Chapter Thirteen – Cutter’s Cabin
It was two in the afternoon when they reached Cutter’s cabin hidden amidst the trees and brush. So long forgotten, it was barely noticeable, appearing as though part of the landscape. The one window by the front door had a dirty screen barely hanging from its hinge. Filthy and covered with caked on mud and dead bugs mixed in with spider webs, Lizzy didn’t even want to go near it. They peered in quietly, like two kids spying with their palms surrounding their faces, before making their presence known. Both were quite shocked by the vision before them.
Lydia stood in the center of the cabin with her hand down her pants scratching her choo-choo ferociously. Around her on the counters lay open cans of SPAM and Beenie Weenies and the occasional Twinkie wrapper thrown about, and not the modern, pretty wrappers. These were the 1980s packaging version.
Lizzy looked at Darcy who said sarcastically, “I know how she feels. That itching powder near killed me.”
“Very funny Mr. Smarty Pants, you deserved that x10.”
“Do you see Wickham?”
“No, just Lydia. What’s up with that girl? She’s gonna pull her pubic hair out if she keeps scratching like that.”
“Lizzy …” He raised his eyebrows encouraging her to think outside the box a bit. “Um, perhaps condoms weren’t a top priority for them. Perhaps G-Train gave her more than a ride on his locomotive.”
“Oh shit!” She barreled through the front door by kicking it wide open with her Timberlands, which of course, freightened Lydia. She screamed at the top of her lungs.
Darcy stood back watching the Cracken rise again from the Aegean Sea unleashed to wipe out Argos, and he thanked the gods above that her fury wasn’t directed at him this time. Yes. The name “Will” was still firmly intact until her next spontaneous combustion. He followed her, stopping at the threshold of the door, unwilling to get involved in this cat fight.
“What were you thinking by running off with that orange Oopma Loompa freak, Lydia!?” she demanded.
“Go to hell. He’s my G-Train!”
“Where is he?!” Lizzy shouted at the top of her lungs, startling both Lydia and Darcy. Both taking two steps back – for Lydia it was onto the bed and for Darcy it was out the door.
“He’s … he’s … gone. He left this morning without saying anything!” Tears burst from Lydia’s already-red eyes, her black eye-liner running down her face like a spilled bottle of ink, staining her cheeks and dripping from her chin. Lizzy couldn’t help thinking how her sister looked like an Alice Cooper album cover―on a bad day. The tears turned into sobs, which turned into no sound whatsoever, just body wracking, until finally the hiccups came.
As much as Lizzy wanted to, she couldn’t stay angry, her wrath dissipating like a puff of smoke as her heart broke for her wayward sister.
They sat on the side of the bed with Lizzy holding Lydia in her embrace. She glanced over her shoulder to see if Darcy watched them, to communicated with him through her expression how sad she was. But he was gone, perhaps to see if Wickham had left a trail or any indication of his direction outside of the cabin.
“I want to go home.” Lydia cried into Lizzy’s shoulder. “I don’t like it here, and none of the girls in the cabin want me there any longer. I don’t fit in and … and … I can’t stop scratching my coochie-pop.”
“Oh, dear God. Did you even think to use condoms, Lydia?”
“George said I couldn’t get pregnant because he was tanning his dick.” Lizzy really wanted to laugh. Perhaps her initial assessment of him being mentally challenged was accurate after all. She closed her eyes and shook her head from side to side. For all Lydia’s pretended maturity and teenage exploits, she was still just a naïve, young girl in need of direction and discipline.
“Never have sex without a condom.” She borrowed a tactic from Darcy. “A: that’s not true about tanning and pregnancy and B: he could have given you a disease.”
Lydia snorted. “Oh great! Like now they’ll call me Lydia Chlamydia.”
“Let’s hope not.” She sighed. “We’ll leave as soon as we get back. I’m taking you home and straight to Dr. Peterson.”
Darcy walked in at that moment catching the last sentence. As if a little boy who just had his favorite new toy taken away, he wanted to shout out NO! His heart sank. He’d only had two hours to experience bliss in Lizzy’s welcoming embrace, and he still had five condoms left. And they still had two weeks ahead of them to consider “the future.”
Lizzy glanced over to him. “He’s long gone.”
“Lydia did he say anything to you?” He asked.
Between sniffles and wiping away the black from her cheeks, which only smeared it all over her face, she sobered. “Like … Strouds something. Said he was gonna call his boys to pick him up.”
“Yeah. That’s it.”
Darcy reached into his pocket and removed his phone. Hopefully he could getting a signal up here. From inside the cabin, the girls chuckled listening to him ask over and again, “Can you hear me now? … Hello? … Can you hear me now? ... Sheriff? … Is this better? … Can you hear me now?”
“C’mon Lydia get your stuff together; we have to hike down the mountain.”
Lydia stamped her foot, immediately whining, “I’m tired; I don’t want to go yet. Maybe George will come back, my feet hurt, my coochie itches.”
Silence ensued, and damn if Lizzy didn’t feel fabulous about her first step toward disciplining her sister.
She grabbed Lydia’s school knapsack, tugged her arm then dragged her out the door, almost slamming into Darcy’s chest. “What did the Sheriff say?” she asked.
“He’s headed down to Stroudsburg now. It won’t be long until he picks up G-Train.”
No longer needed to search the caves, it wouldn’t take as long to descend the mountain as it had going up. They would just take the direct path that came around the Delaware Water Gap and then it would be about two miles to the campground from there. With any luck they’d be back before nightfall.
With each downward step, both Lizzy and Darcy took turns communicating with each other without actually speaking; it was in their eyes and both knew what the other felt. Tomorrow Lizzy would be leaving and neither were happy about it.
Back at camp, Eddie and Maddy approached Cat at the spectator sidelines. Wearing a purple and orange African BouBou dress and turban, she sat admiring her latest and best brainstorm, called the Silly Games.
“What’s the betting pool up to, Cat? What are the odds now?” Eddie asked.
She glanced over at Bill Collins, who by the way looked very content, eyes locking on the clipboard in his right hand and a wad of cash in his left. “Twenty to one they come back like two love sick fools after a night of bumpin’ and grindin’ in the forest. Pot’s up to two hundred smackers. Even the kids wanted in on the action. The little ones put up their Skittles in the hope of scoring some more chocolate. Can you just see that crazy-haired Caroline dealing with six year olds sucking down a mess load of chocolate on a hot summer day?” Cat howled in laughter as she slapped her knee.
“The little ones are betting on whether Will and Lizzy have sex or not?”
“Of course not! What do you think I am, crazy? They’re betting on whether one throws the other off a cliff.”
“Care to make a personal wager Cat?” Maddy asked waving out a fifty dollar bill in front of her face.”
“Hell yeah! I’ll see your fifty and raise you one hundred that a spring wedding’s gonna be happening on this mountain!”
“I say Christmas. You’re on!”
In the field before them, the campers were going wild as the Silly Games brought out the best of everyone. This new game Cat thought up in a moment of reminiscence of Will in his childhood. Feeling nostalgic, she decided to add all kinds of silly competitions toward The Grand Slam. It didn’t require many props or equipment just a good sense of humor.
Basically, it was the best of kids being kids, and the laughter that it invoked was over the top fun for not only the children but for the counselors as well, especially when they had to participate. There was nothing funnier than Rick making farts with his hand tucked in his armpit or Jane burping long and loud in different octaves, and of course, nothing could be funnier than Caroline in her helium induced voice being forced to say, “One time at band camp.”
It was a competition of boys vs. girls but not cabin against cabin; winners were declared by skill and elimination of competitors.
One day, she knew, everyone would consider these games her finest hour.
The weary, hungry hikers arrived back at camp after dinner to the attentive fuss of Cat, Jane, Maddy and Eddie, and none looked upon Lydia kindly, which made her extremely uneasy. She was expecting her usual welcome after misbehavior, total disregard and hugs and kisses, support such as “Don’t worry sweetie, everything will be alright. Here’s a twenty dollar bill, you’ve been through such an ordeal. C’mon, I’ll drive you to the mall.”
No, that definitely didn’t happen. It took all of four minutes and eight seconds before Eddie grabbed her earlobe to whisk her back to the ranch house and Cat blurted, “What’s wrong with your vagina?! Better get the cocktail sauce. You’re touchin’ it like you got the crabs!”
Will cringed remembering hearing something about his aunt’s “familiarity” with “the crabs”. His uncle, who really wasn’t an uncle, gave her crabs during a Janis Joplin concert while they were trippin’ on acid. Of so she says. She thought the scratching was part of the trip, little did she know.
“Cat, I’m afraid Lydia has gotten herself into an ‘itchy’ situation, and we’re going to have to leave in the morning so I can take her to our family doctor. I’m really sorry,” Lizzy said.
Darcy listened to the exchange, unsure of what to do or say. As owner of the camp, he needed her to stay, but this was her sister and Lizzy was taking responsibility. It was necessary for her to go. If it had been Georgiana he would do the same thing. Who was he kidding, it was his own loss that he was thinking of.
“Don’t get yourself into a lather. I’ll take over the cabin,” Cat offered then snorted. “They’ll never be the same when I get through with those teenagers.”
It was confirmed and Darcy’s spirits sank futher. The last two weeks were truly going to be sheer hell as he watched his aunt’s eyes alight with machiavellian glee. She rubbed her palms together as though about to dive into key lime pie or tortue someone. I think it would be fair to say that he’d rather have Caroline calling him Willy dahling for the next two weeks then subject the sixteen year-old girls to his crazy aunt. God only knew what she was going to teach them.
Jane covertly examined Lizzy and Darcy’s deliberate avoidance of the other, their sly subtle glances they stole and how, most noticeably, Darcy picked up her sister’s backpack, then slung it over his shoulder, carrying it. Two days ago, Lizzy would never have allowed that. It was clear, these two finally done the deed. Hmm wonder who won the betting pool of money?
The three, Jane, Lizzy, and Darcy walked in the direction of the cafeteria to get something to eat in the hope of raiding the kitchen for any scrap or left over morsel. Jane hooked her arm with her sister. “Where’s Wickham?”
“Will got a call from the Sheriff. They picked him up about an hour ago and hauled him to jail for drug dealing, statutory rape, and kidnapping.”
“Kidnapping?!” Although caught up in her astonishment it did not miss her notice that the name “Will” crossed Lizzy’s lips. Oh yeah, they definitely knocked boots.
Darcy said, “Not that it will stick because Lydia went willingly, but they just want to scare the shit out of him by telling him they’re going to bring in the Feds. They hope to get the name of his drug supplier out of him. The Sheriff said the strangest thing though, they found Wickham with Twinkie boxes taped around his feet with sponges as their soles.”
Jane giggled then sobered. “What’s going on with Lydia and the whole scratching thing? You don’t think…?”
Lizzy nodded. “I do. She wasn’t using protection with George and later she told me that the girls in her cabin said he was spreading HPV. That could be so bad, Jane.” She paused in thought and shook her head. “Lydia, Lydia, Lydia ... We’re going to have to make some big changes at home.”
“Yes, we are.”
“I called Dr. Petersen; he’ll see her tomorrow.”
Jane frowned, worried and feeling guilty for not disciplining Lydia sooner, but she'd think on that later. Right now, her other sister was occupying her curiosity. She turned to the lighter side of things. “Will, there is an interesting rumor going around camp about you.” She giggled. “It seems, word is that you’ve come out the closet, and that you’re now openly gay.”
He lowered the water bottle from his mouth and guffawed, spraying water out of his mouth. “What?”
Lizzy laughed, “Oh, that’s so not true,” and that was all the confirmation Jane needed to hear especially when the new lovers’ eyes met and Lizzy’s lips twitched into a smile of shy happiness.
Oh No! Lydia with an STD and Darcy and Liz separating for the summer. Say it isn't so!!