Chapter OneA Chapter by Aurora3
A lighthearted story about a young woman who travels to Canada to get over a failed romance and ends up being seduced by a conman when they are trapped together during a blizzard.
Jay and I - The End of the Affair. Fantasy number 1,311:
Location: Supreme Court of
Main characters: Me and him.
We were face to face in the courtroom, Jay in the dock and me wherever the prosecution stands in these situations. He was wearing an orange boiler suit and a pair of silver handcuffs that glinted when he moved. In the distant background someone was whistling the theme tune to ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’.
“Do you have anything to say to the defendant?” the judge said to me. His wig was slightly lop-sided.
“Yeah, I do.” The stenographer’s fingers hovered over the keyboard. The gallery strained with newspaper reporters and members of the public leaning forward to get a look at me. “Guess what, big boy.” - My voice dropped an octave " “You messed with the wrong girl.”
No, that wouldn’t do. Big boy might be seen as a compliment. Fat boy was more like it. But they didn’t normally let the victim speak to the defendant did they? That wasn’t how it worked. I changed it so we he was being led down the corridor in handcuffs by a couple of burly Mounties.
“D’ya wanna say anything to this lowlife before we take him down?” one of them growled at me. His neck was the same size as his head.
“Yeah,” I snarled. I turned and looked Jay straight in the eye. “Hey, fat boy?”
He was staring at the marble floor. His hair pointed wildly in several directions and he had several days worth of stubble on his chin. Not one ounce of the man who had bewitched me remained.
I looked him up and down with contempt. “I guess you messed with the wrong girl.”
I thought about following it up with “take him down, boys,” but felt that was perhaps a tad presumptuous. Or maybe “the scumbag’s not even worth it” would’ve been better.
In the end I just spat on his shoes.
Blizzards are severe winter storms characterized by the following: snow or blowing snow with winds of 40 km/hr or more, visibility reduced to less than one km. in snow and/or blowing snow, windchill of -25 or colder.
If a blizzard warning is issued for your area, take the following precautions:
MAINTAIN A GOOD SUPPLY OF HEATING
· WAIT OUT THE STORM INDOORS. Blizzards may last for days at a time.
The Crazy Moose Guest
It was and I was sitting under the cuckoo clock in the kitchen pulling the shells off pistachios. I was drafting a letter to Miller begging him to take me back even though he had cheated on me. The room smelled of beef with salmon offcuts; it was the cats’ feeding time, I could hear them pushing their bowls around outside the basement door. Two pine beetles were having sex on the skylight over my head. Outside the wind howled like the recorded tapes of hell.
It was day three of my holiday.
“Meg, this is Jay Corbey,” said Freddie, appearing in the kitchen doorway. “I found him in outside up to his knees in snow.”
Freddie was the owner of the Crazy Moose B&B where I had been staying for three hellish days. He was wearing a stained t-shirt, loose-hanging boxer shorts and Jesus sandals. Behind him was a blond man wearing a peculiar outfit of an extremely creased stripy shirt and jeans with oversized turn-ups. I glanced down at his shoes, which were snakeskin and strangely pointy. The blond man was followed by a dog wearing a lampshade around its neck.
I watched this procession file in
and stood up to shake hands with Jay Corbey. He looked like he’d just spent
three months trekking across the wilds of
I gave Jay the once over as he stomped past me, leaving a trail of slushy footprints. His dirty blond hair was growing wet and floppy as the snow melted on his head. White flakes were piled high on his shoulders like dandruff and his jeans were dark with moisture but he was still the most beautiful man I had ever seen. I wished I looked more alluring. That morning I had blow-dried my hair as an experiment and it had increased to three times its normal volume. It was just enormous. I looked like Charles II.
“What’s the forecast for tomorrow?” I said to Freddie.
“Better. The snow plough should make it through soon.”
“How soon?” I said.
“Oh - a couple days or so.”
“There was a blizzard last year that closed the roads for a fortnight,” Jay piped up from the fire.
I tried not to look horrified.
“Anyhoo, I thought you two would get along,” Freddie said, turning to leave. He cast a respectful parting glance at my breasts under my heavy jumper. “Both being young travellers and all.”
The dog pushed ahead of him in the doorway, whimpering. It had a sore mouth from trying to eat a hedgehog. Freddie gave it a desultory toe up the backside as he left the room.
Jay and I sat opposite each other at the kitchen table in an atmosphere of mild embarrassment.
“So,” he said. He plucked a pistachio from my dish and rolled it around on his tongue. “What are you doing here?”
“My boyfriend just cheated on me so I came away to get my head together,” I said. I eased a book " Love Shocks! " over my open journal in which I had stuck a picture of Miller and drawn devil’s horns sticking out of his head.
“What are you writing?” He asked. I noticed he had a little mole under his left eye.
“What does it say?”
“It says wind your nose back in!” I snapped. The dog bared its teeth. It was scratching its fleas by my chair. I glanced up and saw that Jay was looking across the table at me with soft eyes.
“Sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to intrude.”
He was absurdly handsome, I thought. His delicate features gave him a sort of boyish charm, like he was a street-urchin disguised as a grown-up. He was exactly my type. Luckily there was no sign of my heart after the whole Miller disaster.
It was an age old story. I had intended to have a girl’s night out and stay with a friend but she’d got so plastered she’d fallen into a hedge on the way home and it had taken me two and a half hours to drag her out. When we finally got back to her flat she immediately beached herself across an armchair and started snoring with twigs in her hair. I draped a blanket over her and decided I would feel more comfortable at home after all. It was nearly and all I wanted to do was lie in bed with Miller’s arms wrapped around my waist. Not that we usually slept that way; more often than not I wrapped my arms around his advancing belly and he shrugged me off after ten minutes. We had been together for two years he didn’t want to cuddle up with me anymore; he complained I had no circulation in my feet and my toenails were like talons. We’d stayed overnight in a hotel the month before and he hadn’t even wanted to push out twin beds together. I knew we were having problems but the last thing I expected was to walk into our flat and find him on the settee with his hands inside my friend Jill’s bra.
It had been her birthday the week before. She was feeling tearful so a group of us had taken her to a restaurant. I bought her a card and wrote Jill, you’re a star in it and drew a little picture of a five-point star underneath in yellow felt-tip. I hoped it was sitting on her mantelpiece and she felt guilty every time she saw it.
“So what are you doing here?” I said to Jay. He had been gazing around the room looking slightly bewildered. It was very old-fashioned for a guesthouse. It was like the set of a low-budget 1970s sitcom.
he waved his hand. “You know " this and
that. Just travelling around
“My hair isn’t usually this big,” I blurted.
“Oh.” His eyes popped slightly. “Okay.”
There was another silence. My glance skipped around the room. His good looks were making me nervous. I was 28 but I still acted like a 13-year-old around people I found attractive. My usual MO was to either completely ignore them or act like I hated their guts.
“Do you want a jelly baby?” I said, suddenly inspired. I grabbed the bag from my jeans pocket and held it out. It was open and some of them plopped onto the table. They were covered in bits of fluff.
“No thanks,” he said.
“But they’re fruity.”
“Really.” He looked faintly alarmed. “Thank you, but no.”
A red cuckoo popped out of the clock to announce that it was now . The dog whimpered softly from across the room. It had been sniffing a chocolate santa and had got its fur caught in the branches of the Christmas tree. I gazed at the individual strands of hair on the top of Jay’s head as he started rifling through the sodden backpack at his feet.
After a minute he sank back in his chair and flashed me a smile. “So.” He thrust a brown paper bag on the table between us. “Do you fancy a beer?”
Four beers later it seemed like a good idea to have sex with him in the queen-sized bed in his room. After all he was a member of the FBI Counter-Terrorism taskforce - at least that was his story. He told me both his parents had died in a car crash the same year as his fiancé; later he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, though he had since recovered. I felt sorry for him. Surely he must be insecure to make up such outrageous stories. I nodded sagely whilst he told me he had developed eye strain from his years as a sniper and had suffered huge attacks of conscience from having to wear a balaclava and drag innocent terror suspects out of their beds at night whilst their wives screamed at the bottom of the stairs. We agreed to do brunch the following day.
It hadn’t always been just Freddie and I at the guesthouse, though it felt like it. It felt like it was just the two of us in a scientific research sub-station in the South Pole, with nothing outside but white glare.
On my arrival I’d been accosted in
the residents lounge by a pimply German in a Hawaiian shirt. He was quite
charming in his own way. His opening gambit was, “do you like punks?”. Later he
told me there was a “very great wind” coming and we should leave the next
morning. He said he had booked a bus to
After that it was just Freddie and I and huge pyramids of snow. It snowed dramatically, relentlessly, hour upon hour upon hour. We were caught in the most fearsome blizzard the area had ever seen. Freddie spent the day in a tartan hat with flaps on trying to shovel us out.
“It’s three feet of snow!” I said. I was thrusting my head in and out of an upstairs window so my nose hairs kept freezing and thawing and freezing again. It was the most fun I’d had in weeks.
I lost my sense of humour when I realised when we were trapped in the B&B for the rest of the day. The radio didn’t work, all the roads were closed and both the front and back doors were blocked. Neither Freddie nor I had thought to plan ahead and buy food so we were forced to eat from the vending machine in the lounge. I ate three microwave hotdogs, two giant bags of cheese shapes, two muffins (sweaty in a cellophane wrapper), two mars bars and the Canadian equivalent of a pot noodle. I worked on a 1000 piece jigsaw of a moose whilst Freddie got busy shovelling, his hairy stomach spilling over the belt of his jeans. It was a relief to have him out of the room. He was very fat and had a habit of waddling into my line of vision while I was concentrating on the minute bits of fur on the antlers. There was a great deal of supply of Freddie and not a lot of demand, I thought. At least not from me.
I spent most of the next two days kneeling in front of the three-bar gas fire wrapped in an eiderdown which had seen better days. It was spilling feathers all over me; they littered my shoulders and the top of my head and fluttered on to the floor. It looked like the scene of a cockfight. The eiderdown was covered in faded brown blossoms and smelled of dust, like it had been in a trunk in Freddie’s basement for the last ten years, although he assured me it was a duck-down duvet of the highest quality. Around me a row of geese swooped across the knobbly wallpaper and ornamental bears in menacing poses glared at me from the formica dresser. I gazed gloomily around the room whilst curled brown and grey feathers danced in front of my nose.
Outside the wind shrieked and roared, brutal and unyielding. I half expected to see an Eskimo dragging an immature orca home for deblubberisation or teams of huskies racing through the frost-bitten white. At one point I stuck my head out of the door to pass Freddie an oily coffee and couldn’t feel my nose for an hour. It felt like it had fallen clean off. Shackleton couldn’t have been any colder when he was marooned in the Antarctic.
It wasn’t at all what I had imagined when I booked the holiday. I had imagined elks,
snowsuits, giant earmuffs like Princess Leia’s hair or the headsets helicopter
pilots wore, sledding on a bin bag in a deserted forest, moose walking the
streets a’ la Northern Exposure. Sexy radio DJs and fast-talking Jewish doctors
stationed against their will from
“I don’t think moose actually hang around the streets as
such,” Amy had said, doubtfully. She said a friend of hers had actually seen
a moose and it was a real let-down. Only males had antlers, she said. A female
moose just looked like a donkey with a bit of a hump. “And anyway, Northern
Exposure’s set in
“God!” I snarled. “Rain on my parade, why don’t you.”
© 2011 Aurora3
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