Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I come to you this week with something new. My good buddy Author Lorelei Bell over at Lorelei's Muse asked me to join in with this challenge. If you are not familiar with the following characters, they come from the pages of my debut novel, Dance on Fire. You will find some sexual tension between Barbara Lopez and the vampire Nathaniel in those pages, but for the most part, the following piece of flash fiction is a bit of a stretch for them both.
Or is it…
It was nearly 10 pm, she was barefoot and dressed only in a Michael Bublé concert T-shirt and a pair of white lace panties beneath that, and Police Chief Michael Lopez’ wife was doing the unthinkable. She traipsed into the dark kitchen, lit only by the steady glow of the Microwave LED and poured herself a third glass of White Zinfandel.
What’s the harm? she thought as she retrieved the bottle from the refrigerator, refilled her glass just a bit taller than usual, finishing the remainder of the bottle. Jerod and his dad were gone on an overnight fishing trip, the twins were fast asleep and the Dan Brown novel was simply too good to put down now.
As she walked back out of the kitchen, she happened to notice the answering machine steadily blinking a red number 1, signifying that there had been a message at some time during the evening that she had missed. She frowned, but released it, knowingly. Probably when I took my shower, she thought. She tapped the play button and lowered the sound by clicking the down arrow on the volume control. It was a message from the school. Report cards had come out and Jerod had neglected to show them to her.
Barbara shook her head as she set the wine down on the dining room table, flipped on the Dining Room light and headed for Jerod’s room to collect his report card. She wasn’t upset with her son, because his grades had always been consistently good. She knew that it was the fishing trip with his dad that had caused him to forget to show off his grades.
It took no time at all for her to locate his backpack. It was heavy with books, but she found two envelopes quickly enough. One was his grades; the second had hearts drawn on it by a girl’s unmistakable hand. Suddenly, the mother in her didn’t care about the grades anymore.
When she got back to the Dining Room, she found a vampire standing there. He was holding his hands out as if preparing to grab her by the throat.
“Shit!” she cried and the envelopes flew from her hands.
“My apologies,” he said.
“Nathaniel,” she shuddered. “You scared the crap out of me!” Absently, she leaned over and retrieved what she had dropped, her T-shirt riding up.
“I am…sorry,” He managed, momentarily distracted.
Barbara suddenly stood straight up. Realizing how little she was wearing, she glanced about as if searching for someplace to hide. She tugged at her T-shirt which stopped below her hips, although just barely. Next, she realized that she wasn’t wearing a bra. She crossed her arms in hopes of hiding this fact.
“Please sit down,” Nathaniel said, pulling out her chair with his left hand. “I see that I have come at a bad time.”
Glancing at the offered chair, Barbara realized that the table would at least give her some measure of coverage, so she quickly sat down.
“Why are you here?” she asked.
“I told you that I would watch over you,” he replied. “Sometimes I do so without alerting you to my presence. What do you have in your hand?”
“What?” Barbara asked.
“Your hands. You seem to be holding envelopes.”
Barbara glanced at her hands. She had forgotten them. She felt dizzy now, too.
“What do you have?” he asked.
“Jerod’s grades,” she answered, attempting to steady herself. She set both down, the simple white atop the dark yellow envelope.
“Both of them?” he asked.
“Not this one,” she replied, opening it and taking out the folded note within. She unfolded it and began reading. It didn’t take long for her eyes to widen.
“What does it say?” the vampire asked.
There was a pregnant pause as she took it all in. “It appears to be a silly questionnaire.”
“What does it ask?”
*"What do you call your underwear/undergarments? Do you have any commonly used nicknames for them?"*
“Really?” the vampire asked, surprised. “And what did young Jerod answer?”
“Apparently he hasn’t answered these yet. Thankfully.” She shook her head.
“How would you answer?” he asked playfully.
Barbara stared at him. It wasn’t like him to play like this. Before she could stop herself, she uttered the following: “Chonies.”
“Chonies?” Nathaniel repeated.
Barbara glanced at her wine as if it were betraying her.
“I thought that was a Spanish donut?”
Barbara laughed. “That’s a Churro!”
“Oh,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “What more does it say?” He was standing beside her now as if attempting to read over her shoulder.
*“Have you ever had that supposedly common dream of being in a crowded place in only your underwear?”* she read. “I feel like that now.”
Nathaniel snickered. “What was that?” he asked.
“Nothing,” she replied, reaching for her wine and taking a big sip.
Nathaniel leaned close and read, *“If you were a pair of panties what color would you be?”* “White,” he said. “It’s what you are wearing now, I believe.”
Barbara spat out the wine. It sprayed the top of the Dining Room table. She quickly stood, reached for a handful of napkins from the holder on the Lazy Susan and began cleaning up the mess. The move caused her shirt to ride up again.
“See,” Nathaniel pointed at her. “White.”
Barbara recoiled, immediately sitting back down.
Nathaniel laughed. He slid the paper closer to him, avoiding the spilled wine. “Let me see what more there is. *Have you ever thrown your underwear at a rock star or celebrity? If so, which ones? If not, which ones?* Hmm? *Are you old enough to remember Underoos? If so, did you have any? Which ones?”*
“Wait,” Barbara stopped him. “You skipped one."
“Did I?” he asked, glancing over the list.
“Yes. This one. *You're out of underwear, what do you do?”* She glanced up at him.
“Ah, yes,” he replied, knowingly. “I skipped it because it does not apply to me.”
“I do not wear any.”
Barbara glanced down. It was purely reactionary, with no forethought whatsoever. Nathaniel’s crotch was a mere foot from her face. When she caught herself staring, she slapped both hands over her face in embarrassment. “Oh my God!” Nathaniel reared back and laughed.
Barbara peered through her splayed fingers at him. “What?” she asked in another octave.
“You are so terribly easy, my dear,” Nathaniel said, shaking his head. “I assure you that I was only joking. Just how is it that Michael would ever dare leave you alone?”
“Shut up!” Barbara took the paper and slapped the vampire on the arm.
He grabbed his wounded arm in mock protest and then quickly snatched the paper away from her before she could strike him again. He glanced at the list as Barbara reached for her glass. *If you could have any message printed on your underwear, what would it be? How many bloggers does it take to put panties on a goat?* “Don’t you think you have had too much of that already?” he asked her. She had, but she shook her head dramatically, taking a big gulp and draining what was left.
“Was that the end of the list?” she asked, wiping her lips with her right hand.
“I think we have had enough of this as well. Let us just get you to bed.”
“Oh?” she asked, arching her eyebrows.
The vampire took his eyes off of the list momentarily and stared back at her. “Oh, please,” he exclaimed, motioning toward her chest. “You think you are cold now!”
Barbara immediately crossed her arms at her chest once again.
“So easy,” Nathaniel smiled, glancing back to the list one last time. “I do have one question for you, however. I have seen goats in my time.” He glanced her way, mischievously. “I’ve seen panties. Just what the hell is a blogger?”
Thanks for taking the time, you guys. This underwear challenge gave me the opportunity to post something fun, rather than the usual stuff. I hope you enjoyed it. Part of this challenge was to pass it along to someone else. I didn’t have the time to twist your arm…er, convince you to share the fun, but I hope some of you will think about doing so. I hope you will.
We’ll talk soon.