Ken and Peaches | By: Kenneth G Kruschka | | Category: Short Story - Love Bookmark and Share

Ken and Peaches

    Ken and Peaches

 Ken and Peaches are a mixed race couple; she's black, he's white. They'd heard about a small town, known as a "for building" town, where 100 years ago a racial equality activist named John Lynch had lived. The story was that John Lynch had come from a white family; however, unlike the others in his family, and even the town, he was helping people of color (black) learn how to read and write; giving them a basic education. The town's folk grew furious at John Lynch, noticing Negro people they'd employed--actually put 'em to work in forced labor camps--started showing signs of having educational roots. Up till that point, the negro worker would've responded "Yesh sur" to a given command; but with some ABC's and 123's in their repertoire, they'd started answering commands with "Yes Sir," and asking follow-up questions and/or starting conversations like: "Was there anything else you'd like today Sir?" or jovially saying "Hey, Mrs. such-and-such, I've just read the book (whatever the latest new book of the times was) and found it wonderful. Reads like that can really motivate a person to write a novel themselves." Even Mr. Lynch's own household grew intolerant towards his allowing Negro folk under their house roof! Unanimously, the town got together and hung John Lynch, trying to make an example of him; however, his educational teachings lived on. Peaches' Mother was the granddaughter of someone who Mr. Lynch had taught to read and write, very well, and had become a high profiled author in her day. Peaches and Ken had driven about two hours to reach the old “for building" town, wanting to pay their respects to the home of the honorable deceased local hero.

 Peaches is a very dark haired woman who's always playing around with its appearance; changing it up every month. Ken always notices her hairstyle changes, so complements Peaches on every one--he believes no matter what she does to her hair, or what she wears (or doesn't wear), she always looks like a Princess. When Ken first met Peaches, he was an outsourced repair man, hired to fix a plumbing issue, and working for the apartment landlord where Peaches lived. Apparently, someone had rigged a Moen faucet to an outside garden hose, running it up to her apartment through a window, and then adapted it to Peaches' kitchen sink; instead of repairing the water feed lines below the sink cabinet. When Ken knocked on Peaches' apartment door (being there wasn't a doorbell buzzer) she answered wearing only a bath towel, because the abusive "person"--he was just a monster--she'd been seeing, had just taken all her cloths and dumped her; leaving Peaches with only: a bath towel (which she was wrapped in), a wet bath mat, and a shower curtain. Peaches' now ex-boyfriend had just broken-up with her, while she was showering, right before Ken arrived to do the faucet repair work.  Where Peaches' ex took off to with the laundry is still unknown. Before Ken could focus on the repair job he'd been sent to do, his and Peaches' eyes met; locking each other’s glances with unrestricted sparkles (they were both seeing stars), and time actually seemed to stand still--it was just too magical for words. Ken was immediately concerned that Peaches might catch cold, being dressed in only a towel, so he ran out to his truck to fetch her some extra cloths he'd kept on hand, then quickly brought them back to her.  Peaches put on Ken's: sweat shirt, blue jeans, and a pair of Under Armor sneakers, to which Ken stated "There has never been a Princess so beautiful as you!" Before Ken finished the faucet repair work, Peaches and him were engaged . . . though some might say, like twin-flames, they were already married in time, being the soul's commitment between two people is worth more than any saying of "I do" in front of some Clergy Man/Woman.  Peaches was phoning ahead for a pizza to be picked up on their way home, because she wasn't going to need to live in the poverty laden apartment any longer. She was going to be living with Ken now, in a real home, full of real love (though love is too small a word for what they had together), as her new life of fiancé had started.

 About the moment Ken and Peaches were leaving the apartment forever, black smoke came pouring into it from a cracked window in the back bedroom. The smoke, as it turned out, was being sent into the apartment by Peaches' mental-case ex-boyfriend. Peaches' ex was a racist; believing in black with black only, and didn't know someone besides Peaches was even at the apartment, till catching a glimpse of Ken holding the passenger side door of his truck open for Peaches, then driving off together. Peaches' ex yelled out in a fury "That WHITE (expletive)!" Apparently, Peaches' crazy ex-boyfriend was trying to smoke her out of the apartment, planning to put her mostly nude (knowing he'd taken her laundry, leaving nothing to wear) and running into the street; making her a humiliating show for public display. Peaches put 2+2 together, figuring out what the ex was trying to do to her; which drove her even closer to Ken--as if there were such a thing as closer than what Peaches had for Ken already--and she gave Ken a perfect "kiss-kiss" their entire drive home. Peaches announced "The level of certainty in our love, that I have, is beyond the restrictions of the atmosphere's limits." To which, Ken replied "The possibility of there being any limits, in an atmosphere that grants us the ability for sustaining our love, can't even exist, let alone enough to be measured!" Hearing that, Peaches' heart melted, while at the same time, in nature, the world's loneliest apple tree dropped a single white apple.

 As time progressed, Ken learned that Peaches' ex had a retractable bladed knife (switchblade), which he'd pulled out on many people. There was even a claim the guy had cut someone's head off in a knife fight, but was never proven, Peaches insinuated. Ken realized that Peaches' ex-boyfriend might be dangerous, being he was obviously an unbalanced sounding individual; so Ken bought a .357 magnum, teaching Peaches how to safely shoot it. Ken and Peaches started keeping the .357 in their nightstand drawer, incase it was ever needed for protection. Life was going great!

 So, Ken and Peaches arrived to the "for building" town, realizing not much changes with time in some places. Unfortunately, after 100 years of equality rights changes in the United States, this town's people were staring and whispering to each other at the sight of the couple that had just rolled in to town--Ken and Peaches looked at each other, smiled, and thanked God they let love rule. Ken got out of the truck and walked up a sidewalk by some town's people, wanting to inquire about directions to John Lynch's old estate. After much pressing, a man pointed down the road, saying "Drive down the hill, going through the last farm field. There's a winding easement road (only pathway through someone's land to gain access to another landowners property). You'll find the shack at the bottom." Ken thanked the fellow, hoping what the guy said wasn't a lie.

 Meanwhile, there were things occurring at the old John Lynch house. A China Girl was upset about losing a black-gold leaf, which had been dangling from her earring but had somehow gotten lost. The China Girl and her partner had recently pulled a heist, which was done under direct orders from "The Master." The missing black-gold leaf could blow their cover, and potentially uncover the true identity of "The Master," who ran the complete organization. Without the black-gold leaf, the China Girl and her partner figured it would be safer to duck-out of sight; so they were staying (recouping) in the ramshackle remains of the old Lynch house.  The China Girl worried that the leaf may have been lost at the scene of the heist location; meaning it could be finger-printed, which would be serious. The duo (China Girl and her partner) were known to others in their organization as "The Last Imperialists," and were only sent on missions of high risk--being there could be no foul-ups. China Girl's partner was a Frenchman, who looked a lot like Nicolas Cage. The Frenchman had taken an operative informant agent, who'd become a known traitor in the heist brigade mission, into custody. The Frenchman was demanding answers from the informant rat; finding out that the rat wasn't even loyal to the King, who, as it turned out, he was working for! So, the Frenchman, who looked like Nicolas Cage, took a long sword and stabbed it through the traitor's left eye; pinning the guy into the wall behind him. Before the traitor died, the Frenchman harshly asked him "Is everything alright, back at The House of France?"  Before expiring, the traitor's quivering body cried a reply of "Yes, my Liege!" Once the Frenchman had his answer, he removed the sword from the traitor's skull (which had been the only thing holding the traitor's body in an upright position); causing the dead body to drop to the floor.

 Ken asked Peaches if she'd like to drive down the road, so he could start watching the fields with his binoculars; being the shack was supposed to be pretty far down a hill, with some farm field uphill from it, but Ken didn't know where exactly. Peaches found it crazy that it would've been legal to hold binoculars up & down to one's eyes and drive, even though texting and driving wasn't legal; so she thought Ken was being very sensible to let her drive, instead of trying the binoculars and driving. Peaches knew Ken was going to be a great Father, putting it in her mind to make him one as soon as they got home. Peaches took over the wheel, driving 10-12 feet at a time, then slamming on the brakes; stopping so Ken could take a look around for the Lynch house. Ken found Peaches' driving skills to be cute and funny, but neither he nor Peaches saw a small Christmas tree in the roadway, which Peaches hit, causing it to get tangled up under the front bumper. The couple laughed like kids about hitting the tree, because just down the hillside from it was the ramshackle remains of the old Lynch house. Ken said "Well, Merry Christmas" and hopped out of the truck to start heaving the small tree out from under the bumper, when he noticed a black-gold leaf, marked with an odd looking crescent, just laying there in the road. Ken knew it was real gold, so he put it in his pocket.

 Before taking the truck off-roading down the farm field’s hillside, Peaches made her way back to the passenger seat; allowing Ken to retake driving duties, and Ken locked the 4X4 wheel hubs (this was done manually on Ford trucks by being outside the truck, turning the front wheel hubs by hand to lock/unlock 4WD), swearing that when they get back home "We're getting a Chevy! I've had it with Ford's nonsense wheel locks!" Suddenly, Ken remembered what his Dad had said once "Son, the hills are like a woman; round and curvaceous. They are easy to get lost in, so always mind which way's North and which way isn't; keep your compass pointing sharp. And Son, never do them wrong!" Ken looked at Peaches and dropped a single tear. He couldn't tell her physically, but Peaches knew, saying "In the wind, he's still alive," and that's all that mattered. Ken, not having ridden the curves of the hills in awhile, eagerly pulled the truck off the road, putting it into the field too quickly; causing a momentary slip of traction control, but quickly the truck regained its grip. Ken breathed deep and said "Woman," while Peaches giggled; anticipating the excitement of what off-road riding was like.  Ken pressed the truck onward into the field, rolling and bouncing over the hillside bushes, the truck moving through the almost pure virgin overgrowth of the landside. The truck's weight pounded the corners hard and fast, coming over each of the hill curves at the pace Ken road them at; almost dumping the load from the truck bed in the process within the first 1/3rd of the way downhill, but Ken was able to learn from his previous handling experience, keeping the cargo load from getting a mind of its own and spilling off. The ride couldn't help but start reminding Peaches of the wonderful bed that she and Ken had back at home! Slowly, they approached the shack, parking their truck snuggly against the side of the Lynch home. They noticed, after looking around some, that there were some fresh foot-trails in the tall grass; leading around the perimeter of the supposedly unoccupied old Lynch estate.

 Ken and Peaches hopped out of their truck and walked right up to the shack, but were startled when the China Girl opened the front door, with the Frenchman being right behind her, looking at them through a screen door. Ken said "Hello" to the China Girl through the screen door, and then started to state what had brought him and Peaches out there. Then, through the doorway, Ken and Peaches noticed the dead body on the floor in the house; that the China Girl and Frenchman were trying their best to block from view.  Ken reached behind his back, where on his left side the .357 Magnum was in a holster, but was covered by an overhanging shirt. Ken nudged Peaches, letting her know exactly where the .357 was too--God forbid it turned into a "live and let die" situation. Ken wasn't trying to let on to the China Girl or Frenchman that he was armed, but the Frenchman knew; being trained as he was. The Frenchman felt it would be better to explain his and the China Girl's situation, rather than to start a fight. After all, not many people win bringing a sword to a gun fight.

 The China Girl welcomed Ken and Peaches inside, stating "It's an odd, but explainable thing that's occurred." She started telling Ken and Peaches that her and her partner were undercover operatives who'd preformed a heist from a foreign government, but that was operating on U.S. soil. Furthermore, she expressed the importance that the heist would aid the U.S. greatly. When the China Girl mentioned about losing the black-gold earring leaf, Ken started to realize this wasn't a bluff story . . .  and seeing the odd crescent mark on the leaf himself, just wanting his brain to believe he'd seen what he'd seen . . . the markings on the leaf were meant for people who the U.S. Pentagon must give free reign and action, in all matters, of the entire United States. Ken, trying to explain who these people were to Peaches (Peaches not knowing Ken had the black-gold leaf in his pocket) said "Let's just say, these two could walk directly into the U.S. President's office; telling the President to 'Get out, go stand in the hall or something' if they wanted to make a phone call from the President's own desk phone, even if just to test each other’s cell phone ringtones." The China Girl mentioned that if the black-gold leaf was lost at the heist scene, the odds of human existence are over for the Country anyway. Not just that, but their cover would be blown in all Countries as well. It was highly evident that this was beyond a matter of National Security, causing a reverse chill to crawl up, not down, Ken's spine. Then, the Frenchman chimed in, saying that "The dead Chap on the floor was a stinking Communist spy, double-backing  with the Russians, and strong-arming French loyalists into becoming Communists under threats of persecution (on and/or out of the Country), which he could've actually made real; but, that was just the "tip-of-the -iceberg!" The China Girl started saying "When it comes to the dead man, more despicable crimes against humanity have been accredited to him then those of  . . .  compared to any ever." Peaches, having taken a Social Studies class back in Freelance High School, understood the severity of what the China Girl and Frenchman had said, but to a broader degree than Ken did. Just then, Peaches' ex-boyfriend came rolling down the hillside embankment on an ATV. He'd followed Ken and Peaches (stalked) waiting for an opportunity to get them while they were out of the public eye, and planned on ending their relationship. Ken saw the four-wheeler coming, noticing that Peaches' ex had an outstretched arm brandishing a knife (the switchblade), and that he had murder in his eyes.

 Ken inquired of the Frenchman and the China Girl "If Peaches' ex-boyfriend was to just barge in here uninvited, and with a weapon pulled, he'd be trespassing on temporarily protected Government Grounds, right?" The Frenchman said "Yes." So, Ken asked "And, you would be correct, technically, to kill him for an intrusion of a caliber greater than just trespassing, correct?" The China Girl replied "Yes."  Ken and Peaches looked at each other, both thinking about exiting out through the back door, when Ken pulled the black-gold leaf out from his pocket; realizing it'd been worth its wait (pun on weight) in gold, and handed it over to the China Girl. Ken looked at the moment like Optimus Prime passing on the Matrix of Leadership in the 1980's Transformers Movie, and said "Till All Are One!" The Frenchman was elated that the China Girl got the missing black-gold leaf back, and instantly prepared himself in a defensive stance, to guard against anything coming through the front door, and repeated back to Ken "TILL ALL ARE ONE!"  Ken and Peaches headed out the house's back door, not looking back, commenting to the Frenchman and China Girl "You two are the U.S.'s best kept secrets!" An echoing "Yes" was declared by both the Frenchman and the China Girl, and the house's back door shut tightly. At the same moment Peaches' ex came storming into the old Lynch house through the front door, uninvited, and swinging his knife. **THUD* was the only sound heard.

 Ken and Peaches climbed into their truck, turned and smiled at each other, then headed for home. "Thank You, Forever, John Lynch" was worded into both of their wedding vows later that summer . . . that and some water faucet references.

    -The End-

Click Here for more stories by Kenneth G Kruschka