a “Closed Caption”
College Town U.S.A.
Backdrop to Small City
Copyright 1996-2012 Peggy Penny
All Rights Reserved- opt out
The city of La Buena, which is North of Big Sur, is twin
and neighbor to Monterey, California.
The small city of La Buena is home to
The State University that is best known for
scholastic excellence in the field of Marine Biology.
La Buena Bay University sits on one of the most prestigious
pieces of real estate in Central California.
A lot of money here.
Alan Casey – Math Instructor
Jeff Sanders – Science Instructor & Marine Biologist
Peggy Penny – That curious mystery that is a star
Aggie Styles – Local Radio Personality & reporter
Benjamin Stanford – Local Publisher & Author
Greg Knows – Investigative Reporter & Photo Journalist
Alexander “Lex” Mackey – University Administrator & Committee Head
Cindy Webster – Local student & aspiring journalist
Janet Walker – City party girl
Matt Olsen – Local student lost in drink
Mike Olsen – Local Business Owner & Marine Biologist
Tina Wilson & Consuelo Garcia – Local students
Mark Slick – Local Singer in a garage band
Santa Maria was a “black-out town” with little entertainment &
no publications to support local artists. The only publication for
entertainment came from a neighboring town called
San Luis Obispo, 35 miles North of where Peggy Penny lived.
Peggy had never met Ben Stanford but she knew his name.
The local publication promoted an “anonymous” dogmatic journalist named, “The Pyro Tech” who wrote articles provoking the readership on local issues. It was rumored that Ben Stanford & “The Pyro Tech” were one in the same.
Peggy guessed that this was true.
In his capacity he is highly respected & his reputation
for trust may be said to be proverbial.
Benjamin knows himself well enough to know this.
Peggy is looking at him, a question on her lips.
“Mr. Stanford, is that any relation to ‘Stanford Publishing?’
Like the advent of the night, wherein he feels there is some hidden want, she is. When he speaks, he is nothing but a boy in secret want, standing midway between virtue & consequences.
He needs little encouragement to make up his mind.
“Yes, Ben smiles at her.” So, with the object of Ben’s search attained, he sends his thoughts heavenward & builds his last hopes for something very nearly approaching love.
“Is Peggy Penny your real name?”
“The egg is hatched & the yoke is on you,”
said the e-mail in Peggy’s gmail account. Peggy dusts off her favorite jacket by brushing off her lean body; then stretching down to tightened her hiking boot straps, bottled water in her hip pockets. This is no joke.
Alexander Maxey is a man. “Lex” is his nickname and sex is his game. He is suave, he is bold & the earth trembles under his feet. Power, he loves, it. When there is a problem, he solves it without a problem. His black tunnel eyes fix squarely on the goal. He did not know she was on her way.
“Lex” leans back against his chair and let out a groan.
Petty little issues, such a waste of his time. University Administrator is so beneath him. He grumbles into his coffee, lifts the cup to his lips and sips awake the morning. 8am. The intercom buzzes just as he has begun to shuffle his schedule into a pile.
Fate is their matchmaker when Janet walks through the door. She runs her tongue inside her cheek and turns up a curt red lip to make her smile shy. She is a little sex kitten and she knows it. When she purrs & says the word, they are all hers.
Lex sits up instantly, his masculinity now fully awake.
Auburn is the color of fire when it has burnt down to the embers.
Janet Walker brushes back her dark flame hair & pours into the seat across from Lex. “Meow,” she thinks.
It didn’t take Matt long to notice the change. Peggy has such
decided views that it is difficult for her to pretend to feel one way,
when she feels another. Matt is no longer certain that Peggy loves him.
Matt Olsen sits at the poolside table & waits for Peggy.
The glimmer of the water reflects the calm two piece band playing
“Hawaii, Mahalo.” David Orr’s clear voice accompanies Valerie’s soprano
Harmonies in the band named, “Acoustico.”
Matt lets his thoughts blend with the back round of their mellow music.
Suddenly, Peggy Penny is standing at the table looking at Matt.
Ben shifts behind his desk without noticing Janet smiling.
Ben is completely indifferent & thoroughly obsessed.
He stares at Peggy Penny’s web site. Her online journal have suddenly become very important to him. The journal filled with endless bouts of poetry that bore her soul & cut to his very creative being.
He considers himself mature & experienced with women, but in this case he feels inept. “Too much a girl and not enough women,” is her most common complaint of herself in her journals. When the fact is that she is too much woman & oh so much “girl.” “No,” he shakes her from his mind. Janet moves closer to look at the web site.
Ben is sure that it is only a matter of time before Peggy will become bored of him. Peggy is just playing with him & right in public like this! Ben stands, paces his office like a caged animal, then thrust himself back into his chair.
Janet sees her opportunity & leans over him covering the computer with her body &whispering, “I always take
what I want.”
Ben stares up at her a long moment then fixes his eyes on her scarlet brown hair. He had forgotten that she was there & had been watching him.
There is a strong, smoldering sensuality about Janet Walker, but that is not her magic. Her magic lay in the fact that her guile combined with street smarts did not leave much room for guessing.
“Why don’t we get to know each other better over breakfast?”
she says, and runs her fingers skillfully down his arm. Ben stiffens. She meets Ben’s eyes as though they were already lovers. She is like a cyclone, a force of nature & Ben has
Peggy Penny leans forward on her elbow etched into a round flesh knee & pitches the affront yawning like she is pitching for a home run, “Did you ‘lose your focus?’ “Local Publisher” forgets Peggy Penny?” Then, Peggy is laughing & she leaps from her chair. “How into the music business do I have to have been Ben?” Peggy twists the two words intentionally annoying him.
Then she suddenly bursts into a wild scream of hysterical laughing jumping up around the room with belly dancing moves of glee only pro-founded by his shock looks. She only loves it.
“Words, words, words,” she chants. “Peggy!” he tries, but she just does not stop until she wants to stop. She stops.
But, starts again as Peggy rolls her eyeballs back into her head dramatically while twirling with her tongue hanging out of her pink stained lips. “Now, she was done,” Ben thinks.
He knows her like a book.
Peggy reads him like a book & she does not like the cover.
Her heart fell to disappointment once she was able to confirm
his isp number through his work server. “Don’t e-mail him back,” that was an understatement.
It was years ago when Peggy was growing up in the city of Santa Maria, California. Her quiet writing & little apartment/office was located across the street from McDonald’s on Fesler Street, behind her father’s legal practice. Peggy worked for her father, family first.
That was how Peggy grew up & she never understood anything different then Family First. When her husband went m.i.a., Peggy became a single teenage mother with responsibilities as big as her eyes. Any aspiring talents in entertainment had to come second to raising her young son. No, Peggy could not “run off to Hollywood” nor could she do foolish things. She saved foolish things for men who often did them on her behalf. Ben appears to be one of them.
There is only one local publication that focuses on entertainment. That is where Ben Stanford worked as a young staff writer. He still works there. And that was before the local publication turned to a paparazzi paper instead of publishing “true journalism.”
Ben Stanford was a “true journalist” back then.
Peggy Penny did not know what he was now.
“He could not commit himself to a piece of bubble gum.
Nobody could understand why Peggy trusted him. Not her friends, not her own family & certainly not her partner of fifteen years. Matt Olsen was troubled, to say the least.
So, that is what Peggy did, she said & did “the least.”
The least she could say or do about him the better.
But, it still hurt her deeply to let him go this way.
And it did not, “feel better.”
In fact, it felt all wrong to Peggy & she is starting to
resist openly & in public to the misunderstandings that follow her like a gum stain on her shoe.
Copyright 1996-2012 Peggy Penny
All Rights Reserved
Alan Casey taught Math classes from beginning algebra
to advanced calculus & statistics at The University in town.
Peggy is a student in his Thursday morning statistics class. “Peggy,” he thinks. “Just let her be a little sanctified dream, soft & warm.”
Every Thursday morning Alan wakes up early with the expectation of seeing Peggy. It doesn’t matter how many times he remands himself for it, Alan can not stop thinking of Peggy as more then a student. Alan has fallen for Peggy. It happened the first time she sat down close to him & ask for his help with her homework.
Peggy’s soft sunshine curls splashed across her shoulders & breasts as Peggy smiled right into his eyes. Alan could smell the
Sweet Lavender rinse Peggy uses to wash. Alan could not resist.
He asked Peggy out on a date. Alan has a date with Peggy tonight.
Alan had assigned the more difficult pages in the hopes that Peggy would have to come into the Math lab for his assistance.
Alan wanted to see Peggy all he could. And it worked alright, but not like Alan had planned.
Tina Wilson is in the Math Lab at the same time struggling over the same pages & demanding the same attention from Alan Casey. “Mr. Casey!” Tina’s shrilled voice shouts across the Math Lab demanding he give her the same attention as Peggy is receiving.
Alan has to go back & forth to go over every problem with Tina. He knows better than to sit them together. Alan wants the evening to go perfectly without any predisposed problems from school. They are breaking the school policy rules at a local fundraiser. Alan was trying to get caught, but not this way.
Alan sits at his morning class. He settles back & takes a breath, looks over his students, satisfied that everyone is busy.
He scans the left, then the right with the eyes of a man guarding Fort Knotts. “Where is she?”
He knows the familiar sound of Peggy laughing with her friends.
He waits for her every week. “Where is she?” He tightens his jaw. Alan stands up, restless, his athletic shoulders stiff, his dark hair combed back through his fingers. He arches his eyebrows & peers quickly at his class, his dark blue eyes sweep to the left, then the right.
“Maybe she just doesn’t want to see me & I don’t blame her.”
He cringes at the memory of that night.
She had glided into the room & to his side without making a sound. She slipped her hand in his, “Hi, how’s the party?”
Peggy stood in front of him, red dress crisply pressed over her tall athletic body. Her hair swept down into fine blonde curls that fell over her shoulders.
The room was crowded with adults dressed to the teeth. Women were laughing, drinks were being served by stiff waiters & colorful balloons clung to the ceiling of the busy Banquet Hall.
Peggy peeked at Alan, her eyes green & clear & he held his breath at the sight of her, afraid she wasn’t real. Then, with pride, Alan began introducing her to his friends, “Jeff, this is Pegs.” “It’s nice to meet you,” she politely responded. Alan gave his pal a pat on the back as if to say, “I told you so.” He grinned, slapped a quick kiss on Pegs’ lips & pulled her away from his friend’s gawking stare.
Alan had planned the evening perfectly & Peggy didn’t seem to miss a beat. She met her formal introductions with perfect ease & Alan felt a real sense of pleasure. His handsome looks & well groomed manners sent a warm rush of emotion through Peggy’s body. She saw how others treated him.
Alan was loved & respected by so many people. Peggy had to admire him. She allowed herself the treat of checking him out & his firm stance drew her to look at him from head to toe.
His dark slacks accentuate his male anatomy, his pale blue dress shirt unbuttons at the collar awoke Peggy’s senses.
Alan was all man.
Alan pulled Peggy through the door & flipped on the lights to his room. Peggy started to giggle. He stepped toward her, smiling reassuringly & gathered her in his arms. “I think we should…” but Alan shut her up with a kiss. His mouth was hard & demanding. Peggy froze. She had expected him to want to make love to her but Alan wasn’t giving her any time to adjust to the idea. And somehow he suddenly became a stranger pushing her down, touching her.
Peggy panicked. She bolted away from him with a violent shove & fled out the bedroom door. “Oh God,” Alan groaned in anguish, “What had he done wrong?”
Alan speaks firmly into the intercom, although he can see Ben in the outer office through his window. Alan heard that Peggy is dating him. Ben drops his magazine & sauntered in, his thumbs hooked into his side belt loops. Alan rises up, angrily, & the two men face each other across the desk.
Jeff turns his baneful eyes at once to Alan Casey’s open office door & with a look of consternation, he crosses to the door, quickly closes it & turns the key in the lock. Well above six feet, Jeff Snider looks a deal older than his thirty-four years. There are small lines around his mouth, dark shadows beneath his eyes & his movements are of a man hunted by the enemy of both pride and fearful.
Without a moment to lose, his fingers pound the keyboard, flipping computer files across the monitor screen. “Find a back door, find a back door,” he whispers in his head. Quickly he moused over, “click!”
Cindy Webster was accepted to La Buena Bay State University directly out of high school. Her young mind is quick to fill with visions of scholastic excellence & the escape of parental overtures. She has carefully mapped out her plan & is now stumbling through the crowded hall looking for Mr. Casey’s office.
Tina hates math & she hates Peggy Penny.
She strains to understand the numbers spinning in her head.
Tina Wilson especially hates math class with that Peggy Penny chick, all those long curly hair ringlets & big green eyes?
Watching Peggy flirt in and out of statistics by batting her eyelashes is more then Tina can stand to watch.
Tina studies Mr. Casey closer as he quiets the class with his clear voice. She has heard the rumors about Peggy & Mr. Casey. “What does he see in all that fake crap? Peggy isn’t here today. “I wonder if he has noticed.” Tina leans to her left & loudly whispers to Consuelo, Tina’s Spanish voice fills the classroom & the other students laugh. Alan does not have to pretend not to understand.
He is fruit loops as far as she is concerned, plain old fruit loops. Peggy draws a deep breath, her sympathies & sense of adventure are aroused. She turns her head to look at him as he appeals with his broad smile. “If you say, please,” Peggy says, smiling back at him, the seriousness gone from her voice as she teases him now.
Jeff jumps to his feet with a comical gesture, sweeping his arms down to a low bow while repeating, “please, please please.” He clutches his hands together at his chest to mimic heartache.
Rolling her eyes to the ceiling, Peggy shakes her head in disbelief. “Jeff Sanders, you are such a cornball.” “There now, he replies, “It’s all arranged.”
The lighthearted humor suddenly vanishes as quickly as it has come. Gently Jeff reaches for her hand & draws Peggy closer. “I’ll be a gentleman, I promise,” he says, tapping first the tip
of her nose with his finger before fixing squarely into her strange green eyes. Peggy shifts nervously, afraid to meet his gaze.
He finds her utterly beautiful to lack the guile to deny him anything.
Peggy feels his eyes watching her, but still she proceeds in silence as they leave the Science lab. On the way out the door her instincts are alive. Something is wrong, she sensed it. She knows there is a secret lurking behind his fiasco. Jeff has made his point & got what he wants. They are going.
Peggy has agreed to be his for the entire afternoon. Easily she agrees. His confidence rises to a new level. Jeff feels strong, strutting proudly behind her.
They make it to the parking lot without speaking & get into his commuter car. He throws the car in gear & they rocket through the parking lot & out onto the parkway. It is a good few minutes before Jeff speaks again. The silence is merely the calm before the storm.
The sheriff’s gather on the highway, some man on a bike is telling the small crowd that it was another drive by shooting;
Peggy can hear his voice repeating over & over again.
“Man, this guy was just sitting there, waiting for the bus when I heard the gun shots. I thought it was Fourth of July or something but it is another drive by shooting! It is another drive by shooting in…” He continues toward each person in the crowd.
Ben Stanford looks over the crowd to Peggy standing alone staring at him. Her eyes are focused & lingering, her mouth hard & serious. Peggy unfolds her arms & lets her hands cling to her hips before turning herself away.
A sheriff accompanies Peggy to her front door & she disappears with the door closed shut & locked.
Ben knew she would never trust him again but he still wants to explain to Peggy, make her see his side.
He is there to try and stop what had just happened wasn’t he?
He is there to make sure Peggy is alright.
Janet does not blink. “Ben Stanford? Janet says to Peggy.
“Oh, you’re going down, honey. You are so easy that you don’t
even know that he’s making you take a taste of his medicine.
‘Passion Me’ was written all about him? Oh, please. You make me want to gag, the two of you.” Janet Walker can speak too loud & she knows it.
Janet throws her napkin down at the table of
“Stacked Sandwiches, Grover Beach.” The business social
crowd looks up from their meals & stares. Janet Walker wants to draw attention to them both while Peggy just wants to freeze in place.
Once Janet is “on” in front of the crowd, she stands, turns on her spikes & flips her burnt fire hair extensions for effect. Peggy Penny clinches her teeth not to pounce at & yank her fake hair. “Who cares whose watching?”
“Where is Chris when I need her?” Peggy panics once in her car. What if she’s coming back? Janet is something else. Peggy can easily understand men. But women? Not a clue. Peggy is in trouble.
She is too frightened to stay put where Janet has threatened her.
Peggy turns the engine over on her Suzuki Side Kick & peers up
into the navy blue rear view mirror. It is clear. Peggy lets out her breath. She drives the speed limit to the meeting where she is expected.
“People, people, people, you expect me to do that? Say, ‘people’ instead of ‘men’? After you lie straight to my face?
I’m not going to my grave with this. I’m brand new, remember?!” Peggy laughs at them out loud. Ben looks scared.
The CPlC Committee murmurs back & forth to one another.
Two men stare into space their chairs squeak from their shakes.
“Legal informs me that I am not “allowed” to say that I am “inspired” by “men” without “including” “women” because “gays” “might” be “offended” that I am “openly” “heterosexual?” I kid you not! AND! Men “might” “think” I’m “harassing” them If I “only including them in my songwriting?
or even if I don’t include them in my songwriting?”
Peggy looks down at the memo in her hand. Then, Peggy’s eyes go straight to Ben’s. “I…I…I…?” Ben stammers.
“If I were smart, I’d be dangerous.” Peggy states, “With no pun intended.” Chris gracefully voices between the parties at the CPIC “negotiation meeting.”
“Hi, I am Christine Wise” she reminds the group as they all fall to her “reasonable tone” of voice. “Wow, Peggy, that’s a great line to use for next week’s “cliff hanger.” Chris gives a gentle laugh. As you were saying Mr. Bailey…?” Chris turns their attention.
Her name is “Chris” not Christine or Chrissy. Fifteen years of being Peggy’s partner has taught her something. Chris Wise was her name and she did not use some sissy pant name. And no matter how much she loves and admires her partner Peggy, Peggy needs to be reined in a little if not on an open stage.
Ben clears his throat and assists Chris in distracting the others, “We are willing to offer a substantial finder’s fee & a position as “staff writer.”
Peggy’s eyes grow wide at the word “staff” and not at the offer.
Chris know Peggy well enough to flash Ben a stern, “no, no” stare. It is never a good idea to try to communicate with Peggy
while in a small room that is surrounding her with a negative &
serious vibe of grey words that mean two things.
Big “no, no, Ben.”
(Staff – A stout stick used as a weapon; a cudgel.)
She goes to the window, but slowly, she has a bad feeling. A memory, half forgotten is bothering her. It is ten twenty-five & the feeling has been getting worse. Peggy gets up to leave. She is on her way out the door of the Science lab when the first dull booming explosion shakes the floor under her feet &
makes the book shelves loudly rattle.
And it is so suddenly that no one really knows what has happened. All at once there is a huge red flash across the air & her face is broken. Peggy puts her hands up to her face &
half staggers, half stumbles up onto her feet. Then, she sways forward & gets tangled in her own shoes & falls over again, “oof.” She is stunned. Someone is yelling, “Call 911!” but nobody moves. They are all just staring, frozen in time.
Peggy tries to raise her head but it is too heavy & she goes swiftly down into unconsciousness.
Copyright 2012 Peggy Penny
All Rights Reserved
by Peggy Penny
Copyright 1998-2012 Peggy Penny
All Rights Reserved