Air Flow - REPOST
Monday, November 26, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. A little one off as Mal reminisces.


You really wanna hear about it? What is it about girls that makes them want to know us fellers deepest secrets? You think you can just bat those eyelashes, pout a little, and we’ll give in to your feminine wiles. The fact that it works is beside the point. But don’t think you can get round me like that. I’ve hardened my heart. Even when you look at me like …

Okay. All right. You win. Though something about this is just downright unsettling.

I was all of sixteen. Tall enough, still a bit on the skinny side, but pretty. You know, like I am now. Don’t make that face. Anyways, I had this … well, I guess you could call it a crush on Amy Kroll. Prettiest little thing you ever saw. Blonde hair, big green eyes … she could melt you with those eyes. Melted me, sure enough, ‘til I was just a puddle on the floor. Had me some dreams about her, I can tell you. The kind where I … well, anyway, where was I?

Oh, yeah. She kinda liked me too. We … actually we kissed behind the back of the church. Odd place to kiss. Most people do it on the mouth, or …. Okay, I was just joshing. Yeah, it was after the sermon, and she let me run my hand up her leg. Not far, in case someone saw, but … it was far enough. Got me a little warm under the collar.

Sorry, zoned out there a moment. Just remembering. They were good days, back on Shadow. Long summers, even if it rained most of the gorram time the whole winter. Just made it all the better when the sun came back.

Anyway. Amy. She … invited me to … chat. And we did talk. Honest. Sitting on the corral fence, watching the world go by, just her and me. She kinda held my hand, or maybe I held hers, but we were getting on well. Very well. So when she suggested she was maybe a mite tired, and perhaps we should get somewhere more comfortable, I agreed.

Now, I know what you’re gonna say. I shouldn’t’ve taken advantage. Well, truth is, I didn’t. If anything, it was the other way around. Soon as Amy got me in that barn she was undoing my buttons like they were going out of style. All the while I'm trying to kiss her, and she’s pulling at my pants, and … well, somehow we ended up on the hay floor above, stark naked, enjoying ourselves on the blanket that had very conveniently been waiting ready.

Damn, but I think they must’ve heard me yell all the way down in town when I … Sorry, tickle in my throat there. Well, we were lying there, just breathing hard, waiting for things to calm down, when I could feel something was wrong.

I knew, soon as I heard the whispering, I just knew I should never have said anything to Brad and Lyle about meeting up with Amy. I leaped down the ladder, but I was too late. They’d gone. So’d my clothes.

Amy hung over the top of the hayloft and started to laugh. Can’t say I found it too funny, not then, standing there in the barn with nothing on me but a few bits of straw stuck places I don’t think you want to know about.

I asked, as you would, if she could find me something to wear so I could at least get home without scaring folks, but between the fits of the giggles she told me that wasn’t going to be likely. She’d got no brothers, and her Pa had died long time back, so there were no pants I could borrow there, and there was no way she was gonna go ask any of the hands if I could … I recall sitting down pretty hard on the floor about then, convinced I was gonna end up tarred and feathered for walking down the street in nothing but my birthday suit.

Amy finally calmed down, and said there was only one thing for it. Getting dressed quick – they hadn’t taken her clothes, I noticed – she hurried back to the house, disappearing inside. I just sat there, waiting for someone to come along, figure out what we’d been doing. I tell you, I half expected the Preacher to turn up, declare we were damned in the sight of God and insist we get hitched. And for just a moment I considered it. Long as someone brought me a pair of pants.

It seemed to take an age, I’ll tell you, and there was hay dust getting where hay dust had no right to be by the time Amy came back. Holding out a dress. No, I ain't joking, so there’s no point in grinning at me. Like she did. Handed me this green dress and said it was that or nothing. Told me I wasn't to tear it either, as it was her Ma’s and she wouldn’t be too pleased if it came back damaged.

I wanted to say there was no way I was gonna wear it. That I’d be more willing to walk through the Preacher’s version of fiery hell before I’d put on a dress. ‘Cept I figured it might be a bit warm around my nethers.

So I put it on. Damn thing came to just past my knees, and hung in folds ‘round my hips. Amy’s Ma was short, but she was on the big side. At least it wasn't obvious I’d got no drawers on underneath.

I waited until Amy got her breath back from laughing so much, and took my leave, making a mental note to get my own back on Brad and Lyle. Mindful of what Amy had said about not ruining the dress, I decided I wouldn’t try and cut across country, but stick to the path. It was mid afternoon, and most folks’d either be resting or still working. ‘Cept for that one. I don’t think I’d ever seen so many people out and about. All of ‘em I’d known since I was knee high to nothing, and all of ‘em just aching to spend the time of day with me.

After the first four or five, I kinda glazed over. Something happened, and I began to stride out, strutting along like it was normal for a sixteen year old boy to be wearing a dress. Seemed to change their attitude. Even Dilly Fairbrass gave me the eye. Something to do with being bold enough to buck the convention, I found out later.

And it felt kinda nice. All … free. Walking along, arms swinging, the bottom of the dress loose enough so that I could feel the breeze reaching bits of me that were usually covered up … it was kinda liberating. I began to wonder if girls felt like that all the time.

As I got closer to home, though, the good feelings were being replaced by something more like trepidation. Yeah, I can see by the look in your eyes you know exactly what I mean. If’n I had to walk into the house, or even just past the bunkhouse … Luckily they’d left my clothes down by the creek, not far from the house, so at least I could change. Felt almost odd, truth be told, putting my own stuff back on. Constricting. But I bundled up Amy’s Ma’s dress and hurried home.

When I walked inside, my own Ma was looking at me sorta strange, like she’d not seen me before. She was with Mrs Hubbard, who I’d met out on the road. She was smiling sweetly at me. My Ma, on the other hand, didn’t say anything, just glanced down at the dress in my hands, and I knew it wasn't just gonna be the garden I was weeding. Be the whole damn ranch. And she did. And all the while I was planning on how to get back at Lyle and Brad. But that’s another story for another day.

Funny thing is, that ain't the only time I’ve worn a dress since. Something about the air flow …

Hey, now, what’re you making that noise for? I know you’re hungry, but I ain't got the wherewithal to feed you, so there’s no need to … and now you’ve woken up your Momma. She ain't gonna be happy with me, seeing as I forgot to bring that bottle down last evening. Still, I get to watch her feed you, and that’s never a bad sight. Even though she’s glaring at me. Won’t last. Feeling you there, taking your nourishment, always puts a smile on her face. Yep. There it is. Wonder if she’d do the same for me?


Monday, November 26, 2007 7:51 PM


Love Mal as a Dad telling his little girl stories, especially ones about frilly dresses.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 6:08 AM


Ah, yes, I remember this one. Mal is certainly a man of mysteries! LOL!


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[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

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Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
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“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]