Hi and thanks for stopping by from the Halloween blog hop tour. Enjoy my little story from the scene generator. The elements were: butler, bank robber, humble, crotchety, and one or two more 🙂 I can’t remember. I had fun with it!
Terrence popped the soda can top and sipped it as the train pulled out of Union Station. A retail clerk, this jaunt from Los Angeles to San Diego buoyed his mood. He had bought a diamond ring through his store and his manager agreed to a thirty percent discount. He knew Cheryl would certainly tell him yes when he bent one of his skinny legs and dropped to one knee, asking her to be with him forever. But his stomach turned knots when he thought of leaving to catch the first train in the morning to get back to the store. He wanted to end to his harried lifestyle and settle.
A chill settled over Terrence—but not from the soda since it was warm. A man with thick shoulders and what looked like three days growth for a beard plopped down on the seat next to him when the train lurched. The man picked up the morning paper and opened it, revealing a black and white photograph of himself. Beady eyes glared at Terrence from the newsprint and suddenly the thought gripped him that the person sitting next to him had bad intentions. He excused himself and tripped over the man’s legs, struggling to get into the aisle as quickly as he could.
The train lurched again and Terrence fell in the aisle, laying on his back with soda spilling onto a rubber strip.
“Oh, of all things,” muttered a clean-shaven gentleman wearing a gray suit and black shoes that seemed to reflect Terrence’s face like a mirror.
“Damn, those are clean shoes.” Terrence propped himself on his elbows.
“Should be. A butler who wears scuffed shoes is not to be trusted. That’s what my grandfather always told me.” The butler smacked his lips and glanced over his shoulder and back. “I certainly don’t belong here.”
Rather crotchety, thought Terrence. He decided sitting next to the shaggy man was the better option.
“And you,” the butler pointed, “if you wouldn’t hang around with the likes of him then maybe you’d—”
“I’m not hanging around him,” Terrence said in protest, grabbing the arm rest near the butler and the gentleman who now occupied Terrence’s seat. The man set down the newspaper and picked up a book. Terrence swallowed when he saw the cover. Two men with ripped abs and biceps that personal trainers would envy graced the cover. One held a towel wrapped around his shoulders and the other rinsed himself in a shower. The man lowered the book and smiled. Terrence smiled back. He got up and the man shifted so Terrence could climb back in his seat.
“He’s right. He’s not hanging around me.” The man smiled and read. After a few minutes, he looked up from his book and said, “I’m hanging around him.” He winked first at the butler and then at Terrence. He picked up the book again. Terrence couldn’t believe the warm feeling—an arousal sweeping through him— when he glimpsed at the cover. Thoughts of Cheryl with her blond hair and bikini-clad body vanished.
“I knew it,” muttered the butler. “And why would you hang around someone who can’t stand up on a train.”
“Because he’s hung,” the man smiled.
Terrence swallowed and gripped the seat in front of him. He wanted to jump up and run down the aisle but decades of etiquette from parents and customer service in the retail sector prevented him from acting rudely.
The man looked at Terrence. “Aren’t you?” The man’s voice dripped sweetly like a bear’s paw covered with honey from a beehive.
Terrence nodded. “How do you know?” His chest vibrated with such excitement that the blood pushed perspiration right out his forehead. He wiped the sweat and settled back in his chair.
“I saw you this morning in the restroom at the store. You looked so cute after you bought the ring. For a guy or gal?”
Finally, the train picked up cruising speed. “Gal.”
The man crossed one leg over the other, leaned against Terrence, and looked out the window. “She’s lucky, I’m sure.” The man’s jeans were dark denim and had rips at regular intervals in the legs. Terrence liked the style.
Terrence struggled for clues and reasons to determine the man’s motives. “Is your picture in the paper?”
The man nodded and turned to Terrence. “Hmm-hmm. Like it?”
At the retail store, the bookracks were stacked with romantic westerns. Cowboys tipped their wide-brimmed hats to ladies seemed everywhere. Terrence often stopped and admired the illustrations. If he listened closely enough, there were times he could hear them call his name. Terrence, join us—on the range. The picture in the paper seemed to be like one of those illustrations. “Yes, I do like it. You were holding a sign, like a mug shot?”
“Correct. I’m a bank robber.” The train sped south of Los Angeles. “And if you give the ring to me, instead of whoever you bought it for, I have piles of cash waiting for us—and you’ll never want for anything, including affection.”
Terrence curled his fingers, trying to stop the trembling. “I don’t know.”
“You have time to decide, buddy. You’ll find this ride the most pleasant two hours of your life.” The man unfurled a blanket he had kept hidden in his coat and wrapped it around himself and Terrence.
The butler smiled. “I must say, you’re quite well-spoken. Quite persuasive.”
Terrence nodded. Persuasive indeed. On his ereader, he had a copy of a story from author DD Symms. He swore that the man had the same biceps as one of the men on the covers he downloaded. He snuggled in the seat, smiled, and assured himself that the options he had in his life were rather positive. He closed his eyes letting the swaying of the train car rock him to sleep.
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