Bathing Suits

beach blue cruise dry leaves

Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com

“I still can’t understand why you didn’t ask Anita. She loves shopping with you.” Julia tucked her hair behind her ear, checked over her shoulder and backed her Charger out of her mother’s condo driveway.

“I didn’t bring your sister because she would just nod and smile at everything. She wouldn’t tell me the truth. I need unvarnished truth.” Her mother turned the radio down and readjusted the mirror on her side so she could see the traffic behind them from the passenger seat. “You’re about as blunt as they come.”

“Mom, leave the mirrors alone.”

“Stop, you barely use your mirrors anyway.”

They drove toward the mall in silence for a bit. Julia didn’t move the mirror back.

“I need to talk to you about something,” her mother said quietly, eyes forward.

This couldn’t be good. “Why do you suddenly need ‘the unvarnished truth’ about how you look in bathing suits, anyway? This trip with Aunt Mona really has you flustered.”

“As you know, it’s a singles cruise, Julia! Your Aunt insisted, since Dad’s been gone so long and I don’t date. She says I need to get back out there.”

“Gross.”

“Be that as it may, Mona and I will probably be the oldest women on the boat. I haven’t ever been in circumstances like this before in my life. Unmarried and alone, surrounded by men looking for … companionship. I can feel their eyes all over me already.”

“This is just as bad as I thought it would be.”

“Well, too bad. Now I really do need to talk to you about something.”

“Go for it.”

“What happened with you and Todd?”

“Me and Todd?” Oh, Lord. There was no version of this story she wanted to share with her mother.

“Yes, you and my dear friend Ginnie’s only son, Todd. What happened?”

“What did she tell you?”

“Only that you stopped by her home the other day and said some awful things about her Todd. Maligned him! And loudly, out on the front porch.”

Damn it. She knew she should have showed Miss Ginnie the screen shots. “That’s it? That’s all she said?”

“She said you were making up lies about her son. Trying to ruin their relationship. Yelling at her in front of her neighbors. Whatever possessed you?”

“That’s not even close to the whole story.”

“That’s why I’m asking.” Her mother sounded exasperated.

“Didn’t you ask her why?”

“She wouldn’t even talk about it. Hung up on me. One of my oldest friends. Now spill it.”

“Ok. You know how Todd and I kind of hit it off last month at Ricky’s wedding?”

“No. I had no idea.”

“Well, we did. Got talking about the environment and the poor fucking polar bears and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that he actually donates to the Audubon Society.”

“But he’s always been such a right-winger.”

“Right? But, he was singing a different tune that night.”

“And?”

“Well, I ended up giving him my number.”

“That’s it?”

“He didn’t text for two weeks and then he finally sent a ‘Hey’.” At 2am, Julia didn’t add. “We chatted back and forth the whole next day, and then pretty late the next night he sent me a dick pic.”

“A what?” Her mother’s jaw hung open.

“An unsolicited picture of his dick. From his phone to mine.”

“He did not.”

“Oh, yes. Then he had the balls to be shitty about me not enjoying that particular wooing technique.”

“What does that mean?”

Julia parked her Charger about fifteen cars into a row near a Macy’s entrance.

“Guys send pics of their dicks to girls, mom. A lot. And I don’t love it. When I expressed that, he became verbally abusive.”

“Verbally abusive.”

“Yeah.”

“What did he say?”

“Do you want me to just read it to you?”

“Yes.”

Julia pulled her phone out of her purse and brought up her screenshots of his texts.

“So I have shots of our first messaging, just chatting really. Then at 10:30pm he sent ‘what are you wearing’. I said, ‘pajamas’. I was about to go to bed. Then he sent the dick pic. Do you want to see it?”

“God, no!”

“That’s what I thought.”

“So I left him on read for a half hour then sent back ‘Ew’. That’s when he got all pissy.”

“Well, what did he say?”

“And I quote: ‘Typical bitch feminist. Tell them nothing but the stupid shit they want to hear and they still don’t want you. You know what Ms. High and Mighty Julia Scheffield? I don’t want you either. You aren’t rejecting me, I’m rejecting you. Fat slut. I was only talking to you out of pity. And I like your car. Good luck finding a man ever with your fucking mouth. Have fun being a cat lady.’ Then he blocked me!”

“I can’t even tell if you’re serious right now. Is this a joke?”

“No, mom.”

“Well.”

“Yeah. I told you. He’s awful.”

“Yes, I guess he is. But why did you have to involve Ginnie?”

“What?”

“What does poor Ginnie have to do with any of that?”

“She raised him.”

“So?”

“I thought she’d want to know that the man she raised is a disgusting creep.”

“Well, clearly she doesn’t.”

“Yeah, I got that.”

“But what were you hoping to accomplish with all this?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why did you go there at all? What benefit could there possibly be for you?”

“I don’t know. No benefit, I suppose. Just revenge. Shame him?”

“Telling on him to his mother like he’s a child?”

“He was her child. She should have raised a better son.”

“Why should poor Ginnie bear the brunt of your anger towards him? Surely you can’t really think she’s somehow responsible for his actions at this point. He’s a thirty plus year old man.”

“A man that she created.”

“A man with his own free will and a lifetime’s worth of experiences that don’t all involve her. Do you think that I could control your behavior? That I’m somehow an integral part of your every future word and deed?”

“No, of course not.”

“Well, they’re no different.”

“Maybe she could speak to him, change him. Fuck knows I don’t want to, but he needs it.”

“Nothing Ginnie could do or say to him now is going to make him into a boy who doesn’t send girls pictures of his sad and lonely penis.”

“She could try.”

“Just like nothing I do now is going to make you into a girl who doesn’t cuss in conversations with her mother.”

“Sure.” Goddamnit.

“And I will remind you of something I told you a long time ago and then we never have to speak about this again. Don’t give people unsolicited advice unless it’s something that you yourself can fix in thirty seconds.”

“I know about the thirty second rule, mom.”

Her mother popped open her car door and shouldered the strap of her small leather purse. “Try to follow it then, Julia.” She got out and slammed the heavy door shut behind herself.

Julia got out and wordlessly followed her into Macy’s. She smiled at her mother, nodding as she tried on each bathing suit. “They all look lovely, mom. You and Aunt Mona are going to have so much fun.”

Wednesday Check-in – I QUIT CAFFEINE!

Haven’t checked-in in many months! Last month flew by and my favorite holiday –Halloween– got away from me a bit this year. We usually do a lot more activities and have a family theme costume, but life just got in the way this time. One of my dependents found a life size hairdressing head at a secondhand store and bought it for themselves tinAwhen I refused. Now they keep hiding good old Tina throughout the house, seeing how many times they can make scream. It’s terrible. I hate her. Easily the most cursed object in my house. And it’s true, I quit caffeine completely this week with a final switch to decaf tea. Not painless, but done. I’m pretty proud 😀

I’m rereading the Wheel of Time series, again. Sort of. I’m listening to it on audible. Doing it to celebrate the tv show Rafe Judkins is producing for Amazon, which I’m super psyched about. I only have ten chapters of book 1 left and I find listening to it rather than reading it fun but slow. I’ve read book 1 many times (a new reread each time books 8 – 10 came out) and I’m fairly sure I skimmed a ton on most of those. Even with the listening speed turned up to 1.25, I still can’t skim, so I’m getting every word, for better or worse. For October’s movie viewing hubs and I caught up on some horror flicks we hadn’t gotten to yet. The stand out of the bunch was The Witch. Scary shit. We’re watching Watchmen, Stumptown, Preacher, Titans, and of course the last season of Supernatural. Speaking of, I got a model of Baby for Sweetest Day this year. Check out the weapon filled little trunk!

baby2

Maximus the dog is a good boy. He is still hyper at times, but has slowed down to enjoy the finer things in life a bit more and hardly ever bites the heads off squirrels anymore.

Here’s a link to my completed series ~ The Tinseltown Temptress ~ if you need a new read. It is sexy and fun, perfect to take away your fall-is-cold blues!

It’s cold and gray here in Michigan. Snowflakes have flown. Hope it’s gorgeous wherever you are! What are you reading?

Wednesday Check In – Snow Ahead

This is gonna be a fast update. I’m behind on everything and need to work on an outline desperately. My last office lamp got burned up by a power surge when a large branch in my backyard fell. I looked at many different lighting solutions only to be flooded with far lamptoo many choices. Instead of replacing it myself, I asked my family trade-a-gift person for one for Christmas and this is what I got. I’m really happy with it, love the versatility. Now to delegate vacuuming…

Still reading the Harrison paranormal romance. Still no sex :\ Not cool, Kim. Not cool. Finally watched I, Tonya. It was incredible, as expected. Margot Robbie is amazing. Future Man 2 is so good it’s very hard not to binge. The comedic timing is tightly packed and perfect.

Max is good. Did you all see there’s a new dry dog food recall?? Check the list for your dog’s food!

Here’s a link to my completed series ~ The Tinseltown Temptress ~ if you need a new read. I promise prompt sex scene delivery 😀

There’s snow ahead in the forecast, lots of it, and I can’t say I’m excited. We haven’t really had any yet this winter, so everyone keeps saying we need it but that just sounds defeatist to me. Hope it’s gorgeous wherever you are! What are you reading?

 

 

Wednesday Check In – Now Back to Work

These are the cookies my little goblins and I made for friends and family this year. xmas cookiesI spent most of the month of December trying not to eat them and failing miserably. Defending them against the other members of my household was also no easy task. I’m skipping the buckeyes next year. They just didn’t keep their structural integrity long enough to be practical for this sort of thing. As per usual, I got so busy with all the holiday hoopla that my writing schedule suffered terribly. This week has been an attempt to shake all that off and start over.

 I’m about a hundred pages into my first Kim Harrison novel, Black Magic Sanction. It’s great so far. Very fast paced. Still no sex though, so I’m getting impatient. We saw Into the Spiderverse and it was magical and funny with an amazing soundtrack. Only one episode of Timeless left. That second to last one felt so rushed I can only imagine the last one will feel like it’s stuck on FF. Season 2 of Future Man drops in two days, Jan 11, 2019!!! Pretty jacked for that 😀

Maximus remains lovely and only slightly challenging these days. My little one got an max7agility training set for Christmas so he’s gonna get pretty busy with that this spring. We keep trying to introduce more vegetables into his diet but he only has eyes for zucchini ends. He won’t even take other kinds of squash? Such a weirdo.

The painting company is steady, atm. I need to do our new year mass mailing today, so yay to that.

WIP is still ‘CC’ and I’m still rough drafting. I keep getting distracted by tone and a few other elements that should be sequestered to revision time but I’m hoping that I’ll hit some sort of stride at some point and get to my word count without pulling anymore hair out.

Here’s a link to my completed series ~ The Tinseltown Temptress ~ if you’re in the mood for some romantic comedy erotica. And who’s not in THAT mood???

Very cold and light snow blowing around but I did walk Max this morning so today is a good day. Hope it’s gorgeous wherever you are! What are you reading?

 

Wednesday Check In – Alive and Kicking

Hey! Long time, no check in 😀 We decorated for Christmas this week. A big sarcastic yay for having a train in my living room. treeHaving finally launched the last book in my series a lot of the publishing work time has turned back into writing time, which is awesome. I’m waitressing at a new place (farm to table & chef owned) and gone down to part time which my knee is thanking me for. It’s actually given me the greatest horror story idea. I wonder if they’ll let me shoot video there…

I recently reread Heinlein’s Number of the Beast and I still got lost conceptualizing the math. My brother insists that Heinlein himself probably didn’t understand it but it makes me angry I never pursued I higher understanding in that direction. Speaking of time travel, hubs and I are watching Timeless (light spoiler ahead). We just started the second season, in fact Wyatt’s wife just popped back into the picture after he and Lucy did the deed. Excited for all that drama!! I do wish there were more Rufus/Jiya relationship based scenes, but can’t have everything, I guess. Sidenote: I searched Bing (by accident, don’t judge me) to get the spelling for Jiya’s name (actress: Claudia Doumit) and when I pulled up Timeless characters she is not listed AT ALL. I had to go to imdb. Weird, no? We’re also watching Dirk Gently which is pretty friggin awesome and you should watch it right now.

MaxMaximus is a chill man now and loves to cuddle. He’s a sweet, sweet doggie who only occasionally drives me nuts.

Pride Painting is busy, busy, thankfully. So there’s always lots to do there. I recently had to reimage my computer and I’m using a second party app to read and edit XLS files and that’s.. not working very well.

WIP is ‘CC’ and I’m rough drafting atm. No, I won’t even share the full working title at this point. Finished the prologue today. Starting on ch 1 tomorrow. After all the pre-draft work it’s lovely being at this stage finally. What a relief! I’m aiming for a thousand words a day which should have me in first revisions by the end of March by my half-assed estimate.

Here’s a link to my completed series ~ The Tinseltown Temptress ~ if you’re in the mood for some romantic comedy erotica.

It’s barely freezing, gray and windy outside. Not great dog walking weather. Hope it’s gorgeous wherever you are! What are you reading?

 

 

An Excerpt from Book 3 of my NEWLY COMPLETED Tinseltown Temptress Series

from Chapter 1 of  Screwed Over ~

Relieved to have completed the requisite physical activities for her assignment, Cassie couldn’t wait to get out of the costume, shower and sleep forever. But riding down in the elevator she began to worry about all of the little things that can go wrong when an extremely wasted person is left alone. Sure, Dagmar had been fine when Cassie left her snoring away on her stomach, and sure, her unobservant bandmates should have returned from the closed down club hours ago. But she couldn’t think of a single reason (other than walking around barefoot, with crazy hair, no mask on and half a Catwoman costume mostly laced up around her oversexed body) not to put her mind at ease and check on her new friend. Cassie watched the doors open and close again on her floor then she rode back up. As she got closer to the girls’ suite, she could hear the faint, muffled sound of a man’s voice raised in anger. She pressed her ear to the door but couldn’t make out any words. There was definitely a man in there shouting. Stupidly scared that somehow Dagmar had let some asshole breach the security of her room, Cassie pounded on the door like the police.

The man’s voice approached the door and Cassie heard, “. . . that will have to satisfy me until morning then.”

The door swung open three inches, bouncing a bit on the chain, to reveal an angry, red faced MH. Cassie’s jaw dropped. He sputtered for a minute, his mouth having a hard time keeping up with his brain, before saying, “YOU?!?” and slamming the door shut.

Cassie was so shocked to see him she didn’t even react. Running for the stairs might have been prudent. Instead, she just stood there in her bare-ass-feet, mouth hanging open, awaiting whatever was about to befall her. She heard the chain clear the latch. MH whipped the door back open and stood rooted in place, a meter away from Cassie.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, words careful but very slightly slower than normal, anger held tight behind his beautiful, blue-green eyes. He hadn’t shaved in days and Cassie yearned to reach out and stroke the rough stubble that covered much of his face and neck.

“I’m here to check on Dagmar. Is she okay?”

Shaking his head back and forth for a couple of breaths he finally sighed, his shoulders sinking. He leaned back into the room and grabbed a handy trash can, wedging it in the door before joining Cassie in the hall.

“Let me understand. You send me a cryptic fucking text message about my sister needing me, and I rush up here as fast as I fucking can. Silly me, I assumed she’d be awake and you’d still be here to explain what the fuck you were doing spending time with my fucking sister in the first fucking place.”

He waited for her to say something. She didn’t.

He continued, “Only Dagmar is passed out here alone. Has no idea who you are really. She will only say that Selina saved her, is her knight in shining leather. Which I didn’t understand fully until now.”

He looked Cassie up and down, open lust coupled with disgust. Her blood sped up in her veins, the sound of it rushing behind her ears.

“She won’t even consider that you might have been involved, that this was all an elaborate setup to make you look like a hero.”

Cassie felt that one like a knife to her sternum. “Did you tell her that?”

“I suggested it.”

“Why?”

“Maybe you did set all this up just to get to me.” He leaned away from her to see her face better in the sparsely lit hallway. “Did you seriously think I would be stupid enough to fuck you again?”

The brighter light glaring into his face revealed to Cassie just how drunk he was and she cursed her rotten luck at finding him like this.

“Did you think that saving my sister from some unidentified thugs would make me fall harder for you?”

He took a step closer. The veins on his neck bulged out as he clenched his jaw.

Cassie did not want to hear another thing. “Stop.”

“Why?” He mimicked her voice, the way she had sounded asking him the same thing only moments before. “You dressed up like my favorite, Catwoman,” his fingers rose to flick at the mask that she’d rolled up and tied down to her shoulder. “You thought since I’m already hooked you could jerk the line and I would fall totally under your spell. Treacherous snake.”

He took another step closer, and this time Cassie retreated a half step back.

“Look, I didn’t even know you were here, let alone that you like Catwoman. Do you think I have access to your diary or something?”

“Bullshit.”

“You aren’t on a panel and none of your friends on social media have posted anything about this con. Get over yourself.”

“Except Dagmar.”

“What?”

“Dagmar must have posted all sorts of things about coming here. Why are you messing with my family?”

“M, I swear. I did not know either of you were going to be anywhere near this con. I met her by accident. I only got her away from those guys because I was terrified of what I saw going down.”

The muscles in his face relaxed a little. He leaned back out of the light and slouched against the wall.

Cassie went on to drive the point home while he was still interested in listening. “I didn’t know you were here.”

MH swallowed while readjusting his thinking to the idea. The implications of what that meant about Cassie’s true agenda here at the con, namely giving some other celebrity a magic carpet ride, occurred to him seconds later. His eyes narrowed and his hands curled into fists.

“Who are you stalking this time? Or is it just open season?”

“Since Dagmar was able to fill you in on the evening’s activities, I’ll assume she’s well.” Cassie spun on her heel and took two steps toward the elevator.

“Hold on,” he said, using only one giant stride to reach her. He laid both his hands on the wall to either side of her head and leaned down in her face. “Or is your mission a fait d’acompli?”

Cassie couldn’t say a word and cursed her body for responding to his nearness with a rush of lust rather than the detached uncaring pose she wanted to show him. Something in her face must have given her away.

“Already scratched your itch then. Who is the unlucky bastard?” MH leaned in quite close to her, and she wondered if the crazy man was restraining himself from kissing her. “Maybe I could extend him my sympathies in advance of your article. Give him a little heads up before his life implodes.”

She finally found her voice. “Sorry, no advance spoilers without a premium membership. You’ll just have to read my next column.”

“Not good enough, Cassie.”

pre-order on Amazon or Smashwords ~ COMPLETED SERIES

“The Allegheny Spider” – An X-Files episode

river

Photo by Andrew Bertram on Unsplash

This episode is intended to be a monster-of-the-week stand alone for season 11.


COLD OPEN

INT. The DINING AREA of an upscale, tiny, inn-style Bed & Breakfast [INN]. Three of the five tables are occupied. Young newlyweds, YNW1 and YNW2 sit on the same side of one finishing their dessert. A man [PETE] making notes and reading while he eats sits at another. The third has a woman [JEANETTE, 30s, WHITE WOMAN] and man [NATHAN, 40s, WHITE MAN] sitting opposite each other on an obviously uncomfortable date.

 

NATHAN

I can’t understand why you’d take her side here.

 

JEANETTE

I’m not taking anyone’s side, I just think it’s kind of unfair-

 

NATHAN

Sure. She gets all the raises and promotions but I’m the one being unfair.

 

JEANETTE

But you said she laid a lot of the groundwork with the client that-

 

NATHAN

Groundwork isn’t closing, and closing is all that matters.

 

JEANETTE

Look, let’s just drop it. I don’t even know your boss, not like I can really weigh in on the office politics of it all without-

 

NATHAN

You don’t have to know her to believe me when I tell you she slept her way up. How else can you even explain it?

 

JEANETTE

I don’t know. Maybe the board preferred her management style.

 

NATHAN

And maybe you don’t know how the world works, sweet thing.

 

JEANETTE

I know this date is over.

 

JEANETTE backs up her chair and rises to leave.

 

NATHAN

And I know you’re at least twenty pounds heavier than your profile picture.

 

JEANETTE dumps a tumbler of water in his lap and walks through the MAIN ROOM and out. NATHAN storms past the lady innkeeper, [THERESA, 60s, BLACK WOMAN] and her large pet IGUANA and heads upstairs. The camera sweeps around the rest of the ground floor of the small inn filled with objects of distinction and the occasional exotic animal, some alive, some skeletal or taxidermied. A growled shout is heard from upstairs.

 

NATHAN

(offscreen, presumably leaning half out of the bathroom door)

And now, for a wonderful end to my evening, there’s NO HOT WATER! This place is a dump.

 

The door slams and plaster dust sprinkles down onto THERESA’s head. She stands with a less than tolerant smile and buckles a toolbelt she’s taken from inside her desk around her waist. She dons a headlamp flashlight and opens the door leading down into the basement. The camera follows her down to a cobwebby and terrifying old space containing an ancient looking boiler where she starts banging on pipes and turning valves, seemingly at random. A low chittering/scratching [SPIDER NOISE] starts and gets louder as the camera rises through the floors past PETE still working in the DINING AREA, past YNW1 and YNW2 making out in front of the fireplace in their room and up into NATHAN’s room just in time to see NATHAN yanked out through the window by a menacing shadow. He barely has time for a short scream.

 

CUT TO BLACK


 

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