Since it`s now October, a month for witches, ghouls, and ghosts, I thought I would begin a short series to cover the month. In all of my October Tuesday Tales, we`ll be reading about Maggie Owens, age 34, and Gerard Williams, age 26,who both work on the show ‘Paranormal Private Investigators’, Maggie as the host while Gerard runs the camera.
Maggie and Gerard have had one previous outing in an unpublished short story I wrote where we discovered both were quite attracted to each other. In that story the two had a run in with a ghost who had a fondness for rump fondling. Gerard asked Maggie out to dinner afterwards. She accepted. We`ll pick up with their first date. For those who are fans of Ares and Libby, never fear, they`ll return to star in the November editions of Tuesday Tales.
The word prompt for this week is ‘Dog’ so the story will reflect the prompt in some manner. As these are original stories written in a week, some errors may be found. I do apologize for those in advance. Try not to let them boggle you down though if possible.
Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thank you for stopping in!
The Foggy Creek Hellhound
The Flagon and Ox Steak House in Running Falls, New York has the juiciest filet mignon in town. Tonight, it also has one of the juiciest looking men I`ve ever seen and he`s sitting right across from me. This is one of those times where you glance at the other women present, smile like a smug shark at them, and pat yourself on the back.
“Any particular reason you`re grinning at the blond in the black sweater?” that handsome man I mentioned asked. I jabbed at a cherry tomato in my salad to try to cover the gaffe.
“I thought I knew her,” I replied while chewing. Gerard gave me his ‘Uh-huh’ look then speared a slice of cucumber slathered with blue cheese.
“You smile like some demented hyena at every woman you know?”
“Nope, only the ones who get their breasts factory made,” I countered. That comment made the man turn around in his seat and check out the fake boobies. His dreads slithered over his wide shoulder. I reached out to touch the ebony ropes then stabbed myself with my fork. No fondling the cameraman’s hair in public Margaret.
“Damn,” Gerard muttered, returning to me and his salad, “She wants to be careful. Those things might block out her view of her dinner.”
I snorted rudely. He smiled. The small gold cross in his left earlobe glinted in the light of the stained-glass chandelier over our table. His teeth flashed white. My toes curled up tightly inside my flats.
“Bet they serve as a place for her to rest her beer bottle as well,” I snidely said. Gerard nearly choked on his crouton. I reached over to slap his back but he waved me away. Pity really. I wouldn`t have minded getting a feel of a former wide receiver for Pitt`s muscular back.
“You have a wicked mind, Maggie Owens,” the man coughed into his napkin. Dark brown eyes, now slightly watery but nonetheless sigh worthy, moved over me with appreciation.
“I know. My father tells me it’s a wonder he still has his seat in the senate the way my mouth runs,” I rolled another tiny tomato around in my bowl. “Did you hear that the big wigs loved the bit from Tuttlestun Manor? You have some dressing on your face.”
He dabbed and missed. I reached over and wiped at his face, my finger accidently-on-purpose sliding from the napkin to glide over freshly shaved chocolate skin.
“You didn`t spit on that finger did you?” Gerard asked. I wrinkled my nose. “My mother always does that. Why the hell do mother`s spit on themselves then wipe it on your face?”
“At least she doesn`t do it anymore, right?” It would seem rather odd to see a woman spit-cleaning a twenty-six year old man`s face. I refused to allow the thought about putting spit on any other part of my co-workers body to surface.
“Nah, she stopped in my sophomore year at Pitt,” he winked. “I`m glad someone enjoyed that footage. Personally, if I never get that close to a ghost with an ass fetish again I`ll be happy.”
“He did like your ass,” I giggled, ripping a breadstick in half. Gerard scowled and took the offered half gently.
“I hear it`s a fine ass,” he waggled a dark eyebrow and dipped his bread into the residual dressing in his salad bowl. A waiter rushed past carrying a tray.
“You ever plan on letting that go?”
“Not likely. If I recall, Ms. Owens, you not only complimented my ass up in New Hampshire, you also noted my guns and my killer smile.”
“Are all ex-jocks so full of themselves?” I glanced at the clock over the packed bar. “Did you know it`s been thirty minutes since we placed our order?”
“Relax,” Gerard cooed, leaning back in the stout wooden chair to sip his draft. “We`re having fun, right?” he asked over the foamy head of his ale.
“Well, yes, but that`s beside the point. Did they have to go out and slaughter the cow?” I leaned forward to summon our server. Gerard quickly leaned in. Our noses almost bumped. The inside of my thighs grew hot.
“You call that man over and I won`t kiss you goodnight,” he warned then wet his plump lips.
“Did you just make a girly come-hither move at me?” I asked, my mouth watering for another taste of his. It had been nearly a week since we returned from New Hampshire with what I called questionable footage of an apparition. Six days since he had kissed me last was six days too long. I had it bad. I openly admit it.
“It made you forget to bother the waiter,” he said. I could smell the Roquefort on his breath. I suddenly decided I love Roquefort. My cell began to vibrate beside my dinner plate. We both glowered at the phone. I reached for the Nokia. Gerard placed his large dark hand over my smaller pale one to stall me. “Maggie, don`t answer it.”
“What if it`s important?” I asked, my fingers vibrating beneath his. My reply didn`t seem to sway him. “Just let me see who it is. It might be my father,” I tacked on. The man exhaled. His hand left mine and he threw his considerable bulk back into his chair rather petulantly. I peeked at the caller ID. It wasn`t daddy. It was Eddie DeLong, the producer of our show Paranormal Private Investigators.
“Is it your dad?” Gerard asked his thick arms folded over a neatly pressed denim shirt. I must have made a face. His eyes rolled to the log timbers holding up the ceiling. “It`s Eddie, isn`t it? Son of a bitch! Give me that damn phone!” he made a quick grab for the Nokia. I was quicker though and plucked the shaking cell from the table.
“You can`t answer my cell!” I hissed, “I think we both know about that fraternization policy KBNY has.”
“I forgot to read that memo,” Gerard said, eying my hand over my head as if he were pondering making a leap over the table and wrestling me to the ground. The thought had merit but not in the middle of a steak house. Hopefully later some wrestling could occur….or possibly a robust round of naked Twister.
“I`ll send you another email,” I countered, hitting the speak button then placing the phone to my right ear. Gerard tossed his hands into the air then attacked another soft bread stick, ripping it apart with perfect white teeth. I made myself look at the blonde with the big boobs. “Eddie, what the hell do you want?” I snarled into the phone.
“Maggie, don`t get that pissy attitude with me. I just spent the night with my mother-in-law.”
I could picture Eddie pacing his office. He was like a weasel in many regards: Same slim build, same long face and beady eyes, same nervous energy, same nasty attitude when cornered.
“You have my condolences,” I muttered. I had met his wife and her mother at the office Christmas party last year. “In case you forgot I`m off the clock now.”
“Life`s a bitch then you marry one,” he chattered in my ear. “I just got a lead on a hot story. Something about this old legend of a hell dog up in Maine that the yokels have been seeing. This is hot, Maggie. It`s going to be trending, I can feel it. I want you and Gerard on this before anyone else beats us to the punch.”
I looked from the blonde to Gerard. He was chewing his breadstick angrily. I smiled. He stopped chewing and shook his head with sad resignation. I mouthed who it was. He wrinkled his wide nose as if he had just smelled something rotten, which describes Eddie DeLong pretty well. I have to give the weasel – I mean man – his due though. Eddie was the one who tugged me from a copy editing job that had been wasting the skills I had learned at Berkeley. If not for Eddie, I wouldn`t be hosting this show which means I wouldn`t have had the chance to work with Gerard. Gerard and I were proving ourselves, not only to the viewers who would tune in but also to the brass who had wanted to can the series after the original host had been let go. This chance was thanks to Eddie DeLong.
“Maine,” I mulled, leaning back to allow our steaks to be placed in front of us. “Did you find us a room?”
“Two, right in the heart of Foggy Creek. Now stop doing whatever it is you`re doing, find that hulkling you call a cameraman and get your asses up to Maine! Jesus H. Christmas, where the hell is my Mylanta?” he asked while severing the call.
I placed the phone down gently. The steak looked perfectly medium rare. The baked potato topped with sour cream and chives equally as intoxicating. I tossed a fast look at my dinner date. He was not amused. I ran my palms over my black skirt and then raised my hand to flag down the waiter to ask for two take-out containers.
“Just so you know,” Gerard grabbed another breadstick then shook it at me threateningly, “This dinner interruptus does not count as a completed date. You still owe me a steak dinner and a bottle of wine and I plan to collect.”
“You can eat in the van,” I said then tossed back my beer. “And if you`re good, and don`t bitch the whole way to Maine, maybe I`ll let you visit my room and we can have a nightcap.”
His look could have made cinderblock burst into flame. I blinked to cool off my sweaty eyeballs.
“Check!” Gerard shouted.
Click below to go to Tuesday Tales
See you next Tuesday for more of ‘The Foggy Creek Hellhound’!