Art and the philosophy of life

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How they met…

“Can I sit at your table?” she asked.


“Because your eyes are yellow and I find that interesting.”

“Yellow?” he said, closing his eyes.  “How about now?”


“Sure, sit down.”

She pulled out a chair, and put her books on the table.  “What are you?”

“A student.  What are you?”

“A reader, worker, writer…you know, lots of things.”

“You’re more interesting than I am.”

“I seriously doubt that,” she laughed, as the waitperson put down her tea.”

“That kind of thing always depends on which side you’re looking from.”

“Excellent point,” she agreed.  “Now tell me what you are?”

“I’m a student, trying on a human body, to study your species in your natural environment.”

“Cool,” she said, taking a sip of tea, burning her mouth and waving at her lips frantically. “Hot, hot, hot.”

He handed her his glass of ice water and she chugged it, capturing an ice cube and pressing it to the most painful part of the roof of her mouth  “Munta?”


“Thanks,” she said, spitting the ice cube into a napkin.  “It’s a little too hot to drink.”

“I gathered that.”

“So, did you just take over someone’s body, or did you make a new, one?”

“New one,” he said.  “I don’t think it’s fair to take over someone else’s mind.”

“Then you’re already better than we are.  Our scientists will do anything they can and never care about who they hurt.”

“I’ve noticed that.”

“Tell me what you think of us.”

“Do you want the truth, or do you want to be pacified.”

“Truth, please,” she said excitedly.

“Your species is self-serving, violent, careless, dangerous, vicious, destructive, selfish, kind, generous, thoughtful, sweet, caring, evil, hateful, mean, funny, talented, semi-skilled, creative and doomed.”

“I thought everything was doomed.”

“Everything is doomed.  But some things are doomed earlier than others.  Then the whole thing starts over again.”

“You mean, WE’LL BE BACK,” she said, in her best Terminator voice.

“Hopefully, with a few changes that will make you less insane.”

“Good luck with that,” she said, sipping her tea cautiously.

“What do you think of your species?” he asked, eating an onion ring and pushing the plate toward her.

She grabbed a ring and said, “I think everything you said was spot on.  But you could add friendly and helpful, at times.  We are hyper emotional, which leads to all the negative things you mentioned.  We are jaded, and a lot of other ugly things, like racist, sexist, and agist.  We care nothing for our own planet and the other living things on it.  Greed is a major flaw.  Power, over others, is another major one.  Compassion is at the very bottom of the list, and even then it only includes humans.  People are cruel, but don’t care.  What’s it like where you’re from?”

“It’s different.   Not necessarily better.  We don’t have violence, or emotions, like you do, but that leads to a flat existence.  Passion doesn’t really exist and without it, the arts die.  Creativity dies.  I can best describe us by saying we are like white static on a TV screen.  We’re too much the same.  As horrible and miserable as your species is, you’re actually alive.  We live, but we aren’t alive, not the way you are.”

“I get it.”

“I’m not sure I want to leave here,” he said, looking away.  “I only have a few more months, then I’m due to return.”

“Stay.  Tell them you have more work to do and you need more time.”

He smiled at her.  “That’s your world.”

She nodded.  “So, you’re not free either.”

“No.  Not really.”

“Want to come to my place?  I’m doing a thousand piece puzzle and I could use the help.”

“I’ve never done a puzzle,” he said.

“It’s how I sometimes turn off the world.”

“I see.”

“You don’t, but you might, when you work on it,” she said.

“What’s your name?”

“Diana.  What’s yours?”

“I’m called X10, but here I’m Bradley.”

“I’ll call you X.”


“If you go home can you write to me?”

He laughed.  “No.  But that’s another thing that’s missing from our species.  Laughter.”

“I wouldn’t want to give that up.”

“I’ll miss it.”

“Maybe you’ll be able to remember it.”

“It’s not allowed.  It would be like an infection that could spread to others.”

“A good infection,” she said, smiling at him.

“No, because laughter can’t be controlled.”

“So you’re living in 1984, just like we are.”

“I read that book in a class I took when I first arrived here.  And, yes, we are living in 1984, just like you are.  Yours is just more colorful and bloody.”

She took his hand and snuggled closer.  “The puzzle is of skeleton bikers, with flames coming out of their eyes, riding over government bad guys who are chained to the ground with thick silver unbreakable chains.”

He smiled at her.  “I can hardly wait.”




How they met…

He sat down in the seat across from her.

“That’s not a good look,” she said, shaking her head, sipping her malt.  “Kind of, end of the world type thing.  Gas masks aren’t really in, at least not right now.”

“I’m from New Year’s Future, here to warn you.”

“Really?  I thought that only happened with Scrooge,” she said.  “Look how thick this malt is.  I can turn the glass upside down and the straw doesn’t even move.”

“I’m what your future looks like.  You should pay attention,” he said.

“Sure,” she said, looking at her phone.  “We’re all gonna die, blah, blah, blah.”

“What’s wrong with you?” he asked.  “I’m trying to warn you of things to come.  One of those things is extinction.”


“Whatever?” he said, horrified.

“Look,” she said.  “I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but PEOPLE DON’T CARE.  They didn’t CARE when all of this started, and they don’t care now.  They won’t even care when they start dying in bunches, when there’s no food, when there’s no water, or other life forms.  What part of that don’t YOU get?  No one is willing to DO ANYTHING to make a difference.  So, we’ll die, and that will be that.  I don’t know what you want me to say.  Even those who do care don’t have any power to actually change anything.  Our government, churches, institutions and corporations made sure of that a long time ago, so we may as well enjoy what we have now and continue our love of immediate gratification while we can.  What else is there?”


“You what?” she laughed.  “You thought you could make a difference?  Thought you could wake people up?  Thought you could get everyone off their couches and out of their chairs?  Get them to turn off their televisions and start them marching in the streets.  Sorry, that’s not going to happen.  We’re going to slide into oblivion and act as if we don’t know what happened, when we knew what was happening all along.  What part of that don’t you get?  Besides, even if we all did try and do something our government would kill us in the street.  Death is big here.  In fact, people would try and steal your look.   You could be on the cover of some high class magazine.  Instead of the heroin look, it would be the end of the world look.  I mean, some people will want to dress for the part, right?”

“You all deserve to die,” he mumbled.

“I know,” she said smiling.  “Logical consequences, right?”

“You’re not afraid?”

“Of what?”

“The end of everything?”

“We’re all kind of dead already, can’t you see that?  They teach that kind of thing in schools and churches.  They kill you before you even get started.  Feed you lies and make up insane laws and rules that no one follows.  What’s to be afraid of?  We were brainwashed to believe that we are powerless, even though there are billions of us, and six of them.  Kind of impossible to convince people they have all the power and have been divided to weaken that power base on purpose.  This malt is delicious.  Want one?  Or can’t you swallow with that thing on?”

“Strawberry,” he said.

She turned and raised her arm.  “Hey, Markie, a strawberry malt for the guy in the end of the world outfit.”

“Thanks,” he said.

“No problem.”

“So you’re just going to accept your fate?”

“As opposed to????”

“What about future generations?” he asked.

“You do know how babies are made, don’t you?  If everyone is dead, no one will be here to make future generations.”

“Just like that?” he asked.

“Just like that.”

“How can you be so flippant about the end of everything?” he asked, as his malt was placed in front of him.

“Is there a special way to act when faced with the end of things?  I’m not into moaning, groaning and wringing my hands, I’m more the, stand in front of the bad guys and scream at them, kind of person.”

“I see.”

“I doubt it.  If you saw, you wouldn’t have wasted your time coming here to warn us.”

“So, it’s hopeless?” he asked.

“Pretty much.  I suppose there could be a catastrophic event that would change things, but I doubt it.  As long as the few make the rules for the many, there’s no hope at all, because the many just do as they’re told.  Sheep.  Baaaaa.”

“Wow.  I didn’t expect this level of…”

“Of what?  Of emptiness?  Jadedness?  Um…”

“I’m going with acceptance.”

“Then you weren’t briefed properly,” she laughed.  “You are in the land of the blind and walking dead, my friend.”

“This malt really is good.”

“Told you.”

“So there’s nothing I can do?”

“Nope.  There never was.  Everything has been leading up to this point.  It’s just playing out.  A  kind of, get what we deserve moment.”

“So, how am I alive?” he said, sucking on his straw.

“Maybe an alien species came here and dug up our bones, or dusted them off, and you were cloned from the the DNA inside those bones.  Or,” she said, getting into the subject,  “a couple of us may have survived, and we started over, OR, you just think you’re alive, but you’re really just a hologram of some sort.  Or…”

“I’m not from earth,” he said.

“You might think you aren’t, but you seem like one of us.”

“I don’t want to be one of you.”

She shrugged.  “I can’t blame you, but that’s not really up to either one of us, at the moment..  You are what you are.  If you’re one of us, you will certainly do this whole thing again, here, or somewhere else.  It’s what we are.  The Destroyers.  We need t-shirts with that on the front.”

“You scare me.”


“I’m not sure.  You seem to…”

“To, what?”

“Ignore reality.”

She started laughing.  “Oh, Sweetie, this IS reality.”

“I should probably get back.”

“Okay.  Nice meeting you.”

“You too,” he said.  “I’m sorry that you’re all idiots.”

“So am I,” she sighed.  “It’s just how we were made and conditioned..”

“I guess,” he said.  “I’m glad you can laugh about it.”

“Crying is stupid and it doesn’t change anything..  But thanks for stopping by.”

He nodded.  “Thanks for the malt.”

“Any time,” she said.  “But if you want another one, don’t stay away too long, or we might be gone.”

He made a small groaning noise, and disappeared.

“Who was that guy?” asked Markie.  “He seemed a little over the edge.”

“He was just talking about the end of the world.”

“Oh, that.  Hey, you want to catch a movie later?”

“Sure, why not,” she said.  “In the movies, the humans always win.”







How they met…very short story.

Couple, Snow, Winter, Artwork, Cold

“I’m so sorry,” he said.

“It’s okay.”

He dusted the snow off the book he had knocked out of her hand and gave it to her.  “I read that last month.  How do you like it?”

“I don’t,” she admitted.  “It’s tedious.  Slow and boring.”

“I felt the same way.  I barely made it to the end.  Actually, I skipped whole chapters.”

She smiled. “So many authors write one amazing book, or series, and then nothing else I want to read.”

“Happens all the time.”

“The book they are touting as the best book of the year…isn’t,” she said.  “At least not to me.  I read it and I don’t know what the fuss is all about.”

“Can I buy you coffee, hot chocolate, or tea, at the cafe across the street?  To make up for getting the cover of your book wet?  I’d really like that. We could talk about books.”

She hesitated, then nodded.

They crossed the street, and drank coffee until the cafe was closing.  They both left with lists of books they were going to read and discuss when they met again next week.

Sometimes, on a snowy winter day, in the middle of December, an unexpected gift may just walk into your life.  It happens more often than you think.



How they met…

“Can I help you?” he asked.

“Help me what?”

“Uh.  I just thought…”

“Thought what?”

“You’ve been sitting her for twenty minutes and I thought you might want a drink.”

“Do I look thirsty to you?” she snapped.

“Yes,” he said. “You do,”

She started laughing.  “I didn’t expect that.”

“You look kind of hardcore.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means you’re beautiful, but scary.  Scary in a good way, of course..”

She looked away and grunted.

“Water, tea, hot chocolate? A shot of something?”

“We’re in a tunnel.  Where would you get anything to drink?”

“Uh,” he said, looking around. “I admit, that could be tricky.”

“What do you WANT?”



“You’re the most interesting looking person I’ve ever seen.  I think you could probably rip out my throat with one hand, but I’m willing to chance it, if that’s what it takes to get to know you.”

“It’s not PC to start with beautiful.  Women want to be attractive because of their intelligence and…”

“You’re right.  My bad,” he said.  “Have you?”

“Have I what?”

“Ripped out anyone’s throat?”

“Not in the past few days,” she said, longingly.  “And I’m kind of missing it.”

He smiled.  “I’m sure you are.”

“What’s your deal?” she asked.

“Just wondering who, or what, you’re waiting for.  Hoping it might be…me.”

“Let me save you some time.  It’s definitely not you.”

“Okay, I’m not gonna pretend that didn’t hurt a little.”

“Have you ever ripped anyone’s throat out?” she asked.

“I’ve thought about it.  But, no.  Not really,” he said.  “Do you like muffins or donuts?”

“Donuts.  You?”


“Double chocolate.”



“You’d be surprised,” he said, smirking at her.

She laughed again. “You’re funny.”

“I’m a lot of things,” he said, softly.  “If you want to know what those other things are, you’ll have to get to know me better.”

“Does that line work for you?”

He shrugged.  “Never tried it before.”

A frantic looking woman ran toward them.  “Forgive me,” she said, grabbing her hand. “The cab got into an accident and I couldn’t get away before the cops got there.  I’m so sorry.  I’ll owe you two.  Accidents happen.”

“It’s okay,” she said, accepting the small bag, slipping into her pocket. “Don’t worry about it.  No one needs to know.”

The woman visibly relaxed.  “Thank you,” she said, gratefully.  “Thank you.”

She pulled out a hundred dollar bill and gave it to the woman.  “Relax.  Get something to eat and take a couple days off.   I’ll be in touch.”

The woman bowed slightly, took the money and walked away.

“You want to explain who she is and what she just gave to you?” he asked.

“You can’t possibly be that stupid,” she said disgustedly.

“If only that were true,” he sighed.

She started walking toward the exit.

“Oh, god, don’t go,” he said, panic in his voice.  “This is one of those moments that may never come again.  The one you rethink your entire life.  When your mind screams, WHY DID YOU LET HER WALK AWAY?”

“Let me?”

“No, no, I mean how could I not tell you to stay.”

She sighed.  “I’m not from around here.”

“Not important,” he said.

“It’s more important than you think,” she snickered,  holding up her hand, showing him her needle sharp claws.

“Um.  What are you?,” he whispered.

“Nothing you’ve ever seen before,” she growled.  “Still want me to stay?”

He looked at her, and said, “Yes. Please stay.”

She stared at him, through golden eyes, and slowly vanished from sight.




Photo:  Bjorn Pierre



Neon…How they met.

“What do you think that means,” he asked the woman next to him.

“Beast me,” she said, looking at the neon sign.

“Maybe it means you can’t be asleep or you’ll never find love.”

“Maybe,” she said.  “But I don’t think so.  People should stop looking for something that might not exist.  Lust might be real, but no one knows what love is, besides a word in the dictionary.”

“You’re a cynic?”

“No.  Just not a romantic.

“Ah.  That’s actually refreshing.  I don’t like the romantic thing either.”

“It’s kind of a waste of time and it never seems real.  I’d rather go to a bookstore, have a cup of coffee, and talk about whatever we’re both reading.”

“Me too.”

“Life’s short.  Some of my friends friends like to be swept off their feet, but that’s just not me.”

“My name is Eddy.”


“Nice to meet you.”

“Same here,” she said.

“So you don’t know what the sign means?”

“Could mean we should open our eyes because love is all around us, or in front of us.”

“I suppose.”

“So many signs don’t make any sense.”

“It’s starting to rain.  Do you want to continue our conversation in the bookstore across the street?  They have great coffee.”

“Sure why not,” she said.  “What are you reading?”



Photo:  Samuel Regan-Asante

How they met…

“Wow, you really like urban fantasy,” he said, looking at the books in her arms.

“Are you staring at my titles?” she asked, shocked.

“Oh, sorry.  Is that a political faux pax?”

“Books are personal,” she said, clutching them tighter.

“We’re in a bookstore.  People who read, kind of like to know what other people like to read as well.  You can look at my titles, if you like.  I don’t mind.”

“No thanks,” she said, turning round.

“Most of my titles are the same as yours.”

“I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.”

He burst out laughing.  “Did you mom tell you that?”

“No, the cop I’m married to said it.  Look.  What’s your deal?”

“Uh,” he said.  “We’re standing in line and I looked at your books.  That’s the entire deal.”

“Okay, then.,” she said.  “Let’s just see who can be quiet the longest, shall we?”

He chucked.  “What grade do you teach?”

“The one above whatever grade you’re in,” she said.

“I’m not doing well, am I?” he asked, miserably.

“Look, Sweetie, I told your sister I would help you learn how to talk to girls, but I can see that we need to start with the basics.”

“I’d like to look at his titles,” said the good looking guy behind him.

Brian grinned, and turned around.  “Thanks Sally,” he said.  “But I can handle this part by myself.”

“You sure?”

He nodded.  “Not a problem.”

She put her arms around him and whispered into his hear.  “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You were so sweet, offering to help me, I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”

She looked at the guy behind him.  “What’s your name?”


“Dave what?”

“Dave Turner.”

“You hurt him and I’ll rip your throat out.  Your entire throat.   Got it?  Now hold still so I can take your picture.”

Sally, you’re embarrassing me,” said Brian, obviously horrified.

“It’s okay,” said David, looking into the camera.  “She’s just watching out for you.”

“Okay, go get some coffee.  Give me your books.  I’ll buy them and drop them off at your place.”

“Thanks,” he said, piling his books on top of hers.”

“That was nice of you,” said the next man in line.


“I like the way you threatened to rip his throat out.”

“Well, I try to be a good guardian.”

“I think you would do it.”

“If there was any doubt, I must be losing my touch.”

She head him snicker, as she walked up to the check-out desk.








How they met…

Lighted Wall Sconces

“That’s true,” she said.  “The best slaves are the ones who don’t realize they’re slaves.”

“Definitely,” he agreed.

“Why did you come on this tour?”

“Seemed interesting, and I like graffiti.  Why are you here?”

“Same reasons, I guess.  Are you an artist?”

He laughed.  “I wish.”

She nodded.  “You should try it.  It’s a way to get your message out.”

“Have you done it?”

“The streets belong to the people.  Advertising isn’t against the law because it’s about money.  Street art is about freedom, so it’s a crime.”

“Advertising is ugly and visually intrusive,” he said.

“It is.”

“Uh,  it seems the tour has moved on without us,” he said, looking around.

“That’s okay.  This statement is important.  I like spending time with it.”

“Do you want to try and catch up with them?” he asked.  “I think I can still hear them talking.”

“No,” she said.  “I’m going back up.”

“Well, it was nice meeting you,” he said.  “Maybe we’ll see each other on another tour sometime.”

“Maybe, she said.  “You better hurry, or you won’t find them.”

He smiled and took off at a run.

She watched him go, grabbed the can of spray paint out of her bag, and added her tag to the wall.




Photo:  Kenneth Carpina


How they met…

man face

“You’re really pretty,” she said.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“My mom said that sometimes life is harder for pretty people.”

“Maybe it is, sometimes,” he agreed.

“She said people can love you for your looks and not for who you are.”

“I suppose that’s true.”

“My mom is really pretty too, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my mom.”

“I believe you,” he said smiling.

“What’s your name?”

“Todd.  What’s yours?”

Her shoulders drooped.  “Do I have to tell you?”

“No.  Of course not,” he said, quickly.   “But, realistically, how bad can it be?”

“Pretty bad.  Especially when you’re almost seven.”

“Maybe you should use a nickname.”

“I do.  It’s Kat.”

“That’s nice.  I like it.”

“My real name is Revenge,” she sighed, loudly


She nodded.  “My mom said that way, no one will ever bother me because they’ll be terrified that I’ll go after them if they do anything I don’t like.  She’s right, you know.  A boy in school took my jumprope but he gave it back when I stared at him and seemed to grow in size, like a Halloween cat.  He dropped it and ran away.”

“Understandable,” he said, smiling.

“My mom said females have to set boundaries right away, so that’s what I did.  Is it hard being as pretty as you are?”

“No.  Not at all,” he laughed. “But you’ll know all about that when you get a little older.  You’re beautiful already”

“No,” she said, tilting her head to one side.  “I think I’m about average.”

“You’re far from average.  Believe me.  I know about these things.”

“Well, thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Are you a good person?” she asked, looking into his eyes.

He thought for a moment and said, “I think so.  At least I try to be.”

She nodded.  “It’s not always easy to be a good person, especially when no one can tell you what a good person is.”

“THAT is so true,” he said.  “We really don’t know what being a good person means.”

“Do you like cats?”

“Yes.  I have a cat named Blondie.  She’s pitch black.”

“I have a kitten named Meepers.  She’s named after a hamster my mom had when she was a kid.”

“That’s a good name for a kitten,” he said.

“Are you going to be a movie star?”

“Never crossed my mind,” he said, chuckling.  “Not even for a minute.”

“I bet you’d be a great one and you wouldn’t even have to do anything.  You could just sit there and people would love you, because you’re so pretty.”

“Well, it’s good to know what type of people you’re interested in.  When you grow up, you can look for someone who looks like me.”

“I think all the girls will want someone who looks like you, and that would be too much stress for me.  I mean Britney likes William, but all the girls, except for me that is, like William, and she’s always afraid he’ll like some one else.  He has a lot of choices, you see.”

“Why don’t you like him?”

She shrugged.  “I think he’s mean and he’s not cute, even a little.”  She made a gagging face.  “Know what I’m saying?”

He smiled.  “I do, and I think you are going to have a great life.”

“Do you have a great life?”

He leaned against the brick wall and took a drag off his cigarette.  “Sometimes.”

“Are you in love with someone?”

He took another moment, then said,   “No.  I’m not.  But, if you want to see a beautiful person be real quiet and turn around.  Look at her.  Beauty, confidence and strength, all rolled up into one person.”

She turned around and stared.  Then she waved.  “Hi mom,” she shouted.

The woman changed directions and started walking toward them.

“Revenge, darling, who is this man?”

“His name is Todd and I really like him.  He’s nice and even though he’s pretty, he’s not  at all conceited.  He has a cat named Blondie.  She’s pitch black.”

“Of course she is,” she said.  “My name is Lacy.  I see you’ve already met my daughter.”

“I have.  She’s very intelligent and has a great attitude.”

“She’s also an excellent judge of character, even though I tell her every single day, not to talk to strangers.”

“He’s not strange at all, Mom.  “He nice.”

He looked down and tried not to laugh.

“Did she invite you to dinner?”

“I didn’t have time,” said Revenge, looking at him.  “Sorry.  I forgot my manners.”

He bent down.  “You have nothing to be sorry for.  You don’t even know me,” he said.  “Don’t ever invite a stranger into your home.  It’s far too dangerous.”

“It’s just dinner,” said Lacy.  “It’s not a big deal.  Besides I have a gun, and I know how to use it.  So, if you’re not on your way somewhere,  we’re having vegetarian chili mac and salad.”

“And ice cream,” said Revenge.

“And Ice cream,” said Lacy.

He smiled.  “I’d love to join you for dinner.  Thank you.”

“It’s this way,” said Lacy, letting him take the bags from her hands.  “You’re really pretty,” she chuckled.

“So are you,” he whispered.

“I’m just average,” she said, watching Revenge do a cartwheel.

“Not even close,” he muttered.

“We’ll have cookies too,” said Revenge, skipping up to them.

He turned to Lacy.  “What kind of cookies?”

“Chocolate chip and Oreo’s, what else?”

“Perfect,” he said.




Picture:  Austin Wade








How they met…

“Can I help you?” he asked.

She held up a thin flattened yellow cardboard box.  “I hope so.  I want lightbulbs.  Regular lightbulbs, not weird ones, just old fashioned bulbs, like these,” she said, shoving the box toward him.

“I know exactly what you mean.  I don’t like those white, glaring things either.”

“Brutal.  They make everything looks horrible and cold.”

“Okay,” he said, leading her to another aisle.  “They should be right here,
he muttered, bending down, moving boxes around.  “What watt?”

“One hundred, soft white, please.”

“Ah, there are two boxes, with four bulbs each,” he said, standing up and handing them to her.

“Thank you very much.  You’ve been wonderful.  Can I talk to your boss, or fill out an employee thank you card or something?”

“Oh, I don’t work here,” he said.

“Excuse me?”

“You just looked like you needed help, that’s all.”


“Yes.  I just stopped in to get cat food.”

“I’m sooooo sorry,” she said, looking at the floor.  “Really.  I just thought…”

“Not a problem.”

“What’s your cat’s name?”

“Lynn,” he said.

“Why didn’t you just tell me you didn’t work here?”

“You needed help, I knew where the bulbs were, because I just bought some the other day, and,” he said, “I though maybe we could get coffee sometime.”

“There’s a coffee bar in the front of the store.  My treat,” she said.  “Think of it as apology brew, as well as a nice meeting you cup.”

“I can do that,” he said.

“Tell me about your cat,” she said as they started walking toward the aroma of ground beans..


How they met…

man in black hoodie with black beard

“Okay,” she snapped, turning around. “What’s your deal?  Why are you following me?”

“You could hear me?” he asked, surprised.

“Did you think you were quiet?  And Halloween isn’t until October, Mr. Half Undressed, Hooded Cloak Man.”

“Why aren’t you running away?”

She put her foot forward.  “Four in heels.  I don’t think I’d get very far, and if I kicked my shoes off, I’d be out three hundred dollars.”

“You paid three hundred dollars for those shoes?  They’re a few straps and a heel.”

She looked at her foot.  “Yes, but they’re PRETTY.  Now.  What are you supposed to be?”

“It’s more like what I am.”

“Okay, I’ll bite, what are you?”

“That’s pretty funny,” he chuckled.  “You’ll bite.”

“So happy you’re amused.  Now, before I stun gun and pepper spray you, just tell me what you are, and get it over with, my feet are killing me.”

“Fine,” he said.  “I’m a vampire.”

“Sure you are,” she sighed.  “Look, if you don’t want to tell me then don’t, but I’m going to go home.  It’s been a long day.”

“No, I really am a vampire,” he said quickly.  “I’m an undead.”

“Show me your fangs.”

“Uh, can you give me a minute?”

“Why?” she asked. “Can’t you just fang out?”

“Well, yes, usually.  But you’re not acting like normal prey and that’s stressing me out.”

“So, what you’re saying is that you’re a dysfunctional vampire and it’s MY fault.”

“NO!  That’s not what I’m saying at all!”

“Well, I haven’t got all night, so maybe I’ll see you some other time,” she said, turning to go.”

He was standing in front of her, smiling.

“Cute.  Now get out of my way.”

“Did you see what I just did?”

“Yes.  You’re fast, I’ll give you that.”

He showed her his fangs.

“How did you get your dentist to do that.”

He rolled his eyes.  “Look at me.  I AM A VAMPIRE.”

“You’re kind of cute,” she muttered, checking him out.

“Oh my god,” he said, putting his hands over his face.

She had the wooden stake pressing against his chest before he knew it.

“I,” she said, “am a vampire hunter.”

“Are you going to kill me,” he asked, grinning at her.

“I’m thinking about it.”

“It would be a close fight.  I know how strong you are.  But just so you know…I’m stronger,” he said, brushing her bangs to the side, with his fingertips.  “I can think of other things we could do that would be…a lot more fun.”

“You mean get donuts?”

He laughed out loud.  “Not exactly what I hand in mind, but sure, why not donuts.”

“I’ve never let anyone go before,” she whispered, touching his lips.

“Neither have I .”

“Too bad we didn’t meet before you changed,” she said.

“I’m not that different from the person I used to be.  I have a cat and a plant.”

She leaned against him and felt his fangs rub against her neck.  He felt the tip of her stake pierce the skin on his chest.

“What are we doing?” she mumbled.

“I think we’re falling in love.”

“That’s…not possible.”

“I don’t think it matters whether or not it’s possible.  It’s happening anyway.” he said, nibbling on her shoulder.

“We’re supposed to be enemies.”

“I know,” he sighed.  “But rules are meant to be broken, aren’t they?”

“That’s a good point,” she said, listening for a heart beat that wasn’t there and never would be.

“Can I walk you home?”

“Sure,” she said.

“Can I hold your hand?” he asked, softly.

She didn’t answer, she just slipped her hand into his and smiled.





Photo:  Sammy Williams


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