.

“William Loom! Are you up yet?”

“I’m coming.”

He pulled the sheets up around his shoulders, rolled over and closed his eyes.

When Floater entered the kitchen, his mother was putting a plate of eggs and toast down in front of his father, whose face was hidden behind the morning paper. Floater could see only his father’s hands, strong and veined with hair on the knuckles, a jeweled ring, and on the left wrist, a gold watch, half-hidden by a starched white shirt sleeve and gray jacket.

His mother pecked him on the cheek. “You want eggs, dear?”


She dropped a slice of butter into the hot pan, which sizzled as she cracked the eggs in.

“Your juice is on the table.”

Floater took a gulp standing up. His mother spoke softly, with her back to him.

“We received a note from Mr. Bloman yesterday. You’re failing World History.”

“Bloman’s an idiot.”

“But, dear, you have such potential. Why don’t you apply yourself? You could excel in World History.”

“It’s a bore,” said Floater.

“But with failing grades, you’ll never get into a good college. And then you won’t get into a good law school and you’ll never make anything of yourself.”

“I’ll still get farther than that jerk Bloman.”

His father lowered the newspaper. “Is that how you answer your mother?”

Floater shrugged.

His father’s voice rose. “Well why the hell don’t you listen to what she’s saying?! She’s only trying to look out for your own good!”

“I don’t believe this crap,” Floater muttered under his breath. His father’s hand struck like a viper, like a bolt of lightning, and stung his face with a loud smack.

“Now I’m sorry I brought it up!” his mother cried. “It’s not his fault, Sam. He’s fallen under a bad influence. The instigator...”

The door slammed and Floater, his cheek red and stinging, his spirit howling, headed down the stairs into the garage. He pulled up the garage door and hopped behind the wheel of his black Ford Galaxy convertible with the red interior. The top was down.

He flipped the radio on loud, floored the pedal and roared out of the garage in reverse. He flew down the driveway backwards with gravel spraying from every wheel, and hooked out onto the street, where he slammed on the brakes, banged it into neutral, stepped on the gas, popped it into drive and screeched off down the steep hill, leaving a long black slick and the acrid smell of burning rubber to remember him by.

Floater drove across town to Railroad Street and pulled up in front of an old, rundown, gray three-story house badly in need of a coat of paint. The house stood in an unkempt yard with tall grass gone to seed, and shrubs and bushes run wild, blocking the front windows. A gray metal fence encircled the property.

Floater stopped his black Galaxy at the curb — with the top down, the motor running, the radio blaring — and hit the horn. A cement mixer rumbled by, pulverizing the pavement and filling the air with dust.

The front door of the house opened, and a handsome young man, not very tall but strong and muscular, with broad shoulders and powerful arms, came slowly down the walk, through the gate, and climbed into the front passenger seat of Floater’s convertible. Flea was barely in the seat before Floater floored it and popped it into drive leaving a smoking rubber slick for a calling card as they sped off down the street.

As they approached Brookbank Ave., a timid driver was stopped at the intersection, hesitating to pull out into traffic. Floater pulled up behind him, lit a cigarette, and leaned on the horn.

“C’mon, what are you waiting for? Let’s move it!”

The cautious driver pulled out onto the avenue. Floater followed and zoomed past. When they reached the intersection downtown at Brookbank Ave. and Broadway, the light was yellow. Floater stepped on the gas and sped through the red light.

A police car pulled up behind them with the light flashing and pulled them over. Officer Jack Baer emerged from the squad car, adjusted his holster, and sauntered up to the driver’s side of Floater’s Galaxy.

“So, it’s you two. I should have known.” Jack knew the boys and they knew him. Jack was from Brookbank and had graduated from Brookbank High some ten years earlier, class of ’58.

“What seems to be the trouble, Officer? Is this a routine check?”

“License and registration.”

Floater fumbled in the glove compartment and found the registration under an empty pint bottle of gin.

“Was I going too fast? We were afraid we might be late for school.”

Flea grinned while Floater babbled. Officer Baer frowned.

“Listen, you two. See if you can get this through your thick skulls. This type of reckless driving is a threat to pedestrians and other motorists, not to mention to your own selves. I should issue a summons... but I’m giving you boys a break this time.”

“But, Officer...”

“Don’t push your luck, fella. And you in the passenger seat, wipe that smirk off your face. Now get going.”

Floater pulled away from the curb with Officer Baer watching. Flea clenched his fist and his biceps bulged in his shirtsleeve. He punched the palm of his hand.

“One of these days...” Flea looked up and noticed the red welt on Floater’s cheek. “Hey, what happened to your face?”


“Heh heh,” snickered Flea, “You wising off to your ol’ man again?”

“Forget it, okay?” said Floater. “You eat breakfast yet?”

“Nah,” grunted Flea.

“Mine was rudely interrupted. We got plenty of time. C’mon.”

Floater swung around and pulled into the lot of Vecchio’s Diner.

As they sat down at the counter, Mr. Vecchio smiled. “You boys are going to be late for school.”

“So what?!” said Floater.

These punks should be drafted, thought Mr. Vecchio.

Floater wolfed down a couple of sunny-side-ups and finished first. Flea was polishing off a cheese omelet with hash browns when Floater began to show signs of boredom. In need of distraction, he dumped the contents of the salt shaker into the sugar dispenser.

Flea was not impressed.

“Don’t you think those potatoes need a little ketchup?” asked Floater. He shook the ketchup hard over Flea’s hash browns, slapped the bottom of the bottle, and a huge red glop spilled out and buried the potatoes.

Flea was unmoved. He slid his fork into the mess, detached a forkful, and fired off a catapult shot. Floater ducked and the volley struck Mr. Vecchio in the shoulder leaving a moist red splotch as he stood at the cash register.

“All right! That’s enough!” he yelled. “Pay up and beat it!”

They arrived at the high school in the middle of second period. Some idiot hall monitor told them to report to the front office, and Floater explained to the vice principal about the flat tire.

The vice principal leaned back in his chair and eyed the boys across his desk.

“The only thing flat is your story.” He drummed his fingers on the desk top. “I’m not happy with this behavior, and I am increasingly concerned as to the consequences, should such behavior continue. What are you laughing at, Mr. Fleanor?”

With a shake of his head and a sigh of resignation, conscious of the futility of his exhortations, the vice principal reached for a small pink pad and issued them late passes.

Copyright © 2010 by Bill Bowler

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