Join Date: Feb 2009
Tales of the Ragoon
"I'll bet my sister," said Jack with a grin. The other kids had various reactions.
George gave a wicked laugh, and the large young senior flexed his huge biceps.
Theresa shook her dark brown hair, and the slim junior exclaimed, "No way!"
Lester's blue eyes widened as the junior exclaimed, "Dude!"
Ashley, Jack's blond sister, smacked him on the arm and said angrily, "You jerk!"
Thoroughly stunned, thirteen year old Sam just stared across the wooden kitchen table at Jack, the halfback on the varsity football team at the local high school. His eyes widened as he glanced up at fifteen year old Ashley, the girl of his dreams. The girl was wearing a pair of small denim shorts and halter top that didn't quite cover her bra. She scowled back at Sam.
"Hey, she's my property according to the Ragoon," Jack protested while still grinning. "They haven't made any restrictions on betting your sister in a poker game, at least none that I am aware of. And she's gotta be worth at least a hundred dollars." He ignored Ashley's next shoulder punch.
"Well, dude, is it a bet?" asked Jack, his eyes gleaming. He knew very well that the younger boy was in puppy love with Ashley. He was positive that Sam would be unable to resist the temptation.
Sam gulped. He knew in his heart that this was not right. You don't gamble for people. His parents would be appalled if they could see him right now. But Jack was right. Sam could not resist the temptation. Just the thought of owning Ashley made his head swim. Besides he knew that Jack and the other boys would never actually let him win.
"All right," he answered in a squeaky voice. "I accept your bet. What have you got?"
"Four sixes," replied Jack. He smiled confidently as he threw his cards down. Ashley breathed a sigh of relief.
Sam stared at the cards on the table. He looked at his hand, and he gulped again.
"So whatcha got, Sammo," asked George. He suspected that Sam was trying to run a bluff.
Sam laid his cards on the table. "I've got a straight flush, jack high," he whispered. The others looked with astonished faces at Sam's cards.
"Oh, no!" wailed Theresa.
"Damn!" said George.
"Shit!" said Lester.
White faced, Jack and Ashley stared at the cards and then turned to stare at each other.
"Jack," pleaded Ashley.
Jack looked at Sam and cleared his throat. "Hey, Sam," he began. "You know that I was just kidding, right?"
Theresa and the other two older boys echoed Jack's statement.
"Yeah, he was kidding!"
"That's right, Sam."
"Got it, Sammo?" said George with a menacing frown.
"Yeah, I know," muttered Sam. "It was just a joke. Can I leave now?" He got up and started for the door.
"Take your money, Sam," ordered Jack.
There was silence as Sam returned to the table, retrieved the pot and left.
Meanwhile, Jack was actually struggling with the lizard that was guarding him so that he could get to his sister. It was futile, of course, and in the end he was dragged into the principal's office wearing chains.
"Do you have anything to say for yourself?" asked the Ragoon.
For five minutes, Jack ranted at the top of his voice. Jane asked that the outgoing audio be muted to spare the classrooms from hearing the curse words that Jack was spewing at the Ragoon.
Eventually Jack ran out of invective, or maybe he just got tired.
Once he was silent, the Ragoon asked him, "Why in The Spirit's name would you bet your sister in a poker game to win a mere hundred dollars? Your financial statement shows that you have forty thousand dollars in a college fund."
"It was a joke!" snapped Jack.
"A joke?" answered Jane icily. Her calm demeanor had changed. Her eyes were flashing as she stood up, leaned across the table, and slapped Jack's head so hard that he recoiled in astonishment.
"You gambled your sister away for a hundred dollars, Judas," she yelled.
Damn, the crazy woman doesn't even know my name, Jack thought as he leaned back and rubbed his reddening cheek.
"These are the transfer of ownership papers," she explained. The faces of both kids paled. "Ashley, usually your brother would have signed the paperwork, but in this case the district supervisor will sign for him. Do you see the places that are checked?"
"Yes," answered Ashley faintly.
"Then please print your name on those lines. At the bottom of the page, there is a place for your signature. Your signature is not absolutely necessary, but the judgment board will probably take your cooperation into consideration if you sign the form."
"I'm not signing anything," stated Sam belligerently. The lizard stirred and was about to speak, just as Ashley turned to Sam.
"Please, Sam," she said in a choked voice. "Just sign the papers. Please." Ashley turned back to the papers. Jane handed her a pen. Carefully, her hand shaking, Ashley printed her name on the three checked lines, and then she signed her name at the bottom of the form. She pushed the papers toward Sam.
Numbly, Sam printed his name and signed the form. Jane took the papers, and she laid them in front of the district supervisor. The lizard reached down and lifted a briefcase onto the table. It opened the briefcase, and it took out a large round flat metal container that looked like an oversized tobacco tin. It opened the tin and it pressed it's hand against the solid matter inside the tin. Then it lifted it's hand and pressed it against the paper form that Ashley and Sam had just signed. When it lifted it's hand again, there was a faint but noticeable impression on the page.
Jane sighed, and then she said to Ashley, "Ashley Thurber, you are now the legal property of Sam Wilson. Do you understand this?"
"Yes," answered Ashley faintly.
Sam was relieved when Ashley was returned to their room. She seemed fine now. There was no sign of the sadness or panic that she had exhibited earlier. To their surprise, the lights did not dim until ten o'clock. They lay down on their mattress. They were laying on the backs and talking softly when Ashley finally nerved herself to bring up the subject.
"Sam, if it's okay with you, could you give me a little time to get used to things before we... before we...you know...do it?"
"Do what?" asked Sam innocently.
"You know, do It," replied Ashley somewhat exasperated as she emphasized 'It'. Now that she had gotten the nerve to broach the subject, she thought that the least Sam could do was to understand without her having to use a graphic word.
Still puzzled, Sam turned to look at her, and then it dawned on him what she meant by 'It'.
His mouth dropped open in astonishment, and then he exclaimed, "Are you crazy? Do you know what my Dad would do to me if I did it with you? And my Mom would kill me!"
It was Ashley's turn to be surprised. "You mean that you haven't been thinking about it? I mean we are going to be sleeping together. And technically, you own me."
"No, I haven't thought about it," replied Sam. Well, not much, he thought to himself guiltily. "And I don't own you. I don't care what those reptiles say."
It spoke. "Sam Wilson and Ashley Thurber, this hearing is to decide the final disposition of your case. Sam Wilson, we are undecided about your ability to control Ashley Thurber. We are considering removing her from your possession and making her the property of the Ragoon. Do you have an opinion about this?"
Sam's temper flared. "You can't just take her away from me and keep her for yourselves. Ashley is mine. Your rules say so."
"Technically you are correct. However, if we decide that you are unable to control this girl, we can remove her from your possession. It would be better for her and for you. Can you convince us that you can control the girl?"
Sam was really steamed now. But he knew that Ashley wanted him to do whatever it took to get them out of the clutches of the Ragoon. He tried to calm down and think of something to say.
"You know that we don't like to undress in front of anyone. We like our privacy. We sure don't like to undress in front of a crowd. It's embarrassing to us. It's humiliating to us."
The aliens looked at each other. One gave the equivalent of a shrug. The District Supervisor turned back to Sam.
"We are aware of this," it said.
Sam took a deep breath. Okay, Ash, he thought to himself, here goes.
"Ashley, take off your clothes," the boy commanded in a firm voice.
Ashley didn't hesitate. Even as she trembled, she crossed her arms and pulled the pillow case blouse over her head. Then she untied the string holding the two straps of her skirt together, and she let it drop to the floor. She stepped out of the circle of the skirt and toward Sam. Without looking at her, Sam stretched out his right arm and curled it around Ashley's waist. He pulled the bared and blushing girl tightly against him.
"You see?" he said to the aliens. "She will do whatever I tell her to do, even if it embarrasses and humiliates her."
The District Supervisor looked at the other two lizards, and then it glanced from the boy to the girl and then back to the boy.
"Very well," it said. "You have demonstrated your control over the girl. You may keep her. Tomorrow, the two of you will be returned to your hometown."
Staring at the aliens, Sam ordered, "Put your clothes on, Ashley."
The teenager hastily complied. She and Sam were led away.
The District Supervisor turned to Jane. "That was unexpected," it said.
Jane looked at the door that had closed behind the two teenagers. "Humans can be like that," she murmured.
Back in their room, Sam faced Ashley with downcast eyes.
"I'm sorry, Ash," he moaned. "I couldn't think of anything else."
Ashley slid two of her fingers under his chin and lifted it. Reluctantly, he met her gaze. To his surprise, she was smiling. She snaked one hand around his waist. She kissed him lightly on his lips.
"You were perfect," she said. "I loved the way you played Conan."
Sam breathed a sigh of relief. Then he laughed too. "Yeah, it just came to me. What would Arnold do?" They laughed together. Ashley laid down and their bed and stared at the ceiling.
"I think that you did it, Sam," she said softly. "I think that they just might let us go."
Then Ashley noticed that Sam's mother was looking at her over Sam's shoulder. Gently the woman moved Sam away and into the arms of his father. She approached Ashley.
"Hello," she said with a tentative smile. "I'm Marisa Wilson, Sam's mother. You must be Ashley."
Mrs. Wilson's friendly greeting only added to Ashley's feeling of guilt.
"I'm sorry," she mumbled, her eyes downcast. "I'm sorry that you have to let me stay at your house." Her eyes moistened.
Marisa listened in astonishment to the girls apology. Then her eyes narrowed. She stepped forward quickly and took the teenagers face between her hands. She lifted the girls face so that Ashley had to look at Marisa's eyes.
"You listen to me, young lady," said Marisa fiercely. "This is definitely not your fault."
"Well, it's my brother, Jack's fault," responded Ashley. "And he's my brother, so it's kind of my fault too."
"It is not your fault, Ashley," repeated Marisa. "It is not Sam's fault. And it's not your brother's fault. This is the fault of the Ragoon. No one asked them to come here. No one asked them to impose their rules on us. This is the Ragoon's fault."
"That's right," agreed Jane suddenly. "This is the Ragoon's fault." She gave an unfriendly glance at the bored lizard waiting impatiently in the van.
Mr. Wilson was listening. He stepped forward and said. "Yes, ma'am, you are right."
Then he looked at Ashley, "Welcome to our home, young lady," he said to her and he held out his hand. "I'm Larry." Ashley gave him a grateful smile and shook his hand.
Mr. Wilson looked back at Jane. "I guess we are all set here. Come back when you are alone and we'll have some Yankee pot pie." Both Marisa and Jane looked startled.
Marisa bit her lip. It was not easy in these times to balance one's love of country with one's family. They did not know this woman, and she worked for the Ragoon. Could she be trusted? Marisa gathered her courage. "Yes," she agreed. "Come and I will make some doodles to go with it." She held her breath.
Jane's eyes met the man's and then the woman's. "Someday," she said softly. "Someday I will, and what ever you make will be just dandy." The three human adults smiled. It felt good to defy the Ragoon, no matter how small the defiance.
She thought about her mother and sister. Only three more months until she could see them. She had to hold on for their sakes. She couldn't give in to her despair. What was her mother thinking? It was so cruel of the Ragoon to send her back to Oakdale and to not tell her mother.
It was more comfortable in Sam's bed. It was wider, and they had covers. And she had clothes again. Mrs. Wilson was not that much taller than Ashley was. Mrs. Wilson had taken Ashley to her closet and they had rummaged through Marisa's clothes until they found several dresses that she could wear. Mrs. Wilson assured her that she would sew and hem the dresses until they fit Ashley well. And right now, she was wearing one of Mr. Wilson's old sweat shirts. It was bulky, just the way she like them, and it fell down almost to her knees.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilson had been very kind to her. They had welcomed her with open arms and they had made her feel as secure as they could. Sam's sister, Leslie, was more reserved. She wasn't sure yet that she liked this strange girl who had caused her brother so much trouble.
Ashley wondered if the other kids had been released yet. Were they home with their parents? Did they blame her too? She wondered if she would see them around town and she wondered what they would say to each other. She knew that they too would be doing community service during the summer. Like Ashley, they were doomed to repeat a grade in high school. She imagined that would be especially rough on George. He should have graduated by now. Now he was stuck in high school for another year.
It was nice and toasty in this bed. She and Sam were lying on their sides as they usually did. And even though there was plenty of space in the bed, she was pressed up to Sam's back. She smiled to herself as she remembered Sam's embarrassment when he pulled out his pajamas. They were super hero pajamas. Hastily, he had shoved them back into the drawer, and then he announced that he was sleeping in his briefs from now on. She was drowsy. She fell asleep.
Last edited by morriss003; 03-16-2009 at 07:10 PM.