General Fiction posted January 29, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level
Unexpected changes.

The Unpredictable Cycles of Life

by Ric Myworld

Story of the Month Contest Winner 

The cycles of life consist of layered ups and downs of never-ending change, and seasons that can transition faster than a laser’s beam.
Twenty years of near bliss: in my, evidently, worthless opinion. Spent with the professed love of one’s life. And although nothing is truly perfect, commitment and compatibility seemed pedestal worthy. I had thought . . ..
Then, the wet-mop-of-sudsy-reality smacked me in the face, when unexpectedly, from out of nowhere, she said, “I don’t love you anymore.”
Those feelings or lack thereof surely hadn’t been an overnight discovery. So, one had to wonder—how long had she craved another’s touch or detested mine, on those rare occasions.
Searching for words to reply . . . nothing came to mind, as I choked on my tongue.
How could I have been so blind . . . about her, her feelings toward me, and the condition of our so-called relationship? Damned if I knew or had the fortitude to figure it all out. And so, I spent the next four years drowning my sorrows in a Niagara of bourbon and broads.
Admittedly, neither the booze nor the babes were terrible substitutes for a broken heart. Except, the haunting fear of waking up cuddled in the clutches of some fishy mermaid disguised as a toothless Ogre with beastly breath. Oh, if only I hadn’t had to sober up.
In time, the hurt turned to hate. Although neither are necessarily healthy nor suggested. The loss of her dried-up affections was secondary to the painful and sudden unforeseen jilt that had encompassed me without warning. As in B. B. King’s song, the thrill had been gone, seemingly, forever.
But determined the wasted third of my life was over, it was time to live again.

The bar door opened. The bell dinged. And in walked an hourglass of boobs and booty reminiscent of Hollywood’s heyday of sexual goddesses. Half my age and completely out of my league, but nice to look at just the same.
She strolled up to the barstool next to mine, pulled the tight, knee-length skirt up enough to let her bend, and slid her sumptuous bubble butt sideways upon the seat.
A peripheral visionary’s glimpse of her ooh so buttery tan and silky-smooth legs gave me goosebumps—and Woody’s not always a pecker in a tree. And from that moment forward, my only regret was that those wasted twenty-years of perpetual stupidity hadn’t ended earlier.
Glancing around took me back to the Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons, red-veined eyes popping out of wolfy onlooker’s sockets. Tongues slurping to keep slobber from dripping down the wishful-thinkers’ chins. Disgusting . . . such little self-control.
“Hello, stranger, how’s the weather in here?” She flashed her angel wing lashes—intense Cerulean-blue eyes zeroing in—waiting for my reaction. Her tongue gave a vulturous swipe, moistening those full, luscious red lips to a glistening shine. She turned my trembling body to putty—defenseless—yearning, at her mercy. Pathetic as it seemed.   
It’s hot, sweaty, and I can hardly catch my breath to speak, thanks to you, I thought. Atrial fibrillation affecting the brain, irregular, panting breaths, delivering nothing but air to blood-starved tissue.
Caught up in a whirlwind of spinning emotions, I struggled not to sputter and spit, and finally, managed to speak. “Thankfully, this joint is temperature controlled,” I said. “The roof keeps the rain at bay. And the only wind comes from big mouths that never shut up, unless they catch a fly or impersonate monkeys munching on nuts and popcorn.”
“Is this the regular Happy Hour crowd?” She asked.
“Well, I guess . . . you could call them that but, the regulars don’t change much according to the time of day here. You won’t find any cocktail or wine connoisseurs. But there does tend to be a few wino beggars and stumbling drunks with attitudes. The chef wannabe is the grease pit’s deep-fry cook, capable of hot wings, cheese sticks, burgers, or chicken tenders. Most times, barely edible. But his dive-fare cuisine beats the hell out of nothing . . . that is, if you’re hungry enough.”  
“This place doesn’t strike me as your type of hangout.”
“And why’s that . . . if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Seems like an older more conservative atmosphere for a bunch of sports bar enthusiasts than would suit your taste.”
“Well, I’m probably the oldest person in here—and do enjoy sports—so, it could appear the perfect haunt. But you’re right though. It’s not on my favorites list, simply close and convenient to my neighborhood circle. Oh, and . . . I appreciate your kind words.”
“I wasn’t trying to be nice. And you can’t possibly be the oldest person in here. But you’re point blank the most handsome.”
“That’s the best pickup line I’ve ever heard. So nonchalant . . . and you slipped it in, effortlessly, unlubricated.” We both giggled like preschoolers at my tasteless innuendo. Her abyss of cleavage clouding my judgement to reveal conspicuous enthusiasm.
Since she hadn’t stormed out mad after my tacky remark, I continued, “And of course, considering you’re too irresistible to turn down, what’s next, or where should we go . . . my newly found princess?”
“Oh, such quick wit.” She pretended to sheepishly coo. “So, what if . . . maybe, I really would like to pick you up. I mean, if I waited for you to swoop me off my feet with your suave, provocative gift of gab, the whole evening could be a bust.”
“Now, now, be nice.” Chuckling, I stood, held out my arm. She hesitated . . . leaving me humiliated, an idiot on stage, surrounded by a crowd of amused gawkers.     
Then, she eased to her feet, leaned her bountiful left breast against me, and wrapped her hand in the bend of my elbow. A teenager’s dream, and an old dude’s too. The ravishing beauty smiled and asked, “How could I refuse?”
My head cocked, grinning at the doubters, we strolled leisurely, arm in arm, out the door—made a quick right turn—and slowly negotiated the downhill grade toward the waterfront promenade.
“I promise, this isn’t something I’ve ever done before, or not what I had in mind when I sat down beside you.”
“Oh, sure, I believe every word. I’m the gullible man who believes I’m always the biggest, best, and first.” She laughed and shoved me.
But in truth, I presumed, men were undoubtedly helpless to resist her allure. Tongues dragging the floor in an endless line of willing suitors. Suckers like me, born every day.

Sunny and mild, perfect weather for an evening stroll with such striking, enviable company. We ambled up behind the typical line waiting to enter Guido Catania’s Italian seafood restaurant. Reservations only. Seating starts at five o’clock and thins the lines quickly.
Starving myself, I couldn’t help but ask, “Are you hungry?”
“Well, I wasn’t,” she said. “Until the Heavenly ambrosial aroma from the eatery overwhelmed my senses.”
“Have you had the pleasure of eating here before?”
“No, I haven’t. Although I’ve heard wonderful reviews. But they say it stays booked four to six weeks out.”
“That’s true . . . unless you know the right people. And as fate would have it, we might get lucky.” I sniggered. “Hopefully, on more than just the food.”
“Oh, I’m impressed.”
“Not my intention, but I hope you’ll enjoy the dinner.”
About that time, Pauli, our host, maître de in his elegant tux, stepped outside and waved for us to come forward. At the door he gave us a hearty welcome and directed us to our table, a four-seater by the window.
“Wow, now I’m humbly bewildered. One of the finest restaurants in town and most difficult to get an available date, and you get moved to the front of the line. To what appears your own table.”
“Well, Guido is a good friend and I eat here probably three nights a week or more.”
The waiter greeted us, handed us menus, explained all the specials for the evening, and asked if we had questions.
“Are you a wine drinker voi dolce, Bellissima signora?” I asked my gorgeous guest.
“I am a wine drinker, but I didn’t understand the rest of what you said.” She lied . . . I could tell by her snicker.
"I called you a 'Lovely, very beautiful lady.'"

She feigned being visibly moved, blushed, clutched her serviette, or napkin, whichever you’d prefer, and held it to her mouth. Unable to speak, she appeared to have a catch in her throat. But I questioned the legitimacy of her actions. Until she touched her forefinger to her lips and blew me a kiss. Then, I only wished, she would fake us all the way to ecstasy. 

“So, do you have a wine preference?” I asked.
Once able to clear her throat, she answered, “Dry reds are palate compatible with everything for me.”
“Good, another trait we have in common. Current statistics show three out of four oenophiles choose reds. So, may I order for us?”
“Of course, surprise me with your exquisite taste.”
Almost immediately, the sommelier, as if planned, walked up, unfolded the wine stand, and set the champagne bucket of ice with a bottle of wine on it. He asked if one of my usuals would be okay. To which, I replied, “Yes, Marino, of course. Splendid. Thank you.”
After devouring my Fiorentina Steak (T-Bone from the loin of a Chianina cow, raised in Tuscany), and her gorging on the Linguine all’aragosta o all’astice (Linguine and Lobster), we finished sucking down the rest of our second bottle of luxurious wine. Inebriated lushes.
Guido joined us to say hello, made sure everything was to our liking and thanked us for coming. Then, he picked up the guest-check holder and winked as he walked away, wishing us a wonderful evening.  
Indeterminate stumblers, we cautiously negotiated our way out of the restaurant and lollygagged toward my house, a fortunate few blocks away. Brazen Flirts. We swapped rubs, touches, or tickles at every opportunity.
I unlocked the front door and pushed it open. Slipped my right arm behind her knees and left across her back, swiftly scooping her into my arms and across the threshold. A feat better suited for a younger man; my aching back screamed.
Testing the waters, I asked, “Shall we share each other for dessert?”
“I’m at your demand l’amante di una donna (a woman’s lover),” she said. Reassurance of her fluent Italian.   
I flopped backwards on the bed, pulling her on top of me. We made out passionately until I could barely catch my breath.
Then she excused herself to powder her nose and returned with two glasses of vermouth Amaro, neat. An Italian liqueur made with a variety of herbs, spices, flowers, roots, citrus peels, and other ingredients thought to aid digestion.
The torturous anticipation was maddening. I could hardly wait for the main act to begin.

The early morning sun shone through the partially opened blinds. My head pounded from last night’s overindulgence. Vision blurred worse than swimming in thick maple syrup, and my dry tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth.
I tried to scratch my itchy nose and felt a tug at my wrist, first with one arm and then the other. And as the room’s distortion gradually cleared into view, I noticed my arms tied to the underside of the upper cannon-ball posts, and my ankles tied to the lower legs of the cannonball bed. Sprawled eagle, the corners of my gagged mouth raw.
And there I laid, bound, and fully dressed. Duped by knockout drops in a rocks glass of Amaro.    
The room looked practically shredded. All the drawers were open. Clothes strewn and hanging from everywhere. The closets dumped. And behind where my fake Monet had hung, the safe door stood wide open. Empty. Upwards of three-hundred-thousand-dollars, gone. Along with jewelry, diamonds, an assortment of watches, and important documents.

News travels fast. So, for the next two weeks, all my friends at the bar kept ribbing me with one-liners. “Romeo owed for what Juliet ate . . . and stole.” “Don Juan got played for a dummy.” “Prince not-so charming lost his tri-focal specks, and quest among the sheets,” and so on.  
Then, face up on the bar, front page of the New York Times showed a giant promotional picture. It was the same beautiful woman who had robbed me.

The headline read: "ACTRESS PLUNGES TO HER DEATH."

The singer/actress had fallen 14 floors from atop the Roosevelt New Orleans. And in a smaller article below were details of two others found brutally murdered on another floor. Sicilian neckties, a form of post-mortem mutilation. Throats slit ear to ear, and tongues yanked through to dangle like neckties.   
As I read, I covered my mouth and pinched my lips to hide a self-satisfied smirk.
I wondered . . . if before taking liberty to my money and personal belongings, and showing blatant disregard for my heart, maybe, she should have gotten to know me better.
“Dormi bene, mia bella (sleep tight my pretty).”

Story of the Month
Contest Winner



I apologize this story is a few hundred words longer than my usual, but since I don't post often, please forgive me. I hope it's worth your time.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2023. Ric Myworld All rights reserved.
Ric Myworld has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.