(There are some aspects about US divorce proceedings that I probably haven't got right but, hey, it's fiction so ride with it.)
Three months since I was laid off, out every day trying to find work. Life seems a bummer. Wife is getting bitchy, giving me a hard time – hell I'm not the rich-arsed President who's led this fair country down the drain. Or one of those snobbish economists who uses lots of big words to justify HIS high salary. I'm just a blue collar worker trying to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. Jim Newmans my name, wife is Shirley, twins are Beth and Donna. I've got a sister Julie, living nearby who's husband Ron is the Chief of Police so we all keep out noses pretty clean. He's actually a good guy who runs a straight department.
Dropped in on Julie on my way home after three days helping a builder set out concreting forms. A few dollars under the table is welcome. Had dropped into the grocery and stocked up on some stuff I knew we needed and picked up a lottery ticket at the counter. Ron had a serious look on his face.
"Howdy Jim, glad to see you got a bit of work. Wish you had a bit of college behind you so I could put you on my payroll. I need honest guys like you."
"Oh shit Ron, you got a dirty cop on your hands or something?"
"Just the Captain that transferred in six months ago, somethings not straight with him. And I think it involves you somehow."
"How do you mean?"
"Saw him downtown with Shirley today, coming out of one of the lawyers offices. They were both grinning like the cat that got the canary."
Shit, I knew Shirley was getting shitty but what is she planning. We sat around not saying the obvious, having a beer or two, then my life went from shit to shine. The lottery draw came on and blow me down I took out the big prize, 250 million. I knew with taxes etc I'd be lucky to see 150 mil but it was still a pile of money. Ron and Julie cracked up.
"What are you going to do if you get home and you get served?"
"Pack up my stuff, get the girls and split. And spend the next twenty years laughing."
"That's the attitude. Now if she makes any fuss about allowing you in just give me a call and I'll supervise getting your stuff. It'll take a few days to collect the money so if you need somewhere to lay low you can use my fishing cabin up on the lake. Actually it might pay to stay up there for a few weeks so she doesn't get the idea she has any claim on the money. I'll even lend you some grocery money at, oh I don't know, 500% interest."
"Jackass Ron, a loan to my brother who's in trouble at that rate of interest will see your sex life cut back, oh, I don't know, maybe 500%."
It felt good to laugh after the stress of the last months. Now to see what was happening at home. Ron was spot on, I pulled up the driveway and walked to the door only to be met by a guy handing me an envelope "You have been served."
The locks had been changed so I phoned Ron and he came over.
"Open up Shirley, I'll supervise Jim getting his stuff and make sure theres no trouble." Well the Captain was inside with a sneer on his face that was wiped off when he saw his boss.
"Why are you here Captain Mannering?"
"Ah, um, oh, Shirley asked me to stay with her."
Ron snorted and escorted me in. I packed all my stuff, thinking it didn't really matter because I would be buying all new stuff shortly. I knocked on the girls bedroom door and Shirley jumped in.
"They're staying here, leave them alone."
"I'm going to talk to them first, they can make up their own mind at 18."
"You leave them alone..."
The door flung open and Donna dragged me in and slammed the door behind me.
"Dad, we're coming with you, our bags are ready, we're not staying with that sleazeball a moment longer."
They hitched their backpacks on their backs and looked at me. I opened the door to find Ron standing guard with Shirley and Captain Mannering looking daggers at us. We marched outside and put all our gear in the back of my truck. Ron told us to follow him so we cruised downtown to an ATM where he pulled out a thousand dollars to give to us along with the cabin keys. He had some bedding in his car that he transferred to the truck.
"You know where the cabin is, you'll need these sleeping bags and you'll have to buy food. Go, get out of town for a week or two, then give me a call and I'll provide security when you collect you know what."
"Uncle Ron, I need, no we need to tell you about your Captain. Mum told us she's been seeing him for about a month and that she plans to stay with him. But the sleaze has only been around tonight and in three hours he pinched my butt three times and Julies twice. He kept trying to look down our tops and we had to lock our door because he kept coming in. I don't think he is the kind of officer that you want in this town."
"Thank you girls, this constitutes an official complaint that I'll type up tomorrow. It can wait for your signatures until you come back into town. Now go and have some fun."
The girls looked at me strangely but we climbed in the truck and took off to the store and bought a lot more food. We headed north and two hours later arrived at Lake Horsefoot. A bit of a rough last couple of miles to the cabin. We left the truck lights on while we unlocked and moved everything in. Shut down the truck and got the cabin lights on, Ron had fitted a couple of solar panels with a 12V battery system. Lit the fire for some comfort, made a pot of coffee then the girls broke down and needed a big hug.
"We're sorry Daddy, we didn't know what mum was doing until tonight. Now you don't have a house or a job or a wife. But you still have us, between us we must be able to earn enough to live on, especially if we can live here for a while."
"Sweethearts, I don't blame you for anything, quite frankly your mother hasn't been very supportive through this hard time and it's only been your hugs and kisses that have kept me going at times. NOW, can you keep a secret, a BIG secret?"
"No problem dad. Let me guess, Captain Mannering won't be working for much longer?"
"Probably not, but that's not the secret."
"Um, mums not really our mother ... oh ... hang on, thats a silly one, you're not really our father?"
"No, No. we're your parents all right. A hint – it's something good."
"um,,, nope, no idea."
"Tonights lottery draw..."
"OH MY GOD, YOU WON THE LOTTERY!!!!!!!" "Oh Dad, our troubles are over."
"But won't mum... ?"
"That's why we have to stay secret for a couple of weeks. Then we'll make the claim and disappear?"
"Can we change our names? Can we move to Australia?"
"We could do all those things, but do you really want to lose your favourite aunty, and your friends?"
"NO, definitely not. Okay, so we have to do some talking about plans. I think the important thing is to be patient."
"That's right Donna. And the first plan is to get some sleep. What have we got here."
This cabin was a fairly typical fishing cabin, although Ron had added and enhanced it quite a bit. One biggish room with a couple of old sofas, a dining table and chairs, with a kitchenette in one corner with gas cooker and gas fridge. Porches front and rear with the back porch having a door into the toilet as well as a big stack of firewood. One bedroom with a good king size bed in it. Now I knew why Julie and Ron went 'fishing' so often.
"Right girls, you two have the bed and I'll sleep on the sofa." Eruption!! The girls did NOT like that idea.
"NO WAY DADDY, AFTER WHAT WE"VE GONE THROUGH TODAY!! You're in the middle. No arguments, keep your shorts on but get into bed."
Frankly I was too tired to argue so dropped my jeans, stripped off my shirt and fell into bed. The girls quickly stripped down to a t-shirt and panties and hopped in beside me. The sleeping bags had been unzipped and were spread over us. Sleep came quickly and it didn't seem long before the new day saw us stretching after the best nights sleep I'd had for ages. The girls had curled up with their heads on my shoulders and one arm draped across my stomach, dangerously close to a normal morning experience for me, a woody. I slipped out of bed and relieved the pressure then put the kettle on for my morning coffee. The girls came out and went to the toilet then joined me on the front porch bench seat with a coffee of their own. We looked out across the lake and together went,
We looked at each other and laughed. I realized the chilly morning had caused both girls to have very prominent protrusions on their t-shirts. Quite hard nipples, and the girls realized where I was looking. They looked down, then at each other, and laughed.
"We don't mind YOU looking dad. In fact."
In spite of the chill they both took off their t-shirts. They were twins and both around 34B with erect nipples. They leaned in so their breasts were against my sides with their heads resting on my shoulders.
"That gate we had to unlock last night tells me that this place is very private?"
"That's right Donna, Ron owns about 40 acres on this side of the lake with a state forest around the rest of it. Before the gate there are a few other cabins on the lake but they are only used at holiday times, so we are unlikely to see anyone."
The girls looked at each other and smiled. I didn't think anything about the implications of our seclusion at this time. I was feeling laid back with my darling daughters by my side.
.... There is more of this story ...