Summer at Cache Lake - 33: Earthquake Morning
Fri Nov 9, 2018 16:34

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Summer at Cache Lake
Chapter 33: Earthquake Morning

Suspecting that the road might have suffered some damage, they all piled into the Jeep due to its four-wheel drive capability.

In two places, there were numerous rocks and boulders on the road for them to contend with. Most were smaller than bowling balls and quickly taken care of by David and Ryan. There was, however, one notable exception: in the canyon, there was one rock the approximate size and shape of a Volkswagen Bug taking up one of the lanes.

“There could be a body under that,” remarked Ryan.

“Unlikely,” replied David. “Anyone out here in the middle of the night would have been in a car.”

Things in Agency were much calmer than they had been expecting. The grocery store was open, but it was operating on emergency generator power. They spoke with Mrs. Greggory and learned that the epicenter had been very close, actually between Agency and Stanton. Preliminary reports had the quake at 6.7 on the Richter scale. Mrs. Greggory had heard of a number of injuries, but no fatalities.

She told them that the oldest section of the Stanton City Hall had collapsed. It had been made of stone. The newer sections, built quite recently, were still standing. From Mrs. Gregory, they also learned that a few houses had burned down in Stanton presumably due to ruptured gas lines. In Mrs. Greggory’s opinion, it was very lucky that the earthquake had happened in the middle of the night, otherwise, there would have been people buried in the rubble of the old city hall.

Looking around inside the grocery store, they were able to see evidence of the earthquake. In places, ceiling tiles had fallen, and one of the aisles was closed, blocked off with yellow ‘Caution’ tape. Looking down it, Jill saw that a great number of jars of jams and jellies had fallen and broken. Cleaning that mess up looked as if it might take most of the day if they had someone to assign to the project.

Not wanting to go right back to the lake, they headed for Stanton to have a look around. On the way out of town, they passed Valentino’s Pizza.

“They must have power,” remarked Jill, seeing that the sign was lit. She also noticed that Nick’s truck was among the vehicles in the parking lot, but she kept that to herself.

“You must be right,” said David. “I’m voting that we have pizza for lunch.”

In Stanton, they surveyed the collapsed city hall and noted a few other buildings with damage, most of it minor. They also located the cul-de-sac where the fire department was still attending to a few smoldering homes, but they kept their distance, not wanting to potentially get in the way.

At that point, they headed back to Valentino’s to see if it was indeed open for lunch. The stretch of highway just outside of town seemed to be the only area of Agency with power, and given the significant number of vehicles in the parking lot, it looked as if they had to be serving pizza – most likely a lot of it.

They ordered their pizza at the counter and then found a table, cleaning it off themselves as the pizza parlor seemed short on staff. As Jill had again noted Nick’s truck in the parking lot, she was keeping an eye out for him. ‘Probably in the kitchen,’ she thought.

A few minutes later, Nick showed up, sliding onto the bench next to her. “My dad told me you were here. Glad to see that you’re all fine,” he said, referencing everyone but looking only at Jill.

“Grandma, grandpa, this is Nick. His dad owns the place,” said Jill.

“Nick Bianchetti,” said Nick, rising up a little and reaching across the table to shake hands.

“Herbert Wahlund,” replied her grandfather. “And this is my wife, Helen. I trust you know the boys.”

“I do,” replied Nick, glancing down the table.

“Nick is Jill’s boyfriend,” added David with a grin.

“I don’t think so,” said Nick with a good-natured laugh. “…but we did see a movie together recently.”

Jill smiled. Nick seemed to have handled being put on the spot like that quite well.

“Working today?” she asked.

“Actually today is one of my days off,” he said. Looking across the table at her grandparents, he added, “I don’t work here, but dad asked me to help out in the kitchen. Whenever the power is out, everyone seems to want to go out to eat. This time dad won the electricity lottery.”

“Valentino,” added Jill for clarification. “His name is really Valentino.”

“But you can call me Val,” said Nick’s father, dropping by the table to say hello and introduce himself.

“He seems like a nice young man, Jill,” said her grandmother, after Nick and his father had both excused themselves to return to the kitchen.

“Nicer than these bozos,” she said, smiling maliciously at Ryan and David. Even though she had not intended it as a joke, her grandparents took it that way, laughing heartily.

A few minutes later, Nick returned, carrying a large bowl and a group of smaller bowls. “Dad gave me permission to throw in a salad,” he said. As soon as he had set those on the table, he made a quick trip back and returned with two pizzas.

“Can you join us, young man? I expect there is plenty,” said Jill’s grandmother.

“Actually I am due a break,” said Nick, again sliding in next to Jill.

“Any damage to the restaurant . . . or your home, for that matter?” asked Jill’s grandfather.

“Very little,” replied Nick. “A lot of cans fell off the shelves here, pizza sauce, olives, that sort of thing. But cans just dent, so no loss. There were some broken dishes to sweep up, glasses mostly. Some broken dishes at home, too. Dad says that a can of paint fell and spilled in the garage, but I didn’t see it.”

As the discussion continued, they compared their various ‘waking up during the earthquake’ stories. Nick was surprised to hear about the wave that went through their camp. “That’s a new one on me . . . but I guess it explains the pajama bottoms,” he said with a wry smile.

Jill looked over at David and Ryan and chuckled. They had both been quite self-conscious all morning; however, they had not had anything else to put on.

A bit later, Nick asked, “Hey, want to hear my quake joke?”

“Umm . . . sure,” said Jill wincing.

“What did one quake say to the other quake?”

“No idea,” said Jill agreeably.

“It wasn’t my fault,” said Nick.

There were a few chuckles and a few groans.

“That’s so lame,” said David.

“Okay, David, let’s hear your quake joke,” insisted Jill.

“Afraid I don’t have one,” he replied.

“Then don’t criticize,” she said.

“Sticking up for her boyfriend,” teased Ryan.

Jill scowled, but then ignored him as she returned to her slice of pizza.

A bit later Nick pulled Jill aside as she was on her way back from the restroom. “I’ve got a couple of days off coming up. Skyline Adventures is calling. What do you say?”

“Skyline Adventures?” asked Jill.

“You know . . . where I work . . . the aerial park. Ziplines and rock climbing. What do you say . . . you and me.”

“Umm . . . maybe,” she said hesitantly. Jill liked Nick, but getting to college without any relationship baggage was job one in her mind. “What day is today?” she asked.

“It’s Thursday. If you don’t want to, you don’t want to,” he replied with a shrug.

“No, I want to . . . but can I let you know?”

“You’ll text me then?”

“Right . . . text,” she said. She did think it would be fun, but the look in Nick’s eyes was confirming her suspicions. He seemed to be looking for more than friendship.

Back at camp, they were all glad that it was such a hot day, but they had made a significant error by not getting their sleeping bags and more of their belongings out of their tents and hung up before leaving for town. Jill decided that she wanted to wash her sleeping bag. Even without it having been soaked in dirty lake water, it had been due for a washing.

They discussed heading back to Agency to go to the laundromat, but they knew that it was probably among the businesses that were closed due to the power outage. Fortunately, their power had not gone out, so Jill gathered up her bag and headed to the trailer. Her grandfather had installed a washing machine and a dryer in the storage shed there. It was a standard home machine, so it would only do one sleeping bag at a time, but one after the other, they would all be able to get their bags washed.

Once back at camp, Jill returned to the project of getting the rest of her belongings out of her tent and taken care of. While she had been gone, the boys had kept themselves busy by rigging up still more clotheslines.

Glancing over at Ryan, Jill saw him take off his shirt. Her cheeks flushed as she suddenly realized where things were headed. She looked over at David and saw that he was busy. ‘Oh, good,’ she thought. ‘Maybe he won’t notice.’

She heard Ryan deliberately clearing his throat. David glanced up and appeared to be cluing in.

“Oh, David, can’t I have the day off?” she asked as she saw him reaching for the hem of his shirt.

David didn’t hesitate. With a smile, he pulled his shirt up and off.

“A day off from being one of the guys?” he asked. “Surely you’d rather fit in.”

“I guess,” said Jill, taking a deep breath and resigning herself to an afternoon of toplessness. “At least I had the morning off,” she added with a sigh, forcing herself to reach for the hem of her hoodie. She had been feeling way too warm in it as it was. A moment later she was much more comfortable, temperature-wise anyway, dressed in just her grandmother’s long flowing skirt.

“You do look less like one of the guys in a skirt,” observed David.

“Really?” she asked. “So it’s the skirt and not the boobs that tips you off that maybe, just maybe, I might not be a guy?”

“I didn’t say that,” said David.

“I think you did,” observed Ryan with a chuckle.

“Thank you, Ryan,” she said, surprised to find herself agreeing with him.

While David and Ryan continued putting up more clotheslines and getting everything hung up, Jill took a break to apply sunscreen. With her back to the boys, she applied a heavy layer to her chest and shoulders. After putting a second coat on her nipples, she again asked David for help with her back.

While David was doing her back, she ended up facing Ryan. She tried to look away, but Ryan was difficult to ignore; he just didn’t seem able to take his eyes off of her chest, and he wasn’t at all shy when it came to staring. Jill knew she was again blushing.

Finally, she decided that she had to say something. “Ryan, Really? How am I supposed to feel like one of the guys with you always staring like that?”

After a little bit of consideration, Ryan replied, “You’re so conflicted, aren’t you? You say you don’t want me staring, but I know that down inside you enjoy the attention. I’ll bet it makes your little lady lips all juicy.”

Jill let out a gasp and turned to face away. “Does not!” she said in disgust.

“You enjoy being looked at as much, maybe more, that I enjoy being the one doing the looking,” he continued. “You spent the last few years thinking that no boy would want to see your chest. You were so wrong! And now you’re loving being reminded just how wrong you were.”

Jill felt the need to protest, but never had truer words been spoken. But what could she say? She couldn’t agree; she had to maintain her façade. Finally, she said, “You’re certainly not making this any easier.”

“Making it easier? For you? That’s not my mission,” he replied. “I’ve been very open. I love seeing our bashful Jill . . . all shy and embarrassed like this. Sexy . . . that’s what it is. You’re so goddam sexy! And you’re enjoying the hell out of having your gorgeous little titties being ogled. Admit it!”

“Why would you even do this to a girl?” she demanded, turning back around and facing him. She brought her hands up and covered her breasts. “Not only have I been swindled into going topless, but now you want me to admit that I’m enjoying it?”

“Well, you are . . . just be honest and say so.”

“You aren’t going to be happy until I don’t have a single ounce of dignity left, are you?”

“Enough, enough, you two,” said David. “I don’t want to listen to any more of your squabbling. Now let’s finish getting things hung up and then let’s go for a swim. I think it’s high time that the three amigos visit Sunken Island. We haven’t been there yet this summer, not together.”

    • Summer at Cache Lake Chapter 34: Return to Sunken Island Jill took a deep breath and walked past Ryan, glaring savagely at him. She returned to the task of getting her wet stuff out of her tent and... more
      • BRILLIANT!Hooked6, Fri Nov 9 19:13
        The horseplay on the beach as they headed towards the infamous log was SUPERBLY written. You managed to capture the fun and innocence of youth so well that I found myself constantly smiling as I... more
        • Re: BRILLIANT!BPClavel, Thu Nov 15 01:24
          Hooked6, Thank you so much for your uplifting post! I'm glad that part of the story came off as intended. It is one thing to want to bring kids of this age to life, it is quite another to attempt it. ... more
        • I totally agreeMolly, Fri Nov 9 20:20
          Glad to see Jill reach this point.
      • Summer at Cache Lake Chapter 35: Sunken Island, continued She could hear the boys calling to her, presumably trying to get her to come back; she just kept her head down, putting her energy into... more
        • Lots of interesting developments. Can't wait to see what happens with those photos Jill took -- and what will happen when she tries to spy on him again. I would point out to Jill that she doesn't... more
          • Couldn't have said that betterHooked6, Sat Nov 10 07:03
            There is a HUGE difference in being the instigator of something that would be considered embarrassing or frowned upon and having the excuse of being "made to do it." Just ask all those college kids... more
      • Summer at Cache Lake - 36: Game DayBPClavel, Fri Nov 9 17:23
        Summer at Cache Lake Chapter 36: Game Day As she lay down on top of her bag inside her securely zipped tent, she heard Ryan again offering up the services of his tongue. The expected laughter... more
      • Summer at Cache Lake - 37: First HalfBPClavel, Fri Nov 9 17:13
        Summer at Cache Lake Chapter 37: First Half David led the way as they entered Cache Lake West. To Jill it was a maze, small winding roads and paths leading every which way – and to make matters... more
        • Re: Summer at Cache Lake - 37: First HalfMolly, Sun Nov 11 12:11
          I was not quite as small-breasted as Jill, but I recall those kinds of comments from girls with big boobs who could not catch a beach ball. I liked Jill's line "yes, that and those thousands of hour... more
          • Re: Summer at Cache Lake - 37: First HalfAnonymous, Wed Nov 14 16:30
            Large-chested lady here— maybe we shouldn’t put each other down like this? Different people have and enjoy different breasts. I’ve certainly never received any complaints about my G-cups in their... more
            • Re: Summer at Cache Lake - 37: First HalfBPClavel, Sun Nov 18 16:34
              Dear Large-chested Lady! I originally decided to let Molly be the only reply to your post (as it was directed at her); however, I decided that at the very least, I needed to thank you for reading and ... more
            • Re: Summer at Cache Lake - 37: First HalfMolly, Wed Nov 14 17:36
              Sorry, I should not have generalized. I have known lots of great women athletes of all body shapes. I was just recalling actual high school experiences when, like with Jill, someone says "I could do... more
          • goldmineReaderMan, Mon Nov 12 13:07
            It is great to see that the story feels realistic in Molly's eyes. To me this is the highest compliment that Blair can get. And I also want to thank Molly for this little teaser of her upcoming... more
            • goldmineschwanmanjim, Mon Nov 12 23:11
              That is a series I see myself buying when available, Molly. Let us know!!
              • Re: goldmineMolly, Tue Nov 13 07:48
                Thank you. Schwanmanjim. I'm currently prepping "What a Girl Will Do Love" as an ebook, and after that I may do a little rewriting on those somewhat-embellished-semi-autobiographical stories that... more
                • eBook updateBPClavel, Sun Nov 18 15:25
                  Molly, Really looking forward to the "What a Girl Will Do for Love" eBook. What I know I'll want is an autographed copy. That's probably not possible . . . sadly . . . but it would be meaningful to... more
                • Re: goldmineReaderMan, Tue Nov 13 11:15
                  I will totally buy those ebooks! All of them. That's a given, and in-case anyone missed it. I was just fantasizing about that other series that I mentioned. Just trying to prod the writer, but as we... more
            • Re: goldmineMolly, Mon Nov 12 19:24
              Thank you, RM. You are too kind, as always. But I do agree that our author is doing a fine job of thinking like a girl.
      • Summer at Cache Lake - 38: Second HalfBPClavel, Fri Nov 9 17:00
        Summer at Cache Lake Chapter 38: Second Half On the next play, Jill decided to attempt the same. Ryan tossed the ball in to her. Dribbling, she charged the basket at full speed, but both Kyle and... more
        • Re: Summer at Cache Lake - 38: Second HalfMolly, Sun Nov 11 13:01
          Curious about the "Rodeo Club" reference. Sounds like a Western States socio-economic population dynamic to me. But I work in academia and we see those everywhere. Oooh, Kyle is not just interested... more
          • Re: Summer at Cache Lake - 38: Second HalfReaderMan, Mon Nov 12 12:47
            I like to think of it in terms of the characters rather than the writer. I credit David for not pushing to hard and having an out for his sister. I was amused that Ryan didn't get what he wanted even ... more
            • Re: Summer at Cache Lake - 38: Second HalfMolly, Thu Nov 15 08:57
              So Blair, what's "Rodeo Club" in this context? Or is that a portending plot point for which we need to just wait for further developments? I assume there are such clubs, especially out west, but Ryan ... more
              • Re: Summer at Cache Lake - 38: Second HalfBPClavel, Thu Nov 15 23:44
                Hmm . . . how do I do this question justice? All high schools don’t have Rodeo Clubs? I’m sure a lot of them do, and probably not just in the Western US (probably rural areas in most states). Like... more
        • Friday is my favorite dayDW, Sun Nov 11 04:55
          I'm sure everybody loves Fridays. Let's face it, the end of the work week. The beginning of the weekend, right? But for me, the best thing about Friday's is that BPClavel graces us with more chapters ... more
          • Re: Friday is my favorite dayBPClavel, Tue Nov 13 20:23
            Hey DW (whoever you!) Thanks! I'm so glad that you are looking forward to Fridays because of Jill. I mentioned at one point that I'd be out of town the next 4 weeks in a row and that the... more
        • The Great JillReaderMan, Sat Nov 10 00:47
          I'm very happy with everything that happened with Jill this time around. The swim was healing, the basketball game was awesome (even though I was hoping for a bit more skin), and the photos were... more
          • A Sharon vs. Jill basketball game!BPClavel, Tue Nov 13 20:45
            Fun suggestion! A Jill vs. Sharon BB game! I expect that Jill would win (if I got to write it anyway). Unless of course she had to play naked. I'm pretty sure Jill would freeze up and/or run off.... more
            • Re: A Sharon vs. Jill basketball game!Molly, Tue Nov 13 21:11
              I can't speak for Sharon, of course, but just as a reader and a member of the creative community, I would note that this sort of serendipity happens with regularity in fiction and cinema. Off the top ... more
          • Re: The Great JillDW, Sun Nov 11 04:44
            Awesome new chapters. You have me keep coming back for more. And that would be a great game to watch,Jill vs Sharon. who knows maybe one of the 3 girls that watched might play?
            • Re: The Great JillMolly, Sun Nov 11 13:17
              Hmm, if you don't mind, DW, I prefer to leave the bigger girls out of that little fantasy. For me, it would just be Jill and Sharon, both wearing only panties as they compete pretty equally in... more
              • Re: The Great JillBPClavel, Tue Nov 13 20:28
                Molly, I agree wholeheartedly with DW; it sounds like you have it all worked out! Sounds like a wonderful direction. Your little paragraph makes me long for another Molly story. I'm glad you are... more
              • Re: The Great JillDW, Sun Nov 11 16:14
                Wow that's good. You have the whole thing worked out. That'd make a hell of a sequel. Makes me think about that story with the girl and boy playing a game of strip basketball for team captain.
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