by Jim Foreman
It seems that all towns in rural Kansas are more or less identical, and the town of Noggley was no different. Out in the western part of Kansas, towns are about ten miles apart and situated at the intersection of a state highway which runs through it in one direction and forms the main street and a farm-to-market road the other. They are all about the same size, never growing larger than a couple thousand residents. There are always two white grain elevators standing between the highway and the railroad tracks, four service stations, three churches, two banks, one grocery store, a John Deere tractor dealer and absolutely nothing other than farm work to keep the kids occupied during the summer. There was no movie house in the town, no swimming pool except the irrigation tail-water pits where the boys went skinny-dipping, and few social activities for kids. One single, snowy channel which was the only thing that they could get on TV, and it never had anything worthwhile on it except for cartoons on Saturday morning.
Another year of school had ended for Virginia Wilson who had just turned thirteen and was faced with prospect of one more hot summer with nothing much to keep her occupied. Her dad was always at the John Deere dealership that he took over when his father was killed in an accident and her mother was usually busy cooking, sewing or cleaning the house. She had no brothers or sisters and there were few other children her age in the neighborhood.
Virginia's dad seemed to spend all of his waking hours at the shop. It had been started by her grandfather just after World War II ended and her dad had worked there since he was old enough to sweep floors. He would eat breakfast at seven in the morning, leave for the store and not be seen again until after dark when he would come home for dinner. As soon as he finished eating, he would go to his desk in the corner of the parlor where he would work on the books until long after Virginia had gone to sleep.
The tractor place held something of a fascination for Virginia, with the smells of motor oil, paint and strange chemicals. The men who worked there seemed to always be either beating on something or swearing. She already knew that the repair shop was too dangerous and certainly no place for a girl but it would still be nice just to spend the day with her dad. Even if she couldn't go into the shop, she longed to explore all those strange back rooms with their piles of dusty parts and books, but she wasn't even allowed there because her mother was afraid that she might get hurt. Perhaps the real reason why her mother refused to let her go to the shop was because it seemed that everywhere you looked there were calendars with pictures of nearly naked women on them.
The only thing that held any hope in the way of a release from the boredom for Virginia that summer was the fact that her cousin, Gary, was coming to stay with them while his mother went to summer school to finish her teaching degree.
Gary was the same age as Virginia, or Ginger as everyone called her, but she had seen him only a couple times before when the family had gotten together at her Grandmother's home in Wichita for Christmas. She wasn't sure if she was going to like Gary or not because she didn't really like any boys. All that boys ever seemed to want to do was fight and roll in the dirt.
The Wilsons lived in a large, older two-story house at the end of town. There was nothing past their house except a wheat field. Downstairs was the kitchen, the dining room, a small parlor or library which was now used as an at-home office by her father, a huge living room with a fireplace and the master bedroom with its own bathroom. There was another small bathroom situated under the main stairway which ran from the living room to the hall upstairs where four more bedrooms were located. One of the bedrooms was Ginger's and the other three where referred to as guest rooms, even though they seldom ever had any. There was only a single bathroom upstairs at one end of the hall and from the other end, an outside stairway led to the ground in the back yard. There were lots of huge trees around the house and a garden along one side of the property where Ginger's mother raised more vegetables than they could eat.
A large building which had originally been a barn but now served as a garage for their cars stood in the back yard. It still had a hayloft or attic where all sorts of interesting trunks, boxes and furniture was stored, but the stairway that had once led up to it had long since been removed when it was converted for use as a garage. The only way to reach the loft now was by climbing a small ladder which led up through a hole in the floor. The loft had become a favorite place for Ginger to play because it was quiet and the second story windows allowed a view over the roofs of most of the rest of the houses in town.
Ginger went with her mother to pick Gary up at the Trailways bus station. There wasn't actually a bus station, just the Texaco service station where a small sign indicated that it was the bus stop. The signal for the bus to stop to pick up people or freight was a small red flag they would hang from the sign. The bus stopped only when it had passengers or freight on board to deliver or when there was something to pick up, otherwise, it roared right on through town in a cloud of dust.
Standing at the bus stop sign, one would ordinarily be able to see at least ten miles in either direction due to the pool table flatness of Kansas. Even though it was only nine in the morning, the shimmering rays of the summer heat and rising dust had already reduced the visibility to less than a mile. You could usually hear something coming long before you were able to see it.
Norbert Fripp, who pumped gas at the station was slumped in a battered old chair in the shade when they arrived but the prospect of the bus stopping was enough to bring him to life. He unfolded his long legs like a grasshopper getting ready to jump but rather than leaping, he slouched his way over to where they were standing beside the bus stop sign. He cocked his ear toward the distant sound of a an approaching diesel engine and said, "Yup, it's the bus coming, alright. I kin tell the sound of a bus engine from a truck, and it's gonna stop. I jist heered the driver let off the gas a little bit when he got to the city limits."
The dark shape of the bus materialized through the haze as the driver began gearing down to stop. The sign above the windshield of the bus indicated that Denver was its destination. It pulled off the pavement and came bouncing to a stop right in front of the sign, releasing a loud hiss of compressed air and raising a cloud of dust. The door swung open and the driver said, "This is Noggley, son. Time to get off."
A smallish boy, no taller than Ginger, appeared at the door. He had unruly blond hair, blue eyes and a frightened look as he came down the steps of the bus, carrying a short fishing rod in one hand and a brown paper bag in the other. A note which was pinned to his shirt, "My name is Gary Andrews and I am to get off at Noggley, Kansas."
"Hello, Gary," said Ginger's mother. "I'm your Aunt Helen, remember me?"
"I guess so," he said, still looking frightened and confused by the strange new place.
"And this is your cousin, Virginia," said Helen.
"Hi, Gary. What's the fishing pole for? There ain't a fish in a jillion miles of here," said Ginger. "What's in the sack?"
"I don't know why I brought it, I got it for my birthday so I just brought it along," he replied. "It was still dark when I left this morning and Mom thought that I might get hungry before I got here, so she fixed me a lunch. I still got a peanut butter-jelly sandwich, a boiled egg and an apple, but I ate the candy bar."
The bus driver raised a door on the side of the bus and removed Gary's luggage from the compartment. It consisted of a battered old suitcase and a cardboard box. Both were sealed shut by strips of silver duct tape.
"Here you go, son," said the driver. "Have a good vacation this summer." Air hissed, the door swung shut and the bus roared away in a cloud of heat, dust and diesel fumes.
Gary quickly settled into the Wilson family and he and Ginger became best friends. They played games and they climbed trees, but most fun of all, they explored the loft of the barn. Many of the boxes and trunks had been stored there by the people who had lived in the house before the Wilsons and they contained many treasures in the way of old clothing, old photos and even a few toys. There was also an ancient Victrola which still worked. It was great fun to wind up the Victrola and play those scratchy old records.
One day they were in the loft at around noon and Ginger looked out of a window and exclaimed, "Gary, come look at what the Barkleys next door are doing." John Barkley, who worked as a teller at the bank, had recently gotten married and they had rented the house next door. From their vantage point in the loft, they could look down through the upper part of a bedroom window which was not covered by a curtain and clearly see everything that was going on in the room.
"Hey, look, they are really doing it." Exclaimed Gary. "They are going it just like the big boys at school say they do."
"I know, I've seen them do that nearly every day since they moved in when he comes home for lunch." replied Ginger. "First, they kiss and pull their clothes off, then he gets on top of her like that. I think that they are making a baby."
"Look, they stopped and are putting their clothes back on," said Gary.
They didn't think much more about what they had seen until the next day when John felt the need to rush home from the bank to get another "Nooner", not realizing that they had a young audience.
Ginger was at the window and called Gary. "Come look. The Barkleys are kissing and pulling off their clothes again. Let's watch to see what they do. Without her clothes on, she looks just like my Barbie doll without her clothes," remarked Ginger. "Only, my Barbie doesn't have any hair between her legs."
"Do you have hair between your legs?"
"No," she whispered. "Do you?"
"I think that only old people have hair between their legs, said Gary. Look, he's putting it right in her!"
"Do you have a one like that?" asked Ginger.
"Yes, but it's not that big."
"Let me see yours," said Ginger. "Does it stick out like that?"
"It gets hard and sticks out when I take a bath," replied Gary. "It does some times even without a bath."
"Let me see it," said Ginger.
"No, Mama says that nice boys didn't play with it and to never let anyone look at it."
"It's OK, we're cousins," Ginger assured him. "I'll show you mine if you let me see yours."
Gary pulled his shorts and underwear down just enough to let his prepubescent penis spring up.
"It sure looks funny," said Ginger. "Look, it's sticking out just like his! How do you make it do that?"
"I don't know. Some times it gets big and hard when I don't want it to. When it is big like this, it feels real good if I rub it, but Mama said that I should never play with it because it would make me go blind."
"It sure looks funny." said Ginger as she reached over and touched him. It felt surprisingly warm and hard, nothing like what she expected.
"You said you'd show me yours," said Gary as he pulled his shorts back up but the bulge was still visible under them.
Ginger lifted her skirt and lowered her panties. "There isn't much to see," said Gary in a disappointed voice.
"Well, I have more," said Ginger as she raised her blouse. "My boobies are growing and that's something boys don't have. Want to feel them?" Gary touched one of her budding breasts and jerked has hand back. "It's OK, go ahead and feel of them, they tingle when I rub them."
"The Barkleys looked like they were having fun," said Ginger. Want to do it?"
They both pulled off their underwear and went over to an old couch which was stored in the loft. Ginger pulled up her skirt, lay on the couch and spread her legs. Gary got on top of her and asked, "What do we do now?"
"You put it in and move up and down like he was doing," replied Ginger.
"It doesn't seem to be working right," said Gary. "It's not going in."
"Oh, it hurts. You aren't doing it right. You're pushing too hard."
"Why doesn't it go in?" asked Gary.
"Because you are doing it all wrong," said Ginger. "It hurts, let's stop."
As they put their clothes back on, Gary said, "Let's watch real close the next time that they do it and maybe we can do it right."
The following day they were back in the loft when John came home for lunch. "OK, now watch real close so we can get it right," whispered Ginger. "See, they kiss first and he rubs his hands all over her and she holds him."
"I hate kissing girls," said Gary. "That's icky and sissy."
"Don't be silly. It's not icky and sissy. Big people kiss all the time in the movies and on TV. Mom and Dad kiss and feel around on each other a lot when they think I'm not watching."
"Do they go to bed and do that after they kiss?" asked Gary.
"I think so," replied Ginger. "I was scared by a storm one night and when I ran downstairs and into their bedroom and Dad was laying on top of Mom. Dad got off real quick and said that he was just keeping Mom from being scared by the thunder. I guess that all big people do it. Now, watch what they are doing so you can get it right."
"Do your parents do it at noon?"
"Dad never comes home at noon, so I guess that they only do it at night. Dad put a lock on their bedroom door after I saw them that time."
Ginger and Gary watched and copied what they did. They kissed and removed their clothing as he rubbed his hands over her body, especially her breasts and between her legs. Ginger pushed his shorts and underwear down and began to play with his erect penis. "I think we are doing it right this time because I'm getting a real funny feeling," said Ginger as they went to the couch.
Just as Gary got on top of her, Ginger's mother called from the back door, "Lunch is ready kids."
In a panic, they jerked their clothes back on and ran to the house. They both had a cold feeling of guilt associated with nearly getting caught. They wondered if she knew what they had really been doing up in that loft. They ate rapidly in silence, anxious to get back to their hiding place above the garage.
After they had finished eating, the mother said, "I'm going grocery shopping. Do you two want to come along or stay here and play?"
"I think that we'll stay and play," answered Ginger, who wanted nothing more than to get back to the loft and resume what they had been doing before being interrupted. The anticipation was having strange and wonderful effects of Ginger. As soon as the car pulled from the driveway, they rushed back to the loft.
"Do we have to kiss again?" asked Gary.
"I don't think so, just pull off all your clothes," replied Ginger, who was already removing hers.
"Tell me if it hurts and I'll stop," said Gary who was surprised to find that things were much different than they had been before they went to lunch. Now she seemed to be all wet and warm.
"Just move around like he did and push real easy," she said. "I'll tell you if you are pushing too hard."
He moved up and down slowly, pushing a little harder each time. There were little shots of pain each time he pushed but the feeling was so good that she didn't care. Suddenly, there was a single, sharp stab of pain and Ginger gasped as she felt him entering her.
"Am I hurting you? asked Gary as he stopped and tried to pull away.
It felt so big and strange in her that it was frightening but it also felt so good that she never wanted him to stop. She held him tightly and gasped, "No, don't stop, keep going." Suddenly a strange feeling rolled over them as they struggled and jerked in their embrace. Finally it ended with them drenched in sweat and breathing like they had been running. Then a feeling of calm swept over them. They had just discovered why the Barkleys were so eager to see each other at noon.
Do you think we made a baby?: asked Gary.
"No, only married people can make babies," replied Ginger. At least it sounded logical to her.
Ginger was a bit sore for the next couple days but it was much easier after that. She and Gary no longer needed to watch the Barkleys during their noon meetings because they always seemed to be ready for one another, making use of the couch in the loft two or three times a day. It was so much fun that they would lie awake each night until Ginger's parents were asleep and then one would slip quietly to the other's bedroom and spend the night together.
One morning Ginger's mother woke up early and went up stairs to gather dirty clothing to wash. She opened the door to Gary's room to see if there was anything in there that needed to be washed. When she glanced inside, she was shocked to see Ginger and Gary cuddled together, sound asleep and both totally nude. Her first thought was to wake them up and confront them but then she decided that there was a better way to handle the situation. After all, it hadn't been all that long since she was a teen age girl discovering her womanhood. She had been fifteen at the time and it happened when she was in the 10th grade, and he was in 11th, in the back seat of a car. They got married two years later when they found she was pregnant a week before she graduated from high school. She had planned to go to college but the baby changed all that.
The last week of the summer flew by and Gary had to return home. After he was gone, Ginger's mother told her that they needed to talk. "I came up stairs early one morning last week and found you in Gary's bed. I had no idea that you two would become sexually active at such a young age but I suppose that kids are developing faster these days."
She didn't scold or accuse Ginger of anything, just a frank mother/daughter discussion about becoming a woman, feelings, desires, love, boys, and things like that. She also told her about pregnancy and birth control. She ended her talk by telling Ginger that it was time for her to visit a doctor for grown up women and that if she was going to continue having sex, which she probably would, she would need protection against getting pregnant. She didn't mention her own experience but certainly didn't want Ginger to make the same mistakes through lack of knowledge.
Ginger had no idea that her mother was so aware of what had been going on in the loft. She couldn't realize that her mother had been her age with the same desires and not all that many years before.