Thunder Valley Dreaming

Reads: 418  | Likes: 3  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 3

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

I wanted to write about my favorite car, but the story was about some people's dreams, so I compromised and wrote about wheat fields and rain.

Thunder Valley doesn't have a town, no, it is just a valley of mainly wheat farms, and a few businesses.

There is a light cluster of farming businesses on one side of the road, that is where the State's Central Valley Roadway crosses the train tracks at the train station.

Across the road from those is Charlie's Gas Station, and Al's Auto Repair and Towing Service.

On the other side, and down the road a-piece, is Bertie's General Store, (slash), Quilting Supplies, (Slash), Post Office.

Next comes the Sleepy Meadows Motel, it is located just a spit and a holler from Tater's Cafe.

No, this is not a town, or a spot on any map, it's just a traveler's stop and community center for Thunder Valley.


 

I'm afraid that Thunder Valley has fallen on lean times. A three year drought has dried up most of the reserve water wells in the area, and that has brought the wheat farming co-op to it's knees. If they don't get a goodly amount of rain this season, most of the crops will fail. And if the crops fail, well, that would be the end for many.


 

News travels fast in Thunder Valley, that is, when news is available. And when strangers come to town and stay for more than a day or two, that becomes news. However, in the case of "The Rain Man", he was noticed right away.

I guess it was about a month ago, and on a Saturday.

A 1967 Pontiac GTO crossed the railroad tracks at noon. It was Black on Black, chrome and stainless steel, what a combination for eye catching appeal. And it did grab some eyes, every man within hearing distance was drawn to the sound of that 400 cubic inch engine, as it was down-shifted to slow its speed crossing the railroad tracks.

Ah, GTO, in Italian that translates to Gran Trismo Omologato, or Grand Touring Car in English; and was she ever.

The Factory Rally II Wheels had been replaced with Cragar Keystone Styled Steel Wheels. The two rims in the rear were wider and were fitted with Street-Legal Cheater-Slicks.

The factory's exterior tachometer was a nice touch, it went with the Scoop on the hood and the Arrowhead emblem up front.


 

In a moment, that sleek black Goat pulled into Charlie's Gas Station. And as it did, two bells rang to let Johnny Nibs know that he had a customer; "Ding, Ding."

As Johnny came around the corner, he stopped dead in his tracks. The boy was "AH" struck, and I do believe he had fallen in love for the very first time. Muscle-Cars can do that to some young men, you know, car-guys.

As Johnny neared the driver's side window, he said, "Say Mister, this is a mighty fine Pon-ton."

The man behind the wheel just smiled, then he said, "Filler-up, Son."

"Yes Sir, right away!" Johnny stated as he walked back to the rear quarter-panel of the car. That is the place where Johnny thought he would find the door to the gas cap, but it wasn't there.

The man in the car got out and told Johnny, "The cap is behind the license plate, Son, it flips down. Oh, and do us a favor, when the nozzle Clicks off the first time, don't try to fill it anymore, she's full." Then the man looked around, and after seeing the sign he headed for the public restroom.


 

Well Johnny found the gas cap, it was right behind the license plate just like the man said. And after it was full of gas, Johnny asked the man if he would like for him to check the water and oil.

Johnny hoped the man would say yes because he couldn't wait to see under that hood.

"Sure, why not?" the man replied after seeing the gleam in Johnny's eyes.

After a few moments under the hood, and even more time gazing at all the chrome under there, Johnny returned to the driver and said, "The water is fine and I added a little to the battery, but you are about a half-quart low on oil."

"Do you carry Grape Juice?" the man asked.

Johnny replied in a flash, "Royal Purple Synthetic, yes Sir, we do! We have 20 or 30 weight. I use the 20 weight in my BSA motorcycle."

The man replied, "Well then, I'll buy a quart of the 20 and you can give this Goat a half-quart and save the rest for your bike! How's that sound?"

"Sounds great," Johnny said as he ran off to get the oil.

With the oil filled and the hood closed, Johnny went to the driver's door and stated, "She took twenty gallons of Premium gas and the quart of oil you asked for, that will be $8.06, Sir."

The man behind the wheel pulled a wad of bills from his pocket, and after thumbing through them he handed Johnny a ten dollar bill, then he asked, "Do you have a place to eat around here, and maybe a motel."

Johnny replied, "Sure do, just go on down the road and you'll see both."

The man smiled and said, "Thanks, Son, and keep the change." Then he pulled out of the station looking for the cafe.


 

Tater's Cafe was the favorite greasy-spoon of the local truck drivers and farmers alike. A cozy cafe with good coffee and big plates of whatever was on the menu, even bigger potions if it was the Special of the day.

Tater Jenkins was a little round man with a heart as big as all outdoors, and he never turned away a hungry hobo or any down on their luck individual that happened to be walking by.

Tater often said, after being teased about giving away food, "God put me on this green earth to do good, and I'll be damned if I don't!"


 

Well when the Stranger pulled his Pontiac up in front of the cafe, the vibrations from the engine set the windows to rattling.

"Good God, what the hell is that?" Tater questioned as he went to the opened door to have a look.

But by the time he got to the door, the sound was gone and the Stranger was opening the screen-door to come in.

"Howdy Stranger," Tater said as the man passed him by. The Stranger was busy looking for a seat so he didn't say anything.

Then tater said, "Sit anywhere you like, Sally will be around to take your order in a jiff.

So the Stranger sat down at a table in the back of the room, and Sally was there in a wink to pour him a cup of java.

"Hi Sally, I'm Teller," the Stranger said as he opened a menu. Then he asked, "What's good on the menu for a powerfully hungry man?"

Sally replied, "Well Teller, we serve breakfast all day. But if you're really hungry, I recommend the chicken-fried steak, country fried potatoes, and corn on the cob, --- that's $3.

A dinner salad and Apple-Pie are included for $3.95."

Teller replied with a smile, "Sounds good, gimme the works, and I'd like Ranch dressing on the salad."


 

About an hour had passed when a farmer walked in with another guy, maybe a farmer. They ordered coffee and sat at the counter.

As they sat there, the farmer was talking to the other guy about the weather report, and he was saying that they were in for another week of dry conditions. Then he started moaning about how his crop were gonna die.

Teller was done with his meal and about to leave, so he tossed $6 dollars on the table and he walked over to the farmer.

"You want rain? I can help." Teller said as if he said it every day.

"The Farmer turned around and looked Teller in the eyes, then he asked, "How's That?"

Teller didn't answer, he just said, "Tell you what, I'll give you a demonstration of what I mean. In the next three days it will rain for just one evening, and just a little. That is the demonstration.

If you want more rain, then you and the other farmers should get together and decide how much you are willing to give me. If the amount is right, then it will rain and soak your fields."

"You can make it rain? That's a likely story!" Farmer Diggs replied with a laugh.

"I never said I could make it rain, and I understand your skepticism, so that is why the demonstration comes first.

I'll be staying over at the Sleepy Meadows Motel, or you can find me here at this cafe. If you farmers want to make a deal then you'll need to come up with some bucks. But don't underestimate what the rain is worth to you, that would be worse than no deal at all." After that was said, Teller walked out the door.


 

Well don't you know that the phone-lines were a-buzz because a rainmaker was in the valley.

And sure enough, on the second night it rained great big drops. But the rain lasted only a couple of minutes.

Two more days and nights passed, and the weather report said that the previous rain had blown in from a hail storm that had occurred on the other side of the mountains; it was a freak of nature and would not happen again in a hundred years. Then the weather caster forecast sunny skies for the week.

So the Wheat Farmers Co-op held a meeting and decided that no rain was worse than paying for rain, so they came up with a thousand dollars to give the Rain Maker.


 

"A thousand dollars, are you insane?" Teller asked Farmer Diggs after the offer was made.

Then Teller went on to say, "Wheat is in short supply due to the drought, it's wide spread, and you will double your profit from last year if you can get this crop yielding. But no rain means no crop, and no crop means no money at all.

I want five times that amount. If you can't do that, then say so and I'll be on my way. It makes no never-mind to me."

The Farmer's Co-op met again, and $5,000 dollars was delivered to Teller as soon as the bank opened. But there was a stipulation, Teller had to stay until rain fell, or he had to give the money back if it didn't rain; --- he agreed.

The next night the farmers woke up to the sound of rain hitting their tin roofs. It was wonderful!

But farmer Diggs was not satisfied, he hadn't slept a wink all night.

So, after breakfast, Diggs grabbed his shotgun and headed for the motel, saying, "If he can do it, I can do it! All I need to know is how he's doing it."

Just as Diggs arrived at the motel, Teller was putting his suitcase in his car.

Diggs jumped out of his truck and yelled, "You ain't going nowhere until you tell me how you made it rain!"

Teller smiled and stated, "I told you before, Diggs, I can't make it rain. What God does, God does, that's all."

"You said it was gonna rain a little, and it did. Then we paid a lot for more, and it came just as you said it would. Now I want to know what you know, or I swear you ain't leaving this valley without some holes in you."

Teller smiled again, then he said, "OK, I'll tell you. But you ain't gonna like the answer; no-one ever likes the answer. I dream about the rain, that's all."

"Diggs got red in the face and yelled at Teller, saying, "Cut the crap, I want the truth and I want it now!"

"I'm telling you the truth," Teller said, "Whenever it's going to rain, I have a dream about it. Within days from the day of the dream, that's when the rain will fall. I swear it! Look, I did my part and you farmers did what you promised. That part is said and done; you got your rain and I got paid.

But just so you will know that I am telling you the truth about my dreams, I'll prove it." Then Teller got in his GTO and started the engine.

"Were do you think your go-in?" Diggs yelled. "I swear, I'll shoot you if you don't stop!"

Teller laughed and replied, "You can't shoot me, Diggs. I had a dream last night and it showed me that you forgot to load that dammed shotgun."

"Click, --- Click."

And as farmer Diggs stood in the motel parking lot, looking dumbfounded, the sound of that 400 cubic inch V-8 filled the air; windows rattled and rubber from both rear tires was laid for twenty feet. Then as that Pontiac took to the road, it was gone from sight in eleven seconds; it would have been even faster if the road wasn't so wet.


 

D. Thurmond / JEF

01-27-2021


Submitted: January 28, 2021

© Copyright 2021 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

Ann Sepino

Probably one of the most interesting compromises I've ever encountered when it comes to a story. I guess you can't blame Teller, because he didn't exactly say he would 'make' the rain. The way his car was described is likely to make every car enthusiast drool. XD

Thu, January 28th, 2021 2:53am

Author
Reply

Thanks Ann, it was a fun thing to get into. --- All Hucksters are honest to a point, it is where their point ends that might be lacking.

Thu, January 28th, 2021 12:16pm

Serge Wlodarski

If someone driving a GTO with vertically stacked quad headlights tells me it's gonna rain, I'm inclined to believe him. Good story.

Thu, January 28th, 2021 2:36pm

Author
Reply

Yep, I agree, it might be the prudent thing to do. --- GTO's, I had two, a 65 & a 67. I was a bit of a speed freak back in those days, so I didn't mind the 10 MPG. LOL

Thu, January 28th, 2021 12:08pm

hullabaloo22

Well told, JE. You did a great job with describing the town.

Thu, January 28th, 2021 7:12pm

Author
Reply

Thanks Hul, it was kind of like a place my wife and I visited while on one of our many road trips, years ago.

Thu, January 28th, 2021 12:00pm

Facebook Comments

More Fantasy Short Stories

Boosted Content from Other Authors

Short Story / Action and Adventure

Book / Action and Adventure

Short Story / Romance

Short Story / Non-Fiction

Other Content by D. Thurmond aka JEF

Short Story / Children Stories