Brent Williams considered his job as an actuary for the largest insurance company in Canada not as work but as entertainment. True to stereotype he enjoyed the consistency of his days, his cubicle enclosed by grey faux-walls and the people he worked with. Fun for Brent meant dealing with financial risks and evaluating the probability of events, an important aspect of insurance. The financial risks weren’t his personal ones so he dealt with them objectively.
One Wednesday his boss introduced Penelope Godfrey who would be working with Brent. With her red hair, light brown eyes, heart shaped face and petit physique she was quite the contrast to his 6’3” muscular frame. He worked out on a regular basis at the company gym, hence the burliness. Their co-workers often referred to the pair as Mutt ‘n’ Jeff.
Like himself she enjoyed massaging statistics, and was as proficient at her job as he; previously Penelope had worked for the competition. They slowly became friends. She wore a wedding ring, as did he, so nothing more than a platonic relationship would be expected. Brent didn’t wish to be accused as a monster who broke up a marriage. It went against his moral code.
However, the more the two interacted, in the office, or at the occasional lunch, the more his attraction grew. One evening after a particularly difficult file for a particularly difficult client he asked her out for a drink. To celebrate. Before that night they had never met after work. As the words spilled from his mouth his shocked brain registered the suggestion. She said she would be delighted, and suggested the Mandarin restaurant two blocks away which he readily agreed to since he preferred Chinese cuisine, another interest they held in common.
It became a new routine. He and Penelope went to King Wu to celebrate after they won a case for a client. They won often. The pair treated their assignments as a contest or a challenge for which one arrived at a solution first.
A few months later, at the annual Christmas party, having drunk too much, unlike his normal habit, Brent kissed Penelope under the mistletoe. She responded to his spontaneous passion with alacrity.
For the remainder of the party they didn’t mention the kiss. It wasn’t until the next work day that Brent asked his question.
“It’s obvious you’re married since you wear a ring but you never speak of your husband. Why is that?” Brent broached the subject at coffee break.
“I could say the same of you, and your wife.” Penelope stared into her mug of dark Mocha-Java.
Blushing slightly Brent admitted he wasn’t married but wore the ring to fend off aggressive females.
“Do you consider me aggressive?” Penelope gazed into his eyes.
“No,” he replied and kissed her between her furrowed brows.
“I have a confession as well,” she shifted her eyes to the floor. “I am not married and wear the ring for the same reason as you do.”
“If I had known that before I would have kissed you the second week we met.”
“And I would have let you,” she whispered.
Following these revelations they dated steadily until, on Valentine’s Day, he proposed. Penelope suggested they watch the sunrise from the beach.
“The beach will be cold,” Brent observed.
“We can take blankets and cuddle up for warmth.” She grinned mischievously.
As the sun crested the clouds, he popped the question “Why don’t we add veracity to the rings we wear?” Spoken like a true bean counter.
Two weeks later in a small ceremony at city hall they married.
At the end of the brief service, he bent to kiss her lips but she reached up, positioned her hands on each side of his face, tilted his head back and leaned in to kiss his neck.
Surprised, he studied her face. Instead of the pretty red-head she appeared as a dark haired, black eyed vision of a clichéd vampire. Ruby red lips stood out in sharp contrast to her pale visage.
The monster growled and with fangs drooping over her lower lip, she had a tad of an over bite, she announced, “We are married and so we shall be forever.”
Brent panicked and instinctively pulled his cell out of his jacket pocket and dialed 911.
“What is the emergency?”
Penelope’s attention for a moment was diverted to the civil servant who had performed the ceremony. His plump figure and rosy cheeks proved quite the distraction.
“My bride has turned into a raving lunatic, thinks she’s a vampire and bit me drawing blood.” Brent told the dispatcher.
“Are you in physical danger Sir?”
“Yes. Yes I am. She is gong to kill me!” He screamed, holding the phone in front of his mouth.
“We will send an officer immediately.”
Brent dashed to the near-by restaurant, to wait for the police. He grabbed several cloves of garlic, therefore thwarting his bride capturing him.
Congratulating himself on his cleverness at escaping Penelope and trying to figure out how she had changed he didn’t realise his rescuers had arrived. He could hear his ‘wife’ speaking to the officers and she sounded normal. His heart raced in confusion.
Again he was shocked when two men in uniform approached, and savagely handcuffed him. “She’s a danger to society. I am innocent. I tell you. Innocent!” Brent Williams yelled as the officers hauled him away.
Two events occurred simultaneously. The alarm clock buzzed and Brent’s mother yelled at him through his bedroom door to get up. It was time for school. Brent opened his eyes and peered at his surroundings. He was in his bed with the Harry Potter blue wool blanket wrapped around his feet and his prized Justin Bieber and Avengers posters on the walls. His computer sat on his desk with piled up text books. What crazy dreams. He shouldn’t have watched those movies last night on line while his mother thought he was sleeping. The longer he was awake the more the dreams became misty memories. .Oh well he’d……
The author’s fingers paused over his key board.
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance – No. No poetry! What am I doing? He highlighted the words and slammed his index finger on the delete key.
Ah shit thought the author. I am sick of all the genres and sub-genres in literature today.
Where do I go from here? I’ve covered contemporary romance, paranormal, crime and young adult.
Those damn publishers are never happy but I doubt they would accept four genres in one novel.
The pedestrians 20 stories below the author’s office screamed, scattered and with raised eyes watched as the computer fell to the ground and crashed.
Blogophilia Week 29.6 – “Misty Memories”
(Hard, 2 pts): include a quote by Carl Sandburg
(Easy, 1 pt): include a red sunrise