Jimmy Dobbs dragged Frannie Gardia through the student parking lot to the field and the old railroad ditch, beyond. They hurried in case some teacher came out looking for kids getting high in their cars. But once he and Frannie were in the eight-foot deep railroad cut, they’d be hidden from view. All anyone would see beyond the lot were the skeletal limbs of ancient apple trees against the darkening red sky.
Jimmy helped Frannie down the embankment where he stopped to feel her up. But when he pushed her against the prickly wall of dirt and weeds, she pushed back.
“I don’t wanna do it here,” she whispered.
“We’re not. We’re waiting for it to get dark.” He moved in again, pulling up her shiny polyester skirt to get at her pantyhose.
“No!” She hissed, shoving her skirt down. “You want us to have sex the very first time in the Ditch? With the disgusto used rubbers and beer cans?”
Jimmy Dobbs was willing to have sex on the tracks, in the dying trees or under a parked car if he could finally get his perma-boner into Frannie’s plump little twat. But she’d been adamant. Even his car fell below minimum romance standard, being as how it was her first time and she was not a slut.
Everybody Jimmy knew was fucking—or said they were—going on about girls scratching their backs and screaming when they came. Undauntable in his quest for warm, wet pussy—and Frannie’s got very, very warm and slick when he fingered her—Jimmy had formulated a plan for this very night. A plan that ended with Frannie Gardia screaming his name.
It was Junior Prom. That was romantic. He had condoms. He had advice from a sex site. He had lube stuff he bought at Walmart. He whacked off in the lav just before he took Frannie out the backdoor of the gym, so he wouldn’t come too fast.
And he had the Farmhouse. Or at least the utility porch on the back.
Growing up, the borders of Jimmie’s world were landmarked. The Store—mostly candy, cell phones, lotto tickets and cigarettes—was on the corner of two streets you didn’t cross. Along with the Store, the Park, the Cemetery and the Ditch were the adult-defined boundaries of Jimmy’s childhood.
The Orchard and the Farmhouse were just barely outside the lines drawn by streets and an abandoned railroad track. On a tree-lined avenue of post World War Two ranch homes sat the old clapboard house a hundred feet from the curb.
Behind the Farmhouse was its Orchard—dead and dying. They were both seriously and irresistibly haunted.
Parents acted like they didn’t believe the Farmhouse was haunted, but they did. They said the kids shouldn’t go there because it was dangerous with broken glass and loose boards. But the surety the neighborhood felt that something evil resided in the Farmhouse had kept even the rock throwers away.
The windows were intact. The doors were locked. No one knew if boards inside were loose or not.
The property had been abandoned when Jimmy’s parents were his age. Since the last murder victim was found. His own mother remembered seeing the police leave for the last time, pulling the door shut behind themselves, making sure all was secured.
The doors had never opened again. Everyone knew that.
Jimmy remembered August evenings when he was nine, sneaking along the Ditch with his friends. August rated prime surveillance time because the sun set so early they could be out until after dark. The weeds were tall and thick by summer’s end, providing good cover. When they crawled up over the edge and wriggled in amongst thistle and feathery Medusahead, they were well-concealed from whatever thing possessed the abandoned house.
Then they waited. When the sun threw last rays from the west, they could see straight through from the window in the front door to the window in the back door. And once in a while—a very long while—the Spectre would appear, backlit, moving. It was no ghost that the light went through, it was solid and black as a hole to hell.
It was a demon.
Jimmy never could describe it better because they were five-hundred feet away, but he had seen it. He was dead sure.
He was thirteen when he realized the Spectre was likely some high school kid who spotted them in the weeds and snuck around to walk by the kitchen door window on the utility porch. He was almost seventeen when he realized the Farmhouse utility porch was the perfect private spot to get into Frannie Gardia’s pants.
It was enclosed and empty and no one else would get near it. And since Frannie’s family had only moved to the neighborhood a few years before, she only had a vague notion that little kids said the Farmhouse was haunted.
Jimmy wasn’t nine anymore. He didn’t believe in the things he still thrilled to in movies and TV shows. He made a Plan.
On the day of the Junior Prom, before dawn, way before he’d ever gotten up before, he snuck the double sleeping bag and air mattress from the garage. He slung them over his shoulder and hefted a backpack he’d filled after his parents were asleep.
The gray pre-dawn found Jimmy Dobbs making the familiar trek along the Ditch to create a space so romantic Frannie would finally open her legs.
SO IT WAS THAT Frannie followed Jimmy on his very last trek along the Ditch. They threaded their way carefully through the trees of the deadfall-littered Orchard because they didn’t dare show a light.
At the back of the Farmhouse, he led her up the three sagging board steps to the porch. Opening the creaky screen door with a flourish, he bowed her into the twelve-by-twelve foot space and flicked on a small camp lantern.
“Oh, Jimmy!” she gasped. “It’s beautiful!”
The open double sleeping bag on top of the queen-sized air mattress looked like a real bed. The silky gold-colored lining shone in the lantern light. He’d swept out the dead leaves with his hands and feet and killed the spiders in the corners.
“I really wanted it to be special for us,” he told her, almost believing it.
Two scented candles in glass jars glowed on the kitchen doorsill. He thought they looked really good. But mostly they masked a dank smell that hung about the place that was more than a little like baby diapers.
He shut off the harsh lantern light to avoid attracting attention. So close to the floor, with flames so small, he bet the candlelight wouldn’t be visible from the strip of orchard across the Ditch where kids got high and got off.
He kissed Frannie and lowered her without dropping her to the plushy softness of goose down stuffing. It wasn’t long before her skirt was up, her pantyhose down, her dress unzipped and her bra unhooked.
She was wet and hot and calling him “darling.” He lined up, held onto the head of his dick the way it said on the sex site he’d consulted, and fed himself into her.
The expected resistance didn’t materialize. Neither did the expected insta-come. The unexpected wonderfulness of the feeling was so much better than he ever imagined. He knew with absolute certainty that nothing in his life would ever feel better than this. But while it didn’t stop feeling that amazing, after a while Jimmy realized he couldn’t seem to figure out how to shoot.
He pumped harder. Grunted. Frannie stopped writhing around and calling him “darling.” He pumped faster. And managed to slip out. He poked her in the underside of one plump cheek and ricocheted off to the side.
She rolled her eyes and looked away. “Away”—as she was on her back—meant straight at the window in the kitchen door. The reflection of the candle flames licked at the dirty glass.
Something moved inside. Frannie blinked. But Jimmy had his thing in her again and was kissing her. She closed her eyes, determined to make her first time a romantic encounter she’d tell her granddaughter about someday. She ignored the feeling that Jimmy’s thing was smaller and the toilet smell seemed stronger and candlelight made smudges on old windows looked like moving things.
She pulled at Jimmy’s shoulders and tilted her hips. He slid into her more and made a strangled noise that Frannie felt in her pussy. Her vagina spasmed.
Jimmy moaned Oh, God. Ripped his mouth away from her mouth. He shouted Oh, fuck! and gave a hard jerk.
Frannie’s eyes opened.
A fleshless white face grinned at her from the window.
Jimmy finally heard Frannie scream.