The Quintessence of Mr. Flynn

A short story by Carl Dow
Editor and publisher
True North Perspective

They radiated that kind of sensuous tension exclusive to those in their twenties who are convinced they're on their way to the top. Bright to brilliant, especially skilled in stringing words and knowing what made a good local or national story, this group of seven came from diverse backgrounds, some out of the new journalism schools, some off the street, self-taught, who quickly had worked their way to national television news or the country's leading newspapers by way of provincial weeklies and dailies.

Brian Flynn, for the national daily, covered a suburban beat that was as broad as the city was wide at its northern border and 50 kilometres to the north to the huge drainage basin that formed the lake. Flynn's beat included all the townships, villages, and towns for 15 kilometres on either side of the main north/south highway. At the north end, on the lakefront, there was a provincial park, land once owned by a wealthy family until they donated it to the government for public use.

As F1ynn cruised his beat he came to know the layout and some of the personnel who policed the park. He found that at its extreme western beach there was an area that was never used by regular day, weekend, and longer campers who all concentrated their sites near snack and comfort stations at the beach in the centre of the park. Many a time, F1ynn would take his girl friend of the moment to this isolated beach. Guarding against traffic from this direction were only two metre high metal posts and a chain. It was easy to swing his car around the side of a post through a barely scalloped ditch. He would park on the grass overlooking the sandy beach that stretched lazily and smoothly under the water taking a hundred metres before it reached adult waist level. It was a perfect spot for moonlight birthday-suit swims, a small campfire, and love making. Not once did he encounter a park patroller.

One hot July night at the Press Club when everyone was complaining about the humidity, Flynn invited the other six to his secluded beach at the park and to bring their women with them. And so late that Saturday afternoon they came in their cars, a Volkswagen bus, and a standup van with a diesel engine. Flynn led the way and to the last rays of a hormone-stirring sunset they settled down, fourteen of them, around a campfire large enough to cook over. They had brought everything from shrimp to steaks, from com to potatoes, and, needless to say, soft drinks to beer, and even a bottle of Ross's Sloe Gin to sip later.

About midnight, having recovered from the repast with song and cuddling, the water beckoned and naked bodies, gleaming white in the full moon, took their cue. Joyful shouts filled the quiet as the fourteen splashed and pushed and grappled. But the happy melee was short-lived. Thoroughly refreshed, adrenaline-charged hormones soaring, couples began to drift away, melting into the darkness until the water was quiet and the beach empty except for the parked vehicles up on the grass. The discretion was broken only by occasional moans and cries of rapture that were all tastefully muffled.

By four, the moon had set and all had returned to their makeshift beds for well-earned sleep. Flynn lay spooned with his lady in his Dodge on the bench front seat that had been widened somewhat with travel bags and pillows to accommodate both of them. Others lay snuggled in or under sleeping bags or blankets. It was this tranquil scene that the flashlight found.

The park patroller nudged one of the sleeping bags and demanded to know what they were doing here.

That's okay, said the awakened lover, Mr. Flynn said we could be here. Who's Mr. Flynn? demanded the patroller. He said he didn't know any Mr. Flynn. That's okay, shrugged the lover, suppressing a giggle, Mr. Flynn knows all about this park and he said it would be okay to spend the night here.

The patroller wanted to know who and where was this Mr. Flynn. That's easy, said the lover, and pointed to Flynn's Dodge, saying that's where Mr. Flynn could be found.

The patroller opened the passenger door of the Dodge and his flashlight fully embraced Flynn's naked nether cheeks.

"That's Mr. Flynn?"

"The quintessential Mr. Flynn," came a mirthful, but quickly swallowed voice out of the newly awakened and thoroughly entertained. Flynn, the while, slept on.

The patroller snapped off his light and quietly shut the door. "Well I'll not be getting into a conversation with that," he grumbled as he walked away. "You tell Mr. Flynn I want you all out of here before eight o'clock. That's when the morning shift comes in."

After breakfast and a swim, they were gone, having enshrined forever in memory the quintessence of Mr. Flynn.


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