Red Lodge, Montana

Cody Quarterline part XVII: Cody and the malodorous mademoiselle

The Cody Quarterline story began in April of 2005, as a spoof article. Since then, it’s been passed around from one volunteer tale-spinner to another. Each new author has freedom to do whatever he/she likes with Cody, and the tale has taken some strange twists over the years. We still don’t know what’s going on! We do know, however, that we’ve got some creative people in town with time on their hands and maybe a few too many Mickey Spillane movies under their belts.

by Tam McDowell

Cody was warm, dry, and at ease for the first time in several episodes. For a few brief moments no one was chasing him, drugging him, or bugging him. It was kind of pleasant. I could get used to this, he thought. Maybe I should just let Mom keep everything. The bad guys can hassle her for a while. He stretched and took a deep breath, catching a good whiff of Chrysy in the chair opposite him. Then again, maybe not, he thought as he pushed his chair back from the fireplace to try and put some distance between them.

“Uhh, Chrysy? Would you mind if I freshen up? I’m still feeling a little out of it and a shower would help me clear my head.” Cody thought maybe he could ease into the topic of hygiene and not offend his host.

“Showers are a summer activity in this cabin. It’s outdoors and solar. But I did build me a nice sauna out back. It’s wood-fueled. We could fire that baby up and sweat the rest of those drugs right outta you.” Chrysy jumped up and headed for the closet. “You’ll want a pair of flip-flops for getting out there; we got a lotta deer hanging out in the yard so ya don’t wanna go barefoot. Kinda messes things up for rolling round naked in the snow after sauna, too. You gotta look for a good clean spot before ya lie down.”

Cody considered the possibility that he was still a little foggy. Surely she didn’t just say flip-flops. There were six inches of new snow on the ground. And why didn’t she mention clothes? He was going to need some sooner rather than later if he was going to get back to Red Dog.

“Hey Chrysy, I hate to bother you, but do you maybe have some clothes I could borrow? If you could just give me a ride into town, I can probably shower at my place.” Cody wrapped the robe he was wearing a little tighter and cinched the belt.

“Well now. You’re mighty anxious to be on your way aren’t ya?” Chrysy turned from the closet with a pair of turquoise-colored fuzzy flip-flops dangling from her fingers. “I considered this while you were gettin’ your beauty rest this morning, and I’ve decided I like havin’ company. It can git a little lonely out here, ya know.”

Cody’s spider sense was starting to tingle. Something about Chrysy just wasn’t quite right. He stood up and took a few steps back, putting furniture between her and him. For the first time, he realized Chrysy outweighed him by at least fifty pounds, most of it pure muscle. She had a weird gleam in her eye and the smile fixed on her face looked a little forced. Amazing how perceptive Cody could be when not under the influence of this, that and the other.

Chrysy gestured with her flip-flop-adorned hand. “Don’t be a stranger. Come on over here and get these shoes. You’re gonna need em. You can wait in here while I get the sauna heating up.”

“Maybe I’ll just take those clothes instead. You’ve been a great host, but I really have to be on my way.” Cody backed up a couple more steps and loosened his limbs, preparing for the possibility of having to fight his way out of this.

“Oh, I don’t have no clothes that’ll fit you. And you’ll recall I burned that nasty suit. I figure if all you’ve got is my robe and a pair of flip flops, I’ll have company until at least June.” Chrysy chuckled and came closer. “Quit lookin’ so alarmed. You’ll get used to the idea. Sides, it ain’t like I’m keeping you indefinitely. Just til the weather warms up.” She dropped the shoes in the chair and pulled on her parka. “I’ll be back in a few. Go ahead and slide those babies on your feet, okay?” Chrysy walked out the door yodeling “Saaa-oooonaa” at the top of her lungs, while Cody stood frozen in amazement.

Cody’s mind was working furiously, which was really quite a feat since he wasn’t much on thinking. How was he going to get out of this? He could make a run for it, but he wasn’t going to get far on foot in turquoise fuzzy flip flops and a pink chenille robe. Even if he did make it, the thought of someone seeing him clad so outrageously was enough to make him shudder. The truck! He could steal the truck. Cody rushed to the back window, looking for Chrysy. She was barely visible around the side of the sauna. He frantically looked for some clothes to pull on, realizing he didn’t have a lot of time before Chrysy came back to tell him the sauna was ready. A stocking cap lay on the floor next to the front door. He snatched that up and tugged it down over his ears. He was just pulling Chrysy’s extra pair of pants out from under the bed (from the looks of them, Chrysy was wearing the clean ones), when she opened the back door.

Their eyes met across the room and for a second neither one of them moved. Then all was pandemonium. Cody scrambled for the front door, pants in hand. Chrysy let out a roar and leaped over the kitchen table trying to reach him. She’s pretty fast, for a girl, Cody thought just before she tackled him. He felt the air rush out of him and everything faded to gray, but Cody bravely fought his way back from the brink of unconsciousness. He couldn’t afford to pass out now. He’d seen Misery. He didn’t want to wake up tied to a bed with two broken legs. He kicked out at the woman on top of him, and gave her a good jab in the face with his elbow.

“You knocked out my front tooth!” Chrysy yelled, spitting blood all over the back of his neck. “That. Wasn’t. Very. Nice!” She punctuated each word of her sentence by banging Cody’s face into the floor. Cody threw every ounce of his 180-pound frame into rolling over and knocking her off of his back. He scooted backwards for the door, struggling to regain his feet. Chrysy was crawling toward him faster than a crab can scuttle across the beach. He grabbed a spittoon sitting next to her chair on his way past and threw it at her, hitting her squarely in the head. Tobacco juice splashed everywhere. Chrysy paused in her forward progress to wipe the muck out of her eyes and Cody seized his opportunity, opening the door and making a run for the truck.

He was almost there when he felt her yanking on the spare pants he still had in his hand. He let them go and kept running. In no time she was on him again, catching hold of the collar of his robe. He tore his way out of the robe and left Chrysy kneeling in the snow clutching it. Cody locked himself in the truck and went to work hotwiring it. Chrysy was pounding on the window now and begging him to stay just a little longer. Cody saw the keys were in the ignition and abandoned his efforts to hotwire the truck. He peeled his way out the driveway, Chrysy running after him in futility.

Cody spared a glance in the rearview and breathed a sigh of relief. No one would ever believe he had just escaped the clutches of an amorous mountain woman wearing nothing but a stocking cap and a pair of flip flops. Speaking of which, he was getting pretty dang cold. Various and sundry parts of him were threatening to freeze and fall off. Cody turned on the heater and headed back to town.

He needed an airline ticket and a new suit, not necessarily in that order. He was going back to Florida to visit dear old Mom. Who says you can’t go home again? Cody’s brain was in overdrive thinking of all he needed to accomplish. It was more thinking than he’d done in a very long time. How was he going to look driving through town stark naked? Would anyone even notice? Should he ditch Chrysy’s truck and take the pinto back to Billings instead? So many questions! His brain was done. “I won’t think about that right now,” he said to no one in particular. “I can’t think about it now. I’ll think about it tomorrow.” He raised his eyes to the heavens and lifted a fist in the air, banging it on the ceiling. “After all, tomorrow is another day!”

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