In a French maid costume two sizes too small, Sammy turned and yelled back into her apartment over the heavy thud of dance music. “Hey Gina, Mark’s here!”
Wobbling in the doorway, Sammy leaned toward me, “Just wait till you meet her – she’s hot – you’re gonna love her.”
I tried not to stare at Sammy’s cleavage.
A guy in army fatigues walked by, and grabbed Sammy by the waist, and she burst out laughing as he tried to pull her away, “Wait — wait, lemme shut the door first.”
I closed the door myself, and looked around. Army-guy was already dragging Sammy onto the dance floor, and from the looks of things, everyone else was getting busy. I stood by myself and tried not to look out of place.
Costume, sm-ostume. I wasn’t dressing up for some dorky Halloween party, but, as I made my way over the bar set up on the kitchen counter, I felt a little odd.
The wolfman in the corner seemed to be having a good time with that cheerleader on his lap, and that dude dressed like some lame-ass superhero with a plastic shield was sure hitting it off with the ladies. Most of them were dressed in next to nothing – metallic bras and corsets were on full display, and the cleavage – man, oh, man.
I shrugged and poured myself a rum and coke. Eyeballing the glass, I poured in more rum. Sure, it was heavy-handed, but it’s a party, and it’s not my booze. I tipped the glass to my lips and smiled at the warm burn. Ah, alcohol, my best friend.
Or, my only friend since Amanda dumped me.
I watched the crowd, everyone else was in costumes, but no way I was getting dressed up like a stupid kid. From across the room, a blonde in a toga was busy dancing with Frankenstein; she looked a like Amanda, long legs and nice tits, and she tossed her hair in that way that she had, Sammy wouldn’t have invited Amanda, would she?
Lost in thought, I stood people watching. A Roman soldier elbowed me, spilling my drink a little as he reached for the rye. “Sorry, dude.”
I shrugged again. “No worries.”
No point in getting into it with a dude wearing a skirt and helmet.
In the living room a werewolf was getting it on with some kind of witchy thing, all wrapped in sheer black fabric, like old panty hose. Elvis walked by in a glittering jumpsuit, and hung out by the chip bowl, talking to two chicks dressed like aliens, both of them in skin-tight costumes and green skin. Idly, I wondered what green paint would do to Elvis’s sparkle-suit. Frankenstein was now making out with toga-girl, and Sammy was no where to be seen.
Army guy wasn’t around either.
I’m the only one at a costume party without a freaking costume. And I’m the only one standing by myself. Talk about loser.
I took another swig of the remains of my drink and was getting ready to pour another when she came up to me.
She – she was it. Dreamy, that’s what she was. Dream-woman.
I just stared at her, my drink halfway to my mouth. Damn, she was hot.
Tight black dress cut in a low V and a long slit up her thigh; long black hair and dreamy grey eyes. She was classy. And definitely out of my league, but still there was hope, no matter how faint.
Fumbling toward the bar, I smiled at her, “I was just getting a drink – can I pour you one?”
“But you haven’t finished yours yet,” she spoke with a faint accent and smiled at my still half-full glass.
“Need a top up – something to keep me going.” I shrugged and then grinned at her, “What can I get you?”
She glanced at the bottles. “Red wine, a cabernet if they have it.” She rolled her r’s – must be European or something – a soft lilt; and the way her mouth moved when she talked, goddamn, red lips that were made for kissing. Or biting.
My hand shook as I poured, splashing wine down the outside of the glass and onto the countertop. I swiped at it with my sleeve, and then held out the glass, “Here you are, madam.” I felt a little goofy, she was such a classy broad.
She smiled, holding me with those grey eyes.
I stared at her.
Glancing down, Dream-woman sipped her drink. Her black-painted nails stood out from her pale skin; I watched her bring the glass to her lips, the red wine flowing over red lipstick.
I could have stared at her all night, when a voice suddenly interrupted, “Mark!”
I looked up, startled. Sammy was staggering toward me, hanging onto the army guy’s hand. A zombie bumped into her, and she ignored him, still heading my way.
Great, now what.
I watched as the army guy gave her a quick kiss, and then headed down the hallway. Probably to the bathroom. Sammy continued motoring across the living room floor, her French maid costume threatening to bust out both ends.
“Mark,” Sammy squeezed into the kitchen and grabbed my hand, “I’m so glad you got to meet Gina.”
Dream-woman smiled, “I guess we’re acquainted now. You’re Mark?”
Dream-woman held out her hand, “I’m Gina, nice to meet you.”
Shaking Sammy off of me, I reached out and took her hand; her skin felt cool to the touch, smooth, dry. I grinned stupidly.
Gina smiled, those red lips gliding over her white teeth. “I’m so glad to meet you, Mark. Sammy’s told me all about you.”
“Hopefully it was good,” I blushed and cut a look over at Sammy.
Gina smiled, “It was – now maybe you and I could have a quiet chat someplace, perhaps,” she glanced around expectantly.
Screeching and laughter from the dance floor interrupted, and the army guy was now joining the group on the dance floor; he had one of the alien chicks with him. Elvis was grinding with the other one.
Sammy frowned, “I gotta run – see you guys.”
I watched Sammy head back across the living room floor, and the zombie came up to her, wrapping her in a hug. She laughed, but I could see she still had her eyes on army guy.
“Now, where were we?” Gina reached out, trailing her fingers over my forearm.
She picked up the bottle of rum in one hand, and, still holding her wine glass, she smiled at me. “Come, let’s get some air. The balcony has such a nice view at night.”
Heads turned on the dance floor as she passed by, and another zombie tried to hook her in for a dance; but she shook him off. Turning, she smiled at me, “It’ll be quieter out here.”
As the balcony door slid shut behind us, Gina looked up at the sky and smiled, “There, it’s so much better out here. It was stifling indoors, no?”
I nodded. Truthfully, I’d be happy to be inside a cardboard box with her.
“It’s a beautiful moon – so freeing. Inspiring, really.” Smiling in the shadows, she placed the bottle of rum and her wine glass on a small table and held out her hand. “Another drink?”
I handed over my glass.
“So, uh, where are you from?” I tried to make small talk.
“A tiny village in small country in the middle of nowhere,” she glanced down at the rum as she poured a glassful. “You wouldn’t know it.” She held the glass out to me.
“Thanks,” I smiled at her. “So you known Sammy long?”
“We met through work.” Still holding her wine, she sat down on a chaise lounge and patted the seat beside herself. “I travel frequently.”
“Uh, yeah.” Tipping the glass to my lips, I felt stupidly clear-headed. Like I was witty, and charming, and handsome, like in the movies or something. I sank onto the chaise lounge beside her.
She leaned toward me, licking those red lips of hers. Her teeth gleamed in the moonlight; and I stared. Dream-woman, Gina, long black hair, and tight dress – everything floated together; how much had I drank? and those grey eyes of hers – glittering. Like stars.
She smiled. “I like you Mark. I like you very much.”
Her accent sounded thicker, richer the r’s heavier; her words slowed down, like time stopped or I was stoned. Briefly, I wondered what was in the rum. Maybe I was drugged.
It didn’t matter.
Gina picked up my hand, and smiled. She was so close I could smell her perfume – something like dried roses, or dust, flowers and time all mixed together.
“You know, uh, maybe we should – get, to go back, back to my place.” I had a dim thought that I didn’t make any sense. I didn’t care. I tried again, “Maybe, uh, my place.”
“Perhaps,” she smiled again, revealing white teeth, and those lips, so full, and red.
I bent toward her, and kissed her. Dark shadows flashed before my eyes, my head spun, like I was drunk out of my mind. Whispers of words in another language, harsh sounds and darkness. Her arms slid around my shoulders, pulling me in. As her mouth opened, and I felt her tongue licking, lapping at me, and then –
“Whuh?” Blinking in the daylight, I rolled over on the chaise lounge.
“I didn’t know you were still here. You coulda stayed inside.”
“You coulda stayed inside,” Sammy glanced around. “You didn’t have to sleep on the balcony.”
“Whuh?” Rolling onto my stomach, I squinted around me. Balcony railings, and a steep drop below. My head felt thick.
“I didn’t see Gina leave,” Sammy folded her arms across her chest and studied me. “Did you like her?”
“Well – did you like her?”
“Uh – I need her number.” I sat up.
Sammy grinned. “Looks like somebody had a good time.”
“You’ve covered in hickeys, dude.”
Startled, I touched my neck, and glancing down at my hand, I stopped and stared at my palm. I must of looked surprised because Sammy nodded at me. “What’s up Mark?”
I held out my hand, smears of blood staining my palm.
I wasn’t surprised when Sammy called, she wanted the dish on Gina and I. Chicks are like that, I guess. After she prattled on about army guy for like forever, she asked about Gina.
“Yeah, of course I called her – what do you think I am, stupid or something?”
“So, what’d she say?”
“I dunno, she talked about taking things to the next level or some kinda crap like that.” I hoped it meant I was gonna get laid, but I wasn’t going to tell Sammy that.
I held the phone away from my ear while Sammy squealed with excitement.
“What?” I held the phone up to my ear.
“She likes you.”
“Yeah, she said we’d get together tonight, but pretty late. She has to work first. She said that instead of me waiting up for her, that I could just leave a door or window open. She’d knock, and I’d just have to invite her inside.”
“A bit odd, don’t you think?”
“Naw, she’s just trying to keep it low key. Doesn’t want to bug the neighbours.”
Sammy was quiet for a long while, until I thought we’d dropped the call, and then she said, “Mark –”
“What’d you mean?”
She said slowly, “I dunno, but a few months ago Gina asked me if I had any single guy friends. She had a thing with Travis, and then I haven’t seen him around for a while. His Facebook and Twitter feeds just keep posting this inspirational crap.”
“Huh, weird. Guess I didn’t notice. I thought the flowers and waterfalls were his thing.”
“I’m serious, Matt. Be careful.”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine.” As I hung up the phone, I glanced around my apartment, and slid open a window. Weird chick, sure, but Gina was hot.
My very own Dream-woman. Those grey eyes, glittering; that mouth, red, full lips gliding over her perfect teeth –
And if she wanted me to invite her inside, and watch while she climbs through a window, who am I to say no?
Liz McAdams is a short (we’re talking height, not word count), sharp writer living in the wilds of Canada. Her work appears on Yellow Mama, Spelk, Near to the Knuckle, Shotgun Honey and other places around the web. You can check her out at https://lizmcadams.wordpress.com/