Spearfish Lake Tales
Contemporary Mainstream Books and Serials Online
"We donít get very many people coming in here who can blow through things like you do," Walker said when they broke for lunch a few hours later. "Shit, we just did what would be the better part of a weekís work for most people trying to record. Girls, I donít want to be critical, but thereís some stuff you did that needs help. I mean, your performance is fine, Dayna, your singing is terrific, but frankly, everything youíve done so far needs percussion badly."
"I suppose youíre right," Sandy agreed. "We never have it available on the road, so weíve never gotten in the habit of using it. I can see how it would help, but weíre just not prepared to do it. Weíve never even worked with a drummer, let alone rehearsed this stuff with one."
"Would you be willing to try an experiment?" Walker asked.
"Bring one in? Sure," Dayna said. "But you know how much stuff we want to knock out."
"What are you thinking?" Sam asked. "Mr. Tom?"
"Oh, yeah," Walker laughed. "íSpecially if we mention Lucille Bogan. We do that, he wonít even charge much."
"Iíll go call," Sam grinned. "Itís a nice day; he should be at his usual pitch. If heís there, Iíll go get him. I could pick up some subs on the way."
Twenty minutes later, Sam walked in, carrying some drums, along with an ancient, wizened black man. "Dayna and Sandy, Iíd like you to meet Mr. Tom Watkins, who may be the best old-time blues drummer still alive. Heís long retired, but he sets up on the sidewalk in front of his apartment building on nice days when heís bored with TV. I told him you knew the dirty version of Shave íEm Dry."
"I never even heered Lucille do it herself," Mr. Tom grinned. "I was just a kid when I played with her, and that wasnít too long."
"You played with Lucille Bogan?" Dayna said, astonished. The doors that name had opened around this place!
"Not real long, just a fill-in now and then in juke joints and speakeasies when I was gettiní started, back in the twenties," Mr. Tom grinned. "Miss Dayna, itíd be easier to name the names of the people I ainít played with one time or other. Walker, why donít you run me what these ladies did this morning, and Iíll see what I gotta do for it while the rest of you eat your sandwiches."
A couple minutes later, they sat listening as Walker played two different cuts of Cold Cold Heart.
"Oh, my," Mr. Tom shook his head. "My oh my. And to think that was once a Hank Williams song." He shook his head again and said, "Walker, I think I like the second one a little better. Let me hear it one more time." He picked up the drumsticks and played along Ė with Dayna and Sandy listening in pure awe. This guy was good! He picked the feeling of it up right now!
He turned to Dayna and Sandy after it ended and said, "That íbout what you had in mind?"
"That was incredible," Dayna said. "I always thought good percussion would help it out, but I never dreamed of percussion good enough that wouldnít overwhelm it. Iím honored to hear your work, sir."
"Miss Dayna, you got a talent," he smiled. "It ainít often that I hear someone that donít bitch the blues. You breathe the blues. Iím honored to work with you, maíam." He turned to Walker. "You want to get me a set of cans and kill the speakers, letís do a couple takes."
By the time lunch was over with, Mr. Tom had done percussion tracks for everything theyíd done that morning. In the afternoon, theyíd run through a piece without drums once, have him play along a second time, and go ahead and start cutting tracks the third time. They usually did a piece several times, but they never once heard Mr. Tom make a mistake.
To their amazement, they blew through their ambitious schedule, with a few extras thrown in, in four and a half days. Mr. Tom Ė who turned out to be in his eighties Ė played with them on all of the blues cuts, and most of the pop songs. The renfaire music was a little strange to him, but it didnít slow him down any. This was music that didnít demand percussion, but his unobtrusive playing with many of the pieces certainly added to them.
The last afternoon was intended to be pure fun, and it was. Just for the hell of it, Walker and Sam brought in another ancient black man with a string bass, and yet another to play the piano, and they started in on Lucille Bogan pieces. They did cleaner ones in the afternoon, when crowds were around, but they stuck around after hours to do Tricks Ainít Walkiní, Bull Dyke Blues, both the clean and the dirty versions of Shave íEm Dry, and a new one to Dayna and Sandy, Till The Cows Come Home, which they hadnít heard before but was just as nasty as the dirty version of Shave íEm Dry. It took Walker until late to do a quick mix on them, but Sandy and Dayna headed back to Knoxville and the renfaire with a box full of CD masters of songs, including the Lucille Bogan pieces, along with the comment from Walker that he could arrange clearances on any of them.
It took longer than theyíd hoped to get the rest of the pieces pulled together, work out the order of the tracks, have John find a graphic artist to do some cover art, and other administrivia. Everything wasnít completed until after theyíd had to head down to Louisiana for another renfaire, but a month after the recording session, a stop at the faire managerís office came with the news that UPS had delivered several boxes that were waiting for them.
Half the boxes contained CDs of Faire Maiden. The title track was an original, about a modern girl who wanders renfaires dreaming she was in the fifteenth century and wishing that a knight in shining armor would sweep her off her feet. The only cover on the album was Scarborough Fair; the rest were traditional, or Dayna and Sandy originals, and three Steam Train John originals. Two theyíd never heard before that Monday night the month before, and the other one he wrote for them during a renfaire show! The cover art was a shot that Jeff had taken of them with their guitars one afternoon in Mount Pleasant, up against the backdrop of the steps of a cut-stone building, with them wearing corsets and summer-weight renfaire clothes Ė it had been taken in January, and theyíd been freezing!
The other half of the shipment contained CDs of Genie in a Bottle. The basis of that cover art was another one of Jeffís photos, this time of them in the harem-girl outfits, but the graphic artist had gotten cute with Photoshop, placing them in an almost-clear glass bottle. That album contained the title track, such things as Cold Cold Heart and the old, plaintive womanís version of House of the Rising Sun. The rest of the album consisted of Dayna and Sandy originals, except for two songs attributed to Steam Train John, and two to Lucille Bogan, fairly clean versions.
It would be another year before the girls would be saddened to find that Mr. Tom Watkins died of a heart attack less than two weeks after finishing work on their album Ė the last of literally thousands of tracks heíd worked on. Bluesman and busker to the end, heíd been playing his drums out in front of his apartment building when he died.
* * *
It took a little while to learn how to effectively sell the CDs to a crowd without cutting into the hats too much, but almost from the first they sold twenty to thirty copies of Faire Maiden a day at renfaires. They soon learned to keep copies of Genie in a Bottle around, because theyíd sell a handful or more of them as well. Sales soon picked up a degree; by the time they finished their dates at the renfaire in Louisiana, a significant dent had been made in the supply of CDs, some of which they shipped back to Bradford to free up space in Home. They learned, though, that it wasnít worth unpacking the box containing the renfaire albums when they played Genie in a Bottle-type music in a club date.
Within weeks they realized that the CD sales were well ahead of their expectations. It had seemed like a huge gamble to order a thousand copies of each CD, and it seemed like that would be a supply adequate to hold them for years; now, though an immediate reorder wasnít imperative, it was clear that there was going to have to be another one along in the spring Ė and knowing theyíd sell, it probably would be larger to take advantage of volume discounts.
When the renfaire in Louisiana came to an end the weekend after Thanksgiving, the season was winding down. To squeeze the last drops out of it, they decided to play a couple of small one-weekend faires in Texas. At the time they made that decision, another problem was looming Ė whether to head for Florida afterwards, where they could probably stitch together a combination of smaller weekend renfaires and the same sort of club and busking tour theyíd done down there the past two winters, or seek other fields.
About the only possibility of playing a renfaire outside of Florida was one in Arizona that started in January. This was a bit of a problem; up till now theyíd played mostly Midwestern stands, and getting booked onto a small stage hadnít been a problem since theyíd built a reputation in the Midwest as a good, solid act that people really enjoyed. The Arizona faire, however, was on a different circuit, where they didnít know anyone, and didnít have any reputation; it was supposedly tougher to get booked on the western circuit, anyway.
Dayna didnít have much hope when she called the entertainment manager of the Arizona faire, and he didnít waste any time with her, saying that they were pretty well booked up, and since he didnít know them or their music he didnít think there would be an opening. "I could send you one of our CDs," Dayna suggested. "Would that help?"
"You have a CD?" he said, perking up a little. "Sure, Iíd love to hear it."
Figuring what the hell, on a whim, Dayna dropped a copy of Genie in a Bottle in with the Faire Maiden disc. About ten days later, she called the manager up again, just to check. "Boy, youíre hard to get hold of," he said. "I left a message for you at that number you gave me, and Iíve been waiting to hear from you. We had a spot open up on one of our main stages, and weíd be glad to have you fill it, starting the weekend after Christmas."
"Sure, weíll be there," she told him.
"Iíll be looking forward to meeting you," he smiled. "I played that Genie in a Bottle album for my wife, and she loves it. We both really loved Cold Cold Heart and Lonesome Midnight. Isnít that a Lucille Bogan cover?"
"Sure is," Dayna laughed. "In fact, the drummer on that cut played it with her once."
"No fooling? That must have been an experience!"
"Yeah, Mr. Tom is something else. We recorded that in the same studio where Elvis cut his first records."
"Wow," he said, obviously amazed. "That must have been exciting. We donít often get performers with that kind of story to tell. Iíd sure like to hear you play some of it."
"We donít do blues in our renfaire act," she told him. "But Iím sure we can set up a special session some time."
"Iíll be looking forward to it," he said.
They spent a few minutes working out details, then ended the conversation. Dayna had called from an outdoor phone booth; Sandy had been sitting in Home a few feet away. "So how did it go?" she said.
"Weíre going to Arizona," she replied. "Lucille Bogan just broke us into the western circuit."
"You know," Sandy shook her head after Dayna explained what happened. "Considering that we started doing those songs to pull the leg of a professor of a class we took for kicks, Lucille Bogan has been damn good for us."
"That she has," Dayna grinned. "You know, we havenít turned a trick since last spring, but sometime I wonder if maybe we shouldnít do one some time in her honor."
"Something to think about," Sandy grinned. "From what Walker and Mr. Tom told us about her, her spirit would probably appreciate it."
"I think so too," Dayna grinned. "And I wouldnít mind getting a little action myself. But hereís something to think about. We got our foot in the door in the western circuit with this. What do you say we try to get into some more western faires to fill out the spring before we go to Mackinaw City for the summer? Thatíd build up our rep out there, and it might be useful in the future."
"Sounds good to me, and itís new country to both of us." Sandy nodded.
"Thatís just about what I was thinking," Dayna agreed. "We can get a few lines out, and see if our rep from Arizona can get us in some other places. If we can, fine. If we canít, Iím sure we can get in some place in the eastern circuits come spring."
"Works for me, and spring in California sounds cool to me," Sandy agreed.
"That leads to one more thing to think about," Dayna told her. "We have to be out in Arizona about three days after Christmas if I see the calendar right. We could get back to Michigan for the holidays, but it means that weíd have to haul ass to get back out west."
"Dayna, would it hurt you too much if I said Iíd really rather not go back to Michigan for Christmas? I mean, I know Iíd be welcome with your folks, but if I get back that close Iím going to feel pretty guilty if I donít at least stop off and see mine, and I donít want to have to put up with more shit again."
"I understand," Dayna nodded. "And being with my folks would rub everyoneís noses in it, right?"
"Yeah, especially mine," Sandy said unhappily.
"As far as Iím concerned, three days to Arizona from Michigan in Home and then having to start a main stage show in country new to us is pushing it damn tight," Dayna said. "And weíve pushed awful hard this fall. What do you say we find a quiet place to park Home for a few days, just rest up and screw around, then take our time getting out there?"
"Sounds perfect to me. Hell, we might even find a guy or two to screw around with."
* * *
On just a little asking around, theyíd received several suggestions to go park on the beach in the national park on South Padre Island south of Corpus Christi. There was a paved road along the shore for several miles south of the visitor center, then it turned to hard-packed sand for several more miles. The ranger at the visitor center warned them to not go too far on the sand road, since there were places where there were soft sand blowouts that could easily get them stuck. They headed south, expecting to see wall-to-wall people, but found the place almost deserted, although the ranger had told them thereíd most likely be more people around as the holidays approached.
They found a particularly lonely spot not far before the first of the blowouts; finding a place to camp mostly consisted of turning off the road into the wind off the ocean, shutting off the engine and setting the parking brake.
Even though they were well to the south of the snow theyíd have expected in Michigan, winter had come to the south Texas shoreline, and even at midday the sun had only warmed the air into the sixties. But there was a nice and tempting surf crashing in. "I donít know about you," Dayna said, but I hate to let that go to waste."
"Iím with you," Sandy said as she got out of the driverís seat and headed for the back of Home. "Itíll be chilly but think how bad it would be if we were in Michigan."
"Oh, I agree," Dayna nodded, looking around. "Boy, this place is empty," she added. "There isnít anyone around. Hell, we could go skinny-dipping if we wanted to and nobody would be the wiser."
"Yeah, sure could," Sandy said. "What if we got caught?"
"Then we get caught," Dayna grinned. "So what?"
"All right, Iíll do it if you will."
"Why do you think I suggested it?"
It took them only a minute to strip down to an absolute buff, not even sandals. In the past two years theyíd spent a fair amount of time in string bikinis that covered very little, but both were just a little red in the face when stepping outside Home onto the deserted beach. Even with no one around, there was a big difference between "very little" and "nothing at all." But they got over their embarrassment quickly and headed for the surf.
Both the air and the surf could have been warmer, and the breeze coming off the ocean was cool indeed. They played around in the waves a bit, tried some body surfing, and were getting pretty chilly when they decided to head back up to Home and dry off, running naked and blue across the beach, thrilled with their bravado.
"That was fun," Dayna said as they dried off inside. "What do you want to do this afternoon?"
"Oh, I donít know," Sandy sighed. "You got any ideas?"
"I donít know," Dayna said. "But would you believe Iíd just like to leave the guitars packed up for a day or two and call this a vacation?"
"I hear you, Dayna," Sandy laughed. "Hereís an idea. It could be pretty sunny on that stage in Arizona, maybe we ought to work on our tans a bit before we head out there."
"We could do that, but itís a little chilly out there in that breeze."
"True," Sandy sighed. "But you know those dunes up behind the beach? Thereís some bushes and tall grass, maybe we could find a place out of the wind."
"Worth a try," Dayna agreed. "Letís take our bikinis with us in case someone shows up, but if they donít we can sunbathe nude."
It took a few minutes to find bikinis and towels, sunscreen and some granola bars and a couple bottles of juice for a light lunch. Still naked and carrying handfuls of stuff, they walked back through the cool ocean breeze and up to a spot in the dunes that seemed to hold promise.
It was harder walking in the dune sand than it looked; although there were patches of brush and grasses, a lot of it was soft sand, loose and hard to walk on. Fairly soon, they found a place that was pretty well out of the wind behind some sand and bushes, but warm in the afternoon sun. They spread out towels, dosed themselves down with sunscreen, and laid themselves out on the towels to bake.
Except for faces, arms, and shoulders, which had been exposed a lot at the renfaire in Louisiana, they were pretty white; the outfits that theyíd worn covered much of them up, and of course, sunbathing nude they were exposing places that hadnít had any sun before. Dayna had a slightly darker complexion than Sandy and could take a lot of sun before burning; but while Sandy could tan up nicely, she knew from bitter experience that sun had to come in small doses at first. Well before an hour was up, she knew that the time to be heading in was in sight. "You can stay out here if you like," she offered.
"No, Iíll head in if you do," Dayna smiled. "Itíd be boring to be out here without you."
"Iíd like to stay out here, but I really need to be thinking about covering up." She let out a sigh. "Itís a shame, too, Iím really enjoying laying out here and doing nothing. If you want to stay here, Iíll run down to Home and get something to put on."
"Suit yourself," Dayna smiled. "Iíll admit, I donít want to head in."
"All right, back in a minute," Sandy said, getting up. "Boy, this sand is soft and loose," she commented. "I wonder why itís so loose up here and hard on the beach?"
"Donít know," Dayna said. "Itís pretty dry up here, and it probably gets damper down on the beach. That probably has something to do with it."
"Could be," Sandy shrugged as she headed for Home, a hundred yards away.
She was back a few minutes later, still nude, but rather than carrying clothing, she was carrying a metal bucket and the short-handled shovel from the RVís emergency supplies. "I thought you were going to get a cover-up," Dayna frowned.
"I got to thinking about it," Sandy grinned. "As loose as this sand is, it shouldnít be any big deal to cover up with it."
"Youíre talking about wanting to get buried, arenít you?" Dayna grinned. "You know where thatíll lead!"
"Well, it is a little boring out here," Sandy laughed. "And I figure I can scream to my heartís content. I can bury you later if you like."
"You know, itís been a while since weíve done this," Dayna grinned as she picked up the bucket and started to scrape a hole.
Sandy grabbed the shovel and joined in. "Itís been too long since weíve done any bondage game," she said. "Iíve been missing it. But this is the perfect place to do this. Maybe we can do some other outdoor game rather than just burying you. Like maybe we can find some stakes and I can stake you out naked and tickle you. Thatíd kill two birds with one stone. You can work on your tan while Iím driving you out of your tree."
"Works for me," Dayna grinned. "I was sort of wondering what we were going to be doing out here, anyway."
As Sandy had noticed, the sand was light and easily moved; it didnít take them long to get a big enough hole for her to get into, and before long only her head and feet were showing. Dayna found the stem of some tough beach grass, lay down by Sandyís feet, and started in. The next half hour was filled with giggling and screaming and futile protests and pleas. Dayna was gentle but relentless; theyíd been on both sides of that sort of action long enough to know how to drive the ticklee wild without pushing her out of breath Ė but keeping it near the edge. Twice, Sandy was tickled to screaming, head thrashing orgasms.
Finally, Dayna figured that Sandy had had about enough for now and decided to give her a real break. She put a towel over her feet Ė no point in getting them sunburned Ė and lay down next to her while she was still recovering a little. "I can dig you out now," she offered. "Or I can leave you there till I head in, and maybe we can do another round."
"Oh . . . that feels so good . . . " Sandy panted, still recovering from the effects of the last memorable orgasm. "Go ahead, leave me here. Iíd rather be buried in the sand here with you than be sitting in Home and feeling lonely."
"I can do that," Dayna said, lying down next to her. "Iíd rather be up here with you buried in the sand than be up here by myself. Damn it, Sandy, I love you."
"Oh, God, I love you too, Dayna," she said. "I donít know what the hell I would do without you. Probably be sitting at home right now with my folks pushing Robbie down my throat, if they hadnít already succeeded. Dayna, you took me away from all that. You know about the girl in Faire Maiden dreaming about a knight in shining armor coming and sweeping her off her feet? I guess I always dreamed something like that, but I never figured that the knight in the armor would be a girl."
"Funny," Dayna grinned. "I thought pretty much the same thing myself. You know, itís sort of funny. Before I met you, Iíd sort of hoped that sooner or later I could find some guy with about my musical tastes who I could partner with and do just about what weíre doing. I never figured it would be a girl, and I never figured it would end up like this for us. But you know what? I think Iím just as happy."
"I am, too," the girl buried in the sand said. "Donít get me wrong. You taught me to like sex, and you taught me to like it with men. But you know, Iíve come to realize that while I enjoy having sex with men, when you and I do each other, weíre making love, and itís not the same thing. Dayna, I love you a lot, and I hope we can keep it that way, but I donít want to give up men."
"Me, either," Dayna grinned. "Iíve figured out that I donít want to fall in love with a man just yet, but I do like fucking them once in a while. Iíd hate to give that up, but Iíd do it if I had to if it was what it took to keep you."
"You donít have to," Sandy said softly. "I feel the same way. Dayna, I never thought I could love a woman the way I love you. I didnít even dream it was possible. Do you ever feel jealous when Iím in bed with a guy?"
"No. Never," she smiled. "Mostly because I canít tell you the last time that I wasnít in bed with a guy at the same time you were. And itís been the same guy often enough that itís extra special. Mostly Iím hoping that youíre having a good time with him. Jealous? No. I think we both still have the need to feel a live dick in us once in a while, but that doesnít make us love each other any less. Maybe more, since we both understand it."
"Thatís pretty much how I feel," Sandy nodded softly. "Christ, I hope the day never comes when a guy will come between us. God, I love you, Dayna."
"You know what, Sandy?" Dayna said, rolling on her side and bringing her lips close to her loverís. "I love you too."
The kissing went on, mouth to mouth, tongue to tongue for a long time. Finally, Sandy pulled her lips back a little and whispered, "Dayna, please, let me do you."
"Sure," Dayna said, getting up. She got onto her knees, legs spread wide, straddling Sandyís face. Theyíd done each other orally a lot over two years, enough to know what worked and what didnít, what the other liked, and the mere touch of Sandyís tongue drove Dayna just about half wild. She leaned back, snuggled a little closer to that powerful tongue, felt its power, felt its love driving pure ecstasy up her spine. All too quickly, she felt a powerful orgasm coming on her; she put her hands on Sandyís head, held it in place, arched her back and screamed as it washed over her, then relaxed, tried to catch her breath, and moaned, "Oh, God, I love that."
"I know you do," she heard Sandy say from down between her legs. "Thatís why I love doing it to you. I think I love giving it to you more than I enjoy getting it, because I know it makes you happy. God, I love you."
"Oh, Sandy, I love you too, more than I could have ever dreamed. Would you like me to dig you out so we can do each other?"
"No. You donít have to. All you have to do to make me happy is to slide a little closer so I can make you happy again."