Crushed Love Well Shaken PDF
Bert, 4F and gimpy, desires June, the married woman down the hall in his rooming house in 1943. Her husband is away at war and missing in action. Bert works as a clerk in the town butcher shop. In the depths of this emotional poverty, a red, hot blonde steps into his life with an offer he can’t refuse. Gracie, the grandniece of Bert’s landlady, is pregnant with her married supervisor’s child. She needs someone to save her reputation. He marries Gracie.
As Bert comes home after work his first night married, he finds that June and Gracie are co-workers and friends at the textile mill in town. Bert decides he has to find a way to love them both.
Sensuality rating: 3
Cover Art by Bev Haynes
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“I can’t tell you the details of my early life, Katie!”
“Grandpa Bertie, I’m a college senior now,” Katie reminded him. “You can’t embarrass me.”
“There’s a lot of sadness in it, a lot of decisions I wish I hadn’t made, and some terribly selfish and salacious behavior that is not good to share with you.”
“What little I do know makes me beg you for the whole story so that my life is informed by the illicit as well as the glorious,” she went on. “You don’t want me to start a new, serious relationship without knowing your story.”
“Your mother would kill me.”
“My mother is the point.”
“I’m not promising anything. It’s also going to take more time than you think.”
“I want your story!” she demanded.
“This is going to go badly somehow, but I’ll start, and we’ll see how far we get.” I took a deep breath, deciding where to begin, to worry more later about how bad an idea this was. “You need to know more about one of the big characters of the story. Chizek’s Butcher Shop.”
“Oh, yes. Chizek’s.”
“You know the place as the phone store. It’s in a great spot downtown in Greens Park and in 1943, when my story really begins, many of the staples of life could be bought along Main Street. The shop was painted white and had red awnings over large show windows on either side of the front door. From the sidewalk, passersby could glimpse the meat in the cases inside. Above the front door was a large sign with the shop name.”
I was warming to my story now, a bit enthused.
“Above it, lights were attached to illuminate the sign and the space in front of the door. The door itself was mostly glass, which helped to pull people in. Once through the door, the product cases stretched across the shop in front of you. They filled almost two-thirds the width of the building. Where they stopped sat the cash register and a gap to a doorway that led to the space where the meat was cut and stored in cold rooms. To the right of this door was a space that ran the depth of the building in which dry goods were displayed available for sale. The public area of the shop then was L-shaped. “When I was in my spot behind the customer product cases as store clerk, which is all I was in 1943, the floor was a bit raised so I could see over the counter and talk to the customers. From my slightly elevated perch, I also had a view of part of the grocery shelves.
“On this particular day, Katie, June was checking out the new grocery aisle. She must have stopped in the shop first after work at the Mill. It took all day to build and stock that new aisle. I had told June it was coming, and there she was. I wished we had something new to draw her every day.
“Grandpa,” Katie interrupted. “June would come into Mr. Chizek’s store back in 1943?”
“Yes, Katie, but let me tell the story for a while before you ask any more questions.”
“Yes, Grandpa Bertie.” She sounded so agreeable, like a little girl.
“June had found a couple of things. She looked as sad as ever. Still no news about her husband. She had told me months before that he was missing in action in Italy.”