West Otter Lake
Copyright© 2013 – Nicholas Hall
West Otter Lake– Chapter One – "There is no traitor like him whose domestic treason plants the poniard within the breast that trusted to his truth." – (Byron)
The comforting, delicate, but strong, fragrant aroma of my cream-filled coffee wafted slowly upward, bathing my face, entering my olfactory lobes with a refreshing, awakening, and reassuring presence as I sat, peering out the large picture window of the Great Room of the main Lodge at West Otter Lake Resort and Campground. The lake, fifty yards in the distant, now devoid of the usual boat docks and a phalange of boats, cabin guests, swimmers, campers, and fishermen, was ice and snow covered with snow swirling in little whirlwinds as the recent snowfall was whipped about in riffles across the lake. Soon the sun's rays on the distant horizon would begin to brighten the forests surrounding the lake, turning darkness into day, as the late winter sun dawned over my home in the northern forests.
West Otter Lake, connected by a relatively narrow, but deep cut or passageway to East Otter Lake, was the larger of the two lakes and, when spring finally did arrive, was the more reluctant in giving up the icy shield of winters grip. As a result, when the fishing opener arrived around the first of May, the lake was cold, causing anglers and boaters some difficulty, but not always. The lake was an excellent fishing lake, with many bays and islands providing ample opportunity for sportspeople and boats full of picnickers to enjoy themselves. The Resort was already booked full for the opening weekend and about eighty percent occupancy the rest of the season. The season ended the first of October and it was the very devil to pay getting the place winterized before the first snow fall and freeze by the end of the month.
It was nice to be home, sleeping in my own bed, in my own room; the large room where I spent my childhood and now my adult life; the room with a small balcony accessed by French doors, overlooking West Otter Lake. It was never my intention to settle back at the Resort, but fate has a way of changing our best intentions.
I rose, ambled out to the kitchen to refill my coffee cup and returned to the comfort of the easy chair I'd occupied just minutes before. During the "off season" I pretty much had the run of the place. The Resort stopped renting rooms in the Lodge many years before I was born. Those rooms on the second floor were converted to family bedrooms to accommodate the ever growing family of my grandparents, Oliver and Mildred Johnson. There were two bedrooms on the lake or east side, where mine was, and four more, two on the north side and two on the south side of the Lodge. The rooms were accessed by stairs and a railed walkway lining three sides of the main room of the Lodge or the "Great Room." This loft or open area, gave the original guests of the Lodge a view of the room below. The family bedrooms and the loft weren't accessible by the general public since the stairs, one from the office area next to the entrance to the Great Room and one in the kitchen, were closed by walls and doors.
The only rooms in the Lodge kept open for the general public was the "Great Room" and the gift shop, after passing through the main entrance and past the office giving us control over the comings and goings of visitors: a small bar was located in the Great Room and adjacent to it, in a side room accessed near the bar, a combination grocery store and gift shop was located. Groceries were just some of the incidentals guests in the cabins and those in the campground could purchase. I carried a limited selection of the incidentals they might run out of while here such as bread, milk, coffee, a limited amount of canned items, and of course, cold treats and candy for their children while visiting. Major grocery shopping and other needs would have to done in town, some twenty miles away. Additionally, there was a larger room where some of our storage closets and cabinets were, we used as a "group meeting" or "dining room" which could be rented by large groups.
During the season, the bar opened at noon and we offered beer, wine, and mixed drinks; not a great variety, but profitable. I only maintained a seasonal liquor license and didn't have it open in the winter. In fact, the Resort wasn't open in the winter and closed October first each year. I contemplated winterizing the twelve cabins on the Resort grounds for snowmobilers, cross country skiers, and snowshoe enthusiasts to use, but I really wasn't ready to tackle that project at the present time, given all that happened in the last nine months or so.
The Resort was the only home I'd ever known and Grandmother and Grandfather Johnson the only mother and father I really had. The Resort was their home and livelihood and it was here they raised their four children. They thought they'd be free of the hassles of parenting when all the children were grown and gone. Perhaps, just perhaps, they could get away to some place down south when the winter wind blew and come back in the spring to reopen the Resort; or even sell the facilities and grounds and retire permanently down south.
It wasn't to be the case, especially when their oldest son, Wesley, showed up at the front door, bearing me, Wesley Conner Johnson, wrapped in a blanket, and tucked into an apple box to protect me from the elements. I was six months old and deposited with my grandparents to raise. All he left was a birth certificate, a partial box of disposable diapers, several cans of formula and baby food, and the blue blanket I was swaddled in. I never heard from him again until six months ago- asshole!
I was still struggling, in spite of the coffee, trying to recover from my marathon trip, driving on sometimes icy and snow covered roads the closer I came to home. The coast of Georgia was one hell of a long ways from here and after driving all day and most of the night, I arrived home shortly after one in the morning. Disgusted with myself for not sleeping beyond my usual five o'clock waking time, I realized some habits are hard to break, especially if they're started when very young, as mine did, so I made a pot of coffee to ease my pain.
While growing up, during the Resort season, once old enough, I spent the summers mowing grass, picking up garbage, helping clean the cabins on "turn around" day, assisting in the laundry room loading blankets and bed linens into the commercial washers and driers, selling bait, cleaning fish, helping launch boats, and anything else that needed done at the Resort. There was always plenty to do, except in the winter when school occupied my time. It was quiet at home in the winter, absent all of the noise and activity of summer, and I thought it was absolutely delightful!
My intent, when I graduated from the University with an accounting degree, was to find employment in a large city away from the Resort, as a certified public accountant in a nice large firm where I could become lost and "invisible." I was offered a starting position with a nice firm in the state capital, where the University is located, and at the age of twenty-two, was anticipating an excellent career with them. The day I was offered the position, I raced back to the apartment I shared with my lover to tell him the good news.
Robert Lindsay Beaumont III and I met during my third year at the University and during his third year as a pre-law student. "Beau," as he was called, was from a very old and very wealthy South Carolina family. The only child, Beau was doted on by his mother and father, indulging him his every want and desire. He would, upon graduation from the College of Law, join his father in the family law practice.
Beau was a masterful and consummate lover; not only had he inherited the family wealth, but a set of jeweled, sperm-filled orbs which nested behind "the biggest cock in Clayton County," as he often bragged. I wouldn't know since he was my first lover and I'd never visited Clayton County, South Carolina. I do know it was very respectable in length and girth, although I'd seen some longer and thicker ones dangling about in a swimming class I took for physical education credit.
Be that as it may, when he fucked me, and he did quite regularly, it felt like my belly button poked out three inches with every thrust up into my love chute. We were both versatile and enjoyed giving as well as getting. I must confess my equipment was smaller, just average I should think, but Beau claimed what I lacked in length, I made up for with my "pile-driving ass and stamina."
The new job meant I could stay in the city, be gainfully employed, and continue living with Beau until he finished law school. We could move to South Carolina after his graduation and live there. As I scooted up the stairs to our apartment, giggling at my surprise announcement since he didn't expect me home so soon, I skipped to the apartment door, opened it, and noticed our bedroom door was closed. I thought Beau must be taking a nap so I approached our bedroom quietly, secretly relishing the look on his face I imagined he'd have when I opened it and awakened him.
Coming from the other side of the door, inside our bedroom, was the very obvious and distinct, frenetic, and rather excited sounds of passion being unleashed! I opened the door and there, buck naked on his hands and knees, hard cock jiggling up and down as he was being fucked, was the fifteen year old high school boy from Apartment 412 on the fourth floor. Equally as naked, pistioning his fat, long dick in and out of the lad's asshole, burying it balls deep with each thrust, was Beau; his arms wrapped around the boys chest, head hanging over his shoulders, moaning, ready to dump a load deep inside and breed this kid royally!
The lad and Beau looked up simultaneously, just as Beau spritzed the young man's guts internally, when they heard the bedroom door open and saw me standing, mouth open, shocked and silent. I stepped back, pulled the door shut, and as I did so, I heard Beau exclaim, "Shit!" I continued out of the apartment, never looking back, climbed in my pickup truck, and left. I drove around campus for a while, finally heading to a small county park some twenty miles away. I parked in the shade of a tall, full maple tree and had a really good cry!
I thought our relationship was good, solid, and monogamous; evidently I was wrong on all counts! I should've been aware of the warning signs, but as they say – "love is blind." Beau, over the last two to four months, seemed less interested in sex with me; not disinterested, just less interested. He spent more time away from me, more time, he claimed, at the library doing research. He researched alright, really got into the subject, really, really deep, I thought!
Sitting in the shade of that tree gave me some time to think and overcome the shock. It gave me time to reason out a way to put my life back in order, knowing I just couldn't, wouldn't face Beau again after witnessing him fucking that kid. I called Grandpa and Grandma Johnson on my cell phone, explained I'd broken up with Beau (not telling them why), and asked if I could come home to work for the rest of the season. Gramps had a heart attack the year before while in Georgia and, although recovered, just wasn't as strong as he was before. They were delighted I'd come home and help. I called the accounting firm that offered me the job and declined their generous offer on the grounds that a family situation arose that pressed me into other obligations.
The next morning, after spending the night in a cheap motel, I waited until I thought Beau would be gone, drove over to the apartment, let myself in, and loaded my personal belongings into the pickup truck. The bedroom was a mess and smelled of sex! Evidently Beau used the lad's underwear to clean his own cock and the fuckee's ass since there was a pair of not so white briefs, smeared with cum and shit, on the floor next to the bed. I didn't have much, other than clothes, laptop, and books. Everything else belonged to Beau and welcome to it, I thought, and headed home.
I wasn't home a month and the Resort was in full operation with nine of the cabins rented and the campground half full, when Grandpa passed away. He just never woke up that morning. I heard Grandma's frantic calls for help and raced through the connecting bathroom to their room, but it was too late!
He was cremated as he wished and his ashes were interred in the little church cemetery down the county road about ten miles from the Resort. It was tough running the Resort, helping Grandma plan the funeral and then have it, but I managed. It was then, the day of the funeral, I met my father for the first time. My Uncle Rob and my Aunts Lucille and Mildred and their families all attended. I used the three empty cabins for some members of their families. The empty bedrooms in the Lodge were occupied by my father and the overflow of older cousins and their spouses. I was surprised any of the family even bothered to show up. They certainly didn't seem to give a good rat's ass over the years, only sending a Christmas card or occasionally calling. They all lived a good distance away and Grandma would often comment she didn't know why her children never loved the woods as she, Grandpa, and I did. Personally, I thought they didn't like the hard work that went with running a Resort and were a bunch of losers, but I never breathed a word to Grandma or Grandpa – I loved them too much for that!
After the services, when we all gathered at the Lodge, my earlier belief's concerning my aunts and uncle and my father were confirmed. They decided to have a "heart-to-heart" talk with Grandma about selling the Resort and not have all of the work that went with it. They spoke of how concerned they were for her welfare and how much they worried about her "working herself to death" and, here's the clincher, "Conner should be on his own, not letting her support me." Well, gag me with a spoon folks! My, my, aren't we just fucking sanctimonious all of a sudden! One could just see the honey dripping from their mouths as they drolled on, sounding almost like the department of aging at the county, so concerned were they. They just wanted her to sell so they could glom on to the cash!
Grandma sat quietly, smiling sweetly at them as they pled their case, and continued it over the light lunch I had catered in. My now present father, suddenly the head of the family, he thought, drove home the knife when he suggested it was time to sell the place and move in with one of them where her welfare could be secured and her fragile state of health monitored, instead of living out in the middle of the woods with a college graduate who couldn't get a job.
Before I could protest and call him the asshole I thought he was, Grandma raised her hand, smiled sweetly at her oldest child, looked around the room at the gathered siblings and grandchildren, and said, "It's not mine to sell."
Amidst of the exclamations of wonder, shock, protest, and disappointment the money wouldn't be coming their way, my father, Wesley the Wonder Boy, stood, and demanded of his mother, not asked but DEMANDED, to know "just who the hell does own it, if you don't?"
God, I wish I would've had a camera to capture that moment, because it was priceless, something that should've been preserved for the ages. With a satisfied look on her face, she replied, "Him" and pointed at me! Now it was my turn to express surprise! Where the hell is that damned camera now?
"We, Ollie and I, changed our will a number of years ago," she explained, "and left the share of the deceased partner to Conner. He now owns half and as of tomorrow, when I sign the papers, he'll own it all with the provision I be allowed to live here as long as I wish." With that, she smiled again, rose, and said, "Thank you for coming to Ollie's funeral, but I'm tired and wish to retire" and went upstairs to her bedroom.
The pack of jackals turned on me thinking I was vulnerable to attack. Any other time I might've been, but my recent experience with Beau steeled me, coupled with running the Resort, so I stood my ground, dodged their pressure tactics and taunts that I was "robbing them of what was rightfully theirs," and said, "If you'll excuse me, I have a Resort to run. I'd suggest you hire an attorney and sue me if you feel you have a case and the guts to do it," and left them haggling among themselves.
The rest of the summer was busy, after I was shed of my mouthy relatives, including my father, who, as he stomped out the door, shouted over his head "You haven't heard the last of me, you little shit!" To which I responded, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Daddy Dear!"
With summer's end, the few college kids we hired were off to classes and my caretakers, Jacob and Sara Markworth and the weekend cabin cleaners from town handled it. There were never many campers after school started and I didn't have any seasonal renters in the campground, so we closed it down in September. The rest of the Resort we shut down by October first, draining all of the water lines and winterizing toilets, traps, and other areas of the cabins. November first, Grandma flew south to Southern Georgia, after calling ahead to have her doublewide readied for her arrival. It'd be different without Grandpa, but she assured me she'd be just fine with all of her friends nearby and the activities the retirement community she lived in offered.
After closure, I settled into a winter mode, trying to adjust to being alone in the Resort. We'd equipped the Resort with satellite television and internet service and I had not only land line but cellphone telephone service, so it's not as though I was isolated, but, really there were times I was! The first of the many winter snows started in November and, enhanced by lake effect snow from the Great Lake north of us, dumped the usual massive amounts of snow on the Resort. It was not unusual to have snowfalls of twelve, fifteen, or even twenty inches. It was also not unusual to have snow accumulation of four to five feet on the ground by spring. The metal roof on the Lodge was a god-send, allowing the snow to slide off before dangerously, roof crushing, nerve-racking amounts accumulated.
I was busy keeping the lane open from the Resort to the county road, paths cleared for access to the garage and storage buildings, and the outside wood furnace and wood shed. Just after the start of the New Year I received a phone call from a police officer in Georgia informing me my Grandmother Johnson passed away sometime the night before and expressed his regrets. So far, this year wasn't going any better than the one I just left! I was so saddened by the loss of my grandmother, the only mother I'd ever known, and now felt truly alone with no one to turn to or share my life with. It just didn't seem possible she was gone; I'd visited with her by phone just a couple of days before. Now, I'm happy I did, because I'll carry those last words, those endearing remarks of "I love you Conner," with me through the difficult times I'll face ahead.
I called my Aunts and Uncle (I couldn't locate my father so I told Aunt Lucille to notify him) and asked if any wished to accompany me to Georgia to bring Grandma's ashes home. They all declined! Before I left, I called my attorney, informed him of the situation, and flew to Georgia. I met with the director of the crematorium, retrieved Grandma's ashes, now in a very nice copper urn, and drove my rented car out to her home. I gathered up her personal papers and called a realtor to put the house on the market. She felt it would sell better if the house was empty, so I drove my rented car back to the agency, rented a U-Haul truck and returned to the house and emptied it into the truck. I'd sort through things when I got back to the Resort. I felt there were going to be many items that would be donated to organizations which could find good homes for them with the poor and unfortunate, but there were others that deserved to find a home at the Resort where she and Grandpa lived for so many years.
The Resort's cabins were furnished, over the years, with furniture, bedding, dishes, pots and pans, flatware, curtains, cooking utensils, and the many other basic items the guests might use during their stay, from garage sales, estate auctions, and donations. The extra items not in use or in place in the cabins were stored in the vermin-proof storage room off of the group meeting room, also called the dining room, in the south wing of the Lodge. Grandma's furniture would join the other items there.
The weather forecast for up north, when I left for home, was for snow and ice moving in over the weekend, so I was more than anxious to get home. After gassing up the truck, I carefully placed the urn containing Grandma's ashes on the front seat next to me, I started north. It was almost midnight when I approached Atlanta, Georgia so I stopped, gassed up the truck again, parked it, grabbed some lunch at the attached diner, and took off again. I stopped in Nashville, a couple of times in Illinois (it's a long state), and at one o'clock in the next morning, I slipped and slid down the lane to the Lodge. I parked the truck, went inside the Lodge, and went to bed.
To be continued
Thank you for reading "West Otter Lake– Chapter One"- "There is no traitor like him whose domestic treason plants the poniard within the breast that trusted to his truth." – (Byron)
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