Engagement – Ch.9C in the Panooksa Saga

Idea by Tom Austin                                  Originally written by Tom Austin

                                               Revised by Tom Austin


Content with what had he had heard Tyler and Brad walked along the dirt road.

Brad had a question of his own.

“How did you know I was madly in love your daughter”

“It was at the ballgame. Actually, it was a combination of things. First, it was the way Milly called you. It wasn’t the words exactly, but there was something special in the way she said them. Secondly, it was the way you responded to her voice. You seemed so glad to hear it, and see her. Thirdly, the dead give away or maybe I should say clincher, was your face. You were shaking hands with me, but it was the way you were looking at her. Have you any idea how you’re you intend to ask her?”

“Not a clue. To be honest when we first tried out that damn doorway Messenger told Milly about I had no intention of asking her to marry me. But ever since we arrived I’ve had this feeling that if I don’t ask her I’ll bust. I want her to be in my life, and I want to be part of hers. I want to be able to call her my wife”. They soon came within sight of the Shine household.

Tyler puffed on his pipe and offered some advice.

“I’d ask her, and ask her as soon as possible. I discovered when I was dating her mother the longer I put it off the harder the task became. And the longer I waited the more crumby I felt.” Then he handed him a ring. “I suspect you’ll need this. It’s a family heirloom. It was her grandmothers wedding ring. Now you’re fully equipped.”

Brad was flummoxed. “How did you know I didn’t have a ring?”

“A fathers instinct. Don’t worry. You’ll get one eventually too.”

As Tyler and Brad walked on the road Brad was on the side of the road where there wasn’t moonlight. He wanted the moonlight to augment Tyler’s poor night vision. Just before they turned towards the house Brad stepped into moonlight. He was soaked in nervous sweat.

“If you want my advice, I think you’d better ask her before you drown.Do you want me to send her out?”

“No. Just let me lean against the fence a couple of minutes. I need to collect my thoughts.”

All of a sudden Tyler broke into a run, and ran towards the house. As soon as he entered he noticed Milly and Tilly were still seated at the dining room table and were still talking.

“It’s Brad! I think he’s having an allergic reaction to something. Milly get out there and keep an eye on him. I’ll get my bag.”

Milly rocketed out the door, going as fast as she could to the shadowy figure now gripping the fence with both hands.

Tilly got flustered and worried.

“If anything happens to him I’ll never forgive myself.”

It was then she saw her husband sitting down, gripping a pipe in his teeth, reading a newspaper.

“Why aren’t you worried, why aren’t you getting your bag, and why are you sitting down reading a paper!”

“I can’t do anything for Brad. It all depends on what our daughter says.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“He’s proposing, or at least trying to.”

Tilly’s face had a blank expression then a look of happiness took over. “You know what this could mean – grandchildren!”

“Yup, that’s the way it usually works.”

“Aren’t you happy?”

“Yup. Thrilled beyond belief. Tickled pink” said Tyler like he didn’t care at all.

“Oh poo” said Tilly who was not thrilled at her husbands attitude and gave him a short Bronx cheer.


“BRAD!” screamed Milly. “What’s wrong?”

Brad leaned against a fence railing, then pushed himself away from it. He wanted to face Milly. Milly could see his shirt was soaked.

“I want to…I’ve got to ask you something.”

Milly could sense it was very something important.

“OK. Shoot.”

Brad got down one knee.

“Oh my god” she said quickly.

“Milly Shine, I love you, and want you in my life. Will you do me the honor of marrying me.” He pulled the ring from his pocket.

Milly was surprised, and put both her hands in front of her mouth.

She then had a mischievous smile and put her hands in her pockets.

“Can I have some time to think about it?’

“Certainly. Take all the time you need.”

Brad was not expecting this turn of events.

“Ok…I guess” said Milly.

“Huh?”

“Yes I will marry you”

Brad yelled “Yahoo!” at the top of his lungs which only served to wake the neighbors and start a dog barking. Milly put her arms around her fiancé’s neck, jumped up, and put her legs around his waist. Brad kissed her so passionately Milly she could feel goosebumps on the back of her neck, and her toes curl.

“You’ve never kissed me like that. Keep doing it and I’m going to get a panty puddle” she whispered.

“Do you want me to stop?”

“Hell no…Keep going!”

“You know what I want to do?” said Brad

“If it’s what I’m feeling I’m sorry but you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer. I want to wait till it’s one hundred per cent legal. Why don’t we find a place a little more private. We’ve got some real talking to do.” With Milly legs firmly locked around Brads waist they walked down the road.


Milly and Brad snuck into her mom and dads house in the early hours of the morning. Brad insisted she take the guest room, and Milly was too tired to argue. Brad reminded her about the ring.

“Put it on the night table before you get undressed. I love you.”

“And I love you saying it”. She blew him a kiss and closed the guest room door.

Brad took off his shirt and crashed on the couch. The last thing he remembered was Tilly putting a blanket on him. “Thank you” she whispered and she gave Brad a peck on the cheek.


Tyler sat the breakfast table, looked over his glasses and noticed Brad stir. “Good Gravy its alive! You were right Tilly. We should have sold tickets”

“Very funny Dr. Jackhammer. How can you sleep with inhuman noise Tilly?”

“I know it’s very old technology but it works. Rubber ear plugs.”

“Is her ladyship alive, or is she still in the Land of Nod?”

Just then then guest room door opened.

“She’s alive, and she smells coffee. I’ll take mine black. Please”

“Morning dear, sleep well dear?” asked Tilly.

A wide sleepy smile took over her face. “You can bet the ranch on that.”

As Brad was putting on his shirt Tilly noticed some scratches on his back but wisely decided not to say anything. Brad rubbed his face and found he was need of a shave.

“Have you ever used a straight razor before?” asked Tyler.

“That’s the way I started shaving. All my old girlfriends appreciated the closeness of the shave.”

Milly heard the playful jab and playfully hissed and clawed at Brad.

Tilly noticed Milly was not wearing her ring.

“Is there anything we should know?”

“No. After I proposed Milly and I went into The Town to get the ring sized. We woke a jeweler and got it done.” said Brad.

“Last Night?” asked Tyler

“We pounded on his door till he opened up. Said something about “taking a flying leap at the moon”. He sized the ring. When he found out Milly was your daughter he told us to remind you about “The Lure” whatever that means.”

“Sounds like Joe Crangle. Every year your father has beaten him in some fishing contest” said Tilly.

“And since you asked about the ring we thought we’d re-enact the ring portion of last night. This will be the first time Milly has worn the ring”.

“Milly Shine, I love you, and want you in my life. Will you do me the honor of marrying me.”

Milly was surprised, and put both her hands in front of her mouth.

She then had a mischievous smile and put her hands in her pockets of her kimono.

“Can I have some time to think about it?’

“Certainly. Take all the time you need”

“Ok…I guess” said Milly.

“Huh ?”

“Yes I will marry you”

And they kissed, not quite as passionately as last night. Tilly had tears in her eyes.

“Yuck! It’s like kissing a porcupine. Have a shave. Please!”

Tyler couldn’t help but laugh.

“I think you been given your first orders by your soon to be wife.”

“And when you come back from removing that facial fungus, we’ll have a little chat about the arrangements” said Tilly.

“It’s at times like this I really wish we had a basement.”

“Why in heavens name would you want one of those.”

“So I can hide. You forget. I know what happens next. ”


Musings of Meg Sorick can be found Here!

Take a look at Meg Soricks Bucks County novel series Here!

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