Tag Archives: short story

On Holiday

I can only turn my abilities down, I can’t shut it off. So during my time as a “regular human”, I’ll still be able to cause death but it won’t be so potent. It’s still nice to get out there and enjoy the living. They’re such facinating creatures. 

I met a boy who was a great tee-ball player. Destined to make it to the big leagues. He had a wild imagination and loved frogs. Had he not hugged me after buying one of his fundraising cards, he might have lived to be some wild scientist Major league baseball star. But he did hug me, and that’s when his white blood cells began multiplying. He got a few good years left, but they didn’t find out that he had lukimia until it was darn well too late. My boss said not to feel the blame, and I usually don’t when a human touches me on their own free will, but I really thought this little boy was special.

This other time I met a homeless man. He was depressed, obviously, but I could feel it from a block away. He had lost everything after his wife left him for a rich man. His children wouldn’t speak to him anymore, his friends nearly forgot about him, and he lost his job over a simple miss calculation error. He struggled for years. I had a conversation with him and knew the best solution for him. I touched his cheek and handed him a ten dollar bill. The next day he had a heart attack right there on the sidewalk of a big hamburger chain. My boss sent me a congratulations once the man got to heaven, he was much happier there.

I treat this like a vacation, but occasionally the boss will send me instructions. I can’t always control what the human is inflicted with however. Once I was told about a very bad man. He had only raped his ex-girlfriend at the time I caught up to him. We were at a grocery store and I bumped into him, making sure to touch his arm with my hand. It was two more rapes and five murders before the police figured him out and the judge sentenced him to death row. If I had a choice, I would have done more right there in the grocery store. There are rules against that, especially when I’m taking these vacations.

I get a month each year to go amongst the living. And just like any American vacation, I’m always happy to come back to work.

Once, I was walking by a crime scene. There wasn’t anyone near by that I could tell, but the house was all roped off with caution tape. I hadn’t heard about this case, since while I am away some of the others that I work with handle big murders. I was minding my own business trying to get to the ice cream truck on the other street when a dog came running from behind the roped off house. A beautiful German Shepherd with a vest on. The embroidery said “cadaver team.” Oh no, what he was running to was me. I jumped into a tree, I didn’t want to end up touching the dog that would bring more suspicion than necessary. His handler, a nice looking middle aged police officer came running. He apologized, but still wanted to ask me some questions. It’s not often that his partner sees any actual dead humans, and maybe he was just smelling old chicken from a dinner I had, but he needed to make sure. I gave him my credentials and came up with excuses of why I was even in this neighborhood. The dog was still curious about myself. It was a good half hour, my ice cream truck moved on, of just talking with the gentleman. He unprofessionaly gave me his number, and went back to the house. It’s moments like that that I wished some times I could be full human, but I do really love what I do.

Next week I start my time off for the new year. I haven’t decided yet where I am going this time and only have a few days to do so. I have already given my paperwork to the boss so that he can find a suitable replacement while I’m gone, and my bag is already packed. I’m excited for the new adventure, and hope this time there are no accidents. 


Detective Kripke

Detective Kripke’s telephone rang loudly at 4:06 AM. It was an old rotary phone, he liked it very much and refused to use any new technology in his own home. Of course he kept a cellphone for his police work, though often forgetting to charge it. He knew if his house phone rang that it must be an important call. Usually meant a murder or theft. 

This particular morning he was dispatched to the other side of town. Neighbors of a huge blue Victorian house heard loud thumps around 3:30 AM. Noises always came from this particular house, the owner being an expiramentor and inventor, but this was no ordinary bump in the night. They had rang the doorbell a few times, but there weren’t any lights in the house so they decided to call the police.

Detective Kripke jumped out of bed and stumbled over his Old English Sheepdog. “Henry, didn’t you hear the phone? Why are you lying right there!?” But Henry didn’t move a muscle and the detective hurried on with putting some decent clothes on. 

“Henry, have you seen my badge?” He yelled out, but still the dog lay. It was four o’clock in the morning after all. 

When the detective finally arrived at the scene he was met with the fire marshal and the chief of police. 

“Hello, Jeff. We’ll need you to work your magic here. Neighbors only heard some loud thumps, didn’t see anyone. There’s a couple in the bed upstairs, throats were slit. There is a nursery, but no baby, the neighbors didn’t know what that was about. Uhm, what else can we tell him, Bob?” Fire Marshal Edwards turned to the police man.

“That about covers it. Forensics team is working on photos as quickly as they can, they got the rookie doing fingerprints though.”

“He’s not a rookie.” The fire marshal glared.

“He ain’t no seasoned vet either Ed.” Bob glared back. It seemed they had had this argument before. He turned to Jeff and winked. “You’ll find everything you need in the main bedroom.”

“Alright, guys. I’ll get in there and do what I can.” Detective Kripke was happy for the excuse to get away, he knew their arguments could get heated.

He walked into the house through the front door, and gave a little whistle. He stood still for a moment to gather in the sounds and smells and sights of the crime scene. Once he was satisfied he started for the stairs, took his first step up but hesitated. I don’t think he started there Jeff thought to himself. No, he looked around down here first He walked over to the living room. Nothing was taken. He walked down the hall to the kitchen, again nothing looked moved. There was an office and a guest bathroom, still nothing was moved.

There was a scratch at a door in the hallway near the kitchen. Jeff walked slowly to it and pulled a rubber glove out of his pocket. What do we got here? Another scratch at the door as he opened it slowly. “Well you’re not what I expected.” A fluffy gray cat stepped out. “You got any other friends around here?” The cat ran to the steps Jeff dismissed earlier. He followed the cat up and into the crime scene bedroom. “Hey buddy.”

The forensics team had already gone. All that was left were the two bodies on the bed and a pitbull at the base of the bed. She looked sad. “Oh, sorry. Sweetie.” The detective walked around the bed and examined the bodies. “Can either of you tell me what happened here?”

The fluff ball of a cat jumped up to the dresser and stared at the detective. Jeff walked around the bedroom, went to the open window, peeked into the closet, looked back over the room and walked back down stairs to the fire marshal and chief.

“Alright fellas, I’ve got it.”

The fire marshal looked surprised. “You’re always so quick. And you never touch anything! What’d you come up with?”

“So Trevor in there. The dude in the bed. He owed money to his bookie. That was months ago, and him and the wife fought constantly, she faked a pregnancy. So they got all cozy again, Trevor made the nursery for her. Hoped they’d fixed everything. But he forgot to pay the bookie you see. And she found out about it. She got so mad in the heat of everything and she’s the one who slit his throat first in the middle of the night. For some reason thought it’d be cool to just go back to sleep. Then some guy all in black came in, through the front door of all places, found out the guy he was sent in to kill was already dead, and took the knife out of the wife’s hand, slit her throat too, and hopped out the window. The thud that the neighbors heard, was him jumping down on to the trashcan.” Jeff pointed to the side of the house near the driveway to the back garage. There it was, a smashed trashcan.

“Huh, so we’ll need to find the bookie’s information. Great work detective. It fits with the team’s findings. They said he was dead three hours before her. That’s just crazy to think. The neighbors thought they were just the nicest people too. Seems like everyone has weird secrets.” The Chief shook the detective’s hand. “Go home and get some rest. You can fill out your report later this afternoon. Thanks, Jeff. You’re a real help.”

“No problem at all.” Detective Kripke shook both men’s hands again and departed.

Once he got home he got back into his pajamas and laid down in bed.

“What was all the commotion?” Henry the sheepdog jumped up into the bed with the detective.

“Brutal murder. The old lady killed her husband over some petty argument, and a hitman was sent there, found his target already dead, so he just killed her too.”

“Wow.”

“The pets where pretty upset. A big fluffy cat and a really gentle five year old pup.”

Henry made himself comfortable at the end of the bed. “I bet they were. Any idea what happens to them?”

“The cat said the wife’s sister would probably take him, and the dog would probably go to the next door since the sister is allergic.” Jeff was tired, and ready to fall asleep.

“Bob and Ed realize you can talk to us yet?” Henry said sleepily.

The detective yawned. “Nope. No questions asked.”


Valerie T. Estrella

Valerie set her business card on a small table under a blue tent. This was in her instruction booklet when she signed up for the Art Fair. She couldn’t believe she was finally entering her work. She molded her clay for months, coming up with many designs, in hopes to sell.

The man at the small table took her card and studied it. “You’re Valerie T. Estrella?”

She was nervous. “Yes, that’s me.”

“What’s your age?” He said sternly.

“Uh, 32.” The words almost didn’t come out, almost as if she had forgotten her age.

“From Pontiac, Eh?” A smile grew on the man’s face. “I’ve got cousins there.”

Valerie wasn’t sure what to say. She stood there quietly as he entered more information from her card into his computer.

“Pottery, huh?” He looked up at her.

“Yes, a small hobby. Hoping to do more with it.”

“Well this is the perfect place to drum up some business. Now, here’s a map. You’re in row 8. Perfect I think, you’re more towards the front of the rows so people won’t be so tired. Super hot for Michigan this year. Anyway, this booth right here.” He highlighted the booth in row 8 and handed her the map. “You can use your car or whatever to unload, but it must be moved to the parking area before 10 A.M.”

“Got it.” Valerie thought for a moment. That was three hours away, she wasn’t sure what do in the mean time. “That’s when people show up to look at stuff right?”

He could tell she was new. “When you get your stuff all set up, you can walk around the booths. Pretty friendly crowd, these artists. And it’s a great way to make some friends out there, buy some stuff early, won’t have to worry about your own booth for a while.”

“Thanks, so much!’ Valerie got back in her little SUV and followed the signs for her row. After setting up her booth and taking her car to the parking area she perused the other artists as the man had suggested.

The had two hours to kill before customers started showing up. The first few rows that she walked down seemed to be all photography. She saw many stunning images, but nothing that caught her eye in a way that she needed to purchase anything. The next few rows were paintings of all kinds followed by charcoal drawings and mixed media. The middle of row seven is where the clay started. There were a few potters that concentrated on only pots or only sculptures, but most were mixed products like the ones Valerie made herself. She saw many techniques she’d like to try, one in particular was called horse hair raku.

“Excuse me sir, those vases there are beautiful.” She pointed to the white vases with smoke-like marbling.

“You’re early. Must be competition.” The man said without turning to face her. He was still setting out his cup collection.

“I’m afraid I am.” Her nervousness came back, maybe looking at the other artists was a bad idea after all.

The man still didn’t turn to look at her. “Let me guess. Pottery.”

“Oh, you’re good.”

“Come to steal ideas.” He still had his back towards her.

“I think we’ve started off on the wrong foot. I’m so sorry to bother you.”

“Well you’re here now.” He finally turned. “Valerie?”

She stood there perplexed. “You know me?”

“Nope.”

“She looked around his booth then back at him, not sure how he knew her name. “But, you said my name.”

He threw a thumbs up behind his shoulder.

“Oh. We’re booth neighbors.” She laughed.

A grin appeared on his face and he didn’t seem so agitated. “Yup. I saw you just as you were leaving to park your car. You’ve got some real talent there, but not a whole lot of product.”

“It’s mostly a hobby. You do this full time?” She looked again at all of his work.

“Yeah, I’m a traveling pottery peddler. Well mostly. I also teach some classes in Pontiac.”

“Wow, small world. I’m from Pontiac.”

“Not so small really, we haven’t even left Michigan.” He chuckled.

“I’d love to learn Raku, do you teach that?” Valerie picked up one of the vases with the black swirls.

“Not professionally.” He went back to placing the clay mugs on his display.

There was disappointment in her eyes and she placed the vase back down. “Oh.”

The man reached into his back pocket and pulled out his business card to hand to her. “I make a few exceptions. Here, this has my personal number on it.”


The Lonely Pineapple

The island of Kaliko had enough space for one small village. This village had three elders, five warriors and their wives, a chief and his son, and handful of villagers. There was nothing for miles at sea, when the warriors were sent out for supplies they didn’t return for a whole month. They mostly ate fish and berries and had a special holding trap for fresh water. They were happy folk and knew each other very well. 

Because of its size, not much grew on the island. Some grass that was enough to dry out and build houses and make clothing, a few shady palm trees, a few different flower types and right in the center of the island grew a large pineapple plant. This was the only fruit on the island, and the elders could not explain why it would only produce one fruit a year. 

For as long as the Kaliko people inhabited the island they held a feast the day the one pineapple was ripe enough to eat. Warriors would spend weeks looking for the right fish and their wives would collect all their chicken eggs to create beautiful dishes. 

One stormy summer, the villagers were gathering their foods for the feast when the chief noticed the pineapple plant seemed to be drooping. He went to the elders who suggested that maybe the pineapple was getting too much rain. So the chief built a shade over the plant. Nothing changed so the chief went to the elders again for help. They suggested that the plant was not getting enough sun, so on rainy days the chief covered the plant and on sunny days he would take the shade off. Still nothing had changed. They suggested a better fertilizer so the Chief tried sand, chicken feathers, coconut water, even rotten fish. Nothing had changed still  Again he went to the elders but they had run out of ideas. The days neared closer to the feast and panic had set into the village. 

The Chief’s son, wanting to help, went late into the night to lay with the pineapple. He wispered all night to the pineapple to encourage it to grow. He told the pineapple how thankful he was for his village and how he wanted to keep everyone happy. He also talked to the pineapple about all of his hopes and dreams. The son talked himself into a deep sleep just before sunrise.

The day of the feast had arrived, the villagers were going to continue their tradition with or without the lonely fruit. As the sun rose, the Chief went to awaken his son. The son was not in the hut, the chief thought he had gotten an early start to his day.

The Chief stepped out of his hut, expecting the pineapple to be more withered away, but was surprised to find he was wrong. Now in the place of the lonely pineapple grew two large healthy pineapple plants. The villagers rejoiced, they gathered their feast and had a joyous party. Both plants continued to prosper and so did the village of Kaliko. Though to this day, the boy has never been found. Rumors spread and stories were told of how he was disappointed in the lonely pineapple, but the Chief knew the real reason his son disappeared.


The Car Crash

“You’re not supposed to sit and stare you know.”

“It’s not against the law.”

“But it’s not nice.” Jake sat next to Anna on the porch swing. It was a sunny day, not a cloud in the sky. Temperatures were reaching into the 90’s, but it was nothing out of the ordinary for the small Midwest town.

“There’s a three car pileup in front of my house and what? I’m just supposed to go do my dishes or something?”

“That’s the polite thing. Imagine if that was you in the mangled up Buick there.”

“I just want to figure out what happened.” She pushed her foot off the ground and they began to swing.

Jake pointed to the front vehicle. It was some kind of older green Chevy coupe, its back end unrecognizable. “Looks like that guy didn’t see the green light. The truck in back there didn’t see the Buick and Chevy just sitting at the green light and boom. See now you don’t have to wonder anymore.”

“Jake, you’re not…”

“Not what, Anna?” His arms crossed, she knew he was angry.

“Yes, I’m sure that’s what happened logically. But what about the emotions. Why did the green guy not notice the light? Was the Buick not paying attention either? Why didn’t the truck honk? There’s reasons things happen, Jake and I just want to sit and figure it out.”

“Oh my God.”

“What?” She stopped the swinging and scanned the wreckage for something that would make Jake jump in excitement.

“You’re too emotionally invested in things like this.” Jake stood and stared at her.

“I don’t see anything wrong in it. I’m not going down to ask them what happened. I’m sitting on my own porch not bothering anyone.”

“You should just go do the dishes and you know it.” He took a few steps towards the front door.

“No.” She began the swing of the seat again.

“Fine. I’ll go ask.” He turned around and walked down the stairs in an angry huff.

“Jake, now that’s not necessary.” But he didn’t hear her. She watched him walk towards the green car. He stuck his head into the window, careful not to touch the cut glass. Then she watched him walk around the other side of the Buick. He lowered himself so she couldn’t see him anymore. The police officer on the scene was helping the paramedics into the ambulance, as he turned around she thought about warning Jake.

Anna looked back at the wreck towards the truck. Jake was not there, he must have finished is snooping around but where did he go she wondered.

“Ma’am, can I have a word with you.” The police officer stood at the bottom step of her porch. She was so focused on the truck that she didn’t notice him walking her way. He seemed to be a rookie, fumbling to find a pen in his pockets.

“Oh. Uh. Yes, what is it officer?” She stopped the swinging once more.

“You can call me Henry. Uh, ma’am did you see the accident?” He finally located the pen and a small notebook in the pocket of his shirt.

She hesitated. “No, I was in my kitchen getting water ready to wash dishes. I heard a screeching tire noise and then a loud clunk. I heard another loud clunk and that’s when I came out here.”

The officer flipped through his notes. “Jake, Jake Lannister, that’s your husband, right?”

“Yeah, did you see him down there?” She looked around for him again not paying attention to the officer’s expression.

“Uh, Mrs. Lannister, that Silverado is his is, it not?” He looked towards the truck to see what she was staring at so intently for.

“He was running out to get ice cream.” Her face went blank.

“Well, as we uhm. As we see it, he’s not at fault here. But, ma’am I guess I’m just curious as to why you’re sitting here, still.” He looked back at her and took a step up.

“He was just running out to get some ice cream.”

“If he had been wearing his seat belt ma’am…” The officer took another step up and began to put his pen and notebook away.

“Ice. Cream.” They both were still. The officer staring at Anna and Anna eyes focused on the truck. The Silverado with the broken windshield, no driver in the front seat, ice cream splattered on the dash board. She finally broke the silence. “Did you find his body?”

“Well it’s on the other side of the Buick, I wouldn’t recommend going over there.”

Anna stood up and ran down the steps past the officer.

“I wouldn’t recommend that ma’am!” He yelled out to her.

She reached the Buick. Airbags deployed and all the passengers, including the baby had been taken to the hospital. She slowly walked around to the other side and held tightly to her stomach.

Jake’s body peacefully laid on a stretcher, a blanket covered him up to the neck so you couldn’t see how badly he had been hurt. With tears in her eyes, Anna sat down next to him and held his hand as paramedics rolled both of them towards the ambulance.


The Cold Case

Incident Report #00635501
Officer on Duty: Jake Owens, 2103007
Time and Date: October 21, 2015 12:03PM

Arrived at scene of 307 Oakley Lane. Mother, Joan Meister uncontrollably crying points to back bedroom. Blood stains on floor, celling, and walls. Three year old, Baxter stabbed 47 times. No witnesses, mother unable to give her personal statement at the time. Currently in Questioning room, calming down. No weapon found.

Summersville Tribune Oct 21, 2015
Hunt for Murderer
By Jackie Bianco

Early this morning, police were called to the scene of Miss Joan Meister, a 25 year old day care nurse. Her three year old son, Baxter was found stabbed to death. At this time police do not have a suspect or murder weapon. If you have any information relevant to this crime you are encouraged to call the hotline at 555-073-2136

Incident Report #00635502
Officer on Duty: Jake Owens, 2103007
Time and Date: October 23, 2015 3:07PM

Baxter’s body reported missing by coroner. No visible signs of entry, forensics team still sifting through finger prints. Joan’s account of the night of the stabbing: “He was just a happy little boy, I don’t know why they would do this. I was up late working on his costume and heard some voices on the monitor, so I ran in there and he was fine. Checked in on him before I went to bed and I found the room all bloody.” Team went back to the house to do more searching, found no evidence of other people at the house that night.

Summersville Tribune Oct 24, 2015
Hunt Continues
By Jackie Bianco

During an ongoing police investigation of the brutal murder of Baxton Meister, morgue official Terry Weisman discovered the child’s body missing. Police again baffled as there were no visible signs of entry. Joan Meister, Baxton’s mother, was not available for comment at this time. Police have begun questioning neighbors, friends and family. If you have any information relevant to this crime you are encouraged to call the hotline at 555-073-2136

Summersville Tribune Oct 26, 2015
Exclusive Interview
By Jackie Bianco

The heartbreaking story of Baxter, a three year old who was brutally stabbed in his own home still goes unsolved. The Tribune got an exclusive interview with Joan, Baxter’s mother. “I had put Bax down to sleep around 8 that night. I was cleaning the house and making his Halloween costume when I heard voices on the baby monitor around midnight. I ran to his room to check on him since I didn’t have no people over and he can’t quite talk yet. But there he was sleeping peacefully in his crib. I went back to the living room and not long after I heard the voices again. I ran to his room and that’s when I saw all the blood. I couldn’t get him to cry or nothing, I picked him up and he wasn’t breathing.” Police still haven’t been able to find any fingerprints at the scene of the crime and now have expanded their search to other counties for the boy’s body. In a plea to the murderer or murderers, Joan had this to say “I just want to know why they would hurt an innocent boy. He didn’t do anything.” The department and the officers on this investigation continue their search but are interested in leads the public may have. The hotline contact is 555-073-2136

Incident Report #00635503
Officer on Duty: Jake Owens, 2103007
Time and Date: October 27, 2015 4:00PM

My last contact with Joan was before the third newspaper article was published. The article had an interview with her that did not fully coincide with her original statement with the SPD. A copy of the article has been attached to the incident report. I have called Jackie Bianco for information on her interview and she gave me her notes. A missing person’s report has been filed. Baxter’s body still has not been recovered. Survailence tapes show a black hooded figure walk into the morgue but no persons working on sight had memory of this event. Our only suspect at this time is Joan Meister.

Summersville Tribune Oct 31, 2015
A Case Gone Cold
By Jackie Bianco

Just ten days after the discovery of Baxton Meister, a three year old, brutally stabbed to death by his mother the case has gone cold. The police officer in charge of the investigation, Jake Owens, now believes the mother may have been behind the murder all along. Joan Meister, has reportedly gone missing since the Tribune’s last interview with her. In an interview with Owens he stated “So far our only witness was Joan. She had an alibi during the time the child was taken from the morgue but we are not doubting she also had something to do with that. With no leads to go on, this case will no longer be a priority.” People with tips are still encouraged to call the hotline at 555-073-2136

Incident Report #0635504
Officer on Duty: Jake Owens, 2103007
Time and Date: November 13, 2015 10:00AM

Voicemail on personal cell phone this morning at 5:09AM came from a restricted number. Voice sounds like that of Joan Meister, of the Baxter Meister cold case file from a month ago. All she said was “The devil made me do it.” Forensics could not trace the call. Given the circumstances the case still remains cold, but there is a warrant out for Miss Meister’s arrest.

 


Platonic

“Okay, how about this… ‘If the whole world was just a figment of my own imagination, you’re the best thing I’ve ever thought of.’” Jordan looked at Emily sitting next to him at the bar. Her hair flowed down to her shoulders and her eyes were a beautiful shade of jade. Any guy would have been lucky to sit next to this goddess draped in a white chiffon blouse and red under layer.

“That’s amazing. Though I’m not quite sure that’s pick up line material.”

“How not!?” Jordan was dumbfounded. He had worked hard on this line and was hoping to use it tonight.

“Well you wouldn’t want to walk up to a woman and say that. You come off too strong and pretentious, although it is beautiful. That is something you’d want to say after the night is over, once you’ve gotten to know her a little better. Any girl can be cute or hot, but you don’t want to make her think you’re just looking at her body. Learn more about her, be attentive, tell her she’s beautiful. Unless you’re just here to find a girl to fuck. Then by all means, go up to the hottest girl you see, pat your pockets and say ‘I seem to have lost my phone number, can I have yours?’”

“Does that work?”

“No. Not on me anyway, it’s been tried.”

“Some guy actually said that to you?” Jordan was in disbelief.

“Yeah, I punched him in the arm.” Emily said as if this was some daily occurrence and punched men for taking a step all the time.

“Well good for you, but what was wrong with that.”

“I was holding the hand of my boyfriend.”

“And your boyfriend didn’t do anything.”

“I broke up with him that night. Totally unrelated actually, but that was like the icing on the cake. I need a man to stand up for me and he just never could.”

“Wow.” Jordan turned back to his beer sitting on the countertop of the bar. How could a guy have a girl like this in his hands and not fight for her? He had just met this girl and already thought she was a great catch.

“So anyway, tell me about yourself. You’re here looking for a date for what now?” She looked at him with a puzzled look and sipped on her whiskey on the rocks.

“A wedding actually. My family expects me to have a date by October so I figured I’d get a head start.”

“But it’s February. You could have several relationships crash and burn by then.”

“Or I’ll find an amazing woman who is beautiful and confident like yourself who’ll stay with me till then.” Jordan smiled at her.

“See, that. You need to say things like that to a woman to get her to not only go home with you, but stay the night and go out to breakfast with you.”

“Truth is, I’ve never gotten this far.” He chuckled at his truth. She was right, he hasn’t had much luck picking girls up at the bar.

“That’s because you’re trying to pick women up at bars. These ones take a good look at a man and decide what their plans are without even saying hello first. And those plans are almost always go with him to his place, get a good hard fucking and leave. Walk of shame at four in the morning kind of girls. You, Jordan, are a breakfast man I can tell.” She finished up her whiskey and waved for the bartender to give her the check.

“I would like to take that as a compliment.”

“Of course. You’re dark and handsome, I assume you’re tall even though I haven’t seen you stand. Your eyes are sapphires and you have just the right kind of 5 O’clock shadow. Any woman in this bar would be lucky to have a catch like you giving them cheesy pickup lines that will never work, but they’ll never know because you give off a vibe that says ‘I want to love you.’” She signed her receipt and stood up and looked at his handsome face as she slid a business card into his breast pocket. “Goodnight Jordan. I hope to see you again sometime.”


“So you gave your number to a guy in a bar? Doesn’t that go against everything you’ve ever believed in?”

“Lucy I told you, he was great to talk to.” Emily sat down at the breakfast nook in her apartment. Lucy standing at the stove adding ingredients for her homemade chicken stock.

“And he sounds gorgeous.”

“Beautifully handsome.”

“And you didn’t take him home?”

“No. Like you said, I don’t pick up guys in bars.”

“So what’s wrong with him?”

“Nothing. But remember. I broke up with George two nights ago.”

“Which was dumb. He was hot!”

“Weak.”

“Rich!”

“All the money and muscles couldn’t stand up to his uncontrollable problem with not caring about me.”

“He cared. Flowers constantly, jewelry.”

“No, he went with societal norms. Flowers smelled wonderful and jewelry is nice but you remember two nights ago? Holding my hand not paying attention to me while I’m being hit on by a creep! I tell him, hey George this guy wants my number and he tells the guy that he better buy me a drink as well. I need a man who will hold my hand and care that I am there. Care that I belong to him.”

“That’s just wishful thinking.”

“You date him then.”

“No thanks. I don’t want your seconds. That Jordan guy though, if he calls you, you should introduce us.”

“Maybe I want him. Ever think of that?”

“You don’t.”

“I’ll invite him to the party if he calls how about that? Not sure he’d go for you though.”

“We’ll see about that.”


“Glad you invited me. It’s nice to get out to somewhere not in a bar.” Jordan held his red solo cup out to cheers Emily.

“You seemed like you needed a great time. And Lucy wanted to meet you.” She sipped on her bottle of beer and chuckled.

“Lucy, the girl dancing with that guy over there?” He took a hard drink out of his cup.

“A little slutty tonight. Trying to make you jealous, it’s her thing.”

“What did you tell her about me that she’s already trying to make me jealous?”

“Is it working?”

“Uh.” Jordan looked over to Lucy dancing very sexily with her partner. He took another big drink. Although Lucy was attractive, he wasn’t sure he would have picked her out in the crowd.

“So, no?” She smiled.

“I’m not the jealous type. If she wants to dance with that guy, that’s her prerogative. If she wants to dance with me, great. Though if we were dating then I’d be mad, but still it’s her prerogative.”

“Well it looks like she chose her prerogative.” Emily pointed to Lucy, wrapped in the arms of her dance partner with her tongue stuffed into his mouth.

“Such is my luck.”


“Honey, you’ve been talking about this Emily girl a lot. I’d like to meet her.”

“Mom, it isn’t like that.” Jordan handed her a wet dish.

“Not like what?” She took the dish and started drying.

“Just a friend. We aren’t dating, and I know what you’re thinking.” He thought about it. It wasn’t such a bad idea to invite Emily to be his date to his cousin’s wedding. He didn’t have much time left to find someone even though he had already RSVP’d with a plus one.

“She just sounds like she’s a nice girl. You seem to get along with her, why not invite her next month?”

“How do you know I don’t already have a date for the wedding, Ma?”

“Because if you did you would be so excited and so ready to please me that I would have already met her.” His mother was right. She had been pressuring him so much that his need to find a girlfriend was mostly to pacify her.


“Sure, I’ll go with you.” Emily smiled. She was still lying in bed, the phone had woken her up

“Great. Get ready.” Jordan said with excitement in his voice.

“It’s today!?” She was shocked, she remembered the time she met him thinking that it was only a short time ago. He was looking for a date for the wedding that was apparently already here.

“Yeah, short notice I know. But the ceremony isn’t until 5 so you’ve got plenty of time. And I know you’re not doing anything because this is your day off. Netflix will still be there tomorrow. Do you need me to take you to a store and get a dress?”

“No. I’ll be alright. When do you want to pick me up for the wedding though?” She knew his luck finding a date was not great and had purchased a dress a few weeks before.

“Great. How about I get you at 4?”

“Sounds good, see you then.”

“Bye Em! Thanks so much!”

Emily hung up the phone and got out of bed to head for the shower.

“Who was that, babe?” A blonde chiseled man sat up in bed.

“Jordan.” She yelled from the bathroom.

“Ah. Wedding today huh?”

“Yup.”

“Such a lucky man, to be with a woman who pities her friends as to ditch her own plans at a drop of a hat.”

“You knew this would happen, honey.” She started the shower and hopped in.

“But tonight’s date was supposed to be special!” He fell back into the pillows. A few minutes later, Emily came out in a towel and searched her closet for the dress.

“How about you tell me what you were going to now?” She smiled at him.

“Uhm. Alright.” He got out of bed and picked his pants off the floor. Out of the pocket he grabbed a small black box and handed it to her.


“He proposed!?” Jordan stared at the rock that was now on Emily’s ring finger. His cousin was now enjoying her first dance as a married woman with her husband.

“Yeah!” She smiled staring at it too.

“Lucky girl!” He held out his glass of wine to toast Emily. “A bit soon don’t you think? I only met you eight months ago, you guys haven’t been dating long.”

“But I love him, you know that! Now. Tonight’s objective, finding you a girl!” She held out her wine to toast to him. She scanned the room. “You just have to make sure to tell me which ones are related.”

Jordan smiled. They had dinner together and danced a few times. Emily disappeared after the dollar dance but he stayed on the floor enjoying himself with his cousins. He forgot to be concerned for her whereabouts.

“Hello.” A soft voice called from behind him.

“Hello?” He turned. This is a woman he had never seen before.

“Emily told me to tell you that she sent me.” She looked confused but smiled.

“Oh she did, did she?”

“Uhm, yeah. Said you needed a date to a wedding?”

Jordan admired his new date. She had guts to listen to a random woman to come meet a guy on a dance floor. He had assumed this is what Emily had disappeared to do. “Care to dance with me?” He held out his hand.

“I’d love to!”