Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Chelsea
Chelsea Ann Harrison was the second smartest student in her senior class at Permian High School in Odessa fucking Texas. Oh, not UTPB smart. Chelsea harbored no illusions about going on to a higher education after graduation. Chelsea prided herself on being street smart. She got good grades, to be sure. She had a B+ average. But university life wasn’t for Chelsea. Chelsea had other fish to fry.
Chelsea’s mom, Paula May Harrison, dropped out of Odessa High in the middle of her junior year, by which time she was already four months pregnant with Chelsea. Chelsea’s father, Randolph Applewhite, was a feed and grain salesman who lived over in Abilene. At least that’s what he told Paula May when they were dating. Well, dating wasn’t exactly the right word. Paula May and Randy met at church one Sunday where Paula May taught Sunday School. Randy had a meeting with the local John Deere dealer Monday morning at 8:00 and he didn’t want to get up at 5:00 and drive all the way into Odessa so he bit the bullet, drove up Sunday morning in time to make the 11:00 church service and stayed overnight at the local Motel Six.
Paula May was what you might call mature for her age. Her bustline had begun to develop by the time she was ten, for God’s sake, and by the time she was a sophomore she had tits out to here! Paula May’s mom used to bind Paula’s breasts with a dishtowel so nobody would notice but everyone knew what was going on. Paula May got her period when she was thirteen. She started teaching Sunday School shortly after her fifteenth birthday. One thing you had to give the girl. Paula May sure did know her Bible.
Paula May and Randy hit it off right away. They shared an avid interest in films, especially the latest crop of spy thrillers out of Hollywood. When it came to musical tastes, Paula May loved Pearl Jam whereas Randy had a thing for Nine Inch Nails and so one thing led to another and Paula May ended up spending the night in Randy’s hotel room after telling her parents she was sleeping over with a friend from school, Sally Carter. And that one thing that led to another led inexorably to Chelsea.
Paula May started her house cleaning service when Chelsea was one. It’s hard to find gainful employment when you have a one-year-old daughter. It’s even harder when you don’t have a high school diploma or even a GED. Paula May applied at a dozen fast food joints around town and all she got for her trouble was free fries, a bunch of empty promises and the offer of twenty bucks for a blow job if she’d do it bare.
Paula May’s mom reluctantly took care of her granddaughter while Paula May was at work. Paula May’s dad did her taxes and helped out with the bills when he could which wasn’t all that often. Nonetheless Paula May’s house cleaning service was a modest success. After a couple of years, she was obliged to bring on three fulltime Hispanic ladies whose green cards wouldn’t necessarily stand up to close scrutiny and a bookkeeping service that helped send out the bills and bank the checks.
When Chelsea was seven her grandmother passed, something to do with a rare blood disease, and Paula May was forced to put Chelsea in day care after school during the week and bring Chelsea to work with her on weekends. By the time Chelsea was nine she’d gotten pretty good at emptying wastepaper baskets and scrubbing bathtubs.
Federal law prohibits teenagers aged fourteen and fifteen from working during school hours so Chelsea couldn’t very well get officially involved in the business but Paula May had a special relationship with Francis Olson, the principal at Permian High, so he turned a blind eye when Chelsea regularly showed up for class at 11:00. Between 8:00 and 10:30 Chelsea pitched in with the house cleaning chores. Paula May paid her daughter under the table. The bookkeeping service didn’t know about the cash customers and Paula May wasn’t about to rat them out.
Chelsea had been a member in good standing of the Permian High cheerleader’s squad since her sophomore year. Practice sessions were held after school was out. Chelsea inherited her mother’s aforementioned voluptuous bustline, which went a long way toward keeping Chelsea’s membership active and vibrant. During the fall quarter of her junior year Chelsea met and began dating one of the offensive linemen for the Permian Panthers, Cletus “Clete” Sanderson. Clete wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he was good hearted, and he cared for Chelsea a lot. By the time summer rolled around they were going steady.
Here’s the problem. Chelsea was so good at her job Paula May had given her complete responsibility for five of her regular customers. She’d also given Chelsea a used Electric Bicycle for her sixteenth birthday so she could easily get to and from her clients’ houses. Chelsea loved the bike. The obligatory bike helmet not so much. It mashed down her hair and made her look stupid.
Chelsea found she could do one house in three hours. Less if there wasn’t a lot of dust. Dust was the killer. Fortunately, the houses Paula gave her to do were occupied by middle-aged, married couples with neither pets nor children. Kids and dogs were the primary culprits when it came to dust. Furthermore, the houses themselves were less than fifteen minutes away by bike from Chelsea’s place. If Chelsea left her place at 7:30 she could do one house and still be at school by 11:00. Chelsea did the Graham house on Monday, the Ferguson house on Tuesday, the Wilson house on Wednesday, the Johnson house on Thursday and the Smith house on Friday.
Sandy Graham taught third grade at Reagan Elementary School. She had to be at work by 8:00. Sandy’s husband, Alex, worked swing shift at a meat packing plant. He didn’t normally get up before 10:00. Sandy had given Chelsea a key so she wouldn’t have to awaken Alex. One Monday morning Chelsea biked to the Graham house, unlocked the front door, and walked into the kitchen. She heard a strange noise down the hall. It sounded like someone was in a great deal of stress. She tiptoed down the hall and peeked into the guest bedroom. Alex Graham was perched precariously on the edge of a high back, brown leather armchair, a frayed orange towel spread across his naked thighs, masturbating furiously into a pair of lady’s lace panties. Now Chelsea wasn’t born yesterday. She’d taken a course in Human Sexuality. Furthermore, she fancied herself to be an enlightened, customer-centric businesswoman. So instead of gasping and crying out she strolled over to the sofa and asked quietly, “Could you use a hand?”
To which Alex wheezed,” Oh God Yes! Please.”
Chelsea carefully removed her clothing, everything except for her panties, knelt on the plush carpet and proceeded to finish Alex off. Then she washed her hands, put her clothes back on and returned to the kitchen. Fifteen minutes later Alex walked sheepishly into the kitchen and slipped a hundred-dollar bill into the pocket of Chelsea’s apron. Mondays thereafter were particularly profitable for Chelsea.
Margaret Ferguson was a cashier at the downtown branch of the Community National Bank. She had to be at work by 8:30 so the bank could open at 9:00. Margaret’s husband, Felix, was a used car salesman. His work hours were erratic. Felix was a closet fetishist. He liked to dress up in women’s lingerie and leather boots. Chelsea surprised him one Tuesday morning, smiled pleasantly and helped him fasten a pesky brassiere snap he was having trouble with. Then she complimented Felix on his taste in women’s delicate undergarments. She even went so far as to unbutton her blouse and show Felix how abundantly she filled out her own sturdy bra. Felix was uncommonly grateful. Tuesdays thereafter were particularly profitable for Chelsea.
And so on through the week. It turned out Arnie Wilson, a prominent attorney, liked to have his temperature taken. Chelsea invested $500 in a nurse’s uniform and a rather large rectal thermometer for which she was not only reimbursed, but handsomely rewarded as well. The other two husbands had more pedestrian tastes. The only rules were “no touching, panties on and absolute discretion.” Given Chelsea’s tender age and the marital and social status of each of her special clients there was ample incentive to abide by the rules. But in light of her newly acquired wealth, which she kept in a secret compartment of her Gucci purse, Chelsea had taken to carrying a pearl-handled derringer just in case.
By the end of their senior year together, Clete’s innate biological urges were becoming increasingly demanding. Chelsea had never had a problem manually satisfying Clete’s animal lust, but she was saving herself for marriage. Clete, on the other hand, had also taken the class on Human Sexuality. He knew what a burden involuntary celibacy could become to the male of the species if it was allowed to flourish. He’d seen pictures of deformed genitalia. He’d heard tales of men driven mad by their carnal cravings. He was determined not to let that happen to him.
And so one night, after a particularly ugly loss on the gridiron, Clete drove his Ford F350 to the ridge behind Permian High where a thick grove of trees masked the amorous activities of ardent lovers and parked in a secluded spot. While Chelsea was in the process of “giving Clete a hand” in the rear seat of Clete’s Ford F350, Clete ripped off her panties, pulled her out of the truck, splayed her unceremoniously out on the pine-needle-strewn earth and proceeded to fuck the shit out of her. When he was finished, he rolled off Chelsea’s ravished body, heaved a sigh of relief and began to snore.
Chelsea stood up, dusted the pine needles from her posterior and opened the passenger side door. She removed the pearl-handled derringer from her Gucci purse, squatted awkwardly on the ground and put a bullet through Clete’s thick skull. Then one more for good measure. She rifled through the pockets of Clete’s jeans, found the ignition keys to the truck, put her clothes back on, bid farewell to Odessa fucking Texas, and drove off into the night.
She’d always wanted to visit Las Vegas. Now seemed like as good a time as any. Despite the lateness of the hour Chelsea felt surprisingly refreshed. She could phone her mom from Albuquerque around dawn, catch forty winks at a rest stop, grab a snack, get back on the road and ditch the pickup on the outskirts of Vegas. Uber into town and find a room at a local motel that rented by the week. All things considered, Chelsea was a happy girl.