Thursday, September 28, 2023

Harpy (Part 2 of 2 Parts) blog post #621

 Image Courtesy of PNG Wing:


So lawyer Johnson Lamely lives in a hellhole, does he? In his own mind that’s what his wife, whom he calls Hell Cat Helen, has made his life. She’s more ambitious than he is, and under her prodding, he’s become successful. Now he wants to take it easy. But she won’t let him.


Let’s see what happens next. What that though he had at the end of last week’s segment was. Here goes.



My own thoughts curdled my blood. This was contrary to everything I believed, everything I had practiced for a lifetime. Unthinkable. I tried to put them to rest.

Then came the clincher. She pressured Helen Jr., who wasn’t handling our divorce very well in the first place, to move out of the dorm and come live with her mother… by now she had our commodious home all to herself. I was relegated to an apartment. Little Helen—who was and always would be Beanie to me—was at a vulnerable age. A sensitive young woman who was a freshman in college, she’d be an easy mark for Hell Cat. My wife would poison my daughter’s mind and turn her against me forever. Beanie had a mind of her own, but she also had a vulnerability about her that would make the filth her mother would feed her like a slow-acting poison. She’d spend the rest of her life agonizing over how she’d end up feeling about her father. I couldn’t let that happen.

Ergo, my thoughts of yesterday returned. Almost without thinking, I began the process of implementing a plan I didn’t have the courage to name. I started by reaching out to Hell Cat and making conciliatory moves. I didn’t want the divorce consummated. I wanted back in the house. Had to be for this to work.

By offering financial considerations, I got my wife to agree. Actually, I don’t believe my concessions had anything to do with it. I think Helen just wanted me back under her thumb. Her cruelty would be more effective that way.

Once I returned to the house—in a separate bedroom, of course—I began researching my project. I needed a poison that was so unusual it wouldn’t be spotted in a routine autopsy, should one take place. Slow acting or fast? That needed consideration, as well.

So I began my research and quickly settled on two options. Thallium and carbon monoxide. Thallium was a heavy metal by-product of lead and zinc mining. Once used in insecticides, it had been outlawed for that use because of the ease with which accidents could occur. The most common method of introduction was by ingestion; however, it can also kill as airborne matter or even by application to the skin. It was also difficult to identify post-mortem.

Carbon monoxide was a quicker, and possibly safer way. I had an old kerosene heater I used occasionally for camping that I could most likely rig up to do the job. But carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer, and I wasn’t sure that was what I wanted. Hell Cat Helen simply going to sleep and failing to wake up just didn’t seem like justice to me.

Thallium, on the other hand, produced severe gastronomic pains, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, delusions, and all kinds of awful things. Sounded more like proper retribution to me. With some artful slight-of-hand, something that came easily to lawyers, I should be able to acquire some Thallium sulfate, an odorless, tasteless white powder.

My decision made, I set up an anonymous false persona and ordered the powder—not cheap—but certainly less expensive than half my entire estate. Then I made nice with Helen while I waited for my order to be filled.

For ten days, I was kind and considerate to my harpy wife, all the while seeing her as that half-woman, half-vulture creature of myth. I think she even began to buy into my act. I got a pleasant smile or two during that time.

At last, the thallium sulfate arrived at the mailbox I’d rented solely for this occasion. I was so careful, I even wore thin gloves anytime I touched its metal face. Once I had the bottle safely in hand, I carefully hid it behind some cans of oil in the garage. Being cautious, I also had some Prussian Blue pills, the known antidote for thallium poisoning. After all, while handling the powder, I might inadvertently get some on my hands.

The means in hand, now was the time to plan the deed. This evening, we were going to an office function, and tomorrow Hell Cat was to attend a baby shower for a friend. Saturday, we were having a backyard barbecue at the house. That was it… the perfect time.

I suffered through the rest of an agonizingly slow week made bearable by imagining the pain and suffering I intended to pay back to my wife of twenty-odd years. Never once did I experience a doubt, a pang of remorse, a weakening of my will. Conversely, I looked forward to the event. To my harpy wife’s hours of impending suffering and agonizing death.

Friday night, our dinner out with friends was suddenly cancelled, although I wasn’t certain why. Helen condescended to whip up something to eat, and I briefly considered moving my plan forward. Beanie was spending the weekend on campus with friends, and the idea was tempting. Nonetheless, I demurred, deciding to stick to my original plan.

After the light meal of oyster stew, I claimed my easy chair to leisurely read the evening paper. I had almost finished Tribune when Hell Cat Helen let out a groan.

“What?” I asked, impatient at being disconcerted while reading the latest “Blondie” strip.

She looked up from her knitting and clutched her stomach. “I think the oysters might have been bad. I have a stomachache.”

Nothing like the one you’re going to have tomorrow.

Nonsense, I don’t feel upset. Go take a pill.”

“Oh,” she gasped. “That one hurt.”

“Go have a BM or something,” I said, rattling my paper in impatience.

Things got worse, and I considered calling the doctor. But her experiencing a few additional hours of discomfort was okay with me.

Finally, she stood, dumping her knitting on the floor. “This… this is getting unbearable. Are you sure you don’t feel anything?”

“No,” I snapped. “Not a thing. Stop being such a baby. You always were—” A pang seized me, drawing an agonized groan.

“You too?” she gasped, dropping back into her chair.

Then they started for real. I broke into a sweat. Feverish, I rushed to the bathroom and lost my supper. That provided no relief. Weak, I staggered back to my chair. “Maybe we should call the doctor,” I managed to squeeze through my constricted throat.

Helen wiped a hand across her face. “I… I’m feeling a bit better. Maybe it’s a passing thing. Let’s wait a bit before we panic.”

But waiting did no good. I remained hot. Feverish and nauseous, and cramped. Feverish? Nauseous? Cramped. Then I felt it in my bowels. Diarrhea was on its way.

Stunned, I stared at my wife, who stood with a half-smile on her lips. Comprehension dawned. She’d been faking. She’d found my thallium.

The grin became a full-fledged smile. “That’s right. I found your stash of poison. How long had you been planning this. Oh, I see now. That’s why you moved back into the house. I knew it had to be something. You haven’t been nice to me in years. You’re so transparent, Johnson. I don’t know how you won any of your cases.

“You… you poisoned… me?”

“Just like you intended to poison me, sweetheart. But I’m smarter than you. Always have been. I’m why you were such a success, you know. Without me to push you, you’d have been a third-rate hack. I spread that little white powder right into the oyster stew. They were right, you know. Tasteless, odorless. But I wish you’d gotten some sort of a pill. I got that white powder all over my hands. But it washes off, doesn’t it. Oh, and don’t think of rushing to get the Prussian Blue pills. I put them down the kitchen drain.”

“A… all of them?”

“Every last one, Darling. Every last one.” Hell Cat Helen frowned. “Why… why are you smiling, Johnson.”

I looked at her through my pain. Already I could feel my mind slipping away from reality. But I held onto one thought. That little white powder was going to get her too. Might take longer because it had to be absorbed through the skin. But it would get her.

Then I laughed. Laughed through my pain. Screeched, really, chortling and giggling despite the horrible contractions rippling through my body. At some point I found myself on the rug, making unintelligible sounds that were neither laughter nor screeches.

Somewhere along the line—before I lost all reason—she was there beside me, her body twitching and jerking… just like mine.


Birds of a feather, I say.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Harpy (Part 1 of 2 Parts) blog post #619

 Image Courtesy of PNG Wing:


So at the end of our last story, it turned out that rape wasn’t rape, at all. It was merely fun and games. Make sure you know the difference, guys.


This week, another short story. Here goes.




My wife is a harpy, a shrew, harridan, nag… they all fit her personality. Privately, I refer to her as Hell Cat Helen. Don’t get me wrong. Visually, she’s a vision. Honey-gold hair with a hint of red. Hazel irises that sparkle. Clara Bow mouth. All the accoutrements that perfectly describe the ideal public wife. And that’s what she is, the perfect public wife but a lousy private one.

That, in fact, is likely why I married her. We met in college when the ambition to be a successful lawyer held Johnson Lamely—that’s me—firmly in its grip. I distinctly remember thinking she would make an ideal corporate wife the first time I met her in a sophomore economics class. And looking back on it, I believe my naked ambition was what drew her to me. Whatever it was, we were going steady before the semester was over, engaged by our junior year, and married in our senior. All our friends—we gravitated toward others with raging ambition—said we were the perfect couple.

In the twenty years since then, that has been proven true… in the corporate sense. And if I’m honest, our personal life was decent—if not good—for the first ten years. We began to have meaningful differences when it came to educating our children. Helen, whose high goals never wavered, wanted them in private schools. I, who was living in the business world and seeing it for the sham it can sometimes be, wanted them to attend public schools, at least in their pre-college careers. I saw the value of moving in the normal world. She disdained the common.

Both our son and daughter were bright kids and excelled early. I successfully held out for the public schools until high school, and then succumbed to her wishes by sending them to the most expensive private academy, one—I must admit—with a superb reputation that did well for both of them.

Disagreements over the kids were just the tip of the iceberg. I was able to handle things until I made senior partner in our prestigious law firm. That’s when she started plotting my professional life. I liked being a successful attorney, welcome in the courtrooms, the boardrooms, the country club, and the exclusive Petroleum Club. But the ambition lamp was beginning to dim. Not much, but a tad.

Even so, I allowed her to cajole me into running for a seat in the state legislature, which I easily won. Without bragging, it was safe to say I was a popular fellow who spoke well and was comfortable in both public and private settings. I did back-to-back two-year terms and decided I’d had enough.

But Hell Cat Helen was already dropping hints I was running for the state senate. Woe be to me, I allowed her to bully me into successfully running for that branch of the legislature. One four-year term was enough. Helping run a large law firm and helping run a state took more energy than I was willing to give. My kids were old enough now to need more of my attention. And Helen certainly didn’t attend them. She was too busy volunteering for this and going to that.


The years passed without either of us bothering to do anything definitive about our situation. Like a host of others, we just floated with the tide, made do with the status quo by means of frequent grudging compromises. Until last year.

I’m not certain when or why I began to suspect Helen was having an affair. It could have been going on for years, of course, as I was so disinterested in our life together. Nonetheless, when the suspicions came, I reacted strongly… at least internally. How could she betray me with another man? Through all the hell of the past twenty years I’d never touched another woman. Not out of personal fealty, but in a sense of right and wrong for the institution of marriage.

As a result of my suspicions, I took up with another woman, a friend of a secretary in our office. Very quickly, I learned that I liked this sort of long-distance arrangement. She went her way; I went mine. Pleasant.

Of course, Helen found out about my affair and exploded. Never mind that she had a torrid arrangement with one of the trainers in her pricy gym class. Good-looking, buff son-of-a-bitch, I must admit. However, my “side” was no slouch either. Pretty, slender, tennis-court athletic.

All of those sorts of things, we more or less handled without too much animosity, but when Jonson Jr. wanted to take the summer off and wander Europe for a few months, we had a serious parting of the ways. Helen put her foot down and said a loud, resounding no. What with terrorists wandering all over the place and Americans unwelcome in so many countries, this was no time to leave the borders of the good old US of A.

I, on the other hand, thought it would be an excellent learning experience. Not only would he be exposed to different cultures, he’d have to learn to judge his fellow man lest he find himself in hot water.

“Too young for that!”

“Perfect time to learn it. Serve him well as a lawyer.”

“He’s not going to be a lawyer.”

“He’ll decide that.”

And so it went. Except I could see this blow up exposed a darker side to my wife. And with that realization, I’d had enough. The end. Finis. Divorce time.

Except… I didn’t want that bitch to get half of everything I’d worked so hard to accumulate. That was for my kids when the time came, not so Helen could live like a queen bee to spread stories about her philandering ex-husband to the world. And she’d do exactly that.

So I made my move and filed the papers, offering a settlement I felt was reasonable… generous, in fact. Her attorney, a fellow I’d crossed swords with several times over the years, came back with a counter. We went at it hammer and tongs for six months before taking the case to the court. I knew what that meant… split right straight down the middle. Not acceptable. I tried every trick I new as an attorney, but her legal beagle countered every one.

I needed to do something… but what? The idea that came to mind stunned me.


So Johnson’s in a pickle. Wonder if he goes by Jon to familiars? Depends upon how strait-laced he is, I guess. Now Johnson Jr. undoubtedly uses the familiar. But the old man… who knows?

 And what is that weird solution to his problem that stunned him? We’ll find out next week.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 


Thursday, September 14, 2023

Fun and Games (Part 2 of 2 Parts) blog post #619

 Image Courtesy of Freepik:


If I recall correctly, we ended last week’s segment at the beginning of a rape. Rape can’t be right or acceptable under any circumstances, can it? So let’s see how Dario deals with it.


Here we go.






I press my lips to his; he turns his head to the side. I grab his jaw and force a kiss on him. His hard lips gradually turn soft. I press my groin against his. “No,” he tries to say, but I use that opportunity to force my tongue into his mouth. His resistance falters. He groans. I press my advantage, ripping his T-shirt apart and tonguing his nipples… first the right and then the left. Momentarily, he ceases to resist and thrusts his torso harder against me. My teeth make contact with one aureole. He yips, then shudders.

I feast for a moment before he tries to push my head away. I rise enough to grab his wrists and force his hands flat against the couch. The sight of that partially revealed, heaving torso is the sexiest thing I’d ever seen.

I growl deep in my throat. “Dario, you’re gonna get it one way or the other. Might as well relax and enjoy it. It’s not like you’re a virgin, you know.”

“Mack… no. I said no, guy.”

“Like I said, them’s the words, but it ain’t what you mean.”

He thrusts his hips up suddenly, almost unseating me. Instead, it inflames me further. “Now, you are gonna get it. Hard!”

“I’ll call the cops,” he says, almost choking on his words.

I laughed. “They catch one look at the threads you’re wearing and laugh you out of the station. I haven’t even checked yet, but I know you’re not wearing anything under those skimpy shorts. You came to the door asking for it, guy. And you know it.”

“Please, Mack. Maybe some other time, but not… not tonight.”

I release his wrists and move to his shorts. They were a little tougher, but they finally tore beneath my fingers. “Nope,” I say, caressing the flesh of his lower belly. “No underwear.”

He gasps as I take him in hand.

“Not only that,” I say, “but you’re excited as all get out. Grown to the max, I’d say.”

“B… beyond my control,” he responds, a catch in his voice. “Anybody’d get that way if they’re stroked.”

I laugh again. “No, not anybody. Just somebody who’s liking the action.”

“Nothing to like about violence,” he shoots back at me.

“Violence? Only violence done is against your clothes. Up until now,” I add. “I’m gonna get up now, and you’re going to go into the bedroom where we’ll be comfortable. You got it?”

He nods, but I don’t trust him. As soon as I crawl off him and he gets to his feet, I grab the shredded shorts and rip them the rest of the way off him. “Now if you run, you’ll be running bare-assed through the neighborhood. Go on, be my guest. Then I can call the cops and report a flasher.”

His shoulders slump, and he heads for the bedroom. Once there, I shove him face down on the bed and crawl aboard. Getting out of my clothes while holding him down isn’t easy, but I manage it okay. Then there’s flesh to flesh contact. It’s wonderful. I force his legs apart with my knees and soon find myself exactly where I want to be. It’s beyond wonderful… marvelous.

And it gets even better. Just as I’m about to get there, he reaches orgasm first, messing up my bedcovers big time. Exhausted, elated, enervated, I fall atop him, my lips at his ear. I lick it, and he flinches.

“Great, guy. Best yet.”

His scowl turns into a grin. “Was, wasn’t it. You were great by the way. Now get off me you big galoot.”

I roll off and lay watching him rise and stretch… which became the new “sexiest thing I’d ever seen.”

He turns and levels those black, black eyes at me, sending shivers down my spine. “Next time, I get to be the rapist, and you’re the helpless victim.”

He takes a fresh pair of clothes from his tote bag and strolls into the bathroom for his shower. After I milk everything I can from the image he’d implanted in my mind, I get up and go join my best friend and lover in the shower.


So it’s just fun and games, after all. Glad of that. Like I said, rape’s not acceptable under any set of circumstances I can imagine. But fun and games? Ah, I remember those fondly.

Hope you enjoyed the story. Have no idea what next week can bring, so I’m as anxious to see it as any reader. Util then.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 


Thursday, September 7, 2023

Fun and Games (Part 1 of 2 Parts) blog post #618

 Image Courtesy of Freepik:


The Singaporeans are back, and they pushed up the reading count of last week’s “Habitat” considerably, but not many comments. Hope you (and they) enjoy my story this week. A Two-Parter.





The doorbell rings, and my heart takes a leap. It’s Dario Beloit. He called earlier to ask if he could come over. Dario’s a living dream. Five-eleven, one-seventy-five, broad shoulders and narrow hips, great calves, abs, pecs, and just about everything else… including equipment.

I open the door, and my heart palpitates. It’s Dario, all right, in a thin, see-through T-shirt and walking shorts that could pass for underwear. He’s holding a small gym bag.

Once inside, he shakes my hand like a proper gentleman, which morphs into an abrazo, that manly hug Latin men give men. Then he holds me at arms’ length and melts me with a grin. Dario has a generous mouth with bright teeth that can flash a smile seen for miles. Then he speaks in that throaty growl that never fails to raise chill bumps on my back.

“Hello, Mack. You’re looking good today.”

“And so are you, my handsome friend. Coke, coffee, or beer?”

“Think I’ll go for Coke today.”

“Can or glass?”

“Right out of the can.”

“Okay, park it while I get a couple of cold ones.

I return to find him sitting on the sofa, left leg halfway on the cushion, the right flat on the floor. Sexy as hell.

I hand him a red and white can. “Here you go.”


We talk for a while about our individual paths through life. Dario’s a grad school student at the U pursuing a Masters in Sociology. To what end, I haven’t figured out yet. Not sure he’s even reasoned that matter through. I’m out of school and in my first year with a local architectural firm. To what end? Well, I haven’t figure that out either.

I met Dario at a neighborhood bar a year back when one of his friends knew one of my friends, and four of us ended up at the same table. To see Mario is to want to get to know him. He’s that kind of guy. Handsome as hell with the blackest hair I’ve ever seen—not the glistening kind that reflects sunlight back at you, but the kind that absorbs light. He has irises that match his hair, black and mysterious. I can’t tell where the irises end and pupils begin. Never known a black-eyed guy before.

We had a great time that night, and have relived it in conversations ever since, including today. He reminds me of the time he came back from the men’s room with soaked britches and insisted some guy spilled a beer on him. We yoo-hooed that idea –claiming he’d peed himself—until he grabbed the back of my head and forced me down to take a whiff of his groin. Yep, beer.

Why he took a liking to me in particular out of the group, I’ll never know, but I was flattered when he did. We met one-on-one at the bar several times and played around at picking up girls, but it never happened. Wasn’t sure why, because once Dario smiled at one of them, she’d practically lay down for him right on the table. Even so we went home together most of the time. Occasionally, one or the other of us would break an unwritten rule and meander off with someone from the distaff side. But not often.

Maybe six months after we met, I got the shock of my life. We were at his place and had gone through about a six-pack each when he leaned against me on the couch and started confiding pretty personal things. His left hand rested on my right thigh, and I found it hard to concentrate on his words. When the hand went to wandering, I didn’t even try.

I’d been with a guy before, like back in school. Didn’t everyone experiment? But here was the greatest hunk I’d ever seen showing interest in me. That night will remain with me for the rest of my life… even if I emulate Methuselah. We didn’t go out after that so much but still kept in touch. Mostly ended up it his place or mine for a brew and a game of chess or at the tennis court where he usually wore me out enough to take the set.

Now, he spears me with those fascinating eyes. What’s new in your life?” Meaning, of course, anyone new?

“Not a soul. Haven’t had time,

“Sounds like an old man’s excuse. Getting old already?”

“Me? I’m in the prime of life. I can prove it, if you want me to.”

“Take your word for it.”

Finished with his cola, he leans back on the couch and rests his hands on his thighs. Deliberate or not, it emphasizes what’s between them. I lick my lips and move over beside him on the couch. He brushes my hand away when I rest it on his leg. I go back again.

He pushes me away. “Hey, man, watch it.” 

“If you’re not interested, why’re you dressed in a shirt that shows off every muscle in your torso and those little shorts that don’t hide much?”

“Just dressing casually. No an invitation to grope me.”

I put a hand on his chest, excited by the tension I feel beneath my palm.

He makes to rise. “Look, Mack. Maybe I oughta go.”

“Uh-uh,” I say, pressing that hand harder on his chest. “You come here dressed like that, you gonna play or pay.”

I grope him. He closes his legs, trapping my hand. “Hey! I said no.”

“Mighta said it, but you didn’t mean it.”

I reach for him aggressively; he falls back on the couch with me on top of him. His eyes go wide. “Mack, what’re you doing?”

“What you want me to.”


What in the world’s going on? Doesn’t matter if a guy’s got with you before, if he says no, that means no. Does Mack understand that? What do you think? We’ll get to the bottom of this next week.

 Hope the story didn’t make you too uncomfortable. Might, if you’ve been in that position yourself before. But hang in there.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 


Thursday, August 31, 2023

Habitat, a Short Story blog post #617

Image Courtesy of Flaticon:

Hope you enjoyed my “Tricky” story. Just proves things don’t always turn out the way you intended them to.

Today, we’ll try another short story. A one-parter, this time.






I often wondered if I hadn’t hit old age when I turned thirty. I can see similarities with my late father’s life as he approached sixty. Comfortable in his own skin. Insular in some ways… many ways, actually. Mildly irritated at change, no matter how trivial.

“Hick,” Clark Baer was always saying, “you gotta act your age. You’re in the prime of life, man. Don’t throw it away hiding behind four walls.”

Now that takes some explaining. First, my name is Jonathan Fielders, but I’m not handy with tools and gadgets, and I was always saying something like “what’s the doohickey I need for this job?” So Clark dubbed me Doohickey, and that morphed into Hickey, and then he took the lazy way and simply called me Hick.

That out of the way, who’s Clark Baer? He’s the guy who moved into the apartment next to mine three years ago and overnight became my best friend. Four years younger than I am, Clark was a good-looking, gregarious, jock type always on the go. He had loads of friends, both male and female, but somehow, we bonded when I rang his doorbell and asked to borrow some doohickey I needed at the moment.

From that time on, this raven-haired, sloe-eyed woman chaser used me to decompress. At the end of a frantic, social engagement-packed weekend, he’d knock on my door, breeze in, grab a beer or a soda, shuck his shoes, and plop down to recount his week. A homebody by choice, I enjoyed our intimate talks. And they did become intimate. He wasn’t a screw-and-tell sort of a guy, but I heard enough of his exploits to know he was regarded as a cocksman among the distaff set.

After letting off enough steam, he’d pick up his shoes and head across the stairwell to his place and retire, usually leaving me chuckling at some of the predicaments he got himself into.

Don’t want you to get the impression I was anti-social, far from it. I liked people. But I was a free-lance journalist who usually worked from my home doing research by phone or by internet, and then writing my articles. So I got tired of talking to strangers. Sometimes it was easier to settle down with a book in the evenings than to get dressed and go out.

There was no lady in my life at the moment, but, once again, don’t get me wrong. I liked women and have had my share. But in all honesty, I guess my sex drive was substandard. When the time came in a relationship where intimacy was expected, I’d find myself looking at sex as “paying my dues.” Don’t know another guy my age with that attitude. Even so, I was totally comfortable in the space I’d created for myself. In my environment… my habitat.

When Caroline Carlo moved into the apartment complex a couple of stairwells down from us, it was no surprise to see her walking past my place on Clark’s arm. He usually moved fast. One Sunday afternoon, they returned from somewhere and saw me sitting on my patio reading James Lee Burke’s Creole Belle. They stopped, and I met Caroline.

After that, she caught me on the patio a couple of times and waved or said hello. Pretty woman, but awfully blonde. Nonetheless, she was pleasant, and before you know it, I was sitting in her dining area having coffee and a very good cherry tart. After that, of course, I had to respond with tea and blueberry muffins… although mine came from Kroger’s, not my own oven. But mostly, I saw Caroline going here, there, and yon with Clark.

Things had a way of moving at their own momentum, and somehow, I ended up inviting her to the Little Theater. Pleasant evening. Good play; good company. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I wondered if Clark was aware I’d stolen Caroline for the night. Then I mused over his reaction to that fact.

And I got one. Negative. He failed to pop in that evening to recount his weekend. First time that happened in a long time.

My habitat seemed threatened, but the following weekend, Clark seemed to be over it and recounted his date with a new brunette of his acquaintance. Apparently, quite an athletic one… at least in the sack. So when Caroline called the next day to say a friend had given her tickets to Oppenheimer, I agreed to go.

I enjoyed the three-hour movie, although it deviated from the way my father had described the period. But I wasn’t around at the birth of the atomic bomb, so who knows? Mostly, the movie brought home to me the fluidity of facts, how they—or the interpretation of them—changes with time. I had no doubt that dropping those two bombs on two Japanese cities saved lives in the long run, but today, you could get into a heated argument over that opinion..

After the movie, my world turned more cataclysmic than that super bomb. When I took Caroline back to her apartment, Clark ran into us in the parking lot, and although his words were civil, I saw sparks in his eyes. At the door, I took the expected goodnight kiss, but allowed Caroline to talk me inside. Tea turned into a cocktail, which turned into a session in her bed. She was just as lovely—and as blonde—sans clothing as she was fully dressed. And, she proved to be a sexual athlete, turning me every which way but loose. Stimulating and enjoyable… but enough was enough. When I finally stumbled around getting dressed, the clock read three a.m. Thank goodness I didn’t have a deadline tomorrow, or I’d have been in trouble.

Caroline kissed me as I left and murmured, “I do like older men.”

That puzzled the hell out of me because I couldn’t be more than three or four years older than she was. I shrugged it off and walked to my stairwell, key in hand. Clark stood in his doorway with a look on his face I could only call disappointed. He closed the door without acknowledging my greeting.

That night changed my habitat forever. Caroline surprised me by moving out of the apartment complex a couple of weeks later. New job in Dallas, was her hurried explanation. Boom! She was gone.

Clark avoided me totally. He changed his habits so that we seldom ran across one another. I made deliberate efforts to be on the patio when he left for work—which was a fixed pattern—but he rushed down the sidewalk without even responding to my cheerful good mornings. As I watched him get into his car in the parking lot one day, I noticed his trim body and graceful movements, and belatedly understood Caroline’s murmured comment that she liked older men. Older than Clark. She was hung up on my best friend and neighbor, but he wasn’t moving fast enough for her. So she used me to prompt him along. Backfired. Big time. For both of us.

By the time Clark’s lease on his apartment expired, we were exchanging insincere “good mornings” and good evenings,” but that was all. Then I saw him moving items out of the apartment. I had no opportunity to question him about his intentions before some of his buddies showed up in a Pensky truck, and my fears were confirmed. The laughter and frivolity of the group working to load my friend’s furniture into the van nearly broke me. After a couple of hours the nature of the activity changed, cluing me that they were about finished loading his things. I was struggling to deal with my loss when the doorbell rang. When I opened the door, Clark stood there looking handsome, although there was a hurt look lurking behind his eyes.

“Wanted to say goodbye,” he said. “And thought you might like to have this.”

He handed over a Bavarian stein with Viking markings and a pewter cap I’d drunk many a beer from over the years, and was gone. I watched from the patio as he rejoined his friends as they closed up the van, bundled into their cars, and drove off in a procession.

I dropped into a chair, the stein clutched in my arms as it struck me how much my comfortable environment, my habitat was changed. Destroyed, was likely a better words. Destroyed by a bedroom romp that hadn’t meant that much to me. Certainly not as much as the friendship it cost.


What do you know, another story about actions and intentions gone wrong. I must be in a “frame of mind.”

 What do you think? Was Hick too insular by restricting his close friends to just one? What would have happened if Caroline hadn’t entered his and Clark’s life? Was a broach of their friendship simply destined to happen, and she was merely the catalyst? Or could have the friendship become closer. On both their parts, or just on Hick’s? Just like life: all those unanswered questions.

 Hope you enjoyed the story.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Tricky (Part 3 of 3 Parts) blog post #615

Image Courtesy of Freepik


Well, Dru finally got together with Alene. Now will there be blowback from her twin brother Sam? Let’s find out.




I encountered no Big Brother hostility, so either Alene hadn’t told Sam about our intimate hours or he figured that was her business. In fact, the week went well.

I was recovering from the loss of my wife well enough to start work on another project I’d had in mind for the last year or so. My sister and brother-in-law’s computer system wasn’t as elaborate as mine at home, but I’d brought a pretty stout laptop with me, and between their equipment and mine, I had what I needed. California wasn’t calling, at least not yet. I wanted some more of the luscious next-door neighbor, but she stayed close to home other than weekends. School work, I imagined.

Then, as we neared the weekend, my brother-in-law organized a fishing trip. An associate of his at work had a secluded cabin on a lake not far away, and he insisted Sam and I accompany him. Sam had a Saturday class, according to Alene, so I counted on him to put a hole in that boat, but he apparently thought it was okay to skip the class. Once I was lassoed, I tried to salvage things by inviting the distaff side, but neither Bonnie nor Alene was interested. Nor was Lynne when she found shed be the only girl on a male fishing trip.

So here I was, going on a fishing trip I had no interest in. Never been a fisherman… nor a hunter for that matter. But on Friday afternoon a couple of hours before we were to leave, things got better. Chuck’s firm had a crisis on one of their projects, and he had to cancel. But instead of letting things die a natural death, he insisted Sam and I proceed with the trip as planned. Sam, it seemed, knew where the lake, and indeed, the cabin were. Apparently he’d been there before.

So about four that afternoon, I climbed in a SUV with a guy whose sister I had shagged… and who provoked erotic thoughts in my head himself, to head off into the mountains with rods and reels, and two pistols as snake guns.  In my mind, they appeared to be dueling pistols. Talk about testy!


Actually, the trip to the lake was rather pleasant. Sam didn’t initiate much conversation, but he answered questions fully and easily when they were put to him. As this was totally foreign country to me, I had plenty of questions. As we headed north to Santa Fe and beyond on the way to some lake called Cochiti, the landscape constantly changed from high-desert panoramas to narrower, more restricted mountain views, but it was all interesting.

The cabin turned out to be a two-bedroom log affair perched near the lake on some high ground. Somewhere during our afternoon-long dialogue, I picked up the information that the land was owned by a local Indian tribe who, in turn, leased the ground beneath these cabins for something like ninety-nine years. The fact that the property reverted to the control of the tribe, buildings and all, at the end of the lease set my teeth on edge, but it wasn’t anything for me to worry about.

We arrived too late to do any fishing, but used an excellent butane stove to cook ourselves a couple of fillets we found in the freezer. After that, we retired to the veranda overlooking the water and studied the shimmering lake by moonlight. After a while, we lapsed into a comfortable silence until Sam asked a question.

“What time do you want to get up to start fishing?”

“Dunno. Hadn’t given it any thought.”

Then he shook me. “Do fish get up early?”

“You’re asking me? Aren’t you a fisherman?”

“Nah. Last time I came up with Chuck, I spent most of the time hiking.” He eyeballed me through the moonlight. “Aren’t you?”

“Maybe once in my life when my old man dragged me on a trip. Crap, maybe we oughta head back to Albuquerque.”

“I dunno. It’s nice up here, and there’s some good hiking. We can go back tomorrow, if we decide that’s the thing to do.”

“Sounds good to me.”

We sat in some more comfortable quiet, occasionally broken by the cry of a loon—isn’t there always a loon on lakes?—until the temperature dropped enough to send us back inside.

Sam gravitated to a phonograph and started shuffling through albums. “Mind if I put on some music?” he asked.

“So long as it doesn’t blast my eardrums.”

He laughed. “I like show tunes, oldies, that kind of thing.

“More my type.”

The record he selected was a Perry Como album, slow and mellow., causing me to blurt out that his sister was a good dancer.

Better put a halter on my tongue. No telling where that would lead.

“Yeah, she is. Says you are too.”

“That so? From what I saw while you and Lynne were on the floor, so are you.”

He held out his arms and danced with himself for a moment, prompting me to lose my head.

“As a matter of fact, I wondered what it would be like to dance with you.”

He halted and smiled. “Won’t have any better opportunity to find out than right now.” He walked into my arms, but I noticed he reversed things so that he led.

At first it was stiff and awkward. Finally, he cuffed my chin and told me to relax. Then he pulled me close, and I don’t remember much after that except it felt right and natural to be in this young man’s arms. He moved smoothly to the beat of the music and hummed along with Como, carrying me right along with him.

The song ended, and he held me tight until the next one—even slower and mellower—began. I laid my head on his broad shoulder and relaxed even more, allowing our groins to press together. There was magic in the moment.

I don’t know how many tunes played before the album ended. But as the played-out record went round and round with a scratching noise, we stood looking at one another. Those green eyes reminded me of fire opals, and I felt myself succumbing to them.

“W-what happens n—” He cut me off with his lips, and I felt the kiss right down in my bones.

He came up for air and stared some more. “I dunno. What do you—”

I shut him up with my lips and pressed myself against his hard, lean body.

When we parted, he had a loopy grin on his handsome face. “You know this is gonna be tricky when we go home, don’t you?”

“That’s then. This is now.”

The grin grew broader. “Where.”


Actually, the tricky part was figuring out who did what to whom. But we managed. In fact we managed several times over that magical weekend.



Guess Dru’s not going to have any trouble. Unless it’s deciding which twin he wants. Or can he keep both? Should he return to California or stay in Albuquerque. Like he said… it’s Tricky.

 Hope you enjoyed the story.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 


Thursday, August 17, 2023

Tricky (Part 2 of 3 Parts) blog post #613

 Image Courtesy of Freepik

Last week we met Drufus (thank goodness he’s called Dru), a twenty-seven-year-old widowed techie who’s gone to his sister and brother-in-law’s in Albuquerque after the loss of his wife. He’s introduced to the neighbors named Drake, whom he assumes are husband and wife. Not so. They are twins. He immediately foresees a tricky situation on the horizon.


Let’s see what happens this week.




I had the opportunity to visit with Alene the next morning when I saw her clipping rosebushes in her front yard and moseyed on over.

“Morning,” I called. “Where’s Sam?”

“Hello, there,” she said with a bright smile. “He had an early class. How are you enjoying your stay in Albuquerque?” She frowned, apparently remembering why I was here.”

“I’ve visited the state a few times, and always enjoyed my stay.”

“What brought you here?”

“First Santia Labs, and then Los Alamos.”

“Oh yes, you’re an electronics wizard, aren’t you?”

“Don’t know about the wizard part, but, yes, that’s my field. But tell me about you. Is this your home?”

She eyed the red brick house and motioned with the arm not holding a basket of cuttings. “Yes, and yes. Albuquerque’s my home, and this house is where I grew up.”

“Is there a Mr. and Mrs. Drake?”

Her smile faded. We lost our parents years ago. Our grandmother raised us, but she passed on a couple of years back. So it’s just the two of us on our own.”

Hoping to bring back a lighter air, I raised an eyebrow. “Shouldn’t you two be living in a dorm or something?”

It worked. She beamed. “We did, as undergraduates. But we’d had enough of the social life by the time we got our bachelors. And, since the house is ours and paid for, moving back seemed the thing to do. It’s worked out well. I don’t have overnight girlie parties, and Sam doesn’t have drinking parties with his buddies.”

“Sound like a slow social life.”

Alene grinned wryly. “Yes, it does, doesn’t it?”

On impulse, I said. “Well, let’s spice it up. Not much notice, but I understand they have dancing at this spot down on Central called the Caravan. I’m not much for country and western, but music is music when it comes to dancing. What do you say?”

She absolutely dimpled. “I say I’d like that.”

“Great. They serve meals, so may I buy you dinner and give you a spin or two around the dance floor?”

“That sounds good, thank you, sir.”

With a date under my belt, I went back to let Bonnie know her devious plans might be working out a bit.


The Caravan was cavernous, loud, and rocking. On weekends, they had live bands, and this one was pretty good… meaning, they played enough slow tunes so we could close dance, and that’s what I wanted with this budding beauty. After a rare ribeye with potato and all the trimmings, we spent most of the rest of the night on the floor. Alene was a good dancer. Fit naturally in my arms, and made me proud to be seen with her. I almost missed a step when a stray through flitted across my mind. What would it be like to dance with her brother?

Alene had a Saturday class, so we didn’t stay too late, but I had a great time with her. She was smart and witty, not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Pleasant company all around. I didn’t push things, settling for a deep kiss as I delivered her at her front door. I couldn’t help but wonder if Sam was in there watching through a window. If so, he didn’t make his presence known.

Before I left, Alene accepted another date, but told me she wanted to pick the venue and told me to wear something athletic. Then she slipped inside, leaving me to walk the twenty-five yards to my sister’s front door.

Of course, Bonnie was waiting to hear all the details and was ecstatic that we had something on for the following afternoon. She tipped Alene’s hand, cluing me that her neighbor was an avid tennis player, as was Sam, apparently. Did that mean Sam would accompany us? Wasn’t sure how I felt about that. Tricky.

Nonetheless, the next afternoon, I dressed appropriately for a tennis court and picked Alene up at the appointed time. Sam didn’t show, so that relieved my mind a bit.

She ran me ragged. I’m not a bad player—in fact, have a pretty damn good serve, especially in the right court—but I had to hustle to hold my own. After she beat me three games to one in singles, Sam and a pretty blonde showed up to take us on at doubles. Lynne, his date, was about a match for me, so the real load was carried by brother and sister. They were fierce competitors. I have to admit, I likely missed more than one shot watching Sam’s athletic figure rather than the ball. Alene was clearly displeased when they bested us in a hard-fought set.

I wondered if that hard-fought bout had cost me the rest of the evening, but Alene readily agreed to shower, change, and go with me to the Caravan again.

After we ate at the nightclub, I spotted Sam and Lynne on the crowded dance floor, but they kept their distance. Sam seemed too wrapped up in his blonde to pay us any attention.

When I kissed Alene on the porch about one o’clock that night, she held my hand and fixed me with those green eyes.

“Care to come in for a drink.”

I laughed. “Not unless it’s coffee. I’ve had my quota for the night.”

She smiled. “That can be arranged.”

“What… uh, what about Sam?”

“When he’s with Lynne, he seldom comes home until the middle of the next day… providing, of course, he doesn’t have classes.”

I beamed at her. “Lead the way!”

The coffee was delicious, and so was Alene. Sam hadn’t come home by the time I tiptoed into my sister’s front door around three a.m.


Sounds to me like he’s interested in Alene but curious about Sam. But Sam seems perfectly content with his blonde girlfriend. Stay tuned.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 


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