Second Honeymoon


“Danny?” Chris called to her husband as she came through the front door. She practically fell over the two pieces of luggage sitting just inside the entrance.

Danny rounded the corner from the kitchen, his arms laden with jackets. A huge grin crossed his face when he saw his wife standing there, looking confused and a little bit miffed.

“What did you do?” she asked, planting her hands on her hips for emphasis.

“What do you mean?” Danny asked, knowing full well what she was talking about.

“Connors called me into his office at three this afternoon, and told me to have a nice weekend and he would see me on Tuesday. I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. Do you want to come clean?” Chris demanded.

With no option of drawing out his surprise out any longer, Danny knew it was time to confess. He dropped the jackets and plunked his arms around Chris’ shoulders and did his best to charm her.

“Look, we’ve been married coming up on ten years. You and I work more than forty hours a week, and probably each spend another twenty hours running the kids to practices, dance, games, and friends’ houses. I thought it might be nice to surprise you with a long weekend away – just the two of us.”

Danny watched her face for a positive reaction. Right now all he saw were her eyes looking at him suspiciously, and her mouth opening like she wanted to speak, but chose to wait.

“School just got out for the summer, I got your mom to take the kids, I cleared the time off with Connors and I’ve already got us packed. Happy Second Honeymoon!” he said, sounding quite proud.

The logical Chris spoke first, “Danny, we can’t afford this. Besides, it’s the end of June and the weather isn’t supposed to be that great. Where can we go for just a weekend? Surely, not somewhere warm.”

“Hun, I’m not that cheap but I am smart. My mom still has her cabin on Grover’s Pond, and she never goes up before the 4th of July. She called the guy who opens and closes it for her, and asked him to flush out the pipes and turn the electricity on. She also asked him to find someone to clean the place. I haven’t been up there since dad died when I was in college, but Chris, it’s like a piece of heaven there.”

“Camping – like with sleeping bags and cooking on an open fire?” she asked, not looking all that happy.

“Nooooo – it has a full kitchen, a living room with a fireplace, shower, and a big front porch. It’s a short walk to the pond. Trust me – you’ll really like it. Please honey? Trust me,” Danny begged.

“You planned this whole thing?” she moved closer to him and put her arms around his neck. “All by yourself? You are the sweetest guy (kiss), the greatest father (kiss), and the best husband in the whole world.”

With her final words, she leaned the full length of her body against his, and kissed him with her entire being. She really did love this man.

Chris did a quick check of what Danny had packed, noting there was no sleeping attire. She smiled and felt herself getting excited. It had been way too long. She joined him in the garage as he loaded a case of bottled water and the cooler into the back of the SUV.

Traffic was hell leaving the city that Friday night. Chris had wanted to wait until morning, but Danny was anxious to start their trip. It was evident that the trip was going to take longer than the three hours it should have taken, so when they turned down the dirt road, it was already ten-thirty. The sky suddenly lit up and a deep rumble echoed around them. As Danny brought the car to a halt, the heavens opened their faucets and let the rain pour down.

Danny and Chris ran to the porch, visible only because of the lights from the car.

“I’m surprised there aren’t any lights on,” Danny yelled over the sound of the storm.

“Hurry up, Danny. I’m cold and I’m soaked to the skin. There had better be hot water for a shower,” Chris said shivering.

Danny tried flicking the light switch, but nothing happened. He made his way to the kitchen to try the lights there, but still nothing. The only light was the faint glow coming from the car lights.

“Shit! Okay, look – I’ll bring the stuff up out of the car, and the emergency flashlight. I know we’ll find candles, and then we’ll figure something out. Could be the storm took out the electricity,” he said, giving Chris a quick kiss. “Trust me baby, we’re still going to have a great night.”

Chris had her doubts as she watched her husband slide through the mud to the car. There wasn’t enough light for her to get her bearings, so she stuck near the door and waited to help with their supplies.

Danny was drenched when he finished bringing everything up to the porch. His lips were already blue and he was shivering. “I swear the temperature feels like it dropped fifteen degrees.”

“Get out of those clothes and into dry ones. I’ll take the flashlight and see if I can find candles and matches.”

Danny normally would have made a remark about getting naked, arap porno but he was too damn cold to think about anything other than wanting to be warm and dry. When he came out of the bathroom, Chris had been able to find about a half dozen candles and had them lit around the room.

“I can start a fire,” Danny told her, as he turned towards the stone fireplace.

“Oh no, Danny, it’s so late and I won’t get any sleep if I know there is a fire going. Let’s just put away what we can and go to bed. We’ll be able to check out more things in the daylight.”

There was no sense in putting food in the refrigerator, because it wasn’t running. Danny pushed the latched metal cooler out onto the porch. When he came in, he found Chris putting sheets on the bed.

She didn’t look too happy as she said, “I don’t know who cleaned this place, but I would have thought the bed would be made. I’m just going to wash up with some cold water and throw on some sweaters.”

Danny stopped her, “Um, sweetie, there’s no water. It runs on an electric pump. No electricity, no running water. You can’t flush either.”

Chris was too tired to get upset. She grabbed a bottle of water and a candle, and went into the bathroom to make do with what she had available. Danny was waiting for her in the bedroom doorway. His wife was dressed in panties, big socks, two sweatshirts and one of his sweaters. He thought she was beautiful. He pulled her close and tenderly kissed her shivering lips.

“I do know a way to warm up,” he whispered. “Do you still trust me?”

Chris giggled and pulled on his bottom lip with her teeth. They inched their way towards the bed, the whole time kissing and caressing each other. They got into bed and moved to the center, trying to get as close as possible. Their kisses continued, their hands began to explore, and their breathing turned to panting as limbs intertwined.

It would have been so perfect, if the cracking sound of splitting wood hadn’t filled the quiet of the night. As the lovers clung to each other, the bed trembled and the left side of it collapsed.

Instead of cries of anger, laughter filled the bedroom. Chris and Danny pulled the mattress and box spring onto the floor and pushed the broken bed frame out of the way. They moved towards each other, once more, and fell soundly asleep.

There was no bright of day, the next morning. The rain continued, but at least they were dry. Breakfast consisted of peanut butter on bread and bottled water.

“Look, I’m going to get dressed and see if I can figure out if the problem is at the main power box,” Danny told Chris. “Do you want me to get the fire going in the fireplace first?”

“I’m not helpless, Danny; I’ll take care of it. I just hope we get power soon. I need hot water and coffee, before I start going through withdrawal.”

While Danny dressed, Chris set the fire. She used old newspaper and kindling, building a teepee with the logs she found sitting on the hearth. She thought she heard scratching at the window and expected to see hail, but it was only rain.

When she put the match to the paper, it caught immediately. What didn’t catch was the wood. It wasn’t quite cured and the room began to fill with smoke. Danny was just coming out from getting dressed and rushed to open the front door. The smoke in the room quickly began to clear as the cold air swept through. Danny promised he’d be right back, and headed off to figure out why they had no electricity.

Chris turned her attention to the fireplace once more and was greeted by two beady black eyes staring at her. Almost before she registered what she saw, the eyes were gone.

No, she thought, I must have been imagining things. Chris adjusted the flu and when she did, a small furry pile dropped out onto the hearth.

“HELP!” she screamed, as the balls of fur came alive and began running around the room. “Danny, help!”

Danny had just made his way through the mud, to the back of the cabin, when Chris’ screams pierced the silence of the woods. He ran, clumsily, trying to keep his balance and as he got to the porch a lightning fast ball of fluff ran up one side of him and down the other, before taking off and climbing the nearest tree.

He found Chris inside, wrapped in a blanket, shaking with fright.

“I hate this, Danny! I hate this! Fucking squirrels living in the fucking chimney! God damn it, I want to go home!” Chris cried into his chest as he held her.

“Oh baby, I’m so sorry. But trust me, it’s only going to get better,” he said as he lifted her chin so she would look at him. “I love you, Chris, its okay now, so please baby, and calm down.”

He looked around the cabin and confirmed that there were no more friends staying with them, and pulled the green wood aside, to stop any more smoke. The smoke had pretty much cleared the room, so he turned to Chris once more.

“Look, I found the electric box, so I’m going to see if the main breaker is on. You sit bedava porno here and stay wrapped in the blanket. I’ll be back in two shakes.”

Chris sat in the corner of the room, wrapped in the blanket, fuming with anger. This was not the way her second honeymoon should be going. She hated it here, but she also stopped to think of everything Danny had done for her. He tried so hard to make this a perfect weekend. She swallowed her pride and slapped on a new coat of determination. Nothing was going to spoil this for them.

Suddenly, she heard Danny screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs. She ran to the window and saw him running around, flailing his arms and smacking his own head. When he slipped and face-planted in the mud, the cursing finally stopped. He rolled around for a moment, and then got shakily to his feet.

Chris ran outside. She almost fell too, as she ran through the slippery mud.

“Danny! What happened?” she cried.

“Go back inside before they get you, too!”

Through the slime coating Danny’s face, hands and clothes, Chris could see angry bumps already appearing on her husband’s skin.

“Are there any still on me?” Danny yelled. “There’s a nest under the power box. Bees, or wasps, or some damn thing. They came after me. The little bastards ganged up on me!”

Chris looked toward the electrical box on the side of the cabin, and could see a cloud of angry insects swarming around it.

“Oh my God, baby, are you OK?” she asked.

“We need to get inside before they come after me again!” Danny yelled. “Come on!”

Together, they slipped and skidded around the side of the cabin and on to the porch. Danny continued to slap himself and yell as a few stragglers stung him. Chris received a couple stings, herself.

“Wait!” she cried, as Danny reached for the door. “You can’t come inside like this.”

“Why not?” Danny moaned.

“We have to make sure all the bees are off you. There could still be some in your clothes. Plus, you’re a muddy mess,” she said. “You’re going to have to take your clothes off our here.”

“Out here? I can’t just strip naked outside.”

“Well, it’s not like anyone’s going to see you. There doesn’t seem to be another living soul around this God-forsaken hell-hole you brought me to.”

“Oh honey, trust me, things will bet better. I just need to get cleaned up and to put something on these stings.”

“Did you get the power turned on?” Chris asked.

“No, the bees came at me before I could open the box.”

“Well, then, there’s no water to clean you up with.”

“Oh.” For the first time, Danny’s infuriating optimism seemed to waver. “So what am I going to do?”

“Take your clothes off. I’ll get some bottled water to wash you off with.”

“But it’s cold out here.”

“It’s not exactly hot inside, either. Now strip. I’ll be right back,” Chris said, taking off her own muddy shoes and going inside.

Working together, the couple managed to clean the worst of the mud from Danny’s hair, face and body. As his skin was exposed, they began to appreciate the number of stings Danny had received. His hands, face, and scalp were covered with angry welts; there were a number of stings on his forearms, and a few on areas that had been covered by his clothes.

“Baby, you’ve never been allergic to bee stings, have you?” Chris asked, sounding worried.

“No, but I have so many stings on my hands that they’re starting to swell. And my hands and head feel like they’re on fire. Plus I’m freezing,” he whined.

“OK, I’ll be right back with some towels and dry clothes. You finish washing,” Chris said.

“Do we have anything for bee stings?”

“How would I know? You packed our stuff.”

“Oh, right. Then no, we don’t have anything.”

“Wait, I have my hay fever pills in my purse,” she said.

“Your antihistamine? I can’t take that stuff. It knocks me out.”

“Yes, but it will help you fight the reaction to the stings. Do you have a better idea?”

“No,” Danny mumbled.

Chris went inside to look for her pills and some clothes for her husband. “Some second honeymoon,” she grumbled as she climbed over the wreckage of the bed in their room to get to Danny’s suitcase.

Outside, Danny stood, shivering and miserable. “Come on, hurry up!” he called. “I’m freezing out here.”

“Maybe ya oughta put some clothes on, ya damn fool! Who the hell are ya?”

A voice said from out in the yard.

Danny spun around, nearly falling again on the muddy, wet porch. “Who the hell are you?”

“I asked ya first, and ya better have a damn good answer,” the man said. “And for God’s sake, have some decency and cover yerself.”

“This is my place,” Danny said.

“The hell it is! This is the widow Jenkins’ cabin,” the man snarled. “Now ya best tell me what the hell ya think yer doin’!”

“Waiting for my wife to bring me a towel and some clothes. And some pills,” Danny answered, shaking with cold.

“I cüce porno shoulda knowed it! You’re one of them damn druggies, ain’t ya? I have half a mind to run home and get my gun. Some buckshot oughta warm ya up, ya damn pervert!” the man said, spitting a long line of tobacco juice on the ground.

At that point, Chris appeared in the doorway.

“Go back inside, Missus, this ain’t nuthin’ for no decent woman to see. Some weirdo out here was tryin’ to break into…. Hold on a minute! What the hell are ya doin’ inside the widow Jenkins’ cabin?”

Chris came outside. “This is my husband. Who are you?”

“Yer husband? So yer another damn druggie, are ya? Ya got some kinda nerve, Missus, helpin’ this here pervert break into the old widow’s place!”

“I’m Danny Jenkins. This is my mother’s place.”

“Yer little Danny Jenkins?”

“Yes,” Danny replied, shivering.

“Then ya ain’t breakin’ in?” Another stream of tobacco juice hit the ground.

“NO!” Danny and Chris yelled in unison.

“Then why are ya out here nekkid?”

“It’s a long story,” Chris said, completely exasperated. “But you still didn’t answer my question. Who are you?”

“I’m Chester Hooper. I take care of this place for the widow Jenkins.”

“So, if you’re supposed to take care of this place, why is there no electricity? Why is there no running water? Why hasn’t it been cleaned? Why is there a bee’s nest in the electrical box? And why were squirrels living in the fucking chimney? You should have taken care of that!” Chris was starting to sound a little hysterical.

“Calm yerself, Missus. That’s why I’m here. You wasn’t supposed to be here until late tonight. That’s what the widow Jenkins told me.”

“Yeah, well my husband just couldn’t wait to get here to this little piece of heaven, so we drove up last night,” Chris said.

Hooper spat on the ground again. “If you woulda got here when you was supposed to, I woulda been done with all that. Don’t take no time just to turn on the electric and clean out a chimney, and we was comin’ over this afternoon to clean.”

“You can’t turn on the power,” Danny said. “There’s a nest of bees or wasps or hornets under it.”

“Shit! Oh, sorry, pardon my French, Missus. I reckon I’ll run home and fetch a can of that there spray ya use to shoot ’em out of the air. I can stand twenty feet away and soak the nest good with that stuff. I’ll come in and clean the chimney while I wait for ’em to finish dyin’, and then ya’ll have electric and water just as nice as you please. All the comforts of home.”

“Please hurry,” Chris said.

Danny and Chris went inside and Hooper started walking back to his house for the insect spray.

By the time Hooper came back in his rust-bucket pick-up truck, the rain had stopped, and the sun had started to shine. Danny was dressed in dry clothes and bundled up in a couple of blankets, trying to get warm, since the cabin was still cold and damp inside. Chris was trying to remove some of the stingers the bees had left in Danny’s hands, scalp, and face. The couple could hear Hooper outside.

“Yeah, take that, ya little rascals! Hoo-wee! Yeah, die, ya bastards! Ha! Ha! Ya don’t scare me! I brung plenty of ammunition to this here little war!” he hollered from the back of the cabin.

“What the hell is he doing?” Danny asked.

“I guess he’s spraying that nest,” Chris said, getting up to look out a window. “Oh my God, he’s out there dancing around, yelling, with an aerosol can in each hand, spraying stuff at the bees that are coming at him.”

“Yeeeee-haw! Almost got me that time, ya cowardly little prick! But America always wins!” Hooper shouted.

“He sounds deranged.” Danny muttered from inside his cocoon of blankets.

“He looks ridiculous,” Chris giggled. “You should see the look on his face. He’s having fun. He looks like John Wayne out there, doing his Rooster Cogburn thing, shooting from the hip!”

“Well, I just hope he kills them all and gets the power turned on. I can’t get warm, and I really need a hot shower to get the rest of this mud off me.”

“Oh honey, I know. I guess it will take a while for the water to heat up, but when it does, you can have the first shower,” Chris said, returning to the sofa.

“Thanks, baby.”

“Or we could shower together,” Chris said, a gleam in her eyes.

“Maybe tonight,” Danny said. “Right now, I’m too miserable to even think about that, even with you, sweetheart. And I’m really sleepy.”

“That’s the allergy medicine. We knew it would make you groggy, remember?”

“Yeah, but I thought it would take away some of this itching and burning, too.”

Hooper knocked on the door. “Anyone in there?” he yelled.

Chris opened the door.

“‘Scuse me, Missus,” Hooper said, pushing past her with an armload of firewood and leaving a trail of muddy footprints on the floor. “I brung some dry wood and kindling for ya, since all of yours is wet outside. I’ll clean out that chimney and get a good fire going while ya wait for the electric heat to catch up.”

He dumped the wood on the floor near the hearth and went back outside.

“Look at the mess he’s making!” Chris exclaimed.

“Who cares?” Danny said sleepily. “At least maybe we’ll get warm.”