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October 20, Tuesday evening
“Why do I let him talk me into these things?” Jason told the man who looked back at him in the mirror. He shook a finger at him, “You’re such a sucker, you fall for it every time.!” ‘You need to get out there more, Jason.’ John O’Donell had urged. “You’ll never meet anyone stuck in your house night after night, Jason.” Bill Walker had chimed in. “Get out and do things, meet new people, Jason.” They both told him. “What a crock of shit!” Jason said to the man looking back at him.
“What I need is new friends who mind their own fucking business!” Jason Wheeler said out loud. Judith’s cat sat in the doorway and blinked slowly, her long tail swaying luxuriously back and forth. “You wouldn’t push me into going out when I don’t want to, would you Mrs. C?”
‘No, you wouldn’t!” He said. The cat gave no indication that she knew what he was saying or gave a damn. She was completely oblivious to being part of the conversation.
“I better hurry,” he thought. The volunteer information sheet told him to show up for a rehearsal at 6:30 and it was already 6:05. A sense of doom fell upon him like a heavy blanket. He could have stayed home and watched a game on TV…he wasn’t a real sports fan but he thought it might be a good time to start. One of his favorite teams must be playing somewhere and if they weren’t maybe he could start watching a new team.
He reached into the drawer for a hair brush and pulled out one of Judith’s by accident. His wife of 28 years had died two years ago but not before breaking his heart, ruining their memories – HIS memories of her.
He thought of her as he brushed and styled his hair. They had been unhappy a long time and Jason hadn’t known why. They didn’t talk much, they didn’t have sex either, they were just room mates. He had loved her more than life itself at one time, but over the years their love had faded or her’s had at least. Jason had always hoped that they could rekindle their romance which had been extraordinary in the beginning but that hope was dashed one evening when Judith had told him she wanted a divorce.
“I want to make it clear, I am not cheating on you,” she had reassured him, “but I have fallen in love with Shannon and I want to be free to pursue that relationship.”
“Shannon…? Shannon Germaine your Yoga instructor?” He asked incredulously, “I thought that Shannon was a woman?”
“Yes, she is.”
“Wait…what? A woman?…but…”
“Yes,” said Judith plainly, “I’m in love with a woman. Jason, I have had these feelings for as long as I can remember. I thought they would go away when I matured and married and had the children, but they haven’t. I finally had to admit to myself and now to you that I am a Lesbian. I want to be happy, Jason and you deserve to be happy, too. Please don’t fight with me. My mind is made up and I can’t be dissuaded.
Jason remembered the pain he felt that evening but he also remembered how within 24 hours he had reconciled himself to the terrible condition to which their relationship had fallen and he realized, at last, that this was finally a reason that made sense of their failure. Maybe he could find some happiness. At 52 he wasn’t so old that he couldn’t maybe find a woman with whom he could spend his remaining years.
They were never to get their divorce though. A few days later, Judith was on the way to her Yoga class, crossing the Harbor Bridge when a run-away barge rammed into the north piling causing it to collapse. The tarmac buckled causing a semi truck to tip on its side right onto Judith’s car crushing her. She died at the scene never getting to even tell Shannon she was being set free.
Jason was devastated at her death. He had still loved her in spite of their long struggles. And she was the mother of his two daughters after all! The girls were grown, married and lived out of town but still, no one could fill that void in their lives.
Nearly a year later a settlement was made between Jason’s insurance company and the owners of the barge and semi, which happened by chance to be from the same transport company. They had numerous safety violations in their history and Judith’s death by their negligence was penalized, heavily. Though Jason neither sought it, nor encouraged it, he ended up with sufficient funds to pay off the mortgage on the house and buy a new Lincoln Navigator pus some funds stashed away for another rainy day.
Judith’s death was 2 years ago and still he felt the sting of that loss. He had planned to retire when he had thirty years in the teacher retirement system and that he did. Judith had died just a month after he had retired. He had a lot of plans for his retirement but her death had knocked the wind out of him and now he had fallen into a rut of just doing…nothing. He hadn’t done any of the things he had hoped when he retired. He hadn’t met any one he wanted to include in his life, in fact, he rarely even left the house other than to buy groceries and necessities.
His friends John bonus veren siteler O’Donnell and Bill Walker had tried everything they could to get him out and about but he had largely dodged their efforts… until today.
“Damn! I should have just told him ‘no’!” He said again to the man in the mirror. But it was too late now, he had committed himself and he was without excuse. He had to go.
He had received a list of basic instructions in the mail a few days back. “Dress lightly,” said the list of instructions giving “heavy and hot costumes” as the reason.
“Shit! I’ll probably be put in an ape costume or some other damn thing,” He complained.
The next item on the volunteer instructions list warned to wear clothes that you didn’t mind being stained by heavy make up and fake blood. That was easy, Jason didn’t give a shit about most of his clothes. He chose a light tank top t shirt, he called it a wife beater shirt. He decided to go with light running shorts, which he hadn’t worn since he retired.
He looked at himself in his chosen ensemble and smirked. ‘I’m going to pot, aren’t I, Mrs. C?’ The cat stood and walked away with a definitive ‘meow’. “Well, fuck you too, you bitch.!” He hollered after her, she didn’t seem to care. He wiggled the flab around his middle, it wasn’t really that bad, but Jason looked at himself with an extremely critical eye. He used to be an avid runner and played tennis so he had almost no fat on his body and a fairly good ‘six pack’ until he retired. “Too much sitting on my ass” he admitted. ‘Too much beer,” he added.
Jason left the house with barely enough time to make the ‘rehearsal’. What kind of ‘rehearsal’ do you need to stand around, look scary, and roar at people in the dark? “What a crock of shit” he muttered as he opened the door to the High School cafeteria. He was handed an agenda and character assignments pages stapled at the upper corner. The slightly plump and perky girl who was made up as a zombie smiled and welcomed him. She looked absolutely horrendous until she smiled which caused an instant disconnect from her desired persona.
He looked at the assignments until he found his name and his heart sank. It was almost as bad as he suspected. “Shit!” He said under his breath. He examined the agenda for the meeting and saw the schedule.”Shit!” He said out loud, then quickly looked about to see if anyone heard his expletive.
John said it would only be for one night, it turned out to be 10! John told him the other volunteers would be his age, they were all teens and twenty somethings! John told him he wouldn’t have to wear a costume and the first thing they were going to do is to dress him up as Dracula. “Shit” he said again, but quieter this time. John was going to hear from him! The fucking liar!
“I see we are going to be working together,” a pleasant female voice chimed from behind him. He turned to face the voice and was stunned by the beauty of the young woman smiling broadly at him as she spoke, “This is going to be fun!” When Jason failed to answer she looked at him quizzically and added, “Mr. Wheeler, are you alright?”
“Er, yes…I’m fine just a little overwhelmed by the whole thing,” he gestured toward the rest of the room with the hand that held the papers causing them to flutter noisily.
“Yes, it is quite an undertaking. I am so glad to see you again, I have wondered about you.”
“Uh yeah, sure, me too.” He was searching his memory trying to place her, since she said ‘see you again’ there must have been a time they had seen each other before.
“You don’t remember me, do you?” She smiled, amused by his obvious discomfort. “I’m not surprised, I have changed quite a lot since high school. I’m Cher Iñiguez, soprano? Chamber Choir?” She waited for the recognition in his eyes and when none showed she added, “short, skinny, braces, glasses, no boobs.” When she saw he still was at a loss she leaned in and said to him quietly, “I hung around your off..uh …the music department all the time, you put me to work organizing the Choir music library.”
Finally he remembered, “Cher!” He smiled and shook his head, but this girl looked nothing like that geeky, gangly girl, well except she was still short maybe 5′ 3″ at the most. “Cher, How are you?”
She laughed when she saw his eyes widen with recognition, and she moved in to give him a brief hug and took the opportunity to surreptitiously inhale his aroma. She had indeed wondered about him over the years…quite a lot! She was almost sick in love with him when she was a student, but was so shy she could hardly look him in eye. She loved working in the music office so she could be close to him. She loved his smile, his demeanor, his loyalty and love for his students as well as his support of each one….and his smell! She was too naive to recognize the motivation at the time but whenever she found herself near him and smelled his manly scent she felt a stirring within her. If he touched her casually she would almost faint. He bedava bahis never behaved inappropriately toward her or even hinted at it, but she knew she wouldn’t have stopped him if he did.
“I grew up.” She said calling attention to the obvious. No longer was she shy. She had perfectly straight and white teeth, gone were the glasses and she was slender maybe 115 pounds but she definitely was no longer skinny . She had indeed grown up! She had developed a very nice hour glass shape, with very nice breasts, bigger than his wife who had been a 34B bra size. He hadn’t seen her from the back as yet but she appeared to have nice hips. She had a slightly olive complexion probably from her father’s Latin ancestry but she was blond like her mother and had strikingly large blue-green eyes! She had an elegant face with deep set eyes and a thin straight nose. She had high cheek bones above adorable dimples that showed with even the smallest smile. Her lips were full, particularly her lower lip that appeared to pout when looked at him. Her eyebrows were shaped in lazy inverted ‘v’ s above her eyes. Her complexion and what must have been naturally long lashes made it possible for her to look devastatingly lovely with minimal make up.
“Indeed you did, Cher! You are absolutely lovely!” He tried not to sound creepy.
“I don’t go by ‘Cher’ anymore, I use my given name of Cheri, now. I used to be teased in middle school about my name being a synonym for being a virgin so I changed it in high school, but now I don’t care…I like Cheri better.” She looked at him intently. He couldn’t quite make out what thoughts would result in the expression she wore. On her part, she tried to hide it, but the look she was giving him, the look that was puzzling him, was the same as from high school: admiration and lust!
“Me, too,” answered Jason. He didn’t want to admit it but he was enjoying himself and he was particularly enjoying talking with Cheri.
Cheri was enjoying it, too. She was no longer a little girl. She had eventually developed starting in her senior year and into her first years at college. Her body and confidence in herself developed with maturity, but she never forgot Mr. Wheeler. She always thought of him as the most handsome and kindest man she had ever known. She had judged every man she encountered since by him and so far, they had all been found wanting.
She noted he was still a handsome man, the graying at his temples and by his neck gave him even more allure in her mind, and his smell was the same, better even. She could remember it well and really loved smelling him again. This time she noted she had gotten wet in her pussy. This time she knew what it was she was feeling and more importantly what to do about it.
“What was it you said..?” her opening statement to him this evening came to his mind but Gerald Hume, the drama teacher and coach stood and called everyone to attention. He had been the drama teacher for many years, and Jason had worked with him quite often for school musicals until he retired, even so Jason always found him a little irritating.
“People, People!” He called out twice even though everyone except a person or two had already turned their attention to him. “People!” He said again as he stared at the few miscreants. Jason was irritated and rolled his eyes but then realized that he was in public and needed to bridle his feelings a little more than when he was in his living room.
“We will be having you come up as we call you to coach you in make up. You will have to do most of it on your own, but a few of you will need assistance by a professional. Pay attention to this short tutorial presented by none other than our own Fran Booth. After that we will have our make up specialist show you the best and easiest way to apply your particular character.
Jason listened as Fran prattled on about the makeup and how to apply this and that, but mainly he kept his eye on Cheri. He couldn’t get over how beautiful she was and she spoke with him with such openness and interest. He wanted to find out more about her. He figured she was about twenty or twenty one but he kept trying to remember when she was in his classes and the math didn’t add up. She just looked like a high school kid herself.
When his name was called to go for the individual one on one instruction they called Cheri’s name too. She was seated right across the cafeteria table from him, so as they both got up he asked if she was supposed to be Mrs. Dracula.
“No, I think I am supposed to be a victim who is getting bit by you.”
Jason decided he better not say what first came to his mind, He wanted to say what a delightful prospect it was to take a bite out of her. He was afraid she wouldn’t take it as a compliment.
Cheri’s make up was just to highlight the normal features typical for a beautiful woman and serving just to make her look good in the harsh directional light. The idea was to play up the sexiness of the female victim. It seemed like type casting to Jason, deneme bonus and he told her so. Cheri smiled and dropped her eyes in an adorable expression and blushed profusely. For her part, she was glad that he had noticed her and hoped to play on that interest. She knew she was still interested in him.
Jason’s make up was fairly simple, too, if not stereotypical. Pale complexion, Widows peak, eye brows and the dark mouth with fangs. Jason asked the make up artist if perhaps they could make Dracula look a little more like a normal guy, with the fangs of course. The make up artist thought it would be a nice change and with a few tweaks could be even more frightening.
The costumes were assigned to them as they finished with make up. Jason’s Dracula costume was again the stereotypical black tux with a red silk lined cape. Cheri’s, on the other hand, was ‘sexy Transylvania wench’: Thin blouse, bare shoulders, short skirt, lots of cleavage! She looked absolutely gorgeous,
He was certain he would never have her, but just being near her revitalized him, gave him a will to look forward. She was a breath of fresh air in the staleness of his existence, or a bit of sunlight flooding through a long shuttered window. The experience was invigorating – the next ten days could be interesting!
October 21 Wednesday evening
The next evening they were to come to the same place to rehearse. Jason and Cheri were to meet the drama coach at 6:30. It didn’t surprise Jason that they had to wait for Hume to get done with another group. They say side by side in hard plastic chairs. Cheri wore her entire costume. When he caught a glimpse of her in her blouse showing quite a bit of cleavage, Jason was having trouble keeping his eyes above horizontal.
Gerald Hume blustered into the room with a worn sheath of pages stapled in one corner. He was always in a drama in his own mind, and everything he was doing was always the most important thing in the world, it was one of the things that irritated Jason about the former colleague. Typical of the self-consumed drama coach, he started right off without greeting or introduction , “Now Dracula, er…Jaden Wheeler.. er …Mr. Wheeler,” Gerald looked up suddenly focusing on Jason and recognizing him at last, “I thought you were dead!”
“Jason, the name is Jason…. No, that was my wife…2 years ago.”
Jason didn’t see Cheri’s reaction. She didn’t know that he was unmarried and the realization that her old crush was now single caused her mind to race. She gazed at him analyzing his demeanor, asking herself what his emotional state might be. Was he still mourning? Was he still ‘married’ in his mind? She couldn’t tell, no emotion one way or the other was apparent.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Hume said with his usual over the top display of concern.
‘What a fake’, thought Jason, “It was 2 years ago,” he said out loud.
After a brief moment, Hume picked up where he left off, ” ‘Dracula and the Maiden’ is a short skit of about 2 minutes that will show Dracula seducing and then biting the neck of our lovely maiden here. Cheri, dear, I’m so glad you volunteered to play this part with Mr. Wheeler. Oh! stand up and let me see your costume…” Cheri stood as Hume took her hand and slowly twirled her around. “Oh my, dear! You are absolutely gorgeous!” He said without a hint of lasciviousness, “Dracula and every male in the audience will be totally entranced!”
“He was right about that,” Jason thought. He knew for sure that Dracula was certainly going to have a hard time, …meaning, he was going to be hard most of the time.
“Now, Dracula, the ‘stage’ will have lighting that will turn clear glass into a mirror as we have you appear then disappear. The maiden ….you, Cheri (“Duh” thought Jason) will be reclining on a small bed that will be slightly inclined so the audience can see the action. Dracula will appear and approach you reclining on the bed. You wake and see him approach, you look terrified but then you fall under his spell. You put up no fight as her bends over you and bites you on your neck. Then Dracula will stand and for the first time notice the audience and disappear. Then we have a Dracula dummy suddenly pop out at the audience scaring them.
“I won’t be doing the scaring?” asked Jason.
“No, we will have a dummy do that for your protection. We had a Dracula get knocked out by a frightened jock one year. Broke his jaw, and lost a few teeth.”
Jason remembered the incident. Law suits ensued. He was in favor of avoiding the ‘fight’ side of any fight or flight instinct from the audience.
“One question” Jason proffered, “Do I really bite her?”
“Yes, but of course you won’t be actually drawing blood. Our special affects include fake teeth that retract appearing to penetrate Cheri’s beautiful neck and a small trickle of fake blood will seep from a prosthetic of teeth puncture wounds. It will be up to you, Cheri, to squeeze the bladder that contains the fake blood at the right time. Then after each small audience exits Jason will wipe away the blood to set up the next show. You will have only about a few minutes to reset for the next showing, the lighting will be your cue. You will likely do this twenty times or more on a busy night. Any questions?”
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